The Doors | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

Mayor of the Sunset Strip (2003) Rodney Bingenheimer Hollywood Rock Scenester

Rodney Bingenheimer Riot House

The Rodney Bingenheimer of today seems always to be smiling through a deep sadness. He is a small man who still has the youthful cuteness that must have won him friends in his early days. His hair is still combed in the same tousled mid-1970s rock star style, and his T-shirts are the real thing, not retro. He lives now in an inexpensive apartment jammed with records, tapes, discs, and countless autographed photos of his friends the stars. And, yes, they are still his friends; they have not forgotten him, and David Bowie, Cher, Debbie Harry, Courtney Love, Nancy Sinatra and Mick Jagger all appear in this film and seem genuinely fond of Rodney.

Rodney Bingenheimer Riot House

Well they might. He introduced some of them — Bowie in particular — to American radio. He was known for finding new music and playing it first: The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Nirvana. Stations all over the country stole their playlists from Rodney. “Sonny and Cher were kinda like my mom and my dad,” he says wistfully at one point. He ran a little club for a while, featuring British glam rock, and the stars remember with a grin that it was so small the “VIP Area” consisted simply of a velvet rope separating a few chairs from the dance floor.

Rodney Bingenheimer English Disco

The story of how Bingenheimer entered into this world is apparently true, unlikely as it sounds. As a kid he was obsessed with stars, devoured the fan magazines, collected autographs. One day when he was a teenager, his mother dropped him off in front of Connie Stevens’ house and told him he was on his own. He didn’t see his mother for another five or six years. Connie wasn’t home.

Rodney Bingenheimer n Jimi Hendrix

He migrated to the Sunset Strip, but instead of dying there or disappearing into drugs or crime, he simply ingratiated himself. People liked him. He hustled himself into a job as a gofer for Davy Jones of the Monkees (they looked a little alike), and then became a backstage caterer; a survivor of a Doors tour remembers a Toronto concert where Rodney had enormous platters of fresh shrimp backstage. But the Beatles were backstage visitors, and Rodney gave them the shrimp, so there were only a few left for the Doors, who had paid for them. Challenged by The Doors, Rodney shrugged and said, “Well, they’re the Beatles.”

Rodney Bingenheimer English Disco

Wherever Bingenheimer went in the music and club scene, his face was his passport. Robert Plant says, “Rodney got more girls than I do.” We hear a little of his radio show from the old days, and what comes across is not a vibrating personality or a great radio voice — it’s kind of tentative, really — but an almost painful sincerity. He loves the music he plays, and he introduces it to you like a lover he thinks is right for you. The road downhill was gradual, apparently. We get glimpses of Rodney today, repairing his mom’s old Nova with a pair of pliers, shuffling forlornly through souvenirs of his glory days. He seems very even, calm, sad but resigned, except for one moment the documentary camera is not supposed to witness, when he finds that another deejay, a person he sponsored and gave breaks to, is starting a show of new music — stealing Rodney’s gig. He explodes in anger. We’re glad he does. He has a lot to feel angry about.

Rodney Bingenheimer-and-joan-jett

The film was directed by George Hickenlooper, who made the classic doc “Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse” (1991), about the nightmare of Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” and the wonderful fiction film “The Man From Elysian Fields” (2001). Why did he make this film (apart from the possibility that someone named Hickenlooper might feel an affinity for someone named Bingenheimer)? Hickenlooper has been around fame at an early age. He was 26 when he released the doc about the Coppola meltdown. He cast Mick Jagger and James Coburn in “Elysian Fields.” He was aware of Rodney Bingenheimer when the name still opened doors. His film evokes what the Japanese call mono no aware, which refers to the impermanence of life and the bittersweet transience of things. There is a little Rodney Bingenheimer in everyone, but you know what? Most people aren’t as lucky as Rodney. – Roger Ebert

rodney mayor

File under Blast From The Past, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB, Sex

Choose Death

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Ray Kelly Wants Stop And Frisk To “Instill Fear” In Minorities, State Senator Testifies

