View Full Version : Amesj's Odditorium

Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [11] 12 13 14 15

05-10-2011, 01:35 PM

How Water Shapes DNA

Water molecules surround the genetic material DNA in a very specific way. Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have discovered that, on the one hand, the texture of this hydration shell depends on the water content and, on the other hand, actually influences the structure of the genetic substance itself. These findings are not only important in understanding the biological function of DNA; they could also be used for the construction of new DNA-based materials.

The DNA's double helix never occurs in isolation; instead, its entire surface is always covered by water molecules which attach themselves with the help of hydrogen bonds. But the DNA does not bind all molecules the same way.

"We've been able to verify that some of the water is bound stronger whereas other molecules are less so," notes Dr. Karim Fahmy, Head of the Biophysics Division at the Institute of Radiochemistry. This is, however, only true if the water content is low. When the water sheath swells, these differences are adjusted and all hydrogen bonds become equally strong. This, in turn, changes the geometry of the DNA strand: The backbone of the double helix, which consists of sugar and phosphate groups, bends slightly. "The precise DNA structure depends on the specific amount of water surrounding the molecule," summarizes Dr. Fahmy.

***Cont'd @ Source

05-10-2011, 01:38 PM

Dog opens four doors to get into basement and sit in bath full of cold water as huge blaze destroys house

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1382365/Dog-opens-doors-sit-bath-cold-water-huge-blaze-destroys-house.html#ixzz1LypUht11

A home was destroyed in a blaze that firefighters took six hours to get under control, but Mia the family's dog miraculously survived the ordeal.

The one-year-old Belgian Malinois had to open four doors to get down to the basement to hide in a bathtub filled with cold water.

Firefighters in Greenville, South Carolina, were amazed to find her uninjured Thursday.

05-10-2011, 01:48 PM
Some golden quotes from Terence Mckenna
from Dedroidify by R
So you know what we have to do is stop looking for leadership from the top, because the least among us make their way into those positions of power, I mean you can see that now, those guys are not fit to throw guts down to a bear, any of them.
So what we have to do is knock off this fantasy of being citizens inside a democratic state, I mean, what we are, are the propagandized masses inside a fascist dictatorship, and what people have to do is begin to form affinity groups, get their own ship together, get their own goals defined, and then move out into it and do it, it's not gonna come from the policy council of the republic or democratic party, that's just silly to think that.

The mushroom said to me once, it said: "If you don't have a plan, you become part of somebody else's plan. Because there are only planners and plannees. So what do you wanna do?"

I once said to the mushroom, why me? Why are you telling me all this stuff? And it without hesitation, it said: because you don't believe anything, you don't believe anything." Belief makes it impossible to believe the opposite proposition, and that means you just truncated your freedom. No matter how noble the belief you have taken on. You have just rejected and limited your ability to believe other things.

My favorite story in the gospels, and this shows you how ... I am, my favorite story in the gospels, is the story of the apostel Thomas. Because you will recall that after the crucifixion - this is a good place to end, this is an alchemical story - after the crucifixion Christ appeared to the apostels in the upper room in Jerusalem, 40 days after, and Thomas was not there. I don't know where he was, somewhere, they sent him out for sandwiches or something. Anyway he came back, and they said "the master was with us" and he said "come oooon you guys," he said, "you been smoking too much red lab we brought in 3 weeks ago," and they said "no no the master was with us," and he said, "unless I put my hand into the wound, I will not believe it."
So then time passed, and then Christ came again to the apostels, and Thomas was among them on this second get go, and Christ walked in and kicked off his overshoes and looked around the room, and he said "Thomas, come forward, put your hand into the wound," which he did, which he did.
Now, people have different interpretations of this story, my interpretation of it ... is that alone among all human beings, in all of human history, only one person was ever so priviliged as to be allowed to touch the resurrected body, it was Thomas the Doubter, who was allowed to touch the resurrection body because he didn't believe, and so if you want to touch the resurrection body, be very careful with where you commit your belief, keep your eyes open, stay smart, take it easy...

(PS, thanks Baja...) :)

05-10-2011, 01:53 PM

National Geographic’s Taboo looks at phenomenon of people who choose to live their lives as “adult babies”. Is it a metaphor for the “nanny state” we live in? A retreat from the pressures of modern life? Or just the most disturbing subculture to ever emerge in history? (Scandinavian black metal has nothing on adult infantilism.) Warning: this cannot be unseen.


05-11-2011, 08:59 AM
It was pretty much known about since last night, but Microsoft and Skype have now obliterated any lingering doubt in the matter: the Redmond-based software giant will acquire the internet telephony company for a cool $8.5 billion in cash. Xbox and Kinect support are explicitly mentioned in the announcement of this definitive agreement, as is Windows Phone integration -- both the gaming and mobile aspects being presumably key incentives for Microsoft to acquire Skype. Importantly, this purchase shouldn't affect Skypers outside of the Microsoft ecosystem, as Steve Ballmer's team promises to continue "to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms." Skype was first sold for a relative bargain at $2.5b to eBay in 2005, who in turn sold most of it off to Silver Lake in 2009 at an overall valuation of $2.75b, and now Redmond is concluding proceedings by tripling those earlier prices and offering Skype a permanent home. A new Microsoft Skype Division will now be opened up to accommodate the newcomers, with current Skype CEO Tony Bates becoming president of that operation and reporting directly to Ballmer. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year and you can read Microskype's full announcement after the break.

Update: Microsoft has just disclosed a couple more details about the deal. It was signed last night, May 9th, though the price was finalized on April 18th. You can follow a live stream of Steve Ballmer and Tony Bates' presentation right here.


Microsoft's acquisition of Skype for $8.5 billion becomes official
from Engadget by Vlad Savov

05-11-2011, 09:01 AM

Acts of Mild Subversion
How to Beat High Airfares

When a US city's airport is controlled by a single airline, that city becomes disproportionately expensive to fly into -- the airline has no competition. But you can often get a bargain by booking a ticket that has a layover in that city and then abandoning the second leg of your trip. For example, to fly from Des Moines to Dallas costs $375; flying Des Moines to LA via Dallas costs $186 -- all you need to do is get off the plane in Dallas with your carryon-only bag. Airlines' terms of service prohibit this, but their only remedy if you get caught is to bar you from flying with them anymore.


1. Look to employ the switcheroo when your final destination is at a hub airport dominated by just one or two carriers, like Atlanta, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Charlotte, Detroit, Cincinnati or Chicago O'Hare, all of which have overpriced tickets.

2. When you're traveling to one of those cities, you should search for phantom flights into airports that are more competitive -- New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Boston are good examples. Search engines like Kayak.com will allow you to select your routing through your desired layover airport.

3. Book your itinerary as a set of two one-way flights, rather than as a round trip. If you miss any segment of your itinerary, the airline will usually cancel the rest of it.

05-11-2011, 09:23 AM

05-11-2011, 09:27 AM

Shale gas drilling operations increase the risk of nearby drinking water becoming contaminated with methane, a study has suggested.

Researchers found, on average, methane concentrations 17 times above normal in samples taken near drilling sites.

Growing demand for energy has led to a sharp increase in shale gas extraction around the globe, prompting concerns about the impact of the technology.

The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"We found surprising levels of methane in home-owners' wells that were close to natural gas wells, " co-author Rob Jackson, Nicholas Professor of Global Change at Duke University, North Carolina, explained.

"We found that within a kilometre of an active gas well, you were much more likely to have high methane concentrations," he told BBC News.

The team from Duke University collected samples from 68 private water wells in the north-eastern states of Pennsylvania and New York.

05-11-2011, 09:29 AM

The formula of life

Ian Stewart

Published 27 April 2011

Print version
Email a friend

Biology is undergoing a renaissance as scientists apply mathematical ideas to old theory. Welcome to the discipline of biomathematics, with its visions of spherical cows, football-shaped viruses and equations that can predict the pattern of a zebra’s stripes.

05-11-2011, 09:33 AM

Crocodile God Temple Featured Croc Nursery

05-11-2011, 09:33 AM

In Egyptian mythology, Renenutet (also transliterated as Ernutet, and Renenet) was the anthropomorphic deification of the act of gaining a true name, an aspect of the soul, during birth. Her name simply meaning, (she who) gives Ren, with Ren being the Egyptian word for this true name[dubious – discuss]. Indeed, it was said that newborns had Renenutet upon their shoulder from their first day, and she was referred to as (she who) rears, and Lady of the robes (referring to birth-robes). Initially, her cult was centered in Terenuthis.

Her name also could be interpreted in an alternate way, as renen-utet, rather than ren-nutet, consequently having the more esoteric meaning - nourishment snake. As a nourishment snake, Renenutet was envisioned, particularly in art, as a cobra, or as a woman with the head of a cobra. Snakes are another animal without sexual dimorphism and seeming only to be female to the Ancient Egyptians so there was only a goddess. This secondary meaning also led to her being considered the source of nourishment, thus a goddess of the harvest; gaining titles such as Lady of granaries, and Lady of fertile fields. The importance of the harvest caused people to make many offerings to Renenutet during harvest time, leading to her being seen as a goddess of riches and good fortune.

Sometimes, as the goddess of nourishment, Renenutet was seen as having a husband, Sobek. He was represented as the Nile River, the annual flooding of which deposited the fertile silt that enabled abundant harvests. However, more usually, Renenutet was seen as the mother of Nehebkau, who was the deification of another important change concerning parts of the soul - the binding of Ka and Ba, who occasionally was represented as a snake also. When considered the mother of Nehebkau, Renenutet was seen as having a husband, Geb, who represented the Earth, since it was from the ground that snakes appear to arise.

Later, as a snake-goddess worshiped over the whole of Lower Egypt, Renenutet was increasingly confused with Wadjet, Lower Egypt's powerful protector and another snake goddess represented as a cobra. Eventually Renenutet was identified as an alternate form of Wadjet, whose gaze was said to slaughter enemies. Wadjet is the cobra on the crown of the pharaohs.

The Hymn of Renenutet says:

I will make the Nile swell for you,
without there being a year of lack and exhaustion in the whole land,
so the plants will flourish, bending under their fruit.
The land of Egypt is beginning to stir again,
the shores are shining wonderfully,
and wealth and well-being dwell with them,
as it had been before.

05-11-2011, 09:35 AM

Sobek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sobek)

Gradually, Sobek also came to symbolize the produce of the Nile and the fertility that it brought to the land; its status thus became more ambiguous.[2] Sometimes the ferocity of a crocodiles was seen in a positive light, Sobek in these circumstances was considered the army's patron, as a representation of strength and power.

In Egyptian art, Sobek was depicted as an ordinary crocodile, or as a man with the head of a crocodile. When considered a patron of the pharaoh's army, he was shown with the symbol of royal authority - the uraeus. He was also shown with an ankh, representing his ability to undo evil and so cure ills. Once he had become Sobek-Ra, he was also shown with a sun-disc over his head, as Ra was a sun god.

In other myths, which appeared extremely late in ancient Egyptian history, Sobek was credited for catching the Four sons of Horus in a net as they emerged from the waters of the Nile in a lotus blossom. This motif derives from the birth of Ra in the Ogdoad cosmogony, and the idea that as a crocodile, Sobek is the best suited to collecting items upon the Nile.

05-11-2011, 09:39 AM

So this girl comes over and asks you to dance
She’s a warm refugee from the cold middle class
And you wanna take her home and sing her
All your love songs
But you feel so awkward and stupid and lame
That you can’t even manage to spit out your name
And she walks away disappointed
And you walk away with your heart on

With your heart on your sleeve
‘Cause you’d love to believe
That in love it is better
To give than receive
That someone’s waiting for you in the night
Yeah, you’d love to believe that forever and ever
Is not just some poet being clever
That everything will all work out alright

At least sometimes

So you stumble back to your sad little room
And your roommate laughs, ’cause you’re home so soon
And you crumble in about a thousand little ways
And you watch all the movies on late night TV
About people in places you’d rather be
Falling for each other
As the soaring music plays

And nobody goes for the kiss too soon
And everything’s lit by the glow of the moon
And when he calls
She answers the phone
And nothing ever ends in regret
For the words that were spoken
Or weren’t spoken yet
And nobody ever
Ends up alone

At least sometimes

So this girl comes over and tries to be cool
But she’s stumbling over her words like a fool
And you slowly realize,
And you start to smile…

05-11-2011, 09:44 AM
I'm really enthralled with the Dogman stories from MI:


05-11-2011, 09:51 AM

Morgellons: A Hidden Epidemic Or Mass Hysteria?


Is Morgellons disease from out of this world or all in our heads? Will Storr from the Guardian writes:

It all started in August 2007, on a family holiday in New England. Paul had been watching Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix with his wife and two sons, and he had started to itch. His legs, his arms, his torso – it was everywhere. It must be fleas in the seat, he decided.

But the 55-year-old IT executive from Birmingham has been itching ever since, and the mystery of what is wrong with him has only deepened. When Paul rubbed his fingertips over the pimples that dotted his skin, he felt spines. Weird, alien things, like splinters. Then, in 2008, his wife was soothing his back with surgical spirit when the cotton swab she was using gathered a curious blue-black haze from his skin. Paul went out, bought a £40 microscope and examined the cotton. What were those curling, coloured fibres? He Googled the words: “Fibres. Itch. Sting. Skin.” And there was his answer. It must be: all the symptoms fitted. He had a new disease called morgellons. The fibres were the product of mysterious creatures that burrow and breed in the body. As he read on, he had no idea that morgellons would turn out to be the worst kind of answer imaginable.

[Continues at The Guardian]

05-11-2011, 09:56 AM

05-11-2011, 09:59 AM
What Does Your Boss Do All Day?
from mental_floss Blog by Brett Savage
2 people liked this

In a classic episode of The Office, Jan tasks Pam with documenting in detail what, exactly, Michael does with his time at work. Pam begins compiling a time-use diary. Michael, oblivious to the assignment, casually resists Pam’s subtle suggestions to perform his typical duties, and the time log ultimately includes such inane activities as Michael doing his Bill Cosby impression, and standing in line for a free pretzel in the lobby.

This intriguing subplot raises the question—”What do bosses do with their time?”

Harvard Business School researchers adopted a similar approach for a working paper, asking the chief executives of 94 Italian companies to have their assistants record their activities. The results give us some idea of how top tier executives manage their time. Here are some interesting findings:

• The executives worked 48 hours per week and spend 60% of their time in meetings

• Bosses complain about getting bogged down in day-to-day operations (“small picture stuff” in The Office)

• Bosses spend only about 3-4% of their time thinking about long-term strategy

• Bill Gates took regular “think weeks” to contemplate his company’s future

• The more time spent with employees of the firm, rather than outsiders, correlates to higher profits

Read the full article at The Economist. Or, you can read the source material here (opens PDF).




05-11-2011, 10:02 AM

Jennifer Abbasi writes in Popular Science:

Back in 2002, psychologists at the State University of New York at Albany published a study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior looking at the potential role of semen in alleviating depression in women. The researchers presented evidence supporting an earlier hypothesis that the hormones in semen have a mood-boosting effect on women. For any woman who has had sex — and enjoyed it — this may not come as a huge surprise.

Cut to this past February. Lazar Greenfield, the incoming president of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), wrote a short Valentine’s Day-themed editorial about mating in Surgery News. In it, he discussed the sex lives of fruit flies, rotifers and humans. He cited the SUNY Albany study before concluding: “So there’s a deeper bond between men and women than St. Valentine would have suspected, and now we know there’s a better gift for that day than chocolates.” That gift, of course, being semen.

Greenfield’s editorial sparked a controversy among ACS members, many of whom felt it was blatantly sexist. In response to the flap, Greenfield — a highly respected retired professor at the University of Michigan with a reputation for supporting women in surgery — apologized and stepped down from his post as editor of Surgery News; two weeks ago, as the controversy continued, he also resigned from his position at the College. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press Greenfield said, “The editorial was a review of what I thought was some fascinating new findings related to semen, and the way in which nature is trying to promote a stronger bond between men and women.”

Setting aside the unfortunate politics of this story, I decided to look into the science behind “Semengate” for my first Sex Files column. Could the stuff in semen actually be nature’s own antidepressant?

For more information, see original article.

05-11-2011, 10:04 AM

05-11-2011, 12:31 PM

If you follow an exacting script and keep careful records, you can apparently sue sloppy telemarketers (or their clients) for $500 each, and get free merchandise in the bargain. America's telemarketing laws seem tough on marketers, but they're structured in such a way as to make the process as difficult as possible for people who don't want to get phonespam. But if you are careful, you can get $500 every time a telemarketer calls you twice after being told to add you to its do-not-call list. They get to call you once without incurring this penalty, but apparently, you get to keep anything you order on the second call for free without paying for it, since "future calls will be a violation of an act of the U.S. Congress, any contract directly resulting from an illegal act is not enforceable. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) offers no 'grace period.'"

I'm not a lawyer, and I don't know if the author of the article is. It's presented in Comic Sans, so caveat emptor and all that.

May I have your company's name, address and telephone number? If you are calling on behalf of a client, may I have the name, address and telephone number of your company, as well as the name, address and telephone number of the company that you are calling on behalf of?

Put me on your "Do Not Call List". You are hereby ordered to share my "Do Not Call Request" with your affiliates, associates, and related entities. If you are a third-party service bureau (telemarketing company), put me on your company's "Do Not Call List" as well as your client's "Do Not Call List".

Send me a copy of your "Do Not Call Policy". If you are a third party telemarketing service bureau, send me your company's "Do Not Call Policy" as well as your client's "Do Not Call Policy".

If you call me again, I will use your product or service and not pay for it. My denial of payment will be based on the fact that your future calls are a violation of an act of Congress, and any contract that is entered into as a direct result of an illegal act is unenforceable.

Do you understand what I have just told you?

Will you comply with my requests?

05-11-2011, 02:08 PM
Practice makes perfect:


How to tell when someone’s lying
May 11, 2011 by Editor

Professor of psychology R. Edward Geiselman at the University of California, Los Angeles, has been studying for years how to effectively detect deception to ensure public safety, particularly in the wake of renewed threats against the U.S. following the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Geiselman and his colleagues have identified several indicators that a person is being deceptive. The more reliable red flags that indicate deceit, Geiselman said, include:

When questioned, deceptive people generally want to say as little as possible. Geiselman initially thought they would tell an elaborate story, but the vast majority give only the bare-bones. Studies with college students, as well as prisoners, show this. Geiselman’s investigative interviewing techniques are designed to get people to talk.
Although deceptive people do not say much, they tend to spontaneously give a justification for what little they are saying, without being prompted.
They tend to repeat questions before answering them, perhaps to give themselves time to concoct an answer.
They often monitor the listener’s reaction to what they are saying. “They try to read you to see if you are buying their story,” Geiselman said.
They often initially slow down their speech because they have to create their story and monitor your reaction, and when they have it straight “will spew it out faster,” Geiselman said. Truthful people are not bothered if they speak slowly, but deceptive people often think slowing their speech down may look suspicious. “Truthful people will not dramatically alter their speech rate within a single sentence,” he said.
They tend to use sentence fragments more frequently than truthful people; often, they will start an answer, back up and not complete the sentence.
They are more likely to press their lips when asked a sensitive question and are more likely to play with their hair or engage in other “grooming” behaviors. Gesturing toward one’s self with the hands tends to be a sign of deception; gesturing outwardly is not.
Truthful people, if challenged about details, will often deny that they are lying and explain even more, while deceptive people generally will not provide more specifics.
When asked a difficult question, truthful people will often look away because the question requires concentration, while dishonest people will look away only briefly, if at all, unless it is a question that should require intense concentration.

If dishonest people try to mask these normal reactions to lying, they would be even more obvious, Geiselman said. Among the techniques he teaches to enable detectives to tell the truth from lies are:

Have people tell their story backwards, starting at the end and systematically working their way back. Instruct them to be as complete and detailed as they can. This technique, part of a “cognitive interview” Geiselman co-developed with Ronald Fisher, a former UCLA psychologist now at Florida International University, “increases the cognitive load to push them over the edge.” A deceptive person, even a “professional liar,” is “under a heavy cognitive load” as he tries to stick to his story while monitoring your reaction.
Ask open-ended questions to get them to provide as many details and as much complete information as possible (“Can you tell me more about…?” “Tell me exactly…”). First ask general questions, and only then get more specific.
Don’t interrupt, let them talk and use silent pauses to encourage them to talk.

05-11-2011, 02:15 PM

KANSAS CITY, Missouri— A photo of two Transportation Security Administration agents doing a full pat down on a baby, approximately 8 months old, has gone viral.

It happened at the Kansas City International Airport.

A passenger, Jacob Jester, captured the image on his cell phone. Since he tweeted the picture on Saturday, it has had more than 200,000 hits.

The photo shows the helpless baby being held up in the air by his mother while the TSA workers do their job. Jester has an 8-month-old son and would not want his son to be subjected to a hand search by TSA agents.

05-11-2011, 02:29 PM

According to a Boston Consulting Group report, the US is in for a manufacturing renaissance, thanks to plummeting wages and toothless labor protection policies in the American south. These factors, combined with the rising value of the Chinese RMB, rising wages in China and government handouts for corporations who locate in the USA make it more profitable to pay sub-starvation wages in America than in China.

But will American workers be willing to sign pledges promising not to commit suicide (http://www.boingboing.net/2011/05/05/foxconn-workers-forc.html)?

With Chinese wages rising at about 17 percent per year and the value of the yuan continuing to increase, the gap between U.S. and Chinese wages is narrowing rapidly. Meanwhile, flexible work rules and a host of government incentives are making many states--including Mississippi, South Carolina, and Alabama--increasingly competitive as low-cost bases for supplying the U.S. market...

"Workers and unions are more willing to accept concessions to bring jobs back to the U.S.," noted Michael Zinser, a BCG partner who leads the firm's manufacturing work in the Americas. "Support from state and local governments can tip the balance."

Reinvestment During the Next Five Years Could Usher in a 'Manufacturing Renaissance' as the U.S. Becomes a Low-Cost Country Among Developed Nations, According to Analysis by The Boston Consulting Group (http://www.bcg.com/media/pressreleasedetails.aspx?id=tcm:12-75973)

05-12-2011, 01:00 PM

05-12-2011, 01:24 PM


“Why is its important to have a Facebook profile? They are going to start using that to determine what your credit worthiness is.”

The tin-foil-hatted nuts at BusinessWeek explain (http://www.businessweek.com/print/technology/content/mar2011/tc20110330_626552.htm) how and why Facebook will become the largest bank in the United States. (Perhaps most disturbing is the thought of a universal currency called ‘the zuckerberg’.)

Becoming a financial powerhouse would help Facebook avoid the fate of many once-popular networks. AOL, Friendster, Second Life, and MySpace all dreamed of growing forever, too. To survive, Facebook must become more than glorified e-mail. Sharing photos and gossip with friends might make Facebook hard to leave. But upload your checking account and Facebook may just be forever.

Nongamers may have missed Facebook’s clever foray into the world of “virtual currency,” where Facebook Credits cost 10 cents each and can be exchanged for game points or cartoony gifts. Those dimes are adding up—the U.S. market for virtual goods will reach $2.1 billion in 2011. Facebook’s currency, while just part of that market, is getting real. You can now purchase gift cards for Facebook Credits at Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy.

So why couldn’t Facebook use them as real currency, too? In fact, why couldn’t Facebook become your bank?

Facebook today both owns the Web—where 500 million-plus users now spend more time there than on any other site—and is a dominant app on smartphones. Beyond this customer base, Facebook has embedded “Like” buttons on almost every major website, becoming the only real product praise utility. Facebook has persuaded large retailers to build sites, called Facebook Pages, within its platform. Facebook already has a currency, its Credits. And Facebook recently expanded its monetary systems with Facebook Payments, purportedly for paying app developers. But the incorporation documents state that Payments is “organized for the purpose of transacting any or all lawful business.” Hmmm.

If only one of every five Facebook users adopted Credits to buy things, Facebook would be as big as PayPal. And once Facebook makes us comfortable with Credits, it could then transition to a “traditional” global bank, storing your financial assets like gem points in Bejeweled Blitz.

More than a billion-dollar prize, the finance industry would also be a brilliant defensive move for Facebook. The company’s main challenge is that it may be overvalued, based on investors hoping for future growth, while current revenue models do not scale exponentially.

05-12-2011, 01:34 PM


05-12-2011, 01:38 PM

It seems like Geoffrey the Giraffe has eco-sensibilities — Toys “R” Us has just announced that it will team up with Constellation Energy Group Inc. (CEG) to build the largest U.S. rooftop solar-energy project at a company distribution center in New Jersey. The mega-solar roof will boast 37,000 solar panels creating an epic 5.38-megawatt project. According to a statement from Toys “R” Us released today, the system is expected to meet about 72 percent of the Flanders-based center’s power needs.

05-12-2011, 01:56 PM

05-12-2011, 02:14 PM

Microsoft + Skype....

