Robotics | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

PHEW..!

  • If you don’t want to do the time, stay offline. Or at the very least, don’t “friend” your probation officer.

    Convicted of possessing methamphetamine and Ecstasy, Scott W. Roby learned that the hard way. The Louisville man had his probation revoked this month — and was sentenced to two years in prison — in part for violating conditions that required him to stay alcohol-free and out of bars and liquor stores.

    Roby had invited his probation officer to be his friend on Facebook, then Roby posted pictures of himself drinking — including one in which he was holding a beer while posed next to “Buddy Bat,” the mascot for the Louisville Bats, said prosecutor Dinah Koehler.

    In another Facebook post, according to court records, Roby asked: “Anyone wanna go get smashed tonight one last time before the end of the Earth?”

  • The change in Oxycontin formulation had a second, deadlier effect. Oxycodone is a lipid (fat)-soluble molecule, so the drug crosses nasal membranes quickly—almost as quickly as when the drug is injected. Most users of oxycodone were content to snort the drug, as the benefit of injecting was not worth dissolving the crushed tablets and using needles. But heroin burns when it is ‘insufflated’ or snorted, and the molecule crossed lipid membranes more slowly— providing reasons to inject the drug. Many patients tell me that they never considered using needles when Oxycontin was around, but that the only way to get similar effects from heroin was by injecting the drug. In other words, the change in formulation of Oxycontin resulted in an increase in intravenous drug abuse.
  • According to New Mexico state police, the mother of Velasquez’s nine-year-old son noticed unusual track marks on the boy’s neck and took him to the hospital. There, the youngster told investigators about how his dad would inject him with heroin sometimes. The police then arrested Velasquez, who’s now facing charges of child abuse and contributing to a delinquency of a minor.
  • The Ecuadorian government imposed a 72-hour nationwide ban on sales and consumption of alcohol after 21 people died from drinking homemade aguardiente made with methanol.

    The announcement was made Sunday during a press conference at which a number officials took part including Health Minister David Chiriboga and Security Minister Homero Arellano, and at which a national health emergency was declared.

    A source at Arellano’s office told Efe that the ban on booze is in force for all types of liquors, but only homemade alcohol will be subject to summary confiscation.

    Authorities had already declared the health emergency and alcohol ban in Los Rios province, where the deaths took place and where some 9,000 liters (2,400 gallons) of homemade liquor were seized.

  • UFOs and aliens beings have often been portrayed in mass media, whether it be movies or television shows. Most of these appearances were however heavily edited and calculated by the American government in order to communicate a specific attitude towards this mysterious phenomenon. What is the purpose of these efforts? This article looks at the fascinating history of government involvement in UFO-related movies and television shows.
  • Yes, she carved her initials in her desk on the floor of the state House, state Rep. Julia Hurley, R-Lenoir City, confirmed today.

    “It was like 1 in the morning on the last day of the session,” Hurley said of that late-night session in May. “I wasn’t thinking straight.”

    Hurley was responding to a recent report on a Nashville television station about the incident. The station reported several other desks also have marks on them, ranging from initials to a dollar sign.

  • MODERN civilisation may not be quite as safe as we thought. Britain’s security services have been privately warning their staff that western societies are just 48 hours from anarchy.

    MI5’s maxim is that society is “four meals away from anarchy”. In other words, the security agency believes that Britain could be quickly reduced to large-scale disorder, including looting and rioting in the event of a catastrophe that stops the supply of food.

  • Never Forget 9/11
    Religion was the cause.
  • Pollution in the Puget Sound is such a problem that a group trying to protect the ecosystem spent $27,000 in state money to make a catchy video, complete with dance steps, telling people how they can do something about it.

    Pick up dog poop.

  • He changed the menu at Polk County’s jail, directing cooks to dish up less-expensive food. He banned basketball, ordering inmates to uproot the jail’s hoops. And he changed the jail’s TV options to favor educational viewing rather than sports and violent programming.

    Now Polk Sheriff Grady Judd is taking on skivvies. His latest cost-saving measure: stop providing free underwear to male inmates.

    “There’s no state law; there’s no federal law that says we have to provide underwear in the county jail,” Judd said.

    The jail will sell white boxers for $4.48 a pair and white briefs for $2.54 a pair — to inmates who choose to wear underwear.

    Judd presented the idea to county commissioners Thursday, saying the plan would save $45,000 a year.

    “Why shouldn’t they pay like the rest of us pay?” the sheriff said. “We pay to maintain the county jail; to keep them there. Certainly they can pay their way as much as they can afford.”

    “This is the county jail; it’s not a welfare program,” he said.

  • A NASA video from a time of great optimism about space exploration. The Apollo missions were completed and the Space Shuttle program was underway. How soon before cheap and frequent flights to space would allow the construction of O’Neal colonies and mining camps on the Moon? This visionary approach calls for tiered greenhouses in space and unlimited solar power beamed back to Earth… all before the year 2000!
  • LulzSec, the group of hackers that said three weeks ago it was disbanding, claimed credit Monday for defacing Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper website, while an allied group, Anonymous, claimed credit for a denial-of-service attack that brought down the website of The Times, another Murdoch paper. The Sunday Times and News International sites also appeared to be down Monday.

    “Tango down,” Anonymous said on its Twitter page about The Times. Meanwhile, late Monday, those who went to the Sun’s website were redirected to a website that looked like The Sun with a fake story that said Murdoch’s body had been found in his garden. Then they were taken to LulzSec’s Twitter page, where the group proclaimed:

    “TheSun.co.uk now redirects to our twitter feed. Hello, everyone that wanted to visit The Sun!,” then followed with this: “”We have joy, we have fun, we have messed up Murdoch’s Sun.”

