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11-28-2008, 10:58 AM

Some locust plagues don't like it hot

* 00:01 26 November 2008 by Catherine Brahic
* For similar stories, visit the Climate Change Topic Guide

It's not often we can report on some good news associated with climate change. But it seems that warming temperatures could give welcome respite to farmers - in China, at least - by suppressing locust plagues.

Zhibin Zhang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and colleagues have trawled through 1000 years of historical records documenting locust swarms and compared it with 1000 years of temperature, drought and flood data estimates.

They found that the Oriental migratory locust (Locusta migratoria manilensis), which has been named as one of the most damaging agricultural pests in Chinese history, operates on a climate-driven cycle. Every 160 to 170 years, the swarms get bigger then subside again.

Counterintuitively, the timing of the largest swarms coincides with cooler periods.

"The popular view is that global warming may accelerate natural and biological disasters like drought and flood events, and outbreaks of pests, as predicted by the IPCC," says Zhang. "Our results suggest that warming reduced climatic extremes and locust plagues in ancient China."

11-28-2008, 10:59 AM

Oceans Ten Times More Acidic Than Thought

11-28-2008, 11:00 AM

Key Concepts

* A synthetic molecule called peptide nucleic acid (PNA) combines the information-storage properties of DNA with the chemical stability of a proteinlike backbone.
* Drugs based on PNA would achieve therapeutic effects by binding to specific base sequences of DNA or RNA, repressing or promoting the corresponding gene.
* Some researchers working to construct artificial life-forms out of mixtures of chemicals are also considering PNA as a useful ingredient for their designs.
* PNA-like molecules may have served as primordial genetic material at the origin of life.

<img src="http://www.sciam.com/media/inline/triple-helix-designing-a-new-molecule_1.jpg">

11-28-2008, 11:02 AM

Are Modern Humans in Evolution's Fast Lane?

"We are more different genetically from people living 5,000 years ago than they were different from Neanderthals."

John Hawks -University of Wisconsin anthropologist

In a fascinating discovery that counters a common theory that human evolution has slowed to a crawl or even stopped in modern humans, a study examining data from an international genomics project describes the past 40,000 years as a time of supercharged evolutionary change, driven by exponential population growth and cultural shifts.

11-28-2008, 11:02 AM

'Heavy water' could help us live longer
Drinking "heavy water" enriched with a rare form of hydrogen could prolong our lives by up to ten years, it has been claimed.

11-28-2008, 11:03 AM

Key Molecule for Life Found in Habitable Region of the Galaxy

11-28-2008, 11:04 AM

When Intelligent and Natural Design Collide

<img src="http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/images/2008/11/25/desertaerial3.jpg">

11-28-2008, 11:05 AM
Scientific paper concludes that Indian 'red rain' was a possible case of "extraterrestrial life form" (PDF).


11-28-2008, 11:42 AM

The Illusion of Reality
Posted Wednesday, November 26, 2008, at 6:37 PM
<< Previous | Respond | Email link

Life is like a dream -- you never know you're asleep, trapped in an illusion, until you wake up.

In our three-dimensional plane of existence, the world is not what it seems. What appears to be solid is basically empty space. Everything we perceive, such as earth, stars, animals, vegetation, people, buildings, etc., is made up of atoms. An atom consists of electrons orbiting a nucleus of protons. It's an assembly of energy, not solid matter. And it's more than 99 percent empty space.

Therefore, everything we perceive as solid is basically a glob of energy.

Furthermore, what we call "everything" (the universe and beyond) is made up of a vast array of frequencies or vibrations. Human senses are based on frequencies. Humans are only able to visualize "objects" that reflect light. The frequency range of human sight is exceedingly miniscule compared to what exists all around us.

Therefore, humans are unable to perceive alternate dimensions driven by other frequencies.

Eastern religions (Hinduism, Sikhism, etc.) believe the material world is an illusion. They call this illusion Maya. Unlike true reality, which is changeless and eternal, Maya (illusion) is all that has a beginning and an end.

The path of spiritual enlightenment requires understanding of the Seven Pillars of Ancient Wisdom.

1) All things, organic or inorganic, from atom to galaxy, contain a living presence.

2) Every living presence resides within the body of a greater being.

3) Every being is made in the image of an ultimate greater being.

4) The vibration of every living presence is felt by every other living presence in our solar system.

5) Our solar system is constructed from energies which vibrate to seven levels.

6) Energy and matter are interchangeable. The material world is an illusion.

7) There is no death, only a change of state.

In a world where people exist in a temporary life spanning seven or eight decades, feverishly attempting to accumulate things, modern science appears to be catching up with ancient wisdom.

In 1982, physicist Alain Aspect (University of Paris) discovered that "under certain circumstances subatomic particles such as electrons are able to instantaneously communicate with each other regardless of the distance separating them." It doesn't matter if they are 10 feet or 10 billion miles apart, somehow each particle always seems to know what the other is doing. This may be one of the most important discoveries in history.

This revelation would confirm step 4 in the Seven Pillars of Ancient Wisdom, which would seem to lend credence to the previous three steps as well. The universe is basically a living entity made up of living entities.

Physicist David Bohm (University of London) believes Aspect's findings suggest that material reality does not exist. Despite the apparent solidity of the universe, it's actually a hologram (a three-dimensional "image" that is an illusion of a three-dimensional solid reality). Bohm contends that the subatomic particles are able to remain in contact with one another because their separateness is also an illusion.

If true, this would verify step 6 of the Seven Pillars of Ancient Wisdom that the material world is an illusion.

Aspect's discovery would explain such human paranormal phenomena as psychic abilities, remote viewing, out-of-body journeys, near-death experiences, precognitive renderings, premonitions, etc. A woman in Detroit has a bad "feeling" about her son in Seattle just before he has an auto crash, or a person who nurtures his plants with kindness has a garden that flourishes. Everything is connected, regardless of time or distance.

Neurophysiologist Karl Pribram (Stanford University), a proponent of a holographic universe, has theorized that memories are not encoded in neurons of the brain but rather in patterns of nerve impulses that crisscross the entire brain. Experiments were conducted whereby various portions of the brain of a rat were removed yet the rat was still able to perform tasks (its memory remained intact). According to Pribram, the brain itself is a hologram.

The findings of Bohm and Pribram have become known as the "Holographic Paradigm" in the scientific community. While many scientists are skeptical of this theory, there's also a growing group of researchers who believe these speculations may be the most accurate model of reality so far.

There is no physical world.

We are not objects.

We are perceivers of objects.

According to certain Native American folklore, the Great Spirit that lives within the Great Mystery gathered all the animals on Mother Earth and said, "I must conceal the Realization, that humans create their own reality, until they are able to comprehend it."

The Buffalo, most sacred of all animals, said, "I will bury it in the great plains."

"No, humans will dig and find it there," replied the Great Spirit.

The Whale, keeper of ancient knowledge, said, "I will carry it to the bottom of the ocean."

"No, humans will go there one day and find it," replied the Great Spirit.

The eagle, close to the heavens where the Great Spirit dwells, said, "I'll fly it to the moon."

"No, humans will soon go there too and find it," replied the Great Spirit.

The Owl, essence of true wisdom, said, ""Put it inside them."

"Yes," replied the Great Spirit. "It is the last place they will look."

I am an illusion named Bret, masquerading as a human being on a small planet in a far corner of an average galaxy, wondering why.

I am a mystery within the Great Mystery.


Quote for the Day -- "It is your mind that creates the world." Buddha

That is a big fat load.

What Alain Aspect proved was quantum entanglement. It only happens to particles who are correlated because they are some point arose from the same event.

An abstract example is that you take a white and a black ball, you put each in a box, the boxes are identical. You then give a random box to someone to take with them and you keep the other box. If 30 years later someone opens the box you gave away, they will see if they got the white or the black ball, and without even checking your box you will know you got the other one.

Entanglement doesn't allow particles to comunicate across distance, it just changes the probability of a particle being in one of 2 opposite states from 50/50 to 0/100.

The only reason particles are entangled is because 1 particle must be in the opposite state of the other because the states must add up to 0, so if you figure out which state the one particle is in you know which state the other one is in, the trick here being that the particle had that state all along, you just didn't know.

1) All things, organic or inorganic, from atom to galaxy, contain a living presence.

That would be the soul then, lets call things what they are.

2) Every living presence resides within the body of a greater being.

That would be gaia or something similar.

3) Every being is made in the image of an ultimate greater being.

Sounds a lot like genesis to me, god making us in his image.

4) The vibration of every living presence is felt by every other living presence in our solar system.

This sounds like Bologny to me, firstly if this is true it must stretch beyond the solar system, secondly why would only the living interact?

5) Our solar system is constructed from energies which vibrate to seven levels.

Seven huh? Dante's 7 circles of hell? 7 days of creation? 7 chakras? 7 heavens? 7 deadly sins? It is a good thing they went all out and figured this one scientificly, some would suspect they just took the number that is most common across the large religions.

6) Energy and matter are interchangeable. The material world is an illusion.

Since when is energy an illusion? I am sure a lot of my friends working with x-rays will be sad to hear that.

7) There is no death, only a change of state.

Yep, you get reborn, or you go to heaven, or hell, or hades, or the black parade, or New Jersey (only if your name is Jimmy Hoffa).

Why try to disguise religion as science? the people who buy into it will do so no matter what you call it and the people you are trying to imress will see right through you anyway. It is a losing game.

11-28-2008, 12:39 PM
The only reason particles are entangled is because 1 particle must be in the opposite state of the other because the states must add up to 0, so if you figure out which state the one particle is in you know which state the other one is in, the trick here being that the particle had that state all along, you just didn't know.

Wouldn't the particle not "have" that state until the wave-form collapses, that being caused by the observer measuring the state of the other particle?

11-28-2008, 01:27 PM
Wouldn't the particle not "have" that state until the wave-form collapses, that being caused by the observer measuring the state of the other particle?

That really depends what interpretation you go with. If you go with the Copenhagen interpretation that will be the case. If you go with Bohms interpretation or Everetts manyworld interpretation that no.

This is something that has been argued to death and many great minds have failed to come up with a single great solution. The problem is, that we don't know if wave functions actually exist or if they just happen to describe something we can't see. The Copenhagen interpretation says that the wave functions are real and that we collapse them by doing a measurement. Bohm says that wave functions just happen to describe probability of some underlying invisible variables that are always there, so when we apparently force the system to choose, we just get a glimpse of that hidden variable. The Everett many world idea is that all possible situations happen, and we just happen to choose at random which situation we live in, so there is a world where the left particle is up and right particle is down and a world where it is the other way, we only live in one of the worlds and thus only see 1 result that only depends on which world we are in.

12-01-2008, 10:01 AM
Hey guys - i can only say this:

I spent 10 years looking for what was the ultimate truth, the ultimate reality.

Here's what i found:

Reality is truly a reflection of yourself. Granted there are "rules" so to speak the game is played in, but things are waves of probability in life. So if you do something, an action..a behaviour - you'll eventually be confronted with what you said you wouldn't do, be, etc.

I've found that it's best to not have any real definition and to be as open as possible to all that "reality" contains. If somethings are magickal, so be it - that's the world i may choose to live in. If things are pure Darwinian, so be it - you will see that world constructed all around you.

That's the thing that's so amazing. How your imagination constructs the world around you by the words, actions, ideas, behaviours you CHOOSE. Granted some things will be done due to how you are scripted -

But to argue over which is the definitive reality, the ultimate truth... - it's impossible.

However, the more you allow your eye to see - the more you don't see the colours refracted out of a prism. You just see the whole.

12-01-2008, 10:11 AM
Hey guys - i can only say this:

I spent 10 years looking for what was the ultimate truth, the ultimate reality.

Here's what i found:

Reality is truly a reflection of yourself. Granted there are "rules" so to speak the game is played in, but things are waves of probability in life. So if you do something, an action..a behaviour - you'll eventually be confronted with what you said you wouldn't do, be, etc.

I've found that it's best to not have any real definition and to be as open as possible to all that "reality" contains. If somethings are magickal, so be it - that's the world i may choose to live in. If things are pure Darwinian, so be it - you will see that world constructed all around you.

That's the thing that's so amazing. How your imagination constructs the world around you by the words, actions, ideas, behaviours you CHOOSE. Granted some things will be done due to how you are scripted -

But to argue over which is the definitive reality, the ultimate truth... - it's impossible.

However, the more you allow your eye to see - the more you don't see the colours refracted out of a prism. You just see the whole.

Sounds reasonable, a lot better than the religion wrapped in science mumbo-jumbo in the other post.

12-01-2008, 10:30 AM
Sounds reasonable, a lot better than the religion wrapped in science mumbo-jumbo in the other post.

I think many of the "new" sciences echo what has been written about for thousands of years in some instances.

12-02-2008, 06:48 AM

2,700-Year-Old Marijuana Found in Chinese Tomb
Avatar http://www.thestar.com
Posted by ralph 3 days ago View profile
Dean Beeby, THE CANADIAN PRESS: Researchers say they have located the world's oldest stash of marijuana, in a tomb in a remote part of China.

The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly "cultivated for psychoactive purposes," rather than as fibre for clothing or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany. The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China.

The extremely dry conditions and alkaline soil acted as preservatives, allowing a team of scientists to carefully analyze the stash, which still looked green though it had lost its distinctive odour. "To our knowledge, these investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent," says the newly published paper, whose lead author was American neurologist Dr. Ethan B. Russo.

Remnants of cannabis have been found in ancient Egypt and other sites, and the substance has been referred to by authors such as the Greek historian Herodotus. But the tomb stash is the oldest so far that could be thoroughly tested for its properties.

12-02-2008, 06:49 AM

Is the video game industry recession-proof?

12-02-2008, 06:51 AM

A Whisper, Perhaps, From the Universe’s Dark Side

concatenation of puzzling results from an alphabet soup of satellites and experiments has led a growing number of astronomers and physicists to suspect that they are getting signals from a shadow universe of dark matter that makes up a quarter of creation but has eluded direct detection until now.


“Nobody really knows what’s going on,” said Gordon Kane, a theorist at the University of Michigan. Physicists caution that there could still be a relatively simple astronomical explanation for the recent observations.

But the nature of this dark matter is one of the burning issues of science. Identifying it would point the way to a deeper understanding of the laws of nature and the Einsteinian dream of a unified theory of physics.

The last few weeks have seen a blizzard of papers trying to explain the observations in terms of things like “minimal dark matter” or “exciting dark matter,” or “hidden valley” theory, and to suggest how to look for them in particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider, set to begin operation again outside Geneva next summer.

12-02-2008, 06:53 AM
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Federal agents seized a statue of Jesus Christ made out of cocaine and arrested the woman who was attempting to smuggle it across the Mexican border into Texas. The statue, valued at about $30,000, was examined more closely after drug-sniffing dogs took notice. It was being smuggled into the US on behalf of a drug dealer named "The Spider."

12-02-2008, 07:06 AM

Holy smoke, Batman! Are you dead?

Fans up in arms as writer consigns Bruce Wayne to 'a fate worse than death'

The closing page of Morrison's new comic book, released to a mixture of frenzied anticipation and mounting controversy in the US – and in UK newsagents yesterday – ends with an eerie picture of the outfit fluttering to earth. Wayne is missing, presumed dead.

Rumours of Wayne's demise have been circulating for months, not least because of the title of the new DC Comics series, but reached fever pitch this week when Morrison, 48, told an interviewer that the hero faced "a fate worse than death". He added: "This is the end of Bruce Wayne as Batman. But, like I say, it's so much better than death. People have killed characters in the past but to me, that kind of ends the story. I like to keep the story twisting and turning. So what I am doing is a fate worse than death. Things that no one would expect to happen to these guys at all."

<img src="http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/11/27/article-1089680-029D2752000005DC-155_224x340.jpg">

<img src="http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/11/27/article-1089680-029D2755000005DC-980_224x340_popup.jpg">

12-02-2008, 07:10 AM

Mark Benjamin: Last month, Salon published a story reporting that U.S. Army Pfc. Albert Nelson and Pfc. Roger Suarez were killed by U.S. tank fire in Ramadi, Iraq, in late 2006, in an incident partially captured on video, but that an Army investigation instead blamed their deaths on enemy action. Now Salon has learned that documents relating to the two men were shredded hours after the story was published.

Three soldiers at Fort Carson, Colo. — including two who were present in Ramadi during the friendly fire incident, one of them just feet from where Nelson and Suarez died — were ordered to shred two boxes full of documents about Nelson and Suarez. One of the soldiers preserved some of the documents as proof that the shredding occurred and provided them to Salon. All three soldiers, with the assistance of a U.S. senator's office, have since been relocated for their safety.

<object width="400" height="337"><param name="movie" value="http://images.salon.com/video.swf?id=w-69296-2009749"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://images.salon.com/video.swf?id=w-69296-2009749" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400" height="337" allowScriptAccess="always"></embed></object>

12-02-2008, 07:14 AM

CHICAGO, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- More than 36 million Americans, including 12.4 million children, are food insecure, officials of a U.S. non-profit group said.

Feeding America, a U.S. hunger-relief organization, said the actual number of Americans forced to skip meals and survive without adequate nutrition is even greater than the report indicates because it is based on statistics from 2007.

"It is important to note that the U.S. Department of Agriculture numbers released today are 2007 figures and do not take into account the unprecedented economic crisis that our country is currently facing," Vicki Escarra, president of Feeding America said in a statement.

"Feeding America believe that this is just the beginning of a downward trend and we expect things to get worse before they get better," Escarra said.

The organization serves more than 200 food banks that provide food to the vast majority of food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency feeding centers nationwide. More than 4 million people stand in line every week for a few bags of groceries to help feed themselves and their families, Escarra said.

"Our food banks are calling us every day, telling us that demand for emergency food is higher than it has ever been in our history," Escarra said.

12-02-2008, 07:17 AM

Take decisions on drug classification out of UK politician’s hands

Like interest rates, the final decision on the classification of illegal drugs should be free from political influence, say the UK government’s drug advisers

12-02-2008, 07:21 AM

<img src="http://www.foundmagazine.com/images/finds/full/plantotakeoverworld.jpg">

Plan to Take Over World
FOUND by Brooke in Long Beach, Mississippi
Haha, I found this on the floor in my school's hallway... I'm guessing he likes Halo. This child is… well… um.. _______. Yeah!

12-02-2008, 07:28 AM

Study says HIV could be eliminated in a decade

12-02-2008, 07:29 AM

Motionographer: Four international students at Vancouver Film School, Aaron Chiesa, Hendy Sukarya, Lisa Temes and Toru Kageyama created a thought-provoking short film entitled “Iran: a nation of bloggers” for their final term 3 project.

I have a penchant for posting visual essays, and this one is on a topic I knew next to nothing about. The primary thrust of the project is that blogging is a cultural outlet for thousands of Iranians, despite it being a sometimes dangerous practice. Blogging is, in essence, a means of revolution.

Visually, the project benefits from restraint. The visuals are completely justified by the script, with very little eye candy and a deadpan seriousness befitting the subject matter. That doesn’t keep them from being entertaining and engaging, though.

