Torn | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe - Part 2


✰ I Got Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s FBI File
Some gems include: “The WTC is heavily involved in the sale of drugs, illegal guns, weapons possession, murder, carjacking and other types of violent crime.” [p5] Connections to the murder of Robert “Pooh” Johnson and Jerome “Boo Boo” Estrella. [p6] Connection to murder of Ishamael “Hoody” Kourma. [p13] A shoot-out with the NYPD. [p15] Arrest for felony possession of body armour. [p16] Connections to the Bloods Gang. [p17] Found in possession of large bags full of paper currency. [p40] Details of his being robbed and shot while staying in the Kingston projects. [p45]
✰ Heroin in a burrito allegedly smuggled by L.A. County deputy into courthouse jail
In a sign of how serious officials consider the smuggling problem to be, the Sheriff’s Department recently recorded a former deputy, now in state prison, as he explained what led him to help inmates sneak in heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine. In the video, Peter Felix tearfully recounts from behind bars how his fall from grace started with taking a burrito to an inmate. The video is meant to serve as a cautionary tale for other deputies. In Marin’s case, prosecutors allege that at least two other unnamed individuals conspired with him. According to the indictment, one of those individuals contacted the other to discuss using a deputy to get narcotics into the Airport Courthouse jail. Several days later, the two met at a sheriff’s jailhouse. One instructed the other to get the drugs and stuff them into a “food item,” the indictment states.
✰ Man surrenders 94 hamsters to MSPCA
More than 90 hamsters were found in one man’s apartment, well-cared for and kept in aquariums, buckets and Tupperware containers. The Boehm Street man had 94 hamsters in total and decided on his own it was just too many. He went to the MSPCA’s Small Animal Shelter at Nevins Farm in Methuen last week to let officials there know he had a large number of hamsters he wanted to surrender. “The situation was not dire, so we asked him to wait a week so we could prepare for them,” said Mike Keiley, director at the Methuen shelter.
✰ Cocaine: The New Front Lines
Since 2000, cultivation of coca leaves—cocaine’s raw material—plunged 65% in Colombia, to 141,000 acres in 2010, according to United Nations figures. In the same period, cultivation surged more than 40% in Peru, to 151,000 acres, and more than doubled in Bolivia, to 77,000 acres. More important, Bolivia and Peru are now making street-ready cocaine, whereas they once mostly supplied raw ingredients for processing in Colombia. In 2010, Peru may have passed Colombia as the world’s biggest producer, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Between 2009 and 2010, Peru’s potential to produce cocaine grew 44%, to 325 metric tons. In 2010, Colombia’s potential production was 270 metric tons.
✰ Mother jailed for raping daughter in bizarre sex education lessons
A MOTHER of four who subjected her 11-year-old daughter to a “bizarre sex education” was jailed for four years yesterday. The 37-year-old Sunshine Coast mother used her mobile phone to create three films showing her raping her youngest child and exposed her to other sexual activity “in response to repeated questions”. Judge John Robertson said the mother, through her “selfish criminal conduct”, had deprived her daughter of the right to “a wholesome and loving relationship with her mother”. He said while sexual offences against children by their own mothers were “rare”, the community acting through the courts should denounce “this shocking conduct” with a significant punishment.
✰ Breast Augmentation with Saline breast implants
This 23 year old patient from Menifee, California (Riverside County) had always been self conscience about her left breast. It seemed as if she had an additional breast and nipple on that left side. She had been thinking about breast augmentation surgery for quite a while but wanted to find a board certified plastic surgeon who would also address her 3rd breast on the left side. This condition is known as a supernumerary breast tissue which are a common minor congenital malformation that consists of nipples and/or related tissue in addition to the 2 nipples normally appearing on the chest.
✰ Accessory breast tissue
A 27-year-old woman presented with a soft, non-tender lump in the right groin, with cyclical pain during menstruation. After surgical excision, histopathology revealed normal breast tissue. Accessory breasts occur in 0·4-6% of women along the milk line which runs from axilla to groin.
✰ 5 more dirty tricks: Social engineers’ latest pick-up lines
You may now be savvy enough to know that when a friend reaches out on Facebook and says they’ve been mugged in London and are in desperate need of cash, that it’s a scam. But social engineers, the criminals that pull off these kinds of ploys by trying to trick you, are one step ahead. Social engineering attacks are getting more specific, according to Chris Hadnagy author of Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking. “Targeted attacks are earning social engineers better results,” he said. What that means is they may need to do more work to find out personal information, and it may take longer, but the payoff is often larger. “Attacks now are not just a broad spam effort, sending out a million emails with an offer for Viagra,” said Hadnagy. “These are now individual attacks where they are going after people one by one.”
✰ Top 20 arguments having a dog causes families
A new study shows ‘man’s best friend’ can also be his worst enemy as it triggers up to three rows every single day.   That’s the equivalent of 156 quarrels every year – or 1,997 over the average pooch’s life expectancy of 12.8 years.   And the spats range from disagreeing about who should take the dog for a walk, feeding them too many treats and what to do with them when going away.
✰ Grisly find reveals Indonesia’s fixation with black magic
In all, the graves of 24 children had been exhumed on the same night in a co-ordinated action. Police have yet to make an arrest and the investigation continues, but few are in doubt about the motivation of the grave robbers. ”It was for black magic,” Sapari says. ”Maybe for immunity, or strength … or maybe to make yourself disappear.” Ki Kusumo, anointed by several magazines as Indonesia’s most popular paranormal, says: ”There are plenty of cases like this. It’s just that they don’t always make the media.” He says deceased virgin teenage girls are particularly sought after and ”families have to guard the tomb for 40 days” after burial. In Indramayu in West Java, he says he knows of babies born on an auspicious day in the Javanese calendar being kidnapped and beheaded. ”The heads are buried in the front of the person’s house. They believe, this way, they will become wealthy.”
✰ Not Just the Wendrows: Sex Abuse Cases Dismissed After Facilitated Communication
In the early 1990s, the Wheatons were part of a disturbing trend: families whose autistic children accused them of sexual abuse — allegations leveled through a technique called facilitated communication. The technique involves a trained person called a facilitator, who holds a disabled person’s arm while they type on a keyboard. But in case after case, charges against accused parents were dropped or dismissed and questions were raised about whether facilitators were, in fact, guiding their young clients to type the unthinkable accusations. The cases caught the attention of the American Psychological Association. In 1994, the association deemed the technique an “unproved communicative procedure with no scientifically demonstrated support for its efficacy,” a position it continues to stand behind today.
✰ Woman says her fake penis got her fired
IS THAT a Fruit-A-Freeze in your pocket – or are you just happy to see me? A northeastern Pennsylvania woman is suing a South Jersey-based maker of frozen treats and other snack foods, claiming that she was wrongfully fired because she wore a prosthetic penis to work. Pauline Davis, 45, wore the device to the J&J; Snack Foods plant in Moosic, Lackawanna County, while she contemplated a gender change, according to a federal civil-rights complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Scranton. She confided in several co-workers about the device, and someone told management, according to the complaint. She subsequently was fired from her job as a packer/line inspector. Her termination, she claims, was discriminatory because a male co-worker who wore female clothing and prostheses and took hormone treatments was not fired nor disciplined.
✰ Girls Licking Doorknobs
It seems like Japan is in the news, more often than not, for bizarre activities. The latest that’s making waves on the internet is a Tumblr blog with pictures of girls licking doorknobs. The work belongs to illustrator Ryuko Azuma, who says the idea started as many good ones do – with a drunken tweet. Famous for his sexy, edgy drawings, one night he tweeted that a collection of photos of a girl licking a doorknob would be a big hit. Azuma says he wouldn’t have done anything about it if the tweet had gone unnoticed. But as luck would have it, it didn’t. A 21-year-old photographer, Ai Ehara, replied to the tweet and that was how the ‘Doorknob Girl’ was launched. Ehara herself posed as the first Doorknob Girl, but when the site went viral, they began to hire several other models for the job. According to Ehara the idea was ‘extraordinarily unusual’.
✰ Man’s marimba iPhone ring stops Mahler symphony dead
“The symphony ends incredibly quietly so there was literally no way that we could go on, Gilbert told NBC News. “So I stopped the music and I asked the general vicinity where the sound was coming from ‘please turn off your cellphone.’ And I had to ask several times…” In the ensuing pause, some in the audience reportedly called for blood, shouting: “Kick him out!” and “$1,000 fine!” the witness recounted. Gilbert quietly employed shame until the offender — described as an elderly man by another blogger — confirmed that the phone was off. Before continuing with the concert, Gilbert apologized and explained that normally it’s best to ignore such disturbances, but he said this was “so egregious that I could not allow it.” This was the first time Gilbert has stopped the orchestra for a violation of the “cell-phones off” rule, a media contact at the symphony said, but at least the second time that it has happened in the symphony’s history.
✰ Shithouse Restaurant serves dinners in mini-toilets
Co-owner Feng Lu said: ‘We had the idea when we were discussing one of the worst restaurants we’d ever eaten in and one of us said it had been a real toilet. So we decided to see if we could make a restaurant that was just one big toilet.
✰ Deal reached in case of accused phony doctor offering breast exams
