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Puppets ‘n Dummies


  • A gang of hackers known as SwagSec announced at the tail end of last week that they had hacked into Lady Gaga’s UK website and made off with a database of names and email addresses of fans. To prove their point, they published the stolen data online.
  • Ventriloquism creeps me out as it is, but these vaudeville era portraits of ventriloquists with their creepy dummies are, well, creepy. This first one is quite possibly the most unsettling thing I have ever seen. Enjoy the rest, including the random police booking photo of “The Great Lester”.
  • For decades, farmers had it relatively easy when it came to weeds infesting their soil: apply herbicides, wait for the weeds to die and grow more crops. Those salad days, alas, are coming to an end.

    A new series of studies released by Weed Science this month finds at least 21 weed species have become resistant to the popular herbicide glyphosate (sold as Monsanto’s Roundup), and a growing number survive multiple herbicides, so-called “super-weeds.” The same selection pressure creating bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics is leading to the rapid evolution of plants that survive modern herbicides. If the trend continues, yields could drop and food costs climb as weeds grow more difficult to uproot.

  • NAMING your new bundle of joy Lucifer has been effectively banned by New Zealand’s names registrar after three parents had the odd request knocked back.

    The country’s Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages has been cracking down on mothers and fathers getting too creative with their children’s names, ruling out punctuation marks such as . (Full Stop), * (Asterisk) and / (presumably ”Slash”).

    The list of 102 names rejected in the past two years includes Baron, Bishop, Duke, General, Judge, Justice, King, Knight and Mr, all deemed too similar to titles.
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    Messiah was also turned down, as was 89, and the single letters, C, D, I and T, although Q and J were accepted after being queried.

  • RAGING pop star Roger Daltrey claims PM David Cameron does not have “the balls” to tackle mass immigration.

    The Who’s working class hero Roger Daltrey sparked a storm a fortnight ago when he blasted Labour for “screwing” Brits by opening the floodgates to foreigners.

    Yesterday he turned on the Tories, saying Mr Cameron and his team lacked the guts to deal with the issue.

    He also took a pop at leftie rocker Bono for claiming he is a socialist while dodging taxes in his homeland.

  • After getting a pie in the face, Rupert Murdoch inadvertently gets a pair of devil horns.
  • After “Dare to Dream” was put up on YouTube one of its early listeners was Jimmy Iovine, founder of Interscope records. Recognizing quality, Iovine had plans in his mind for Skepta’s track so, with help from parent company Universal, they had YouTube remove the song on copyright grounds.

    Armed with cash Interscope approached Boy Better Known, a group and record label founded in 2005 by Skepta and the team behind Dare to Dream.

    “Being in an industry where money talks, everybody involved in the ‘Dare To Dream’ project came to a conclusion to sign it to Interscope,” says Skepta.

    So who is the lucky recipient of the track? None other than Interscope giant Eminem.

  • For years, it has been a poorly-kept secret that some of the world’s largest wireless providers rely on caller ID information to verify that a call to check voicemail is made from the account holder’s mobile phone. Unfortunately, this means that if you haven’t set up your voicemail account to require a PIN for access, your messages may be vulnerable to snooping by anyone who has access to caller ID “spoofing” technology. Several companies offer caller ID spoofing services, and the tools needed to start your own spoofing operation are freely available online.
  • Last month, however, John Brennan, the White House’s top counterterrorism advisor broke this silence, telling reporters that “in the last year ‘there hasn’t been a single collateral death because of the exceptional proficiency, precision of the capabilities that we’ve been able to develop.'”

    Zero civilian casualties — during a period when there were more than 100 CIA drone strikes — sounded almost too good to be true. As it turns out, it was. According to a new report from the UK’s award-winning Bureau of Investigative Journalism, released last night, at least 45 civilians were killed in 10 strikes since August 2010. Among these, the Bureau reports that it has identified, by name, six children killed in drone strikes. More civilians are likely to have been killed in an additional 15 strikes for which precise information is not available.

  • The FBI has released its files on two famously controversial publishers, Paladin Press and Loompanics Unlimited, following a FOIA request filed by Government Attic. The files suggest that the booksellers’ huge libraries of books on drugs, guns and other ultra-libertarian issues only rarely drew the FBI’s attention.
  • A series of adverts for a range of women’s hygiene products by Summer’s Eve have sparked a massive backlash from viewers.

