Smurfing | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

Holidaze

✪ Homeland Security: Paying with Cash?
✪ Bracelet reveals amazing craftsman’s skill from 7500BC (so good it couldn’t be bettered today)
A 9,500-year-old bracelet has been analysed using the very latest computers – and the results show that it is so intricate even today’s craftsmen would struggle to improve it. Researchers from the Institut Français d’Etudes Anatoliennes in Istanbul and Laboratoire de Tribologie et de Dynamiques des Systèmes studied the bracelet’s surface and its micro-topographic features revealing the astounding technical expertise of the maker. The bracelet is obsidian – which means it’s made from volcanic glass – and the researchers analysis of it sheds new light on Neolithic societies, which remain highly mysterious.
✪ America’s Killer Med Crisis
For the first time in nearly a century, automobile accidents are no longer the nation’s leading cause of accidental deaths, according to a major report released Tuesday by the National Center for Health Statistics. The new number one killer is drugs—not smack, crystal meth or any other stepped-on menace sold in urban alleyways or trailer parks, but bright, shiny pills prescribed by doctors, approved by the government, manufactured by pharmaceutical companies and sold to the consumer as “medicine.” Yet of the billions of legit pills Americans pop every year for medical conditions serious and otherwise, the vast majority of lives are claimed by only a select few classes—painkillers, sedatives and stimulants—that all share a common characteristic: they promote abuse, dependence and addiction.
✪ Cocaine Bust Lands Curvy Model In Italian Jail
A Spanish model’s plan to smuggle cocaine into Italy concealed in her prosthetic breasts and buttocks backfired Wednesday when her extra curvy figure drew the wrong kind of attention from ogling customs officials. The 33 year old deliberately wore tight-fitting clothes when she arrived on a flight at Rome’s Fiumicino airport from Sao Paulo in Brazil, hoping to throw the full-blooded Italian security staff off the scent. Unfortunately her extra-large bosom and derriere managed to attract the glances of airport customs agents, Italian news agency ANSA reported, but not for the reasons she had hoped. She also flubbed her answers to questions about the reasons for her trip. Two female investigators conducted a strip search and found the white powder stashed inside her unusual underwear. She was arrested for attempting to smuggle around 5.5 pounds of cocaine.
✪ Missouri grapples with 12-year meth problem
There is, however, a broad network of people who buy medications containing pseudoephedrine and sell it to the cooks, a practice called smurfing, Whitney says. In the past three years or so, young heroin users have begun smurfing to make money so they can buy heroin. A box of Sudafed that costs $8 or $9, he says, can be sold to meth cooks for $100, which is enough for 10 small heroin doses. Whitney expects almost 30 heroin overdose deaths this year in this county of 219,000. Law enforcement officials began tracking another trend in 2007 that made busting meth cooks even more difficult: a “one pot” method. The drug is mixed in a 2-liter soda bottle, often in moving cars. When the process is complete, the leftover toxic materials are tossed out the car window.
✪ Illegal drugs can be detected in the air – and could change people’s behaviour
We know that air pollution in the form of traffic and factory fumes can pose a health risk ě°˝€“ but airborne traces of illegal drugs could do too, say researchers. Scientists at the Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research in Rome found traces of cocaine and cannabis in the air around dozens of sites in Italy. They also discovered statistical correlations between cocaine levels and certain types of cancer ě°˝€“ and between cannabis levels and mental disorders.
✪ Blue Ridge schools eyeing random drug tests for students
The Blue Ridge school board will consider implementing random drug testing as a way to keep students from making “unhealthy choices.” A policy could be adopted as soon as Jan. 18. The board meets at 6 Wednesday night to discuss proposed building construction; the regular meeting follows at 7 at the high school library, 411 N. John St. The drug test option arose after discussion about use and misuse of legal and illegal drugs in the area. “The behaviors were alarming enough, it was clear that some students were making unhealthy choices, and it had to be addressed,” said Superintendent Susan Wilson. The goal is to prevent drug use; give students an “out” when friends try to get them to use substances; and give parents the information needed to seek treatment for their child if they test positive, she said.
✪ Deputies Give Marijuana Back To Dispensary Under Court Order
Deputies returned two pounds of seized cannabis to a California dispensary on Friday after a court ruled that the marijuana had been improperly confiscated. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department confiscated two pounds of marijuana from Common Roots Collective during a shakedown, I mean “inspection, on December 1. But the dispensary’s lawyer argued that the deputies violated federal law, since authorities, including code enforcement officers, had entered the property on an inspection order and not a search warrant, reports CBS 13.