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has long maintained that the department’s controversial stop-and-frisk strategy does not target New Yorkers based on the color of their skin, despite the fact that in fifty-one percent of those stopped last year were black and 32 percent Hispanic. A federal trial challenging the constitutionality of stop-and-frisk is currently underway in federal court in Manhattan, and today a State Senator testified that Kelly once admitted to him that stop-and-frisk targeted blacks and Hispanics—and that the policy was intended to “instill fear.”
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ALERT: All Of The Money In Your Bank Account Could Disappear In A Single Moment
What would you do if you logged in to your bank account someday and it showed that you had a zero balance and your bank had no record that you ever had any money in your account?  What would you do if all of the money in your bank account suddenly disappeared in a single moment?  If you had not kept any paper records, which most Americans do not, it would be exceedingly difficult to prove to the bank that you actually had any money in the bank.  If you don’t think that something like this could ever happen in the United States, you might want to think again.  Cyber attacks against major banks in the United States are becoming more powerful and more sophisticated with each passing month.  In fact, major U.S. bank websites have been offline for a total of 249 hours over the past six weeks.  And just last month, thousands upon thousands of Chase customers logged into their bank accounts only to discover that their balances had all been reset to zero.
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Massachusetts McDonald’s demands bachelors degree and two years’ experience for cashiers job

It used to be high school drop outs flipping burgers at McDonald’s, now the fast-food joint is demanding a bachelors degree. In a frightening example of how competitive the job market is for young people right now, a McDonald’s outpost in Winchedon, Massachusetts, has just posted a call-out for a full time cashier – but insists only college graduates need apply. And even they must have 1-2 years of cashier experience before they’ll be trusted with the Big-Mac-selling responsibility, according to the advert.
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Black Celebrities Who Have Allegedly Bleached Their Skin

Whether it was admitted or denied, a lot of Black Hollyweird is getting lighter for some reason and a lot of people suspect skin bleaching. Some can argue that celebrities are influenced to do it because of the better treatment lighter complexions receive in Hollywood for television, magazines, and better endorsements. However, we can all agree that these celebs have gotten a little lighter over the years and it ain’t just bad makeup. Hit the flip and peep for yourself, let us know which ones you think are bleaching!
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Alfred Anaya Put Secret Compartments in Cars. So the DEA Put Him in Prison

Early drug traffickers stashed their loads in obvious places: wheel wells, spare tires, the nooks of engine blocks. Starting in the early 1980s, however, they switched to what the Drug Enforcement Administration refers to as “urban traps”: medium-size compartments concealed behind electronically controlled facades. The first such stash spots were usually located in the doors of luxury sedans; trap makers, who are often moonlighting auto body specialists, would slice out the door panels and then attach them to the motors that raised and lowered the windows. They soon moved on to building traps in dashboards, seats, and roofs, with button-operated doors secured by magnetic locks. Over time, the magnets gave way to hydraulic cylinders, which made the doors harder to dislodge during police inspections.
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Revoke Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize

After receiving the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama has made perpetual war look more perpetual than ever. Today, there are more U.S. troops in Afghanistan than when Obama took office. His presidency has widened the use of drones and other instruments of remote killing in several countries. Please sign this petition to the Norwegian Nobel Committee:
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Second Jewish Infant Contracts Herpes From Controversial Circumcision Rite

MBP, a procedure practiced by some ultra-Orthodox mohels, involves a mohel orally sucking away the blood from the infant’s genital area after cutting off his foreskin during the bris, or ritual circumcision. The practice can infect newborns with herpes simplex virus type 1, according to medical authorities. It’s a virus that, while not serious for adults, can be fatal for infants, or cause permanent cognitive or physical damage. Most mohels in this country use a sterile pipette for for suctioning the blood. But many ultra-Orthodox mohels consider direct suction of the genital area by mouth to be mandated by the Talmud as part of the religious rite.
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Exxon’s Unfriendly Skies: Why Does Exxon Control the No-Fly Zone Over Arkansas Tar Sands Spill?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has had a “no fly zone” in place in Mayflower, Arkansas since April 1 at 2:12 PM and will be in place “until further notice,” according to the FAA website and it’s being overseen by ExxonMobil itself. In other words, any media or independent observers who want to witness the tar sands spill disaster have to ask Exxon’s permission. Mayflower is the site of the recent major March 29 ExxonMobil Pegagus tar sands pipeline spill, which belched out an estimated 5,000 barrels of tar sands diluted bitumen (“dilbit”) into the small town’s neighborhoods, causing the evacuation of 22 homes. 
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AMAZING Aerial Footage of Arkansas Tar Sands Oil Spill!