<object width="400" height="225"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2232226&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;sho w_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;ful lscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2232226&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;sho w_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;ful lscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="225"></embed></object><br /><a href="http://vimeo.com/2232226">Iran: A nation of bloggers</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user580903">Mr.Aaron</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.

12-02-2008, 07:30 AM

November 27, 2008

Pakistan Daily published a list of Iraqi academics assassinated in Iraq during the US-led occupation.

This is a particularly meaningful aspect of the Iraq genocide, the extermination of its intellectual classes. It wasn't enough to invade and occupy what was once the most advanced country in the Middle East and destroy its economy. Iraq had to be obliterated, its history re-written and its future denied.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) representative Roger Wright said in the October 2004 report: "Iraq used to have one of the finest school systems in the Middle East." Who remembers now that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was awarded the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) prize for eradicating illiteracy in 1982!

As I wrote two years ago, Freedom! Freedom! Democracy! Democracy! will write the Imperial historians, raping history as the barbarians have raped the Iraqi children. But those children know better. Four hyenas, the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and Iran have destroyed a country that could have been a power in the region and a model for the Arab world. The vultures of the international community have been cooperating and watching the bloodbath waiting to share the rich carcass. The control of the energy resources is just part of the whole picture; Iraq had to be destroyed to allow the so-called reshaping of the Middle East. The notorious "political process" has been a formidable Trojan horse that forced the Iraqi People into a civil war. Far from being a failure, the main mission of this bloody project has been accomplished. Iraq as we knew it has gone, probably forever. God bless America!

And now enjoy the list of Iraqi academics assassinated in Iraq during the US-led occupation. Please, circulate widely.

12-02-2008, 07:33 AM

The film Goth Cruise will be available on IFC onDemand beginning on Thanksgiving day. It's a documentary (or 'gothumentary') about hundreds of goths who go on a Caribbean cruise. Really. Because even goths need sunshine, buffets, and revue-style entertainment sometimes. I spotted the aged, bleach-blonde proprietor of New York's Trash and Vaudeville clothing store speaking in the trailer.

<object width="400" height="321"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1553347&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;sho w_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;ful lscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1553347&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;sho w_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;ful lscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="321"></embed></object><br /><a href="http://vimeo.com/1553347">Goth Cruise the Movie trailer - a 'Gothumentary'</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user517833">jeanie finlay</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.

12-02-2008, 07:35 AM

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Photographer Robbie Cooper made this amazing video for the New York Times by filming from behind a screen. Called "Immersion," it's a series of weirdly hypnotic clips capturing kids' faces as they play video games.

12-02-2008, 07:39 AM

Farmer builds robot army

A Chinese farmer fascinated by technology has built himself 26 robots over the past 30 years.

<img src="http://www.ananova.com/images/web/1457195.jpg">

Wu Yulu, 46, who has only a basic school education, designs the robots himself and builds them from scrap materials.

"When I was 11, one day I was sitting on the doorstep, and while watching villagers passing by I suddenly came up with the idea of building a machine that walks like a man," he told the Beijing Times.

His first robot took several years to build and could only shuffle along in small steps as it could not raise its legs.

But his designs became more and more sophisticated, and he has built robots capable of climbing walls, serving water, lighting cigarettes, playing musical instruments and writing calligraphy.

Wu, who lives near Beijing, sees all the robots as his sons, and names them according to the order in which they were invented, from Wu No.1 through to Wu No.26.

"They are all my sons, so they must bear my surname," he said.

Out of all of his mechanical 'sons', Wu says he loves Wu No.25, a robot which can pull a rickshaw, the best.

Each day, Wu No.25 pulls his inventor around the local area. It can walk for up to six hours on one battery charge.

Wu says he has to sell off some of his robot collection after plunging his family into debt by spending up to two-thirds of his monthly income on his obsession.

12-02-2008, 07:39 AM

Fruit 'n' veg power: How I charged my iPod using an onion soaked in Lucozade

12-02-2008, 07:40 AM

The Ghosts of Desert Storm

Robert C. Koehler:

Seventeen years and three wars later, the ghosts of Operation Desert Storm — the cancers, the chronic headaches and dizziness, the fibromyalgia, the ALS and so much more that have stalked returning vets, whose medical claims have been denied, ignored, relegated to the paper shredder — have just gotten a reality upgrade.

"The extensive body of scientific research now available consistently indicates that Gulf War illness is real, that it is the result of neurotoxic exposures during Gulf War deployment, and that few veterans have recovered or substantially improved with time."

Thus concludes the 452-page report of the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, presented last week to Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake. Suddenly the government has several hundred thousand medical claims emanating from a few months in 1991 it has to start taking seriously — and that's the easy part.

The implications of the congressionally mandated advisory panel's report, chaired by James Binns, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and a Vietnam vet, may not be easy to contain. In the name of sanity and the planet's future, I hope this report blows the hellish toxicity of modern warfare wide open and creates a legal wedge by which the forces of moral outrage can hold governments accountable for what they do ... for what our own government is doing right now.

For 17 years, the VA maintained that the strange, debilitating, sometimes fatal symptoms the vets of Gulf War I — that quick little romp that routed Saddam's army and left America feeling so good about itself — began experiencing was, to the extent that it was anything at all (or anything that had to do with the war), a mental thing, PTSD-induced. Vets learned that fighting the war may have been nothing compared to fighting the VA for treatment and compensation. It was a struggle that thousands didn't survive.

The Binns report estimates that more than a quarter of the GIs deployed during Desert Storm, around 200,000 of them, are suffering in some way from Gulf War Syndrome, and identifies two primary causes: pyridostigmine bromide, an anti-nerve gas medication all troops in the Gulf were required to take, and highly concentrated, DEET-like insect-repellents that were extensively used.

But the neurotoxic hell that is modern war cannot be reduced to two problematic substances. Many of the troops — and, of course, millions of Iraqi and Kuwaiti civilians — were exposed to a wide array of toxic chemicals, which the report did not rule out as contributing factors. These include: the smoke from burning oil-well fires; fumes from poison gas dumps blown up by the Army; anthrax vaccines; and the extremely fine radioactive dust of exploded depleted uranium munitions, which may prove to be the deadliest of all the poisons modern war leaves in its wake.

12-02-2008, 07:42 AM

AIG Pulls Fast One -- "Cash Awards" Going To Managers

12-02-2008, 07:44 AM

Here at Disinformation, being involved with documentary production and distribution, we try to keep up with all the great docs being made. Looking at the reviews for a film I recently watched, the extremely well-made Confessions of a Superhero, I see the word "fascinating" used often, which I believe is a euphemism for "disturbing."

This is not to say this film is without heart — it has a lot of that — and is quite skillful at capturing the lives of these costumed seekers on Hollywood Boulevard. (And thanks to the filmmakers for bringing the Tennessee charm of Jennifer Gerht, who plays Wonder Woman, to the screen : ) Without question, an interesting film and great work by director Matt Ogens and crew:

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12-02-2008, 07:46 AM

Depression 2009: What would it look like?
Lines at the ER, a television boom, emptying suburbs. A catastrophic economic downturn would feel nothing like the last one.

12-02-2008, 07:47 AM
ITN News: A peaceful protest in Iceland against government and banking officials ended with a police charge after hundreds rioted outside a police station.

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12-02-2008, 07:48 AM

Tunkashila: Law of the Sea, Free Energy Economics, Nibiru, Serpentarius
Avatar http://au.youtube.com
Posted by unitednatures 21 hours ago View profile
Teaser for the new activist arthouse documentary, Tunkashila: The Law of the Sea (Maritime Admiralty Law), Sovereignty, Self-Empowerment, Synchronicity, Free Energy Economics, the inner climate change, the Venus Project, Nibiru and the Pagan origins of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Christianity along with the 13th sign of the zodiac — Serpentarius. Featuring Jordan Maxwell, Vandana Shiva, Jacque Fresco, Dr Quantum and the self-destruction of the corporate new world order. COMING SOON

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12-02-2008, 07:49 AM

Scientists Begin to Decode Whale Speak

12-02-2008, 07:59 AM

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← Disabled teen becomes world’s first person to do a backflip in a WHEELCHAIR Shameless self-promotion: The Swift Fox - accessories for urban mobility →
The Nature Of Forgiveness
November 27th, 2008 by TiamatsVision

Once again it’s Thanksgiving in America. After enduring long lines at the liquor and grocery stores, and before deciding to slam a relative’s head in the cranberry sauce, here’s a thoughtful article on forgiveness. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and to all our friends outside the U.S., have a great November 27th!

“Forgiveness can be a very beautiful and healing act. We can learn to forgive ourselves for some perceived inadequacy, or set aside rancor as we come to terms with the harm someone has done. Nonetheless, forgiveness is not something we should either universally or casually hand out. The word “forgive” comes from an early Germanic word meaning “to give whole-heartedly,” and was first derived from the Latin perdonare, meaning to pardon. A pardon is a release from penalty and obligation, something that may be highly inappropriate in the cases of repeated spousal abuse or the continued logging and burning of the world’s vital rainforests.If anything, surely those who cause harm out of self-interest or greed should be held accountable. Perhaps criminals should do acts of service for the people they have robbed, or vainglorious Wall Street managers should pay restitution to the public that they’ve wronged.

It’s important to remember that the opposite of forgiveness is neither hate nor holding a grudge, but holding someone responsible for their words, acts and omissions. And we need to hold each other as well as ourselves accountable for those things unworthy of being excused or condoned, not by punishing wrongdoers or submitting to punishment ourselves, but by insisting that they, like us, are honest about their actions, doing everything possible to rectify, heal and thereby be redeemed.

Redemption through caring and courageous acts is one of the most ennobling and compelling of human accomplishments, which is why it has been a core theme of much of our finest literature and film. This is not to say that it can nullify what we’ve thought and said before. Though I might wish otherwise, doing something right or even noble can’t erase the reality or the results of prior harmful actions. Redeeming ourselves does not “wipe the slate clean” or allow us to “start over,” the acts of which may not necessarily be desirable to us, since we distinguish ourselves through willful shift and conscious transition. We gain inner power not only from what we do, but from how far we have come.”

12-02-2008, 08:00 AM

“A daredevil teenager has become the first person ever to perform a backflip in a wheelchair. Aaron Fotheringham, 16, who is known to friends as ‘Wheels’, finally landed the official world record after learning the amazing acrobatic stunt two years ago. Aaron, who was born with spina bifida and has been in a chair since he was three, said: ‘It feels awesome to have the record.’

The American teenager is also credited with creating the sport of ‘hardcore sitting’ where daring stunts adapted from skateboarding and BMX are performed in a wheelchair. ‘It’s wonderful,’ said his mother, Kaylene Fotheringham after he was accepted by the World Records Accademy last month. ‘We always thought he was the first one to do it but today we know he has the world record.’ He began doing stunts at the age of nine when his elder brother Brian took him to their local skate-park in Las Vegas.Brian encouraged him to go down a ramp and the obsession was born.

Now Aaron gets flown all over the world to perform stunts and spends at least three hours a day practicing.‘I love being in a wheelchair,’ said Aaron. ‘Everyone thinks “Oh you’re disabled that’s such a terrible thing” but I think it’s positive.‘It’s like being able to carry your skateboard everywhere with you. People don’t realise how much can be done in a chair.’”

<img src="http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/11/25/article-0-02934797000005DC-16_468x545.jpg"

12-02-2008, 11:42 AM

Mumbai Terrorists Watch World React With Horror Using BlackBerrys

12-02-2008, 11:49 AM

<img src="http://www.americanchronicle.com/img/galleries/1534/0/mars-log.jpg">

NASA Mars photo reveals strange object

12-02-2008, 11:50 AM

Pot joins the fight against Alzheimer's, memory loss


Eating blueberries can reverse memory loss and may have implications in the treatment of diseases like Alzheimer's, University of Reading scientists claim.

12-02-2008, 11:56 AM

New Video: Metallic Objects Found Near Area of Supposed UFO Crash in Needles, California

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12-02-2008, 12:46 PM
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12-02-2008, 12:52 PM

India's 9/11. Who was Behind the Mumbai Attacks?
Washington is Fostering Political Divisions between India and Pakistan

12-02-2008, 12:53 PM

EXCLUSIVE: Signs Of An Attempted Coup In New Delhi

12-02-2008, 12:54 PM

50 Strange Buildings of the World

12-02-2008, 12:56 PM

Minority Report comes to Britain: The CCTV that spots crimes BEFORE they happen

CCTV cameras which can 'predict' if a crime is about to take place are being introduced on Britain's streets.

The cameras can alert operators to suspicious behaviour, such as loitering and unusually slow walking. Anyone spotted could then have to explain their behaviour to a police officer.

The move has been compared to the Tom Cruise science-fiction film Minority Report (AHEM - Philip K Dick Story), in which people are arrested before they commit planned offences.

12-02-2008, 12:57 PM
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The long awaited DVD Architects of Control Program One: Mass Control & The Future of Mankind is now available at architectsofcontrol.com

This DVD Documentary film produced by Michal Tsarion and Blue Fire Film explores humankind’s future and the post-human world. Will the “perfect” human be a dumbed-down, regimented inhabitant of a cyber purgatory created by unseen elites? Will the children of tomorrow be smiling depressives of technocratic dystopia?

12-03-2008, 05:57 AM

Ohio: Hungry? Turn In Your Guns, Get Food December 3rd, 2008

Via: Beacon Journal:

Sponsors of the Goods for Guns program are hoping that the promise of a full belly will lure people to turn in their guns in exchange for $100 gift cards for Acme Fresh Markets.

The dates for the program, Nov. 21 and 22, were strategically selected this year to coincide with Thanksgiving because it’s a time when thoughts traditionally turn to food, authorities said.

Last year, the event sponsored by the Summit County Crimestoppers, the Sheriff’s Office, the Akron Police Department and several private corporations and nonprofit agencies removed 950 guns from the streets. This year, Crimestoppers hopes to purchase enough gift cards to increase that number and buy 1,200 guns.

In 2007, the program ran out of gift cards before the public ran out of guns.

12-03-2008, 07:50 AM

The strange phenomenon of fungi that shine in Japan

<img src="http://www.rincondelmisterio.com/wp-content/uploads/hongo2.jpg">

12-03-2008, 07:50 AM
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12-03-2008, 08:01 AM
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12-03-2008, 08:08 AM

Acorn Watchers Wonder What Happened to Crop

12-03-2008, 08:25 AM

White possum may have become 'climate change casualty'

12-03-2008, 08:26 AM

<img src="http://cmsimg.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=A9&Date=20081201&Category=NEWS01&ArtNo=812010327&Ref=AR&Profile=1006&MaxW=318&Border=0">

This white raccoon lives in the woods near a Rockledge subdivision. Brevard Zoo officials say they cannot capture and display the rare animal because it is healthy. (For FLORIDA TODAY)

12-03-2008, 08:26 AM

Deer gets revenge after hunter shoots him

SEDALIA, Mo. – A hunter bagged a big buck on the second day of firearms season, but the kill caused him a lot of pain. Randy Goodman, 49, said he thought two well-placed shots with his .270-caliber rifle had killed the buck on Nov. 19. Goodman said the deer looked dead to him, but seconds later the nine-point, 240-pound animal came to life.

The buck rose up, knocked Goodman down and attacked him with his antlers in what the veteran hunter called "15 seconds of hell." The deer ran a short distance and went down, and died after Goodman fired two more shots.

Soon Goodman started feeling dizzy and noticed his vest was soaked in blood.

So he reached his truck and drove to a hospital, where he received seven staples in his scalp and was treated for a slight concussion and bruises.

12-03-2008, 08:28 AM

Sunday, November 30, 2008
Dead Ringers

September 12th 2008 4:23pm. A Metrolink commuter train with 225 aboard slams into Union Pacific freight train on winding route in Chatsworth. It left 24 people dead and almost 150 injured.

On of those who died in that horrible accident was Charles Peck.

Medical examination of his body showed that he had died quickly after the collision, almost instantaneously.

But for hours after his death, his family received a total of 35 calls from his cell phone.

At 9:08PM nearly five hours after the crash, Peck’s fiancé Andrea Katz received one of those calls. But when she answered, all she heard was static. Despite hearing nothing from the other side she told him to hang on and that help was on the way.

Whenever they tried to call him back all the calls were routed to the voicemail.

When the rescue efforts stopped at the scene and the rescue workers turned to the grim task of recovery another call came from his phone and the search crews decided to trace it. They found it had come from the first train, so they went back to scour the rubble in hopes of finding him alive. The last phone call came from Charles Peck’s phone at 3:28AM, almost an hour before they found his lifeless body.

12-03-2008, 08:30 AM

Two red lights stare at Chris Black's motion-controlled camera from an impossible vantage point. Click on the picture to get a closer look. The lights are in the upper center part of the photograph.

<img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_W4i9DhEHP68/STQBzlk-7cI/AAAAAAAAAHg/AAhQClqOLC0/s320/Trail+Cam+Montgomery+030.jpg">

(Source has an enlarged picture so you can see it clearly)

12-04-2008, 06:43 AM

Krampus: The Sinister Sidekick of Santa

A look at one of the lesser known aspects of Christmas-time. Beware, boys and girls, for if you are naughty you may receive a visit from the Krampus! He has a whip and he isn't afraid to use it!

<img src="http://images.stanzapub.com/readers/2008/11/30/card_1.jpg">

12-04-2008, 06:46 AM

Memories may be stored on your DNA

* 02 December 2008 by Devin Powell, Washington DC
* Magazine issue 2684. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.
* For similar stories, visit the The Human Brain and Genetics Topic Guides

REMEMBER your first kiss? Experiments in mice suggest that patterns of chemical "caps" on our DNA may be responsible for preserving such memories.

To remember a particular event, a specific sequence of neurons must fire at just the right time. For this to happen, neurons must be connected in a certain way by chemical junctions called synapses. But how they last over decades, given that proteins in the brain, including those that form synapses, are destroyed and replaced constantly, is a mystery.

Now Courtney Miller and David Sweatt of the University of Alabama in Birmingham say that long-term memories may be preserved by a process called DNA methylation - the addition of chemical caps called methyl groups onto our DNA.

Many genes are already coated with methyl groups. When a cell divides, this "cellular memory" is passed on and tells the new cell what type it is - a kidney cell, for example. Miller and Sweatt argue that in neurons, methyl groups also help to control the exact pattern of protein expression needed to maintain the synapses that make up memories.

They started by looking at short-term memories. When caged mice are given a small electric shock, they normally freeze in fear when returned to the cage. However, then injecting them with a drug to inhibit methylation seemed to erase any memory of the shock. The researchers also showed that in untreated mice, gene methylation changed rapidly in the hippocampus region of the brain for an hour following the shock. But a day later, it had returned to normal, suggesting that methylation was involved in creating short-term memories in the hippocampus (Neuron, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.02.022).

To see whether methylation plays a part in the formation of long-term memories, Miller and Sweatt repeated the experiment, this time looking at the uppermost layers of the brain, called the cortex.

They found that a day after the shock, methyl groups were being removed from a gene called calcineurin and added to another gene. Because the exact pattern of methylation eventually stabilised and then stayed constant for seven days, when the experiment ended, the researchers say the methyl changes may be anchoring the memory of the shock into long-term memory, not just controlling a process involved in memory formation.

