Wasteland | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

AMERICAN REMAINS Art Opening January 31 SeMeN SPeRmS & Nick Stewart

American-Remains-Flyer

AMERICAN REMAINS

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 31st from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

American _Remains_invite

The salon at automatic sweat is pleased to announce American Remains, an exhibition of sculptures and installations by SeMeN SPeRmS and Nick Stewart.

The exhibition presents a collection of artifacts from a proposed mythology that straddles the indistinct line between American history and rural legend. Inspired by the decrepit highway-side nowhere towns of the southwest, the works offer warped satellite dishes and abandoned single-wide trailers as the weathered remnants of westward expansion. These ubiquitous emblems of a proud historical narrative about a prosperous America are presented alongside idiosyncratic icons of contemporary desert folklore, characterized by supernatural suspicion, eerie phenomena and UFO sightings.

Nick Stewart’s objects seek to excavate desert myth in the form of mutilated cattle hides shaped into six-pack-rings, which have been branded with a design that evokes both astral patterns and the corporate logo of an automobile manufacturer. Familiar objects such as a dented street lamp are distorted into paranormal forms, while satellite dishes specked with metal lesions , assume a watchful, almost anthropomorphic presence.

SeMeN SPeRmS sculptures reconstruct and reframe the desolate desert scape from a distance, dwarfing its earthly immensity and depriving it of anthropological context until the barren topography starts to seem post-apocalyptic, if not entirely lunar. The homespun style of his miniatures elude to a tradition of model hobbyists, while the bleak content matter disturbs the quaint escapism of toy model sets. The artists’ American desert is not an open expanse of freedom shaped by the antiquated tale of manifest destiny, but instead a barren celestial surface, a post-apocalyptic wasteland and government test-site.

American Remains considers the place of this contemporary American folklore within the historical narrative of the nation, forcing questions about the filters that parse national fact from fiction, Roswellian syndrome from national heritage. In this exhibit, the patriotic voices of the founding fathers are forced into direct dialogue with desert dwelling lunatics preaching about crop circles from the pages of the national enquirer. It is both a history text book and a camp fire story; a CNN headline and a wives tale muttered by the town drunk from his bar stool pedestal.
written by Claire Bargout

File under Arts 'n Crafts, Culture, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG

The Police Tapes South Bronx Fort Apache 70’s & 80’s NYC High Crime Ghetto Wasteland

Fort Apache The Bronx

NYPD 70's South Bronx

Fort Apache NYPD Bronx New York 41-precinct-jpg

NY Illustrated – Saturday Night At Fort Apache – March 4, 1973

‘Three types of people use the streets of the South Bronx after dark: Policemen, Criminals, and Potential Victims.’

One in this public affairs series devoted to issues that concern the greater New York area. This program profiles Police Precinct 41 in the South Bronx, nicknamed “Fort Apache” because of the frequency and severity of violent crimes committed in the surrounding area. Narrated by Norman Rose, the program begins with a clip of Sgt. Bill Taylor addressing officers of the precinct’s anti-crime unit. Later, accompanied by Rose, Taylor tracks down and arrests a suspected mugger. In interviews with officers stationed at and previously assigned to the precinct, the following topics are discussed: the high risk of incurring severe injury while on duty and the ability to cope with fear; the reluctance among members of the police force to be assigned to the 41st precinct; completing tenure at the precinct as a step toward promotion; the high incidence of illegal weapons possession among area residents; and the factors linking street crime with drugs and poverty. Also included is footage of a typical night at the Lincoln Hospital emergency room, where the number of people suffering from gunshot wounds and stabbings often exceeds the hospital’s nightly capacity. Among those interviewed are Deputy Inspector Matthew Neary and Officers James Finn, Bob Gardner, and Tony Imbimbo. Commercials deleted. (This series occasionally runs under the title “New Jersey Illustrated” or “Connecticut Illustrated”; series dates unverified.) – The Paley Center For Media

NYPD South Bronx NYC 70's

South Bronx NYPD 70's NYC

Fort Apache Bronx New York City Police Patch NYPD

The Police Tapes (1977)

The-Police-Tapes

The Police Tapes is a 1977 documentary about a police precinct in the South Bronx. The original ran ninety minutes and was produced for public television; a one-hour version later aired on ABC. It won two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and a DuPont-Columbia University Award for Broadcast Journalism,and became an influence on later television and film dramas.