Tens of thousands of gallons of oil have flooded some of the streets and yards of Mayflower, Arkansas. The Exxon tar sands oil spill is small taste of what we would see if the Keystone XL Pipeline is approved. The media is largely being kept away from this spill. In the video you can see that Exxon’s plan to clean it up consists mostly of hoses and paper towels.
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Poll: Almost One Third Of Americans Believe In New World Order

A survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, labeled by many as a pro-Obama outfit, seems to be aimed at ascribing belief in “crazy conspiracy theories” to Republicans by mixing in real cover-ups and conspiracies with outlandish ideas. However, despite the constant media drumbeat about the clear move towards centralization of power being a baseless conspiracy theory, the poll reveals that 28 per cent of Americans believe that “a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order.” 46 per cent of respondents do not believe this notion, while 25 per cent are not sure. Good news!  Maybe alternative media is getting through to people?  And why shouldn’t they, they are bombarded with facts everyday backed up by the shady, secretive actions of their government and corporations. -Mort
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The average human vagina

In 1991 a group of three researchers published a paper that described a method for casting a mold of the vagina using material more commonly used to make dental impressions. In short, liquid polymer goo is injected into a willing woman’s vagina with a kind of caulk gun. She waits ten minutes. Then with the help of KY, squatting and pushing, and the string from a tampon that was inserted before the material dried, the mold is removed. Though this paper included only two participants, a few years later the same researchers (plus a couple of others) published another study that examined vaginal molds of 39 women. In these women, all Caucasian, vaginal lengths ranged from almost 7 to almost 15 centimeters (2.75–6 in) with diameters between 2.4 and 6.5 cm (~1–2.5 in). A later study classified the diversity of vaginal shapes: conical, parallel sides, heart, slug, and pumpkin seed. (I can’t be the only one hoping that my vagina looks like a pumpkin seed instead of a slug.)
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Geico Allman Brothers motorcycle insurance ad criticised

When Geico gave the go-ahead on a new ad for motorcycle insurance set to the iconic Midnight Rider by the Allman Brothers, we’re guessing the company didn’t realize band members Duane Allman and Berry Oakley both died in motorcycle accidents within a year of one another. The deaths are the stuff of rock and roll legend, as both Oakley and Allman perished in crashes in Macon, Georgia within a block of one another back in the early ’70s.
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Penis removed from Mars statue thanks to reversal of Berlusconi-ordered changes

An ancient statue of Mars has lost its fake penis and his counterpart Venus her hands, in the reversal of cosmetic changes ordered by Italy’s ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, a newspaper reported Wednesday. In 2010 Berlusconi decided the two marble statues adorning the official residence of the prime minister were “incomplete” and ordered a swift intervention to remedy their shortcomings. In a move which horrified the art world, Mars was touched up with a fake penis, shield, hand and the point of his sword and Venus her two hands.
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Guantanamo hunger strike numbers soar says prisoner

A hunger strike at the US prison camp at Guantanamo has grown to include 130 of the 166 inmates, according to the lawyer for one of the prisoners. Clive Stafford Smith says he has been told by his client Shaker Aamer that camp officials have been trying to break the hunger strike without success. The US Defense Department said just under 40 prisoners are refusing food and 11 are being force fed after the latest hunger strike started seven weeks ago. Concerned by events there, the International Committee of the Red Cross recently brought forward a scheduled visit to the camp by a doctor. The ICRC does not comment publicly on its findings at the camp.
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Ragnarok

