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Non-Traditional Threats

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The Dark Side of Ayahuasca
Devotees talk about ayahuasca’s cathartic and life-changing power, but there is a dark side to the tourism boom as well. With money rolling in and lodges popping up across Peru’s sprawling Amazon, a new breed of shaman has emerged – and not all of them can be trusted with the powerful drug. Deaths like Nolan’s are uncommon, but reports of molestation, rape, and negligence at the hands of predatory and inept shamans are not. In the past few years alone, a young German woman was allegedly raped and beaten by two men who had administered ayahuasca to her, two French citizens died while staying at ayahuasca lodges, and stories persist about unwanted sexual advances and people losing their marbles after being given overly potent doses.
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The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food
What I found, over four years of research and reporting, was a conscious effort — taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery-store aisles — to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive. I talked to more than 300 people in or formerly employed by the processed-food industry, from scientists to marketers to C.E.O.’s. Some were willing whistle-blowers, while others spoke reluctantly when presented with some of the thousands of pages of secret memos that I obtained from inside the food industry’s operations. What follows is a series of small case studies of a handful of characters whose work then, and perspective now, sheds light on how the foods are created and sold to people who, while not powerless, are extremely vulnerable to the intensity of these companies’ industrial formulations and selling campaigns.
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Human Bones Found in Altar Bought on eBay

Police said they were pursuing a trespasser when they spotted bones atop the outdoor altar. Steer horns and other animal bones were visible, along with the human bones, candles and incense. “The religious aspect of the case is not our focus–it’s the bones,” said Pasadena Police Lt. Ed Calatayud. Human skulls indeed are listed for sale on eBay. On Monday, for example, one described as suitable for dental study was listed at $710. Jose said his sister practices Palo Mayombe, an offshoot of Santeria.
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Md. OB/GYN commits suicide after allegations of recording patients

For about 25 years, he worked as an OB/GYN at a medical center affiliated with Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Now, Johns Hopkins and Baltimore police say Dr. Nikita Levy illegally photographed his patients, and possibly others, without their knowledge. Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says, “One of the cameras that we can confirm is a pen camera. And there are other types that we don’t want to get into – again given the sensitive, sensitivity of the investigation. There were multiple cameras. I really can’t get into a number.”
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Federal law: Every living American can be arrested right now for felony possession of drugs made in their own brains

You, like everyone else who is alive and breathing, can be arrested right now by the U.S. federal government, charged with felony possession, then proven “guilty” of that possession because you do possess a Schedule I substance in your own brain. What substance is that? Dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, sometimes called the “spirit molecule” because of its ability to allow humans to transcend states of consciousness. U.S. federal code, defines Schedule I drugs as: “Unless specifically excepted or unless listed in another schedule, any material, compound, mixture, or preparation, which contains any quantity of the following hallucinogenic substances:” (1) 3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine. (2) 5-methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine. (3) 3,4,5-trimethoxy amphetamine. (4) Bufotenine. (5) Diethyltryptamine. (6) Dimethyltryptamine. (DMT) (7) 4-methyl-2,5-diamethoxyamphetamine. (8) Ibogaine. (9) Lysergic acid diethylamide. (10) Marihuana. (11) Mescaline. (12) Peyote. (13) N-ethyl-3-piperidyl…
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The Miami Beach cop and the meth dealers: a tawdry tale

The Miami Beach patrolman yearned for the ultimate score, his friends told investigators: to engineer an epic drug deal, one that would make him rich and allow him to leave law enforcement behind. They called it the “Coke Dream.” That dream is dead now, as may be Navarro’s police career. He was suspended last September without pay after being charged with racketeering and fraud in connection with a scheme to use phony paperwork to acquire luxury cars. But that might be just the beginning of Navarro’s troubles. Although for now he hasn’t been charged with anything else, the investigation into his actions has produced reams of damning documents detailing bungled trips to the Bahamas to buy kilos of coke, the rip-off of a suspected marijuana grow house, drunken brawls, a botched attempt to collect a drug debt and — perhaps most strikingly — his penchant for lending his police car, uniforms and other gear to meth-dealer pals.
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New ‘alcohol busting’ drug that sobers you up in seconds being developed

Party animals could soon be able to sober up in an instant just by popping a pill. Researchers have developed a cocktail of alcohol metabolizing enzymes that speedily reduces blood alcohol levels in drunk mice. The treatment, which has been compared to having ‘millions of liver cells inside your stomach,’ could have far-reaching implications for drinkers.
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Q&A: What Really Goes on In Drug Rehabs

So there were 8 hours a day of group or watching videos or lectures— and that has been found to be among the least effective treatments for alcohol problems. I really didn’t expect that much seat time. I visited outpatient treatment as well and some of those have no individual [sessions] at all or it is ‘as needed’ and even less than in the residential treatment. One of the things I found myself thinking as I was sitting in those programs was, ‘Whoever came up with a model where you take addicts and they are sitting for three hours or more three times a week or longer in group based treatment, talking about the program?’ That’s an awfully long time to just sit on your butt. I would ask, ‘Is there any evidence that this is effective?’ and no one could answer where it came from.
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Study finds ‘Internet addicts’ can suffer similar withdrawal symptoms to substance mis-users

Scientists at Swansea and Milan Universities have found that young people who use the Internet for excessively-long periods can suffer similar withdrawal symptoms to substance mis-users. In a study of Internet users, published online in the international journal PLOS ONE, Professor Phil Reed of Swansea University’s Psychology Department and Dr Lisa A Osborne of the University’s College of Medicine and Professor Roberto Truzoli and Michela Romano of the Università degli Studi in Milan, reported the results of the first study into the immediate negative psychological impacts of Internet use. Their research found that those who engage in long periods of use reported increased negative moods after they stopped surfing the net, possibly triggering them to re-engage in net use to remove these unpleasant feelings.
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Chinese Plan to Kill Drug Dealer With Drone Highlights Military Advances

China considered using a drone strike in a mountainous region of Southeast Asia to kill a Myanmar drug lord wanted in the murders of 13 Chinese sailors, but decided instead to capture him alive, according to an influential state-run newspaper.
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87 Percent of Snapper , 84 Percent of Canned “White” Tuna is Mislabeled, Study Says

Trust salmon, maybe red snapper, but not canned tuna. These are the lessons a nervous seafood eater could glean from a new study by the marine-life advocacy group Oceana. A whopping 87 percent of red snapper and 84 percent of canned “white” tuna tested was found to be mislabeled, the study found.
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British men arrested for possession of cannabis in Dubai could face death penalty after being ‘beaten up and given electric shocks by police’

He said: ‘I remember that the police put a towel on my face so I could not see. They kept telling me I was going to die. I was so scared. ‘Once I had been knocked to the ground, the police picked me up and put me on the bed. They pulled down my trousers, spread my legs and started to electrocute my testicles. It was unbelievably painful. I was so scared. ‘Then they took off the towel and I could see there was a gun pointed at my head. I started to believe I was going to die in that room.’ Further torture took place in the desert, it was claimed, where the men were initially taken.
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Dangerous Heroin Houses Cropping Up In Quiet Tri-State Suburbs

you would have no way of knowing, but drug dealers have moved in and are running multimillion-dollar heroin operations in some of the area’s upscale neighborhoods. You, yourself, could be living right next to the new heroin house. “You never know what might be next door to you,” New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said.
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UK TV Star Ben Fogle reveals how his wine was spiked with LSD

He said last night: “I was acting like a madman. I thought I was doomed. I thought I was going to die. “I picked my daughter up and she felt incredibly light, like a grain of rice. I suddenly had this compulsion to jump through a window. “My wife ran out and got my friends who had to restrain me.” He even began impersonating Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks routine. He was rushed to hospital and doctors said his drink was almost certainly spiked with LSD. Ben reported it to police.
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The Science of Pornography Addiction (SFW) [Video]

It’s the number one topic for internet searches, but do we ever consider how pornography can have lasting neuroplastic effects? Discover the hard science behind the ‘porn epidemic’ – the internet’s drug of choice.
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Chinese Cyberwarfare, Explained

On Monday, an American cybersecurity firm called Mandiant released a report accusing the Chinese government of systematically hacking into American computer networks and targeting state secrets, weapons programs, businesses, and even the nation’s gas pipelines. The New York Times vetted the story and concluded that a growing body of evidence “leaves little doubt” that these attacks are originating from a secret Chinese army base. Adam Segal, senior fellow for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (an organization that, in the past, has also been targeted by hackers that appeared to be China-based), tells Mother Jones that this “raises the pressure on the increasing drum beat on the US to do something.” So just how freaked out do you need to be?
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“No More Hesitation” – Homeland Security and Police Dept. Request Targets For Shooting Practice To Help Desensitize Law Enforcement To Shooting Average Americans…

