Wolves | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

This Is My Rifle. This Is My Gun. This Is For Fighting, And This Is For Fun.

  • Since that 2003 study, a flurry of research has been teasing out the role that endocannabinoids play in the body’s reaction to exercise. In some of Dr. Hill’s work, for instance, rats treated with a drug that blocked their endocannabinoid receptors did not experience the increase in new brain cells that usually accompanies running, suggesting that a well-functioning endocannabinoid system may be required for cognitive improvements from exercise. Other researchers have found that endocannabinoids may be what nudge us to tolerate or enjoy exercise in the first place. In an experiment published last year, groups of mice were assigned either to run on wheels or sip a sweetened drink. Running and slurping sugar previously were identified as pleasurable behaviors in animals. Now the researchers saw that both activities lit up and sensitized portions of the animals’ endocannabinoid systems, intimating that the endocannabinoid connection may lend both exercise and dessert their appeal.
  • Oliver Stone hired the relatively unknown (despite having a famous father) 21-year-old Charlie Sheen to play newbie soldier Chris in Platoon. The 1986 movie won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Sheen famously inhales Vietnamese grass from a shotgun when Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe) orders, “Put your mouth on this!”
  • From Reefer Madness onward, movies and TV have historically been pretty terrible at representing real-life drug use. (Harold And Kumar perhaps comes closest to reality.) This week, we explore hilarious onscreen drug freakouts, from the funny and accurate (Freaks And Geeks) to the ridiculously over-the-top (the inimitable Death Drug and Desperate Lives).
  • The 1968 movie “Rosemary’s Baby” is one of Roman Polanski’s most chilling and acclaimed productions. The film describes the manipulation of a young woman by a high-society occult coven for ritualistic purposes. The movie’s unsettling quality does not rely on blood and gore but on its realistic premise, which forces the viewers to ponder on the likelihood of the existence of elite secret societies. Even more unsettling are the eerie real life events that surrounded the movie involving ritualistic killings and MK Ultra. We will look at the symbolic meaning of “Rosemary’s Baby” and the stranger-than-fiction events that followed its release.
  • In June 1968, Sirhan Sirhan shot Kennedy dead in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, moments after he had clinched victory in the California Democratic primary for that year’s presidential election.

    Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian, cried “I did it for my country” when arrested. He kept diaries detailing his hatred of Kennedy for promising military support for Israel, a year after the region’s Six-Day War.

    Yet Sirhan’s lawyer claims he was programmed to shoot the politician while under hypnosis.

    Bill Pepper, the New York attorney who will today lead Sirhan’s 14th attempt to be given parole, improbably alleges his client was “hypno-programmed”.

    “Sirhan was put through a process involving hypnosis and chemicals,” claimed Mr Pepper, who is also a qualified barrister in England and Wales.

  • Psychological Operations Leaflet Archive
  • Lt. Gen. William Caldwell may well have broken the law, which prohibits psychological operations from being used against U.S. citizens. But shelve those “Manchurian Candidate” fantasies: those familiar with psy-ops (PSYOP in military parlance) and propaganda say the field is a closer cousin to public relations than its intimidating moniker would suggest. (In the movie “Manchurian Candidate,” a former prisoner of the Korean War gets brainwashed by Communists.)

    “There’s no brainwashing,” Sgt. Maj. Herb Friedman, an army veteran and psy-ops expert, told LiveScience. “PSYOP gets blamed for a whole host of things that has nothing to do with them whatsoever.”

  • Even a regional nuclear war could spark “unprecedented” global cooling and reduce rainfall for years, according to U.S. government computer models.

    Widespread famine and disease would likely follow, experts speculate.

    During the Cold War a nuclear exchange between superpowers—such as the one feared for years between the United States and the former Soviet Union—was predicted to cause a “nuclear winter.”

  • The Homeland Security Department this summer plans to begin testing a DNA analyzer that’s small enough to be easily portable and fast enough to return results in less than an hour.

    The analyzer, about the size of a laser printer, initially will be used to determine kinship among refugees and asylum seekers. It also could help establish whether foreigners giving children up for adoption are their parents or other relatives, and help combat child smuggling and human trafficking, said Christopher Miles, biometrics program manager in the DHS Office of Science and Technology.

  • Six company names; Bertelsmann, NBC (Comcast / GE), Disney, News Corporation, Time Warner, and CBS (/ Viacom) summarise the biggest controllers of media and information flowing through our eyes and ears today.