05-12-2011, 02:21 PM

05-12-2011, 02:23 PM

05-12-2011, 02:24 PM

05-13-2011, 10:41 AM

05-13-2011, 10:52 AM

05-13-2011, 10:52 AM
ZEN Flowchart:


05-13-2011, 10:53 AM
Best hendrix pic ever:



05-13-2011, 11:15 AM

05-13-2011, 11:30 AM

London from an airplane window

05-13-2011, 11:32 AM

05-13-2011, 11:51 AM

05-16-2011, 07:15 AM

http://jezebel.com/5801655/brazilian-woman-wins-the-right-to-watch-porn--masturbate-at-work (Not sure if that is NSFW or not)


How do you relieve stress and anxiety when you’re on the job? Do some online window shopping? Hit up the vending machine for some chocolate? Take a smoke break? One Brazilian woman masturbates. Eighteen times a day.

Ana Catarina Bezerra, a 36-year-old accountant, has a chemical imbalance. She suffers from severe anxiety and hypersexuality. She finds that masturbating helps… for a little while. According to Guanabee, Bezerra explains: “I got so bad I would to masturbate up to forty seven-times a day. That’s when I asked for help, I knew it wasn’t normal.”

Now Bezerra has seen a doctor, and she’s medicated, so she doesn’t need to jill off as often. But she still needs to. And she had to take her employer to court in order to be allowed to masturbate during the workday. A few weeks ago she won her case, which means she can reach orgasm at work as often as she requires — and use her work computer to look at porn. And since happy employees are more productive, Bezerra is probably the best accountant in Brazil.

05-16-2011, 07:17 AM

Human lung stem cell discovered

For the first time, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have identified a human lung stem cell that is self-renewing and capable of forming and integrating multiple biological structures of the lung including bronchioles, alveoli and pulmonary vessels.

The researchers define this cell as truly "stem" because it fulfills the three categories necessary to fall under stem cell categorization: first, the cell renews itself; second, it forms into many different types of lung cells; and third, it is transmissible, meaning that after a mouse was injected with the stem cells and responded by generating new tissue, researchers were then able to isolate the stem cell in the treated mouse, and use that cell in a new mouse with the same results.

05-16-2011, 07:24 AM

At TED, Eli Pariser, author of the The Filter Bubble, talks about how:

As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our world-view. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

His point is that the web is, technologically, a fantastic system of giving the consumers of information (i.e. you) exactly what they want, when they want it. It's enabled a degree of personalization which old media could never come close to. But this isn't necessarily a good thing, because people tend to pick and choose information that fits with their existing views and interests, and filters out everything else.

The problem is not entirely new. Back in the days when everyone read their daily newspaper, the newspaper editor was your filter. And because there were maybe a dozen newspapers in your region that you could buy, you'd choose the one that best fitted with your world-view.

Indeed, in the UK, what newspaper you read says considerably more about you than what party you vote for. There are only 3 main political parties, but there are about 10 main newspapers, and in my experience people are more likely to change their vote than to change what they read.

But the internet allows people to cherry-pick far more effectively. The Guardian, for example, regularly prints articles that annoy, or at least challenge, many Guardian readers. That's inevitable, because no two people have exactly the same tastes: what one reader loves will have another reader tearing up his paper in frustration.

Nowadays, it's quite possible to get all of your news and views from blogs. Blogs are specialized: they cover a particular kind of stories, with a particular slant. Many of them do that extremely well. If you don't quite agree with a given blog, there's plenty of others with a slightly different approach to pick from. And you can pick as many blogs as you like until you've got a full set - exactly how you want it. Clearly, the potential to only find out about what you already want to hear is much greater.

New or not, it's certainly a problem. The good thing is that the internet makes it extremely easy to snap out of the filter bubble. A completely different perspective is just a click away: that's new, as well. All you need is to want to do that.

Why should you? Always reading stuff that you already agree with isn't the best way to get informed about something. Actually, it's just about the worst way to do that. If you're serious about wanting to learn the truth about something, you need to (critically) read different sources. But beyond that, it's just boring to always do the same things. There are a lot of cool things going on that you've never heard of.

Finally, if you're a blogger, remember that you're not just telling readers your opinions, you're helping them to filter out other people's. You don't have to feel bad about that, it's inevitable, but remember: if you really want to help your readers understand something, you need to tell them about the areas of disagreement.

I don't just mean linking to stupid people and then explaining why they're stupid. That's fun, but if you're serious, you need to link to the best examples of alternative views and give them a fair hearing. This is something that I feel I could do more of on this blog, and I hope to do it more in future.

05-16-2011, 07:30 AM

05-16-2011, 07:35 AM

Odeleite River, Portugal. Photo by Steve Richards (http://www.flickr.com/people/top-shot-man/).

05-17-2011, 07:33 AM
Court: No right to resist illegal cop entry into home (http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_ec169697-a19e-525f-a532-81b3df229697.html#)

INDIANAPOLIS | Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.

In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.

"We believe ... a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," David said. "We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest."

David said a person arrested following an unlawful entry by police still can be released on bail and has plenty of opportunities to protest the illegal entry through the court system.

The court's decision stems from a Vanderburgh County case in which police were called to investigate a husband and wife arguing outside their apartment.

When the couple went back inside their apartment, the husband told police they were not needed and blocked the doorway so they could not enter. When an officer entered anyway, the husband shoved the officer against a wall. A second officer then used a stun gun on the husband and arrested him.

Professor Ivan Bodensteiner, of Valparaiso University School of Law, said the court's decision is consistent with the idea of preventing violence.

"It's not surprising that they would say there's no right to beat the hell out of the officer," Bodensteiner said. "(The court is saying) we would rather opt on the side of saying if the police act wrongfully in entering your house your remedy is under law, to bring a civil action against the officer."

Justice Robert Rucker, a Gary native, and Justice Brent Dickson, a Hobart native, dissented from the ruling, saying the court's decision runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"In my view the majority sweeps with far too broad a brush by essentially telling Indiana citizens that government agents may now enter their homes illegally -- that is, without the necessity of a warrant, consent or exigent circumstances," Rucker said. "I disagree."

Rucker and Dickson suggested if the court had limited its permission for police entry to domestic violence situations they would have supported the ruling.

But Dickson said, "The wholesale abrogation of the historic right of a person to reasonably resist unlawful police entry into his dwelling is unwarranted and unnecessarily broad."

This is the second major Indiana Supreme Court ruling this week involving police entry into a home.

On Tuesday, the court said police serving a warrant may enter a home without knocking if officers decide circumstances justify it. Prior to that ruling, police serving a warrant would have to obtain a judge's permission to enter without knocking.

05-17-2011, 07:38 AM

Citizen Concepts announces the launch of PatriotAppTM, the world's first iPhone application that empowers citizens to assist government agencies in creating safer, cleaner, and more efficient communities via social networking and mobile technology. This app was founded on the belief that citizens can provide the most sophisticated and broad network of eyes and ears necessary to prevent terrorism, crime, environmental negligence, or other malicious behavior.

(See Photos Here)

Simply download, report (including pictures) and submit information to relevant government agencies, employers, or publish incident data to social network tools.

Key Features:

Integrated into Federal Agencies points of contacts
Custom integration with user employers
Fully integrated with Social Media (Facebook, Twitter)
Multiple menus and data fields
View FBI Most Wanted
Simple graphical user interface


Enable citizens to record and communicate:
National Security, Suspicious activities, Crime
Government Waste
Environmental Crime or possible violations
White collar crime
Workplace harassment, discrimination, or other violations
Public Health concerns

(See Photos of PatriotApp)

PatriotApp encourages active citizen participation in the War on Terror and in protecting their families and surrounding communities.

05-17-2011, 07:39 AM

Obama admin. claims right to censor ‘unclassified’ materials

05-17-2011, 07:47 AM

Via: Los Angeles Times:

The Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision in a Kentucky case, says police officers who loudly knock on a door in search of illegal drugs and then hear sounds suggesting evidence is being destroyed may break down the door and enter without a search warrant.

The Supreme Court on Monday gave police more leeway to break into residences in search of illegal drugs.

The justices in an 8-1 decision said officers who loudly knock on a door and then hear sounds suggesting evidence is being destroyed may break down the door and enter without a search warrant.

Residents who “attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame” when police burst in, said Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

In a lone dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she feared the ruling in a Kentucky case will give police an easy way to ignore the 4th Amendment. “Police officers may not knock, listen and then break the door down,” she said, without violating the 4th Amendment.

05-17-2011, 07:51 AM
http://www.kqed.org/news/story/2011/05/11/53698/a_new_somewhat_moldy_branch_on_the_tree_of_life?so urce=npr&category=science#

A New, Somewhat Moldy Branch On The Tree Of Life

If you think biologists have a pretty good idea about what lives on the Earth, think again. Scientists say they have just now discovered an entirely new branch on the tree of life. It's made up of mysterious microscopic organisms. They're related to fungus, but they are so different, you could argue that they deserve their very own kingdom, alongside plants and animals.

This comes as a big surprise. Just a few years ago, professor Timothy James and his colleagues sat down and wrote the definitive scientific paper to describe the fungal tree of life.

"We thought we knew what about the major groups that existed," says James, who is curator of fungus at the University of Michigan. "Many groups have excellent drawings of these fungi from the last 150 years."

Many fungi are already familiar. There are mushrooms, yeasts, molds like the one that makes penicillin, plant diseases such as rusts and smuts. Mildew in your shower is one, along with athlete's foot. There are even fungi that infect insects — as well as fungi that live on other fungi.

Biologists figure they've probably only cataloged about 10 percent of all fungal species. But they thought they at least knew all of the major groups.

Oops. A paper being published in the journal Nature says that isn't so. Thomas Richards, at the Natural History Museum in London, says biologists can mostly only study microscopic fungi if they can grow them in the lab.

"But the reality is most of the diversity of life we can't grow in a laboratory. It exists in the environment," he says.

And microscopic organisms are just about impossible to find just looking at dirt or water through a microscope. So Richards and his colleagues tried more modern means.

"About 10 years ago, people started using molecular approaches," he says. "So they started targeting the DNA in the environment, specifically."

Using those techniques, they struck pay dirt. They found novel bits of DNA — related to fungi, but clearly different from all of the known varieties — just about everywhere, "including pond water, lake water, freshwater sediments and marine sediments," Richards says. "Almost everywhere we looked we found this novel group."

They then brought samples back to the lab and devised a technique to make the organisms containing this novel DNA glow under a microscope. As a result, they've managed to get a few glimpses of these mysterious life forms, which they have named cryptomycota.

"We know they have at least three stages to their life cycle," Richards says. "One is where they attach to a host, which are photosynthetic algae. Another stage ... they form swimming tails so they can presumably find food. And [there's] another stage, which we call the cyst phase, where they go to sleep."

Now, Richards and his colleagues would like to figure out how to grow them in the lab to really get to know them.

"At the moment it's a bit too early to be sure about what role they play in the environment," he says. "But one thing we can be certain of is because they're so diverse, they're probably playing many, many different roles in many different environments."

Back at the University of Michigan, Tim James says the discovery is revolutionary. It's rocking the world of fungus phylogenetics.

"It's going to be interesting because one of the controversies is going to be, are they really fungi or not?" he says.

Because they apparently lack a protein in their cell walls that is a defining feature of fungi, you could argue that they aren't actually a member of the fungus kingdom but deserve an entire kingdom of their own. And before you get too comfortable with the idea that all of these species just hang out in ponds or sediments, James adds, "there could be some human parasites in here eventually discovered."

But fret not. Mostly, fungi are doing important things, like recycling nutrients. And most of the time, they seem to leave us alone.

05-17-2011, 07:52 AM


(PhysOrg.com) -- An international team, of scientists, led by a team at Monash University has found the key to the hydrogen economy could come from a very simple mineral, commonly seen as a black stain on rocks.

Their findings, developed with the assistance of researchers at UC Davis in the USA and using the facilities at the Australian Synchrotron, was published in the journal Nature Chemistry yesterday 15 May 2011.

Professor Leone Spiccia from the School of Chemistry at Monash University said the ultimate goal of researchers in this area is to create a cheap, efficient way to split water, powered by sunlight, which would open up production of hydrogen as a clean fuel, and leading to long-term solutions for our renewable energy crisis.

To achieve this, they have been studying complex catalysts designed to mimic the catalysts plants use to split water with sunlight. But the new study shows that there might be much simpler alternatives to hand.

“The hardest part about turning water into fuel is splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, but the team at Monash seems to have uncovered the process, developing a water-splitting cell based on a manganese-based catalyst," Professor Spiccia said.

"Birnessite, it turns out, is what does the work. Like other elements in the middle of the Periodic Table, manganese can exist in a number of what chemists call oxidation states. These correspond to the number of oxygen atoms with which a metal atom could be combined," Professor Spiccia said.

"When an electrical voltage is applied to the cell, it splits water into hydrogen and oxygen and when the researchers carefully examined the catalyst as it was working, using advanced spectroscopic methods they found that it had decomposed into a much simpler material called birnessite, well-known to geologists as a black stain on many rocks."

The manganese in the catalyst cycles between two oxidation states. First, the voltage is applied to oxidize from the manganese-II state to manganese-IV state in birnessite. Then in sunlight, birnessite goes back to the manganese-II State.

This cycling process is responsible for the oxidation of water to produce oxygen gas, protons and electrons.

Co-author on the research paper was Dr Rosalie Hocking, Research Fellow in the Australian Centre for Electromaterials Science who explained that what was interesting was the operation of the catalyst, which follows closely natures biogeochemical cycling of manganese in the oceans.

"This may provide important insights into the evolution of Nature’s water splitting catalyst found in all plants which uses manganese centres,” Dr Hocking said.

“Scientists have put huge efforts into making very complicated manganese molecules to copy plants, but it turns out that they convert to a very common material found in the Earth, a material sufficiently robust to survive tough use.”

The reaction has two steps. First, two molecules of water are oxidized to form one molecule of oxygen gas (O2), four positively-charged hydrogen nuclei (protons) and four electrons. Second, the protons and electrons combine to form two molecules of hydrogen gas (H2).

The experimental work was conducted using state-of-the art equipment at three major facilities including the Australian Synchrotron, the Australian National Beam-line Facility in Japan and the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy, and involved collaboration with Professor Bill Casey, a geochemist at UC Davis.

"The research highlights the insight obtainable from the synchrotron based spectroscopic techniques – without them the important discovery linking common earth materials to water oxidation catalysts would not have been made," Dr Hocking said.

It is hoped the research will ultimately lead to the development of cheaper devices, which produce hydrogen.

05-17-2011, 07:56 AM

Theory of Recycled Universe Called Into Question

In November, cosmologists claimed to see echoes of violent collisions that happened before the Big Bang in the form of circular patterns in the early universe’s relic radiation. But two new analyses of the same data, which are the first papers on the subject to be published in peer-reviewed journals, assert that those circles are nothing special.

“We found there was nothing strange in the [cosmic microwave background] data at all,” said astrophysicist Ingunn Wehus of the University of Oslo, coauthor of a paper published online in the Astrophysical Journal Letters May 9. The difference in their analyses, she says, is “We do it correctly, and they do not.”

The original claim, made in research published on arXiv.org by theoretical physicist Roger Penrose of the University of Oxford in England and Vahe Gurzadyan of the Yerevan Physics Institute and Yerevan State University in Armenia, made a small media splash (and was one of Wired Science’s Top Scientific Breakthroughs of 2010).

Penrose had previously championed the idea that the universe got its start well before the Big Bang, and has been cycling through an endless series of bangs for eons. As evidence for this strange claim, he and Gurzadyan pointed out funny concentric circles in the universe’s baby photos, the cosmic microwave background. The CMB shows a universe that looks more or less the same in every direction, with a nearly uniform temperature of about 3 degrees Kelvin.

But some spots are hotter or colder than others. These fluctuations, which ultimately led to the clumps of matter that make up galaxies and other cosmic structures today, are not as random as they look, Penrose and Gurzadyan claimed. Making a statistical search of the CMB revealed concentric circles where the tiny temperature variations between one spot and its neighbors are smaller than average.

Those circles are sure signs of pre-Big Bang activity, Penrose says. He suggests they were generated by collisions between supermassive black holes in an earlier eon, which gave off an intense burst of energy. The burst would radiate outward in a uniform sphere of gravitational waves, which would leave circles on the CMB when they entered the epoch we live in.

“Because they claimed this, they got a lot of media attention. Everybody was talking about this,” Wehus said. “It just seemed strange that nobody else had noticed this before. It’s a very simple thing to check. Since nobody else had checked it, we just decided to do it.”

Wehus and University of Oslo physicist Hans Eriksen redid Penrose’s analysis of data from NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), which spent nine years mapping the glow of the first atoms to release their radiation 380,000 years after the Big Bang. Another independent group led by Adam Moss of the University of British Columbia made a similar analysis, and published their results in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics April 26.

To their surprise, both groups actually saw the same circles that Penrose did. The circles are really there.

But then the skeptical researchers built thousands of random simulations of the CMB, built up from the principles of the commonly accepted standard model of cosmology. The circles showed up there too, in the same numbers.

“In our case we found that the rings are in all the simulations, so they’re just a feature of the standard model,” Wehus said. “It’s not a signature of new physics.”

Moss and colleagues even found concentric equilateral triangles in the CMB, a feature for which Penrose’s cyclic cosmology has no explanation.

“There is nothing special about the presence of low-variance circles on the sky,” Moss concludes. “If there are signals of extraordinarily early times buried in the CMB, they have not yet been found, and we will have to keep looking.”

Penrose and Gurzadyan compared their results to simulations, too, but Wehus and Moss claim they set their simulations to the wrong baseline. Wehus and Moss assumed that the average variations in the CMB were set by the laws of the standard model of cosmology; Penrose’s original paper apparently used white noise. Even an updated version of the paper, posted to arXiv on April 29, failed to hit the mark, Wehus says.

“Some way or another they screwed up their simulations,” Wehus said. “They used wrong simulations.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean the cyclic universe theory is wrong, she adds.

“We are not knocking down the idea of Penrose, of there being a cyclic universe,” she said. “We’re just saying there’s no evidence for it.”

Penrose is sticking to his story. In the most recent paper, he looks for concentric sets of three or more circles in both the WMAP data and a simulated sky. The patterns and colors for the simulated sky look random, he says, but the patterns on the actual sky do not.

“Such a pattern is consistent with [a cyclic cosmology], but hard to square with the standard inflationary view of the origin of the temperature variations,” Penrose wrote to Wired.com in an e-mail. “I think that Eriksen and Werhus may have read that part of our paper rather hastily … evidently not having understood what we were doing.”

“I suppose there may well be further argument about all this — which is to be expected, of course — and maybe we have missed something important,” he added. “But it seems to me that here is something to be taken very seriously.”

Image: 1) A map of concentric rings on the actual sky, as measured by WMAP. 2) A map of concentric rings on a simulated sky. arXiv/V.G. Gurzadyan and R. Penrose

05-17-2011, 08:11 AM
http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/neil_young_and_rick_james_garage_band_the_mynah_bi rds_1965/

Neil Young and Rick James’ garage band The Mynah Birds, 1965


In 1965, a year before hooking up with the musicians that would form Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young had a brief stint in a Canadian rock group called The Mynah Birds fronted by Rick James (yes THAT Rick James). At this point in James career he was known as Ricky James Matthew and did a stellar imitation of Mick Jagger. The Mynah Birds had a raw exciting sound that hinted at The Stones, Them, and various American garage bands. The Mynah Birds nailed a deal with Motown Records (the first white band to do so) and recorded 16 tracks in Detroit. But things turned bad.

In his Young biography, “Shakey,” Jimmy McDonough describes the scene:

The Mynah Birds—in black leather jackets, yellow turtlenecks and boots—had quite a surreal scene going. The band was financed by John Craig Eaton of the Eaton’s department-store dynasty. Legend has it he poured money into the band, establishing a bottomless account for the band’s equipment needs.

Those lucky enough to see any of the band’s few gigs say they were electrifying. ‘Neil would stop playing lead, do a harp solo, throw the harmonica way up in the air and Ricky would catch it and continue the solo.’

Unfortunately, everything screeched to a halt when James was busted in the studio for being AWOL from the navy. “We thought he was Canadian,” said Palmer. “Even though there are no Negroes in Canada.” A single, “It’s My Time,” was allegedly pulled the day of release, and the album recordings were shelved and remain unreleased to this day.”

Here’s a couple of raunchy hard-rocking tracks from the never officially released Motown Mynah Birds’ sessions. The musicians are Young and future Buffalo Springfield member Bruce Palmer and Goldy McJohn and Nick St. Nicholas who would later establish Steppenwolf with John Kay.

******VIDS @ source

05-17-2011, 08:41 AM

Mizzou Professor says nantenna solar sheet soaks up 90 percent of the sun's rays, puts sunscreen to shame

Photovoltaics suffer from gross inefficiency, despite incremental improvements in their power producing capabilities. According to research by a team led by a University of Missouri professor, however, newly developed nantenna-equipped solar sheets can reap more than 90 percent of the sun's bounty -- which is more than double the efficiency of existing solar technologies. Apparently, some "special high-speed electrical circuitry" is the secret sauce behind the solar breakthrough. Of course, the flexible film is currently a flight of fancy and won't be generating juice for the public anytime soon. The professor and his pals still need capital for commercialization, but they believe a product will be ready within five years. Take your time, guys, it's not like global warming's getting worse.


05-17-2011, 08:43 AM


If you want to get a child interested in the sciences, just let them loose with a microscope. Proper stage microscopes can be pricey, however, and are somewhat tricky for youngsters to use. Fortunately, there are options like the Zoomy Handheld Digital Microscope – it's a simple device that plugs into the USB port of a PC or Mac, then feeds through illuminated, magnified images of whatever it's placed over... Continue Reading Zoomy lets kids take digital photos of microscopic details

05-17-2011, 08:44 AM


A handheld device with an attached pico-projector can be used to help patients “see” their injuries, thanks to a project led by Amy Karlson, of Microsoft Research’s Computational User Experiences Group in Redmond, Washington.

The new tool, AnatOnMe, projects a virtual image of broken bone, tendons, and nerves on a patient’s skin, taken from stock images. Tests have shown AnatOnMe encourages patients to stick to their physical therapy regimens, by providing them with a vivid reminder of their condition beneath the skin.

“People are notoriously bad at sticking to their physical therapy regimens,” says Karlson. Between 30 and 50 percent of patients do not comply with recommended therapies after an injury, generating longer healing times and sometimes aggravating the injury.

Instead of using a complicated autocorrection system that tries to match up the image precisely with the surface of the patient’s skin, the projection works simply by lining it up with the eye of the viewer.

05-17-2011, 08:45 AM

Many of Buddhism’s core tenets significantly overlap with findings from modern neurology and neuroscience. So how did Buddhism come close to getting the brain right?

05-17-2011, 09:09 AM


05-17-2011, 09:11 AM

05-17-2011, 09:23 AM

05-17-2011, 10:59 AM
In a financial world ruled by ________, we will continue to be hit with “sudden” crises as a result of __________.


You can fill in the blanks with whatever you want, and it always works!

05-17-2011, 11:28 AM

05-17-2011, 12:23 PM

05-19-2011, 09:06 AM

05-19-2011, 09:53 AM
Translation Machine To Make Human-Dolphin Conversations Possible



What secrets of the sea have dolphins been waiting to tell us? We may soon find out (hopefully not just tuna jokes). New Scientist reports:

A diver carrying a computer that tries to recognize dolphin sounds and generate responses in real time will soon attempt to communicate with wild dolphins off the coast of Florida. If the bid is successful, it will be a big step towards two-way communication between humans and dolphins.

Since the 1960s, captive dolphins have been communicating via pictures and sounds. In the 1990s, Louis Herman of the Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory in Honolulu, Hawaii, found that bottlenose dolphins can keep track of over 100 different words. They can also respond appropriately to commands in which the same words appear in a different order, understanding the difference between “bring the surfboard to the man” and “bring the man to the surfboard”, for example.

But communication in most of these early experiments was one-way, says Denise Herzing, founder of the Wild Dolphin Project in Jupiter, Florida. “They create a system and expect the dolphins to learn it, and they do, but the dolphins are not empowered to use the system to request things from the humans,” she says.

Since 1998, Herzing and colleagues have been attempting two-way communication with dolphins, first using rudimentary artificial sounds, then by getting them to associate the sounds with four large icons on an underwater “keyboard”.

By pointing their bodies at the different symbols, the dolphins could make requests – to play with a piece of seaweed or ride the bow wave of the divers’ boat, for example. The system managed to get the dolphins’ attention, Herzing says, but wasn’t “dolphin-friendly” enough to be successful.

