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04-26-2011, 12:39 PM

04-26-2011, 12:59 PM
Police called to a flat in Berlin by neighbours who said it sounded like someone was using an electric drill through the night smashed down the door to find a vibrator had switched itself on and was jiggling around on the floor.

Officers who answered the desperate call tried repeatedly to contact the 23-year-old woman whose flat it was.

But they could not get a response, and eventually decided to break in the door in an attempt to find out what was going on in the flat. “You could hear the noise out on the street,” one neighbour said.

When the officers smashed their way into the flat they found nothing more dangerous than the vibrator which was doing its best on the floor. Now the young woman is not only going to have to face her neighbours when she returns home – she will also have to pay for the smashed door.

04-27-2011, 05:50 AM
<a href="http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/OGtMm4Yvuvw/go-the-****-to-sleep.html">Go the **** to Sleep: a storybook for exhausted parents</a>

Go the **** To Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don't always send a toddler sailing off to dreamland. Honest, profane, and affectionate, Adam Mansbach's verses and Ricardo Cortés' illustrations perfectly capture the familiar--and unspoken--tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night, and open up a conversation about parenting in the process. Beautiful, subversive, and pants-wettingly funny, Go the **** to Sleep is a perfect gift for parents new, old, or expectant. Here is a sample verse:

The cats nestle close to their kittens now.
The lambs have laid down with the sheep.
You're cozy and warm in your bed, my dear
Please go the **** to sleep.

04-28-2011, 07:54 AM


Honeybees 'entomb' hives to protect against pesticides, say scientists

By sealing up cells full of contaminated pollen, bees appear to be attempting to protect the rest of the hive
(NaturalNews) A crucial lifeblood to agriculture, bees continue to face threats of extinction by things like pollution and pesticides, both of which are implicated in causing mass bee die-offs, also known as "colony collapse disorder" or CCD (http://www.naturalnews.com/honey_be...). And scientists say that because of this massive onslaught of toxins, bees are actually entombing, or sealing off, their hive cells in an attempt to quarantine polluted pollen and prevent it from destroying the entire colony.

The Guardian writes that scientists began noticing differences among hive cells containing normal pollen, and others containing tainted pollen. The tainted cells were sunken and covered with a waxy layer of propolis, a sticky resin substance with antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Upon analysis, the propolis-covered cells were found to contain high levels of pesticides and other toxic pollutants, indicating that the bees were purposely covering them in propolis to protect the hive.

"This is a novel finding, and very striking," said Jeff Pettis, an entomologist at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). "The implication is that the bees are sensing [pesticides] and actually sealing it off. They are recognizing that something is wrong with the pollen and encapsulating it. Bees would not normally seal off pollen."

Researchers also noted that while the sealing efforts are a type of emergency reaction by bees to being bombarded with toxins, they are not really all that effective in the end. According to Pettis, most of the colonies with entombed cells ended up dying off anyway.

Though there are likely other factors contributing to CCD, pesticides play a considerably substantial role in the devastating phenomenon. In fact, a document leaked back in late 2010 revealed that a popular pesticide known as clothianidin, which was approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1993, is directly responsible for killing off bees -- and the EPA has known this for a while but has done nothing about it (http://www.naturalnews.com/030921_E...).

04-28-2011, 08:02 AM

The brain really can be half asleep, claims research
Moments of absent mindedness such as losing your keys could be the result of tiny parts of the brain taking "naps" to recharge, a study finds.

04-28-2011, 08:04 AM

Zombie proof house


Check it out - more pics @ source

04-28-2011, 09:14 AM
from www.camionetica.com (http://www.camionetica.com)




04-28-2011, 10:02 AM

Ninja brings justice to the mean streets of Tunbridge Wells


Ever found yourself wandering the mean-streets of Tunbridge Wells, a small town nestled in the leafy county of Kent? Ever wandered if the police can handle potential crimes, such as: Littering, Cat loss, Parking in disabled spots when able-bodied, and of course hooliganism?

Well wonder no more, The Tunbridge Wells Ninja is here to right wrongs, and … erm … prevent fraudulent parking:

The masked vigilante – who looks remarkably like a man in judo pyjamas and a balaclava – patrols the streets, righting wrongs and giving hope to the residents of the Kent town.
His feats include heroics such as returning lost cats to their owners and warning illegally parked drivers that they risk a parking fine.

The Ninja even has a Facebook page where he posts videos of his heroic acts, and corrects peoples assertions that he doesn’t actually exist:

Facebook seems to think I am not a real person but I can assure you that I am. The rumours are true. I am a ninja and I am patrolling Tunbridge Wells,’…‘It is my aim to help people, I am inspired by Neighbourhood Watch, which people seem to have forgotten about. So I’ve created Ninja Watch.

Well it looks like – at least for now – the people of Tunbridge Wells can sleep safe once again.

04-28-2011, 10:48 AM
haunterInterested in investing in demonic real estate? The home was built in 1763 by Stephen Harris, a wealthy merchant. Subsequently his children died and his wife descended into madness — in real life, not the Lovecraft story. Additionally, there likely are colonial-era corpses buried in the backyard. The Lovecraftian notes ominously:

The home at 135 Benefit Street in Providence, Rhode Island, that’s featured in H.P. Lovecraft’s story “The Shunned House” is for sale. And if you’re looking for “a particular house on the eastern side of the street; a dingy, antiquated structure perched on the abruptly rising side-hill, with a great unkempt yard dating from a time when the region was partly open country” and you’ve got $925,000, it could be yours.

The house had a colorful history even before Lovecraft wrote about it, none of which is mentioned in the real estate listing however. Aside from a giant monster buried in the basement (which can, admittedly, be killed with acid), it has four bedrooms, a koi pond and a library.



04-28-2011, 12:35 PM

Paul Farrell notes that “Many, many experts did predict and warn of the 2008 meltdown years in advance.” Yet it seems that business, finance and political leaders ALWAYS fail to see the next collapse coming. Why is that?

To answer this, Farrell channels Jeremy Grantham:

“Why do national leaders fail over and over to learn the lessons of history? Grantham said it best in a Barron’s interview a couple years ago: “Why is it that several dozen people saw this crisis coming for years? I described it as being like watching a train wreck in very slow motion. It seemed so inevitable and so merciless, and yet the bosses of Merrill Lynch and Citi and even Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed Chairman Bernanke, none of them seemed to see it coming.”

Farrell enumerates seven reasons this always has, and is likely again, to lead to more trouble. He advises you to not forget any of the following elements:

1. Many, many experts did predict and warn of the 2008 meltdown years in advance.

2. Wall Street banks, corporate executives and Washington politicians are short-term decision-makers.

3. Most business, banking and financial leaders are short-term thinkers, focused on today’s trades, quarterly earnings and annual bonuses. Long-term historical thinking is a low priority.

4. As a result, it is virtually certain that America’s leaders will focus on upbeat, good news and always miss the next meltdown because warnings of a coming catastrophe are ignored.

5. Warnings from the few with a long-term perspective will always be dismissed during every investment cycle and every future recession/recovery cycle. Always. It’s in their DNA, trapped in their brain cells and demanded by their followers.

6. If you are a typical left-brain Wall Street or corporate executive, it’s virtually certain that you will miscalculate the timing/impact of the next meltdown, the next big collapse that’s off your radar. As a result, your company’s assets are at risk of suffering massive losses that are “predictable, not random.” But because you’re in denial, you will not deem it necessary to take steps to protect your assets.

7. If you’re a right-brain thinker, your longer-term historical perspective will give you a clear advantage in preparing for the next crash and the depression that follows.