The bill, called the Internet Posting Removal Act, is sponsored by Illinois state Sen. Ira Silverstein. It states that a “web site administrator upon request shall remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless the anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate.” The Democratic lawmaker’s bill, which does not ask for or clarify requirements from entities requesting the comment removal, would take effect 90 days after becoming law. Pseudonymous and anonymous comments have long been a critical part of U.S. public discourse, though, and the bill may be on shaky legal ground.
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Illinois state senator pushes anti-anonymity bill

The bill, called the Internet Posting Removal Act, is sponsored by Illinois state Sen. Ira Silverstein. It states that a “web site administrator upon request shall remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless the anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate.” The Democratic lawmaker’s bill, which does not ask for or clarify requirements from entities requesting the comment removal, would take effect 90 days after becoming law. Pseudonymous and anonymous comments have long been a critical part of U.S. public discourse, though, and the bill may be on shaky legal ground.
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California Bill Could Outlaw Driving for up to a Week After Smoking Pot

If you smoke marijuana in California, there’s a chance you may have to wait a week or more before you can drive legally. A bill introduced last week by state Senator Lou Correa, a Democrat from Anaheim, would make it illegal to get behind the wheel if your blood contains “any detectable amount” of cannabis—a drug which, unlike alcohol, can persist in the blood of its users for a week or more after the psychoactive effects have worn off. “This bill would effectively outlaw EVERY driver who has within recent hours or days used marijuana,” California NORML director Dale Gieringer told the East Bay Express. Strict traffic laws are fast becoming the new front of the war on drugs. Ten states already impose zero tolerance requirements on pot smokers who get behind the wheel. Another four, including Washington, where pot is now legal, set a blood limit for THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, at a level low enough to convict some drivers who aren’t actually stoned.
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Forced ‘infidelity check’ not rape: Swedish court

A Swedish court has ruled that a 28-year-old man who ripped off his girlfriend’s trousers and underwear to perform an “infidelity check” is not guilty of rape or any other sex crimes. The man had previously been convicted of rape by a lower court after he tore off his girlfriend’s clothes and forced his fingers into her genitals on suspicion that she had been unfaithful, legal trade publication Dagens Juridik reported. The lower court had also convicted the man of several other charges related to repeated assaults and threats directed against girlfriend in a relationship that had been marked by jealousy and suspicion. But upon reviewing the case, the Svea Court of Appeal threw out the rape conviction, arguing that the man’s actions weren’t sexual in nature. Both the man and his girlfriend testified that the act was an attempt to ascertain whether or not the woman had engaged in sexual activity with another man.
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Whole Foods’ Chicken Ad Featuring Obama Outrages Neighbors

A Whole Foods supermarket in New York has removed a sign that used a drawing of President Barack Obama to advertise a sale on chicken after complaints that the ad was offensive. The sign outside the supermarket on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, featuring an apparent caricature of Obama advertising an upcoming sale on whole organic chickens, outraged neighbor Woody Henderson. “There are certain things that have been used to put down black people — watermelon, fried chicken,” he said.
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Woman undressed in front of Black History Month elementary school assembly

But that’s when things quickly went in the wrong direction “Suddenly she stepped to the front of the group threw off her coat and stripped from the waist up,” said Lesko. Within seconds staff at the academy rushed the stage and the district says they ushered Meaders to the side and shielded her from the students while they waited for police. Looking back – Lesko says she wasn’t acting out of the ordinary before deciding she needed to shed some layers of clothing. “No behavior that anyone encountered during the assembly and she spent the time talking to the principal having perfectly normal conversation.” She was charged with seven counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child and one count of Public Lewdness.
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Leading Geneticist: Human Intelligence is Slowly Declining

Would you be surprised to hear that the human race is slowly becoming dumber, and dumber? Despite our advancements over the last tens or even hundreds of years, some ‘experts’ believe that humans are losing cognitive capabilities and becoming more emotionally unstable. One Stanford University researcher and geneticist, Dr. Gerald Crabtree, believes that our intellectual decline as a race has much to do with adverse genetic mutations. But human intelligence is suffering for other reasons as well.
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Social media disaster for Burger King: Twitter feed says chain sold to McDonald’s

Even by the standards of social media fiascos, this one’s a doozy. On Monday, Burger King’s official Twitter feed announced the chain had been sold to its rival and began posting pro-McDonald’s messages and tales of employee drug use. The strange Twitter activity took place after hackers apparently took control of Burger King’s account and replaced its name and image with the McDonald’s logo. Here is a screenshot of what followers of @burgerking saw on Monday:
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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on February 22, 2013

