failure | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe - Part 2

Touched

★ Americans Shoplifted $1.8 Billion Worth of Stuff This Christmas
Hope you have a Merry Christmas, America, because you’ve been extremely naughty at the mall this year. After surveying retailers in the U.S., the Global Retail Theft Barometer says that shoppers pinched $1.8 billion worth of merchandise during the four weeks leading up to Christmas, reports the AP. $1.8 billion! For context, $1.8 billion is a 6 percent increase from 2010 — a total of approximately 62 million Tickle Me Elmos at retail. And this is a year when there aren’t even any good toys to buy. When stores are offering big markdowns because people aren’t spending as much. But that’s exactly the point: while there will always be some built-in kleptomania to society, the sour economy drives some people to buy less and steal more. Or at least gives them a good excuse for doing so.
★ Cardinal Faces Pushback For Comparing Gay Rights Movement To The KKK
Change.org has released a petition calling for the resignation of Catholic Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, following comments the Cardinal made to FOX Chicago Sunday comparing the gay rights movement to the Klu Klux Klan’s anti-Catholicism. Equally Blessed, an umbrella group of pro-LGBT rights Catholic organizations, has reinforced the pushback by releasing a statement declaring in part that George, “has demeaned and demonized LGBT people in a manner unworthy of his office. In suggesting that the Catholic hierarchy has reason to fear LGBT people in the same way that blacks, Jews, Catholics and other minorities had reason to fear the murderous nightriders of the Ku Klux Klan, he has insulted the memory of the victims of the Klan’s violence and brutality.” The petition has already garnered well over half the 2,500 signatures the organization was aiming for.
★ Aquaponics: Baltimore city, suburban residents try hand at fish farming
The aquarium in the living room of Meir and Leah Lazar’s Baltimore County home isn’t just for decoration. The tilapia and bluegills packed into the 50-gallon glass tank are waiting their turn to wind up on dinner plates. Out back, Meir Lazar is putting the finishing touches on a bigger new home for the fish inside a plastic-covered greenhouse. There, he hopes, the waste from the fish he’s tending will help him raise enough lettuce, tomatoes and other produce to feed his family of five year-round. Sustainability is more than a buzzword for Meir Lazar, 32, a computer systems administrator and teacher who’s pursuing aquaponics in his small suburban backyard off Greenspring Avenue. He said he’s inspired at least in part by news reports about food tainted by pesticides, bacteria and even radiation from the Japanese nuclear reactor meltdown earlier this year.
★ Man Dressed as Santa Believed to Shoot Six
Police were looking for a motive in a shooting in which they believe a man dressed as Santa Claus killed six family members in a Fort Worth, Texas, suburb on Christmas day before shooting himself. No one survived the carnage in the living room of a two-story apartment in Grapevine, Texas. Police said it was the single largest mass-shooting death in the city’s history and among the worst in Texas in recent years.
★ Unrelenting Global Economic Crisis: A Doomsday View of 2012
The economic, political and social outlook for 2012 is profoundly negative. The almost universal consensus, even among mainstream orthodox economists is pessimistic regarding the world economy. Although, even here, their predictions understate the scope and depth of the crises, there are powerful reasons to believe that beginning in 2012, we are heading toward a steeper decline than what was experienced during the Great Recession of 2008 – 2009. With fewer resources, greater debt and increasing popular resistance to shouldering the burden of saving the capitalist system, the governments cannot bail out the system. Many of the major institutions and economic relations which were cause and consequence of world and regional capitalist expansion over the past three decades are in the process of disintegration and disarray. The previous economic engines of global expansion, the US and the European Union, have exhausted their potentialities and are in open decline.
★ 8-Bit Yulelog
★ Mexico’s cartels build own national radio system
The alert goes out from a taxi driver or a street vendor, equipped with a high-end handheld radio and paid to work as a lookout known as a “halcon,” or hawk. The radio signal travels deep into the arid countryside, hours by foot from the nearest road. There, the 8-foot-tall (2-meter-tall) dark-green branches of the rockrose bush conceal a radio tower painted to match. A cable buried in the dirt draws power from a solar panel. A signal-boosting repeater relays the message along a network of powerful antennas and other repeaters that stretch hundreds of miles (kilometers) across Mexico, a shadow communications system allowing the cartel to coordinate drug deliveries, kidnapping, extortion and other crimes with the immediacy and precision of a modern military or law-enforcement agency.
★ Killin’ for Candy and Concords: The Price of Black Life
In recent news, an up and coming rapper was killed in a crowded Atlanta mall. According to authorities, Joe Blackmon, aka “Killa Black,” was standing in line for a pair of Air Jordan Concords when he, accidentally, knocked a Jolly Rancher out of the hand of the man in front of him. The man, described only as “an African American in a black hoodie with saggin’ pants” pumped five rounds in him before fleeing the scene. Witnesses say that the crowd just stepped over the dying Blackmon like nothing happened ,some even refusing to let paramedics through for fear of losing their places in line… Recently, people were shocked that Brick Squad affiliate, Slim Dunkin, was murdered in an Atlanta studio, allegedly, stemming from a fight over a piece of candy. This tragic event was coupled by media images of mobs of people beating each other senseless over the new Air Jordan XI Concords
★ Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story
Submitter: Hello, I’m a librarian in [NY] and a huge college football fan. Shortly after the sex abuse scandal at Penn State I decided to look on amazon and in our library catalog to see if we had anything by or about Jerry Sandusky. There are 14 copies of his unfortunately titled autobiography, Touched, floating about according to WorldCat
★ Israel Spyware Sold To Iran
The clandestine arrangement worked smoothly for years. The Israeli company shipped its Internet- monitoring equipment to a distributor in Denmark. Once there, workers stripped away the packaging and removed the labels. Then they sent it to a man named “Hossein” in Iran, an amiable technology distributor known to them only by his first name and impeccable English, say his partners in Israel and Denmark. Israeli trade, customs and defense officials say their departments didn’t know that the systems for peering into Internet traffic, sold under the brand name NetEnforcer, had gone to a country whose leaders have called for the destruction of the Jewish state. Israel’s ban on trade with its enemy failed, even though a paper trail on the deals was available in Denmark.
★ Report Assails Japan Response to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident
From inspectors’ abandoning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as it succumbed to disaster to a delay in disclosing radiation leaks, Japan’s response to the nuclear accident caused by the March tsunami fell tragically short, a government-appointed investigative panel said on Monday. The failures, which the panel said worsened the extent of the disaster, were outlined in a 500-page interim report detailing Japan’s response to the calamitous events that unfolded at the Fukushima plant after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out all of the site’s power. Three of the plant’s six reactors overheated and their fuel melted down, and hydrogen explosions blew the tops off three reactor buildings, leading to a major leak of radiation at levels not seen since Chernobyl in 1986.
★ An Independent America: Voters leaving Republican, Democratic parties in droves
A recent analysis conducted by USA Today showed that American voters are fed up with both mainstream political parties and are leaving them in droves. The newspaper claims that “More than 2.5 million voters have left the Democratic and Republican parties since the 2008 elections.” Over the last decade this trend has only seemed to accelerate says USA Today. While many people feel there is little difference in the parties, their options remain slim. Yet, voters switching to Independent have climbed dramatically. According to the statistics gathered from eight swing states, “Democrats’ registration is down by 800,000 and Republicans’ by 350,000. Independents have gained 325,000.”
★ ATF and D.C. Police Impersonate Rap Label; Arrest 70 in Year Long Guns and Drug Sting
Over $7.2 million in drugs and 161 weapons were confiscated after a year long investigation by the Washington D.C. Police and the Bureau the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which operated as fictional rap label. According to Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier, D.C. police and ATF agents acted as undercover officers and “music industry insiders” during the year-long sting. The police created the “Manic Enterprisess” studio in Northeast Washington, for fictional rap artist Richie Valdez in November of 2010. Agents then told the underground world and black market that they were seeking to purchase weapons and drugs. Over the course of the year, agents confiscated 161 firearms (including a rocket launcher), 29 assault weapons, 80 pounds of methamphetamine, 21 pounds of cocaine, 1.25 gallons of PCP, 24 pounds of marijuana, heroin and Ecstasy. “If these drugs and guns had made it to our streets, the impact would have been devastating to community,”
★ LAPD botched use of downtown crime cameras
Most of the surveillance cameras installed in downtown Los Angeles as part of an effort to help police crack down on crime have not been working for two years, according to interviews and records reviewed by The Times. The cameras were installed over the last few years in a highly publicized partnership between local business groups, which purchased them, and the Los Angeles Police Department, which was to monitor and maintain them. But officials said the majority of the cameras don’t work. Some broke down and were never fixed. In the case of six cameras purchased to watch over Little Tokyo, LAPD officials admit that they were never plugged in to the police station’s monitoring bank.