  • And Los Angeles does not appear to be alone in grappling with a recent upsurge in graffiti, which is turning up in some unlikely places. A bumper crop of scrawls is blossoming in many modest-size communities across the country — in places like Florence, Ala.; Bernalillo County, N.M.; Taylors, S.C.; and in larger cities like Nashville and Portland, Ore. — even as major cities like Chicago, Denver, New York and Seattle say vigilant antigraffiti campaigns have spared them thus far.

    “It’s popped up all of a sudden in the last six months,” said Tim Sandrell, the owner of Safari Adventures in Hair in Florence. “I’ve been downtown for 10 years, and I’m really disappointed that we are seeing this kind of activity. We have a beautiful city and an historic city, and it’s really upsetting to me seeing this going on.”

  • On physical examination, the breasts were symmetrical having no nodes or retractions. In the plantar region of the patient’s left foot, there was a well-formed nipple was surrounded by areola and hair on the surface, measuring 4.0 cm in diameter, with no palpable nodes (Figs. 1 and 2). The remaining physical examination was normal, including the mammary line. Results of the following laboratory tests were normal: complete blood count, fasting serum glucose level, urine exam, electrolytes, serum urea and creatinine. No alterations were found during ultrasound of the lesion and urinary tract.
  • Ever get the heebie-jeebies at a wax museum? Feel uneasy with an anthropomorphic robot? What about playing a video game or watching an animated movie, where the human characters are pretty realistic but just not quite right and maybe a bit creepy? If yes, then you’ve probably been a visitor to what’s called the “uncanny valley.”

    The phenomenon has been described anecdotally for years, but how and why this happens is still a subject of debate in robotics, computer graphics and neuroscience. Now an international team of researchers, led by Ayse Pinar Saygin of the University of California, San Diego, has taken a peek inside the brains of people viewing videos of an uncanny android (compared to videos of a human and a robot-looking robot).

  • PRIMORDIAL instincts that drive animals to seek out salt may be governed by the same mechanism that drives drug addicts to hunt down their fix.

    Researchers deprived mice and rats of salt, then offered them salty water to drink. After killing the animals they examined gene activity in the hypothalamus, the brain’s “reward” centre. They found that gratification genes had been activated – the same genes that are active in cocaine and heroin addicts when their craving has been satisfied.

  • The cases are jarring and similar to those involving PCP in the 1970s. Some of the recent incidents include a man in Indiana who climbed a roadside flagpole and jumped into traffic, a man in Pennsylvania who broke into a monastery and stabbed a priest, and a woman in West Virginia who scratched herself “to pieces” over several days because she thought there was something under her skin.
  • In the ’60s, a lot of people were experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs including marijuana, LSD and everything in between. You had acid rock posters in San Francisco associated with the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane and groups like that.

    But my theory is that there were probably a lot of artists that didn’t necessarily want to do psychedelic-style art that were still influenced by the experience and created works that don’t necessarily look psychedelic in the stereotypical way, but may be conceptually psychedelic or have a kind of philosophical way of looking at the world.
    story.serra.maze.gi.jpg

    If you look at a lot of different styles in art of the past 50 years, you can see the influence of psychedelics, ranging from sculpture that looks very minimal like Richard Serra’s giant, spiral, mazelike structures, to something like Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty,” there’s an interest in having art be experiential…

  • Jake and Dinos Chapman’s new two-part show at London’s White Cube galleries are presided over by a troupe of ghoulish Nazis with smiley-face armbands and a horde of schoolgirls with animal faces. Just two distinctive touches in an exhibition that makes a virtue of bad taste

    Warning: contains images that some people may find offensive

  • Authorities say a Colorado woman who allegedly groped a female Transportation Security Administration agent at Phoenix’s international airport is facing a felony count of sexual abuse.

    Phoenix police say 61-year-old Yukari Mihamae is accused of grabbing the left breast of the unidentified TSA agent Thursday afternoon at an airport checkpoint.

    TSA staff say Mihamae refused to be go through passenger screening and became argumentative before she squeezed and twisted the agent’s breast with both hands.

  • Your laptop, with all its sensitive data and/or ill-gotten gains, is about to be confiscated by the authorities, who are banging on the door. There’s no time to reformat it—you’ve got to destroy it, fast.

    This sticker will help you do just that, provided you’ve a drill by your side. (And which self-respecting cyber criminal wouldn’t?)

    Meant to be placed directly above your laptop’s hard disk, the sticker sports a crosshair with which you can accurately destroy any digital evidence the cops are after.

    Randy Sarafan, who created the stickers, advises to “research the build of your laptop and locate the position of your hard drive”.

  • While Congress and the President fight it out over the debt ceiling and all of America quietly shudders over whether our economy will completely default on itself, at least one industry still hums along without a care in the world. Amidst a fiscal crisis of apparently apocalyptic proportions, where the GOP demands dollar for dollar spending cuts from the budget in order to raise our debt limit, the Pentagon asked Congress for $264 million to cover part of a $771 million overrun on the F-35 program. The Hill reports Republican Senator John McCain let the news slip via Twitter, saying “Congress notified that first F-35 jets have cost overruns of $771M. Outrageous! Pentagon asking for $264M down payment now. Disgraceful.”
  • On Thursday, Defense Department extreme technology arm Darpa unveiled its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program. It’s an attempt to get better at both detecting and conducting propaganda campaigns on social media. SMISC has two goals. First, the program needs to help the military better understand what’s going on in social media in real time — particularly in areas where troops are deployed. Second, Darpa wants SMISC to help the military play the social media propaganda game itself.