The earth will shudder with earthquakes, and every bond and fetter will burst, freeing the terrible wolf Fenrir. The sea will rear up because Jormungand, the Midgard Serpent, is twisting and writhing in fury as he makes his way toward the land. With every breath, Jormungand will stain the soil and the sky with his poison. The waves caused by the serpent’s emerging will set free the ship Naglfar, and with the giant Hymir as their commander, the giants will sail towards the battlefield. From the realm of the dead a second ship will set sail, and this ship carries the inhabitants of hell, with Loki as their helmsman. The fire giants, led by the giant Surt, will leave Muspell in the south to join against the gods. Surt, carrying a sword that blazes like the sun itself, will scorch the earth.
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How I Stopped Eating Food

THE EXPERIMENT There are no meats, fruits, vegetables, or breads here. Besides olive oil for fatty acids and table salt for sodium and chloride nothing is recognizable as food. I researched every substance the body needs to survive, plus a few extras shown to be beneficial, and purchased all of them in nearly raw chemical form from a variety of sources. The section on the ingredients ended up being quite long so I’ll save that for a future post. The first morning my kitchen looked more like a chemistry lab than a cookery, but I eventually ended up with an thick, odorless, beige liquid. I call it ‘Soylent’. At the time I didn’t know if it was going to kill me or give me superpowers. I held my nose and tepidly lifted it to my mouth, expecting an awful taste.
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Twitter, Addiction, and Changing Social Norms

It’s not just Twitter. It’s broader than that. Within the verbal, well-educated, politically conscious social group that most bloggers belong to, we’ve always been expected to keep up with things. The problem is that “keeping up” increasingly means being surrounded by an endless torrent of tweets, texts, blogs, and Tumblrs demanding our attention. With traditional physical forms of news consumption no longer acting as natural limits, the risk of relapse into obsession is never more than a ringtone away, with nothing but raw self discipline as our last line of defense. Modern social norms don’t allow us to turn this stuff off completely, but for those of us who are vulnerable to this kind of addiction, ever advancing technology conspires to turn us into nervous wrecks if we don’t.
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Urban Exploration Helps Terrorism, Counterterrorism Agency Warns

Some people are into spelunking through the urban ruins and crevasses of unfamiliar cities. The National Counterterrorism Center has a term for these sorts of people: terrorist dupes. “Urban Explorers (UE) — hobbyists who seek illicit access to transportation and industrial facilities in urban areas — frequently post photographs, video footage, and diagrams on line [sic] that could be used by terrorists to remotely identify and surveil potential targets,” warns the nation’s premiere all-source center for counterterrorism analysis.
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Infographic: Remembering Kowloon Walled City – City Of Anarchy

Kowloon Walled City, located not far from the former Kai Tak Airport, was a remarkable high-rise squatter camp that by the 1980s had 50,000 residents. A historical accident of colonial Hong Kong, it existed in a lawless vacuum until it became an embarrassment for Britain. This month marks the 20th anniversary of its demolition.
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Is Facebook Causing a Deterioration of Society as We Know It?

“Replying to questions posted on Facebook by The New York Times, Daylina Miller, a recent graduate of the University of South Florida, said that when she poured out her sadness online, some readers responded only with the Facebook ‘like’ symbol: a thumb’s up. ‘You feel the same way?’ said Ms. Miller, puzzled. ‘Or you like that I’m sad? You’re sadistic?’” Similarly inauspicious examples of the constriction of empathy and warping of inter-human relations include the “liking” of death announcements. On my own Facebook feed, I’ve witnessed friends post news of a parent’s death only to be bombarded with the thumb’s up and comments to the effect of: “Sorry man!” In addition to a cheapening of sentiment, Facebook also encourages alienation from reality by displacing the space-time continuum: instead of experiencing events and thoughts as they occur in real-time, users are often distracted by how best to market these events and thoughts to their Facebook audiences.
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Lingerie to ‘help’ women fight sexual offences in India