At the time of Winikoff’s arrest, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said he carried a little black bag to lend credibility to his claim of being a doctor. The first victim, 36 at the time, told detectives he started the exam by fondling her breasts, and she knew something was wrong when his hands wandered elsewhere.
✰ Swastika Earrings Reportedly No Longer For Sale At Brooklyn Jewelry Store
New York City Councilman Steve Levin, D-Brooklyn, visited Bejeweled in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, on Wednesday and met with owner Young Sook Kim, who agreed to remove them from the shelves, the Daily News reports. A day earlier, politicians and advocates told that the earrings were the latest example of anti-Semitism in New York and New Jersey. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer demanded that the store immediately stop selling them. “Let me be clear — a swastika is not a fashion statement,” Stringer said in a statement to “It is the most hateful symbol in our culture, and an insult to any civilized person.” But the store’s manager defended the $5.99 earrings, saying the swastika is a symbol of eternity in Tibetan Buddhism, not just a symbol popularized by Nazi Germany. “It’s not a Nazi symbol,” Kim told on Wednesday. “I don’t know what’s the problem. My earrings are coming from India as a Buddhist symbol.”
✰ ‘Anti-semitic’ car bombs were motivated by insurance fraud NOT racial hatred, say police
When a number of cars were firebombed in a Jewish neighbourhood, with racist graffiti nearby, police assumed that they were dealing with a hate crime. Community leaders were so outraged by the apparent anti-semitism in Midwood, an area of Brooklyn, that they organised a march against hate attended by more than 100 residents. But now police say that the cars were in fact torched as part of an insurance scam, and the abhorrent graffiti – including swastikas scrawled in the street – was an attempt by the fraudsters to cover their tracks.
✰ In Which Eben Moglen Like, Legit Yells at Me for Having Facebook
That’s the consequence of social media structures which encourage people to share using centralized databases, and everything they share is held by someone who is no friend of theirs who also runs the servers and collects the logs which contain all the information about who accesses what, the consequences of which is that we are creating systems of comprehensive surveillance in which a billion people are involved and those people’s lives are being lived under a kind of scrutiny which no secret police service is the 20th century could ever have aspired to achieve. And all of that data is being collected and sold by people whose goal it is to make a profit selling the ability to control human beings by knowing more about themselves than they know. Okay? That’s true of all this information all the time everywhere. The thing you’re working on is simply one of 100,000 implications of that disaster.
✰ Salmon DNA used in data storage device
Salmon … they’re good to eat, provide a livelihood for fishermen, are an important part of their ecosystem, and now it seems that they can store data. More specifically, their DNA can. Scientists from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany have created a “write-once-read-many-times” (WORM) memory device, that combines electrodes, silver nanoparticles, and salmon DNA. While the current device is simply a proof-of-concept model, the researchers have stated that DNA could turn out to be a less expensive alternative to traditional inorganic materials such as silicon. The device is made up of a thin film of salmon DNA that has been impregnated with silver atoms, then sandwiched between two electrodes. When UV light is shone onto the system, the atoms cluster together into nanoparticles.
✰ Questions, perception prompt burger chains to ditch product ‘Pink Slime’
McDonald’s and two other fast-food chains have stopped using an ammonia-treated burger ingredient that meat industry critics deride as “pink slime.” The product remains widely used as low-fat beef filling in burger meat, including in school meals. But some consumer advocates worry that attacks on the product by food activist Jamie Oliver and others will discourage food manufacturers from developing new methods of keeping deadly pathogens out of their products.
✰ Bacon linked to higher risk of pancreatic cancer, says report
Eating 50g of processed meat every day – the equivalent to one sausage or two rashers of bacon – increases the risk by 19%, compared to people who do not eat processed meat at all. For people consuming double this amount of processed meat (100g), the increased risk jumps to 38%, and is 57% for those eating 150g a day. But experts cautioned that the overall risk of pancreatic cancer was relatively low – in the UK, the lifetime risk of developing the disease is one in 77 for men and one in 79 for women.
✰ Iran Sentences Alleged Video Game Developer ‘Spy’ to Death [UPDATE]
“After (working for DARPA), I went to Kuma (Games Company),” Hekmati was quoted as saying as part of his December “confession” according to Iran’s Tehran Times. “This computer company was receiving money from the CIA to (produce) and design and distribute for free special movies and games with the aim of manipulating public opinion in the Middle East. The goal of the company in question was to convince the people of Iran and the people of the entire world that whatever the U.S. does in other countries is a good measure.”
✰ Who Is Flying Unmanned Aircraft in the U.S.?
“Drones give the government and other unmanned aircraft operators a powerful new surveillance tool to gather extensive and intrusive data on Americans’ movements and activities,” said EFF Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch. “As the government begins to make policy decisions about the use of these aircraft, the public needs to know more about how and why these drones are being used to surveil United States citizens.”
✰ IBM smashes Moore’s Law, cuts bit size to 12 atoms
IBM announced Thursday that after five years of work, its researchers have been able to reduce from about one million to 12 the number of atoms required to create a bit of data. The breakthrough may someday allow data storage hardware manufacturers to produce products with capacities that are orders of magnitude greater than today’s hard disk and flash drives. “Looking at this conservatively … instead of 1TB on a device you’d have 100TB to 150TB. Instead of being able to store all your songs on a drive, you’d be able to have all your videos on the device,” said Andreas Heinrich, IBM Research Staff Member and lead investigator on this project.
Man hides 38 caliber pistol up him Rectum in jail [Video]
A man wanted for murder in the Atlanta area was found with a gun in his jail cell, and lawmen believe he had that weapon hidden in his rectum when he was booked into jail. Michael Ward remains in the Onslow County jail after his arrest Monday morning. Deputies say the gun measures 10 inches, including a 4-1/2 inch barrel. Deputies say that Ward was searched and strip searched before he was placed into a holding cell. Jailers also made Ward perform what they call a “squat and cough” procedure.
✰ Comprehensive Experimental Analyses of Automotive Attack Surfaces [PDF]
Modern automobiles are pervasively computerized, and hence potentially vulnerable to attack. However, while previous research has shown that the internal networks within some modern cars are insecure, the associated threat model —requiring prior physical access—has justifiably been viewed as unrealistic. Thus, it remains an open question if automobiles can also be susceptible to remote compromise. Our work seeks to put this question to rest by systematically analyzing the external attack surface of a modern automobile. We discover that remote exploitation is feasible via a broad range of attack vectors (including mechanics tools, CD players, Bluetooth and cellular radio), and further, that wireless communications channels allow long distance vehicle control, location tracking, in-cabin audio exfiltration and theft. Finally, we discuss the structural characteristics of the automotive ecosystem that give rise to such problems and highlight the practical challenges in mitigating them
✰ The hidden danger of touchscreens
Ergonomic risks are not new to computer users. Laptops and netbooks, whose sales now outnumber desktop computers by more than two to one, pose their own health-related problems. But the rise of the touchscreen means both new kinds of health hazards and more usage in risky scenarios.
✰ Halle Berry plays a white woman in Cloud Atlas
White actors “blacking up” for a role has become taboo, but Halle Berry is happy to do the opposite. The black American actress agreed to “white up” for her performance in a forthcoming adaptation of David Mitchell’s acclaimed novel Cloud Atlas.
✰ Milky Way Crammed With 100 Billion Alien Worlds?
Last year, using the exoplanets discovered by the Kepler space telescope as a guide, astronomers took a statistical stab at estimating the number of exoplanets that exist in our galaxy. They came up with at least 50 billion alien worlds. Today, astronomers from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md., and the PLANET (Probing Lensing Anomalies NETwork) collaboration have taken their own stab at the “galactic exoplanetary estimate” and think there are at least 100 billion worlds knocking around the Milky Way. Why has the estimate doubled? The key difference here are the methods used to detect alien worlds orbiting distant stars.
✰ The New York Times public editor’s very public utterance
Thursday, Arthur Brisbane, the public editor of the New York Times, went to his readers with a question: “I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge ‘facts’ that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.” Brisbane (who, as public editor, speaks only for himself, not the Times) referred to two recent stories: the claim that Clarence Thomas had “misunderstood” a financial reporting form when he left out key information, and Mitt Romney’s assertion that President Obama gives speeches “apologising” for America. Brisbane asked whether news reporters should have the freedom to investigate and respond to those comments. The reaction from readers was swift, voluminous, negative and incredulous. “Is this a joke? THIS IS YOUR JOB.” “If the purpose of the NYT is to be an inoffensive container for ad copy, then by all means continue to do nothing more than paraphrase those press releases.”
✰ Totally drug-resistant TB emerges in India