    This is more than just checking the trending topics on Twitter. The Defense Department wants to deeply grok social media dynamics. So SMISC algorithms will be aimed at discovering and tracking the “formation, development and spread of ideas and concepts (memes)” on social media, according to Darpa’s announcement.

  • Cut into the flesh with nails and makeshift blades, rubbed into the wounds with a mixture of melted black rubber seals, ground red brick, trash bins, batteries, and saliva — these tattoos are forbidden in the South African prison system. Despite the severe penalties and permanent stigma, tattooing persists. For her photo study Life After, Cape Town photographer Araminta de Clermont sought out former inmates of “Numbers” prison gangs who were struggling for acceptance and survival since being released after years, sometimes decades of incarceration and shot their portraits in their current environment. Faces. Signs. A sailor’s grave. A note to a deceased mother, inked across the forehead. These full body and facial tattoos serve as narratives of crime history and life struggle. See the compelling images in our gallery.
  • A bill that seeks to clamp down on online child pornography is raising some alarms in the tech and privacy communities because of a provision that would require Internet service providers to store users’ IP addresses for 18 months.

    The legislation, spearheaded by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), would require Internet providers and possibly other entities to retain that information to aid law enforcement investigations of child exploitation.

    The bill already has some notable support, namely from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

    However, it also faces tough criticism from tech companies and public interest groups, which believe the section on data retention is too broad, threatens Web users’ privacy and may not accomplish its stated goal of cracking down on child pornography.

  • Timothy McVeigh? The V-Tech Shooter? The Columbine Killers? John Hinkley Junior? Mark David Chapman? Sirhan Sirhan? Harvey Lee Oswald? These people have significantly impacted our lives, all MK Ultra victims.
  • Officials are pushing for a settlement with mortgage companies that, reports Shahien Nasiripour of The Huffington Post, “would broadly absolve the firms of wrongdoing in exchange for penalties reaching $30 billion and assurances that the firms will adhere to better practices.”

    Why the rush to settle? As far as I can tell, there are two principal arguments being made for letting the banks off easy. The first is the claim that resolving the mortgage mess quickly is the key to getting the housing market back on its feet. The second, less explicitly stated, is the claim that getting tough with the banks would undermine broader prospects for recovery.

    Neither of these arguments makes much sense.

  • Sean Hoare, the former News of the World showbiz reporter who was the first named journalist to allege Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking by his staff, has been found dead, the Guardian has learned.

    Hoare, who worked on the Sun and the News of the World with Coulson before being dismissed for drink and drugs problems, is said to have been found dead at his Watford home.

    Hertfordshire police would not confirm his identity, but the force said in a statement: “At 10.40am today [Monday 18 July] police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for the welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street. Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.

    “The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing.”

  • Two men face animal cruelty charges after a call reporting crying coming from a car led officers to discover several animals inside.

    Miami police said officers were dispatched to Northwest 37th Avenue and Northwest Seventh Street on Monday after receiving a report that someone had heard what they thought was a baby crying in a car parked there.

    The officers found no child in the car, but they did find several animals, including goats, roosters, pigeons, guinea pigs and ducks.

    Police said one of the goats died later that day, but they did not elaborate on the animal’s cause of death.

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. is rushing to install a cover over a building at its crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant to shield it from wind and rain as Typhoon Ma-on approaches Japan’s coast from the south.
  • BP reported yet another pipeline leak at its Alaskan oilfields, frustrating the oil giant’s attempts to rebuild its reputation after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

    BP said on Monday that a pipeline at its 30,000 barrel per day Lisburne field, which is currently closed for maintenance, ruptured during testing and spilled a mixture of methanol and oily water onto the tundra.

    The London-based company has a long history of oil spills at its Alaskan pipelines – accidents which have hurt its public image in the U.S., where around 40 percent of its assets are based.

  • AUTHORITIES are investigating the theft of 64 missile warheads from a train transporting military equipment to Bulgaria.

    Interior ministry spokesman Marius Militaru said Sunday the components are not dangerous on their own – only when integrated into missile systems. Prosecutors said on nday they are investigating the theft.

    Officials did not respond to inquiries regarding if the warheads contained explosives.

    Railway workers on Saturday noticed the seals on a carriage door were broken, and it was not properly closed when the train reached Giurgiu, a Danube port that borders Bulgaria.

  • The main stage at the Ottawa Bluefest came crashing down Sunday right in the middle of a Cheap Trick set, injuring 4 people including one in serious condition.

    Winds apparently picked up around 8 p.m. EDT, causing the stage to seemingly fold in on itself and sending the band members quickly off their feet. All members of the band reportedly emerged unharmed.

  • a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy went to a townhouse at 738 SW 107th Ave. to serve an eviction notice about 11 a.m.

    The real estate agent for the property confirmed the man inside the home was Allen Gauntlett, 52, who had lost the home to foreclosure after owing $10,000 in homeowners’ dues and fees.

    Police officers said Gauntlett would not come out of the home, and the deputy called for backup.

    “As we were sending a unit to that location, the BSO deputy then called again and said that the subject was setting the house on fire,” said Sgt. John Gazzano, of the Pembroke Pines Police Department.

    “They said he put gasoline in his whole house and set it on fire, and the windows are all burned out, and the door has burnout around it,” said neighbor Kara Burbano.

    Police said Gauntlett walked out of the burning house and got into a fight with officers, so the officers shot him.

  • Holding the butcher knife, Bangs allegedly ordered the teen to take off his clothes and lie down. Bangs allegedly burned a rubber glove over the teen, letting it drip onto him and burning his abdomen, according to police.

    Bangs accused the teen of being “a snitch,” according to the police report.