    It really is overwhelming to witness the power of a few men over all manner of worldwide media outlets, whether cinema, TV, DVD’s, print newspapers, magazines, cable TV, radio networks, or book publishing.

    Wherever you look, editors are paid by their seniors make sure that certain topics are given attention, and other topics are not given attention. Do you think that a media mogul is ever going to run a devastating hit-piece about himself, should the truth make his position untenable? Of course not. Is it so hard to imagine that just as the wealthy and connected chiefs of these Orwellian empires would never act to hurt their personal interests, just as similarly they would never act to hurt their commercial interests? How about the commercial interests of their friends?

  • “Sturdy place this house of bricks
    Built in 1776
    High class place with the high class crowd
    Sign on the door no wolves allowed.”
  • Sony Music and MTV have apologised after a Japanese pop group appeared on primetime television wearing Nazi-style uniforms, triggering a protest from a Jewish rights group.

    Kishidan, an all-male pop band known for its outlandish garb, appeared in uniforms resembling those of the SS, the armed wing of the Nazi party, during an interview on MTV Japan’s Mega Vector programme at the end of last month.

    The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which monitors anti-semitic activities, expressed “shock and dismay” at the band’s appearance and urged them to apologise to its fans and the victims of Nazism.

  • Star‘s cover taunts “Katie Drug Shocker!” Which had me picturing Ms. Holmes doing lines of coke off one of Suri’s toys. But naturally the coverline is totally misleading. The story is actually about how Katie’s Scientology e-meter readings give “a temporary feeling of euphoria, followed by a crash and craving for more.” From there, former Scientologists compare the sessions to every drug out there. “For me, it was like taking a Percocet,” says one. And another claims, “Like a heroin addict, you want another dose.” Nice try, Star.
  • Katie Holmes sued Star Magazine’s publisher for $50 million, claiming it defamed her in its cover photo and headlines: “BREAKING NEWS! Katie DRUG SHOCKER! ADDICTION NIGHTMARE! The real reason she can’t leave Tom.” Holmes, Tom Cruise’s wife, says she is “neither a drug addict nor a drug user, and American Media knows it” – nor does she want to leave her husband and their young children.
    Holmes’ federal complaint continues: “Its [American Media’s] vicious lies about plaintiff, designed to hype the sale of its sleazy tabloid magazine, were calculated to cause severe harm to plaintiff both personally and professionally.
  • Excitement from the discovery would ripple across the state, from the headquarters near Beaverton of the company Bill co-founded to the tiny town of Fossil hours away where he spent his childhood. In addition to shoes with treads handmade by Bill, Melissa had stumbled upon Nike’s Holy Grail: the long-lost waffle iron that inspired him to craft the revolutionary sole that launched an athletic empire.

    “It truly is the headwaters of our innovation,” Nike historian Scott Reames said. “From a historian’s standpoint, it’s like finding the Titanic.”

  • Facas said his brother, who was working at the time, noticed footprints on the toilet seat and looked in the ceiling above the toilet, where he found the man’s plastic bag with a paper bag inside.

    Thinking the bag was filled with drugs, he gave it to two Upper Darby police officers who were in the shop eating lunch, Chitwood said. But instead of drugs, there were several little, hairy, white mice in the bag, police said.

    The officers looked outside for Galiatsatos and saw him walking into another nearby pizza shop, Uncle Nick’s, carrying another bag, Chitwood said.

    When Galiatsatos saw that the cops were watching him, Chitwood said, he quickly entered and left Uncle Nick’s, but he was no Speedy Gonzales. Police stopped him outside the restaurant and discovered that he had put the bag – which contained five live mice and one dead one – into a trash can at Uncle Nick’s, Chitwood said.

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection nabbed a 49-year-old woman from southern Mexico with two coolers of iguana meat — ingredients, the agency said, “for some rather exotic tamales.”

    CBP spokesman Rick Pauza, recalling a similar seizure in November, said there apparently is a U.S. niche market for lizard meat. Internet searches turn up recipes for iguana soups, stews, and sautés.

    “It has a domestic value of somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 to $30 per pound, so it obviously has a value to some people,” he said.

  • “He preferred that I be a lot more conservative and didn’t like for me to dress sexy,” she said.

