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FBI vs ODB

✰ I Got Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s FBI File
Some gems include: “The WTC is heavily involved in the sale of drugs, illegal guns, weapons possession, murder, carjacking and other types of violent crime.” [p5] Connections to the murder of Robert “Pooh” Johnson and Jerome “Boo Boo” Estrella. [p6] Connection to murder of Ishamael “Hoody” Kourma. [p13] A shoot-out with the NYPD. [p15] Arrest for felony possession of body armour. [p16] Connections to the Bloods Gang. [p17] Found in possession of large bags full of paper currency. [p40] Details of his being robbed and shot while staying in the Kingston projects. [p45]
✰ Heroin in a burrito allegedly smuggled by L.A. County deputy into courthouse jail
In a sign of how serious officials consider the smuggling problem to be, the Sheriff’s Department recently recorded a former deputy, now in state prison, as he explained what led him to help inmates sneak in heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine. In the video, Peter Felix tearfully recounts from behind bars how his fall from grace started with taking a burrito to an inmate. The video is meant to serve as a cautionary tale for other deputies. In Marin’s case, prosecutors allege that at least two other unnamed individuals conspired with him. According to the indictment, one of those individuals contacted the other to discuss using a deputy to get narcotics into the Airport Courthouse jail. Several days later, the two met at a sheriff’s jailhouse. One instructed the other to get the drugs and stuff them into a “food item,” the indictment states.
✰ Man surrenders 94 hamsters to MSPCA
More than 90 hamsters were found in one man’s apartment, well-cared for and kept in aquariums, buckets and Tupperware containers. The Boehm Street man had 94 hamsters in total and decided on his own it was just too many. He went to the MSPCA’s Small Animal Shelter at Nevins Farm in Methuen last week to let officials there know he had a large number of hamsters he wanted to surrender. “The situation was not dire, so we asked him to wait a week so we could prepare for them,” said Mike Keiley, director at the Methuen shelter.
✰ Cocaine: The New Front Lines
Since 2000, cultivation of coca leaves—cocaine’s raw material—plunged 65% in Colombia, to 141,000 acres in 2010, according to United Nations figures. In the same period, cultivation surged more than 40% in Peru, to 151,000 acres, and more than doubled in Bolivia, to 77,000 acres. More important, Bolivia and Peru are now making street-ready cocaine, whereas they once mostly supplied raw ingredients for processing in Colombia. In 2010, Peru may have passed Colombia as the world’s biggest producer, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Between 2009 and 2010, Peru’s potential to produce cocaine grew 44%, to 325 metric tons. In 2010, Colombia’s potential production was 270 metric tons.
✰ Mother jailed for raping daughter in bizarre sex education lessons
A MOTHER of four who subjected her 11-year-old daughter to a “bizarre sex education” was jailed for four years yesterday. The 37-year-old Sunshine Coast mother used her mobile phone to create three films showing her raping her youngest child and exposed her to other sexual activity “in response to repeated questions”. Judge John Robertson said the mother, through her “selfish criminal conduct”, had deprived her daughter of the right to “a wholesome and loving relationship with her mother”. He said while sexual offences against children by their own mothers were “rare”, the community acting through the courts should denounce “this shocking conduct” with a significant punishment.
✰ Breast Augmentation with Saline breast implants
This 23 year old patient from Menifee, California (Riverside County) had always been self conscience about her left breast. It seemed as if she had an additional breast and nipple on that left side. She had been thinking about breast augmentation surgery for quite a while but wanted to find a board certified plastic surgeon who would also address her 3rd breast on the left side. This condition is known as a supernumerary breast tissue which are a common minor congenital malformation that consists of nipples and/or related tissue in addition to the 2 nipples normally appearing on the chest.
✰ Accessory breast tissue
A 27-year-old woman presented with a soft, non-tender lump in the right groin, with cyclical pain during menstruation. After surgical excision, histopathology revealed normal breast tissue. Accessory breasts occur in 0·4-6% of women along the milk line which runs from axilla to groin.
✰ 5 more dirty tricks: Social engineers’ latest pick-up lines
You may now be savvy enough to know that when a friend reaches out on Facebook and says they’ve been mugged in London and are in desperate need of cash, that it’s a scam. But social engineers, the criminals that pull off these kinds of ploys by trying to trick you, are one step ahead. Social engineering attacks are getting more specific, according to Chris Hadnagy author of Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking. “Targeted attacks are earning social engineers better results,” he said. What that means is they may need to do more work to find out personal information, and it may take longer, but the payoff is often larger. “Attacks now are not just a broad spam effort, sending out a million emails with an offer for Viagra,” said Hadnagy. “These are now individual attacks where they are going after people one by one.”
✰ Top 20 arguments having a dog causes families
A new study shows ‘man’s best friend’ can also be his worst enemy as it triggers up to three rows every single day.   That’s the equivalent of 156 quarrels every year – or 1,997 over the average pooch’s life expectancy of 12.8 years.   And the spats range from disagreeing about who should take the dog for a walk, feeding them too many treats and what to do with them when going away.
✰ Grisly find reveals Indonesia’s fixation with black magic
In all, the graves of 24 children had been exhumed on the same night in a co-ordinated action. Police have yet to make an arrest and the investigation continues, but few are in doubt about the motivation of the grave robbers. ”It was for black magic,” Sapari says. ”Maybe for immunity, or strength … or maybe to make yourself disappear.” Ki Kusumo, anointed by several magazines as Indonesia’s most popular paranormal, says: ”There are plenty of cases like this. It’s just that they don’t always make the media.” He says deceased virgin teenage girls are particularly sought after and ”families have to guard the tomb for 40 days” after burial. In Indramayu in West Java, he says he knows of babies born on an auspicious day in the Javanese calendar being kidnapped and beheaded. ”The heads are buried in the front of the person’s house. They believe, this way, they will become wealthy.”
✰ Not Just the Wendrows: Sex Abuse Cases Dismissed After Facilitated Communication
In the early 1990s, the Wheatons were part of a disturbing trend: families whose autistic children accused them of sexual abuse — allegations leveled through a technique called facilitated communication. The technique involves a trained person called a facilitator, who holds a disabled person’s arm while they type on a keyboard. But in case after case, charges against accused parents were dropped or dismissed and questions were raised about whether facilitators were, in fact, guiding their young clients to type the unthinkable accusations. The cases caught the attention of the American Psychological Association. In 1994, the association deemed the technique an “unproved communicative procedure with no scientifically demonstrated support for its efficacy,” a position it continues to stand behind today.
✰ Woman says her fake penis got her fired
IS THAT a Fruit-A-Freeze in your pocket – or are you just happy to see me? A northeastern Pennsylvania woman is suing a South Jersey-based maker of frozen treats and other snack foods, claiming that she was wrongfully fired because she wore a prosthetic penis to work. Pauline Davis, 45, wore the device to the J&J; Snack Foods plant in Moosic, Lackawanna County, while she contemplated a gender change, according to a federal civil-rights complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Scranton. She confided in several co-workers about the device, and someone told management, according to the complaint. She subsequently was fired from her job as a packer/line inspector. Her termination, she claims, was discriminatory because a male co-worker who wore female clothing and prostheses and took hormone treatments was not fired nor disciplined.
✰ Girls Licking Doorknobs
It seems like Japan is in the news, more often than not, for bizarre activities. The latest that’s making waves on the internet is a Tumblr blog with pictures of girls licking doorknobs. The work belongs to illustrator Ryuko Azuma, who says the idea started as many good ones do – with a drunken tweet. Famous for his sexy, edgy drawings, one night he tweeted that a collection of photos of a girl licking a doorknob would be a big hit. Azuma says he wouldn’t have done anything about it if the tweet had gone unnoticed. But as luck would have it, it didn’t. A 21-year-old photographer, Ai Ehara, replied to the tweet and that was how the ‘Doorknob Girl’ was launched. Ehara herself posed as the first Doorknob Girl, but when the site went viral, they began to hire several other models for the job. According to Ehara the idea was ‘extraordinarily unusual’.
✰ Man’s marimba iPhone ring stops Mahler symphony dead
“The symphony ends incredibly quietly so there was literally no way that we could go on, Gilbert told NBC News. “So I stopped the music and I asked the general vicinity where the sound was coming from ‘please turn off your cellphone.’ And I had to ask several times…” In the ensuing pause, some in the audience reportedly called for blood, shouting: “Kick him out!” and “$1,000 fine!” the witness recounted. Gilbert quietly employed shame until the offender — described as an elderly man by another blogger — confirmed that the phone was off. Before continuing with the concert, Gilbert apologized and explained that normally it’s best to ignore such disturbances, but he said this was “so egregious that I could not allow it.” This was the first time Gilbert has stopped the orchestra for a violation of the “cell-phones off” rule, a media contact at the symphony said, but at least the second time that it has happened in the symphony’s history.
✰ Shithouse Restaurant serves dinners in mini-toilets
Co-owner Feng Lu said: ‘We had the idea when we were discussing one of the worst restaurants we’d ever eaten in and one of us said it had been a real toilet. So we decided to see if we could make a restaurant that was just one big toilet.
✰ Deal reached in case of accused phony doctor offering breast exams