Herzing is now collaborating with Thad Starner, an artificial intelligence researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, on a project named Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry (CHAT). They want to work with dolphins to “co-create” a language that uses features of sounds that wild dolphins communicate with naturally.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTUolAkOwfNNmhVpNEz_wOaCviou3swh aJHmLixRHRonrncNrLm

05-19-2011, 10:54 AM




05-19-2011, 11:02 AM

World's Smallest 3-D Printer Unveiled
from Big Think by Big Think Editors
1 person liked this - you
What's the Latest Development? Is your Ikea desk missing a screw? Have you lost one of your earrings? Are all your forks dirty? Print another one! These are only a few of the possible applications of three-dimensional printing. Until now, 3-D printers have relied on casting techniques to produces ...

05-19-2011, 11:08 AM




05-19-2011, 11:12 AM

‘That gut feeling’: how stomach bacteria impact brain chemistry and behavior
from KurzweilAI

Experiments with mice have determined that behavior and brain chemistry varies depending on the type of bacteria in the gut, report Stephen Collins at McMaster University and Premysl Bercik at the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute.

Working with healthy adult mice, the researchers showed that disrupting the normal bacterial content of the gut with antibiotics produced changes in behavior; the mice became either anxious or less cautious. This change was accompanied by an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has been linked to depression and anxiety.

When oral antibiotics were discontinued, bacteria in the gut returned to normal, “accompanied by restoration of normal behavior and brain chemistry,” Collins said.

The findings are important because several common types of gastrointestinal disease, including irritable bowel syndrome, are frequently associated with anxiety or depression. In addition there has been speculation that some psychiatric disorders, such as late onset autism, may be associated with an abnormal bacterial content in the gut.

Bercik suggested that these results lay the foundation for investigating the therapeutic potential of probiotic bacteria and their products in the treatment of behavioral disorders, particularly those associated with gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.

The research appears in the online edition of the journal Gastroenterology.

Gut bacteria and stress

Another recent study with mice has also demonstrated a connection between gut bacteria in the digestive system and stress response.

Researchers at Ohio State University showed that gut bacterial colonies in mice decrease and immune biomarkers increase in response to stress. They ran a series of experiments using an aggressive mouse as a stressor for docile mice.

At the end of the stress experiments, blood samples and material from inside each animal’s intestine were taken from stressed animals along with samples from a control group. The blood samples were analyzed to detect the levels of two immune biomarkers used to gauge stress: a cell-signalling cytokine molecule and a protein called MCP-1 that summons macrophages, or scavenger cells, to the site of an infection.

The intestinal samples were used to determine the relative proportion of at least 30 types of bacteria residing there.

Compared to the control mice, the stressed animals showed two marked differences: the proportion of one important type of bacteria in the gut (Bacteroides) fell by 20 to 25 percent while another type (Clostridium) increased a similar amount. Also, levels of the two biomarkers jumped 10-fold in the stressed mice, compared to controls.

The researchers concluded that exposure to social stressors “significantly affect gut bacterial populations” while increasing circulating cytokines that regulate inflammatory responses.

Ref.: Bailey MT et al., Exposure to a social stressor alters the structure of the intestinal microbiota: implications for stressor-induced immunomodulation, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2011

05-19-2011, 12:07 PM
For Ody and his calls for an economic chuck norris:


The “Vacuum” of Financial Leadership

05-19-2011, 12:08 PM

05-19-2011, 01:11 PM

‘That gut feeling’: how stomach bacteria impact brain chemistry and behavior
from KurzweilAI

Experiments with mice have determined that behavior and brain chemistry varies depending on the type of bacteria in the gut, report Stephen Collins at McMaster University and Premysl Bercik at the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute.

Working with healthy adult mice, the researchers showed that disrupting the normal bacterial content of the gut with antibiotics produced changes in behavior; the mice became either anxious or less cautious. This change was accompanied by an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has been linked to depression and anxiety.

When oral antibiotics were discontinued, bacteria in the gut returned to normal, “accompanied by restoration of normal behavior and brain chemistry,” Collins said.

The findings are important because several common types of gastrointestinal disease, including irritable bowel syndrome, are frequently associated with anxiety or depression. In addition there has been speculation that some psychiatric disorders, such as late onset autism, may be associated with an abnormal bacterial content in the gut.

Bercik suggested that these results lay the foundation for investigating the therapeutic potential of probiotic bacteria and their products in the treatment of behavioral disorders, particularly those associated with gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.

The research appears in the online edition of the journal Gastroenterology.

Gut bacteria and stress

Another recent study with mice has also demonstrated a connection between gut bacteria in the digestive system and stress response.

Researchers at Ohio State University showed that gut bacterial colonies in mice decrease and immune biomarkers increase in response to stress. They ran a series of experiments using an aggressive mouse as a stressor for docile mice.

At the end of the stress experiments, blood samples and material from inside each animal’s intestine were taken from stressed animals along with samples from a control group. The blood samples were analyzed to detect the levels of two immune biomarkers used to gauge stress: a cell-signalling cytokine molecule and a protein called MCP-1 that summons macrophages, or scavenger cells, to the site of an infection.

The intestinal samples were used to determine the relative proportion of at least 30 types of bacteria residing there.

Compared to the control mice, the stressed animals showed two marked differences: the proportion of one important type of bacteria in the gut (Bacteroides) fell by 20 to 25 percent while another type (Clostridium) increased a similar amount. Also, levels of the two biomarkers jumped 10-fold in the stressed mice, compared to controls.

The researchers concluded that exposure to social stressors “significantly affect gut bacterial populations” while increasing circulating cytokines that regulate inflammatory responses.

Ref.: Bailey MT et al., Exposure to a social stressor alters the structure of the intestinal microbiota: implications for stressor-induced immunomodulation, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2011

My girlfriend does research on something very related to this, they are looking at vaginal microbiota in healthy and disease states as well as intestinal, but instead of just looking at the presence or absence or abundance of bacteria they are looking at the genetic expression of each bacteria as well.

Ultimately the presence of a certain strain of bacteria is not as important as what that strain is doing, especially in the vaginal setting certain genes being expressed may be related to menstrual cycles and low fertility which could potentially lead to new forms of treatment that are much milder than antibiotics.

This is a really booming area of research, there are even clinical trials now looking at the benefit of administering beneficial cultures during administration of antibiotics to prevent a collapse of the microbiota and the problems that can lead to and prevent recurrence after antibiotics is stopped.

05-20-2011, 08:30 AM
I've had this idea that if the light wave length changes, it would change the "clock speed" of our brain:


05-20-2011, 08:36 AM

you are here

05-20-2011, 08:46 AM

Second Life Founder Launches New Alternative Currency
from Renegade Futurist by Klint Finley

CoffeeandPower utilizes a virtual currency. Users who sign up and give their cellphone numbers so they can receive SMS updates are automatically seeded with C$20 to get started. C$ is exchanged when goods are bought and sold. More can be purchased (at an exchange rate of US$0.75 for C$1) and users will be able to “cash out” as well. As many of the transactions on the site might be quite small, the virtual currency will help minimize transaction fees for every exchange. In other words, you can earn from C$ and then buy things on from other users without any fees.

Second, CoffeeandPower really emphasizes the community around this marketplace. That’s not a surprise when you think of Philip Rosedale’s work in creating the virtual world Second Life and its online community and economy. Users will be able to chat with each other, both in a public timeline and in private messaging and video chat.

05-20-2011, 08:55 AM





05-20-2011, 09:07 AM




05-20-2011, 09:18 AM





05-20-2011, 09:34 AM

05-20-2011, 09:36 AM


Islands in the stream: The extraordinary homemade dams holding back the Mississippi as desperate residents try to save their homes

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1388660/Mississippi-River-flooding-Residents-build-homemade-dams-saves-houses.html#ixzz1MuJvQ8yK

05-20-2011, 11:44 AM
http://www.alternet.org/rights/150777/defense_contractors_using_prison_labor_to_build_hi gh-tech_weapons_systems/

Defense Contractors Using Prison Labor to Build High-Tech Weapons Systems
Prison labor seems like a win-win to many, but a closer look reveals a race to the bottom for skilled workers.

Traditionally these types of defense jobs would have gone to highly paid, unionized workers. However the prison workers building parts for these missiles earn a starting wage of 23 cents an hour and can only make a maximum of $1.15 an hour. Nearly 1 in 100 adults are in jail in the United States and are exempt from our minimum wage laws, creating a sizable captive workforce that could undercut outside wage standards.

"It's no different than when our government allowed a United Steelworkers-represented factory of several hundred good jobs in Indiana called Magnequench to shut down," United Steelworkers Public Affairs Director Gary Hubbard told AlterNet. "This was the last high-tech magnetics production plant in the U.S. that made guidance components for missiles and smart bombs. The factory was sold to a Chinese state enterprise that moved all the machinery to China. And now we depend on prison labor to build our defense products?"

As the governments look to cut costs and trim deficits, they are giving more and more contracts for skilled work to prisons, whose workers often make 1/15th of the wages they would earn in the private sector. Whereas in the past prisoners made license plates and desks for state offices, they are now being trained for skilled work doing everything from assembling cable components for guided missiles to underwater repair welding. Even the much heralded green jobs aren’t immune to being outsourced to prison -- the solar panels being used to provide electricity for the State Department’s office in Washington, D.C. are constructed with prison labor.

05-23-2011, 08:18 AM

No concept of time: The Amazonian tribe where nobody has an age and words like 'month' and 'year' don't exist

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1389070/Amazon-Amondawa-tribe-age-words-like-month-year-dont-exist.html#ixzz1NBXGrAKq

Team members, including linguist Wany Sampaio and anthropologist Vera da Silva Sinha, spent eight weeks with the Amondawa researching how their language conveys concepts like 'next week' or 'last year'.

There were no words for such concepts, only divisions of day and night and rainy and dry seasons. They also found nobody in the community had an age.

Instead, they change their names to reflect their life-stage and position within their society.

For example, a little child will give up their name to a newborn sibling and take on a new one.

Very cool read. I have been reading up on "time binding" - and this was really interesting:


Other aspects of the system

There are more elements, but these three in particular stand out:

Time binding: The human ability to pass information and knowledge between generations at an accelerating rate. Korzybski claimed this to be a unique capacity, separating us from other animals. Animals pass knowledge, but not at an exponential rate, that is to say, each generation of animals does things pretty much in the same way as the previous generation. For example, at one time most human societies were hunter-gatherers, but now more advanced means of food production (growing, raising, or buying) predominate. Excepting some insects (for example, ants), all other animals are still hunter-gatherer species, even though many have existed longer than the human species.

Silence on the objective levels: As 'the word is not the thing it represents,' Korzybski stressed the nonverbal experience of our inner and outer environments. During these periods of training, one would become "outwardly and inwardly silent."

The system advocates a general orientation by extension rather than intension, by relational facts rather than assumed properties, an attitude, regardless of how expressed in words, that, for example, George 'does things that seem foolish to me,' rather than that he is 'a fool.'

05-24-2011, 07:11 AM

The Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan, is about to announce to the G8 Summit in France his country’s plans to mandate that all buildings come equipped with solar panels by 2030. The announcement of this mandate comes in the wake of the March 11th earthquake and ensuing tsunami that caused a major nuclear crisis at Japan’s ***ushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. This national solar array could help wean the country off of nuclear power and push them into a cleaner, safer future.

Kan believes that this mandate will not only help Japan secure a clean energy future but will also help push the technology behind solar panels into a more efficient space. With more solar panels in demand, more cash will pour into the industry, creating room for more innovation. This massive solar push will also help bring down the costs of solar panels.

News is still pouring out of Japan about the failed nuclear power plant and the continuing struggle to gain control over it. While a group of scientists from the International Atomic Energy Agency touches down in Japan today to investigate the continuing crisis, this national solar announcement seems a great way for the country of Japan to look into a future that would be safe from nuclear emergencies.


Read more: Japan to Create a Nationwide Solar Array to Replace Nuclear Power | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

05-24-2011, 07:19 AM
http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/2052465/whites_believe_they_are_victims_of_racism_more_oft en_than/index.html

Whites Believe They Are Victims of Racism More Often Than Blacks

Posted on: Monday, 23 May 2011, 22:14 CDT

In Zero Sum Game, "Reverse Racism" Seen as Bigger Problem than Anti-Black Racism

Whites believe that they have replaced blacks as the primary victims of racial discrimination in contemporary America, according to a new study from researchers at Tufts University's School of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Business School. The findings, say the authors, show that America has not achieved the "post-racial" society that some predicted in the wake of Barack Obama's election.

Both whites and blacks agree that anti-black racism has decreased over the last 60 years, according to the study. However, whites believe that anti-white racism has increased and is now a bigger problem than anti-black racism.

"It's a pretty surprising finding when you think of the wide range of disparities that still exist in society, most of which show black Americans with worse outcomes than whites in areas such as income, home ownership, health and employment," said Tufts Associate Professor of Psychology Samuel Sommers, Ph.D., co-author of "Whites See Racism as a Zero-sum Game that They Are Now Losing," which appears in the May 2011 issue of the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Sommers and co-author Michael I. Norton of Harvard asked a nation-wide sample of 208 blacks and 209 whites to indicate the extent to which they felt blacks and whites were the targets of discrimination in each decade from the 1950s to the 2000s. A scale of 1 to 10 was used, with 1 being "not at all" and 10 being "very much."

White and black estimates of bias in the 1950s were similar. Both groups acknowledged little racism against whites at that time but substantial racism against blacks. Respondents also generally agreed that racism against blacks has decreased over time, although whites believed it has declined faster than blacks do.

However, whites believed that racism against whites has increased significantly as racism against blacks has decreased. On average, whites rated anti-white bias as more prevalent in the 2000s than anti-black bias by more than a full point on the 10-point scale. Moreover, some 11 percent of whites gave anti-white bias the maximum rating of 10 compared to only 2 percent of whites who rated anti-black bias a 10. Blacks, however, reported only a modest increase in their perceptions of "reverse racism."

"These data are the first to demonstrate that not only do whites think more progress has been made toward equality than do blacks, but whites also now believe that this progress is linked to a new inequality – at their expense," note Norton and Sommers. Whites see racial equality as a zero sum game, in which gains for one group mean losses for the other.

The belief that anti-white bias is more prevalent than anti-black bias has clear implications for future public policy debates and behavioral science research, say the authors. They note that claims of so-called reverse racism, while not new, have been at the core of an increasing number of high-profile Supreme Court cases.

05-24-2011, 07:54 AM

There is widespread misconception that coconut oil is bad for you because it is said to raise blood cholesterol and cause heart disease. The only "proof" is one four-decades old study. The study used hydrogenated coconut oil. It is now known that the process of hydrogenation creates "trans fatty acids" (TFAs), which are toxic entities that enter cell membranes, block utilization of essential fatty acids (EFAs) and impede cell functionality. TFAs also cause a rise in blood cholesterol. These substances are not present in natural coconut oil.

Awesome readup on how great coconuts (oil) is!

05-24-2011, 07:55 AM

New Jersey Mystery Crater Baffles Experts


What caused this crater in suburban New Jersey? A meteor? Explosives? Experts can't say.

Scientists and police have visited the yard of a Basking Ridge homeowner to attempt to figure out what ripped a hole in the ground and scattered debris across a 100-foot areaon May 8, the Associated Press reported.

The hole is 18 inches deep and the size of a coffee table, according to Bernards Township Police Capt. Edward Byrnes.

"To me it looked like something blew out of the ground because the grass was folded back, the rocks and dirt were all spewn out into the cul-de-sac and across the driveway," said the owner, Sue, who didn't give her last name, because she didn't want crowds coming to gawk at the pit.

The director of the nearby Raritan Valley Community College planetarium inspected the mystery crater and concluded that a meteorite hadn't struck the area.

"It's just really, really weird," said planetarium director Jerry Vinski. "We dug around and couldn't find anything. We used metal detectors because all meteors have metal in them, and we couldn't find anything, large or small."

State police also ruled out explosives.

05-24-2011, 07:56 AM

Göbekli Tepe


The Birth of Religion
We used to think agriculture gave rise to cities and later to writing, art, and religion. Now the world’s oldest temple suggests the urge to worship sparked civilization.

05-24-2011, 08:25 AM

The saga of the U.S. Army’s Operation Klondike is a highly strange one. It’s one that has its beginnings in the Second World War, has a major connection to a secure location famous for its truly huge gold-reserves, is linked to a priceless ancient treasure, and even has a tie-in with UFOs. It’s a weird story that has at its core the Holy Crown of Hungary, or as it is more famously referred: the Crown of Saint Stephen, the coronation crown used by the Kingdom of Hungary, and which is believed to have been fashioned at some point during the 1100s.

The crown has a remarkable history, to say the very least, having been stolen and recovered on countless occasions, the most recent example of which occurred when Lajos Kossuth, the Regent-President of Hungary, fled the country with the crown in-tow – as a result of the collapse of the Hungarian revolution of 1848 – and summarily buried it in a forested area of Dracula’s home-country of Transylvania! Fortunately, by 1853, the crown had been successfully recovered and was returned to Buda Castle, Budapest, from where Kossuth had originally pilfered it. But, the adventures of the crown were far from over: it was eventually destined to travel overseas, no less.

As the Second World War came to a crashing end, for Hitler and Co., at least, and as the Russians were publicly demonstrating their strength all across Hungary, the crown was secretly handed over to elements of the U.S. 86th Infantry Division – to ensure it stayed firmly out of the hands of the high-ups within the Kremlin. As a consequence, a secure, heavily-guarded location was chosen to house the priceless, legendary item: the Kentucky-based Fort Knox, the United States’ Bullion Depository, which holds approximately two-and-half percent of all the gold known to have been refined throughout the entirety of human history.

The crown remained there until January 6, 1978, after which date it was returned to the people of Hungary, with a wealth of fanfare and gratitude to the United States, and then-President Jimmy Carter, for ensuring that the Soviets never did succeed in getting their eager claws into the legendary crown.

But, there’s a notable UFO connection to this particular saga: according to a collection of State Department memoranda of 1956 and 1957, at one point in the 1950s – and as a specific means to ensure that the true and sensitive nature of what they were guarding remained a very murky and questionable issue – the soldiers at Fort Knox were first told that the crate containing the crown actually held both the wings and engine of a flying saucer, and were later advised that its contents were recovered German artwork, gold, and other items of priceless, historical value.

Here, then, is a prime example of a concocted story of a crashed UFO being promoted to hide something of a far more down-to-earth nature. We should, therefore, surely ask a very important question: on how many more occasions has the controversy surrounding crashed UFOs been carefully – and ingeniously – exploited by officialdom in a similar fashion? Sometimes, a crashed UFO may actually be nothing of the sort. It may be something else entirely…

The Curious Klondike Caper is a post from: Mysterious Universe

05-27-2011, 01:29 PM




05-27-2011, 01:33 PM


The New York Times reports on “yarn bombing”, the softest, coziest form of urban vandalism. Leave your bike parked for too long and it could end up like the one at right, which has been chained for months in front of my friend’s store:

“Street art and graffiti are usually so male dominated,” Ms. Hemmons said. “Yarn bombing is more feminine. It’s like graffiti with grandma sweaters.”

Yarn bombing takes that most matronly craft (knitting) and that most maternal of gestures (wrapping something cold in a warm blanket) and transfers it to the concrete and steel wilds of the urban streetscape. Hydrants, lampposts, mailboxes, bicycles, cars — even objects as big as buses and bridges — have all been bombed in recent years, ever so softly and usually at night.

It is a global phenomenon, with yarn bombers taking their brightly colored fuzzy work to Europe, Asia and beyond. In Paris, a yarn culprit has filled sidewalk cracks with colorful knots of yarn. In Denver, a group called Ladies Fancywork Society has crocheted tree trunks, park benches and public telephones. Seattle has the YarnCore collective (“Hardcore Chicks With Sharp Sticks”) and Stockholm has the knit crew Masquerade. In London, Knit the City has “yarnstormed” fountains and fences. And in Melbourne, Australia, a woman known as Bali conjures up cozies for bike racks and bus stops.

Sometimes called grandma graffiti, the movement got a boost, and a manifesto, in 2009 with the publication of the book “Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti,” by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain, knitters from Vancouver, Canada.

05-27-2011, 01:50 PM

05-31-2011, 02:12 PM

Ultraviolet light reveals how ancient Greek statues really looked


05-31-2011, 02:15 PM

06-01-2011, 08:53 AM

When you’re hunting zombies you’ve got to give them something to fear. [Shannon Larratt] is getting ready for that eventuality by adding devil horns as his hood ornament. It looks awesome from afar, but when you see the close-up images you realize how lifelike this is. That’s because it’s not a sculpture. [Shannon] cast the ornament in a mold made from his own hand.

The process started with some dental alginate which he slobbered all over his hand as he held the devil horns pose. After the mold had hardened he cast the ornament using fast-curing black plastic resin.

With the ornament now in hand he needed a way to secure it to the hood of his vehicle. He picked up a threaded U-bolt. A hole and a slot were carved in the base of the ornament to receive the U-bold and a straight bolt for a trio of anchor points. More of the black resin fills the holes, securing the bolts and making it a snap to mount the ornament by drilling through the hood.

We also find it awesome that during this process [Shannon] took the time to cast his daughter’s fist for use as a door knob at home.


06-01-2011, 08:56 AM


06-01-2011, 09:17 AM

I'm guessing it doesn't get great mileage.

06-01-2011, 09:25 AM
it might get a few zombies per gallon

06-01-2011, 10:13 AM

Should we drug the drinking water? Adding lithium to the taps 'could lower suicide rates'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1390732/Adding-Lithium-drinking-water-lower-suicide-rates.html#ixzz1O2d96tlq

06-02-2011, 07:27 AM

A group of more than 200 elderly people in Japan have volunteered to help clean up the nuclear crisis at the ***ushima power station, where meltdowns and messes have caused radiation leaks. BBC News:

Yasuteru_Yamada.jpgThe Skilled Veterans Corps, as they call themselves, is made up of retired engineers and other professionals, all over the age of 60. They say they should be facing the dangers of radiation, not the young.

It was while watching the television news that Yasuteru Yamada decided it was time for his generation to stand up. No longer could he be just an observer of the struggle to stabilise the ***ushima nuclear plant. The retired engineer is reporting back for duty at the age of 72, and he is organising a team of pensioners to go with him.

For weeks now Mr Yamada has been getting back in touch with old friends, sending out e-mails and even messages on Twitter.

(photo of Mr. Yamada courtesy BBC News)

06-02-2011, 10:02 AM

Ads Implant False Memories

The experiment went like this: 100 undergraduates were introduced to a new popcorn product called “Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Fresh Microwave Popcorn.” (No such product exists, but that’s the point.) Then, the students were randomly assigned to various advertisement conditions. Some subjects viewed low-imagery text ads, which described the delicious taste of this new snack food. Others watched a high-imagery commercial, in which they watched all sorts of happy people enjoying this popcorn in their living room. After viewing the ads, the students were then assigned to one of two rooms. In one room, they were given an unrelated survey. In the other room, however, they were given a sample of this fictional new popcorn to taste. (A different Orville Redenbacher popcorn was actually used.)

One week later, all the subjects were quizzed about their memory of the product. Here’s where things get disturbing: While students who saw the low-imagery ad were extremely unlikely to report having tried the popcorn, those who watched the slick commercial were just as likely to have said they tried the popcorn as those who actually did. Furthermore, their ratings of the product were as favorable as those who sampled the salty, buttery treat. Most troubling, perhaps, is that these subjects were extremely confident in these made-up memories. The delusion felt true. They didn’t like the popcorn because they’d seen a good ad. They liked the popcorn because it was delicious.

The scientists refer to this as the “false experience effect,” since the ads are slyly weaving fictional experiences into our very real lives. “Viewing the vivid advertisement created a false memory of eating the popcorn, despite the fact that eating the non-existent product would have been impossible,” write Priyali Rajagopal and Nicole Montgomery, the lead authors on the paper. “As a result, consumers need to be vigilant while processing high-imagery advertisements.”

At first glance, this experimental observation seems incongruous. How could a stupid commercial trick me into believing that I loved a product I’d never actually tasted? Or that I drank Coke out of glass bottles?

06-02-2011, 10:25 AM

Terrifying scientific discovery: Strange emissions by sun are suddenly mutating matter
Sunday, May 01, 2011 Manic No comments

Tombstone RJ
06-02-2011, 10:39 AM

Ads Implant False Memories

this is disturbing.

06-03-2011, 08:21 AM
this is disturbing.

Even more so, the further you get into it.

06-03-2011, 08:23 AM

Top 5 Most Common Regrets of the Dying


1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. (“This came from every male patient that I nursed,” Ware wrote).

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

06-03-2011, 08:36 AM

The Depth Of The Ocean In Perspective

The Depth Of The Ocean Picture

06-03-2011, 09:17 AM
When the multiverse and many-worlds collide (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028154.200-when-the-multiverse-and-manyworlds-collide.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news)

In an attempt to find a more satisfying way to explain the universe's observability, Bousso, together with Leonard Susskind at Stanford University in California, turned to the work of physicists who have puzzled over the same problem but on a much smaller scale: why tiny objects such as electrons and photons exist in a superposition of states but larger objects like footballs and planets apparently do not.