File this away, and look back at it in a few years — I like to do that with Outlook or Yahoo Calendars, and get a pop message. This one is scheduled for 2014 . . .


2008 crash deja vu: We’ll relive it, and soon
Paul B. Farrell
Marketwatch, April 26, 2011

04-28-2011, 12:47 PM

04-28-2011, 12:50 PM

I LOVE philoso-raptor

04-28-2011, 12:55 PM
I also like the "praying mantis crazy girlfriend" meme:


05-01-2011, 03:14 PM
Going Underground
If you visit here often you've probably noticed it's been real quiet for a while.

I mean, it's not like there's nothing going on in the world that can't be commented on, it's just that I've stopped caring and have come to the conclusion that it's impossible to determine exactly what's really taking place since all media is propaganda in one form or another.

That's what the internet has become. That's what people have created. It's gotten old and dull to me.

Basically, the web is saturated in so much ****, and bombards you with so much unverifiable information, that I no longer care or take any interest.

The world is going to hell in a hand basket, and quite frankly, it's pointless highlighting the obvious when nothing I say or do here will change anything anyway. So my advice is to look after No.1, detach yourself from all of it, and go spend some time with the people you love and care about.

These days it's all Facebook and Twitter and everyone has something to say but little of it worth taking an interest in. In other words, it's all about ego and displaying how popular you are and who you're connected to.

I tire of people's self-centredness real quick!

If you want to network socially with people then have a barbeque, or go to the pub and interact with people in person. Maybe grow some vegetables, enjoy a nice meal together, or embark on a project with like-minded individuals. In other words, quit wasting your time online, that's what everyone is doing and it's unimaginative to be like everyone else.

If you're unhappy about the political environment, or pissed at the current financial meltdown, then take to the streets.

Join a protest group, throw a brick through a window, or take a dump on the floor of your local financial institution. Blogging about it will achieve nothing but taking action will send a clear message.

The era of the browser is over for me. The Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that we've all come to accept as "the internet" is dead. The future of the internet lies perhaps in the old protocols and most definitely in more modern ones such as BitTorrent.

Perhaps the rediscovery and use of protocols like Telnet or FTP is where Media Underground will go in the future, reopening long forgotten communication portals and doing so with the latest technology.

This site has never been about popularity, or advertising, or making money. Media Underground was setup primarily for the exchange of information and at its peak a few years ago, it achieved that and more. But times change and methods need to be readjusted.

It's time the underground went underground.

If you have any ideas about how we go about this then email me before I quit using IMAP, POP3 and SMTP as well (due to the constant influx of spam-saturated bull****).

Humanity ruins everything that becomes popular. Email and browser-based interactions are now highly inefficient, clogged up, and deeply uninspiring.

The modern internet is about selling you products, and I don't like products.

The modern internet is about selling you as a product, and I don't want to be prostituted.

The modern internet is about popularity, and I despise popularity.

So, let's move forward. If we're going to continue we need to distance ourselves from the methods that everyone else is using.

Let's become unpopular. Let's go underground.

It is becoming impossible to do anything online without linking yourself to something else. It's getting pretty disturbing as a trend.

Screw Facebook!

05-02-2011, 10:13 AM
"I Would For You"

I'm everybody's slave
I made you my slave
You said
This I do for you
If it would help
To give the world back
What it gave
Then I would
I would
I would
I would
I would for you
I would for you

You say my eyes
Are crazy eyes
Sometimes they are
And so are you
And if you wonder
What I would do
I would do
If I could
You know I would
I would
I would
I would for you
I would for you
I would for you
I would for you
I would for you

05-02-2011, 10:14 AM
It is becoming impossible to do anything online without linking yourself to something else. It's getting pretty disturbing as a trend.

Screw Facebook!

I'm on it - but I don't use it to put a huge part of my life up there - but I do use it for making "connections" to certain things.

I do know more and more of my friends in the 30's age range that are "unplugging".

05-03-2011, 08:13 AM

Business Week has an important article (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_17/b4225060960537.htm)on how internet companies are using the massive data sets collected from the minutia of users’ behaviour to influence customer choices.

The article is a useful insight into how tech companies are basing their entire profit model on the ability to model and manipulate human behaviour but the implication for psychology is, perhaps, more profound.

Psychological theories and ideas about how the mind work seem to play a small, if not absent role in these models which are almost entirely based on deriving mathematical models from massive data sets.

Sometimes the objective is simply to turn people on. Zynga, the maker of popular Facebook games such as CityVille and FarmVille, collects 60 billion data points per day—how long people play games, when they play them, what they’re buying, and so forth. The Wants (Zynga’s term is “data ninjas”) troll this information to figure out which people like to visit their friends’ farms and cities, the most popular items people buy, and how often people send notes to their friends.

Discovery: People enjoy the games more if they receive gifts from their friends, such as the virtual wood and nails needed to build a digital barn. As for the poor folks without many friends who aren’t having as much fun, the Wants came up with a solution. “We made it easier for those players to find the parts elsewhere in the game, so they relied less on receiving the items as gifts,” says Ken Rudin, Zynga’s vice-president for analytics.

Although the example given might seem trivial, it is a massive generator of profit and can be applied to any sort of online behaviour.

What’s striking is that the relationships between the context, motivations, evaluation and behaviour of the users is not being described in terms of how the mind or brain understand and respond the situation but purely as a statistical relationship.

It is psychology devoid of psychology. Rather than the wisdom of crowds approach, it’s the behaviour of zombies model. Unsurprisingly, none of the entrepreneurs mentioned are cognitive scientists. They’re all mathematicians.

I am reminded of the Wired article ‘The End of Theory’ (http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-07/pb_theory) which warned that big data crunching computers could solve scientific problems in the same way. The generated mathematical model ‘works’ but the model is uninterpretable and does not help us understand anything about what’s being studied.

Similarly, while the experimental psychologist’s dream for more than a century has been to work with large data sets to have confidence in our conclusions about the mind, the reality, currently being realised, may actually make the mind redundant in the majority of the commercial world.

05-03-2011, 08:14 AM

Amar Bose donates majority of Bose Corporation shares to MIT, says thanks for the education

If you haven't heard of Dr. Amar Bose directly, you've surely heard of his eponymous audio equipment company. Late last week, the 81-year old founder and chairman of Bose Corporation announced that he's donating the majority of shares in the privately held company to his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A member of that college's graduating class of 1951 and its electrical engineering faculty all the way until 2001, Bose felt compelled to give something back and he's opted for the most grandiose of gestures. MIT won't be able to sell its shares in Bose Corp. nor have any say in the way it is run, but it'll receive dividends as and when they're paid out, which will then be reinvested in its research and education programs. In making this perpetual endowment public, Amar Bose took the time to credit Professors Y. W. Lee, Norbert Wiener and Jerome Wiesner as his mentors -- in the image above, you can see him pictured with Lee (left) and Wiener (right) back in 1955. Chalkboards, that's where it all began.

05-03-2011, 08:20 AM

Lost Civilizations: 12 Societies that Vanished in Mystery


Why would a flourishing civilization, advanced for its time, suddenly cease to exist, its inhabitants gone and its architecture abandoned? Conspiracy theorists offer all manner of offbeat explanations including alien abduction, but in the case of these 12 societies, the causes were likely more mundane: natural disasters, climate change, invasions and economic irrelevance. Still, we don’t know – and likely never will – exactly what happened to bring about the end of the Khmer Empire of Cambodia, the Minoan society of Crete or two ancient civilizations right here in the United States.