    The use of ‘talking’ hands of black, white and Latina women to represent female genitalia was always meant to be provocative, but have been branded racist by some.

    Hundreds of negative comments have been posted online, with some arguing that the distinctive voice-overs adhere to racial stereotypes.

    The commercials were made with the intention of promoting cleanliness, but for many women it’s the image of Summer’s Eve that needs a good scrub.

  • Seventeen people were indicted on Wednesday on charges of running a high-end prostitution ring that catered to Wall Street clients who often spent more than $10,000 in a night, authorities said.

    The ring pulled in more than $7 million over three years, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said at a news conference.

    “The business of high-end prostitution is enormously profitable,” Hynes said.

    The prostitution service, named High Class NY, was run 24 hours a day out of an office in Brooklyn and charged from $400 to $3,600 an hour for its services, according to the 144-count indictment. It also provided customers with cocaine and other narcotics, the indictment said.

    Hynes said clients often spent in excess of $10,000 in a single night.

    They were “all high-end customers coming from the financial markets. People with nothing but money,” he said.

  • Backers of Israel worried that a diminished Rupert Murdoch presence may mute the strongly pro-Israel voice of many of the publications he owns.
  • A bottled liter of water with a few teaspoons of bleach is proving to be a successful recipe for dwellers in the light-deprived slums of the Philippines. The simple technology is spreading sunlight in places where it has never been, and saving residents money at the same time.
  • Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of attempted armed robbery.

    Vigilantes seized the black and white goat, saying it was an armed robber who had used black magic to transform himself into an animal to escape after trying to steal a Mazda 323.

    ‘The group of vigilante men came to report that while they were on patrol they saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car. They pursued them.

  • The store owner quickly begins placing money in a robber’s backpack. As he does, his Chihuahua erupts into ferocious barking at the two men, who beat a hasty retreat, running out of the store with the backpack but taking less money than they could’ve gotten.

    At one point, one of the robbers even points his rifle at the diminutive but undaunted pooch, who chases the pair out of the store and down the street.

  • Pro-abortion activists from Holland who took a seaborne clinic to staunchly Catholic Poland have been forced to pull out after a fortnight of furious protests and official pressure.

    Women on Waves, a group of radical campaigners seeking to spread their doctrine of “free abortions” throughout Europe, had hoped to bypass Poland’s tough anti-abortion laws by ferrying women to international waters aboard a converted tug, the Langenort, to undergo abortions.

    Last week, however, they abandoned their efforts and left Polish waters after providing “counselling” to only 20 women. Rebecca Gomperts, a former Greenpeace activist who heads Women on Waves, refused to say whether they had performed any abortions.

    The arrival of the Langenort in the northern Polish port of Wladyslawowo provoked outrage from the Roman Catholic Church, and the vessel was met by furious demonstrators when it docked.

  • Japan’s science ministry says air above the ground about 150 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is as radioactive as areas 50 kilometers from the source of radioactivity.

    The ministry on Wednesday released a map showing radiation levels at locations one meter above the ground in Miyagi Prefecture, north of Fukushima, based on the results of an aerial survey from June 22nd through 30th.

  • They looked like Apple products. It looked like an Apple store. It had the classic Apple store winding staircase and weird upstairs sitting area. The employees were even wearing those blue t-shirts with the chunky Apple name tags around their necks.
  • It might be among the hardest materials known, but place a diamond in a patch of sunlight and it will start to lose atoms, say a team of physicists in Australia. The rate of loss won’t significantly trouble tiara wearers or damage diamond rings, but the discovery could prove a boon for researchers working to tap diamond’s exceptional optical and electronic properties.
  • Certain species of Timema stick insects were known to reproduce asexually, with females producing young in “virgin births” without the need for egg fertilisation by males.

    The insects instead produce genetic clones of themselves.

  • A new doll, called the “Breast Milk Baby,” is slated to make a debut sometime this year in US toy stores. A sensation in Europe, the doll has already polarized many groups at odds over issues like breastfeeding in public and those who feel young girls are already growing up too fast.

