malicious software | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

Militainment

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✪ Baby soaps and shampoos trigger positive marijuana tests
Commonly used baby soaps and shampoos, including products from Johnson & Johnson, Aveeno and CVS, can trigger a positive result on newborns’ marijuana screening tests, according to a recent study. A minute amount of the cleansing products in a urine sample — just 0.1 milliliters or less — was found to cause a positive result.
✪ The Pentagon’s grip on Hollywood
The military entertainment complex is an old phenomenon that binds Hollywood with the US military. Known as militainment, it serves both parties well. Filmmakers get access to high tech weaponry – helicopters, jet planes and air craft carriers while the Pentagon gets free and positive publicity. The latest offering to come from this relationship is Act of Valor and it takes the collaboration one step further. The producers get more than just equipment — they have cast active-duty military personnel in the lead roles, prompting critics to say the lines have become so blurred that it is hard to see where Hollywood ends and Pentagon propaganda begins. In this week’s feature, the Listening Post’s Nic Muirhead looks at the ties between the US military and Hollywood.
✪ SWAT Team Brings TV Crew To Film Raid Against Threatening Internet Critic — Raids Innocent Grandma Instead
Evansville, Indiana police intent on “sending a message” that online threats against police will not be tolerated organized a massive raid against a forum troll on an online forum. The police decided to bring a TV crew to film their raid against their critic, they also brought a SWAT team. Rather than knock on the accused’s front door, which was wide open, the police instead threw two flash-bang stun grenades through their front window and storm door. Unfortunately, rather than finding the home occupied by a gun-toting cop killer, they found an entirely innocent grandmother and 18-year-old girl, who were both shocked and confused.
✪ Small-Town Cops Pile Up on Useless Military Gear
Small police departments across America are collecting battlefield-grade arsenals thanks to a program that allows them to get their hands on military surplus equipment – amphibious tanks, night-vision goggles, and even barber chairs or underwear – at virtually no cost, except for shipment and maintenance. Over the last five years, the top 10 beneficiaries of this “Department of Defense Excess Property Program” included small agencies such as the Fairmount Police Department. It serves 7,000 people in northern Georgia and received 17,145 items from the military. The cops in Issaquah, Washington, a town of 30,000 people, acquired more than 37,000 items
✪ Our Web Videos Reveal More Than We Realize, and Perhaps More Than We Want
That new capability will drive the demand for even more raw data. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) agency, overseen by the U.S. director of national intelligence, has launched two projects that may help analysts use civilian video from YouTube, Vimeo and other sources. Investigators at the Finder program are studying ways to locate where and when a video was taken based solely on the image itself. That’s hard enough. But researchers at IARPA’s Aladdin are working on an even more challenging task: how to search for “specific events of interest.” If they succeed, analysts could feed in a name, a simple text description or a few sample videos of what they seek—say, “five people wearing backpacks next to a pickup truck”—and get back any number of clips that match the query.
✪ Silencing the trolls: Twitter considers ‘hate speech’ censorship
To stop the ‘hate speech’ anarchy, Twitter is considering starting off by blocking the very possibility of replies from so-called ‘non-authoritative’ users, marked out by the absence of a profile picture, followers or bio information, as FT.com reports. This is the first step, but there might be more to come. However, the company’s management is concerned that by installing any kinds of ‘selective’ measures, they may put an end to the unique Twitter-style ‘freedom of tweets’ that has helped Arab revolutions. Anonymity was the key factor that allowed so many users there to join and have their say. “The reason we want to allow pseudonyms is there are lots of places in the world where it’s the only way you’d be able to speak freely,” FT quotes Dick Costolo as saying. Twitter is basically the ‘last harbor’ of anonymity, as it does not have to be linked with such powerful database platforms as Facebook and Google. Silencing trolls may hit those ‘revolutionary’ users as well.
✪ Perverted Police Officer Popped For Giving 15-Year-Old Girl A “Sex Exam”