 

 

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on December 27, 2011

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Holidaze

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

 

 

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

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

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Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando Larry King Interview 1994

File under Culture, Fashion, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, Sex

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on November 28, 2011

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Surrender Dorothy

  • “If I would like to get a child to live with me and take care of me,” I ask. “Could you do that?”

    “Yes,” he says. “I can.”

    He’s speaking in Creole, the most prevalent Haitian language. The man doing the translation, who has set up the meeting, works for us (unbeknownst to the slave trafficker).

    The trafficker assures me he’s done this sort of transaction many times before.

    “A girl or a boy?” he asks.

    “A girl probably,” I say.

    “How old?”

    “Maybe 10 or 11.”

    “Not a problem.”

    He says he can get me an 11-year-old girl, although he suggests that a 15-year-old might be better, because she’d be more “developed.”

    I’m thinking: I can’t believe I’m having this conversation.

    “And this is OK?” I ask. “I won’t have any trouble from their parents or anything like that?”

    “No, you won’t have any problems with their parents.”

    “Why not?”

    “When I give you the child, I will train it for you.”

    I’m not exactly sure what that means.

  • The big items that added trillions to the debt are not even on the field of debate. Because the two teams are not contesting them.

    WARS: When Obama expanded the Afghan war and asked for the largest military budget in world history, the GOP largely applauded. It was bipartisan.

    BUSH TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY: Obama extended them in December

    BANK BAILOUTS: Bipartisan.

    DECLINING TAX REVENUE: Resulted from recession and financial meltdown caused by years of bipartisan (Reagan/Clinton) deregulation of Wall Street. And by big companies like General Electric (whose CEO is Obama’s jobs chairman) dodging their taxes.

    That’s the broad view – a perspective that sees our country over the edge in debt because the leaders of the two teams collaborated in putting it there.

  • A statement to police that led to the arrest of the leader of an alleged Thai rhino poaching syndicate exposes the sleaze in the officially sanctioned shooting of this endangered species, with prostitutes used in “canned hunts”.
  • A global maritime watchdog says sea piracy worldwide surged 36 percent to 266 attacks in the first half this year as Somali pirates took higher risks and raided more vessels.

    The International Maritime Bureau says 61 percent, or 163 of the global attacks, were by Somali pirates largely in the Arabian Sea area. It says pirates fired on ships in rough seas in the Indian Ocean last month, attacking for the first time during the monsoon season.

  • Super cool mini models of old Hong Kong.
  • A paper authored by Tatu Westling of Helsinki University explores the relationship between the GDP growth of countries and the penile length of their residents.

    The size of male organ is found to have an inverse U-shaped relationship with the level of GDP in 1985. It can alone explain over 15% of the variation in GDP. The GDP maximizing size is around 13.5 centimetres, and a collapse in economic development is identified as the size of male organ exceeds 16 centimetres.

    That “U-shaped” curve…it looks like something flaccid-ish, innit?

  • There are skinny houses. And then there is Jakub Szczęsny’s Keret House, which could make Calista Flockhart look like a fatty. At its most generous, the proposed place, in Warsaw, Poland, will clock in at 4 feet wide. At its narrowest, it’ll be just 28 inches wide — thinner than the average doorway. And we complain about our sardine can in New York…
  • Every morning before school, nine-year-old Terisia Techu would undergo a painful procedure. Her mother would take a burning hot pestle straight out of a fire and use it to press her breasts.

    With tears in her eyes as she recalls what it was like, Terisia tells CNN that one day the pestle was so hot, it burned her, leaving a mark. Now 18, she is still traumatized.

    Her mother, Grace, denies the incident. But she proudly demonstrates the method she used on her daughter for several weeks, saying the goal was to make her less desirable to boys — and stave off pregnancy.

  • In a trip to the pirate stronghold of Eyl, Bahadur discovers pirates who are afraid of phantom U.S. navy divers and believe in psychic powers. He even describes an incident of panty-thieving on the high seas.

    He also finds that many widely held beliefs about pirates are wrong, including allegations that they are controlled by international criminal cartels, have alliances with Islamist rebels or use sophisticated intelligence networks. Such assumptions help shape the multibillion dollar fight against piracy.

    “You have a lot of people with agendas making claims that aren’t backed up by anything,” said Bahadur. “I don’t really have an agenda. I just tried to use common sense. … I actually met these people and spoke to them. Most of them had no idea of the outside world.”

  • Why stop at the seat?

    That’s what a Japanese company thought when it began making an all-leather Harley-Davidson motorcycle (above and below), now on display in Milwaukee’s Harley-Davidson Museum.

    “The chopper… took 20 craftspeople from a Japanese company specializing in leather products more than two years to complete.”

    Wrote Mary-Liz Shaw in a June 9, 2011 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, “The bike is a ¾-scale replica made entirely of leather, including wheels, frame, headlight, spark plug boots, chain, fuel valve, even the tools in the tool bag.”

  • As I traveled on the Beltway in the early ’70s near the Mormon Temple in Kensington, I was always amused by one re-occurring sight. On an overpass just as the temple comes into view, someone would always spray paints in big letters “Surrender Dorothy.” The line was from “The Wizard of Oz,” and I’m fairly sure it reflected the graffiti artist’s impression that the temple was reminiscent of the spires that Dorothy and company saw as they approached the Emerald City and their subsequent fear when the witch wrote the phrase in the sky. While I recognize that it was illegal to do that, I marveled at the writer’s ability to write it so boldly as to be seen from the highway. I’ve often wondered if anyone knew the story behind it or knew who the person was.
  • She went into the lavatory hoping to relieve the pain, but instead suddenly gave birth. The baby fell into the lavatory bowl and through the flap onto the tracks under the speeding train, and her mother quickly ran out of the lavatory and jumped from the carriage to find the child.

    Her husband, who pulled the emergency cord, and other passengers who saw her jump, said she injured herself in her leap, but managed to get up and start running back to where the child tumbled onto the track.

