Science fiction

RanXerox – 80′s Italian Ultraviolent Cyberpunk AntiHero

 

 

hq-ranxerox-editora-conrad-edico-de-luxo_MLB-F-3229357352_102012

 

 

RanXerox is a science fiction graphic novel series by Stefano Tamburini and Tanino Liberatore, two Italian artists who had worked on such magazines as Cannibale and Frigidaire. Conceived as a bizarre antihero, RanXerox was a mechanical creature made from Xerox photocopier parts.

ranxerox

At first (1978, in Italian, in Cannibale) the name was “Rank Xerox“, identical to that of a joint venture between the Xerox Corporation of the U.S. and the Rank Organisation of the U.K., the latter of which manufactures and markets Xerox equipment in Europe. Due to a threatened lawsuit by Rank Xerox for using their trademarked name, Tamburini changed it to “RanXerox” (1980, also in Italian, in Frigidaire). The name “Ranx” has also been used in some cases.

ranxerox

The first time RanXerox was published in English was in the July 1983 issue ofHeavy Metal. Many more issues of Heavy Metal, as well as novels followed, featuring RanXerox (such as “RanXerox in America”). The artist uses Pantone pens to create his unique style of art.

RanXerox Heavy Metal

Richard Corben said about the character:

RanXerox is a punk, futuristic Frankenstein monster, and with the under-aged Lubna, they are a bizarre Beauty and the Beast. This artist and writer team have turned a dark mirror to the depths of our Id and we see reflected the base part of ourselves that would take what it wants with no compromise, no apology – and woe to the person who would cross us. But it is all done with a black, wry, satirical sense of humor.

ranxerox

Tanino Liberatore also created the artwork for the Frank Zappa album The Man from Utopia; the image of Zappa on the cover bears a strong resemblance to RanXerox.

The_Man_From_Utopia

Ranxerox 1 by grotovski

Ranxerox 2 by grotovski

File under Arts 'n Crafts, Blast From The Past, Influences, Punksploitation, SeMeN SPeRmS Approved, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, Sex

