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Sacred Cows Make The Best Burgers

✰ 6 uncannily fake baby videos
Not all special effects are digital – fake babies are still constructed for film and television work, and for collectors who want highly realistic replicas.
✰ Baby eats cocaine found in motel room
It was in room 223, Jahmai’s mother says he found a spoon under the bed, and put it in his mouth. His grandmother was the first to notice. “She looked at it and she’s like, look at this,” said April Portis, Jahmai’s mother. “I took it from her and on the back of the spoon it was all burnt up and on the top of the spoon was the residue from the cocaine on it.” Portis called police. She says an officer performed a test on the spot, and confirmed cocaine was on the spoon.
✰ A subversive spotlight
Sacred cows make the best hamburgers, says the activist who defaced an Australian icon. It’s been eight years since David Burgess scaled up to the top of Sydney’s gleaming white Opera House and lashed it with bright red paint. It took three coats before the act was complete. NO WAR screamed the sign. The highly-visible protest against the looming Iraq war split the Australian community between those who were shocked at the wanton vandalism of the national icon, and those who applauded the message. Ultimately, it landed Mr Burgess and his activist peer Will Saunders in jail for nine months’ weekend detention for malicious damage. “I won’t say there were days I didn’t wake up feeling utterly miserable, but you couldn’t really regret what we’d done,” Burgess says. “A lot of people said it gave them a little bit of happiness or hope on what was otherwise a very awful day.
✰ Face Slimmer – Weird Anti-Aging Mouthpiece from Japan
The so-called face Slimmer was launched in Japan, late last year, by a well-known cosmetic company called Glim. It’s a weird-looking rubbery thing that looks a lot like the mouth of a blow-up doll, and it supposedly solves your sagging face problem while giving you that coveted duck-face look. You know, the one every “cool” teenager poses with in their Facebook photos. Now, unlike most other Japanese inventions, the Face Slimmer isn’t high-tech. In fact it’s as low tech as they come, all you have to do is put it in your mouth and start exercising your face muscles. Think of it as a squeeze punch for your mouth…
✰ No Explanation for Pennsylvania’s Purple Squirrel
A Pennsylvania couple trapped, of all things, a purple squirrel on Sunday. Percy and Connie Emert, of Jersey Shore, Pa. caught the unusual animal when trying to keep birds safe from the rodents. “We have bird feeders out in our yard, and the squirrels are constantly into them,” said Jersey Shore resident Connie Emert. “My husband traps them and then sets them free elsewhere so they don’t get into your bird feeders.” Emert said she had spotted a purple squirrel on her property but no one believed her. “I kept telling my husband I saw a purple one out in the yard. ‘Oh sure you did’ he kept telling me,” said Emert. “Well, he checked the trap around noon on Sunday and sure enough, there it was.”
✰ Man dismembered and cooked after sex games
The BZ daily reported on Wednesday that the deceased, Carsten Srock, was found with his limbs expertly carved off with either an axe or large knife. The body pieces were then wrapped fastidiously in plastic bags and cling-wrap, and left to sit in the two-room flat for around three weeks. His head was found, partially cooked, by the police. Prosecutors on the case told the BZ they believe the victim was “murdered for sexual pleasure.”
✰ Mexico Meth Bust: Army Finds 15 Tons Of Pure Methamphetamine
The historic seizure of 15 tons of pure methamphetamine in western Mexico, equal to half of all meth seizures worldwide in 2009, feeds growing speculation that the country could become a world platform for meth production, not just a supplier to the United States. The sheer size of the bust announced late Wednesday in Jalisco state suggests involvement of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, a major international trafficker of cocaine and marijuana that has moved into meth production and manufacturing on an industrial scale. Army officials didn’t say what drug gangs could have been behind the dozens of blue barrels filled with powdered meth. Army Gen. Gilberto Hernandez Andreu said the meth was ready for packaging. There was no information on where the drugs were headed. Jalisco has long been considered the hub of the Sinaloa cartel’s meth production and trafficking. Meanwhile, meth use is growing in the United States, already the world’s biggest market for illicit drugs.
✰ Interview with a hoaxster: How I fooled the Daily Mail with fake pic
Looks pretty authentic, yes? Well the image of a snow-covered road and cars never aired on the BBC, wasn’t taken in Lutterworth, and it certainly wasn’t submitted by anyone with the name Shanda Lear. (Chandelier, anyone?) Kirton, a truck driver and photographer, created the image in Photoshop and then made it look like it had been on TV. After the Mail somehow discovered the image, it published a story headlined, “Not a name to make light of! BBC News shows picture taken by viewer called Shanda Lear.”
✰ No Satisfaction: Lip-Shaped Urinals in Stones Museum Called Sexist
Women in the northern German town of Lüchow have expressed their dissatisfaction with the design of two urinals in the men’s toilet of a museum dedicated to the Rolling Stones. They are shaped like red lips, similar to the legendary logo of the band, but they look more feminine, and they lack tongues. Local activist Roda Armbruster wants the urinals removed. “That’s discrimination against women,” she told regional broadcaster NDR. “Why does it have to be a woman’s mouth? If it had been based on the emblem of the Stones with the tongue, it would have been OK. But the tongue’s been left out and they really looks like women’s mouths.”
✰ Janet Howell, Virginia State Senator, Attaches Rectal Exam Amendment To Anti-Abortion Bill
To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication. “We need some gender equity here,” she told HuffPost. “The Virginia senate is about to pass a bill that will require a woman to have totally unnecessary medical procedure at their cost and inconvenience. If we’re going to do that to women, why not do that to men?”
✰ Scouting An Abandoned Cold War Missile Base Hidden In The Adirondacks
Quick note: Though you may have read about this property before, most articles have simply reprinted the same stock real estate photos over and over. As always, all pictures are my own work, and I don’t think you’ll find a tour like this anywhere else.
✰ Congress Trying to Fast-Track Domestic Drone Use, Sideline Privacy
One result of that pressure is this legislation (H.R. 658 — see conference report for more details), which authorizes appropriations for the FAA through fiscal 2014. Unfortunately, nothing in the bill would address the very serious privacy issues raised by drone aircraft. This bill would push the nation willy-nilly toward an era of aerial surveillance without any steps to protect the traditional privacy that Americans have always enjoyed and expected. Congress — and to the extent possible, the FAA — need to impose some rules (such as those we proposed in our report) to protect Americans’ privacy from the inevitable invasions that this technology will otherwise lead to. We don’t want to wonder, every time we step out our front door, whether some eye in the sky is watching our every move.
✰ Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists
Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders. The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980. The attacks, which have killed five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.
✰ Experimenting With Nootropics to Increase Mental Capacity, Clarity
Nootropic (new-tro-pik) is the term for supplements, also known as smart drugs, that improve brain function. They can be food substances like phenethylamine and L-Theanine, found in chocolate and green tea, respectively. Nootropics also include extracted and purified components of medicinal plants, as well as substances synthesized from chemical precursors, such as piracetam, the world’s first official nootropic (piracetam was created in 1964 in Belgium by a team of scientists whose leader, Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, coined the term). Since then piracetam has been widely used as a cognitive enhancer and to treat neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s.
✰ Reason for Zimbabwe reservoir delays… mermaids have been hounding workers away!
Essential work on planned reservoirs in Zimbabwe has stopped because mermaids have been hounding workers away, according to the country’s Water Resources Minister. Samuel Sipepa Nkomo told a Zimbabwean parliamentary committee that terrified workers are refusing to return to the sites, near the towns of Gokwe and Mutare. Minister Nkomo said the only way to solve the problem was to brew traditional beer and carry out any rites to appease the spirits.