Filmmakers Alan Raymond and Susan Raymond spent three months in 1976 riding along with patrol officers in the 44thPrecinct of the South Bronx, which had the highest crime rate in New York City. They produced about 40 hours of videotape that they edited into a 90-minute documentary.

The result was what New York Times TV critic John J. O’Connor called a “startlingly graphic and convincing survey of urban crime, violence, brutality and cynical despair”. Cases followed include the discovery of a dead body on the street, the rescue of a mother trapped in her apartment by a mentally ill son, an attempt to negotiate with a woman armed with an improvised flail who refuses to stop threatening her neighbor, and the arrest of a 70-year-old woman accused of hitting her daughter in the face with an axe. There is some introductory narration at the beginning describing the neighborhood and the time the documentary was filmed, but some unifying commentary is provided by an interview with Bronx Borough Commander Anthony Bouza, who ascribes the crime rate in the 44th Precinct to poverty, describes the hardening effects of urban violence on idealistic police officers, and likens himself to the commander of an occupying army, saying “We are manufacturing criminals… we are manufacturing brutality”.

The production was financed by the New York State Council on the Arts and WNET and cost only $20,000, thanks to the use of Portapak tape equipment; it would have cost an estimated $90,000 if film had been used. Special Newvicon tubes in the video cameras allowed them to tape with only streetlights for illumination, making them less conspicuous to subjects who might otherwise have fled from or approached the cameras.

The Police Tapes was an important source for Fort Apache, The Bronx, a 1981 film with Paul Newman and Ed Asner. It influenced the deliberately ragged visual style of the 1980s television police drama Hill Street Blues, which used handheld cameras to provide a sense of realism and immediacy—particularly during the morning roll call in each episode, which was based on a similar scene in The Police Tapes. Robert Butler, who directed the first five episodes, urged the camera operators to avoid carefully composed shots and to move their cameras frequently, telling them “If you’re having trouble focusing, that’s great.” This mock-documentary style, in turn, influenced many other television dramas.

Another line of influence runs from The Police Tapes to the Fox Network reality TV series COPSCOPS, like its predecessor, closely follows police officers, suspects, and crime victims with handheld cameras. According to New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell, the style of COPS then became part of the visual language of feature films, so that “the DNA of [the Raymonds’] original has found its way into the film mainstream.”

Fort Apache Protestor

Fort Apache the Bronx (1981) Paul NewmanFort Apache The Bronx 1981

File under Blast From The Past, Horror, New York City History, New York City Street Photography, NYC Nightlife, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB

Wasted Wasteland Warrior

File under SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on March 19, 2012

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O RLY?

  • “Our government said no health levels, no health levels were exceeded.When in fact the rain water in the Northwest is reaching levels 130 times the drinking water standards,” said Pollet.

    Elevated rain water samples were collected in Portland, Olympia and Boise, which had the highest.

    But EPA officials say the data was there for anyone to read on their website. A spokesman sent this statement, in part:

    “Since Iodine 131 has a very short half-life of approximately eight days, the levels seen in rainwater were expected to be relatively short in duration.”

  • After failing to pay more than a year of mortgage payments, Grammy winner and “R&B king” R. Kelly now faces a $2.9-million foreclosure lawsuit on his 11,140-square-foot Olympia Fields mansion, Crain’s Chicago reported Tuesday.

    Kelly’s home, which sits on a 3.7-acre lot, was constructed in the far southern suburb 11 years ago and its value has plummeted in recent years — falling 26 percent in its most recent appraisal to $3.8 million, as compared to its $5.2 million 2009 value, according to Crain’s. Therefore, Kelly, who has not lived in the home for more than a year, faces debts on the property that likely exceed its current value.

    A person reportedly close to Kelly told Crain’s the singer had stopped making payments on the mortgage in order to force the bank to renegotiate the loan.

