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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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