At the time of Winikoff’s arrest, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said he carried a little black bag to lend credibility to his claim of being a doctor. The first victim, 36 at the time, told detectives he started the exam by fondling her breasts, and she knew something was wrong when his hands wandered elsewhere.
✰ Swastika Earrings Reportedly No Longer For Sale At Brooklyn Jewelry Store
New York City Councilman Steve Levin, D-Brooklyn, visited Bejeweled in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, on Wednesday and met with owner Young Sook Kim, who agreed to remove them from the shelves, the Daily News reports. A day earlier, politicians and advocates told FoxNews.com that the earrings were the latest example of anti-Semitism in New York and New Jersey. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer demanded that the store immediately stop selling them. “Let me be clear — a swastika is not a fashion statement,” Stringer said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “It is the most hateful symbol in our culture, and an insult to any civilized person.” But the store’s manager defended the $5.99 earrings, saying the swastika is a symbol of eternity in Tibetan Buddhism, not just a symbol popularized by Nazi Germany. “It’s not a Nazi symbol,” Kim told FoxNews.com on Wednesday. “I don’t know what’s the problem. My earrings are coming from India as a Buddhist symbol.”
✰ ‘Anti-semitic’ car bombs were motivated by insurance fraud NOT racial hatred, say police
When a number of cars were firebombed in a Jewish neighbourhood, with racist graffiti nearby, police assumed that they were dealing with a hate crime. Community leaders were so outraged by the apparent anti-semitism in Midwood, an area of Brooklyn, that they organised a march against hate attended by more than 100 residents. But now police say that the cars were in fact torched as part of an insurance scam, and the abhorrent graffiti – including swastikas scrawled in the street – was an attempt by the fraudsters to cover their tracks.
✰ In Which Eben Moglen Like, Legit Yells at Me for Having Facebook
That’s the consequence of social media structures which encourage people to share using centralized databases, and everything they share is held by someone who is no friend of theirs who also runs the servers and collects the logs which contain all the information about who accesses what, the consequences of which is that we are creating systems of comprehensive surveillance in which a billion people are involved and those people’s lives are being lived under a kind of scrutiny which no secret police service is the 20th century could ever have aspired to achieve. And all of that data is being collected and sold by people whose goal it is to make a profit selling the ability to control human beings by knowing more about themselves than they know. Okay? That’s true of all this information all the time everywhere. The thing you’re working on is simply one of 100,000 implications of that disaster.
✰ Salmon DNA used in data storage device
Salmon … they’re good to eat, provide a livelihood for fishermen, are an important part of their ecosystem, and now it seems that they can store data. More specifically, their DNA can. Scientists from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany have created a “write-once-read-many-times” (WORM) memory device, that combines electrodes, silver nanoparticles, and salmon DNA. While the current device is simply a proof-of-concept model, the researchers have stated that DNA could turn out to be a less expensive alternative to traditional inorganic materials such as silicon. The device is made up of a thin film of salmon DNA that has been impregnated with silver atoms, then sandwiched between two electrodes. When UV light is shone onto the system, the atoms cluster together into nanoparticles.
✰ Questions, perception prompt burger chains to ditch product ‘Pink Slime’
McDonald’s and two other fast-food chains have stopped using an ammonia-treated burger ingredient that meat industry critics deride as “pink slime.” The product remains widely used as low-fat beef filling in burger meat, including in school meals. But some consumer advocates worry that attacks on the product by food activist Jamie Oliver and others will discourage food manufacturers from developing new methods of keeping deadly pathogens out of their products.
✰ Bacon linked to higher risk of pancreatic cancer, says report
Eating 50g of processed meat every day – the equivalent to one sausage or two rashers of bacon – increases the risk by 19%, compared to people who do not eat processed meat at all. For people consuming double this amount of processed meat (100g), the increased risk jumps to 38%, and is 57% for those eating 150g a day. But experts cautioned that the overall risk of pancreatic cancer was relatively low – in the UK, the lifetime risk of developing the disease is one in 77 for men and one in 79 for women.
✰ Iran Sentences Alleged Video Game Developer ‘Spy’ to Death [UPDATE]
“After (working for DARPA), I went to Kuma (Games Company),” Hekmati was quoted as saying as part of his December “confession” according to Iran’s Tehran Times. “This computer company was receiving money from the CIA to (produce) and design and distribute for free special movies and games with the aim of manipulating public opinion in the Middle East. The goal of the company in question was to convince the people of Iran and the people of the entire world that whatever the U.S. does in other countries is a good measure.”
✰ Who Is Flying Unmanned Aircraft in the U.S.?
“Drones give the government and other unmanned aircraft operators a powerful new surveillance tool to gather extensive and intrusive data on Americans’ movements and activities,” said EFF Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch. “As the government begins to make policy decisions about the use of these aircraft, the public needs to know more about how and why these drones are being used to surveil United States citizens.”
✰ IBM smashes Moore’s Law, cuts bit size to 12 atoms
IBM announced Thursday that after five years of work, its researchers have been able to reduce from about one million to 12 the number of atoms required to create a bit of data. The breakthrough may someday allow data storage hardware manufacturers to produce products with capacities that are orders of magnitude greater than today’s hard disk and flash drives. “Looking at this conservatively … instead of 1TB on a device you’d have 100TB to 150TB. Instead of being able to store all your songs on a drive, you’d be able to have all your videos on the device,” said Andreas Heinrich, IBM Research Staff Member and lead investigator on this project.
✰ Man hides 38 caliber pistol up him Rectum in jail [Video]
A man wanted for murder in the Atlanta area was found with a gun in his jail cell, and lawmen believe he had that weapon hidden in his rectum when he was booked into jail. Michael Ward remains in the Onslow County jail after his arrest Monday morning. Deputies say the gun measures 10 inches, including a 4-1/2 inch barrel. Deputies say that Ward was searched and strip searched before he was placed into a holding cell. Jailers also made Ward perform what they call a “squat and cough” procedure.
✰ Comprehensive Experimental Analyses of Automotive Attack Surfaces [PDF]
Modern automobiles are pervasively computerized, and hence potentially vulnerable to attack. However, while previous research has shown that the internal networks within some modern cars are insecure, the associated threat model —requiring prior physical access—has justifiably been viewed as unrealistic. Thus, it remains an open question if automobiles can also be susceptible to remote compromise. Our work seeks to put this question to rest by systematically analyzing the external attack surface of a modern automobile. We discover that remote exploitation is feasible via a broad range of attack vectors (including mechanics tools, CD players, Bluetooth and cellular radio), and further, that wireless communications channels allow long distance vehicle control, location tracking, in-cabin audio exfiltration and theft. Finally, we discuss the structural characteristics of the automotive ecosystem that give rise to such problems and highlight the practical challenges in mitigating them
✰ The hidden danger of touchscreens
Ergonomic risks are not new to computer users. Laptops and netbooks, whose sales now outnumber desktop computers by more than two to one, pose their own health-related problems. But the rise of the touchscreen means both new kinds of health hazards and more usage in risky scenarios.
✰ Halle Berry plays a white woman in Cloud Atlas
White actors “blacking up” for a role has become taboo, but Halle Berry is happy to do the opposite. The black American actress agreed to “white up” for her performance in a forthcoming adaptation of David Mitchell’s acclaimed novel Cloud Atlas.
✰ Milky Way Crammed With 100 Billion Alien Worlds?
Last year, using the exoplanets discovered by the Kepler space telescope as a guide, astronomers took a statistical stab at estimating the number of exoplanets that exist in our galaxy. They came up with at least 50 billion alien worlds. Today, astronomers from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md., and the PLANET (Probing Lensing Anomalies NETwork) collaboration have taken their own stab at the “galactic exoplanetary estimate” and think there are at least 100 billion worlds knocking around the Milky Way. Why has the estimate doubled? The key difference here are the methods used to detect alien worlds orbiting distant stars.
✰ The New York Times public editor’s very public utterance
Thursday, Arthur Brisbane, the public editor of the New York Times, went to his readers with a question: “I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge ‘facts’ that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.” Brisbane (who, as public editor, speaks only for himself, not the Times) referred to two recent stories: the claim that Clarence Thomas had “misunderstood” a financial reporting form when he left out key information, and Mitt Romney’s assertion that President Obama gives speeches “apologising” for America. Brisbane asked whether news reporters should have the freedom to investigate and respond to those comments. The reaction from readers was swift, voluminous, negative and incredulous. “Is this a joke? THIS IS YOUR JOB.” “If the purpose of the NYT is to be an inoffensive container for ad copy, then by all means continue to do nothing more than paraphrase those press releases.”
✰ Totally drug-resistant TB emerges in India