    “So now I’m saying, ‘Ha, ha, you don’t have a say-so anymore.’ “

    Yesterday, Taylor had six items up for sale — including duds from Hollister, Kenneth Cole and Marc Ecko — each complete with a slew of thong and flesh-bearing photos, snapped by a friend.

  • The family of Betty Boop creator Max Fleischer does not own a copyright or trademark to the classic big-eyed cartoon character, and cannot sue others for using her image, the 9th circuit ruled Wednesday.
    The federal appeals court in Pasadena affirmed a lower court’s finding that several makers of Betty Boop merchandise had not infringed on Fleischer Studios’ copyright because the company could not show that it had one.
    Fleischer created Betty Boop in the 1930s, but sold Paramount Pictures the rights to the character in 1941. After he died in 1972, Fleischer’s family started Fleischer Studios and worked to buy back the intellectual-property rights to the character throughout the 1980s and ’90s, according to the ruling.
  • It turns out that during her three years away, Fangfang was forced onto the streets to beg, and if she could not meet her goals she would face beatings. “Used a belt to hit me. Used a nail to prick my hand, until it bled; Picked me up and threw me on the ground, used scissors to cut my ears, nose, and tongue; Also had me eat feces…”

    After Fangfang with a body covered with scars returned, Ren Shangtian took her to the hospital for a check-up and upon discovering that there are already aftereffects [emotional trauma] left on the child, he went to find Zhai Xuefeng where he got 22,000 yuan as compensation and even signed an agreement.

  • Although representatives deny any connection to the recent prank call on the governor, two legislators began circulating a bill Monday that would ban making trick calls masking the caller’s true identity.

    Sen. Mary Lazich, R-Waukesha, and Rep. Mark Honadel, R-Milwaukee, authored a bill that would prohibit tricking the call’s recipient into believing the caller is someone they are not for malicious purposes.

    “While use of spoofing is said to have some legitimate uses, it can also be used to frighten, harass and potentially defraud,” Lazich and Honadel said in an e-mail to legislators.

  • The owl that footballer Luis Moreno kicked during a Colombian first division game died early Tuesday as a result of the brutal attack by the Deportivo Perreira defender.

    owl_275.jpgDespite showing signs of improvement as late as Monday night, the bird “went into a state of shock and died,” attending veterinarian Camilo Tapia told the local press, Triunfo reported.

  • The battle has come at a sensitive time for ICANN, which this month is meeting with foreign governments as it pulls off the biggest expansion ever of Web suffixes – including .gay, .muslim and .nazi. Also this fall, the nonprofit organization is seeking to hold on to its federal contract to oversee the Web’s master database of addresses – a sweeping power that governments fear could be used to shut down foreign domains that the United States finds unsavory.
  • One night in 1983, while resting between sets at an all-white truck stop in Frederick, Maryland, a man struck up a conversation with Davis. The man turned out to be a Klan member, but the two men connected over music and kept in touch. Davis invited him to his gigs, and the Klansman attended.
    “He wanted to show his buddies the black guy that could play like Jerry Lee Lewis.”

    Around this time, Davis began to write a book about racism and hate groups, titled Klandestine Relations: A Black Man’s Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan. He used his inroad with the Klansman to interview the state leader of the Klan, Roger Kelly—the Grand Dragon of Maryland.

    The Klansman warned Davis that Kelly might kill him, but aside from a few tense moments during the three-hour interview, Kelly and Davis developed a mutual respect. Eventually they became friends. Kelly brought Davis to Klan rallies, providing him more material for his book. Davis helped Kelly quit the Klan.

  • Forty million years ago, a female mite met an attractive partner, grabbed him with her clingy rear end and began to mate — just before a blob of tree resin fell on the couple, preserving the moment for eternity.
  • Hagfish are simple, tubelike scavengers with gruesome feeding habits: When the ugly predator encounters a carcass on the seafloor, it burrows into the body cavity of the dead or dying animal. There it eats, not only with its mouth, but also with its skin and gills.
  • It’s not “racist” to equate hip-hop with an elevated crime rate vis a vi other types of musical genres – It’s just a statistical fact that crime is more likely to occur among urban audiences than among audiences of other demographics. R&B and rap happen to be my two favorite types of music, but no one (especially my African American friends and colleagues) would seriously deny that hip-hop’s violent history tragically precedes it…
  • Ice cream made from breast milk has been removed from a central London restaurant on health grounds following complaints by members of the public.

    The dessert, called Baby Gaga, went on sale at ice cream parlour Icecreamists in Covent Garden in February.