“Well, were you having sex? What are you doing here?” The girl quickly responded “no, no, no, officer no,” the affidavit said. The girl told police she and her friend were just talking. But the man told the girl he “needed to check.” The girl asked “Check what?” “I need to see inside,” he responded. That’s when he ordered her to take off her pants and underwear so he could look for bruising or other evidence of sexual activity. In fear, the affidavit said, she complied. The girl told police she thought it “was the right thing to do” because he was an officer. Her 19-year-friend turned away, unable to watch, according to the affidavit. He told police he heard the man tell the girl “I need you to spread your legs wider so I can see.” The officer then used a flashlight to “inspect” her and told her to pull down her blouse so he could check for bruising, according to the police report. Then he returned the driver’s license to the boy and told them “Go home.”
✪ ‘Animal’ couple busted for child abuse, child porn after sickening images found on cell phone they left at Walmart
Two north Florida “animals” are facing child porn charges after photos showing them raping a 4-year-old girl were found on a cell phone they left at a Walmart. Pictures on the phone showed convicted sex offender Alan Johnson, 33, and his girlfriend, Jennifer Sparks, 37, abusing the girl “in every way imaginable,” Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott told WSOC-TV. “My most seasoned detectives here said that its the worst they’ve ever seen,” he said. A shopper found the phone in a shopping cart at a Cape Coral Walmart on June 2 and turned it in, police said.
✪ ‘Leap Second’ Bug Wreaks Havoc Across Web
On Saturday, at midnight Greenwich Mean Time, as June turned into July, the Earth’s official time keepers held their clocks back by a single second in order to keep them in sync with the planet’s daily rotation, and according to reports from across the web, some of the net’s fundamental software platforms — including the Linux operating system and the Java application platform — were unable to cope with the extra second.
✪ Satanists Claim Theft Is Hate Crime
A local couple who claim to be Satanists believe they’re a victim of a hate crime and were targeted because of their religious beliefs. Someone cut down a political poster stating, “VOTE SATAN” from their front porch where they live in Mountain View, a suburb of Denver. “We are Satanists… Satanists,” said Luigi Bellaviste. Luigi and Angie Bellaviste belong to the Church of Satan. They even have a Satanic Bible in their home. Thanks Jasmine
✪ Dumb Hikers With Smartphones
Increasingly, smartphones are creating problems in the backcountry, particularly in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, where, officials say, more hikers are skipping basic gear — particularly a map, compass, and flashlight – and relying too heavily on phones with GPS and a slew of gear-like apps, including compasses and trail maps, to bail them out of a jam. “Being prepared for a hike does not mean having your cellphone charged,” said Major Kevin Jordan from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, which oversees 150 to 180 rescues each year. “To find people with a map and compass is just incredibly rare. It boggles my mind. But when we rescue someone, I hear a lot of regret, a lot of people saying, ‘I should have brought more than my phone, but everywhere I go at home I have cellphone coverage.’ ”
✪ Agents remove 41,000 marijuana plants from 40-acre site in San Diego County
Drug agents removed more than 41,000 marijuana plants from a 40-acre area near Warner Springs in northeastern San Diego County, Drug Enforcement Administration officials announced Monday. The haul, conducted Sunday and Monday, was the largest marijuana seizure on private property in the county’s history, DEA officials said. No arrests were made, but the investigation is continuing, officials said. The removal, from a remote, secluded area called Sunshine Summit, required 35 DEA agents and officers from the multi-agency Narcotics Task Force. Also found on the property were two large water tanks, chemicals for fertilizer, and a 30-round magazine for a semiautomatic weapon. The marijuana removed from the site was estimated to have a wholesale value of $41 million.
✪ Deputy who tried to smuggle drug-stuffed burrito gets 2 years
A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy accused of trying to smuggle a burrito stuffed with heroin into a courthouse lockup was sentenced Monday to two years in jail. Henry Marin, who was once portrayed as a dim-witted bumbler on a reality television show that focused on sheriff’s recruits, said nothing as a courtroom deputy handcuffed him and led him away to the type of cell he was once responsible for guarding.
✪ World’s First Genetically Modified Babies ‘Created’ in US