Physicians in India have identified a form of incurable tuberculosis there, raising further concerns over increasing drug resistance to the disease1. Although reports call this latest form a “new entity”, researchers suggest that it is instead another development in a long-standing problem. The discovery makes India the third country in which a completely drug-resistant form of the disease has emerged, following cases documented in Italy in 20072 and Iran in 20093. However, data on the disease, dubbed totally drug-resistant tuberculosis (TDR-TB), are sparse, and official accounts may not provide an adequate indication of its prevalence. Giovanni Migliori, director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases in Tradate, Italy, suggests that TDR-TB is a deadlier iteration of the highly resistant forms of TB that have been increasingly reported over the past decade. “Totally resistant TB is not new at all,” he says.
✰ Network [Video]
Information technology has become a ubiquitous presence. By visualizing the processes that underlie our interactions with this technology we can trace what happens to the information we feed into the network.
✰ Drake Confronts LA Face Tattoo Artist
My whole deal with people wanting completely outrageous and potentially life-ruining tattoos is this: I’ll ask them three times if they really think it’s a good idea, I tell them what the potential consequences of getting a tattoo on their face might be, and after that, the bad decision is on them. I believe that people get the tattoos that they deserve…I guess I feel bad that this dumbass got the name of the softest motherfucker in hip-hop tattooed on her forehead. But what makes that any less valid of a tattoo to her?… I lost a little sleep over it that first night, wondering if I wanted to be known as the asshole who tattooed “DRAKE” on some crackhead’s forehead.
✰ Sir Isaac Newton’s Occult Studies Online
it took me awhile to search online for Newton’s occult writings about the Philosopher’s Stone (the mythical element that would turn lead to gold and provide a means to immortality), the Tarot, astrology, alchemy, magic, and the end of the world. Newton also wrote of Atlantis in his Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms. He concealed these works to avoid criticism. When he died, these papers were considered ‘unfit to publish.’ When they finally surfaced in 1936 after being kept for centuries in the Earl of Portsmouth’s attic, they were auctioned. One of the people who eagerly bought and read Newton’s secret writings was John Maynard Keynes – there’s some food for thought as the world’s economic crisis deepens. After reading them, Keynes reportedly said, “Newton was not the first of the age of reason, he was the last of the magicians.”
✰ Hitler reacts to SOPA. [Video]
“Don’t cry, Disney owns the right to that emotion.”
✰ Juicing medical marijuana the latest trend in amazing cures
The current methods of taking in medical marijuana include: Smoking, vaporizing, ingesting edibles, and reducing THC hemp into a vial of concentrated hemp oil. They all have healing qualities, but the concentrated hemp oil that Rick Simpson discovered seems to have been the most efficacious form of medical marijuana, at least up to now (http://www.naturalnews.com/027756_cancer_cure_Big_Pharma.html). Now it appears that Dr. William Courtney, MD, has discovered the best way to take in CBDs and other beneficial cannabinoids without the THC becoming psychoactive even though it’s still in the plant: Eating or juicing the whole raw marijuana plant. Dr. Courtney explains that heating marijuana destroys enzymes and excites the THC’s psychoactive effects. But if ingested raw the CBD takes over, and dramatic healing activity occurs without the high.
✰ Is the Head of One Tyrant Worth the Lives of Millions?
Is the head of one tyrant worth the lives of millions and the pain of billions?  Sadly, throughout the most of history people have been convinced that this is a fair trade, and that the ends somehow justify the means. Unfortunately, the only ends in any war are violence, murder and a total decline in civilization.  Maybe some oil companies get some contracts, some arms manufacturers get some sales and some governments pick up some land, but nothing is ever really accomplished in war.  A war with Iran is no different, it will do nothing but bring more pain to the innocent people of this world and ensure that the United States will repeat the same fate suffered by the ancient Roman Empire.
✰ Rick Santorum’s End Times Theory About a Nuclear Iran
While talking about Iran—whose nuclear facilities the former Pennsylvania senator recently said he would bomb if they weren’t opened to international arms inspectors—Santorum noted that one of the regime’s enrichment facilities is located near the city of Qom, home to the Jamkaran mosque, which houses an ancient well considered sacred to some Shia Muslims. According to local belief, Santorum said, the Mahdi—”he’s the equivalent in some respects to a Jesus figure—was going to come back at the end of times and lead Shia Islam to the ruin of the world and peace and justice. That’s what their end of times scenario is.” He continued: Well he comes back at a time of great chaos. So there are many who speculate that there are folks over in Iran who wouldn’t mind creating a time of great chaos for religious reasons. And the fact they built this nuclear program in the city next to where this man is supposed to return leads one to the think that there may be more to it…
✰ Tweeting the word ‘drill’ could mean your Twitter account is read by government spies
Simply using a word or phrase from the DHS’s ‘watch’ list could mean that spies from the government read your posts, investigate your account, and attempt to identify you from it, acccording to an online privacy group. The words which attract attention range from ones seemingly related to diseases or bioweapons such as ‘human to animal’ and ‘outbreak’ to other, more obscure words such as ‘drill’ and ‘strain’. The DHS also watches for words such as ‘illegal immigrant’. The DHS outlined plans to scans blogs, Twitter and Facebook for words such as ‘illegal immigrant’, ‘outbreak’, ‘drill’, ‘strain’, ‘virus’, ‘recovery’, ‘deaths’, ‘collapse’, ‘human to animal’ and ‘trojan’, according to an ‘impact asssessment’ document filed by the agency. When its search tools net an account using the phrases, they record personal information.
✰ The New York Times misleading public on Iran
The claim that there is “a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran’s nuclear programme has a military objective” is misguided. As Washington Post’s Ombudsman Patrick Pexton noted on December 9: But the IAEA report does not say Iran has a bomb, nor does it say it is building one, only that its multiyear effort pursuing nuclear technology is sophisticated and broad enough that it could be consistent with building a bomb. Indeed, if you try now to find the offending paragraph on the New York Times website, you can’t. They took it down. But there is no note, like there is supposed to be, acknowledging that they changed the article, and that there was something wrong with it before. Sneaky, huh?
✰ World’s worst places: Top 10 places you do not want to visit in 2012
The places on this list are the bad places. Some have run out of hope. Others have fought war for so long it is the new normal. Most are exceptionally dangerous and heartbreaking. And while none of them are fighting for write-ups by travel bloggers or inspiring travel with the NetJet set, some of these locations may someday be on the travel map. After all, it was not long ago that current hot-spots like Cambodia and Croatia would have made such a list.
✰ ‘Doomsday Clock’ Ticks One Minute Toward Destruction
In a sign of pessimism about humanity’s future, scientists today set the hands of the infamous “Doomsday Clock” forward one minute from two years ago. “It is now five minutes to midnight,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) director Kennette Benedict announced today (Jan. 10) at a press conference in Washington, D.C. That represents a symbolic step closer to doomsday, a change from the clock’s previous mark of six minutes to midnight, set in January 2010.  The clock is a symbol of the threat of humanity’s imminent destruction from nuclear or biological weapons, climate change and other human-caused disasters. In making their deliberations about how to update the clock’s time, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists focused on the current state of nuclear arsenals around the globe, disastrous events such as the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, and biosecurity issues such as the creation of an airborne H5N1 flu strain
✰ Mass Suicide Threats at Xbox 360 Plant
On Jan. 2, over 300 employees at a Foxconn plan in Wuhan, China threatened to throw themselves off a building in a mass suicide. Foxconn makes Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony products. These workers manufacture Xbox 360s. According to Chinese anti-government website China Jasmine Revolution (via Watch China Times), the workers were protesting denied compensation they were promised. On Jan. 2, the workers asked for a raise. Foxconn told them they could either keep their jobs with no pay increase or quit and get compensation. Most decided to quit with compensation. However, the agreement was supposedly terminated, and the workers never received their payments. Website Record China reported that the uproar the incident actually caused Xbox 360 production to be temporarily suspended. The mayor of Wuhan intervened to talk down the group down, and on Jan. 3 at 9pm, the group of 300 decided not to jump, ending what could have been a deadly game of chicken.
✰ My Guantánamo Nightmare
ON Wednesday, America’s detention camp at Guantánamo Bay will have been open for 10 years. For seven of them, I was held there without explanation or charge. During that time my daughters grew up without me. They were toddlers when I was imprisoned, and were never allowed to visit or speak to me by phone. Most of their letters were returned as “undeliverable,” and the few that I received were so thoroughly and thoughtlessly censored that their messages of love and support were lost. Some American politicians say that people at Guantánamo are terrorists, but I have never been a terrorist. Had I been brought before a court when I was seized, my children’s lives would not have been torn apart, and my family would not have been thrown into poverty. It was only after the United States Supreme Court ordered the government to defend its actions before a federal judge that I was finally able to clear my name and be with them again.
✰ Warren Jeffs bans sex in his fundamentalist Mormon congregation until he gets out of prison (He’s serving a life sentence plus 20 years)
Warren Jeffs, the convicted rapist leader of a fundamentalist Mormon cult, has banned sex until he gets out of prison.  Jeffs is serving a life sentence plus 20 years in Texas after he was convicted of raping a 12 and a 15-year-old girl. He has already kicked one member who dared to sleep with his own wife after Jeffs declared that all marriages are void until he can return and ‘seal’ them. ‘He has predicted that the walls in the prison where he’s at will fall and crumble,’ Joni Holm, who has many relatives in the polygamous sect, told the Desert News. Thanks Jasmine.