    But Westminster Council officers removed the product to make sure it was “fit for human consumption”.

  • A doctor at the Montreal Chest Institute has been suspended for using a hidden camera to film his naked patients.

    Quebec’s College of Physicians has suspended Dr. Barry Rabinovitch after admitting to the disciplinary board that he filmed more than a dozen female patients in various stages of undress in the examining room in 2009.

  • He may be the creepiest quack in Brooklyn – a bogus cancer doctor charged with a crime so heinous it earned him the highest bail in state history.

    Michail Sorodsky, 63, not only failed to heal the gravely ill women who forked over wads of cash for his holistic therapies, he sexually molested them and even raped at least one sedated patient, prosecutors say.

    Jury selection in the skin-crawling case begins in Brooklyn Supreme Court this week while Sorodsky continues to be held on an eye-popping $11 million cash bail or $33 million bond a figure higher – more than even Bernie Madoff faced.

    Authorities say Sorodsky slathered his victims in a probiotic yogurt, inserting the concoction into their genitalia, claiming they would be healed.

  • Her nicknames may include ‘wolf girl’ and ‘monkey face’.

    But 11-year-old Thai girl Supatra Sasuphan today insisted that she was after being officially recognised as the world’s hairiest girl.

    Although the schoolgirl from Bangkok has faced merciless teasing at school, Supatra says being given a Guinness World Record for her hair has helped her become extremely popular.

  • Drinking diet soda is associated with a 50-percent increase in stroke risk, according to a study presented earlier this month at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles.

    Not surprisingly, reaction to the news among dieters has been disparaging and defensive, as each person cycles through the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief, from denial and anger to bargaining, depression and acceptance.

    “Now the health police tell us we can’t drink Diet Coke,” captures the tone on many of the diet blogs.

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File under Hip-Hop, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death, Sex

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on March 3, 2011

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Chop It Up

  • After they handcuffed Hoffman and took him out of the home, the officers found the girl in the basement, bound on a bed made of leaves.

    Then, Feeney and his partner went back to the living room.

    They didn’t want to disturb any potential evidence, but they had to see what they were dealing with. They poked at the pile with sticks.

    “All kinds of things go through your mind,” Feeney said. “I’ve seen a lot of crazy cases, but this guy? Wow. Who has a 14 x 14 tarp in their living room with leaves piled 3feet high?”

    But that pile of leaves was just the beginning of what awaited them in the Hoffman house. The detectives also found three floor-to-ceiling rows of bagged leaves hanging on a living-room wall.

    They found a bathroom completely insulated by more than 110 bags of leaves attached to the walls. The bags covered the mirror; they surrounded the toilet.

    Was it really insulation? An oddball hobby? Or just a maniac’s fascination?

  • Eight year old Kumar Paswan from a remote Indian village who has an astonishing medical condition. One of our readers wrote in to say that the boy has been operated upon on December 6, 2010 and is now returning to normalcy. (AGENCY)
  • Thanks Carlen Altman
  • The 1970s produced the genre that would later come to be known as ‘Blaxploitation’. The film genre emerged during this decade as films were made specifically with an urban black audience in mind. The term ‘Blaxploitation’ emerges from a fusion of the words black and exploitation.

    These movies were larger-than-life, action-packed, and full of funk and soul music. Known not only for their exciting nature, these films also involved progressive social and political commentary. From Pam Grier to Bill Cosby, check out who delved into this genre and what the actors have been doing since the ’70s …