✰ Scientists use brain activity analysis to reconstruct words heard by test subjects
Last September, scientists from the University of California, Berkeley announced that they had developed a method of visually reconstructing images from peoples’ minds, by analyzing their brain activity. Much to the dismay of tinfoil hat-wearers everywhere, researchers from that same institution have now developed a somewhat similar system, that is able to reconstruct words that people have heard spoken to them. Instead of being used to violate our civil rights, however, the technology could instead allow the vocally-disabled to “speak.”
✰ Nazi Concentration Camp Surgical Tools Up For Auction
Nazi surgical tools formerly owned by an SS Major and possibly used in a concentration camp during the Holocaust are being put up for auction. A wooden box of instruments belonging to Anton Burger, commandant of the Theresienstadt camp in what was then Czechoslovakia, is being sold off by the widow of a Jewish man whose parents were Holocaust survivors.
✰ F.B.I. Admits Hacker Group’s Eavesdropping
The international hackers group known as Anonymous turned the tables on the F.B.I. by listening in on a conference call last month between the bureau, Scotland Yard and other foreign police agencies about their joint investigation of the group and its allies. Anonymous posted a 16-minute recording of the call on the Web on Friday and crowed about the episode in via Twitter: “The FBI might be curious how we’re able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now.”
✰ This Looks Like A Fortified Sniper’s Nest At The Super Bowl
Some photos with no backstory are making the rounds, showing what appears to be an Indianapolis police sniper checking out his post in the rafters of Lucas Oil Stadium in the hours or days before the Super Bowl, a post that would be manned when the game began. Yes, we know there’s nothing surprising about trained marksmen working the biggest sporting event of the year. We also know it’s pretty damn cool to see what the Super Bowl snipers are working with. It’s standard operating procedure to have an invisible law enforcement presence at any high-profile event, let alone one with the attendance and attention the Super Bowl receives. And remember, there are all kinds of politicians and other assorted rich people around. You never know what could happen, though the imagination conjures up increasingly insane and horrifying scenarios, and also the criminally underrated Black Sunday. It’s just never a bad idea to have a sniper rifle around.
✰ Independent Report Shows that Syrian Government Violence Has Been Exaggerated
While the Western media act like the Syrian government is wantonly and indiscriminately killing its own people without provocation, an independent investigation has found a different reality on the ground. Specifically, over 160 monitors from the Arab League – comprised of both allies and mortal enemies of Syria – toured Syria and published a report on January 27th showing that the situation has been mischaracterized.
✰ FaceTime for Apes: Orangutans Use iPads to Video Chat With Friends In Other Zoos
Orangutans living in captivity will soon start using iPads for primate play-dates, using Skype or FaceTime to interact with their brethren in other zoos, according to zookeepers. The great apes have been playing with iPads for about six months at the Milwaukee County Zoo, and they’ve been such a hit that other zoos plan to introduce them, too. The “Apps for Apes” program started after a zookeeper commented online about getting some iPads for her gorilla charges. Someone donated a used iPad, and it turned out the gorillas didn’t care for it. But the orangutans loved it, as the LA Times says.
✰ Single-Serve Coffee Brewers Make Convenience Costly
SOMETIMES it’s hard to tell how much coffee costs, even if you know what you spent. At least that’s the case with many of the single-serve brewing machines that are soaring in popularity. For example, the Nespresso Arpeggio costs $5.70 for 10 espresso capsules, while the Folgers Black Silk blend for a K-Cup brewed-coffee machine is $10.69 for 12 pods. But that Nespresso capsule contains 5 grams of coffee, so it costs about $51 a pound. And the Folgers, with 8 grams per capsule, works out to more than $50 a pound. That’s even more expensive than all but the priciest coffees sold by artisanal roasters, the stuff of coffee snobs.
✰ Killed by her hair extensions: Woman dies after allergic reaction ‘to glue in hairdo’ as expert says he has seen four similar deaths in three months
A woman died from a massive allergic reaction that could have been caused by the glue in her hair extensions, a pathologist said yesterday. Atasha Graham, 34, who had used hair extensions for 14 years, collapsed after clubbing until the early hours. Home Office pathologist Michael Heath told the inquest into her death that the latex glue used to apply her extensions – or the solvent for removing old ones – may have been to blame.
✰ Pigs on police cars? Prank by Vermont inmates adorns decals
How did an image of a pig — the infamous ’60s-era epithet by protesters for police officers — wind up on a decal used on as many as 30 Vermont State Police cruisers? State officials Thursday pointed to the failure of the quality assurance office within the Vermont Correctional Industries Print Shop in St. Albans to detect a prisoner-artist’s addition made four years ago to the traditional state police logo. A spot on the shoulder of the cow in the state emblem was modified into a pig.
✰ BBC defends decision to censor the word “Palestine”‎
What rapper Mic Righteous was actually trying to say was ‘Free Palestine’. But Palestine, it seems, is now a dirty word on the BBC.
✰ Neuroscience could mean soldiers controlling weapons with minds
Soldiers could have their minds plugged directly into weapons systems, undergo brain scans during recruitment and take courses of neural stimulation to boost their learning, if the armed forces embrace the latest developments in neuroscience to hone the performance of their troops. These scenarios are described in a report into the military and law enforcement uses of neuroscience, published on Tuesday, which also highlights a raft of legal and ethical concerns that innovations in the field may bring.
✰ Controversial Chicago City Parking Sticker Design Dumped For Alleged Gang Signs
Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza has decided to go with the runner-up in the city’s parking sticker design contest, after a blogger questioned whether gang signs were in the artwork submitted by the winner. The sticker was picked as the winner in a city-wide contest and was designed by Herbie Pulgar, a15-year-old boy who attends a school for troubled youth. “I was trying to convey the love for Chicago, the love for our first responders,” he said. The theme of the contest was to honor city firefighters and police officers. The freshman said his design honored first responders, as he was saved from a fire when he was 4 years old. On Tuesday, the city clerk’s office began getting calls after a blogger said the hands in the artwork may be showing the symbol of a notorious gang. Some said both the heart and the shape of the hands in the image are evocative of gang symbols.
✰ Whales not slaves because they are not people, judge in SeaWorld case rules
A US federal judge has thrown out an animal rights group’s lawsuit accusing SeaWorld of enslaving captive killer whales, ruling that orcas have no standing to seek the same constitutional rights as people. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) had accused the chain of aquatic theme parks of violating the rights of whales under the 13th amendment of the US constitution, which abolished slavery. The lawsuit, filed in the US district court of San Diego, listed as plaintiffs five performing orcas at SeaWorld’s parks in California and Florida: Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka and Ulises. “The only reasonable interpretation of the 13th amendment’s plain language is that it applies to persons and not to non-persons such as orcas,” US district judge Jeffrey Miller wrote in his ruling.
✰ According To A New DHS Report, If You Love “Individual Liberty” Of If You “Believe In Conspiracy Theories” You Are A Potential Terrorist
Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008“, and it was produced by the “National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism” for the Department of Homeland Security. As you will see detailed later on in this article, the most shocking part of this report is when it discusses the “ideological motivations” of potential terrorists. The report shamelessly attempts to portray red-blooded Americans that love liberty and that love their country as the enemy. Once upon a time, deeply patriotic Americans were considered to be the backbone of America, but today they are considered to be potential terrorists.