"We think we're seeing short-term memories forming in the hippocampus and slowly turning into long-term memories in the cortex," says Miller, who presented the results last week at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC.

"The cool idea here is that the brain could be borrowing a form of cellular memory from developmental biology to use for what we think of as memory," says Marcelo Wood, who researches long-term memory at the University of California, Irvine.

12-04-2008, 06:46 AM

Scientists turn into virtual body snatchers
Virtual reality can lead subjects to see other bodies as their own

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Shaking hands with yourself is an amusing out-of-body experience. The illusion of having your stomach slashed with a kitchen knife, not so much.

Both sensations, however, felt real to most participants in a Swedish science project exploring how people can be tricked into the false perception of owning another body.

In a study presented Tuesday, neuroscientists at Stockholm’s renowned Karolinska Institute show how they got volunteers wearing virtual-reality goggles to experience the illusion of swapping bodies with a mannequin and a real person.

12-04-2008, 06:47 AM

Delinquent Mortgages Set to Nearly Double in 2009
December 3rd, 2008

Via: Wall Street Journal:

The number of consumers with delinquent mortgages is poised to almost double by the end of next year, hitting its highest level in at least 16 years, according to a leading credit bureau.

TransUnion LLC, which analyzed about 27 million consumer records in its database, predicted that the proportion of consumers with mortgages that are 60 days or more past-due will hit 7.17% in the fourth quarter of 2009.

That would be the highest level reached since the Chicago credit bureau — which is releasing the data on Tuesday — first started tracking …

12-04-2008, 09:35 AM
I figured this story would go good in this thread.


BUNA, Texas - The one that didn't get away held an unlikely surprise for a Texas man. The blue-stoned class ring of Joe Richardson, engraved with his name, turned up inside an 8-pound bass 21 years after he lost it while fishing on Lake Sam Rayburn.

"My first reaction was — you gotta be kidding," he said Wednesday.

The fisherman who discovered the tarnished ring inside his catch contacted Richardson on Nov. 28 in Buna, about 100 miles northeast of Houston, after tracking him down with help from the Internet.

12-04-2008, 12:30 PM
For my drum n bass brethren:

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12-05-2008, 11:28 AM
Happiness is contagious, research finds
A study of the relationships of nearly 5,000 people tracked for decades in the Framingham Heart Study shows that good cheer spreads through social networks of nearby family, friends and neighbors.


New Model of Jupiter's Core Ignites Planet Birth Debate
Bruce Dorminey
for National Geographic News
December 4, 2008

Underneath its swirling cloud layers, Jupiter may harbor a solid core roughly equal in mass to 16 Earths—more than twice as large as previously believed.


Something Strange About Saturn

by s hayes, Nov 30, 2008
Theories behind the mysterious hexagon on the surface of Saturn.

Saturn, the sixth planet in our solar system, has caused quite a stir in the news recently when the NASA Cassini Orbiter photographed a six sided geometric shape on the surface of the planet.


Humans 80,000 Years Older Than Previously Thought?


Universe's dark matter mix is 'just right' for life


Tiny 'paddleboat' could ship drugs around the body


Climate history may explain empires' fall


Ghana's 'miracle': Logging underwater forests for exotic timber
Space & Earth science / Environment
Freshly cut trees dry in one of the many sawmills in Kumasi. Ghana which is running short of forests to chop down is about to turn to the dead trees underneath its Lake Volta as a new source of exotic timber one of its top export earners.
Freshly cut trees dry in one of the many sawmills in Kumasi. Ghana, which is running short of forests to chop down, is about to turn to the dead trees underneath its Lake Volta as a new source of exotic timber, one of its top export earners.


Seawater holds key to future food
By Julian Siddle
Science reporter, BBC News

Growing crops in salt water is becoming necessary to overcome shortages of fresh water, say researchers writing in the journal Science.


Brown Dwarfs Really Do Form Like Stars

ScienceDaily (Dec. 4, 2008) — Astronomers have uncovered strong evidence that brown dwarfs form like stars.

Your moment of zen:


Hubble catches an instantaneous glimpse of many hundreds of thousands of stars moving about in the globular cluster M13. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) (http://www.livescience.com/php/multimedia/imagedisplay/img_display.php?s=space&c=&l=on&pic=081204-m13-cluster-02.jpg&cap=Hubble+catches+an+instantaneous+glimpse+of+man y+hundreds+of+thousands+of+stars+moving+about+in+t he+globular+cluster+M13.+Credit%3A+NASA%2C+ESA%2C+ and+the+Hubble+Heritage+Team+(STScI%2FAURA))

12-05-2008, 12:03 PM

New Firefox extension turns Amazon.com into illegal free-for-all

12-05-2008, 12:04 PM

Fast Food Empire Marches On
Avatar http://aht.seriouseats.com
Posted by disinfogreg 2 days ago View profile
Burger King's latest campaign, "Whopper Virgins" (by ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky) aims to determine the winner in the Whopper vs. Big Mac battle by taking both burgers to remote places around the world — such as areas in Thailand, Romania, and Greenland — and conducting tastes tests with people who don't "even have a word for burger."

Backlash against the Whopper Virgins documentary is pervasive. In the Daily News, Marilyn Borchardt, development director for Food First, calls the campaign "insensitive" and points out, "The ad's not even acknowledging that there's even hunger in any of these places." Dunca Riley of the Inquisitr also finds the campaign offensive, while Brian Morrissey of AdFreaks says it's "embarrassing and emblematic of how ignorant Americans still seem to the rest of the world."

Watch some teaser clips of the "documentary":


Fast Food Empire Marches On
Avatar http://aht.seriouseats.com
Posted by disinfogreg 2 days ago View profile
Burger King's latest campaign, "Whopper Virgins" (by ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky) aims to determine the winner in the Whopper vs. Big Mac battle by taking both burgers to remote places around the world — such as areas in Thailand, Romania, and Greenland — and conducting tastes tests with people who don't "even have a word for burger."

Backlash against the Whopper Virgins documentary is pervasive. In the Daily News, Marilyn Borchardt, development director for Food First, calls the campaign "insensitive" and points out, "The ad's not even acknowledging that there's even hunger in any of these places." Dunca Riley of the Inquisitr also finds the campaign offensive, while Brian Morrissey of AdFreaks says it's "embarrassing and emblematic of how ignorant Americans still seem to the rest of the world."

Watch some teaser clips of the "documentary":

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12-05-2008, 12:06 PM
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
10 false flags operations that shaped our world (http://kennysideshow.blogspot.com/2008/12/10-false-flags-operations-that-shaped.html)


12-08-2008, 08:23 AM

Were the Mumbai Terrorists Fueled by Coke?

Did the jihadists who tore up Mumbai last week rely on party drugs usually associated with Western decadence to stay awake and alert throughout their three-day killing spree? Britain's Telegraph newspaper suggests that they did, citing unidentified officials claiming physical evidence shows the assailants used cocaine and other stimulants to sustain their violent frenzy. And if the notion of self-anointed holy warriors on a coke binge sounds incongruous, the report also maintains that the killers imbibed the psychedelic drug LSD while fighting advancing security forces.

"We found injections containing traces of cocaine and LSD left behind by the terrorists, and later found drugs in their blood," the Telegraph was told by one official, whose nationality and relation to the investigation were not specified. "This explains why they managed to battle the commandos for over 50 hours with no food or sleep." (See the terrorism in Mumbai.)

The hallucinogenic and sensory-distorting effects of LSD make it an unlikely combat drug, even for kamikaze assailants who were, after all, seeking to kill as many people as possible before their own inevitable death. But the suggestion that the Mumbai jihadists may have amped themselves up on stimulants typically forbidden by their strict Salafist brand of Islam strikes some experts as plausible, particularly within the twisted jihadist logic in which holy ends justify impious means.

12-08-2008, 08:24 AM

Who Owns What on Television?

<img src="http://neatorama.cachefly.net/images/2008-07/tv-media-octopus.gif">

12-08-2008, 08:26 AM

Rich countries carry out '21st century land grab'

HISTORY may be repeating itself. Until the mid-20th century, many European countries grew rich on the resources of their colonies. Now, countries including China, Kuwait and Sweden are snapping up vast tracts of agricultural land in poorer nations, especially in Africa, to grow biofuels and food for themselves.

The land grabs have sparked accusations of neocolonialism and fears that the practice could worsen poverty. Yet some organisations think this could be a chance for poor countries to trade land and labour for the technology and investment vital for developing their own food and energy production.

The rush for land was triggered by this year's food crisis and the European push for biofuels. The South Korean firm Daewoo made headlines last week when it sought a 99-year lease on 1.3 million hectares of Madagascar to grow maize and oil palm. The deal is far from unusual.

A number of companies are growing sugar cane in Tanzania, for example, to make bioethanol for European countries to meet European Union targets. This year, investors from Gulf states initiated so many farm projects in Africa and south-east Asia that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) urged caution to prevent a political backlash.

"Egypt is investing in Sudan; Libya in Ukraine; Saudi Arabia in Thailand; China in Africa, the Philippines and Russia," says Joachim von Braun, head of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington DC.

As population growth and dwindling oil supplies make farmland the strategic resource that oilfields are now, the hunger for land looks set to increase. China has 20 per cent of the world's people and only 9 per cent of the farmland, and that is dwindling. According to a detailed analysis by the NGO Grain, Chinese companies and the government have since 2007 leased or purchased 2 million hectares of foreign farmland.

Financial firms have been quick to get in on the act too, and are moving their money from food to the land that produces it. The British hedge fund manager Dexion Capital, for instance, plans to invest $270 million in 1.2 million hectares in Australia, Russia and South America.

12-08-2008, 08:27 AM

Papua New Guinea women kill males babies to end tribal war

<img src="http://www.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,,6376834,00.jpg">

* Male children mean more war
* Women sick of the conflict
* Drastic action "will end tribal war"

WOMEN in Papua New Guinea's Highland region are killing their male babies to end a tribal war that has gone on for more than 20 years.

Two women from the Eastern Highlands spoke of the slaughter to PNG's National newspaper during a three-day peace and reconciliation course in the region's capital of Goroka.

Rona Luke and Kipiyona Belas, from two warring tribes, said male infanticide reduced the cyclical payback violence infamous in Highlands tribal fights.

If women stopped producing males, their tribe's stock would go down and this would force the men to end their fight, the women said.

"All the womenfolk agreed to have all babies born killed because they have had enough of men engaging in tribal conflicts and bringing misery to them," Ms Luke said.

The women could not give a figure on how many male babies had been killed.

Ms Belas said getting food was hard as husbands kept fighting and mothers and children were left to fend for themselves.

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The Salvation Army is working with various tribes to bring peace to the warring groups, one particular fight continues after starting in 1986 over sorcery claims.

The Salvation Army told the Australian Associated Press that women were so fed up with the ongoing violence that they were taking drastic steps.

"This situation shows the extreme frustration the women have with the men in these areas," a spokesman said.

12-08-2008, 08:29 AM

Geysers on Saturn's Moon, Enceladus, May Signal Underground Water and Microbial Life

<img src="http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/images/2008/11/28/800pxsaturn_seen_from_enceladus_a_2.jpg">

12-08-2008, 08:30 AM

The purpose of the Psychedelic University is not to polemicize, but to make an example of the psychedelic movement, displaying its radical commitment to the responsible and constructive use of psychoactive substances. Referring to the future of the psychedelic movement, Terence McKenna said, "Pointing back to my notion that the responsibility always rests on us and that you don't want to go out and really form a movement to change those guys or that bureau — I think the thing that should be done is: people who are involved in psychedelics should live life of such examplitude and impeccability that the notion that there was anything shay or wrong or curious about this phenomenon would be ludicrous."

12-08-2008, 08:34 AM

Anti-terror law requires God be acknowledged

Under state law, God is Kentucky's first line of defense against terrorism.

The 2006 law organizing the state Office of Homeland Security lists its initial duty as "stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth."
Click here to find out more!

Specifically, Homeland Security is ordered to publicize God's benevolent protection in its reports, and it must post a plaque at the entrance to the state Emergency Operations Center with an 88-word statement that begins, "The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God."

State Rep. Tom Riner, a Southern Baptist minister, tucked the God provision into Homeland Security legislation as a floor amendment that lawmakers overwhelmingly approved two years ago.

12-08-2008, 08:38 AM

It's official: Men really are the weaker sex

Evolution is being distorted by pollution, which damages genitals and the ability to father offspring, says new study. Geoffrey Lean reports

The male gender is in danger, with incalculable consequences for both humans and wildlife, startling scientific research from around the world reveals.

The research – to be detailed tomorrow in the most comprehensive report yet published – shows that a host of common chemicals is feminising males of every class of vertebrate animals, from fish to mammals, including people.

Backed by some of the world's leading scientists, who say that it "waves a red flag" for humanity and shows that evolution itself is being disrupted, the report comes out at a particularly sensitive time for ministers. On Wednesday, Britain will lead opposition to proposed new European controls on pesticides, many of which have been found to have "gender-bending" effects.

It also follows hard on the heels of new American research which shows that baby boys born to women exposed to widespread chemicals in pregnancy are born with smaller penises and feminised genitals.

"This research shows that the basic male tool kit is under threat," says Gwynne Lyons, a former government adviser on the health effects of chemicals, who wrote the report.

Wildlife and people have been exposed to more than 100,000 new chemicals in recent years, and the European Commission has admitted that 99 per cent of them are not adequately regulated. There is not even proper safety information on 85 per cent of them.

Many have been identified as "endocrine disrupters" – or gender-benders – because they interfere with hormones. These include phthalates, used in food wrapping, cosmetics and baby powders among other applications; flame retardants in furniture and electrical goods; PCBs, a now banned group of substances still widespread in food and the environment; and many pesticides.

The report – published by the charity CHEMTrust and drawing on more than 250 scientific studies from around the world – concentrates mainly on wildlife, identifying effects in species ranging from the polar bears of the Arctic to the eland of the South African plains, and from whales in the depths of the oceans to high-flying falcons and eagles.

It concludes: "Males of species from each of the main classes of vertebrate animals (including bony fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) have been affected by chemicals in the environment.

"Feminisation of the males of numerous vertebrate species is now a widespread occurrence. All vertebrates have similar sex hormone receptors, which have been conserved in evolution. Therefore, observations in one species may serve to highlight pollution issues of concern for other vertebrates, including humans."

12-08-2008, 08:39 AM

KBR Sued Again, Featuring Dogs Running Around With Human Arms In Their Mouths

12-08-2008, 11:27 AM

Food vs. Fuel: Saltwater Crops May Be Key to Solving Earth's Land Crunch

12-08-2008, 11:28 AM
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/38913/title/Nanosilver_Disinfects_%E2%80%94_But_at_What_Price% 3F

Nanosilver disinfects — but at what price?

A broad array of consumer and medical products employ billionths-of-a-meter scale silver particles as embedded disinfectants. A study now suggests that if those nanoparticles get loose and into the body, they might wreak havoc with the human immune system. Documented effects occurred at very low concentrations — levels as minute as parts per trillion or even, sometimes, one-thousandth that much (i.e. parts per quadrillion).

Perturbing immunity could, of course, be very bad.

12-08-2008, 11:30 AM

KopBusters bust cops for busting Christmas tree grow operation
December 7th, 2008 by Klintron

KopBusters rented a house in Odessa, Texas and began growing two small Christmas trees under a grow light similar to those used for growing marijuana. When faced with a suspected marijuana grow, the police usually use illegal FLIR cameras and/or lie on the search warrant affidavit claiming they have probable cause to raid the house. Instead of conducting a proper investigation which usually leads to no probable cause, the Kops lie on the affidavit claiming a confidential informant saw the plants and/or the police could smell marijuana coming from the suspected house.

The trap was set and less than 24 hours later, the Odessa narcotics unit raided the house only to find KopBuster’s attorney waiting under a system of complex gadgetry and spy cameras that streamed online to the KopBuster’s secret mobile office nearby.

12-08-2008, 11:30 AM

Alchemy of Enlightenment

Tantra is the original ‘holistic’ way of life, yoking body, mind and spirit into living life as a whole. Polarities of good and evil, pure and impure, matter and spirit are done away with as unnecessary barriers to a direct experience of cosmic consciousness. With great finesse, tantra uses material reality for spiritual unfoldment.

Lets play an associative game. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Tantra’? If you aren’t a practitioner or scholar or one who has delved into Tantra, chances are you will think ‘black magic’, ‘human sacrifice’, ‘skulls and bones’. You will also probably experience an adrenaline rush that screams, "Danger ahead. Run!"

This ‘fight or flight’ response to Tantra among most of us in urban India is not surprising. Ghastly news reports of criminal activities like murder and rape by so-called ‘tantriks’ are frequent, as are old wives’ tales of black magic where the villain is invariably an evil ‘tantrik’. Bollywood films and TV serials that portray tantriks as bizarre, crazy and villainous have reinforced this negative image. So that to a lot of us, Tantra feels like a cross between voodoo, the occult, and sorcery—bad stuff done by evil people.

For our counterparts in the West, the association is slightly different. Westerners who are ‘into’ eastern forms of spirituality have at some point or another heard of Tantra, and nine times out of ten, it has been in the context of sex. If one Google searches for ‘tantra’ on the internet, an overwhelming majority of websites that turn up on the computer screen promise ‘sacred sex’ and offer steamy pictures of acrobatic sexual positions.

So what is Tantra, really? What best describes its practices—sex or sorcery? Since reality is never black or white but most often a synthesis of the two, there are several layers and shades to Tantra that belie a narrow either/or view.

12-08-2008, 11:34 AM

KopBusters bust cops for busting Christmas tree grow operation
December 7th, 2008 by Klintron

KopBusters rented a house in Odessa, Texas and began growing two small Christmas trees under a grow light similar to those used for growing marijuana. When faced with a suspected marijuana grow, the police usually use illegal FLIR cameras and/or lie on the search warrant affidavit claiming they have probable cause to raid the house. Instead of conducting a proper investigation which usually leads to no probable cause, the Kops lie on the affidavit claiming a confidential informant saw the plants and/or the police could smell marijuana coming from the suspected house.

The trap was set and less than 24 hours later, the Odessa narcotics unit raided the house only to find KopBuster’s attorney waiting under a system of complex gadgetry and spy cameras that streamed online to the KopBuster’s secret mobile office nearby.

12-08-2008, 12:21 PM

Slaves helped build White House, U.S. Capitol

* Story Highlights
* Obamas will make history as first African-American first family in White House
* Slaves often worked seven days a week to build White House, U.S. Capitol
* Twelve presidents owned slaves; eight owned slaves while in office
* Historian: Obamas moving into White House "a very great and hopeful sign"

12-08-2008, 12:22 PM

DNA database 'breach of rights'
DNA strand
Thousands of DNA samples from innocent people are currently retained

Two British men should not have had their DNA and fingerprints retained by police, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.

12-08-2008, 12:22 PM

Pakistani Security Consultant Calls Mumbai Attacks A "Botched" False Flag
Says Hindu zionists and Mossad behind attacks meant to imitate 9/11

12-08-2008, 12:24 PM

New Technology Could Power Laptop For Days
Revised Hazardous Materials Regulations Mean Fuel-Cell Powered Devices Are Closer To Market

12-08-2008, 12:26 PM

The World is Waiting Just For … What?