  • US law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, DEA, and ICE, are increasingly obtaining warrants to search Facebook. Not only do they gain access to Facebook accounts, but it often occurs with the user’s knowledge. Personal data obtained can include messages, status updates, links to videos and photographs, calendars of future and past events, Wall postings, and even rejected friend requests.
  • Free-thinking citizens of the world:
    Anonymous’ Operation Green Rights calls your attention to an urgent situation in North America perpetuated by the boundless greed of the usual suspects: Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., Imperial Oil, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and many others.
    This week, activists are gathering along U.S. Highway 12 in Montana to protest the transformation of a serene wilderness into an industrial shipping route, bringing “megaloads” of refinery equipment to the Alberta Tar Sands in Canada (see Tar Sands FAQ Sheet below).
    Anonymous now joins the struggle against “Big Oil” in the heartland of the US. We stand in solidarity with any citizen willing to protest corporate abuse. Anonymous will not stand by idly and let these environmental atrocities continue. This is not the clean energy of the future that we are being promised.
  • Thanks Smart Crew
  • Watch this beautiful video about Brazenhead Books, a secret bookstore that’s been tucked away in Michael Seidenberg’s apartment on the Upper East Side ever since the rent for his original retail space in Brooklyn was quadrupled. (Jonathan Lethem used to work there.) “This would have not been my ideal,” he says. “I wouldn’t have thought I want to have a bookshop in a location no one knows about.” But Brazen says it’s a continuation of being the kind of bookseller he wants to be—not on the street, not at book fairs, but inside, the shelves lined with first editions, knickknacks, and, one hopes, a cat. “I don’t know if it’s my familiarity with failure,” he adds. “I find ways to survive without it making enough money to be what you would call a successful business. If it’s all about money, there’s just better things to sell.” And how do those of us who’ve never been find him? He’s in the phone book, he says with a smile. Hiding in plain sight.
  • In the same way, robot drones as assassination weapons will prove to be just another weapons system rather than a panacea for American warriors. None of these much-advertised wonder technologies ever turns out to perform as promised, but that fact never stops them, as with drones today, from embedding themselves in our world. From the atomic bomb came a whole nuclear landscape that included the Strategic Air Command, weapons labs, production plants, missile silos, corporate interests, and an enormous world-destroying arsenal (as well as proliferating versions of the same, large and small, across the planet). Nor did the electronic battlefield go away. Quite the opposite — it came home and entered our everyday world in the form of sensors, cameras, surveillance equipment, and the like, now implanted from our borders to our cities.
  • A woman returned to her Cumbrian home to find a near perfect imprint of an owl on her window.

    The bird had apparently crashed into the window of Sally Arnold’s Kendal home, leaving the bizarre image – complete with eyes, beak and feathers.

    Experts said the silhouette was left by the bird’s “powder down” – a substance protecting growing feathers.

  • A 17-year-old student in Anhui Province sold one of his kidneys for 20,000 yuan only to buy an iPad 2. Now, with his health getting worse, the boy is feeling regret but it is too late, the Global Times reported today.

    “I wanted to buy an iPad 2 but could not afford it,” said the boy surnamed Zheng in Huaishan City. “A broker contacted me on the Internet and said he could help me sell one kidney for 20,000 yuan.”

  • Although out-of-body experiences (OBEs) are typically associated with migraine, epilepsy and psychopathology, they are quite common in healthy and psychologically normal individuals as well. However, they are poorly understood. A new study, published in the July 2011 issue of Elsevier’s Cortex, has linked these experiences to neural instabilities in the brain’s temporal lobes and to errors in the body’s sense of itself – even in non clinical populations.
  • Yesterday, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) offered a bipartisan amendment to force the Pentagon to produce auditable financial statements providing a clearer picture of how it spends tens of billions of taxpayer dollars each year. The House passed the amendment unanimously.

    Currently, federal law exempts the Pentagon from conducting an audit. DeFazio’s amendment would reverse this exemption.

    “The Pentagon has spent more than $10 trillion since 1990 and will spend over $4 trillion over the next four years without ever passing an audit,” said DeFazio. “As Congress debates substantial cuts to programs that help middle class families, we need a clear picture that allows us to target wasteful and duplicative spending. The Pentagon needs to be audited just like every other federal agency in order to achieve significant budget savings.”