✪ Disgraced Bishop Lahey apologizes for his Internet porn addiction
Earlier in the day, prosecutor David Elhadad laid out in lurid detail some of what was depicted in the images, videos and stories seized by police. Elhadad said Catholic imagery was intertwined with “disgusting” sado-masochistic scenes, including one image of a male in “monk’s garb” using a paddle to spank a young boy. Elhadad argued Lahey’s position in the Catholic Church placed him in a position of trust. “He is and was an individual in a position of trust over many years hiding his shameful sexual depravity and predilection in taking joy in the torture and rape of children,” said Elhadad.
✪ Controversy over ‘inhaled caffeine’ grows as as Sen. Schumer calls for FDA probe
Breathable caffeine dispensed from canisters that fit in jean pockets and are allowed in carry-on luggage is a ‘club drug’ that may be dangerous to teenagers, a New York senator said. Democrat Charles Schumer wrote Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg today asking her to review the safety and legality of the AeroShot Pure Energy caffeine inhaler, a yellow and gray canister of caffeine powder and B vitamins resembling a tube of lipstick. The inhaler is set to hit store shelves in New York and Boston next month 2 Comments Weigh InCorrections? inShare AeroShot will be sold over the counter with no age restrictions and is touted for its convenience and zero calories. If taken with alcohol, the mixture may have effects similar to caffeinated alcohol drinks tied to hospitalizations in the past, Schumer said. Doctors say it may carry neurological and cardiovascular risks.
✪ ‘Samantha Ardente,’ High School Employee Fired For Porn, Launches Porn Firm
Ardente was suspended from her job at a Quebec City-area high school in March after a student spotted her in a porn video on the Internet. While she didn’t deal with students in her job, the spicy contents of her videos turned her into quite the celebrity among them. School board officials fired Ardente after they were unable to reach agreement on her transfer to another job. They acknowledged Ardente hadn’t done anything illegal but said her cinematic activities don’t correspond with the values being taught at the school. Ardente had initially offered to put an end to her pornography career but said the board also wanted to impose working conditions that she felt would be too restrictive. After filing a grievance she eventually reached an out-of-court settlement with her employer.
✪ Deputy finds possible meth lab in toilet
“The manager said he was told people were hollering and arguing in another room,” Royals said. “When Hardiman made contact with the occupants of the room, he noticed the toilet kept running. When he went to check, he found a 20-ounce Coke bottle and a tin containing marijuana inside the tank, which caused it to keep running.”
✪ The $100,000 Made-in-India Shirt
If you thought buying an island was a costly affair, look no further than this new shirt, which costs twice as much as an island in Panama. From a distance, the five-million-rupee shirt ($97,500) looks fairly modest, but a closer look reveals that its buttons are diamonds set on gold.
✪ UCSD: Best Prank Ever
Senior Class Fabricates Existence of Korean “Artist,” Cons Stuart Collection into Hanging House Off Edge of Seven-Story Building Stuart Collection Curator Attempts to Save Face: “Actually, joke’s on them: this prank is so genius that it ascends to the level of art. We’re proud to feature it in our collection.”
✪ In Medellín, Notorious Figure Pablo Escobar Becomes Tourist Attraction
One four-hour tour costs $30 and takes tourists to Escobar’s grave, the house where he was shot dead by police and a home in the hills where he lived before his death. There the tourists meet Roberto Escobar, Pablo’s slight and balding older brother. The tours pose a conundrum for Colombia and Medellín, which have worked hard to reduce violence and shed their image as a land of gun-wielding cocaine smugglers. Tourism to Colombia is up 54% to nearly two million annual visitors compared to 2006, the government says. The country’s current tourism campaign says the only “danger” in visiting is falling in love with the country and not wanting to leave. “We knew we couldn’t just outlaw the tours,” says Medellín’s deputy secretary of tourism, Madeleine Torres. “But we feared the tours would promote the very thing we’re trying to move away from the connection people so often make between Colombia and cocaine.”
✪ The Oak Chapel of Allouville Bellefosse
The French village of Allouville-Bellefosse is famous for the Chêne Chapelle (Oak Chapel), which is literally a chapel built into an oak tree. The amazing architecture consists of a wooden staircase spiraling around the ancient tree, leading up to a couple of chambers. These rooms have always been used as places of worship, by the village locals. The age of the tree has been a subject of debate, but everyone agrees that it is the oldest tree in France, without a doubt. The tree is known to have been growing as far back as the thirteenth century, during the rule of Louis IX, when France was a truly centralized kingdom. It is also known to have survived the Hundred Years War against the English, the Black Death, the Reformation, and Napoleon’s rule. Local folklore dates it a 1,000 years old, when it is said that the acorn took root. However, tree experts say it could only be around 800 years old, which means the thirteenth century saw it’s origins.