 

 

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File under Culture, Fashion, Graffiti, Hip-Hop, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death, Sex

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on January 16, 2012

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New 8-Bit Metal – Turn Up Your Hearing Aid, Grandpa!

It’s been a while since I’ve checked out the 8-bit metal scene, and I found some real doozies! Now, I know that a lot of people will “poo-poo” these versions, saying that they are just a novelty, and don’t carry the “raw EMOtion” that the humans are so good at expressing. I say that these people are posers, because some of these rock EVEN HARDER than the original, and with robotic perfection to boot! The computer brain is not all liquored-up and/or stoned out of it’s skull, the way that most of our favorite performers are! The heavy metal robotic revolution WILL be blogersized! All humans, report to the obliteration zone to be annihilated!

File under Bang Your Head Or I'll Rip It Off, Billoney.com, SeMeN SPeRmS Approved, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG

O RLY?

  • “Our government said no health levels, no health levels were exceeded.When in fact the rain water in the Northwest is reaching levels 130 times the drinking water standards,” said Pollet.

    Elevated rain water samples were collected in Portland, Olympia and Boise, which had the highest.

    But EPA officials say the data was there for anyone to read on their website. A spokesman sent this statement, in part:

    “Since Iodine 131 has a very short half-life of approximately eight days, the levels seen in rainwater were expected to be relatively short in duration.”

  • After failing to pay more than a year of mortgage payments, Grammy winner and “R&B king” R. Kelly now faces a $2.9-million foreclosure lawsuit on his 11,140-square-foot Olympia Fields mansion, Crain’s Chicago reported Tuesday.

    Kelly’s home, which sits on a 3.7-acre lot, was constructed in the far southern suburb 11 years ago and its value has plummeted in recent years — falling 26 percent in its most recent appraisal to $3.8 million, as compared to its $5.2 million 2009 value, according to Crain’s. Therefore, Kelly, who has not lived in the home for more than a year, faces debts on the property that likely exceed its current value.

    A person reportedly close to Kelly told Crain’s the singer had stopped making payments on the mortgage in order to force the bank to renegotiate the loan.

  • US law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, DEA, and ICE, are increasingly obtaining warrants to search Facebook. Not only do they gain access to Facebook accounts, but it often occurs with the user’s knowledge. Personal data obtained can include messages, status updates, links to videos and photographs, calendars of future and past events, Wall postings, and even rejected friend requests.
  • Free-thinking citizens of the world:
    Anonymous’ Operation Green Rights calls your attention to an urgent situation in North America perpetuated by the boundless greed of the usual suspects: Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., Imperial Oil, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and many others.
    This week, activists are gathering along U.S. Highway 12 in Montana to protest the transformation of a serene wilderness into an industrial shipping route, bringing “megaloads” of refinery equipment to the Alberta Tar Sands in Canada (see Tar Sands FAQ Sheet below).
    Anonymous now joins the struggle against “Big Oil” in the heartland of the US. We stand in solidarity with any citizen willing to protest corporate abuse. Anonymous will not stand by idly and let these environmental atrocities continue. This is not the clean energy of the future that we are being promised.
  • Thanks Smart Crew
  • Watch this beautiful video about Brazenhead Books, a secret bookstore that’s been tucked away in Michael Seidenberg’s apartment on the Upper East Side ever since the rent for his original retail space in Brooklyn was quadrupled. (Jonathan Lethem used to work there.) “This would have not been my ideal,” he says. “I wouldn’t have thought I want to have a bookshop in a location no one knows about.” But Brazen says it’s a continuation of being the kind of bookseller he wants to be—not on the street, not at book fairs, but inside, the shelves lined with first editions, knickknacks, and, one hopes, a cat. “I don’t know if it’s my familiarity with failure,” he adds. “I find ways to survive without it making enough money to be what you would call a successful business. If it’s all about money, there’s just better things to sell.” And how do those of us who’ve never been find him? He’s in the phone book, he says with a smile. Hiding in plain sight.
  • In the same way, robot drones as assassination weapons will prove to be just another weapons system rather than a panacea for American warriors. None of these much-advertised wonder technologies ever turns out to perform as promised, but that fact never stops them, as with drones today, from embedding themselves in our world. From the atomic bomb came a whole nuclear landscape that included the Strategic Air Command, weapons labs, production plants, missile silos, corporate interests, and an enormous world-destroying arsenal (as well as proliferating versions of the same, large and small, across the planet). Nor did the electronic battlefield go away. Quite the opposite — it came home and entered our everyday world in the form of sensors, cameras, surveillance equipment, and the like, now implanted from our borders to our cities.
  • A woman returned to her Cumbrian home to find a near perfect imprint of an owl on her window.

    The bird had apparently crashed into the window of Sally Arnold’s Kendal home, leaving the bizarre image – complete with eyes, beak and feathers.

    Experts said the silhouette was left by the bird’s “powder down” – a substance protecting growing feathers.

  • A 17-year-old student in Anhui Province sold one of his kidneys for 20,000 yuan only to buy an iPad 2. Now, with his health getting worse, the boy is feeling regret but it is too late, the Global Times reported today.

    “I wanted to buy an iPad 2 but could not afford it,” said the boy surnamed Zheng in Huaishan City. “A broker contacted me on the Internet and said he could help me sell one kidney for 20,000 yuan.”

  • Although out-of-body experiences (OBEs) are typically associated with migraine, epilepsy and psychopathology, they are quite common in healthy and psychologically normal individuals as well. However, they are poorly understood. A new study, published in the July 2011 issue of Elsevier’s Cortex, has linked these experiences to neural instabilities in the brain’s temporal lobes and to errors in the body’s sense of itself – even in non clinical populations.
  • Yesterday, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) offered a bipartisan amendment to force the Pentagon to produce auditable financial statements providing a clearer picture of how it spends tens of billions of taxpayer dollars each year. The House passed the amendment unanimously.

    Currently, federal law exempts the Pentagon from conducting an audit. DeFazio’s amendment would reverse this exemption.