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “We believe that governments who have erected barriers to internet freedom, whether they’re technical filters or censorship regimes or attacks on those who exercise their rights to expression and assembly online, will eventually find themselves boxed in. They will face a dictator’s dilemma and will have to choose between letting the walls fall or paying the price to keep them standing. Governments that arrest bloggers, pry into the peaceful activities of their citizens, and limit their access to the internet, may claim to be seeking security. In fact, they may even mean it as they define it. But they are taking the wrong path.”
    In an unacknowledged irony, Clinton’s comments came just as government lawyers appeared in a Virginia court to argue their case for cracking down on the online whistleblower WikiLeaks.
  • The city invited people to suggest names for a new government center. Thousands went online to propose naming it after a mayor from the 1930s. But officials tell the Journal Gazette newspaper they likely will not do it. Their reluctance is understandable because the mayor had an unusual name. But in fairness to past generations, it seems sad not to honor Mayor Harry Baals.
    Thanks Ramon
  • “Biodiesel From Afghanistan Poppies.” Larkin knew that tractors in Tasmania, the site of the world’s largest legal opium industry, ran on poppy biodiesel. If it worked in Tasmania, it could work in Afghanistan: poppy seeds have an exceptionally high oil content (45 to 50 percent, compared with 40 percent in canola seeds), the oil has good “cold flow” properties (resistance to viscosity in cold weather), and, oh yeah, Afghanistan’s poppy crop could produce 100,000 tons of oil a year, or about 2.5 percent of annual global biodiesel consumption. Even the Pentagon’s budget-minders could benefit. The United States was paying perhaps as much as $400 to protect and deliver a single gallon of fuel to forward operating bases in rural Afghanistan, when a gallon of locally made biodiesel would have cost less than $10.
  • “Stories exert a powerful influence on human thoughts and behavior. They consolidate memory, shape emotions, cue heuristics and biases in judgment, influence in-group/out-group distinctions, and may affect the fundamental contents of personal identity. It comes as no surprise that these influences make stories highly relevant to vexing security challenges such as radicalization, violent social mobilization, insurgency and terrorism, and conflict prevention and resolution. Therefore, understanding the role stories play in a security context is a matter of great import and some urgency,”
  • SCIENTISTS have created a real-life thinking cap which works by zapping electricity through the brain.The weird-looking headwear has had extraordinary results and experts believe it could help people be more creative.

  • The probability that the U.S. will be hit with a weapons of mass destruction attack at some point is 100 percent, Dr. Vahid Majidi, the FBI’s assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, tells Newsmax.

    Such an attack could be launched by foreign terrorists, lone wolves who are terrorists, or even by criminal elements, Majidi says. It would most likely employ chemical, biological, or radiological weapons rather than a nuclear device.

  • In the last three years, America’s military and intelligence agencies have spent more than $125 million on computer models that are supposed to forecast political unrest. It’s the latest episode in Washington’s four-decade dalliance with future-spotting programs. But if any of these algorithms saw the upheaval in Egypt coming, the spooks and the generals are keeping the predictions very quiet.

    Instead, the head of the CIA is getting hauled in front of Congress, making calls about Egypt’s future based on what he read in the press, and getting proven wrong hours later. Meanwhile, an array of Pentagon-backed social scientists, software engineers and computer modelers are working to assemble forecasting tools that are able to reliably pick up on geopolitical trends worldwide. It remains a distant goal.

  • Detroit, Michigan, Wednesday, July 14, 1982. Lovers, of dubious mentation, award the woman’s boyfriend a jacketed bullet to the back of the head with a large caliber handgun. They then photograph each other as they dismember the corpse and arrange the various bits. All participants are nude. It is unsure if the nudity was pre- or post- mortem. Not that it makes any real difference. Ain’t love grand?

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on February 17, 2011

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Rise Of The Robots

  • The three expiring Patriot Act provisions are:

    • The “roving wiretap” provision allows the FBI to obtain wiretaps from a secret intelligence court, known as the FISA court, without identifying what method of communication is to be tapped.

    • The “lone wolf” measure allows FISA court warrants for the electronic monitoring of a person for whatever reason — even without showing that the suspect is an agent of a foreign power or a terrorist. The government has said it has never invoked that provision, but the Obama administration said it wanted to retain the authority to do so.

    • The “business records” provision allows FISA court warrants for any type of record, from banking to library to medical, without the government having to declare that the information sought is connected to a terrorism or espionage investigation.

  • YouTube footage of what looks like a doll but is actually a waitress monkey in a human mask has been summed up as ‘so wonderfully creepy’ by one of thousands of open-mouthed internet users to view it recently. In the clip, the clothed creature – named Fukuchan – is seen scuttling around its place of employment, waiting tables and/or providing entertainment for punters. Towards the end of the video, our simian hero removes its mask and, in what we’ve chosen to interpret as an act of defiance against its human oppressors, lifts what looks like a sponge on a sink and chucks it on the floor.
  • Four hundred bloodthirsty wolves have been spotted prowling around the edges of Verkhoyansk, in Russia, attacking livestock at will.
  • Gator, the 80s vert god/party animal who raped his ex-girlfriend’s friend before killing her and burying her in the desert, was denied parole yesterday in his first hearing since he was convicted in 1991. While he is quite obviously severely fucked in the brain and the man holding the mallet made the right decision, he’s still one of our favorite dudes to watch ride a skateboard.
  • Leave it to Darpa, the Pentagon’s advanced-research arm, to bring synthetic biology to a new level of creepiness. For 2011, Darpa has dedicated $6 million to a new program called BioDesign, which according to the agency’s budget is an attempt to eliminate “the randomness of natural evolutionary advancement” and create synthetic organisms for specific functions—for instance, microorganisms that clean up oil spills or skin cells that an army medic could use to repair injuries. The twist: Darpa wants organisms “that could ultimately be programmed to live indefinitely.” Just in case, they would be equipped with a “self-destruct” option.