  • Last week, the White House released its National Strategy for Counterterrorism, a macabre document that places a premium on “public safety” over civil liberties and constitutional rights. Indeed, “hope and change” huckster Barack Obama had the temerity to assert that the President “bears no greater responsibility than ensuring the safety and security of the American people.”

    Pity that others, including CIA “black site” prisoners tortured to death to “keep us safe” (some 100 at last count) aren’t extended the same courtesy as The Washington Post reported last week.

    As Secrecy News editor Steven Aftergood correctly points out, the claim that the President “has no greater responsibility than ‘protecting the American people’ is a paternalistic invention that is historically unfounded and potentially damaging to the political heritage of the nation.”

  • Want to get a sense of just how bad the News of the World phone hacking scandal has been for Rupert Murdoch? Look no further than News Corp market value.

    The company has lost $7 billion in market value over the last four trading days, reports Bloomberg.

    The company “tumbled 4.6 percent to A$15.19 in Sydney today. The stock lost $1.27, or 7.6 percent, to $15.48 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading yesterday, the biggest drop since April 2009. It was the fourth straight decline in the company’s closing price, cutting its market value by 15 percent to $41.2 billion. “

    At 538.com Nate Silver notes a big chunk of that is from yesterday alone [below].

    The question remains: How much money does News Corp have to lose before Rupert Murdoch chooses to lose top lieutenants instead?

  • This is the Voskhod Building in Pripyat. It’s one of two identical apartment blocks, designed to house the superior engineers of Chernoybl. As such, it was visibly luxurious inside, especially considering standards at the time.

    I climbed to the top, took photos from every angle, and William Hall of Life in Megapixels very kindly stitched them together for me, and corrected some errors.

    The resulting stitch shows probably the most complete picture of Pripyat Town that you can get in a single place – if you look closely, you can even see the “Steel Yard” (Duga-3 array), and you can make out all the famous major buildings, including the fairground. This was shot on 29th May, 2011.

    Close this dialog, then use your mouse to look around. You can scroll-zoom for a little extra detail.

  • The woman, identified as Catherine Kieu Becker, 48, the victim’s wife, had put an unknown type of poison and/or drug into her husband’s food to make him sleepy, according to Nightengale. She then tied him to the bed. When he woke up, she cut off his penis with a knife, investigators said. She then tossed the penis in the garbage disposal and turned it on.
  • The CIA organised a fake vaccination programme in the town where it believed Osama bin Laden was hiding in an elaborate attempt to obtain DNA from the fugitive al-Qaida leader’s family, a Guardian investigation has found.

    As part of extensive preparations for the raid that killed Bin Laden in May, CIA agents recruited a senior Pakistani doctor to organise the vaccine drive in Abbottabad, even starting the “project” in a poorer part of town to make it look more authentic, according to Pakistani and US officials and local residents.

    The doctor, Shakil Afridi, has since been arrested by the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) for co-operating with American intelligence agents.

  • “Secret U.S. tests, now revealed, show startling military uses for weird new chemical agents,” we reported in 1960. The so-called “loony gas,” which we believed could incapacitate enemies without actually harming them, turned out to be LSD. Although we acknowledged that LSD could make people “daffy,” we also stated that these psychochemicals were more or less humane. That is, the military could saturate enemies with LSD and take over their towns, without destroying them, before the people recovered.
  • The Las Conchas wildfire, which scorched land in the canyons near Los Alamos before it was turned away from the lab earlier the month, has added urgency to the soil removal efforts because flash floods could rush unimpeded through canyon floors stripped of vegetation, officials said.

    That concern is heightened by the monsoons that have arrived on schedule in northern New Mexico. The National Weather Service on Monday put out a flash-flood watch for the fire area through at least Wednesday.

    The soil in the canyons above Los Alamos National Laboratory, the linchpin of American’s nuclear weapons industry, contains materials with trace amounts of radiation and hazardous chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that were dumped there decades ago, said Fred deSousa, spokesman for the lab’s environmental control division.