05-03-2011, 08:22 AM

It sounds like the deranged words of a conspiracy theorist: The U.S. military is (not so) secretly creating software that’ll generate phony online personae in order to subtly influence social media conversations and spread propaganda. But what may sound like wacky theory is actually wacky reality, or at least will soon be, depending on whether it’s already in the works.

05-04-2011, 05:57 AM

Why Facts No Longer Matter In The Media Discourse

Posted by Danny Schechter on May 1, 2011

birthHow should we understand this latest and most troubling insight into the reality of our media ecology?

In the aftermath of the resolution of the Great Birther bash-up, even as President Obama tried to lay the issue at rest by producing the document that showed, proved, verified, documented, and validated his birth in one of the great states of our disunion, it was said that its release would only fuel more debate, and convince no one.

In other words, in the end, this long debated fact didn’t matter.

Facts no longer seem to matter on other issues, too, as articulated in the now infamous memo issued by retiring Senator Jon Kyle whose office, when confronted with evidence that he misspoke on the matter of how much money Planned Parenthood spent on abortions—he claimed 90%, the truth was but 3%—issued an advisory that said, “The statement was not meant to be factual.”

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a lot of fun with that but one thing that’s not funny is that even when media coverage discredits or exposes some canard, public opinion is not necessarily impacted.

It doesn’t change the minds of those whose minds are made up.

Once some people buy into a narrative or worldview they seem to be locked into a way of thinking. For some, efforts to discredit a conspiracy theory offer more evidence that the conspiracy is valid, because why else would THEY want to refute it.

If you don’t trust the President, don’t believe he is an American or do believe he is a socialist, nothing he or his supporters say will change your mind. After all, what would you expect them to say?

So even refutation can turn into reinforcement and trigger more stridency.

Dismissing critics as “silly,” as Obama has done, only annoys them and makes them more determined to cling to their ideas, attitudes and anger.

The values (and prejudices) people grew up with often shape their worldviews. Their parochialism limits what they are exposed to. Their schooling and narrow range of experience seem to have had little impact in broadening their views.

Political scientist Thomas Patterson describes this as “The process by which individuals acquire their political opinions is called political socialization. This process begins in childhood, when, through family and school, Americans acquire many of their basic political values and beliefs. Socialization continues into adulthood, when peers, political institutions and leaders, and the news media are major influences.”

Writes Edward Song on Huffington Post,

“For example, people who believe in health care reform value helping the poor and needy. For progressives, it is moral to help the poor.

For conservatives, helping the poor is helping people who are irresponsible, and goes against their principle of individual responsibility. The conservative’s solution to poverty is called “Tough Love.” Whether you believe in helping the poor is a matter of values and not a matter of logic. Believing otherwise is the big progressive mistake over the last 40 years.”

Conservative columnists like John Hawkins seem to subscribe to this view too. Writing on Townhall.com, he argues,

“The sad truth of the matter is that most Americans don’t pay much attention to politics and those that do often just parrot doctrine instead of investigating issues with an open mind. This allows lies, myths, and dubious assertions to live on long after they should have shriveled and died in the light of day.”

Surprisingly, he also quotes JFK: “No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.”

Media outlets play a role in fashioning a culture of repetition, producing armies of “ditto heads” who are exposed to message-point pseudo journalism that they in turn regurgitate to advance partisan agendas. This approach is built into the design of the new polarizing and politicized media system.

This leads in the words of Vietnam War chronicler Tim O’Brian to how “you lose your sense of the definite, hence your sense of truth itself.” He was writing about military wars abroad but his insight applies to political wars at home as well. We are all becoming casualties of a media war in which democracy is collateral damage.

No surprisingly, the dominance of conservative media produces more people who align themselves as conservatives and will only understand the world that way. The shortage of progressive media outlets limits the mass the circulation of progressive perspectives. No wonder the media marketplace is so devoid of competing ideas.

Beyond that, media outlets legitimize virtually all controversies as valid, however contrived they may be, just to have something to talk about. This legitimates subjects with the noise of continuing blather and contentious discussion featuring superficial analysis by unqualified pundits.

One consequence, according to GOP political consultant Mark McKinnon is that voters cast ballots on attributes not issues. “They want to see the appearance of strength in leaders, and are less persuaded by what they say.”

That means, news programs ultimately trade in fostering impressions, not conveying information. Viewers trust their feelings over facts.

Remember, one of the most profitable formats on cable TV is not news but wrestling driven by cartoonish characters and invented confrontations. Is it any wonder that ratings hungry news programs take a similar approach to political combat. They are in the business of producing numbers for advertisers more than explanations for viewers.

John Cory commented on the media role in legitimating the birther issue and turning it into a form of entertainment, calling it ” a sorry and sad day for America.”

“What does it say about our ‘media’ that they have spent so much time and so much effort promoting crazy over reality? That our ‘media’ relishes circus clowns jumping out of their clown-cars and spraying clown-seltzer everywhere and then giddily covers the wet and stained audience reaction while ignoring the burning of fact?”

So, it is the media system itself, not Donald Trump or some crazy, that is the real “carnival barker” in the President’s words, Their programs program the audience by constantly and continually framing issues in a trivial matter. Manipulating emotion is their modality, doubt their currency and cynicism their methodology, except, of course, on issues like the economy, Israel or US wars.

The shame of it is that they know what they are doing, know what the impact of what passes for “coverage” will be, but do it anyway.
Filmmaker and News Dissector Danny Schechter edits Mediachannel.org.

05-04-2011, 06:01 AM
We've all known that a copy of a copy of a copy loses parts of the original. Here's something cool that showed up on BoingBoing. think about this, in terms of many different things:

Culture - when things get borrowed or recycled to the point that the original meaning is lost (traditions/ceremonies/holidays)....

Music, etc

....and now...on with our show:


http://craphound.com/images/Visual_Topography_of_a_Generation_Gap_Brooklyn_2.j pg

Artist Daniel Bejar had a key copied and then a new key copied from it, and so on, until the information embodied in the original key had been lost. He calls the resulting piece "The Visual Topography of a Generation Gap": "A copy was made from my original apartment key, then a copy was made from that copy. This process was repeated until the original keys information was destroyed, resulting in the topography of a generation."

"The Visual Topography of a Generation Gap"(#2, Brooklyn, NY) (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

05-04-2011, 06:04 AM
Holy bad ass:


Adobe Photoshop update ushers in new era of iPad compatibility


We've been quite enamored with Adobe's demos of iPad / Photoshop interactivity for some time, and now it looks as if we'll finally be able to take the whole thing for a spin. As promised, the company today released Creative Suite 5.5, which offers, among other things, the ability to use tablets and smartphones to interact with the company's flagship image editing software. While there's still no word of apps for other platforms, Adobe has given Apple's "magical" device a special namecheck, and those previously announced Eazel, Color Lava, and Nav apps will likely be hitting the App Store any minute now. Owners of the now ancient Photoshop CS5 will also be able to utilize the new feature through the recently released 12.0.4 update. Press releases after the break.

05-05-2011, 09:30 AM


PaperPhone, an interactive computer that looks, feels, and operates like a small sheet of interactive paper, has been developed by engineers at Queen’s University Human Media Lab.

The flexible paper computer can be bent into a cell phone, flipped like a book, or written upon with a pen. It does everything a smartphone does, like store books, play music, and make phone calls.

But its display consists of a 9.5 cm diagonal thin film flexible E Ink display. The flexible form of the display makes it much more portable that any current mobile computer: it will shape to your pocket.