The ‘GM babies’ were born into women who had trouble conceiving their own children. In order to ‘birth’ the babies, extra genes from a female donor were inserted into the women’s eggs before they were fertilized. After conception, scientists fingerprinted 2 of the one-year-old children and confirmed that they inherited DNA from 3 adults — one man and 2 women. What this means is that due to inheriting these extra genes through the genetic modification process, they will now be able to pass them along to their offspring. In other words, these genetically modified babies — if allowed to mate with non-GM humans — could potentially alter the very genetic coding of generations to come. Genetecists state that this genetic modification method may one day be used to create babies “with extra, desired characteristics such as strength or high intelligence.”
✪ Brazilian ‘chain gangs’ pedal power path to freedom
Inmates in a Brazilian prison can shave time off their sentences by becoming living sources of green energy. All they need to do is turn the wheel of a bike connected to a power generator. For every 16 hours of pedaling the inmates of the Santa Rita do Sapucaí prison have their sentences reduced by one day, according to a Jornal Nacional report. The generators the prisoners put in motion charge batteries, which are taken to the city center to power some of the street lights. The two bikes installed in the prison are enough to light six bulbs. The reason behind the offer is not to profit from free labor however. Rather it is meant to give inmates an incentive to keep themselves in good shape, says city judge José Henrique Mallmann, who introduced the idea. Thanks Bjarni
✪ Colombia decriminalizes cocaine, marijuana
Colombia has decriminalized cocaine and marijuana, saying that people cannot be jailed for possessing the drugs for personal use. Anyone caught with less 20 grams (0.705 ounces) of marijuana or one gram (0.035 ounces) of cocaine for personal use will not be prosecuted or detained, but could be required to receive physical or psychological treatment, depending on their level of intoxication, according to Colombia Reports. Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said law enforcement would continue its fight against drug trafficking, but would not make further comment.
✪ U.S. Tax Dollars At War
Do you know how your tax dollars are spent? US radio host Dennis Bernstein and investigative reporter Dave Lindorff illustrate just how much US tax money goes towards the country’s war chest. “People have to realise that 53 cents of every dollar that they are paying into taxes is going to the military to an astonishing figure there is an enormous, enormous amount of money being blown on war an killing and destruction.”
✪ Fraud Ring In Hacking Attack On 60 Banks
Sixty million euro has been stolen from bank accounts in a massive cyber bank raid after fraudsters raided dozens of financial institutions around the world. According to a joint report by software security firm McAfee and Guardian Analytics, more than 60 firms have suffered from what it has called an “insider level of understanding”. “The fraudsters’ objective in these attacks is to siphon large amounts from high balance accounts, hence the name chosen for this research – Operation High Roller,” the report said. “If all of the attempted fraud campaigns were as successful as the Netherlands example we describe in this report, the total attempted fraud could be as high as 2bn euro (£1.6bn).” The automated malicious software programme was discovered to use servers to process thousands of attempted thefts from both commercial firms and private individuals. The stolen money was then sent to so-called mule accounts in caches of a few hundreds and 100,000 euro (£80,000) at a time.
✪ How a Grad Student Scooped the Government and Uncovered One of the Biggest Internet Privacy Scandals
Nearly every day, and often several times a day, there is fresh news of privacy invasions as companies hone their ability to imperceptibly assemble a vast amount of data about anyone with a smartphone, laptop or credit card. Retailers, search engines, social media sites, news organizations — all want to know as much as they can about their visitors and users so that ads can be targeted as precisely as possible. But data mining, which has become central to the corporate bottom line, can be downright creepy, with companies knowing what you search for, what you buy, which websites you visit, how long you browse — and more. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Target realized a teenage customer was pregnant before her father knew; the firm identifies first-term pregnancies through, among other things, purchases of scent-free products. It’s akin to someone rifling through your wallet, closet or medicine cabinet, but in the digital sphere no one picks your pocket or breaks into your house
✪ Cellphone Companies Will Share Your Location Data – Just Not With You