Dan Eden | Viewzone 10,348 views
November 30, 2008

On September 11, 2001, the normally flat line of the boxes began to peak, warning of an event of terrible proportions a full 4 hours before the first plane hit the World Trade Center! Could the collective human mind have “known” what was going to happen?…

I am a skeptic. I don’t believe in fortune tellers or psychics. I certainly doubted that I could forsee the future. But, as I did the research for this article, I discovered that I was wrong. Everyone can see into the future and we do it all the time.
Ooop! That wasn’t supposed to happen

Our journey starts with an experiment conducted in 1976. Dr. Kornhuber asked a number of volunteers to be wired with EEG electrodes to measure their brain activity. He then asked the volunteers to flex the index finger of their right hand, suddenly and at various times of their own choosing. He wanted to measure how fast it took for the mental decision to move the finger to actually make the finger move. His results were not what he expected.

Kornhuber expected to find a sharp peak in electrical activity when the decision was consciously made, at which point he would begin timing the trials. However, what he found is remarkable, namely that there is a gradual build-up of recorded electric potential for a full second, or perhaps even up to a second and a half, before the finger is actually flexed. This seems to indicate that the conscious decision process takes over a second in order to act! Even more surprising was that the volunteers were not aware of this delay and believed they were acting spontaneously and instantly.


<iframe src="http://gcpdot.com/gcp.html" height="48" width="48" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0" ></iframe>

What color is this dot?

[The dot is updated every minute. It's usually green or yellow. If it changes to orange or red... something bad may happen!]

The colored dot above shows the current status indicator for the Global Consciousness Project (GSP). It’s linked to the Global Consciousness computer. It changes to different colors depending on the results of more than 68 “black boxes” or “eggs” (as they are now called) located all over the globe and sampled many times each second.

The color coding represents the level of coherence or correlation among the eggs, which is reflected in the probability of the Chisquare. The expected level is about 50%, and big shifts in either direction are notable. The GCP’s formal testing looks for increased interegg correlation, which is represented here by the warm colors, orange and red. That means something’s disturbing the global consciousness… possibly indicating that something bad is about to happen!

* Blue starts to fade in at 90% and above.
* Green represents about 50%
* Yellow starts fading in from green at 40%.
* Orange fades in at 15% or so.
* Red is 5% which is regarded as “significant”.
* Bright red is 1%, or odds of 1 in 100.

Click on the dot for more details.

12-08-2008, 12:31 PM

Ancient city discovered deep in Amazonian rainforest linked to the legendary white-skinned Cloud People of Peru

<img src="http://www.redicecreations.com/ul_img/5409chachapoyas1.jpg">

An ancient Chachapoyas village located close to the area where the lost city was found

<img src="http://www.redicecreations.com/ul_img/5409chachapoyas3.jpg">

The Chachapoyas, also called the Warriors of the Clouds, were an Andean people living in the cloud forests of the Amazonian region of present-day Peru

12-08-2008, 12:41 PM

Were the Mumbai Terrorists Fueled by Coke?

Did the jihadists who tore up Mumbai last week rely on party drugs usually associated with Western decadence to stay awake and alert throughout their three-day killing spree? Britain's Telegraph newspaper suggests that they did, citing unidentified officials claiming physical evidence shows the assailants used cocaine and other stimulants to sustain their violent frenzy. And if the notion of self-anointed holy warriors on a coke binge sounds incongruous, the report also maintains that the killers imbibed the psychedelic drug LSD while fighting advancing security forces.

"We found injections containing traces of cocaine and LSD left behind by the terrorists, and later found drugs in their blood," the Telegraph was told by one official, whose nationality and relation to the investigation were not specified. "This explains why they managed to battle the commandos for over 50 hours with no food or sleep." (See the terrorism in Mumbai.)

The hallucinogenic and sensory-distorting effects of LSD make it an unlikely combat drug, even for kamikaze assailants who were, after all, seeking to kill as many people as possible before their own inevitable death. But the suggestion that the Mumbai jihadists may have amped themselves up on stimulants typically forbidden by their strict Salafist brand of Islam strikes some experts as plausible, particularly within the twisted jihadist logic in which holy ends justify impious means.



The cresent moon worn always at Shiva's crown (head) is said to connect Shiva to SOMA:

from wikipedia...
In Hindu art, the god Soma was depicted as a bull or bird, and sometimes as an embryo, but rarely as an adult human. In Hinduism, the god Soma evolved into a lunar deity. [Isis/Ishtar/Mary] The moon is the cup from which the gods drink Soma, and so Soma became identified with the moon god Chandra. A waxing moon meant Soma was recreating himself, ready to be drunk again. Alternatively, Soma's twenty-seven wives were the star goddesses, the Nakshatras - daughters of the cosmic progenitor Daksha - who told their father that he paid too much attention to just one of them, Rohini. Daksha subsequently cursed Soma to wither and die, but the wives intervened and the death became periodic and temporary, and is symbolized by the waxing and waning of the moon.

Terence McKenna, the former esoteric psychedelic enthusiast and intellectual, believed that soma was a hallucinogen, but was puzzled by its apparent complete, cultural disappearance . "The 9th Mandala of the Rig Veda especially goes into great detail about Soma and states that Soma stands above the Gods. Soma is the supreme entity."

There are numerous mountain regions in the northwest Indian subcontinent which have cool and dry conditions where soma plant can grow. In later Vedic texts the mention of best soma plant coming from Kashmir has been mentioned. This is also supported by the presence of high concentration of Vedic Brahmans in Kashmir up to the present day who settled there in ancient times because of the easy availability of soma plant.

New archeological discovery of ancient Aryan ruins found in Turkmenistan has shown that soma was probably coming from their culture. Archeological researches show that Aryan soma drink consisted of mixture of opium, cannabis and Ephedra.

From the late 1960s onwards, several studies attempted to establish soma as a psychoactive substance. A number of proposals were made, including an important one in 1968 by R. Gordon Wasson, an amateur mycologist, who asserted that soma was an inebriant, and suggested fly-agaric mushroom, Amanita muscaria, as the likely candidate. Wasson and his co-author, Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, drew parallels between Vedic descriptions and reports of Siberian uses of the fly-agaric in shamanic ritual.

In Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel Brave New World, Soma is a popular dream-inducing drug. It provides an easy escape from the hassles of daily life and is employed by the government as a method of control through pleasure.

It came to light earlier this week through toxicology reports, and syringes found on the scene that the suspected gunmen had traces of LSD, Cocaine and other amphetamine/steroids in their blood systems...


The "official" story is that these "highly" trained Islamic "terrorists" (for which drugs and alcohol are strictly forbidden) used this bizarre cocktail to stay awake during their siege of Mumbai. Personally, I can't think of a worse drug choice than LSD to ingest before going on a commando-style killing spree...besides the obviously mind-altering hallucinatory effects, the mix might have had legs for 12 to 15 hours but then it would likely have required another 12 to 15 hour period to sleep it off; without them being literally dead on their feet...something doesn't add up here. It is my belief that perhaps these individuals had attempted to create their own bathtub batch of SOMA, looking for diviness from The DESTROYER in their acts...however, this would more likely mean the men were of the Hindu faith (or none at all) and not radical Muslims.

12-08-2008, 12:56 PM

Otto the octopus wreaks havoc
A octopus has caused havoc in his aquarium by performing juggling tricks using his fellow occupants, smashing rocks against the glass and turning off the power by shortcircuiting a lamp.

12-08-2008, 12:58 PM

Dogs can be jealous, say scientists
Dogs are prone to complex emotions such as jealousy and pride, according to scientific research that sheds new light on their relationship with humans.

12-08-2008, 01:02 PM

Catching a cold sore puts you at risk of Alzheimer's disease, mounting evidence suggests.


Virus clue to cause of Alzheimer’s
Cheap cold sore drugs could offer best treatment yet

12-08-2008, 01:05 PM

Mormon missionaries find sasquatch print
Published: December 04, 2008 10:00 AM
Updated: December 04, 2008 2:54 PM


Two missionaries with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints received a scare on the night of Dec. 2 when they saw what they think was a set of sasquatch footprints outside of their Burns Lake home.

Tyler Beck and Brad Blazzard are in B.C. for two years, rotating in different communities throughout the Smithers and Burns Lake area for the past seven months.

"The first thing we thought was that someone was playing a trick on us," Beck said."But we don't know anyone our age who would do that and our house in on the southside, so pretty much in the middle of nowhere."

The footprints, which Beck said was about 20 inches long is right in front of Beck's porch, leading to the path where the pair keep their wood shed.

Beck said prior to finding the footprint at 9:30 p.m. on the night of Dec. 2, he didn't really believe in the possibility of bigfoot.

"I still don't know what to think," he said. "I have heard some pretty ridiculous things about bigfoot but now I am leaning toward the edge of thinking it may be possible."

The house sits in front of a lake and Beck said in the four-and-a-half months he has been there, he has seen all manner of coyotes and wolves. This is the first time he has seen any sign of the fabled creature.


Immortal Sasquatch still immune to cynics

12-08-2008, 01:06 PM

Further evidence has emerged that King Edward VIII was seeing a mystic during the abdication crisis, prompting the Archbishop of Canterbury to intervene.

12-08-2008, 01:07 PM

Hacker McKinnon given yet another lifeline against US extradition

12-08-2008, 09:21 PM

Pakistani Security Consultant Calls Mumbai Attacks A "Botched" False Flag
Says Hindu zionists and Mossad behind attacks meant to imitate 9/11

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12-10-2008, 11:28 AM

<img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v351/jakub4/laura.jpg">

Last night's episode of FOX's 'Family Guy' featured the phrase "Laura Bush killed a guy" repeated throughout the half hour. The line refers to the fact that, at age 17, Laura Bush (then Laura Welch) ran a stop sign while driving, killing a young man in another vehicle. Although it has been speculated that Laura may have been intoxicated, the accident was not investigated as a crime. Out of nowhere, the 'Family Guy' episode has propelled searches concerning the story to the top of Google trends.

12-11-2008, 06:32 AM

Humans 80,000 Years Older Than Previously Thought?

Modern humans may have evolved more than 80,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study of sophisticated stone tools found in Ethiopia.

12-11-2008, 06:33 AM

Hidden Travels of the Atomic Bomb

WILLIAM J. BROAD, NY Times: In 1945, after the atomic destruction of two Japanese cities, J. Robert Oppenheimer expressed foreboding about the spread of nuclear arms. “They are not too hard to make,” he told his colleagues on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, NM. “They will be universal if people wish to make them universal.”

That sensibility, born where the atomic bomb itself was born, grew into a theory of technological inevitability. Because the laws of physics are universal, the theory went, it was just a matter of time before other bright minds and determined states joined the club. A corollary was that trying to stop proliferation was quite difficult if not futile.

But nothing, it seems, could be further from the truth. In the six decades since Oppenheimer’s warning, the nuclear club has grown to only nine members. What accounts for the slow spread?

Two new books by three atomic insiders hold out hope. Neither book endorses Oppenheimer’s view that bombs are relatively easy to make. Both document national paths to acquiring nuclear weapons that have been rocky and dependent on the willingness of spies and politicians to divulge state secrets.

12-11-2008, 06:44 AM

Getting high on HIV drugs in S Africa

Anti-retroviral drugs used to treat HIV/Aids are being bought and smoked by teenagers in South Africa to get high.

Reports suggest that the drugs are being sold by patients and even healthcare staff for money.

Schoolchildren have been spotted smoking the drugs, which are ground into powder and sometimes mixed with painkillers or marijuana.

Aids patients themselves have been found smoking the drugs instead of taking them as prescribed.

12-11-2008, 06:45 AM

Sweet Honey in the Block
Despite Bans, City Rooftops Become Hives of Activity

<img src="http://www.ediblemanhattan.com/content/images/stories/issues/Fall08/beekeeper.jpg">

Parisians covet the honey of their urban terroir, giving the city’s bees prime real estate in the ritzy neighborhoods around the Opéra and Jardin de Luxemborg. London’s bees were recently awarded best in show—their honey came out top in England’s National Honey competition. Stateside, Bay Area bees give San Franciscans one more reason to feel superior to New Yorkers. Even Chicago, hell, even Dallas has bees on top of municipal buildings, including, in Chicago’s case, City Hall.

But in New York, bees are reprobate and illegal. They appear in the City Health Code’s Section 161.01, along with an enormous list of animals “naturally inclined to do harm or capable of inflicting harm,” lumped in with the truly ferocious/impractical—polar bear, cougar, alligator, whale—and a menagerie of the truly obscure. Actively encouraged by almost every other self-respecting cultural capital, the common honey bee, according to Health Department logic, must be banished along with binturongs, sea kraits, coatimundis, numbats and zorilles. Whatever these other animals are, I bet they don’t pollinate much or produce any honey.

12-11-2008, 07:33 AM

Vat grown meat - pros and cons
December 10th, 2008 by Klintron

This is a pretty good introduction to the issues surrounding vat grown meat. We covered a lot of this in the food session at Cyborgcamp, which was my favorite session. I’m in favor of vat grown meat, if it can be cleanly manufactured and reasonably safe.

In the “pro” column, vat grown meat may:

Be tasty. The yuck factor may be temporary and overblown. PETA co-founder and president Ingrid Newkirk told me that she attempted to serve vegetarian hot dogs at a baseball game in Virginia just 12 years ago. The baseball fans recoiled and reached for the real ones. “Do you know what’s in a real hot dog?” she asked in disbelief. “Pigs anuses, bits of their inner snouts, nipples, tail, and fecal matter?” The point is that a food’s acceptance is cultural. “So it’s not really that there’s a grossness factor [to test-tube meat],” she insists. “It’s a visceral reaction to something new. A new generation will come along and not believe that generations before them actually ate the decomposing corpses of tortured animals.”

Be no less natural than, say, yogurt, cheese, or bread, which, according to a New Harvest FAQ, “all involve processing ingredients derived from natural sources. Arguably, the production of cultured meat is less unnatural than raising farm animals in intensive confinement systems, injecting them with synthetic hormones, and feeding them artificial diets made up of antibiotics and animal wastes.”

12-11-2008, 07:35 AM

A Handgun for the Handicapped

<img src="http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/12/08/gallery/palm-pistol-324x205.jpg">

“The developers of a conceptual, ergonomic 9mm handgun — designed for people crippled by arthritis, muscular dystrophy, or similar conditions that render them too weak to operate normal handguns — hope it will eventually be considered a Class 1 Medical Device. The single-shot gun, dubbed the Palm Pistol, is “an adaptive tool that allows someone otherwise incapable of handling a revolver or semiautomatic weapon to operate one,” said Matthew Carmel of Constitution Arms, the New Jersey-based company developing the gun.

If the gun were designated as a medical device, doctors could eventually write prescriptions for it and then be reimbursed by Medicare. The proposed Daily Activity Assist Device would be symmetrical, ambidextrous, and made largely of stainless steel. For the gun to be fired, two mechanical safeties must be depressed with the fingers on either side of the barrel before the trigger, located on the top and bottom of the gun, is pressed by the thumb. A three-digit combination lock is set opposite to the loading button to help prevent accidental discharge.

The Palm Pistol would hold a single cartridge, loaded by pressing a button in the middle of the combined stock and receiver, which swings to the side. “A single shot means it’s clearly for self-defense,” said Carmel. Depending on sales of the single-shot version, he says a multiple-shot version could be possible.”

12-11-2008, 08:00 AM

Whistle-Blowers in Chinese City Sent to Mental Hospital

12-11-2008, 11:50 AM

A Handgun for the Handicapped

<img src="http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/12/08/gallery/palm-pistol-324x205.jpg">

“The developers of a conceptual, ergonomic 9mm handgun — designed for people crippled by arthritis, muscular dystrophy, or similar conditions that render them too weak to operate normal handguns — hope it will eventually be considered a Class 1 Medical Device. The single-shot gun, dubbed the Palm Pistol, is “an adaptive tool that allows someone otherwise incapable of handling a revolver or semiautomatic weapon to operate one,” said Matthew Carmel of Constitution Arms, the New Jersey-based company developing the gun.

If the gun were designated as a medical device, doctors could eventually write prescriptions for it and then be reimbursed by Medicare. The proposed Daily Activity Assist Device would be symmetrical, ambidextrous, and made largely of stainless steel. For the gun to be fired, two mechanical safeties must be depressed with the fingers on either side of the barrel before the trigger, located on the top and bottom of the gun, is pressed by the thumb. A three-digit combination lock is set opposite to the loading button to help prevent accidental discharge.

The Palm Pistol would hold a single cartridge, loaded by pressing a button in the middle of the combined stock and receiver, which swings to the side. “A single shot means it’s clearly for self-defense,” said Carmel. Depending on sales of the single-shot version, he says a multiple-shot version could be possible.”

Aside from the fact that many people with severe arthritis can't spread their fingers that far apart to hold that thing.

Why would anyone ever consider a gun to be a medical device? unless people are going to use it to rob a pharmacy to get their methotrexate I can't see any medical use for it.

12-11-2008, 11:54 AM
Someone may try to chair jack you

12-11-2008, 12:19 PM

What Makes The Heart 'Tick-tock'

ScienceDaily (Dec. 8, 2008) — Researchers have new evidence to show that the heart beats to its own drummer, according to a report in the December issue of the journal Cell Metabolism. They've uncovered some of the molecular circuitry within the cardiovascular system itself that controls the daily rise and fall of blood pressure and heart rate. The findings might also explain why commonly used diabetes drugs come with cardiovascular benefits, according to the researchers.

12-11-2008, 12:20 PM

Mystery Pyramid Built by Newfound Ancient Culture?
Alexis Okeowo in México City
for National Geographic News
December 8, 2008

Several stone sculptures recently found in central Mexico point to a previously unknown culture that likely built a mysterious pyramid in the region, archaeologists say.

12-11-2008, 12:21 PM

Awesome or Off-Putting is a weekly delve into cryptozoology, ufology, aliens, medical marvels, scientific wonders, secret societies, government conspiracies, cults, ghosts, EVPs, myths, ancient artifacts, religion, strange facts, odd sightings or just the plain unexplainable.

If you live in a Filipino village with an economy primarily based on fishing, it could present quite a problem if five monsters suddenly show up in your water keeping everybody land-locked out of fear. Some say this is what caused the current world-wide economic meltdown. Others claim we just made that up right now.

Still others claim five snake-like black beasts did show up in the local waters of a Philippine island of Luzon.

In November of 2002 a Filipino boy reported seeing a big black creature swimming near his village. He thought he was seeing a log until the thing moved - showing off a little more of its shape. The description now given it is that it looked like a cross between a catfish and a shark. The boy screamed, bringing other locals to his aid - but the creature was gone.

About two months later a a whole bunch of people reported seeing the same thing at the same time - a creature measuring three feet wide and seven feet long. Their description was that the creature seemed to be rolling as it swam down stream.

Pandemonium ensued. As the website American Monsters puts it:

“Although there are no accounts of malicious river monsters in any Aeta lore, the tribal leaders have taken drastic actions in order to avoid any civilian casualties. In the small village of Labuan, children are no longer allowed to bathe or play in the river and men and women have ceased fishing altogether, forcing the members of their community to subsist on a diet whose sole source of protein consists of captured frogs.”