The ability to store and interact with documents on larger versions of these light, flexible computers means offices will no longer require paper or printers, say the engineers. They say the invention heralds a new generation of computers that are super-lightweight, thin-film, and flexible. The computers use no power when users are not interacting with them. When users are reading, they don’t feel like they’re holding a sheet of glass or metal.

The new thin-film paper computer will be unveiled May 10 at the Association of Computing Machinery’s CHI 2011 (Computer Human Interaction) conference in Vancouver.

**Embedded links & vids @ source

05-05-2011, 09:40 AM

05-05-2011, 11:08 AM

05-05-2011, 11:13 AM

05-06-2011, 06:32 AM
NASA concludes Gravity Probe B space-time experiment, proves Einstein really was a genius (http://"http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/06/nasa-concludes-gravity-probe-b-space-time-experiment-proves-e/")

Science, Alt
NASA concludes Gravity Probe B space-time experiment, proves Einstein really was a genius
By Amar Toor posted May 6th 2011 8:29AM

Well, it looks like Einstein knew what he was talking about, after all. Earlier this week, researchers at NASA and Stanford released the findings from their six-year Gravity Probe B (GP-B) mission, launched to test Einstein's general theory of relativity. To do so, engineers strapped the GP-B satellite with four ultra-precise gyroscopes to measure two pillars of the theory: the geodetic effect (the bending of space and time around a gravitational body) and frame dragging (the extent to which rotating bodies drag space and time with them as they spin on their axes). As they circled the Earth in polar orbit, the GP-B's gyroscopes were pointed squarely at the IM Pegasi guide star, while engineers observed their behavior. In the universe outlined by Einstein's theories, space and time are interwoven to create a four-dimensional web, atop which the Earth and other planetary bodies sit. The Earth's mass, he argued, creates a vortex in this web, implying that all objects orbiting the planet would follow the general curvature of this dimple. If the Earth's gravity had no effect on space and time, then, the position of NASA's gyroscopes would have remained unchanged throughout the orbit. Ultimately, though, researchers noticed small, but quantifiable changes in their spin as they made their way around the globe -- changes that corroborated Einstein's theory. Francis Everitt, a Stanford physicist and principal investigator for the mission, poetically explained the significance of the findings, in a statement:

"Imagine the Earth as if it were immersed in honey. As the planet rotated its axis and orbited the Sun, the honey around it would warp and swirl, and it's the same with space and time. GP-B confirmed two of the most profound predictions of Einstein's universe, having far-reaching implications across astrophysics research. Likewise, the decades of technological innovation behind the mission will have a lasting legacy on Earth and in space."

The GP-B mission was originally conceived more than 50 years ago, when the technology required to realize the experiment still didn't exist. In fact, the experiment didn't actually get off the ground until 2004, when the satellite was launched into orbit 400 miles above Earth. After spending just one year collecting data (and an impressive five years analyzing the information), NASA has finally confirmed something we always quietly suspected: Einstein was smart. Head past the break to see a more in-depth diagram of how the GP-B gathered its data.

05-06-2011, 06:35 AM
Color Changing ***ushima Plates Detect Radiation In Your Food (http://inhabitat.com/color-changing-***ushima-plates-detect-radiation-in-your-food/)


Yuka Yoneda
Color Changing ***ushima Plates Detect Radiation In Your Food
by Yuka Yoneda, 05/05/11
filed under: Design for Health, Disaster-proof design

***ushima plate, oled, radiation detecting plate, nils ferber, japan disaster, japan radiation, design for health, radiation levels, ***ushima reactor, green design, eco design, sustainable design

Imagine sitting down at the dinner table and not knowing if the food in front of you is safe to eat. For many people in Japan that situation is a reality, and while the government has been issuing information about what is okay to eat and what is not, it is also the same government that earlier said that the levels of radioactivity at the ***ushima plant would not be as dire as Chernobyl. The ***ushima Plate, by Nils Ferber lets ordinary Japanese citizens make their own judgement. It is a clean white plate with a built-in radioactive meter that can visually show you your food’s level of contamination. While the design, which features OLED lights that change color depending on how radioactive your meal is, is quite pretty to look at, it is also a real tool which could, in some cases, mean the difference between life or death.

05-06-2011, 06:54 AM
Total information war (http://mindhacks.com/2011/05/06/total-information-war/)


Perhaps one of the most important articles yet published on military infowar, propaganda, media influence and PSYOPs has appeared (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-2415.2010.01214.x/pdf)online.

Called ‘Military Social Influence in the Global Information Environment: A Civilian Primer’ – the piece is written by psychologist Sarah King (http://www.francis.edu/saraking.aspx) who outlines the theory and practice of US information warfare as it stands today.

Although the piece gives a fascinating and sometimes jaw dropping account of US information operations (replete with examples) it serves as an essential general introduction to how military thinking has moved on from assuming wars are fought with troops on the ground to conceptualising conflict as inseparable from its social impact.

A more prominent view among information warriors is that changes in information, technology, and social influence capabilities have actually transformed the terms of war. War between standing armies of nation-states is seen as increasingly unlikely, both because the United States is an unmatched military superpower and because damage that would result from use of modern physical weapon systems is deemed intolerable.

Our military’s enemies, experts predict, are most likely to be small, rogue groups who attempt to prevail by winning popular support and undermining U.S. political will for war. The argument here is that in most modern war, physical battles, if they exist, will be for the purpose of defining psychological battlespace.

What’s striking is the effort to dominate all aspects of the ‘information sphere’ – from public opinion, to news coverage, to acceptance on the ground, to shaping the general cultural concept of the country’s military.

The many examples given of how this has been attempted during the recent and ongoing conflict are completely fascinating.

If you only ever read one article on ‘information ops’ make it this one. It’s online and open-access with expert commentary due to appear during the year.

Link (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-2415.2010.01214.x/pdf)to excellent InfoWar article (thanks Stephan!).


05-06-2011, 07:04 AM
Living Inside The Westboro Baptist Church (http://www.disinfo.com/2011/05/living-inside-the-westboro-baptist-church/)

Wondering what it would be like to live in a cult? British documentarian Louis Theroux spent several days in the Kansas homes of members of the Westboro Baptist Church and filmed the experience for the BBC — basically opening a giant can of crazy.

***Embedded video @ source link

05-06-2011, 07:05 AM

Amazon | From the best-selling author of The Emperor’s New Mind and The Road to Reality, a groundbreaking book that provides new views on three of cosmology’s most profound questions: What, if anything, came before the Big Bang? What is the source of order in our universe? What is its ultimate future?

Current understanding of our universe dictates that all matter will eventually thin out to zero density, with huge black holes finally evaporating away into massless energy. Roger Penrose — one of the most innovative mathematicians of our time — turns around this predominant picture of the universe’s “heat death,” arguing how the expected ultimate fate of our accelerating, expanding universe can actually be reinterpreted as the “Big Bang” of a new one.

Along the way to this remarkable cosmological picture, Penrose sheds new light on basic principles that underlie the behavior of our universe, describing various standard and nonstandard cosmological models, the fundamental role of the cosmic microwave background, and the key status of black holes. Ideal for both the amateur astronomer and the advanced physicist — with plenty of exciting insights for each — Cycles of Time is certain to provoke and challenge.

Intellectually thrilling and accessible, this is another essential guide to the universe from one of our preeminent thinkers.