As location tracking by cell phone companies becomes increasingly accurate and widespread, the question of who your location data actually belongs to remains unresolved. Privacy activists in the U.S. say the law has not kept pace with developing technology and argue for more stringent privacy standards for cell phone companies. As Matt Blaze, a University of Pennsylvania professor put it, “all of the rules are in a state of enormous uncertainty and flux.” The Obama administration has maintained that mobile phone users have “no reasonable expectation of privacy.” The administration has argued against more stringent standards for police and the FBI to obtain location data.
✪ Texas college hacks drone in front of DHS
After being challenged by his lab, the DHS dared Humphreys’ crew to hack into a drone and take command. Much to their chagrin, they did exactly that. Humphrey tells Fox News that for a few hundreds dollar his team was able to “spoof” the GPS system on board the drone, a technique that involves mimicking the actual signals sent to the global positioning device and then eventually tricking the target into following a new set of commands. And, for just $1,000, Humphreys says the spoofer his team assembled was the most advanced one ever built. “Spoofing a GPS receiver on a UAV is just another way of hijacking a plane,” Humphreys tells Fox. The real danger here, however, is that the government is currently considering plans that will allow local law enforcement agencies and other organizations from coast-to-coast to control drones of their own in America’s airspace.
✪ Ad Biz Claims It Must Disregard User Privacy Choices to Safeguard “Cybersecurity”
At a hearing yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee took up the issue of online tracking, the browser-based Do Not Track flag, and, in an unlikely turn of events, cybersecurity. The hearing included testimony from Ohio State University Law School’s Prof. Peter Swire, Mozilla’s Alex Fowler, the Association of National Advertisers’ Bob Liodice, and TechFreedom’s Berin Szoka. While there were a number of heated moments in the hearing, the most surprising was the advertising industry’s claim that respecting consumer choice will harm “cybersecurity.” This new argument from the advertising industry only raises more concerns for the civil liberties implications of online tracking and was, as Rockefeller aptly noted, little more than a “red herring.”
✪ Your E-Book Is Reading You
EFF has pressed for legislation to prevent digital book retailers from handing over information about individuals’ reading habits as evidence to law enforcement agencies without a court’s approval. Earlier this year, California instituted the “reader privacy act,” which makes it more difficult for law-enforcement groups to gain access to consumers’ digital reading records. Under the new law, agencies must get a court order before they can require digital booksellers to turn over information revealing which books their customers have browsed, purchased, read and underlined. The American Civil Liberties Union and EFF, which partnered with Google and other organizations to push for the legislation, are now seeking to enact similar laws in other states. Bruce Schneier, a cyber-security expert and author, worries that readers may steer clear of digital books on sensitive subjects such as health, sexuality and security—including his own works—out of fear that their reading is being tracked
✪ What is causing the outbreak of Flesh Eating Diseases?
However, some people have surmised that the use of antibiotics in our food supply is the main culprit while the overuse of antibiotics by doctors further exasperates the problem. In the 1940’s farmers began treating their livestock with antibiotics. It was soon discovered that if you fed antibiotics to your chickens, pigs and cows on a regular basis that the animals would get fatter quicker and with less feed. In order to compete with the other factory farms farmers started feeding their animals antibiotics everyday! And as we all know by now, the more antibiotics one takes whether through a prescription or through eating antibiotic laden meat, the more resistant one gets. As a side note I also wonder if eating all this antibiotic laden meat has contributed to the obesity epidemic in America..I mean if large doses of antibiotics cause animals to get fat while eating less, wouldn’t that do the same in humans?
✪ How to Make Eyes Look Asian
Asian eyes are traditionally thinner and narrower than Caucasian or African-American eyes, which tend to be rounder and wider. Asian eyes tend to resemble the oval shape of almonds, although some can look even narrower than that. Most Asians have only a single eyelid (meaning their eyelids don’t have a prominent crease). You can make your eyes look Asian by using makeup or undergoing plastic surgery.