This problem is captured in the famous thought experiment of Schrödinger's cat. This unhappy feline is inside a sealed box containing a vial of poison that will break open when a radioactive atom decays. Being a quantum object, the atom exists in a superposition of states - so it has both decayed and not decayed at the same time. This implies that the vial must be in a superposition of states too - both broken and unbroken. And if that's the case, then the cat must be both dead and alive as well.

To explain why we never seem to see cats that are both dead and alive, and yet can detect atoms in a superposition of states, physicists have in recent years replaced the idea of superpositions collapsing with the idea that quantum objects inevitably interact with their environment, allowing information about possible superpositions to leak away and become inaccessible to the observer. All that is left is the information about a single state.

Physicists call this process "decoherence". If you can prevent it - by tracking all the information about all possible states - you can preserve the superposition.

In the case of something as large as a cat, that may be possible in Schrödinger's theoretical sealed box. But in the real world, it is very difficult to achieve. So everyday cats decohere rapidly, leaving behind the single state that we observe. By contrast, small things like photons and electrons are more easily isolated from their environment, so they can be preserved in a superposition for longer: that's how we detect these strange states.

The puzzle is how decoherence might work on the scale of the entire universe: it too must exist in a superposition of states until some of the information it contains leaks out, leaving the single state that we see, but in conventional formulations of the universe, there is nothing else for it to leak into.

06-03-2011, 10:19 AM


(PhysOrg.com) -- A world premiere: a material which changes its strength, virtually at the touch of a button. This transformation can be achieved in a matter of seconds through changes in the electron structure of a material; thus hard and brittle matter, for example, can become soft and malleable. What makes this development revolutionary, is that the transformation can be controlled by electric signals. This world-first has its origins in Hamburg. Jörg Weißmüller, a materials scientist at both the Technical University of Hamburg and the Helmholtz Center Geesthacht, has carried out research on this groundbreaking development, working in cooperation with colleagues from the Institute for Metal Research in Shenyang, China.

06-03-2011, 10:26 AM
Indra's net (http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1000082--astronomers-unveil-historic-3-d-map-of-the-universe)


Astronomers unveil historic 3-D map of the universe

06-03-2011, 10:30 AM

Phase change memory-based 'moneta' system points to the future of computer storage

A University of California, San Diego faculty-student team is about to demonstrate a first-of-its kind, phase-change memory solid state storage device that provides performance thousands of times faster than a conventional hard drive and up to seven times faster than current state-of-the-art solid-state drives (SSDs).

06-03-2011, 10:46 AM

sunset at rice field
By: simon wong | View Full Portfolio (75 images)


06-03-2011, 11:18 AM
Scared of the chinese:

Chinese teen sells his kidney for an iPad 2

The 17-year-old boy, identified only by his surname, "Zheng", confessed to his mother that he had sold the kidney after spotting an online advertisement offering cash to anyone prepared to become an organ donor.

"I wanted to buy an iPad 2, but I didn't have the money," the boy told Shenzhen TV in the southern province of Guangdong, "When I surfed the internet I found an advert posted online by agent saying they were able to pay RMB20,000 to buy a kidney." After negotiations, the boy travelled north to the city of Chenzhou in Hunan Province where the kidney was removed at a local hospital which discharged him after three days, paying a total of RMB22,000 for the organ.

Trading organs online is a common practice in China, despite repeated attempts by China's government to stamp out the practice. Last year Japanese television reported that a group of "transplant tourists" had paid £50,000 to receive new kidneys in China.

According to official statistics more than a million people in China need a transplant every year, but less than 10,000 receive organs, driving an almost unstoppable black-market organ trade that enriches brokers, doctors and corrupt government officials.

The boy, who has suffered complications following the surgery, returned home but was unable to keep what he had done from his mother.

"When he came back, he had a laptop and a new Apple handset," his mother, identified as Miss Liu, told the station, showing off the livid red scar where her son's kidney was removed, "I wanted to know how he had got so much money and he finally confessed that he had sold one of his kidneys."

The mother took the son back to Chenzhou to report the crime to the police, however, the mobiles of the three agents that Zheng had contacted were all switched off.

The hospital, which admitted contracting out its urology department to a private businessman, denied any knowledge of the surgery.

The case, which caused an online furore, was cited by some as an extreme example of the rampant materialism of modern China.

Thousands of comments were posted on internet discussion groups, with many lamenting the lack of rule of law in China and the "immorality" of the new, 'capitalist' China.

"This is a failure of education, the first purpose of which is to 'propagate morality'," said one comment on Hong Kong's Phoenix TV website, "This teenager's stupid behaviour is a manifestation of his radically materialistic values." "To sell a kidney in order to buy consumer goods? What vanity!" added another, "It is undeniable that modern Chinese teenagers' morality is declining. This is something we must all think about."

Apple products like the iPhone and the iPad are in huge demand in China, and are seen as a badge of wealth and sophistication by young consumers.

Last month scuffles broke out among desperate shoppers outside several Beijing Apple Stores as they queued to buy the newly launched iPad2 and white iPhone4. - telegraph

06-06-2011, 07:22 AM

06-06-2011, 07:24 AM


Anonymous Claims Control Of Iranian Government Servers

Posted by BananaFamine on June 6, 2011

AnonymousStephen C. Webster writes on The Raw Story:

Hackers claiming to be part of protest group “Anonymous” published on Friday over 10,000 internal emails from the Iranian government’s ministry of foreign affairs, as part of an ongoing campaign against the authoritarian regime.

The emails were published to torrent file sharing website The Pirate Bay, along with usernames and passwords. Members also claimed they had taken control of the government’s servers.

In a chat with Raw Story, members of Anonymous on the #OpIran server said they were leading the charge because they want Iranians to know they’re not alone in their struggle against the regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

They also pointed to a declaration of intent to attack the Iranian government, which they published to YouTube in February.

06-07-2011, 12:16 PM
Google Will Eat Itself (GWEI) is an art/economics project/prank/criminal enterprise that uses a network of hidden sites that register fraudulent clicks on Google Ads. The revenue from these ads is used to buy shares of Google. At the present rate, the organizers estimate that they will own all of Google in about 200,000 years. They pledge to then turn the company over to the public.

We generate money by serving Google text advertisments on a network of hidden Websites. With this money we automatically buy Google shares. We buy Google via their own advertisment! Google eats itself - but in the end "we" own it!

By establishing this autocannibalistic model we deconstruct the new global advertisment mechanisms by rendering them into a surreal click-based economic model.

After this process we hand over the common ownership of "our" Google Shares to the GTTP Ltd. [Google To The People Public Company] which distributes them back to the users (clickers) / public.

06-08-2011, 06:48 AM

Ads Implant False Memories

this is disturbing.

Did you ever see this/remember this?


Hear Voices? It May Be an Ad
An A&E Billboard 'Whispers' a Spooky Message Audible Only in Your Head in Push to Promote Its New 'Paranormal' Program

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- New Yorker Alison Wilson was walking down Prince Street in SoHo last week when she heard a woman's voice right in her ear asking, "Who's there? Who's there?" She looked around to find no one in her immediate surroundings. Then the voice said, "It's not your imagination."
No, he's not crazy: Our intrepid reporter Andrew Hampp ventures to SoHo to hear for himself the technology that has New Yorkers 'freaked out' and A&E buzzing.
Yoray Liberman
No, he's not crazy: Our intrepid reporter Andrew Hampp ventures to SoHo to hear for himself the technology that has New Yorkers 'freaked out' and A&E buzzing.

Indeed it isn't. It's an ad for "Paranormal State," a ghost-themed series premiering on A&E this week. The billboard uses technology manufactured by Holosonic that transmits an "audio spotlight" from a rooftop speaker so that the sound is contained within your cranium. The technology, ideal for museums and libraries or environments that require a quiet atmosphere for isolated audio slideshows, has rarely been used on such a scale before. For random passersby and residents who have to walk unwittingly through the area where the voice will penetrate their inner peace, it's another story.

06-08-2011, 12:16 PM

Bipolar kids: Victims of the 'madness industry'?

That's how practically every disorder you've ever heard of or been diagnosed with came to be defined. "Post-traumatic stress disorder," said Spitzer, "attention-deficit disorder, autism, anorexia nervosa, bulimia, panic disorder..." each with its own checklist of symptoms. Bipolar disorder was another of the newcomers. The previous edition of the DSM had been 134 pages, but when Spitzer's DSM-III appeared in 1980 it ran to 494 pages.

"Were there any proposals for mental disorders you rejected?" I asked Spitzer. "Yes," he said, "atypical child syndrome. The problem came when we tried to find out how to characterise it. I said, 'What are the symptoms?' The man proposing it replied: 'That's hard to say because the children are very atypical'."

He paused. "And we were going to include masochistic personality disorder." He meant battered wives who stayed with their husbands. "But there were some violently opposed feminists who thought it was labelling the victim. We changed the name to self-defeating personality disorder and put it into the appendix."

DSM-III was a sensation. It sold over a million copies - many more copies than there were psychiatrists. Millions of people began using the checklists to diagnose themselves. For many it was a godsend. Something was categorically wrong with them and finally their suffering had a name. It was truly a revolution in psychiatry.

It was also a gold rush for drug companies, which suddenly had 83 new disorders they could invent medications for. "The pharmaceuticals were delighted with DSM," Spitzer told me, and this in turn delighted him: "I love to hear parents who say, 'It was impossible to live with him until we gave him medication and then it was night and day'."

Spitzer's successor, a psychiatrist named Allen Frances, continued the tradition of welcoming new mental disorders, with their corresponding checklists, into the fold. His DSM-IV came in at a mammoth 886 pages, with an extra 32 mental disorders.

Now Frances told me over the phone he felt he had made some terrible mistakes. "Psychiatric diagnoses are getting closer and closer to the boundary of normal," he said.

"Why?" I asked. "There's a societal push for conformity in all ways," he said. "There's less tolerance of difference. Maybe for some people having a label confers a sense of hope - previously I was laughed at but now I can talk to fellow sufferers on the internet."

Part of the problem is the pharmaceutical industry. "It's very easy to set off a false epidemic in psychiatry," said Frances. "The drug companies have tremendous influence."

One condition that Frances considers a mistake is childhood bipolar disorder. "Kids with extreme temper tantrums are being called bipolar," he said. "Childhood bipolar takes the edge of guilt away from parents that maybe they created an oppositional child."

"So maybe the diagnosis is good?"

"No," Frances said. "And there are very good reasons why not." His main concern is that children whose behaviour only superficially matches the bipolar checklist get treated with antipsychotic drugs, which can succeed in calming them down, even if the diagnosis is wrong. These drugs can have unpleasant and sometimes dangerous side effects.

06-08-2011, 12:26 PM

Ticketed for being childless and eating doughnuts in a playground

Two women in Brooklyn sat down on a playground bench to eat their doughnuts. They were issued summonses by local cops for violating the playground's "no adults without children" rule (because the way you keep children safe is to make sure that adults and children don't come into proximity with one another, unless the adults are parents or childminders, because those people never, ever harm children, and the only reason to want to be around children is to molest them). According to the women, the cops told them they were getting off light with a court summons because the official procedure called for them to be brought in for questioning.

This cop attempted to be sympathetic. He proceeded to tell us that he was trying to be a gentleman by just giving us summonses instead of taking us in for questioning, because that was what "they" wanted him to do. If he just gave us warnings and told us to leave, he would get in trouble for "doing nothing all day." He went on to say that all he did when he was growing up was "do Tae Kwon Do and go to school." "Are you trying to say that we are bad people for sitting on a bench in a park and eating doughnuts?" I asked him, just trying to figure out where he was going with this. "No, no, I'm just saying that I never got in trouble. Sometimes I play basketball," he said, pointing at the courts behind him. Not in that park, he doesn't. Not unless he has a kid strapped to his back at the time.

Finally, we were given our summonses and were free to go. Because we hadn't been drinking alcohol or urinating in public, we do not have the option of pleading guilty by mail. Not that I am planning on pleading guilty. But either way, we have to show up in court or a warrant will be issued for our arrest. My friend does not live in New York and I am out of the country all summer, so this is going to be an ordeal in itself, given that the summons has no information on how to contact the court. Nor do we know how much we owe. Because the cops had no idea about that, either. They were just "doing their jobs," in the most mindless sense of that phrase.

06-08-2011, 01:24 PM

This summer, nine sequels will open over twelve weekends, including a second Hangover, a third Transformers, a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean, an eighth Harry Potter, and so on. That's a new record for summer franchise domination.* However, there's something very different about this banner year: Only one of these follow-ups — Johnny Depp's Pirates — features a real live, major movie star. A-listers have been losing leverage over the years, but nowhere is this becoming more clear than in the world of sequels. Familiar titles are more important than ever to studios, but they've decided that they can do them without being weighed down by enormous, gross-gobbling paychecks and profit-participation deals. "In the eighties and early nineties, the movie star was the brand," explains Simon Kinberg, producer of X-Men: First Class. "Then in the nineties, visual effects became the brand. Now, the brand is the brand."

06-09-2011, 11:31 AM

Toxin from GM crops found in human blood: Study

Till now, scientists and multinational corporations promoting GM crops have maintained that Bt toxin poses no danger to human health as the protein breaks down in the human gut. But the presence of this toxin in human blood shows that this does not happen.

Scientists from the University of Sherbrooke, Canada, have detected the insecticidal protein, Cry1Ab, circulating in the blood of pregnant as well as non-pregnant women.

They have also detected the toxin in fetal blood, implying it could pass on to the next generation. The research paper has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in the journal Reproductive Toxicology. The study covered 30 pregnant women and 39 women who had come for tubectomy at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) in Quebec.

None of them had worked or lived with a spouse working in contact with pesticides.

They were all consuming typical Canadian diet that included GM foods such as soybeans, corn and potatoes. Blood samples were taken before delivery for pregnant women and at tubal ligation for non-pregnant women. Umbilical cord blood sampling was done after birth.

Cry1Ab toxin was detected in 93 per cent and 80 per cent of maternal and fetal blood samples, respectively and in 69 per cent of tested blood samples from non-pregnant women. Earlier studies had found trace amounts of the Cry1Ab toxin in gastrointestinal contents of livestock fed on GM corn. This gave rise to fears that the toxins may not be effectively eliminated in humans and there may be a high risk of exposure through consumption of contaminated meat.

"Generated data will help regulatory agencies responsible for the protection of human health to make better decisions", noted researchers Aziz Aris and Samuel Leblanc.

Given the potential toxicity of these environmental pollutants and the fragility of the foetus, more studies are needed, particularly those using the placental transfer approach, they added Experts have warned of serious implications for India. Cottonseed oil is made from seeds of genetically modified cotton and thus Bt toxin may have already entered the food chain in India.

06-09-2011, 12:37 PM
Only it gets weirder:


Human breast milk produced by genetically modified cows

According to a recent report on Sky News, Chinese scientists have created a herd of 300 transgenic dairy cattle, all of which have been genetically modified to produce human breast milk. While the milk is still undergoing government testing, the researchers reportedly hope to be selling it in supermarkets within three years.

The cattle were created at China's Agricultural University, in Beijing. Human breast milk genes were inserted into cloned cow embryos, which were in turn implanted into surrogate cows.

The milk is claimed to taste stronger and sweeter than cow milk, and to have better antibacterial and immune-boosting qualities. It could be marketed as a more nutritious alternative for consumers.

While many of us might find the thought of such genetic alterations to be unsettling, particularly when they involve food products, the scientists involved in the study apparently aren't overly concerned. "There are 1.5 billion people in the world who don't get enough to eat," project director Prof. Li Ning was quoted as saying. "It's our duty to develop science and technology, not to hold it back. We need to feed people first, before we consider ideals and convictions."

China's Agricultural University has also produced cattle that are resistant to mad cow disease, and that produce more nutritious meat.

06-09-2011, 12:42 PM

06-09-2011, 12:56 PM

Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America

Amazon | If you’ve replaced a computer lately — or a cell phone, a camera, a television — chances are, the old one still worked. And chances are even greater that the latest model won’t last as long as the one it replaced. Welcome to the world of planned obsolescence — a business model, a way of life, and a uniquely American invention that this eye-opening book explores from its beginnings to its perilous implications for the very near future.

Made to Break is a history of twentieth-century technology as seen through the prism of obsolescence. America invented everything that is now disposable, Giles Slade tells us, and he explains how disposability was in fact a necessary condition for America’s rejection of tradition and our acceptance of change and impermanence. His book shows us the ideas behind obsolescence at work in such American milestones as the inventions of branding, packaging, and advertising; the contest for market dominance between GM and Ford; the struggle for a national communications network; the development of electronic technologies — and with it the avalanche of electronic consumer waste that will overwhelm America’s landfills and poison its water within the coming decade.

History reserves a privileged place for those societies that built things to last — forever, if possible. What place will it hold for a society addicted to consumption — a whole culture made to break? This book gives us a detailed and harrowing picture of how, by choosing to support ever-shorter product lives we may well be shortening the future of our way of life as well.

06-09-2011, 01:02 PM

Over the past 5 decades more than fifty dogs have jumped to their deaths from Overtoun Bridge, near Dumbarton, in Scotland. An incredible statistic, but one made more impressive by the detail, which gives this tale substance: all of the deaths occurred at the same spot, on the right-hand side of the bridge; the dogs were all long muzzle breeds: Collie, Labrador, Greyhound; their deaths all took place on clear days.

The frequency and inexplicable nature of the deaths has lead to this scenic location, to be called the “Dog’s Suicide Bridge”. Over 6 months in 2005, 5 dogs leapt to their deaths. One bereaved owner, Donna Cooper was out walking with her family when her dog, Ben leapt over the parapet and fell fifty feet onto the rocks below.

‘His paw was broken, his jaw was broken and his back was broken and badly twisted. The vet decided it wasn’t worth putting him through the pain, so we had to let him go,’ recalls Donna.

Such tragedies led to claims the bridge was haunted by an evil spirit. In 1994, thirty-two-year-old Kevin Moy threw his baby off the bridge after claiming he was the Anti-Christ, and his son was Satan. Shortly after he tried to end his own life with an unsuccessful suicide attempt from the same bridge. Moy was remanded to Carstairs State Hospital, a maximum-security psychiatric facility.

This being Scotland, there has also been a claim that the bridge is situated in, what we Celts call, a “thin place” - a meeting of two worlds. Cue mist, howl of wolf, and craggy featured old Scotsman saying, “Ye dinnae want tae go doun yon road, naw.” Indeed, B-movies have been made with flimsier plots.

In recent years, a more persistent but equally unlikely theory has emerged, which suggested dogs were committing suicide. But as leading Animal Behaviorist, Dr David Sands, who investigated the story has pointed out, “it is impossible for a dog to premeditate its own death”.

Sands uncovered the most likely explanation to the dog deaths, the onset of mink farming in the area, which started fifty years ago:

Evidence of mink was confirmed in the area not only by a naturalist, who spotted droppings beneath the bridge, but also by [an angler], who explained that the top hill quarry had lakes that contained trout (perfect mink diet).

The intense scent of mink aroused each dog’s curiosity, leading to the fatal leap of faith.

***Video on site

06-10-2011, 08:01 AM

Google Ups Research & Development to Make Solar Cheaper than Coal

Read more: Google Ups Research & Development to Make Solar Cheaper than Coal | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

It’s no mystery that Google is an internet powerhouse, but within the last couple of years, they have expanded their efforts to make big changes in the way we power our homes and cities. Their goal? To create a viable renewable energy option that is cheaper than coal, and their new patented solution just might do the trick. The concentrated solar technology makes use of a camera to adjust mirrors that optimize a given plant’s efficiency. The camera and a processing computer are located within the central tower of the solar thermal plant, and if a misalignment, or better (more efficient) angle is detected, then the mirrors are adjusted by robotic actuators.

Rather than focusing their efforts on lowering the cost of current solar technology, they have chosen to invest in the search for new solutions that could win the race against coal. In addition to hiring three new technology specialists for their R&D department, they’ve looked into grid power management strategies as well. Their PowerMeter Software coupled with their investment in various energy firms are further proof that Google is looking beyond ad-space to support their ever-growing company. In light of their $168 million dollar investment in the world’s largest solar tower in the Mojave Desert, it’s clear that Google’s sunny disposition towards renewables is here to stay.

06-10-2011, 08:10 AM

NASA will launch a spacecraft to an asteroid in 2016 and use a robotic arm to pluck samples that could better explain our solar system's formation and how life began. The mission, called Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, will be the first U.S. mission to carry samples from an asteroid back to Earth.




Osiris (play /əʊˈsaɪrɪs /; Ancient Greek: Ὄσιρις, also Usiris; the Egyptian language name is variously transliterated Asar, Asari, Aser, Ausar, Ausir, Wesir, Usir, Usire or Ausare) is an Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the Afterlife, the underworld and the dead. He is classically depicted as a green-skinned man with a pharaoh's beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive crown with two large ostrich feathers at either side, and holding a symbolic crook and flail.

Osiris is at times considered the oldest son of the Earth god Geb,[1] and the sky goddess Nut, as well as being brother and husband of Isis, with Horus being considered his posthumously begotten son.[1] He is also associated with the epithet Khenti-Amentiu, which means "Foremost of the Westerners" — a reference to his kingship in the land of the dead.[2] As ruler of the dead, Osiris is also sometimes called "king of the living", since the Ancient Egyptians considered the blessed dead "the living ones".[3]

Osiris is first attested in the middle of the Fifth dynasty of Egypt, although it is likely that he is worshipped much earlier;[4] the term Khenti-Amentiu dates to at least the first dynasty, also as a pharaonic title. Most information we have on the myths of Osiris is derived from allusions contained in the Pyramid Texts at the end of the Fifth Dynasty, later New Kingdom source documents such as the Shabaka Stone and the Contending of Horus and Seth, and, much later, in narrative style from the writings of Greek authors including Plutarch[5] and Diodorus Siculus.[6]

Osiris is not only a merciful judge of the dead in the afterlife, but also the underworld agency that granted all life, including sprouting vegetation and the fertile flooding of the Nile River. He is described as the "Lord of love",[7] "He Who is Permanently Benign and Youthful"[8] and the "Lord of Silence".[9] The Kings of Egypt were associated with Osiris in death — as Osiris rose from the dead they would, in union with him, inherit eternal life through a process of imitative magic. By the New Kingdom all people, not just pharaohs, were believed to be associated with Osiris at death if they incurred the costs of the assimilation rituals.[10]

Through the hope of new life after death Osiris began to be associated with the cycles observed in nature, in particular vegetation and the annual flooding of the Nile, through his links with Orion and Sirius at the start of the new year.[8] Osiris was widely worshiped as Lord of the Dead until the suppression of the Egyptian religion during the Christian era.[11][12]

06-10-2011, 08:14 AM

(Reuters) - A devastating wheat fungus is active in 11 countries in Africa and the Middle East, according to scientists striving to develop resistant varieties before the fungus can attack fields around the globe.

Up to 90 percent of the world's wheat is susceptible to the strain of stem rust, called Ug99, first detected in Uganda in 1999. The oval, brick-red lesions of stem rust sap wheat plants and cut yields by 50 to 70 percent over wide areas and can destroy entire fields.

Ahead of a meeting of scientists next week in St. Paul, Minnesota, researchers said they are close to producing rust-defeating varieties that also boost yields. Wheat is the most widely grown food grain in the world and is second only to rice as a food staple.

"We're pretty confident," said Ronnie Coffman of Cornell University, of endowing wheat with three or four genes that resist rust, a virtually unbeatable combination. Still, it can be years, even a decade, before resistance can be transferred into local varieties and grown widely.

The new varieties would not be genetically modified. Wheat growers have resisted using GMO seeds because of consumer concerns, especially in Europe.

06-10-2011, 08:18 AM

Bilderberg mystery: Why do people believe in cabals?

The politics of cabals has always been pretty muddled, says James McConnachie, co-author of the Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories. These groups allow protesters to project their own fears onto them.

In the US, the most extreme fear over Bilderberg is of a hidden cabal run by the European Union and threatening American freedoms. In Europe, the view is often of a free market elite trying to push through a right-wing agenda.

"Conspiracy theories are quite blind to conventional notions of left and right," says McConnachie. "The left is organising an international government. Meanwhile, global capitalism on the right may be doing the same thing by different means."

Would this article be misinformation, disinformation, truth, untruth?

06-10-2011, 08:40 AM
http://feeds.newscientist.com/c/749/f/10897/s/15c51bf0/l/0L0Snewscientist0N0Cblogs0Cbigwideworld0C20A110C0A 60Cis0Ean0Emsc0Ethe0Enew0Ebsc0Bhtml0DDCMP0FOTC0Ers s0Gnsref0Fonline0Enews/story01.htm

from New Scientist - Online News
2 people liked this
Tempted to put off the job hunt for another year? Surely a master's degree will make you more employable? Not necessarily

06-10-2011, 08:42 AM

06-10-2011, 10:18 AM

Zoologger: The hardest spider in the world


Species: Palpimanus gibbulus

Habitat: Mediterranean countries, particularly Spain and Portugal, lurking under rocks and tiptoeing towards other spiders

If you, like Mark Zuckerberg, plan to kill something and eat it, pick something that's either smaller than you or can't fight back, or preferably both. Otherwise you might bite off more than you can chew.