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Brave New Morning

✪ ‘Synthetic’ marijuana is problem for US military

U.S. troops are increasingly using an easy-to-get herbal mix called “Spice,” which mimics a marijuana high, is hard to detect and can bring on hallucinations that last for days. The abuse of the substance has so alarmed military officials that they’ve launched an aggressive testing program that this year has led to the investigation of more than 1,100 suspected users. So-called “synthetic” pot is readily available on the Internet and has become popular nationwide in recent years, but its use among troops and sailors has raised concerns among the Pentagon brass.
✪ In futile car search for drugs, Pompton Lakes police inflict $12K worth of damage
The instrument cluster and leather dashboard were gone. The caramel-colored seats were torn up. The gear shift was ripped out and stray wires hung limp everywhere. Geico, Richardson’s insurance company estimated the damage at $12,636.42 — more than he paid for the car — and declared the vehicle a “total loss.” According to police reports, the damage to the black BMW 325i came in the aftermath of a traffic stop during which officers detected a “strong odor of raw marijuana” inside the vehicle. Searching for a cache of drugs, members of three different police agencies and a detective from a federal drug task force spent two days tearing the car apart, the reports said. So what did police find after their $12,000 search? Absolutely nothing.
✪ Pranksters Turn Rotating Billboard Into a Merry-Go-Round
First, there was a billboard swingset in Hong Kong. Now, there’s a billboard merry-go-round in Prague. Well, it’s really more of a billboard whirlygig, but the point is that another piece of advertising structure has been reclaimed by artists for some frivolous playtime. And unlike the Hong Kong piece, which was sanctioned for an event, this one seems to be a prank—the team of artists responsible mounted a rotating billboard (commonplace over there, apparently) via its maintenance ladder and turned it into a carnival ride with balloons and wooden swings. I almost asked myself why this sort of thing never happens in America, but then I remembered that we can’t do any kind of stunts or people freak out.
✪ imPOSTers
The project “imPOSTer” was created by by Chicago designer TEWZ to honor and remember the most deceitful imposters throughout history by creating fake stamps, and then sending them through the United States postal system. The portraits of DAVID HAMPTON, FERDINAND DEMARA, FRANK ABAGNALE, JOHN HOWARD GRIFFIN, TONY CLIFTON, WILHELM VOIGHT, were all good enough to fool the United States Postal System.
✪ Jewish groups get most money from federal security grants
In an event announcing $1.7 billion in Department of Homeland Security grants, Napolitano noted that 63 percent of nonprofit grant recipients were “affiliated with Jewish organizations.” The following year, according to the Jewish Federations of North America, that number grew. In 2010, 94 percent of the department’s nonprofit security funding went to Jewish groups that are, in the words of the Department of Homeland Security, “at high risk of terrorist attack.” That included $222,000 for Jewish nonprofits in Missouri. Last month, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program awarded three St. Louis Jewish organizations $195,000 in grants to guard against such an attack, according to the Missouri Department of Public Safety. They were the only nonprofits in St. Louis to receive funding from the program, which awarded more than 80 percent of its $20 million budget in 2011 to Jewish nonprofits around the country.
✪ Mayan group’s logo too much like Toucan Sam, Kellogg’s squawks
Kellogg’s feathers are ruffled over a case of too many toucans. The cereal giant has asked a Bay Area Mayan nonprofit organization to remove an image of the tropical bird in its logo, claiming that it could be confused with Kellogg’s trademarked Froot Loops mascot, Toucan Sam. The San Ramon-based Maya Archaeology Initiative said its toucan looks nothing like Kellogg’s cartoon and that the two birds aren’t in competition. Dozens of toucan species exist. The Toucan Sam variety — known to kids as the bird on TV that “follows his nose … it always knows” — has been around since 1963, according to its Kellogg’s bio.  Kellogg’s, based in Battle Creek, Mich., did not immediately provide comment. The group added its own accusation: Kellogg’s Froot Loops advertising strategy sends racist messages to its young target audience with the presence of a dark-skinned villain named the Greedy Witch Doctor who steals from children, it said.
✪ Raiders of the Lost Archives [Video]
Shot-by-shot comparison of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” vs. scenes from 30 different adventure films made between 1919-1973.
✪ The Curious Taxidermy of Walter Potter
While the preservation of hunting trophies may be the best-known use of the taxidermist’s art, fans of Walter Potter’s anthropomorphic tableaux can attest to the fact that it has its other, more silly uses. Potter (1835-1918) was a self-taught taxidermist who grew up in the rural community of Bramber, Sussex, at a time when stuffing dead animals was considered to be a suitable hobby for young boys. For technical assistance, he would have had any number of popular manuals at his disposal. For inspiration, he had his younger sister’s illustrated nursery rhyme books and the Great Exhibition of 1851, where anthropomorphic taxidermy was first displayed to the British public.
✪ Weird Bible Verses – 1 Samuel 18:27 – an unusual wedding gift
“David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage”
✪ Brooklyn Heights Townhouse is Actually a Decoy
Which of these Brooklyn Heights brownstones is not like the other? Here’s a hint: It’s the one with the word FAKE and a big red arrow pointed at it. Yesterday the Brooklyn Eagle ventured inside an unnamed three-story brownstone on a cobblestone block that is not a single-family townhouse, but rather a secret subway exit: Located in the tunnel just east of the river, the exit disguised as a brownstone leads to a grimy-lit set of metal stairs that ascend past utility boxes and ventilation shafts into a windowless room with a door. If you opened the door, you would find yourself on a stoop, which is just part of the façade.
✪ Ocean acidification: Some organisms already experiencing ocean acidification levels not predicted to be reached until 2100
These pH time series create a compelling argument for the collection of more continuous data of this kind.” Ocean acidification research is a relatively new study topic as scientists have only appreciated the potential extent of acidification within the last decade. As greenhouse gas emissions have accelerated in the past century, the oceans have taken up about a third of the carbon dioxide produced by human activities. That excess beyond natural levels increases amounts of carbonic acid in seawater. Acidification also limits the amount of carbonate forms that are needed by marine invertebrates such as coral and shelled organisms to form their skeletons. Though many lab simulations of this effect have been performed recently, including at a new acidification laboratory in development at Scripps, there have been few comparable field studies.
✪ Did Nixon have a gay affair with a Mafia fixer? Forget Watergate. A new book claims America’s most corrupt President hid a far more personal scandal…
A new biography by Don Fulsom, a veteran Washington reporter who covered the Nixon years, suggests the 37th U.S. President had a serious drink problem, beat his wife and — by the time he was inaugurated in 1969 — had links going back two decades to the Mafia, including with New Orleans godfather Carlos Marcello, then America’s most powerful mobster. Yet the most extraordinary claim is that the homophobic Nixon may have been gay himself. If true, it would provide a fascinating insight into the motivation and behaviour of a notoriously secretive politician. Fulsom argues that Nixon may have had an affair with his best friend and confidant, a Mafia‑connected Florida wheeler-dealer named Charles ‘Bebe’ Rebozo who was even more crooked than Nixon.
✪ F.D.A. Finds Short Supply of Attention Deficit Drugs
Since the drugs have been shown to improve concentration, and not just in people with A.D.H.D., they have become popular among students who are seeking a study aid. And since they can impart a euphoria that users have likened to a cocaine high, the pills are sometimes ground up by people who snort them for a thrill. On the other hand, there are people like Sheryl Greenfield of Bryn Mawr, Pa., an A.D.H.D. patient who spent days calling dozens of pharmacies to find a generic substitute for Adderall XR. She finally gave up and bought the brand, and her co-pay went to $200 from $10. “I can afford the difference, but I know some people who can’t,” she said. Shortages of amphetamine-based drugs like Adderall became so endemic that many doctors switched patients to methylphenidate-based drugs like Ritalin, creating shortages among those medicines as well, according to the F.D.A.
✪ Lexington man charged with making a fake $1 million bill and trying to spend it
A Lexington man is accused trying to use a fake $1 million bill to pay for his purchases at a Walmart. Michael Anthony Fuller, 53, of 3 Parker St., walked into the Walmart on Lowes Boulevard in Lexington on Nov. 17. He shopped for a while, picking up a vacuum cleaner, a microwave oven and other merchandise, totaling $476, an arrest warrant says. When he got to the register, Fuller gave the cashier the phony bill, saying that it was real. Store staff called police. Fuller was later charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense and uttering a forged instrument, both felonies, court records show. A warrant says of the fake million-dollar bill: “There is no such thing.” The largest bill in circulation is a $100 bill. In 1969, federal officials discontinued the use of $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills because of lack of public use.
✪ Hackers plan space satellites to combat censorship
Computer hackers plan to take the internet beyond the reach of censors by putting their own communication satellites into orbit. The scheme was outlined at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin. The project’s organisers said the Hackerspace Global Grid will also involve developing a grid of ground stations to track and communicate with the satellites. Longer term they hope to help put an amateur astronaut on the moon.
✪ Three nights, 38 fires: arson attacks sweep Hollywood
Officials say it is already the worst string of arson attacks seen by Los Angeles since the riots that rocked the city in 1992. Damage to vehicles and property is put so far about $1m (£644,000). In West Hollywood alone, fire officials said the fires had destroyed about $350,000 worth of property. One of the New Year’s Eve fires broke out in a heavily used parking garage at the Highland Centre in Hollywood, a huge and glitzy complex of shops, restaurants and cinema screens that is also home to the Kodak Theatre, which hosts the annual Oscar ceremonies. While police have indicated they are looking for a man driving a 1990s Lexus saloon in connection with the fires, the sheer number of incidents suggests that they may be dealing with several arsonists or even some copy-cat ones. On Friday night some of the fires appeared to have been started within minutes of each other, prompting initial speculation that the attacks could be the handiwork of an individual in a car or a on a motorcycle

 

 

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on January 2, 2012

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There’s No Place To Hide When The Dead Are Alive

  • Tucked away in a small warehouse on a dead-end street, an Internet pioneer is building a bunker to protect an endangered species: the printed word.Brewster Kahle, 50, founded the nonprofit Internet Archive in 1996 to save a copy of every Web page ever posted. Now the MIT-trained computer scientist and entrepreneur is expanding his effort to safeguard and share knowledge by trying to preserve a physical copy of every book ever published.

    “There is always going to be a role for books,” said Kahle as he perched on the edge of a shipping container soon to be tricked out as a climate-controlled storage unit. Each container can hold about 40,000 volumes, the size of a branch library. “We want to see books live forever.”

  • In scenes reminiscent of the Great Depression these are the ramshackle homes of the desperate and destitute U.S. families who have set up their own ‘Tent City’ only an hour from Manhattan.More than 50 homeless people have joined the community within New Jersey’s forests as the economic crisis has wrecked their American dream.

    And as politicians in Washington trade blows over their country’s £8.8 trillion debt, the prospect of more souls joining this rag tag group grows by the day.

    Building their own tarpaulin tents, Native American teepees and makeshift balsa wood homes, every one of the Tent City residents has lost their job.

  • China and Arab countries have generally been scrutinized in the media for their land deals, but much of the cash flow comes through U.S. and European investors, according to Oakland Institute—through established pension funds, agribusiness behemoths and even educational institutions.
  • Facebook is a living computer nightmare. Just as viruses took the advantages of sharing information on floppies and modems and revealed a devastating undercarriage to the whole process, making every computer transaction suspect… and just as spyware/malware took advantage of beautiful advances in computer strength and horsepower to turn your beloved machine of expression into a gatling gun of misery and assholery… Facebook now stands as taking over a decade and a half of the dream of the World Wide Web and turning it into a miserable IT cube farm of pseudo human interaction, a bastardized form of e-mail, of mailing lists, of photo albums, of friendship. While I can’t really imply that it was going to be any other way, I can not sit by and act like this whole turn of events hasn’t resulted in an epidemic of ruin that will have consequences far-reaching from anything related to archiving.
  • And now it has come to this: For the first time ever, Burning Man has literally sold out.Organizers were forced to cap the number of attendees to the weeklong event, an art-focused, community-centric festival that starts Aug. 29. The event sold out last week, giving rise to a profitable black market that some past Burning Man participants say goes against the festival’s principles.

    The cap on ticket sales was necessary to limit attendance as required by the permit issued by the federal Bureau of Land Management. That permit allows for 50,000 people at any one time, organizers said, and more than 51,500 tickets were sold last year.