✪ How to Look Asian (for a Play, Convention, Etc.): 8 steps
There are many reasons why you might want to look Asian: maybe you’re playing an Asian person in a school play, maybe you’re going to an anime convention and want to look like a certain character, maybe you’re dressing up for a costume party or for Halloween, or maybe you just want to change your appearance for fun, or to disguise your appearance to evade the law. In any case, this article will allow you to (sort of) go from looking White to looking Asian, without much fuss or money needed.
✪ NSA Won’t Disclose How Many Americans are Being Spied On
As the sprawling surveillance site being constructed by the National Security Agency (NSA) in Utah grows larger and nearer completion every day, the domestic spy service remains tightlipped about just how much and what kind of personal electronic data they have already collected and collated. Not only does the NSA refuse to provide such information, it insists that it cannot be forced to.
✪ Bates Family Home Was Meth Lab: John, Jessie, Tyler Bates’ Chronic Sickness Explained
John and Jessie Bates and their 7-year-old son, Tyler, began experiencing mysterious health problems months after after moving into a new home in Suquamish, Washington in March 2007. Tyler was having trouble breathing, Jessie developed a bizarre rash, and John was “perpetually sick,” according to My Fox Phoenix. Though a standard inspection found no problems, the family suspected the house itself was the culprit. A year and a half later, a neighbor revealed the home’s sordid secret: the previous occupant had used it as a meth lab. Even more certain that the building was behind their ailments, the Bates began ripping up the floors and walls. They found “iodine-like staining on the walls and human feces under the floor,” Jessie told Fox News.
✪ Spok, Neko, and Rosh Bomb Madrid’s Main Street by Cutting Massive Vinyl Ad
Madrid’s own Spok, Neko and Rosh bombed Gran Via, the main street of “Mad City” using an innovative technique which consists of cutting vinyl from a massive block-long advertisement and then peeling off their letters. This new subtractive method makes a permanent mark on the street with minimum effort. Quick, smooth and real nice work from these three amigos.
✪ In Their Own Words: ‘Study Drugs’
After inviting students to submit personal stories of the abuse of prescription drugs for academic advantage, The Times received almost 200 submissions. While a majority focused on the prevalence of these drugs on college campuses, many wrote about their increasing appearance in high schools, the focus of our article on Sunday. We have highlighted about 30 of the submissions below, almost all written by current high school students or recent graduates. In often vivid detail — snorting their own pills, stealing pills from friends — the students described an issue that they found upsetting, valuable, dangerous and, above all else, real. Most of them claimed that it was a problem rooted not in drugs per se, but with the pressure that compelled some youngsters to use them.
✪ Theft, Pedophilia, Murder Among TSA Employees’ Crimes
Theft is followed closely by sex crimes and child pornography charges, with 14 such incidents listed in Blackburn’s report. Six TSA employees were charged with possession of child pornography; one of them got caught because he “uploaded explicit pictures of young girls to an Internet site on which he also posted a photograph of himself in his TSA uniform,” the report notes. Eight others were charged variously with child molestation, rape (including child rape), and even running a prostitution ring. It’s not hard to figure out why persons possessing such proclivities would seek jobs where they would be able to ogle and grope other people’s private parts with impunity.
✪ $29.5 Billion in Overdraft Fees? How the Big Banks Are Still Screwing Us
About those “extended overdraft” fees: consumer advocates have noted that they are not unlike shady payday loans that charge consumers a tremendous amount of interest to get some needed cash in the short term. The Consumer Federation of America recently compared the two practices, and came up with some disturbing findings: As it has before, the Consumer Federation reported the cost at each bank of a $100 overdraft repaid two weeks later as if it were a short-term loan. It said the best deal, at Citibank, was equivalent to a loan with an annual percentage rate of 884 percent. Some banks, including PNC and RBS Citizens, charge more than 2,000 percent. Another thing: the banks examined in the Pew report have continued to reserve the right to process withdrawals by dollar amount, rather than chronologically. This practice “maximizes the number of times an account goes negative, thus increasing overdraft fees” – and the banks can choose to reorder transactions whenever they want