    After dripping the burning rubber on the teen, Ismael then allegedly held a lighter close to the teen’s lips and told him not to blow it out or he would cut him. He also stuck paper up the teen’s nostrils and lit it, again telling him not to blow it out. The teen suffered burns on his lips, according to the report.

    Ismael then allegedly applied a large amount of glue to the teen’s lips, gluing them together. He also used a lighter to heat up the blade of a knife and applied it to the victim’s shoulder “numerous times,” causing several burn injuries.

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 19, 2011

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Freedom Is A Road Seldom Traveled By The Multitude

  • Monsanto, best know today for its agricultural biotechnology GMO products, has a long and dirty history of polluting this country and others with some of the most toxic compounds known to humankind. From PCBs to Agent Orange to Roundup, we have many reasons to question the motives of this evil corporation that claims to be working to reduce environmental destruction and feed the world with its genetically engineered GMO food crops. Monsanto has been repeatedly fined and ruled against for, among many things: mislabeling containers of Roundup, failing to report health data to EPA, plus chemical spills and improper chemical deposition.
  • While the Transportation Security Administration may or may not be making old ladies take off their Depends during screening, there’s this: A Nigerian man managed to board a Los Angeles-bound flight at JFK Airport without a valid boarding pass or valid identification. Olajide Olwaseun Noibi used a fake ID and an expired boarding pass to get onto Virgin America Flight 415.

    WCBS 2 reports, “The FBI says Noibi sat in the main cabin and when a flight attendant asked him to show his boarding pass, he produced the expired pass. Noibi was still allowed to get off the plane when it landed in Los Angeles.” Great! And how did Noibi get the pass?

  • Officer Ignatius Hills said he jumped out of the rental truck after the shooting stopped and scanned the blood-covered bodies on the ground – civilians who had allegedly shot at the police moments earlier – and wondered aloud where their guns were.

    Sgt. Kenneth Bowen heard him and answered “that he had kicked the guns off the bridge,” Hills told jurors in a New Orleans courtroom on Thursday.

    So began a web of deceit, federal prosecutors say, that stretched for years after the slaying of two civilians by police in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Four others were injured in the September 2005 shooting.

  • Entertainment industry lobby groups often describe file-sharers as thieves who refuse to pay for any type of digital content. But not everyone agrees with this view. Swedish telecom giant Ericsson sees copyright abuse as the underlying cause of the piracy problem. In a brilliant article, Rene Summer, Director of Government and Industry Relations at Ericsson, explains how copyright holders themselves actually breed pirates by clinging to outdated business methods.

    ericssonWhen it comes to discussing file-sharing and copyright-related issues, extremists often make a sensible debate impossible. The most vocal rightsholder groups would ideally turn the Internet into a virtual police state, and at the other end of the spectrum there are groups that want to abolish copyright entirely.

  • The REASON there is a problem and why they aren’t telling the truth is because, while Fukishima is equivalent to about twenty Chernobyls, Ft. Calhoun is equivalent to about twenty Fukushimas.
    Not because it has a lot of reactors – or even a very big one. But because it is holding an immense amount of nuclear fuel in its cooling pool. This isn’t some elevated bathtub like the cooling pools at Fukushima. Oh, no. This cooling pool is forty feet UNDER GROUND AND forty feet ABOVE GROUND. It’s EIGHTY FEET DEEP IN TOTAL. If they can’t cool it, the corn belt is in trouble. 

  • A doctor involved in horrific torture by Saddam Hussein’s henchmen is working in British hospitals.

    In an astonishing immigration scandal, border officials have allowed the suspected war criminal to treat thousands of British patients.

    Dr Mohammed Kassim Al-Byati was given a permit to work as a doctor in the NHS by the Labour government in 2004.

  • Is there a formula for a hit song?

    What if we knew, for example, that 80% of the Billboard Hot 100 number one singles from 1960-2010 are sung in a major key with an average of 135 beats per minute, that they all follow a I-III-IV chord progression in 4/4 time signature, and that they all follow a “verse-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus” sequence structure? What would this mean for the music industry? For artists and record producers? Would this teach us things about human auditory preferences? Or how these preferences have been manufactured and masterfully fine-tuned over the past half century by cunning L.A. record execs?

  • Says hacktivist group’s campaign against public websites like the US Senate, CIA, and more recently, the Arizona Police Dept, prove a “lawless Internet” is not a “good thing,” and that legislation like the PROTECT IP Act that would mandate DNS filtering of “rogue sites” is needed to restore order.

    Leave it to the RIAA to rehash the usual bait-and-switch tactics of old when it comes to convincing the public that its own selfish commercial interests are really for the public good.

  • Over the course of the one-year study, human subjects had their brain activity scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they performed one of three hand movements: grasping the top of an object, grasping the bottom of the object, or simply reaching out and touching the object. The team found that by using the signals from many brain regions, they could predict, better than chance, which of the actions the volunteer was merely intending to do, seconds later.

    “Neuroimaging allows us to look at how action planning unfolds within human brain areas without having to insert electrodes directly into the human brain. This is obviously far less intrusive,” explains Western Psychology professor Jody Culham, who was the paper’s senior author.

  • Games need BLUE SKIES! Games need BRIGHT YELLOW SUNS! Games need RED AND BLUE THINGS in them! We want to play in a HAPPY PRETEND LAND, not a shit version of an American slum full of mixed-race gangsters wearing licensed sportswear!

    We want to COLLECT BANANAS FROM MAGIC CASTLES not earn respect from fictional gang leaders! We want to stun enemies with BOUNCE ATTACKS, not shoot them in unrealistic and shoddy drive-bys!