  • Two pranksters from Evesham were arrested after accidentally locking themselves in a Pennsylvania constable’s van in Delaware County early Saturday, police in Radnor, Pa., said.

    Ryan Letchford, 21, and Jeffrey Olson, 22, left a party at a condominium complex with a friend and somehow got into a constable’s vehicle on East Lancaster Avenue to take phony “arrest” photographs of themselves, police said.

    The joke was over when the men could not undo the childproof locks that had snapped into place, forcing the friend to call 911 at 3:57 a.m., police said.

    The interior of the van was damaged as the men frantically attempted to free themselves, according to Michael Connor, constable for the township.

  • Some HIV-positive patients in Swaziland are so poor they have resorted to eating cow dung before taking anti-retroviral drugs, Aids activists say.
  • A former employee of Memorial Sloan-Kettering pleaded guilty Tuesday to ripping off $1.5 million worth of toner cartridges from the cancer center to buy diamond jewelry and an expensive car, among other high-priced amenities.

    Marque Gumbs, 33, who earned $37,800 a year as a receiving clerk at the Upper East Side center, used the ill-gotten funds from his supply scam to buy a diamond Rolex, Louis Vuitton bags and watches, and a $50,500 BMW X6, which he paid for in cash. He also took lavish trips to Las Vegas, Cancun and Florida, prosecutors said.

    Gumbs scammed the hospital by ordering $1.5 million in toner shipments from Office Max between September 2007 and August 2010 for printer models that were not even in use at the hospital. The hospital was charged for the toner cartridges, but Gumbs intercepted them at the hospital’s loading dock and sold them for profit.

  • A bundle of cash is a powerful emotional trigger. In fact, human brain scans have shown that the idea of money stimulates the same primal pleasure centers as food, sex and cocaine. So what does this tell you? That if you’re going to use prop money in your film or photograph, you must make it look as real as possible for maximum impact. Here is an abridged how-to guide to making a top-notch bundle of prop money
  • Last October, a man named Rick Gold, a 30-something lawyer who said he lived in Denver’s trendy Highlands neighborhood, appeared on the social scene and slipped comfortably into a welcoming circle of young Jewish professionals.

    He attended Passover meals and Sabbath dinners, knew enough Hebrew to participate in the prayers and joined several faith-based organizations as he told friends of his Israeli heritage and sought to reconnect with his religious roots.

    Through parallel social networks, online and in person, a lot of people got to know Rick Gold.

    Except that they didn’t.

  • At the Black Hat and Defcon security conferences in Las Vegas next week, Mike Tassey and Richard Perkins plan to show the crowd of hackers a year’s worth of progress on their Wireless Aerial Surveillace Platform, or WASP, the second year Tassey and Perkins have displayed the 14-pound, six-foot long, six-foot wingspan unmanned aerial vehicle. The WASP, built from a retired Army target drone converted from a gasoline engine to electric batteries, is equipped with an HD camera, a cigarette-pack sized on-board Linux computer packed with network-hacking tools including the BackTrack testing toolset and a custom-built 340 million word dictionary for brute-force guessing of passwords, and eleven antennae.
  • Internet providers would be forced to keep logs of their customers’ activities for one year–in case police want to review them in the future–under legislation that a U.S. House of Representatives committee approved today.

    The 19 to 10 vote represents a victory for conservative Republicans, who made data retention their first major technology initiative after last fall’s elections, and the Justice Department officials who have quietly lobbied for the sweeping new requirements, a development first reported by CNET.

    A last-minute rewrite of the bill expands the information that commercial Internet providers are required to store to include customers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and temporarily-assigned IP addresses, some committee members suggested. By a 7-16 vote, the panel rejected an amendment that would have clarified that only IP addresses must be stored.

  • Imagine yourself with your head in the business end of a guillotine. I know, it’s not the most pleasant of thoughts, but the guillotine was once considered a humane way to kill someone: Just a quick slice and you’re flat-out dead.

    But researchers are finding that neurons, the cells that make up the brain, are active even after their blood supply is suddenly cut off. And they may show activity for longer than a minute, according to a Science News report.

    So, imagine yourself in the guillotine again. Once that big blade comes swooshing down and your head rolls away, are you still aware? Could you see the world around you? Might you actually experience the horrific reality that is your head removed from your body – for a minute or more?

  • Whitcomb confessed that between the years of 2007 and 2010, he produced videos containing three boys, all which were under the age of 16. According to prosecutors, Whitcomb first gained the trust of his victims and their families by inviting them over to play video games. Ultimately the video games turned into video recordings of sexual activities. According to the victims, Whitcomb would resort to violence if they would not comply with his wishes.
  • (PAUSE!)
  • The six-week-old cat – which was abandoned at the roadside – earned the moniker because of her distinctive black moustache.

    Staff at Wood Green animal shelter in Godmanchester, Cambs., say they are struggling to find her a loving home because of her unusual markings.

    Spokeswoman Tara Dundon said: ”Kitler is an adorable little girl who will make a wonderful addition to the right family. She is really playful and a typical sweet kitten.
    Thanks PrinceTerrence

  • A Korean anime fan has proudly tied the knot with a pillowcase featuring the image of his favorite magical girl heroine.

    Heavy Rain asked the player, “how far would you go for love?” Would you go so far as to travel to another country? Would you kill a man? Or would you just decide that your soulmate was a fictional character and marry her image printed on a cotton pillowcase?

    A Korean otaku opted to go with the last option, wedding a dakimakura body pillow featuring the image of Fate Testarossa, one of the popular heroines of magical girl show Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. Not only has this particularly dedicated fan married his favorite pillowcase, he also takes her out on dates to restaurants and to amusement parts, as chronicled on media sites.

  • Primitive ancestors of the guillotine were used in Ireland, England and Italy in the 14th and 15th Centuries. Several known decapitation devices such as the Italian Mannaia, the Scottish Maiden, and the Halifax Gibbet are well documented and may pre-date the use of the French guillotine by as much as 500 years. The following deals mostly with the modern guillotine from the late 18th Century until today. It is not meant to be a complete history or even a complete overview of the history as this would take hundreds of pages. Instead consider it a brief introduction to the subject highlighted by a few good pictures.
  • Federal agents from the FBI and CIA/FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force tried to get a distinguished international lawyer to inform on his Arab and Muslim clients in violation of their Constitutional rights to attorney-client privilege, this reporter has learned. When the lawyer refused, he said the FBI placed him on a “terrorist watch list.”

    Law professor Francis Boyle gave a chilling account of how, in the summer of 2004, two agents showed up at his office (at the University of Illinois, Champaign,) “unannounced, misrepresented who they were and what they were about to my secretary, gained access to my office, interrogated me for about one hour, and repeatedly tried to get me to become their informant on my Arab and Muslim clients.”

  • There are fewer undocumented immigrants in California – and the Sacramento region – because many are now finding the American dream south of the border.

    “It’s now easier to buy homes on credit, find a job and access higher education in Mexico,” Sacramento’s Mexican consul general, Carlos González Gutiérrez, said Wednesday. “We have become a middle-class country.”

    Mexico’s unemployment rate is now 4.9 percent, compared with 9.4 percent joblessness in the United States.

  • Besides Tylenol, acetaminophen is the active ingredient in the prescription painkillers Percocet and Vicodin and in some nonprescription pain relievers, including NyQuil and some Sudafed products. It’s found in thousands of medicines taken for headaches, fever, sore throats and chronic pain.