✪ Datura: The Scariest Drug I Ever Took
But with devil’s weed, you really are so removed from reality, that the possibility of doing yourself a fatal mischief is all too real. Here’s what the US Department of Agriculture says: “Datura intoxication typically produces a complete inability to differentiate reality from fantasy (delirium, as contrasted to hallucination); hyperthermia; tachycardia (increased heart-rate); bizarre, and possibly violent behavior; and severe mydriasis (pupil dilation) with resultant painful photophobia that can last several days.” It has high enough levels of toxicity that it can also kill you if you’re not careful about the dosage.
✪ When Laguna Beach Was the LSD Capital of the Universe
Timothy Leary, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, Dodge City, Mystic Arts World, and a Laguna Beach history some would prefer to forget.
✪ Russian Meridian satellite crashes into street named after cosmonauts
The Meridian communications satellite failed to reach orbit yesterday due to a failure with its Soyuz rocket, in the latest setback for a Russian space program which has now lost over half a dozen satellites in the past year. Its fragments crashed into the Novosibirsk region of central Siberia and were found in the Ordynsk district around 100km south of the regional capital Novosibirsk. “A sphere was found, around 50cm in diameter, which crashed into the roof of a house in the village of Vagaitsevo” in the Ordynsk district, an official in the local security services told the Interfax news agency. In an extraordinary irony, the official said that the house was located on Cosmonaut Street, named after the heroic spacemen of the Soviet and Russian space program.
✪ Magnificent Visions
In Amazonian Peru, the author traces the source of the powerful Stone Age botanical hallucinogen ayahuasca. He meets crying shamans, drunken shamans, and even a gringo shaman, and learns about the epic quest it inspired in one devotee. Then he takes the ultimate step: drinking it himself. Whoa. . .
✪ ‘US blaming Iran for 9/11, incredible’
The United States adding Iran to the list of countries likely to be responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks is “beyond belief,” an analyst tells Press TV. His comments come as a New York judge has signed a default judgment excluding Saudi Arabia from the list of defendants, but finding Iran, along with the Taliban and al-Qaeda, liable in the Sept. 11, 2001 incident. “The official story of 9/11 is taking on a life of its own, how Judge George Daniels could find this in the court is beyond belief, and it indicates that the rule of law is breaking down even further in the United States,” said Joshua Blakeney of the Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Veterans Today.
✪ Is Anonymous Squabbling over the Stratfor Hack?
Representatives from the global intelligence company Stratfor awoke to find a lump of coal in their stockings this morning …or, more specifically, their clients’ credit card information strewn across the Web. It’s the latest cyber-attack being claimed by members of the hacktivist group Anonymous, one that allegedly resulted in the publishing of nearly 4,000 credit card numbers, site passwords, and home addresses for some of the (formerly) confidential clients of the U.S.-based security firm. The goal? The attackers indicated they were planning to use the stolen credit card information (allegedly stored as unencrypted text) to amass a sum of one million dollars that could then be given to various charities for the holiday season. Images posted alongside the hack’s alleged Pastebin-based press release show that some of these charity donations are already underway.
✪ How to Save a Treehouse from a Zoning Board
It was supposed to be a “slice of Americana and of childhood dreams,” says U.S. Army Specialist Mark Grapin, who lives in Fairfax County, Virginia. He’s talking about the treehouse he built for his two sons after returning from his latest tour of duty in Iraq. What Grapin didn’t expect was that Fairfax County’s zoning board would demand he tear down the treehouse after an anonymous complaint, thus launching the family into an eight-month legal battle. Grapin went to the local media for help and public outcry turned into an online petition. A neighbor donated trees to cover the treehouse, and the family even received a pro bono lawyer to help win over board members. Just days before the treehouse was to be torn down, Grapin was able to convince the board to let him keep it on the condition it be removed after five years. Plenty of time, he says, for his sons to enjoy it.
✪ Bitcoin’s Comeback: Should Western Union Be Afraid?
A series of security incidents had created an avalanche of bad press, which in turn undermined public confidence in the currency. Its value fell by more than 90 percent against the dollar. We thought Bitcoin’s value would continue to collapse, but so far that hasn’t happened. Instead, after hitting a low of $2, it rose back above $3 in early December, and on Monday it rose above $4 for the first time in two months. It’s impossible to predict where the currency will go next, but at a minimum it looks like the currency will still be around in 2012. This presents a bit of a puzzle for Bitcoin skeptics. The original run-up in prices could easily be explained as a speculative bubble, and the subsequent decline as the popping of that bubble. But if that were the whole story, then the value of Bitcoins should have continued to decline as more and more people lost confidence in the currency. That hasn’t been happening.