  • A new report from Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies estimates that the total direct and indirect costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may exceed $6 trillion over time. That figure comes from combining congressional appropriations for the wars over the past decade ($1.3 trillion), additional spending by the Pentagon related to the wars ($326 – $652 billion), interest so far on Pentagon war appropriations, all of which was borrowed ($185 billion), immediate medical costs for veterans ($32 billion), war related foreign aid ($74 billion), homeland security spending ($401 billion), projected medical costs for veterans through 2051 ($589 – $934 billion), social costs to military families ($295 – $400 billion), projected Pentagon war spending and foreign aid as troops wind down in the two war zones ($453 billion); and interest payments on all this spending through 2020 ($1 trillion).
  • A new book reveals that Adolf Hitler ordered the manufacture of Aryan blow up dolls to discourage his troops from sleeping with disease-ridden prostitutes.

    The so-called “Borghild Project” reportedly kicked off in 1940 when SS chief Heinrich Himmler wrote to Hitler alerting him of the health risks posed to his men by liaisons with French women. “The greatest danger in Paris is the widespread and uncontrolled presence of whores, picking up clients in bars, dance halls, and other places,” he wrote. “It is our duty to prevent soldiers from risking their health just for the sake of a quick adventure.”

  • Onetime Seattle resident and businessman Coleman Anderson wants to keep his little piece of the moon.

    Whether he does will depend on the outcome of an unusual lawsuit playing out in an Alaska court.

    Anderson, perhaps best recognized as captain of the fishing vessel Western Viking during the first season of the hit Discovery Channel series “Deadliest Catch,” is asking a judge to let him keep a lunar rock presented to the state of Alaska in 1969 by President Nixon, but missing for nearly 37 years.

    Anderson, who claims he found the rock in debris following a fire at an Anchorage museum in 1973, said he’s had it as a keepsake ever since.

  • The Colorado prosecution of a woman accused of a mortgage scam will test whether the government can punish you for refusing to disclose your encryption passphrase.

    The Obama administration has asked a federal judge to order the defendant, Ramona Fricosu, to decrypt an encrypted laptop that police found in her bedroom during a raid of her home.

    Because Fricosu has opposed the proposal, this could turn into a precedent-setting case. No U.S. appeals court appears to have ruled on whether such an order would be legal or not under the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, which broadly protects Americans’ right to remain silent.

    In a brief filed last Friday, Fricosu’s Colorado Springs-based attorney, Philip Dubois, said defendants can’t be constitutionally obligated to help the government interpret their files. “If agents execute a search warrant and find, say, a diary handwritten in code, could the target be compelled to decode, i.e., decrypt, the diary?”

  • Ivan Milat is apparently bored, since he is serving more than seven consecutive life sentences for his crimes, so he probably really does want that Playstation console. In fact, he’s downright stir-crazy and has not eaten in nine days, reports one source. Officials in the High Court in Australia aren’t surprised, because this isn’t the first time Milat has pulled a far-out and crazy stunt to get attention. He’s kind of an attention-whore like that. Back in January of 2009, Milate sawed off one of his own fingers with a plastic knife and attempted to mail it to the High Court in Australia. Doctors were not able to sew the digit back in place. He has also swallowed razor blades and other metallic objects to both harm himself and garner attention.
  • While exploring Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, professional diver Scott Gardner heard an odd cracking sound and swam over to investigate. What he found was a footlong blackspot tuskfish (Choerodon schoenleinii) holding a clam in its mouth and whacking it against a rock. Soon the shell gave way, and the fish gobbled up the bivalve, spat out the shell fragments, and swam off. Fortunately, Gardner had a camera handy and snapped what seem to be the first photographs of a wild fish using a tool.
  • “The concepts are basically quite simple,” said Paul Kinsler, a physicist at Imperial College London, who created the idea with colleagues Martin McCall and Alberto Favaro.

    Unlike invisibility cloaks—some of which have been made to work at very small scales—the event cloak would do more than bend light around an object.

    Instead this cloak would use special materials filled with metallic arrays designed to adjust the speed of light passing through.

    In theory, the cloak would slow down light coming into the robbery scene while the safecracker is at work. When the robbery is complete, the process would be reversed, with the slowed light now racing to catch back up.