Topics: Physics/Cosmology | Space

05-06-2011, 07:09 AM
Researchers find heart-rate synchronisation between firewalkers and relatives and friends watching them. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/03/science/03firewalker.html?_r=2&ref=science#)

The results surprised them. The heart rates of relatives and friends of the fire-walkers followed an almost identical pattern to the fire-walkers’ rates, spiking and dropping almost in synchrony. The heart rates of visiting spectators did not. The relatives’ rates synchronized throughout the event, which lasted 30 minutes, with 28 fire-walkers each making five-second walks. So relatives or friends’ heart rates matched a fire-walker’s rate before, during and after his walk. Even people related to other fire-walkers showed similar patterns.

05-06-2011, 07:11 AM
Elusive Higgs slips from sight again (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20442-elusive-higgs-slips-from-sight-again.html)

Now you see it, now you don't. Rather like a conjurer's white rabbit, the elusive Higgs boson may have slipped from sight again.

A recent report hinted at a glimpse of the long-sought particle at a major detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. But a second detector has now checked its own data and found no corroborating sign of the particle.

The Higgs boson is thought to endow other particles with mass, but has yet to be observed. Four physicists associated with the LHC's ATLAS detector claimed to have found an anomalous "bump" in its data, possibly due to Higgs particles decaying into pairs of photons. An abstract of their study was leaked online in April.

05-06-2011, 07:13 AM
When everything becomes visible, we'll dream of being blind.

Paul Virilio

05-06-2011, 07:47 AM

Sea levels rising higher and faster
Ben Cubby
May 5, 2011SEA levels will rise higher and faster than the United Nations predicted just four years ago, a major international study has found.

The new data suggests that, on average, the seas will rise by up to 1.6 metres by the year 2100 - a finding that has serious implications for Australian governments grappling with coastal planning.

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, based in Norway, found that the Greenland ice sheet is melting four times as fast as it was a decade ago.
Advertisement: Story continues below

''The past six years have been the warmest period ever recorded in the Arctic,'' the authors of the report said in a statement. ''In the future, global sea level is projected to rise by 0.9 metres to 1.6 metres by 2100 and the loss of ice from Arctic glaciers, ice caps and the Greenland ice sheet will make a substantial contribution.''

Each centimetre of sea-level rise roughly translates to one metre of beach erosion, meaning that the coastline can be expected to move 160 metres further inland.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/sea-levels-rising-higher-and-faster-20110504-1e8j7.html#ixzz1LaFfaOkf


I did laugh at the reporters name... I wonder if this would be disinfo? :D

05-06-2011, 08:33 AM

31 Interesting Questions

The following are 31 interesting questions about some of the major events happening in our world right now….

#1 CNN is reporting that the clearest death picture of Osama Bin Laden “is so gruesome and mangled” that authorities believe it is not appropriate for the public. But the truth is that Hollywood movies show much worse every single day. What possible justification could there possibly be for not showing us all the video and all the pictures that they say that they have?

#2 The U.S. government claims that it buried Osama Bin Laden at sea because it wanted to observe “Islamic law”. Well, it turns out that Islamic law actuallyrequires burial in the ground if at all possible. So why was there such a rush to dump Osama Bin Laden into the ocean?

#3 The combined debt of the major GSEs (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Sallie Mae) has increased from 3.2 trillion in 2008 to 6.4 trillion in 2011. How in the world is the U.S. government going to be able to afford to guarantee all of that debt on top of everything else?

#4 The U.S. government has been well over 14 trillion dollars in debt for quite a bit of time now. Considering the fact that the U.S. budget deficit is projected to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5 trillion dollars this year, how in the world is it possible that the debt ceiling of 14.29 trillion dollars will not be reached until August 2 of this year as U.S. Treasury Timothy Geithner is now claiming?

#5 Why did silver suddenly start dropping like a rock just when it was about to hit 50 dollars an ounce?

#6 Why is the Federal Reserve giving member banks an interest rate that is eight times higher than the market rate on deposits that member banks leave with the Federal Reserve?

#7 Why has Barney Frank introduced legislation that would remove the presidents of the regional Federal Reserve banks from the Federal Open Market Committee?

#8 If Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa is saying that the economic outlook for Japan is “very severe“, then why is almost everyone in the western media continuing to tell us that the Japanese economy is going to be just fine?

#9 Should we be concerned when the mainstream media tells us that there could be shortages of new cars and car parts this summer?

#10 Should we be concerned that the amount of corn that has been planted so far this year is way, way behind the amount of corn that had been planted last year at this time?

#11 Why have the financial markets been forced to cancel dozens of “erroneous trades” lately? How are we supposed to have faith in the financial markets when we see this kind of nonsense going on?

#12 Why is the percentage of millionaires in Congress more than 50 times higher than the percentage of millionaires in the general population?

#13 Why is one public school in Chicago banning kids from bringing lunches to school and forcing them to eat whatever the school cafeteria serves?

#14 Should we be alarmed that three Christians were recently arrested for reading the Bible in public outside of a DMV in California?

#15 According to Gallup, 41 percent of Americans believed that the economy was “getting better” at this time last year. Today, that number is at just 27 percent. Are Americans losing faith in the U.S. economy?

#16 Why is the mainstream media talking so little about the crisis at ***ushima when massive amounts of radiation are still being released from the site on a daily basis?

#17 Why is Social Security phasing out paper checks and beginning to require everyone to receive their benefits by direct deposit?

#18 Why is the FDA using our tax dollars to take an Amish farmer to federal court over the sale of raw milk?

#19 Is the U.S. housing crisis getting even worse? During the first three months of this year, less new homes were sold in the U.S. than in any three month period ever recorded, and the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index has fallen for seven months in a row.

#20 Is it any wonder that most of our young adults cannot write decently when50% of all U.S. college students have never taken a class during which they had to write more than 20 pages?

#21 Why does the U.S. continue to allow China to pump massive quantities of their products into our economy when they continue to deny their own citizenseven the most basic of human rights?

#22 According to the IMF, China will pass the United States and will become the largest economy in the world in 2016. So when are average Americans going to start getting upset about the millions of jobs that we are losing to nations such as China due to outsourcing and offshoring?

#23 Why are so many of our once great manufacturing cities being transformed into hellholes? In the city of Detroit today, there are over 33,000 abandoned houses, 70 schools are being permanently closed down, the mayor wants to bulldoze one-fourth of the city and you can literally buy a house for one dollar in the worst areas.

#24 Why are we seeing so many restaurant brawls and so many random acts of violence lately?

#25 Shouldn’t we be concerned that the area along our border with Mexico is now one of the most dangerous places on earth?

#26 What does it say about America when the murder rate in Flint, Michigan is worse than the murder rate in Baghdad?

#27 What does it say about America when a poll finds that 70 percent of Americans believe that the country is going in the wrong direction?

#28 Is a major global food crisis coming? The World Bank says that 44 million people around the world have already been pushed into extreme poverty since last June because of rising food prices. So what is going to happen if we have another year of global crop failures?

#29 Why are sales of “doomsday bunkers” suddenly soaring?

#30 Why has the U.S. government created 257 “foreign trade zones” inside the United States?

#31 Why did riot police in Illinois use tear gas, LRAD sound weapons and crowd suppression tactics against a bunch of college students that were just blowing off some steam at a year-end block party at Western Illinois University? Are brutal “G20 crowd control tactics” going to be used in every small town in America now?

****Embedded links in ?'s....

05-09-2011, 12:38 PM

What do you see? This was the anthropic question of a year-long photographic project dubbed the Photopic Sky Survey, meant to reveal the entire night sky as if it rivalled the brightness of day. In it we see tens of millions of stars, the glowing factories of newborn ones, and a rich tapestry of dust all floating on a stage of unimaginable proportions. I hope you enjoy this new view of our place in the universe as much as I have enjoyed making it.

