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11-30-2011, 07:22 AM

21 lb layer cake containing three pies


Chef David Lowery created this "Cherpumple" -- a "dessert version of the turducken," composed of "CHERry, PUMpkin and apPLE pie," baked into three separate cakes, then assembled into an enormous layer cake.

Working in the Grand Geneva Resort pastry kitchen, I had some time to make a Cherpumple and serve it at Sunday Brunch. My Cherpumple weighed 21 lbs 10 oz and was seen by over 200 guests that Sunday. I was very pleased that it stayed standing until the final 1/8 was cut 4 hours after the first slice was taken. Will be doing this again.

Sunday Brunch Cherpumple (via Neatorama)

11-30-2011, 07:36 AM
It's not the USA - but business is, as business does:


Aussie senator: News Corp offered me favorable coverage if I killed legislation it didn't like
from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow

A former Australian senator has accused News Corp -- Rupert Murdoch's media empire -- of offering to give him favorable coverage in exchange for his vote in against media legislation that would curtail the company's profits and influence. Former senator Bill O'Chee submitted a nine-page statement detailing his allegations to Australian police, who are investigating the claims.

O'Chee, a former senator for the state of Queensland with a track record of voting against his National party's wishes, alleged the executive told him that while voting against the digital TV legislation would be criticised, "we will take care of you".

The executive "also told me we would have a 'special relationship', where I would have editorial support from News Corp's newspapers, not only with respect to the … legislation but for 'any other issues' too," O'Chee reportedly told police in his statement.

"I believed that (he) was clearly implying that News Corp would run news stories or editorial content concerning any issue I wanted if I was to cross the floor and oppose the …legislation."

Murdoch's News Corp accused of trying to bribe Australian senator

11-30-2011, 07:44 AM

Bookmarklet lets you know how the companies you buy from lobbied Congress


Nicko from the Sunlight Foundation sez, "Before Americans open their wallets for Black Friday (and Cyber Monday), the Sunlight Foundation encourages consumers to first explore the connection between their spending and politics in Washington. Checking Influence, a secure bookmarklet that analyzes financial statements with one click, exposes the lobbying activities and campaign contributions of companies you frequent. "

Checking Influence | Influence Explorer (Thanks, Nicko!)

11-30-2011, 07:48 AM

Foreclosure law firm famed for mocking the foreclosed-on will close; world's tiniest violin plays sad song
from Boing Boing by Xeni Jardin

Awwww, that "foreclosure mill" law firm that threw Halloween parties where employees dressed as foreclosed-upon Americans is going out of business. I has a tiny widdle sad.

The firm had already been denounced by consumers and consumer advocates for its work on behalf of lenders even before the "robo-signing" controversy thrust it into the middle of a nationwide crisis over the legitimacy of the legal process underpinning many foreclosures. Since then, the firm has been criticized for participating in "robo-signing" and allegedly improper foreclosures, with critics saying it helped speed up foreclosures to benefit its lender clients by allegedly authorizing the "assignment" or transfer of mortgages from one lender to another when critics say it lacked authority to do so.

And it's been vilified by advocates, other attorneys, politicians and even judges for submitting sloppy and allegedly fraudulent paperwork that is riddled with legal errors, including faulty affidavits and notarizations. The firm last month agreed to pay a $2 million fine and change its practices to settle a federal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, but it's also under investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has subpoenaed the firm and people associated with it. Most recently, Cong. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, launched an investigation into Baum, and wrote to the firm to request documents.

But what really seems to have accelerated the demise of the firm were photos that recently emerged into the national spotlight from the firm's Halloween party last year, at which Baum employees dressed up as foreclosure victims and attorneys, mocking and ridiculing them. In one case, a New York City attorney who had sued Baum in a class-action case and then fought off a defamation suit from Baum, was depicted in a rather macabre scene.

More at Buffalo News. (thanks, EC!)

11-30-2011, 12:05 PM

Unrestricted Warfare (超限战, literally "warfare beyond bounds") is a book on military strategy written in 1999 by two colonels in the People's Liberation Army, Qiao Liang (乔良) and Wang Xiangsui (王湘穗). Its primary concern is how a nation such as China can defeat a technologically superior opponent (such as the United States) through a variety of means. Rather than focusing on direct military confrontation, this book instead examines a variety of other means. Such means include using International Law (see Lawfare) and a variety of economic means to place one's opponent in a bad position and circumvent the need for direct military action.[1]

11-30-2011, 12:07 PM

Weaknesses of the United States

The book argues that the primary weakness of the United States in military matters is that the US views revolution in military thought solely in terms of technology. The book further argues that to the US, military doctrine evolves because new technology allows new capabilities. As such, the book argues that the United States does not consider the wider picture of military strategy, which includes legal and economic factors. The book proceeds to argue that the United States is vulnerable to attack along these lines.[4]
[edit] Alternative methods of attack

Reducing one's opponent, the book notes, can be accomplished in a number of ways other than direct military confrontation. The book notes that these alternative methods "have the same and even greater destructive force than military warfare, and they have already produced serious threats different from the past and in many directions for...national security."
[edit] Lawfare

Lawfare, or political action through transnational or non-governmental organizations can effect a policy change that would be impossible otherwise. Because of the international nature of the modern world and activism, it is much easier for nation-states to affect policy in other nation-states through a proxy.
[edit] Economic warfare

Owing to the interconnected nature of global economics, nations can inflict grievous harm on the economies of other nations without taking any offensive action.
[edit] Network warfare

see iWar

One of the better-known alternatives in this book is the idea of attacking networks. Networks are increasingly important in not only data exchange but also transportation, financial institutions, and communication. Attacks that disable networks can easily hamstring large areas of life that are dependent on them for coordination. One example of network warfare would be shutting down a network that supplies power. If there is a significant failure in the power grid caused by the attack, massive power outages could result, crippling industry, defense, medicine, and all other areas of life.
[edit] Terrorism

Another famous instance of Unrestricted Warfare policy is terrorism. Terrorism is used by a group to gain satisfaction for certain demands. Even if these demands are not satisfied, a terrorist attack can have vastly disproportionate effects on national welfare. One only has to look at the economic crisis that followed the terrorist attacks against the United States, or the extensive security measures put in place after those same attacks. Terrorism erodes a nation's sense of security and well being, even if the direct effects of the attacks only concern a minute percentage of the population.
[edit] Defense against unrestricted warfare

The authors note that an old-fashioned mentality that considers military action the only offensive action is inadequate given the new range of threats. Instead, the authors advocate forming a "composite force in all aspects related to national interest. Moreover, given this type of composite force, it is also necessary to have this type of composite force to become the means which can be utilized for actual operations. This should be a "grand warfare method" which combines all of the dimensions and methods in the two major areas of military and non-military affairs so as to carry out warfare. This is opposite of the formula for warfare methods brought forth in past wars."
[edit] Implications

As the authors state, the new range of options combined with the rising cost (both political and financial) of waging traditional warfare results in the rising dominance of the new alternatives to traditional military action. A state that does not heed these warnings is in dire shape.
[edit] In popular culture

The novels Foreign Influence and Full Black by Brad Thor are based on this book.

12-01-2011, 05:40 AM
Ok - So I started reading this about 5 min ago - crazy - but interesting -


by Humpasaur Jones

When my friend told me that the sperm bank rejected him because he was a redhead, I’ll admit it, I laughed at him. Of course, that’s when I still thought he was kidding...once I realized he was serious, I nearly had a cardiac event because I was howling so hard.

The business in question was Cryos International, one of the largest Spooge Repositories in the privatized world. Their founder and media man, who has the curious name Ole Schou, claims that they’re currently sitting on a stock of redhead donors and the only demand for that product comes from Ireland. “There are too many redheads in relation to demand,” says Schou—a quote heard round the world. Like any catchy story, once you examine the details it all falls apart. Debunking is cheap, though, and my interests lie elsewhere, as always. So let’s get the objectivity out of the way quick: like most news stories in 2011, The Great Ginger Sperm Scandal is 100% bull****. Despite being picked up by every major news service, there’s basically nothing to it. Everything we read and talk about is cheap lies from dumb publicists, though...hopefully that’s not news to you.

As it turns out Cryos International does want redheads, especially in their United States division—Schou was merely talking about his native Denmark. Naturally, he was quoted out of context by a lazy writer and the claim was sensationalized into catchy headline by a lazy editor, and the fabricated story was repeated, thousands of times over, by lazy websites and newspapers. As Cryos New York spokesmammal Ty Kaliski enthuses: “We want diversity. I want redheads, I want Asians, Hispanics, African Americans, Caucasians...” You can almost hear Kaliski trailing off and half-heartedly adding the afterthought of “Caucasians” even though he knew nobody would believe him.

From the global empire of Cryos to the darkly hilarious scam known as Sperm Direct Limited, one thing that nobody in the sperm business wants at this point is more Caucasian juice. There’s a universal shortage of black and asian donors, and although Uncle Hump is far too wise to stoop to trying to analyze that, feel free to take that little factoid and go hog wild, kids. I present it simply as business advice: whoever figures out how to change that is gonna get rich.

You see, “Fertility Industry” is one of the last Wild West autonomous zones in American capitalism and it has been evolving with terrifying speed. The sheer free market momentum of it all is about to carry us from consumer wonderland straight into sci-fi dystopia territory. In all likelihood, we are already there.

Let’s start with one of the most interesting numbers, the foundational fact that keeps all this money changing hands: 15% of all couples under 50 are infertile. Almost 50 years after the publication of Silent Spring, it’s no secret that this is thanks to processed foods, industrial pollution and environmental toxins. (Feel free to argue otherwise in the comments section.) When you look at world population through this lens, you might realize that we’re actually quite lucky that our current numbers are hovering at only seven billion. There is a certain terrible beauty to the self-regulating nature of Nature, even when the blade is aimed directly at you and me.

Why dwell on the past, though? Given the accelerating pace and density of our technological suicide, a 15% infertility rate will be the Good Old Days in a single generation’s time. This is a growth market in the worst possible sense, but make no mistake, the Fertility Industry is strictly catering to the high-end customers. Technically speaking, this **** is expensive. The problem of poverty will be solved by the problem of infertility...call me a heretic or a quack, but them’s the facts, Pilgrims. Better yet, there’s not a single ****ing thing you can do about it.

So, on to the Capitalism part. You may not be able to have kids without birth defects, but you can certainly make money in the meantime. The Fertility Industry is wide open...just don’t dwell on that visual too long. As per Naomi Cahn and Wendy Kramer:

“The United States has almost no rules when it comes to buying or selling sperm. In fact, no one keeps records on how much sperm is bought or sold, so we don’t even know how big the sperm market really is, or how many babies are born each year through donor sperm.”

Not nearly as gross as this, though: accidental incest. No, that does not involve tripping and falling...it’s far worse. As headlines go, this one is miracle of story-telling and brevity: One Sperm Donor, 150 Offspring. Yup. Naturally, professional commentators were simply shocked but this is about as inevitable as McDonalds offering salads or S&M porn going mainstream.

Most Americans know absolutely nothing about...well, anything, really...but in particular, the Sperm Business. Men don’t just go in, make a deposit and walk out with a check. They get screened and commit to a long-term program, usually weekly deposits for a full year. Only a dip**** could act shocked that a business is monetizing their existing inventory: it’s what they do. So it’s only natural that in California, which has always been ahead of the American curve, children of donor sperm are starting to connect on the internet. That’s kind of heartwarming, but it gets disturbing when they keep connecting and connecting and connecting and you realize you have over 50 half-brothers and half-sisters living in the same state as you. The biggest single group was the source of the headline: exactly 150 actual human beings from a single storage unit of manjuice. Which brings us back to two words that should stay far away from each other: “Accidental Incest.”

As one anonymous Mom put it: “My daughter knows her donor’s number for this very reason. She’s been in school with numerous kids who were born through donors. She’s had crushes on boys who are donor children. It’s become part of sex education.”

Now, the notion of sexual competition is nothing new. We’re all trying to make ourselves more wealthy and attractive and blah blah blah, but what’s new here is the scale and the technology available. It’s certainly not like human beings are any smarter. Women shop for attractive and physically fit sperm donors, but it’s not like their kids are automatically going to have chiseled abs or some ****: that comes from working out. There’s also the gender crapshoot factor—sure, sperm comes out of a guy, but it produces both sons and daughters. That fact is sadly lost on a lot of people. Then again, their ignorance is your potential profit center. Nothing cuts into your bottom line quite like informed consumers, right?

See, your average Adonis with a genius IQ and clean bill of health can generate a solid load of merchandise every single day. If he makes it out of Harvard by 22, that’s a potential career of 15 to 20 years. Bear that in mind as you read this outstanding Atlantic article, ”All the Single Ladies,” which documents how the economic devastation of the United States has completely changed the sexual politics of both marriage and conception. These trends will converge into something unprecedented: the most dramatic change in human reproduction since our species first emerged from Africa. This shift is going to be far more profound than birth control, because it will involve more children being born by vastly fewer men, a narrowing down of the gene pool that will hit our DNA like a mass extinction, despite the fact we’re slouching towards the 10 billion mark, population-wise.

Keep thinking I’m wrong, by all means. I have no illusions about convincing you. There’s no solace in truth, especially if you’re older than 21 and worth less than a million dollars. Just keep it in the back of your mind, eat more veggies & fish oil and work out a little bit harder. And oh yeah...stay away from wi-fi signals, too.

12-01-2011, 05:48 AM

Dutch Researcher Creates A Super-Influenza Virus With The Potential To Kill Half the World’s Population
by Good German

Via DoctorTipster.com:

A Dutch researcher has created a virus with the potential to kill half of the planet’s population. Now, researchers and experts in bioterrorism debate whether it is a good idea to publish the virus creation ”recipe”. However, several voices argue that such research should have not happened in the first place.

The virus is a strain of avian influenza H5N1 genetically modified to be extremely contagious. It was created by researcher Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, Netherlands. The work was first presented at a conference dedicated to influenza, that took place in September in Malta.

Avian influenza emerged in Asia about 10 years ago. Since then there were fewer than 600 infection cases reported in humans. On the other hand, Fouchier’s genetically modified strain is extremely contagious and dangerous, killing about 50% of infected patients. The former strain did not represent a global threat, as transmission from human to human is rare. Or, at least, it was before Fouchier genetically modified it.

12-01-2011, 05:52 AM

Robert Schiller writes at Al Jazeera:

Economics is at the start of a revolution that is traceable to an unexpected source: medical schools and their research facilities. Neuroscience — the science of how the brain, that physical organ inside one’s head, really works — is beginning to change the way we think about how people make decisions. These findings will inevitably change the way we think about how economies function. In short, we are at the dawn of “neuroeconomics”.

Efforts to link neuroscience to economics have occurred mostly in just the last few years, and the growth of neuroeconomics is still in its early stages. But its nascence follows a pattern: revolutions in science tend to come from completely unexpected places. A field of science can turn barren if no fundamentally new approaches to research are on the horizon. Scholars can become so trapped in their methods — in the language and assumptions of the accepted approach to their discipline — that their research becomes repetitive or trivial.

Then something exciting comes along from someone who was never involved with these methods — some new idea that attracts young scholars and a few iconoclastic old scholars, who are willing to learn a different science and its different research methods. At a certain moment in this process, a scientific revolution is born.

12-01-2011, 07:02 AM
I present to you a new meme...

The oblivious suburban mom meme:





12-01-2011, 07:38 AM

Phone 'Rootkit' Maker Carrier IQ May Have Violated Wiretap Law In Millions Of Cases

A piece of keystroke-sniffing software called Carrier IQ has been embedded so deeply in millions of Nokia, Android, and RIM devices that it’s tough to spot and nearly impossible to remove, as 25-year old Connecticut systems administrator Trevor Eckhart revealed in a video Tuesday.

That’s not just creepy, says Paul Ohm, a former Justice Department prosecutor and law professor at the University of Colorado Law School. He thinks it’s also likely grounds for a class action lawsuit based on a federal wiretapping law.

“If CarrierIQ has gotten the handset manufactures to install secret software that records keystrokes intended for text messaging and the Internet and are sending some of that information back somewhere, this is very likely a federal wiretap.” he says. “And that gives the people wiretapped the right to sue and provides for significant monetary damages.”

As Eckhart’s analysis of the company’s training videos and the debugging logs on his own HTC Evo handset have shown, Carrier IQ captures every keystroke on a device as well as location and other data, and potentially makes that data available to Carrier IQ’s customers. The video he’s created (below) shows every keystroke being sent to the highly-obscured application on the phone before a call, text message, or Internet data packet is ever communicated beyond the phone. Eckhart has found the application on Samsung, HTC, Nokia and RIM devices, and Carrier IQ claims on its website that it has installed the program on more than 140 million handsets.

12-01-2011, 11:54 AM

judgedredd sugar Junk Food May Be As Addictive as Drugs

Bloomberg reports:

The idea that food may be addictive was barely on scientists’ radar a decade ago. Now the field is heating up. Lab studies have found sugary drinks and fatty foods can produce addictive behavior in animals. Brain scans of obese people and compulsive eaters, meanwhile, reveal disturbances in brain reward circuits similar to those experienced by drug abusers.

Twenty-eight scientific studies and papers on food addiction have been published this year, according to a National Library of Medicine database. As the evidence expands, the science of addiction could become a game changer for the $1 trillion food and beverage industries.

If fatty foods and snacks and drinks sweetened with sugar and high fructose corn syrup are proven to be addictive, food companies may face the most drawn-out consumer safety battle since the anti-smoking movement took on the tobacco industry a generation ago.

Bloomberg: Fatty Foods Addictive Like Cocaine in Growing Body of Scientific Research

(via Abe1x)

See also: Lab Rats Always Pick Saccharin Over Cocaine

12-01-2011, 12:37 PM

12-01-2011, 12:39 PM

Are you unemployed? More to the point, are you underemployed and have extra time, but no job to fill it? A website called TaskRabbit is one of several that are hiring people to do immediate, temporary jobs for anyone. Need someone to do a chore for which you don’t have time? There might be someone who has time right now to do it:

Erika Dumaine, 24, logged onto TaskRabbit this April and saw the following plea for help: “Buy me shoes ASAP. I stepped in dog poop.” So Ms. Dumaine, now a full-time nanny, bought and delivered a requested new pair of navy blue Toms shoes from Nordstrom’s to the poster, Guillermo Rauch. (Her payment: $17.) Aura Montano, a 21-year-old nursing student, stood on the Brooklyn Bridge holding an “I heart Anie Lewis” sign one Friday evening in August so she could attract the attention of Eric Lewis’s wife and hand her flowers as she walked home from work. (She earned $19.)

Those handful of dollars per job can add up to a substantial sum:

After submitting an online application, completing a video interview and going through a Social Security number trace and a federal criminal background check, Ms. Greenham joined the San Francisco-based company’s crew of about 2,000 “TaskRabbits.” She does odd jobs via the service every day, aiming to clear at least $25 an hour. So far, she’s completed about 250 jobs and has racked up around $1,500 a month.

Like the guy who started renting out his personal possessions, we’re seeing more and more people using the Internet to create their own jobs and run microbusinesses. Isn’t that awesome?

Link -via Marginal Revolution | Photo (unrelated) via Flickr user mahalie

12-01-2011, 01:04 PM

12-02-2011, 06:09 AM

12-02-2011, 06:15 AM

12-02-2011, 06:22 AM

12-02-2011, 06:25 AM

12-02-2011, 06:28 AM

A U.S. Army soldier of the PSD 3/1AD Special Troops Battalion takes five with an Afghan boy during a patrol in Pul-e Alam, a town in Logar province, eastern Afghanistan November 28, 2011.

(Reuters / Umit Bektas)

12-02-2011, 06:35 AM

12-02-2011, 06:39 AM
New Meme:

The Coworker Hippo Meme





12-02-2011, 07:35 AM

Henry Kissinger Says Obama Must Create New World Order

Posted by majestic on February 21, 2011

Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney tipped us off to this statement by Henry Kissinger, asking “Why is he still calling the shots on U.S. foreign policy?”:

“The President-elect is coming into office at a moment when there are upheavals in many parts of the world simultaneously. . . . He can give a new impetus to American foreign policy, partly because the reception of him is so extraordinary around the world. I think his task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period when really a New World Order can be created. It’s a great opportunity…”

12-05-2011, 08:26 AM

Scooby-Doo is Veggie Tales for secular humanists
by Maggie Koerth-Baker

At Comics Alliance, Chris Sims makes such a good argument that I can only gape and think, "Oh my god, why had I never noticed this before?"

Because that's the thing about Scooby-Doo: The bad guys in every episode aren't monsters, they're liars.

I can't imagine how scandalized those critics who were relieved to have something that was mild enough to not excite their kids would've been if they'd stopped for a second and realized what was actually going on. The very first rule of Scooby-Doo, the single premise that sits at the heart of their adventures, is that the world is full of grown-ups who lie to kids, and that it's up to those kids to figure out what those lies are and call them on it, even if there are other adults who believe those lies with every fiber of their being. And the way that you win isn't through supernatural powers, or even through fighting. The way that you win is by doing the most dangerous thing that any person being lied to by someone in power can do: You think.

But it's not just that the crooks in Scooby-Doo are liars; nobody ever shows up to bilk someone out of their life savings by pretending to be a Nigerian prince or something. It's always phantasms and Frankensteins, and there's a very good reason for that. The bad guys in Scooby-Doo prey on superstition, because that's the one thing that an otherwise rational person doesn't really think through. It's based on belief, not evidence, which is a crucial element for the show. If, for example, someone knocks on your door and claims to be a police officer, you're going to want to see a badge because that's the tangible evidence that you've come to expect to prove their claim. If, however, you hold the belief that the old run-down theater has a phantom in the basement, then the existence of that phantom himself -- or at least a reasonably convincing costume -- is all the evidence that you need to believe that you were right all along. The bad guys are just reinforcing a belief that the other characters already have, and that they don't need any evidence before because it's based in superstition, not reason.

... To paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, Scooby Doo has value not because it shows us that there are monsters, but because it shows us that those monsters are just the products of evil people who want to make us too afraid to see through their lies, and goes a step further by giving us a blueprint that shows exactly how to defeat them.

12-05-2011, 08:30 AM

Entangled diamonds vibrate together

Objects big enough for the eye to see have been placed in a weirdly connected quantum state.