    If the “before” and “after” visions are seamlessly stitched together, there should be no visible trace that anything untoward has happened. One second there’s a closed safe, and the next second the safe has been emptied.

  • President Barack Obama sat down with CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley for an interview that will air in full Tuesday night. In a preview released Tuesday afternoon, Pelley points out to Obama that $20 billion in Social Security checks are supposed to be mailed out August 3, the day after the looming date the government could default on its debt.

    “I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3 if we have not resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it,” Obama said.

  • If you’re big on nostalgia, but small on space, we might just have the solution for you. A clever gentleman has created a teeny-tiny 80s arcade cabinet that will fit happily on your desktop – and while it might look like a mere mock-up, this one actually works, playing Space Invaders on the miniature screen.

    The whole thing is just seven inches tall, and uses the electronics from a Game Boy Advance, a little MDF, some photoshopped artwork and perhaps the world’s most adorable joystick – take a look.

  • Aided by Facebook, Israel on Friday prevented scores of pro-Palestinian activists from boarding Tel Aviv-bound flights in Europe, questioned dozens more upon arrival at its main airport and denied entry to 69, disrupting their attempts to reach the West Bank on a solidarity mission with the Palestinians.

    Israel had tracked the activists on social media sites, compiled a blacklist of more than 300 names and asked airlines to keep those on the list off flights to Israel. On Friday, 310 of the activists who managed to land in Tel Aviv were detained for questioning, said Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Hadad. Of those, four were immediately put on return flights and 65 were being held until flights home could be arranged for them, she said. The rest were permitted entry, she said.

  • It’s official: Brett Martin has a metric buttload of video game memorabilia. By Mr. Martin’s own estimation, his collection clocks in at about ten to fifteen thousand individual pieces. But not all of those trinkets of molded plastic, cast metal, and fluffed polyester are depictions of Nintendo’s famous Italian plumber. His gaming nicknack collection actually spans a diverse range of characters from different franchises, companies, and eras.
  • Super Mario Bros. Crossover is a fan game that recreates the original Super Mario Bros. and allows you to play it as characters from other games.

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

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 13, 2011

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links for 2011-06-28

  • Police in Brandenburg who discovered a large plot of cannabis called on the neighbouring house only to find an 84-year-old woman who had been feeding her rabbits with the plants.
  • “The films and videos were in one place, the Tijuana bibles in another, original art in another, and newspapers and magazines in another,” he said. 

    But in 2003, the building was sold and he was forced to move “160,000 pounds of books” with little notice. It all ended up jammed into a $5,000-a-month, 1,400-square-foot Flatbush storage facility, where it remains today.

    “It looks like the warehouse from the last scene of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,'” he said, adding that it puts a serious damper on his business.

    “So many things are inaccessible,” he said. “If somebody said, ‘I absolutely have to have an item,’ it might take me three months to find it.”

    In recent years, Scheiner has turned his interest to Orthodox Judaism and spends his days poring over the Torah and the Talmud.

    In all, Scheiner estimates he has spent $1 million over the years on the collection. “But that is over a 30-year period, so actually it’s like $30,000 a year,” he said. “That isn’t a whole lot.”

  • There’s even a name for it: Autodecorating. And Gawker’s calling out the worst offenders: Along with Lindsay and Paris, Kanye West, Padma Lakshmi and Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kim Zolciak are guilty of filling their houses with paintings, photos and — most notoriously — pillows with their likenesses. Now, I kind of understand celebrities’ motivation here: These are people who are accustomed to seeing their faces on billboards and in magazines. They’re desensitized to it. Right? Or maybe because they make their living off of their faces they’re just excited to pay tribute to their moneymaker. In any case, it’s hardly surprising.
  • An employee of Bed, Bath & Beyond in St. Davids Square shopping center reported to Radnor Township Police on June 5 a package containing human vomit was left in the parking lot there. 

    He estimated that about 35 pounds of vomit was in the package discovered June 5 and stated that a similar package was left in the same spot the week before.