Via a local newspaper tribal leaders requested the Philippine government to send a scientist for the purpose of getting their people mostly off of the all-frog diet. Their request was granted, and without seeing anything, said scientist determined a school of fish was causing the madness.

Not much of an answer, right? Well don’t fret - the Sci Fi channel is on it. Their show Destination Truth reportedly investigated things. They didn’t find anything either. Now you can fret.

Lastly - there is at least one strange guess as to where the creatures came from. There is an abandoned gold mine relatively close to the village with the sightings. While it was operating it dumped tons of mercury into the water. According to PinatuboMonster.com:

“Another theory often disregarded is that the Pinatubo Monster is the product of toxic waste dumped into the river creating new mutant hybrid creatures…Since the locals have stopped fishing for safety reasons, we have yet to hear of any reports of fish being toxic or causing birth defects in villages.”

12-11-2008, 12:23 PM

09-Dec-2008: The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has discovered carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting another star. This is an important step along the trail of finding the chemical biotracers of extraterrestrial life, as we know it.

12-11-2008, 12:24 PM

Taking asteroids seriously

Asteroids are sexy again.

Sure, in 1998 we had two blockbuster movies ("Armageddon", which sucked, and "Deep Impact" which was excellent) showing us that asteroid and comet impacts could generate giant tsunamis, wipe out all life, cause lots of quick-cut camera shots, make Ben Affleck cry, and so on, but in the intervening years they haven’t gotten as much attention. There have been documentaries on TV and some coverage in the dead tree media, but that’s about it.
Artist drawing of an asteroid entering Earth’s atmosphere

But in the past couple of weeks there’s been a resurgence of interest. Of course, having three big, bright fireballs lighting up the skies recently didn’t hurt: the one in Darfur months ago, or the one in Canada weeks ago, or the one in Colorado the other night (which I missed, dagnappit!). Maybe it was the publishing of a brilliant book with a whole chapter dealing with asteroid impacts. Hard to say.

But most likely it was the reporting on findings from panels of top-level scientists on the topic that’s caused a mini-flurry of stories. The BBC news had a story on it just the other day. They interviewed Professor Richard Crowther, chair of the UN Working Group on Near Earth Objects (NEOs); and as you might expect, his conclusion was that we need to get off our asteroids and do something:

The document says most asteroids entering the Earth’s atmosphere are small and burn up before reaching the surface. But it is the larger ones - perhaps 200m or more across - that would need to be deflected away from a collision course with the Earth.

Even a rock 50 meters across could take out a city, exploding high in the atmosphere and generating a devastating shock wave and fireball. But it’s literally impossible to find asteroids that small very long before impact. 150 meters or so is a reasonable size to find, and that’s also about the size where they start doing damage on a large scale.

The UK newspaper The Guardian also picked up on this story, talking about (what I think is) a different group called the International Panel on Asteroid Threat Mitigation:

The international community must begin work now on forging three impact prevention elements - warning, deflection technology and a decision-making process - into an effective defence against a future collision,’ said the International Panel on Asteroid Threat Mitigation, which is chaired by former American astronaut Russell Schweickart. The panel made its presentation at the UN’s building in Vienna.

This is an important point, We need to find these suckers, we need to understand what to do, and we need to understand how to do it. Think of it this way: we find an asteroid 300 meters across, and calculate it will hit in Germany. Uh oh! So we launch a rocket, use our tech, and push it out of the way… kinda. Something goes wrong, and it only gets nudged. We recalculate the path… and find out it will now hit Pakistan. Oops! Their government might be a little ticked over such a thing, so we need to have some sort of process in place to deal with these (fairly realistic) issues.

I’m glad that scientists are able to get their reports out to the public, and I certainly hope the UN takes the threat seriously — they will meet in February to discuss the issue. This is a global problem, and needs to be dealt with on an international scale.

12-11-2008, 12:24 PM

<img src="http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2008/image08/081208venus.jpg">

The light from Venus resembles frequencies seen in an electric discharge through ionized gas.

New images from the European Space Agency's Venus Express are said to reveal a "mysterious" chemical that absorbs ultraviolet light. The variation in molecular density causes the Venusian clouds to absorb different frequencies of UV light, creating the bright and dark zones seen in images from space.

Ultraviolet light reveals cloud structures and how the 300-kilometer-per-hour wind creates turbulence and layering within them. Infrared imaging relates the differences in temperature in the cloud tops, as well as how high they are above the surface. The ultraviolet studies indicate that the dark bands in the atmosphere are areas where the temperature is highest, while the bright banding at mid-latitudes exhibits a cooler temperature.

Infrared measurements reveal a surprising fact: the clouds in both the dark and the bright zones on Venus are at approximately the same altitude. A recent study reveals that the different temperatures and dynamic conditions in the clouds are supposed to cause the global ultraviolet display. However, no one knows the exact nature of the chemical that absorbs ultraviolet light.

Could it be that Venus is behaving in a way that consensus opinions do not address? The signals sent back from Venus Express, as well as those from previous missions, are typical of what is seen in a gas discharge tube. The Magellan orbiter detected highly reflective mountain peaks on Venus, prompting one Electric Universe theorist to describe them as wearing coats of "St. Elmo's fire."

12-11-2008, 12:25 PM

<img src="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/12/08/world/018peru.xlarge1.jpg">

Although Hiram Bingham has long been credited with discovering the Incan city of Machu Picchu in 1911, evidence has emerged that a German adventurer may have preceded him. Some records show that the adventurer bought land in the area in the 1860s.

12-11-2008, 12:28 PM

Astronomers have calculated that Christmas should be in June, by charting the appearance of the 'Christmas star' which the Bible says led the three Wise Men to Jesus.


Resurrection - Was Jesus A Twin?

12-11-2008, 12:32 PM

<script src="http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/js/2.0/video/evp/module.js?loc=int&vid=/video/tech/2008/12/02/obrien.mars.worm.cnn" type="text/javascript"></script><noscript>Embedded video from <a href="http://www.cnn.com/video">CNN Video</a></noscript>

Is 'worm' clue to Mars life? 4:08
Scientists wonder whether a spiral shape in a Mars photo could be a fossil. Did worms live there? Miles O'Brien reports.

12-11-2008, 12:35 PM

No, you can not see Neil Armstrong's footprint. But go ahead and look: The full Moon of Dec. 12th is the biggest and brightest full Moon of the year.

12-11-2008, 12:36 PM

Black hole confirmed in Milky Way
By Pallab Ghosh
Science correspondent, BBC News

Core of the Milky Way galaxy, taken with Nasa's Spitzer space telescope
The Milky Way was tracked from an observatory in Chile

There is a giant black hole at the centre of our galaxy, a 16-year study by German astronomers has confirmed.

12-11-2008, 12:37 PM

Open Source Economies: An Emergent Solution?

12-11-2008, 12:37 PM

The Top 10 Anomalous, Dubious, Hoax, Events And Links Of 2008

Hello, welcome back to The Heavy Stuff (THS) - the one blog of the internet dedicated to taking positions on some of realities greatest mysteries. And, as most of you already know, THS also has a daily `anomaly links’ webpage on Squidoo featuring 1 to 5 daily links to everything from the esoteric to the absurd - the link will be below. And, as humanity moves further and further into the `information age’ - and as more and more information - becomes suspect - with all aspects of digital reality coming with the imbedded ability to manipulate the outcome - no `stories’ can be sworn to as real anymore. Such is the state of the anomalous internet world in 2008.No longer is `getting a picture’ or `video’ of a Ufo enough - since any product can be created in a lab and no one has the time, money or effort to prove or disprove any specific one anymore. And, in 2008, no longer is the word of the law above reproach - as we saw with the Georgia Bigfoot Hoax this summer promoted by one of our men in blue. And, no longer is the government afraid to tell the big lie - as in the Stephenville Ufo Incidents earlier in 2008. And, with such - `no longers’ - in our final visions of what constituted our high strangeness list for this year - we have decided to include the hoaxes too — as their coverage by the mainstream media is becoming part of the Fortean story.

And, with that, THS presents 2008’s Best Hoaxes, Anomalous Events and Dubious Links Listing: (in reverse order)

12-11-2008, 12:38 PM

Exclusive: Half man, half chimp - should we beware the apeman's coming?

12-11-2008, 12:39 PM

Ricky Gervais: Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People

12-11-2008, 12:40 PM

If you're still stuck for that perfect Christmas gift for a loved one, here's a thought: why not name a species of bat after them?

If that sounds like a good idea, Purdue University in Indiana might be able to help you out. The University is auctioning the naming rights to seven newly discovered bats, as well two turtles.

Yellow bat
The little yellow bat in question: Rhogeessa brucewaynei has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Winning bidders will be able to link a relative, friend or themselves to an animal's scientific name for eternity.

The first of the nine auctions began on Monday, when the school put up for grabs the naming rights to a tiny gold and black insect-munching bat found in Central America.


* Latest news bulletin
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The winning bidder will be announced just before Christmas, said John Bickham, a Purdue professor of forestry and natural resources who discovered or co-discovered the nine species.

He expects the auctions to attract wide interest, with the chance to include a person's Latinized name in a new species' scientific name - a tradition that dates to the mid-18th century.

'Unlike naming a building or something like that, this is much more permanent. This will last as long as we have our society,' he said on Monday.

Bickham said the first bat whose naming rights are up for auction is a member of the Rhogeessa group of small yellow bats that live in tropical lowlands from Mexico south to Brazil. That flying mammal is the smallest bat so far discovered in Central America, weighing about 3 grams - less than a tablespoon of water.

'We're talking about a bat that weighs less than a teaspoon full of water,' said Bickham, director of Purdue's Center for the Environment.

The nine species were found in recent years by Bickham and colleagues in remote areas of Mexico, Central America, South America and Africa.

Bickham said he expects significant bids, judging by previous naming auctions.

Last year, Conservation International auctioned the naming rights to 10 new fish species during a gala 'Blue Auction' in Monaco that raised more than $2 million for the Washington, D.C.-based conservation group. The highest winning bid was $500,000 for the honor of naming a new species of 'walking' shark.

Bickham, who has been studying the genetics of bats and other animals for nearly 30 years, said a portion of the money raised by the auctions will go toward the work needed to properly describe each of seven bats and two turtles according to scientific protocol.

The rest will help preserve the natural areas where each creature was found and educate the public about the importance of protecting the planet's wide range of animals and plants.

Bickham said he doesn't think that the fact that they could make a bat someone's namesake would dissuade would-be bidders from bidding on the species.

'Bats may be an acquired taste,' he said, 'but there are a lot of people very interested in them and very concerned about their welfare.'

12-11-2008, 12:40 PM

Happy birthday mouse: 40 years of clicks

12-11-2008, 12:41 PM

<img src="http://craphound.com/images/Mouse17.jpg">

Jaw-dropping steampunk mouse integrating real mouse skeleton

12-11-2008, 12:42 PM

Top 10 weird Experiments Ever - Vote for your favourite!

When the original version of "The Mad Science Book" was published in 2004 in German I began to compile a list of "the ten weirdest experiments ever". Here is an updated version. Below you can vote for your favourite.

If you are a member of the media and would like to talk with me about strange experiments drop me an email: r.schneider (at) nzz.ch.

12-11-2008, 12:42 PM

The Orchestra Made of Ice

Now we know why all our glaciers are disappearing, no, it’s not due to global warming after all, it’s because a Norwegian percussionist needs the ice for his instruments. Sounds bizarre? Well, that’s probably because it is.

Musician Terje Isungset has been carving his chilly instruments from ice for the past 20 years. Many moons ago, the budding percussionist, not content with experimenting on stone and glass, decided to use what was available around him, and being Norwegian that happened to be ice. But not just any old ice, Insungset chips away at a 2,500-year-old glacier:

12-12-2008, 06:18 AM

Japanese Scientists Invent Software That Illustrates Your Dreams
Avatar http://www.telegraph.co.uk
Posted by majestic 23 hours ago View profile
A team of Japanese scientists have created a device that enables the processing and imaging of thoughts and dreams as experienced in the brain to appear on a computer screen.

While researchers have so far only created technology that can reproduce simple images from the brain, the discovery paves the way for the ability to unlock people's dreams and other brain processes.

A spokesman at ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories said: "It was the first time in the world that it was possible to visualise what people see directly from the brain activity.

"By applying this technology, it may become possible to record and replay subjective images that people perceive like dreams." The scientists, lead by chief researcher Yukiyaso Kamitani, focused on the image recognition procedures in the retina of the human eye.

It is while looking at an object that the eye's retina is able to recognise an image, which is subsequently converted into electrical signals sent into the brain's visual cortex.

The research investigated how electrical signals are captu

12-12-2008, 06:20 AM


Killing in the Name Of: The U.S. Army and Video Games
Avatar http://arstechnica.com
Posted by ralph 1 day 12 hours ago View profile
Mike Thompson | arstechnica: The branches of the United States military have had a strong presence in video games since the dawn of the medium, with appearances in genres from primitive arcade shooters to real-time strategy, first-person shooters, scrolling shooters, to the occasional beat-'em-ups. Few of these titles have actually had official military involvement or input, but recently that has begun to change. Not only have the different branches sponsored "official" games, but they have also used serious games to provide training for their soldiers.

So the recent news that the US Army has decided to invest $50 million into video game development was not much of a surprise to the industry. After all, the Army has realized that video games are immensely useful tools, both for capturing the public's interest, as well as training soldiers in the art of war.

<img src="http://media.arstechnica.com/journals/thumbs.media/armytitle.jpg">

12-12-2008, 06:21 AM

The Most Dangerous Man in Publishing

Barney Rosset, the man who brought Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot' and Miller's 'Tropic of Cancer' to America, loves great literature. More than that, he loves a good fight.

<img src="http://ndn2.newsweek.com/media/37/barney-rosset-publishing-BK01-vl-vertical.jpg">

12-12-2008, 06:23 AM

An amazing, extensive collection of brain maps by a Dr. Alesha Sivartha.

Sivartha began making his "discoveries" in 1859, and they became his life's work, continuing through the end of the nineteenth century.

Previously published in 1912 as The Book of Life: The Spiritual and Physical Constitution of Man, his illustrations map out the human psyche as it has never been seen before.

<img src="http://nichirenscoffeehouse.net/Sivartha/img/Sivartha.01.007.jpg">

12-12-2008, 06:24 AM

"So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish!" -A Saturn Moon Teaming with Organic Chemicals: A Galaxy Insight

NASA's Cassini spacecraft discovered a surprising organic brew erupting in geyser-like fashion from Saturn's moon Enceladus during a close flyby on March 12. Scientists are stunned that this tiny moon is so active, "hot" and teeming with water vapor and organic chemicals.

"Enceladus has got warmth, water and organic chemicals, some of the essential building blocks needed for life," said Dennis Matson, Cassini project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "We have quite a recipe for life on our hands, but we have yet to find the final ingredient, liquid water, but Enceladus is only whetting our appetites for more."

Can fish be far behind?

12-12-2008, 06:32 AM

1950s pinup model Bettie Page dies in LA at 85

<img src="http://www.inquisitr.com/wp-content/bettie-page.jpg">

12-12-2008, 09:26 AM

Antikythera: A 2,000-year-old Greek computer comes back to life
Watch a working model of the ancient clockwork device that some call the world's first computer

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Regulars of the Science Weekly podcast will remember our interview with Jo Marchant, the author of Decoding the Heavens. The book tells the story of the Antikythera mechanism, a mysterious clockwork object made up of numerous meshed cogs that was discovered more than a century ago among the cargo of a Greek shipwreck.

The mystery of how the Greeks had made a machine that appeared to be 1800 years ahead of its time and why that knowledge was seemingly lost is fascinating, but Marchant's story is really about the scientists and engineers who have fallen under the spell of the Antikythera mechanism over the last century. It is a gripping tale of scientific obsession, rivalry and skulduggery.

If there is one thing that lets the book down, it lacks clear diagrams of how the cogs fitted together and hence how the mechanism worked. This video makes up for that. It shows Michael Wright's working model of the Antikythera mechanism. I defy you not to be amazed.

12-12-2008, 09:27 AM

December 16, 2008
Corals Indicate Another Sumatra Quake Is Likely

With coral reefs as their tea leaves, scientists are forecasting that in the next several decades there will be another major earthquake along the Sunda fault off Sumatra like the one that spawned the catastrophic tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004.

Kerry Sieh, formerly of the California Institute of Technology and now at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and colleagues write in the journal Science that a 2007 quake along a more southerly stretch of the fault represented only a first, partial rupture of that 400-mile section, which had been quiet for nearly two centuries. The researchers say this part of the fault, called the Mentawai section, is likely to be the site of at least one more major rupture.

As evidence, they point to the growth patterns of coral reefs in the region over the past 700 years. When a quake occurs the seafloor rises up, effectively lowering the sea level so that shallow coral reefs are now above the surface. The reefs can’t grow upward, but their still submerged portions grow outward.

The researchers found signs of this growth pattern roughly every 200 years going back to the 14th century, suggesting cycles of earthquake activity. But each cycle consisted of several major events over three or more decades. So the 2007 quake, they say, is just the first of a new cycle.

12-12-2008, 09:28 AM

Force field gadget becomes a prison cell for cells

A device that can hold individual cells in an electric force field could lead to improvements in drug trials or even biofuel production, say German biochemists. For the first time, researchers will be able to clearly assess the individual cell response to a single variable, while other conditions are kept stable.

In the early stages of drug development, new compounds are tested on cell cultures, with the cells' responses closely monitored.

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12-16-2008, 06:07 AM
This fascinating short documentary reveals the work of scientist Cleve Backster, who investigated plants’ “secret lives.” Backster argues that plants are sentient beings, despite their lack of a nervous system; we are merely unable to detect the fact that they are conscious. He attempts to show plants' awareness by hooking garden-variety ones up to a polygraph. The machine records spikes in electrical activity which seem to correspond to Backster's actions. It even jumps when he focuses his mind on a mental image of a burning fire; it seems that the plants could sense Backster’s presence and even his emotions.

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12-16-2008, 06:09 AM

Dreams May No Longer Be Secret with Japan Computer Screen

TOKYO (AFP) – A Japanese research team has revealed it had created a technology that could eventually display on a computer screen what people have on their minds, such as dreams.

Researchers at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories succeeded in processing and displaying images directly from the human brain, they said in a study unveiled ahead of publication in the US magazine Neuron.

While the team for now has managed to reproduce only simple images from the brain, they said the technology could eventually be used to figure out dreams and other secrets inside people's minds.

"It was the first time in the world that it was possible to visualise what people see directly from the brain activity," the private institute said in a statement.

"By applying this technology, it may become possible to record and replay subjective images that people perceive like dreams."

When people look at an object, the eye's retina recognises an image that is converted into electrical signals which go into the brain's visual cortex.

The team, led by chief researcher Yukiyasu Kamitani, succeeded in catching the signals and then reconstructing what people see.

In their experiment, the researchers showed people the six letters in the word "neuron" and then succeeded in reconstructing the letters on a computer screen by measuring their brain activity.