 

 

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

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on February 10, 2012

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Biff! Bang! Pow!

  • That must have been one sizzling sex scene.Cops and firefighters are searching for clues about what caused a man to burst into flames while watching porn in a private booth at a San Francisco sex shop.

    Crew members from a private ambulance parked near the sex shop in the city’s South of Market neighborhood spotted the porn junkie running down the street while on fire just after 6 p.m. Wednesday, a fire department spokesman told the Daily News.

  • As part of an agreement between WikiLeaks and Israeli newspapers Ha’aretz and Yediot Ahronot, some of the 6,000 cables regarding Israel that the whistleblowing website plans to publish were revealed last weekend.The cables record detailed accounts of meetings between American politicians and diplomats and the heads of Israel’s military security organisations in which the Israelis offered their assessments of developments in the region.

    According to the cables, as early as 2005 the heads of Mossad, IDF Military Intelligence, the Israeli Atomic Energy Agency and Shin Bet were warning of the precariousness of the Syrian and Egyptian regimes and of the inherent risks to Israel’s security surrounding Hamas’s imminent takeover of the Gaza Strip. It emerged that some senior generals actually saw this as a positive development because it allowed Israel to position Gaza as an official enemy state.

  • This February, the same international initiative helped tip authorities off to another den of fakes, this time in the UK. Together, the two stings have netted counterfeit audio gear worth more than $500,000. Sounds like a lot, but that’s just a teensy drop in a giant bucket: a multi-billion-dollar industry that’s proving nearly impossible to quash.The two recent busts came after months of investigation—including test purchases, surveillance stakeouts, and a series of coordinated raids on warehouses and private residences. All told, authorities have managed to confiscate everything from fake mics and headphones to loudspeakers, amps, and mixers.

    The UK raid in particular represents the largest seizure of bogus audio equipment (mostly headphones) in the country’s history, according to Sennheiser and Monster. And the two counterfeiters now under investigation are reportedly linked to Britain’s third largest online retailer.

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Nuclear Dæmons

  • Bank robberies in the United States take place most often in mid-morning, on Fridays and in southern and western states, according to government statistics released on Tuesday.

    Robbers stole slightly more than $43 million last year nationwide in 5,546 robberies of banks, credit unions and other financial institutions, statistics released by the FBI showed.

    The South led the way with 1,790 bank robberies, followed by the West with 1,691. California had the most robberies at 805, followed by Texas with 464. North Dakota, where there were two bank robberies, had the least.

    Overall, there were 5,628 reported bank crimes — the 5,546 robberies along with 74 burglaries, eight larcenies and 13 extortions of financial institutions.

    That marked a decrease from 2009, when there were 6,065 such crimes reported, the FBI said.

  • Fukushima, Japan – The Japanese government has issued the evacuation order on March 12 for the residents living within the 20 kilometer radius of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

    Since then, residents have left their homes, and the “no man land” has been out of touch with the rest of the world.

    A Japanese journalist, Tetsuo Jimbo, ventured through the evacuation zone last Sunday, and filed the following video report.

    He says that, inside the evacuation zone, homes,building, roads and bridges, which were torn down by Tsunami, are left completely untouched, and the herd of cattle and pet dogs, left behind by the owners, wonders around the town while the radiation level remains far beyond legal limits.

    Watch the video report.

  • Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings” and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.

    The country, which has been pilloried by the US and Britain in the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, will establish 11 new rights for nature. They include: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.

  • Police in southern Germany warned this week of a dangerous new form of alcohol abuse among teens – using tampons soaked in vodka to get drunk quickly and hide the smell. The practice poses grave health risks, they said.

    Police in the Baden-Württemburg city of Tuttlingen responded Tuesday to growing online chatter among teenagers that they could become intoxicated using the vodka tampons without having alcohol on their breath.

    This is not true, police said, denying that it was an effective way to get drunk. They also warned girls that the alcohol could damage vaginal walls and increase the risk of infection. Boys have reportedly also been using tampons anally.

  • Law enforcement organizations are making tens of thousands of requests for private electronic information from companies such as Sprint, Facebook and AOL, but few detailed statistics are available, according to a privacy researcher.

    Police and other agencies have “enthusiastically embraced” asking for e-mail, instant messages and mobile-phone location data, but there’s no U.S. federal law that requires the reporting of requests for stored communications data, wrote Christopher Soghoian, a doctoral candidate at the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, in a newly published paper.

    “Unfortunately, there are no reporting requirements for the modern surveillance methods that make up the majority of law enforcement requests to service providers and telephone companies,” Soghoian wrote. “As such, this surveillance largely occurs off the books, with no way for Congress or the general public to know the true scale of such activities.”

  • In this clip from the BBC documentary “My Car is My Lover,” two mechanophiles visit a car show and bond over their shared…enthusiasm. The one in the hat is Edward Smith, who counts the Airwolf helicopter as one of his most intense sexual conquests
  • U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been causing huge civilian casualties with 63 percent of some 109,000 people killed in the Iraq war being civilians, according to a report on the U.S. human rights record released on Sunday.

    The figures were quoted from a WikiLeaks trove by the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010, which was released by the Information Office of China’s State Council in response to the country reports on Human Rights Practices for 2010 issued by the U.S. Department of State.

  • Street light interference, or SLI, is an alleged anomalous phenomenon where a person seems to turn off (or sometimes on) street lights, or outside building security lights, when passing near them.

    Although street lights can turn off by chance, such as high pressure sodium street lights cycling (turning on and off repeatedly) at the end of their life cycle, believers in street light interference tend to claim that it happens to them personally on a regular basis, more frequently than chance would explain. Some propose paranormal explanations for SLI, sometimes based on scientific terminology, such as the explanation that electrical impulses in their brain interfere with the workings of electric lights. Anecdotes about people’s experiences of SLI have been reported by news sources.

  • The number of possible victims of a serial killer rose to 10 on Tuesday after authorities confirmed that two sets of remains found along a New York highway a day earlier are human.

    Authorities have not definitively linked all the remains found in the past five months to the same suspect, but they have said four Craigslist escorts found in December were likely victims of a serial killer.

    Police happened upon the first set of four remains while searching for a missing New Jersey prostitute last seen in a nearby community nearly a year ago. That woman has yet to be found.

  • There are several features lacking from iPhone, including 3G and video recording. Oh, and it doesn’t come with a buzzing cock-ring attached, which is a pretty serious omission. Thankfully, LoveHoney has stepped into the breach, with its new VibraExciter Mobile Phone Sex Toy for Men.