  • If you’d like to go out with a bang, Holy Smoke LLC offers to pack your cremated ashes (or those of your loved ones) into ammunition cartridges. You tell them the caliber or gauge, ship the remains to them, and they’ll load the cartridges:Once the caliber, gauge and other ammunition parameters have been selected, we will ask you (by way of your funeral service provider) to send approximately one pound of the decedant’s ash to us. Upon receiving the ashes our professional and reverant staff will place a measured portion of ash into each shotshell or cartridge.[…]

  • Amy Winehouse was in the process of secretly adopting an adorable Caribbean child — hoping to save her from her impoverished life — just before the tragic singer died, the little girl’s family said.Bright-eyed Dannika Augustine, 10, of St. Lucia, had caught the eye of the 27-year-old “Rehab” crooner during one of the singer’s many jaunts to the island and was going to be formally adopted by Winehouse before the troubled star died in her London pad on July 23, London’s Mirror newspaper reported yesterday.

  • Graduate student Kevin Beiler has uncovered the extent and architecture of this network through the use of new molecular tools that can distinguish the DNA of one fungal individual from another, or of one tree’s roots from another. He has found that all trees in dry interior Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca) forests are interconnected, with the largest, oldest trees serving as hubs, much like the hub of a spoked wheel, where younger trees establish within the mycorrhizal network of the old trees. Through careful experimentation, recent graduate Francois Teste determined that survival of these establishing trees was greatly enhanced when they were linked into the network of the old trees.Through the use of stable isotope tracers, he and Amanda Schoonmaker, a recent undergraduate student in Forestry, found that increased survival was associated with belowground transfer of carbon, nitrogen and water from the old trees.
  • On his second album, “Supreme Clientele,” Killah allegedly “copied verbatim” the Urbont-written “Iron Man Theme” on two tracks.The album was released back in 2000 (way before the recent Jon Favreau-directed movies) and it’s unclear why it took Urbont so long to sue. But he may have grown tired of seeing Killah’s name attached to his music on the Internet.

    Much of the case is a typical copyright infringement claim, but Urbont throws in an unusual unfair competition allegation that caught our attention.

    According to the complaint: “Defendant Ghostface is also known for the nickname, ‘Tony Starks,’ which is a take-off of the name ‘Tony Stark,’ Iron Man’s real name and true identity. In this way, Defendants’ use of Urbont’s ‘Iron Man Theme’ gives them a substantial commercial advantage by linking Ghostface to Iron Man without paying for it.”

  • Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having “acted like terrorists” in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit, according to several sources in the room.
  • Did someone blink?
  • Those freaked out by facial recognition technology have fresh fodder: a study from Carnegie Mellon University in which researchers were able to predict people’s social security numbers after taking a photo of them with a cheap webcam.At the head of the research team was Alessandro Acquisti, a CMU professor who pointed out in 2009 that the social security number system has a huge security flaw — social security numbers are predictable if you know a person’s hometown and date of birth. This study essentially adds a facial recognition component to that study. Acquisti, Ralph Gross and Fred Stutzman ran three experiments. In the first, they data mined Facebook for photos of people with searchable profiles. They then used that database of faces and identities when applying off-the-shelf facial recognition technology (PittPatt) to “anonymous” singles on a popular dating site. Acquisti told me in an interview last month that they were able to reidentify 15% of the digital Cupids.

  • Today Twitter’s CEO said they may in the future “edit out any…clearly offensive [trending topics].” He also said “we edit out any [trending topics] with obscenities.”
  • At first glance the photos look staged. They show stocky men stiffly clad in various outfits that include fur hats and thick coats with upturned collars — and, most importantly, sunglasses. But these photos aren’t stage props from a silly low-budget spy film, they are images snapped by members of the feared East German secret state police, or Stasi, for an internal course called the “art of disguising.”Berlin-based artist Simon Menner unearthed the images while sifting through the Stasi archives, which were opened to the public after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He was allowed to reproduce the photos and they are now on display in an exhibition entitled: “Pictures from the Secret Stasi Archives.”

    Morgen Contemporary, the Berlin gallery hosting the exhibition, says in its description of the collection that “many of the snapshots seem absurd and they may even be amusing. And yet we ought not lose sight of the intention that led the Stasi agents to take them.”

  • It’s the future. You’re racing down the highway when, all of a sudden, the driver ahead of you slows down. You know you need to hit the brakes to avoid an accident, but your foot can’t move as fast as your brain. You’re about to rear-end the guy, except. …… except that your car has read your mind. It picks up your brain waves and automatically slows down. Accident averted.

  • At least 700 of these chambers have been found in Bavaria alone, along with about 500 in Austria. In the local vernacular, they have fanciful names such as “Schrazelloch” (“goblin hole”) or “Alraunenhöhle” (“mandrake cave”). They were supposedly built by elves, and legend has it that gnomes lived inside. According to some sagas, they were parts of long escape tunnels from castles.
  • A quadriplegic man with five years of skydiving experience died in a weekend skydiving accident in northwestern Montana, Flathead County officials said Monday.Sheriff Chuck Curry said Zack Fogle, 27, of Kingston, Wash., died Saturday afternoon when his parachute did not open during a jump at the 44th annual Lost Prairie Boogie, a 10-day skydiving event near Marion that typically draws hundreds of participants.

  • Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) has equated negotiating with President Obama to ‘touching a tar baby’.
  • “Look, Daddy, that man’s going to the bathroom!”No, not the words any daddy wants to hear from his 10-year-old daughter, especially during a stroll through their brand-new neighborhood.

  • Upset neighbor races his pigs during prayer in protest of new mosque
  • We’re under constant scrutiny—our movements monitored by cameras, tracked by satellites and catalogued by a host of increasingly attentive government agencies. No longer does the idea of an omnipresent government seem all that farfetched. As technology becomes ever more sophisticated, the idea of a total surveillance society moves further from the realm of George Orwell’s science fiction fantasy into an accepted way of life.In fact, surveillance has become a huge moneymaking industry in itself, with many sectors having sprung up devoted to developing increasingly sophisticated gadgets to keep targeted individuals under surveillance, with or without their cooperation. The science behind this technology is particularly brilliant.

  • If there’s one place a James Bond villain — or even some actual governments — would love raiding today, it’s the basement of a somber building in lower Manhattan: the world’s biggest gold vault.Gold prices hit a record $1,632.8 an ounce Friday, reflecting a nervous rush by private and national investors from stocks, dollars and euros to the safe-haven commodity.

    And the biggest single pile of the stuff on the planet lies deep beneath the New York branch of the US Federal Reserve Bank, a stone’s throw from the Stock Exchange.

    On a visit, a guide from the bank revealed the 7,000-ton hoard gleaming softly in a vault carved from Manhattan’s bed rock, five stories under the Big Apple’s teeming streets.

    Cast in bricks, stacked ceiling-high in blue-painted, caged boxes, the heap is worth a staggering $350 billion.

  • You could call it “My Big Fat Computer Geek Wedding.”After a Houston couple couldn’t get a friend to serve as the minister at their wedding, they decided to create their own.

    When Miguel Hanson and his fiancee, Diana Wesley, get married on Saturday, a computer will conduct the ceremony. Well, technically, a computer program Hanson wrote will serve as the minister.

    During the wedding, to be held in the Houston home of Hanson’s parents, the couple will stand before a 30-inch monitor in the backyard. In a robotic voice, the computer will greet the guests, say how the couple met and go through the ceremony.

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

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

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PR0N In The U$A

  • Eric Spiegelman put together this amazing stream of 130 photos of Obama posing with dignitaries during this week’s U.N. meetings (long video after the jump). And Obama’s smile never changes. Of course you may suspect some Photoshopping, but Spiegelman defends himself by directing us to the State Department’s flickr site.
  • New information from Norwegian police has made clear the real scale of a shooting at a youth gathering on Utoya Island in Norway: more than 80 dead and dozens wounded.

    ­A gunman disguised as a police officer started shooting on Utoya Island just outside Oslo, where youth were attending a Labor Party conference. Many ran for their lives, some jumping into the water in an attempt to reach the mainland. Law enforcement officials say the consequences of the attack are catastrophic: at least 80 lives lost, and dozens more wounded. The police did not rule out that there might be more victims.

    Locals who tried to rescue some of the injured claimed they saw dozens of bodies in the water.

    Undetonated explosives were also found on the island, where some 700 teenagers had gathered for a political rally.