A pair of diamond crystals, large enough to be seen by the naked eye, have been linked together by quantum entanglement. The diamonds are entangled such that manipulating one affects the other, even though they are physically separated. In this case, the crystals were 3 millimeters wide and 15 centimeters apart. (One of the diamond wafers is pictured below.) Indeed, Einstein called this phenomenon "spooky action at a distance," and scientists still don't understand how it's possible. The University of Oxford physicists published their work today in the journal Science. From Nature:

Media Inline Room-Temperature-Entanglement 1 A vibration in the crystals could not be meaningfully assigned to one or other of them: both crystals were simultaneously vibrating and not vibrating.

Quantum entanglement — interdependence of quantum states between particles not in physical contact — has been well established between quantum particles such as atoms at ultra-cold temperatures. But like most quantum effects, it doesn't tend to survive either at room temperature or in objects large enough to see with the naked eye.

A team led by Ian Walmsley, a physicist at the University of Oxford, UK, found a way to overcome both those limitations, demonstrating that the weird consequences of quantum theory apply at large scales as well as at very small ones.

12-05-2011, 08:35 AM

A paper (paywalled) in the journal Digital Investigation finds that hard-drive full disk encryption works. Police and other investigators are increasingly unable to access the data on seized equipment due to the efficacy of diskwide scrambling. This is a good, research-backed contribution to the debate on whether encrypting your hard-drive is worth the trouble. If the police can't access data on accused criminals' computers, then it seems likely that criminals who steal your laptop (or snoops in totalitarian states who seize dissidents' computers) won't be able to either.

The increasing use of full disk encryption (FDE) can significantly hamper digital investigations, potentially preventing access to all digital evidence in a case. The practice of shutting down an evidential computer is not an acceptable technique when dealing with FDE or even volume encryption because it may result in all data on the device being rendered inaccessible for forensic examination. To address this challenge, there is a pressing need for more effective on-scene capabilities to detect and preserve encryption prior to pulling the plug. In addition, to give digital investigators the best chance of obtaining decrypted data in the field, prosecutors need to prepare search warrants with FDE in mind. This paper describes how FDE has hampered past investigations, and how circumventing FDE has benefited certain cases. This paper goes on to provide guidance for gathering items at the crime scene that may be useful for accessing encrypted data, and for performing on-scene forensic acquisitions of live computer systems. These measures increase the chances of acquiring digital evidence in an unencrypted state or capturing an encryption key or passphrase. Some implications for drafting and executing search warrants to dealing with FDE are discussed.

12-05-2011, 10:48 AM

White Coke Cans Befuddle the American Consumer

Coke is pulling its special white holiday cans from the shelves months earlier than originally planned because of a backlash from consumers. According to The Wall Street Journal, some felt that the Coke "tasted different in the white cans" — it doesn't — while others "have returned opened white cans ... after realizing, too late, that they weren't drinking Diet Coke," because actually reading the can was too much of an effort.


While the company has frequently rung in the holiday with special can designs, this was the first time it put regular Coke in a white can. Some consumers complained that it looked confusingly similar to Diet Coke's silver cans. Others felt that regular Coke tasted different in the white cans. Still others argued that messing with red bordered on sacrilege.

12-05-2011, 12:36 PM

12-05-2011, 12:38 PM


Here’s a photovoltaic cell that can be printed onto paper. The manufacturing technique is almost as simple as using an inkjet printer. The secret is in the ink itself. It takes five layers deposited on the paper in a vacuum chamber. But that’s a heck of a lot easier than current solar cell fabrication practices. In fact, is sounds like the printing process is very similar to how potato chip bags are made. This is significant, because it could mean a fast track to mass production for the technology.

It isn’t just the easy printing process that excites us. Check out the video after the break where a test cell is placed on top of a light source while being monitored by a multimeter. It’s been folded like a fan and you can see a researcher sinch up the cell into a small form for storage. It’s a little counter-intuitive; for instance, you wouldn’t want to make a window shade out of it because it would have to be down during the day to get power. Be we think there’s got to be some great use for these foldable properties.

12-05-2011, 12:59 PM

Former American International Group CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg thinks he got a raw deal, and he wants the government to pay up. Greenberg filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims asserting that the government bailout and takeover of the insurance giant was an unconstitutional seizure of private property, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Greenberg's Starr International Co., which used to be AIG's biggest stakeholder, is seeking $25 billion in damages, based on the value of the 80 percent stake in AIG the government took after providing it with an $182 billion bailout.

12-08-2011, 08:20 AM

Editor's Blog
Adding Our Way to Abundance
By: Valkyrie Ice
Published: February 14, 2011

How 3D Printing Will Obsolete the Economy of Scarcity and the Corporations that Rely On It

12-14-2011, 06:14 AM
Legalizing pot across the nation would save many lives. The University of Colorado Denver Newsroom explains:

A groundbreaking new study shows that laws legalizing medical marijuana have resulted in a nearly 9 percent drop in traffic deaths and a 5 percent reduction in beer sales.

“Our research suggests that the legalization of medical marijuana reduces traffic fatalities through reducing alcohol consumption by young adults,” said Daniel Rees, professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver who co-authored the study with D. Mark Anderson, assistant professor of economics at Montana State University.

The researchers collected data from a variety of sources including the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

The study is the first to examine the relationship between the legalization of medical marijuana and traffic deaths.

“We were astounded by how little is known about the effects of legalizing medical marijuana,” Rees…

12-14-2011, 06:14 AM

With $666,000 in Federal Research Money, Scientists Determined Prayer Could Not Heal AIDS

Trine Tsouderos reports in the Chicago Tribune:

Thanks to a $374,000 taxpayer-funded grant, we now know that inhaling lemon and lavender scents doesn’t do a lot for our ability to heal a wound. With $666,000 in federal research money, scientists examined whether distant prayer could heal AIDS. It could not.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine also helped pay scientists to study whether squirting brewed coffee into someone’s intestines can help treat pancreatic cancer (a $406,000 grant) and whether massage makes people with advanced cancer feel better ($1.25 million). The coffee enemas did not help. The massage did.

NCCAM also has invested in studies of various forms of energy healing, including one based on the ideas of a self-described “healer, clairvoyant and medicine woman” who says her children inspired her to learn to read auras. The cost for that was $104,000.

12-14-2011, 07:36 AM

Laurel Brubaker Calkins reports in the Washington Post:

BP Plc accused a unit of Halliburton Co. of intentionally destroying evidence that could be used to prove the oilfield services firm shares blame for the blowout that caused the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Halliburton Energy Services Inc. destroyed test results that showed samples of the cement used to seal London-based BP’s Macondo well, which exploded off the Louisiana coast last year, were unstable, BP said in a filing in federal court in New Orleans.

The oilfield services provider also suppressed computer models that might prove Halliburton was at fault “because it wanted to eliminate any risk that this evidence would be used against it at trial,” BP said in the filing. BP asked the court to find that Halliburton destroyed evidence on purpose and to compel the company to turn over for third-party examination the computer used for the modeling.

“Halliburton is reviewing the details of the motion filed today,’’ Beverly Stafford, a Halliburton spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “However, we believe that the conclusion that BP is asking the court to draw is without merit, and we look forward to contesting their motion in court.’’

Read more here.

12-14-2011, 07:37 AM

Coming to a Theater Near You: The Greatest Water Crisis in the History of Civilization

William deBuys writes at TomDispatch:

Consider it a taste of the future: the fire, smoke, drought, dust, and heat that have made life unpleasant, if not dangerous, from Louisiana to Los Angeles. New records tell the tale: biggest wildfire ever recorded in Arizona (538,049 acres), biggest fire ever in New Mexico (156,600 acres), all-time worst fire year in Texas history (3,697,000 acres).

The fires were a function of drought. As of summer’s end, 2011 was the driest year in 117 years of record keeping for New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana, and the second driest for Oklahoma. Those fires also resulted from record heat. It was the hottest summer ever recorded for New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, as well as the hottest August ever for those states, plus Arizona and Colorado.

Virtually every city in the region experienced unprecedented temperatures, with Phoenix, as usual, leading the march toward un-livability. This past summer, the so-called Valley of the Sun set a new record of 33 days when the mercury reached a shoe-melting 110º F or higher. (The previous record of 32 days was set in 2007.)

And here’s the bad news in a nutshell: if you live in the Southwest or just about anywhere in the American West, you or your children and grandchildren could soon enough be facing the Age of Thirst, which may also prove to be the greatest water crisis in the history of civilization. No kidding.

Read more here.

12-14-2011, 07:40 AM

Apocalypse Tao: Austerity Hits the Export Economies

Posted by Liam McGonagle on December 9, 2011

Seventh SealAgence France-Presse, via MSN News, calls our attention to the typically under-stated way in which the 2nd trumpeter plays his solo*:

Large-scale strikes have hit China in recent weeks, as workers resentful about low salaries or lay-offs face off with employers juggling high costs and exports hit by lower demand from the debt-burdened West.

Politburo member Zhou Yongkang said authorities needed to improve their system of “social management”, including increasing “community-level” manpower.

“In the face of the negative impact of the market economy, we have not formed a complete system of social management,” Zhou said in a Friday speech to officials reported by the state Xinhua news agency at the weekend.

“It is urgent that we build a social management system with Chinese characteristics to match our socialist market economy.” China’s economy grew by 9.1 percent in the third quarter, down from 9.5 percent in the previous quarter. Manufacturing — a key engine of growth — slumped to its lowest level in nearly three years last month, amid slowing demand from the European Union and the United States.

Beijing has started to implement measures to boost lending and spur growth in the world’s second largest economy.

Read More: Agence France-Presse, via MSN News

* A Further Observation from the Dystopia Diaries — a Glossa McGonagalica: What — you weren’t thinking you could run an export economy under an austerity-induced global demand slump, were you?

12-14-2011, 07:42 AM

Going To A Public Farm School

Posted by Jin_TheNinja on December 9, 2011

Denver Green SchoolAre schoolyard farms the best way to counteract the increasingly industrial food provided by school lunches? Via Denver’s ABC affiliate:

DENVER — Just eight months ago, a one-acre plot at the Denver Green School was an unused athletic field, but now that land has come to life with food-bearing vegetation.

“We have harvested over 3,000 pounds of produce from this ground. Lots of salad greens and root vegetables, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers,” said Megan Caley, the programs and outreach coordinator for Sprout City Farms.

Each week during harvest season, the farm produces 150 pounds of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables that end up in the school’s cafeteria.

“Kids are eating healthier,” said Frank Coyne, lead partner at the Denver Green School. “They are excited to eat the tomatoes on the salad bar, they are excited to eat the cucumbers.”

12-16-2011, 06:54 AM

Why Do People Defend Unjust, Inept, and Corrupt Systems?

12-19-2011, 07:31 AM

14-Year-Old Tasered By Police in Allentown, Pennsylvania (Video)

Posted by Join Or DIE on December 17, 2011

Via the Guardian:

CCTV footage shows a police officer pushing a 14-year-old girl against a parked car and firing a taser at her groin. Shortly before the taser was fired the teenager is seen raising her hands in surrender. She received hospital treatment after the incident in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

12-19-2011, 07:39 AM

But at another level, something different has been quietly brewing in recent decades: more and more Americans are involved in co-ops, worker-owned companies and other alternatives to the traditional capitalist model. We may, in fact, be moving toward a hybrid system, something different from both traditional capitalism and socialism, without anyone even noticing.

Some 130 million Americans, for example, now participate in the ownership of co-op businesses and credit unions. More than 13 million Americans have become worker-owners of more than 11,000 employee-owned companies, six million more than belong to private-sector unions.

And worker-owned companies make a difference. In Cleveland, for instance, an integrated group of worker-owned companies, supported in part by the purchasing power of large hospitals and universities, has taken the lead in local solar-panel installation, “green” institutional laundry services and a commercial hydroponic greenhouse capable of producing more than three million heads of lettuce a year.

Local and state governments are likewise changing the nature of American capitalism. Almost half the states manage venture capital efforts, taking partial ownership in new businesses. Calpers, California’s public pension authority, helps finance local development projects; in Alaska, state oil revenues provide each resident with dividends from public investment strategies as a matter of right; in Alabama, public pension investing has long focused on state economic development.

Moreover, this year some 14 states began to consider legislation to create public banks similar to the longstanding Bank of North Dakota; 15 more began to consider some form of single-payer or public-option health care plan.

Some of these developments, like rural co-ops and credit unions, have their origins in the New Deal era; some go back even further, to the Grange movement of the 1880s. The most widespread form of worker ownership stems from 1970s legislation that provided tax benefits to owners of small businesses who sold to their employees when they retired. Reagan-era domestic-spending cuts spurred nonprofits to form social enterprises that used profits to help finance their missions.

Recently, growing economic pain has provided a further catalyst. The Cleveland cooperatives are an answer to urban decay that traditional job training, small-business and other development strategies simply do not touch. They also build on a 30-year history of Ohio employee-ownership experiments traceable to the collapse of the steel industry in the 1970s and ’80s.

Further policy changes are likely. In Indiana, the Republican state treasurer, Richard Mourdock, is using state deposits to lower interest costs to employee-owned companies, a precedent others states could easily follow. Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, is developing legislation to support worker-owned strategies like that of Cleveland in other cities. And several policy analysts have proposed expanding existing government “set aside” procurement programs for small businesses to include co-ops and other democratized enterprises.

If such cooperative efforts continue to increase in number, scale and sophistication, they may suggest the outlines, however tentative, of something very different from both traditional, corporate-dominated capitalism and traditional socialism.

12-19-2011, 07:49 AM

Scientists create first solar cell with over 100 percent quantum efficiency

Researchers over at the National Renewable Energy Lab have reportedly made the first solar cell with an external quantum efficiency over 100 percent. Quantum efficiency relates to the number of electrons-per-second flowing in a solar cell circuit, divided by the number of photons from the energy entering. The NREL team recorded an efficiency topping out at 114 percent, by creating the first working multiple exciton generation (MEG) cell. Using MEG, a single high energy photon can produce more than one electron-hole pair per absorbed photon. The extra efficiency comes from quantum dots 'harvesting' energy that would otherwise be lost as heat. The cell itself uses anti-reflection coating on a transparent conductor, layered with zinc oxide, lead selenide, and gold. NREL scientist Arthur J. Nozik predicted as far back as 2001 that MEG would do the job, but it's taken until now for the concept to leap over from theory. The hope is, of course, that this will lead to more competitively priced solar power, fueling the transport of the future.

Popcorn Sutton
12-19-2011, 08:14 AM
Legalizing pot across the nation would save many lives. The University of Colorado Denver Newsroom explains:

A groundbreaking new study shows that laws legalizing medical marijuana have resulted in a nearly 9 percent drop in traffic deaths and a 5 percent reduction in beer sales.

“Our research suggests that the legalization of medical marijuana reduces traffic fatalities through reducing alcohol consumption by young adults,” said Daniel Rees, professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver who co-authored the study with D. Mark Anderson, assistant professor of economics at Montana State University.

The researchers collected data from a variety of sources including the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

The study is the first to examine the relationship between the legalization of medical marijuana and traffic deaths.

“We were astounded by how little is known about the effects of legalizing medical marijuana,” Rees…

By any chance, have you read about what they've done in Portugal?


12-19-2011, 09:15 AM
I've heard about it, but haven't "dug" into the findings. But it's interesting - IMO - we do a lot of things that are counter productive here.

12-20-2011, 07:51 AM

12-20-2011, 08:21 AM

NDAA 2012 and SOPA: Do They Target the Tea Party and Wall Street Movements?

12-21-2011, 07:40 AM

Converting Urban and Suburban Lands for Growing Food

12-21-2011, 07:54 AM

Gerald Celente’s Dire Predictions For 2012

Gerald Celente of Trends Research International has a habit of predicting nasty events before they happen. He just emailed us his selection of 12 things we’d rather not see in 2012:

One megatrend looms on the near horizon. And we forecast that when it strikes, it will be a shock felt around the world. Hyperbole it’s not! Our research has revealed that at the very highest levels of government this megatrend has been seriously discussed. Read on:

1. Economic Martial Law: Given the current economic and geopolitical conditions, the central banks and world governments already have plans in place to declare economic martial law … with the possibility of military martial law to follow.

2. Battlefield America: With a stroke of the Presidential pen, language was removed from an earlier version of the National Defense Authorization Act, granting the President authority to act as judge, jury and executioner. Citizens, welcome to “Battlefield America.”

3. Invasion of the Occtupy: 15 years ago, Gerald Celente predicted in his book Trends 2000 that prolonged protests would hit Wall Street in the early years of the new millennium and would spread nationwide. The “Occtupy” is now upon us, and it is like nothing history has ever witnessed.

4. Climax Time: The financial house of cards is collapsing, and in 2012 many of the long-simmering socioeconomic and geopolitical trends that Celente has accurately forecast will come to a climax. Some will arrive with a big bang and others less dramatically … but no less consequentially. Are you prepared? And what’s next for the world?

5. Technocrat Takeover: “Democracy is Dead; Long Live the Technocrat!” A pair of lightning-quick financial coup d’états in Greece and Italy have installed two unelected figures as head of state. No one yet in the mainstream media is calling this merger of state and corporate powers by its proper name: Fascism, nor are they calling these “technocrats” by their proper name: Bankers! Can a rudderless ship be saved because technocrat is at the helm?

6. Repatriate! Repatriate!: It took a small, but financially and politically powerful group to sell the world on globalization, and it will take a large, committed and coordinated citizens’ movement to “un-sell” it. “Repatriate! Repatriate!” will pit the creative instincts of a multitude of individuals against the repressive monopoly of the multinationals.

7. Secession Obsession: Winds of political change are blowing from Tunisia to Russia and everywhere in between, opening a window of opportunity through which previously unimaginable political options may now be considered: radical decentralization, Internet-based direct democracy, secession, and even the peaceful dissolution of nations, offering the possibility for a new world “disorder.”

8. Safe Havens: As the signs of imminent economic and social collapse become more pronounced, legions of New Millennium survivalists are, or will be, thinking about looking for methods and ways to escape the resulting turmoil. Those “on-trend” have already taken measure to implement Gerald Celente’s 3 G’s: Gold, Guns and a Getaway plan. Where to go? What to do? Top Trends 2012 will guide the way.

9. Big Brother Internet: The coming year will be the beginning of the end of Internet Freedom: A battle between the governments and the people. Governments will propose legislation for a new “authentication technology,” requiring Internet users to present the equivalent of a driver’s license and/or bill of health to navigate cyberspace. For the general population it will represent yet another curtailing of freedom and level of governmental control.

10. Direct vs. Faux Democracy: In every corner of the world, a restive populace has made it clear that it’s disgusted with “politics as usual” and is looking for change. Government, in all its forms – democracy, autocracy, monarchy, socialism, communism – just isn’’t working. The only viable solution is to take the vote out of the hands of party politicians and institute Direct Democracy. If the Swiss can do it, why can’t anyone else?

11. Alternative Energy 2012: Even under the cloud of ***ushima, the harnessing of nuclear power is being reinvigorated by a fuel that is significantly safer than uranium and by the introduction of small, modular, portable reactors that reduce costs and construction time. In addition, there are dozens of projects underway that explore the possibility of creating cleaner, competitively priced liquid fuels distilled from natural sources. Plan to start saying goodbye to conventional liquid fuels!

12. Going Out in Style: In the bleak terrain of 2012 and beyond, “Affordable sophistication” will direct and inspire products, fashion, music, the fine arts and entertainment at all levels. US businesses would be wise to wake up and tap into the dormant desire for old time quality and the America that was.

12-21-2011, 07:57 AM

What The Government Told Gizmodo About Osama Bin Laden’s Body

Amazing read. Sam Biddle writes on Gizmodo:

Months ago, I asked the Pentagon for its visual records of Osama bin Laden’s sea burial under the Freedom of Information Act. Today, I received a thick packet of No— a complete denial that any records exist. Read it.

The core of the response is this: the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, United States Special Operations Command, and the Department of the Navy all had their records searched. Nothing. Admiral Mike Mullen’s email was scanned. Nothing. The Pentagon claims not a single person aboard the USS Carl Vinson, where Bin Laden’s remains were disposed of, took a single picture. Not a single email from the ship makes reference to photo or video. Essentially: nobody in the military has evidence. So did these things ever exist? If so, they’re in a filing cabinet at the CIA, where they’ll be safe for the rest of time.

12-21-2011, 10:21 AM

FBI Says Activists Who Investigate Factory Farms Can Be Prosecuted as Terrorists

12-21-2011, 10:43 AM
kelsium: SOPA Emergency IP list anglophonic: Here’s how to access your favorite sites in the...


SOPA Emergency IP list


Here’s how to access your favorite sites in the event of a DNS takedown


# News

# Social media

# Torrent sites

# Social networking

# Live Streaming Content

# Television

# Shopping

# File Sharing

Added LJ and DW.

Here’s a tip for the do-it-yourself crowd: Go to your computer’s Start menu, and either go to “run” or just search for “cmd.” Open it up, and type in “ping [website address],” like so:


Once you have the IP for a website, all you really need to do is enter it like you would a normal URL and hit enter/press go. Typing in “” should bring you to the front page of AO3, for example, just as typing “” should bring you straight to your Tumblr dashboard. Since we’re obviously bracing for the worst case scenario which would involve you not being able to access Tumblr regularly, you should, like, save this list, I guess.

added deviantArt


Sincere thanks. Please keep adding on.

12-21-2011, 11:38 AM
By Lana Lokteff | redicecreations.com

When I first heard about caffeine-induced psychosis, I laughed but a few days later when I drank too much coffee and felt crazed and then strung out, it wasn’t so funny anymore. The western world (but not excluding the east) loves caffeine in every form, especially coffee. Have you noticed that coffee is available for free in most offices and waiting areas? Behind petroleum, coffee is the second most traded product in the world. Could you imagine what it would be like if coffee production stopped and the planet had to suffer caffeine withdrawals? It would be a month of madness.

Caffeine can have a powerful psychological and physical hold on you. It makes me think of the TV series SGU Stargate Universe where a team of soldiers and scientists from present day Earth escape through the stargate to find the ancient ship called Destiny, which was launched by the ancients from our galaxy several million years ago. Incredible revelations are being had yet the brilliant lead scientist, Dr. Rush spirals into a dark place because of his caffeine withdrawal. He was in hell and missing his 4 cups of coffee a day. Watch this clip until the end: The Coffee Deprived "Mad Scientist".