    “The Pentagon has spent more than $10 trillion since 1990 and will spend over $4 trillion over the next four years without ever passing an audit,” said DeFazio. “As Congress debates substantial cuts to programs that help middle class families, we need a clear picture that allows us to target wasteful and duplicative spending. The Pentagon needs to be audited just like every other federal agency in order to achieve significant budget savings.”

  • Last week, the White House released its National Strategy for Counterterrorism, a macabre document that places a premium on “public safety” over civil liberties and constitutional rights. Indeed, “hope and change” huckster Barack Obama had the temerity to assert that the President “bears no greater responsibility than ensuring the safety and security of the American people.”

    Pity that others, including CIA “black site” prisoners tortured to death to “keep us safe” (some 100 at last count) aren’t extended the same courtesy as The Washington Post reported last week.

    As Secrecy News editor Steven Aftergood correctly points out, the claim that the President “has no greater responsibility than ‘protecting the American people’ is a paternalistic invention that is historically unfounded and potentially damaging to the political heritage of the nation.”

  • Want to get a sense of just how bad the News of the World phone hacking scandal has been for Rupert Murdoch? Look no further than News Corp market value.

    The company has lost $7 billion in market value over the last four trading days, reports Bloomberg.

    The company “tumbled 4.6 percent to A$15.19 in Sydney today. The stock lost $1.27, or 7.6 percent, to $15.48 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading yesterday, the biggest drop since April 2009. It was the fourth straight decline in the company’s closing price, cutting its market value by 15 percent to $41.2 billion. “

    At 538.com Nate Silver notes a big chunk of that is from yesterday alone [below].

    The question remains: How much money does News Corp have to lose before Rupert Murdoch chooses to lose top lieutenants instead?

  • This is the Voskhod Building in Pripyat. It’s one of two identical apartment blocks, designed to house the superior engineers of Chernoybl. As such, it was visibly luxurious inside, especially considering standards at the time.

    I climbed to the top, took photos from every angle, and William Hall of Life in Megapixels very kindly stitched them together for me, and corrected some errors.

    The resulting stitch shows probably the most complete picture of Pripyat Town that you can get in a single place – if you look closely, you can even see the “Steel Yard” (Duga-3 array), and you can make out all the famous major buildings, including the fairground. This was shot on 29th May, 2011.

    Close this dialog, then use your mouse to look around. You can scroll-zoom for a little extra detail.

  • The woman, identified as Catherine Kieu Becker, 48, the victim’s wife, had put an unknown type of poison and/or drug into her husband’s food to make him sleepy, according to Nightengale. She then tied him to the bed. When he woke up, she cut off his penis with a knife, investigators said. She then tossed the penis in the garbage disposal and turned it on.
  • The CIA organised a fake vaccination programme in the town where it believed Osama bin Laden was hiding in an elaborate attempt to obtain DNA from the fugitive al-Qaida leader’s family, a Guardian investigation has found.

    As part of extensive preparations for the raid that killed Bin Laden in May, CIA agents recruited a senior Pakistani doctor to organise the vaccine drive in Abbottabad, even starting the “project” in a poorer part of town to make it look more authentic, according to Pakistani and US officials and local residents.

    The doctor, Shakil Afridi, has since been arrested by the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) for co-operating with American intelligence agents.

  • “Secret U.S. tests, now revealed, show startling military uses for weird new chemical agents,” we reported in 1960. The so-called “loony gas,” which we believed could incapacitate enemies without actually harming them, turned out to be LSD. Although we acknowledged that LSD could make people “daffy,” we also stated that these psychochemicals were more or less humane. That is, the military could saturate enemies with LSD and take over their towns, without destroying them, before the people recovered.
  • The Las Conchas wildfire, which scorched land in the canyons near Los Alamos before it was turned away from the lab earlier the month, has added urgency to the soil removal efforts because flash floods could rush unimpeded through canyon floors stripped of vegetation, officials said.

    That concern is heightened by the monsoons that have arrived on schedule in northern New Mexico. The National Weather Service on Monday put out a flash-flood watch for the fire area through at least Wednesday.

    The soil in the canyons above Los Alamos National Laboratory, the linchpin of American’s nuclear weapons industry, contains materials with trace amounts of radiation and hazardous chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that were dumped there decades ago, said Fred deSousa, spokesman for the lab’s environmental control division.

  • A new report from Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies estimates that the total direct and indirect costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may exceed $6 trillion over time. That figure comes from combining congressional appropriations for the wars over the past decade ($1.3 trillion), additional spending by the Pentagon related to the wars ($326 – $652 billion), interest so far on Pentagon war appropriations, all of which was borrowed ($185 billion), immediate medical costs for veterans ($32 billion), war related foreign aid ($74 billion), homeland security spending ($401 billion), projected medical costs for veterans through 2051 ($589 – $934 billion), social costs to military families ($295 – $400 billion), projected Pentagon war spending and foreign aid as troops wind down in the two war zones ($453 billion); and interest payments on all this spending through 2020 ($1 trillion).
  • A new book reveals that Adolf Hitler ordered the manufacture of Aryan blow up dolls to discourage his troops from sleeping with disease-ridden prostitutes.

    The so-called “Borghild Project” reportedly kicked off in 1940 when SS chief Heinrich Himmler wrote to Hitler alerting him of the health risks posed to his men by liaisons with French women. “The greatest danger in Paris is the widespread and uncontrolled presence of whores, picking up clients in bars, dance halls, and other places,” he wrote. “It is our duty to prevent soldiers from risking their health just for the sake of a quick adventure.”

  • Onetime Seattle resident and businessman Coleman Anderson wants to keep his little piece of the moon.

    Whether he does will depend on the outcome of an unusual lawsuit playing out in an Alaska court.

    Anderson, perhaps best recognized as captain of the fishing vessel Western Viking during the first season of the hit Discovery Channel series “Deadliest Catch,” is asking a judge to let him keep a lunar rock presented to the state of Alaska in 1969 by President Nixon, but missing for nearly 37 years.

    Anderson, who claims he found the rock in debris following a fire at an Anchorage museum in 1973, said he’s had it as a keepsake ever since.

  • The Colorado prosecution of a woman accused of a mortgage scam will test whether the government can punish you for refusing to disclose your encryption passphrase.

    The Obama administration has asked a federal judge to order the defendant, Ramona Fricosu, to decrypt an encrypted laptop that police found in her bedroom during a raid of her home.

    Because Fricosu has opposed the proposal, this could turn into a precedent-setting case. No U.S. appeals court appears to have ruled on whether such an order would be legal or not under the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, which broadly protects Americans’ right to remain silent.

    In a brief filed last Friday, Fricosu’s Colorado Springs-based attorney, Philip Dubois, said defendants can’t be constitutionally obligated to help the government interpret their files. “If agents execute a search warrant and find, say, a diary handwritten in code, could the target be compelled to decode, i.e., decrypt, the diary?”

  • Ivan Milat is apparently bored, since he is serving more than seven consecutive life sentences for his crimes, so he probably really does want that Playstation console. In fact, he’s downright stir-crazy and has not eaten in nine days, reports one source. Officials in the High Court in Australia aren’t surprised, because this isn’t the first time Milat has pulled a far-out and crazy stunt to get attention. He’s kind of an attention-whore like that. Back in January of 2009, Milate sawed off one of his own fingers with a plastic knife and attempted to mail it to the High Court in Australia. Doctors were not able to sew the digit back in place. He has also swallowed razor blades and other metallic objects to both harm himself and garner attention.
  • While exploring Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, professional diver Scott Gardner heard an odd cracking sound and swam over to investigate. What he found was a footlong blackspot tuskfish (Choerodon schoenleinii) holding a clam in its mouth and whacking it against a rock. Soon the shell gave way, and the fish gobbled up the bivalve, spat out the shell fragments, and swam off. Fortunately, Gardner had a camera handy and snapped what seem to be the first photographs of a wild fish using a tool.
  • “The concepts are basically quite simple,” said Paul Kinsler, a physicist at Imperial College London, who created the idea with colleagues Martin McCall and Alberto Favaro.

    Unlike invisibility cloaks—some of which have been made to work at very small scales—the event cloak would do more than bend light around an object.

    Instead this cloak would use special materials filled with metallic arrays designed to adjust the speed of light passing through.

    In theory, the cloak would slow down light coming into the robbery scene while the safecracker is at work. When the robbery is complete, the process would be reversed, with the slowed light now racing to catch back up.