 

 

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 3, 2012

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Kick The Ballistics

  • Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency declassified the identities of 150 chemicals that appeared in toxicity reports, some as long as 30 years ago.

    Many were found to pose “substantial risk” to consumers or the environment, and include ingredients found in everything from air fresheners to chemicals used in the cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill last year.

    The names of the chemicals were previously redacted as Confidential Business Information (CBI) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. Although the TSCA required that all chemical data withheld as CBI be justified by a “detailed written explanation,” the problem lay in the sheer volume of such filings; claims were left unchallenged, and the chemical identities they redacted were left unknown.

  • Motion picture audiences may be curious who this odd-looking new horror star by the name of Rondo Hatton is. He’s appeared in three shockers from Universal Studios this year: THE SPIDER WOMAN STRIKES BACK, HOUSE OF HORRORS, and THE BRUTE MAN. He doesn’t speak much in these films but makes quite a memorable impression with his bulbous, misshapen face and brutish appearance. Movie fans will be disappointed to learn that these are the last of Hatton’s screen appearances for the unfortunate actor died of a heart attack this past February, before any of these films were even released. It’s appropriate that one of Hatton’s early roles was a small one as a contestant in an ugly man contest seven years ago in the ‘Festival of Fools’ segment of RKO’s THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. Hatton’s character lost the costume to Charles Laughton’s Quasimodo but Laughton had the benefit of a talented makeup artist while Hatton monstrous looks didn’t require one.
  • New research suggests that the majority of personal computers infected with malicious software may have arrived at that state thanks to a bustling underground market that matches criminal gangs who pay for malware installs with enterprising hackers looking to sell access to compromised PCs.

    Pay-per-install (PPI) services are advertised on shadowy underground Web forums. Clients submit their malware—a spambot, fake antivirus software, or password-stealing Trojan—to the PPI service, which in turn charges rates from $7 to $180 per thousand successful installations, depending on the requested geographic location of the desired victims.

  • Often found in men’s bathroom stalls at truck stops and most popularly found in pornographic arcade booths at the back of adult video and bookstores, glory holes are holes made in a wall separating two individuals, allowing them to provide anonymous sexual favors to one another. Considered to be a homosexual phenomenon, glory holes to the contrary are often found in places regularly patronized by individuals of all sexualities, most significantly individuals who define themselves as straight. It is common for heterosexual men to engage in glory hole sex with other men. Whether they harbor homosexual tendencies, are merely curious, or desire a sexual outlet outside their marriage, the fact is glory hole sex cannot be considered a purely homosexual activity.
  • Scores of prolife groups are calling for a public boycott of food giant, PepsiCo, due to its partnership with Senomyx, a biotech company that uses aborted fetal cells in the research and development of artificial flavor enhancers.
  • Lawsuits after car crashes are beyond common. But in the Fairfax County courthouse, a lawsuit about a crash on the Beltway last year is dropping a few jaws as it makes the rounds and heads toward trial next week. Among the latest allegations in the lawsuit pending in Fairfax County Circuit Court:

    Paragraph 10. “At the time of the collision, Defendant was going 85 miles per hour.”

    Paragraph 12. “At the time of the collision, Defendant was having sex with a female.”

    Paragraph13. “At the time of the collision, Defendant was driving admittedly drunk.”

    Paragraph 14. “At the time of the accident, Defendant was partially or totally in the backseat of the car.”

  • Rikers Island is trying to turn down the heat by covering up the skanks – and keeping out the shanks.

    From now on, female visitors who show up spilling out of their tight tops, miniskirts or ripped jeans will be issued a passion-dampening T-shirt that comes in a hideous shade of neon green and in just one size – XXL.

  • A woman is feared to have committed ‘suicide by snake’.

    Aleta Stacey is thought to have deliberately allowed herself to be bitten by a deadly black Mamba snake.

    The 56-year-old was found dead at the New York home she shares with 75 other snakes, most of them poisonous.

  • Who could have known that Los Angeles street gangs are into sex with former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal? According to the Los Angeles Times, members of the Main Street Mafia Crips gang have been accused of kidnapping and other crimes after the 2008 abduction of an individual who claimed to possess a Shaq sex tape. It is unclear whether such a tape of the former Los Angeles Laker actually exists.
  • Chiquimitío, a town of approximately 1,500 residents, is a small community some two thousand twenty meters above sea level, quite close to the city of Morelia. And that’s where some local residents encountered a strange creature, small and walking on all fours before standing on two legs. They described the creature as having thin arms, legs and torso, covered with very little hair. Unfortunately, the few witnesses to this event were gripped by fear, and threw themselves against the unknown entity, lopping off its head with a single blow and throwing its small carcass to the local dogs, which devoured it almost immediately. It should also be noted that Chiquimitío is a farming community, and it is customary for residents to carry machetes wherever they go.
  • Braving sub-zero temperatures, she has thrown caution — and her clothes — to the wind to tame two beluga whales in a unique and controversial experiment.