    But the self-destruct function, which should destroy the cells at a predetermined time or when they left their intended environment, has rarely been tested outside of a lab. There’s no way to limit a cell’s interaction with other cells or with its environment. There’s no guarantee that the cells won’t mutate or replicate incorrectly

  • The “rice” is made by mixing potatoes, sweet potatoes and plastic. The potatoes are first formed into the shape of rice grains. Industrial synthetic resins are then added to the mix. The rice reportedly stays hard even after being cooked.

    The Korean-language Weekly Hong Kong reported that the fake rice is being sold in the Chinese town of Taiyuan, in Shaanxi province.

    “A Chinese Restaurant Association official said that eating three bowls of this fake rice would be like eating one plastic bag. Due to the seriousness of the matter, he added that there would be an investigation of factories alleged to be producing the rice,” Very Vietnam noted.

  • “For ten months now I have been writing to ask you to make a public statement denouncing the actions of the Church of Scientology of San Diego,” Haggis wrote. Before the 2008 elections, a staff member at Scientology’s San Diego church had signed its name to an online petition supporting Proposition 8, which asserted that the State of California should sanction marriage only “between a man and a woman.” The proposition passed. As Haggis saw it, the San Diego church’s “public sponsorship of Proposition 8, which succeeded in taking away the civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens of California—rights that were granted them by the Supreme Court of our state—is a stain on the integrity of our organization and a stain on us personally. Our public association with that hate-filled legislation shames us.” Haggis wrote, “Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent.” He concluded, “I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Scientology.”
  • The polar opposite of Made Of Iron, this trope manifests when the human body is represented as being much flimsier and more easily dismembered than it really is, or when its internal structures are depicted as a mass of bloody, spongy goo, with no sign of supporting bones or recognizable organs.

    Heads and limbs may be instantly, cleanly severed on contact with anything resembling a bladed weapon or sharp-edged object. A bleeding wound will create a spray of so much High Pressure Blood the victim ends up Overdrawn At The Blood Bank. Accidental contact with a pointed object leads to out-the-other-side impalement. Bones snap like twigs, contact with fire burns a body to a charred skeleton within moments, or at worst the entire body is simply splattered by whatever force hits it like an overripe tomato.

  • The FBI is investigating the Church of Scientology over allegations of human trafficking, it is claimed.

    Federal investigators have been interviewing former members of the controversial organisation, which counts Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its followers, over allegations of enslavement and violent treatment.

    According to the New Yorker magazine, the FBI is also investigating allegations surrounding David Miscavige – the group’s leader and the best man at Cruise’s wedding – who has been accused of repeatedly hitting youngsters.

  • Almost 200 people from 15 countries have visited the International Space Station, but the orbiting complex has so far only ever had human crew members – until now.

    Robonaut 2, the latest generation of the Robonaut astronaut helpers, is set to launch to the space station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission. It will be the first humanoid robot in space, and although its primary job for now is teaching engineers how dexterous robots behave in space, the hope is that through upgrades and advancements, it could one day venture outside the station to help spacewalkers make repairs or additions to the station or perform scientific work.

  • The Internet remains one of the most powerful means ever created to give voice to repressed people around the world.
    But as Peter Ekerskey reports in the Pacific Free Press, new technologies have also given authoritarian regimes new means to identify and retaliate against those who speak out despite censorship and surveillance.

    To try and even the playing field and he has offered a some useful tips to netizens in places like China, Vietnam, Burma and other groups in RFA’s audience on how to stay safe and how they can be helped from the outside.

    Below are six basic ideas for those attempting to speak without falling victim to authoritarian surveillance and censorship, and four ideas for the rest of us who want to help support them.