200 Million + People Using Illicit Drugs Worldwide

✖ 200 Million People Use Illicit Drugs, Study Finds
Roughly 200 million people worldwide use illicit drugs such as marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine and opioids each year, according to a new study. The figure represents about one in 20 people between the ages of 15 and 64. Using a review of published studies, Australian researchers estimated that as many as 203 million people use marijuana, 56 million people use amphetamines including meth, 21 million people use cocaine and 21 million people use opioids like heroin. The use of all four drug classes was highest in developed countries. …The 200 million number does not include people who use ecstasy, hallucinogenic drugs, inhalants, benzodiazepines or anabolic steroids — just one reason it’s likely a vast underestimate of illicit drug use, according to lead author Louisa Degenhardt of the Sydney-based National Drug and Alcohol Research Center.
✖ Vancouver running out of free crackpipes
He said PHS, which runs InSite, has distributed monthly highs of 20,000 pipes through its own needle and pipe distribution program. The 3,000 pipes PHS received from VCH in December were exhausted in three days. “At the beginning of the study, we expressed our concerns that (the pipe supply) is a tiny number … but we were told the number’s staying the same,” Townsend said. “To meet the demand we would need around 1,000 per day.”
✖ Newt Gingrich To New Hampshire: Jefferson, Washington Would Have Cracked Down On Pot
During a town hall-style appearance in Concord, the former House Speaker said he had no interest in exploring drug decriminalization, arguing that such efforts haven’t worked in Europe. Contra Gingrich, however, Portugal has had some success with decriminalization initiatives. Pushed a bit later on the incarceration rate related to petty drug crimes, Gingrich responded, “I think the best thing is to get young people not to do drugs and then you won’t be dealing with criminals that you just described.” A third resident of the “live free or die” state argued that the founding fathers had been far more lenient about marijuana than the current political class. “I think Jefferson or George Washington would have rather strongly discouraged you from growing marijuana and their techniques with dealing with it would have been rather more violent than our current government,” Gingrich replied.
✖ Chivas Scotch Heroin Bottles Bust At Newark Airport
We hope he drank the scotch before adding the H! On New Year’s Eve customs officials stopped Miami man Wilfer Bohorquez Rojo, 53, as he allegedly tried to smuggle 25 pounds of heroin from Medillin, Colombia, to Newark Airport. At first authorities just thought he had smuggled the drugs in “packages of plastic flags and between glued photographs” but further inspection found he’d filled four Chivas Royal Salute scotch bottles with “packages of a substance that also tested positive for heroin, according to the agency.” After the discovery of the drugs—estimated by authorities to be worth at least $700,000—Rojo was turned over to authorities and now faces federal narcotics smuggling charges.
✖ Purdue: Block Disclosure Of OxyContin Documents
A long-simmering court battle over a trove of OxyContin documents has finally won the attention of Purdue Pharma. The drugmaker is belatedly seeking to intervene in a 2008 lawsuit in a Massachusetts state court, where an attempt is being made to force the state attorney general to release documents that were used to prosecute Purdue and three current and former execs several years ago. At issue are countless documents that were compiled by the US Department of Justice, which charged Purdue and the execs with misbranding – they facilitated improper use of the drug and misled patients, regulators and doctors about addictive risks. All totaled, $634 million in fines were paid, and the execs were barred from doing business with federal healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid
✖ Ron Paul: Drug War Could Be Bigger Failure Than Prohibition (VIDEO)
“This war on drugs has been a detriment to personal liberty and it’s been a real abuse of liberty,” Paul said. “Our prisons are full with people who have used drugs who should be treated as patients — and they’re non-violent. Someday we’re gonna awake and find out that the prohibition we are following right now with drugs is no more successful, maybe a lot less successful, than the prohibition of alcohol was in the ’20s.”
✖ Man wants rehab over Diet Cola 42 litres a week addiction
Darren Jones wants to check himself into rehab – to cure a bizarre addiction to Diet Cola. Darren, 38, knocks back 42 litres of the drink every week. Now the 35 stone father of two is vowing to get treatment for his £100 a week habit to get fit again and save his relationship with 33-year old mother of two Paula Mullen. Darren, of Stockport, Greater Manchester, said: “I believe what I have is an actual addiction and I start to worry if I’m getting near the end of the bottle. “If I can’t get in touch with Paula to get me some more I start to panic – it’s like a drug or alcohol addiction. “I called up Diet Coke to ask them if it’s addictive and what I should do and she recommended putting water in it to dilute it, but it would taste horrid and I don’t think it would help. “We joke that I should get one of those hats with bottles either side of my head and straws straight into my mouth so I can drink it all the time. It’s like gold, it’s my fuel.”
✖ Why Ron Paul Is Right And Barack Obama Is Wrong About Iran
Obama also argues that he opposes Iran’s nukes because of proliferation in the region. At which point one must loudly cough “Ahem.” Only one country in the region has illegally, in defiance of internatinal law and the NPT and US policy, has nuclear weapons and it’s Israel, not any Arab state. More absurdly, the US government has a formal policy of never acknowledging this fact. At one point in the not-so-distant past, the US government was committed to the view that Iraq had nukes but Israel didn’t. When will the US evolve a sane policy in the Middle East? One that advances our interests, avoids a catastrophic global religious war, and bases it judgment on history and statecraft rather than religion and a US-Israel alliance that, since the end of the Cold War, has become increasingly unhealthy to both parties? Less Kennedy, more Eisenhower, please.
✖ Judge: Black church rightful owner of KKK store
After a lengthy legal battle between a black South Carolina church and members of the Ku Klux Klan, a judge has ruled that the church owns a building where KKK robes and T-shirts are sold. A circuit judge ruled last month that New Beginnings Baptist Church is the rightful owner of the building that houses the Redneck Shop, which operates a so-called Klan museum and sells Klan robes and T-shirts emblazoned with racial slurs. The judge ordered the shop’s proprietor to pay the church’s legal bills of more than $3,300.
✖ No easy way to dissolve mouse in Mountain Dew
A man in the U.S. is suing Pepsi Co. over a mouse allegedly found in a can of Mountain Dew, a claim the company rejects by saying the acid in the beverage would disintegrate the animal’s body. However, that reasoning doesn’t hold water with Canadian food experts. “There would not be enough acid in the matrix of the can to actually start causing those physical changes to the mouse,” says Massimo Marcone, an associate professor of food science at the University of Guelph. “The mouse would start to spoil; there would not be enough acid to preserve the mouse. It would start to smell bad. But to say that the mouse would actually dissolve in about 300 millilitres of soft drink, it’s pretty hard.”