    But people taking multiple medicines at once don’t always realize how much acetaminophen they are ingesting, partly because prescription drug labels often list it under the abbreviation “APAP.”

  • Iarpa, the intelligence community’s way-out research shop, wants to know where you took that vacation picture over the Fourth of July. It wants to know where you took that snapshot with your friends when you were at that New Year’s Eve party. Oh yeah, and if you happen to be a terrorist and you took a photo with some of your buddies while prepping for a raid, the agency definitely wants to know where you took that picture — and it’s looking for ideas to help figure it out.

    In an announcement for its new “Finder” program, the agency says that it is looking for ways to geolocate (a fancy word for “locate” that implies having coordinates for a place) images by extracting data from the images themselves and using this to make guesses about where they were taken.

  • Wash down yer Extenze with some Ron Jeremy rum
  • Over the years, I’ve tried various sorts of infusions, with vodka and other liquors. Fruit and herb-infused are the best known, and are often wonderful. But what I like is meat. Where’s the infusion for people like me? I felt disenfranchised, and alone, especially after some research on the interwebs revealed a real lack of meat-based liqueurs. It would be up to me to blaze the trail.

    I decided that a hot dog based infusion would work best. Not as assertive as chorizo, but bolder than pork chops or steak; in addition, the preservatives in the dogs would lend themselves to prolonged infusion. With that in mind, I began with fine all-beef franks:

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

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 30, 2011

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Let’s Have A Cyber War

  • A little-known Texas law and a foreclosure could have a man in Flower Mound living on Easy Street.

    Flower Mound’s Waterford Drive is lined with well-manicured $300,000 homes. So, when a new neighbor moved in without the usual sale, mortgage-paying homeowners had a few questions.

    “What paperwork is it and how is it legally binding if he doesn’t legally own the house?” said Leigh Lowrie, a neighboring resident. “He just squats there.”

    Lowrie and her husband said the house down the street was in foreclosure for more than a year and the owner walked away. Then, the mortgage company went out of business.

    Apparently, that opened the door for someone to take advantage of the situation. But, Kenneth Robinson said he’s no squatter. He said he moved in on June 17 after months of research about a Texas law called “adverse possession.”

  • United States Army Private First Class Christopher Eric Wey, 19, was arrested after he tried to board a United Airlines flight to Los Angeles from Yuma, Ariz., on Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s office for Arizona said.

    Transportation Security Administration officers detected explosives in his baggage during security screening at Yuma International Airport. A subsequent search found a half ounce of C4 explosive hidden in a tobacco can inside one of the bags. Wey was detained for investigation and interviewed by FBI agents.

  • The advent of the Internet, with sophisticated algorithmic search engines, has made accessing information as easy as lifting a finger. No longer do we have to make costly efforts to find the things we want. We can “Google” the old classmate, find articles online, or look up the actor who was on the tip of our tongue. The results of four studies suggest that when faced with difficult questions, people are primed to think about computers and that when people expect to have future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it. The Internet has become a primary form of external or transactive memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves.
  • TCM in the US were last night scheduled to play Popeye The Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves, a notoriously racist cartoon that almost collapses under the weight of its Arab stereotyping. The film was made in 1937 when, as far as I know, there wasn’t any particular US-Arab conflict or issues that would have brought about such propaganda with specific urgency. It just looks like casual, timeless racism.

    Of course, we’re currently going through a period in US foreign relations where this cartoon is particularly potent. If it could ever be said to be dangerous, now is likely that time.

    And this, I suppose, is why the cartoon didn’t air. But why no explanation? Why no apology? Why no statement of any kind?

  • Some commentators believe the real purpose of the operation was to provide “evidence” that U.S. arms were behind the gang violence in Mexico to provide a basis for further restrictions on U.S. arms sales, pointing to comments by Hillary Clinton and the New York Times editors on the need for further restrictions to limit the weaponry of the Mexican drug cartels. While the supposition is far from unreasonable, stronger evidence supporting such claims is to date missing.
  • Over the past several months researchers at the Stanford Security Lab have been developing a platform for measuring dynamic web content. One of our chief applications is a system for automated enforcement of Do Not Track by detecting the myriad forms of third-party tracking, including cookies, HTML5 storage, fingerprinting, and much more. While the software isn’t quite polished enough for public release, we’re eager to share some unexpected early results on the advertising ecosystem. Please bear in mind that these are preliminary findings from experimental software; our primary aims at this stage are developing the platform and validating the approach to third-party tracking detection.
  • Anyone who cares to buy the information transmitted by your meter may do so. The police, insurance companies, actually anyone who comes to think they must have an interest in what you are doing in the privacy of your home. Since these meters are radio devices this amounts to warrantless wiretapping. It is the ultimate surveillance system.

    While these devices are installed with the false promise of reducing your power bill, the truth will hit you full force when you open the first bill you receive after installation of the smart meter. Your power bill will have doubled, minimally, but more likely, quadrupled.

  • Some 400 hectares of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds have been destroyed throughout Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar said.
    The GMO maize has been ploughed under, said Lajos Bognar, but pollen has not spread from the maize, he added. Unlike several EU members, GMO seeds are banned in Hungary.
  • If you think the establishment of the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after 9/11 has really helped to make the skies safer, think again. A new report issued by the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, says that since November 2001, there have been more than 25,000 airport security breaches, ranging from minor incidents like baggage accidentally being left behind, to major breaches like travelers bypassing security lines and bringing various weapons onto airplanes.

    The report explains that there have been more than 14,000 incidents of individuals getting into secure areas, including into the secure side of airports, without going through TSA screening.

    TSA screeners have also personally failed to properly screen travelers about 6,000 times, while more than 2,600 travelers somehow successfully got through the security line without undergoing the normal screening procedures.

  • Why would Wired with-hold this critically important information, unless they were actively co-operating with US agents trying to fabricate charges against Assange? Given that Lamo had notified authorities of Manning’s alleged actions while still continuing to chat with him, it’s logical to assume the Feds would have wanted to censor any published details. Wired appears to have willingly complied.
  • Yesterday brought major news for horror fans that their is a new “Evil Dead” movie in that works according to Bloody Disgusting. They also have revealed that Federico Alvarez will be directing the film. He made the robot invasion short “Panic Attack!”.

    “The Evil Dead” is film that launched the careers of both Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, amongst many others. In the series, there is the superior sequel, “Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn” and my favorite “Army of Darkness” and together they make up on of the best franchises in horror history. Bruce Campbell has reached major fan boy status from these films and will always been known as Ashley J. Williams aka Ash. There has been rumors of a fourth “Evil Dead” for many years now but this might be the final rumor. It is hard to believe but it is almost 20 years since Ash last fought The Evil Dead.

  • Jane is in her 70s, a retired widow who spends her days doing volunteer work in the East Bay and fussing over her grandchildren. She also downloads porn illegally over BitTorrent.

    That, at least, is the claim in an April lawsuit against her and dozens of other Jane and John Does by a Chicago law firm that’s been busily filing similar cases around the country.

    It’s also made a habit of strongly suggesting that these “digital pirates” settle out of court for several thousand dollars. Letters to defendants helpfully remind them the amount is below what they’d probably pay in attorney’s fees and that settling would avoid publicly linking their names to pornography.