    If the “before” and “after” visions are seamlessly stitched together, there should be no visible trace that anything untoward has happened. One second there’s a closed safe, and the next second the safe has been emptied.

  • President Barack Obama sat down with CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley for an interview that will air in full Tuesday night. In a preview released Tuesday afternoon, Pelley points out to Obama that $20 billion in Social Security checks are supposed to be mailed out August 3, the day after the looming date the government could default on its debt.

    “I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3 if we have not resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it,” Obama said.

  • If you’re big on nostalgia, but small on space, we might just have the solution for you. A clever gentleman has created a teeny-tiny 80s arcade cabinet that will fit happily on your desktop – and while it might look like a mere mock-up, this one actually works, playing Space Invaders on the miniature screen.

    The whole thing is just seven inches tall, and uses the electronics from a Game Boy Advance, a little MDF, some photoshopped artwork and perhaps the world’s most adorable joystick – take a look.

  • Aided by Facebook, Israel on Friday prevented scores of pro-Palestinian activists from boarding Tel Aviv-bound flights in Europe, questioned dozens more upon arrival at its main airport and denied entry to 69, disrupting their attempts to reach the West Bank on a solidarity mission with the Palestinians.

    Israel had tracked the activists on social media sites, compiled a blacklist of more than 300 names and asked airlines to keep those on the list off flights to Israel. On Friday, 310 of the activists who managed to land in Tel Aviv were detained for questioning, said Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Hadad. Of those, four were immediately put on return flights and 65 were being held until flights home could be arranged for them, she said. The rest were permitted entry, she said.

  • It’s official: Brett Martin has a metric buttload of video game memorabilia. By Mr. Martin’s own estimation, his collection clocks in at about ten to fifteen thousand individual pieces. But not all of those trinkets of molded plastic, cast metal, and fluffed polyester are depictions of Nintendo’s famous Italian plumber. His gaming nicknack collection actually spans a diverse range of characters from different franchises, companies, and eras.
  • Super Mario Bros. Crossover is a fan game that recreates the original Super Mario Bros. and allows you to play it as characters from other games.

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

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 13, 2011

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

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

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Coney Island High

  • A drunk New Zealand passenger urinated in the aisle of a Jetstar aircraft – spraying one man and soaking a woman’s scarf – but was allowed to leave the flight with only a warning.The man, travelling from Auckland to Singapore two days ago, emptied his bladder about six hours into the 11-hour flight.

    Passenger Amos Chapple said: “I hear this sound of running water and then I hear a guy going ‘No, no, no, what the hell is wrong with you?’

    “And there’s this guy pissing in the aisle, waving back and forth.”

    The man urinated on to the aircraft carpet, a man’s leg, and a woman’s scarf.

  • The family of a coldblooded killer serving 25 years to life in state prison for shooting a man in the head complains he’s being stigmatized — by the use of the term “inmate.”The label “implies that our brother is locked up for the purpose of mating with other men,” claims Marie Domond in a lawsuit against the state Correctional Services Department.

    The Brooklyn federal court filing demands that officials immediately stop calling Gerard Domond “an inmate.”

    It apparently hurts his feelings. Sis seeks $50 million damages for “mental anguish.”

  • A father posted a chilling message on Facebook saying ’bout 2 kill ma’ kid’ before stabbing his daughter to death to spite her mother.Ramazan Acar, 24, murdered two-year-old Yazmina in an attack the judge said was caused by ‘revenge and spite’ and in the worst categories of murders.

    Sentencing him to 33 years in prison, Justice Elizabeth Curtain said Acar had breached a parent’s most fundamental duty when he killed his daughter in a ‘chilling and horrific’ attack.

  • Same shit, different movie.
  • How a lonely, five-foot-two, gender-questioning soldier became a WikiLeaks hero, a traitor to the U.S., and one of the most unusual revolutionaries in American history.
  • Can you begin to see the conflicts of interest here? An organisation charged with promoting nuclear power around the world also controls nuclear safety and health standards. It’s like expecting a tobacco company to prevent lung cancer.And it gets worse. The IAEA holds a veto over World Health Organization (WHO) programs related to radiation and nuclear power. This has undermined WHO’s ability to respond properly to disasters like the one at Fukushima. The IAEA has vetoed WHO conferences on radiation and health. Independent research has been under-funded and critical scientists ostracized.

    Through the dominance of the IAEA and the nuclear industry, the health effects of radiation have been misrepresented and underestimated. As a result, the WHO is unable to provide independent advice and assessments of nuclear accidents in order to protect people at risk.

  • In the first academic study of its kind, Trevor Pinch, Cornell University professor of sociology and of science and technology studies, independently surveyed 166 of Amazon’s top 1,000 reviewers, examining everything from demographics to motives. What he discovered was 85 percent of those surveyed had been approached with free merchandise from authors, agents or publishers.Pinch, who also found the median age range of the reviewers he surveyed was 51 to 60, a surprise said Pinch, because the image of the internet is more of a young person’s thing. Amazon is encouraging reviewers to receive free products through Amazon Vine, an invitation-only program in which the top 1,000 reviewers are offered a catalog of free products to review.

  • A start-up called SceneTap is rolling out a new service next month for bars and the patrons who love them: facial detection cameras that will keep track of the number of people in a bar, including a running tally of ladies and gents. Smartphone users will be able to download an app to “tap the bar scene” before deciding where to go, so they can steer clear of (or find) the crowds (of the gender they prefer). Two hundred bars across the country have signed on, with over 50 bars in SceneTap’s home base of Chicago agreeing to be tapped.Cameras are set up at the bar’s exits and entrances, says SceneTap CEO Cole Harper. The facial recognition software, built on baseline code from Intel, is not savvy enough to, say, be linked up with Facebook and detect identity; it’s just able to detect a face and its gender. The company is wary of privacy issues around the cameras; it stresses that the cameras won’t know who you are or keep track of how many beers you drink…

  • Buying used video games is great for gamers who don’t want to pay full price for the latest hits. You know who doesn’t like used video games? Game publishers. In a very sad twist, Capcom’s fighting back against the second-hand game market with a game that can only support one save file — for life.It’s been confirmed that Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D for the Nintendo 3DS is a game that once finished, cannot be reset for complete replay. According to both the U.S. and U.K. game’s instruction manual “saved data on this software cannot be reset.”

    Basically what Capcom has done is make Mercenaries 3D a one-time play affair. Once you’ve unlocked all the goodies and played the entire game, you will not be able to erase the game’s save data and start fresh as if it were a new copy. Consider this: lending Mercenaries 3D to a friend, a little brother or sister will be worthless because they’ll only be able to continue playing the game with your saved settings and create their own.

  • Admitting that “some will call me a torturer” is a surefire way to cut yourself off from anyone’s sympathy. But Glenn Carle, a former CIA operative, isn’t sure whether he’s the hero or the villain of his own story.Distilled, that story, told in Carle’s new memoir The Interrogator, is this: In the months after 9/11, the CIA kidnaps a suspected senior member of al-Qaida and takes him to a Mideast country for interrogation. It assigns Carle — like nearly all his colleagues then, an inexperienced interrogator — to pry information out of him. Uneasy with the CIA’s new, relaxed rules for questioning, which allow him to torture, Carle instead tries to build a rapport with the man he calls CAPTUS.

    But CAPTUS doesn’t divulge the al-Qaida plans the CIA suspects him of knowing. So the agency sends him to “Hotel California” — an unacknowledged prison, beyond the reach of the Red Cross or international law.

  • The tremendous inequality in income, wealth, power and opportunity which is distorting and destroying our nation all flow from the inequalities enabled by bribery and tax avoidance. The only way to fix the nation is to eliminate bribery (campaign contributions and lobbying) entirely, and eliminate tax avoidance entirely by eliminating all deductions, exemptions, loopholes, etc. State total income from all sources everywhere on the planet, calculate tax, done.When you think about how tiny $14 billion is compared to the $3.8 trillion Federal budget and the $14.5 trillion U.S. economy, it makes you want to weep; how cheaply we have sold our government, and how much we suffer under the whip of those who bought it for a pittance.

  • A High Court judge in Belfast has ordered a teenage boy charged with a series of robberies to surrender his Xbox games console as part of the conditions of him being freed on bail.The 13-year-old boy, who cannot be identified because of his age, was accused of a number of burglaries in the Downpatrick area of Co Down and applied to be released on bail.