    It is, yes, a vibrating cock-ring, that plugs into your iPhone (or, indeed, any mobile handset) and gives you buzzy thrills whenever you receive a call or text. In the case of a call, it keeps vibrating until you hang up, whereas in the case of a text, you get 20-30 seconds worth. There’s also a manual activation button if you get bored waiting.
    Thanks Baller

  • Live fish, small tortoises and young giant salamanders sealed in plastic pouches and sold as keychains are displayed at a roadside stall in Beijing, China on April 12. Each keychain is sold for 10 yuan (USD $1.50). The vendor claims a special liquid inside provides oxygen and nutrients for the creatures.
  • An Indonesian woman exhales cigarette smoke into the mouth of a gaunt, naked patient at a Jakarta clinic, where tobacco is openly touted as a cancer cure.

    The Western patient is suffering from emphysema, a condition she developed from decades of smoking. Along with cancer and autism, it’s just one of the ailments the Griya Balur clinic claims it can cure with cigarettes.

    “I missed this,” says the woman, a regular customer, with an American accent, as Phil Collins?s “I Can Feel It” blares in the background.

  • You never know what you are gonna get when you are dealing with Lady Gaga. Who has the balls to find out what the Lady Gaga Fleshlight has to offer? Will she bite your dick off or give you an amazing blowjob?
  • Al Bahlul is the first appeal of a Guantanamo military commission conviction to proceed before the Court of Military Commission Review. The case is notable because, in essence, it is a conviction in desperate search of supporting war crimes. But it’s also notable for the ahistorical and racist rhetoric in the government briefs that suggest equivalency between Native Americans resisting US takeover of their homelands and al-Qaeda. If you were to ask the Seminoles, I suspect they would say that the greatest threat to their homeland security during the 1800s was in fact the US government. It’s appalling that the Obama administration has abandoned its pledge to close Guantanamo. But it’s intolerable that it would invoke and distort one of the darkest moments in American history to justify its failure.
  • Don’t curse in Dubai
  • The market for personal data about Internet users is booming, and in the vanguard is the practice of “scraping.” Firms offer to harvest online conversations and collect personal details from social-networking sites, résumé sites and online forums where people might discuss their lives.

    The emerging business of web scraping provides some of the raw material for a rapidly expanding data economy. Marketers spent $7.8 billion on online and offline data in 2009, according to the New York management consulting firm Winterberry Group LLC. Spending on data from online sources is set to more than double, to $840 million in 2012 from $410 million in 2009.

  • Reed and her fellow researchers used brain stimulation to release neurotransmitters that caused the brain to increase its response to a small set of tones. The team found that this increase allowed rats to learn to perform a task using these tones more quickly than animals that had not received stimulation. This finding provides the first direct evidence that a larger brain response can aid learning.
  • A new brain-control interface lets users make calls by thinking of the number—research that could prove useful for the severely disabled and beyond.
  • U.S. scientists on Tuesday unveiled the world’s first computerized human brain map, an online public resource developed to accelerate understanding of how the human brain works and in hopes to tackle neurological diseases like Alzeimer’s and Parkinson’s. Funded by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, the 55-million-U.S. dollar project, named the Allen Human Brain Atlas, identifies 1,000 anatomical sites in the human brain, backed by more than 100 million data points that indicate the particular gene expression and underlying biochemistry of each site, said the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Brain Science. The human brain map released so far is only male. To better illustrate variations between people, researchers expect to add eight more brains by the end of 2012, and the completed Atlas will include female brains.
  • Remember the story that GE paid no taxes last year–and in fact, got money back from the government–despite making $11 billion in revenues (though, as with all tax law, the story was maybe a little more complicated than that). Pick your jaw up off the floor, though–GE would never do the right thing. It was all a big hoax, even though you might have read about it in USA Today.

    It was just another jab at corporate America from those culture-jamming rascals The Yes Men, who’ve made a career of afflicting the comfortable. They did it in partnership with US Uncut, who want the government to ban circumcision and/or to not cut the budget while corporations don’t pay the taxes they should owe (see, for instance, Google’s 2.4% corporate tax rate and the Double Irish).

  • Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano apologized on Tuesday to residents near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and the global community after Japan raised the severity rating of its nuclear crisis to the highest level of 7. Despite the changed assessment that puts it on a par with the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe
  • The State Department of the United States released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2010 on April 8, 2011. As in previous years, the reports are full of distortions and accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China. However, the United States turned a blind eye to its own terrible human rights situation and seldom mentioned it. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010 is prepared to urge the United States to face up to its own human rights issues.
  • In a bizarre move, China’s television censors have issued new guidelines that all but ban TV dramas featuring time travel.

    In a statement (available here in Chinese) dated March 31, the State Administration for Radio, Film & Television said that TV dramas that involve characters traveling back in time “lack positive thoughts and meaning.” The guidelines discouraging this type of show said that some “casually make up myths, have monstrous and weird plots, use absurd tactics, and even promote feudalism, superstition, fatalism and reincarnation.”

  • Community resident Mrs. Li told this reporter, from the meaning expressed through the sculpture, it is like an elderly man who has difficulty moving being helped to the toilet with the support of his wife and daughter. However in real life, this kind of scene is rare. With the man’s genitals carved so prominently, it isn’t very tasteful, and had he been “wearing” clothes or pants, it may be a bit better. With regards to this sculpture, most netizens are critical, but there are also netizens who believe that though the sculpture doesn’t look very tasteful, it is still rather creative; Some netizens feel it is very humorous, believing that art doesn’t need to be concealed, that one cannot only look at the simple surface, that the artistic conception is more important.
  • It’s a job for the likes of Superman.

    Los Angeles authorities are searching for the thief who stole an original copy of the valuable first Superman comic book more than a decade ago from actor Nicholas Cage. The comic was taken from Cage’s Los Angeles home in 2000 and resurfaced last week in a storage locker in the San Fernando Valley after the contents of the locker were purchased in auction.

    Action Comics No.1, first published in 1938, is the comic in which Superman first appeared. It cost a mere $0.10 in 1938. Today it could fetch as much as $1.5 million.
    Thanks Nico

  • Disgusting

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

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

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Nukes ‘n Nazis

  • A devastating earthquake strikes Japan. A massive tsunami kills thousands. Fears of a nuclear meltdown run rampant. Bloodshed and violence escalate in Libya.
    And U.S. companies selling doomsday bunkers are seeing sales skyrocket anywhere from 20% to 1,000%.
    Northwest Shelter Systems, which offers shelters ranging in price from $200,000 to $20 million, has seen sales surge 70% since the uprisings in the Middle East, with the Japanese earthquake only spurring further interest. In hard numbers, that’s 12 shelters already booked when the company normally sells four shelters per year.“Sales have gone through the roof, to the point where we are having trouble keeping up,” said Northwest Shelter Systems owner Kevin Thompson.

  • Himmler, who ran the modern industrial-scale murder programme of the Jews, was also spellbound by myths and legends all his life. He financed expeditions to far-flung corners of the earth by Indiana Jones-type S.S. men seeking proof of the supremacy of Ayran man – ie, the Germans.