    We want to restore our health by COLLECTING ROAST CHICKEN, not by syringing drugs into the only vein we can still find! Games have gone SHIT and DARK and RUBBISH and WE WANT THEM BACK!

    We want music that goes PLINKY-PLINK AND DOOPY-DOO not “motherfucking west coast mother fucker, y’all”! We want to fight WEIRD MONSTERS not drug-dealing criminals!

    Make games look like games again! Support the Blue Sky In Games Campaign NOW!

  • Wikileaks is suffering under a banking blockade. They made a Mastercard commercial in response:

    Censorship, like everything else in the West, has been privatized.

    For six months, five major US financial institutions, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union and the Bank of America have tried to economically strangle WikiLeaks as a result of political pressure from Washington. The attack has blocked over 90% of donations, costing some $15M in lost revenue. The attack is entirely outside of any due process or rule of law. In fact, in the only formal review to occur, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner found, on January 12, that there were no lawful grounds to add WikiLeaks to a financial blockade.

  • Former International Monetary Fund chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has walked out of court free without bail. His release came after prosecutors raised doubts over the credibility of the hotel housekeeper who has accused him of sexual assault.

    Prosecutors agreed to release the former IMF head on his own recognizance, meaning he must simply promise to appear in court.

    Prosecutors acknowledged that there were significant credibility issues with the hotel housekeeper who accused Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her in May in New York.

    Though the charges against Strauss-Kahn have not been reduced, the move signals that prosecutors do not believe the accusations are as iron-clad as they once seemed.

  • By harnessing a new sphere of science called “lovotics”, Hooman Samani, an artificial intelligence researcher at the Social Robotics Lab at the National University of Singapore, believes it is possible to engineer love between humans and robots.

    Across 11 research papers, Samani has outlined — and begun to develop — an extremely complex artificial intelligence that simulates psychological and biological systems behind human love. To do this, Samani’s robots are equipped with artificial versions of the human “love” hormones — Oxytocin, Dopamine, Seratonin, and Endorphin — that can increase or decrease, depending on their state of love. On a psychological level, by using MRI scans of human brains to mirror the psychology of love, the robots are also equipped with an artificial intelligence that tracks their “affective state”; their level of affection for their human lover.

  • Scientists from France and Scotland recorded the aquatic animal “singing” at up to 99.2 decibels, the equivalent of listening to a loud orchestra play while sitting in the front row.

    The insect makes the sound by rubbing its penis against its abdomen in a process known as “stridulation”.

    Researchers say the song is a courtship display performed to attract a mate.

  • #19 Bank Of America
    #18 Dish Network
    #17 Cox Communications
    #16 Pacific Gas and Electric
    #15 JPMorgan Chase
    #14 AT&T Mobility
    #13 LA Department of Water & Power
    #12 Long Island Power Authority
    #11 UnitedHealth
    #10 Facebook
    #9 MySpace
    #8 American Airlines
    #7 United Airlines
    #6 US Airways
    #5 Charter Communications
    #4 Comcast
    #3 Time Warner Cable
    #2 Delta
    #1 Pepco
  • Video Shows How Tennessee Steal Money for innocent motorist with out of state plates in the name of the war on drugs.
  • Lots of ants practise a rudimentary form of agriculture. Some are gardeners, gathering leaf fragments on which they cultivate a crop of tasty fungus. Others are dairymaids, “milking” the sweet excretion known as honeydew from aphids, scale insects and other related insects.

    But the Melissotarsus ants of continental Africa and Madagascar are special. If biologists’ best guess proves correct, these ants raise their insect herds for meat, not milk – the first example of meat farmers other than humans. And that’s not all. The insects they cultivate may be the best example of true domestication outside of our crop plants.

  • Pottawattamie County officials said a half-mile stretch of the Vanmann #30 levee was mechanically excavated and then lowered by using explosives. The private levee is just north of the Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge, northwest of Honey Creek.

    So far, emergency management officials said they’ve seen no damage as a result of the levee breach, but they have fielded plenty of phone calls about it.

    Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Theulen said he was alerted Friday morning that the levee may have been in the process of being intentionally breached. About 20 minutes later, officials said they received calls from people wanting to know why levees were being blown up. One caller claimed to have witnessed the explosion.

    Pottawattamie County officials said no government entity had anything to do with the detonation, and they did not have advance notice from the people responsible for the breach.

  • A baboon may have escaped from the Jackson, New Jersey Six Flags amusement park and is now roaming New Jersey neighborhoods according to an MSNBC and AP report.

    The baboon in question was seen on Thursday by a woman who said it was sitting on her back porch in Jackson, no mention if it was sipping a lemonade.

    That same day the baboon was spotted near Interstate 195 by a driver. There was no confirmation if the baboon had his thumb up or held a sign “Africa or bust”.

    Authorities believe it could have fled from Jackson’s Six Flags Great Adventure’s Monkey Jungle, which contains (contained?) 150 baboons.

  • It was an open secret that Britain’s decision to back nuclear power in 2006 was pushed through government by a cosy group of industrialists and others close to Tony Blair, and that a full debate about the full costs, safety and potential impact on future generations was suppressed.

    But the release of 80 emails showing that in the days after the Fukushima accident not one but two government departments were working with nuclear companies to spin one of the biggest industrial catastrophes of the last 50 years, even as people were dying and a vast area was being made uninhabitable, is shocking.

    What the emails shows is a weak government, captured by a powerful industry colluding to at least misinform and very probably lie to the public and the media. When the emails were sent, no one, least of all the industry and its friends in and out of government, had any idea how serious the situation at Fukushima was or might become.