  • “ASC [Altered States of Consciousness] are only possible because of a normal waking state of consciousness. I propose that it is the role which [endogenous tryptamines including DMT] play in our waking awareness which allows them to play a role in the ASC as well.” (“Endogenous hallucinogens as ligands of the trace amine receptors: A possible role in sensory perception,” J.V. Wallach, Medical Hypotheses 72 (2009) 91–94. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2008.07.052. 94). In this case, if endogenous DMT is in part responsible for how we experience waking life (visually), it follows that altered and normal states of consciousness might not be so radically divergent as we might be led to believe. It also stands to reason that if conscious experience has no intrinsic meaning, altered states of consciousness are no more intrinsically meaningful than waking life.
  • “Children need to encounter risks and overcome fears on the playground,” said Ellen Sandseter, a professor of psychology at Queen Maud University in Norway. “I think monkey bars and tall slides are great. As playgrounds become more and more boring, these are some of the few features that still can give children thrilling experiences with heights and high speed.”
  • What Rick Ehlert did aboard a cruise ship in November was stupid, his attorney says.

    Ehlert admits he got drunk aboard the MS Ryndam, broke into a control room and deployed the ship’s anchor early in the morning, Daniel L. Castillo said. “I guess he thought it was a big joke.”

    Castillo added, “He’s got a lot of money. It was a silly thing to do. It’s silly. He’s not denying he did it.”

  • Something happened to Dylan’s Google account, and it’s been disabled. He doesn’t know what happened to the account, and no one at Google with the power to help him is interested in acknowledging the problem or letting him back in to the cloud-based services where all of his correspondence and much of the digital trail from the last few years of his life is stored. Google doesn’t own Twitter, though (yet), and he has taken to Twitter to try to draw attention to his problem and urge anyone who will listen not to trust Google with their digital lives.
  • Forget a five finger discount — a group of women caught on surveillance video robbing a Florida liquor store used their thighs to carry away the booze they lifted.
  • A new filing in the King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case includes a copy of the Ohio Secretary of State election production system configuration that was in use in Ohio’s 2004 presidential election when there was a sudden and unexpected shift in votes for George W. Bush.

    The filing also includes the revealing deposition of the late Michael Connell. Connell served as the IT guru for the Bush family and Karl Rove. Connell ran the private IT firm GovTech that created the controversial system that transferred Ohio’s vote count late on election night 2004 to a partisan Republican server site in Chattanooga, Tennessee owned by SmarTech. That is when the vote shift happened, not predicted by the exit polls, that led to Bush’s unexpected victory. Connell died a month and a half after giving this deposition in a suspicious small plane crash.

  • To the madcap music of “Yakety Sax,” the video shows correction officers chasing a jumpsuit-clad inmate through Albany County jail corridors and stairways. The action is speeded up, lending the attempted escape the feel of a Keystone Kops comedy.

    Sheriff’s officials were not amused.

  • Scientists have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories.

    The hybrids have been produced secretively over the past three years by researchers looking into possible cures for a wide range of diseases.

    The revelation comes just a day after a committee of scientists warned of a nightmare ‘Planet of the Apes’ scenario in which work on human-animal creations goes too far.

  • Prior to this research, most scientists have believed that the sudden extinction of nearly half of all life forms on the planet was due solely to the emissions from volcanic eruptions that were occurring in what was to become the Atlantic Ocean. Ruhl et al contend that instead, what happened, was that the small amount of atmospheric heating that occurred due to the exhaust from the volcanoes, caused the oceans to warm as well, leading to the melting of ice crystals at the bottom of the sea that were holding on to methane created by the millions of years of decomposing sea life. When the ice crystals melted, methane was released, which in turn caused the planet to warm even more, which led to more methane release in a chain reaction, that Ruhl says, was the real reason for the mass extinction that led to the next phase in world history, the rise of dinosaurs.
  • Ronald Tackman, a convicted New York robber and notorious prison-breaker famously told police he held up stores like Dunkin’ Donuts just blocks from home because he was “lazy,” The New York Post reported. But the Upper East Side stick-up artist was no slouch when it came to his elaborate escapes.

    Tackman last gave law enforcement the slip in 2009, when he was transported to court from Riker’s Island wearing a three-piece suit but no metal bracelets. The uncuffed criminal strolled out after noticing the door to the 12th floor holding cell was open. He found his way to the lobby and was shown the door by an officer who mistook him for a lawyer, The Post notes.
    Thanks Nico Dios

  • Just how did the term “Duck and Cover” become universal shorthand for the paranoid excesses of the Cold War and for every geo-political panic attack since? How did the image of a pith-helmet-wearing cartoon turtle named Bert become as lasting a symbol of this dark era as the yellow and black fallout shelter signs that still adorn many buildings around the United States?
  • Members of a tagging crew allegedly responsible for more than 1,600 pieces of graffiti vandalism were arrested Wednesday by authorities serving search warrants at houses in cities across southwest Los Angeles County.

    Eight people, including one juvenile, were charged with causing more than $100,000 in vandalism to schools and Metro bus and rail systems, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. All are alleged members of the ASC — Art Sex Crime — tagging crew.
    Thanks Brendan Donnelly

  • Scientists have so far identified about 20 hard-wired, evolved “adaptations” as the building blocks of religion. Like attachment, they are mechanisms that underlie human interactions: Brain-imaging studies at the National Institutes of Health showed that when test subjects were read statements about religion and asked to agree or disagree, the same brain networks that process human social behavior — our ability to negotiate relationships with others — were engaged.

    Among the psychological adaptations related to religion are our need for reciprocity, our tendency to attribute unknown events to human agency, our capacity for romantic love, our fierce “out-group” hatreds and just as fierce loyalties to the in groups of kin and allies. Religion hijacks these traits. The rivalry between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, for example, or the doctrinal battles between Protestant and Catholic reflect our “groupish” tendencies.

  • Police said they spotted Dunn and Jefferson sitting at the playground, the young children on the ground next to them. As officers approached them, police said they spotted an empty 40-ounce bottle of Steel Reserve beer on the ground beside the boy. They said a baby bottle next to the baby contained a dark liquid that smelled strongly of an alcohol beverage. Dunn was identified as the children’s mother.

    Police said witnesses told them that Jefferson had handed the bottle of beer to the boy and ordered him to chug it. When he had finished it police said Jefferson called the boy an alcoholic.

    Both children were taken to Bridgeport Hospital where police said both the boy and girl tested positive for alcohol and the 10-month-old also had cocaine in her system. While being examined, police said the 4-year-old told a social worker he likes, “Natural Ice beer, Budweiser beer, but didn’t like the taste of Dog-Bite beer.”

  • Norway’s Ministry of Finance announced that the Norway Oil Fund divested from Africa-Israel Investments and Danya Cebus Ltd. on Monday.

    The reason given is the companies’ construction in the West Bank.

    The Norwegian Finance Ministry said, “The ethics council stresses that construction of settlements in the occupied territories violates the decision of the Geneva convention regarding defense of civilians during war time. Several decisions of the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice have reached the conclusion that construction of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories is prohibited.”

  • What if you were chatting with someone on OKCupid and they’re all like “I love kids too!” and then they showed up on your first face-to-face date wearing one of these shirts? Would you smooch them anyway? I’d at least think about it… Hey, it’s hard out there for a single lady!
    Thanks Carlen Altman.
  • Civil libertarians are raising the alarm over the state’s plans to create a Big Brother database that could map drivers’ whereabouts with police cruiser-mounted scanners that capture thousands of license plates per hour — storing that information indefinitely where local cops, staties, feds and prosecutors could access it as they choose.

    “What kind of a society are we creating here?” asked civil rights lawyer Harvey Silverglate, who along with the ACLU fears police abuse. “There comes a point where the surveillance is so pervasive and total that it’s a misnomer to call a society free any longer.”

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

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 23, 2011

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If You See Something, Say Something

  • The war on drugs has helped make the U.S. the world’s largest incarcerator.

    America’s criminal justice system should keep communities safe, treat people fairly, and use fiscal resources wisely. But more Americans are deprived of their liberty than ever before – unfairly and unnecessarily, with no benefit to public safety. Especially in the face of economic crisis, our government should invest in alternatives to incarceration and make prisons options of last – not first – resort.

  • Taxpayers have spent more than $4 billion on capital punishment in California since it was reinstated in 1978, or about $308 million for each of the 13 executions carried out since then, according to a comprehensive analysis of the death penalty’s costs.
  • U.S. Airways has landed in hot water for allowing a scantily-clad drag queen to fly without hassle just a week before crews booted a college football player off a plane for wearing saggy pants.

    The gray-haired cross dresser boarded a June 9 flight from Fort Lauderdale to Phoenix wearing a little more than stiletto heels, thigh-high black stocking and tiny, electric blue panties, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

    Witnesses said passengers complained about the flamboyant flyer, but U.S. Air let him board because the company doesn’t have any rules against showing skin.