✪ Jamaica’s patois Bible: The word of God in creole
The patois Bible represents a bold new attempt to standardise the language, with the historically oral tongue written down in a new phonetic form. For example the passage relating the angel’s visit to Mary reads: “Di ienjel go tu Mieri an se tu ar se, ‘Mieri, mi av nyuuz we a go mek yu wel api. Gad riili riili bles yu an im a waak wid yu all di taim.”
✪ Monsanto’s GMO Corn Linked To Organ Failure, Study Reveals
“Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted. As there normally exists sex differences in liver and kidney metabolism, the highly statistically significant disturbances in the function of these organs, seen between male and female rats, cannot be dismissed as biologically insignificant as has been proposed by others. We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity….These substances have never before been an integral part of the human or animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who consume them, especially over long time periods are currently unknown.”
✪ HSBC: The World’s Dirtiest Bank
In late July, First Niagara Financial Group announced that it would buy 195 retail bank branches in New York and Connecticut from HSBC for around $1 billion. [1]  HSBC acquired the branches when it bought the spooky Marine Midland in 1980.  According to Global Finance, the UK-headquartered HSBC Holdings is the world’s 3rd largest bank with $2.36 trillion in assets. [2]  Formerly known as Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corporation, HSBC has served as the world’s #1 drug money laundry since its inception as a repository for British Crown opium proceeds accrued during the Chinese Opium Wars.  During the Vietnam War HSBC laundered CIA heroin proceeds.
✪ Madness: Even School Children Are Being Pepper-Sprayed and Shocked with Tasers
There is something truly disturbing about a society that seeks to control the behavior of schoolchildren through fear and violence, a tactic that harkens back to an era of paddle-bruised behinds and ruler-slapped wrists. Yet, some American school districts are pushing the boundaries of corporal punishment even further with the use of Tasers against unruly schoolchildren.  The deployment of Tasers against “problem” students coincides with the introduction of police officers on school campuses, also known as School Resource Officers (SROs). According to the Los Angeles Times, as of 2009, the number of SROs carrying Tasers was well over 4,000.
✪ 21,000 domains transfer out of Go Daddy in 1 day
Domain registrar Go Daddy lost over 21,000 domains yesterday. It could be a coincidence–or it could be the result of the company’s p.r. debacle over its support for the Stop Online Piracy Act.
✪ Patriot Missiles Seized, Sold To China by Israel
Finnish authorities have confirmed the seizure of 69 Patriot missiles manufactured by Raytheon Corporation today. During a routine search of the MS Thor Liberty, a ship flagged by the Isle of Man, at the Finnish port of Kotka, authorities found 69 Patriot missiles of a type capable of intercepting ICBMs, the most modern available and America’s most sensitive military technology.?log=out
✪ Police irked by the rise of online vigilantism
Dany Lacerte is one example. The young Quebec City father started a Facebook page to track and expose suspected online predators. He joined a popular online meeting site and created a fake profile of a 13-year-old girl. He said he catches about five men a day and tries to film them over an Internet video-chat site. However, he didn’t blur the faces of the men he allegedly caught before posting videos of them online. He has been threatened with a lawsuit from one of the men he filmed. Earlier this year, a group of teens dressed as superheroes are gaining notoriety for a series of videos they posted in which they confront alleged pedophiles in Chilliwack, B.C. In a spin-off of Dateline NBC’s To Catch a Predator, the boys pose as teen girls in chats with men looking for sex, then arranged to meet the men at fast-food restaurants in the city.
✪ The Google Goblins Give Firefox a Reprieve–But What About the Open Web?
For me, the charm of Facebook ended when my list of favorite books disappeared. The astonishing thing about the original lists of favorite things on Facebook was that you could instantly see anyone else in the Facebook land who was interested in anything on your own list. It was so surprising to discover this. Really popular things would show tens of thousands of devotees, but so many times, there would be just ten, or 100, or even two. Once in a while it would be a friend, or a friend of a friend, who shared a hitherto unknown and unsuspected taste for The Lost Scrapbook or the solo works of Yukihiro Takahashi. A magical thing. I friended a couple of complete strangers just because they were fellow Thurber freaks. These connections were random, unmonetized, unmediated. We can still do this on the Internet now-on Twitter, say, the new home of random and improbable connections-but not on Facebook. Not any more.