✖ Free Philip K. Dick: Download 11 Great Science Fiction Stories
Although he died when he was only 53 years old, Philip K. Dick (1928 – 1982) published 44 novels and 121 short stories during his lifetime and solidified his position as arguably the most literary of science fiction writers. His novel Ubik appears on TIME magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels, and Dick is the only science fiction writer to get honored in the prestigious Library of America series, a kind of pantheon of American literature. If you’re not intimately familiar with his novels, then you assuredly know major films based on Dick’s work – Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly and Minority Report. Today, we bring you another way to get acquainted with his writing. We’re presenting a selection of Dick’s stories available for free on the web. Below we have culled together 11 short stories from our collection of Free eBooks and Free Audio Books.
✖ Time Cheers the Drone War
The new issue of  Time magazine promises on its cover “Essential Info for the Year Ahead.” One apparently essential report: U.S. drones are awesome. The report–written by Mark Thompson, available to subscribers only explains that a “hot military trend” this way: Today’s generals and admirals want weapons that are smaller, remote-controlled and bristling with intelligence. In short, more drones that can tightly target terrorists, deliver larger payloads and are some of the best spies the U.S. has ever produced, even if they occasionally get captured in Iran or crash on landing at secret bases. And also, you know, kill innocent civilians.
✖ Alejandro Jodorowsky Needs Your Support To Create The Autobiographical DANZA DE LA REALIDAD
Alejandro Jodorowsky – the legendary cult filmmaker behind Santa Sangre, El Topo and The Holy Mountain – needs your help. After years trying to raise funding for big new projects King Shot and Son Of El Topo, Jodorowsky is moving on to something more personal: Danza De La Realidad, an autobiographical picture based on his own childhood and teenaged years. Having had no luck with conventional film financing methods in recent years, Jodorowsky is taking this one to the streets and trying the crowd funding method. Put a hundred dollars into the film and you’ll receive a special cut of the finished movie on DVD.
✖ YOUR KID’S ON DRUGS [Video]
✖ Sea Shepherd Intercepts the Japanese Whaling Fleet with Drones
The Sea Shepherd crew has intercepted the Japanese whaling fleet on Christmas Day, a thousand miles north of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The Sea Shepherd ship, Steve Irwin, deployed a drone to successfully locate and photograph the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru on December 24th. Once the pursuit began, three Japanese harpoon/security ships moved in on the Steve Irwin to shield the Nisshin Maru to allow it to escape. This time however the Japanese tactic of tailing the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker will not work because the drones, one on the Steve Irwin and the other on the Bob Barker, can track and follow the Nisshin Maru and can relay the positions back to the Sea Shepherd ships. “We can cover hundreds of miles with these drones and they have proven to be valuable assets for this campaign,” said Captain Paul Watson on board the Steve Irwin.
✖ ‘Supersoldier’ ants with gigantic jaws
Nightmarish ‘supersoldier’ ants with huge heads and jaws have been created by activating ancient genes. Scientists believe the monster ants may be a genetic throwback to an ancestor that lived millions of years ago. Scientists say they can create the supersoldiers at will by dabbing normal ant larvae with a special hormone – the larvae then develop into supersoldiers rather than normal soldier or worker ants.
✖ ACLU sues library for blocking Wiccan websites
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Eastern Missouri sued a local public library on Tuesday for allegedly blocking websites related to Wicca, a modern pagan religion. Anaka Hunter of Salem, Mo., said she tried to access websites about Wicca, Native American religions and astrology for her own research, but the library’s filtering software blocked the sites.  According to the ACLU, the software labeled the sites as “occult” and “criminal.”
✖ Psychedelic Heroin: Grey Lodge Archives
I recently tracked down the pdf’s for nearly all of the issues of the now-deceased counterculture online zine Grey Lodge Occult Review. The site was taken down due to “legal threats and religious hackers”. To see the table of contents for the issues visit the Wayback Machine here. Along with the rabbit hole that is Deoxy, this was one of my formative sanctuaries for all things mindfuckery.
✖ Forget Stocks Or Bonds, Invest In A Lobbyist
In a recent study, researchers Raquel Alexander and Susan Scholz calculated the total amount the corporations saved from the lower tax rate. They compared the taxes saved to the amount the firms spent lobbying for the law. Their research showed the return on lobbying for those multinational corporations was 22,000 percent. That means for every dollar spent on lobbying, the companies got $220 in tax benefits.
✖ Excavator on Rooftop of 12-Story Building in Taiyuan
Shanxi province Taiyuan city Wanbailin district Yingze West Street, an excavator operates on the rooftop of the Shanxi Science and Technology Hotel, causing surrounding city residents both surprise and concern.
✖ US ‘space warplane’ may be spying on Chinese spacelab
The US Air Force’s second mysterious mini-space shuttle, the X-37B, could be spying on China’s space laboratory and the first piece of its space station, Tiangong-1. Amateur space trackers told the British Interplanetary Society publication Spaceflight that the black-funded spaceplane seemed to be orbiting the Earth in tandem with Tiangong_1, or the Heavenly Palace, leading the magazine to speculate that its unknown mission is to spy on it. “Space-to-space surveillance is a whole new ball game made possible by a finessed group of sensors and sensor suites, which we think the X-37B may be using to maintain a close watch on China’s nascent space station,” Spaceflight editor Dr David Baker told the BBC.
✖ NOT SATIRE: L.A. Tells Arrested OWS Protesters They Can Pay for “Free Speech” Classes to Avoid Court
Incredibly, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office is offering Occupy L.A. protesters arrested in recent weeks the opportunity to pay $355 for private free speech classes to avoid their court dates. As reported in the Los Angeles Times: Los Angeles Chief Deputy City Atty. William Carter said the city won’t press charges against protesters who complete the educational program offered by American Justice Associates. … Carter said the free-speech class will save the city money and teach protesters the nuances of the law. “The 1st Amendment is not absolute,” he said, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled government can regulate when, where and how free speech can be exercised. As a civil rights attorney working with some of the approximately 350 protesters who have been arrested in recent weeks noted, the offer is nothing short of “patronizing.”
✖ Toddlers and Tiaras mothers DOPING their daughters with drinks spiked with ‘pageant crack’?