  • Headless male flies engineered to get horny in the heat: Studying mating behavior, even in an organism as simple as a fruit fly, can be challenging, since it depends on a complex set of interactions between two individuals that may not share the researchers’ interest in seeing mating take place. So, some researchers (including one I went to grad school with) decided to take a shortcut. They engineered flies so that male-specific neurons would express a construct that activated the neurons when they were shifted to higher temperatures. It worked, perhaps a bit too well: “Almost all steps of courtship, from courtship song to ejaculation, can be induced at very high levels through [its] activation in solitary males.” In other words, heat the male flies up, and they’ll just ejaculate, even if they’re on their own (although they’ll do a mating dance for nobody first). In fact, it even worked if the males’ heads were chopped off, driven by the activity in their nerve cord.
  • Imagine you’re giving a presentation to the board of directors at your company. You have your PowerPoint slides all ready, you’re projecting onto a 64 inch screen… what could possibly go wrong? 

    Well, what would you do if your carefully composed presentation was replaced on the big screen by images of a naked woman? My guess is that you wouldn’t know where to put your laser pointer..

  • For millennia, philosophers have debated whether or not the self exists solely in the mind, the body, or both. Well, it’s unclear whether this will help clear things up or just muddy the waters further, but Swedish neuroscientists are now claiming that the human brain can add outside objects such as a third arm to one’s physical sense of self, and that people can even mentally project their “self” out of their own body and into someone else’s. If these findings hold up, the implications for virtual reality, robotics and prostheses could be substantial.
  • The US government filed more than twice as many demands for data about Google users than any other other country in the past six months, according to figures the search behemoth supplied Monday. 

    What’s more, according to the Google Transparency Report, Google fully or partially complied with the US demands in 94 percent of the cases, a rate that was higher than responses to any other government.

  • “With smart phones, tablet computers, and laptops, we carry around with us an unprecedented amount of sensitive personal information,” said EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury. “That smart phone in your pocket right now could contain email from your doctor or your kid’s teacher, not to mention detailed contact information for all of your friends and family members. Your laptop probably holds even more data — your Internet browsing history, family photo albums, and maybe even things like an electronic copy of your taxes or your employment agreement. This is sensitive data that’s worth protecting from prying eyes.”
  • Circumcision, Winky D told Zimbabwe’s Nehanda radio, is “one of the coolest moves you will ever make. I should know … I made that move. Takaipa!” Takaipa is the name of a popular Winky D song. “That is why I am asking you to think about getting circumcised this school holiday.” He supposedly added, in a statement that sounds suspiciously like it was written by a government publicist rather than, say, a young dancehall star, “Being cool is not just about having a string of hit songs. It is about taking care of yourself and looking after your health. It is about making sure you are presentable, smart and clean all the time.” His hit “Musarova Bigman” was recently nominated for song of the year at Zimbabwe’s annual National Arts Merit Awards.
  • The price of cocaine varies greatly between rich countries 

    EVERY year the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime publishes a report with lots of fascinating data on the production and consumption of illegal drugs around the world. This year’s report highlights a few interesting trends: despite all the effort put into the war on drugs, the street price of cocaine in Europe has dropped relentlessly over the past two decades (even adjusting for inflation and impurity). This may explain why Europe is now almost as big a market for cocaine producers as America. The numbers we have picked out below show the variations in price between a selection of different countries, as well as consumption per person in those places.

  • 1. File this one under “Now It All Makes Sense”. A Missouri farming and ranching contact just got off a conference call wherein he was informed that the federal government is sending out letters to all of the flooded out farmers in the Missouri River flood plain and bottoms notifying them that the Army Corps of Engineers will offer to BUY THEIR LAND. 

    Intentionally flood massive acreage of highly productive farmground. Destroy people’s communities and homes. Catch them while they are desperate and afraid and then swoop in and buy the ground cheap. Those evil sons of bitches.

    2. Speaking of evil sons of bitches, George Soros appears to be “investing” in farmground through the same puppet company that he used to get into the grain elevator and fertilizer business. The company is called Ospraie Capital Management and is buying up farmground in a joint venture with Teays River Investments as a partner.