    Natalia Avseenko, 36, was persuaded to strip naked as marine experts believe belugas do not like to be touched by artificial materials such as diving suits.

    The skilled Russian diver took the plunge as the water temperature hit minus 1.5 degrees Centigrade.

  • The collective intelligence of the Internet’s two billion users, and the digital fingerprints that so many users leave on Web sites, combine to make it more and more likely that every embarrassing video, every intimate photo, and every indelicate e-mail is attributed to its source, whether that source wants it to be or not. This intelligence makes the public sphere more public than ever before and sometimes forces personal lives into public view.

    To some, this could conjure up comparisons to the agents of repressive governments in the Middle East who monitor online protests and exact retribution offline. But the positive effects can be numerous: criminality can be ferreted out, falsehoods can be disproved and individuals can become Internet icons.

  • Nuclear plant inches from being totally flooded, but is saved – for now
    Damage would be likely to cause energy prices to soar
    Six to 12 inches of heavy rainfall over the last few weeks
    Record floods hit 44.4 feet, topping 44.3 feet record set in 1993
    Levees fail to stem surge of water and sand is running out
    Flooding expected to continue until August
    Residents begin burning wood to avoid it becoming flood debris
    Meanwhile, engineers close the Bonnet Carre Spillway near New Orleans
  • The shirts, which hang in the window of a Niketown on Boston’s historic Newbury Street, feature the slogans “GET HIGH” and “F**K GRAVITY,” among others. A tee that reads “DOPE” depicting a spilled pill container is also on display.
  • An Amish man who sent hundreds of sexually charged text messages to a 12-year-old girl was arrested last week when he drove a horse and buggy to an Indiana restaurant where he had arranged a rendezvous with the child, according to police.
  • Think you could avoid the TSA’s body scanners and pat-downs by taking Amtrak? Think again. Even your daily commute isn’t safe from TSA screenings. And because the TSA is working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol, you may have your immigration status examined along with your “junk”.

    As part of the TSA’s request for FY 2012 funding, TSA Administrator John Pistole told Congress last week that the TSA conducts 8,000 unannounced security screenings every year. These screenings, conducted with local law enforcement agencies as well as immigration, can be as simple as checking out cargo at a busy seaport. But more and more, they seem to involve giving airport-style pat-downs and screenings of unsuspecting passengers at bus terminals, ferries, and even subways.

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Blood Will Flow Like Water

  • In the Sixties, a groundbreaking series of experiments found that 65 per cent of us would kill if ordered to do so.
  • Last August, U.S. Navy operators on the ground lost all contact with a Fire Scout helicopter flying over Maryland. They had programmed the unmanned aerial vehicle to return to its launch point if ground communications failed, but instead the machine took off on a north-by-northwest route toward the nation’s capital. Over the next 30 minutes, military officials alerted the Federal Aviation Administration and North American Aerospace Defense Command and readied F-16 fighters to intercept the pilotless craft. Finally, with the Fire Scout just miles shy of the White House, the Navy regained control and commanded it to come home. “Renegade Unmanned Drone Wandered Skies Near Nation’s Capital,” warned one news headline in the following days. “UAV Resists Its Human Oppressors, Joyrides over Washington, D.C.,” declared another.
  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports from consumers who received an e-mail that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The e-mail informs the recipient that “in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, federal, state and local governments…” the FDIC has withdrawn deposit insurance from the recipient’s account “due to account activity that violates the Patriot Act.” It further states deposit insurance will remain suspended until identity and account information can be verified using a system called “IDVerify.” If consumers go to the link provided in the e-mail, it is suspected they will be asked for personal or confidential information, or malicious software may be loaded onto the recipient’s computer.
  • A Nobel Prize winning biologist has ignited controversy after publishing details of an experiment in which a fragment of DNA appeared to ‘teleport’ or imprint itself between test tubes.According to a team headed by Luc Montagnier, previously known for his work on HIV and AIDS, two test tubes, one of which contained a tiny piece of bacterial DNA, the other pure water, were surrounded by a weak electromagnetic field of 7Hz.