No brand names are mentioned on the show, but many have speculated that the drink is Mountain Dew, a caffeinated soft drink. Others believe it even contains alcohol. Mrs Holler is filmed instructing Alana to take ‘two big gulps’ from an unlabelled drinks bottle. Within seconds the change is apparent. ‘A lot of pageant moms and people know what the special juice is – everybody has their different concoctions. Special juice is to help energise her’ The young pageant contestant starts rapidly swinging her arms over her head and spinning around on the floor, exclaiming: ‘My go-go juice is kicking in right now!’ After her drink fix, Alana takes to the stage in a plaid shirt displaying inches of stomach to perform a routine, inspired by sex symbol Daisy Duke. Describing how the drink makes her feel, she says smiling: ‘Go-go juice makes me laughy, and play-ey, and makes me feel like I want to pull my mommy’s hair.’
✖ Polar challenge: How do you cycle to the South Pole?
Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton is hoping to become the first person to use a bike to reach the South Pole. She is attempting to travel 500 miles (805km) across Antarctica and will cycle for large parts of it, as well as snowkiting and walking. She hopes to complete the trek for Sport Relief in 20 days. At this time of year, the average temperature in Antarctica is -25C, but can drop to -50C. Severe coastal winds come from cold air flowing down off the interior ice sheet. Wind speeds can reach up to 125mph (201km/h) and average about 80mph. In addition, she will be dragging 12.9st (82kg) of equipment and supplies behind her on a sledge. It’s no average ride and she is not using your average bike. The specially-built Hanebrink “ice bike” took designers in Los Angeles three months to finish. Dan Hanebrink and Kane Fortune have been building all-terrain hybrid bikes that can be used in all environments for many years.
✖ Rick Santorum is coming for your birth control
Here is an actual Rick Santorum quote: “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.” And also, “Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”
✖ With all eyes on their ears, lobe stretchers snip
Some plastic surgeons are reporting an increase in younger clients, specifically those who are ready to undo a generational fashion statement that has left a lot of self-conscious people with a lot of sagging earlobe. Dr. David Kahn, who performed Tidwell’s surgery, was blunt in his assessment of his client’s condition. “It was unsightly, a distortion that needed to be overcome.”
✖ Miracle ‘chimeric’ monkeys made from cells of six animals spark protests
They may look like any other baby monkeys, but these two are scientific breakthroughs.   Roku and Hex are the world’s first chimeric monkeys – created with genetic material from six ‘parents’. But their birth has caused an ethical storm, with critics accusing scientists of disregarding the welfare of the animals.
✖ SOPA-Supporting News Outlets Aren’t Covering SOPA [STUDY]
MSNBC, Fox News, ABC, CBS and NBC have dedicated no time to covering the Stop Online Piracy Act in their evening newscasts since Oct. 1, according to a report by Ben Dimiero of Media Matters For America. CNN, meanwhile, has dedicated a single evening news segment to the issue. All of the companies covered in the report have either publicly supported SOPA or have parent companies that have done so. Dimiero based his report on Lexis-Nexis searches which includes transcripts of nighttime newscasts. Comcast/NBCUniversal (which owns MSNBC and NBC News), Viacom (CBS), News Corporation (Fox News), Time Warner (CNN) and Disney (ABC) are all listed as supporters of the bill. ABC and CBS are also listed as separate supporters of the bill.
✖ Japan plans futuristic farm with robot workers in disaster zone
Japan is planning a futuristic farm where robots do the lifting in an experimental project on land swamped by the March tsunami. Under an agriculture ministry plan, unmanned tractors will work fields where pesticides will have been replaced by LEDs keeping rice, wheat, soybeans, fruit and vegetables safe until robots can put them in boxes. Carbon dioxide produced by machinery working on the up to 250-hectare site will be channeled back to crops to boost their growth and reduce reliance on chemical fertilizers, the Nikkei newspaper said this week. The agricultural ministry will begin on-site research later this year with a plan to spend around 4 billion yen over the next six years, a ministry official said. Land in Miyagi Prefecture, some 300 kilometers north of Tokyo, which was flooded by seawater on March 11, has been earmarked for the so-called “Dream Project.”
✖ Newt Gingrich: ‘African-American Community Should Demand Paychecks And Not Be Satisfied With Food Stamps’
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Thursday he is willing to go before the NAACP and urge blacks to demand paychecks, not food stamps. Gingrich told a town hall meeting at a senior center in Plymouth, N.H., that if the NAACP invites him to its annual convention this year, he’d go there and talk about “why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” He also said he’d pitch a new Social Security program aimed at helping young people, particularly African-American males, who he said get the smallest return on Social Security.
✖ Pentagon-backed ‘time cloak’ stops the clock
The researchers created what they call a time lens, which can manipulate and focus signals in time, analogous to the way a glass lens focuses light in space. They use a technique called four-wave mixing, in which two beams of light, a “signal” and a “pump,” are sent together through an optical fiber. The two beams interact and change the wavelength of the signal. To begin creating a time gap, the researchers first bump the wavelength of the signal up, then by flipping the wavelength of the pump beam, bump it down.
✖ Pro skater with a love of God and psychedelic drugs goes on rampage inside Midtown hotel
A pro skateboarder with a passion for God and psychedelic drugs was arrested Thursday after he went on a drug-fueled rampage inside a Midtown hotel wearing only his birthday suit, cops said. Jereme Rogers, 26, was high on angel dust when he ran naked out of his room at the Afinia Shelburne hotel and started tearing down framed pictures lining an 11th floor hallway, sources said. “It was a rampage,” said a witness who declined to give her name. “He was screaming. We didn’t even know what he was doing. He was incoherent and belligerent.” Rogers, a heavily-tattooed Californian who has appeared in several X Games and says his skills come from God, was taken to Bellevue Hospital. He was charged with criminal mischief and unlawful possession of marijuana, cops said.
✖ DHS Training excercise startles locals
With their blue and white SUVs circled around the Main Street office, at least one official was posted on the door with a semiautomatic rifle, randomly checking identifications. And other officers, some with K-9s, sifted through the building. “I thought someone was upset about not getting there check,” said Laura Kelly, who took a friend to the office on Tuesday. According to one Homeland official in the Washington, D.C. office, Operation Shield. is an effort that uses routine, unannounced visits by FPS inspectors to test the effectiveness of contract guards, or protective security officers — “detecting the presence of unauthorized persons and potentially disruptive or dangerous activities.”
✖ Panda caught eating meat on camera [Video]
A wild panda is caught on surveillance camera eating a dead gnu in south-west China. An analyst says the bamboo-loving animals were predators millions of years ago. Although classified as carnivores, giant pandas mainly live on bamboo, but eat other foods including honey, eggs, fish, oranges and bananas when they are available