  • British government officials approached nuclear companies to draw up a co-ordinated public relations strategy to play down the Fukushima nuclear accident just two days after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and before the extent of the radiation leak was known.

    Internal emails seen by the Guardian show how the business and energy departments worked closely behind the scenes with the multinational companies EDF Energy, Areva and Westinghouse to try to ensure the accident did not derail their plans for a new generation of nuclear stations in the UK.

  • A Committee of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) passed a first draft of a law that will require that Palestinians whose homes are destroyed by Israeli forces pay the Israeli government for the demolition costs.
  • A childless French couple have adopted a 13-year-old female gorilla named Digit.

    The gorilla spends the day at the Saint Martin la Plaine Zoo, before going home with zookeepers Pierre and Elianne Thivillon.

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

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 2, 2011

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links for 2011-06-28

  • Police in Brandenburg who discovered a large plot of cannabis called on the neighbouring house only to find an 84-year-old woman who had been feeding her rabbits with the plants.
  • “The films and videos were in one place, the Tijuana bibles in another, original art in another, and newspapers and magazines in another,” he said. 

    But in 2003, the building was sold and he was forced to move “160,000 pounds of books” with little notice. It all ended up jammed into a $5,000-a-month, 1,400-square-foot Flatbush storage facility, where it remains today.

    “It looks like the warehouse from the last scene of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,'” he said, adding that it puts a serious damper on his business.

    “So many things are inaccessible,” he said. “If somebody said, ‘I absolutely have to have an item,’ it might take me three months to find it.”

    In recent years, Scheiner has turned his interest to Orthodox Judaism and spends his days poring over the Torah and the Talmud.

    In all, Scheiner estimates he has spent $1 million over the years on the collection. “But that is over a 30-year period, so actually it’s like $30,000 a year,” he said. “That isn’t a whole lot.”

  • There’s even a name for it: Autodecorating. And Gawker’s calling out the worst offenders: Along with Lindsay and Paris, Kanye West, Padma Lakshmi and Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kim Zolciak are guilty of filling their houses with paintings, photos and — most notoriously — pillows with their likenesses. Now, I kind of understand celebrities’ motivation here: These are people who are accustomed to seeing their faces on billboards and in magazines. They’re desensitized to it. Right? Or maybe because they make their living off of their faces they’re just excited to pay tribute to their moneymaker. In any case, it’s hardly surprising.
  • An employee of Bed, Bath & Beyond in St. Davids Square shopping center reported to Radnor Township Police on June 5 a package containing human vomit was left in the parking lot there. 

    He estimated that about 35 pounds of vomit was in the package discovered June 5 and stated that a similar package was left in the same spot the week before.

  • Headless male flies engineered to get horny in the heat: Studying mating behavior, even in an organism as simple as a fruit fly, can be challenging, since it depends on a complex set of interactions between two individuals that may not share the researchers’ interest in seeing mating take place. So, some researchers (including one I went to grad school with) decided to take a shortcut. They engineered flies so that male-specific neurons would express a construct that activated the neurons when they were shifted to higher temperatures. It worked, perhaps a bit too well: “Almost all steps of courtship, from courtship song to ejaculation, can be induced at very high levels through [its] activation in solitary males.” In other words, heat the male flies up, and they’ll just ejaculate, even if they’re on their own (although they’ll do a mating dance for nobody first). In fact, it even worked if the males’ heads were chopped off, driven by the activity in their nerve cord.
  • Imagine you’re giving a presentation to the board of directors at your company. You have your PowerPoint slides all ready, you’re projecting onto a 64 inch screen… what could possibly go wrong? 

    Well, what would you do if your carefully composed presentation was replaced on the big screen by images of a naked woman? My guess is that you wouldn’t know where to put your laser pointer..

  • For millennia, philosophers have debated whether or not the self exists solely in the mind, the body, or both. Well, it’s unclear whether this will help clear things up or just muddy the waters further, but Swedish neuroscientists are now claiming that the human brain can add outside objects such as a third arm to one’s physical sense of self, and that people can even mentally project their “self” out of their own body and into someone else’s. If these findings hold up, the implications for virtual reality, robotics and prostheses could be substantial.
  • The US government filed more than twice as many demands for data about Google users than any other other country in the past six months, according to figures the search behemoth supplied Monday. 

    What’s more, according to the Google Transparency Report, Google fully or partially complied with the US demands in 94 percent of the cases, a rate that was higher than responses to any other government.

  • “With smart phones, tablet computers, and laptops, we carry around with us an unprecedented amount of sensitive personal information,” said EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury. “That smart phone in your pocket right now could contain email from your doctor or your kid’s teacher, not to mention detailed contact information for all of your friends and family members. Your laptop probably holds even more data — your Internet browsing history, family photo albums, and maybe even things like an electronic copy of your taxes or your employment agreement. This is sensitive data that’s worth protecting from prying eyes.”
  • Circumcision, Winky D told Zimbabwe’s Nehanda radio, is “one of the coolest moves you will ever make. I should know … I made that move. Takaipa!” Takaipa is the name of a popular Winky D song. “That is why I am asking you to think about getting circumcised this school holiday.” He supposedly added, in a statement that sounds suspiciously like it was written by a government publicist rather than, say, a young dancehall star, “Being cool is not just about having a string of hit songs. It is about taking care of yourself and looking after your health. It is about making sure you are presentable, smart and clean all the time.” His hit “Musarova Bigman” was recently nominated for song of the year at Zimbabwe’s annual National Arts Merit Awards.
  • The price of cocaine varies greatly between rich countries 

    EVERY year the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime publishes a report with lots of fascinating data on the production and consumption of illegal drugs around the world. This year’s report highlights a few interesting trends: despite all the effort put into the war on drugs, the street price of cocaine in Europe has dropped relentlessly over the past two decades (even adjusting for inflation and impurity). This may explain why Europe is now almost as big a market for cocaine producers as America. The numbers we have picked out below show the variations in price between a selection of different countries, as well as consumption per person in those places.