05-09-2011, 12:44 PM

Talk with a dolphin via underwater translation machine

05-09-2011, 01:43 PM
#2 The U.S. government claims that it buried Osama Bin Laden at sea because it wanted to observe “Islamic law”. Well, it turns out that Islamic law actuallyrequires burial in the ground if at all possible. So why was there such a rush to dump Osama Bin Laden into the ocean?

I believe that was just a cover story, the real reason has to be that they did not want to create a pilgrimmage site for islamic extremists. I believe this is also the reason they went in with extreme prejudice instead of using gas/sonic weapons.

05-09-2011, 02:29 PM
Did anybody hear about the how Japan was moved by the earthquake? Japan was moved approx. 17 feet to the East and the land mass dropped approx. 4 feet. Some coastal towns are now being flooded by high tide. Scientists tell residents of these towns that the change is "permanent."

05-10-2011, 06:35 AM
Did anybody hear about the how Japan was moved by the earthquake? Japan was moved approx. 17 feet to the East and the land mass dropped approx. 4 feet. Some coastal towns are now being flooded by high tide. Scientists tell residents of these towns that the change is "permanent."

I heard about it briefly via radio. This is pretty awe inspiring. Thanks for the link!

05-10-2011, 06:36 AM

Gnostic scholar Jay Weidner has been making the rounds with a new film series called Kubrick's Odyssey. It's Weidner's contention that Stanley Kubrick was enlisted to help manufacture film and photography for a simulation of an Apollo 11 mission for public consumption, which would keep the real mission secret. That the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey was in fact an R/D project financed by interested parties and that the techniques Kubrick and his team developed were later used by NASA for the Apollo 11 fakery. Here's the pitch for Jay's DVD:

This famed movie director who made films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut, placed symbols and hidden anecdotes into his films that tell a far different story than the films appeared to be saying.

Jay Weidner presents compelling evidence of how Stanley Kubrick directed the Apollo moon landings. He reveals that the film, 2001: A Space Odyssey was not only a retelling of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick's novel, but also a research and development project that assisted Kubrick in the creation of the Apollo moon footage. In light of this revelation, Weidner also explores Kubrick's film, The Shining and shows that this film is, in actuality, the story of Kubrick's personal travails as he secretly worked on the Apollo footage for NASA.

The story has it that 2001 was based on Clarke's short story "The Sentinel," but anyone's who read the story will tell you the connections to it are thin. The tone (and intent) of the film is also quite different from Clarke's novelization, as it is from Clarke's fiction in general. One of the most significant differences is personified by Heywood Floyd, who's a hero to Clarke but a villain to Kubrick; a bagman and hush-up artist whose obsessive secrecy is responsible for the deaths of the Jupiter mission crew.

05-10-2011, 06:40 AM

Orlando Uses Sewage To Produce Electricity

Posted by Pelliciari on May 9, 2011
Photo: wfmillar (CC)

Photo: wfmillar (CC)

Can poop be turned into power? The city of Orlando has been working with private-industry partners on turning sewage into electricity in an attempt to answer the age-old question: ‘What if you could take sewage and get rid of it cleanly and quickly, without dumping it in rivers or landfills — and generate pollution-free electricity at the same time?’ Orlando Sentinel reports:

Orlando officials think they’ve perfected a technology that has flummoxed scientists for decades — one they hope will be used worldwide to turn sewage into electricity and earn the city tens of millions of dollars in royalties.

If city officials and their private-industry partners are right, it could be the biggest thing in sewage treatment since the flush toilet.

“We call it poop to power in five minutes,” said project consultant Roy Pelletier.

While the five-year, $8.5 million project has drawn little attention locally, a small, experimental test plant off busy Alafaya Trail near the University of Central Florida has drawn visitors from Mexico, Rio de Janeiro, Abu Dhabi, Canada, Europe and elsewhere in recent weeks.

[Continues at Orlando Sentinel]

05-10-2011, 06:42 AM

One of the reasons that the solar power industry has yet to dominate the energy market is due to its relatively low efficiency. However, that could soon change with HyperSolar’s magnifying film, which can increase the efficiency of solar panels by up to 300%.

While the amount of the world’s solar power is expected to grow from 16 gigawatts to 1,800 gigawatts over the next 20 years, solar manufacturers are doing everything they can to make the technology as cheap and efficient as possible. In HyperSolar’s case, they are researching photonics, which is similar to microchip technology.

Instead of moving pieces of data around a super speeds, photonics magnifies and separates light spectrums, delivering them exactly where they’re needed to make an array of PV solar cells ultra-efficient. This optical layer has the potential to increase PV efficiency by up to 300%. Not only does this reduce the cost of solar arrays, but it allows companies to make their investment back much quicker. If the technology is embraced by the public, it has the potential to transform how solar power is used in the public domain.

With innovations like this, maybe the world can wean itself off its fossil fuel addiction, and maybe the US can meet its aim of being 100% renewable by 2040.

Read more: HyperSolar Increases Solar Efficiency By 300% With Magnifying Film | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

05-10-2011, 06:49 AM

GRASP Lab quadrocopters learn to follow the leader and fly in formation
By Donald Melanson posted May 9th 2011 6:51PM

The University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Lab has already recklessly taught its autonomous quadrocopters to move in packs, fly through hoops and build things on their own, and it's now for some reason decided to teach them yet another trick they'll surely use against us one day. As you can see in the video above, the quadrocopters are now able to take cues from a leader and fly in formation. What's more, they can even continue with the formation if one loses communication and falls out of the pack, which the researchers note is key to the success of any swarm. Isn't that reassuring?


05-10-2011, 09:10 AM

GRASP Lab quadrocopters learn to follow the leader and fly in formation
By Donald Melanson posted May 9th 2011 6:51PM

The University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Lab has already recklessly taught its autonomous quadrocopters to move in packs, fly through hoops and build things on their own, and it's now for some reason decided to teach them yet another trick they'll surely use against us one day. As you can see in the video above, the quadrocopters are now able to take cues from a leader and fly in formation. What's more, they can even continue with the formation if one loses communication and falls out of the pack, which the researchers note is key to the success of any swarm. Isn't that reassuring?


There can be only one reasonable course of action, nuke Philadelphia, now in hindsight this should have been done many years ago, but there can be no doubt now that Philadelphia will in deed be the end of humanity if we do not act now.

05-10-2011, 09:35 AM
There can be only one reasonable course of action, nuke Philadelphia, now in hindsight this should have been done many years ago, but there can be no doubt now that Philadelphia will in deed be the end of humanity if we do not act now.

Interestingly enough, U-Penn is also conducting a "consciousness study"

05-10-2011, 10:04 AM

US navy chief: I'm on a mission to stop using oil

From biofuelled fighter jets to solar power-generating blankets, Ray Mabus wants to wean the US navy off fossil fuels

See gallery: "US fighting machine going green"

You have set ambitious goals for reducing fossil-fuel dependence within the US navy and Marine Corps. What are they?

By no later than 2020, at least half of all energy that the navy and marines use afloat, ashore and in the air will come from non-fossil fuel sources.

Why have you set such a high target?
We depend too much on fossil fuels and particularly on foreign sources of fossil fuels. We would not allow the places overseas that we buy oil and gas from to build our ships, planes or ground vehicles. Yet we give them a say on whether those vehicles run, those ships sail, or those aircraft fly. We give them a say in a couple of ways: one is by supply and the other is by price shocks. Every time the price of a barrel of oil goes up a dollar it costs the navy $30 million.