Nutritional biochemist Stephen Cherniske, Author, Caffeine Blues: Wake Up to the Dangers of America’s #1 Drug says this:

"If a person were injected with 500 milligrams of caffeine [less than the dosage in some 16-ounce brews], within about an hour he or she would exhibit symptoms of severe mental illness, among them hallucinations, paranoia, panic, mania, and depression. But the same amount of caffeine administered over the course of a day only produces the milder forms of insanity for which we take tranquilizers and antidepressants."

"For five years I worked in a team practice with physicians and psychotherapists. Often, the psychological evaluation would include one or more anxiety syndromes, and the recommendation was for counseling. I would point out that the person was consuming excessive amounts of caffeine and request a trial month off caffeine prior to therapy sessions. In about 50% of cases, the anxiety syndrome would resolve with caffeine withdrawal alone."

"In over a decade of practice as a clinical nutritionist, I have seen firsthand, with thousands of clients, that caffeine is a health hazard. Anxiety, muscle aches, PMS, headaches....However, if that’s all caffeine has done to you, you’re lucky. What about people misdiagnosed as neurotic or even psychotic, who spend years and small fortunes in psychotherapy--all because no one asked them about their caffeine intake?"

Cerebral allergy is an allergy to a substance, which targets vulnerable brain tissue and alters brain function. It seems more common with substances that trigger the release of chemicals. The longer one is exposed to a drug (including caffeine), the higher the chances are for developing a tolerance and an allergy to the substance. A masked caffeine allergy leads to toxicity which can make someone mimic actions of a crazy person! Read some of these accounts from stress-anxiety-depression.org

After a month off of caffeine, I noticed a big change in my personality. I started to feel grounded and focused again. The world looked different to me. Well, after the horrific withdrawals. It caused me to re-evaluate my psychological need for that morning coffee dose that many of us have developed. Is caffeine evil? No but if you’re exhibiting mental symptoms that aren’t really you or if you’re suffering from physical agitation, it’s time to wean yourself off of it. You may find life is completely better without it or you may find just having less is the remedy.

If you do drink coffee, buy from organic coffee companies because the chemicals/pesticides used for coffee growing are incredibly toxic.

Is there a conspiracy to push coffee consumption to keep us in a specific altered state? Maybe.

Drinking coffee, cacao and other substances were part of a special ritual among tribal people, not a daily guzzle fest.

More health articles

12-21-2011, 11:48 AM

12-22-2011, 06:15 AM

The ongoing dispute between villagers in Wukan, Guangdong Province and the government of China has escalated. Villagers have evicted all Communist Party officials, all soldiers and all police. The government forces have blockaded the village, effectively laying siege to the rebels, cutting off their food and water. The dispute began as a conflict over land confiscation, but has grown to encompass other grievances, including the suspicious deaths of activists in police custody in which torture is alleged.

Guangdong province is the engine of China's new economy, home to the factory cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The fast growth and the global economic crisis have whipsawed the region, sending literally millions of workers back to the countryside as factories closed overnight, even as new millionaires were minted by boomlets and stock-market bubbles. The frontier attitude of the region has given rise to legendary local corruption as well.

12-22-2011, 06:19 AM


A paper from the New England Complex Systems Institute claims that they have found evidence that traders executed a "bear raid" on Citigroup in 2007, precipitating the financial collapse. A "bear raid" is a market manipulation technique in which short sellers conspire to dump huge quantities of borrowed shares into the market all at once, driving the price down (short selling is a stock-trading technique in which shares are borrowed for sale; the short seller makes money when the value of the borrowed shares declines).

"Bear raids" have been considered a risk to markets since the Great Depression, and a financial regulation called the "uptick rule" was instituted in 1938 to prevent the tactic. The uptick rule was repealed in in July, 2007, and the alleged bear raid took place in November, 2007.

On November 1, 2007, Citigroup experienced large spikes in short selling and trading volume. The number of borrowed shares—short interest—increased by approximately 130 million shares to 3.8 times the 3-month moving average. The total trading volume jumped from 73 million shares on the previous day to 171 million shares, 3.7 times the 3-month moving average. The ratio of the increase in short positions to volume was 0.77. This is the fraction of the total trading that day that may be attributed to short positions held until market closing. The total value of shares borrowed on November 1 was approximately $6.07 billion. Adjusted for the dividend issued on November 1, 2007, Citigroup stock closed on November 1 down $2.85 from the previous day, a drop of 6.9%.

The number of positions closed on November 7, 202 million, was 53% larger than the number opened on November 1. The short interest before the increase on November 1 and after November 7 are virtually identical, the larger decrease corresponding to an additional increase in short interest between these dates. The mirror image one-day anomalies in short interest change suggest that the two are linked. We can conservatively estimate the total gain from short selling by multiplying the number of short positions opened on November 1 by the difference between the closing price on November 1 and closing price on November 7 ($4.82), which yields an estimated gain for the short sellers of $640 million.

Link to PDF here (http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1112/1112.3095v1.pdf)

12-22-2011, 06:32 AM


Brian Krebs reports on a new cybercrime service that will max-out a company's switchboard with fake phone calls as a diversionary tactic while their servers are being plundered:

For just $5 an hour, or $40 per day, you can keep anyone’s phone so tied up with incoming junk calls that the number is unable to receive legitimate calls.

The seller offers discounts for frequent buyers of his service, and promises that each call to the targeted number will appear to come from a unique phone number, thereby foiling any efforts to block the bogus calls by caller ID. The vendor also is offering this service under escrow payment, which many fraud forums use to ensure both parties to a transaction are happy before payment is rendered.

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2011/12/busy-signal-service-targets-cyberheist-victims/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+KrebsOnSecurity+%28Krebs+on+S ecurity%29

12-27-2011, 06:48 AM

Smoke Screening

As you stand in endless lines this holiday season, here’s a comforting thought: all those security measures accomplish nothing, at enormous cost. That’s the conclusion of Charles C. Mann, who put the T.S.A. to the test with the help of one of America’s top security experts.

12-27-2011, 06:49 AM
http://www.blacklistednews.com/World%E2%80%99s_Second_And_Third_Largest_Economies _To_Bypass_Dollar%2C_Engage_In_Direct_Currency_Tra de_/17159/0/0/0/Y/M.html

World’s Second And Third Largest Economies To Bypass Dollar, Engage In Direct Currency Trade
December 26, 2011
Print Version

Source: Zero Hedge

12-27-2011, 06:49 AM

For Bloggers at Risk: Creating a Contingency Plan

12-27-2011, 06:50 AM
http://www.blacklistednews.com/Seafood_10%2C000_Times_Over_Safe_Limit_for_Carcino genic_Contamination%2C_FDA_Says_to_Eat_it_Anyway/17134/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Seafood 10,000 Times Over Safe Limit for Carcinogenic Contamination, FDA Says to Eat it Anyway

12-27-2011, 06:55 AM
http://www.blacklistednews.com/Company_Who_Lobbied_for_the_NDAA_Indefinite_Detent ion_Bill_Given_23_Million_Dollar_Contract_for_Nigh t_Raid_Equipment/17108/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Company Who Lobbied for the NDAA Indefinite Detention Bill Given 23 Million Dollar Contract for Night Raid Equipment

12-27-2011, 06:56 AM
http://www.blacklistednews.com/10_Ways_the_U.S._Gov%27t_Has_Destroyed_Its_Own_Dec laration_of_Independence/17087/0/0/0/Y/M.html

10 Ways the U.S. Gov't Has Destroyed Its Own Declaration of Independence

12-27-2011, 07:02 AM
http://www.blacklistednews.com/Monsanto%E2%80%99s_Roundup_Ready_Crops_Leading_to_ Mental_Illness%2C_Obesity_/17032/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Crops Leading to Mental Illness, Obesity

Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Crops Leading to Decreased Gut Flora

A formula seems to have been made to not only ruin the agricultural system, but also compromise the health of millions of people worldwide.

With the advent of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops, resistant superweeds are taking over farmland and public health is being attacked. These genetically engineered crops are created to withstand large amounts of Monsanto’s top-selling herbicide, Roundup. As it turns out, glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is actually leaving behind its residue on Roundup Ready crops, causing further potential concern for public health.

According to Dr. Don Huber, an expert in certain science fields relating to genetically modified foods, the amount of good bacteria in the gut decreases with the consumption of GMO foods. But this outcome is actually due to the residual glyphosate in animal feed and food.

Dr. Huber states that glyphosate residues in genetically engineered plants are responsible for a significant reduction in mineral content, causing people to be highly susceptible to pathogens.

Although studies have previously found that the beneficial bacteria in animals is destroyed thanks to glyphosate, a stronger connection will need to be made regarding human health for this kind of information to stick.

Poor Gut Flora Means Poor Health

As awareness grows, more and more people are realizing that poor gut flora often means poor health. Without the proper ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria, overall health suffers and you could be left feeling depressed. In fact, poor gut health has been directly tied to mental illness,which may explain the influx of people being diagnosed with a mental illness. Not only that, butobesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome have all been tied to poor gut health.

12-27-2011, 07:06 AM
http://www.blacklistednews.com/10_Ridiculous_Things_That_Make_You_a_Terror_Suspec t_/16986/0/0/0/Y/M.html

12-27-2011, 07:12 AM
http://www.blacklistednews.com/Monsanto_PR_Firm_Reportedly_%E2%80%98Ended%E2%80%9 9_by_Anonymous/16921/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Monsanto PR Firm Reportedly ‘Ended’ by Anonymous
December 9, 2011
Print Version

By Mike Barrett
Activist Post

It seems that Monsanto may be having a rough week.

Not only was the company hit by a press release declaring them the worst company of 2011, but a group of Anonymous hackers claim to have actually completely disrupted the operations of a PR firm which manages Monsanto’s own PR.

The hackers infiltrated the PR firm, known as The Bivings Group, citing “15+years of running marketing campaigns and helping some of the most corrupt corporations on the planet, as well as several governmental agencies, cover up their dirt.”

The hackers claimed to have succeeded in bringing down The Bivings Group on December 5th.

Going by information released by Anonymous, Bivings Group shut down all of their servers and liquidated their assets after the infiltration, while former employees moved on to start ‘The Brick Factory’, a new PR firm. The hackers actions are obviously driven by the PR firm’s decision to help run marketing campaigns for corrupt corporations like Monsanto.

One week after the hackers infiltrated their system, The Bivings Group reportedly stated:

Our Cyber Infrastructure has recently been put under attack. We are evaluating the extent of the intrusion, and apologise for any downtime and issues this may cause you. It is not yet determined what the motives behind the attack are, or what, if any data has been compromised. We will continue to keep you up to date, and sicerely apologise for any inconvenience.

Are the hackers in the right to take down a firm which helps corrupt corporations, even though done illegally and mischievously?

Sometimes it is hard to see what is wrong and what is right, though it is quite apparent that Monsanto is a corporation with no regard for human health or the planet. This isn’t the only example of resistance against corrupt companies like Monsanto, and it certainly won’t be the last.

Regardless of whether or not the attack will be considered to be in the right by some anti-Monsanto activists, one thing is clear: Monsanto’s own crimes against public health and the environment trump any form of cyber attack in terms of wrongdoing.

12-27-2011, 07:53 AM

Monsanto’s GM Corn Linked To Organ Failure

Posted by majestic on December 25, 2011

cornMake sure you have a GMO-free Christmas y’all! Katherine Goldstein and Gazelle Emami report on the consequences of genetic engineering of seeds by Monsanto, for Huffington Post:

In a study released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers found that agricultural giant Monsanto’s GM corn is linked to organ damage in rats.

According to the study, which was summarized by Rady Ananda at Food Freedom, “Three varieties of Monsanto’s GM corn – Mon 863, insecticide-producing Mon 810, and Roundup® herbicide-absorbing NK 603 – were approved for consumption by US, European and several other national food safety authorities.”

Monsanto gathered its own crude statistical data after conducting a 90-day study, even though chronic problems can rarely be found after 90 days, and concluded that the corn was safe for consumption. The stamp of approval may have been premature, however.

In the conclusion of the IJBS study, researchers wrote:

“Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted. As there normally exists sex differences in liver and kidney metabolism, the highly statistically significant disturbances in the function of these organs, seen between male and female rats, cannot be dismissed as biologically insignificant as has been proposed by others. We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity….These substances have never before been an integral part of the human or animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who consume them, especially over long time periods are currently unknown.”

Monsanto has immediately responded to the study, stating that the research is “based on faulty analytical methods and reasoning and do not call into question the safety findings for these products.”

[continues at Huffington Post]

12-27-2011, 07:55 AM

Solar Paint on Steel Could Generate Renewable Energy Soon


Paint-On Solar Cells Developed

ScienceDaily (Dec. 21, 2011) — Imagine if the next coat of paint you put on the outside of your home generates electricity from light -- electricity that can be used to power the appliances and equipment on the inside.

12-27-2011, 11:08 AM

12-27-2011, 11:16 AM

12-28-2011, 06:25 AM

Keep others from snooping in your digital life

In our digital age prying eyes are everywhere. The sad thing is that they may even belong to your own government. But no matter who it is, there are some things you can do to keep your private digital devices and content as secure as possible.

The link above goes to [Jerry Whiting's] discussion on the topic. He’s certainly an interesting speaker, but make sure you’re using headphones at work as the language can be a bit sultry once in a while. He aims the lesson at the Occupy movement, but it’s a fun listen for any conspiracy theorist out there. The topics run the gamut, starting with the specter of physical access, then moving on to protecting your network through traffic analysis and using key pairs. This Security 101 segment comes in two parts (the first one is embedded after the break), each a bit more than thirty minutes. He’s planning to post a second lesson covering hashes and encryption.

12-28-2011, 06:32 AM

From the global economy to the human brain, understanding the connections is key. To make sense of the world you've got to know network theory

Read more: "Smart Guide 2012: 10 ideas you'll want to understand"

If trends continue, sometime in 2012 Facebook's active users may exceed 1 billion. By studying what connects these people we can get a handle on how this mammoth network is changing society.

It's the same for any complex system: from the global economy to the human brain, understanding the connections is key. To make sense of the world you've got to know network theory - the branch of mathematics that holds the answers. Network analysis is really taking off, thanks to a mass of data on complex systems, combined with heavy-duty computing power to crunch the numbers. One emerging theme is that biological networks can resist perturbation, up to a point. Disturb the system enough and things go awry - which is what happens when we get sick.

In addition to the connectome (see left), expect a flood of data on the interactions between proteins that make up the molecular machinery of human cells - the interactome, in other words.

Because networks created by human activities aren't shaped by natural selection they may collapse if disrupted. This is why network theorists are busy studying connections between big firms. "Too big to fail" is only partly right: "too connected to fail" is the message from network theory.

Where do social networks fit in? Facebook wants algorithms to help it recognise which relationships are strongest, allowing it to better personalise the site. As Mark Zuckerberg might put it, it's complicated, but we're better connected.

12-28-2011, 11:29 AM

Chinese hackers target U.S. Chamber of Commerce, sensitive data stolen

According to sources close to The Wall Street Journal, Chinese hackers are at it again, this time hitting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and capturing information from three million members. Those familiar with the matter told the WSJ that hackers stole around six weeks worth of emails regarding Asian policy, but may have had access to sensitive correspondences for as long as a year. The Chamber only learned it was under attack when the FBI sent an alert that servers in China were stealing information, although the exact amount of data stolen is unknown. After confirming the breach, the Chamber shut down and destroyed parts of its computer network, proceeding to revamp its security system over a 36-hour period. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time the U.S. of A has fallen victim to Chinese hackers, as both Google and NASA have experienced breaches over the past few years. The Chamber is currently investigating the attack, hoping to find some digital clues that might reveal the details of who done it and why.

12-28-2011, 11:54 AM

The Big Lie

12-28-2011, 12:22 PM

12-30-2011, 06:04 AM
Inside The Octopus Mind (http://www.disinfo.com/2011/12/inside-the-octopus-mind/)


Who can think? Who can feel? Via Orion (http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/6474/), the revelation that octopi — boneless creatures with brains the size of a walnut — seem to have immense intelligence, feelings, and personalities is challenging our understanding of what consciousness means and where it comes from:

I have always loved octopuses. No sci-fi alien is so startlingly strange. Here is someone who, even if she grows to one hundred pounds and stretches more than eight feet long, could still squeeze her body through an opening the size of an orange; an animal whose eight arms are covered with thousands of suckers that taste as well as feel; a mollusk with a beak like a parrot and venom like a snake and a tongue covered with teeth; a creature who can shape-shift, change color, and squirt ink. But most intriguing of all, recent research indicates that octopuses are remarkably intelligent.

Many times I have stood mesmerized by an aquarium tank, wondering, as I stared into the horizontal pupils of an octopus’s large, prominent eyes, if she was staring back at me—and if so, what was she thinking?

Not long ago, a question like this would have seemed foolish, if not crazy. How can an octopus know anything, much less form an opinion? Octopuses are, after all, “only” invertebrates—they don’t even belong with the insects, some of whom, like dragonflies and dung beetles, at least seem to show some smarts. Octopuses are classified within the invertebrates in the mollusk family, and many mollusks, like clams, have no brain.

But now, increasingly, researchers who study octopuses are convinced that these boneless, alien animals—creatures whose ancestors diverged from the lineage that would lead to ours roughly 500 to 700 million years ago—have developed intelligence, emotions, and individual personalities. Their findings are challenging our understanding of consciousness itself.

As we gazed into each other’s eyes, Athena encircled my arms with hers, latching on with first dozens, then hundreds of her sensitive, dexterous suckers. Each arm has more than two hundred of them. The famous naturalist and explorer William Beebe found the touch of the octopus repulsive. “I have always a struggle before I can make my hands do their duty and seize a tentacle,” he confessed. But to me, Athena’s suckers felt like an alien’s kiss—at once a probe and a caress. Although an octopus can taste with all of its skin, in the suckers both taste and touch are exquisitely developed. Athena was tasting me and feeling me at once, knowing my skin, and possibly the blood and bone beneath, in a way I could never fathom.

hen I stroked her soft head with my fingertips, she changed color beneath my touch, her ruby-flecked skin going white and smooth. This, I learned, is a sign of a relaxed octopus. An agitated giant Pacific octopus turns red, its skin gets pimply, and it erects two papillae over the eyes, which some divers say look like horns. One name for the species is “devil fish.” With sharp, parrotlike beaks, octopuses can bite, and most have neurotoxic, flesh-dissolving venom.

While Alexa Warburton was researching her senior thesis at Middlebury College’s newly created octopus lab, “every day,” she said, “was a disaster.”

It seemed to Warburton that some of the octopuses were purposely uncooperative. To run the T-maze, the pre-veterinary student had to scoop an animal from its tank with a net and transfer it to a bucket. With bucket firmly covered, octopus and researcher would take the elevator down to the room with the maze. Some octopuses did not like being removed from their tanks. They would hide. They would squeeze into a corner where they couldn’t be pried out. They would hold on to some object with their arms and not let go.

Some would let themselves be captured, only to use the net as a trampoline. They’d leap off the mesh and onto the floor—and then run for it. Yes, run. “You’d chase them under the tank, back and forth, like you were chasing a cat,” Warburton said. “It’s so weird!”

Octopuses in captivity actually escape their watery enclosures with alarming frequency. While on the move, they have been discovered on carpets, along bookshelves, in a teapot, and inside the aquarium tanks of other fish—upon whom they have usually been dining.

Read the rest at Orion (http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/6474/)

12-30-2011, 07:23 AM


12-30-2011, 07:35 AM
A bid to bring a High Court challenge over the attorney general's refusal to give his consent for a new inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly has failed. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16249783)

12-30-2011, 07:40 AM


was informed this link gave a 404 -

http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/for_when_you_just_cant_choose_between_sex_and_weed _nsfw_ish

see if that works :)

12-31-2011, 10:45 AM

12-31-2011, 01:54 PM
have a happy new year everyone!!!!

smoke a few beers for me!!

01-04-2012, 10:48 AM

White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to Mars

Posted by James Curcio on January 4, 2012

MarsFrom Wired:

Forget Kenya. Never mind the secret madrassas. The sinister, shocking truth about Barack Obama’s past lies not in east Africa, but in outer space. As a young man in the early 1980s, Obama was part of a secret CIA project to explore Mars. The future president teleported there, along with the future head of Darpa.

That’s the assertion, at least, of a pair of self-proclaimed time-traveling, universe-exploring government agents. Andrew D. Basiago and William Stillings insist that they once served as “chrononauts” at Darpa’s behest, traversing the boundaries of time and space. They swear: A youthful Barack Obama was one of them.

Perhaps this all sounds fantastical, absurd, and more than a little nuts. We couldn’t agree more. That’s one of the reasons we love conspiracy theories — the more awesomely insane, the better. Each week during 2012, when the Mayans tell us to expect the apocalypse, Danger Room will peel back a new layer of crazy to expose those oh-so-cleverly hidden machinations powering this doomed plane of existence. Welcome — back — to Tinfoil Tuesday…

01-04-2012, 10:49 AM

Where Does Your Food Come From?

Posted by majestic on January 3, 2012

Laurel Walmart Produce SectionFrom Food + Tech Connect:

Fueled by food recalls of everything from cantaloupe to ground beef, the public is now calling for more, and more easily accessible, information about the food they eat.

In fact, 86% of shoppers say the presence of local food – food they believe is healthier, safer and more easily traceable – is important to them when choosing where to shop. The global food safety testing market is also expected to grow into a $2.5 billion industry by in 2015.

In large part, the demand for traceability will be realized through technology. Initially led by industry leaders like IBM and Microsoft, the move to track more complex data and to make it accessible to consumers via the web and smart phones is now being pioneered by private companies and university groups alike.

Food+Tech Connect reflects on the tech advancements of the last year and will continue following this trend over the course of 2012.

Integrated vs Fragmented Chains
IBM announced several technology innovations now in use to track food as it travels through the food supply chain. In partnership with Cherry Central, the company now makes it easier to collect data as fruit travels from processing plant to store and restaurant. This data now contains more food quality and compliance information than was previously available. IBM also recently won a contract to work with Shandong Commercial in China to implement a food monitoring system for use in the pork industry.