 

 

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

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on January 7, 2012

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Seventies Sidewalk Surfin’

► Scientists grow sperm in laboratory dish
The development opens up the possibility of infertile men being able to father their own children rather than using donor sperm. Researchers in Germany and Israel were able to grow mouse sperm from a few cells in a laboratory dish. In a world first a team headed by Professor Stefan Schlatt, at Muenster University in Germany, were able to grow sperm by using germ cells. These are the cells in testicles that are responsible for sperm production. Scientists grew the sperm by surrounding the germ cells in a special compound called agar jelly to create an environment similar to that found in testicles.
► How to fake the pledge of allegiance
“I pledge a lesson to queen’s frag and her United States of Hysteria, and to the wee puppet for witch’s hands. One Asian, under dog, invisible, with little tea and just rice for all.”
► Worlds earliest toy car and title deed on show at Mardin Museum
Archaeologist Mesut Alp said that the toy car, which is made out of stone, dates back to the late Stone Age and is thought to be 7,500 years old. The Culture and Tourism Director of Mardin, Davut Beliktay, said that the car is like a copy of cars today, adding that in its shape, the ancient toy also resembles a tractor. Beliktay also revealed that toy dolls and whistles, also made of stone, were found at sites in the area, “we believe that the whistles and dolls are 5,000 to 6,000 years old. The whistles are still in working condition,” he said.
► Death of man struck by train leads to bizarre civil case
Ruling in what it called a “tragically bizarre” case, an appeals court found that the estate of a man killed by a train while crossing the Edgebrook Metra station tracks can be held liable after a part of his body sent airborne by the collision struck and injured a bystander. In 2008, Hiroyuki Joho, 18, was hurrying in pouring rain with an umbrella over his head, trying to catch an inbound Metra train due to arrive in about five minutes when he was struck by a southbound Amtrak train traveling more than 70 mph. A large portion of his body was thrown about 100 feet on to the southbound platform, where it struck Gayane Zokhrabov, then 58, who was waiting to catch the 8:17 a.m. train to work. She was knocked to the ground, her leg and wrist broken and her shoulder injured.
► Gary Webb’s Drug War Reporting Vindicated
Douglas Farah was in El Salvador when the San Jose Mercury News broke a major story in the summer of 1996: The Nicaraguan Contras, a confederation of paramilitary rebels sponsored by the CIA, had been funding some of their operations by exporting cocaine to the United States. One of their best customers was a man nicknamed “Freeway Rick” — Ricky Donnell Ross, then a Southern California dealer who was running an operation the Los Angeles Times dubbed “the Wal-Mart of crack dealing.”
► New Year’s Resolution: Full Disk Encryption on Every Computer You Own
The New Year is upon us, and you might be partaking in the tradition of making a resolution for the coming year. This year, why not make a resolution to protect your data privacy with one of the most powerful tools available? Commit to full disk encryption on each of your computers. Many of us now have private information on our computers: personal records, business data, e-mails, web history, or information we have about our friends, family, or colleagues.  Encryption is a great way to ensure that your data will remain safe when you travel or if your laptop is lost or stolen. Best of all, it’s free. So don’t put off taking security steps that can help protect your private data. Join EFF in resolving to encrypt your disks 2012. Here’s some basic info about full disk encryption. You can read this and much more (including information on password security) in our recent whitepaper on protecting privacy at the border.
► The Perfect Score: Cheating on the SAT
For Sam Eshaghoff, getting a high score on the SAT college admissions exam was more than a point of pride. It was a lucrative business. As Alison Stewart reports, other students paid Eshaghoff up to $2,500 each to take their tests using easily manufactured fake IDs. His scam came crashing down in fall 2011, when he was arrested for criminal impersonation and fraud. Eshaghoff has since accepted a plea deal, but the case still raises major questions about the integrity of the test itself.
► Bad Teachers: Weird Education Crimes of 2011
Gang Bang Teacher: Cops Say She Had Sex With Five Students & Filmed It. Science Teacher Accused of Sex With 17-Year-Old Student. Caught in the Act: Cops Say Teacher Seen Having Sex With Student. Biology Teacher Accused of Sexy Lesson. Bad Teacher: Police Say Substitute Urinated in Front of Class. Cops: Teacher Caught Doing It With ‘Love Doll’ on School Property.
► Russian officials rattled by breach at rocket plant
Russia’s deputy prime minister vowed Thursday to punish “sleepy” security officials after bloggers posted dozens of photos of an apparently unguarded strategic military rocket motor factory near Moscow. Blogger Lana Sator said she and friends met not a soul, much less any security guards, as they roamed around state rocket-maker Energomash’s plant, snapping pictures, on five separate night-time excursions in recent months. She posted almost 100 pictures of decrepit-looking hardware from inside a rusted engine-fuel testing tower, the plant’s control room and even its roof at lana-sator.livejournal.com