Not every predator takes things that easy. The desert long-eared bat happily munches on deadly scorpions, and recent footage showed a ground beetle tackling a toad several times its size. That's impressive, but toads are not exactly vicious predators.

To really display your ballsiness as a predator, you need to take on other predators – preferably ones that would eat you given half the chance. That's exactly what the spider-eating spider Palpimanus gibbulus does. This arachnid thug muscles its way into other spiders' homes and attacks them head-on.

06-13-2011, 07:23 AM

This week’s solar flare illuminates the grid’s vulnerability
June 13, 2011

Source: New York Times — June 9, 2011

The next peak cycle of sunspot activity is predicted for 2012–2014, bringing with it a greater risk of large geomagnetic storms that can generate powerful rogue currents in transmission lines, potentially damaging or destroying the large transformers that manage power flow over high-voltage networks.

In the worst-case scenario, the stockpile of spare transformers would fall far short of replacement needs. Urban centers across the continent would be without power for many months or even years, until new transformers could be manufactured and delivered from Asia. No comprehensive plan exists to retrofit the transmission grid with protective devices.

“The U.S. society and economy are so critically dependent upon the availability of electricity that a significant collapse of the grid precipitated by a major natural or man-made EMP [electro-magnetic pulse] event could result in catastrophic civilian casualties,” Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said at a May 31 House Energy subcommittee hearing on the issue.

06-13-2011, 07:59 AM
Trail of a walking tree

NEW DELHI: Scientist Dr Ashok Marathe, of Deccan College,Poona,India,claims to have found a walking mango tree which is 1,300 years old. He says the tree grows to a huge size,then lowers
one of its branches to the ground, some distance from the trunk, where it takes root.
As a new trunk starts to grow the old one withers away. Seniya Ukhadia, a 95 year-old villager, told the scientist that the tree had changed its location at least three times
in the last 50 years. (2)

06-13-2011, 08:09 AM

Researchers at the University of Bolton in the UK have developed a device capable of capturing energy from not only the sun and wind but rain, as well. The innovative generator is comprised of ribbons made from a piezoelectric polymer that generate energy currents when disturbed, and are also coated in flexible photovoltaic (PV) film that helps the device capture energy from the sun as well. In its current state the device can only generate small amounts of electricity but the researchers envision future pine cone shaped structures with thousands of ribbons vibrating in the wind and rain and soaking up the sun.

Elias Siores at the Institute for Materials Research and Innovation at the University of Bolton in the UK was one of the researchers on the project and said that the team’s goal was to get over the problem of renewable energy being intermittent. A field of wind turbines is great unless the wind isn’t blowing and a rooftop of solar panels can be helpful unless it is nighttime. Their new generator could help solve these problems by allowing one device to capture energy from a multitude of sources. “What we wanted was something that can take energy from different elements,” he told NewScientist.

The ribbons of piezoelectric polymer are capable of creating energy each time they are disturbed and the more forcefully they are moved the more energy they create. The team is looking into new applications for their technology and think they could create energy-generating clothing from the PV film-coated piezoelectric polymers by making a thread-like material from the same components. If successful the team could create a line of clothing that would generate energy with your own body movement and the elements in the world around you.

Read more: New Renewable Energy Generator Grabs Electricity from Rain as Well as Sun and Wind | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

06-13-2011, 08:24 AM

Full size
A mutant that kills cancer

Annalee Newitz — A medical researcher has discovered that a mutant gene once believed to cause cancerous tumors is actually the perfect weapon to stop them. Weirdly, it's possible that benign tumors may be the key to stopping cancer.

The Mayo Clinic's Dr. Honey Reddi experimented with thyroid cancer genes, and this week will present a paper at a meeting of the Endocrine Society in Boston about her incredible discovery. Reports the Mayo Clinic:

Dr. Reddi's discovery could have widespread implications in cancer research and endocrinology. It could help oncologists sharpen the diagnosis of specific types of thyroid cancers, while leading pharmaceutical researchers toward therapeutics derived from a protein once thought to feed tumor growth.

"It's not an oncogene like everyone thought it was," Dr. Reddi says, referring to a gene with the potential to cause cancer. "We all knew what happened in the cell culture, but we said, 'That's not good enough,' so we asked, 'What would it do in mice?'" . . . Dr. Reddi's research found that the PAX8/PPARγ fusion protein, developed from a mutated fusion gene found in many follicular thyroid carcinomas, functions as a tumor suppressor by upregulating (encourages natural production of) microRNA-122 and PTEN, both naturally occurring anti-tumor agents.

Read more via the Mayo Clinic website.

06-13-2011, 08:26 AM

Humans are cultivating almost 40 percent of the land surface of the earth, and nearly a third of all the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet comes from agriculture and forestry. Those emissions are linked not only to the factors that many people tend to think about, like the fossil fuels burned in transporting food; that, in fact, is only a minor source of emissions.

Nitrogen fertilizer, though essential to producing food for seven billion people, is one large source of emissions, and not only because it requires natural gas to produce. After it is spread on farmers’ fields, a portion of it turns into a potent greenhouse gas that escapes into the atmosphere. (As many people know, some nitrogen also washes into rivers and streams, ultimately making its way to the ocean, where it contributes to dead zones at the mouths of many of our great rivers, including the Mississippi.)

The biggest of all the ways that agriculture contributes to climate change, though, is the chopping down of forests to make way for farms and cattle grazing. The world’s forests are enormous stores of carbon dioxide, and when they are cleared, the vegetation that is burned or allowed to decay oxidizes into carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas. In recent years, changes in land use have accounted for some 25 percent of the carbon dioxide being emitted on the planet, and the bulk of those changes are driven by agriculture.

As my colleague Elisabeth Rosenthal has reported here and here, efforts are under way to slow deforestation. But scientists say that alone will not be enough. Somehow, even as humanity increases the production of food over the coming decades, it must reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture. The alternative is continued ecological degradation and a worsening of climate change, which in turn would make food production harder.

When you view the problem in that light, the challenge of feeding ourselves becomes that much larger.

06-13-2011, 08:35 AM

Humans are cultivating almost 40 percent of the land surface of the earth, and nearly a third of all the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet comes from agriculture and forestry. Those emissions are linked not only to the factors that many people tend to think about, like the fossil fuels burned in transporting food; that, in fact, is only a minor source of emissions.

Nitrogen fertilizer, though essential to producing food for seven billion people, is one large source of emissions, and not only because it requires natural gas to produce. After it is spread on farmers’ fields, a portion of it turns into a potent greenhouse gas that escapes into the atmosphere. (As many people know, some nitrogen also washes into rivers and streams, ultimately making its way to the ocean, where it contributes to dead zones at the mouths of many of our great rivers, including the Mississippi.)

The biggest of all the ways that agriculture contributes to climate change, though, is the chopping down of forests to make way for farms and cattle grazing. The world’s forests are enormous stores of carbon dioxide, and when they are cleared, the vegetation that is burned or allowed to decay oxidizes into carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas. In recent years, changes in land use have accounted for some 25 percent of the carbon dioxide being emitted on the planet, and the bulk of those changes are driven by agriculture.

As my colleague Elisabeth Rosenthal has reported here and here, efforts are under way to slow deforestation. But scientists say that alone will not be enough. Somehow, even as humanity increases the production of food over the coming decades, it must reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture. The alternative is continued ecological degradation and a worsening of climate change, which in turn would make food production harder.

When you view the problem in that light, the challenge of feeding ourselves becomes that much larger.


The New Geopolitics of Food
From the Middle East to Madagascar, high prices are spawning land grabs and ousting dictators. Welcome to the 21st-century food wars.


The Myth of 9 Billion
Why ignoring family planning overseas was the worst foreign-policy mistake of the century.

This week, the United Nations Population Division made a radical shift in its population projections. Previously, the organization had estimated that the number of people living on the planet would reach around 9 billion by 2050 -- and then level off. Now everything has changed: Rather than leveling off, the population size will continue to grow, reaching 10 billion or more at century's end.

06-13-2011, 12:01 PM
Congratulations Tennessee! Governor Bill Haslam has put your state in the national spotlight and, for once, it has nothing to do with Bonnaroo or how bad the Titans are. The republican executive of the state signed a ban on "distressing images" into law last week that we're sure constitutional lawyers are going to have a field day with. Anyone who sends or posts an image online (and yes, that includes TwitPics) that they "reasonably should know" would "cause emotional distress" could face several months in jail and thousands of dollars in fines. The best part? Anyone who stumbles across the image is a viable "victim" under the law and the government doesn't even have to prove any harmful intent. So, Tennessee residents who aren't cautious enough using Google image search could get a few people in trouble. Another, and perhaps more perturbing, part of the same bill also seeks to circumvent restrictions on obtaining private messages and information from social networking sites without a search warrant. We give it about a month before this gets struck down on obvious grounds that it's unconstitutional.


06-13-2011, 12:17 PM

Ellsberg Discusses How Crimes Nixon Committed Are Now Considered Legal

Posted by Pelliciari on June 10, 2011

Photo: Thomas Good (CC)

Is President Obama getting away with some of the same offenses that led to Nixon’s resignation? Daniel Ellsberg thinks so. The Raw Story reports:

Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg said Tuesday that disgraced former Republican President Richard M. Nixon would “admire [President Barack] Obama’s boldness” in trying to stifle whistleblowers.

“Richard Nixon, if he were alive today, might take bittersweet satisfaction to know that he was not the last smart president to prolong unjustifiably a senseless, unwinnable war, at great cost in human life,” Ellsberg told CNN. “And his aide Henry Kissinger was not the last American official to win an undeserved Nobel Peace Prize.”

“He would probably also feel vindicated (and envious) that ALL the crimes he committed against me — which forced his resignation facing impeachment — are now legal,” he continued.

“That includes burglarizing my former psychoanalyst’s office (for material to blackmail me into silence), warrantless wiretapping, using the CIA against an American citizen in the US, and authorizing a White House hit squad to ‘incapacitate me totally’ (on the steps of the Capitol on May 3, 1971)… But under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, with the PATRIOT Act, the FISA Amendment Act, and (for the hit squad) President Obama’s executive orders. [T]hey have all become legal.”

06-13-2011, 12:31 PM

Ellsberg Discusses How Crimes Nixon Committed Are Now Considered Legal

Posted by Pelliciari on June 10, 2011

Photo: Thomas Good (CC)

Is President Obama getting away with some of the same offenses that led to Nixon’s resignation? Daniel Ellsberg thinks so. The Raw Story reports:

Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg said Tuesday that disgraced former Republican President Richard M. Nixon would “admire [President Barack] Obama’s boldness” in trying to stifle whistleblowers.

“Richard Nixon, if he were alive today, might take bittersweet satisfaction to know that he was not the last smart president to prolong unjustifiably a senseless, unwinnable war, at great cost in human life,” Ellsberg told CNN. “And his aide Henry Kissinger was not the last American official to win an undeserved Nobel Peace Prize.”

“He would probably also feel vindicated (and envious) that ALL the crimes he committed against me — which forced his resignation facing impeachment — are now legal,” he continued.

“That includes burglarizing my former psychoanalyst’s office (for material to blackmail me into silence), warrantless wiretapping, using the CIA against an American citizen in the US, and authorizing a White House hit squad to ‘incapacitate me totally’ (on the steps of the Capitol on May 3, 1971)… But under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, with the PATRIOT Act, the FISA Amendment Act, and (for the hit squad) President Obama’s executive orders. [T]hey have all become legal.”

All in the name of freedom baby. The irony is so complete, George Orwell could not have written a more nightmarish contruct had he tried.

In a democracy laws should protect citizens from the state, in a dictatorship the laws protect the state from the people, and right now laws are not being written that protect citizens.

06-13-2011, 12:46 PM
All in the name of freedom baby. The irony is so complete, George Orwell could not have written a more nightmarish contruct had he tried.

In a democracy laws should protect citizens from the state, in a dictatorship the laws protect the state from the people, and right now laws are not being written that protect citizens.

i wonder what the resolution is. Is there any solution to this problem?

06-13-2011, 12:47 PM

My Little Pony Corrals Unlikely Fanboys Known as ‘Bronies’

Each day, out-of-work computer programmer Luke Allen self-medicates by watching animated ponies have magical adventures.

The 32-year-old, who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, loves his daily fix of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, and he’s not alone. He’s part of a growing group of “bronies” (“bro ponies”) — men who are fans of a TV show largely intended for a much younger audience.

“First we can’t believe this show is so good, then we can’t believe we’ve become fans for life, then we can’t believe we’re walking down the pink aisle at Toys R Us or asking for the girl’s toy in our Happy Meal,” Allen said in an e-mail to Wired.com. “Then we can’t believe our friends haven’t seen it yet, then we can’t believe they’re becoming bronies too.”

Every nerd has a favorite TV show they watch religiously and know inside and out. But My Little Pony seems like an unlikely object of fanboy love. Since the show debuted last fall on cable channel Hub TV, it’s attracted a growing number of male fanatics. Their love of the show is internet neo-sincerity at its best: In addition to watching the show, these teenage, twenty- and thirtysomething guys are creating pony art, posting fan videos on YouTube and feeding threads on 4chan (and their own chan, Ponychan).

They also risk life, limb and being trolled to death on the /co/ board to fawn over a small gaggle of ponies with names like Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash.

06-13-2011, 12:51 PM

Poll finds Americans angry about pretty much everything

A new Newsweek/Daily Beast poll finds that Americans are angry about…pretty much everything. From President Obama to congressional Republicans to even God (who has a 33 percent approval rating), everyone needs to watch out for an angry mob coming their way.

Unemployment is at 9.1 percent, gas and grocery prices are skyrocketing, the housing market is in the dumps, and people aren’t happy. Three quarters of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, and 81 percent say the job market is not where it needs to be. Half of respondents don’t think Obama has a plan to balance the budget, and 58 percent think Republicans aren’t doing their part to balance the budget either.

The poll finds that Americans are being affected by their anger in other parts of life as well. Fifty-six percent are so angry that they can’t even sleep and 13 percent say the anxiety has affected their sex life. Twenty-six percent of married respondents claim the country’s economic problems have affected their marriage, with more than half of those people saying it has made their marriage worse.

06-13-2011, 12:57 PM
Add this to places I want to go to:



Mount Roraima is the highest of the Pakaraima mountain chain in South America. The 31 square kilometer summit area is defined by 400 meter tall cliffs on all sides and includes the borders of Brazil, Venezuela, and Guyana. The tabletop mountains of the Pakaraima’s are considered some of the oldest geological formations on Earth, dating back to some two billion years ago.


06-13-2011, 01:47 PM
Have any of you guys heard of 'the game'?


The Game is a mental game where the objective is to avoid thinking about The Game itself. Thinking about The Game constitutes a loss, which, according to the rules of The Game, must be announced each time it occurs. It is impossible to win most versions of The Game; players can only attempt to avoid losing for as long as they possibly can. The Game has been variously described as pointless and infuriating, or as challenging and fun to play.[1] As of 2010, The Game is played by millions worldwide.[1][2][3][4][5]

Is this the secret solution to our problems in the world?

06-14-2011, 06:49 AM
Facebook loses 6M U.S. users in May
Facebook may continue to gain users, but the world’s biggest social network isn’t gaining them as quickly as it has been and is actually losing users in the U.S.

Facebook gained 11.8 million more users last month alone, according to a study by Inside Facebook. While that’s a lot of new users, it’s less than the 13.9 million new users who joined the site in April, or the 20 million gain during some months in the past year.

And while Inside Facebook reports that the social network is approaching 700 million users worldwide, the number of U.S. users has dropped. The study found that Facebook lost 6 million U.S. users in May.

06-14-2011, 06:52 AM

'Thermally activated cooling system' puts waste heat to use


Automobiles, appliances, power plants, factories and electrical utilities all waste one thing: heat. More specifically, they produce heat as a by-product of their normal operations, but that heat is just dispersed into the air instead of being put to use. Researchers from Oregon State University, however, have created a prototype system that harnesses waste heat to (rather ironically) cool the device that's creating the heat in the first place. While it isn't the first system to do so, it is claimed to be unusually efficient ... and, it can generate electricity.

The "thermally activated cooling system" combines two systems that have previously been used for the harnessing and dispersion of waste heat - a vapor compression cycle and an organic Rankine cycle.

A vapor compression cycle is what's at work in a refrigerator. It incorporates a recirculating liquid refrigerant, that (in this case) travels through microchannel heat exchangers, absorbing and carrying heat away from hot surfaces, to be released elsewhere.

An organic Rankine cycle, on the other hand, utilizes an organic liquid with a lower liquid-vapor phase change point than that of water. This means that it doesn't take as high a temperature to get it to boil, and once it boils, it can generate electricity.

By combining the two cycles, heat is both drawn away, and put to work powering cooling systems. The prototype at OSU has already been shown to be capable of turning 80 percent of every kilowatt of waste heat into one kilowatt of cooling capability.

When it comes to pure electricity production, the thermally activated cooling system isn't quite as impressive, coming out at 15-20 percent efficiency. Not great, admit the researchers, but still considerably better than nothing.

They envision the system being used to cool electronics, factories, alternative energy systems, and perhaps even to use the heat from hybrid cars' combustion engines to charge their batteries.

The research was recently published in the journal Applied Thermal Engineering.

06-14-2011, 06:55 AM


You might remember this wonderful innovation from Litracon® – translucent concrete – from its days as a prototype with small (paid) samples available to interested architects. Now, however, it has begun to be deployed in real-life buildings.



06-14-2011, 06:57 AM
New Zealand police catch drink-driving family
from Nothing To Do With Arbroath by arbroath
1 person liked this
It must have set a record, but it's one a South Canterbury family would surely much rather not have, after three of them were booked for drink-driving on the same night.

The saga began at about 12.15am on Saturday when a 15-year-old boy was stopped and arrested for drink-driving on State Highway 1 near Pareora. He blew 529 micrograms per litre of breath, more than three and a half times the youth limit.

The teenager was taken to the Timaru police station for processing, where his mother was called to collect him. She was subsequently stopped and arrested for drink-driving on Craigie Ave at about 2.14am, after blowing 776 mcg, nearly twice the adult limit of 400.

But it wasn't over there. The woman then rang her partner to come and pick them both up. He was stopped and arrested on North St at about 3am, when he blew 559mcg.

06-14-2011, 06:59 AM

When is our large neighbor to the west going to figure this one out? Sorry New Yorkers … but hopefully we are on the road to legalization in Connecticut. Daniela Altimari writes in the Hartford Courant:

After a lengthy debate, the state House of Representatives gave final legislative approval to a bill that decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The vote was 90 to 57 in favor and came after a spirited discussion that stretched on for nearly five hours.

The bill now goes to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who immediately hailed its passage and pledged to sign it when it reaches his desk.

“Final approval of this legislation accepts the reality that the current law does more harm than good — both in the impact it has on people’s lives and the burden it places on police, prosecutors and probation officers of the criminal justice system,” Malloy said in a statement emailed to reporters moments after the vote was tallied.

“Let me make it clear — we are not legalizing the use of marijuana. In modifying this law, we are recognizing that the punishment should fit the crime, and acknowledging the effects of its application. There is no question that the state’s criminal justice resources could be more effectively utilized for convicting, incarcerating and supervising violent and more serious offenders,” Malloy said.

Read More in the Hartford Courant

06-14-2011, 07:11 AM
http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/apocalypse_now_legendary_investor_jeremy_grantham_ thinks_were_screwed/

Apocalypse Now: Legendary investor Jeremy Grantham thinks we’re screwed

Today, via the often quirky Business Insider website, I came across an alarming presentation from Jeremy Grantham. Does his name ring a bell? Jeremy Grantham is a co-founder and the Chief Investment Strategist of Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo (GMO), an asset management firm with more than $108 billion dollars in assets under their care. It’s one of the largest asset management firms in the world.

Grantham is noted for his prediction of various bubbles in asset classes and his knack for seeing which direction the market is moving in. Lately he’s turned very, very bearish. Now, Grantham’s insisting: “We’re headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.”

Summary of the Summary
The world is using up its natural resources at an alarming rate, and this has caused a permanent shift in their value. We all need to adjust our behavior to this new environment. It would help if we did it quickly.

Until about 1800, our species had no safety margin and lived, like other animals, up to the limit of the food supply, ebbing and flowing in population.
From about 1800 on the use of hydrocarbons allowed for an explosion in energy use, in food supply, and, through the creation of surpluses, a dramatic increase in wealth and scientific progress.
Since 1800, the population has surged from 800 million to 7 billion, on its way to an estimated 8 billion, at minimum.
The rise in population, the ten-fold increase in wealth in developed countries, and the current explosive growth in developing countries have eaten rapidly into our finite resources of hydrocarbons and metals, fertilizer, available land, and water.
Now, despite a massive increase in fertilizer use, the growth in crop yields per acre has declined from 3.5% in the 1960s to 1.2% today. There is little productive new land to bring on and, as people get richer, they eat more grain-intensive meat. Because the population continues to grow at over 1%, there is little safety margin.
The problems of compounding growth in the face of finite resources are not easily understood by optimistic, short-term-oriented, and relatively innumerate humans (especially the political variety).
The fact is that no compound growth is sustainable. If we maintain our desperate focus on growth, we will run out of everything and crash. We must substitute qualitative growth for quantitative growth.
But Mrs. Market is helping, and right now she is sending us the Mother of all price signals. The prices of all important commodities except oil declined for 100 years until 2002, by an average of 70%. From 2002 until now, this entire decline was erased by a bigger price surge than occurred during World War II.
Statistically, most commodities are now so far away from their former downward trend that it makes it very probable that the old trend has changed – that there is in fact a Paradigm Shift – perhaps the most important economic event since the Industrial Revolution.
Climate change is associated with weather instability, but the last year was exceptionally bad. Near term it will surely get less bad.
Excellent long-term investment opportunities in resources and resource efficiency are compromised by the high chance of an improvement in weather next year and by the possibility that China may stumble.
From now on, price pressure and shortages of resources will be a permanent feature of our lives. This will increasingly slow down the growth rate of the developed and developing world and put a severe burden on poor countries.
We all need to develop serious resource plans, particularly energy policies. There is little time to waste.

You can go through the entire presentation at Business Insider. His charts show long, long term patterns and trends. Numbers don’t lie. There is very definitely a cause for concern. I’d very very curious what the Freakonomics guys had to say about this…

06-14-2011, 07:28 AM

Angry crows dive-bomb officers in Everett, Wash.
The Associated Press
Published: Friday, Jun. 10, 2011 - 10:28 am
Last Modified: Friday, Jun. 10, 2011 - 11:59 am

EVERETT, Wash. -- Officers at a Seattle-area police department have found themselves in a flap with some unusual suspects: an angry flock of birds.

Crows have been attacking police in the parking lot of an Everett Police Department precinct station. They've been swooping down and dive-bombing the officers as they walk to and from their cars.

Lt. Bob Johns said he recently was flanked by the aggressive birds and "got zinged."

"They're like velociraptors," Johns said.

One officer used his siren to try to scare away the crows, but it didn't work. The birds responded by decorating his car with droppings, The Daily Herald reported.

State Fish and Wildlife Department biologist Ruth Milner said the birds are simply protecting baby crows that have been kicked out of the nest and are learning to fly. Adult crows are quite protective of their young - a common trait among larger birds and birds of prey.

"All they're doing is defending their nest," Milner said.

She noted crows also can recognize people's individual features. And they hold grudges.

"If your cops have done something that (the crows) perceive as a threat, they could be keying in on them because they're all wearing the same kind of uniform," Milner said.

In addition to the officers, at least a dozen city employees have encountered the angry crows, and some have complained about being attacked, city spokeswoman Kate Reardon said. But she said police and city workers have agreed to let the crows be, and wait out the aggression.

She said the employees will be cautious but can use umbrellas to defend themselves if need be.

Everett is about 25 miles north of Seattle.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/06/10/3691518/angry-crows-dive-bomb-officers.html#ixzz1PFyrjR73

06-15-2011, 09:33 AM

06-17-2011, 07:36 AM
Are we on the verge of the science-fiction Holy Grail? Researchers 'one step closer' to finding out why matter dominates the universe (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2003842/Researchers-closer-Holy-Grail-science-finding-matter-dominates-universe.html)

Researchers are today one step closer to understanding why matter and not anti-matter dominates the universe.

An international team working in Japan has discovered that three of the most basic particles in existence can ‘flip’ into each other.

The research is only preliminary as it was halted by the ***ushima earthquake, but if proved correct will be a breakthrough in understanding the cosmos.