But these systems are vertically integrated, while much of the food system is not.

The Whole Chain Traceability Consortium (WCTC) is working to allow “consumers to point a smart phone at a food product bar code, and retrieve a global sourcing map and reliable information about all the steps a product took from the farm to the store,” said Steve Holcombe of Pardalis, Inc. In an interview with Food+Tech Connect, Holcombe and Professors Dr. Brian Adam and Dr. Michael Buser of Oklahoma State, explained that much of the problem lies in fragmented food supply chains where many different companies are buying and selling the product…

01-04-2012, 10:51 AM

40,000 New Laws For New Year Across United States

Posted by majestic on January 3, 2012

The libertarians are really onto something … From MSNBC:

About 40,000 state laws taking effect at the start of the new year will change rules about getting abortions in New Hampshire, learning about gays and lesbians in California, getting jobs in Alabama and even driving golf carts in Georgia.

Several federal rules change with the new year, too, including a Social Security increase amounting to $450 a year for the average recipients and stiff fines up to $2,700 per offense for truckers and bus drivers caught using hand-held cellphones while driving.

01-04-2012, 10:59 AM

White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to Mars

Posted by James Curcio on January 4, 2012

MarsFrom Wired:

Forget Kenya. Never mind the secret madrassas. The sinister, shocking truth about Barack Obama’s past lies not in east Africa, but in outer space. As a young man in the early 1980s, Obama was part of a secret CIA project to explore Mars. The future president teleported there, along with the future head of Darpa.

That’s the assertion, at least, of a pair of self-proclaimed time-traveling, universe-exploring government agents. Andrew D. Basiago and William Stillings insist that they once served as “chrononauts” at Darpa’s behest, traversing the boundaries of time and space. They swear: A youthful Barack Obama was one of them.

Perhaps this all sounds fantastical, absurd, and more than a little nuts. We couldn’t agree more. That’s one of the reasons we love conspiracy theories — the more awesomely insane, the better. Each week during 2012, when the Mayans tell us to expect the apocalypse, Danger Room will peel back a new layer of crazy to expose those oh-so-cleverly hidden machinations powering this doomed plane of existence. Welcome — back — to Tinfoil Tuesday…



Whistleblower Laura Magdalene Eisenhower, Ike's great-granddaughter, outs secret Mars colony project

01-05-2012, 06:16 AM

Shirley S. Wang reports on the increasing clinical use of placebos for the Wall Street Journal:

Say “placebo effect” and most people think of the boost they may get from a sugar pill simply because they believe it will work. But more and more research suggests there is more than a fleeting boost to be gained from placebos.

A particular mind-set or belief about one’s body or health may lead to improvements in disease symptoms as well as changes in appetite, brain chemicals and even vision, several recent studies have found, highlighting how fundamentally the mind and body are connected.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether people know they are getting a placebo and not a “real” treatment. One study demonstrated a strong placebo effect in subjects who were told they were getting a sugar pill with no active ingredient.

Placebo treatments are sometimes used in some clinical practices. In a 2008 survey of nearly 700 internists and rheumatologists published in the British Medical Journal, about half said they prescribe placebos on a regular basis. The most popular were over-the-counter painkillers and vitamins. Very few physicians said they relied on sugar pills or saline injections. The American Medical Association says a placebo can’t be given simply to soothe a difficult patient, and it can be used only if the patient is informed of and agrees to its use.

Researchers want to know more about how the placebo effect works, and how to increase and decrease it. A more powerful, longer-lasting placebo effect might be helpful in treating health conditions related to weight and metabolism…

[continues in the Wall Street Journal]

01-05-2012, 06:21 AM

Trials and Errors: Why Science Is Failing Us

from Boing Boing by Maggie Koerth-Baker

Science is the best method we have for understanding the world. That doesn't mean that everything scientists ever think they've figured out is correct. And it doesn't mean that we're doing science in the best way possible right now.

For a great illustration of this, I recommend reading Jonah Lehrer's new piece in WIRED, about the problems we run into as we learn more about individual parts of complex systems and then assume that we understand the big picture of how those parts work together. A lot of scientific research, particularly in medicine, operates off assumptions like this and it can lead to big mistakes. Case in point: Back pain. In this excerpt, Lehrer explains how MRI technology that allowed doctors to get a better look at the spines of people with back pain led them to make inaccurate conclusions about what was causing the back pain.

The lower back is an exquisitely complicated area of the body, full of small bones, ligaments, spinal discs, and minor muscles. Then there’s the spinal cord itself, a thick cable of nerves that can be easily disturbed. There are so many moving parts in the back that doctors had difficulty figuring out what, exactly, was causing a person’s pain. As a result, patients were typically sent home with a prescription for bed rest.

This treatment plan, though simple, was still extremely effective. Even when nothing was done to the lower back, about 90 percent of people with back pain got better within six weeks. The body healed itself, the inflammation subsided, the nerve relaxed.

Over the next few decades, this hands-off approach to back pain remained the standard medical treatment. That all changed, however, with the introduction of magnetic resonance imaging in the late 1970s. These diagnostic machines use powerful magnets to generate stunningly detailed images of the body’s interior. Within a few years, the MRI machine became a crucial diagnostic tool.

The view afforded by MRI led to a new causal story: Back pain was the result of abnormalities in the spinal discs, those supple buffers between the vertebrae. The MRIs certainly supplied bleak evidence: Back pain was strongly correlated with seriously degenerated discs, which were in turn thought to cause inflammation of the local nerves. Consequently, doctors began administering epidurals to quiet the pain, and if it persisted they would surgically remove the damaged disc tissue.

But the vivid images were misleading. It turns out that disc abnormalities are typically not the cause of chronic back pain. The presence of such abnormalities is just as likely to be correlated with the absence of back problems, as a 1994 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed. The researchers imaged the spinal regions of 98 people with no back pain. The results were shocking: Two-thirds of normal patients exhibited “serious problems” like bulging or protruding tissue. In 38 percent of these patients, the MRI revealed multiple damaged discs. Nevertheless, none of these people were in pain. The study concluded that, in most cases, “the discovery of a bulge or protrusion on an MRI scan in a patient with low back pain may frequently be coincidental.”

This is a complicated problem without a clear solution right now. But we definitely need to have discussions like this so that we can work toward making science and medicine better.

01-05-2012, 07:01 AM

Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Obama’s War on Whistleblowers

This is a chilling little speech by Jesselyn Radick, a Bush administration whistleblower who was harassed aggressively by the Department of Justice, on how matters have gotten much worse for government whistleblowers under Obama, both in numbers and the ferocity of the retaliation

01-05-2012, 07:03 AM


Walmart shopper tries to use $1 million bill
from Boing Boing by David Pescovitz

Images One-Million-Dollars

A gentleman from Lexington, North Carolina was arrested for trying to pay for his purchases at Walmart with a $1 million bill. (No report whether it's a Reagan bill as seen above, Statue of Liberty, Grover Cleveland, Santa Claus, or any of the other bogus $1 million bills in circulation that I posted about in 2007.) From the Winston-Salem Journal:

Michael Anthony Fuller, 53, of 3 Parker St., walked into the Walmart on Lowes Boulevard in Lexington on Nov. 17. He shopped for a while, picking up a vacuum cleaner, a microwave oven and other merchandise, totaling $476, an arrest warrant says.

When he got to the register, Fuller gave the cashier the phony bill, saying that it was real.

Store staff called police.

Fuller was later charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense and uttering a forged instrument, both felonies, court records show.

01-05-2012, 07:35 AM

Pepsi Says Mountain Dew Can Dissolve Mouse Carcasses

And they would know, wouldn’t they? In 2009, a man found a dead mouse in his can of Mountain Dew and sued the company. The company argued that the claim is impossible, as no mouse corpse could have survived the corrosive effects of that drink:

An Illinois man sued Pepsi in 2009 after he claims he “spat out the soda to reveal a dead mouse,” the Madison County Record reports. He claims he sent the mouse to Pepsi, which then “destroyed” the remains after he allowed them to test it, according to his complaint. Most shudder-worthy, however, is that Pepsi’s lawyers also found experts to testify, based on the state of the remains sent to them that, “the mouse would have dissolved in the soda had it been in the can from the time of its bottling until the day the plaintiff drank it,” according to the Record. (It would have become a “jelly-like substance,” according to Pepsi, adds LegalNewsline.) This seems like a winning-the-battle-while-surrendering-the-war kind of strategy that hinges on winning the argument that “our product is essentially a can of battery acid.”

Under this argument, if there had been a mouse corpse in the can of Mountain Dew that you’re holding right now, you’d never know.

01-05-2012, 11:38 AM
If you like some hip hop - check out Humpasaur Jones (aka Wombaticus rex & the author of brainsturbator & skilluminati)

good stuff

01-06-2012, 06:56 AM

Pentagon-backed 'time cloak' stops the clock (Update)

It’s one thing to make an object invisible, like Harry Potter’s mythical cloak. But scientists have made an entire event impossible to see. They have invented a time masker.


Think of it as an art heist that takes place before your eyes and surveillance cameras. You don’t see the thief strolling into the museum, taking the painting down or walking away, but he did. It’s not just that the thief is invisible – his whole activity is.

What scientists at Cornell University did was on a much smaller scale, both in terms of events and time. It happened so quickly that it’s not even a blink of an eye. Their time cloak lasts an incredibly tiny fraction of a fraction of a second. They hid an event for 40 picoseconds (trillionths of a second), according to a study appearing in Thursday’s edition of the journal Nature.

We see events happening as light from them reaches our eyes. Usually it’s a continuous flow of light. In the new research, however, scientists were able to interrupt that flow for just an instant…

[continues at AP via Physorg.

01-06-2012, 07:00 AM

<img src="http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WEW72HB2gMA/TwZfg13tt4I/AAAAAAABoMw/YheJzkZyD1Q/s800/er56y7ewtgrdfgdsfsdfsdf.jpg">

01-06-2012, 07:06 AM

<img src="http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2012/01/ied-attack-simulator-103.jpg">

A new simulation exercise is now in place for US troops at the Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center near Edinburgh, Indiana. Built primarily from off-the-shelf components, the system is designed to better prepare soldiers for the physical and psychological challenges of IED attacks, which are currently the number one threat to military personnel stationed in Afghanistan. Situated inside a mounted vehicle and positioned in front of a large screen, service members are exposed to jarring explosions, smoke, noise and poor visibility -- all common occurrences of IED assaults. The system records the entire nightmarish scenario, which allows participants to review their performance and learn from their mistakes.

For soldiers who've never been to Afghanistan, the simulator will also be used to familiarize troops with the war zone terrain and other situations they may encounter along the way. Just how realistic is the IED simulation? According to Spc. Darren J. Ganier-Slotterbeck, "I deployed in 2005, 2007 and 2008 with the Marines. I've been blown up multiple times, and it definitely brought back memories. I was a little shaky when I got out of that thing. I'm not going to lie." He went on to say, "If we'd had the ability to go through training like this at the time, those deployments would have been a lot different." Sounds scary. We're not going to lie.

01-06-2012, 07:07 AM

Hackers planning homespun anti-censorship satellite internet

SOPA is making ordinary, decent internet users mad as hell, and they're not gonna take it anymore. Hacker attendees of Berlin's Chaos Communication Congress are cooking up a plan to launch a series of homemade satellites as the backbone of an "uncensorable (sic) internet in space." Like all good ideas, there's a few hurdles to overcome first: objects in lower-Earth orbit circle the earth every 90 minutes, useless for a broadband satellite that needs to remain geostationary. Instead, a terrestrial network of base stations will have to be installed in order to remain in constant contact as it spins past, at the cost of €100 ($130) per unit. The conference also stated a desire to get an amateur astronaut onto the moon within 23 years, which we'd love to see, assuming there's still a rocket fuel store on eBay.

01-06-2012, 07:35 AM
http://www.blacklistednews.com/Plundering_the_American_Dream%3A_College_Students_ Demonstrate_the_Idiocy_Of_Our_Education_System/17306/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Plundering the American Dream: College Students Demonstrate the Idiocy Of Our Education System

01-06-2012, 07:37 AM

I haven't watched the video yet, but the comments intrigued me -

Jan 05, 2012
Phillip Dalriada says:

This should be marketed as “How to Raise a Porn Star, The Ultimate White Trash Method,” but that pageant juice and “belly genetics” might limit her options to the gonzo market.

Jan 05, 2012
Pedo Bear says:

I approve.

01-06-2012, 07:39 AM
http://www.blacklistednews.com/Code%2C_scan%2C_trade_and_profit._A_new_wave_of_co mputer_enabled_insider_trading./17300/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Code, scan, trade and profit. A new wave of computer enabled insider trading.
January 5, 2012
Print Version

By Max Keiser

A new Wall St. scam!

Rumors are circulating about a new Wall St. research service scam that goes like this…

Research reports are written with both recommendations and coded phraseology that enables pre-market manipulation.

The way it works – a report that gives recommendations also contains coded phraseology that programs trading bots on the exchange that ‘read’ the report and make various trades. Certain word, symbol and number combinations in the report are picked up by the bots who put on the trades based on the coded info.

In the following research report – the report spells out a recommendation – that will make the trades put on as the result of the previous report profitable.

Let’s say in January, the research says “We love tech. and big pharma” but hidden in the report is coded info that was picked up by trading bots who went long Co. X.

The following report recommends Co. X, making those pre-trades profitable (while containing new coded messages for the trading bots in anticipation of the next report).

This ‘research’ service is sold to traders for a hefty fee. It’s inside info that is virtually impossible to detect available to a firm’s best clients on a regular basis.

Simply buy the service and enable your computer software that ‘reads’ the research to pick up the code that will trigger what trades will be profitable when the next report is published.

01-06-2012, 07:43 AM
"We know the depth (of the quake on Saturday) is two miles and that is different from a natural earthquake," said Kim, who is advising the state of Ohio.

Data collected from four seismographs set up in November in the area confirm a connection between the quakes and water pressure at the well, Kim said.

"There is circumstantial evidence to connect the two -- in the past we didn't have earthquakes in the area and the proximity in the time and space of the earthquakes matches operations at the well," he said.

A spokesman for Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich, a strong supporter of oil and gas exploration in the state, said Ohio could announce a preliminary decision whether to continue the suspension of the wells as early as Wednesday.

The state was already looking into the cause of earlier seismic activity from 10 previous earthquakes, beginning in March, 2011.

According to Kim, this is not the first time Ohio tremors have been linked to human activities. "We have several examples of earthquakes from deep well disposal in the past," Kim said.

A quake of 4.2 magnitude in Ashtabula, Ohio, on January 26, 2001, was believed to be due to deep-well injection, he said. And in 1987 there was an incident with a correlation to high pressure deep well injection, he said.

There are 177 so-called "class two" deep wells in Ohio, according to Tom Stewart, executive vice president of Ohio Oil and Gas Association. They all operate under federal guidelines spelled out by the Clean Water Act.

There is no evidence that the wells in Youngstown were operating at higher pressures than allowed, Stewart said.


01-06-2012, 10:09 AM

Somewhere out there is an unnerving diversity of treacherous technology that seems to possess (or be possessed by?) a veritable life of its own! Independently-minded machines boasting seemingly paranormal powers, or weird talents far beyond those implanted into them by their human creators, certainly appear to be much more widespread than we might otherwise suppose - and much too clever for our own good!

WORD PROCESSOR, DODLESTON, CHESHIRE - Spooked by a Ghost Writer, in Every Sense!

In the olden days, ghosts communicated with the living via such traditional media as ouija boards - but now, keeping abreast of modern technology, they utilise word processors!

During late 1984, Ken Webster was renovating an old cottage that he had purchased in Dodleston, Cheshire, when his word processor began displaying strange messages and poems that he had not placed there himself. Precisely the same thing happened when he used any of his other computers too. The only common link was the presence of his girlfriend, Debbie, because these unsolicited communications always appeared when she was close by. Yet they could not have originated from her, or from Ken, for one very good reason.

Linguist Peter Trinder, who made a detailed study of them, revealed that they were written in a Late Middle English dialect dating from around the 1500s. For instance:

"Wot strange wordes thou speke, although I muste confess that I hath also bene ill-schooled...thou art a goodly man who hath fanciful woman who dwel in myne home."

Similar messages even appeared on the cottage floor. Yet whereas Ken and Debbie had no knowledge of Middle English, some of the communications contained unfamiliar words that could only have been known to someone well-versed in this long-vanished dialect.

Greatly intrigued, Ken began answering them on his machines, and eventually he learnt that his computer-mediated contact was a veritable ghost writer. Namely, one Tomas Harden, who claimed to have lived on this same site over 400 years earlier.

Judging from some of Harden's messages, moreover, the reason why they appeared whenever Debbie was nearby seems simply to have been that he had taken a liking to her! A case, perhaps, of unrequited computer dating across the centuries?

COMPUTER CHESS - Check Mate...Forever!

For anyone who may deem it safe to dismiss machines as brainless, dispassionate morons, undeniably helpful but fundamentally harmless, the following cautionary, true-life tale should be made compulsory reading. In 1989, Soviet grand master Nikolai Gudkov had won two successive chess games against his opponent, a Russian M2-11 super-computer programmed to play at world-class level. At the precise moment that he reached out his hand and made the telling move that would have checkmated M2-11 for the third time, however, Gudkov dropped down dead. He had been instantly electrocuted by a sudden surge of power passing through the metal chessboard that his fingers touched as he placed the chesspiece down in his winning move. Just a coincidence...or a chilling demonstration of mechanical mentality?

Equally controversial was the famous Turkish chess player of Hungarian nobleman Baron Von Kempelen. Dating from 1769, and exhibited widely in Europe, it consisted of a slightly larger than lifesize robot-like automaton, in the form and attire of a Turkish man, seated at a wooden cabinet, which, when opened, seemed to contain complex machinery. A chessboard was present on top of the cabinet, and the Baron challenged onlookers to compete against his mechanised Turk. Many did - but all met their match. Eventually, the Turk was sold to an American showman called Maelzl, and during 1835 it was witnessed in action by Edgar Allan Poe - who revealed that its chess-playing talent owed more to conjuring skill than mechanical sophistication. In reality, one of its owner's servants hid inside the robot chess player, and whenever this servant was ill or absent, all displays featuring the Turk were cancelled.

Exposing the secret of Baron Van Kempelen's 'Mechanical' Chess Player

TELEVISIONS - Spectres on the Small Screen

In 1986, Mainz physicist Professor Ernst Senkowski announced that the first recognisable images of deceased persons had been taped from television. Supporting his claim is the research of electronics engineer J.P. Seyler from Luxemburg. By filming a TV screen tuned to an open channel, Seyler obtained a brief videotape that portrayed a recognisable image of Hanna Buschbeck, a German researcher of electronic voice phenomena (EVP), several years after she had died in 1978. Interestingly, the form in which she appeared on the videotape was as she had been in her youth, not as she had been when she died.

The alleged image of a youthful Hanna Buschbeck captured on videotape several years after her death

Not all spectres of the small screen can be identified, however, thereby making their unheralded manifestations all the more unnerving. One morning sometime prior to 1988, the three children of the Travis family had been watching television in their home at Blue Point, New York, when they suddenly observed a face materialising on the screen. Obscuring the programme that they had been viewing, it resembled a lady's profile in silhouette, as confirmed by the children's mother, who also saw it. Somewhat alarmed, she turned the television off - but the face could still be seen, and remained on screen for more than two days! Before it finally faded away, this ghostly image was filmed by several visiting media reporters, but no-one has ever provided a satisfactory explanation for its origin.

ELEVATOR, PALACE HOTEL, SOUTHPORT - The Lift With a Truly Elevated Sense of Survival!

The less technologically-minded among us may be forgiven for suspecting that machines have a life of their own. After all, the lift that refused to die is certainly a case in point.

This particular elevator was ensconced in Southport's Palace Hotel, which was demolished in 1969. All sources of electrical power were cut off before the demolition began, but three weeks later the lift mysteriously came to life! Without any warning, or any outside assistance either, it began soaring up and down its vertical chute, journeying from one floor to another and, as it did so, lighting up its floor-indication buttons as well as opening and closing its gates - just like it had always done during its 112 years of normal day-to-day operation.

The Palace Hotel, Southport, not long before it was demolished

A team of electrical engineers was called in to investigate, but all to no avail. They confirmed that the current had been cut off, and that there wasn't a single amp flowing anywhere inside the remains of the demolished hotel. Following their exhaustive examination, they remained wholly perplexed, conceding: "We can't find any electrical reason why the lift should work". But work it did, and with undiminished enthusiasm, even when the glare of television cameras and lights were trained upon it during a special BBC news item.

Faced with the inexplicable, the team did the inevitable. They bludgeoned the elevator to death with some hefty sledge hammers - a tragic end to a loyal if non-human employee that had apparently been unable to accept that its working life had finally come to an end.

AMSTRAD COMPUTER, STOCKTON - You've Been Talking in Your Sleep Again!

Do computers have nightmares, or talk in their sleep? If so, this may explain the nocturnal activity of an Amstrad computer installed during 1987 in a Stockton architect's office.

During working hours, it behaved impeccably. But on many occasions at night, when only the cleaners were present, its screen abruptly began to glow, meaningless sentences appeared on-screen for about 30 seconds, and then, just as abruptly, they vanished - after which the computer gave out a loud groan, and switched itself off. What makes all of this even more strange, however, is that it occurred even when the computer was unplugged!

Ken Hughes, editor of Personal Computer, examined this maladjusted machine, but despite stripping it down and inspecting every component, he could find nothing unusual. Yet a video camera, trained upon it for three months, confirmed the authenticity of its evenings' erratic outpourings. Ultimately, the mere presence of this eerie computer began to disturb some of its human workmates, who lost no sleep, therefore, over the decision to remove it. Whether the computer subsequently continued to lose sleep, conversely, is another matter entirely!

OBLIGING CARS AND LETHAL CARS - The Weird World of Mind Over Motor

Self-willed cars are not limited to the fictitious world of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Herbie the Lovebug. Take, for instance, the vigorous Volvo owned by Jack Oates from Yorkshire.

One day in 1984, after Oates had left it parked in a village street, his car inexplicably started up and sped down the street in reverse, only to experience a decidedly close encounter with some parked cars further away. Yet it evidently remained unabashed, for when its distraught owner put the keys into its ignition and tried to turn it off, the recalcitrant runaway steadfastly refused to turn off - until the mechanics arrived, at which point it immediately complied...and then turned itself on again as soon as they had gone!