  • Arrest warrants were issued for 9 Florida women Monday, following an all-girl brawl at a local convenience store that left several of the women nude or partially nude when the girls began pulling at each other’s hair and clothing.

    According to the Ocala Police department, tempers were heated when two groups of women got into a confrontation at the Club Zanzabar nightclub on December 30. When the women crossed paths again later that night at a RaceTrac gas station, a full-out brawl erupted in the store’s parking lot.

    The ensuing fracas left several women nude or partially nude. Other women were bruised, scratched and/or had hair extensions pulled out.

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Eat The Rich

  • “[Diddy] went through Kim Porter and Rodney King and knocked down the WTC and then they all came and knocked my children down… He date raped me 24 years ago and knocked me down him and Kim Porter and Wallace Wright, then Sean Combs and Kim and Wallace Wright came back 18 years later and raped and sexually abused my children and knocked my children down and crushed me and my children daily.”
  • The shooting prompted the largest area lock-down in history. Hundreds of officers from local, state and federal agencies vainly combed a seven-mile area looking for an armed gunman in his 40s with a long, gray pony tail. Helicopters, SWAT teams and K9 units were deployed.

    Children from nine schools remained locked in their classrooms for seven hours, unable to get access to restrooms or food out of fears that the suspect would enter a campus and create a hostage situation.

  • In the cases announced Tuesday, officials said the alleged straw buyers managed to acquire the weapons — and pass federal background checks — without raising red flags despite the fact that in some cases they plunked down large sums of cash for multiple purchases of assault rifles. In one case, officials said, seven individuals spent $104,251 in cash at various Phoenix-area firearms dealers to acquire 140 firearms.
  • The FBI yesterday executed 40 search warrants around the US to gather evidence on the Anonymous distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in defense of WikiLeaks last year—attacks which targeted Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, and Amazon. And when the FBI comes a-knockin’, the whole house starts a rockin’.

    Ars has seen posts from a private forum in which several targets of the FBI raids offer brief descriptions of the experience, along with the occasional photo of a beaten-in front door. We cannot guarantee the authenticity of these accounts, though we believe them to be genuine.

  • A few young Germans have the world’s biggest record companies at their knees. After hacking into the computers of famous recording artists and their managers, they have placed unreleased songs by the likes of Lady Gaga and Shakira on the Internet. Two have been caught, but the others are still at work.
  • A 13-year-old Norwegian boy avoided being attacked by wolves by playing a heavy metal song on his mobile phone, the Zvuki.ru music web portal reported on Thursday.

    The incident took place in the central Norwegian municipality of Rakkestad. Four wolves, who appeared before the boy when he was returning home from school, were scared away by the noise coming from the boy’s mobile phone, the Russian website said.

    The song that saved the boy’s life was by thrash metal band Megadeth.

  • Flame On!
  • In October, the Chicago Police Department’s new crime-forecasting unit was analyzing 911 calls for service and produced an intelligence report predicting a shooting would happen soon on a particular block on the South Side.

    Three minutes later, it did, police officials say.

    That got police Supt. Jody Weis thinking.

    He wondered if the department could produce intelligence reports even quicker. Next time, officers might have an hour’s notice before a shooting — instead of just a few minutes.

    The solution: Weis is now consolidating the department’s various intelligence-gathering units under his direct command to improve the flow of information.

  • When the man walked out of the Capital One bank branch in a Washington suburb, he was holding a gun to the bank teller’s head and was using her as a shield. The suspect also had a fake bomb taped to his body, police said.
    Officers were already outside the bank as the suspect walked out, and the confrontation unfolded on television with a helicopter camera hovering overhead.

    Video shows him backing away from police with the woman when the suspect tripped over a pile of snow from Wednesday’s storm. The woman ran away from the suspect toward police and held her hands up to cover her ears.

    Gunfire erupted shortly afterward. Takoma Park Police Chief Ronald Ricucci said the suspect was killed.

  • In a letter sent Monday, Consumer Watchdog asked Representative Darrell Issa, the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to investigate the relationship between Google and several government agencies.

    The group asked Issa to investigate contracts at several U.S. agencies for Google technology and services, the “secretive” relationship between Google and the U.S. National Security Agency, and the company’s use of a U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration airfield in California.

    Federal agencies have also taken “insufficient” action in response to revelations last year that Google Street View cars were collecting data from open Wi-Fi connections they passed, Consumer Watchdog said in the letter.