Physicians in India have identified a form of incurable tuberculosis there, raising further concerns over increasing drug resistance to the disease1. Although reports call this latest form a “new entity”, researchers suggest that it is instead another development in a long-standing problem. The discovery makes India the third country in which a completely drug-resistant form of the disease has emerged, following cases documented in Italy in 20072 and Iran in 20093. However, data on the disease, dubbed totally drug-resistant tuberculosis (TDR-TB), are sparse, and official accounts may not provide an adequate indication of its prevalence. Giovanni Migliori, director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases in Tradate, Italy, suggests that TDR-TB is a deadlier iteration of the highly resistant forms of TB that have been increasingly reported over the past decade. “Totally resistant TB is not new at all,” he says.
“>✰ Network [Video]
Information technology has become a ubiquitous presence. By visualizing the processes that underlie our interactions with this technology we can trace what happens to the information we feed into the network.
✰ Drake Confronts LA Face Tattoo Artist
My whole deal with people wanting completely outrageous and potentially life-ruining tattoos is this: I’ll ask them three times if they really think it’s a good idea, I tell them what the potential consequences of getting a tattoo on their face might be, and after that, the bad decision is on them. I believe that people get the tattoos that they deserve…I guess I feel bad that this dumbass got the name of the softest motherfucker in hip-hop tattooed on her forehead. But what makes that any less valid of a tattoo to her?… I lost a little sleep over it that first night, wondering if I wanted to be known as the asshole who tattooed “DRAKE” on some crackhead’s forehead.
✰ Sir Isaac Newton’s Occult Studies Online
it took me awhile to search online for Newton’s occult writings about the Philosopher’s Stone (the mythical element that would turn lead to gold and provide a means to immortality), the Tarot, astrology, alchemy, magic, and the end of the world. Newton also wrote of Atlantis in his Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms. He concealed these works to avoid criticism. When he died, these papers were considered ‘unfit to publish.’ When they finally surfaced in 1936 after being kept for centuries in the Earl of Portsmouth’s attic, they were auctioned. One of the people who eagerly bought and read Newton’s secret writings was John Maynard Keynes – there’s some food for thought as the world’s economic crisis deepens. After reading them, Keynes reportedly said, “Newton was not the first of the age of reason, he was the last of the magicians.”
Hitler reacts to SOPA. [Video]
“Don’t cry, Disney owns the right to that emotion.”
✰ Juicing medical marijuana the latest trend in amazing cures
The current methods of taking in medical marijuana include: Smoking, vaporizing, ingesting edibles, and reducing THC hemp into a vial of concentrated hemp oil. They all have healing qualities, but the concentrated hemp oil that Rick Simpson discovered seems to have been the most efficacious form of medical marijuana, at least up to now ( Now it appears that Dr. William Courtney, MD, has discovered the best way to take in CBDs and other beneficial cannabinoids without the THC becoming psychoactive even though it’s still in the plant: Eating or juicing the whole raw marijuana plant. Dr. Courtney explains that heating marijuana destroys enzymes and excites the THC’s psychoactive effects. But if ingested raw the CBD takes over, and dramatic healing activity occurs without the high.
✰ Is the Head of One Tyrant Worth the Lives of Millions?
Is the head of one tyrant worth the lives of millions and the pain of billions?  Sadly, throughout the most of history people have been convinced that this is a fair trade, and that the ends somehow justify the means. Unfortunately, the only ends in any war are violence, murder and a total decline in civilization.  Maybe some oil companies get some contracts, some arms manufacturers get some sales and some governments pick up some land, but nothing is ever really accomplished in war.  A war with Iran is no different, it will do nothing but bring more pain to the innocent people of this world and ensure that the United States will repeat the same fate suffered by the ancient Roman Empire.
✰ Rick Santorum’s End Times Theory About a Nuclear Iran
While talking about Iran—whose nuclear facilities the former Pennsylvania senator recently said he would bomb if they weren’t opened to international arms inspectors—Santorum noted that one of the regime’s enrichment facilities is located near the city of Qom, home to the Jamkaran mosque, which houses an ancient well considered sacred to some Shia Muslims. According to local belief, Santorum said, the Mahdi—”he’s the equivalent in some respects to a Jesus figure—was going to come back at the end of times and lead Shia Islam to the ruin of the world and peace and justice. That’s what their end of times scenario is.” He continued: Well he comes back at a time of great chaos. So there are many who speculate that there are folks over in Iran who wouldn’t mind creating a time of great chaos for religious reasons. And the fact they built this nuclear program in the city next to where this man is supposed to return leads one to the think that there may be more to it…
✰ Tweeting the word ‘drill’ could mean your Twitter account is read by government spies
Simply using a word or phrase from the DHS’s ‘watch’ list could mean that spies from the government read your posts, investigate your account, and attempt to identify you from it, acccording to an online privacy group. The words which attract attention range from ones seemingly related to diseases or bioweapons such as ‘human to animal’ and ‘outbreak’ to other, more obscure words such as ‘drill’ and ‘strain’. The DHS also watches for words such as ‘illegal immigrant’. The DHS outlined plans to scans blogs, Twitter and Facebook for words such as ‘illegal immigrant’, ‘outbreak’, ‘drill’, ‘strain’, ‘virus’, ‘recovery’, ‘deaths’, ‘collapse’, ‘human to animal’ and ‘trojan’, according to an ‘impact asssessment’ document filed by the agency. When its search tools net an account using the phrases, they record personal information.
✰ The New York Times misleading public on Iran
The claim that there is “a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran’s nuclear programme has a military objective” is misguided. As Washington Post’s Ombudsman Patrick Pexton noted on December 9: But the IAEA report does not say Iran has a bomb, nor does it say it is building one, only that its multiyear effort pursuing nuclear technology is sophisticated and broad enough that it could be consistent with building a bomb. Indeed, if you try now to find the offending paragraph on the New York Times website, you can’t. They took it down. But there is no note, like there is supposed to be, acknowledging that they changed the article, and that there was something wrong with it before. Sneaky, huh?
✰ World’s worst places: Top 10 places you do not want to visit in 2012
The places on this list are the bad places. Some have run out of hope. Others have fought war for so long it is the new normal. Most are exceptionally dangerous and heartbreaking. And while none of them are fighting for write-ups by travel bloggers or inspiring travel with the NetJet set, some of these locations may someday be on the travel map. After all, it was not long ago that current hot-spots like Cambodia and Croatia would have made such a list.
✰ ‘Doomsday Clock’ Ticks One Minute Toward Destruction
In a sign of pessimism about humanity’s future, scientists today set the hands of the infamous “Doomsday Clock” forward one minute from two years ago. “It is now five minutes to midnight,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) director Kennette Benedict announced today (Jan. 10) at a press conference in Washington, D.C. That represents a symbolic step closer to doomsday, a change from the clock’s previous mark of six minutes to midnight, set in January 2010.  The clock is a symbol of the threat of humanity’s imminent destruction from nuclear or biological weapons, climate change and other human-caused disasters. In making their deliberations about how to update the clock’s time, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists focused on the current state of nuclear arsenals around the globe, disastrous events such as the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, and biosecurity issues such as the creation of an airborne H5N1 flu strain
✰ Mass Suicide Threats at Xbox 360 Plant
On Jan. 2, over 300 employees at a Foxconn plan in Wuhan, China threatened to throw themselves off a building in a mass suicide. Foxconn makes Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony products. These workers manufacture Xbox 360s. According to Chinese anti-government website China Jasmine Revolution (via Watch China Times), the workers were protesting denied compensation they were promised. On Jan. 2, the workers asked for a raise. Foxconn told them they could either keep their jobs with no pay increase or quit and get compensation. Most decided to quit with compensation. However, the agreement was supposedly terminated, and the workers never received their payments. Website Record China reported that the uproar the incident actually caused Xbox 360 production to be temporarily suspended. The mayor of Wuhan intervened to talk down the group down, and on Jan. 3 at 9pm, the group of 300 decided not to jump, ending what could have been a deadly game of chicken.
✰ My Guantánamo Nightmare
ON Wednesday, America’s detention camp at Guantánamo Bay will have been open for 10 years. For seven of them, I was held there without explanation or charge. During that time my daughters grew up without me. They were toddlers when I was imprisoned, and were never allowed to visit or speak to me by phone. Most of their letters were returned as “undeliverable,” and the few that I received were so thoroughly and thoughtlessly censored that their messages of love and support were lost. Some American politicians say that people at Guantánamo are terrorists, but I have never been a terrorist. Had I been brought before a court when I was seized, my children’s lives would not have been torn apart, and my family would not have been thrown into poverty. It was only after the United States Supreme Court ordered the government to defend its actions before a federal judge that I was finally able to clear my name and be with them again.
✰ Warren Jeffs bans sex in his fundamentalist Mormon congregation until he gets out of prison (He’s serving a life sentence plus 20 years)
Warren Jeffs, the convicted rapist leader of a fundamentalist Mormon cult, has banned sex until he gets out of prison.  Jeffs is serving a life sentence plus 20 years in Texas after he was convicted of raping a 12 and a 15-year-old girl. He has already kicked one member who dared to sleep with his own wife after Jeffs declared that all marriages are void until he can return and ‘seal’ them. ‘He has predicted that the walls in the prison where he’s at will fall and crumble,’ Joni Holm, who has many relatives in the polygamous sect, told the Desert News. Thanks Jasmine.