✪ Occupy Wall Street Becomes Highly Collectible
Occupy Wall Street may still be working to shake the notion it represents a passing outburst of rage, but some establishment institutions have already decided the movement’s artifacts are worthy of historic preservation. More than a half-dozen major museums and organizations from the Smithsonian Institution to the New-York Historical Society have been avidly collecting materials produced by the Occupy movement. Staffers have been sent to occupied parks to rummage for buttons, signs, posters and documents. Websites and tweets have been archived for digital eternity. And museums have approached individual protesters directly to obtain posters and other ephemera. The Museum of the City of New York is planning an exhibition on Occupy for next month. “Occupy is sexy,” said Ben Alexander, who is head of special collections and archives at Queens College in New York, which has been collecting Occupy materials. “It sounds hip. A lot of people want to be associated with it.” Thanks Jasmine
✪ The Apple Collection, 1986/87 – Catalog of Weird Apple Products
✪ Why do Women Menstruate?
Why humans (and most primates, some bats, and elephant shrews) menstruate is a question that many have attempted to answer in some way… some explanations more convincing than others. The downsides to menstruation (the process of shedding the endometrium of the uterus that was built up in anticipation of the possibility of the implantation of a fertilized egg); “throwing away a substantial amount of blood and tissue,” “leaving a blood trail or filling a delicate orifice with dying tissue” in a “world full of predators and disease,” not to mention the menstrual cycle’s “uncomfortable, awkward, and sometimes debilitating” symptoms; seem to necessitate a strong explanation for the evolution of the feature. Not only is it hard to find a theory that explains why just a few mammals find it more evolutionarily advantageous to menstruate, it’s difficult to come up with a theory that explains why all those other mammals haven’t found it more efficient as well.
✪ 2011 in Review: The Year Secrecy Jumped the Shark
As the year draws to a close, EFF is looking back at the major trends influencing digital rights in 2011 and discussing where we are in the fight for a free expression, innovation, fair use, and privacy. The government has been using its secrecy system in absurd ways for decades, but 2011 was particularly egregious. Here are a few examples
✪ Lee County Deputies Tied Suspect to a Chair, Gagged Him, and Pepper-Sprayed Him to Death
From Fox 13 in Tampa comes the horrifying story of Nick Christie, a 62-year-old Ohio man who was detained by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for being publicly intoxicated. While Christie’s wife asked that he be taken to the hospital, Lee County cops decided instead to strip Christie naked, tie him to a chair, cover his face, and then pepper spray him repeatedly, until he died
✪ Killed over Concords: The Internet Murder of Tyreek Amir Jacobs
The disbelief over unruly crowds fighting and being pepper sprayed over Air Jordan Concords turned to mourning when it was reported on social media and blogs that a young man, 18-year-old Tyreek Amir Jacobs, had been killed for the coveted shoes. As the rumors put it, Jacobs was a teen from Washington DC and killed in Maryland, possibly at the Wheaton Mall. A photo of him was passed around, inscribed with his date of birth and date of death. But calls to police revealed there had been no killings under such circumstances in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area. “Nothing like that has happened here, and I hope we would know,” said one Montgomery County police official. While media outlets in the district reported on disturbances around the area, none ended fatally. Still, as of this writing, some 12,000 people were participating in no less than eight Facebook groups about Jacobs’ killing.
✪ Unprovoked attacks at heart of ‘Knockout King’
Matthew Quain still struggles to piece together what happened after a trip to the grocery store nearly turned deadly. He remembers a group of loitering young people, a dimly lit street – then nothing. The next thing he knew he was waking up with blood pouring out of his head. The 51-year-old pizza kitchen worker’s surreal experience happened just before midnight earlier this year, when he became another victim of what is generally known as “Knockout King” or simply “Knock Out,” a so-called game of unprovoked violence that targets random victims.
✪ Secret Weather Weapons can kill millions, warns top Russian politician
A top Duma political leader caused shock waves in a recent television interview when he warned that Russia could deploy an arsenal of new technology to destroy any part of the planet and kill over a hundred million people using secret weather weapons if the United States, the UN or Georgia tried to stop Russias entry into the WTO. Vladimir Zhirinovsky is Vice-Chairman of the Russian State Duma and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), the first officially sanctioned opposition party after the fall of communism. The LDPR has deep links with the former KGB and Communist Party and has become a significant force in Russian politics, despite Zhirinovsky himself being branded as a militant neo-fascist.