    The skull, which weighs nearly 20lbs, is of the same design as the death’s head which adorned the uniforms of his killers. It was found in a wooden and leather box in the home of an old lady and it is now in the hands of Swiss journalist Luc Burgin.

    With it, it is claimed, was a list of 35 treasures which the S.S. was seeking to bring back to Germany from Sudetenland on the border with Czechoslovakia as the Reich crumbled in 1945. Part of it reads;”Nr. 14; the crystal skull – 263-2 RFSS Collection Rahn, No 25592, leather case, crystal death‘s head, South America.”

  • In the wake of the continuing nuclear tragedy in Japan, the United States government is still moving quickly to increase the amounts of radiation the population can “safely” absorb by raising the safe zone for exposure to levels designed to protect the government and nuclear industry more than human life. It’s all about cutting costs now as the infinite-growth paradigm sputters and moves towards extinction. As has been demonstrated by government conduct in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of Deepwater Horizon and in Japan, life has taken a back seat to cost-cutting and public relations posturing.

    The game plan now appears to be to protect government and the nuclear industry from “excessive costs”… at any cost.

  • The world’s fourth-largest economy stands alone among leading industrialized nations in its decision to stop using nuclear energy because of its inherent risks. It is betting billions on expanding the use of renewable energy to meet power demands instead.

    The transition was supposed to happen slowly over the next 25 years, but is now being accelerated in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant disaster, which Chancellor Angela Merkel has called a “catastrophe of apocalyptic dimensions.”

  • Researchers at a Canadian university are using nanotechnology and a tiny remote-controlled magnetic sphere to deliver cancer-fighting drugs directly to where they need to go.

    A scientific team at the Polytechnique Montral, one of Canada’s leading engineering schools, reported this week that they were able guide microcarriers through a live animal’s blood stream and deposit anti-cancer medicine directly on a targeted area on the animal’s liver.

    The carriers, made out of magnetic nanoparticles and biodegradable polymer, can be basically driven through arteries using a remote controlled device.

  • It’s possible that the family tree of all life on Earth has its roots on Mars — and a new device could put that theory to the test in a few years, researchers say.

    Researchers are developing an instrument that would search through samples of Martian dirt, isolating any genetic material from microbes that might be present — bugs that are living or that died relatively recently, within the last million years or so. Scientists could then use standard biochemical techniques to analyze any resulting genetic sequences, comparing them to what we find on Earth.

    “It’s a long shot,” said MIT researcher Chris Carr, who’s working on the life-detecting device, in a statement. “But if we go to Mars and find life that’s related to us, we could have originated on Mars. Or if it started here, it could have been transferred to Mars.”

  • A drug-resistant bacterium that has surfaced in Southern California has mostly spread in nursing homes, not hospitals, but more needs to be done to track it, health officials said Thursday.

    More than 350 cases of Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, or CRKP, have been reported at healthcare facilities in Los Angeles County, mostly among elderly patients at skilled-nursing and long-term care facilities, according to a study by Dr. Dawn Terashita, an epidemiologist with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

  • For years, so many twins have been born in the small southern Brazilian town of Cândido Godói that residents wonder whether something mysterious lurks in the water, or even if Josef Mengele, the Nazi physician known as the Angel of Death, conducted experiments on the women there.
  • How two American kids became big-time weapons traders — until the Pentagon turned on them
  • Authorities in Pennsylvania arrested a 27-year-old woman who they say hid more than 100 items — including 54 bags of heroin and loose change — in her vagina.
  • The owner of the Hitler’s Den pool hall in central India is refusing to change the name despite objections from the Israeli Embassy and a Jewish group.

    “There is no way we will change the name,” owner Baljeet Ghosal told the Times of India. “We have been operating under this name since 2006 and now opened another one in Laxmi Nagar under the same banner. It is our identity.”

    Ghosal told the newspaper that he was looking for a “different-sounding name.” He also told the newspaper that people in Nagpur are not aware of Hitler’s atrocities against the Jews.

    “No one has raised any objection yet,” he told the Times of India.

  • An American who drugged her investment banker-husband with a milkshake and bludgeoned him to death more than seven years ago was convicted of murder Friday at her second trial in a case that grabbed world attention with lurid details on the breakdown of a wealthy expatriate marriage in Hong Kong.

    The unanimous verdict and automatic life sentence match the outcome of the first trial against Nancy Kissel, whose lawyers argued she was a battered, clinically depressed wife who acted under diminished responsibility when her husband provoked her attack.

  • A man with ties to the white supremacist movement was arrested and charged Wednesday in the foiled bombing of a Martin Luther King Day parade in this city last January.
  • Members filled their Gwalia Housing Association homes with ancient Egyptian idolatry, held ceremonies in robes and hoods and forced a number of children and vulnerable adults into depraved sex acts.
  • “A Long Island cop was shot in the face and killed by an MTA officer after a knife-wielding, self-proclaimed Satanist lunged at police and was gunned down in his home Saturday, sources said.”

    Brian Mullins, a 12-year-old eyewitness, recounted to police that DiGeronimo stared at him, “murderous-looking eyes” that were “staring into his soul” as he freakishly paraded down the streets of his neighborhood, knife in hand.

    Police, including an MTA office that lived nearby, corned DiGeronimo in a rear bedroom of his home after neighbors called police. Instead of dropping his weapon, Anthony lunged at police, resulting in officers executing the disturbed Satanist in the bedroom.

    That’s when the real tragedy began.

    “After the shooting, a Nassau County special operations cop stepped into the home. An MTA officer, standing near the door, saw the gun and shot the cop in the face.”

  • Medical records of Dr. Bruce Ivins, blamed by the FBI for the deadly 2001 anthrax mail attacks, “support the Justice Department’s determination that he was responsible,” a panel of behavioral experts and psychiatrists contended in a newly released report.

    “Dr. Ivins was psychologically disposed to undertake the mailings, his behavioral history demonstrated his potential for carrying them out, and he had the motivation and the means,” they said in a report made public Wednesday.

    Letters containing powdered anthrax were sent to news organizations and two US senators in late 2001, infecting 22 people who received or handled them, five of whom died. Ivins, a civilian researcher at the US Army’s Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Maryland, committed suicide in July 2008 as the FBI was preparing to accuse him of preparing and mailing the letters. He was never charged.

  • As a Portland-based rock band with a growing fan base and national ambitions, the Slants figured it wouldn’t hurt to take care of some business interests. On the advice of their attorney, they decided to register their name through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Protect the brand. It seemed simple enough.

    “It didn’t occur to us at the time that there would be an issue with the name,” says Simon Tam, the band’s manager and bass player, who performs under the name Simon Young. As a band of Asian Americans who play to a fan base with a high percentage of Asian Americans why would they anticipate a problem?

    One year, two rejections and a case file closing in on 200 pages later, it’s clear there is an issue with the name. That issue is Section 2(a) of the 1946 Trademark Act. It says, in part, that a trademark can be rejected if it “consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage …”

  • Malte Spitz, recently learned, we are already continually being tracked whether we volunteer to be or not. Cellphone companies do not typically divulge how much information they collect, so Mr. Spitz went to court to find out exactly what his cellphone company, Deutsche Telekom, knew about his whereabouts.