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Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on January 16, 2012

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The Worst Of 2011

★ 2011 Worst Police Misconduct Video of the Year Reader’s Poll
Once again it’s time for our annual “Worst Police Misconduct Videos of the Year” reader’s poll. Here we post some, but not all, of the over 80 videos associated with claims of police misconduct that we were able to present on our site in 2011. While some of the incidents tied to these videos did not occur in 2011, the videos for those reports weren’t released to the public until this year so they are included.
★ Deaths From Terrorism Compared To Other Things
Here are the chances of a few things killing you in the US compared:
Terrorism ———————— 1 in 3,500,000
Tobacco ————————- 1 in 726
All Accidents ——————- 1 in 2,500
Alcohol ————————— 1 in 2827
Cancer —————————- 1 in 540
★ Surfers to be tested for drugs
In the 1960s and 1970s, it was the counter culture’s sport of choice. With the long hair and beach bum lifestyle came marijuana and LSD. But surfing is set for a radical image change as its international governing body prepares to introduce comprehensive drug testing for professionals for the first time. Amid growing evidence that the sport’s drug culture has gripped even some of its elite athletes, the Association of Surfing Professionals will in 2012 roll out a policy for screening competitors and officials for performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. The move comes after the death of the triple world champion Andy Irons in November 2010. A postmortem found he died from a heart attack and “acute mixed drug ingestion”. Traces of methadone, methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, and a metabolite of cocaine were found in his bloodstream.
★ Donna Simpson, World’s Heaviest Mom At 600 Pounds, Closes Pay-Per-View Eating Site
Donna Simpson has taken another step towards changing her life and, perhaps, changing her image. The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reports that the Guinness World Record holder for “world’s heaviest mom” has decided to shut down her pay-per-view eating site where, for years, internet users have been shelling out $19 a month to watch Simpson eat. “I realized that I was their fantasy,” Simpson told the Plain Dealer. “Here I was getting bigger and bigger, and they had their thin wives, with 2½ kids and a picket fence.”
★ How Marijuana May Drive the Brain into Psychosis
Two ingredients in marijuana have opposite effects on certain regions of the brain, according to a new study. One chemical, called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), increases the brain processes that can lead to symptoms of psychosis, while another compound, called cannabidiol, may negate such symptoms, according to the study. Moreover, the findings are the first to use images of the brain to demonstrate that the reason symptoms of psychosis arise in marijuana users may be because THC interferes with the brain’s ability to distinguish between stimuli that are important, and those that aren’t, according to the study.
★ Shortage of ADHD drug Adderall seen persisting
The DEA authorizes a certain amount of the API in Adderall – mixed amphetamine salts – to be released to drugmakers each year based on what the agency considers to be the country’s legitimate medical need. Increasingly that estimate is coming into conflict with what companies themselves say they need to meet demand for the drug, which is reaching all-time highs. In 2010, more than 18 million prescriptions were written for Adderall, up 13.4 percent from 2009, according to IMS Health, which tracks prescription data.
★ White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to Mars
Forget Kenya. Never mind the secret madrassas. The sinister, shocking truth about Barack Obama’s past lies not in east Africa, but in outer space. As a young man in the early 1980s, Obama was part of a secret CIA project to explore Mars. The future president teleported there, along with the future head of Darpa. That’s the assertion, at least, of a pair of self-proclaimed time-traveling, universe-exploring government agents. Andrew D. Basiago and William Stillings insist that they once served as “chrononauts” at Darpa’s behest, traversing the boundaries of time and space. They swear: A youthful Barack Obama was one of them.
★ BBC criticised for naming panda as a woman of the year
The BBC has come in for ridicule after it included a giant panda called Sweetie alongside Pippa Middleton and Adele in its list of the 12 women of the year.
Genius Cops Caught Apparently Planting Evidence By Own Dash Camera
Here’s a video of two Utica, N.Y. police officers searching a car during a traffic stop. At 1:02, one officer pulls a small baggie of something out of his pocket and ducks into the car; at 1:31, he emerges again, holding the same baggie. Oops! (Update: Police have responded, saying that the full video shows the officer had previously found the baggie on the suspect and placed it in his pocket.)
★ Five Solved ‘Unexplained Mysteries’ of 2011
Each year brings new puzzles and mysteries to challenge skeptics and put our wits to the test. Sometimes mysteries take weeks, months, or even years or decades to solve, and while most of the public’s attention naturally focuses on the still-mysterious, it’s always worth reflecting on former mysteries. This past year saw two high-profile cryptozoological (monster) mysteries finally solved, that of the Puerto Rican chupacabra and the French Beast of Gévaudan. There were also three new UFO / alien cases that made international news before eventually being solved (in Russia, Isreal, and Los Angeles). I participated in solving several of these mysteries. Here’s to a new year of fresh investigation, and hopefully 2012 will end with an even longer list of solved mysteries!
★ Vandals steal squirrel monkey ‘Banana Sam’ from S.F. Zoo
A $5,000 reward is being offered for the return of Banana-Sam, a squirrel monkey who was snatched from his cage at the San Francisco Zoo overnight. Zoo and police officials are searching for the gold-colored monkey, who appeared to have been stolen late Thursday or early Friday when vandals broke in to the zoo and cut the netting around the squirrel monkey pen. “This was a criminal act of vandalism and trespassing, and we are working with the police to identify the perpetrators,” said Tanya Peterson, the zoo’s executive director.
★ Chinese man spends $16,000 on sword for virtual martial arts game
Whilst the season of giving might be over for yet another year, it seems one computer gamer has marked the end of the festivities by treating himself to one final Christmas gift. The avid gamer spent a staggering $16,000 on a virtual sword – the only one of its kind, which he will use when he eventually begins playing a martial arts game that has not yet gone on sale in the Far East. The man who won the auction will now be able to slay characters using his sabre when the highly-anticipated martial-arts game Age of Wulin is released in Mainland China.
★ Tell Congress To Undo The NDAA, Ban Indefinite Military Detention Of Americans
President Obama just signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law despite startling provisions that will allow the military to indefinitely detain American citizens. It’s a travesty, defying basic principles of justice and due process in perhaps the most extreme respect our nation has ever seen. Thankfully, several lawmakers are keeping up the fight. Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced legislation to undo these provisions of the NDAA, in the form of the Due Process Guarantee Act. We need to urge other Senators to support it. The Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011 amends the Non-Detention Act of 1971 by providing that a Congressional authorization for the use of military force does not authorize the indefinite detention—without charge or trial—of U.S. citizens who are apprehended domestically.
★ Drug-sniffing dogs an unconstitutional search?
Franky the drug dog’s supersensitive nose is at the heart of a question being put to the U.S. Supreme Court: Does a police dog’s sniff outside a house give officers the right to get a search warrant for illegal drugs, or is the sniff an unconstitutional search? Florida’s highest state court has said Franky’s ability to detect marijuana growing inside a Miami-area house from outside a closed front door crossed the constitutional line. The state’s attorney general wants the Supreme Court to reverse that ruling. The justices could decide this month whether to take the case, the latest dispute about whether the use of dogs to find drugs, explosives and other illegal or dangerous substances violates the Fourth Amendment protection against illegal search and seizure.
★ The evil of Aries: How astrology can be sign of future jail time
Police in Chatham-Kent, Ont., announced Wednesday that, of 1,986 people arrested so far this year, 203 were Aries, whereas just 139 were Sagittarius. It is the first time the municipality has ranked its crimes by Zodiac sign. Aries were the most arrested, with Libras in second at 189 arrests, and Virgo third at 183. The least criminal were Sagittarius (139 arrests), Aquarius (142) and Taurus (146). “You can’t really read too much into it,” says Const. Michael Pearce, a police spokesman, who used an Excell spreadsheet to classify the data. “I don’t comment too much on the Zodiac stuff because I don’t want any backlash about it. I am not drawing any conclusions about it.”
★ Detroit man sickened after eating chicken head
A Detroit man has been given his money back from a restaurant where he said he mistakenly was served a chicken head that gave his food poisoning. On Monday, Local 4 spoke with Clarence Lewis, who said he spend New Year’s Eve at the hospital after he ate a chicken tenders meal from Zorba’s Fine Food at McNichols Road and Gunston Avenue. “I noticed a crunch feel, but I didn’t know what it was, and it just went down and cut my throat. I just gagged it up,” he said. Lewis had choked on a chick’s head which was fried up with the rest of the chicken tenders meal.
★ Jamaican dancehall culture
Soul Jazz Recordings published the book which chronicles writer and photographer Beth Lesser’s travels around Jamaica in the 80s, telling the story for which the compilation provides a soundtrack. Here is a selection of Lesser’s images and the writer’s own captions from the book