    The doll comes with a halter which is worn by a young girl as she holds the baby up to a pair of rose petal “nipples” on the front. When the doll is placed near the petals, it begins to make suckling sounds.

    Naturally, when asked what they thought about a breast milk baby doll, some shoppers in NYC were astounded, even offended. But the company who makes it remains philosophical.

    “I think that it’s totally bizarre to teach a prepubescent child how to breastfeed,” said one Manhattanite woman. “Quite strange.”

  • With increasing frequency it seems agencies of the government are looking to tap into the public consciousness to gather information on everything from how you surf the Web to how they can use information generated by you to predict the future. It’s all a little creepy, really. Here we take a look at seven programs announced this year that in some cases really want to crawl into your brain to see what’s happening in the world.
  • New Yorkers have witnessed an urban solar phenomenon, with the Sun setting in alignment with the city’s skyscrapers and giving an effect fans say is reminiscent of Wiltshire’s Stonehenge. Welcome to Manhattanhenge.
  • A good journalist brings that depth of commitment to a story, along with the appropriate contextual information, public memory, and reportorial skill. When a reporter from the German magazine Der Spiegel told me in 2003 that Fox News reporters in Baghdad had borrowed sandbags from American soldiers and piled them on the roof of their hotel to stage an on-camera impression that they were reporting from a battle elsewhere, I was reminded that Murdoch’s News Corporation isn’t so interested in serious journalism.

    No large news organization in the world, in fact—at least none that’s as large as or larger than those influenced by Vladimir Putin in Russia or Silvio Berlusconi in Italy or the Communist Party in China—tries as brazenly as Murdoch’s globe-straddling News Corporation to generate and even fabricate news or to subvert good reporting of news so cynically and powerfully—and hurtfully, to both its subjects and its audiences.

  • Walter Bagdasarian was found guilty two years ago of making threats against a major presidential candidate in comments he posted on a Yahoo.com financial website after 1 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2008, as Obama’s impending victory in the race for the White House was becoming apparent. Bagdasarian told investigators he was drunk at the time.

    A divided panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that conviction Tuesday, saying Bagdasarian’s comments were “particularly repugnant” because they endorsed violence but that a reasonable person wouldn’t have taken them as a genuine threat.

    The observation that Obama “will have a 50 cal in the head soon” and a call to “shoot the [racist slur]” weren’t violations of the law under which Bagdasarian was convicted because the statute doesn’t criminalize “predictions or exhortations to others to injure or kill the president,” said the majority opinion written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt.

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

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 21, 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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I Am Become Death, The Shatterer Of Worlds

  • A Florida computer repair business with the unfortunate name “CP Distributor” paid $240 for an ad in a coupon book that was distributed earlier this month.

    The company’s ad, seen below, touts the firm’s computer cleaning and diagnostic services. It also includes a graphic of a bear holding a laptop adjacent to the firm’s name (the “CP” is in a larger type size)

  • A well-known 1978 science fiction story, Shinichi Hoshi’s “He-y, Come On Ou-t!,” evinces a similar anxiety about nuclear power and skepticism toward the officials in charge of public safety. In Hoshi’s tale, a destructive typhoon sweeps away a small village shrine, leaving a hole “at least five thousand meters deep.” The town’s mayor allows a concessionaire to turn the hole into a dump, “perfect for the disposal of such things as waste from nuclear reactors,” dead animals “used in contagious disease experiments” and “boxes of unnecessary classified documents.”

    “The people of the village were a bit worried about this,” Hoshi writes sardonically, “but they consented when it was explained that there would be absolutely no above-ground contamination for several thousand years and that they would share in the profits.”

  • This prototype time-piece from UK-based designers James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau traps insects on flypaper stretched across its roller system before depositing them into a vat of bacteria. The ensuing chemical reaction, or “digestion,” is transformed into power that keeps the rollers rollin’ and the LCD clock ablaze.
  • The Pacific Northwest chapter of the Roman Catholic Church’s Jesuit order has agreed to pay $166 million to settle more than 500 child sexual abuse claims against priests in five states, attorneys said on Friday.
  • The bust was the result of a two-year probe launched, in part, after a “concerned individual” from the Staten Island area “made an inquiry,” said Trooper Todd Wagaman of the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Mansfield. The trooper said one of the Pennsylvania victims had also come forward at about the same time.