Is fossil-fuel dependence your only motive?
We are also doing this to be better war fighters. A navy ship is at its most vulnerable when refuelling. The USS Cole was refuelling in the port of Aden in Yemen when it was attacked in 2000. It is incredibly hard for the Marine Corps to get a gallon of gasoline to a front-line unit. For every 50 convoys, a marine is killed or wounded guarding that convoy.

The 3rd Battalion 5th Marines deployed at Sangin, Afghanistan, are using alternative energy sources. A couple of their forward combat bases use no fossil fuels, just solar power. One of the marine foot patrols uses roll-up solar blankets to generate power for their radios and GPS. It saves them hauling 700 pounds of batteries.

You announced the energy target in 2009. What have you achieved so far?
We've made a good bit of progress, though we started with a built-in advantage. We already get 17 per cent of our energy from nuclear power. All our aircraft carriers and submarines are nuclear. But we have launched our first hybrid ship, the USS Makin Island, which has an electric drive for speeds under 12 knots (22 kilometres per hour) and a normal diesel engine for higher speeds. On its first voyage around South America, from Mississippi to California, it saved almost $2 million in fuel costs. The navy's China Lake base in California is giving energy back to the grid because it runs on geothermal energy.

Does the navy use biofuels?
We have already flown an F18 Hornet on a mixture of biofuel and aviation gas at 1.7 times the speed of sound, and the aircraft didn't know the difference. We've used different types of biofuels in our helicopters and our swift boats. One requirement we have for biofuels is that they cannot take any land out of food production, so we can't go down the road of corn-based ethanol. We are looking at algae-based biofuels and other types that look promising but are still in the R&D phase.

Will the navy need any new technology to meet the 2020 goal?
I think we could reach that goal with current technology if it is deployed at scale.

See gallery: "US fighting machine going green"

05-10-2011, 11:29 AM
Peru Inspiration: Machu Picchu



05-10-2011, 11:33 AM
My Interview with Bruce Sterling and Vernor Vinge on Augmented Reality in the Workplace (http://technoccult.net/archives/2011/04/29/my-interview-with-bruce-sterling-and-vernor-vinge-on-augmented-reality-in-the-workplace/)


Here’s my interview with Bruce Sterling and Vernor Vinge on augmented reality in the workplace. Bruce, Vernor and several others will be speaking at are2011 May 17-18.

I told Sterling and Vinge that I thought that apart from gaming, AR would be most useful to professionals. Yet the only widespread use of AR that I could think of outside of gaming and marketing is in the military. I asked Sterling and Vinge whether they thought AR would be more useful in the civilian workplace than in consumer technology. “The consumer coverage hasn’t covered the most important applications in that domain either,” Vinge said. “AR will be enormously useful in both domains, with the consumer end providing social acceptance and product pricing to further encourage workplace changes.”

Sterling pointed out that “Every medium in a capitalist society has ‘marketing gimmicks.’ TV, cinema, Internet, newspapers, recorded music, even sci-fi novels have gimmicks. Even if AR gets terrifically good at doing something more serious, those marketing gimmicks are not going away.”

Sterling also emphasized that AR needn’t be a stand-alone industry. There’s room for many technologies that apply the general idea of AR.

05-10-2011, 11:37 AM


Bill toughens law on visual sexual aggression against children in Maine

Maine Rep. Dawn Hill was outraged to discover that it wasn't illegal to look at kids in a public place, even if it weirded out their parents. So she's passed a bill in the Maine house that makes it a Class D felony to look at a kid aged 12 to 14, and a Class C felony to look at a kid under 12. They call it "visual sexual aggression."

Her involvement started when Ogunquit Police Lt. David Alexander was called to a local beach to deal with a man who appeared to be observing children entering the community bathrooms. Because the state statute prevents arrests for visual sexual aggression of a child in a public place, Alexander said he and his fellow officer could only ask the man to move along.

05-10-2011, 11:38 AM

Cosmic rays zapping the Earth over the South Pole appear to be coming from particular locations, rather than being distributed uniformly across the sky. Cosmic ray “hotspots” have also been seen in the northern skies too, yet there is no source close enough to produce this strange pattern.
“We don’t know where they are coming from,” says Stefan Westerhoff of the University of Wisconsin, who used the IceCube neutrino observatory at the South Pole with a team of colleagues to create the most comprehensive map to date of the arrival direction of cosmic rays in the southern skies.

IceCube detects muons produced by neutrinos striking ice, but it also detects muons created by cosmic rays hitting Earth’s atmosphere. These cosmic ray muons can be used to figure out the direction of the original cosmic ray particle.

Between May 2009 and May 2010, IceCube has detected 32 billion cosmic-ray muons, with a median energy of about 20 teraelectronvolts (TeV). These muons revealed, with extremely high statistical significance, a southern sky with some regions of excess cosmic rays (“hotspots”) and others with a deficit of cosmic rays (“cold” spots).

Over the past two years, a similar pattern has been seen over the northern skies by the Milagro observatory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and the Tibet Air Shower array in Yangbajain.

The mystery remains perplexing because the hotspots must be produced within about 0.03 light years of Earth. Further out, galactic magnetic fields should deflect the particles so much that the hotspots would be smeared out across the sky. But no such sources are known to exist.

One of the hotspots seen by IceCube points in the direction of the Vela supernova remnant, a possible source of cosmic rays, but it’s almost 1000 light years away. Its source supernova exploded about 800 light years away in the southern constellation, Vela. The Vela pulsar, made by astronomers at the University of Sydney in 1968, was the first direct observational proof that supernovae form neutron stars.

The stunning image above from the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory is the Vela pulsar — the collapsed stellar core within the Vela supernova remnant. The Vela pulsar is a neutron star. More massive than the Sun, it has the density of an atomic nucleus. About 12 miles in diameter it spins 10 times a second as it hurtles through the supernova debris cloud. The pulsar’s electric and magnetic fields accelerate particles to nearly the speed of light, powering the compact x-ray emission nebula revealed in the Chandra picture. The Vela pulsar and the supernova remnant was created by a massive star which exploded over 10,000 years ago.

Cosmic rays coming from such large distances should be constantly buffeted and deflected by galactic magnetic fields on route, and should thus have lost all directionality by the time they reach Earth. In other words, such long-distance cosmic rays should appear to come from all parts of the sky.

Milagro has also seen hotspots that appear to come from implausibly distant sources. As an explanation, Felix Aharonian of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in Ireland and colleagues have suggested that there could be a “tube” of magnetic field lines extending between the source and our solar system, funnelling the cosmic rays towards us. However, Aharonian admits the theory is highly speculative.

Others have proposed that a local phenomenon called magnetic reconnection –- in which solar magnetic field lines cross and rearrange, converting magnetic energy to kinetic energy –- could be accelerating local cosmic rays to energies in the TeV range and beaming them towards Earth, creating the observed hotspots. “It implies that we have a Tevatron in the solar system,” says Aharonian, referring to the particle accelerator at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois. “That’s also crazy, but it is at least less crazy than other explanations.”

05-10-2011, 11:50 AM

Honest logos

An idea for a series with honest logos, revealing the actual content of the company, what they really should be called. Some are cheap, some might be a bit funny, some will maybe be brilliant. I don't know.