“The lingerie, laced with modules of global positioning system (GPS), global system for mobile communications (GSM) and also pressure sensors, is capable of sending shock waves of 3,800 kV as well as alerts to the girl’s parents and police,” says Manisha Mohan, co-developer of the innovative product named Society Harnessing Equipment (SHE). “The shocks can be emitted up to 82 times,” she said, adding it’s an apt device which could get women “freedom from situations faced in bus, public places”, where at times they are reluctant to walk down to lawmakers for help. “A person trying to molest a girl will get the shock of his life the moment pressure sensors get activated, and the GPS and GSM modules would send a SMS on emergency number 100, as well as to parents of the girl. Thanks Jasmine.
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Pimp Forced Girl To Tattoo Eyelids With His Name

Police said “Suave”, a Miami pimp, allegedly forced a 13-year-old runaway to tattoo his street name on her eyelids. The pimp, who has a lengthy rap sheet, allegedly forced the girl to a Liberty City flea market tattoo shop to get the ink done after she threatened to leave him, CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reports.
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Transcendental Meditation: How I Paid $2,500 For a Password to Inner Peace

Transcendental Meditation is just a fancy name for a common variety of meditation in which a mantra – a word or series of syllables – is repeated with the intention of creating a meditative state. Pretty much any word or syllable will do, despite the hype of TM, which insists that a mantra can only be given by a “qualified” instructor. The TM initiate is told never to reveal her mantra under any circumstances, lest its magic be lost. My instructor suggested that he had some particular insight into me in choosing my mantra, but this is utter nonsense. People who have taught TM have admitted that they are given a list of mantras they’re supposed to divvy out according to age and gender. Nothing mystical about it. Here’s one list, which contains a version of my “personal” mantra. In violation of the sacred rules of TM, I’m now going to reveal it to you: “aima.” That’s my mantra. Two syllables. Vaguely pleasant sounding.
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Police: Man on meth crashes car into Walmart then randomly attacks bystanders

A man who crashed his car into a San Jose Walmart Sunday morning and began randomly beating people with a metal club was likely under the influence of methamphetamine, police said. The incident occurred just after 11 a.m., as a man who has not yet been named crashed his red Oldsmobile Cutlas into two other cars in the parking lot of a Walmart store, then cruised along a walkway near the front doors before plowing through the entrance. The driver kept on the gas for another 30 feet until the car finally came to a stop atop a beer display, at which point the driver exited and began assaulting people nearby with a metal club
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Boston police catfishing indie rockers: Cops pose as punks on the Internet

A recently passed nuisance control ordinance has spurred a citywide crackdown on house shows—concerts played in private homes, rather than in clubs. The police, it appears, are taking a particularly modern approach to address the issue: They’re posing as music fans online to ferret out intel on where these DIY shows are going to take place. While police departments have been using social media to investigate for years, its use in such seemingly trivial crimes would be rather chilling, if these efforts didn’t seem so laughably inept. It’s a law enforcement technique seemingly cribbed from MTV’s Catfish—but instead of creating a fake persona to ensnare the marks in a romantic internet scam, it’s music fandom that’s being feigned.
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Pope washes feet of young Muslim woman prisoner in unprecedented twist on Maundy Thursday

While popes have for centuries washed the feet of the faithful on the day before Good Friday, never before had a pontiff washed the feet of a woman. That one of the female inmates at the prison in Rome was also a Serbian Muslim was also a break with tradition.
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‘Immodest’ Girls Beat Up Iranian Cleric

‘”You are badly covered,” an Iranian cleric told two girls. “Cover your eyes,” one said before kicking him. He was hospitalized.
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File under Conspiracy Theory, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death, Sex

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on April 4, 2013

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Vintage Stewardesses Were So Hot

File under Blast From The Past, Fashion, Fetish, SeMeN SPeRmS Approved, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, Sex

They Sold Their Souls For Rock N Roll – Religious Rockumentary – Music, Satan’s Best Tool

“Is it true that SATAN is the master musician working behind the popular music scene and influencing our youth? Fasten your seat belts as you go on an eye popping ride upon the roller coaster of Rock, and find out how Rocks most popular artists have Sold Their Souls for Rock and Roll. In this mind blowing exposé Pastor Joe Schimmel reveals just how SATAN has been effectively using popular music to undermine Gods plan for family and ultimately heralding the coming of the Antichrist and his kingdom on earth. Come behind the scenes with us as we expose the deceptive agendas of many of yesterday and todays secular artists, such as: Elvis, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, U2, Creed, Madonna, Britney Spears, DMX, Tupac, Tori Amos and many more. It’s time to remove the blinders – guard yourself and those you love from one of Satans most powerful tools.”