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Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on January 4, 2012

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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 SeMeN SPeRmS on January 2, 2012

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The Unholy Three

☹ Shroud of Turin: Redux
The bottom line on the Shroud remains the same: the Shroud continues to fail several key practical tests, as discussed by skeptical investigator Joe Nickell in his classic work on the subject, Looking for a Miracle:2 Provenance: there is no sign that this object existed before the 14th century; Art history: the Shroud fits into art history as part of a genre of artistic depictions and recreations of burial cloths of Christ; Style: the image upon the shroud looks like a manufactured illustration consistent with 14th century religious iconography, not like a real human being; Circumstance: a 14th century Catholic bishop determined that the Shroud was a “cunningly painted” fraud—and discovered the artist who confessed to creating it; Chemistry: the Shroud contains red ochre and other paint pigments; Radiometric dating: carbon-14 dating tests showed in 1988 that the Shroud was likely created between 1260 and 1390 CE.
☹ New powerful painkiller has abuse experts worried
Drug companies are working to develop a pure, more powerful version of the nation’s second most-abused medicine, which has addiction experts worried that it could spur a new wave of abuse. The new pills contain the highly addictive painkiller hydrocodone, packing up to 10 times the amount of the drug as existing medications such as Vicodin. Four companies have begun patient testing, and one of them — Zogenix of San Diego — plans to apply early next year to begin marketing its product, Zohydro. If approved, it would mark the first time patients could legally buy pure hydrocodone. Existing products combine the drug with nonaddictive painkillers such as acetaminophen. Critics say they are especially worried about Zohydro, a timed-release drug meant for managing moderate to severe pain, because abusers could crush it to release an intense, immediate high. “I have a big concern that this could be the next OxyContin,”
☹ The NDAA Repeals More Rights
Little by little, in the name of fighting terrorism, our Bill of Rights is being repealed.  The 4th amendment has been rendered toothless by the PATRIOT Act.  No more can we truly feel secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects when now there is an exception that fits nearly any excuse for our government to search and seize our property.  Of course, the vast majority of Americans may say “I’m not a terrorist, so I have no reason to worry.” However, innocent people are wrongly accused all the time.  The Bill of Rights is there precisely because the founders wanted to set a very high bar for the government to overcome in order to deprive an individual of life or liberty.  To lower that bar is to endanger everyone.  When the bar is low enough to include political enemies, our descent into totalitarianism is virtually assured.
☹ Porn Condoms Initiative Approved by L.A. City Clerk Even as City Attorney Wants to Keep it From Voters
​The war over condoms in porn continues this week as the AIDS Healthcare Foundation announced Tuesday that the L.A. City Clerk has “officially certified” the signatures it submitted in order to get a mandatory condom measure before you, the voter, next year. The announcement comes in the wake of a strange, L.A. City Attorney’s lawsuit to keep the condom measure off the ballot — and a challenge by an L.A. city councilman to that challenge. Yeah, seems like everybody wants in on this porn thing (or maybe they don’t want to deal with, er, head-on): The AHF has been battling for a few years now to get condoms mandated at California porn sets. As part of its drive it collected 70,901 voter signatures in support of putting the idea before city voters. AHF’s initiative would ask the city to require condom use as a part of obtaining film permits.
☹ US Senators: Give Residence Visas to Foreigners Who Buy Homes
Two United States Senators have a new idea that would solve two problems at once: give visas to foreigners who make a significant investment in residential real estate in the United States. The move would help the poor housing market recover while at the same time tackling much-needed immigration reform. This is just one idea put forth by New York Democrat Charles Schumer and Utah Republican Mike Lee in a proposed package of immigration reforms. According to their plan, immigrants who spend more than $500,000 on a residential property in the United States would be granted residency. Much like the EB-5 investment visa, this new visa would welcome those from overseas who wish to help the U.S. economy while starting a new life on American soil.
☹ Fukushima: TEPCO uses Organized Crime forced labour
People who fall into debt to loan sharks are often forced by the Yakuza to work in nuclear power plants, said a Japanese journalist who has written a book on his experience working at the Fukushima 1 nuclear plant this summer. About ten percent of workers at the damaged Fukushima 1 plant were brought in by the Japanese mafia, said Tomohiko Suzuki. Though the Yakuza is deeply involved in the nuclear power industry, its members themselves don’t work at the plants, added Suzuki. Instead they have an established practice of sending debtors there as a way to pay off their debts to loan sharks.
☹ Mythbusters Banned From Talking About RFID By Visa and Mastercard TPTB [Video]
☹ President Obama Eats Traditional Christmas Baby
President Obama took part this weekend in one of the most ancient and eagerly-anticipated presidential traditions: the annual Christmas Baby Eating, a ritual that goes back to well before recorded history.
☹ What every state needs to do: Montanans launch recalls of Senators who voted for NDAA
In response to the traitorous actions of 86 senators who voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, commonly referred to as the NDAA, Montanans have announced a recall campaign against Senators Max Baucus and Jonathan Tester. As I have previously outlined, the fact that the NDAA allows for the indefinite detention without charge or trial of American citizens is simply irrefutable. Therefore, every single one of our so-called representatives who voted for this atrocious legislation is in direct violation of their oath to uphold the Constitution and thus are actively working against us – the American people. Thankfully, some people are already taking action, as we see in the cases of the Montana recall effort and Representative Jeff Landry who introduced an amendment (after voting for the NDAA with detention provisions intact) which would protect Americans’ right to due process.
☹ Mary Lisee Allegedly Called 9-1-1 to Report That She Ate Too Much
Again, the cops asked why she called. Police say she responded by saying she “ate too much.” Cops asked her to repeat why she called — yep, she ate too much. Police asked her if it was a medical emergency — she said it wasn’t — and they reminded her that 9-1-1 is for emergencies. For good measure, police asked her again why she called 9-1-1. “Because I ate too much food,” she said, according to the cops. Police say she then “began repeatedly yelling that she had not consumed cocaine in over a year.” The cops asked her if she wanted to make a written statement about why she called 9-1-1, and she started writing what police describe as a “mostly illegible statement.” At that point, the deputies asked her to read it to them, and she read, “My name is Mary Ellen Lisee. I have beaten, I believe in God, and He forgives me. I may joke, but I do not do crack. I will not for as long as I live.”
☹ Could Mars and Moon Harbor Alien Artifacts? Leading Astrophysicists Says “Yes”
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has a low probability of success, but it would have a high impact if successful. Physicists Paul Davies and Robert Wagner of Arizona State University argue that it makes sense to widen the search to scour the Moon for possible alien artifacts. Meanwhile at Penn State, researchers propose the same search for Mars. To date, SETI has been dominated by the paradigm of seeking deliberately beamed radio messages. The ASU team argues that Alien civilizations may have sent probes to our region of the galaxy, and that any mission to the solar system would probably have occurred a very long time ago. The lunar environment could preserve artifacts for millions of years due to the absence of erosion and plate tectonics.
☹ In Japan, Radiation Fears Reshape Lives
But while the horror has receded, for many of us, particularly women with families, things will never be the same. There’s no getting past the fact that the nuclear accident dumped radioactive particles into the atmosphere, soil and sea. While Fukushima Prefecture in the northeast was hardest hit, radiation “hot spots” keep turning up in neighborhoods far from the accident. The latest was at a school, minutes from where I live in Tokyo. What’s more, figuring out what’s “safe” to consume has become all but impossible. At my local supermarket, the familiar ritual of shopping has changed drastically. Instead of just tapping fruit or checking for spots, now I scrutinize the place of origin. “Made in Japan” used to be the gold standard. But now domestic foods are suspect, as is anything on sale. I obsessively search for produce grown as far from Fukushima as possible.
☹ Dot-dash-diss: The gentleman hacker’s 1903 lulz
LATE one June afternoon in 1903 a hush fell across an expectant audience in the Royal Institution’s celebrated lecture theatre in London. Before the crowd, the physicist John Ambrose Fleming was adjusting arcane apparatus as he prepared to demonstrate an emerging technological wonder: a long-range wireless communication system developed by his boss, the Italian radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi. The aim was to showcase publicly for the first time that Morse code messages could be sent wirelessly over long distances. Around 300 miles away, Marconi was preparing to send a signal to London from a clifftop station in Poldhu, Cornwall, UK. Yet before the demonstration could begin, the apparatus in the lecture theatre began to tap out a message. At first, it spelled out just one word repeated over and over. Then it changed into a facetious poem accusing Marconi of “diddling the public”. Their demonstration had been hacked