    This particular Jane (who didn’t want her real name used for that very reason) said she’s never downloaded porn and doesn’t know what a BitTorrent is. She can’t afford an attorney to make her case, but she’s not about to settle either.

    “It smacks of extortion,” she said.

  • Since we have smaller teeth, we chew our food less effectively, and more of what we eat is swallowed only partially chewed, or not chewed at all. With corn, some of the kernels will be chewed fully, some partially, and the others will be unchewed and swallowed whole. Our digestive system today is not that good at digesting plant material anymore, much less whole kernels. They pass through our stomach and intestines, and appear in our stool to confound and entertain us.
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) on Friday strongly suggested that members of Congress are making it difficult for President Obama to raise the debt ceiling because of his race.

    “I do not understand what I think is the maligning and maliciousness [toward] this president,” said Jackson Lee, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. “Why is he different? And in my community, that is the question that we raise. In the minority community that is question that is being raised. Why is this president being treated so disrespectfully? Why has the debt limit been raised 60 times? Why did the leader of the Senate continually talk about his job is to bring the president down to make sure he is unelected?”

  • A killer python crushed a 2-year-old toddler to death in her crib and tried to eat the child whole, bone-chilling testimony revealed at the trial of the girl’s parents.

    “There were also several clusters of puncture wounds … that represent bites from the snake as the snake was trying to ingest her, basically,” medical examiner Wendy Lavezzi testified in Sumter County court in Florida.

  • A dramatic and shocking demonstration of how your brain gets fooled to see something that is not there because of your biases, prejudices and expectations.
  • “All of a sudden, there were kittens all over the highway,” he said. “You really couldn’t help but run over them at that speed. It made me sick to my stomach.”

    McAllister said passengers in the pickups apparently dropped the kittens in bags or sacks near the Bullard Avenue exit.

    “Looking down, there were two, three, four to the right of me. There were more to the left. They were all around me,” said McAllister, a teacher who was driving home from Mississippi. “It was like a horror movie.”

  • The customer chillingly told her: “You look like Casey Anthony.”

    “She said that I was trying to hurt babies, I was killing babies and she was going to stop it before it happened again,” said Blackwell, who also has a daughter named Caylee.

    Nalley left the store but waited outside until Blackwell’s shift ended, and began to follow the convenience store worker in a minivan, according to reports.

    “I got in my vehicle and began to back out and looked and could tell she was staring directly at me,” Blackwell said.

    “I could almost see the white in her eyes.”

    Nalley continued her pursuit for several miles to a parking lot, where she drove into Blackwell’s car with such force it flipped over.

  • The Pentagon released a long-promised cybersecurity plan Thursday that declares the Internet a domain of war.

    The plan notably does not spell out how the US military would use the Web for offensive strikes, however.

    The Defense Department’s first-ever plan for cyberspace calls on the department to expand its ability to thwart attacks from other nations and groups, beef up its cyber-workforce and expand collaboration with the private sector.

  • More beef from cattle in Japan that ate straw tainted by radiation has found its way into the food supply, deepening concern about the safety of meat as the country struggles to contain the spread of the contamination.

    Cattle at the farm in Asakawa, about 60 kilometers from the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station, were fed with rice straw containing 97,000 becquerels of cesium per kilogram, compared with the government standard of 300 becquerels, said Hidenori Ohtani at the livestock division of the Fukushima prefectural government. The farm shipped 42 cattle in the past three months to slaughterhouses in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Miyagi prefectures, which were processed into meat and sold to distributors, he said.

  • A 42-year-old man told police he ate two chickens, six wings, two racks of ribs and a cheeseburger, saying he’d pass a test to determine his blood alcohol content because he’d downed “‘a ton of food.'”

    He apparently was wrong, according to a recently released Fort Pierce Police report.

    herzog_david.jpgThe case that put David James Herzog behind bars on a DUI charge began on the Fourth of July after a woman told an officer a “fat (buttocks) cracka” was on North 21st Street and Avenue G trying to buy “‘dope.”

  • Over the next 18 months Jim’s problems increased. “The pain was getting worse as the silicone hardened around my testicles, so when I stood up it felt like they were being yanked down with the weight. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t work and I felt like a freak.” Finally, in February 2010, he met Marcus Drake, a consultant urologist at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, who tried to remove the silicone in an operation. “I was warned I could lose my testicles, but I was in so much pain, it seemed a risk worth taking,” Jim says.

    Unfortunately the operation had to be stopped when the flesh on his scrotum lost its blood supply. “I spent the next three weeks at home with a district nurse coming round every day to dress the wound and keep it clean, but the smell of rotting flesh was simply horrendous,” he says.

  • Back in the late 1930’s, infamous urban planner Robert Moses created this mile long artificial beach, originally named the “Bronx Riviera.” Although widely known as the latter, locals call it “Horse Shit Beach” or the “Puerto Rican Riviera.” Latinos affectionately refer to it as “Playa Chocha”, while New-Yorkers simply know it as “Ghetto Beach.” Orchard Beach is like nothing I’ve experienced before. While the beach may certainly lack proper facilities and the glamour of a “traditional Riviera” (whatever that means), the atmosphere, energy and people clearly compensate… particularly on Sundays or during long holiday weekends.
  • Patriotic Indian Hackers “Indishell” / Indian Cyber Army finally Strike to the Biggest Pirated Music Download Website of Bollywood Albums run by Pakistan crew.

    The hack is perform against the Mumbai blasts – Wednesday 13 July 2011. Pakistan issues a condemnation after three attacks blamed on terrorists strike Mumbai, targeting the city’s Opera House district, its Zaveri bazaar and the central Dadar area.

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File under Horror, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 16, 2011

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The Face Of The Enemy Frightens Me Only When I See How Much It Resembles Mine

  • More Americans than ever are desperate for money and many of them will do just about anything to get it. The crumbling U.S. economy has pushed millions of ordinary Americans to the brink of utter desperation. When it comes time to choose between being able to survive or breaking the law, many people are choosing to break the law. These days it seems like Americans will do just about anything for money. All over the country, there are areas where just about anything that is not bolted down is being stolen. A lot of people have resorted to making money however they can – selling drugs, selling their bodies, shoplifting, invading homes, taking bribes, running credit card scams and even stealing from their own family members. You will have a hard time believing some of the things that you are about to read below. When people have their backs pushed up against the wall, often they find that they are willing to do things that they never imagined that they would do.
  • We have reported in the past an alarming suicide rate among farmers in India that is connected to the failure of American GMO (genetically modified organism) cotton seeds.

    Monsanto, the U.S. company responsible for Agent Orange, a cancer-causing chemical sprayed on the jungles of Vietnam, is now in the GMO food and seed business.

    Monsanto stands accused of having an international monopoly of the notorious bio-engineered Bt cotton seeds.

    Advocates for the agricultural industry say they never dreamed of the tragedy to come, when a 2005 decision was announced to allow the seeds in India.

    Now an agrarian crisis has hit Maharashtra itself thanks to the Monsanto program.

    Farmers are buying 11 packets of 450 gm per hectare as per the company’s guide for the recommended “population method” but the sudden demand and ill-managed Indian sub agents have brought the company big trouble as 50% of the Bt cotton seeds failed to germinate even after it’s second sowing.