Previous experiments had observed two kinds of ‘flipping’, where the neutrinos suddenly turn into each other, but now T2K has identified a third.

This involved a muon neutrino turning into an electron neutrino, the first time such a transformation had been recorded.

It raises the possibility that neutrinos - and matter in general - have different qualities to them than anti-neutrinos.

Such differences may one day help explain why it is matter which makes up our universe and not anti-matter.

Neutrinos caught 'shape shifting' in new way (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20578-neutrinos-caught-shape-shifting-in-new-way.html)

Neutrinos have been caught spontaneously flip-flopping from one type to another in a way never previously seen. Further observations of this behaviour may shed light on how matter came to dominate over antimatter in the universe.

Neutrinos are among the most slippery particles known to physics. They rarely interact with ordinary matter, but massive experiments have been set up to detect the flashes of light produced when they do.

There are three known types, or flavours, of neutrino: electron, muon, and tau. Several experiments have found evidence that some flavours can spontaneously change into others, a phenomenon called neutrino oscillations. For example muon neutrinos can change into tau neutrinos.

Now, results from a Japanese experiment called T2K have tentatively added a new kind of transformation to the list of allowed types – the metamorphosis of muon neutrinos into electron neutrinos.

T2K generates muon neutrinos at the J-PARC accelerator in Tokai, Japan, and sends them in a beam towards the Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector in Kamioka, 295 kilometres away. It began operating in February 2010 and stopped gathering data in March, when Japan was rocked by the magnitude-9 megaquakeMovie Camera.

06-17-2011, 07:41 AM

(Reuters) - A monster black hole shredded a Sun-like star, producing a strangely long-lasting flash of gamma rays that probably won't be seen again in a million years, astronomers reported on Thursday.


Hubble spies a firestorm of star birth

06-17-2011, 07:58 AM

Marilyn and MJ12
Kennedy, Monroe and the mind-control memo

I know there hasn’t been much glamour in this column, but how about Marilyn Monroe, JFK and UFOs? The Daily Mail revived this one on 19 April with “Was JFK killed because of his interest in aliens? Secret memo shows presid­ent demanded UFO files 10 days before his death”. JFK was proposing joint Soviet-American space exploration (in 1963!)[1] and, though the memo’s intent isn’t entirely clear, he seems to have been asking the CIA to review their UFO files in the hope of providing information about the ‘unknowns’ – presumably unidentified sightings – to persuade the Soviets that the UFOs they were seeing were not US espionage devices: “It is import­ant that we make a clear distinction between the knowns and unknowns in the event the Soviets try to mistake our extended cooperation as a cover for intelligence gathering of their defense and space programs.”

06-17-2011, 08:44 AM

How IBM Technology Jump Started the Holocaust

The Nazis' persecution of Jews was brutal, methodical, and horrifyingly efficient. However, their perverse efforts were only realized with the assistance of a Hollerith Machine - IBM's custom-built tabulation system. IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black explains.

06-17-2011, 09:20 AM

Spies can send messages hidden in a Google search

06-17-2011, 09:33 AM

Toxin From Genetically Modified Crops Detected In Canadians’ Blood

Until now, scientists and multinational corporations promoting GM crops have maintained that Bt toxin poses no danger to human health as the protein breaks down in the human gut. But the presence of this toxin in human blood shows that this does not happen.

Eating GM corn, soy, and potatoes is perfectly safe, provided you don’t mind having a powerful toxin swirling in your bloodstream. Oh, and your unborn baby’s bloodstream as well. So says a debbie-downer peer-reviewed Canadian study, India Today reports:

Fresh doubts have arisen about the safety of genetically modified crops, with a new study reporting presence of Bt toxin, used widely in GM crops, in human blood for the first time.

Scientists from the University of Sherbrooke, Canada, have detected the insecticidal protein, Cry1Ab, circulating in the blood of pregnant as well as non-pregnant women. They have also detected the toxin in fetal blood, implying it could pass on to the next generation. The research paper has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in the journal Reproductive Toxicology.

They were all consuming typical Canadian diet that included GM foods such as soybeans, corn and potatoes. Blood samples were taken before delivery for pregnant women and at tubal ligation for non-pregnant women. Umbilical cord blood sampling was done after birth.

Cry1Ab toxin was detected in 93 per cent and 80 per cent of maternal and fetal blood samples, respectively and in 69 per cent of tested blood samples from non-pregnant women.

06-17-2011, 09:34 AM

Commuting is Making Us Fat and Miserable

People who commute more than 45 minutes a day are more likely to get divorced, according to a Swedish study. And that’s just one of many studies indicating that commuting ruins lives that Slate’s Annie Lowrey shares in a recent story on the subject. “The joy of living in a big, exurban house, or that extra income leftover from your cheap rent? It is almost certainly not worth it,” she writes.

Long commutes are associated with neck and back pain, high levels of stress, obesity and a high level of dissatisfaction with one’s life and work.

06-17-2011, 10:20 AM

06-17-2011, 10:42 AM

06-17-2011, 11:13 AM

A huge waterspout — a tornado of water — darts down from the sky and appears to strike a huge cruise ship. The towering torrent of water stretched over 300 foot from the heavens — and whipped up ferocious waves around it for two hours. Luckily for passengers onboard the nearby ship, the powerful tornado of water struck just a hundred metres in front — creating the illusion that it was a direct hit. Stormchaser Daniel Pavlinovic captured the stunning shots from the safety of dry land in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Picture: DANIEL PAVLINOVIC / CATERS NEWS

06-17-2011, 11:16 AM

How The Top 10 Military Contractors Lobby In Tandem

Posted by JacobSloan on June 16, 2011

Irregular Times discovers the beautiful geometry of evil cronyism:

Tightly connected. Massively funded. Working for war. This is what the peace movements are up against. Together, the top ten federal contractors, all working for the military, received $138.4 Billion in taxpayer funds through federal contracts during fiscal year 2010. In the first three months of 2011 alone, these ten corporations paid for the services of no fewer than 109 different lobbying firms, deployed to Capitol Hill along with their own in-house corporate lobbyists. A line is drawn between any two military contractors if they both hired the services of at least one lobbying firm in common; the number indicates the number of lobbying firms hired in common:


06-20-2011, 06:44 AM
I had just learned about about Fort Calhoun, I had just read that this morning in an alex jones posting. In that link (http://www.infowars.com/12-things-that-the-mainstream-media-is-being-strangely-quiet-about-right-now/#), I picked up another story on large cracks suddenly forming in the earth:

#7 All over the world, huge cracks are appearing for no discernible reason. For example, a massive crack that is approximately 3 kilometers (http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2011/03/07/scientists-are-sounding-the-alarm-the-mysterious-cracks-appear-across-the-planet/) long recent appeared in southern Peru. Also, a 500 foot long crack suddenly appeared recently in the state of Michigan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtTmnXt1TUQ&feature=player_embedded). When you also throw in all of the gigantic sinkholes that have been opening all over the world (http://thisistheendoftheworldasweknowit.com/archives/sinkholes-2010), it is easy to conclude that the planet is becoming very unstable.

From one of the above links:

Scientists are sounding the alarm: the mysterious cracks appear across the planet (http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2011/03/07/scientists-are-sounding-the-alarm-the-mysterious-cracks-appear-across-the-planet/)


Scientists do not know what to think about: South America is bursting at the seams. In southern Peru, suddenly appeared a huge crack length of 3 km and a width of about 100 meters.

Anomaly occurred in the district Huakullani Chukuito province near the famous Lake Titicaca. A crack has appeared almost immediately: the earth like a burst at the site of a large tension, the far scattered huge chunks of soil.

Interestingly, the crack did not appear in the earthquake. In general, there was no catastrophe, the earth simply gone. The crack occurred on level ground and is not associated with any disasters. Scientists are confused with this fact. Cracks also appear in neighboring Bolivia. And not so long ago, the crack happened in Africa – Ethiopia (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18114-giant-crack-in-africa-formed-in-just-days.html). Maybe these phenomena is common nature: the continents literally split in front of mankind.

Further reading (http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2011/03/07/scientists-are-sounding-the-alarm-the-mysterious-cracks-appear-across-the-planet/):

Recommended readings:
Large Crack Opens in the Earth in Southern Peru (SoTT)
Giant crack in Africa formed in just days (NewScientist)
Iceland Lake Disappearing Into New Crack in Earth (National Geographic)
ESA’s Envisat satellite witnesses Earth’s largest crack (ESA News)
Deepest crack on earth found in the Caribbean (CNN)
Trinco Earth Crack: No stepping (LankaPuvath)
A Crack Opens in the Ethiopian Landscape, Preparing the Way for a New Sea (DiscoverMagazine)
Tremors Point to a Stressed-Out Stretch of the San Andrea Fault (Discover Magazine)
Earth crack a mistery (EHExtra)
500 foot crack in the earth appears in Michigan, US (FromTheOld)

Oh yeah:

Giant crack in Africa formed in just days



06-20-2011, 07:25 AM
5.0 out of 5 stars pure awesome, December 7, 2008
Daniel Mauro
This review is from: Stanley FatMax Xtreme 55-120 FuBar III (Tools & Home Improvement)
i was surfing the web one day when i came across this glorious tool. i knew immediately that i had to have one. i waited a few days, calling around to local hardware stores to see if they carried it. unfortunately i could only find its smaller brothers. they were not for me, i needed the full size tool of destruction. so i looked online and amazon had the best price (plus i got free shipping!!!). i bought it and it arrived. i took it out and checked it out. pure awesomeness. i took it around with me. showed everyone i knew. they were all jealous of me for having something so awesome.

my buddy calls me one day and asks me to come over and help him take down the shed out behind his house. i go over there, fubar in hand, and i start destroying the thing. there is nothing so satisfying, as smashing things up. and this is definitely the tool to do it. i had half the thing down before my friend even got started.

i give this thing 5 stars. because it does exactly what its supposed to do. and it is perfect at what it does. so whether you're looking to demolish something...or you're getting weapons togeather for the zombie appocalypse...this tool is for you.


06-20-2011, 08:32 AM

Eisenhower's worst fears came true. We invent enemies to buy the bombs

Britain faces no serious threat, yet keeps waging war. While big defence exists, glory-hungry politicians will use it

06-20-2011, 08:34 AM

Scientists Successfully Implant Chip That Controls The Brain; Allowing Thoughts, Memory And Behavior To Be Transferred From One Brain To Another

06-20-2011, 09:25 AM
Man says drinking 48 beers was probably 10 too many
from Nothing To Do With Arbroath by arbroath
1 person liked this
For his 58th birthday, James Taylor said he drank 48 beers: This, he later told a deputy, was probably 10 too many. And that's how Taylor, a transient, not the famous singer, found himself in this situation:

At about 7:50 p.m. on Wednesday he was at Hudson Beach shouting at people, getting a stern talking-to from a deputy for causing a disturbance, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. Taylor left. He came back.

This time, his rantings were so fierce he terrified a grandmother and her young grandchildren, the report states. Then, just before 9 p.m., authorities said, Taylor exposed his genitals and "urinated in the middle of the sand." When finished, Taylor "went back to yelling profanities," the report said.

The deputy returned and arrested Taylor, who was taken to the Land O'Lakes jail after being medically cleared. He was charged with disorderly intoxication in a public place and causing a disturbance. He remains at the jail in lieu of $100 bail.

06-20-2011, 09:40 AM

Expert: Prince William is the Antichrist, future king of one world government

06-20-2011, 01:31 PM

Bronco Bob
06-21-2011, 02:12 AM

Expert: Prince William is the Antichrist, future king of one world government

I thought is was Ronald Wilson Reagan (6 letters in each name, 666)

06-21-2011, 08:32 AM
I thought is was Ronald Wilson Reagan (6 letters in each name, 666)

Satan's everywhere i guess. :D

06-21-2011, 08:33 AM

JERUSALEM — A Jerusalem rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a dog it suspects is the reincarnation of a secular lawyer who insulted the court's judges 20 years ago, Ynet website reported Friday.

According to Ynet, the large dog made its way into the Monetary Affairs Court in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, frightening judges and plaintiffs.

Despite attempts to drive the dog out of the court, the hound refused to leave the premises.

One of the sitting judges then recalled a curse the court had passed down upon a secular lawyer who had insulted the judges two decades previously.

Their preferred divine retribution was for the lawyer's spirit to move into the body of a dog, an animal considered impure by traditional Judaism.

Clearly still offended, one of the judges sentenced the animal to death by stoning by local children.

The canine target, however, managed to escape.

"Let the Animals Live", an animal-welfare organisation filed a complaint with the police against the head of the court, Rabbi Avraham Dov Levin, who denied that the judges had called for the dog's stoning, Ynet reported.

One of the court's managers, however, confirmed the report of the lapidation sentence to Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot.

"It was ordered... as an appropriate way to 'get back at' the spirit which entered the poor dog," the paper reported the manager as saying, according to Ynet.

Certain schools of thought within Judaism believe in the transmigration of souls, or reincarnation.

06-21-2011, 08:51 AM

Warning: extreme weather ahead

Tornados, wildfires, droughts and floods were once seen as freak conditions. But the environmental disasters now striking the world are shocking signs of 'global weirding'


A tornado makes its way across Baca county, Colorado, in May 2010. Photograph: Willoughby Owen/Getty Images/Flickr

06-21-2011, 09:18 AM

Colton Harris-Moore Pleads Guilty, Looking at 5.25 – 6.5 Years in Prison

The U.S. government now owns the story of Colton Harris-Moore, the gawky delinquent thief and burglar who will cool his heels in prison while a movie about his exploits as the “Barefoot Bandit” appears headed for a theater near you.

The 20-year-old Harris-Moore pleaded guilty to seven federal felony charges Friday in a plea agreement that recommends he serve between 5 ¼ and 6 ½ years in prison to resolve the federal aspects of his two-year crime spree, including the thefts of two airplanes and a boat and being a fugitive in possession of a firearm.

06-21-2011, 10:24 AM


06-21-2011, 12:19 PM

Insane Clown Posse puts a stop to Upright Citizens Brigade show mocking Juggalos

by Sean O'Neal June 20, 2011

According to members of the Upright Citizens Brigade, the Insane Clown Posse forced the cancellation of a UCB show, after issuing a cease and desist and threatening legal action over Saturday’s scheduled “The Gathering Of The Juggalos For A Mother ****ing Baby Funeral” at the group’s New York theater. Presumably based on this, the performance was structured as a fake send-off for an 8-month-old Juggalette, complete with “music, clowns, bereavement, stand up comedy, bar-b-que, scripture readings, hatchets, mother ****in' eulogizing, midgets wrestling retarded monkeys, and huge-ass titties,” and hosted by Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope themselves. Or rather, "Violent J" and "Shaggy 2 Dope," as UCB cast members dug deep to find some aspect of their personalities they could then blow up into outsized parody, using their well-honed comic sensibilities.

Unfortunately, not only is the death of a baby Juggalette one of the two or three worst things that happens to Juggalos and therefore no laughing matter, holding a faux Juggalo funeral apparently infringes on the Juggalo brand that Mssrs. J and 2 Dope have labored so intensively to cultivate over the years, leading them to seek their totally wicked, balls-out legal action. And naturally, there were also apparently vague threats of actual members of Juggalo Nation showing up to protest the mocking of their very serious lifestyle as psycho clowns—psycho clowns with feelings. But thanks to ICP’s last-minute intervention, both their band and their fans have been saved from becoming objects of derision.

06-23-2011, 07:52 AM
Will Work for 25 Cents an Hour!
How bad is the job market? Tom Weber chronicles the lowest hourly wage that Americans, and others around the world, will accept for an hour of work. (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/06/22/americans-will-work-for-25-cents-an-hour.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thedailybeast%2Farticles+%28T he+Daily+Beast+-+Latest+Articles%29)

06-23-2011, 08:45 AM

New plant disease linked to GM crops and pesticides

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

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

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

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

“It will kill a chicken embryo for instance in 24-48 hours.”

Professor Huber says it isn’t clear yet whether it is the GM crops or the use of the pesticide glyphosate that causes the pathogen. But he says his research shows both the pesticide and the GM crops also reduce the ability of plants to absorb nutrients from the soil that are necessary for animal health.

06-23-2011, 09:35 AM

Don't have sex with a time-travelling sea monkey

06-23-2011, 10:29 AM

06-30-2011, 06:49 AM

Angry Birds: Crows Never Forget Your Face
Mess with a crow, and it will remember your face for over five years, research shows.

Crows remember the faces of "dangerous humans," with the memories likely lasting for a bird's lifetime.
Crows may scold people who threaten them, bringing in relatives and even strangers to mob the person.
The crows within mobs then indirectly learn about the person, so they too associate that individual's face with danger and react accordingly.

06-30-2011, 07:02 AM

First evidence that birds tweet using grammar

Bird words?

Constance Scharff, who works on birdsong at the Free University of Berlin, Germany, says the work is important because it is often claimed that humans are the only species that uses grammar.

"It's an ingenious experiment showing that birds are sensitive to changes in song that are consistent with different grammars," she says. "More and more, we are seeing similarities between humans and animals, and that makes some people uneasy."

06-30-2011, 07:07 AM
from Disinfo.com by JacobSloan

Fake soy sauce flavored with hair salon clippings? Fake eggs implanted in fake eggshells? Amazingly, it gets worse in this Los Angeles Times piece on China’s fast-ballooning food safety issues. Never have I been so thankful for the FDA:

If anything, China’s food scandals are becoming increasingly frequent and bizarre.

In May, a Shanghai woman who had left uncooked pork on her kitchen table woke up in the middle of the night and noticed that the meat was emitting a blue light, like something out of a science fiction movie. Experts pointed to phosphorescent bacteria, blamed for another case of glow-in-the-dark pork last year.

Farmers in eastern Jiangsu province complained to state media last month that their watermelons had exploded “like landmines” after they mistakenly applied too much growth hormone in hopes of increasing their size.

“The profit margin is bigger than drug trafficking if you add the lean pork powder to the pig food,” said Zhou Qing, an author and dissident, who has styled himself as China’s equivalent of Upton Sinclair.

In 2006, Zhou published a book about the Chinese food industry that would extinguish the heartiest appetite. He wrote about foods tainted with pesticides, industrial salts, bleaches, paints and, especially nauseating, imitation soy sauce made from clippings swept up from hairdressers’ floors, sold for 5 cents per pound and sent to factories that extract from it an amino acid solution. Zhou wrote that fish farmers confessed to pouring so many antibiotics and hormones into their ponds that “they never eat the fish that they farm.”

Although Zhou’s book has been published in 10 countries — it sold 50,000 copies in Japan alone — it is not available in China. After failing to get the book in shops, receiving threats from police and getting beaten up by thugs, Zhou left China in 2008. He now lives in Germany.

Even victims are punished if they complain too loudly. Zhao Lianhai, an advertising executive who led a campaign for safer baby formula after his son developed kidney stones as a result of the melamine-tainted baby formula, was sentenced in November to 2 1/2 years in prison for “inciting social disorder.”

06-30-2011, 08:45 AM

Wikileaks: U.S. Forced Haiti To Nix Raising Its Minimum Wage To 62 Cents

Posted by JacobSloan on June 29, 2011

An incredibly infuriating Wikileaks revelation, via the Nation. To sum up: desperately poor Haiti planned to raise its minimum wage from 24 cents per hour to 62 cents, angering the contractors for U.S. corporations such as Levis and Hanes, who pay slave wages to Haitians who sew our clothes. The Obama administration intervened on behalf of those companies, and bullied the Haitian government into setting the mark at 32 cents.

To put things in perspective, upping the hourly wage to 62 cents would have cost Hanes an additional $1.6 million each year. Hanesbrands turned $211 million in profit last year and CEO Richard Noll personally was paid $10 million.

06-30-2011, 09:05 AM

Welcome to Nowhere: U.S. Recession Wipes Empire, Nevada Off The Map

Posted by Join Or DIE on June 27, 2011
Photo: aturkus (CC).

Photo: aturkus (CC)

Jessica Bruder writes in the Christian Science Monitor:

This mining town of 300 people clings like a burr to the back of the Black Rock Desert. For years, it was marked on state Highway 447 by a two-story sign reading, “Welcome to Nowhere.”

On June 20, that tongue-in-cheek greeting will become a fact. Empire, Nev., will transform into a ghost town. An eight-foot chain-link fence crowned with barbed wire will seal off the 136-acre plot. Even the local ZIP Code, 89405, will be discontinued.

Many towns have been scarred by the recession, but Empire will be the first to completely disappear. For only a few days more it will remain the last intact example of an American icon: the company town.

Since 1948, the United States Gypsum Corporation (USG), which is the nation’s largest drywall manufacturer, has held title to all of Empire: four dusty streets lined with cottonwoods, elms, and silver poplars, dozens of low-slung houses, a community hall, a swimming pool, a cracked tennis court, and a nine-hole golf course called Burning Sands…

06-30-2011, 09:38 AM

Odd Letter From Corps Upsets Property Owners
Some Say Corps Flooded Land To Drive Down Prices

Read more: http://www.kmbc.com/news/28338598/detail.html#ixzz1Qm3UBbU9

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Some river bottom property owners say they received a letter from the Army Corps of Engineers' Kansas City district office asking them if they want to sell their land.

KMBC's Micheal Mahoney reported that the letter is angering some of the people who received it because some of them are fighting for their land from a flood they believe the Corps caused.

The letter reads: "The Corps is currently seeking willing sellers." It is part of a 15-year-old corps plan to buy up river property or obtain easements.

The Corps wants the property to enhance wildlife areas for species like the pallid sturgeon -- an endangered fish the corps considers when managing the river.

But to some critics of the corps, it proves their suspicions.

"And this just further proves the Corps is going after property just they can save some endangered species," said Bruce Biermann, who received the letter from the Corps.

"We clearly understand this may appear insensitive to some folks who are fighting the flood. It should not have gone out at this time, but it did," said Jud Kneuvean of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Kneuvean said this may be a case of the right hand not knowing what the left was doing. But Mahoney reported that some people believe the Corps deliberately released massive amounts of water in hopes of driving down the sales price on flooded ground.

"We'd never tie the two together. This has nothing to do with the Missouri River ecosystem," Kneuvean said.

The letter states this is part of a 1986 law that is aimed at replacing wildlife habitats that have been lost to things like construction, maintenance and operation of the river system.

The Corps is already catching lots of heat for the flooding, which it acknowledges is the result of its decision to release upstream water.

Read more: http://www.kmbc.com/news/28338598/detail.html#ixzz1Qm3efjcs

06-30-2011, 10:25 AM
I wasn't super sure where to put this, but this is pretty bad assed:


Solar-powered 3-D printer prints glass from sand


06-30-2011, 10:28 AM

Police in Brandenburg who discovered a large plot of cannabis called on the neighbouring house only to find an 84-year-old woman who had been feeding her rabbits with the plants. “The rabbits really like it,” the woman told officers who called on her in the village of Golzow near Belzig.

A police officer had seen the healthy, metre-high plants from the road while on his way to work and told his colleagues, who visited the plot’s owner – the elderly woman. She told them that she had not grown the plants herself, but that they had simply started growing there, and had proven to be excellent rabbit food.

Not only did the rabbits love eating the plants, they grew back very quickly after she cut them down, she told the investigating officers. A spokesman for the Brandenburg police said her explanation had sounded plausible, but the officers could not leave her with the plants, rather cut them all down and took them to the forensics laboratory for testing.

The three large plastic sacks of weed will now be tested to determine the level of THC – the psycho-active ingredient in cannabis - they contain. There was no official comment on what the elderly woman was expected to feed her rabbits with now.

07-05-2011, 07:27 AM

The current centralized web model is not going to survive the tsunami of data that will continue to grow exponentially as we develop the next generations of smart web devices. As “Bandwidth” limits and the cost of building and maintaining the current infrastructure become prohibitive, these projects, or others like them, will rise and fill in the holes, and eventually simply absorb the existing nets. That’s not to say that the telecos, data miners, content providers and authoritarian “elites” won’t make every effort to prevent them, but they will become less and less relevant as ever increasing flows of data swamp their efforts, and finally sweeps them away. As we move into a future in which nearly every device becomes connected to the web, and virtual worlds become inextricably merged with the real world via personal VR devices, centralized control becomes impossible. Robust, decentralized, and free peer to peer networks will become the only solution.

A nice read up/introduction to meshnetworking and maybe some "toys" to try out.

07-05-2011, 07:48 AM
I wasn't super sure where to put this, but this is pretty bad assed:


Solar-powered 3-D printer prints glass from sand


I didn't know Jason Mraz was so multi-talented.

07-05-2011, 10:57 AM

(quoted from Rebel Rock by J. Street (1986) and sourced from New Musical Express, Melody Maker, The Guardian and The Times):

Stop Britain from becoming a black colony. Get the foreigners out. Get the wogs out. Get the coons out. Keep Britain white. I used to be into dope, now I’m into racism. It’s much heavier, man. ****ing wogs, man. ****ing Saudis taking over London. Bastard wogs. Britain is becoming overcrowded and Enoch will stop it and send them all back.