► Facebook Responsible for A Third of Divorces in UK?
A recent survey conducted by a UK based divorce website disclosed that 33 per cent behaviour divorce petitions filed cite Facebook as a cause for filling for divorce in 2011. In 2009 this figure was 20 per cent. 5000 people were surveyed by Divorce-Online, the UK divorce website, during 2009 and 2011 covering Facebook as a means to check behaviour of spouse with the opposite sex and spouses using the social networking platform to comment about their exes post the separation.
► Faking It: How the Media Manipulates the World into War
As the drums of war begin to beat once again in Iran, Syria, the South China Sea, and other potential hotspots and flashpoints around the globe, concerned citizens are asking how a world so sick of bloodshed and a population so tired of conflict could be led to this spot once again. To understand this seeming paradox, we must first understand the centuries-long history of how media has been used to whip the nation into wartime frenzy, dehumanize the supposed enemies, and even to manipulate the public into believing in causes for war that, decades later, were admitted to be completely fictitious.
► U.S. double standard surfaces in Strait of Hormuz
What was truly comical was the manner in which numerous U.S. military pundits magnified the actual threat the primitive Iranian navy poses. Contrary to those gross exaggerations, the fact is that the most serious threat in Iran’s maritime arsenal is its three small, aging, Soviet-era Kilo-class submarines. It is believed that at best, only two of the vessels are even still seaworthy, and the shallow, narrow Strait of Hormuz would preclude the effective use of any submarines. As for its surface fleet, Iran does possess a few fast missile patrol boats and an additional ad hoc flotilla of designated suicide attack boats. The majority of these craft are little more than rigid-hulled inflatables mounted with a variety of light machine-guns, packed with explosives and crewed by militia zealots. Opposing this cockleshell Flintstones navy is the mighty U.S. Fifth Fleet. Consisting of more than 20 warships, including aircraft carriers and missile cruisers
► Lego Concentration Camp
“Each box contains a set of bricks, that can be used to build the element of a concentration camp as shown on the box. All elements in the sets as well as those depicted on the boxes have either been taken from the mass-produced sets of LEGO bricks, or have been slightly altered by the artist. The prisoners are played by smiling skeletons from the “Pirate” set, while slightly modified figurines from the “Police Station” set appear as tormenters. In the upper-left corner of each box we find the following statement: “This work by Zbigniew Libera has been sponsored by Lego” – as the project was made possible thanks to the bricks presented by the polish department of the Danish company. Upon its presentation in Denmark, LEGO headquarters has launched legal complaints against the artist, however as a result of a fierce press campaign it has decided to drop the lawsuit. The controversies concerning Libera’s LEGO also appeared in Poland, yet those where of a somewhat different character.
► This is What Happens When You Give Thousands of Stickers to Thousands of Kids
This December, in a surprisingly simple yet ridiculously amazing installation for the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, artist Yayoi Kusama constructed a large domestic environment, painting every wall, chair, table, piano, and household decoration a brilliant white, effectively serving as a giant white canvas. Over the course of two weeks, the museum’s smallest visitors were given thousands upon thousands of colored dot stickers and were invited to collaborate in the transformation of the space, turning the house into a vibrantly mottled explosion of color. How great is this? Given the opportunity my son could probably cover the entire piano alone in about fifteen minutes. The installation, entitled The Obliteration Room, is part of Kusama’s Look Now, See Forever exhibition that runs through March 12.
► DARPA’s New Spy Satellite Could Provide Real-Time Video From Anywhere on Earth
“It sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake” could be the theme song for a new spy satellite being developed by DARPA. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s latest proof-of-concept project is called the Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE), and would provide real-time images and video of any place on Earth at any time — a capability that, so far, only exists in the realm of movies and science fiction. The details of this huge eye-in-the-sky look like something right out of science fiction, as well, and it would be interesting to determine if it could have applications for astronomy as well.
► Skateboard Songs Of The 70′s
“Skateboard” (as it is known in Brazil) is a sport that has emerged in the late 50 invented by surfers as a hobby in times of low tide. With the passage of time was the sportive will gain new fans and winning characteristics. In the mean time (years 50 and 60) there were a few musical recordings exploring the theme of skateboarding, such as “Skatebordin ‘Pt 1 & Pt 2″ dual “Jan & Dean.” But the boom of skateboarding was only to give even in the late ’70s, when the sport received a veritable flood of newcomers, and soon to greatly increase the number of songs exploring this new market of skaters. The recordings ranging from power pop, bubble gum, glam, disco, funk or any musical style that could match the atmosphere that the young skate ever breathed, with a strong influence of surf music, especially the Beach Boys.