  • The payments giant also has a personal interest in tracking down hacktivist groups. AntiSec hackers had encouraged others to attempt to access PayPal customer accounts using leaked usernames and passwords. Last year, PayPal’s blog website was taken offline following a distributed denial of service attack launched by activists angry that the company had frozen a donations account used by whistle blowing website WikiLeaks.
  • Consider the fact that millions of people read this stuff. Millions of people continue to tolerate a list of probably sold-out tour dates with a generic compliment for each city. Then consider the fact that each of the tweets listed above was re-tweeted well over one hundred times. This is worse than DJ’s retweeting people saying they’re “killing it” at some Vegas pool party. This is worse than Diddy’s (Swag’s?) ceaseless positivity.

    Aside from his incessant self-congratulating and bugling, there’s another disappointing revelation Wayne’s Twitter gave us: He’s a horrible bandwagon fan.

  • Senator Bob Graham asks why hard questions about Saudi Arabia have gone unanswered since 9/11. He explains why he’s finally taken to fiction to explore this controversial topic about what the U.S. is covering up.
  • The United States is viewed less favorably in much of the Arab world today than it was during the final year of the Bush administration, and President Obama is less popular in the region than Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to a poll released today by the Arab American Institute, a nonpartisan research and advocacy group.

    Attitudes towards the US president and the United States as a whole have been growing increasingly negative over the past ten years due to the invasion of Iraq, outrage over Guantanamo Bay, and continued frustration over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, which has been tracking attitudes for a decade.

    But the current poll is striking in that is illustrates how far Obama’s favorability has fallen in the region, after an initial optimistic spike when he took office.

    “It’s because expectations were created that were not met,” Zogby said.

  • “The primary concern is that methane gas could leak into one or both of the school buildings, potentially causing an explosion,” he said. “A buildup of methane gas was one of the contributing factors that caused the explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, W.Va., last spring, which killed 29 mine workers. I think it goes without saying that middle and high school students shouldn’t be exposed to a similar threat.”

    Nelson continued, “A secondary concern is subsidence –- or the downward shift of the earth’s surface that can occur where underground coal mining takes place. In a worst-case scenario, this could endanger students and faculty in the schools. At bare minimum, it could cause major damage to the schools’ facilities.”

  • The first in a series of short documentaries focusing on the culture of Urban Exploring, those who risk it all to access and infiltaite closed or forgotten spaces.
  • Newly appointed US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told American troops in Baghdad on Monday that 9/11 was the reason they were in Iraq, before he was quickly corrected by his spokesman.

    “The reason you guys are here is because of 9/11. The US got attacked and 3,000 human beings got killed because of Al-Qaeda,” Panetta told about 150 soldiers at the Camp Victory US base.

    “We’ve been fighting as a result of that,” he said.

    The administration of former US President George W. Bush had hastily linked Saddam Hussein, the ousted Iraqi dictator, to the 9/11 attacks.

    That was one of the justifications for the 2003 US-led invasion, but the argument has since been widely dismissed.

    Doug Wilson, Panetta’s spokesman, quickly jumped in after his boss, who just took office on July 1, made the statement.

    “I don’t think he’s getting into the argument of 2002-2003,” as the reason for the Iraq invasion, Wilson he told reporters, adding that his boss was “a plain-spoken secretary.”

  • A Minnesota hacker prosecutors described as a “depraved criminal” was handed an 18-year prison term Tuesday for unleashing a vendetta of cyberterror that turned his neighbors’ lives into a living nightmare.

    Barry Ardolf, 46, repeatedly hacked into his next-door neighbors’ Wi-Fi network in 2009, and used it to try and frame them for child pornography, sexual harassment, various kinds of professional misconduct and to send threatening e-mail to politicians, including Vice President Joe Biden.

    His motive was to get back at his new neighbors after they told the police he’d kissed their 4-year-old son on the lips.

  • The lawsuit includes a document, sent to ARTINFO in an email, with 150 examples of McGinley’s work as compared to Gordon’s, dissecting what Gordon sees as visual thefts. Similarities include such tropes as “boy looking upward, mouth slightly open in an expression of awe,” and “subject’s left arm is in the air angling above his head.”

    Taken individually, it’s hard to see the similarities as anything but incidental — artists can’t copyright a pose any more than they can copyright balloon dogs. From the document, it’s clear that McGinley’s style is certainly similar to Gordon’s, but that is inevitable in tight-knit artistic milieus. She claims that McGinley took the “style, idea, composition, backgrounds, foregrounds, expressions, gestures” of her work, but none of the image comparisons bear up to the designation of exact copy.

  • Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital Boston, is arguing that parents should lose custody of obese children.

    State intervention “ideally will support not just the child but the whole family, with the goal of reuniting child and family as soon as possible,” Ludwig told The Associated Press. “That may require instruction on parenting.”

  • First, some context: In May, the FTC gave a company called Social Intelligence the green light to run background checks of your Internet and social media history. The media made a big hulabaloo out of the ruling. And it largely got two important facts wrong.

    Contrary to initial reports, Social Intelligence doesn’t store seven years worth of your social data. Rather it looks at up to seven years of your history, and stores nothing.

    The second was the idea that it was looking for boozy or embarrassing photos of you to pass along to your employer. In fact it screens for just a handful of things: aggressive or violent acts or assertions, unlawful activity, discriminatory activity (for example, making racist statements), and sexually explicit activity. And it doesn’t pass on identifiable photos of you at all. In other words, your drunken kegstand photos are probably fine as long as you’re not wearing a T-shirt with a swastika or naked from the waist down.

  • More than just a beatmaker, Prince Paul brings personality to the table: a raunchy Morgan Freeman sound alike, a sound bite from the defunct TV comedy Get A Life, or a well-timed fart joke all have made their way into his work. He also pioneered the classic rap skit, a device in which he’s employed anyone from Xzibit to Father Guido Sarducci to add a context and color to the narrative. As the Undertaker of the Gravediggaz he’s also been credited with ushering in rap’s horrorcore genre (something he deflected during our interview with an evil “Ha ha ha!” followed by a fart noise).

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

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 14, 2011

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Goo-Goo-Googly Eyes

  • The smugglers selected their targets by placing lookouts at the port of entry who identified vehicles that daily used the SENTRI express lane, according to the affidavit. Once a vehicle and driver were selected, the smugglers would secretly obtain the car’s vehicle identification number. The VIN was then used to make spare keys for that car.

    The keys would be used at night by smugglers to unlock the car, put drugs in it and lock it. The next morning, the drivers would get in their cars and drive to El Paso — without ever knowing that drugs had been placed in the vehicles overnight.

  • Scientists in London created an artificial windpipe which was then coated in stem cells from the patient.

    Crucially, the technique does not need a donor, and there is no risk of the organ being rejected. The surgeons stress a windpipe can also be made within days.

  • So much for tagging photographs with names, locations and activities yourself – a new cell phone application can take care of that for you.

    The system works by taking advantage of the multiple sensors on a mobile phone, as well as those of other mobile phones in the vicinity.

    Dubbed TagSense, the new app was developed by students from Duke University and the University of South Carolina (USC) and unveiled at the ninth Association for Computing Machinery’s International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications and Services (MobiSys), being held in Washington, D.C.

    “When a TagSense-enabled phone takes a picture, it automatically detects the human subjects and the surrounding context by gathering sensor information from nearby phones,” said Xuan Bao, a Ph.D. student in computer science at Duke who received his master’s degree at Duke in electrical and computer engineering.