05-10-2011, 11:53 AM
http://www.greatnewsnetwork.org/index.php/news/article/pressure_builds_to_end_4_billion_in_taxpayer_subsi dies_for_oil_companies/?source=rss

Pressure Builds to End $4 Billion in Taxpayer Subsidies for Oil Companies
May 03, 11 | Comment

In these days of federal budget-cutting (and high gas prices), it was only a matter of time before subsidies for oil companies came under closer scrutiny. That moment has come.

Chatter has been building for a few weeks and things came to a head this past Saturday, when President Obama used his weekly address to make the case for putting an end to the $4 billion that U.S. taxpayers contribute to the oil industry. However, it’s important to note that President Obama did not present the issue as a savings of $4 billion to trim the deficit. Instead, it’s $4 billion that could be better invested in clean, renewable energy.

05-10-2011, 12:00 PM

GE is starting a new lab at its global research headquarters in Niskayuna, New York devoted to turning 3-D printing technology into a viable means of manufacturing functional parts for a range of its businesses, including health care and aerospace.

3-D printing technology has improved to the point that these printers can make intricate objects out of durable materials , including ceramics and metals such as titanium and aluminum, with resolution on the scale of tens of micrometers (millionths of a meter). Companies such as GE and European defense and aerospace giant EADS are working to apply it where large numbers of the same part are needed.

GE has developed a new printing technology that spreads out a thin layer of a slurry composed of ceramic embedded in a polymer precursor. They are investigating the possibility of printing some airplane parts, a strategy that EADS has also recently pursued.


05-10-2011, 12:15 PM

Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery

Iranian power struggle between president and supreme leader sees arrests and claims of undue influence of chief of staff

Close allies of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits).

05-10-2011, 12:28 PM

Quantum Entanglement Observed by Naked Eye

05-10-2011, 12:35 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, 12:38 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, 12:48 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, 12:53 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, 07:59 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, 08:01 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, 08:23 AM

05-11-2011, 08:27 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, 08:29 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, 08:33 AM

Crocodile God Temple Featured Croc Nursery

05-11-2011, 08:33 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, 08:35 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, 08:39 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, 08:44 AM
I'm really enthralled with the Dogman stories from MI:


05-11-2011, 08:51 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, 08:56 AM

05-11-2011, 08:59 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, 09:02 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, 09:04 AM

05-11-2011, 11:31 AM

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, 01:08 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, 01:15 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, 01:29 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, 12:00 PM

05-12-2011, 12:24 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, 12:34 PM


05-12-2011, 12:38 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, 12:56 PM

05-12-2011, 01:14 PM

Microsoft + Skype....

05-12-2011, 01:21 PM

05-12-2011, 01:23 PM

05-12-2011, 01:24 PM

05-13-2011, 09:41 AM

05-13-2011, 09:52 AM

05-13-2011, 09:52 AM
ZEN Flowchart:


05-13-2011, 09:53 AM
Best hendrix pic ever:



05-13-2011, 10:15 AM

05-13-2011, 10:30 AM

London from an airplane window

05-13-2011, 10:32 AM

05-13-2011, 10:51 AM

05-16-2011, 06:15 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, 06:17 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, 06:24 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, 06:30 AM

05-16-2011, 06:35 AM

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

05-17-2011, 06:33 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, 06:38 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, 06:39 AM

Obama admin. claims right to censor ‘unclassified’ materials

05-17-2011, 06:47 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, 06:51 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, 06:52 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, 06:56 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, 07:11 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, 07:41 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, 07:43 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, 07:44 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, 07:45 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, 08:09 AM


05-17-2011, 08:11 AM

05-17-2011, 08:23 AM

05-17-2011, 09:59 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, 10:28 AM

05-17-2011, 11:23 AM

05-19-2011, 08:06 AM

05-19-2011, 08:53 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, 09:54 AM




05-19-2011, 10:02 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, 10:08 AM




05-19-2011, 10:12 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, 11:07 AM
For Ody and his calls for an economic chuck norris:


The “Vacuum” of Financial Leadership

05-19-2011, 11:08 AM

05-19-2011, 12:11 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, 07:30 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, 07:36 AM

you are here

05-20-2011, 07:46 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, 07:55 AM





05-20-2011, 08:07 AM




05-20-2011, 08:18 AM





05-20-2011, 08:34 AM

05-20-2011, 08:36 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, 10:44 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, 07:18 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, 06:11 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, 06:19 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, 06:54 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, 06:55 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, 06:56 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, 07:25 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, 12:29 PM




05-27-2011, 12:33 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, 12:50 PM

05-31-2011, 01:12 PM

Ultraviolet light reveals how ancient Greek statues really looked


05-31-2011, 01:15 PM

06-01-2011, 07:53 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, 07:56 AM


06-01-2011, 08:17 AM

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

06-01-2011, 08:25 AM
it might get a few zombies per gallon

06-01-2011, 09:13 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, 06:27 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, 09:02 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, 09:25 AM

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

Tombstone RJ
06-02-2011, 09:39 AM

Ads Implant False Memories

this is disturbing.

06-03-2011, 07:21 AM
this is disturbing.

Even more so, the further you get into it.

06-03-2011, 07:23 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, 07:36 AM

The Depth Of The Ocean In Perspective

The Depth Of The Ocean Picture

06-03-2011, 08:17 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, 09:19 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, 09:26 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, 09:30 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, 09:46 AM

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


06-03-2011, 10:18 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, 06:22 AM

06-06-2011, 06:24 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, 11:16 AM
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, 05:48 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, 11:16 AM

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, 11:26 AM

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, 12:24 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, 10:31 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, 11:37 AM
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, 11:42 AM

06-09-2011, 11:56 AM

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, 12:02 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, 07:01 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, 07:10 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, 07:14 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, 07:18 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, 07:40 AM
http://feeds.newscientist.com/c/749/f/10897/s/15c51bf0/l/0L0Snewscientist0N0Cblogs0Cbigwideworld0C20A110C0A 60Cis0Ean0Emsc0Ethe0Enew0Ebsc0Bhtml0DDCMP0FOTC0Ers s0Gnsref0Fonline0Enews/story01.htm

from New Scientist - Online News
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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, 07:42 AM

06-10-2011, 09:18 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, 06:23 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, 06:59 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, 07:09 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, 07:24 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, 07:26 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, 07:35 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, 11:01 AM
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, 11:17 AM

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, 11:31 AM

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, 11:46 AM
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, 11:47 AM

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, 11:51 AM

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, 11:57 AM
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, 12:47 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, 05:49 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, 05:52 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, 05:55 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, 05:57 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, 05:59 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, 06:11 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, 06:28 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, 08:33 AM

06-17-2011, 06:36 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, 06:41 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, 06:58 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, 07:44 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, 08:20 AM

Spies can send messages hidden in a Google search

06-17-2011, 08:33 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, 08:34 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, 09:20 AM

06-17-2011, 09:42 AM

06-17-2011, 10:13 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, 10:16 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, 05:44 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, 06:25 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, 07:32 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, 07:34 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, 08:25 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, 08:40 AM

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

06-20-2011, 12:31 PM

Bronco Bob
06-21-2011, 01:12 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, 07:32 AM
I thought is was Ronald Wilson Reagan (6 letters in each name, 666)

Satan's everywhere i guess. :D

06-21-2011, 07:33 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, 07:51 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, 08:18 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, 09:24 AM


06-21-2011, 11:19 AM

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, 06:52 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, 07:45 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, 08:35 AM

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

06-23-2011, 09:29 AM

06-30-2011, 05:49 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, 06:02 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, 06:07 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, 07:45 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, 08:05 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, 08:38 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, 09:25 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, 09:28 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, 06:27 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, 06:48 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, 09:57 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.