Rather more affable, yet no less anomalous, was the SAAB owned by David Warner, also from Yorkshire. One day in April 1981, it smoothly reversed across the garden lawn of a local rectory and then carefully parked itself in the corner. Bearing in mind that his car was driverless at the time, it is hardly surprising that Warner watched this extraordinary incident with open-mouthed astonishment.

And now, a warning for automobilophobes everywhere: Never take a dislike to your car - you may not live to regret it! In 1978, a lady from Florida came to a grim end under her car's wheels - all four of them. According to her colleagues, she had never liked that particular vehicle, and perhaps the feeling was mutual. One day, as she walked away after parking it at a supermarket and turning its engine off, the malevolent motor somehow started itself up, and ran over its disapproving owner. Not content with flattening her once, however, her four-wheeled assassin circled round, and ran over her again, then circled and did it again, then again, and again... Nor would it permit anyone from the large crowd of horrified spectators to retrieve her mangled body, but continued its frenzied, murderous circuit for another quarter of an hour or so before finally coming to a halt.

EERIE CLOCKS - When Death Holds Back the Hands of Time

There are many cases of eerie clocks or other fateful timepieces stopping at the precise instant when their owners die, reiterating in reality the song 'My Grandfather's Clock' (which also inspired a musical - see image below).

Professor Colin Gardner, author of Ghost Watch (1989), brought to attention a contemporary case from Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada, that actually featured a grandfather's clock. It had been owned for many years by a man referred to by Professor Gardner for confidentiality purposes merely as 'Stephen', who had always taken great joy in caring for it and keeping it in good working order. At the exact moment of Stephen's death, aged 72, his clock stopped, and for about a year its hands remained resolutely stationary.

Then one day, for no apparent reason, they suddenly moved again, and the clock began ticking as normal. At precisely the same moment, but at a location far away, its late owner's daughter, Lori, had given birth - to a son, Stephen's first male heir.

During her many years of research at the Duke University Parapsychology Laboratory, Dr Louisa Rhine amassed several similar reports. In one incident, a gold pocket watch given by a Canadian man to his brother stopped at the very instant that the man died several years later, even though it was almost fully-wound.

Perhaps the most famous example is the so-called 'clock of death', which allegedly marked the demise not only of its first owner, King Henry VIII, but also that of his son Edward VI, and Anne of Denmark (consort to James I). It still resides in Hampton Court Palace.

King Edward VI of England, painted by William Scrots


In early 1995, Mark Burgess revealed that a firm in Bury, Lancashire, owns what may be a paranormal photocopier. Every so often, when copying documents, it inserts within a batch of normal photocopied documents a single sheet depicting the image of a mysterious girl, whose identity does not appear to be known to anyone working at the firm.

However, it is possible that there is a conventional explanation to hand. In response to Burgess's account (published in Fortean Times), Alex Kashko revealed that the image may be a test image contained within an internal chip, and that a faulty connection was spasmodically sending the photocopier into test mode, thus reproducing the image. Such a possibility could be readily pursued via an inspection of the machine by its manufacturer's engineers, but what if an examination failed to confirm this? Yet another case of the spirit world modernising its means of communication with the living world?

PHANTOM FAX MESSAGE - A Timeslip Transmission?

During May 1993, corporate affairs consultant Anne Forrest, based in Hong Kong, received a very mystifying fax message. To begin with, it was not apparently intended for her, because it was addressed to a Phil Cundall of Mining Surveys Ltd, and had been sent by a Phil Cross from Dorset. Far stranger than this, however, was its date of transmission - 18 January 1972! In other words, it seemed to have been sent more than 21 years earlier! Substantiating this assumption was the fax's text, describing how fax machines work, for its terminology was so antiquated that it did indeed appear to date from the early 1970s.

Yet how could a fax message have been lost 'in transit' for over 21 years after leaving Cross's fax machine? Could there be, lurking undetected somewhere in the rarefied realms of electronic communication, a digitised black hole - inexorably engulfing media messages of every kind, and subsequently releasing (and misdirecting) them only after many years had elapsed since their initial transmission? In fact, investigations disclosed a much more prosaic solution. The strange fax message was merely a routine fax-test document, known as the SLEREXE letter, which has been utilised internationally for a number of years.

MECHANICAL SEA MONSTER - Biting the Hand That Built It!

Morgawr, which is Cornish for 'sea giant', is the name given to a mysterious Nessie-like sea monster sometimes reported off the coast of Falmouth and elsewhere in Cornwall. As such, it has become quite a cryptozoological celebrity, and in 1994 it inspired the creation of a spectacular mechanical version, dubbed 'Moghar'. Designed and constructed by George Thain, this dragonesque monster's dramatic features included hydraulic tentacles, and 3-ft-high computer-controlled jaws that could be opened and closed, and which were brimming with sharp teeth. When completed, it was ensconced inside a Land's End tourist attraction called the Last Labyrinth, where its role was to terrify the visitors - but harmlessly.

Moghar the mechanical sea monster from The Last Labyrinth, Land's End (Falmouth Packet)

Moghar, however, seemed to have other ideas. On 30 March, Thain arrived for a close inspection of his monster - a little too close for comfort, as it turned out. For in finest Frankensteinian tradition, Moghar attacked him! Abruptly seizing him in its toothy maw, it refused to let go, gripping him firmly and inflicting severe bruising before technicians were able to release its jaws and free its hapless creator. Computer error was blamed, but just to be safe, all subsequent visitors were distanced from Moghar by a 3-ft-wide no-go zone.

VERBAL VACUUM CLEANERS AND SINGING CHAIN-SAWS - Is Electromagnetic Interference the Answer?

In his fascinating book, The Nature of Things - The Secret Life of Inanimate Objects (1990), Dr Lyall Watson included a vast range of unaccountably talkative and tuneful gadgets and gizmos. Take, for instance, the eclectic examples that he cited in the following paragraph:

"In Norfolk Janet Barker's new cooker talks to her in Dutch. Office-cleaner Madge Gunn in London gets silly orders from her vacuum cleaner: "Proceed at once to Tooley Street." Doris Gibbons' electric meter is far more polite. "Hello," it says. "This is Geoffrey. Come in, please." The electric organ at a church in Bolton regularly interrupts the vicar's sermons with relays of the shipping forecast. And Harry Goodchild of Ipswich cut off his toe when his chain-saw suddenly broke into song."

It is very likely that cases such as these are nothing more than a bizarre by-product of electromagnetic interference - Madge Gunn's talking vacuum cleaner, for instance, is almost certainly picking up messages broadcast on the radio frequencies used by police patrols.

Nevertheless, not all such cases can be so readily resolved. After all, how can straying electronic signals explain why music and voices were heard whenever Virginia Kimmey of Midland, Texas, turned on her kitchen sink's water taps during November 1960?

The Nature of Things by Dr Lyall Watson

Telephones with an attitude problem are by no means an uncommon item in today's ever-expanding roll-call of troublesome technology, but in Nepal they have been revealing a far more sinister - and lethal - side to their nature.

Several people in this mountainous Asian kingdom were killed during the first few weeks of 1993 when, after hearing their telephones emit a long, insistent ringing tone, they picked up the receiver. For at the precise moment that they picked it up, they were instantaneously zapped with a deadly blast of electricity exceeding 600 volts. The official explanation offered by the Nepal Telecommunications Corporation was that a telephone line and a power line had accidentally become connected. Yet if this were indeed so, why had lethal line connections of this type only begun to occur now, after years of danger-free dialling? The telephone company was unable to provide an answer. Could it simply be that certain telephones have developed a diabolical sense of humour?

****Embedded content @ source

01-06-2012, 10:10 AM

01-06-2012, 10:18 AM

The Giza geomatrix.

01-06-2012, 10:27 AM

First-ever hybrid shark discovered off Australia

01-06-2012, 10:29 AM

The hunt for Mokele-mbembe: Congo's Loch Ness Monster

01-06-2012, 10:41 AM

The 600-year struggle for the soul of Joan of Arc
She is claimed by France's far right – but Sarkozy wants her back


Joan of Arc Revealed

By Jeff Nisbet

01-06-2012, 11:16 AM

The greatest mystery of the Inca Empire was its strange economy

01-06-2012, 12:59 PM

The Dumbest Idea In The World: Maximizing Shareholder Value

01-07-2012, 03:25 AM

The greatest mystery of the Inca Empire was its strange economy
It sounds like a strange precursor to Communism - "The secret of the Inca's great wealth may have been their unusual tax system. Instead of paying taxes in money, every Incan was required to provide labor to the state. In exchange for this labor, they were given the necessities of life."

01-10-2012, 09:44 AM
But they had abundance too - maybe we should start thinking along the lines of how MUCH we have, instead of how little we got.

01-10-2012, 09:45 AM

Businesses seek state's new 'benefit corporation' status
On the first business day after a state law took effect, a dozen companies committed to social and environmental causes file papers to legally put those efforts on par with their goal of making profits.

01-10-2012, 09:51 AM

One of the most bizarre, not to mention flat out terrifying, mysteries of the modern age concerns the enigmatic deaths of nine Russian mountaineers whose cross-country skiing trip ended in a tragedy so ghastly and perplexing that it has mystified experts for over half a century.

Excursions into nature can be serene for some and exhilarating for others, but for an unfortunate few these sojourns into the untouched wilds of our world can be tragic. Still other such journeys into the unknown end in such unfathomably frightening circumstances that they become the stuff of legend. Such is the destiny that befell nine ill-fated skiing enthusiasts in the late 1950s.

Unlike so many of the most intriguing mysteries of the 20th Century — including the fate of the crew of the Ourang Medan or the whereabouts of the missing Anjikuni Villagers of Canada — What makes the so-called “Dyatlov Pass Incident” so fascinating is the fact that there is absolutely no doubt that these events actually occurred… and dreadfully little doubt that one of the last sensations experienced by these poor souls was one of abject terror.

The proof of this tragedy exists not only in the plethora of photographs that have been preserved, but also in the extensive records (many of which are still allegedly classified) of the Soviet military who investigated the odd case and were manifestly unable to reach any definitive conclusions despite an overwhelming amount of physical evidence. In fact, the investigators tasked with solving this case were eventually forced to attribute the whole peculiar affair to: “a compelling unknown force.”

But, before we go any further; like any good mystery we must begin at the beginning…

01-10-2012, 11:00 AM
Does anyone know about shopping for investors?

I'd like to learn some more, I getting ready to reach this step personally.

01-13-2012, 07:24 AM

MOSCOW — A Russian scientific spacecraft whizzing out of control around the Earth, and expected to re-enter the atmosphere on Saturday, may have failed because it was struck by some type of antisatellite weapon, the director of Russia’s space agency said in an interview published Tuesday.

01-13-2012, 07:25 AM

India Reports Completely Drug-Resistant TB

01-13-2012, 07:25 AM

Stunning Long Exposure Photographs of Gold Fireflies in Japan


01-17-2012, 11:18 AM

Inside the secret industry of inmate-staffed call centers

01-17-2012, 01:02 PM

01-19-2012, 06:55 AM

Mystery Deepens Over Where Sun Was Born
Best contender, a nearby star cluster, is now knocked out, study says.

01-23-2012, 06:43 AM

How to Make Sprouted Grain Bread: The Essene Whole Grain Bread Recipe

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/essene-bread-sprouted-grain.aspx#ixzz1kIBC8ebX

01-24-2012, 06:16 AM

The Police-ification Of Schools

Posted by JacobSloan on January 23, 2012

Male-police-officers-supe-007The Guardian reports on the new public education model in Texas, in which police officers patrol school hallways, giving out hundreds of thousands of tickets to children each year and making arrests for criminal behavior such as leaving crumbs in the cafeteria, wearing inappropriate clothing, spraying perfume, and making sarcastic remarks in class. Poor children whose families are unable to pay the fines may be jailed for the nonpayment once they turn 17:

More and more US schools have police patrolling the corridors. Pupils are being arrested for throwing paper planes and failing to pick up crumbs from the canteen floor. Why is the state criminalising normal childhood behaviour?

The charge on the police docket was “disrupting class”. But that’s not how 12-year-old Sarah Bustamantes saw her arrest for spraying two bursts of perfume on her neck in class because other children were bullying her with taunts of “you smell”.

“I’m weird. Other kids don’t like me,” said Sarah, who has been diagnosed with attention-deficit and bipolar disorders and who is conscious of being overweight. “They were picking on me. So I sprayed myself with perfume. Then the teacher called the police.”

The policeman didn’t have far to come. He patrols the corridors of Sarah’s school, Fulmore Middle in Austin, Texas. Like hundreds of schools in the state, and across large parts of the rest of the US, Fulmore Middle has its own police force with officers in uniform who carry guns to keep order in the canteens, playgrounds and lessons. Sarah was taken from class, charged with a criminal misdemeanour and ordered to appear in court.

Each day, hundreds of schoolchildren appear before courts in Texas charged with offences such as swearing, misbehaving on the school bus or getting in to a punch-up in the playground. Children have been arrested for possessing cigarettes, wearing “inappropriate” clothes and being late for school.

In 2010, the police gave close to 300,000 “Class C misdemeanour” tickets to children as young as six in Texas for offences in and out of school, which result in fines, community service and even prison time. What was once handled with a telling-off by the teacher or a call to parents can now result in arrest and a record that may cost a young person a place in college or a job years later.

“We’ve taken childhood behaviour and made it criminal,” said Kady Simpkins, a lawyer who represented Sarah Bustamantes. “They’re kids. Disruption of class? Every time I look at this law I think: good lord, I never would have made it in school in the US. I grew up in Australia and it’s just rowdy there. I don’t know how these kids do it, how they go to school every day without breaking these laws.”

The emphasis on law and order in the classroom parallels more than two decades of rapid expansion of all areas of policing in Texas in response to misplaced fears across the US in the 1980s of a looming crime wave stoked by the crack epidemic, alarmist academic studies and the media.

“Zero tolerance started out as a term that was used in combating drug trafficking and it became a term that is now used widely when you’re referring to some very punitive school discipline measures. Those two policy worlds became conflated with each other,” said Fowler.

The very young are not spared. According to Appleseed, Texas records show more than 1,000 tickets were issued to primary schoolchildren over the past six years (although these have no legal force at that age). Appleseed said that “several districts ticketed a six-year-old at least once in the last five years”.

Fines run up to $500. For poorer parents, the cost can be crippling. Some parents and students ignore the financial penalty, but that can have consequences years down the road. Schoolchildren with outstanding fines are regularly jailed in an adult prison for non-payment once they turn 17. Stumping up the fine is not an end to the offending student’s problems either. A class-C misdemeanour is a criminal offence.

01-24-2012, 10:22 AM
3,500-year-old tree destroyed in a fire

Back, way back, before King Tut was born and Alexander the Great roamed his empire, the Senator sprouted in a swamp here in central Florida, one of thousands of its kind.

So on Monday, when word got out that the huge, 3,500-year-old bald cypress had burned and collapsed, people from the area who thought that nothing — not hurricanes, not loggers, not disease — could fell the Senator, sank into disbelief. In a state known for its sprawl and its zeal for pouring concrete, the Senator stood as a testament to nature and ancient history. It was one of the oldest trees in the country and, at 118 feet, one of the tallest east of the Mississippi.

“There is so little of this old history left,” said Lauren Wyckoff, 28, an environmental scientist and self-described tree hugger, who drove to Big Tree Park from nearby Orlando after work to pay her respects. “It’s not just some tree in your backyard. I mean, it’s 3,500 years old; I just picture everything it saw, everything it has been through.”

“I’m crying,” she said, with a laugh, as her eyes reddened. “When I first came here, I had no idea it would be as amazing as it was. No idea it would be as impactful.”

Investigators for the Division of Forestry are still trying to figure out how the tree burned down early Monday morning. Arson remains a possibility, although it had been initially discounted. Two other possible theories are being considered: the tree was struck by lightning long before Monday (maybe as long as two weeks) and slowly smoldered from the inside, or friction from the wind caused it to combust.

Around town, these last two theories were met with skepticism and a touch of derision. The Senator, which was the only tree in the small park to catch fire, was equipped with a lightning rod. And if the tree had been struck by lightning and smoldered for two weeks, residents said, somebody surely would have seen or smelled it. As for friction, that notion drew nothing but smirks.

“Of course, maybe a plane flew over and dropped an ember into the hole,” Rick Waters, 49, who runs Mel’s Family Diner in Sanford, a couple of miles from the tree’s resting place, said with a chuckle. “I think some moron started it, or threw a cigarette down. It’s sick to think somebody would destroy that.”

The revered tree wasn’t just old; it was huge. At nearly 18 feet in diameter, it was so large it would take a passel of children holding hands to surround it.

Named for Senator M. O. Overstreet, who donated the land to Seminole County to use as a park in 1927, the Senator has long been a landmark for Floridians. It survived the logging epidemic, which claimed many of the giant trees that once stood in the county. (The Senator may have been spared because it was hollow, a condition that occurred as the tree aged.) It endured centuries of nasty hurricanes, including one in 1925 that lopped off 40 feet from the top.

Back then, four decades before Disney World rose from swampland, the towering bald cypress was the star attraction in these parts. Visitors arrived on horse and buggy and then jumped from log to log to get a close-up glimpse of the tree.

“You could see it from pretty much everywhere around here” it was so tall, said Joseph R. Abel, the director of the Leisure Services Department in Seminole County.

Now children are brought here on field trips to gawk skyward and imagine what Florida was like back when it was nothing but forest and swamp and Indians were its only inhabitants. Families have always come to snap photos, and nature-lovers arrived on pilgrimages.

What remains now is a trunk, split in half, and a charred shard of wood that shoots 30 feet into the air. The remnants of the tree lie split, on their sides, black and sooty. Outside the gates of the park sits a little tribute of flowers with a sign reading “Rest in Peace Senator.” The park is closed for now as investigators determine what caused the fire.

But the new Florida had long been a too-quick walk away from the Senator. Traffic whizzes by in front of the park and fast-food joints sit right up the street. And though the tree was revered by some, competition from modern life had dwarfed its appeal a good while back.

There are not many awe-inspiring things left, Ms. Wyckoff said. “It was crazy, insane, you can’t imagine how large it was,” she said.

Yet only 40 feet from the Senator looms an understudy: Lady Liberty, now the park’s tallest cypress. It is 89 feet tall and not nearly as imposing, but in this time of transitory celebrity, its moment has arrived. - nytimes


01-25-2012, 07:18 AM

Nine Best Conspiracy Theories Graphically Explained

http://visually.visually.netdna-cdn.com/9BestConspiracyTheoriesExplained_4e426aa21ea38_w64 0.jpg

01-25-2012, 07:29 AM

Homeland Security Wants to Spy on 4 Square Miles at OnceIt’s not just for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars anymore. The Department of Homeland Security is interested in a camera package that can peek in on almost four square miles of (constitutionally protected) American territory for long, long stretches of time.

Homeland Security doesn’t have a particular system in mind. Right now, it’s just soliciting “industry feedback” on what a formal call for such a “Wide Area Surveillance System” might look like. But it’s the latest indication of how powerful military surveillance technology, developed to find foreign insurgents and terrorists, is migrating to the home front.

The Department of Homeland Security says it’s interested in a system that can see between five to 10 square kilometers — that’s between two and four square miles, roughly the size of Brooklyn, New York’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood — in its “persistent mode.” By “persistent,” it means the cameras should stare at the area in question for an unspecified number of hours to collect what the military likes to call “pattern of life” data — that is, what “normal” activity looks like for a given area. Persistence typically depends on how long the vehicle carrying the camera suite can stay aloft; DHS wants something that can fit into a manned P-3 Orion spy plane or a Predator drone — of which it has a couple. When not in “persistent mode,” the cameras ought to be able to see much, much further: “long linear areas, tens to hundreds of kilometers in extent, such as open, remote borders.”

If it’s starting to sound reminiscent of the spy tools the military has used in Iraq and Afghanistan, it should. Homeland Security wants the video collected by the system to beam down in “near real time” — 12 seconds or quicker — to a “control room (T) or to a control room and beyond line of sight (BLOS) ruggedized mobile receiver on the ground,” just as military spy gear does. The camera should shift to infrared mode for nighttime snooping, and contain “automated, real time, motion detection capability that cues a spotter imager for target identification.” Tests for the system will take place in Nogales, Arizona.

01-25-2012, 07:42 AM
Each year the Pennsylvania Farm Show unveils a series of giant butter sculptures, and this year the mother of them all was revealed – a 1,000 pound piece of butter art. The sculpture depicts a 4-H member receiving a ribbon for a prized calf at the county fair. When the show is over, the sculpture’s creator Jim Victor of Conshohocken, Montgomery County will donate all 1,000 pounds of it to the Juniata County Dairy Farm, which will place it in a methane digester to generate 65 kilowatt-hours of electricity to run the farm.

01-26-2012, 07:00 AM

01-26-2012, 07:06 AM

01-26-2012, 11:36 AM

Former U.K. government drugs adviser Prof. David Nutt of Imperial College London has said that “overwhelming” regulations should be relaxed to enable researchers to experiment on mind-altering drugs.

Nutt told BBC News that magic mushrooms, LSD, ecstasy, cannabis, and mephedrone all have potential therapeutic applications, but were not being studied because of the restrictions placed on researching illegal drugs.

Nutt was fired by the home secretary from his government advisory role three years ago for saying that ecstasy and LSD were less harmful than alcohol.

He says his new research indicated that there were no “untoward effects” from taking magic mushrooms and that it should not be illegal to possess them.

He said the harm from illegal drugs could be equal to
harm in other parts of life, such as horse-riding, hence his invented term “equasy” or “equine addiction syndrome.”