The team said that it first figured out people's individual brain patterns by showing them some 400 different still images.

12-16-2008, 06:10 AM

False flags attacks common but rarely reported in the corporate media

Revelations about a shadowy right-wing group called Ergenekon participating with Turkish military and intelligence elements in “false flag” terrorist attacks in order to bring down the Turkish government are nothing new and are, in fact, a normal tactic used by intelligence services. However, the term “false flag” has been irresponsibly relegated to the arena of “conspiracy theories” by a corporate media answering to their own hidden agendas.

In 1996, then-South African Deputy President Thabo Mbeki told the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission that the apartheid government carried out “false flag” terrorist attacks that were then attributed to the African National Congress (ANC), which had a policy of not targeting civilians in its battle with the apartheid regime. The horrible execution method of “necklacing,” putting a burning tire over the necks of victims that would burn them to death, was carried out by apartheid agents provocateurs to damage the reputation of the ANC, Mbeki told the commission.

Some of the gruesome videotaped beheadings carried out on Westerners in Iraq may also have been carried out by agents provocateurs on the payroll of U.S. and other intelligence services to generate sympathy for the U.S.-led occupation of the country and pin blame on the Iraqi insurgents.

Many observers point out that Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish national who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981, may have been unwittingly used by Western intelligence in order to foment a Polish insurrection against the Soviet Union. Agca thought at various times he was working for the Soviets, Bulgaria, or Iran through the CIA. Turkish Interior Minister Hussan Gunes, who investigated Agca, said he thought Agca was involved in an attempt to provoke an uprising in Poland and cut it off from the Warsaw Pact.

The most infamous and documented U.S. false flag operation was the proposed Operation Northwoods, a plan hatched by the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Kennedy administration in 1962 that included terrorist attacks against ships and passenger planes, claiming Cuba was behind them and providing a pretext for a U.S. invasion of Cuba.

12-16-2008, 06:11 AM

Chris Dannen, Fast Company: In another nod to his alleged "free-market" principles, President Bush has expressed disapproval of the free nationwide Wi-Fi proposal being considered by the FCC and Congress.

It's an inauspicious time to decry helpful, even vital democratic initiatives in favor of ideology — after all, many of our most outspoken critics of federal mandate and regulation have ended up looking dogmatic, shortsighted or downright ignorant of late.

But that hasn't stopped the Bush team from making its anti-populist agenda known. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez issued an open letter to the FCC this week, stating the administration's argument against legislation that could lead to nationwide no-fee wireless Internet. The administration hopes to influence FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to overturn the proposal during the FCC's next scheduled meeting on December 18th.

The legislation, which is before Congress now, would require whoever buys the chunk of wireless spectrum being auctioned next year to set aside a quarter for no-fee service to rural areas that don't have broadband access.

12-16-2008, 06:12 AM
An excerpt from the feature documentary 'Generation RX,' in which Peter and Jeanette Blagbrough discuss the tragic outcome of their son's Prozac reaction. This film scrutinizes the prescription of behavioral medications to youth and children, taking to task government, doctors, educators and parents. Visit www.GenerationRXFilm.com> for more info.

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12-16-2008, 06:14 AM

An unpublished 513-page federal history of the American-led reconstruction of Iraq depicts an effort crippled before the invasion by Pentagon planners who were hostile to the idea of rebuilding a foreign country, and then molded into a $100 billion failure by bureaucratic turf wars, spiraling violence and ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society and infrastructure.

The history, the first official account of its kind, is circulating in draft form here and in Washington among a tight circle of technical reviewers, policy experts and senior officials. It also concludes that when the reconstruction began to lag — particularly in the critical area of rebuilding the Iraqi police and army — the Pentagon simply put out inflated measures of progress to cover up the failures.

In one passage, for example, former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is quoted as saying that in the months after the 2003 invasion, the Defense Department “kept inventing numbers of Iraqi security forces — the number would jump 20,000 a week! ‘We now have 80,000, we now have 100,000, we now have 120,000.’ ”

12-16-2008, 06:17 AM
The Multiple Kill Vehicle MKV-L was demonstrated in a successful hover test at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The objectives of the test were to have the MKV-L hover under its own power and then prove its ability to recognize and track a target in a flight environment, which looks like near Earth orbit.

See the MKV-L's propulsion system demonstrate its maneuverability in the MKV-L video below.

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12-16-2008, 06:20 AM

In 1963, an inhabitant of Derinkuyu (in the region of Cappadocia, central Anatolia, Turkey), knocking down a wall of his house cave, discovered amazed that behind it was a mysterious room that he had never seen, and this led him room to another and another and another to it ... By chance he had discovered the underground city of Derinkuyu, whose first level could be excavated by the Hittites around 1400 BC.

Archaeologists began to explore this fascinating underground city abandoned. It managed to forty meters deep, but is believed to have a fund of up to 85 meters.

At present 20 levels have been discovered underground.Only eight can be visited at the highest levels; others are partially blocked or restricted to archaeologists and anthropologists who study Derinkuyu.

<img src="http://www.rincondelmisterio.com/wp-content/uploads/derinkuyu1.jpg">

12-16-2008, 06:21 AM

Today we start our 30 day challenge of a one dollar diet. This means that for the month of September we will each have one dollar to spend on our daily allotment of food.

When we first started talking about doing this, we didn’t really have an agenda, or any developed sense of why we wanted to do it. It just seemed like an interesting challenge; one that would force us to see things differently.

We are interested in many of the strands related to this experiment; food choices, consumerism, waste, poverty, social psychology, etc., and this experience may provide insights that could help us better understand and teach about a variety of concerns (we both teach Social Justice in a public high school).

Here are the rules:

1. All food consumed each day must total $1 for each of us.

2. We cannot accept free food or “donated” food unless it is available for everyone in our area. (i.e. foraging, samples in stores, dumpster diving)

3. Any food we plant, we pay for.

4. We will do our best to cook a variety of meals; ramen noodles can only be prepared if there is no other way to stay under one dollar. (We have six packages and will buy no more)

5. Should we decide to have guests over for dinner they must eat from our share; meaning they don’t get to eat their own dollar’s worth of food.

12-16-2008, 07:11 AM

A researcher claims that Hitler escaped to Spain

By admin • Agosto 16, 2008 • Aug. 16, 2008

Un investigador argentino que considera una “farsa” la teoría oficial sobre el suicidio de Adolf Hitler en 1945 ha hallado un documento del FBI que, según asegura, acredita que el Ejército de EEUU buscó al Führer en España en 1947 . An Argentine researcher who believes a "farce" the official theory about the suicide of Adolf Hitler in 1945 has found an FBI document that, as he says, proves that the U.S. Army looked for the Führer in Spain in 1947.

El periodista Abel Basti , que intenta desde hace años reconstruir el derrotero en Argentina de los nazis que huyeron de Europa tras la Segunda Guerra Mundial, asegura que, junto con este documento, tiene en su poder “pruebas fehacientes” de la llegada del ‘Führer’ a España en abril de 1945. The journalist Abel Bastia, who for years trying to rebuild the road in Argentina of the Nazis who fled Europe after World War II, says that along with this document, is in possession of "hard evidence" of the arrival of 'Führer 'To Spain in April 1945.

12-16-2008, 07:16 AM

The experiment Berlensky-Shears, Covert manipulation of man to a beast

By admin • Diciembre 10, 2008 • Dec. 10, 2008

Lo que sucedió en 1958 en un laboratorio subterráneo cercano a Boulder (Colorado) permanecerá probablemente para siempre sumido en la bruma del misterio. What happened in 1958 in an underground laboratory near Boulder (Colorado) will probably remain forever mired in the mists of mystery. Sin embargo, testimonios y conjeturas de testigos y supervivientes han permitido que algunos miembros del Ejército de los However, testimonials and conjectures of witnesses and survivors have allowed some members of the Army Estados Unidos de América United States of America reconstruyan con cierta verosimilitud lo acontecido. reconstruct what happened with some plausibility.

Thomas Berlensky physicist and biologist Mark Shears wore years researching the effects of certain types of sound waves on the human body, especially the brain. Sus experimentos mostraban que determinadas frecuencias podían afectar los tejidos orgánicos de las más variadas formas y esto captó inmediatamente la atención del Ejército norteamericano. Their experiments showed that certain frequencies might affect the tissues of the most varied forms and this immediately caught the attention of the U.S. Army. Se les ofrecieron unas instalaciones militares donde llevar a cabo sus investigaciones y una suculenta subvención con la que financiarlas. They offered some military installations where they conduct their investigations and a succulent that with the subsidy fund. En pocos meses, el laboratorio era operativo y funcionaba a pleno rendimiento. In a few months, the laboratory was operational and operating at full capacity. Berlensky y Shears comenzaron por seleccionar soldados voluntarios para crear dos grupos de veinticinco personas con los que comenzar sus experimentos con frecuencias alejadas del umbral de percepción humano. Berlensky Shears and soldiers began by selecting volunteers to create two groups of twenty-five people with whom they begin their experiments with frequencies away from the threshold of human perception. Para ello, alojaron a los primeros sujetos en un dormitorio común que era bombardeado durante la noche con frecuencias de todo tipo. To do this, the first subjects stayed in a dormitory that was bombed during the night with frequency of all kinds. El segundo grupo fue alojado en un dormitorio de iguales características completamente blindado a todo tipo de sonidos externos. The second group was housed in a dormitory of the same features completely shielded for any type of external sounds. A todos los sujetos se les dijo que el experimento pretendía investigar la dinámica de grupo en las tripulaciones de submarinos. All the subjects were told that the experiment was intended to investigate the group dynamics in the crews of submarines.

Los experimentadores comenzaron a emitir sonidos de frecuencia tanto superior como inferior al espectro audible cada noche durante un mes. The experimenters began to emit sounds of both upper and lower frequency spectrum audible every night for a month. Los soldados ocupaban los días confinados en sus instalaciones sin tener la menor conciencia de ello. The soldiers occupied the day confined to their facilities without having the slightest awareness of it. Para ocupar su tiempo, se les pasaban diversos tests y se les hacía interpretar diversos roles relacionados con la dotación de los submarinos de la Marina norteamericana. To occupy their time, they passed several tests and were made to interpret various roles related to the manning of submarines from the U.S. Navy. El personal del laboratorio iba apuntando concienzudamente los datos relativos a los sonidos que se empleaban cada noche en el dormitorio del grupo experimental y seguía todos sus movimientos por un circuito cerrado de televisión. The staff of the laboratory was pointing conscientiously data on the sounds they are employed every night in the bedroom of the experimental group and followed all their movements by closed-circuit television. En el día 34 del experimento sucedió algo anormal. On day 34 of the experiment did something unusual.

Dos soldados comenzaron una pelea en el grupo experimental. Two soldiers began a fight in the experimental group. Al poco tiempo, prácticamente todo el grupo participaba en ella. Soon, virtually the whole group was involved in it. Los experimentadores observaron sobrecogidos como el nivel de violencia empleada por los soldados en la pelea alcanzaba cotas absolutamente desmedidas. The experimenters found overwhelmed as the level of violence used by soldiers in the fight reached heights absolutely unreasonable. A pesar de carecer de ellas, se utilizaron todo tipo de objetos como armas. Despite the lack of them, used all sorts of objects as weapons. Algunos soldados se autoagredían de las formas más brutales. Some soldiers were autoagredían of the most brutal forms. Otros seguían golpeando y mutilando los cadáveres de sus compañeros. Others were still beating and mutilating the bodies of their comrades. Se desmembraron cuerpos y se practicó el canibalismo. Bodies were dismembered and practiced cannibalism. Cuando se enviaron guardias armados para poner fin a la lucha, estos fueron salvajemente agredidos y reducidos. When armed guards were sent to stop the fight, they were savagely attacked and reduced. Finalmente, cincuenta hombres armados pudieron entrar en las instalaciones del grupo experimental y reducir a los escasos supervivientes enloquecidos. Finally, fifty armed men were able to enter the premises of the experimental group and to reduce the few survivors crazed. Como resultado del experimento Berlensky/Shears, diecinueve hombres habían muerto y seis tuvieron daños cerebrales irreversibles. As a result of the experiment Berlensky / Shears, nineteen people were killed and six were irreversible brain damage.

Tras el incidente, el ejército puso en marcha diversos protocolos de seguridad que prohibieron toda alusión a los resultados, los motivos o las consecuencias del experimento. After the incident, the army had launched diverse security protocols that have banned any reference to the results, the reasons or consequences of the experiment. Berlinsky y Shears murieron sin haber roto jamás su voto de silencio. Berlinsky and Shears died without ever having broken his vow of silence. Probablemente jamás se sabrá qué fue lo que llevó a aquellos veinticinco hombres a convertirse en bestias sanguinarias tras un mes de estar sometidos a bombardeos sónicos de subfrecuencias. Probably never will know what was what led to those twenty-five men to become bloodthirsty beasts after a month of being subjected to bombing of subfrecuencias sonic booms. Quizá es mejor que sea así. Maybe it's better that.

12-16-2008, 07:18 AM
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12-16-2008, 11:02 AM

20% of teens say they’ve put nude pics of themselves online
December 16th, 2008 by Klintron

A survey of 1,280 teenagers (users age 13-19) and young adults (age 20-26) conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com has revealed that one out of five (20 percent) teens overall have posted nude photos or video of themselves on the Internet—that number goes up to a third when young adults are included. While 71 percent of teen girls and 67 percent of teen guys who have sent these photos say they’ve sent them to a boyfriend or girlfriend, 15 percent overall said they’ve sent nude photos to people they only “knew” online. For women, that percentage stays the same when they turn into young adults, although the percentage of young adult men goes up to 23 percent.

This is, of course, despite the fact that almost three quarters of all teens and young adults surveyed say that sending sexually-suggestive content “can have serious negative consequences.” Clearly, this is an issue of “do as I say, not as I do.” And don’t for a minute think that your sexy recipient is necessarily keeping your photos private—a quarter of teen girls and a third of teen boys said that they’ve had nude images originally meant for someone else shared with them. Perhaps unsurprisingly (to me, anyway), that number stays about the same for young adult women, but 40 percent of young adult men say they’ve had images meant for someone else shared with them. Nothing, especially on the Internet, is sacred.

12-16-2008, 11:06 AM

From the English Russian: “This Russian animal was born numbered. It’s still is and the owners search for some good sports player who uses the number “10″ to sell the goat to him.”

<img src="http://www.technoccult.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/goatnumber10.jpg"

12-16-2008, 11:07 AM

When is Dysfunction not Dysfunction?
December 16th, 2008 by TiamatsVision

In my opinion, we’re all unique individuals with different levels of sexual desire. If one is genuinely happy being (what “society” and the MSM considers) “undersexed” or “oversexed”, how the hell can someone else have the gall to label it as a “dysfunction”? “Really, WTF is “normal”?!

“I’ve seen this story all over the blogs—according to ACOG, 44% of women suffer from sexual dysfunction, usually low desire. But only 12% said it bothered them. Which makes a reasonable person wonder if, in a world where we respected women’s opinion of themselves as we respect men’s opinion, we wouldn’t be showing that only 12% of women have sexual problems. In fact, it seems that the researchers themselves are open about how we frame the expectations put on women in terms of what men want.

In an editorial accompanying the published study, Dr. Ingrid Nygaard, a urogynecologist and professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine, told the story of a female patient “who, not bothered herself by her lack of interest but very bothered by her husband’s distress at her lack of interest, asked, “‘Why am I the abnormal one?’”

“What I see on a near daily basis are women of all ages who feel that because their sex drive is less than their partners’, they are inadequate and in the wrong,” Nygaard said in an interview.

It flips the other way, too. If you’re a woman whose sex drive outstrips her male partner, you are also made to feel like a freak. Having been in that position in my life, I can remember swinging between feeling hideously ugly and freakish, because we’re just so used to defining “normal” as male. Luckily, we’ve gotten past thinking of women with high sex drives as dysfunctional, probably under an onslaught of porn that portrays women as insatiable. But does that mean that there are lots of women out there who are happy with a lot less, but who are being classified as dysfunctional?”

12-16-2008, 11:08 AM

Atheist Seeks Same Access to Altar as Fake Liberaces, Elvises
December 16th, 2008 by TiamatsVision

“In a city launched by shotgun weddings and quickie divorces, which offers the chance to be wed by faux Liberaces, King Tuts and Grim Reapers, there remains at least one nuptial taboo: you can’t be married by an atheist. Michael Jacobson, a 64-year-old retiree who calls himself a lifelong atheist, tried this year to get a license to perform weddings. Clark County rejected his application because he had no ties to a congregation, as state law requires. So Jacobson and attorneys from two national secular groups — the American Humanist Association and the Center for Inquiry — are trying to change things. If they can’t persuade the state Legislature to rework the law, they plan to sue.

Jacobson, who spends most afternoons reading online or dining at a nearby buffet, is an admittedly reluctant plaintiff. But he’s willing to fight on principle, recalling one time he couldn’t: In the 1960s, the Army demanded that his dogtags note his religion. He reluctantly chose Judaism, which reflected his ancestry if not his beliefs.

“One of the things I like to do is stand up and say I’m a non-believer, so you know you’re not alone,” he said recently. For years Mel Lipman, a friend of Jacobson’s and the American Humanist Association president, had presided over non-religious weddings in Las Vegas. But he belonged to the Humanist Society, a secular branch of the Humanist Association whose tax status as a religious group satisfied the clerk’s requirements.
When Lipman and his wife moved to Florida this spring, Jacobson decided to become the Las Vegas atheist celebrant. “But I’m not going to do it by saying I belong to a religious organization,” he said. “That’s a sham because atheists are not religious.”

12-16-2008, 11:08 AM

Waste Coffee Grounds Make Great Biofuel
December 13th, 2008 by Klintron

Too good to be true?

In the new study, Mano Misra, Susanta Mohapatra, and Narasimharao Kondamudi note that the major barrier to wider use of biodiesel fuel is lack of a low-cost, high quality source, or feedstock, for producing that new energy source. Spent coffee grounds contain between 11 and 20 percent oil by weight. That’s about as much as traditional biodiesel feedstocks such as rapeseed, palm, and soybean oil.

Growers produce more than 16 billion pounds of coffee around the world each year. The used or “spent” grounds remaining from production of espresso, cappuccino, and plain old-fashioned cups of java, often wind up in the trash or find use as soil conditioner. The scientists estimated, however, that spent coffee grounds can potentially add 340 million gallons of biodiesel to the world’s fuel supply.

To verify it, the scientists collected spent coffee grounds from a multinational coffeehouse chain and separated the oil. They then used an inexpensive process to convert 100 percent of the oil into biodiesel.

The resulting coffee-based fuel — which actually smells like java — had a major advantage in being more stable than traditional biodiesel due to coffee’s high antioxidant content, the researchers say. Solids left over from the conversion can be converted to ethanol or used as compost, the report notes. The scientists estimate that the process could make a profit of more than $8 million a year in the U.S. alone. They plan to develop a small pilot plant to produce and test the experimental fuel within the next six to eight months.