07-05-2011, 11:15 AM


A new coalition called Move To Amend is working to abolish corporate personhood in the US; they're working at the local and state level to pass laws to undo the work of Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruling that equated money with speech.

Boulder is not alone in this fight, nor is it the first community to consider such a resolution. In April, voters in Madison and Dane County, WI overwhelmingly approved measures calling for an end to corporate personhood and the legal status of money as speech by 84% and 78% respectively. Similar resolutions have been passed in nearly thirty other cities and counties. Resolutions have also been introduced in the state legislatures of both Vermont and Washington...

Move to Amend is gaining momentum rapidly in communities throughout the country precisely because the problems of corporate power are most evident locally. Developers seeking special favors pour money into elections. Big polluters avoid investigations and litigation by hiding behind their illegitimate "rights." Bad employers lie to the public about unfair labor practices with no legal consequences. People see it every day. They get it and they're ready to fight back. Move to Amend is here to help them do that with a strategy for long-term success.

07-05-2011, 12:14 PM

07-05-2011, 01:54 PM
We have some somber news to bring you this morning: Robert Morris, the cryptographer who helped create Unix, has died at the age of 78. Morris began his work on the groundbreaking OS back in 1970 at AT&T's Bell Laboratories, where he played a major role in developing Unix's math library, password structure and encryption functions. His cryptographic exploration continued into the late 1970s, when he began writing a paper on an early encryption tool from Germany. But the paper would never see the light of day, thanks to a request from the NSA, which was concerned about potential security ramifications. Instead, the agency brought Morris on board as a computer security expert in 1986. Much of what he did for Uncle Sam remains classified, though he was involved in internet surveillance projects and cyber warfare -- including what might have been America's first cyberattack in 1991, when the US crippled Saddam Hussein's control capabilities during the first Gulf War. Morris stayed with the NSA until 1994, when he retired to New Hampshire. He's survived by his wife, three children and one, massive digital fingerprint.

07-06-2011, 09:24 AM


Our Brain’s Neurons Look Exactly Like The Structure Of The Universe

Posted by JacobSloan on July 5, 2011

neuron2At top is a microscopic photo of a few neurons. Below it is a simulated rendering of what astrophysicists believe to be the universe’s structure, with clusters of galaxies and dark matter. Marvel at the remarkable symmetry and wonder, do we exist inside a gigantic brain? Via Convozine:

One is only micrometers wide. The other is billions of light-years across. One shows neurons in a mouse brain. The other is a simulated image of the universe. Together they suggest the surprisingly similar patterns found in vastly different natural phenomena.

Mark Miller, a doctoral student at Brandeis University, is researching how particular types of neurons in the brain are connected to one another. The image [on the left] shows three neuron cells on the left (two red and one yellow) and their connections.

An international group of astrophysicists used a computer simulation last year to recreate how the universe grew and evolved. The simulation image [on the right] is a snapshot of the present universes that features a large cluster of galaxies (bright yellow) surrounded by thousands of stars, galaxies and dark matter (web).

What struck me about this is not the similarity between neuron and universe, though it’s striking — rather it’s the continuity of parallels one finds whenever one looks into the structures of nature.

“As above, so below,” goes the Hermetic belief — “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing”. In Eastern thought, this idea is often paraphrased as “As is the microcosm, so is the microcosm.”

07-07-2011, 07:43 AM


"Andrew Marantz wondered how BPOs [ed: Business Process Outsourcing, AKA call centers] train Indians who have never even known a Westerner to sound and act like one. Since the call centers wouldn't let a journalist in to their culture-training sessions, Marantz decided to become a trainee himself. The resulting article from Mother Jones magazine is alternatively funny, sad, and thought-provoking."

During our second day of culture training, Lekha dissected the Australian psyche. It took about 20 minutes.

"Just stating facts, guys," Lekha began, as we scribbled notes, "Australia is known as the dumbest continent. Literally, college was unknown there until recently. So speak slowly." Next to me, a young man in a turban wrote No college in his notebook.

"Technologically speaking, they're somewhat backward, as well. The average person's mobile would be no better than, say, a Nokia 3110 classic." This drew scoffs from around the room.

"Australians drink constantly," Lekha continued. "If you call on a Friday night, they'll be smashed--every time. Oh, and don't attempt to make small talk with them about their pets, okay? They can be quite touchy about animals."

"What kind of people are there in Australia?" a trainee asked. "What are their traits?"

"Well, for one thing," Lekha said, "let's admit: They are quite racist. They do not like Indians. Their preferred term for us is--please don't mind, ladies--'brown bastards.' So if you hear that kind of language, you can just hang up the call."

****See links above for full story

07-07-2011, 07:55 AM
Overworked America (http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/06/speedup-americans-working-harder-charts)

Why "efficiency" and "productivity" really mean more profits for corporations and less sanity for you.

have nothing to lose but your gains
Productivity has surged, but income and wages have stagnated for most Americans. If the median household income had kept pace with the economy since 1970, it would now be nearly $92,000, not $50,000.



***More graphics, sources, etc on site

07-07-2011, 09:30 AM
This was cool news:


Report Reveals America Now Receives More Power From Renewable Sources Than Nuclear

A recent report published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration reveals that America now receives more of its energy from renewable sources than it does from nuclear generation plants. In the first three months of 2011, the country’s biomass/biofuel, hydropower, wind, geothermal, and solar energy generation plants produced a combined 2.245 quadrillion Btus of energy or 11.73 percent of U.S. energy production. During the same period, nuclear energy plants produced 2.125 quadrillion Btus.

A recent report published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration reveals that America now receives more of its energy from renewable sources than it does from nuclear generation plants. In the first three months of 2011, the country’s biomass/biofuel, hydropower, wind, geothermal, and solar energy generation plants produced a combined 2.245 quadrillion Btus of energy or 11.73 percent of U.S. energy production. During the same period, nuclear energy plants produced 2.125 quadrillion Btus.

According to data taken from the Monthly Energy Review, renewable energy production in the United States has increased by 25 percent since the first quarter of 2009. Biomass/biofuel production makes up a whopping 48 percent of this total. Hydropower contributes 35.41 percent to overall production, while wind, geothermal, and solar account for 12.87, 2.45, and 1.16 percent respectively.

Although it seems that solar production is particularly low, the study found that solar energy generation has increased by 104.8 percent since early 2010, while wind power has increased by 40.3 percent during the same time frame. This renewable thrust bodes well for the United States, particularly given the continued environmental and health impacts expected following the ***ushima disaster in Japan earlier this year.

07-07-2011, 11:16 AM

07-13-2011, 08:33 AM

A Lost World? Atlantis-Like Landscape Discovered

Buried deep beneath the sediment of the North Atlantic Ocean lies an ancient, lost landscape with furrows cut by rivers and peaks that once belonged to mountains. Geologists recently discovered this roughly 56-million-year-old landscape using data gathered for oil companies.

"It looks for all the world like a map of a bit of a country onshore," said Nicky White, the senior researcher. "It is like an ancient fossil landscape preserved 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) beneath the seabed."

So far, the data have revealed a landscape about 3,861 square miles (10,000 square km) west of the Orkney-Shetland Islands that stretched above sea level by almost as much as 0.6 miles (1 km). White and colleagues suspect it is part of a larger region that merged with what is now Scotland and may have extended toward Norway in a hot, prehuman world.


MIT Unveils Flexible Solar Cells Printed on Paper

Read more: MIT Unveils Flexible Solar Cells Printed on Paper | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

We’ve seen several different examples of printable solar cells in the past, however MIT engineers just unveiled a new type of cell that can be printed onto paper or fabric. The flexible photovoltaic cells are not energy intensive to produce and they can be folded over 1,000 times without any loss of performance. The technology was officially published today in the journal Advanced Materials by Professor of Electrical Engineering Vladimir Bulović and several other students.

solar cell printer, MIT solar cell, solar cell printed on paper, MIT solar cells, solar cells ordinary paper, solar cell advanced material, vacuum solar cells

Instead of creating solar cells by exposing substrates to liquids or high temperatures, the team has developed a process that can produce solar cells on ordinary paper or cloth using ‘gentle’ conditions. The solar cells are formed by placing five layers of material onto a single sheet of paper in successive passes. A mask is utilized to form the cell patterns, and the entire printing process is done in a vacuum chamber.

“We have demonstrated quite thoroughly the robustness of this technology,” Bulović says. “Because of the low weight of the paper or plastic substrate compared to conventional glass or other materials, we think we can fabricate scalable solar cells that can reach record-high watts-per-kilogram performance. For solar cells with such properties, a number of technological applications open up.”

MIT’s printed solar cells herald exciting new applications for photovoltaics, however the technology will need to be refined and made cheaper before we are printing solar cells out of our office printers.

Read more: MIT Unveils Flexible Solar Cells Printed on Paper | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

http://www.greatnewsnetwork.org/index.php/news/article/groundbreaking_solar_plant_in_spain_generates_24_h ours_of_power/?source=rss

Groundbreaking solar plant in Spain generates 24 hours of power
July 09, 2011

Spain's Gemasolar concentrating solar power plant just became the first solar power plant to generate power for 24 continuous hours.

The plant uses a Power Tower design which features a field of 2,650 mirrors that concentrate sunlight onto a boiler in a central receiver tower. The plant also utilizes molten salt as a heat transfer fluid that allows it to generate electricity when there's no sunlight.

07-20-2011, 01:52 PM
Human hybrids: Do they exist?

Milagros Garcia is an alleged Alien and Human inter-species hybrid. The blood DNA from this Puerto Rican woman has yielded analyses so unusual and interesting that the physician involved is now interested in meeting the subject for further study. The DNA is possible in humans but is very rare.

Ms. Garcia claims that she is the offspring of an alien encounter. The Doctor is not interested in the UFO/ alien phenomena he wants answers as to why her DNA has such rare qualities.

A case similar to this is being investigated in New Paris, Ohio. A woman there has exceptional skills and get by on two hours of sleep a night.

07-20-2011, 01:54 PM
'I gave birth to seven-headed snake'

A police officer’s wife has claimed to have given birth to a seven-headed snake last week Thursday.

Patience Tsabedze (27), a self-confessed former devil worshipper says she ‘gave birth’ to the large serpent after experiencing labour pains, yet she was not pregnant, on the evening of Thursday, July 7, 2011.

According to her, the labour pains were so severe that she decided to go to toilet and ‘push out’ whatever was troubling her.

She says the seven-headed snake then came out and upon seeing it at the base of the toilet, she screamed for help.

Her husband, Constable Mfanzile Malaza, rushed to the toilet to see what was happening and indeed saw the snake.

"He tried to kill it using a log but as he fought it, it hid inside the water and it was flushed away," she said during an interview at the government flat she shares with her cop husband.

The husband, when called at his workplace yesterday, also confirmed the incident and said he was shocked.

"It was my first time seeing such a snake, a seven-headed one with glittering eyes. I tried to kill it but it hid inside the toilet so we decided to flush it," he said.

Meanwhile, Tsabedze says life has become extremely difficult for her since she decided to stop worshipping the devil. She claims that every week, strange things happen to her.

In an almost weekly basis, she vomits litres and litres of blood, which is accompanied by live worms, fish (hake) and spiders.

"Just a few days ago, I vomited live worms which I flushed in the toilet," she said.

Tsabedze says she is now born again and wants out of devil-worshipping but it is difficult. She says she is being attacked by demons almost every night because they (demons) do not want her to leave the ‘underworld’. - times.co.sz (http://www.times.co.sz/News/30614.html)

07-21-2011, 09:18 AM
The human paradox that is common sense (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128210.100-the-human-paradox-that-is-common-sense.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news)

Politicians dealing with urban poverty feel they already have a good idea why people are poor. Marketers planning campaigns already feel that they have a decent sense of what consumers want and how to make them want more of it. Economic policy-makers believe that they can do a reasonable job of getting the incentives right, whatever end they are trying to achieve. They don't expect to get them right all the time, and they would be the first to admit that it's complicated. Nevertheless, they do think the problems they are contemplating are mostly within their grasp, that they are "not rocket science".

What's puzzling about this attitude is that if we compare recent progress in the physical versus the social sciences, it should be clear that we're actually much better at rocket science than managing the economy, merging corporations, or even predicting how many copies of a book will be sold.

So why does rocket science seem hard, while problems to do with people - which in some respects are clearly much harder - seem like they ought to be just a matter of common sense?

As it turns out, the key is common sense itself. Common sense is exquisitely adapted to handling the kind of complexity that arises in everyday situations, such as how to behave at work versus in front of your children versus in the pub with your mates. And because it works so well in these situations, we're inclined to trust it.

07-21-2011, 09:31 AM

Antipsychotics and the profit panacea

Aljazeera has an interesting if not worrying article about the fact that antipsychotic drugs have become “the single top-selling therapeutic class of prescription drugs in the United States, surpassing drugs used to treat high cholesterol and acid reflux.”

The huge rise in prescriptions has been sparked by the availability of a relatively new class of drugs called ‘atypical antipsychotics’.

All antipsychotics block the D2 type of dopamine receptor and their effect on the mesolimbic dopamine pathway is what largely causes the reduction in psychotic symptoms.

The older drugs block D2 receptors fairly indiscriminately in the brain, including in the nigrostriatal pathway.

This pathway is involved in movement regulation and blocking dopamine here leads to similar problems to Parkinson’s disease (tremors, rigid and uncontrollable movements) – a type of dementia where this brain area starts to break down due to disease.

The newer ‘atypical antipsychotics’ usually also block serotonin 2A (5HT-2A) receptors in the key movement pathway.

Serotonin normally reduces dopamine release but because serotonin is being blocked, more dopamine is released in the movement pathway with the newer atypical antipsychotic drugs than with the older typical antipsychotic medications.

This means less Parkinson’s-like movement side-effects with the atypicals – a genuine advance – but unfortunately, the serotonin effect causes additional problems with weight gain and often obesity, diabetes and heart problems.

However, these problems are perhaps easier to control and more ‘socially acceptable’ (compare with someone who make strange contorted movements during conversation).

On the commercial side, many newer atypicals are still under patent, meaning one company has sole control over their manufacture and sale, while other companies are not able to make cheaper copies.

Over time, these newer drugs have been promoted, legally and illegally, by drug companies for a wider and wider range of problems – everything from depression to dementia.

Despite limited evidence for their effectiveness in these areas, the sales campaign has been a huge success and the drugs are now being widely prescribed.

Once upon a time, antipsychotics were reserved for a relatively small number of patients with hard-core psychiatric diagnoses – primarily schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – to treat such symptoms as delusions, hallucinations, or formal thought disorder. Today, it seems, everyone is taking antipsychotics. Parents are told that their unruly kids are in fact bipolar, and in need of anti-psychotics, while old people with dementia are dosed, in large numbers, with drugs once reserved largely for schizophrenics. Americans with symptoms ranging from chronic depression to anxiety to insomnia are now being prescribed anti-psychotics at rates that seem to indicate a national mass psychosis…

What’s especially troubling about the over-prescription of the new antipsychotics is its prevalence among the very young and the very old – vulnerable groups who often do not make their own choices when it comes to what medications they take. Investigations into antipsychotic use suggests that their purpose, in these cases, may be to subdue and tranquilize rather than to treat any genuine psychosis.

Antipsychotic drugs have been one of the great advances of 20th century medicine. For the first time we have an effective treatment for psychosis, one of the most disabling of any of the disorders, that works for at least a fair proportion of patients.

The side-effects of both the older and newer drugs, however, are among the worst of any medication and they should genuinely be used with caution.

Unfortunately, the well-being of patients has become secondary to the profit margins of large pharmaceutical companies who continue to promote these drugs to as many patients as possible, regardless of their benefits or adverse effects.

The Aljazeera article tracks this campaign to the point where they have become top selling medications.

Link to ‘How Big Pharma got Americans hooked on anti-psychotic drugs.’

07-22-2011, 09:26 AM

Study Discovers That Solar Panels Have a Cooling Effect on Buildings

It turns out that solar panels can do more than provide you with renewable energy - they can significantly cut down the power needed to heat and cool your building as well. In a study recently released in the journal Solar Energy, an engineering team at UC San Diego found that the presence of solar panels on rooftops keeps buildings an average of 5 degrees Fahrenheit cooler during the day and keeps heat in during the nighttime, which could save cash on heating costs in the winter.

The team of researchers, led by Jan Kleissl, a professor of environmental engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, discovered that the amount of money saved on heating and cooling costs could add up to a 5% savings on the total cost of the solar panels if factored in as energy saved. The team used thermal infrared cameras to capture temperature data from the rooftop of the Powell Structural Systems Laboratory at the Jacobs School of Engineering which has been outfitted with tilted solar panels and solar panels flush with the roof, while also maintaining some exposed areas.

Instead of the sun beating directly onto the roof and heat seeping through the roofing material and into the building, the solar panels absorb that direct sunlight, turn it into energy and divert the heat from the building. The panels, especially the tilted kind, create wind tunnels where heat is swept away from the building as it moves between the panels and the rooftop. The team found that solar panels could reduce heat reaching the rooftop by as much as 38% and the more efficient solar panels had higher heat redirection rates. “There are more efficient ways to passively cool buildings, such as reflective roof membranes,” said Kleissl. “But, if you are considering installing solar photovoltaic, depending on your roof thermal properties, you can expect a large reduction in the amount of energy you use to cool your residence or business.”

07-22-2011, 09:27 AM

1 In 66 Americans Is A Psycho

Focusing on psychiatrists because they rely on subjective diagnoses, the drug reps have been so successful that they've changed the criteria for mental illness and disability payments. Ridgeway quotes former New England Journal of Medicine editor Marcia Angell.

"[T]he tally of those who are so disabled by mental disorders that they qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) increased nearly two and a half times between 1987 and 2007 - from one in 184 Americans to one in seventy-six. For children, the rise is even more startling - a thirty-five-fold increase in the same two decades. Mental illness is now the leading cause of disability in children." Under the tutelage of Big Pharma, we are "simply expanding the criteria for mental illness so that nearly everyone has one." Fugh-Berman agrees: In the age of aggressive drug marketing, she says, "Psychiatric diagnoses have expanded to include many perfectly normal people."

Particularly vulnerable because medication decisions are often out of their hands, the old and the young suffer most.

For kids: the number diagnosed with bi-polar disorder rose 40-fold between 1994 and 2003 and one in five comes away from a psychiatrist with a prescription for an antipsychotic.

Dosing the elderly at nursing homes has become so common that sales reps have coined the term "five at five" -- meaning 5 milligrams of Zyprexa at 5 pm to sedate difficult residents.

For all their nefarious wrangling, in 2009, Lily agreed to pay $1.4 billion, including a $515 million criminal fine. The largest settlement ever in a health care case and the largest criminal fine on any corporation in the U.S.

That year, Lilly sold $1.8 billion of Zyprexa alone.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/zyprexa-antipsycotics-top-selling-drugs-in-us-2011-7#ixzz1SqepXkJO

07-22-2011, 09:31 AM
Twice the height of the Empire State - EnviroMission plans massive solar tower for Arizona (http://www.gizmag.com/enviromission-solar-tower-arizona-clean-energy-renewable/19287/)


An ambitious solar energy project on a massive scale is about to get underway in the Arizona desert. EnviroMission is undergoing land acquisition and site-specific engineering to build its first full-scale solar tower - and when we say full-scale, we mean it! The mammoth 800-plus meter (2625 ft) tall tower will instantly become one of the world's tallest buildings. Its 200-megawatt power generation capacity will reliably feed the grid with enough power for 150,000 US homes, and once it's built, it can be expected to more or less sit there producing clean, renewable power with virtually no maintenance until it's more than 80 years old. In the video after the jump, EnviroMission CEO Roger Davey explains the solar tower technology, the Arizona project and why he couldn't get it built at home in Australia.

How Solar Towers Work

Enviromission's solar tower is a simple idea taken to gigantic proportions. The sun beats down on a large covered greenhouse area at the bottom, warming the air underneath it. Hot air wants to rise, so there's a central point for it to rush towards and escape; the tower in the middle. And there's a bunch of turbines at the base of the tower that generate electricity from that natural updraft.

It's hard to envisage that sort of system working effectively until you tweak the temperature variables and scale the whole thing up. Put this tower in a hot desert area, where the daytime surface temperature sits at around 40 degrees Celsius (104 F), and add in the greenhouse effect and you've got a temperature under your collector somewhere around 80-90 degrees (176-194 F). Scale your collector greenhouse out to a several hundred-meter radius around the tower, and you're generating a substantial volume of hot air.

Then, raise that tower up so that it's hundreds of meters in the air - because for every hundred metres you go up from the surface, the ambient temperature drops by about 1 degree. The greater the temperature differential, the harder the tower sucks up that hot air at the bottom - and the more energy you can generate through the turbines.

***Cont'd on site

07-22-2011, 09:34 AM
States negotiating immunity for banks over foreclosures (http://www.blacklistednews.com/States_negotiating_immunity_for_banks_over_foreclo sures/14826/0/0/0/Y/M.html)

Source: Rawstory / Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - State attorneys general are negotiating to give major banks wide immunity over irregularities in handling foreclosures, even as evidence has emerged that banks are continuing to file questionable documents.

A coalition of all 50 states' attorneys general has been negotiating settlements with five of the biggest U.S. banks that would include payment of up to $25 billion in penalties and commitments to follow new rules. In exchange, the banks would get immunity from civil lawsuits by the states, as well as similar guarantees by the Justice Department and Department of Housing and Urban Development, which have participated in the talks.

State and federal officials declined to say if any form of immunity from criminal prosecution also is under discussion. The banks involved in the talks are Bank of America, Wells Fargo, CitiGroup, JPMorgan Chase and Ally Financial.


Reuters reported Monday that major banks and other loan servicers have continued to file questionable documents in foreclosure cases. These include false mortgage assignments, and promissory notes with suspect or missing "endorsements," which prove ownership. The Reuters report also showed continued "robo-signing," in which lenders' employees or outside contractors churn out reams of documents without fully understanding their content. The report turned up several cases involving individuals who were publicly identified as robo-signers months ago.

Reuters found that such activity has continued even after 14 major mortgage lenders signed settlements with federal bank regulators promising to halt such practices and give remediation to some homeowners who were harmed.

In response to these disclosures, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development, and nine other senators sent a letter to federal bank regulators, asking them to disclose information gathered about banks' foreclosure practices.

07-22-2011, 09:40 AM
Infinity Symbol of Dense Gas Observed at the Centre of the Milky Way Galaxy (http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=16158)

From: dailymail.co.uk (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2016902/Ribbon-dust-The-strange-twisted-ring-gas-centre-Milky-Way.html?ito=feeds-newsxml)



The twist in the ring is not the only mystery to come out of the new Herschel observations.

Astronomers say that the centre of the torqued portion of the ring is not where the centre of the galaxy is thought to be, but slightly offset.
The centre of our galaxy is considered to be around Sagittarius A, where a massive black hole lies.

According to Dr Noriega-Crespo, it’s not clear why the centre of the ring doesn’t match up with the assumed centre of our galaxy.
’There’s still so much about our galaxy to discover,’ he said.

The study is published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

07-22-2011, 11:02 AM
Fat Substitutes Make You Fatter
by Big Think Editors
1 person liked this - you
What's the Latest Development? A new study published in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience says that foods with low-calorie fat substitutes may promote weight gain rather than reduce it: "The use of food products designed to mimic the sensory properties of sweet and fat while providing fewer ...

Read More (http://bigthink.com/ideas/39023)

08-01-2011, 08:52 AM

Obama Administration's "Secret Law" to Spy on Americans

During last spring's run-up to the reauthorization of three expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Act, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) charged that the administration and the FBI was relying on a "secret" interpretation of law to vacuum-up exabytes of data, including cell phone location records and internet data mining that target Americans.

In March, a written statement to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security by Justice Department official Todd Hinnen confirmed that the administration had used Section 215, the so-called "business records" section of the Act "to obtain driver's license records, hotel records, car rental records, apartment leasing records, credit card records, and the like."

Further confirmation of Wyden's charges came from an unlikely source: a White House nominee for a top counterterrorism position.

Last week Wired reported that Matthew Olsen, the administration's pick to head the National Counterterrorism Center "acknowledged that 'some of the pleadings and opinions related to the Patriot Act' to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that approves snooping warrants 'are classified'."

If confirmed, Olsen will replace Michael E. Leiter, the Bushist embed who told the Senate last year during hearings into 2009's aborted plot to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 253 over Detroit on Christmas Day: "I will tell you, that when people come to the country and they are on the watch list, it is because we have generally made the choice that we want them here in the country for some reason or another."

What those reasons are for wanting a terrorist to board a packed airliner were not spelled out to Senate nor were they explored by corporate media. This raises an inevitable question: what else is the administration concealing from the American people?