See also:
This is your brain on magic mushrooms
Fed-funded research: magic mushrooms create ‘openness’

01-30-2012, 07:17 AM

There is no spoon

01-30-2012, 07:23 AM

Study Finds Virus to Be Fast Learner on Infecting

01-30-2012, 07:25 AM
Reptilian Evolution?
by Maggie Sherman

Researchers at the University of Sidney in Australia have concluded that rising global temperatures have increased the brain functions of lizards. Quicker response times in simple learning tests have been recorded when these tiny lizards are exposed to higher temperatures. This has lead to some concluding that as the world continues to warm, so will the cognitive behaviors of our reptilian neighbors.

read more


01-30-2012, 11:16 AM

02-01-2012, 05:53 AM

Dow and Monsanto Team Up on the Mother of All Herbicide Marketing Plans

02-01-2012, 08:03 AM

The Mushroom That Eats Plastic

Posted by majestic on February 1, 2012

Mushroom 001Is this the answer to the ever-growing plastic scourge on our planet? From co.exist:

The Amazon is home to more species than almost anywhere else on earth. One of them, carried home recently by a group from Yale University, appears to be quite happy eating plastic in airless landfills.

The group of students, part of Yale’s annual Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory with molecular biochemistry professor Scott Strobel, ventured to the jungles of Ecuador. The mission was to allow “students to experience the scientific inquiry process in a comprehensive and creative way.” The group searched for plants, and then cultured the microorganisms within the plant tissue. As it turns out, they brought back a fungus new to science with a voracious appetite for a global waste problem: polyurethane.

The common plastic is used for everything from garden hoses to shoes and truck seats. Once it gets into the trash stream, it persists for generations. Anyone alive today is assured that their old garden hoses and other polyurethane trash will still be here to greet his or her great, great grandchildren. Unless something eats it.

The fungi, Pestalotiopsis microspora, is the first anyone has found to survive on a steady diet of polyurethane alone and–even more surprising–do this in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment that is close to the condition at the bottom of a landfill…

[continues at co.exist]

02-01-2012, 08:12 AM

Legislators Totally Cool With Required Drug Testing Unless It Applies To Them

02-02-2012, 06:03 AM

The Earth Is Alive

Posted by phunkychic666 on February 2, 2012

260px-The_Earth_seen_from_Apollo_17From AstroBiology Magazine:

The Earth is alive, asserts a new scientific theory of life emerging from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The trans-disciplinary theory demonstrates that purportedly inanimate, non-living objects — for example, planets, water, proteins, and DNA — are animate, that is, alive.

Erik Andrulis, PhD, assistant professor of molecular biology and microbiology, advanced his controversial framework in his manuscript “Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life,” published in the peer-reviewed journal, Life. His theory explains not only the evolutionary emergence of life on Earth and in the Universe but also the structure and function of existing cells and biospheres.

In addition to resolving long-standing paradoxes and puzzles in chemistry and biology, Andrulis’ theory unifies quantum and celestial mechanics. His unorthodox solution to this quintessential problem in physics differs from mainstream approaches, like string theory, as it is simple, non-mathematical, and experimentally and experientially verifiable.

The basic idea of Andrulis’ framework is that all physical reality can be modeled by a single geometric entity with life-like characteristics: the gyre. The so-called “gyromodel” depicts objects — particles, atoms, chemicals, molecules, and cells — as quantized packets of energy and matter that cycle between excited and ground states around a singularity, the gyromodel’s center. A singularity is itself modeled as a gyre, wholly compatible with the thermodynamic and fractal nature of life. An example of this nested, self-similar organization is the Russian Matryoshka doll.

By fitting the gyromodel to facts accumulated over scientific history, Andrulis confirms the proposed existence of eight laws of nature…

[continues at AstroBiology Magazine]

02-02-2012, 06:14 AM

Russian scientist claims signs of life spotted on Venus

02-02-2012, 06:16 AM

Could There Be A FEMA Rendition Site At LAX Airport?

02-02-2012, 06:27 AM
http://hackaday.com/2012/02/01/last-centurys-guided-missile-steps-aside-for-this-guided-bullet/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+hackaday%2FLgoM+%28Hack+a+Day %29

Last century’s guided missile steps aside for this guided bullet


Here’s an image of a bullet’s path to the target. There’s a couple of things to note. First of all, this is not a tracer round, the projectile actually has an LED incorporated which was picked up as a trail in the long (relative to bullet speed) exposure. The second – and most obvious – thing to consider is the non-liner path it took to its objective. That’s because this is a laser guided bullet.

The smart bullet is a about four inches long and carries with it a light sensor, 8-bit processor, and some electromagnetic actuators. The tip is searching for a laser-painted target, with an algorithm calculating course corrections along the way and using the actuators to move fins which alter its path. For us the most interesting part is that this ammo requires a non-rifled barrel. The rifling spins the bullet as it leaves the firearm, which usually results in a straighter and more dependable path. But the microcontroller wouldn’t be able reliably steer if it were spinning.

We’d bet this ends up as a special sniper tool in video games before we hear about it on the battlefield. Check out a clip of the dart-like bullet leaving the muzzle in the clip after the break.

02-02-2012, 06:31 AM
Reality TV VennDiagram:


02-02-2012, 06:37 AM

Union representatives and government inspectors are looking into complaints that managers at a Norwegian call center forbid employees from spending more than eight minutes a day on, uh, personal business:

Managers are alerted by flashing lights if an employee is away from their desk for a loo break or other “personal activities” beyond the allotted time. [...]

A spokesman added: “Surveying staff to limit lavatory visits, cigarette breaks, personal phone calls and other personal needs to a total of eight minutes per day is highly restrictive and intrusive and must be stopped.”

The firm said the aim of the checks was not to measure the breaks taken by individual workers but to assess staffing needs to ensure all calls from customers were answered and it would now be reviewing the policy.

It is the latest example of lavatory rules in Norwegian companies.

Last year the country’s workplace ombudsman said one firm was reported for making women workers wear a red bracelet when they were having their period to justify more frequent trips to the loo.

Another company made staff sign a lavatory “visitors book” while a third issued employees with an electronic key card to gain access to the lavatories so they could monitor breaks.

02-03-2012, 10:48 AM
This started out to me as sort of a funny story, but there are some little interesting nuggets outlined in it:


Pigs on police cars? Prank by Vermont inmates adorns decals


State out $780

While some people might find humor in the news story, Sheets and Pallito said, it comes at the expense of Vermont taxpayers.

Pallito said each decal costs $13. He believes 60 defective decals were manufactured.

The $780 printing job will come out of the small profits Prison Industries receives while making license plates, stationery for state offices and wood products for state offices and schools, Pallito said.

He said inmates in the prison industries division who want new computers and better tools to do their jobs will have to wait longer while the state police are reimbursed.

He said it is possible the inmate is no longer in custody. If he is, he could face internal discipline for misuse of state property.

“I don’t know if there is a criminal charge,” Pallito said.

Attempts to reach Gov. Peter Shumlin for comment were unsuccessful.

“This is not as offensive as it would have been years ago. We can see the humor,” said Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn, a former state trooper and state prosecutor who was named commissioner a year ago. “If the person had used some of that creativeness, he or she would not have ended up inside.”

02-03-2012, 10:51 AM

Flesh-eating bug that you can catch on the bus or train is spreading in the UK

Strain of MRSA from the U.S. causes large boils and is resistant to several front-line antibiotics
Survives on surfaces so can be picked up on public transport

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2094983/MRSA-strain-USA300-Flesh-eating-bug-spread-coughs-sneezes-spread-U-S-UK.html#ixzz1lLWt4DxV

02-06-2012, 11:02 AM
83 year-old woman got 3D printed mandible (http://www.3ders.org/articles/20120203-83-year-old-woman-got-3d-printed-mandible.html)

02-06-2012, 01:08 PM

Biochemist publishes a paper solving the mystery of life, but no one understands it

Tombstone RJ
02-06-2012, 02:02 PM

The Mushroom That Eats Plastic

Posted by majestic on February 1, 2012

Mushroom 001Is this the answer to the ever-growing plastic scourge on our planet? From co.exist:

The Amazon is home to more species than almost anywhere else on earth. One of them, carried home recently by a group from Yale University, appears to be quite happy eating plastic in airless landfills.

The group of students, part of Yale’s annual Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory with molecular biochemistry professor Scott Strobel, ventured to the jungles of Ecuador. The mission was to allow “students to experience the scientific inquiry process in a comprehensive and creative way.” The group searched for plants, and then cultured the microorganisms within the plant tissue. As it turns out, they brought back a fungus new to science with a voracious appetite for a global waste problem: polyurethane.

The common plastic is used for everything from garden hoses to shoes and truck seats. Once it gets into the trash stream, it persists for generations. Anyone alive today is assured that their old garden hoses and other polyurethane trash will still be here to greet his or her great, great grandchildren. Unless something eats it.

The fungi, Pestalotiopsis microspora, is the first anyone has found to survive on a steady diet of polyurethane alone and–even more surprising–do this in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment that is close to the condition at the bottom of a landfill…

[continues at co.exist]

that is so cool.

02-07-2012, 06:59 AM

How America made its children crazy
By Spengler

02-07-2012, 07:00 AM

In the past few decades, changes in sentencing laws and get-tough-on-crime policies have led to an explosion in America's prison population. Funding this incarceration binge has been an enormous drain on taxpayer dollars, with some states now spending more to lock up their citizens than to provide their children with education. It's difficult to spin anything positive out of that scenario, but as it turns out, even this blackest of clouds has a silver lining – silver as in dollars, that is, for the private prison industry.

02-07-2012, 07:03 AM

Do You Like Online Privacy? You May Be a Terrorist

02-08-2012, 07:16 AM


02-08-2012, 07:19 AM
http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/ever_wonder_where_the_expression_blow_smoke_up_you r_ass_came_from


02-08-2012, 07:58 AM

02-08-2012, 08:06 AM

02-08-2012, 08:10 AM


02-08-2012, 09:56 AM
Zombie musician rises from the dead in South Africa (http://io9.com/5882577/zombie-musician-rises-from-the-dead-in-south-africa)

In December 2009, South African maskandi singer Khulekani Kwakhe "Mgqumeni" Mseleku died after consuming a poisonous potion brewed by a healer. But last week, the singer returned from the dead in the town of Mquthu, much to delight of his fans, who descended upon the village in cheering throngs.

Where had Mgqumeni been for the past two years? According to the resurrected singer, he had been held in a mystical storage container with zombies (who had a penchant for identity fraud).

The folk troubadour claimed that he had been trapped in a cave outside of Johannesburg, where zombies changed his physical attributes ("My facial and body appearance has changed," he said, sporting a new gold tooth) and forged an identity card with a false name (his undead moniker is "Sphamanda Gcabashe"). Said the singer of his harrowing imprisonment:

I have been suffering a lot at the place where I was kept with zombies. It was hell there and I am so grateful that I was able to free myself and return to my family and you, my supporters. I promise to continue singing once I gather enough strength.

To make matters even more problematic for Mgqumeni, the zombies tried to perform a painful ritual to transform him into a Tokoloshe, or a genus of evil water sprite:

I have been living a painful life over the past two years. The people who captured me shaved my dreadlocks because they wanted to put a nail in my head.

After gaining the approval of several not-zombified relatives, everyone got riled up over exhuming Mgqumeni's grave to prove that he's back from the dead. Some more dubious relations notified the police, who arrested the faux-Mgqumeni before he could spin more yarns about necrotic hairdressers. Remember, if someone comes back from the dead, always, always ask for a DNA test. Also, it's a perfectly reasonable assumption that zombies are not trained in the more delicate aspects of oral surgery, so be suspicious of any undead-installed mouth jewelry.

Via Times Live — big ups to 99TelepodProblems. Top image of noted undead musician Lord Raptor via Enerjak.

02-08-2012, 10:17 AM

By Henry Carlile
And once out walking at night
I stumbled across the speckled body
of a small hawk,
the hasp of its wings closed.

One note, one note.

It sings in the rills between words,
between hopes.
It sleeps between leaves in a book,
gathers like dust on the piano.

I heard it once on a green hill
in Aberdeen in short puffs of wind
stirring the new grass among stones.
Prayer could not alter it

nor clods breaking upon bronze.

Henry Carlile, "Merlin" from Rain (Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1994). Copyright © 1994 by Henry Carlile. Used by permission of the author.

Source: Rain (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1994)

02-08-2012, 10:49 AM

02-08-2012, 10:56 AM

The SFist writes:

So, Jack in the Box created a Bacon Milkshake. Why? Because you secretly want one, that's why. Shame on you. The noted fast food chain, it seems, wanted to create bacon-tinged buzz. This will probably do the trick. It's all part of a new ad campaign that asks: If you like bacon so much, why don't you marry it? SFist called our local Jack to ask more about the porky dessert. When we asked if it had real bacon in it, the store manger explained, "Real bacon? Ugh no. It's just a flavored shake, flavored with syrup, I think."


02-08-2012, 10:59 AM

02-08-2012, 11:25 AM

I will be your girlfriend at facebook for 10 days for $5

02-08-2012, 11:26 AM
Interesting site...and is this the employment model we're going to?

02-13-2012, 10:27 AM

Secret documents lift lid on WWII mutiny by US troops in north Queensland

02-13-2012, 10:29 AM

The BBC is experimenting with Perceptive Media, and it could transform TV forever

02-13-2012, 10:30 AM

The judge also granted Halliburton's request to exclude an email from a BP geologist to a colleague in February 2010, offering "thanks for the ****ty cement job."

Halliburton contended that the email was no more than a casual, tasteless joke made by one friend to another. Shushan concluded that there was no showing that the email was a "business record" of the cement work that could be introduced into evidence.

02-13-2012, 10:38 AM

America's homeless resort to tent cities

Panorama's Hilary Andersson comes face to face with the reality of poverty in America and finds that, for some, the last resort has become life in a tented encampment.

Just off the side of a motorway on the fringes of the picturesque town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a mismatched collection of 30 tents tucked in the woods has become home - home to those who are either unemployed, or whose wages are so low that they can no longer afford to pay rent.

Conditions are unhygienic. There are no toilets and electricity is only available in the one communal tent where the campers huddle around a wood stove for warmth in the heart of winter.

Ice weighs down the roofs of tents, and rain regularly drips onto the sleeping campers' faces.

Tent cities have sprung up in and around at least 55 American cities - they represent the bleak reality of America's poverty crisis.

Black mould

According to census data, 47 million Americans now live below the poverty line - the most in half a century - fuelled by several years of high unemployment.

One of the largest tented camps is in Florida and is now home to around 300 people. Others have sprung up in New Jersey and Portland.

Find out more
Michigan poverty
Hilary Andersson presents Panorama: Poor America
BBC One, Monday, 13 February at 8.30pm
Then available in the UK on the BBC iPlayer.

In the Ann Arbor camp, Alana Gehringer, 23, has had a hacking cough for the last four months.

"The black mould - it was on our pillows, it was on our blankets, we were literally rubbing our faces in it sleeping every night," she said of wintering in a tent.

The camp is run by the residents themselves, with the help of a local charity group. Calls have come in from the hospital emergency room, the local police and the local homeless shelter to see if they can send in more.

"Last night, for example, we got a call saying they had six that couldn't make it into the shelter and... they were hoping that we could place them... So we usually get calls, around nine or 10 a night," said Brian Durance, a camp organiser.

Michigan's Republican-controlled state government has been locked into a programme of severe budget cuts in an attempt to balance its books.

The cuts have included benefits for many of the state's poorest residents.

Between the cuts and the economic conditions pinching, there is increased pressure on homeless shelters.

Michigan's Lieutenant Governor, Brian Calley, was asked about the reality of public agencies in his state suggesting the homeless live in tents.

"That is absolutely not acceptable, and we have to take steps and policies in order to make sure that those people have the skills they need to be independent, and it won't happen overnight," he said.

Depression-type poverty

There are an estimated 5,000 people living in the dozens of camps that have sprung up across America.

The largest camp, Pinella's Hope in central Florida - a region better known for the glamour of Disneyworld - is made up of neat rows of tents spread out across a 13-acre plot.

In Steinbeck's Footsteps
Dorothea Lange is best known for her photos taken during the Great Depression
America's middle under-class once again searches for work

The Catholic charity that runs it has made laundry available, as well as computers and phones.

Many of the camps are organised and hold regular meetings to divide up camp chores and agree on community rules. They have become semi-permanent homes for some residents, who see little prospect of getting jobs soon.

These tent cities - and this level of poverty - are images that many Americans associate with the Great Depression.

Unemployment in America today has not reached the astronomical levels of the 1930s, but barring a short spike in 1982, it has not been this high since the Depression era.

There are now 13 million unemployed Americans, which is three million more than when President Barack Obama was first elected.

The stark reality is that many of them are people who very recently lived comfortable middle-class lives.

For them, the economic downturn came too fast and many have been forced to trade their middle-class homes for lives in shelters, motels and at the far extreme, tented encampments.

Panorama: Poor America, BBC One, Monday, 13 February at 20:30 GMT then available in the UK on the BBC iPlayer.

02-14-2012, 05:21 AM

Mystery Disease In Central America Kills Thousands

02-14-2012, 05:22 AM

German health experts left baffled by village where almost every household has resident suffering cancer

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2100282/German-health-experts-left-baffled-village-household-resident-suffering-cancer.html#ixzz1mMW3Db73

02-14-2012, 05:24 AM

The true value of money – or why you can't fart a crashing plane back into the sky

Banknotes aren't worth the paper they're printed on. The entire economy relies on the suspension of disbelief

02-14-2012, 05:29 AM
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Planck_All_Sky_Images_Show_Cold_Gas_and_Strange_Ha ze_999.html

Planck All-Sky Images Show Cold Gas and Strange Haze

02-14-2012, 05:31 AM

Pitched directly at dogs, the advert that whistles: Frequency is far too high for pet owners to hear it

Advert contains noises which can only be heard by man's best friend
Whistling, barking and bell ringing in one minute clip also attracts canines

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2100108/First-TV-advert-dogs-Frequency-far-high-pet-owners-hear-it.html#ixzz1mMYQyzbB

02-14-2012, 05:37 AM

The mysterious case of village with its own Bermuda Triangle

The following day the group returned and used sophisticated equipment, including a spectrum analyser, and direction-finding techniques, to determine the problem.

Mr Piotrowski said: “A strong electrical interference source was radiating radio signals in one of the ultra high frequency bands at the southern end of the Green.

“The primary user of this band is the military. However, by Sunday, the problem seemed to have gone.”

He said it could have affected other wireless devices such as thermostats, remote light dimmers and switches and energy meters. He added sometimes this high-level frequency can be caused by a faulty electrical component, so residents should check devices for faults.

The group reported its findings to the communications watchdog, Ofcom, and an engineer was set to begin investigating the problem today.

An Army spokeswoman said she had contacted the nearby Waterbeach barracks and told the News: “They are not aware of anything happening at Waterbeach that would have caused anything remotely like that.”.

02-14-2012, 05:48 AM

Why Are So Many Americans In Prison?

02-14-2012, 05:56 AM

At the end of January, the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights, and Citizenship, Viviane Reding, announced the European Commission’s proposal to create a sweeping new privacy right—the “right to be forgotten.” The right, which has been hotly debated in Europe for the past few years, has finally been codified as part of a broad new proposed data protection regulation. Although Reding depicted the new right as a modest expansion of existing data privacy rights, in fact it represents the biggest threat to free speech on the Internet in the coming decade. The right to be forgotten could make Facebook and Google, for example, liable for up to two percent of their global income if they fail to remove photos that people post about themselves and later regret, even if the photos have been widely distributed already. Unless the right is defined more precisely when it is promulgated over the next year or so, it could precipitate a dramatic clash between European and American conceptions of the proper balance between privacy and free speech, leading to a far less open Internet.

In theory, the right to be forgotten addresses an urgent problem in the digital age: it is very hard to escape your past on the Internet now that every photo, status update, and tweet lives forever in the cloud. But Europeans and Americans have diametrically opposed approaches to the problem. In Europe, the intellectual roots of the right to be forgotten can be found in French law, which recognizes le droit à l’oubli—or the “right of oblivion”—a right that allows a convicted criminal who has served his time and been rehabilitated to object to the publication of the facts of his conviction and incarceration. In America, by contrast, publication of someone’s criminal history is protected by the First Amendment, leading Wikipedia to resist the efforts by two Germans convicted of murdering a famous actor to remove their criminal history from the actor’s Wikipedia page.[1]

02-14-2012, 09:57 AM

How to avoid being tagged as a terrorist: Don't pay cash for coffee
Barista on Watch: FBI program distributes generic criteria as 'terrorist warning signs'

The CAT/SLATT criteria aren't quite as precise. They differ for each industry, and some are actually useful (e.g. "requests large quantities of hydrogen peroxide or acetone" and "travels illogical distance to store").

Most of the "warning signs" could apply to almost anyone, any time, making the whole effort less credible both to trainees and the currently-not-alert-enough baristas and clerks the feds evidently count on to foil the next major terrorist attack.

Using Google Maps to find your way around a strange city, to view photos of sports stadium or the cities themselves or installing software on your PC designed to protect your privacy online are all solid indications not that you're a terrorist, rather than a web-savvy traveler.

The latest revelation from the FBI files? Paying in cash for coffee.

02-14-2012, 10:20 AM

02-14-2012, 04:02 PM
I don't post on this thread much but I wanted to say it's my favorite thread on the OM by far.

02-14-2012, 04:03 PM
Josh has a knack for finding great shiit.

02-14-2012, 11:14 PM


Do you ever find simulators online? I found this competition between Dell / HP , Global warming, and other neat tools.

It's too bad that more than links cannot be posted to your well appreciated thread.

02-15-2012, 05:25 AM
Anyone can post here - it's "open". In fact, I encourage participation in sharing of knowledge. I'd like more discussion.

Once I shift from this position of having two jobs, to one job - I'm going to restart my magazine. I have some old connections that might need some rekindling - but I have a secret power:

I'm always invited to the best parties.


As far as simulators - this is something "new" to me. I haven't used any game theory to "look at events". This is something very interesting to me. Once I get my work flow setup for the day - i'll put some time into looking at simulators and play around.

Thanks for the link/mindshare Ody.


02-15-2012, 07:52 AM

02-15-2012, 08:01 AM

02-15-2012, 08:04 AM

02-15-2012, 11:21 AM

02-15-2012, 12:35 PM
http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/ever_wonder_where_the_expression_blow_smoke_up_you r_ass_came_from


I guess this is where the phrase "Blowing smoke up your ass" comes from.

02-15-2012, 12:43 PM
If the patient farts will the fumigator get puffed out cheeks.