    The results were astounding. In a six-month period — from Aug 31, 2009, to Feb. 28, 2010, Deutsche Telekom had recorded and saved his longitude and latitude coordinates more than 35,000 times. It traced him from a train on the way to Erlangen at the start through to that last night, when he was home in Berlin.

    Mr. Spitz has provided a rare glimpse — an unprecedented one, privacy experts say — of what is being collected as we walk around with our phones. Unlike many online services and Web sites that must send “cookies” to a user’s computer to try to link its traffic to a specific person, cellphone companies simply have to sit back and hit “record.”

  • One sign of possible deterioration in the plant itself came at Reactor No. 3. Workers who were trying to connect an electrical cable to a pump in a turbine building next to the reactor were injured when they stepped into water that was found to be significantly more radioactive than normal. On Friday, officials and experts offered conflicting explanations of what had gone wrong — but all pointed to greater damage to the reactor’s systems and more contamination there than officials had indicated earlier.

    Two workers were exposed to radiation and burned when water poured over their boots and down around their feet and ankles, officials said. A third worker was wearing higher boots and did not suffer the same exposure.

    Like the injured workers, many of those risking their lives are subcontractors of Tokyo Electric Power, who are paid a small daily wage for hours of work in dangerous conditions. In some cases they are poorly equipped and trained for their task.

  • Fukushima is like a cancer eating away at the habitat of the east coast of Japan. Whilst the situation appears to be stable, a number of slow burning processes must inevitably be eating away at the heart of these reactors. The solution to a number of these problems is to restore fresh water circulation to each of the cores and the spent fuel ponds. Whether or not the pumping systems work remains to be seen. Disposing of the salty radioactive sludge from inside the reactor vessels presents another major challenge.

    It seems possible that the current meta stable condition may persist for many more weeks, and all the while the release and accumulation of radioactive isotopes in the environment will continue. And there is still risk of a catastrophic failure due to heat or corrosion that would result in the status degrading rapidly. It is too early to call this crisis over.

  • A high-level radiation leak detected Thursday at one of six troubled reactors at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant indicates possible damage to the reactor’s vessel, pipes or valves, the government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Friday.

    Three workers at the No. 3 reactor’s turbine building, connected to the reactor building, were exposed Thursday to water containing radioactive materials 10,000 times the normal level, with two of them taken to hospital due to possible radiation burns to their feet, the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

    Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for the governmental nuclear regulatory body, told a press conference, ”At present, our monitoring data suggest the (No. 3) reactor retains certain containment functions, but there is a good chance that the reactor has been damaged.”

  • “We think rolling out these kind of invasive measures is really another step toward mass surveillance of the population,” Calabrese told Raw Story. “I mean, now if you’re just walking around on the street, do you think that automatically police should be able to check your fingerprint? Seems very invasive to us.”

    But it’s more than just invasive, he suggested: it’s a fundamental revolution in American values.

    “Facial recognition is one of the most invasive biometrics because it allows surreptitious tracking at a distance,” Calabrese continued. “They can secretly track you from camera to camera, location to location. That has enormous implications, not just for security but also for American society. I mean, we are now at a point where we can automatically track people. Computers could do that. That’s what, we think, is a grave danger to our privacy.”

  • As workers race to stave off further melting at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors in Japan, several robots there are waiting on the sidelines for an opportunity to help. Questions remain, however, regarding how these units might assist in an ongoing emergency at a site contaminated with radiation and deluged with tons of corrosive seawater.
  • Although charged with the possession of six plus ounces of weed, Nelson will please guilty to possessing just over three thanks to Hudspeth County Attorney C.R. “Kit” Bramblett, who openly calls Nelson his “favorite artist.”

    Speaking to reporter Sterry Butcher at The Big Bend Sentinel newspaper, Bramblett, now 78, confessed that he’d admired Nelson all his life. He even joked that they’d maybe helped Willie out a bit.

    “Between me and the sheriff, we threw out enough of it or smoked enough so that there’s only three ounces, which is within my jurisdiction,” he quipped, before explaining that the extra weight was actually due to excessive packaging.

    If that’s indeed the case, Willie isn’t actually getting special treatment. In fact, most misdemeanor possession cases that draw a guilty plea are handled by mail.

    With the official charge now reduced to a misdemeanor, he’ll be ordered to pay a $100 fine and $278 in court fees.

  • A blurred portrait is visible in the controversial photos of Adolf Hitler’s “doppelganger suicide.” In the picture above on the left, the out of focus portrait was placed directly onto the corpse. In the Russian movie footage frame on the right, the blurred portrait appears as a prop in the background. This change of position invites serious speculation that the body may also have been moved, switched, or meddled with between photos.
  • During World War II the leaders of the Axis powers (Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Emperor Hirohito) were sometimes depicted by Allied “black” propagandists as monsters. Black propaganda purports to emanate from a source other than the true one. This type of propaganda is associated with covert psychological operations. The enemy leaders were caricatured as gorillas, skeletons, rats, or whatever the Allied “psywarriors” could dream up. This was all part of the process of wartime depersonalization, the destruction of an individual as a human being and the resultant new image of him as vermin good only for killing.
  • RABIDLY ANTI-NAZI
    PRE-WAR AMERICAN
    PHOTO BOOK 1939
    “HITLER DOOMED TO DIE” Nazi dagger, Nazi baby
    Nazi atrocities
    This is a very historic piece of American pre-war literature called HITLER DOOMED TO DIE and was published in 1939 without the name of either the author or the publisher! The perfect bound 8-1/2 x 11-1/8 inch, very heavily illustrated, 98 page softbound book claims to tell the story of the life and crimes of Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler and other top Nazis in text and photos.

    In chapters such as “Sexual Pervert”, “Hitler – Illegitimate? A Jew?”, “A German-Jew’s Story”, “Vienna’s Flophouse Fuehrer”, “Concentration Camp Horrors”, etc., the book explains that Hitler as a toddler was found “…pulling the wings off flies or spread-eagling the frogs that he caught in the garden…” and when he was four years old he was found “…chewing a field mouse he caught and dismembered.” It gets worse.

  • As we’ve been watching the conflict in Libya play out exactly like the war in Iraq, and being keen to their tricks and tactics, we began examining pictures, videos and other evidence to lead us to the conclusion that this entire ordeal is a CIA-backed coup. We believe there is actually very little conflict (if any) aside from the false flags perpetuated by the CIA/MI6/MOSSAD in a UN takeover of the region. Considering the internet blackout disabling the people’s ability to speak, Russia Today’s interviews with the people of Libya, and the great oracle John McCain’s prophecy that Gaddofi will bomb his own oil reserves, a clearer picture began to form.
  • Video shows the store in disarray, a mannequin wearing a “Not Violence” t-shirt was knocked to the ground and lost it’s head, a gift card display was knocked over and pieces of a woman’s hair weave were strewn on the floor.
  • Better than Electric Car – 258 miles/gallon: IPO 2010 in Shanghai

    This is a single seated car

    From conception to production: 3 years and the company is headquartered in Hamburg , Germany

    Will be selling for 4000 yuan, equivalent to US$600

    Gas tank capacity = 1.7 gallons

    Speed = 62 – 74.6 Miles/hour

    Fuel efficiency = 258 miles/gallon

    Travel distance with a full tank = 404 miles

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

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Aiding The Enemy

    • The Iranian national Olympic committee claims the logo spells out the word ‘Zion’ and has complained to the IOC it is “racist”.
    • There is a double dosage of bad news for men who like to watch a lot of porn on laptops resting on their groin area. You know who you are (and so do we).