 

 

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Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on January 3, 2012

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Leave Some Meth Out For Santa

✪ Mississippi mayor’s gay sex shop purchase billed to city
Receipts show Southaven Mayor Greg Davis, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2008 on a family-values platform, charged the city $67 for a purchase at a gay sex shop in Canada.
✪ Mysterious “white web” found growing on nuclear waste
This is as fascinating as it is unsettling. Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site — a nuclear reservation in South Carolina — have identified a strange, cob-web like “growth” (their word, not ours) on the racks of the facility’s spent nuclear fuel assemblies. According to a report filed by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, “the growth, which resembles a spider web, has yet to be characterized, but may be biological in nature.” The Augusta Chronicle reported today that the “white, string-like” material was discovered amidst thousands of the spent fuel assemblies, which are submerged in deep nuclear storage pools within SRS’s L Area Complex.
✪ Poor-quality pot keeps grower out of prison
Despite being caught with enough home-grown cannabis to warrant a prison sentence, a man in western Sweden escaped with probation and a 500 kronor ($75) fine because the drugs were of such poor quality.
✪ Sniffer dogs get it wrong four out of five times
A RECORD 80 per cent of sniffer dog searches for drugs resulted in ”false positives” this year, figures show. The figures obtained from the state government in response to parliamentary questions on notice show 14,102 searches were conducted after a dog sat next to a person, indicating they might be carrying drugs. But, in 11,248 cases, no drugs were found. Only 2854 searches – 20 per cent – in the first nine months of this year, resulted in drugs being found, the figures show. Advertisement: Story continues below Last year, of the 15,779 searches conducted after police-dog identification, no drugs were found in 11,694 cases. Drugs were found in 4085 cases, resulting in a ”false positive” rate of 74 per cent, said the Greens MP David Shoebridge, who obtained the figures.
✪ Heroin found in UK National Archives file
A sealed package containing heroin was found in an 80-year-old Foreign Office file at the National Archives, its managers have said. The Class A drug was filed with a document from the British Consulate in Cairo about a 1928 court case. The off-white powder, discovered by a member of the public who asked to see the file, was sent for analysis. And having been confirmed as heroin, the substance was handed over to the Metropolitan Police. The pouch – which contained less than a gram of heroin in 19 sachets – has been replaced with a photo and the file is now back on public display.
✪ Tons Of Punk Videos Were Yanked Off YouTube: Here’s What Happened
On Wednesday morning, several punk bands awoke to find their videos had been removed from YouTube. They were understandably irritated; that’s almost worse than running out of beer. In their places were notes that they’d been yanked due to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaints lodged by SST Records — the legendary label founded by Black Flag’s Greg Ginn, formerly based in Los Angeles but now in Austin. The allegation? That these videos were using unauthorized SST music. But that was not so. In fact, in the case of bands like L.A.’s The Adolescents and Austin’s The Lower Class Brats — two groups whose videos were pulled — their music has nothing to do with SST at all. They’ve never been on the label, and they certainly weren’t pilfering the imprint’s music. Immediately, then, animosity raged against Ginn. Various Internet forums teemed with allegations that he was on some sort of rampage, or had sold out and wasn’t punk.
✪ New strain of lab mice mimics human alcohol consumption patterns
A line of laboratory mice developed by a researcher from the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) drinks more alcohol than other animal models and consumes it in a fashion similar to humans: choosing alcohol over other options and binge drinking. Animal models previously available to alcohol abuse and alcoholism researchers do not get as drunk as the new strain, unless alcohol is the only choice of fluids, or alcohol is administered by the experimenter. When given the option, previously bred mouse lines continue to drink water even when they can select alcohol.
✪ Marijuana For Sale, With Free Samples
On Saturday, Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputy on patrol in the Fernbridge area saw a vehicle parked near the Renner Gas Station with signs posted on it advertising “Marijuana for sale, with free samples.” The deputy drove up in his patrol car and asked the female associated with the vehicle, identified as Tami Lorraine Madison, 40 years from Butte, Montana if this was true. She told the deputy it was a joke. The deputy looked in her vehicle and saw dried marijuana bud in plain sight on the vehicles front passenger seat.
✪ Cocaine is losing its dubious status as drug of choice
Once the glitterati’s drug of choice, cocaine appears to have become a has-been drug, forcing drug cartels enriched from trafficking the white powder to find new markets and diversify their illicit products. Between 2006 and 2010, domestic cocaine use declined 37 percent, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. That’s no blip on the screen.
✪ World’s Douchiest DJs: The Top Five
Finding a douchey DJ is about as easy as finding an Ed Hardy t-shirt in Vegas on a Saturday night. Still, we strive for accuracy at LA Weekly, and we’ve gone through the list of top global spinners with a fine-tooth comb to bring you this revelatory Top 5 of supremely douchey spinners.
✪ Anti-fascists brick up Neo-Nazi politician’s front door
The front door was neatly walled in overnight, and sealed with a poster reading, “House arrest for Nazis.” An antifascist spokeswoman said the action was a symbolic attempt to stop him leaving the house.
✪ Hip-Hop Record Cover Tributes
✪ Drone-Ethics Briefing: What a Leading Robot Expert Told the CIA