  • Radioactive tritium has leaked from three-quarters of U.S. commercial nuclear power sites, often into groundwater from corroded, buried piping, an Associated Press investigation shows.

    The number and severity of the leaks has been escalating, even as federal regulators extend the licenses of more and more reactors across the nation.

    Tritium, which is a radioactive form of hydrogen, has leaked from at least 48 of 65 sites, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission records reviewed as part of the AP’s yearlong examination of safety issues at aging nuclear power plants. Leaks from at least 37 of those facilities contained concentrations exceeding the federal drinking water standard – sometimes at hundreds of times the limit.

  • Former MoveOn.org Executive Director Eli Pariser (a name you may recognize from your inbox) explains how sites such as Facebook and Google are quietly creating a personalized Internet that removes content that may be challenging, uncomfortable or important.

    Pariser has written a book on the subject called “The Filter Bubble,” and breaks down the idea in the TED talk below. In one troubling example, he has two demographically similar friends Google the word Egypt. One gets news about the revolution while the other gets travel-themed results and nothing about political upheaval.

  • “Thinking that Facebook is forever is like thinking that AOL was the be-all-end-all of the Internet,” he says. “Eventually, everyone will use something else.”
  • There’s something new for us to worry about: Blackberry neck.

    It’s not a condition caused by drinking too many smoothies – it’s the formation of neck creases that may be (repeat, may be) formed by repeatedly looking down, again and again to send text messages and emails on your favorite cell phone or texting device.

  • Hustler Magazine will pay a $375,000 penalty for publishing nude photographs of Nancy Benoit after she was murdered by her professional wrestler husband, who then committed suicide, a federal judge ruled.
    Authorities discovered the bodies of Nancy Benoit, her 7-year-old son and her husband, Chris, at their Fayetteville, Ga., home in June 2007. Investigators quickly concluded that Chris, a wrestler with World Wrestling Entertainment, strangled his wife and son, placed a Bible next to their bodies, and then hanged himself.
    In the wake of the grisly discovery, Larry Flynt Publishing Group bought 20-year-old nude photos of Nancy, who was a former model and professional wrestler, and published them in the March 2008 issue of Hustler.
    Nancy’s family filed suit, claiming that Hustler exploited Nancy’s tragic death for financial gain by publishing the images, which were taken when she was 20 years old.
  • Some people I have mentioned this concern to have essentially accused me of heresy and paranoia because “there is no way Apple would do that to their users”. Apple would not have to. They would simply have to comply with an information demand from the RIAA, who has had no problem with being seen as the bad guy in hardball enforcement against file sharing. Moreover consider this:

    Apple is the largest music retailer on the planet.
    Apple believes, possibly justifiably, that it loses billions of dollars annually to illegal music file sharing.
    The easiest way out of the legal jam over challenged content in your iCloud storage would be to convert the suspected iCloud music by buying it from Apple. Apple becomes almost like a white knight in the process.

  • What’s the deal with the ‘bagel-head’ look? How do you get that effect?
    Oh, you just press your thumb in to the middle of the forehead while the saline is being pumped in, and that creates the donut, bagel effect. I’ve read reports of people coloring the infusions as well but I don’t think there’s any truth to those claims, it must be the way the light is shining on someone in the photo, or something.In your opinion, are saline infusions the most extreme thing happening in the Japanese body modification scene at the moment?
    Oh, no, not at all. There are practices that are far more extreme, for example, ear pointing, navel removal, amputation, Japanese traditional body suit tattoos… 

  • A motel known for touting its heart-shaped Jacuzzi for years quietly housed dozens of registered sex offenders and predators.

    The Budget Inn on North Federal Highway was one of the few housing options for sex offenders in the city. That is, until the motel’s owner learned of the tenants’ criminal records this past week and evicted them.
    On Friday, 24 offenders were listed on the state’s sex offender registry as living at the 50-room motel just south of Oakland Park Boulevard.

  • Up for that shiny new job and cleared the first round of background checks? Might want to double check that you haven’t had any lewd behavior online because the FTC (News – Alert) just gave the green light to include your Facebooking habits in your job screen.

    No longer are employers relying on a quick Google search to find dirt on prospective employees. Now hiring managers are looking to Facebook (News – Alert) posts. In fact, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Social Intelligence Corp. has been given the legal thumbs up to archive seven years worth of your Facebook posts. These archives will be used as part of their background checking service for job applicants.

  • It’s all downhill from here!
  • A group of US representatives plan to introduce legislation that will legalize marijuana and allow states to legislate its use, pro-marijuana groups said Wednesday.

    The legislation would limit the federal government’s role in marijuana enforcement to cross-border or inter-state smuggling, and allow people to legally grow, use or sell marijuana in states where it is legal.

    The bill, which is expected to be introduced on Thursday by Republican Representative Ron Paul and Democratic Representative Barney Frank, would be the first ever legislation designed to end the federal ban on marijuana.

    Sixteen of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

  • Even though local farmers have not tested their soil and water, Nita Abbott of LA Farms, near Gambo, expressed an interest in having her land tested to ensure they’re selling a safe product. The newspaper contacted private testing companies, government agencies, and universities to inquire if they would consider testing local farms. All of them said they were not interested in getting involved at any level. Health Canada also reported that everything is normal.

    Even though no official testing has been done in central Newfoundland, Ms. Abbott speculated, “I guess they feel they don’t have evidence to take it further.”

  • A Southwest Airlines pilot has been suspended after broadcasting a slur-filled rant about flight attendants over an air-traffic control frequency that stopped controllers from contacting other aircraft.

    The profanity-laced rant meant controllers were unable to contact other aircraft for several minutes potentially putting lives at risk.

    The Southwest Airlines pilot launched into a swear laced tirade about gay, overweight and older flight attendants on a flight passing over Houston, Texas.

    The pilot complained that most flight attendants weren’t acceptable dating prospects for him.

    ‘It was a continuous stream of gays, grannies and grandes,’ the pilot said.

    The recording was obtained by the Houston Chronicle from the Federal Aviation Authority.

    The pilot, who has not been named, had accidentally turned on his microphone while talking to his co-pilot.

  • Imagine yourself enjoying the great outdoors when, all of a sudden, nature calls. With no bathroom in sight, what’s a city slicker to do? How does one properly relieve oneself in the woods?

    That’s the question Montana-based wilderness enthusiast Kathleen Meyer has been trying to answer for the past two decades in her book “How To Shit In The Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach To A Lost Art” (Ten Speed Press).

    The so-called “backcountry bible,” originally published in 1989, is a quirky yet useful guide for nature lovers who might need to poop in the wild.

  • The whereabouts of about 30 subcontractors who helped deal with the crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant is unknown, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said on June 20.
  • After fluoride, another (and even more powerful) brain-altering product might appear in drinking water: lithium. Known for its “lobotomizing” properties, lithium would be a great way to create a nation of zombies. Who’s for it?
  • Simple microbes such as those found in baker’s yeast can be modified to make LSD, suggests research by Harvard scientists
  • Saraswati taught his devotees to resist worldly temptations, including “illicit lust.” Already, however, his own behavior with his female devotees was apparently less than holy. “One day he called me into his room,” remembers Diane Hendel, a former ISDL devotee in California. “He was sitting on the bed and he asked me to come closer and he tried to French kiss me. He grabbed me and he put his hands all over my breasts and he stuck his tongue in my mouth.” After Hendel says she pushed away, Saraswati told her it was a blessing to be so close with the guru. When she quit ISDL soon thereafter, he was not pleased. “He told me I would have many lifetimes as an insect, if I left him,” she remembers.
  • Silly gifs of animals being jerks.
    Thanks Tim Barber
  • ​A 36-year-old Ogden, Utah, man named Jason Valdez has taken social networking to unprecedented levels by updating his Facebook status to reflect that he had taken a woman named Veronica hostage in a motel after the cops tried to give him a warrant for a felony drug offense. He then held her for 16 hours, status updates all the way, including one with a photo of the two of them — he comments, “Got a cute ‘Hostage’ huh.” The standoff ended when a SWAT team stormed the room and Valdez shot himself in the chest. He’s now in critical condition.
  • Samples of icy spray shooting from Saturn’s moon Enceladus collected during Cassini spacecraft flybys show the strongest evidence yet for the existence of a large-scale, subterranean saltwater ocean, says a new international study led by the University of Heidelberg and involving the University of Colorado Boulder.
  • Cocaine used to just get you high. Now it rots your skin.

    Doctors say the cocaine hitting the streets in New York and Los Angeles is now cut with a drug that veterinarians use to de-worm livestock, causing cokeheads’ skin to rot off.