      Fox News has reported that an Italian andrologist, Carlo Foresta of Padua University, has conducted a study that found that resting a laptop on one’s groin for just one hour can raise the temperature of one’s testicles by two degrees Celsius (about four degrees Fahrenheit), overheating the genitals to the point that the owner’s ability to produce sperm could be impaired. Studies have further shown that even a one degree rise can lead to infertility, and that resting a laptop on the groin for more than two hours can result in having a child that looks like Joy Behar.

    • Whac-A-Mole seems like it could be endless fun.

      Moles pop out of five holes in the arcade game and a soft mallet is used to force them back into the holes to score points.

      Children and adults alike could whack the moles for hours at a time.

      Or at least they could until a worker programmed a virus into the machines to make them shut down after a pre-determined number of plays, Holly Hill police said.
      Advertisement

      Now they have arrested that man, Marvin Walter Wimberly Jr., 61, of Orlando, who faces a charge of offenses against intellectual property.

      It was all a scheme by Wimberly to insure job security, according to an arrest affidavit.

    • Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) vowed Monday to eliminate net neutrality rules recently enacted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), referring to the regulations as a “government takeover of the Internet.”

      “Right now, freedom and free expression are under attack by a power structure in Washington populated with regulators who have never set foot inside a radio station or a television studio,” Rep. Boehner said during a speech at the annual National Religious Broadcasters convention.

    • Evidence outlined in a Pentagon contractor report suggests that financial subversion carried out by unknown parties, such as terrorists or hostile nations, contributed to the 2008 economic crash by covertly using vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system.

      The unclassified 2009 report “Economic Warfare: Risks and Responses” by financial analyst Kevin D. Freeman, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, states that “a three-phased attack was planned and is in the process against the United States economy.”

      While economic analysts and a final report from the federal government’s Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission blame the crash on such economic factors as high-risk mortgage lending practices and poor federal regulation and supervision, the Pentagon contractor adds a new element: “outside forces,” a factor the commission did not examine.

    • The first text message said: “Mommy, I got buried.” About 40 minutes later: “Mommy, I can’t move my right hand.” Then, a brief call from New Zealand’s earthquake rubble to parents in the Philippines pleading to send help.

      After another harrowing hour in a crumpled building, when she sent a half-dozen more texts about increasing pain, continued shaking and overwhelming smoke, came the final one: “Please make it quick.”

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    The World Is Dying A Slow Death

    • Investigators say the images showed the toddler standing at a table near a large amount of marijuana, and placing it in a jar. They also showed a lighter and rolling papers sitting on the table.
    • Proto-Photoblogger
    • Arkansas officials are investigating the death of an estimated 100,000 fish in the state’s northwest, but suspect disease was to blame, a state spokesman said Sunday.Dead drum fish floated in the water and lined the banks of a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River near Ozark, about 125 miles northwest of Little Rock, said Keith Stephens of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. A tugboat operator discovered the fish kill Thursday night, and fisheries officials collected some of the dying animals to conduct tests.

    • A survey conducted by the Federation of Fishermen’s Colony of Paraná, Paranaguá on the coast of the state, indicates that at least 100 tons of fish (sardine, croaker and catfish) have turned up dead since last Thursday off the coast of Parana.
    • NYU charges a higher tuition and has a higher number of students than its uptown rival, Columbia — and it is first by a wide margin in the number of students who get high.The Greenwich Village-based college routs Columbia by a 5-1 margin in the number of infractions for drugs in school-owned and -patrolled buildings, mostly residence halls.

    • An Indiana woman last night allegedly stabbed her boyfriend with a kitchen knife after he would not allow her to view his Facebook page, according to cops.
    • Vintage color calendar photo of Playboy Playmate Miss August 1967, DeDe Lind, which was stowed away in the Apollo 12 command module Yankee Clipper during its November 1969 voyage to the moon. Measuring approximately 4.5 x 6.5, the topless image is an original taken from one of the 1969 calendars published by Playboy and features the month and year of the Apollo 12 mission—November 1969. Prior to the mission, it was affixed to a cardboard cue card and, unbeknownst to the crew, secreted onboard their spacecraft.
    • One small step for man, one giant leap for modern art?Andy Warhol and five other artists likely left a 1969 calling card — a so-called moon museum of six sketches etched in miniature on a penny-wide ceramic chip — on the Apollo 12 lunar lander, an upcoming PBS show concludes.

    • The body of a military expert who served in three Republican administrations was found dumped in a landfill over the holiday weekend, and investigators said Monday they do not know who might have killed him.John Wheeler III, 66, was last seen Dec. 28 on an Amtrak train from Washington to Wilmington. His body was found three days later, on New Year’s Eve, as a garbage truck emptied its contents at the Cherry Island landfill. His death has been ruled a homicide.

    • Hail, lightning and gales came through the state’s eastern region this summer thanks to scientist-puppetmasters.As part of a secret program to control the weather in the Middle East, scientists working for the United Arab Emirates government artificially created rain where rain is generally nowhere to be found. The $11 million project, which began in July, put steel lampshade-looking ionizers in the desert to produce charged particles. The negatively charged ions rose with the hot air, attracting dust. Moisture then condensed around the dust and eventually produced a rain cloud. A bunch of rain clouds.

      On the 52 days it rained in the region throughout July and August, forecasters did not predict rain once.

    • Allegations of the dumping of toxic waste, as well as illegal fishing, have circulated since the early 1990s.But evidence of such practices literally appeared on the beaches of northern Somalia when the tsunami of 2004 hit the country.

      The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) reported the tsunami had washed up rusting containers of toxic waste on the shores of Puntland.

      Nick Nuttall, a UNEP spokesman, told Al Jazeera that when the barrels were smashed open by the force of the waves, the containers exposed a “frightening activity” that has been going on for more than decade.

      “Somalia has been used as a dumping ground for hazardous waste starting in the early 1990s, and continuing through the civil war there,” he said.

    • Somali pirates released a hijacked German-owned chemical tanker and its crew of 22 on Tuesday. But the release came at a price—$5.5 million was paid in ransom, Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers Assistance program told the BBC.
    • The ‘Ndrangheta, a criminal organization from Calabria (Italy) has been involved in radioactive waste dumping since the 1980s. Ships with toxic and radioactive waste were sunk off the Italian coast. In addition, vessels were allegedly sent to Somalia and other developing countries with toxic waste, including radioactive waste cargoes, which were either sunk with the ship or buried on land. The introduction of more rigorous environmental legislation in the 1980s made illegal waste dumping a lucrative business for organized crime groups in Italy.
    • In recent years piracy has increased dramatically off the coast of Somalia, luring many young men to the high seas in the hope of netting big catches.Two Somalis tell Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow, the only international journalist reporting from Puntland, the semi-autonomous region in north-eastern Somalia which is home to most of the country’s pirates, why they turned to piracy.