    When the judge asked the boy what it was he owned that meant a lot to him the teenager said it was his games system.

    The judge then ordered him to give the Xbox to the authorities, saying it would be returned to him when the charges were disposed of.

    The judge told the youth it would show him what it was like to have something he valued taken from him.

  • Nine days after he was reported missing as a probable runaway, searchers located 12-year-old Josh Miller of Pike County’s Oatsville community Saturday afternoon.The boy was discovered hiding underneath his family’s home across the road from Knight’s Chapel Church which searchers had often used as a staging area.

  • A GERMAN court has sentenced a ”vampire” killer to life in jail for murdering two teenagers whose blood he drank and whose flesh he ate while they were still alive.
  • A Battle Creek man convicted of having sex with a sheep five years ago was arrested early Friday and charged with breaking into an Emmett Township stockyard.
  • Marijuana that was to be used as evidence in a Long Island drug case has disappeared from a truck that was transporting it to a Pennsylvania crime lab.Marc Gann, head of a committee examining problems at the Nassau County police crime lab, said it appears someone had tampered with and potentially stolen some of the evidence that was placed FedEx’s custody.

    He said the district attorney’s office told him a shipping box on the FedEx truck had been opened, the marijuana removed and the box resealed.

  • “[The doctors] said, ‘Yeah, right. There’s no moth in there.’ But when they looked, sure enough, there was a moth,” Kathy Schlote said.The doctors said they have seen cockroaches and spiders crawl into people’s ear canals before, but never a moth. Come to find out, moths are stubborn.

    “The doctors tried numbing my ear, thinking it would help with the pain and kill the moth. That didn’t work. Then they tried drowning it. That didn’t work. Then they tried irrigating it. That didn’t work. Finally, the doctor pulled it out with tweezers and when they did it was still alive and started flying around,” Wade said.

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

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 4, 2011

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Now That’s What I Call Art ’11

  • “The manufacturer basically changed Oxy’s chemical compound (none of the actual drug was removed) by adding a substance that makes it really difficult for most people to abuse it. People were abusing the old drug by crushing the pills to snort them, dissolving them to inject, or chewing them to get a maximum high. So in many ways the new drug is good news, because it prevents stuff like that. The bad news is that in my opinion, whatever substance they added to it has dulled how well the medication works and how long it lasts.”

    “The new OxyContin OPs are supposedly in line with the old 80 mg pills. But since the new pills were introduced, the price of the older OC pills has jumped by a good solid 20%. People who have them might want to hold on to them if they can. They’re like antiques. You might make some good money off of them later!”

  • Our world is a place where information can behave like human genes and ideas can replicate, mutate and evolve
  • In yet another example of the Anti-Defamation League’s bizarre
    obsession with the Swastika, Nintendo has agreed to withdraw a
    Pokemon Trading card that bears a clock wise swastika.
    The Jewish Lobby declared that the card shows “insensativity to
    the feeling of Jews”.
  • Fake Nazi Helmet commercial from a rare film
  • Federal drug safety officials are warning consumers about counterfeit sex-enhancement pills that are sold as supplements but contain the drugs used in Viagra and another medication.

    The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that the fake “ExtenZe” pills, marketed to improve male sexual performance, contain tadalafil and sildenafil, the active ingredients in Cialis and Viagra. Both drugs require a doctor’s prescription.

    The FDA says the counterfeit product looks like ExtenZe, which is an herbal supplement. It says the counterfeit products are marked with lot numbers 1110075 and F050899.

  • You may think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) says it’s worse than you’ve heard.

    Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. But Wyden says that what Congress will renew is a mere fig leaf for a far broader legal interpretation of the Patriot Act that the government keeps to itself — entirely in secret. Worse, there are hints that the government uses this secret interpretation to gather what one Patriot-watcher calls a “dragnet” for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.

  • American Express cards may no longer be used to purchase medical marijuana. The company has given no reason for the prohibition. Other credit card companies so far continue to allow their cards to be used for the purchase of medical marijuana where legal.

    “I haven’t seen it (the prohibition) with other credit cards,” said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

    “I don’t understand why they would turn their back on a $2 billion industry. It’s perplexing.”

  • Here in NYC, when Hasidim attack, the violence is usually reduced to running goy cyclists off the road or fisticuffs over Satmar schisms. But up in Rockland County, it’s all HDP (Hasids Don’t Play). An orthodox Jewish father of four is currently hospitalized with third-degree burns over 50 percent of his body after another orthodox Jew allegedly tried to burn his house down—because he started taking his family to a different synagogue.
  • Lynn, aka Common, is known for a rap song titled “Song for Assata”, which essentially praises a black woman known as Assata Shakur, her real name is Joanne Chesimard, who is an escaped convicted murderer who was serving Life plus 26 to 30 years for the cold-blooded killing of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973.

    In his rap song, Lynn paints Chesimard as a victim of the police and the system and portrays her as a hero, much in the same manner that Wesley Cook, aka Mumia Abu-Jamal, is praised by radical blacks and their ‘artists’ despite the fact that he too was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder a police officer, Daniel Faulkner of Philadelphia.

  • Everyone wishes they could turn back the clock sometimes, and it turns out Barack Obama is no different.

    He got the date wrong by three years when he signed the guestbook at Westminster Abbey today on his official visit to the UK – despite apparently asking the dean what day it was.

  • Sufferers include folk singer Joni Mitchell, who has complained of “this weird incurable disease that seems like it’s from outer space… Fibres in a variety of colours protrude out of my skin: they cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral. Morgellons is a slow, unpredictable killer – a terrorist disease. It will blow up one of your organs, leaving you in bed for a year.”
  • This is a story about a group of Americans you’ve likely never heard of: they’re called “sovereign citizens.” Many don’t pay taxes, carry a driver’s license or hold a Social Security card. They have little regard for the police or the courts, and some have become violent.

    The FBI lists them among the nation’s top domestic terror threats.

    By some estimates, there are as many as 300,000 sovereign citizens in the U.S. And with the sluggish economy and mortgage mess, their ranks are growing.

  • The National Security Agency is, by nature, an extreme example of the e-hoarder. And as the governmental organization responsible for things like, say, gathering intelligence on such Persons of Interest as Osama bin Laden, that impulse makes sense–though once you hear the specifics, it still seems pretty incredible. In a story about the bin Laden mission, the NSA very casually dropped a number: Every six hours, the agency collects as much data as is stored in the entire Library of Congress.

    That data includes transcripts of phone calls and in-house discussions, video and audio surveillance, and a massive amount of photography. “The volume of data they’re pulling in is huge,” said John V. Parachini, director of the Intelligence Policy Center at RAND. “One criticism we might make of our [intelligence] community is that we’re collection-obsessed — we pull in everything — and we don’t spend enough time or money to try and understand what do we have and how can we act upon it.”

  • Blame the flower children. That seems to be the chief conclusion of a new report about the Roman Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal. The study, undertaken by John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the request of America’s Catholic bishops, links the spike in child abuse by priests in the 1960s and ’70s to “the importance given to young people and popular culture” — along with the emergence of the feminist movement, a “singles culture” and a growing acceptance of homosexuality. It also cites crime, drugs, an increase in premarital sexual behavior and divorce.
  • Sex scandals have become a staple of media exploitation with personal morality plays trumping political morality confrontations every time.

    They are both great distractions and effective tools of character assassination which are often more effective than more violent ways to neutralize people considered dangerous.

    That’s why the FBI was so hot to discredit Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with leaks of so-called wiretapped sex tapes. In his case, this tactic failed but the other worked.

    In some cases both tactics are deployed as in the physical assassination of Bin Laden and then the character-killing aimed at his supporters through the release of porn allegedly found in his “lair.”

  • The Amondawa lacks the linguistic structures that relate time and space – as in our idea of, for example, “working through the night”.

    The study, in Language and Cognition, shows that while the Amondawa recognise events occuring in time, it does not exist as a separate concept.

    The idea is a controversial one, and further study will bear out if it is also true among other Amazon languages.

    The Amondawa were first contacted by the outside world in 1986, and now researchers from the University of Portsmouth and the Federal University of Rondonia in Brazil have begun to analyse the idea of time as it appears in Amondawa language.

    “We’re really not saying these are a ‘people without time’ or ‘outside time’,” said Chris Sinha, a professor of psychology of language at the University of Portsmouth.