 

 

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

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Meth Smurfing

  • A Longmont man is accused of pulling into a Burger King drive-through with his penis in his hand and asking a 24-year-old employee at the window if she would like to “handle his Whopper,” early today.
  • CVS, the largest operator of pharmacies in the United States, confessed back in October that it knowingly allowed crystal meth manufacturers to illegally buy large amounts of pseudoephedrine (PSE), an active ingredient used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. To avoid criminal prosecution, CVS officials agreed to pay the federal government a $75 million fine for narcotics violations, the largest cash money penalty in the 40-year history of the Controlled Substances Act.
  • Spokane police say a man walked into a Taco Bell restaurant at about 8:00 Monday evening, headed straight to the back of the kitchen, and without a word, locked himself inside a large walk-in cooler. Restaurant employees immediately called 911 and police arrived on scene just minutes later. It took police officers an estimated 15 minutes to dismantle the heavy door and pry it open – once inside, they found 42-year-old Richard Thomas dead. Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said there were no obvious signs of trauma. The man was dressed normally and it didn’t appear as if he had died of exposure.
  • According to Louisville Metro Police, a Wal-Mart loss prevention employee reportedly witnessed the couple stuffing a diaper bag and purse full of merchandise around 6:00 p.m. Monday with an infant in tow.

    When the employee confronted the couple, they fled the scene with about $1,300 in stolen items, leaving their 9-month-old infant behind. Kapetanious changed clothes, then came back for her child. The couple was apprehended about 400 yards from the store.