    Eighteen hours later, after DNA amplification using a polymerase chain reaction, as if by magic the DNA was detectable in the test tube containing pure water.

  • John Boehner is the ultimate Beltway hack, a man whose unmatched and self-serving skill at political survival has made him, after two decades in Washington, the hairy blue mold on the American congressional sandwich. The biographer who somewhere down the line tackles the question of Boehner’s legacy will do well to simply throw out any references to party affiliation, because the thing that has made Boehner who he is — the thing that has finally lifted him to the apex of legislative power in America — has almost nothing to do with his being a Republican.
  • But Banksy keeping noticeably quiet in the feud yet targeting what had been the oldest piece in London seemed like a rookie mistake, a publicity stunt gone wrong as it was greeted with scorn from the graffiti world and a bevvy of new fans in the media for Robbo. “If anything it backfired and showed just how little respect he has within our community. It also gave me the opportunity to shine a light on graffiti, to show that writers aren’t just spotty teenagers that draw on bus-stops, we can be witty and funny in a way Banksy can’t, because he’s not radical he’s just a toy with a PR team.”
  • A New Jersey lawmaker has withdrawn a hastily introduced bill to require all bicycles in the state to display a license plate.Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker was getting deep criticism for her proposed law that would have required riders or their parents would pay $10 a year to register their bikes with the Division of Motor Vehicles – or be subject to fines of $100.

  • Masood Ahmed, graffiti artist turned graphic designer, gave a lecture on the History of Graffiti, and its influence on his work as a graphic designer. He spoke of the natural progression from graffiti into graphic design, pointing out that graffiti is manipulation of letter-forms, and in graphic design, we call that typography.
  • Holy Shit!
  • Chicken Fat is a feature length documentary about the legacy of MAD Magazine’s seminal artist Will Elder. It is on it’s way to being completed in 2011. We already have interviewed an impressive array of artists, writers, publishers and pop-culture experts which you can see by visiting www.ChickenFat.tv . Your donations will be used to complete our production interviews with Playboy founder, Hugh Hefner; American author, screenwriter and artist, Daniel Clowes; Film Director, Joe Dante and William Stout, one of the few artists who worked with Will on Playboy’s Little Annie Fanny. To date this project has been funded using a generous grant from the Laurie Foundation and my own hard-earned cash! Once these interviews are complete we hit the edit room and plan to have a completed documentary by year’s end. Any donation, no matter how small, is very much appreciated!
  • There are two angles of approach that I will be taking here, the first of which involves the information that we know about Loughner–from news reports and from Loughner’s online trail–that seem to fit the profile for a mind-controlled MKULTRA assassin. Another angle of approach involves an examination of the potential fallout of this tragedy, which will frame my speculation regarding a possible motive or motives. After discussing these two aspects, I will pose some important questions that will undoubtably require independent investigation of dedicated truth-seekers like you and me.
  • In November, an inventor introduced a line of men’s and women’s underwear that is equipped with powdered metal inserts that block a variety of scanning technology, but don’t set off metal detectors. The gear’s Web site said the company’s “emphasis is on protecting the traveling public, airline, medical, and security professionals from radiation generated by backscatter, x-ray and mm-wave imaging equipment.”“Sensitive tissues not of interest to imaging procedure will be protected and obscured, avoids potential child pornography and stored image medical issues (HIPPA compliance),” said the site.

    TSA is not unfamiliar with commercial efforts to block screening. The agency went through similar warnings about products designed to block imaging of baggage sent through X-ray screening a few years ago, when an artist designed metal plates with explicit messages that could be placed inside baggage to taunt screeners.

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