File under Culture, Massive Consumption of Drugs, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS Approved, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB

The Devil Went Down To Baltimore

  • With some parishes seeing an increase in claims of demonic possession in the United States, the Roman Catholic Church is training its clergy in how to respond to requests for the ancient rite. More than 100 bishops and priests attended a November workshop on the subject in Baltimore.

    Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, who organized the two-day, closed-door event at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, says pastors need help discerning the difference between those who need an exorcist and those who only believe they do.

    The goal, he says, was to help the clergy counsel people who believe they are possessed by a demon by referring them to a physician, a therapist, or — in very rare cases, he stresses — an exorcist.

  • Streaking across the night sky, a stunning ball of fire shot across the south eastern part of the United States last night – dazzling stargazers with a bright flash.

    Authorities say the mysterious flash of light – which could be seen from Oklahoma to the Florida panhandle – was most likely a meteorite.

    The object, which was est

  • Yet another weapons technology has been under development for some decades. Scalar technology—invented by the genius Nikola Tesla early in the 20th Century—has the potential to turn the environment itself into a weapon and tune its deadly properties into a merciless, near instantaneous killer.

    That advanced technology may have just been tested in Arkansas and Louisiana.

  • John Pike, director of the Washington military research group GlobalSecurity.org, said that, based on the GAO’s figures, US forces had expended around six billion bullets between 2002 and 2005. “How many evil-doers have we sent to their maker using bullets rather than bombs? I don’t know,” he said.
  • “After horrific shootings, we hear calls for stricter regulation of guns,” he wrote. “The Tucson shooting should remind us why we regulate marijuana.

    “Jared Lee Loughner, the man held as the Tucson shooter, has been described by those who know as a ‘pot smoking loner.’ He had two encounters with the law, one for possession of drug paraphernalia.”

  • It appears the process was going well, because the scientists decided to have a little party. The party included sake, whisky, various wines, shochu, and beer. At a certain point, the researchers decided to try soaking the compound in the many, many liquors they had on hand and seeing how they compared to the more conventional soaking liquids.

    When they tested the resulting materials for superconductivity, they found that the ones soaked in commercial booze came out ahead. About 15 percent of the material became a superconductor for the water mixed with ethanol, and less for the pure water. By comparison, Shochu jacked up conductivity by 23 percent and red wine managed to supercharge over 62 percent of the material. The scientists were pleased, if bemused with their results.

  • Williams, 53, has been busted for theft, robbery, escape, forgery, and drug possession. He is pictured at right in mug shots taken as a result of those Ohio collars, which stretch back more than two decades.
  • Police said a desk clerk shot a man who was attempting to rob an east side motel on Saturday night.

    Officers said that shortly before 9:30 p.m., a man walked into the Super 8 Motel, located at 2055 Brice Rd., showed a gun and demanded money.

    Police said the desk clerk on duty then shot the alleged robber, Antoine Stephens.

    Stephens, 20, was transported to Grant Medical Center and was in serious condition on Sunday morning, NBC 4 reported.

    Police said he would be charged with aggravated robbery.
    3 shots fired, all 3 hit the bad guy, gun was a glock 23, 40cal with 165g Gold dots

    no charges filed agenst shooter, badguy went to prison.

  • Prompted by a viral video showing a wild, all-female brawl outside a Florida gas station, cops have launched a probe to identify and possibly arrest the combatants, some of whom had clothing ripped off during the melee.
  • Tank camouflage has come a long way since the good old days of painting them green and slapping a white star on the side. British defense tech firm BAE Systems is developing an active “e-camouflage” system that will employ a form of electronic ink to project imagery of a vehicles surrounding terrain, rendering the vehicle somewhat invisible to potential attackers.