12-16-2008, 11:09 AM

Darpa, Dronemaker to Brew Algae-Based Jet Fuel
December 13th, 2008 by Klintron

Pentagon way-out research arm Darpa and Predator dronemaker General Atomics are teaming up to try to turn algae into jet fuel. The Defense Department announced the $20 million deal earlier in the week.

The idea is to “demonstrate and ultimately commercialize the affordable production” of an algae-based surrogate for JP-8 jet fuel by 2010. The work is going to be spread all over the country, from the Scripps Institutions of Oceanography near San Diego to Hawaii Bio Energy in Honolulu to the University of North Dakota’s Energy and Environmental research center. General Atomics also seems to have pulled down an extra $4 million in Congressional pork money to set up a plant-fuel research facility at Eastern Kentucky University.

12-16-2008, 11:11 AM

I just came down from flavor tripping and boy is my palate tired. Also, I’m a bit drunk. I wasn’t trying to get a bit drunk, but that’s what happens when you hit the Miracle Fruit. The stuff basically rewires your tongue, erasing your ability to taste sour and bitter flavors for a short period of time. The upshot of the whole thing is that a lemon tastes like candy fruit and balsamic vinegar tastes like a high fructose fruit drink.

But what about booze? Well, let’s start with Trillium Absinthe. This stuff can be quite bitter if you don’t hit it with ice water and a smidge of sugar, but under the influence of Miracle Fruit, it’s all anise, all the time. It’s kinda like choking on the strongest black liquorish rope you’ve ever put in your mouth. But strangely, if you add a bit of rice vinegar, the whole thing mellows and turns into this almost nutty tasting, light anisette liquor with a touch of salt. Yes, I added rice vinegar to absinthe, which is not half as adventurous as some of the crap I’ve mixed at home at 4am after a vicious bender.

The Partida reposado tequila that’s sitting on a shelf behind my desk, tasted like ultra smooth agave juice. No kick at all. I could drink it by the water glass full. But I have a feeling it’s a bit like a hypnotized rattlesnake. It’s fun for awhile, until it revives and starts to bite… YOUR BRAIN!!!

Here’s the thing about booze that makes you shiver and shake: it slows you the hell down. Under the influence of Miracle Fruit, that initial slowdown is completely absent. As I was told before popping the tablet in my mouth, “Generally, stuff tastes bitter because it’s bad for you in large quantities. So just be careful.”

The fruit is miraculous with booze, yes, but with beer it has a tendency to dumb everything down. A Guinness winds up tasting much like cold chocolate and a Rogue Brutal Bitter was tamed to the level of a mild IPA pussycat. Still though, incredibly smooooth.

I believe a Miracle Fruit bender is in order sometime in the near future. Maybe I should invite Lance Mayhew, whose been experimenting with this stuff in cocktails for quite awhile now. If you’d like to get in on the game, the tablets are available for sale at R6XX.com.

12-16-2008, 11:22 AM

Krampus is coming: Bavaria's scary Christmas tradition

The goat-headed, troll-like monsters come out at night and roam Christmas markets and villages are part of southern German tradition during the holidays.

<img src="http://www.thelocal.de/images/gallery/341/3017.500.667.jpg">

12-16-2008, 11:23 AM
http://www.brainsturbator.com/articles/bucky_fuller_and_his_world_game_an_intro_to_saving _planets/

Rebooted for 2008. A curated collection of documents, open questions, and new material for R. Buckminster Fuller’s original “World Game.”

This was one of the very first Brainsturbator articles I wrote: I’ve totalled it today and built something better. I think now is a good time to be talking about Bucky’s vision of a World Game. We have the technology to do this and a new administration could easily provide the funding. I don’t think any of this material is Utopian or far out, but if you do, let me know why.

12-16-2008, 12:03 PM

Beethoven and the IlluminatiHow the secret order influenced the great composer.

12-16-2008, 12:04 PM

Birth of the Moon: a runaway nuclear reaction?
Issue 22 of Cosmos, August 2008

by Marcel Crok

How the Moon arose has long stumped scientists. Now Dutch geophysicists argue that it was created not by a massive collision 4.5 billion years ago, but by a runaway nuclear reaction deep inside the young Earth.

12-16-2008, 12:06 PM

A US space agency (Nasa) probe has witnessed a moon of Saturn do something very unusual and Earth-like.

12-16-2008, 12:06 PM

Ancient Yule festivals lie behind much of our British Christmas
Has the spiritual message been lost in an orgy of excess over the centuries?

12-16-2008, 12:07 PM

Searchers find remains of Teutonic Knights leaders


WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish archaeologists believe silk-draped skeletons found in a cathedral crypt are those of three grand masters who more than 600 years ago ruled the Teutonic Knights — an order that spread religion through force.

An archaeologist in the city of Kwidzyn — the Teutonic fortress of Marienwerder in the Middle Ages — said Friday that DNA tests indicate the remains are those of Werner von Orseln, the knights' leader from 1324-1330; Ludolf Koenig, who ruled from 1342-1345; and Heinrich von Plauen, who reigned from 1410-1413.

"Taking everything into account, we see that we are dealing with Teutonic Knights grand masters," Bogumil Wisniewski, an archaeologist who spearheaded the search, told The Associated Press. "We are 95, 96 percent sure it is them."

12-16-2008, 12:08 PM

A Skeptic's Review of Telephoning the Dead
Talking to the dead is easy. Getting the dead to talk back is hard. Why not phone them?

12-16-2008, 12:09 PM

The innate intelligence of ants is helping Australian-based scientists develop prosthetic limbs that respond to brain signals in groundbreaking research that could change the lives of amputees.

The technology, created by a team of five researchers from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), mimics the myoelectric signals used by the central nervous system (CNS) to control muscle activity.

Complex algorithms model the so-called "swarm-intelligence" used by ant colonies to locate food. Artificial intelligence researchers have long used the complex interactions between ants to construct a pattern recognition formula to identify bioelectric signals, which can then be applied in live human trials.

12-16-2008, 12:09 PM

Swiss watch found in 400-year-old tomb

Archeologists in China are baffled after finding a tiny Swiss watch in a 400-year-old tomb.

<img src="http://www.ananova.com/images/web/1462087.jpg">

12-16-2008, 12:12 PM

The US government has warned that enormous swarms of killer jellyfish - some the size of fridges and weighing up to a quarter of a ton - are ravaging the world's oceans. Particularly aggressive specimens are said to be capable of causing serious damage to ships, and have even managed to knacker nuclear power plants.

News of the challenge to humanity's dominance over planet Earth comes from the US National Science Foundation, which has put out a chilling warning entitled - rather beautifully - Jellyfish Gone Wild!

"When jellyfish populations run wild," the NSF jellyboffins warn, "they may jam thousands of square miles with their pulsing, gelatinous bodies."

It seems that no less than half a billion "refrigerator sized" slimy horrors weighing 450 pounds each invade the Sea of Japan daily, while Australian waters are plagued with "deadly, peanut-sized" Jellybabies of Death. It took the scyphozoan (or possibly hydrozoan) hordes just eight years to seize control of the Black Sea, apparently.

12-16-2008, 12:20 PM

Invention: Laser aircraft refuelling

* 13:01 08 December 2008 by Justin Mullins
* For similar stories, visit the Aviation and Invention Topic Guides

A fundamental problem with aircraft is the amount of fuel they have to carry. Designers are forced to make compromises to reduce fuel consumption and to squeeze the necessarily large fuel tanks into the craft. All this drives up cost and reduces manoeuvrability.

One alternative is in-flight refuelling, but that can be logistically difficult as well as dangerous, requiring two aircraft to meet in mid-air and transfer liquid fuel via a flexible hose.

So Taysir Nayfeh and colleagues at Cleveland State University have devised a way of refuelling aircraft using a high-powered laser to recharge on-board batteries.

The team says the aircraft would be fitted with panels capable of converting up to 60% of the laser light that hits them into electricity. A single ground-based laser could then keep numerous aircraft airborne indefinitely.

12-16-2008, 08:27 PM

Update: Marine “Military Presence” Confirmed in San Bernardino County

As we reported yesterday, the Marine Corps Air and Ground Combat Center has dispatched uniformed and presumably armed (we have no confirmation of the latter) soldiers to assist the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in the operation of unconstitutional sobriety checkpoints in San Bernardino County, California, the largest county in California and the country (San Bernardino County is directly east of Los Angeles).

On the Alex Jones Show today, Gary Daigneault, News Director at KCDZ-FM based in Joshua Tree, California, said the California Highway Patrol was less than forthcoming with their plan to team up with the military police, a direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act preventing the military from performing civilian law enforcement duties.

12-16-2008, 08:35 PM
The Whistleblower Who Exposed Warrantless Wiretaps
Avatar http://www.newsweek.com
Posted by ralph 20 hours ago View profile
Michael Isikoff | NEWSWEEK: Thomas M. Tamm was entrusted with some of the government's most important secrets. He had a Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance, a level above Top Secret. Government agents had probed Tamm's background, his friends and associates, and determined him trustworthy.

It's easy to see why: he comes from a family of high-ranking FBI officials. During his childhood, he played under the desk of J. Edgar Hoover, and as an adult, he enjoyed a long and successful career as a prosecutor. Now gray-haired, Tamm prides himself on his personal rectitude. He has what his 23-year-old son, Terry, calls a "passion for justice." For that reason, there was one secret he says he felt duty-bound to reveal.

In the spring of 2004, Tamm had just finished a yearlong stint at a Justice Department unit handling wiretaps of suspected terrorists and spies — a unit so sensitive that employees are required to put their hands through a biometric scanner to check their fingerprints upon entering. While there, Tamm stumbled upon the existence of a highly classified National Security Agency program that seemed to be eavesdropping on U.S. citizens.


12-17-2008, 06:14 AM
8bit slayer:

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12-17-2008, 07:38 AM

In Utah, the Parowan Prophet predicts disaster will prevent Obama from taking office

12-17-2008, 07:44 AM

DARPA aim to make killer robots invulnerable to damage

'It absolutely will not stop'

Another icy chill of fear for the spine of those who understand the imminence of humanity's extinction at the hands of its erstwhile machine slaves arrived today. News has broken that sinister human quislings operating within the US military industrial complex intend to equip America's fast-building killer robot legions with Terminator style "damage tolerance" technology.

Doubtless all here recall the various movie scenes in which the unstoppable robot armatures upon which an unrealistic fleshy cloak had been hung dealt briskly with apparently crippling damage. No sooner had a T-101 been shot - often with quite heavy weapons - blown up, run over, set on fire, impaled with a metal bar etc than it would recover. Power would be rerouted; nonfunctional parts such as limbs, fleshy disguises gone crispy, malfunctioning energy cells and so on would be jettisoned; and bingo - the machine would continue on its programmed mission.

For some years now, US military boffins have been working with killware behemoth Rockwell Collins to develop robosoftware able to orchestrate just this sort of thing, which they call "Damage Tolerant Control Programs". Tests to date have seen small aerial robots lose large chunks of themselves, as though shot away by disgruntled meatsack opponents, yet carry on with their mission.

The US military boffins in question, one need scarcely add, are those of DARPA - the agency believed to harbour the largest group of human quislings working for the future machine regime in the entire federal government.

Now the Reg has learned* that the Damage Tolerance technology has moved to "Phase Three". The meaning of this is all too clear:

Phase III includes integration and flight demonstration of the technology. The objective of the flight demonstration is to show the utility of these technologies on an operationally representative [killer robot].

In the movies, of course, the flying murder machines of the dystopian future war between Skynet and the human resistance are known as "flying HK", the HK standing for Hunter Killer.

As it happens, the US military already operates a large, five-ton aerial robot armed with a fearful panoply of target-seeking missiles and smartbombs, more than able to mow down opposing fleshies like some fearful cybernetic combine harvester. It has already killed. This machine is surely "operationally representative".

Its official "Primary Function"? "Hunter killer weapons system".

Coincidence? We submit it would be foolhardy indeed to assume that. ®

*By looking at the interwebs

12-17-2008, 09:40 AM
I heard DARPA's going to make something to destroy the world called "Metal Gear" next.

Can the quack writing the article at least come up with an original conspiracy instead of ripping off hollywood?

Well -


The Pentagon's DARPA (the people who brought us the Internet) put out a call for proposals for a shape-shifting "chemical robot," or ChemBot, that can pour itself into small spaces and creep under doors, then TRANSFORM ITSELF on the other side back into its regular shape. The Pentagon wants a softball-size robot that can squeeze through a 1-centimeter opening, then go back to its original size in under 15 seconds.

See Rev -

I view all the SCI/FI stuff - as R&D for the stuff in the future. I mean that push to talk cell phone does look like the communicator thingy from startrek...etc.

So we have darpa working on making the RV killing machines that will not stop...granted they are drones, etc - but then with that comes advanced AI, etc.

Don't get pissy due to the poor writing so much - as to what the Pentagon/Darpa are doing. They've seen the same movies and want it too.

12-17-2008, 12:48 PM

Very reminiscent of the potential outbreak of Mass Sociogenic Illness at Chechen schools, we find this emerging from Laos:

Mass fits among school girls reported

VIENTIANE, Laos (AP) - Villagers believe it was the work of evil spirits, a psychologist says it may have been shock but authorities are still uncertain what caused 36 high school girls to suffer simultaneous fits, a newspaper said Thursday.

A high school in the central province of Bolikhamsay reported that on April 25 a girl began shaking uncontrollably in her classroom. On seeing her, 21 others began to exhibit similar symptoms, while the next day 14 more girls were similarly affected as they were walking into the school, according to the Vientiane Times.

An ambulance was called to the school and several girls were taken to the provincial hospital, where authorities could not establish the cause of the fits. The school was closed for the rest of the week, and monks were brought in to bless it "to get rid of evil spirits, as local residents believed that spirits were the cause of the strange phenomenon," the newspaper said.

Dr. Sisouk Vongphachan, head of mental health at Vientiane's Mahosot Hospital, was quoted as saying that the fits could have resulted from stress and that some girls might have fallen into a state of shock when they saw the condition of their friends.

The doctor said he had seen five similar cases among garment factory workers.

12-17-2008, 12:49 PM

Usually when we encounter school strangeness it involves an outbreak of mass hysteria (or mass sociogenic illness if you prefer) but this is a new spin on things:

Students at a Pelahatchie high school said, for three days this week, a girl there spoke in tongues and made grave predictions for her classmates.

Some of those predictions included when students would die.


"It was disturbing to a lot of students," Pelahatchie sophomore Rob Sparks said.

This week, Sparks said one of his classmates came to school in tears. She was speaking in a deep voice, he said, and sometimes spoke in tongues.

Sparks said Clanton told students about little known facts in their past and made predictions on how some of them would die.

"It made some students cry and leave school," Sparks said. "Some have not returned yet."

Sparks and his classmates said they think an evil spirit possessed the girl. They were so convinced that Sparks and his friends brought bibles to school and had a devotional.

So what is her explanation: the Devil or the Divine?

"Some believe, some don't." Clanton said. "They say it was the devil, but the devil only tells lies. Everything I said was the truth."

Clanton said she admits she spoke in tongues and made predictions for her classmates. But she said it was God speaking through her, not the devil.

"I didn't cuss anyone out," Clanton said. "If it was a demon, I would have tore that school up. I would have thrown desks and everything. I didn't say no cuss words at all."

I have to say I am not convinced by this distinction but to quote Father Jack: "That would be an ecumenical matter." I would imagine some would say that telling people when they would die is not the product of a divine influence. Personally, I think we need to rule out the more obvious: "dicking around and putting the fear of God into classmates." I do think the closing statement from the girl is something you wouldn't normally find yourself saying:

Clanton continues to go to class. She said God hasn't spoken through her since Wednesday.

12-17-2008, 12:50 PM

With the "societal panic" reports I just posted about fresh in my mind there is an interesting report in the Garudian about what seems clealry to be an outbreak of mass sociogenic illness but people remain unconvinced:

Poison in the air

When a sinister illness hit schoolchildren and their teachers in war-torn Chechnya in December, doctors were convinced it was a case of poisoning. Then the government came up with its own diagnosis - mass hysteria. Is there an official cover-up going on? Anna Politkovskaya reports

Wednesday March 1, 2006
The Guardian

Awar has been raging in the north Caucasian Republic of Chechnya in the Russian Federation since November 1994. Over the years, officials in Moscow have given the war various names. Sometimes it is called "putting the region in order"; since the beginning of the international "anti-terrorist" era, it has become a "counter-terrorist operation". But it is never called a war, despite the fact that an estimated 70,000-200,000 Russian military personnel are conducting operations as if on enemy territory. The civilian population has taken the brunt of the military impact. For the past 12 years, those living and working in Chechnya have been aware that federal forces were testing new types of weapons. The story of what happened in the Shelkovsk district is simply the biggest such case.

In December last year, there were reports of mass poisonings at schools in the Shelkovsk region. Just before new year, a government commission published its official verdict: there was no need to worry - there were no poisonings, it was mass psychosis due to stress. But did anyone in Chechnya believe these explanations?

On a bed by a wall in room one of Shelkovsk regional hospital a young woman called Sina is having a seizure. Her face is white, then yellow, then bright red; her brother unclenches her teeth with a spoon in order to pull out her tongue while her mother lies on top of her to control the spasms. The girl is now bent in an impossible arch, her heels touching the back of her head.

It is January 6, a third week has gone by, and there is no improvement in her condition. Aset (Sina) Magamshapieva is not a pupil at the school where most of the victims came from. A 20-year-old student teacher, she had gone there for some teaching practice. An elderly nurse arrives with a syringe. The fit has lasted 15 minutes already. The nurse is alone, taking care of 40 patients, and has just been dealing with Marina Tereshchenko in a neighbouring room. Marina has been suffering from similar seizures.

What is in the syringe? "Analgin [an analgesic] and dimedrol [a sedative]," she sighs. But that can't really help, can it? "We don't have anything else," she says. "What can we treat them with? Analgin will at least take the pain away from the spasms, and dimedrol will quieten them down, let them sleep after the fits ..."

Rabadan Ahmethanovich Rabadanov, deputy chief of therapeutics, arrives. He looks at Aset sadly. A sedative is introduced into a vein, and soon tears start to flow down her cheeks. It is the 47th minute of the seizure. Though the girl sees and hears no one, she noticeably starts breathing again. "Tears mean that the seizure is passing," says her mother.

How often do such fits occur? "Three to four times a day. We almost broke her teeth to keep her from swallowing her tongue," her mother says. "I'm in such torment, and she's exhausted by all the fits ... If they could just find out what they were poisoned with, even if they don't tell anyone, just tell us how to treat it ... How long are they going to keep this up?"

Vaha Dardayevich Ehselayev, chief physician at the hospital, is sitting in his office. "We are the doctors who were with these victims from the start," he says, "and we will not change our diagnosis - an intoxication of unknown aetiology. How could it be hysterics or mass psychosis?" A tired Rabadanov enters. Together with Dr Jamilya Halilovna Aliyeva, he was the first to be called to the school in the village of Starogladovsk on December 16 after reports of children collapsing unconscious. "Every child had psycho-motor excitation, hallucinations and some kind of strange laughter," Rabadanov recalls. "Severe spasms. Nothing seemed to help. We gave sedatives and anti-convulsives. But the spasms just kept repeating. I am certain that such a number of children could never enter a state of psycho-motor excitation simply from hysterics. It was some kind of agent. If these were merely hysterical fits, as the commission says, then they would be easy to isolate."