  • Patricia Day, lead singer of the HorrorPops, is suing Mattel and Hard Rock Cafe claiming they stole her likeness in the making of their special-edition Rockabilly Barbie.
  • According to Deputy Chief Marshall Segar, police were called to Shop Rite at 7:20 p.m. after receiving a complaint of a man exposing himself. Segar said Germaine was stopped as he attempted to drive away from the store. Segar said the vehicle contained “a rubber sex toy that resembled male genitalia, a ‘jock’ strap/athletic supporter and a zucchini wrapped in duct tape.”
  • All hail the nano-scientists. A group from the University of Texas, in Dallas, has developed a new technique using nanotubes that can spin yarns out of powders–specifically, powdered boron and magnesium. Though the research is in early stages, one of the coolest possible applications could be wearable power supplies.
  • The first ever vaccine for drug addiction has just been created. By combining a cocaine-like molecule with part of the common cold virus, you get a vaccine that turns the immune system against cocaine, keeping it away from the brain.
  • Some 15,000 gallons of animal fat poured into the channel through a storm drain on Tuesday after an onshore storage tank owned by agricultural company Jacob Sterns and Sons leaked 250,000 gallons of the greasy substance, Brahms said.
  • More than 25% of Kids and Teens in the U.S. Take Prescriptions on a Regular Basis
  • One of psychology’s most respected journals has agreed to publish a paper presenting what its author describes as strong evidence for extrasensory perception, the ability to sense future events.
    The decision may delight believers in so-called paranormal events, but it is already mortifying scientists. Advance copies of the paper, to be published this year in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, have circulated widely among psychological researchers in recent weeks and have generated a mixture of amusement and scorn.
  • He drinks his share of Merlot and hangs out with a crowd of influence peddlers in what’s known as Boehnerland. He’s a frequent flyer on corporate jets and successfully fought a ban on privately funded congressional travel in the 2007 ethics-reform bill. This election cycle alone, special interests have paid for him to take 40 trips worth $158,000. Just hours before his victory speech, he held court at his favorite Washington restaurant, Trattoria Alberto, with his 40 closest friends and advisers, the bulk of whom are corporate lobbyists.
  • A leftover nugget of good news from before the holiday: Congress passed legislation allowing for the creation of hundreds or thousands of new independent, community-based, non-commercial radio stations on American airwaves. Here’s to the “outdated” medium of AM/FM radio becoming a surprise bulwark against the trend of corporate media consolidation.
  • The dispute began after Taylor, who is white, used the phrase the “n” word during the 2007 staff meeting. She said participants at the burial had said the full word “at least a hundred times or more,” according to court records.

    “Does this mean we can finally say the word n-?” Burlington asked colleagues, according to depositions.

    Nicole Wolfe, a producer and one of the three African American employees among the nine people at the meeting, exclaimed: “I can’t believe you just said that!”

    Burlington told Taylor that although he did not necessarily expect her to use the word in her story, he thought that doing so gave the story more credence.

    Burlington says he used the word only once and approached several attendees after the meeting to explain himself. The Daily News account said he had used the word more than a dozen times.

  • The cable said Coca Cola distributor Joerg Hartmann informed embassy officials that trucks were stalled at the crossing if firms did not pay bribes, in a scheme largely run by a high-level Israeli official with the help of others, including two soldiers.

    “Hartmann also alleged that he has been asked to pay as much as 13,000 to 15,000 shekels ($2,889 to $3,333) per truckload, which includes a flat fee plus an additional two shekels per case charge, which is not recorded on the invoice,” the cable said.

  • The video, which we’ve included above, shows several officers confronting an unidentified man in a wheelchair who was allegedly wielding a knife and a chunk of concrete. The department claims the man stabbed an officer earlier and had begun slashing nearby car tires. Shortly after the civilian dropped the knife, officers shot twice, hitting the unidentified suspect in the groin. The victim did not appear to be confined to the wheelchair as officers began forcing him to the ground after being shot.

    A witness can be heard on the video saying, “What the fuck? That was unnecessary.”

    Two of the unidentified officers have been placed on administrative leave, according to radio station KQED.

    The shooting comes one week after officers shot and killed 46-year-old Vinh Bui in the city’s Portola neighborhood.

  • In the annals of modern justice, the Posada trial stands out as one of the most bizarre and disreputable of legal proceedings. The man identified by US intelligence reports as a mastermind of the midair destruction of a Cuban airliner—all seventy-three people on board were killed when the plane plunged into the sea off the coast of Barbados on October 6, 1976—and who publicly bragged about being behind a series of hotel bombings in Havana that killed an Italian businessman, Fabio Di Celmo, is being prosecuted for perjury and fraud, not murder and mayhem. The handling of his case during the Bush years became an international embarrassment and reflected poorly on the willingness and/or abilities of the Justice Department to prosecute crimes of terror when that terrorist was once an agent and ally of America. For the Obama administration, the verdict will carry significant implications for US credibility in the fight against terrorism, as well as for the future of US-Cuban relations.
  • The North Korean government’s official Twitter account has apparently been hacked, with the feed displaying a string of messages derogatory of leader Kim Jong-il and heir apparent Kim Jong-un, the South Korean Yonhap news agency has reported.