02-16-2012, 06:06 AM

Private Prison Corporation Offers To Buy 48 States’ Prisons

Posted by JacobSloan on February 15, 2012

3557791151_885f645d7eThis snippet bears repeating: “The company is asking for an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full.” Via Huffington Post:

A Wall Street giant, Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest operator of for-profit prisons, has sent letters recently to 48 states offering to buy up their prisons as a remedy for “challenging corrections budgets.” In exchange, the company is asking for a 20-year management contract, plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Huffington Post.

Corrections Corporation has been a swiftly growing business, with revenues expanding more than fivefold since the mid-1990s. The company capitalized on the expansion of state prison systems in the ’80s and ’90s at the height of the so-called ‘war on drugs’. During the past 10 years, it has found new opportunity in the business of locking up undocumented immigrants, as the federal government has contracted with private companies in an aggressive immigrant-detention campaign.

A series of studies has cast doubt on the private prison industry’s main selling point: efficiency. Research across numerous states has shown that the promised savings from private prisons can be illusory at best. What’s more, many civil liberties advocates question why a profit motive should be tied to incarceration policies, raising concerns that cutting costs could have an adverse effect on public safety.

02-16-2012, 06:09 AM

Ariz. police say they are prepared as War College warns military must prep for unrest; IMF warns of economic riots

A new report by the U.S. Army War College talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unrest, such as protests against businesses and government or runs on beleaguered banks.

“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” said the War College report.

The study says economic collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned Wednesday of economy-related riots and unrest in various global markets if the financial crisis is not addressed and lower-income households are hurt by credit constraints and rising unemployment.

U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., both said U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson brought up a worst-case scenario as he pushed for the Wall Street bailout in September. Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO, said that might even require a declaration of martial law, the two noted.

State and local police in Arizona say they have broad plans to deal with social unrest, including trouble resulting from economic distress. The security and police agencies declined to give specifics, but said they would employ existing and generalized emergency responses to civil unrest that arises for any reason.

02-16-2012, 06:30 AM

The conventional view is that new traits can only evolve if DNA itself changes in some way. The classic way to do this is by mutating the genetic code itself. More recently, researchers have discovered that molecules can clamp onto DNA and prevent some parts of the sequence from being read, leading to genetic changes through a process that is known as epigenetics.

Yeast breaks the mould. In challenging conditions, it can instantly churn out hundreds of brand-new and potentially lifesaving proteins from its DNA, all without changing the genes in any way. Instead, yeast alters the way genes are read. The tiny fungi convert a special type of protein called Sup35 into a prion.

Sup35 normally plays an important role in the protein production line. It makes sure that the ribosomes within cells, in which the proteins are built, start and stop reading an RNA strand at just the right points to generate a certain protein.

When Sup35 transforms into a prion, it no longer performs that role. With this quality control missing, the entire gene sequence is read as it spools through the ribosome. This generates new proteins from sections of RNA that are usually ignored.

The result is that the yeast generates a hotchpotch of brand-new proteins without changing its DNA in any way. Within that mix of new proteins could be some that are crucial for survival.

02-16-2012, 06:42 AM

Vibration "invisibility cloak" could protect buildings from earthquakes

While "cloaking" technology may have once been limited exclusively to the realm of science fiction, regular Gizmag readers will know that it is now finding its way into real life - just within the past few years, scientists have demonstrated various experimental cloaking systems that prevent small objects from being seen, and in one case, from being heard. Such invisibility systems involve the use of metamaterials, which are man-made materials that exhibit optical qualities not found in nature. These are able to effectively bend light around an object, instead of allowing it to strike the object directly. Now, mathematicians from the University of Manchester are proposing technology based on the same principles, that would allow buildings to become "invisible" to earthquakes.

A team led by Dr. William Parnell is proposing that buildings in earthquake-prone regions could be surrounded with pressurized rubber at their bases. This could theoretically keep the elastic waves traveling through the ground from registering the presence of the building, instead simply passing around either side of it.

"We showed theoretically that pre-stressing a naturally available material - rubber - leads to a cloaking effect from a specific type of elastic wave," said Parnell. "Our team is now working hard on more general theories and to understand how this theory can be realized in practice ... If the theory can be scaled up to larger objects then it could be used to create cloaks to protect buildings and structures, or perhaps more realistically to protect very important specific parts of those structures."

While building rubber bumpers around all the buildings in one town might be a little over-ambitious, it has been suggested that the technology could be focused on structures such as electric pylons, nuclear power plants, and government offices.

Source: University of Manchester

02-16-2012, 07:58 AM

A SONAR image of a large mystery object deep below the surface of Loch Ness has netted boat skipper Marcus Atkinson the Best Nessie Sighting of The Year Award — the first time in several years it has been presented by bookmaker William Hill.

02-17-2012, 11:02 AM

How Companies Learn Your Secrets

Andrew Pole had just started working as a statistician for Target in 2002, when two colleagues from the marketing department stopped by his desk to ask an odd question: “If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that? ”

02-17-2012, 11:27 AM
^ The above store about companies/marketing/secrets is pretty interesting:

A similar scene played out in dozens of other smelly homes. The reason Febreze wasn’t selling, the marketers realized, was that people couldn’t detect most of the bad smells in their lives. If you live with nine cats, you become desensitized to their scents. If you smoke cigarettes, eventually you don’t smell smoke anymore. Even the strongest odors fade with constant exposure. That’s why Febreze was a failure. The product’s cue — the bad smells that were supposed to trigger daily use — was hidden from the people who needed it the most. And Febreze’s reward (an odorless home) was meaningless to someone who couldn’t smell offensive scents in the first place.

P.& G. employed a Harvard Business School professor to analyze Febreze’s ad campaigns. They collected hours of footage of people cleaning their homes and watched tape after tape, looking for clues that might help them connect Febreze to people’s daily habits. When that didn’t reveal anything, they went into the field and conducted more interviews. A breakthrough came when they visited a woman in a suburb near Scottsdale, Ariz., who was in her 40s with four children. Her house was clean, though not compulsively tidy, and didn’t appear to have any odor problems; there were no pets or smokers. To the surprise of everyone, she loved Febreze.

“I use it every day,” she said.

“What smells are you trying to get rid of?” a researcher asked.

“I don’t really use it for specific smells,” the woman said. “I use it for normal cleaning — a couple of sprays when I’m done in a room.”

The researchers followed her around as she tidied the house. In the bedroom, she made her bed, tightened the sheet’s corners, then sprayed the comforter with Febreze. In the living room, she vacuumed, picked up the children’s shoes, straightened the coffee table, then sprayed Febreze on the freshly cleaned carpet.

“It’s nice, you know?” she said. “Spraying feels like a little minicelebration when I’m done with a room.” At the rate she was going, the team estimated, she would empty a bottle of Febreze every two weeks.

When they got back to P.& G.’s headquarters, the researchers watched their videotapes again. Now they knew what to look for and saw their mistake in scene after scene. Cleaning has its own habit loops that already exist. In one video, when a woman walked into a dirty room (cue), she started sweeping and picking up toys (routine), then she examined the room and smiled when she was done (reward). In another, a woman scowled at her unmade bed (cue), proceeded to straighten the blankets and comforter (routine) and then sighed as she ran her hands over the freshly plumped pillows (reward). P.& G. had been trying to create a whole new habit with Febreze, but what they really needed to do was piggyback on habit loops that were already in place. The marketers needed to position Febreze as something that came at the end of the cleaning ritual, the reward, rather than as a whole new cleaning routine.

02-17-2012, 11:58 AM
Anyone can post here - it's "open". In fact, I encourage participation in sharing of knowledge. I'd like more discussion.

Once I shift from this position of having two jobs, to one job - I'm going to restart my magazine. I have some old connections that might need some rekindling - but I have a secret power:

I'm always invited to the best parties.


As far as simulators - this is something "new" to me. I haven't used any game theory to "look at events". This is something very interesting to me. Once I get my work flow setup for the day - i'll put some time into looking at simulators and play around.

Thanks for the link/mindshare Ody.


I posted this in another thread. What if we voted for an algorithm instead of a person for president? He or she can be whatever garbage that "we the people" can conceive. Max Headroom for President? Why have elections when we can change our presidents mind every 90 days with our own fickle indecisiveness? Talk about free enterprise politics!

02-17-2012, 12:21 PM
I posted this in another thread. What if we voted for an algorithm instead of a person for president? He or she can be whatever garbage that "we the people" can conceive. Max Headroom for President? Why have elections when we can change our presidents mind every 90 days with our own fickle indecisiveness? Talk about free enterprise politics!

Well...I have nightmares of that happening:


Throw in Filter Bubbles - and you'll always have the president you want. Noone will know any different. Infact you can manufacture opposition just to keep the realism going!

02-17-2012, 12:58 PM
http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/789519/sick%3A_young%2C_undercover_cops_flirted_with_stud ents_to_trick_them_into_selling_pot/


1:25 PM (2 hours ago)
Cop spends weeks to trick an 18-year-old into possession and sale of a gram of pot
by Mark Frauenfelder

More fun from the self-loathing society: This American Life had a show about how young female undercover cops infiltrated a high school and flirted with boys to entrap them into selling pot, so they could charge them with felonies and destroy their lives at an early age.

Last year in three high schools in Florida, several undercover police officers posed as students. The undercover cops went to classes, became Facebook friends and flirted with the other students. One 18-year-old honor student named Justin fell in love with an attractive 25-year-old undercover cop after spending weeks sharing stories about their lives, texting and flirting with each other.

One day she asked Justin if he smoked pot. Even though he didn't smoke marijuana, the love-struck teen promised to help find some for her. Every couple of days she would text him asking if he had the marijuana. Finally, Justin was able to get it to her. She tried to give him $25 for the marijuana and he said he didn't want the money -- he got it for her as a present.

A short while later, the police did a big sweep and arrest 31 students -- including Justin. Almost all were charged with selling a small amount of marijuana to the undercover cops. Now Justin has a felony hanging over his head.

Sick: Young, Undercover Cops Flirted With Students to Trick Them Into Selling Pot (Via Aurich Lawson)

02-21-2012, 05:50 AM

Is There Herbicide in Your Urine?

Posted by Good German on February 20, 2012

GlyphosateVia GMWatch:

According to an article in German in the Ithaka Journal, a German university study has found significant concentrations of glyphosate in the urine samples of city dwellers. The analysis of the urine samples apparently found that all had concentrations of glyphosate at 5 to 20-fold the limit for drinking water. As well as being used increasingly widely in food production, glyphosate-based weedkillers often also get sprayed onto railway lines, urban pavements and roadsides (www.ithaka-journal.net).

Disturbingly, the Ithaka Journal reports (in our translation), “The address of the university labs, which did the research, the data and the evaluation of the research method is known to the editors. Because of significant pressure by agrochemical representatives and the fear that the work of the lab could be influenced, the complete analytical data will only be published in the course of this year.” (www.ithaka-journal.net)

News of this study comes not long after the publication of a study confirming glyphosate was contaminating groundwater. Last year also saw the publication of two US Geological Survey studies which consistently found glyphosate in streams, rain and even air in agricultural areas of the US …

Read more here.

02-21-2012, 06:50 AM

Yosemite waterfall turns to 'flowing lava' in rare February spectacle caught on camera

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2103408/Yosemite-waterfall-turns-flowing-lava-rare-February-spectacle-caught-camera.html#ixzz1n1no7Apw


02-21-2012, 06:52 AM

Dead for 32,000 Years, an Arctic Plant Is Revived

02-21-2012, 06:54 AM

Researchers resurrect new species of life from ancient Andean tomb

Close to 1,500 years ago, indians living in what is now Quito, Ecuador buried their most revered dead in 16-meter-deep tombs. An ancient alcoholic beverage was commonly included in these burial vaults. Now, by examining the clay vessels used to ferment and store this brew, a team of South American researchers has managed to not only recover the microbes the indians used to ferment the ancient beverage, they've actually revived them...and they're unlike any species they've ever seen.

02-21-2012, 07:03 AM

Freaky Physics Proves Parallel Universes Exist

The strange discovery by quantum physicists at the University of California Santa Barbara means that an object you can see in front of you may exist simultaneously in a parallel universe -- a multi-state condition that has scientists theorizing that traveling through time may be much more than just the plaything of science fiction writers.

And it's all because of a tiny bit of metal -- a "paddle" about the width of a human hair, an item that is incredibly small but still something you can see with the naked eye.

UC Santa Barbara's Andrew Cleland cooled that paddle in a refrigerator, dimmed the lights and, under a special bell jar, sucked out all the air to eliminate vibrations. He then plucked it like a tuning fork and noted that it moved and stood still at the same time.

That sounds contradictory, and it's nearly impossible to understand if your last name isn't Einstein. But it actually happened. It's a freaky fact that's at the heart of quantum mechanics.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/04/05/freaky-physics-proves-parallel-universes/#ixzz1n1rJKcsg

02-21-2012, 07:05 AM

Crystals may be possible in time as well as space
Theory proposes objects in their lowest energy state can loop in the fourth dimension forever

02-21-2012, 07:11 AM

Meet the youngest person on Earth to achieve nuclear fusion

Taylor Wilson built his first bomb when he was 10 years old. Four years later, he became the thirty-second person on Earth to ever build a working nuclear fusion reactor.

02-21-2012, 09:18 AM

The conventional view is that new traits can only evolve if DNA itself changes in some way. The classic way to do this is by mutating the genetic code itself. More recently, researchers have discovered that molecules can clamp onto DNA and prevent some parts of the sequence from being read, leading to genetic changes through a process that is known as epigenetics.

Yeast breaks the mould. In challenging conditions, it can instantly churn out hundreds of brand-new and potentially lifesaving proteins from its DNA, all without changing the genes in any way. Instead, yeast alters the way genes are read. The tiny fungi convert a special type of protein called Sup35 into a prion.

Sup35 normally plays an important role in the protein production line. It makes sure that the ribosomes within cells, in which the proteins are built, start and stop reading an RNA strand at just the right points to generate a certain protein.

When Sup35 transforms into a prion, it no longer performs that role. With this quality control missing, the entire gene sequence is read as it spools through the ribosome. This generates new proteins from sections of RNA that are usually ignored.

The result is that the yeast generates a hotchpotch of brand-new proteins without changing its DNA in any way. Within that mix of new proteins could be some that are crucial for survival.

The January issue of NatGeo went into this with their special on twins. It was very fascinating. Warning: If you are a Jenny McCarthy wacko who thinks vaccines are bad, do not read.

02-21-2012, 09:23 AM
Werd, i'll score that issue from the Library - thanks Kaylor!!

02-21-2012, 10:18 AM

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the President’s Secret Army
from mental_floss Blog by D.B. Grady

© Yslb Pak/Xinhua Press/Corbis

The U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC, pronounced: JAY-sock) is best known for the Osama bin Laden raid. But it has long served as the president’s secret army, planning and executing the most dangerous, highly classified missions of the United States military. In 2009, its snipers rescued an American ship captain held captive by Somali pirates. In 2003, JSOC hunted down and captured Saddam Hussein near Tikrit, Iraq. In 1993, two Delta snipers earned posthumous Congressional Medals of Honor for actions during the Battle of Mogadishu (a JSOC operation portrayed in Black Hawk Down). And before that, members of the Command were tracking Scud missiles during the Gulf War and slithering down ropes in Panama. Here are a few things about the president’s secret army that you might not know.
1. When you hear “Delta Force” or “SEAL Team Six,” they’re talking about JSOC.

The U.S. Army Delta Force (officially the Combat Applications Group) and the U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six (officially the Naval Special Warfare Development Group) are JSOC’s elite tier-one forces. They conduct the nation’s black operations, and work in absolute secrecy. When an operator from one of these units is killed in action, the Department of Defense generally releases his name with a cover story for the death. (A training accident, for example.)
2. When SEAL Team Six was established, there were only two SEAL teams.

In 1980, Richard Marcinko, commander of SEAL Team 2, was tasked with forming a new U.S. Navy counterterrorist unit. He named it SEAL Team Six to trick Soviet intelligence into believing the United States had at least three other commando units completely unaccounted for.
3. JSOC can reconstruct documents that have been burned.

When JSOC teams collect intelligence on the battlefield, they benefit from a quiet revolution in document exploitation (DOCEX) techniques. Algorithms assign values to data based on the probability that a faint “I” is indeed an “I.” The upshot is that DOCEX specialists can even reconstruct documents that have been burned beyond recognition.
4. The aircraft used in the Bin Laden raid were from Area 51.

Specially modified helicopters carried Red Squadron of SEAL Team Six to Abbottabad, Pakistan, for the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. The Black Hawks were fitted with top secret radar-spoofing technology allowing U.S. forces to slip across the border unnoticed. These stealth aircraft were developed and tested at the infamous Area 51, near Groom Lake, Nevada. They are of earthly origin.
5. The president’s secret army is everywhere.

Alongside the Central Intelligence Agency, operators from Delta Force and SEAL Team Six infiltrated China to map the locations of Chinese satellite transmission facilities. It has operated in Peru, tracking members of Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. And a JSOC team usually shadows the president of the United States when he is overseas, in the event of a catastrophic breakdown by U.S. Secret Service.
6. There is a rivalry between Delta Force and SEAL Team Six.

The areas of operation in the war were eventually divided between Delta Force running operations in Iraq, and SEAL Team Six responsible for Afghanistan. Accordingly, the former captured Saddam Hussein and the latter killed Osama bin Laden. But for reasons obvious, both units wanted Bin Laden. When the mission went to SEAL Team Six, some complained that it was because navy admirals commanded both JSOC and the U.S. Special Operations Command. Shortly after the mission, a highly classified roster of the men on the Abbottabad raid somehow leaked to the press. (It was never published.) Inside JSOC, Delta guys blamed SEAL guys for basking in the spotlight and inviting the attention.
7. There is a JSOC base in a major European airport.

An arm’s throw away from people deplaning for European family vacations is a JSOC counterterrorist unit on alert and ready to depart anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.
8. General Stanley McChrystal was known as the Pope.

During the 1993 siege on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, JSOC provided equipment and trainers to federal forces. (JSOC did not participate in the raid.) At the time, Attorney General Janet Reno complained that getting information out of JSOC was like trying to pry loose the Vatican’s secrets. Some jokingly called the commander of JSOC “the Pope,” but it wasn’t until Stanley McChrystal took charge in 2003 that the name stuck. In many ways a warrior-monk, he was known for relentless schedules, minimal sleep, intense physical fitness, and eating only a single meal a day. When he left JSOC, he took the papacy with him.
9. JSOC built courtrooms in Iraq.

Shortly after William McRaven assumed command of JSOC in 2008, he faced a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq that prevented U.S. counterterrorism forces from conducting raids without warrants. Warrants were an alien concept to the president’s secret army. Though there was internal resistance, Admiral McRaven insisted on following the agreement. To do so, he directed JSOC to build courthouses throughout Iraq, and flew in JAG officers to work with Iraqi judges. The system worked. JSOC personnel would testify and judges would issue warrants. This facilitated greater trust between the Iraqi government and the U.S. commandos it empowered.
10. There was a JSOC equivalent to the Department of Pre-Crime.

In Minority Report, a police agency organized around psychics and machines can predict a crime before it happens. In Iraq, the president’s secret army had something similar. A project codenamed NGA SKOPE allowed JSOC to merge data collected from just about any intelligence source and predict, based on patterns of movement, where insurgents were likely to be and what they were likely to do. (For example: The recorded locations and orientations of insurgents’ cars during one IED attack made it possible to predict future attacks based on similar movements.)
* * * *
The Command: Deep Inside the President’s Secret Army by Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady (John Wiley & Sons, 2012) is now available at Amazon and the Apple iBooks store.

D.B. Grady is a freelance writer and novelist. He is coauthor of The Command: Deep Inside the President’s Secret Army, author of Red Planet Noir, and a correspondent for The Atlantic. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife and family, and can be found at dbgrady.com.

02-21-2012, 10:40 AM

Disturbing ‘Gattacan’ Actions: Can You Be Fired for Your Genes?

The number of complaints about genetic discrimination are on the rise
In 2010, Pamela Fink, an employee of a Connecticut energy company, made a new kind of discrimination claim: she charged that she had been fired because she carries genes that predispose her to cancer. Fink quickly became the public face for the cutting edge of civil rights: genetic discrimination.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which was passed out of concern for just such cases in the wake of huge advances in genetics testing, took effect in late 2009. GINA, as it is known, makes it illegal for employers to fire or refuse to hire workers based on their “genetic information” — including genetic tests and family history of disease. GINA doesn’t just apply to employers: health-insurance companies can be sued for using genetic information to set rates or even just for investigating people’s genes.

There have not been any landmark cases or huge jury awards yet under GINA, but genetic discrimination is real. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s annual report, released last month, there were 245 genetic-discrimination complaints in fiscal year 2011, up more than 20% from a year earlier. At the same time, the EEOC reported that the “monetary benefits” it helped collect related to genetic discrimination — in damages, back pay and other penalties — jumped more than sixfold, from $80,000 to $500,000.

These numbers will almost certainly increase greatly in coming years. Many people still do not know about their rights under GINA or even what genetic discrimination is. There will also no doubt be more lawyers developing genetic-discrimination practices. But the main reason these claims are likely to rise is that, as biological science advances, there is likely to be even more genetic information available about people. Tests are getting better at identifying those who are predisposed to cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Even though this sort of medical information should remain private, employers and insurance companies will have strong financial incentives to get access to it — and to use it to avoid people who are most likely to get sick.

02-22-2012, 12:46 PM
Learning about gardneing has geen awesome, learning about aquaculture/aquaponics has been incredible!!!!

*This post was brought to you by the #5, the Letters G & W

02-23-2012, 05:50 AM

Dediu took two key revelations from the "Nightline" report--that each iPhone takes 24 hours to be built, including 6 to 8 hours of software and component "burn-in" and testing, and that workers on the line make $1.78 an hour.

He then ran that information through some calculations to come up with a new cost range for the labor it takes to make each iPhone, and found the following.

Those costs are likely to range between $12.5 and $30 per unit.
Labor costs are still a small part of the overall cost structure at between 2 percent and 5 percent of sales price.
The high level (141 steps) of human interaction in the process could be automated. However, the fact that it isn't implies that the cost of automation would be higher and the flexibility of the automated process would be lower.

Dediu adds that these manufacturing costs are likely much higher than competing devices--perhaps as much as 300 percent--due to the intensity of the design and quality testing. They're also higher than previous estimates of iPhone assembly costs, which have been pegged as low as $8 per unit.