  • 1. File this one under “Now It All Makes Sense”. A Missouri farming and ranching contact just got off a conference call wherein he was informed that the federal government is sending out letters to all of the flooded out farmers in the Missouri River flood plain and bottoms notifying them that the Army Corps of Engineers will offer to BUY THEIR LAND. 

    Intentionally flood massive acreage of highly productive farmground. Destroy people’s communities and homes. Catch them while they are desperate and afraid and then swoop in and buy the ground cheap. Those evil sons of bitches.

    2. Speaking of evil sons of bitches, George Soros appears to be “investing” in farmground through the same puppet company that he used to get into the grain elevator and fertilizer business. The company is called Ospraie Capital Management and is buying up farmground in a joint venture with Teays River Investments as a partner.

  • What do you do if you have fake goods and you need to destroy them so they don’t get to market? Or you have computer storage media and you want to render it completely unreadable? If you’ve got just one hard drive to destroy, you can take it out back and smash it with a sledgehammer. But if you have lots to get rid of, here’s your solution.
  • Did you know that today scientists are actually producing mice that tweet like birds, cats that glow in the dark, “monster salmon”, “spider goats”, cow/human hybrids, pig/human hybrids and even mouse/human hybrids? The very definition of life on earth is changing right before our eyes. Many scientists believe that genetic modification holds the key to feeding the entire planet and healing all of our diseases, but others are warning that genetic modification could literally transform our environment into a desolate wasteland and cause our world to resemble a really bad science fiction movie. For decades, scientists around the globe have been fooling around with DNA and have been transplanting genes from one species to another. But now technology has advanced so dramatically that just about the only thing limiting scientists are their imaginations.
  • While global markets for cocaine, heroin and cannabis have declined or remained stable, the production and abuse of prescription opioid drugs and new synthetic drugs have risen, according to the World Drug Report 2011. Illicit cultivation of opium poppy and coca bush have remained limited to a few countries. Although there has been a sharp decline in opium production and a modest reduction in coca bush cultivation, the overall level of manufacture of heroin and cocaine has remained significant.
  • Welcome to “First Blood,” the inaugural event of the Urban Wrestling Federation — an experimental hybrid league formed earlier this year — held the Friday before last at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. One of the UWF’s many taglines: “Hip Hop meets Pro Wrestling the street meets insanity meets mayhem.” (In the last few months, this line has been tweeted by the UWF no fewer than 27 times.)
  • The anti-nuclear watchdog group Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, however, said the fire appeared to be about 3 1/2 miles from a dumpsite where as many as 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated waste were stored in fabric tents above ground. The group said the drums were awaiting transport to a low-level radiation dump site in southern New Mexico. 

    Lab spokesman Steve Sandoval declined to confirm that there were any such drums currently on the property. He acknowledged that low-level waste is at times put in drums and regularly taken from the lab to the Waste Isolation Pilot Project site in Carlsbad.

  • A central Ohio woman accused of spraying sheriff’s deputies with breast milk is facing charges including disorderly conduct. The Delaware County sheriff’s office says deputies responded to a call about a domestic dispute early Saturday, and a man told them his wife was drinking at a wedding and hit him before locking herself in a car. 

    The sheriff says deputies found the woman in a car and tried to talk with her, but she didn’t cooperate. He says when deputies tried to remove her, she said she was a breast-feeding mother, then exposed part of her chest and sprayed them with breast milk.

  • We read the news today – oh, boy. After 16 years on the lam from the Feds infamous Boston Irish mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger was finally apprehended yesterday in Santa Monica, CA. Thus ends one of the lengthiest and most notorious manhunts in U.S. law enforcement history. Shit, they even fictionalized Whitey on the silver screen (Scorcese’s The Departed) before he was caught. Here at ego trip, however, we’re well aware that Whitey Bulger isn’t the only elusive ghostface iller out there. In fact, there have and still are plenty more.
  • At the Chicago U.S. Customs and Border Protection International Mail Facility, a seemingly innocent imported shipment of pretty dresses may deceive the untrained eye and an X-ray showing no hidden or secret compartments may give the impression that all is well. However, CBP K-9 Martin’s nose, knows otherwise. 

    On June 9, while working with his CBP handler, Martin a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois alerted to a large box, invoiced as “Traditional Dresses,” coming from Laos. This parcel contained 65 plastic-wrapped brightly colored shawls destined for Minneapolis weighing 11.9 kilograms. Even though the paperwork was in order and CBP X-ray images of the box and contents showed no anomalies, Martin’s nose remained very interested. Upon closer examination using drug field testing procedures, CBP officers found a positive reaction. All 65 decorative 4-foot by two-foot cloth pieces were saturated with the illegal narcotic opium.

  • The $500 ad that appears on Page 439 of the book was placed by George Somogyi and directed at his daughter, Rianna, a 17-year-old senior, he said. 