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Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on December 28, 2011

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✪ 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 SeMeN SPeRmS on December 26, 2011

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Christmas Evil

✦ Teen Girl Says Porn Addiction Led To Burglary
When questioned by investigators, Owens reportedly copped to entering Pake’s home on several occasions (via the doggy door) and stealing a jar of money and a camera, which she planned to pawn. The teenager, deputies noted, “stated she is addicted to pornography and purchased 20 to 30 DVD’s and owed money, that’s why she burglarized Mr. Pake’s home in attempt to get items to pawn for cash.”
✦ World Champion Masturbator, Masanobu Sato, Expands On His Favorite Hobby
In 2009, Sato broke his own record by masturbating for an impressive 9 hours and 58 minutes at the Masturbate-a-thon, the San Francisco Weekly reports. His previous record was 9 hours and 33 minutes. But self-gratification isn’t all fun and games. Apparently, there’s some actual training involved when preparing to go the distance. “I swam twice a week and gained about 5 kgs in muscle,” he told the San Francisco Weekly in an email. “That helped me a lot, too, in terms of stamina.” The Masturbate-a-thon is an annual affair sponsored by the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco, where events are held in a place appropriately titled the “masturbatorium.” If a man is taking part in a competition, he must stay aroused without ejaculating for as long as possible, a 2010 article in the San Fransisco Weekly explains. At times, the event attracts more males than females, which can be a turn off for some participants.
✦ The 12 Biggest Sex Scandals You’ve Never Heard Of Photo Gallery
What happens behind closed doors between two consenting adults should be their own business, right? Well, sometimes the nocturnal goings-on are too strange to keep silent. While today’s headlines scream about the sexual misconduct of a bevy of politicians and celebrities, the pages of history are also rife with strange sex scandals.
✦ Teen trio admits smearing feces on birthday cake in prank at Pa. high school
Three Pennsylvania teens must clean toilets, urinals and bed pans after admitting they iced a birthday cake with feces as a prank on a high school classmate. The Daily Local News of West Chester reports the girls were also ordered Monday to pick up dog droppings at a local park during their 200 hours of community service in return for guilty pleas stemming from the March incident at Avon Grove High School. Authorities say the trio and a juvenile student provided school officials with written confessions after a classmate and her family was sickened by the cake.
✦ Trent Arsenault, Sperm Donor, Caught In Online Pornography
Arsenault gained national attention when he was served with a cease order from the FDA for his private sperm donations for families who cannot reproduce. The Huffington Post reported about Arsenault’s project, commenting about his extremely healthy lifestyle and charitable goals. But Gawker reported Wednesday that Arsenault also moonlights as an online pornographer. On his extremely NSFW site, Arsenault — er, “TrentDog” — has posted more than 100 videos of himself masturbating, sometimes using unusual aids including a water polo ball and frozen packs of organic blueberries. Arsenault defended his site to Gawker, calling himself a “donorsexual.”
✦ Did sleepwalking kill an Oaklyn, NJ woman?
Sleepwalkers are known to cook, paint, and even drive without knowing it. But for a 55-year-old South Jersey woman, sleepwalking may have proved deadly. Charlene Ferrero walked away from her home at the Hill Manor Apartments in Oaklyn, N.J. early Sunday morning. The next evening, crews pulled her body from Newton Lake in Collingswood. The autopsy ruled it an accidental drowning but Ferrero’s friends believe she may have been sleepwalking because she had done it about a week and a half earlier. “I heard a knock on the door, and I go, ‘What are you doing up, honey?’ And she goes, ‘I’m so sorry. The people at Table 2 ordered the eggs,'” said Ferrero’s friend Teresa Cerini.
✦ Bridge in India Could Collapse Due to…Human Spit?
The Howrah Bridge is a cantilever suspension bridge that crosses the Hooghly River. Over the years, residents have been purchasing and chewing a mix of betel leaf, areca nut, and slaked lime, then spitting the mixture at the base of the bridge (among other places, I’m sure). The mixture, known as paan, is a mild stimulant and, if you take a look at the weakened steel hangars of the bridge, pretty darned corrosive. The hangars, which were once 6 millimeters thick, are now a mere 3 mm, prompting authorities to come up with news ways to prevent any future damage. One such way is to cover the bridge’s steel with a fiberglass casing. But given the corrosive spit, as well as past vehicular accidents and corrosive bid droppings, this incredibly busy bridge is in dire need of a makeover before anyone gets seriously injured.
✦ S.F. man charged with acting like cosmetic surgeon
A San Francisco man with no medical license performed liposuction on a woman while smoking a cigar, then flushed six pounds of fat he removed down the patient’s toilet, city prosecutors alleged. Carlos Guzmangarza, 49, was arrested Thursday for allegedly posing as a physician assistant to perform cosmetic surgery on the woman and treat her daughter for acne, said Stephanie Ong Stillman, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office. Guzmangarza is accused of operating a bogus clinic on Mission Street called the Derma Clinic. He stole the identity of a physician assistant with a similar name, Stillman said, and operated under the premise that a doctor ran the clinic.
✦ Man shoots at mouse, hits roommate in the chest; another man arrested for child rape
“A roommate, after seeing a mouse or some type of varmint in the home, shot at that particular animal,” he said Wednesday. “The round went through the adjacent wall.” A 27-year-old man in the bathroom on the other side of the wall was hit in the chest, said Wyant. He was hospitalized in critical, but stable, condition on Wednesday. Four men lived in the home. Zach Baker, who lives in the basement, said he slept through the gunshot. “I got woken up by the cops,” he told FOX 13. “They came storming in my room, checking to make sure everybody was OK and nobody was shot or anything like that.” Baker said he was stunned to see police officers surrounding him and a 13-year-old girl. Wyant said the girl was discovered hiding in a closet in the basement. “I’d never seen the girl there before and I don’t know how long she’d been there,” he said. “They said she’d been hiding in a closet and that creeps me out.”
✦ After Scary Bigfoot Encounter Man Invents Fire Ball Gun
In the premier episode they are contacted by Jim Lebus who invented a fireball Gun, more specifically incendiary paintballs, to protect himself after an encounter he describes below. “Its a deterrent for a situation out in the woods. A couple of years ago I was in northern California… I was attacked by an animal and I was in my tent. I see this shadow go past the moon. So this tells me this thing is, like, 8 feet tall. And whatever it was, was pushing me into the ground…I’m assuming it was a Bigfoot. I had a .38 with me, but you can’t just start popping off rounds. If you gonna cap Bigfoot your just gonna piss it off”
✦ Blake Prize, Drag queen Christ sure to stir the passions
Christians are used to people rubbishing their faith, but they may find it hard to turn the other cheek after seeing Luke Roberts’s entry in this year’s Blake Prize for religious art. The provocative Brisbane artist has created three depictions of the crucifixion of Christ: in one, lesbian academic Jodie Taylor kneels at the feet of a Christ figure played by Tobin Saunders, better known as drag queen Vanessa Wagner. Another photo features Jandy Rainbow, an intersex woman, clad only in a pink G-string and nipple tassles adopting the crucifixion pose, while controversial indigenous artist Richard Bell, who judged this year’s Sulman Prize by tossing a coin, features in the third shot.
✦ Iranian Raelian leader granted asylum in U.S. after renouncing Islam
Negar Azizmoradi, leader of the Iranian branch of the International Raelian Movement (IRM), has been granted religious asylum in the United States after a long struggle that began when she publicly declared atheist/Raelian beliefs in her home country.
✦ Does Airport Security Really Make Us Safer?
As we came by the checkpoint line, Schneier described one of these aspects: the ease with which people can pass through airport security with fake boarding passes. First, scan an old boarding pass, he said—more loudly than necessary, it seemed to me. Alter it with Photoshop, then print the result with a laser printer. In his hand was an example, complete with the little squiggle the T.S.A. agent had drawn on it to indicate that it had been checked. “Feeling safer?” he asked.
✦ Christopher Walken opts for comfort with a pair of Uggs
Even Los Angeles is prone to be chilly during the cold winter months. So that would explain why super cool actor Christopher Walken decided to don a pair of black Uggs as he arrived for a flight out of the city. The warm weather footwear is certainly not an outfit choice associated with the legendary Deer Hunter star, who is far more at home in suave suits and leather shows.
✦ Christmas Cigarettes – Classic Advertising
Light up a stoge with Santa
✦ Mein Kampf tagged as ‘perfect Christmas present’ by Waterstone’s
The UK’s biggest book chain, Waterstone’s, has apologised after one of its branches pushed Adolf Hitler’s manifesto Mein Kampf as the “perfect” Christmas present. Amid the glossy hordes of titles by Jeremy Clarkson, Lee Evans and Jamie Oliver for sale this Christmas, the Huddersfield branch of Waterstone’s used a festive sticker to describe Mein Kampf (My Struggle), the antisemitic diatribe written by Hitler in prison before he rose to power in 1933, as the “perfect present”. A staff recommendation described it as “an essential read for anyone seeking to understand one of history’s most despicable figures. A shocking read and a vital warning for future generations.”
✦ The Arabic textbooks which show children how to chop off hands and feet under Sharia law
Barbaric textbooks handed out in Saudi Arabian schools teach children how to cut off a thief’s hands and feet under Sharia law, it has emerged. The shocking books, paid for and printed by the Saudi government, also tell teenagers that Jews need to be exterminated and homosexuals should be ‘put to death’. Recent editions were obtained by the Institute for Gulf Affairs in Washington, D.C., which says they should raise fears in the West over the use of jihadist language.
✦ Race for New Air Jordan Sneakers Turns Ugly at a Metro Atlanta Mall
The quest for some limited edition sneakers took an ugly turn early Friday morning outside the Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia. DeKalb police say several people have been arrested , including one woman who left two young children in her car, after the new Nike Air Jordan 11 Concords went on sale. Hundreds of people began lining up in the early hours at the Mall at Stonecrest to get their hands on a pair of Nike’s new Michael Jordan sneakers. Several stores inside the mall were offering the sneakers. Apparently, some people could not wait until the mall opened its doors at 8 a.m. Police were called to the scene. DeKalb police responded with as many as 20 squad cars after a large crowd apparently made an illegal entry into the mall, breaking down the door. Police escorted most of the people back outside. At least four people were arrested in that incident.
✦ Aliens in the manger
One Oregon nativity display is more of a close encounter of the third kind type. Portland artist Matt Henderson created the nativity scene using alien figurines. The display, which is inside a former church, also includes an androgynous Mary and Joseph and a shaman Santa Claus. Henderson says he does not mean to hurt anyone’s feelings with the display, instead he wants the public to use it to reflect on themselves. “You might be expecting to see an alien baby but you see a reflection of yourself. And that’s the symbolic message of nativity. Recognizing divinity and potential in yourself. And at the same time perhaps recognizing the terrestrial nature of Christ,” he explains.