  • A top Department of Homeland Security official has admitted to Congress that imported software and hardware components are being purposely spiked with security-compromising attack tools by unknown foreign parties.
  • Yikes. Users of fitness and calorie tracker Fitbit may need to be more careful when creating a profile on the site. The sexual activity of many of the users of the company’s tracker and online platform can be found in Google Search results, meaning that these users’ profiles are public and searchable. You can click here to access these results. The Next Web reported this earlier this morning.
  • Collusion is a very simple website that visualizes the interwoven mesh and mess of third-party tracking cookies. You install an add-on, and then just start browsing the web. If you have multiple monitors, you can drag the Collusion tab out and watch as your web of browsing history and cookies expands; otherwise, just surf the web for an hour or so, and then take a look at Collusion. What you will see is quite astonishing. Each and every one of the red dots is tracking your movement and behavior across the web. Some of the red dots are obvious, like Google’s DoubleClick ad network — but did you know that the ShareThis and AddThis widgets, which are found on almost every news or blog website, are tracking your clicking and reading habits?
  • from the who’s-ripping-off-whom-again? dept

    Last year, we had a post on RIAA accounting, detailing how labels screw over many musicians, even some of the best selling ones, such that they never actually make a dime in royalties. Bas points us to an excellent 14 minute video from lawyer Martin Frascogna, entitled How To Sell 1 Million Albums and Owe $500,000

  • In conjunction with this week’s 40th anniversary of President Nixon declaring “war on drugs,” a group of police, judges and jailers who support legalization released a report today showing how the Obama administration is ramping up a war it disingenuously claims that it ended two years ago.
  • Forty celebrities were arrested for drugs (mostly marijuana) during the first six months of 2011. This doubles the total from the first half of 2010. Last year, 43 celebrities were arrested for drugs. In 2011, that figure will likely double as well
  • To produce the potentially deadly drug, which has a comparable effect to heroin but is much cheaper to make, users mix codeine with gasoline, paint thinner, iodine, hydrochloric acid and red phosphorous. Codeine, a controlled substance in the United States used to treat mild to moderate pain, is widely available over the counter in Russia.
  • “Our investigation shows that not only have police employees been found to have run background records checks on friends and possible partners, but some have been convicted for passing sensitive information to criminal gangs and drug dealers,” said Daniel Hamilton, director of the Big Brother Watch.
  • It’s great when cops catch criminals after they’ve done their dirty work. But what if police could stop a crime before it was even committed? Though that may sound like a fantasy straight from a Philip K. Dick novel, it’s a goal police departments from Los Angeles to Memphis are actively pursuing with help from the Department of Justice and a handful of cutting-edge academics.

    It’s called “predictive policing.” The idea: Although no one can foresee individual crimes, it is possible to forecast patterns of where and when homes are likely to be burgled or cars stolen by analyzing truckloads of past crime reports and other data with sophisticated computer algorithms.

  • Penis length cannot be determined by how big his hands or feet are — those and other supposed indicators have been widely discredited for years. But now a team of Korean researchers has produced what may be a more reliable guide: the ratio of the length of his index finger to that of his ring finger. The lower that ratio, the longer the penis may be, the researchers wrote Monday in the Asian Journal of Andrology.
  • Why The Organic Trade Association and Corporate Organic Food Brands do NOT want Labeling of Genetically Engineered and Genetically Modified Foods

    This Video provides financial evidence that the President of the Board of Directors at the Organic Trade Association, Julia Sabin, individually profits off of Genetically engineered foods as a VP and General Manager at Smuckers.

  • A man has been charged with breaking Ireland’s bestiality laws for forcing his dog to have sex with a woman who died from an allergic reaction brought on by the perverse act.

    Sean McDonnell, the 57-year-old charged in the case, apparently ordered his German Shepard to have sex with a 43-year-old mother of four that he met in an online fetish chatroom, according to the Journal.

    They met to perform the kinky act with the canine, but the woman died hours later from an attack similar to a reaction unleashed by a peanut allergy, according to the Irish Daily Star.

  • If you read the ingredients label on a loaf of bread, you will usually find an ingredient listed there as L-cysteine. This is a non-essential amino acid added to many baked goods as a dough conditioner in order to speed industrial processing. It’s usually not added directly to flour intended for home use, but you’ll find it throughout commercial breads such as pizza dough, bread rolls and pastries.

    While some L-cysteine is directly synthesized in laboratories, most of it is extracted from a cheap and abundant natural protein source: human hair. The hair is dissolved in acid and L-cysteine is isolated through a chemical process, then packaged and shipped off to commercial bread producers. Besides human hair, other sources of L-cysteine include chicken feathers, duck feathers, cow horns and petroleum byproducts.

    Most of the hair used to make L-cysteine is gathered from the floors of barbershops and hair salons in China, by the way.

  • As Kevin Warwick gently squeezed his hand into a fist one day in 2002, a robotic hand came to life 3,400 miles away and mimicked the gesture. The University of Reading cybernetics professor had successfully wired the nerves of his forearm to a computer in New York City’s Columbia University and networked them to a robotic system back in his Reading, England, lab. “My body was effectively extended over the Internet,” Warwick says.
  • This record can easily go from turntable to coffee table. Scottish band Found, looking for an inventive new way to release a new single, baked up a sugary idea: to press the 7” record on chocolate.

    The band enlisted the help of a friend, baker Ben Milne who, after several failed attempts, managed to successfully created the Willy Wonka-like treat; the entire record, including the paper label, is edible.

    While not audiophile quality by any stretch, the chocolate disc plays a decent version of the band’s “Anti-Climb Paint” single.

  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost a financial lifeline.

    Since December bans by the world’s major credit card networks, it has been difficult for supporters of the controversial whistleblower to send him donations. But this week, WikiLeaks gained a brief respite with the unwitting help of an Icelandic bank.

    The window was quickly closed.

  • A nuclear reactor in Japan was forced to shut down due to infiltration of enormous swarms of jellyfish near the power plant.

    A similar incident was also reported recently in Israel when millions of jellyfish clogged down the sea-water cooling system of the power plant.

    Such massive invasions of the species have raised speculations and scientists are trying to figure out the reason behind such unusual growing trends.

    “The several [power plant incidents] that happened recently aren’t enough to indicate a global pattern. They certainly could be coincidental,” LiveScience quoted Monty Graham, a jellyfish biologist and senior marine scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab off the Gulf Coast of Alabama stating.

    Recent studies have found out that jellyfish blooming occurs mostly during the summer and spring months.

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File under Fashion, Fetish, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death, Sex

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 10, 2011

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The Grand Wizard Of Links

  • Hundreds of Big Bear High School yearbooks have been recalled because of a picture showing a 17-year-old boy with his hand up his date’s dress, officials said Thursday.

    The photo may involve sexual penetration and constitutes child pornography, said Cindy Bachman, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

  • A woman traveling on New York’s Metro North train line was recorded by a fellow passenger telling train employees that she is too “well-educated” to be told to quiet down and not use profanity in her cell-phone conversation.

    “Do you know what schools I’ve been to? How well-educated I am?” she asks the train employee, who is seen explaining to another employee that she asked the passenger to stop using the “F-bomb.”

    “I’m sorry do you think I’m a little hoodlum?” she asks, then demands her money back and dares the conductor to stop the train.