    Former Todt Hill resident Dr. Frank Spinelli told the Advance he is the “concerned individual” who contacted authorities.

    Dr. Spinelli claimed that Fox molested him multiple times between 1978 and 1980 while Dr. Spinelli was a Boy Scout and Fox was leader of a troop based in the borough’s Concord neighborhood.

  • The illegal immigrants donned Marine Corps camouflage uniforms and military-style buzz cuts. The license plates on their van had been switched from Mexican to U.S. government plates. If anyone asked, they were Marines traveling to March Air Reserve Base.
  • To the world she was one of the most successful American fashion models of the 1940s – but she led a secret life as a Manchurian Candidate-style agent for the US intelligence services during the Cold War. Colin Bennett analyses this tale of multiple personality, conspiracy, hypnotic mind-control and fantasy life.
  • TWO secondary schools in West Lothian are set to be forced to remove CCTV cameras from the pupil toilets after concerns were raised by parents.
  • The international community has hit Muammer Gaddafi with a raft of sanctions and asset freezes aimed at cutting off his funding. But the embattled Libyan leader is sitting on a pot of gold.

    The Libyan central bank – which is under Colonel Gaddafi’s control – holds 143.8 tonnes of gold, according to the latest data from the International Monetary Fund, although some suspect the true amount could be several tonnes higher.

  • Without Beijing even uttering a critical word, MGM is changing the villains in its ‘Red Dawn’ remake from Chinese to North Korean. It’s all about maintaining access to the Asian superpower’s lucrative box office.
  • So, the limited edition Scarface Blu-Ray will cost a thousand fucking dollars. How is that possible, you ask? Well, a) people are terrible and b) we are living in an alternate reality of a world where everything is good. So, how can a simple movie cost two months rent in, say, Pittsburgh? The set comes with a scorecard to keep tabs on the amount of times the word “fuck” is used, and the amount of bullets shot. It also comes with a copy of the 1932 original gangster film ‘Scarface’, and a humidor.
  • Highly radioactive iodine seeping from Japan’s damaged nuclear complex may be making its way into seawater farther north of the plant than previously thought, officials said Monday, adding to radiation concerns as the crisis stretches into a third week.

    Mounting problems, including badly miscalculated radiation figures and no place to store dangerously contaminated water, have stymied emergency workers struggling to cool down the overheating plant and avert a disaster with global implications.

  • A 12-year-old child prodigy has astounded university professors after grappling with some of the most advanced concepts in mathematics.

    Jacob Barnett has an IQ of 170 – higher than Albert Einstein – and is now so far advanced in his Indiana university studies that professors are lining him up for a PHD research role.

    The boy wonder, who taught himself calculus, algebra, geometry and trigonometry in a week, is now tutoring fellow college classmates after hours.

  • A 20-inch cobra slithered out of its cage in the Bronx Zoo Saturday, forcing the exhibit to close while workers searched for the venomous serpent, officials said.

    The adolescent Egyptian cobra went missing from an off-exhibit enclosure sometime in the afternoon and zookeepers quickly closed off the Reptile House, officials said.

    Workers canvassed the building, eying several closed-in spaces that the reptile would naturally be drawn to coil inside, officials said.

    The snake – native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula – was not recovered Saturday night, officials said.

    The section will remain closed to the public until it is found.

  • Latest flyover Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
  • The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Sunday that very low concentrations of radioiodine-131, likely associated with the Japan nuclear power plant event, have been detected in a rainwater sample.
  • Those who think Japan’s Fukushima disaster is today’s headlines and tomorrow’s history need to take a good look at the Chernobyl disaster, which to this day is a continuing threat to the people of Ukraine. It will be hundreds of years before the area around the destroyed reactor is inhabitable again and there are disputes over whether or not Chernobyl’s nuclear fuel still poses a threat of causing another explosion. There is also a teetering reactor core cover and the deteriorating sarcophagus itself that may collapse and send plumes of radioactive dust in all directions.

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