  • What do you do if you have fake goods and you need to destroy them so they don’t get to market? Or you have computer storage media and you want to render it completely unreadable? If you’ve got just one hard drive to destroy, you can take it out back and smash it with a sledgehammer. But if you have lots to get rid of, here’s your solution.
  • Did you know that today scientists are actually producing mice that tweet like birds, cats that glow in the dark, “monster salmon”, “spider goats”, cow/human hybrids, pig/human hybrids and even mouse/human hybrids? The very definition of life on earth is changing right before our eyes. Many scientists believe that genetic modification holds the key to feeding the entire planet and healing all of our diseases, but others are warning that genetic modification could literally transform our environment into a desolate wasteland and cause our world to resemble a really bad science fiction movie. For decades, scientists around the globe have been fooling around with DNA and have been transplanting genes from one species to another. But now technology has advanced so dramatically that just about the only thing limiting scientists are their imaginations.
  • While global markets for cocaine, heroin and cannabis have declined or remained stable, the production and abuse of prescription opioid drugs and new synthetic drugs have risen, according to the World Drug Report 2011. Illicit cultivation of opium poppy and coca bush have remained limited to a few countries. Although there has been a sharp decline in opium production and a modest reduction in coca bush cultivation, the overall level of manufacture of heroin and cocaine has remained significant.
  • Welcome to “First Blood,” the inaugural event of the Urban Wrestling Federation — an experimental hybrid league formed earlier this year — held the Friday before last at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. One of the UWF’s many taglines: “Hip Hop meets Pro Wrestling the street meets insanity meets mayhem.” (In the last few months, this line has been tweeted by the UWF no fewer than 27 times.)
  • The anti-nuclear watchdog group Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, however, said the fire appeared to be about 3 1/2 miles from a dumpsite where as many as 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated waste were stored in fabric tents above ground. The group said the drums were awaiting transport to a low-level radiation dump site in southern New Mexico. 

    Lab spokesman Steve Sandoval declined to confirm that there were any such drums currently on the property. He acknowledged that low-level waste is at times put in drums and regularly taken from the lab to the Waste Isolation Pilot Project site in Carlsbad.

  • A central Ohio woman accused of spraying sheriff’s deputies with breast milk is facing charges including disorderly conduct. The Delaware County sheriff’s office says deputies responded to a call about a domestic dispute early Saturday, and a man told them his wife was drinking at a wedding and hit him before locking herself in a car. 

    The sheriff says deputies found the woman in a car and tried to talk with her, but she didn’t cooperate. He says when deputies tried to remove her, she said she was a breast-feeding mother, then exposed part of her chest and sprayed them with breast milk.

  • We read the news today – oh, boy. After 16 years on the lam from the Feds infamous Boston Irish mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger was finally apprehended yesterday in Santa Monica, CA. Thus ends one of the lengthiest and most notorious manhunts in U.S. law enforcement history. Shit, they even fictionalized Whitey on the silver screen (Scorcese’s The Departed) before he was caught. Here at ego trip, however, we’re well aware that Whitey Bulger isn’t the only elusive ghostface iller out there. In fact, there have and still are plenty more.
  • At the Chicago U.S. Customs and Border Protection International Mail Facility, a seemingly innocent imported shipment of pretty dresses may deceive the untrained eye and an X-ray showing no hidden or secret compartments may give the impression that all is well. However, CBP K-9 Martin’s nose, knows otherwise. 

    On June 9, while working with his CBP handler, Martin a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois alerted to a large box, invoiced as “Traditional Dresses,” coming from Laos. This parcel contained 65 plastic-wrapped brightly colored shawls destined for Minneapolis weighing 11.9 kilograms. Even though the paperwork was in order and CBP X-ray images of the box and contents showed no anomalies, Martin’s nose remained very interested. Upon closer examination using drug field testing procedures, CBP officers found a positive reaction. All 65 decorative 4-foot by two-foot cloth pieces were saturated with the illegal narcotic opium.

  • The $500 ad that appears on Page 439 of the book was placed by George Somogyi and directed at his daughter, Rianna, a 17-year-old senior, he said. 

    It depicts his daughter making funny faces and describes her as a “complete waste of valuable space.” The end of the ad refers to a “Yiddish saying” that “loosely translates to ‘Camel patties attract flies. Hummus attracts pita chips. You are the former.’ “

File under Hip-Hop, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, Sex