    • Maggots. Rotten meat. Pus-oozing sores. Grossed out yet? Probably. The emotion of disgust is universal, strong and easy to invoke. A single disgusting photo is all it takes to make most of us say, “Ick.” And that’s for a good reason. Just as fear protects us from a lion that would eat us, “disgust is quite similar. It keeps us away from tiny little animals that would eat us up from the inside,” said Valerie Curtis of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the lead author of a paper published today in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society . “We evolved to stay away from poo, from bodily fluids, from mucous, from foods that have gone off, from worms in the garden.”

    • New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu delivered on his promise to shut down the remaining FEMA trailers in the city, though not in the way struggling residents would have hoped. As of Jan. 1, New Orleans residents still living in FEMA trailers parked on their property face fines of up to $500 every day they remain in the government-provided housing units. Residents received notice days before Christmas, the AP reported.It doesn’t mean the city will help people work out housing alternatives for themselves. According to the AP, city officials said they’d make exceptions for “that little old lady who has no place and no money,” as New Orleans’ deputy chief administrative officer Ann Duplessis described it, but that, “People have to assume some responsibility for their decision.”

    • Imagine if a group of leading American liberals met on foreign soil with — and expressed vocal support for — supporters of a terrorist group that had (a) a long history of hateful anti-American rhetoric, (b) an active role in both the takeover of a U.S. embassy and Saddam Hussein’s brutal 1991 repression of Iraqi Shiites, (c) extensive financial and military support from Saddam, (d) multiple acts of violence aimed at civilians, and (e) years of being designated a “Terrorist organization” by the U.S. under Presidents of both parties, a designation which is ongoing? The ensuing uproar and orgies of denunciation would be deafening.But on December 23, a group of leading conservatives — including Rudy Giuliani and former Bush officials Michael Mukasey, Tom Ridge, and Fran Townsend — did exactly that.

    • A Philadelphia federal judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit by a woman who says a man dressed as Donald Duck fondled her breast at Disney’s Epcot Center.
      In the August complaint against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, which is now known as Disney Destinations, April Magolon claims that Donald Duck inappropriately touched her during a trip to Disney World in 2008. When Magolon carried one of her children to Donald Duck for an autograph, the character allegedly grabbed Magolon’s breast and made a joke, causing Magolon to suffer emotional distress.
    • While R. Allen Stanford was happily ensconced on the Caribbean island of Antigua, allegedly bribing officials there as he expanded his banking empire, secret cables released by the whistleblowing web site WikiLeaks revealed that U.S. Embassy officials held themselves at arm’s length even as they provided the accused fraudster with political cover.
    • Although Bill Gates might try to say that the Foundation is not linked to his business, all it proves is the opposite: most of their donations end up favoring the commercial investments of the tycoon, not really “donating” anything, but instead of paying taxes to the state coffers, he invests his profits in where it is favorable to him economically, including propaganda from their supposed good intentions. On the contrary, their “donations” finance projects as destructive as geoengineering or replacement of natural community medicines for high-tech patented medicines in the poorest areas of the world. What a coincidence, former Secretary of Health Julio Frenk and Ernesto Zedillo are advisers of the Foundation.
    • The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly looking into the growth in privately-held shares of popular social networking sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, which is the world’s largest – with 500 million-plus users worldwide.Regulators are concerned that, with this private market booming, companies might be able to circumvent public disclosure requirements.

      US law requires the public disclosure of certain financial information once a company hits 500 shareholders, even if it has not filed for an initial public offering.

    • Goldman Sachs, the platinum-plated, publicly bailed-out Wall Street giant, has invested $450 million in Facebook, the massive social networking website. The new money heightens the likelihood that Facebook will go public, probably in 2012, in an offering now almost surely to be underwritten by Goldman Sachs itself. Happy New Year!In fact, as Reuters observed, part of the logic of this investment may simply have been Goldman buying the right to take Facebook public. The bank has also set up a so-called special-purpose vehicle to allow its high-net-worth clients to invest in the booming website, which has more than 550 million users. The bank is expected to raise $1.5 billion from its clients to pour into the social network.

    • “This is a film I made after some adventures underground with Steve Duncan (undercity.org) last summer.”

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    Like A Virgin

      • A study conducted by Dr. Stuart Brody, at the University of West Scotland found a relationship between the fluidity with which a woman walks and her ability to have vaginal orgasms. They discovered that women with a more fluid stride were reported to experience orgasms more readily than women with locked and rigid pelvises.
      • The Pentagon’s blue-sky research arm wants to trick out troops’ brains, from the areas that regulate alertness and cognition to pain treatment and psychiatric well-being. And the scientists want to do it all from the outside in — with a gadget installed inside the troops’ helmets. “Remote Control of Brain Activity Using Ultrasound,” the Defense Department’s Armed with Science blog promises. It’s the latest out-there project in the military’s growing arsenal of brain-based research. In recent months alone, the Pentagon’s funded projects to optimize troop’s minds, prevent injuries and even preemptively assess cognitive ability and vulnerability to traumatic stress. Now, Darpa’s funding one lab that’s trying to do it all — from boosting troop smarts to preventing traumatic brain injuries.
      • Thanks Baller.
      • Former CIA agents have confirmed for the first time that the agency tortured prisoners at a “black site” detention center in north-eastern Poland at the height of the war on terror. According to the Associated Press, a former CIA agent identified only as “Albert” tortured the terror suspect Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri multiple times with an electric drill at the converted Stare Kiejkuty military base near Szymany in the Masuria region of Poland.
      • Google’s agreement with Verizon to speed certain Internet content to users opens the door to the complete sterilization of the world wide web as a force for political change. Under Google’s takeover plan, the Internet will closely resemble cable TV, independent voices will be silenced and the entire Internet will be bought up by transnational media giants.
      • Ever thought it’d be cool to take some hallucinogenic drugs and check out a movie—say, sci-fi masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey? This guy thought it’d be cool. And his trip—and resultant freakout—was recorded by five different audience members.
      • Dis ad sho nuff racist.
      • Park officials in China have found a way to stop people from hogging their benches for too long – by fitting steel spikes on a coin-operated timer.
      • This carpenter ant (Camponotus leonardi) is caught in the throes of a fungus-induced death grip. It has clamped itself to a leaf 25 centimetres above a forest floor in Thailand, and died. The reason is growing out of the back of its head. The reddish-brown stalk is made by a fungus called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, which has invaded the ant’s body and manipulated its behaviour. The exposed position is ideal for releasing spores. It turns out this parasitic mind-control is at least 48 million years old. David Hughes of Harvard University and colleagues discovered fossilised leaves of this age in Messel, Germany that bore characteristic “death grip” scars, suggesting that ants once clamped themselves onto them.
      • While it’s women who are seeking the surgery, it’s conservative men, and their desire to marry virgins, that’s driving the trend. In China, it costs as “little as 5,000 renminbi, or about $737, for a 20- to 30-minute procedure,” the Post reports. In the simplest form of the procedure, a surgeon uses “catgut sutures to approximate hymen remnants (with or without incorporation of a gelatin capsule containing a blood-like substance which bursts on intercourse),” according to the British Medical Journal.

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