    The four most recent messages posted on Saturday morning accuse the ruling family of exploiting the North Korean people to enjoy luxurious lives and develop nuclear arms and missiles.

    One message called for an uprising to kill the Kims “with a sword”.

  • A new edition of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is being released by NewSouth books with the text censored to remove the word “nigger” and replace it with “slave.” This galling decision has been done, claims Twain expert Alan Gribben, because, “Race matters in these books… It’s a matter of how you express that in the 21st century.”

    I think Mr. Gribben has confused the importance of history and literature with contemporary mores and marketing.

    Being a slave is a matter of current conditions. Being called a nigger is a matter of dehumanizing worldview. One could escape slavery. One could not escape the viral worldview that allowed it. To equate “slave” with “nigger” is to confuse a condition with a method. People were not called niggers because they were slaves. People were called slaves because they were controlled. People were called nigger because, in that worldview, they had no place, never did, and never should.

  • A member of parliament in Iceland who is also a former WikiLeaks volunteer says the US justice department has ordered Twitter to hand over her private messages.

    Birgitta Jonsdottir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, said last night on Twitter that the “USA government wants to know about all my tweets and more since november 1st 2009. Do they realize I am a member of parliament in Iceland?”

    She said she was starting a legal fight to stop the US getting hold of her messages, after being told by Twitter that a subpoena had been issued. She wrote: “department of justice are requesting twitter to provide the info – I got 10 days to stop it via legal process before twitter hands it over.”

  • The U.S. Justice Department obtained a court order directing Twitter to turn over information about the accounts of activists with ties to Wikileaks, including an Icelandic politician, a legendary Dutch hacker, and a U.S. computer programmer.
  • Police found a black vibrator with gun powder and buck shot inside with cords attached to a trigger, a pink vibrator with the words “Merry X-mas B—-” written on it in black marker, and a cream-coloured vibrator. They also found cords, cables, a tool kit and a drill case with drill pieces inside.

    The women told police that Lester once let slip his plans to give one of his two ex-girlfriends a modified vibrator that would explode when he pulled the trigger.

  • Bite by bite, he tore through vinyl cruiser No. 2502, a 2006 Chevrolet Impala, exposing its fluffy filling, a sheriff’s report states. When he was done with the presumably not-so-tasty treat, he had done about $300 in damage, Deputy Mark Mitchell reported.
    Thanks Patrick Nybakken
  • President Obama is planning to hand the U.S. Commerce Department authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity effort to create an Internet ID for Americans, a White House official said here today.

    It’s “the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government” to centralize efforts toward creating an “identity ecosystem” for the Internet, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt said.

    That news, first reported by CNET, effectively pushes the department to the forefront of the issue, beating out other potential candidates, including the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The move also is likely to please privacy and civil-liberties groups that have raised concerns in the past over the dual roles of police and intelligence agencies.

  • The title of this post kind of says it all. As pointed out by blockzuck.com, you can block anyone on Facebook except CEO Mark Zuckerberg. If you try to do it (we did), you’ll get a message saying “General Block failed error: Block failed.”

    This kind of thing is funny, and adds a little personality to the site. But Facebook is getting way too big and culturally important for things like this to continue. In 2005 it was cool for Zuckerberg to have a business card that said “I’m CEO…Bitch.” And we can forgive early Facebook engineers from perusing confidential user data in their leisure time. But it’s time for this company to go through puberty and start acting more like a teenager than a fifth grader. If you want to block Zuckerberg, you should be able to block Zuckerberg.

  • I have been reading up on this strange chapter in the history of Donald Rumsfeld and have learned two things. One, the chemical additive aspartame is very potentially a cancer and brain tumor-causing substance that has no place in our food. And two, the reasons and means by which Rumsfeld helped get it approved are nefarious at best, criminal at worst. And by the way, that medal that Rumsfeld got back in 2004 was the Presidential Medal of Freedom, also awarded to Tommy Franks, George Tenet and that charming warrior L. Paul Bremer. Evidently, “Freedom” means the right to use your powerful friends in Washington to approve your company’s dangerous substance for human consumption and make a fat bonus on the way out the door. So how did aspartame become legal? And more importantly, if it had been rejected multiple times over fears of brain tumors and cancer, why?

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