  • A new sex education program being introduced in Basel this year includes a “sex box” with wooden penises and fabric vaginas. The curriculum goes too far for some parents and politicians.
  • The “thermal injuries,” police said, were consistent with those documented in cases from Dayton, Ohio; New Kent County, Va., and Galveston, Texas. Detectives researched those cases and awaited the findings of the Sacramento County coroner’s office.

    “Based on that research and the autopsy results,” the department said in a statement, “detectives believe the injuries occurred as a result of the child being burned in a microwave oven.”

  • It was Friday the 13th, and Skylar Walters thought he was going to die.

    The 16-year-old inmate of Orangeville Jr.-Sr. High in Illinois was in gym class when a deranged-looking man barged into the school and began firing what appeared to be a handgun at several of the other students.

    “I started praying to God and saying my last words,” Skylar later recalled. “I was scared. I didn’t know what to do.”

    As the intruder fired his gun, he called out the name of a particular student; the youngster quite sensibly fled the building. Other kids “were just running everywhere and crying and hiding,” Skylar recounted. Some of the panicking schoolkids probably attempted to call or text their parents to describe the horror unfolding in front of them. They didn’t know that each of the parents had been instructed not to answer if his child issued a desperate plea for help.

  • Based on the “Manifesto for Conscious Men,” a collectively-written document from a number of men who feel deep appreciation for the gifts of the feminine as a balance to those of the masculine. This document acknowledges many thousands of years of dominance of masculine power, and offers an apology for the suppression of women, in the spirit of a fresh start. The authors do not advocate the domination of men by women or feminine energy, but feel that a balance and equal respect for both energies will allow for a new wave of evolution on our planet.

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on June 23, 2011

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Full Moon Fever

  • I started the WikiLeaks Top Secret Mobile Information Collection Unit on March 19th during a rally for Bradley Manning at the White House. My goal is to bring awareness to WikiLeaks, protest the detention of Bradley Manning, and make the government and corporations sweat when they look out the window and see me parked in front of their buildings.
  • Hackers who stole the personal details of more than 200,000 Citigroup customers ‘broke in through the front door’ using an extremely simple technique.

    It has been called ‘one of the most brazen bank hacking attacks’ in recent years.

    And for the first time it has been revealed how the sophisticated cyber criminals made off with the staggering bounty of names, account numbers, email addresses and transaction histories.

    They simply logged on to the part of the group’s site reserved for credit card customers – and substituted their account numbers which appeared in the browser’s address bar with other numbers.

    It allowed them to leapfrog into the accounts of other customers – with an automatic computer programme letting them repeat the trick tens of thousands of times.

  • Charlotte Fielder, who was born missing a hand, has been awarded an MBE for her work helping people who are “limb deficient” with the charity Reach.

    After signing up to Facebook, she found her profile image had been copied and posted on a pornographic website.

    Her image was subjected to obscene comments by men attracted to amputees.

    The image used was one of Mrs Fielder fully-clothed.

    She said many women amputees she knew had been contacted by so-called “devotees”.

  • Black metal music, often associated with satanism and church-burning, is set to burst onto the highbrow stage of global diplomacy following a move by Norway to teach the genre to its future envoys.

    Some 20 diplomats in training received a black metal crash course this year, the Norwegian diplomatic academy said Friday.

    “The objective is to show Norwegian culture in all its diversity. In the musical field, it goes from (Romantic music composer) Edvard Grieg to black metal,” its deputy head Steinar Lindberg said, adding he hoped to repeat the experience.

    “In Italy, Japan or France, young people are learning Norwegian to decrypt the lyrics. Black metal is an export product and it’s important that future diplomats are interested in it,” he added.

    Norway has produced a wave of black metal bands that have gained notoriety abroad, such as Mayhem, Darkthrone, Satyricon, Emperor, Enslaved, Burzum, Dimmu Borgir and Gorgoroth.

  • Nu-mark sent me this, it’s pretty cool just like he is. I really dug it hiphop is missing play fullness and irreverence this is both of those things
  • The problem is so severe that hundreds are sickened every year and it is believed to have resulted in positive drug tests for five members of Mexico’s national soccer team.
  • Italians voted to abandon nuclear power for the foreseeable future, turning out in droves to cast ballots in a packet of referenda whose outcome is a sign of growing popular discontent toward Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative government.
  • Lasers emit highly concentrated, amplified light. Usually it takes a complex array of crystals, gels or gases to amplify light particles, known as photons, as they bounce around between mirrors inside laser machines. But now scientists have found another way: using engineered living cells that can perform the feat.
  • Some entrepreneurs wait a lifetime to experience the thrill of selling their startup companies. Daniil Kulchenko, a Seattle area high school student, accomplished that milestone at the age of 15. Kulchenko today announced that he’s sold his startup, a cloud-based computing company known as Phenona, to Vancouver, B.C.-based ActiveState in a deal of undisclosed size.
  • Filmmaker Ladd Ehlinger Jr. earned a measure of notoriety in 2010 with his ads for Dale Peterson, the Alabama agriculture commissioner candidate, that showed Peterson waving his gun around and ranting about the “thugs and criminals” and “dummies” who were driving Alabama into the ground. Ehlinger also dressed up Nancy Pelosi as the Wicked Witch of the West in ads for her 2010 opponent John Dennis. But those spots look like PTA bake-sale ads compared to Ehlinger’s latest effort—the unreal spot below attacking Janice Hahn, a Democrat running for Congress in California. It’s called “Give us your cash, B–ch!” and that might be the least offensive thing about it. The racial and sexual insults just keep on coming, as Ehlinger hammers Hahn on her supposed support for “gangsters.” On the YouTube page, Ehlinger says his goal is “to expose stupid, corrupt politicians on all sides of the aisle with humorous but hard-hitting videos!” Where’s the joke?
  • “On June 6, 2011, the Fort Calhoun pressurized water nuclear reactor 20 miles north of Omaha, Nebraska entered emergency status due to imminent flooding from the Missouri River. A day later, there was an electrical fire requiring plant evacuation.

    Then, on June 8th, NRC event reports confirmed the fire resulted in the loss of cooling for the reactor’s spent fuel pool. The discussion includes specific details of the technical failures at Fort Calhoun, the risks of coolant loss at overcrowded “spent” fuel pools, and the national hazards of nuclear facilities along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, and other water sites during the current period of floods and climate change.”

  • According to a police affidavit, Hayes became upset and began yelling at the victim because “Y’all didn’t save my kids no damn ice cream and cake.”

    Hayes then left the party and went to his apartment.

    According to the affidavit, he returned with a small black handgun tucked into the back of his pants, approached the host, lifted up his shirt and said, “I ain’t scared to go to jail, just take care of my kids.”

  • Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. has long sold weed killer. Now, it’s hoping to help people grow killer weed.

    In an unlikely move for the head of a major company, Scotts Chief Executive Jim Hagedorn said he is exploring targeting medical marijuana as well as other niches to help boost sales at his lawn and garden company.

    “I want to target the pot market,” Mr. Hagedorn said in an interview. “There’s no good reason we haven’t.”

  • Who knew Wonder Woman drove a Poncho? For its upcoming auction at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan, held in late July in conjunction with the Concours d’Elegance of America (formerly the Meadowbrook Concours), RM Auctions will offer a most unusual Pontiac – the transparent display car that GM built for the 1940s World’s Fair.
  • Austria’s State TV is apologizing for broadcasting a 1930s Walt Disney cartoon that critics say reinforces anti-Semitic stereotypes of the era.

    “The Three Little Pigs” depicts the Big Bad Wolf disguised as a Jewish beggar, complete with a long nose, beard and caftan, as he tries to gain entry to one of the pigs’ homes. The Austria Press Agency says it was seen last week on one of the network’s children’s programs.

  • Mmmkay
  • Here’s an overview published by the rogue security prankster group of their attacks so far. One day, it’s PBS and porno sites and the FBI. The next, it’s the US Senate, and Bethesda Software. Earlier today, Eve Online, Escapist Magazine and Minecraft. The targets seem so diverse, so random—following their Twitter account is like watching a rabid elephant on PCP wearing a top hat rampage through a crowded market with explosive banana diarrhea.
  • Ordinance #2740( An unfunded city-wide mandate) was passed with a resounding 6 to 1 vote, and it allows for the citizens of Cedar Falls to forcefully give the government keys to their comercial properties through universal ‘lock boxes’. The intent of the program is to provide increased safety and protection to personal, private property which include businesses, apartments and some rental houses– which by the way– comes at the expense of furthering wayward erosion of fundamental constitutional rights.
  • Learn how to model your own 3D Balls & Scrotum w bonus pubes
  • A Pennsylvania man faces attempted homicide charges for allegedly beating his fiancee’s 2-year-old daughter because he thought the girl’s upbringing had been too lenient.