08-01-2011, 08:53 AM

Nature’s hidden prime number code

08-01-2011, 09:11 AM
HADOPI, the French agency charged with disconnecting French Internet users who use the same Internet connections as accused copyright infringers, conducted a study on media purchasing habits by copyright infringers. They concluded that the biggest unauthorized downloaders are also the biggest customers for legitimate media. Just like every other study that’s looked at the question, of course, but this time the study was funded and released by one of the most extreme copyright enforcement bodies on the planet.

Joe Karaganis, from SSRC, points us to the news that there’s been yet another such study… and this one is from HADOPI, itself. Yes, the French agency put together to kick people off the internet for file sharing did a study on the nature of unauthorized file sharing, too. Not surprisingly (and consistent with every other study we’ve seen on this topic), it found that those who spend a lot of money on content… were much, much, much more likely to also get content through unauthorized means. HADOPI released the results in a somewhat convoluted way (perhaps trying to downplay this result), but Karaganis reformatted the results to make this clear.

08-01-2011, 09:13 AM
Infinity Symbol of Dense Gas Observed at the Centre of the Milky Way Galaxy (http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=16158)

From: dailymail.co.uk (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2016902/Ribbon-dust-The-strange-twisted-ring-gas-centre-Milky-Way.html?ito=feeds-newsxml)



A lot of strange things going on in there Uhh

08-01-2011, 09:13 AM

Ghost towns on the increase as rural America accounts for just 16% of population

Migration will form a virtual mega-city stretching through Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Maryland and ending in the capital Washington D.C.
In 1910 72% of Americans lived in rural areas

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2019771/Ghost-towns-increase-rural-America-accounts-just-16-population.html#ixzz1Tn4R9bvN

08-01-2011, 09:14 AM
A lot of strange things going on in there Uhh

Ya, i wanted to include the original too just because I didn't see it as clear as "they did".

Cool pick though.

08-01-2011, 09:54 AM

Chinese rush to buy US land
July 31, 2011
Print Version

Source: China Daily

One Chinese office worker paid $8,800 through an online auction by chance and bought 1,000 square meters of land in Miami of US, the Guangzhou Daily reported on Wednesday.
The Florida-based seller, United Solutions of American LLC, said the land belonged to a company near bankruptcy.
Zhuang Nuo, the auction host from Chinese property agency Soufun International, said the land seller also put 100 pieces of 1,000 sq m land up for auction and will offer 30 US investment immigration application forms for the Chinese group buyers who spend more than $200,000.
The 100 pieces of land sold out on July 22 from 73 Chinese buyers. One of them bought 20 pieces.

08-11-2011, 01:28 PM

'Multiverse' theory suggested by microwave background

08-11-2011, 01:30 PM

Crop Circles Created By Wallabies 'Stoned' On Opium, Australian Officials Say

08-11-2011, 01:47 PM

Horsmaning” or fake beheading was a popular way of taking pictures in the 1920s. It’s currently experiencing a revival and is basically the new planking. Here are some modern day adaptations of this popular new/old photo trend



More pictures and info here.


08-11-2011, 02:01 PM

Some good photos of bands/musicians in the 80's.


08-11-2011, 02:08 PM

Kyle Dewitt spent three days in jail because he was too poor to pay a fishing fine. Last spring, Dewitt was ticketed and fined $215 for fishing smallmouth bass out of season (Dewitt disputes the charge).

But Dewitt, 19 years old with a fiancée and a nine-month-old son, lost his job at a grocery store in 2010 and has been out of work ever since. He couldn’t afford the $215 fine. Instead he offered to pay $100 up front, and repay the rest in a month. But Judge Raymond Voet of Ionia, Mich., refused. The judge sentenced Dewitt to three days in jail.

The American Civil Liberties Union paid to break Dewitt out. Now the group is suing on behalf of Dewitt and four others in Michigan who were jailed because they were too poor to pay misdemeanor fines.

“Long thought to be a relic of the 19th century, debtors’ prisons are still alive and well in Michigan,” Kary Moss, executive director of the Michigan ACLU, said in a press release. “Jailing our clients because they are poor is not only unconstitutional, it’s unconscionable and a shameful waste of resources.”

08-11-2011, 05:10 PM

Horsmaning” or fake beheading was a popular way of taking pictures in the 1920s. It’s currently experiencing a revival and is basically the new planking. Here are some modern day adaptations of this popular new/old photo trend



More pictures and info here.


That's pretty cool

08-12-2011, 09:29 AM
Radical Sharing Works: This Guy Lets the World Use His Starbucks Card for Free (UPDATED) (http://www.good.is/post/radical-sharing-works-this-guy-lets-the-world-use-his-starbucks-card-for-free/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+good%2Flbvp+%28GOOD+Main+RSS+ Feed%29)


Download this image to your phone, take it to Starbucks and scan it at the cash register: It'll get you a free coffee. It's part of a radical experiment in sharing that's teaching us something about mobile money in the process.

"It's been extremely uplifting," Jonathan Stark tells GOOD. About one month ago, Stark posted the barcode image for his personal Starbucks card online, for anyone to use. Surprisingly, it still has money on it.

Stark was researching broadcast mobile currency—how to transfer money or pay for goods with your phone. He wondered if he could share his Starbucks account just by sharing the image. "I thought, 'that's crazy that I can just show this online and everyone can use it.'"

On July 7th, he loaded $30 onto his card and posted the image for his friends to use. Within hours, the money turned into caffeine and prefab sandwiches. So Stark added another $50 and invited a few more friends to see if they liked paying for things with their phones, creating an informal user experience focus group.

But this time, the money didn't vanish. People started adding money as well as spending it.

08-12-2011, 09:37 AM
New leukemia treatment exceeds 'wildest expectations'
A single shot could be one of the biggest advances in cancer research in decades, scientists say. But the research almost didn't happen (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44090512/#)

Doctors have treated only three leukemia patients, but the sensational results from a single shot could be one of the most significant advances in cancer research in decades. And it almost never happened.

The Penn scientists targeted chroniclymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common type of the blood disease. It strikes some 15,000 people in the United States, mostly adults, and kills 4,300 every year. Chemotherapy and radiation can hold this form of leukemia at bay for years, but until now the only cure has been a bone marrow transplant. A bone marrow transplant requires a suitable match, works only about half the time, and often brings on severe, life-threatening side effects such as pain and infection.

In the Penn experiment, the researchers removed certain types of white blood cells that the body uses to fight disease from the patients. Using a modified, harmless version of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, they inserted a series of genes into the white blood cells. These were designed to make to cells target and kill the cancer cells. After growing a large batch of the genetically engineered white blood cells, the doctors injected them back into the patients.

In similar past experimental treatments for several types of cancer the re-injected white cells killed a few cancer cells and then died out. But the Penn researchers inserted a gene that made the white blood cells multiply by a thousand fold inside the body. The result, as researcher June put it, is that the white blood cells became “serial killers” relentlessly tracking down and killing the cancer cells in the blood, bone marrow and lymph tissue.

As the white cells killed the cancer cells, the patients experienced the fevers and aches and pains that one would expect when the body is fighting off an infection, but beyond that the side effects have been minimal.

08-12-2011, 09:42 AM
New Drug Could Cure Nearly Any Viral Infection (http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/08/10/1917232/New-Drug-Could-Cure-Nearly-Any-Viral-Infection?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Slashdot%2Fslashdot+%28Slashd ot%29)

HardYakka writes "A team of researchers at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory have designed a drug that can identify cells that have been infected by any type of virus, then kill those cells to terminate the infection. The researchers tested their drug against 15 viruses, and found it was effective against all of them — including rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, H1N1 influenza, a stomach virus, a polio virus, dengue fever and several other types of hemorrhagic fever."

08-15-2011, 10:40 AM
Now if you think you do have rights, one last assignment for you. Next time you're at the computer, get on the Internet, go to Wikipedia. When you get to Wikipedia, in the search field for Wikipedia, I want you to type in "Japanese Americans 1942" and you'll find out all about your precious ****ing rights, Okay? All right. You know about it. In 1942, there were 110,000 Japanese American citizens in good standing, law-abiding people who were thrown into internment camps simply because their parents were born in the wrong country. That's all they did wrong. They had no right to a lawyer, no right to a fair trial, no right to a jury of their peers no right to due process of any kind. The only right they had: "Right this way" into the internment camps! Just when these American citizens needed their rights the most, their government took them away! And rights aren't rights if someone can take them away. They're privileges. That's all we've ever had in this country, is a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news even badly, you know that every year the list gets shorter and shorter. You see all, sooner or later. Sooner or later, the people in this country are gonna realize the government does not give a **** about them! The government doesn't care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety. It simply does not give a **** about you! It's interested in its own power. That's the only thing. Keeping it and expanding it wherever possible.

"You Have No Rights" (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Carlin)

08-16-2011, 01:40 PM
The Vampires of Dillsboro, North Carolina

In the spring of 1788 a family setup housekeeping in the small mountain community of Dillsboro N.C. The family name was Alfort and there were rumors that they had descended from royalty. They bought land by the river and built what was then a very nice large southern colonial home. Dr. Alfort opened up an office and pharmacy in a few rooms in the front of the house. The local people were at first really happy that a new doctor had arrived in their community...but very quickly this attitude was about to change.

Two men both who had gone to the new doctor to be treated for gout suddenly died. Both men had been well liked members of the community and the circumstances angered many of the residents. However in a short time the local minister had brokered peace in the community and everything seemed to be fine. However this calm was short lived.

That Fall the young daughter of the minister was found dead in her bed with puncture marks to her throat. The minister's wife swore she had seen a dark form hovering over her daughter and she screamed but it was too late and the child quickly succumb to the attack.

The incident caused a huge outcry in the town and the people of the area started to claim a vampire or a group of vampires was in their midst. For many nights groups of men ventured out and searched but found nothing. However some men claimed to have seen a large black bat-like creature fly over them. A few nights after the sighting a young boy ran down the hill to his grandfather's house and proclaimed that something was up the hill in his house attacking his parents. The grandfather summoned other men and they ran to the house but only found the parents and their two young daughters, who were dead with puncture wounds to their necks. The area was immediately alerted...soldiers were called in and searched the area. By February of 1789 the community had quieted down.

Then one evening screams were heard and when men arrived they witnessed a black form of a human run from the house, run down the hill and into the Alfort house. When the village men went into the house where the screams had come from they found the bodies of a young couple with vicious bite marks to their throats. Almost at once more men came and they were told that the murderer had ran down the hill and into the Alfort house. When the search party got to the Alfort house Dr. Alfort refused to let them in. However as soon as the sheriff arrived they dragged Dr. Alfort outside and tied him to a tree. When the men entered the house they were surprised at what they found. The upstairs bedrooms each had beds but it was clear that no one had slept in them. When the sheriff and search party went downstairs they found three caskets and Mrs. Alfort, who was dressed in black, lying in one of the caskets and very much alive. She hissed and cursed at them as she was pulled from the casket.

Later that night the sheriff and the village minister announced to the crowd assembled outside the Alfort house that the Alforts and their son were vampires. The Alforts were summarily hanged and then placed back inside the house. The house was set on fire and burned to the ground. However the couple's 15 year old son was not found and never seen in the area again. There were no further unusual murders in the area.

08-16-2011, 01:58 PM

Great News: "An Alien Invasion Would Save the Economy!"
2011 08 15

From: blacklistednews.com
Paul Krugman Wants Manufactured Threat From OuterSpace to Revive Economy

**Video @ source from CNN (i believe).

08-16-2011, 02:01 PM


08-16-2011, 02:05 PM

Uncontacted Tribe in South America Goes Missing

Bad news. Remember that uncontacted South American tribe? (Covered here and here.) They’ve gone missing after narco traffickers wiped out the guard post protecting the tribe. Observers fear the worst.

The Brazilian guard post protecting the uncontacted Indians who were filmed from the air earlier this year has been over-run by heavily-armed men, suspected to be drug-traffickers. It has been ransacked and vital equipment destroyed.

Fears are now mounting for the welfare of the Indians after workers from FUNAI (the government’s Indian Affairs Department) found one of the traffickers’ rucksacks with a broken arrow inside. A rapid survey by governme

08-16-2011, 02:10 PM

An AT&T legal staffer inadvertently (and briefly) posted a damning internal document to the FCC's docket for the pending AT&T/T-Mobile merger. The document makes it clear that "AT&T is giving Deutsche Telekom $39 billion primarily to reduce market competition" and that the company's claims of bigger network buildouts and increased employment are utterly fictional.

Again, the reality appears to be that AT&T is giving Deutsche Telekom $39 billion primarily to reduce market competition. That price tag eliminates T-Mobile entirely -- and makes Sprint (and by proxy new LTE partner LightSquared and current partner Clearwire) more susceptible to failure in the face of 80% AT&T/Verizon market domination. How much do you think wireless broadband market dominance is worth to AT&T over the next decade? After all, AT&T will be first to tell you there's a wireless data "tsunami" coming, with AT&T and Verizon on the shore eagerly billing users up to $10 per gigabyte.

Regardless of the motivation behind rejecting 97% LTE deployment, the letter proves AT&T's claim they need T-Mobile to improve LTE coverage from 80-97% simply isn't true. That's a huge problem for AT&T, since nearly every politician and non-profit that has voiced support for the merger did so based largely on this buildout promise. It's also a problem when it comes to the DOJ review, since proof that AT&T could complete their LTE build for far less than the cost of this deal means the deal doesn't meet the DOJ's standard for merger-specific benefits.

08-16-2011, 02:11 PM
For those with open hearts;


08-22-2011, 08:26 AM


Photo: SlimVirgin (CC)

AsiaOne reports:

The Chinese media has reported on an extraordinary account of a mother bear saving her cub from a life of torture by strangling it and then killing itself. The bears were kept in a farm located in a remote area in the North-West of China. The bears on the farm had their gall bladders milked daily for ‘bear bile,’ which is used as a remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

It was reported that the bears are kept in tiny cages known as ‘crush cages’, as the bears have no room to manoeuvre and are literally crushed. The bile is harvested by making a permanent hole or fistula in the bears’ abdomen and gall bladder.

As the hole is never closed, the animals are suspect to various infections and diseases including tumours, cancers and death from peritonitis. The bears are fitted with an iron vest, as they often try to kill themselves by hitting their stomach as they are unable to bear the pain.A person who was on the farm in place of a friend witnessed the procedures and told Reminbao.com that they were inhumane.

The witness also claimed that a mother bear broke out its cage when it heard its cub howl in fear before a worker punctured its stomach to milk the bile.

08-22-2011, 08:42 AM
Better times are coming


08-26-2011, 08:39 AM

If this is happening in Puerto Rico, I can't even imagine what's going to show up on the streets of New York when Hurricane Irene hits.


08-26-2011, 08:42 AM

If this is happening in Puerto Rico, I can't even imagine what's going to show up on the streets of New York when Hurricane Irene hits.


lol a shark swimming around in Brooklyn that will be awesome

08-26-2011, 08:44 AM
No ****! They already have a problem with these:



08-26-2011, 09:07 AM
So...you knew it was coming - and i found this interesting - but am not "endorsing" it:


A frightening foreign military intelligence directorate (GRU) report circulating in the Kremlin states that over the past nearly 48 hours the vast intercontinental military tunnel complex constructed by the United States Air force over the past nearly 45 years was hit with two powerful nuclear explosions at its main terminuses in Colorado and Virginia used nearly exclusively by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

http://nation.com.pk/uploads/news_image/large/RussiareportsNuclearexplosion****vastUSmilitarytun nelnetwork_31505.jpg


Seismic evidence reveals underground nuclear detonation south of Washington DC.

08-30-2011, 07:10 AM

As food prices continue to rise we could see a lot more riots, says Yaneer Bar-Yam

You have found a link between speculators and social unrest. How did you discover this?

We started by analysing the recent financial crisis. The crash in US house prices in 2007 was followed by a stock market crash, then a puzzling peak in the price of commodities such as wheat and metals. Why? Money from the mortgage markets had been moved to the commodity markets. When you pour a lot of money into a small market you are going to have peaks. This has nothing to do with supply and demand; it is simply due to speculators. With high food prices, we were not surprised that riots occurred in many parts of the developing world at the same time.

But it's not just speculators causing food prices to rise, is it?

There is another factor: the conversion of corn to ethanol for biofuel in the US. Forty per cent of US corn is now being converted to ethanol. That's over 15 per cent of global production from almost nothing 10 years ago. This has been a very large shock to the agricultural system.

When you plot food prices over the last 10 years, you see sharp peaks superimposed on a rising trend. The peaks are due to speculation and the rising trend due to corn-to-ethanol conversion.

08-30-2011, 07:14 AM

Tiny bugs are controlling your mind!
August 30, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Are billions of bacteria influencing your moods? (Credit: Udo's Choice)

Before you take another probiotic cap, you may want to read this. Yet another study at McMaster University in Canada suggests that gut bacteria might be able to alter your brain chemistry and change your mood and behavior, reports Science NOW.

We reported on earlier research on gut bacteria at McMaster University and at Ohio State University. We also mentioned some heady speculations at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center on a new field of microbial endocrinology, “where microbiology meets neuroscience.”

In the new study, McMaster researchers take a slightly bolder step. They fed mice a broth containing a “benign” bacterium, Lactobacillus rhamnosus. The scientists chose this partly because, well, they had some around, so why not, and also because related Lactobacillus bacteria are a major ingredient of probiotic supplements and very little is known about their potential side effects.

How it works, maybe

They found that mice whose diets were supplemented with L. rhamnosus for 6 weeks exhibited fewer signs of stress and anxiety in standard lab tests, as reported online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. For example, the mice spent more time exploring narrow elevated walkways and wide-open spaces, which are scary to rodents. (That might explain the Jackass movies?)

But how does it work? That’s the part that has been puzzling me. First, the McMaster researchers found changes in the activity of genes in the brain that encode portions of the receptor for the neurotransmiter GABA. GABA typically dampens neural activity, and many drugs for treating anxiety disorders target its receptors. (The Texas Tech guys also suggested GABA effects.)

Then they cut the vegas nerve, which runs between the stomach and brain, and lo and behold, the effects stopped. The findings “open up very exciting speculations” about using probiotics to treat mood disorders in people, says Emeran Mayer, a gastroenterologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. But he said he’s skeptical that the findings will translate easily from mice to people.

Then he squeaked and ran up the wall.

Topics: Biotech | Cognitive Science/Neuroscience

***Embedded links in content.

08-30-2011, 07:17 AM

A View From The Top One Percent

Posted by JacobSloan on August 29, 2011

jet-jets-private-plane-planes-planes-fly-rich-wealthy-charterVia Who Rules America?, a financial manager provides his perspective on the wealthiest one percent and 0.1 percent of Americans — i.e. his clients — regarding who they are, how they got so rich, and why he worries that they have too much power:

Membership in this elite group is likely to come from being involved in some aspect of the financial services or banking industry, real estate development involved with those industries, or government contracting.

Recently, I spoke with a younger client who retired from a major investment bank in her early thirties, net worth around $8M. Since I knew she held a critical view of investment banking, I asked if her colleagues talked about or understood how much damage was created in the broader economy from their activities. Her answer was that no one talks about it in public but almost all understood and were unbelievably cynical, hoping to exit the system when they became rich enough.

Folks in the top 0.1% come from many backgrounds but it’s infrequent to meet one whose wealth wasn’t acquired through direct or indirect participation in the financial and banking industries. One of our clients, net worth in the $60M range, built a small company and was acquired with stock from a multi-national. Stock is often called a “paper” asset. Another client, CEO of a medium-cap tech company, retired with a net worth in the $70M range. The bulk of any CEO’s wealth comes from stock, not income, and incomes are also very high. Last year, the average S&P 500 CEO made $9M in all forms of compensation. One client runs a division of a major international investment bank, net worth in the $30M range and most of the profits from his division flow directly or indirectly from the public sector, the taxpayer. Another client with a net worth in the $10M range is the ex-wife of a managing director of a major investment bank, while another was able to amass $12M after taxes by her early thirties from stock options as a high level programmer in a successful IT company. The picture is clear; entry into the top 0.5% and, particularly, the top 0.1% is usually the result of some association with the financial industry and its creations. I find it questionable as to whether the majority in this group actually adds value or simply diverts value from the US economy and business into its pockets and the pockets of the uber-wealthy who hire them. They are, of course, doing nothing illegal.

I think it’s important to emphasize one of the dangers of wealth concentration: irresponsibility about the wider economic consequences of their actions by those at the top. Wall Street created the investment products that produced gross economic imbalances and the 2008 credit crisis. It wasn’t the hard-working 99.5%. Average people could only destroy themselves financially, not the economic system. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but the collapse was primarily due to the failure of complex mortgage derivatives, CDS credit swaps, cheap Fed money, lax regulation, compromised ratings agencies, government involvement in the mortgage market, the end of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999, and insufficient bank capital. Only Wall Street could put the economy at risk and it had an excellent reason to do so: profit. It made huge profits in the build-up to the credit crisis and huge profits when it sold itself as “too big to fail” and received massive government and Federal Reserve bailouts. Most of the serious economic damage the U.S. is struggling with today was done by the top 0.1% and they benefited greatly from it.

Not surprisingly, Wall Street and the top of corporate America are doing extremely well as of June 2011. For example, in Q1 of 2011, America’s top corporations reported 31% profit growth and a 31% reduction in taxes, the latter due to profit outsourcing to low tax rate countries. Somewhere around 40% of the profits in the S&P 500 come from overseas and stay overseas, with about half of these 500 top corporations having their headquarters in tax havens. If the corporations don’t repatriate their profits, they pay no U.S. taxes. The year 2010 was a record year for compensation on Wall Street, while corporate CEO compensation rose by over 30%, most Americans struggled. In 2010 a dozen major companies, including GE, Verizon, Boeing, Wells Fargo, and Fed Ex paid US tax rates between -0.7% and -9.2%. Production, employment, profits, and taxes have all been outsourced. Major U.S. corporations are currently lobbying to have another “tax-repatriation” window like that in 2004 where they can bring back corporate profits at a 5.25% tax rate versus the usual 35% US corporate tax rate. Ordinary working citizens with the lowest incomes are taxed at 10%.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: A highly complex and largely discrete set of laws and exemptions from laws has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth. Ordinary citizens in the bottom 99.9% are largely not aware of these systems, do not understand how they work, are unlikely to participate in them, and have little likelihood of entering the top 0.5%, much less the top 0.1%. Moreover, those at the very top have no incentive whatsoever for revealing or changing the rules. I am not optimistic.

08-30-2011, 09:13 AM

Brazilian Wind Power Now Cheaper Than Natural Gas
August 28, 2011

“...That wind power could reach these lows versus natural gas was unimaginable until recently.”
- EPE president and chief executive Mauricio Tolmasquim

Wind power in Brazil now costs less than natural gas. Brazil’s National Electric Power Agency held a series of energy auctions last week. During the auctions, 78 wind power projects, out of 92 projects, nabbed contracts.

EPE predicts Brazil’s wind power potential of 143 gigawatts (GW) could increase to 300 GW with better use of turbine technology. EPE also predicts that the Brazilian use of wind power will increase to 60 percent between 2010 and 2020.

08-30-2011, 09:31 AM
Time Warner, gigantic media conglomerate and parent of Warner Brothers, owns the rights to the Guy Fawkes mask design from the 2006 Warner Brothers film “V for Vendetta.” So, every time you purchase one of those masks, they are paid a licensing fee. Nick Bilton in the New York Times has more.

08-30-2011, 09:32 AM

Professor Kurtis Heimerl of the University of California, Berkeley has created a do-it-yourself GSM (global system for mobile communications, a worldwide cell-phone standard) cellular data network for areas (such as remote villages) with limited power and network resources, reports Shareable.

The network can be deployed off-the-grid because only low power is required, using solar or wind, and no connection to a cell-phone company is required.

What if devices like this were used to connect to an autonomous Internet through a collectively owned satellite? For example, Buy This Satellite is an effort to crowdfund enough money to purchase the communications satellite TerreStar-1. Non-profit Ahumanright aims to use the satellite to provide free Internet access in the developing world.

09-01-2011, 08:13 AM

Wozniak: Machines will run the world, humans will become idle 'pets'
Apple co-founder paints a vision of machines doing more, people enjoying 'easy life'

09-01-2011, 11:20 AM

Extraordinarily close call for Gizmag's Loz Blain


It's fair to say we nearly lost one of our team a couple of days ago. Gizmag feature writer and videographer Loz Blain was out test riding the amazing BMW S1000RR superbike with a friend on board when he survived an extraordinarily close call with an oncoming 4WD that had drifted onto the wrong side of the road. As he was filming for a video review, he had a high-definition camera on board to record the incident, so without further ado here's the footage - and a reminder that not all single vehicle accidents are the rider's fault.

09-01-2011, 11:43 AM

Mean Bosses & Co-Workers Cause Damage Beyond the Workplace

09-01-2011, 11:44 AM

Over 31k views on this thread. WOW!!! Thanks everyone for enjoying the content.