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

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on December 24, 2011

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One in a Million

➪ The Most Bizarre Use for Michael Jackson’s Old Hair Ever
Today the gambling website dropped $10,871 for a sample of entombed pop star Michael Jackson’s old hair. Why so much? Because that’s the going market rate for the amount of Michael Jackson hair you see in the photo. Also, they saw the hairball’s potential—as a roulette ball.
➪ Hey Kids! See the 10 Most Tasteless X-Rated Christmas Ornaments! (NSFW)
Christmas season is a time of warmth and love, especially if it concerns two leathermen engaging in sweaty doggie-style buttsex. At least that’s the thinking among people who enjoy X-rated Christmas-tree ornaments, and we can only assume those people don’t have a lot of little nephews and nieces over for egg nog. Here are ten of the more, ummm, striking ornament possibilities out there. The first one is safe for work; after that you’re on your own.
➪ Google+ rolling out facial recognition feature
Google is rolling out a feature that lets members of its online social network automatically find themselves in photos posted by friends. The “Find My Face” feature being added to Google+ over the next several days is opt-in only, meaning people have to make a point to turn it on. By leaving it to Google+ members to activate the feature, the Internet giant was sidestepping privacy concerns raised when social networking rival Facebook added facial recognition in an opt-out style this year.
➪ Learning high-performance tasks with no conscious effort may soon be possible (w/ video)
In the future, a person may be able to watch a computer screen and have his or her brain patterns modified to improve physical or mental performance. Researchers say an innovative learning method that uses decoded functional magnetic resonance imaging could modify brain activities to help people recuperate from an accident or disease, learn a new language or even fly a plane.
➪ Bedbugs Get Away with Incest
As if bedbugs weren’t gross enough already, entomologists have now found that they get ahead by mating with their own mothers, brothers, sisters and fathers. By inbreeding, a single pregnant female can start the infestation of an entire building on her own. Parent-sibling matings and sibling-sibling matings are rare in the animal kingdom. So this study reveals an exception to the anti-inbreeding rule. But I’m drawn to the report for a pettier reason. As far as I’m concerned, DNA evidence has trumped the words of my landlord and a New York City housing inspector.
➪ Obama GAVE Iran the Drone!
The immediate and obvious questions were these: 1) Why didn’t we try to recover the drone? 2) In lieu of a rescue effort why didn’t we bomb it into oblivion? Apparently there was third option and Onama struk that down also. THE ANSWERS WILL SHOCK YOU – or maybe not. Fox News National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin reported that apparently the Pentagon pleaded with Barrack Hussein Obama to give the order to do just that. The Pentagon initially wanted to send a special forces team to recover the drone. Obama shot down that suggestion. Then the Pentagon offered up plan B , blow it to kingdom come. Obama refused that too and now Iran and China have a brand spanking new fully functional top secret US RQ 170 Sentinel Drone. The Drone was not recovered or destroyed specifically per Obama’s orders
➪ World Domination From Denver Airport?
Almost no one likes being in airports these days, but some people believe that one airport in particular — the Denver International Airport — is not only a hassle but also tied to conspiracies about the collapse of Western civilization. Some say there’s a top-secret underground bunker for the world’s elite to survive a nuclear war (or the impending Mayan 2012 apocalypse). Others say the airport must have a connection to Nazis since the runways form a perfect swastika (actually they don’t). Even ex-Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura got into the act, interviewing a man claiming that massive tunnels under the airport were built not for luggage handling or mass transit (that’s what they want you to think!), but instead for much more sinister purposes.
➪ 7 Creepiest Abandoned Zoos on Earth
The wind swings the old cage door open as if to free a reluctant occupant. But there’s nothing there… Or are those paw prints in the sand? Besides, isn’t that the stale breath of some meat-eating beast hanging in the air? And what’s that rustling sound in the bushes? As we explore the following places, you’ll see that abandoned zoos can be more than a little creepy.
➪ Lightning Sprites, Elves Caught on Camera
Flying above the U.S. Midwest, scientists using high-speed video cameras have caught the first 3-D images of sprites, elves, blue jets, and crawlers—in the form of lightning, that is. First seen by scientists in 1989, sprites and their menagerie of exotically named kin are bursts of electrical energy that form about 50 miles (80 kilometers) above Earth, sometimes leaping all the way from the tops of thunderheads to outer space.
➪ Students ordered to school on a Saturday as Russia resorts to ‘devious tricks’ to limit numbers at anti-Putin rally
Russian authorities today resorted to ‘devious tricks’ to limit the numbers attending an anti-Vladimir Putin rally which is expected to be the largest ever against the prime minister. Pupils between 14 and 17 have been ordered to attend school tomorrow for hastily arranged tests during the hours of the protest. They were warned they risk flunking their courses if they fail to sit at their desks for unprecedented Saturday exams.
➪ This 28-Year-Old’s Startup Is Moving $350 Million And Wants To Completely Kill Credit Cards
There’s a tiny 12-person startup churning out of Des Moines, Iowa. Dwolla was founded by 28-year-old Ben Milne; it’s an innovative online payment system that sidesteps credit cards completely. Milne has no finance background, yet his little operation is moving between $30 and $50 million per month; it’s on track to move more than $350 million in the next year. Unlike PayPal, Dwolla doesn’t take a percentage of the transaction. It only asks for $0.25 whether it’s moving $1 or $1,000.
➪ Hundreds of NASA’s moon rocks reported missing
The space agency has lost or misplaced more than 500 pieces of the lunar rocks and other space samples, NASA’s inspector general reported Thursday, making the case for better inventory controls. Astronauts on the Apollo moon landings from 1969 to 1972 returned 842 pounds of lunar rock and soil to Earth. The space agency now loans samples, along with meteorite and comet dust, to about 377 researchers worldwide. The space agency now lists 517 moon rock samples as missing or stolen. However, the inspector general audit suggests much more is missing, based on inquiries to a sample of 59 scholars loaned moon rocks, comet dust or meteorites. The audit found 19% could not locate all of their samples.
➪ Smuggler tried to hide $140,000 drug stash in nacho cheese
Customs and Border officials nabbed a 21-year-old Mexican citizen this week on suspicion of smuggling $140,000 worth of methamphetamine in these three cans of liquid nacho cheese and jalapenos, the LA Times reports. Incredibly, this is not the first time nacho cheese has been used as a smuggling tool. In October, a customs officials found 7 pounds of meth hidden in nacho cheese cans, NPR reports.
➪ White House–Laughingly–Declines to Comment on Senate Vote to Repeal Military’s Ban on Sodomy and Bestiality
At the White House press briefing on Monday, reporter Lester Kinsolving of WorldnetDaily noted the 93 to 7 Senate vote for a defense authorization bill that repeals the military’s ban on sodomy and bestiality and asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney whether President Obama, as commander-in-chief, approves or disapproves of bestiality in the armed forces. Carney declined to comment.
➪ Rats Feel Each Other’s Pain
Empathy lets us feel another person’s pain and drives us to help ease it. But is empathy a uniquely human trait? For decades researchers have debated whether nonhuman animals possess this attribute. Now a new study shows that rats will free a trapped cagemate in distress. The results mean that these rodents can be used to help determine the genetic and physiological underpinnings of empathy in people.
➪ Make no bones about it, this is Britain’s scariest cave! Photographer captures eerie skull in rock face of remote diving spot
Only the bravest would tackle a cave whose icy waters have already claimed the lives of several divers. But if there was any doubt about the peril that awaits at Hodge Close Quarry, one need only look at this picture The lake at the abandoned slate quarry is an eerie enough site – but as this image shows if you turn your head you are greeted with the terrifying sight of a giant skull.
➪ SWAT Raids, Stun Guns, And Pepper Spray: Why The Government Is Ramping Up The Use Of Force
But America’s police departments have been moving toward more aggressive, force-first, militaristic tactics and their accompanying mindset for 30 years. It’s just that, with the exception of protests at the occasional free trade or World Bank summit, the tactics haven’t generally been used on mostly white, mostly college-educated kids armed with cellphone cameras and a media platform. Police militarization is now an ingrained part of American culture. SWAT teams are featured in countless cop reality shows, and wrong-door raids are the subject of “The Simpsons” bits and search engine commercials. Tough-on-crime sheriffs now sport tanks and hardware more equipped for battle in a war zone than policing city streets. Seemingly benign agencies such as state alcohol control boards and the federal Department of Education can now enforce laws and regulations not with fines and clipboards, but with volatile raids by paramilitary police teams.
➪ Suit filed after NM teen cuffed for burp in class
A 13-year-old was handcuffed and hauled off to a juvenile detention for burping in class, according to a lawsuit filed against an Albuquerque school principal, a teacher and school police officer. The boy was transported without his parents being notified in May after he “burped audibly” in PE class and his teacher called a school resource officer to complain he was disrupting her class. The lawsuit also details a separate Nov. 8 incident when the same student was forced to strip down to his underwear while five adults watched as he was accused of selling pot to another student; the boy was never charged.
➪ Dead scuba diver had been missing 26 years
It had been 26 years since anyone last laid eyes on well-known wheelchair scuba diver Peter Devoe, who failed to resurface after a 1985 family dive at Cates Park in North Vancouver. Devoe, who was 29 when he disappeared, was finally recovered in the Burrard Inlet by a pair of commercial fishers in October. Coroners said Wednesday they identified his remains by the jewelry he wore and telltale marks on his bones from a car accident. His body was surprisingly well-preserved within his full-body scuba suit, despite floating in the inlet for almost three decades. His remains were found just west of where he vanished during a dive with his brother on March 13, 1985. His body never floated out of the bay, and was anchored down in the calm waters by his weighty equipment, Coroner Stephen Fonseca said.
➪ Supercharged mobility scooter seized by Doncaster council
A supercharged mobility scooter has been seized by Doncaster council officers after being driven at speeds of up to 60mph, scaring wild deer and annoying residents in the area. Converted to be driven by a supercharged 140cc petrol engine, the mobility scooter was described as a ‘feat of engineering’ by Cynthia Ransome, Doncaster council’s communities officer. As well as the engine, it had been ‘pimped’ with go-kart wheels and a large exhaust.
➪ The Worst Sounds In The World
15. Death by electrocution, government sanctioned or otherwise. 14. Human or animal run over, hit, or maimed by a car. 13. Civil War surgeon amputating limbs. 12. Guillotine in use; subsequent lopping and dropping. 11. Monkey having its skull bashed open, brains eaten in the name of impotence-curing cuisine. 10. Cannibal chewing on his own penis. 9. Involuntary dual nipple piercing via meat hooks. 8. Bones breaking and/or cracking. 7. Disembowelment (not even Mel Gibson, Freedom!). 6. Human body ejected through the windshield of an automobile. 5. Drawing and quartering. 4. Reanimated corpse biting into your (or a loved one’s or a stranger’s) neck muscles, jugular vein or assorted sinewy tissues. 3. Hair torn from a scalp, human or otherwise. 2. Frenzied knife-stabbing-a-sandbag sound most often heard in cinematic prison shank scenes, except here. 1. Curb stomp.
➪ Pro Grade (3D Printer-Made?) ATM Skimmer
In July 2011, a customer at a Chase Bank branch in West Hills, Calif. noticed something odd about the ATM he was using and reported it to police. Authorities who responded to the incident discovered a sophisticated, professional-grade ATM skimmer that they believe was made with the help of a 3D printer. Below is a front view image of the device. It is an all-in-one skimmer designed to fit over the card acceptance slot and to record the data from the magnetic stripe of any card dipped into the reader. The fraud device is shown sideways in this picture; attached to an actual ATM, it would appear rotated 90 degrees to the right, so that the word “CHASE” is pointing down.
➪ Anti-graffiti campaign under way in Brooklyn
An anti-graffiti campaign is under way in Brooklyn to help business owners keep their buildings clean and keep customers spending money. Some consider the colorful spray-paint graffiti to be street art, but in the bustling business district of Bay Ridge along 3rd, 4th and 5th avenues, it is frowned upon. Dennis Monier has owned Tops Restaurant Supply for 43 years, and he also lives in Bay Ridge, so his neighborhood pride runs deep. He was dismayed on Sunday morning to see graffiti on his building. “It’s not good for the neighborhood, because it makes the neighborhood look dirty,” he said. “We’re trying to keep the neighborhood clean, the sidewalks, the walls, everything. And to have a graffiti-ed neighborhood, people won’t shop here. So you do want this removed.”
➪ Why Is Pesticide Used As An Ingredient In Infant Formula?
Why is cupric sulfate — a known herbicide, fungicide and pesticide — being used in infant formula? And why is it displayed proudly on product labels as a presumably nutritious ingredient? Used to kill fungus, aquatic plants and roots of plants, parasitic infections in aquarium fish and snails, as well as algae and bacteria such as Escherichia coli, cupric sulfate hardly sounds fit for human consumption, much less for infants.
➪ Prescription drug addiction skyrocketed 430% over past decade; Drug rehab for painkiller abuse soars
Federal statistics released Thursday revealed that treatment for prescription painkiller abuse has skyrocketed 430% over the last decade. The increase is even more pronounced given that over the same time period the overall rate of substance-abuse-related admissions to rehab facilities has flatlined, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. The rise occurred in every region of the country, but was highest in Maine, Vermont, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Arkansas, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Tylenol with codeine, Darvocet, Vicodin and Percocet ranked high on the SAMHSA’s list of most-abused prescription meds. Thanks King Solomon
➪ Man jailed for blasting co-worker’s rectum with air compressor
A CARPENTER’S assistant blasted pressurised air up his friend’s rectum, rupturing his large intestine, because he was seeking a pleasant change that would break the monotony of hard work, a Nicosia court has said. The foreign EU national who is a father of two, was jailed for 45 days last week after admitting that in October last year he had seriously injured his friend who required surgery and a lengthy stay in hospital to recover. “The defendant’s idea to administer pressurised air into his friend’s anus is indeed original and in reality the thought of it provokes laughter; but putting the idea into practice ended up in tragedy for the victim and the perpetrator,” the court said.
➪ Will the Kinect 2 read your lips? Open the pod bay door, HAL
The next generation of the Kinect (bundled with future Xbox consoles) may be “so accurate it can lip read,” the Technology Review Hello World headline breathlessly reads — evoking HAL 9000 in 2001. What’s more, says Eurogamer, citing a nameless source, “Kinect 2 will be so powerful it will enable games to detect when players are angry, and determine in which direction they are facing, and track the pitch and volume of player voices and facial characteristics to measure different emotional states.” Thanks Ava
➪ Anna Nicole Smith: Never-seen-before photoshoot… months before her death
Before her tragic passing in 2007, Anna Nicole Smith was well known her outrageous behaviour. But in a bizarre never-seen-before photo shoot, it appears that she took things to a whole other level. New snaps show the late actress and model completely naked and painted in gold. Taken while she was pregnant with her now five-year-old daughter Danielynn, Smith’s modesty is merely covered by her arm and a thick veil of the metallic paint.
➪ Facebook, Google, And YouTube In 1997 Format
Three important contemporary web sites, recreated with technology and spirit of late 1997, according to our memories. Best viewed with Netscape Navigator 4.03 and a screen resolution of 1024×768 pixels, running under Windows 95. We recommend using a Virtual Machine or appropriate hardware, connected to a CRT monitor. If such an environment unachievable, it should be possible to experience the piece with any browser that still supports HTML Frames. The transfer speed of our server is limited to 8 kB/s («dial-up» speed).



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

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on December 10, 2011

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No Privacy Facial Recognition Police State – Welcome To Your Future

  • An uncontacted Amazon tribe that made headlines earlier this year after being filmed from the air is feared missing after presumed drug traffickers overran the Brazilian guards posted to protect the tribe’s lands.According to tribal advocacy group Survival International, Brazilian officials can find no trace of the Indians in the area after heavily armed men ransacked the guard post in western Brazil about 32 miles (20 kilometers) from the Peruvian border. Like other uncontacted tribes, the Indians live a traditional life in the forest and does not have contact with the outside world.

    Workers from FUNAI, the government bureau of Indian affairs, found a broken arrow in one of the men’s backpacks, raising fears for the tribe’s safety.

    “We think the Peruvians made the Indians flee,” Carlos Travassos, the head of the government’s isolated Indians department, said in a statement. “Now we have good proof. We are more worried than ever.”