  • Black hole fires beams at Earth while destroying star: a massive black hole has been discovered devouring a star, causing the star to shoot beams of energy at Earth. The event is thought to occur only once every 100 million years.
  • Virtually every article about the flooding mentions that the Fort Calhoun plant was shut down on April 9. On May 27, the Omaha World-Herald reported, “The Omaha Public Power District said its nuclear plant at Fort Calhoun, which is shut down for maintenance, is safe from flooding.” The implication is that being shut down makes a plant safe. But as the ongoing crisis in Fukushima demonstrates, nuclear fuel remains hot long after a reactor is shut down. When Fort Calhoun is shut down for maintenance and refueling, only one-third of the fuel in the reactor core is removed. Besides the hot fuel remaining in the core, there is even more fuel stored in the spent-fuel pool, which is not shut down. According to a May 2011 report by Robert Alvarez at the Institute for Policy Studies, there are an estimated 1,054 assemblies of spent fuel, weighing 379 tons, at Fort Calhoun.
  • Three hundred miles southwest of Fukushima, at a nuclear reactor perched on the slopes of this rustic peninsula, engineers are engaged in another precarious struggle.
    The Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor — a long-troubled national project — has been in a precarious state of shutdown since a 3.3-ton device crashed into the reactor’s inner vessel, cutting off access to the plutonium and uranium fuel rods at its core. Engineers have tried repeatedly since the accident last August to recover the device, which appears to have gotten stuck. They will make another attempt as early as next week.

  • US scientists claim to have discovered a dangerous new plant disease linked to genetically modified crops and the pesticides used on them.

    The research, which is yet to be completed, suggests the pathogen could be the cause of recent widespread crop failure and miscarriages in livestock.

    Emeritus Professor Don Huber from Perdue University says his research shows that animals fed on GM corn or soybeans may suffer serious health problems due to the pathogen.

    “They’re finding anywhere from 20 per cent to as much as 55 per cent of those [animals] will miscarriage or spontaneously abort,” he said.

  • I’m 35. I come from an era in which pre-teens had to go on cultural-archeological digs not just for porn, but also for punk music, so-called art house movies, strange literature, and underground comics. We shoplifted, sent away for zines and catalogs, and traded with each other to get our hands on contraband materials. But something we probably have in common with the youth of today, and all kids ever, is that when we were even younger, images seem to have sought us out—not the other way around. That brings me, finally, to the subject of this post, which is a few of the images that, at some point early in my life, lodged themselves into the nascent “this is what turns you on” portion of my brain. These things are running around in there even now, perhaps a little more spectral with each year, but working their influence nonetheless.
  • The fire spread quickly. Flaming rum splashed across plates and onto skin, igniting Katie Hudgins’ dress, sending horrified shrieks through the dining room of Ozona Blue restaurant.

    The table of five had just minutes earlier ordered dessert: two helpings of Bananas Foster, a sweet, spectacular flambe dish sauteed in butter and ignited with rum.

    But as server Ian Monsalvo poured the 151-proof liquor into the pan, a sudden burst of flames erupted. Caught in the blaze was Hudgins, 25, an elementary school teacher, whose fiance’s parents had invited her to dinner.

    Nick Salzer, 20, an Ozona Blue chef and aspiring firefighter, raced from the kitchen, tore off Hudgins’ burning dress and stomped out the flames. With others, he guided Hudgins to a couch in the lobby and covered her with a blanket as an unidentified woman frantically called 911.

  • General sluttiness is surely among the attributes preening liberals refer to when they bray about “San Francisco Values.” From the Mission to the Marina, from the “soiled doves” who ruled the Barbary Coast to the present-day skank chain-smoking in front of Vertigo, we are a city of the lecherous, the depraved, and the polyamorous.

    This open secret is confirmed in a new study commissioned by condom-maker Trojan, which found that among residents of the major U.S. cities surveyed, San Franciscans reported having had sex with the greatest number of people. We clocked in at an average of 30 partners. (Not all at once, mind you — even San Franciscans face certain physical limitations.) At the bottom of the list were Chicagoans, who reported, on average, having had 11 partners.

  • An escaped convict was caught following a day on the loose after he knocked on the door of a cabin in the woods – only to find out the man renting the lodge was an off-duty guard at the prison he just fled.
  • Researchers looking for signs of life elsewhere in the universe often start by looking for one key ingredient necessary to complex life as we know it: water. And just 750 light-years away, they’ve found quite a bit of it spewing from the poles of a young, sunlike star that is blasting jets of H2O into interstellar space at 124,000 miles per hour.
  • Whereas descriptions of online addiction are controversial at best among researchers, a new study cuts through much of the debate and hints that excessive time online can physically rewire a brain.

    The work, published June 3 in PLoS ONE, suggests self-assessed Internet addiction, primarily through online multiplayer games, rewires structures deep in the brain. What’s more, surface-level brain matter appears to shrink in step with the duration of online addiction.

    “I’d be surprised if playing online games for 10 to 12 hours a day didn’t change the brain,” says neuroscientist Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, who wasn’t involved in the study. “The reason why Internet addiction isn’t a widely recognized disorder is a lack of scientific evidence. Studies like this are exactly what is needed to recognize and settle on its diagnostic criteria,” she says.

  • A British student is facing extradition to the United States and up to five years in jail for running a website that offered links to pirated films and television shows.
  • A research team from Open Minds captured photos of a strange, seemingly biologic UFO in the sky above Mexico City. For more details, you can read the full story in the August/September 2010 issue of Open Minds magazine.
  • A Montana resident says an energy company has identified the cause of a brief power outage as “deer with wings.” Lee Bridges says she was outside with her dogs around the time the power went out when a NorthWestern Energy truck pulled up, giving her a chance to ask the driver what caused the problem.

    She says he pointed up and said, “Apparently, we’ve got deer with wings.”

  • “Once you go outside the hoard and you start covering that unions and workers are fighting against cut-backs from a powerful mayor and they want Wall Street to pay higher taxes, well, those are likely your sponsors if you are a big commercial news operation,” explained journalism Professor Jeff Cohen.

    As the media treads carefully around the issues, the people’s anger is growing – so how many will be camping out here before the media is shaken out of its self-imposed oblivion to report what matters?

  • The TSA, in alliance with a whole host of federal, state, local agencies as well as military personnel, is currently conducting a massive “security exercise” throughout Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

    “The participating teams are composed of a variety of TSA assets including federal air marshals, canine teams, inspectors and bomb appraisal officers. They will be joined by state and local law enforcement officials to supplement existing resources, provide detection and response capabilities. The exercise will utilize multiple airborne assets, including Blackhawk helicopters and fixed wing aircraft as well as waterborne and surface teams,” reports the Marietta Times.

    Although the exercise is couched in serious rhetoric about preparedness, it relates to “no specific threat” and the details are nebulous to say the least and seems to revolve around little else than testing out high-tech surveillance equipment and reminding Americans who their bosses are.

  • Located about 20 minutes outside downtown Omaha, the largest city in Nebraska, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant is owned by Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) who on their website denies their plant is at a “Level 4” emergency by stating: “This terminology is not accurate, and is not how emergencies at nuclear power plants are classified.”

    Russian atomic scientists in this FAAE report, however, say that this OPPD statement is an “outright falsehood” as all nuclear plants in the world operate under the guidelines of the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) which clearly states the “events” occurring at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant do, indeed, put it in the “Level 4” emergency category of an “accident with local consequences” thus making this one of the worst nuclear accidents in US history.

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on June 18, 2011

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