Robots are replacing humans on the battlefield–but could they also be used to interrogate and torture suspects? This would avoid a serious ethical conflict between physicians’ duty to do no harm, or nonmaleficence, and their questionable role in monitoring vital signs and health of the interrogated. A robot, on the other hand, wouldn’t be bound by the Hippocratic oath, though its very existence creates new dilemmas of its own.
✪ Social Media Reduce Allure of High School Reunions
“Social networking has robbed us of our nostalgia,” said Michael Fox, who attended his 20-year high school reunion in November at a bar in Larchmont, N.Y. Mr. Fox, a New Rochelle High School graduate who lives in Midtown, said he attended his reunion to see the adult version of his classmates. But he was disappointed to find there was little he didn’t already know because of Facebook. “Even as a borderline user of social networking, I have a pretty good grasp of where people are, what they do, their family life, etc.,” he said. “So a lot of the mystery of the traditional reunion was missing.” Add high school reunions to the list of cultural familiarities forever altered by our hyperconnected lifestyle. Like camping out for concert tickets and plots that hinge on missed phone calls, the classic notion of the reunion, solidified by movies like “Peggy Sue Got Married” and “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,” is becoming as old-fashioned as oversize Benetton sweaters.
✪ Could Domestic Surveillance Drones Spur Tougher Privacy Laws?
Have you ever been spied on by a surveillance drone? No? Are you sure? Maybe it looked like a hummingbird. Or an insect. Or maybe it was just really high up. Maybe there’s one looking in your window right now, and if so, there’s no law that says it shouldn’t. In a recent article in the Stanford Law Review, Ryan Calo discusses how domestic surveillance drones would fit into the current legal definitions of privacy (and violations thereof), and how these issues could inform the future of privacy policy. The nutshell? Surveillance robots have the potential to fundamentally degrade privacy to such an extent that they could serve as a catalyst for reform.
✪ Facebook is suing Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook is suing Mark Zuckerberg. No, I’m not talking about Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. I’m talking about Rotem Guez, an Israeli entrepreneur who reportedly changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg after Facebook hit him with a lawsuit. “If you want to sue me, you’re going to have to sue Mark Zuckerberg,” Guez reportedly told Facebook. Talk about a publicity stunt.
✪ Russia Ramps Up New ‘Satan’ Nuke After U.S. Talks Breakdown
This new intercontinental ballistic missile, nicknamed “Satan” by Western analysts, will sport a 100-ton warhead and replace the Voevoda-class missile in the Russian nuclear arsenal, according to recent news reports. This massive ICBM will take its place alongside the Yars, Topol-M and Bulava-class ballistic missiles sometime in 2015, according to Sergei Karakaev, head of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces. Development of the new ICBM will coincide with plans to revamp the country’s missile silo complexes over the next decade, Karakaev told Russian media. Moscow’s decision to accelerate work on the new “Satan”-class ICBM was directly tied to recently failed missile defense negotiations between Russia and the United States.
✪ 14,000 U.S. Deaths Tied to Fukushima Reactor Disaster Fallout
Impact Seen As Roughly Comparable to Radiation-Related Deaths After Chernobyl; Infants Are Hardest Hit, With Continuing Research Showing Even Higher Possible Death Count. An estimated 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan, according to a major new article in the December 2011 edition of the International Journal of Health Services. This is the first peer-reviewed study published in a medical journal documenting the health hazards of Fukushima.Authors Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman note that their estimate of 14,000 excess U.S. deaths in the 14 weeks after the Fukushima meltdowns is comparable to the 16,500 excess deaths in the 17 weeks after the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986.
✪ Future Riot Shields Will Suffocate Protestors with Low Frequency Speakers
It’s not the first crowd control tool to use sound waves, but Raytheon’s patent for a new type of riot shield that produces low frequency sound waves to disrupt the respiratory tract and hinder breathing, sounds a little scary. Crowd control tools like the LRAD Sound Cannon emit bursts of loud and annoying sounds that can induce headaches and nausea. But Raytheon’s non-lethal pressure shield creates a pulsed pressure wave that resonates the upper respiratory tract of a human, hindering breathing and eventually incapacitating the target. The patent points out that the sound waves being generated are actually not that powerful, so while protestors might collapse from a lack of oxygen reaching their brains, their eardrums won’t be damaged in the process. Phew!
✪ TSA screenings aren’t just for airports anymore
Roving security teams increasingly visit train stations, subways and other mass transit sites to deter terrorism. Critics say it’s largely political theater.
✪ ‘Mind Control’ Possible in 5 Years: IBM
As part of IBM’s “5 in 5″ forecasts of predictions, the company says that “minding reading” (more like mind control) will no longer be a science fiction dream and that within five years, we’ll all be controlling our computers and smartphones by just wiggling our brains. While Apple focuses on speech technology with Siri, IBM believes the next revolution will involve our brains. To tackle and make mind control a reality, we’d all need to wear something like Emotiv’s EPOC neuroheadset that’s equipped with sensors that read electrical brain signals. According to IBM Research News “the idea is to use these electrical synapses to also do everyday activities such as placing a phone call, turning on the lights or even in the healthcare space for rehabilitation.”

 

 

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