  • What institutions can you trust these days with your donations? The Associated Press reported today that the $21.7 billion Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a fraud where at least two-thirds of the funds were “pocketed,” and donated medicines were sold on the black market for profit.

    The prestigious development fund is backed by celebrities like Bono, politicians like French president Sarkozy, and a cool $150 million from Bill and Melinda Gates. The AP wrote, “The fund has been a darling of the power set that will hold the World Economic Forum in the Swiss mountain village of Davos this week.”

  • The 2008 financial crisis was an “avoidable” disaster caused by widespread failures in government regulation, corporate mismanagement and heedless risk-taking by Wall Street, according to the conclusions of a federal inquiry.
    The commission that investigated the crisis casts a wide net of blame, faulting two administrations, the Federal Reserve and other regulators for permitting a calamitous concoction: shoddy mortgage lending, the excessive packaging and sale of loans to investors and risky bets on securities backed by the loans.
  • An outstanding discussion, primer and visual lesson on toxic assets, failed banks, the Federal Reserve, HR 1207, auditing the Fed, and the cost to taxpayers.
  • Very interesting story, and not without ramifications for other states.

    Walter Keane poses for a portrait at his office. Keane filed and recently won a lawsuit that resulted in several homeowners in Utah getting title to their property, even if they owed the full mortgage, all because of chaos introduced into the nation’s property recording system by MERS.

    The attorney for another man in Draper, Utah, says he has won two other cases this way, and another attorney in Utah got a default judgment giving title to borrowers who owed $417,000 on a home.

    Utah Professor Chris Peterson weighs in on the significance of the rulings.

  • Protests inspired by the revolt in Tunisia have dominoed along Egypt, Yemen and Algeria. Some have drawn comparisons to the colour revolutions seen in post-Soviet countries. To discuss this RT talks to William Engdahl – author of the book ‘Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the new world order.’
  • The American Embassy in Cairo helped a young dissident attend a US-sponsored summit for activists in New York, while working to keep his identity secret from Egyptian state police.

    On his return to Cairo in December 2008, the activist told US diplomats that an alliance of opposition groups had drawn up a plan to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak and install a democratic government in 2011.

  • Assuming someone in high places has an Internet kill switch, shutting down just the international connections would require a lot of manual work, or the preexistence of an infrastructure that can make this happen automatically through management protocols. Of course such a system would never be triggered by accident or by a disgruntled employee.

    The old story that the Internet was built as a military network to withstand nuclear attacks is pretty much an urban legend, but despite that, it’s surprisingly hard to kill. It can be done, however, if you’re a government and you try really, really hard.

  • Says Crowley: “We respect what Egypt contributes to the region, it is a stabilizing force, it has made its own peace with Israel, and is pursuing normal relations with Israel, we think that’s important, we think that’s a model that the region should adopt broadly speaking. at the same time, we recognize that Egypt, Tunisia other countries do need to reform, they do need to respond to the needs of their people, and we encourage that reform and are contributing across the region to that reform.”

    Rattansi: [paraphrased] but if Egypt can’t guarantee stability, what’s the point of all your financial support.

    Crowley: “We rely on Egypt as an ally to be a stabilizing force in the region… that has benefits across the region.”

    Rattansi: “Democracy would be destabilizing to the region generally, wouldn’t it?”

  • For the first time in human history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive… The resulting global political activism is generating a surge in the quest for personal dignity, cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world painfully scarred by memories of centuries-long alien colonial or imperial domination… The worldwide yearning for human dignity is the central challenge inherent in the phenomenon of global political awakening… That awakening is socially massive and politically radicalizing… The nearly universal access to radio, television and increasingly the Internet is creating a community of shared perceptions and envy that can be galvanized and channeled by demagogic political or religious passions. These energies transcend sovereign borders and pose a challenge both to existing states as well as to the existing global hierarchy, on top of which America still perches…
  • You’ve seen them.Perhaps left in a phone booth, Laundromat, or other public place. Maybe a Fundamentalist coworker or a street evangelist gave one to you. Perhaps a child gave one to your child at school. They have titles such as Are Roman Catholics Christian?, The Death Cookie, and Why Is Mary Crying? They are Chick tracts—tiny cartoon booklets produced by Jack T. Chick (“J.T.C.”) and his publishing house, Chick Publications.

    You’ve seen them . . . but have you read one? Do so, and you step into the nightmarish world of Jack T. Chick.

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