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57382995-1/iphone-manufacturing-costs-revealed/#ixzz1nDFpHuZi

02-23-2012, 05:56 AM

On the evening of July 30, 2008, a 22-year-old Canadian man named Tim McLean was killed and mutilated under truly horrific circumstances while on-board a Greyhound Canada bus as it neared Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. According to the shocked passengers, McLean was sleeping when suddenly, and without any warning whatsoever, the man next to him pulled out a large hunting-knife and began to wildly and viciously stab McLean in the chest and neck – no less than forty times, police were later able to graphically determine.

Needless to say, complete and utter pandemonium broke out on the bus, as people clambered to quickly escape. But far, far worse was to come. Several of the terrified passengers held the door of the vehicle firmly shut from the outside to prevent the man leaving the scene of the crime. As they did so, they were shocked to the absolute core to see that he had by now decapitated McLean and was calmly walking towards them down the aisle of the bus, with his victim’s head in his hand, no less.

“There was no rage in him. It was just like he was a robot or something,” said Garnet Caton, one of the passengers aboard the bus. Royal Canadian Mounted Police quickly arrived on the scene and arrested the killer – who was identified as 40-year-old Vince Weiguang Li.

For most people, the incident was seen as just another further example of the overwhelming violence and rage that seems all too prevalent in today’s world and society; and particularly so when police revealed that Li had, apparently, even devoured some of his victim’s flesh while on the bus. As the investigation progressed, however, it moved away from being simply an infinitely violent crime, and took on decidedly ominous and almost paranormal overtones.

It transpired that a little more than a week before he killed McLean, Li had been delivering copies of the Edmonton Sun newspaper to homes in the area. Interestingly, the very issue in question contained an extensive article written by Andrew Hanon that profiled the work of a historian named Nathan Carlson, and his research into a monstrous beast known as the Wendigo.

A creature that appears prominently within the mythology of the Algonquin people – the most populous and widespread of all the North American Native groups, with tribes originally numbering in the hundreds – the Wendigo is an evil, cannibalistic and rampaging creature into which humans have the ability to transform – particularly if they have engaged in cannibalism – or which are said to have the ability to possess human souls and minds to do their dark bidding. Notably, in centuries-past, those who were suspected by the Algonquin of being Wendigos were decapitated after death to prevent them rising from the grave.

In the wake of the terrible and tragic death of Tim McLean, Nathan Carlson noted that there were a number of similarities between Li’s actions and those of the Wendigo, and told the Edmonton Sun on August 11, 2008: “There are just too many parallels. I can’t say there’s definite connection, but there are just too many coincidences. It’s beyond eerie.”

Eerie is without doubt the right word for what took place on that fateful evening in July 2008. And, while for many people this particular affair was perceived as being just yet another example of how our society is becoming ever more violent, some were of the opinion that matters extended into far stranger territories. For some, this particularly notorious and savage incident was suggestive of the sensational possibility that Li himself had become a Wendigo.

Whatever ones own views on this admittedly curious case, it perhaps serves to demonstrate one thing more than any other: Even in today’s fast-paced world, with our technological marvels, and our sprawling concrete cities, when circumstances dictate it, it does not take long at all before our minds swing back to the mysteries, mythologies, folklore, and paranormal-themed fears and superstitions of centuries, cultures and eras long gone.

The wild things, whether the stuff of reality, or of ingrained superstition and legend, are still very much among us…

02-23-2012, 05:59 AM

How to Remove Your Google Search History Before Google's New Privacy Policy Takes Effect

02-23-2012, 06:18 AM

Organovo uses a 3D printer to build a variety of human tissue types, from cardiac muscle to blood vessels. The company hopes to eventually print entire organs for transplant from feedstock of a patient's own cells, thereby reducing the likelihood of rejection. But in the meantime, the 3D printed tissue could be used for drug testing. From Technology Review (photo Frank Rogozienski/Wonderful Machine):

Because Organovo's product is so similar to human tissue, it could help researchers identify drugs that will fail long before they reach clinical trials, potentially saving drug companies billions of dollars…<

Unlike some experimental approaches that have used ink-jet printers to deposit cells, Organovo's technology enables cells to interact with each other much the way they do in the body. They are packed tightly together and incubated, prompting them to adhere to each other and trade chemical signals.


02-23-2012, 06:20 AM


Eileen Gunn sez, "Amazon, seeking to force independent book distributor IPG to accept a new, less favorable contract, has struck out at all the publishers and authors whose books are distributed by IPG. Not to mention all the readers with Kindles: You want a Kindle version of the American Cancer Society Nutrition Guide? You're out of luck at Amazon. Maybe you should have bought a Nook."

Or maybe the distributor should have thought of that before allowing DRM for some or all of its catalog, which means that people who bought Kindle editions of their books to date are now locked into Kindle and can't convert their books for other platforms. Otherwise, IPG could switch to Nook books (insisting that they be sold DRM-free) and advertise that readers are free to convert their old Kindle books to run on the Nook, or their new Nook books to run on their old Kindles.

Suchomel writes: "Amazon.com is putting pressure on publishers and distributors to change their terms for electronic and print books to be more favorable toward Amazon. Our electronic book agreement recently came up for renewal, and Amazon took the opportunity to propose new terms for electronic and print purchases that would have substantially changed your revenue from the sale of both. It's obvious that publishers can't continue to agree to terms that increasingly reduce already narrow margins. I have spoken directly with many of our clients and every one of them agrees that we need to hold firm with the terms we now offer. I'm not sure what has changed at Amazon over the last few months that they now find it unacceptable to buy from IPG at terms that are acceptable to our other customers." Suchomel reiterated to us that the company's terms of sale for ebooks have not changed.

02-23-2012, 06:34 AM

02-23-2012, 06:52 AM

Farmyard antibiotics linked to superbugs

02-23-2012, 07:09 AM

02-23-2012, 10:06 AM

02-23-2012, 10:19 AM
http://www.blacklistednews.com/55_Interesting_Facts_About_The_U.S._Economy_In_201 2/18105/0/0/0/Y/M.html

55 Interesting Facts About The U.S. Economy In 2012

02-23-2012, 12:35 PM
Re-Cycler has been specifically formulated for use in either a soil based media or stand alone hydroponics system. It is non-chemical and non-hazardous. Re-Cycler is not designed as a flushing agent, it is a 100% organic beneficial additive comprised from select strains of hyper-vigorous naturally occurring microorganisms. Re-Cycler works on anything in the plant kingdom from trees and shrubs to your favorite vegetables and flowers. When added to your feeding/watering schedule, Re-Cycler proves to be an extremely valuable “tool” that EVERY gardener should have in his/her arsenal!

Re-Cycler has been designed to feed on insoluble inorganic salts in your system/media. (NOTE: In soils it takes approximately 2-3 weeks to seed the root zone, in hydroponic systems results happen MUCH faster within a day or two).

Re-Cycler protects, and extends the root hairs of your favorite plants enabling them to grow big! It’s a well known fact that build-up of insoluble salts/chemicals contributes to poor system/media conditions that can inhibit healthy plant growth and lead to a myriad of other issues, as any experienced gardener will tell you. The microbes in Re-Cycler break down inorganic salts and other carbon-based compounds into bio-available nutrients the plants can now consume, where without Re-Cycler those nutrients would have simply been flushed out into the environment never to be used, wasted money... Other byproducts of the process such as humates stimulate and add vigor to your favorite flora as a side effect!

Another added benefit of Re-Cycler is that it breaks down toxins such as un-spent herbicides and pesticides in the system/media. They are transformed into fatty acids, CO2 and water. Using Re-Cycler will force the breakdown of other dead organic material like carbohydrates and proteins, and convert them into soluble forms of N and P. Proteins break down into ammonia; Re-Cycler converts it into an assimilated form of nitrate your plants can use.
Another extremely valuable added benefit of using Re-Cycler is that our strains of hyper-vigorous microbes will overgrow harmful pathogenic microbes that may be present in your environment, thus enabling gardeners to be more effective at proactively managing the health of their plants environment. Re-Cycler eliminates nematodes in the larval stages which is good news for your roots. Re-Cycler “fluffs” up the soil making it spongier, which aides in aeration of the root zone enabling the plants to soak up the nutrients more effectively.
As far as the staff goes here at Hydro-Ponics we’re convinced Re-Cycler is THE way to improve and enhance your environment! So stop wasting your money on less effective microbial inoculants and cleaners! Instead Re-Cycle and make your plants and our planet happy and at the same time lessen the amount of work you as a gardener need to perform in order to maintain a clean, healthy system.

02-23-2012, 10:20 PM

American and Chinese scientists are flabbergasted after discovering a giant 298-million-year-old forest buried intact under a coal mine near Wuda, in Inner Mongolia, China.

They are calling it the Pompeii of the Permian period because, like the ancient Roman city, it was covered and preserved by volcanic ash.

Like Pompeii, this swamp forest is so perfectly maintained that scientists know where every plant originally was. This has allowed them to map it and to create the images above. This extraordinary finding "is like Pompeii", according to University of Pennsylvania paleobotanist Hermann Pfefferkorn, who characterized it as "a time capsule."

Pretty amazing stuff.

02-24-2012, 06:03 AM
Very cool!

02-24-2012, 06:08 AM

White House Refuses to Release Email From Monsanto-Linked Lobbyist

The White House is withholding documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by an environmental group that suspects the Obama administration of working with Monsanto-linked lobbyists to defend the planting of genetically engineered (GE) crops in wildlife refuges across the country.

The information currently being withheld includes a portion of a January 2011 email that a top White House policy analyst received from a lobbyist with the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), which represents GE seed companies such as Monsanto and Syngenta.

According to legal filings, the White House withheld the portion of the email because it accidentally contained information on BIO's lobbying strategy that, if released, would cause competitive harm to the group and the companies it represents.

"We suspect the reason an industry lobbyist so cavalierly shared strategy is that the White House is part of that strategy," stated Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) staff counsel Kathryn Douglass, who is arguing the email should be a public record. "The White House's legal posture is as credible as claiming Coca Cola's secret formula was 'inadvertently' left in a duffel bag at the bus station."


Emails Show White House Promotes Genetically Engineered Crops in Wildlife Refuges


Monsanto Found Guilty of Chemical Poisoning in France

Monsanto’s Deadly Concoctions

Farmer Paul Francois was not alone in his quest to hold Monsanto accountable for their actions. He and other farmers affected by Monsanto’s deadly concoctions actually founded an association last year to make the case that their health problems were a result of Monsanto’s Lasso and other ‘crop protection’ products. Their claims were also met by many other farmers. Since 1996, the agricultural branch of the French social security system has gathered about 200 alerts per year regarding sickness related to pesticides. However only 47 cases were even recognized in the past 10 years.

Francois, whose life was damaged by Monsanto’s products, has now set the powerful precedent in the defense of farmers.

“I am alive today, but part of the farming population is going to be sacrificed and is going to die because of this,” Francois, 47, told Reuters.

It is also important to note that Monsanto’s Lasso pesticide was actually banned in France back in 2007 following a European Union directive that came after the ban of the product in other nations.

02-24-2012, 06:33 AM

02-25-2012, 02:35 AM

02-27-2012, 06:36 AM

Teller Reveals His Secrets
The smaller, quieter half of the magician duo Penn & Teller writes about how magicians manipulate the human mind

02-27-2012, 06:38 AM

The Darker Side (of some) Scientists

Incidentally, Hunter was also in his day the top expert on venereal disease, and it’s thought likely he intentionally infected himself with syphilis via his penis for the sake of research. So despite his unconventional sourcing strategy for bodies, at least he wasn’t selfish.

02-27-2012, 06:39 AM

How Raindrops Calm the Wind

New research suggests the drag on falling precipitation helps slow atmospheric circulation. David Biello reports

02-27-2012, 06:39 AM

The Milky Way may be teeming with more than 100,000 free-flying planets for every star -- these are worlds that unlike our orderly solar system are not orbiting parent stars.

02-27-2012, 06:43 AM

Return of Spring-heeled Jack?
Posted on February 25, 2012 by Dr David Clarke

Spring-heeled Jack, the legendary bogeyman familiar to students of British folklore, has been invoked by news of an extraordinary experience with a road ghost in Surrey.

Scott Martin and his family told the Surrey Comet they were confronted by a ‘dark figure with no features’ that vaulted over a dual carriageway and over a 15ft bank whilst on a taxi ride home late on Tuesday, 14 February.

The experience left Scott, his wife and four-year-old son Sonny shocked whilst the taxi-driver ‘admitted he didn’t want to drive back alone’ along the Ewell bypass near Epsom afterwards.

02-27-2012, 06:59 AM

02-27-2012, 07:10 AM

MADISON, Wis. – America’s diner is always open, but police say a 52-year-old man toting a briefcase and packing a stun gun took the slogan too far when he walked into a Denny’s restaurant, claimed to be the new manager and cooked himself a cheeseburger and fries.

A Madison police report gives a flavorful description of the bizarre Tuesday afternoon incident at a Denny’s on Thierer Road:

He never announced he was one of the pros from Dover, but the briefcase toting gentleman wearing a maroon tie and long black trench coat was quite clear: he had been sent by corporate. He claimed he was the new general manager, that he had worked for the restaurant chain for 30-years and was starting his new job - right now.

02-27-2012, 07:21 AM

02-27-2012, 07:26 AM


02-27-2012, 07:28 AM


02-29-2012, 06:04 AM

The Department of Homeland Security Is Searching Your Facebook and Twitter for These Words


02-29-2012, 06:05 AM
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2012/02/linux-computer-the-size-of-a-thumb-drive-now-available-for-preorder.ars?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arstechnica%2Findex+%28Ars+Te chnica+-+Featured+Content%29

Linux computer the size of a thumb drive now available for preorder

02-29-2012, 06:38 AM

Bubbles at the Edge of Space: Merav Opher Is Changing Astrophysics

02-29-2012, 06:57 AM

(CNN) -- The tiny $35 Raspberry Pi computer went on sale today, crashing its distributors' websites on the way to selling out within hours of launch.

Looking like little more than a credit card-sized chip of circuit board, the powerful, fully-programmable PC can plug into any TV and can power 3D graphics and Blu-ray video playback.

Its British-based designers at the Raspberry Pi Foundation hope the computer, which has been in the works for six years, will spark new interest in programming among children.

"The primary goal was to build a low cost computer that every child could own, and one where programming was the natural thing to do with it," said co-founder Robert Mullins.

The computer's miniature uncased circuit board is crowded with an Ethernet connection for the internet, two USB ports and an SD card port for memory and is powered by a standard USB mobile charger.

The low-cost computer runs a free, open-source Linux operating system and does not include a monitor or keyboard.

The first version of the Raspberry Pi will ship soon to developers, and the hope is that they will design software that will enable children to design their own computer programs.

The project came about when a group of Cambridge-based computer programmers noticed that fewer and less-qualified students were applying for computer science courses at Cambridge University.

Inspired by computers like the BBC Micro and the Commodore 64 in the 1980s, the group of engineers set out to build a new programmable machine for a new generation.

"Each year we had fewer and fewer students applying, and most of them hadn't really done much more than write a web page," Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton told CNN. "So we kind of set out to recreate that feeling of the BBC Micro in the hopes it would spark a new wave of kids knowing how to program."

Upton told CNN that an even cheaper version of the computer, which will retail for just $25, is going into production within the next several weeks.

In the long term, he hopes the computer will generate an additional 1,000 engineers in the UK each year -- an "industry-changing development", according to Upton.

"Anyone who expresses a desire to get into designing software should have a platform to do it," he said.

02-29-2012, 07:39 AM





02-29-2012, 07:39 AM

02-29-2012, 07:41 AM

Four Books To Make Your Children Stop Hating America






02-29-2012, 08:14 AM
Found Above A College Urinal


02-29-2012, 08:21 AM

02-29-2012, 10:46 AM

Greek farmers offload crops at cost price

03-05-2012, 06:08 AM


There's no sense in denying it anymore, boys and girls. Get under your desks and put your heads between your knees, because the Mayans were right and we've only got months to live. Don't believe us? Check out this 100 percent real photo of a Mayan pyramid with a column of apocalyptic light shooting out the top!

OK, so the photo is actually from three years ago, and the column of light is (probably) not a sign of oncoming Armageddon. We hope.

What happened was this: Hector Siliezar took three photos of these two kids standing in front of Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza in 2009. Only one of the photos shows this pinkish tower of world-consuming energy, and Siliezar claims he only saw it after looking at the photo, not while taking it.

So, if it's not a sign that the Mayan gods are calling us all home, what is it? A Lovecraftian Great Old One waking from a maddening sleep to send us all into frenzied worship? A mad scientist attempting to reanimate an ancient South American mummy? Someone building a really big lightsaber?

If we're to believe science, it's just an iPhone glitch.

"Of the three images, the 'light beam' only occurs in the image with a lightning bolt in the background," said Jonathon Hill of Arizona State University's Mars Space Flight Facility. "The intensity of the lightning flash likely caused the camera's CCD sensor to behave in an unusual way, either causing an entire column of pixels to offset their values or causing an internal reflection [off the] camera lens that was recorded by the sensor."

So everyone climb out of your fallout shelters and put the canned goods back in the pantry. Still, it's a remarkably cool image, isn't it? With the unsuspecting kids in the foreground and the forbidding storm clouds gathering in the background? But a scientist has now assured us everything is fine, so there's no need to worry at all. Unless the Men in Black got to that scientist first ...

OK, so worry a little.

(via Geekologie)

03-05-2012, 07:41 AM

"Time Crystals" Could Be a Legitimate Form of Perpetual Motion

Physicists explore the concept that cold states of matter can form repeated patterns in time

03-05-2012, 08:20 AM

Proposed US law bans protesting near anyone who rates a Secret Service detail
from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow

HR437, "the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011" makes it illegal to protest in the vicinity of anyone who rates a Secret Service detail (even if you aren't aware of the person's presence), thus sparing politicians and VIPs the ugly and unseemly spectacle of having to confront voters who disagree with their policies. Only three Congressmen voted against it.

On top of that, the punishment can be pretty severe. You can get up to a year in jail for being found guilty of these things, and that jumps up to 10 years if you are carrying a "deadly or dangerous weapon."

As Amash notes, there are legitimate safety concerns to be aware of, and there are issues with doing something that significantly impedes government regulations. But it's really not difficult to see how this bill could very, very easily be stretched to be used against those doing standard protesting against significant political figures.

03-05-2012, 08:25 AM

03-05-2012, 10:00 AM

03-05-2012, 12:09 PM

Tennessee woman threatened after encounter with 'solid black mass'

Continue reading on Examiner.com Tennessee woman threatened after encounter with 'solid black mass' - National ufo | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/ufo-in-national/tennessee-woman-threatened-after-encounter-with-solid-black-mass#ixzz1oH6vKQIg

A Tennessee woman now feels threatened in her normally peaceful home environment after reporting an early morning encounter on her deck with a 6-foot-tall "solid, black mass" with a human shape on February 29, 2012, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.

The woman had just returned from taking her daughter to her bus stop and was having coffee outside on the deck.

"I was standing at the back of my deck," the witness stated. "The deck is 12-plus feet off the ground at the back of the house. It is a wrap around the house deck, ending on each side at the carport. The time was at 6:40 a.m. EST."

The woman's husband was inside at the time, and she was standing on one end of her deck.

"When I turned my head to look, this human-shaped solid black, very dark black, being was standing on the other side of my deck. It was turned towards the field, leaning on the railings, and seemed to be looking into the field. I was speechless, but not scared."

Continue reading on Examiner.com Tennessee woman threatened after encounter with 'solid black mass' - National ufo | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/ufo-in-national/tennessee-woman-threatened-after-encounter-with-solid-black-mass#ixzz1oH70f8DN

03-05-2012, 12:53 PM

The police watched a drug deal in Newport News, Virginia, and built strong evidence against the drug dealers ... then did something unusual: instead of arresting and prosecuring the criminals, the police invited them for a talk instead.

Welcome to the brave new world of drug-market intervention:

POLICE watched seven people sell drugs in Marshall Courts and Seven Oaks, two districts in south-eastern Newport News, in Virginia. They built strong cases against them. They shared that information with prosecutors. But then the police did something unusual: they sent the seven letters inviting them to police headquarters for a talk, promising that if they came they would not be arrested. Three came, and when they did they met not only police and prosecutors, but also family members, people from their communities, pastors from local churches and representatives from social-service agencies. Their neighbours and relatives told them that dealing drugs was hurting their families and communities. The police showed them the information they had gathered, and they offered the seven a choice: deal again, and we will prosecute you. Stop, and these people will help you turn your lives around.

Is it working? Time will tell, but one thing's for sure: the current way of fighting drugs isn't working.

Traditional drugs policing targets both users and dealers. This poses three main problems. First, low-level dealers are eminently replaceable: arrest two and another two will quickly take their places, with little if any interruption to sales. Second, it tends to promote antagonism between the police and the mostly poor communities where drug markets are found. Arrests can seem random: only one in every 15,000 cocaine transactions, for instance, results in prison time, but those other 14,999 sales are just as illegal as that one. In some neighbourhoods, prison is the norm, or at least common, for young men. Police come to be seen as people who take sons, brothers and fathers away while the neighbourhood remains unchanged. Third, prison as a deterrent does not work. If it did, America would be the safest country on earth.

The Economist has the story: Link (Photo: The Wire/HBO via Wikipedia)

03-05-2012, 12:56 PM

03-05-2012, 01:05 PM
There's a thin line between love and hate, and right at that line is this strange but true story of how a South African man is looking to hire a midget to kick his ex-girlfriend in the shin:

“I was recently dumped and require the services of a midget to go and kick my ex-girlfriend in the shins whilst she is at work,” reads Brett’s bizarre Gumtree advert.

“All you need to do is go into the shop, kick her once (not too hard) in the shin, and leave. I’ll supply all the details needed if you are hired.”

He adds that a friend requires a midget to do flick-flacks and breathe fire at their wedding.

During a phone interview with The Star on Thursday, Brett seemed appalled at the suggestion that his advert might be a joke.

“I clearly took it out because I want my ex-girlfriend to be kicked in the shins,” he said. “Midget revenge is the only form of revenge that works these days.”

One thing's for sure: there's no shortage of work for little people. Link


03-06-2012, 06:12 AM