  • Revolutionary: Bobby Seale
    Re-branded: Vanilla ice cream enthusiast. Seale, who co-founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in the late 1960s, became a pitch man for Ben & Jerry’s in the early 1990s. In the ad Seale sports the Panther’s signature black beret while holding up a clenched fist in one hand and a serving of vanilla ice cream in the other. 

  • Ruth Schulz and her colleagues at the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology call their robots the Lingodroids. The robots consist of a mobile platform equipped with a camera, laser range finder, and sonar for mapping and obstacle avoidance. The robots also carry a microphone and speakers for audible communication between them.

    To understand the concept behind the project, consider a simplified case of how language might have developed. Let’s say that all of a sudden you wake up somewhere with your memory completely wiped, not knowing English, Klingon, or any other language. And then you meet some other person who’s in the exact same situation as you. What do you do?

  • “In everyday life you mostly use your left hand to touch things on the left side of the world, and your right hand for the right side of the world.

    “This means that the areas of the brain that contain the map of the right body and the map of right external space are usually activated together, leading to highly effective processing of sensory stimuli.

    “When you cross your arms these maps are not activated together anymore, leading to less effective brain processing of sensory stimuli, including pain, being perceived as weaker.”

  • A dog that wasn’t quite housebroken may have indirectly been responsible for a bomb scare at a New York courthouse.

    The trouble began Friday when 19-year-old Melvin Ruffin arrived at a court complex in Central Islip following a long bus ride from his home in Bellport.

    During the trip, another passenger’s Chihuahua urinated on his backpack.

    So, he stashed the wet bag in some bushes while he went inside to answer a disorderly conduct citation.

    But then a retired police officer saw the bag and alerted security.

    The bomb squad was ultimately called in. Officers used a robot to determine that the bag didn’t contain anything harmful.

  • Archaeologists digging for the remains of a 16th-century woman believed to be the model for Leonardo’s Mona Lisa masterpiece have found a crypt and a stairway to a probably second tomb inside a former medieval convent in central Florence.
  • My name is Captain Dan Nardiello of the US Marine corps (special) stationed in Pakistan, I found some money after the death of OBL I need someone to help me move it to a safer place, please have it in mind that there is no danger involved. You may contact me on usmc.12@blumail.org so that I can provide you with details.
  • Steven McCormack was standing on his truck’s foot plate Saturday when he slipped and fell, breaking a compressed air hose off an air reservoir that powered the truck’s brakes.

    He fell hard onto the brass fitting, which pierced his left buttock and started pumping air into his body.

    “I felt the air rush into my body and I felt like it was going to explode from my foot,” he told local media from his hospital bed in the town of Whakatane, on North Island’s east coast.

    “I was blowing up like a football,” he said. “I had no choice but just to lay there, blowing up like a balloon.”

  • Humans are pimply. It’s part of what sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. While it’s true that some form of acne vulgaris affects other species—it’s been found in some Mexican hairless dogs and induced experimentally in rhino mice—acne is largely an affliction of our accursed species alone. (Somewhere between 85 and 100 percent of adolescents exhibit acne—and a significant minority of adults, too.) Why is the human animal so peculiar in its tendency to form volcanic comedones, papules, pustules, nodular abscesses, and, in some severe cases, lasting scars? According to evolutionary theorists Stephen Kellett and Paul Gilbert, we probably owe these unsavory blemishes to our having lost our apish pelts too rapidly for our own good.
  • It is an industry that blossomed in the oversize metal warehouses of old-line Oakland businesses. Established trucking, plumbing and construction companies, scrambling for work in a down economy, opened their doors to Ebyam’s cannabis farms, thought to be the largest in the city. His workers, mostly the bud-trimmers who assure the highest-quality medical marijuana, were organized by the Teamsters.

    But the failure of the statewide marijuana legalization initiative last fall, and subsequent threats from federal prosecutors, derailed the ambitious plan of city leaders to license four giant farms and thus make Oakland the legal cannabis capital of the country. And with the collapse of Oakland’s vision of marijuana supremacy came disaster for Ebyam.

    Ebyam is now locked in litigation over the $1.25 million sale of one of his growing operations, and another installation has been decimated by a string of suspicious burglaries — a fitting symbol, perhaps, of an industry that could have been.

  • Shell is making good on its promise to build the largest object ever to float on water, announcing Friday it would build the Prelude FLNG Project to harvest offshore natural gas fields. The gargantuan ship will suck up the equivalent of 110,000 barrels of oil per day.

    The floating liquified natural gas facility will dwarf the biggest warships, weighing in at 600,000 metric tons. By contrast, the U.S.’ next-generation Ford-class supercarrier will displace 101,000 metric tons of water. Shell says its ship will be able to withstand a category 5 typhoon.

    In some ways, it’s more of a mini-island than a ship, designed to be moored in the same spot off the northwest coast of Australia for 25 years. The facility will be one-third of a mile long — longer than five football fields laid end-to-end — and will contain 260,000 metric tons of steel, about five times the amount used to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

  • Jeffrey Catherine Jones, the fantasy artist who helped introduce fine art and illustration influences to comics in the ’70s and beyond, has died of complications from emphysema and bronchitis, according to numerous reports. She was 67.

    In the early 70s, then known just as Jeffrey, Jones helped form The Studio, a group of cartoonists/illustrators that included Mike Kaluta, Bernie Wrightson and Barry Windsor-Smith. Jones was known for her lyrical linework and ethereal paintings, which prompted Frazetta himself to say that Jones was “the world’s greatest living painter.” Although she produced the comics strip Idyll for National Lampoon in the ’70s, Jones was best known for her book covers, prints, and painting, with only a brief dabbling in comics.

  • The camera was disguised as a plastic coat hook and was affixed to a wall directly across from a toilet, officials said. A Starbucks employee discovered the device and called police, they said.

    Shortly after, authorities arrested Velasco, who downloaded the device about every hour to his laptop computer while sitting in his car, police said.

    Detectives confiscated his laptop and say they found video of at least 45 female victims, including children, using the restroom. It did not appear that any of the videos were uploaded to the Internet or distributed, they said.

  • Christie’s had a bumper night, tallying more than $300 million in sales. While not the priciest item up for auction that day, Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled #96” from 1981 passed all records for photography, and was sold for $3.89 million. According to ArtInfo.com, the buyer was New York dealer Philippe Segalot, and the underbidder was Per Skarstedt, also a New York dealer. Christie’s confirmed that this was a record for a photograph at auction, previously held by Andreas Gursky’s “99 Cent II Diptychon,” which fetched $3.35 million in 2006. Sherman recently had another high profile sale, with her work “Untitled #153,” from 1985 reaching $2.7 million in late 2010.
  • Lady Gaga is now demanding that photographers surrender the copyright of photos taken at her concerts – and photographers are incensed.
  • Fields of watermelons exploded when he and other agricultural workers in eastern China mistakenly applied forchlorfenuron, a growth accelerator. The incident has become a focus of a Chinese media drive to expose the lax farming practices, shortcuts and excessive use of fertiliser behind a rash of food safety scandals.

    It follows discoveries of the heavy metal cadmium in rice, toxic melamine in milk, arsenic in soy sauce, bleach in mushrooms, and the detergent borax in pork, added to make it resemble beef.

  • As we reported earlier today, the Department of Justice and the TSA used financial terrorism to nix HB 1937 in Texas, a bill that would have made it “A criminal act for security personnel to touch a person’s private areas without probable cause as a condition of travel or as a condition of entry into a public place,” shortly before the legislation looked to be on its way to passage in the Senate having passed the Texas House unanimously.

    The DOJ and Homeland Security intimidated lawmakers into dropping the bill after they threatened to shut down all the airports in Texas and prevent any commercial flights from operating out of or entering the state, a brazenly tyrannical tactic that proves the federal government is acting more like a mafia criminal enterprise than a body that is supposed to represent the interests of the American people.

  • Written in the blood from a victim’s severed leg, in Spanish: “What’s up, Otto Salguero, you bastard? We are going to find you and behead you, too. —Sincerely, Z200.”
  • Seventeen lost pyramids are among the buildings identified in a new satellite survey of Egypt.

    More than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient settlements were also revealed by looking at infra-red images which show up underground buildings.

    Initial excavations have already confirmed some of the findings, including two suspected pyramids.

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

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on May 26, 2011

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