    It depicts his daughter making funny faces and describes her as a “complete waste of valuable space.” The end of the ad refers to a “Yiddish saying” that “loosely translates to ‘Camel patties attract flies. Hummus attracts pita chips. You are the former.’ “

File under Hip-Hop, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, Sex

The Secret Teachings Of All Ages

  • For once, a book which really lives up to its title. Hall self-published this massive tome in 1928, consisting of about 200 legal-sized pages in 8 point type; it is literally his magnum opus. Each of the nearly 50 chapters is so dense with information that it is the equivalent of an entire short book. If you read this book in its entirety you will be in a good position to dive into subjects such as the Qabbala, Alchemy, Tarot, Ceremonial Magic, Neo-Platonic Philosophy, Mystery Religions, and the theory of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry. Although there are some questionable and controversial parts of the book, such as the outdated material on Islam, the portion on the Bacon-Shakespeare hypothesis, and Hall’s conspiracy theory of history as driven by an elite cabal of roving immortals, they are far out-weighed by the comprehensive information here on other subjects.
  • “I don’t think you’d feel very much,” says one physicist. Instant death, insists another. One suggests it would feel like 100 billion “pin pricks,” which doesn’t sound fun. How exactly would it feel to have the force of “an aircraft carrier moving at 11 knots” condensed into the size of a sub-atomic particle running through your hand? No one knows, it seems, and no one wants to find out.
  • As Arndt explains, the infrequent smokers may have been responding to thoughts of death by trying to reduce their own vulnerability. But students who were heavy smokers reacted to thoughts of death by taking even harder drags on their cigarettes. Arndt suggests they might have been sub­conscious­ly attempting to dispel a negative mood with an enjoyable activity. Although the reason is unclear, the finding suggests that the psychology involved in smoking and thinking about death is more complicated than previously assumed. Therefore, graphic warning labels on cigarettes might not have the intended effect on everyone who sees them.
  • News that George Lucas is re-releasing his Star Wars franchise in 3-D has created a schism within one of the world’s most passionate fan communities. Starting in 2012 with “Episode 1, The Phantom Menace,” Lucas will release a Star Wars film in 3D every year ending with “Return of the Jedi.” The reaction from diehards has been both swift and diverse.
  • A man died after downing a pint of vodka in four seconds, an inquest heard. Richard Davies, 29, from Thornaby, near Stockton, had been drinking with friends before the alcohol knocked him unconscious in January. Mr Davies was found not breathing in a pool of his own blood, and died hours later.
  • ‘Thanks to Reggie (that’s Obama’s personal aide), my rap palate has greatly improved. Jay-Z used to be sort of what predominated, but now I’ve got a little Nas and a little Lil Wayne and some other stuff, but I would not claim to be an expert. Malia and Sasha are now getting old enough to where they start hipping me to things. Music is still a great source of joy and occasional solace in the midst of what can be some difficult days.’
  • We always hear about celebrities checking into rehab for their various addictions, expletive-laden tirades, or episodes of “exhaustion.” Lindsay Lohan just checked in yesterday for the eighth time. Where do they disappear to while trying to get clean? Let’s look.
  • Swiftboaters beware! Truthy helps you understand how memes spread on Twitter. With our images and statistics, you can help identify political misinformation and other astroturfing.
  • Thanks Carlen Altman
  • The pair detailed how they managed it in a paper published in the International Journal of Social Robotics. Two robots — one black and one red — were taught to play hide and seek. The black, hider, robot chose from three different hiding places, and the red, seeker, robot had to find him using clues left by knocked-over colored markers positioned along the paths to the hiding places. However, unbeknownst to the poor red seeker, the black robot had a trick up its sleeve. Once it had passed the colored markers, it shifted direction and hid in an entirely different location, leaving behind it a false trail that managed to fool the red robot in 75 percent of the 20 trials that the researchers ran. The five failed trails resulted from the black robots’ difficulty in knocking over the correct markers.
  • Because sexual climax releases dopamine in the brain, the brain can become just as addicted to pornography as it can be to drugs. And like drug use, pornography addiction can intensify, with the person’s tastes becoming more and more extreme as the brain changes itself to compensate for accumulations of the protein delta FosB in neurons. As well, the neural reward networks are strengthened every time the porn addict satisfies his addiction.
  • Workaday staple and fashion favourite, blue jeans have conquered the planet. But were they born in the textile mills of New Hampshire, on France’s southern coast or the looms of north Italy? Art historians believe they have found a piece of the centuries-old puzzle in the work of a newly discovered 17th-century north Italian artist, dubbed the “Master of the Blue Jeans”, whose paintings went on show in Paris this week.
  • Outrageously, she has been appointed as a “special advisor” to design and lead the bureau, but the administration has not disclosed the exact length of her term. There will be no Senate confirmation hearings, nor will the public or the financial industry be allowed to comment on her appointment. We simply are expected to accept the appointment of an enormously powerful regulator without question, and without regard to the constitutional requirement that the Senate advise and consent with regard to her appointment. This means you, as a voter and citizen, effectively have no say whatsoever for the duration of her appointment. In the meantime, she has unprecedented new powers over private business decisions.
  • But Mr. Obama’s critics say that whether statutory authorization exists for his counterterrorism policies is just a legalistic point. The core problem with Mr. Bush’s approach, they argue, was that it trammeled individual rights. And they say Mr. Obama’s policies have not changed that. ”President Obama may mouth very different rhetoric,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. ”He may have a more complicated process with members of Congress. But in the end, there is no substantive break from the policies of the Bush administration.”
  • Forty-five per cent of Roman Catholics who participated in the study didn’t know that, according to church teaching, the bread and wine used in Holy Communion is not just a symbol, but becomes the body and blood of Christ.
  • Can too much caffeine make you insane – and mentally unstable enough to unknowingly kill someone? That’s a question a Newport, Kentucky, jury will have to answer when they eventually deliberate in the trial of a man whose lawyer is expected to claim that too much soda, caffeine-laced diet pills and the energy drink No Fear – combined with sleep deprivation – meant he had no idea what he was doing when he killed his wife.

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

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on September 30, 2010

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