  • Homeland Security plans to operate a massive new database of names, photos, birthdays and biometrics called Watchlist Service, duplicated from the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database which has proven not to be accurate many times in the past. DHS wants to exempt the Watchlist Service from Privacy Act provisions, meaning you will never know if you are wrongfully listed. Privacy groups worried about inaccurate info and mission creep have filed a protest, arguing the Privacy Act says DHS must notify subject of government surveillance.
  • The new role for dogs as testimony enablers can, however, raise thorny legal questions. Defense lawyers argue that the dogs may unfairly sway jurors with their cuteness and the natural empathy they attract, whether a witness is telling the truth or not, and some prosecutors insist that the courtroom dogs can be a crucial comfort to those enduring the ordeal of testifying, especially children.
  • A self-proclaimed UFO researcher has found what he believes to be alien outposts in Antarctica. Posting at a blog and YouTube channel under the moniker “americanbunker,” he has “analyzed” satellite photos of Antarctica via Google Earth, and says the photos show UFOs and other creatures.He strings together highlights of his Antarctic objects in a 12-minute video. However, the objects visible in the stream of pixellated photos look much more like ice floes, rocky outcroppings and shadows cast by bumps in the terrain than they do flying spacecraft or structures built by Martians. [See the video]

    Instead of an alien invasion or a cover-up by the U.S. Geological Survey (many of the photos were made public by the USGS), there’s probably a psychological phenomenon at play here: “Pareidolia” is the scientific term for the common human tendency to find patterns in random shapes. We’re especially susceptible to perceiving faces or figures where they aren’t.

  • An Aberdeenshire shop worker has been treated in hospital after being stung by a scorpion.William Clarke, 48, was unpacking a box of Colombian bananas at Farmfoods in Stonehaven on Monday afternoon when the incident happened.

  • The U.S. housing crash has lured some marijuana growers to move their operations south of the border, according to an internal RCMP report obtained by the Vancouver Sun.”Some VOC (Vietnamese Organized Crime) groups have moved their marijuana grow operations to the United States where the lower cost of real estate (in some regions) allows them to operate a more profitable enterprise and where they can also avoid police/customs detection at the border,” states the RCMP report.

  • Or consider what American computer specialists are doing on the Internet, perhaps terrorist leaders’ greatest safe haven, where they recruit, raise money and plot future attacks on a global scale. American specialists have become especially proficient at forging the onscreen cyber-trademarks used by Al Qaeda to certify its Web statements, and are posting confusing and contradictory orders, some so virulent that young Muslims dabbling in jihadist philosophy, but on the fence about it, might be driven away.And in a classified tactic used multiple times across the Middle East, American military and intelligence officers have hacked the cellphones of terrorist leaders using computer code, to lure them into an ambush or spread the word that fellow cell members were embezzling money or plotting against their comrades. Distrust of secure communications disrupts and even deters action.

  • A registered sex offender wore a Cookie Monster costume as he handed out fliers to children at the Mississippi Valley Fair over the weekend, police said.James Lester Rogers, 25, of 611 Perry St., Apt. 1, Davenport, was in the Scott County Jail on Monday on an aggravated misdemeanor charge.

    Police said that on Saturday he wore a full Cookie Monster costume and handed out fliers for a company called Q.C. Characters. If children wanted their pictures taken with “Cookie Monster,” Rogers stood for the photographs.

  • The components of DNA have now been confirmed to exist in extraterrestrial meteorites, researchers announced.A different team of scientists also discovered a number of molecules linked with a vital ancient biological process, adding weight to the idea that the earliest forms of life on Earth may have been made up in part from materials delivered to Earth the planet by from space.

    Past research had revealed a range of building blocks of life in meteorites, such as the amino acids that make up proteins. Space rocks just like these may have been a vital source of the organic compounds that gave rise to life on Earth.

  • About 250 T-shirts were distributed at the rock concert
    Hundreds of free T-shirts handed out at a weekend right-wing rock festival in the eastern German state of Thuringia contained a secret surprise. Upon washing, the original graphic faded to reveal a clandestine message.
  • Hacktivist group Anonymous, which has been responsible for cyber-attacks on the Pentagon, News Corp, and others, has vowed to destroy Facebook on November 5th (which should ring a bell).Citing privacy concerns and the difficulty involved in deleting a Facebook account, Anonymous hopes to “kill Facebook,” the “medium of communication [we] all so dearly adore.”

  • Don’t believe it. Soon, face recognition will be ubiquitous. While the police may promise to tread lightly, the technology is likely to become so good, so quickly that officers will find themselves reaching for their cameras in all kinds of situations. The police will still likely use traditional ID technologies like fingerprinting—or even iris scanning—as these are generally more accurate than face-scanning, but face-scanning has an obvious advantage over fingerprints: It works from far away. Bunch of guys loitering on the corner? Scantily clad woman hanging around that run-down motel? Two dudes who look like they’re smoking a funny-looking cigarette? Why not snap them all just to make sure they’re on the up-and-up?
  • Before we talk about the facial recognition technology thats being rolled out to police stations nationwide next month, here’s a question for you: Who would you rather have access to face recognition tech: cops or that weird heavy-breather on the subway? Do you want it? You know, to check out that weird heavy-breather on the subway: what’s his deal? Maybe you are the heavy-breather. In the beginning, that face recognition app might just send you to some photos on Picasa or Facebook—but that’s all it takes to get to the top of the hill in figuring out a whole lot of stuff about someone.
  • A new Google Group called “London Riots Facial Recognition” has appeared online, in the wake of the riots that rocked the U.K. capital over the weekend. The group’s goal is to use facial recognition technologies to identify the looters who appear in online photos.The group appears to be thoughtfully considering its actions, in threads titled “Ethical Issues,” and “Keeping Things Legal,” for example. They’ve also stated that “it’s important we only use legal sources for images.”

    However, there’s a major “creepy” factor to this undertaking, too. The idea that a group of people would team up online to use (misuse?) facial recognition technologies in this way, notably outside professional law enforcement channels, seems like a modern take on vigilante style justice, where the torches of the angry villagers have turned into APIs and algorithms.

  • The London Street Photography Festival had six photographers attempt to take pictures in various locations on public streets in Britain’s capital. Despite being perfectly within their rights, all six were stopped by private security forces who made vague allusions to “terrorism” and “security” and tried to intimidate them. The Festival filmed the encounters and what happened when the photographers politely refused to back down:
  • Let’s make one thing crystal clear, no member of the US military contributes in any way whatsoever to protecting the freedoms of the American people. As a matter of fact, they are more likely to turn their weapons on you than they are to defend your Constitutional rights.The only people on this planet Earth who can affect your freedom are members of Congress, local legislators and the members of enforcement institutions who will blindly follow the rulers who sign their paychecks. And, while your beloved troops are murdering people around the globe, yes, I said murdering, your Congress and local legislators are eliminating your freedoms, en masse, without any intervention by our so-called protectors in the armed forces.

  • Given no guidance from Tokyo, town officials led the residents north, believing that winter winds would be blowing south and carrying away any radioactive emissions. For three nights, while hydrogen explosions at four of the reactors spewed radiation into the air, they stayed in a district called Tsushima where the children played outside and some parents used water from a mountain stream to prepare rice.The winds, in fact, had been blowing directly toward Tsushima — and town officials would learn two months later that a government computer system designed to predict the spread of radioactive releases had been showing just that.

    But the forecasts were left unpublicized by bureaucrats in Tokyo, operating in a culture that sought to avoid responsibility and, above all, criticism.

  • The former tax lawyer identifies as a conservative Christian and is a fierce opponent of abortion and gay marriage. Bachmann also supports teaching intelligent design in public schools, and she’s claimed that global warming is a hoax. She has largely built her campaign around accusing Obama of favoring government intervention, pushing the U.S. toward socialism, and having “anti-American views,” and is a particularly fierce critic of Obama’s healthcare overhaul. While Bachmann is known for advocating a limited government, she has recently come under scrutiny for allegedly accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in agricultural subsidies for her family farm in Wisconsin.
  • A desperate Israeli family won a court decision that lets them extract and freeze the eggs from their dead daughter. The teenage girl died unexpectedly after a recent car crash.The parents wanted her eggs to be fertilized before storage, but that request was denied by the court. If the parents prove their daughter expressed an interest in bearing children, her eggs could be fertilized and a grandchild could be created at their discretion.

    Though creepy, this isn’t the first time a baby was made post-mortem. Another Israeli couple used sperm from their deceased son to create a grandchild using a surrogate mother.

  • Danny Panzella, an activist and independent journalist, has revealed that the U.S. government and local police are monitoring Facebook for Federal Reserve protests.On June 22nd, 2011 , the night before the rally, Danny announced a spur of the moment End the Fed Rally/Flash Mob on Facebook. When he arrived in the morning close to 40 police officers were waiting for him.

    This is clear evidence that the government is actively monitoring Facebook for signs of activism directed against the private Federal Reserve.

    As our economy teeters on the verge of collapse, our government and local law enforcement are spending time and most likely tax power dollars to protect the private banking cartel that created the crisis in the first place!

    As the White House attempts to blame the Tea Party for the problems with the economy, the real culprits are being protected by police nationwide.

  • “The idea that I had Mr. Lallana’s semen in my mouth, without my knowing, against my will, for his sexual pleasure, sickens me,” the victim said during her victim-impact statement in February. “What I experienced was not rape, but I feel it was a form of rape. I ultimately experienced sexually inflicted harm without my consent.”Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon argued that Lallana twice set a trap for his co-worker at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network by discharging his semen into a water bottle she kept on her desk.

    The woman first became aware of something unusual in her water when she took a sip from her water bottle on Jan. 14, 2010, while she was working in Northwestern’s Newport Beach branch. She testified that she immediately noticed an odd taste and held the bottle away from her face and saw something in the water.

  • Hairiest bushes in mainstream movies
  • Post a picture of yourself with looted booty on the internet, a real genius here
  • This is the shocking moment a young man is apparently forced to hand over all of his clothes after appearing to be stripped naked during lawless riots overnight.Internet rumours last night claimed that on top of the widespread destruction across London and Birmingham, people were having their clothes removed by looters as police attempted to contain the criminality.

  • The gunmen hanged men and shot them in 60 times with AK-47. Victor’s chest marked with the letters “CDG” spray. In commercial premises located near the pedestrian bridge also left a narcopinta, “THIS will happen to X to kill innocent people,” said the deed had been done by members of the Gulf Cartel. The bodies remained at the sight of many for over two hours.
  • Whenever hypnosis is discussed with a layman, one question inevitably comes up: “Can you make your subject do whatever you want?”In posing that question some people think of the crimes which evil characters in cheap thrillers force their victims to commit. Most of them, however, have sex in mind. Women want to know whether they could be taken advantage of. Young men usually mean: “Would a girl undress if I told her it’s bed-time?”

  • Scientists have identified an orange-colored gunk that appeared along the shore of a remote Alaska village as millions of microscopic eggs filled with fatty droplets.

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

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on August 10, 2011

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