    Investigators say 24-year-old Brandon Bishop told officers the girl was a princess. The Morning Call of Allentown reports Bishop admitted punching, kicking and choking the girl and picking her up by her hair and dropping her.

  • Russian police could hardly control their laughter when a drunk driver attempted to make phone calls with a pack of cigarettes
    Thanks Smart Crew
  • Lorain County Sheriffs deputies had received a call of a man acting angrily and becoming violent with campers and animals. When deputies arrived at the scene, according to the report, they found Stroup passed out in a trailer. Deputies say Stroup smelled of alcohol and when he was eventually were able to wake him up, he began growling at them.

    Stroup was placed under arrest for underage consumption and told authorities that he had blacked out from drinking too much vodka that evening.

    According to the report Stroup went on to say that ever since he was scratched by a wolf in Germany he blacks out when the moon comes out and goes on the attack.

  • An Edmonton man apparently upset that someone had set up an account for him
    on a gay dating website went a little too far in trying to get payback.Robert Gary Boyes, 39, was placed under house arrest Monday after admitting
    he posted a bogus dating website profile identifying another man as someone
    into incest and wanting people to have sex with him and his kids. 

  • Showing some skin and raising some eyebrows, more than 100 scantily clad protestors gathered in dowtown Dallas Saturday, chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, we understand that no means no.”
  • Facebook has rolled out its facial recognition technology to countries outside of the US, but has switched the feature on by default without telling its users first.

    UK-based security expert Graham Cluely noted earlier today that Facebook had slotted the tech into the social network.

    The Mark Zuckerberg-run company started using its facial recognition software in December last year for its Stateside users in a move to automatically provide tags for the photos uploaded by Facebook users.

    The tech works by scanning newly uploaded pics and then identifies faces from previously tagged photos already stored in Zuckerberg’s internet silo.

    When the software was introduced in the US late last year, Facebook pointed out that users could disable the function.

    “If for any reason you don’t want your name to be suggested, you will be able to disable suggested tags in your Privacy Settings,” the company wrote on its blog post last December.

  • How ill are the Mexican drug wars getting? The drug cartels are building their own armored trucks.

    Rival drug gangs are playing around with really serious military hardware, including .50 caliber machine guns and grenades. At least some of them figured out an armoring solution for the uptick in firepower: armoring. Chop shops add inch-thick steel plates to a standard truck chassis like that of a Ford F-150. At least 100 of the so-cold “El Monstruo” monster trucks have been discovered by Mexican security officials this spring, with the most recent two found this weekend.

  • A sign posted along Eight Mile and I-75 reads, “Warning! This area is infested by crackheads. Secure your belongings and pray for your life. Your legislators won’t protect you.” It’s a shocking statement, but neighbors say that sign is far from extreme.

    “Reality is reality,” Solomon told us.

  • Investigators say the thief wears a wig, fake mustache and dark-colored suit similar to an outfit in the Beasties Boys’ “Sabotage” music video.
    Thanks Patrick Nybakken
  • Syd Mead’s Land Yacht was commissioned by Playboy Magazine as the ultimate go-anywhere, do-anyone ride in an alternate Blade Runner-meets-Ladies Man future. Despite the 70’s look, its predictions of modern driving technology are surprisingly accurate.

    Mead’s Land Yacht debuted in the June 1975 issue of Playboy, serving as both a roving bachelor pad and a vision of future travel. It’s designed with a central computer system which manages vehicle systems as well as the duties of over the road driving, leaving you to lounge in the luxurious cabin and leather recliners.

  • Cameras in the toilets; CCTV in the classroom; pupils’ fingerprints kept in a database . . . Can’t happen here? Think again, because the surveillance state is quietly invading our schools
  • Made from a mixture of clay, compost, and seeds, “seedbombs” are becoming an increasingly popular means combating the many forgotten grey spaces we encounter everyday-from sidewalk cracks to vacant lots and parking medians. They can be thrown anonymously into these derelict urban sites to temporarily reclaim and transform them into places worth looking at and caring for. The Greenaid dispensary simply makes these guerilla gardening efforts more accessible to all by appropriating the existing distribution system of the quarter operated candy machine. Using just the loose coins in your pocket, you can make a small but meaningful contribution to the beautification of your city!
  • Women’s fake screams of ecstasy in bed may have less to do with trying to protect the sensitive egos of their partners, and more to do with a gal’s own personal insecurities and fear of intimacy, new research suggests.
  • A San Francisco restaurant owner had a hit on his hands until the health department stepped in and said he can no longer sell his special grasshopper tacos or any other insect-inspired entrees. But Harry Persaud and his loyal customers are hoping to change their minds.

    At one Mission Street Mexican restaurant, grasshopper tacos are the most talked-about food on the menu. They have earned it write-ups in local newspapers and even earned La Oaxaqueña Bakery and Restaurant the title of “Best New Mexican Hole-In-The-Wall. But now, they are gone.

  • This is sort of fascinating. Google has decided to withdraw its language translation tools from public use (though the Google Translate site itself will stay around), and the reason, as with so many things internet-related, is that it’s a victim of its own success. Google’s translation engine improves over time by comparing side-by-side samples of translated text that get scooped up by its search robots, but this continuing improvement depends on the translations themselves being high quality. So what happens when spammers and link farmers flood the internet with text translated by Google’s own tools?
  • A 53-year-old man died of a suspected heart attack while in the act of raping a 77-year-old woman, police investigators in Tivoli, Texas said this week.

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on June 15, 2011

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Gotta Let My Nutts Hang

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Jumping Off The GW Bridge Sorry.

    • But Tan also found that female bat will often bend down to lick the shaft of her mate’s penis during sex itself. This behaviour happened on 70% of the videos, making it the only known example of regular fellatio in a non-human animal. It also prolonged the sexual encounter – males never withdrew their penises when they were being licked and, on average, the behaviour bought the couple an extra 100 seconds of sex over and above the usual 2 minutes. The licking itself only lasted for 20 seconds on average, so each second of it buys six extra seconds of penetration.
    • “An oral masturbation was recorded when a male sat with head lowered and an erect penis in his mouth, being stimulated with both mouth (fellatio) and forepaws (masturbation), while the lower torso moved forward and backwards in thrusting motions, finally culminating in an apparent ejaculation, after which the male appeared to consume the ejaculate.”
    • You never thought you’d see the day, but ivory is back in fashion – mammoth ivory, that is. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, mammoth-mining is big business in Russia. Tusks from the long-gone species are being reclaimed from their mass graveyard in the Siberian tundra, and each year 60 tonnes are exported to China, home to the world’s largest ivory market. Aside from being worth significantly more than elephant tusks, mammoth ivory is being touted as an ethical alternative to the illegal poaching trade, which persists in threatening the conservation of the living species. Michelle Obama is one fan, and has been seen wearing Monique Péan necklaces sculpted from mammoth tusks.
    • A State Department official confirmed in April that “any company, including Xe Services [another name for Blackwater] and its subsidiary companies, [may] submit a proposal in response to an acquisition process established on the basis of full and open competition.” Despite the slayings of civilians at Nisour Square in Iraq in 2007 — which got Blackwater de-certified by the Iraqi government — and on the road in Kabul in 2009, no federal acquisition official has ever recommended that Blackwater be barred from bidding on government contracts. That means it would violate federal law to prevent Blackwater from entering a bid.
    • Imagine marijuana substituted for alcohol in this story. The article would be presented as a scary expose about workers smoking a daily dime-bag and marijuana growers’ linking pot with the Army. Undoubtedly, such an article would be on the front page of every newspaper as cause for outrage. Yet, because this was about alcohol — remember, a substance more toxic than marijuana — it was buried in a financial magazine and depicted as something to extol.
    • Artist Yuri Suzuki has created a range of musical wonders including an electronic instrument played by jellyfish, a tuneful train track and a miniature vehicle that interprets different colors as sounds.
    • Police in New Zealand burning off seized cannabis were left red-faced when a change in the wind sent smoke billowing over a primary school, it was reported Tuesday.
    • “She was going door to door in the apartments and trying to sell the marijuana,” Gonzalez said. Inside the apartment, police found cocaine packaged for sale and with a street value of about $5,000 — but no marijuana. “I’m pretty sure she heard the mom or the dad doing that,” Gonzalez said, adding the girl was simply imitating her parents, who he believes sold drugs.
    • Adults on the prowl are using the colorful bands instead of bad pickup lines to make love connections.
      Thanks Billoney.

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