    Using a set of electronic sensors attached to the tank’s exterior, the system would process the vehicle’s surroundings and recreate the colors, lines, and shapes common in its environment on the tank’s hull, making it extremely difficult to see. Because the images on the tank’s exterior would change as the surroundings change, ostensibly such an active camouflage system could cloak the vehicle even as it moves across an environment.

  • As Facebook was negotiating a half-billion-dollar investment from Goldman Sachs recently, MySpace, once the dominant Web site for social networking, was preparing to fire nearly half its staff.

    The layoffs, which cut nearly 500 employees from a payroll of close to 1,100, were announced Tuesday. The downsizing is the most draconian yet for the beleaguered company, and could be a precursor to a sale of the site by the News Corporation, which bought MySpace in 2005 for $580 million after a bidding war with Viacom.

    On one level, the decline of MySpace again shows the fragility of social media where fickle consumers and changing tastes can make sensations out of services like Tribe and Friendster that quickly fade from public imagination. According to comScore, MySpace reported 54.4 million users at the end of November, a loss of more than nine million from the previous year.

  • ANGELINA JOLIE hangs out at a drugs den – in a grainy video of the Hollywood babe before she spectacularly turned her life around.

    The Tomb Raider beauty is seen wide-eyed and babbling in the seedy amateur footage – as a woman next to her casually smokes heroin.

  • One of Seattle’s self-proclaimed superheroes had his nose broken and was threatened at gunpoint Saturday, prompting police to again ask that he and others stop with the costumes and call 911.
  • “I did have an alcohol problem early …,” Williams has acknowledged in an interview on the Today show. “I was drinking like a fifth a day … my life went to pits.”

    The troubled voiceover actor also has a rap sheet that includes theft, robbery, forgery and drug possession.

  • Olivia Clark lived for only one hour. Doctors didn’t even expect her to survive birth. Now her family has a hard time understanding why the King County Medical Examiner has to review her death and charge $50.
  • Jacob Appelbaum, a security researcher, Tor developer, and volunteer with Wikileaks, reported today on his Twitter feed that he was detained, searched, and questioned by the US Customs and Border Patrol agents at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on January 10, upon re-entering the US after a vacation in Iceland.

    He experienced a similar incident last year at Newark airport.

    An archive of his tweeted account from today follows.

  • Money can’t buy you taste. This universal law is amply confirmed by the news that a £700m “hyper yacht” called the Streets of Monaco is on the drawing board of Derby-based ship designers Yacht Island Design. Whether it will ever get off that drawing board and into the sea is yet to be decided.
  • Do your friends complain that you can’t pull your eyes away from your iPhone? Well, if you get the new XWave by PLX Devices, then you might have trouble pulling your brain away, too. The peripheral, released in November for $99, brings an EEG-based brain-computer interface (BCI) to iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users at an affordable price. Based on NeuroSky’s Mindset, XWave gives you the power to manipulate various apps with brain rhythms. While you can’t text or browse the web with it yet, the XWave represents an important step in bringing BCI to the masses. Also, with the falling cost and increasing spatial resolution of brain-imaging technology, it’s exciting to ponder what powerful BCI devices we’ll be able to get for $99 in the future.
  • Check out this totally crazy b-day cake featuring the face of rapper Lil’ Wayne!
    It was actually made for the 14 year-old daughter of actor Alec Baldwin (her name is Ireland), and has licorice dreadlocks with chocolate sunglasses.
  • Greg Wolff, the owner of two Arizona gun shops, told his manager to get ready for a stampede of new customers after a Glock-wielding gunman killed six people at a Tucson shopping center on Jan. 8.

    Wolff was right. Instead of hurting sales, the massacre had the $499 semi-automatic pistols — popular with police, sport shooters and gangsters — flying out the doors of his Glockmeister stores in Mesa and Phoenix.

    “We’re at double our volume over what we usually do,” Wolff said two days after the shooting spree that also left 14 wounded, including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition.

  • The Fox News culture permits on-air personalities to fantasize about assassination and other forms of violence against deemed enemies.
  • “Posterchild is an awesome street artist who, amongst other things, takes out the ads in telephone booths and replaces them with his own quirky messages. Bonus: He doesn’t have a cell phone.”

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