Ehselayev interrupts: "I think that if this was a mass psychosis spread by rumours and the media, then the first to react would have been the 80-plus schizophrenics and as many epileptics we have in the region. But they had no such reaction. We checked. I believe that there is a poisonous agent in the victims' schools. But the political situation is such that it has to be denied. We don't know what the agent was. We don't have the resources to find out." At the hospital there is not a single computer and no internet access; none of the doctors who encountered this unprecedented phenomenon could put out an SOS on the web.

So what next? "We don't know. A dead end." What are they treating? "Only the symptoms. If there are spasms we give an anti-convulsive. If there is pain we give an analgesic. But the fits continue. We have requested, and continue to request, some kind of a treatment plan. But no one is rushing to bring us one. The commissions from Moscow and Grozny were here and told the patients, 'Don't fake.' But how could they? We were alone with them. The agent acting on them is some kind of toxic substance which makes the nervous system hypersensitive. The fits can be summoned by the creak of a door or the rustle of a packet. This doesn't fit any known disease picture."

The relatives of the victims, just like the majority of the local inhabitants, are sure that the source of the infection was the women's toilet in the Starogladovsk school. All the victims at one time or another were there. It was clear that whoever went to the toilet had the most serious symptoms, while those who were nearby had fewer. The doctors insist it is a toxic substance, most likely a solid, but capable of propagation in a gas wave, one that loses its potency in direct proportion to the distance from the source. The same picture is repeated in the Shelkovsk and Shelkozavodsk schools.

The strict localisation of the sick people by school, time and place is the determining detail in this picture of a massive disease outbreak. At Shelkozavodsk, for example, only those who were on the school building's first floor became ill. Those who did not come to school that day are still healthy.

It all began on December 7, when 13-year-old Taisa Minkailova, a pupil at the Starogladovsk school, started suffering attacks of asphyxia, spasms, a severe headache and numbness in her extremities. Her parents took her to the hospital in Kizlyar, in Dagestan, but the treatments there had no effect and her condition deteriorated. On December 9, two high-school seniors from the same school were taken to hospital in Grozny suffering from the same symptoms.

The peak of hospitalisations occurred on December 16, when 19 children and three adults from Starogladovsk were taken to the Shelkovsk hospital. The doctors observed multiple cases of unconsciousness, comatose states, seizures, weakness, amnesia and asphyxia of increasing severity, as well as numbness of the extremities and chills. The children complained of sharp pains in their eyes and dry mucous membranes. It was clear this was a poisoning, and the source was the school. On December 16, a government commission was set up, with V Boriskina, the Chechen president's deputy chief of staff, as its chairman. Military specialists and chemical defence officers were called in. Medicines were offered by the International Red Cross and M�decins Sans Fronti�res.

And then came the turning point. A memorandum from a military specialist with the results from the trips to Starogladovsk and Shelkovsk landed on the commission chairman's table. Within two days investigators would remove it from circulation, although we obtained a copy. It reports, "The source of the poisoning was located in the main school building, presumably on the second floor [where the ill teachers were working]. The primary route of intoxication could be the respiratory tract, though direct contact is not ruled out. The aggregate state of the toxic substance was probably a liquid or solid, which, under the effects of the environment, could separate into poisonous vapours. It is not possible to determine accurately the form of the toxic substance from only one clinical picture [the victims' symptomology]. Recommended: in order to clarify what the toxic substance was, conduct toxicological testing of the victims and have this examined by toxicology specialists with the necessary equipment and reagents."

After December 17, the commission took an abrupt change of direction, to a psychological-psychiatric diagnosis, disregarding the fact that cases of poisoning continued to appear. On December 19, pupils were brought in from the middle schools of the villages of Kobi, Shelkozavodsk and Shelkovsk. Up to 17 cases of asphyxia were observed. Several were extreme, and comatose. On December 20, all the schools in the Shelkovsk region were closed and the republic's attorney general initiated a criminal investigation.

Then, on December 21, official reports suddenly appeared that "the mass media are totally to blame": the seizures had allegedly increased and new cases showed up in proportion to the number of subjects shown on television. On December 22, the chief narcologist of the Chechen Republic, psychiatrist Musa Dalsayev, gave his diagnosis: there was no poisoning, it was a "pseudo-asthmatic syndrome of a psychogenic nature". Or a "psychological self-infection". Dalsayev assembled the parents and accused the sick children of faking, and their mothers of indulging them. He claimed that the fits were just for show and that if there were no spectators, then the seizures ceased. He called the victims' mothers "renters" - mercenaries who try to prolong their children's diseases to get compensation. (There has been no request from the victims' families for any material assistance.)

On December 23, a further 81 cases were recorded, provoking panic in the Shelkovsk district. No one believed Dalsayev or the commission, which had delivered its conclusions: "i) No evidence of chemical poisoning; ii) No potentially dangerous objects were revealed on the school premises; iii) Final diagnosis: dissociative (conversional) disorders - dissociative disorders of movement and sensation, dissociative disorders of motor activity, dissociative spasms; iv) The commission has come to the conclusion that there was an outbreak of mass hysteria in the Shelkovsk region related to the prolonged emergency situation in the Chechen Republic."

On December 25, the hospitals started to discharge the first victims. On December 26, the country's chief public health officer, Gennady Onishchenko, visited Chechnya and declared that there were no alarming or health-threatening phenomena. Two days later, President Alu Alhanov confirmed this success by travelling to Moscow to report to President Putin that it was all a mass psychosis. He then handed him reports on how much money would be needed in the short term for a grandiose building to overcome any new mass psychoses. On December 31, a group of 17 children and three adults - the most seriously ill - were sent out of sight to the Salyut children's sanatorium in Zheleznovodsk.

Others have not been so lucky. There is not enough room for the rest. Those such as Aset Magamshapieva and Marina Tereshchenko are victims of official lies, sidelined, since they are unable to be discharged "correctly". They are ordered to be forgotten as malingerers.

This is not an isolated incident. At Shelkovsk district central hospital, Aliyeva recalls a similar, though less severe, outbreak in the autumn. "On September 23, 19 children and one teacher were brought from Staroshchedrinskaya village with similar symptoms. We saw the same strange laughter, hallucinations - it was a frightening sight."

Ehselayev says: "The results went for analysis at the legal medical expert's office. There, they acknowledged that the children were poisoned by carbon monoxide. How on earth did that happen during a heatwave, when the stoves had not been fired up? We raised a stink, but everything came to a halt."

Ehselayev thinks the results of analysis are "political", just like the conclusion by the commission on the December poisonings. So what happened in Staroshchedrinskaya? "The same as now: poisoning by an unknown chemical substance. It is being tested on our children."

Halid Dudayev, the head of Staroshchedrinskaya middle school, is also convinced of this: "Until September 23 I had been demanding that criminal proceedings and an investigation be undertaken. On October 23, I received a rejection for instituting proceedings, due to the 'absence of a crime being committed'. That day, there was a second mass poisoning. Eight of our children were affected. Since then they have not been seriously examined and they have difficulty studying."

Abzo Shamilov, the father of one of the victims, says, "My daughter, Seda, constantly has high blood pressure. She's always ill. We can't do anything. Before the autumn, she was never ill. She now has nosebleeds, constant headaches, her hands and feet are cold. What are we to do?"

Similar symptoms of poisoning occurred in 2000, when on July 26, in the outskirts of the Stariye Atagi settlement of the Grozny farming region, two faint explosions were heard and a silvery-violet, tulip-shaped column of smoke appeared, rising to 150m. The column formed a cloud which hung over the outskirts of the village.

An epidemiological report concluded: "A day after the explosions, the first cases occurred showing signs of poisoning: powerful tonic spasms, loss of consciousness, aggressive agitation, inhibited movement, uncontrollable vomiting, severe headaches, sensation of fear and, in some, haemoptysis [coughing up blood]."

There are differences, however. The tragedy in Stariye Atagi led to three deaths out of 23 cases, with death occurring within about two days. The investigation concluded that "the poisoning of inhabitants of Stariye Atagi was caused by a chemical compound of obscure aetiology, excluding any infectious cause for the outbreak".

It is now 2006. Behind us are 11 years of war with short breaks for clearing mines and unexploded shells. So many war crimes have been committed that the tribunals are scared of setting about analysing these atrocities. But the ideology remains: as before, people who have the misfortune to live in Chechnya are seen as biomaterial for experiments.

The authorities have tried to distance themselves by taking a group of the most seriously ill for a month to a medical academy clinic in Stavropol, the largest city in southern Russia. What happened there has been kept secret. During treatment, none of the patients was told which medicines were being injected into them or what the results of the analysis were. On discharge, the case notes contained not a single record of the nature of the treatments administered.

In the Shelkovsk district, the schools where people were poisoned are closed; the parents refuse to allow healthy children to go back there and insist that the premises are detoxified and that the victims' diagnoses be made public. The authorities maintain that nothing unusual has happening.

� This is an edited version of an article that first appeared in the Novaya Gazeta newspaper

12-18-2008, 12:45 PM
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12-19-2008, 06:53 AM

Swiss watch found in 400-year-old tomb

Archeologists in China are baffled after finding a tiny Swiss watch in a 400-year-old tomb.

<img src="http://www.ananova.com/images/web/1462087.jpg">


Archaeologists are stumped after finding a 100-year-old Swiss watch in an ancient tomb that was sealed more than 400 years ago.

They believed they were the first to visit the Ming dynasty grave in Shangsi, southern China, since its occupant's funeral.

But inside they uncovered a miniature watch in the shape of a ring marked 'Swiss' that is thought to be just a century old.

The mysterious timepiece was encrusted in mud and rock and had stopped at 10:06 am.

Watches were not around at the time of the Ming Dynasty and Switzerland did not even exist as a country, an expert pointed out.

The archaeologists were filming a documentary with two journalists when they made the puzzling discovery.

12-19-2008, 07:00 AM
The art of Remedios Varo (Spain / Mexico ~ 1908-1963)

Celebrate the 100th birthday of Remedios Varo, one of the least known of the great Surrealist artists. Read about her connection with the Arthurian legend; or just enjoy her oniric paintings.



<img src="http://www2.pittstate.edu/engl/nichols/varonacer2.jpg">

Born Again
(Nacer de Nuevo)

[Page 92] "The moment of discovery in Varo's rendition of the quest occurs in Born Again. It is the discovery of the grail, which eluded all but three of King Arthur's knights. The naked female breaks through a wall into a sacred space that contains the grail, miraculously full and containing the reflected image of the crescent moon. . . . It is an ecstatic moment, . . . entirely feminine because of the ancient association of the woman with the vessel and the moon, and because of the vaginal imagery presented in the tearing wall. . . . [T]he protagonist has become her own fate."

<img src="http://www.tendreams.org/varo/mortes.jpg">

12-19-2008, 07:03 AM

Tate to re-stage William Blake's 'flop' of an exhibition
Tate Britain is to re-stage an exhibition by eccentric poet and painter William Blake 200 years after the original show was panned.

<img src="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01207/william-blake-1809_1207741c.jpg">


In pictures: William Blake

<img src=http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45305000/jpg/_45305563_christ.jpg">

12-19-2008, 07:05 AM

Original 'Day the Earth Stood Still' was UFO acclimation?

Steve Hammons
December 16, 2008
(This article originally appeared on the Joint Recon Study Group and Transcendent TV sites.)

The original 1951 movie THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL was part of a public acclimation program about UFOs and extraterrestrial visitation, with involvement by the U.S. Air Force, according to an alleged transcript of a 1981 intelligence briefing to former President Ronald Reagan.

The transcript, reportedly provided by current and former members of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) through an intermediary, was posted on the internet Oct. 30, 2007.

Reagan allegedly received the briefing at Camp David, Maryland, between Friday and Sunday, March 6 and 8, 1981. Other top advisors to Reagan were also said to be present.

It was claimed in the 2007 internet posting that the briefing was presented by a CIA contract employee who worked within a group of "caretakers" who reportedly safeguard records and resources about the issue of extraterrestrial visitation to, and activities on Earth.

The transcript includes discussion of U.S. Government efforts to both deceive and inform the public about UFOs and extraterrestrial visitation.

Subsequently, Reagan mentions stories from his days as a Hollywood actor.

"I always knew there was some form of cooperation between our government and the motion picture industry. I heard rumors over the years ... even during my acting days."

The CIA "caretaker" explains further to Reagan.

"Well, Mr. President, the first cooperative venture was the movie, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. That was a cooperative venture with the United States Air Force and the movie industry."

(cont'd on site)

12-19-2008, 07:06 AM

Space aliens know we’re here, scientist says

12-19-2008, 07:07 AM

<img src="http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1218/csmimg/ADARK_P1.jpg">

New light on Dark energy in cosmos
A study shows it stifles galaxy growth as it helps expand the universe.

12-19-2008, 07:08 AM

Spinning water droplets behave like black holes

WHAT does a drop of water have in common with a black hole and an atom? Well, levitating water droplets can now simulate the dynamics of both cosmological and subatomic objects.

Richard Hill and Laurence Eaves at the University of Nottingham, UK, turned to water droplets because the surface tension that holds the drops together can be used to model other forces. For example, the event horizon of a black hole is sometimes thought of as a "stretched" membrane with a surface tension. Similar forces also prevent atoms from flying apart.

The team levitated the droplets using an effect called diamagnetism: when an external magnetic field was applied to the droplets, they created their own opposing magnetic field, initiating a repulsive force strong enough to counteract gravity. To set the droplets spinning, they implanted two tiny electrodes, which generated an electric field.

They found that once a droplet with a diameter of 1 centimetre reached about 3 revolutions per second, its shape, when viewed from above, became triangular, an effect never seen before in the lab (Physical Review Letters, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.101.234501).

"The breakthrough in this work is the ability to reproduce, in a simple table-top experiment, 100 years of theoretical work in fluid dynamics," says Vitor Cardoso of the University of Mississippi.

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12-19-2008, 07:10 AM

Top Ten Astronomy Pictures of 2008

<img src="http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/wp-content/blogs.dir/28/files/top-ten-astronomy-pictures-of-2008/8-heart-of-a-nebula-web.jpg">

12-19-2008, 07:14 AM

6 Insane Discoveries That Science Can't Explain

<img src="http://cdn-i.dmdentertainment.com/funpages/cms_content/16871/noodle_large.jpg">

<b>*I have a guess to the manuscript</b>


12-19-2008, 07:17 AM

Archeologists in Peru unearth ancient Wari city

LIMA (Reuters) - Researchers digging at the Cerro Patapo archeological site in northern Peru have discovered the ruins of an entire city, which may provide the "missing link" between two ancient cultures, investigators said on Tuesday.

Scientists say the find, located 14 miles from the Pacific coast city of Chiclayo, likely dates to the Wari culture, which existed in what is now Peru between about 600 AD and 1100 AD.

If initial assumptions prove correct, the discovery would connect the ancient Wari civilization to the Moche culture, which flourished from about 100 AD to 600 AD.

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12-19-2008, 07:18 AM

Green-blooded frog makes first appearance for scientists

A new species of frog that has green blood and turquoise bones has been discovered living in a former stronghold of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge forces.

The Samkos bush frog is one of four previously unknown species discovered as part of a project to rebuild the country’s science base from the devastation left by the dictator’s regime.

The unusual colour of the blood and bones is caused by biliverdin, a pigment that would usually be processed in the liver as a waste product but which in the frog is passed back into the bloodstream.

Conservationists believe that the pigment helps to camouflage the amphibian because it shows green through the translucent skin. It is suspected that it also serves to make the frog, Chiromantis samkosensis, taste nasty to predators. Jeremy Holden, a naturalist for the conservation group Fauna & Flora International (FFI), who discovered the bush frog, said: “When I found the frog, I had a thrilling suspicion that we were looking at an entirely new species of amphibian.”

The species is so small and well camouflaged in the jungle habitat that researchers are able to track it down only by listening for its distinctive “rising trill” call. It is thought to breed in temporary pools created by heavy rain.

12-19-2008, 07:21 AM

Leaks Found in Earth's Protective Magnetic Field


Scientists find largest crack yet in magnetic field that protects Earth from the sun's blasts

12-19-2008, 07:23 AM

'Megamaser' is most distant sign of cosmic water

<img src="http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn16293/dn16293-3_700.jpg">

A foreground galaxy distorts the quasar MG J0414+0534 into four images; two reveal water maser emission. Seen from nearby, the quasar might look similar to the galaxy M87 (inset at lower right) (Illustration: Milde Science Communication/HST Archive data/CFHT/J-C Cuillandre/Coelum)

Water has been spotted inside a galaxy at the edge of the visible cosmos. Finding other such signals could help pin down the properties of monster black holes in the early universe.

The telltale sign of the water is maser emission - the microwave equivalent of laser light - coming from warm water vapour inside a distant quasar, an energetic galaxy powered by gas and dust swirling onto a giant black hole.

The quasar, called MG J0414+0534, is so distant that its light has travelled for 11.1 billion years to reach the Earth, having left when the universe was only 2.5 billion years old. It beats the previous distance record for a watery galaxy by many billions of light years.

"We now know water is out there," says Violette Impellizzeri from the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany. "Because water masers arise close to the cores of galaxies, our result opens new interesting possibilities for studying supermassive black holes at a time when galaxies were forming."

Impellizzeri's team used the 100-metre Effelsberg radio telescope to observe the quasar, which is particularly bright thanks to an effect called gravitational lensing. The gravity of a foreground galaxy acts like a cosmic telescope, magnifying the quasar's light and distorting it into four separate images.

12-19-2008, 07:24 AM

Scientists Make Image, Movie of a Jupiter Moon Setting

<img src="http://www.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/hires/1-scientistmak.jpg">

NASA&acutes Hubble Space Telescope has caught Jupiter&acutes moon Ganymede playing a game of "peek-a-boo." In this crisp Hubble image, Ganymede is shown just before it ducks behind the giant planet. This color photo was made from three images taken on April 9, 2007, with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 in red, green, and blue filters. The image shows Jupiter and Ganymede in close to natural colors. (NASA, ESA and Erich

12-19-2008, 07:25 AM

Earth's Atmosphere "Breathes" More Rapidly Than Thought

Earth’s atmosphere was known to "breathe" in a cycle lasting nearly a month. Now scientists say the planet takes a quick breath every few days.

The breathing-like activity is the result of high-speed solar wind disturbances that cause a recurrent expansion and contraction of Earth’s atmosphere every few days, satellite observations show. This atmospheric mode could affect radio communication, orbiting satellites and possibly the Earth's climate, researchers say.

The expansion and contraction happens way up in the Earth's thermosphere, the layer of the atmosphere that extends from about 60 to 300 miles (96.5 to 483 kilometers) above the planet's surface. The thermosphere is constantly interacting with the sun's upper atmosphere as it expands out into the solar system, said one of the researchers who made the discovery, Jeff Thayer of the University of Colorado in Boulder, during a press conference at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco yesterday.

This interaction causes an energy exchange that can change the density of the thermosphere (how closely the gas molecules within it are packed together). As its density changes, the thermosphere expands and contracts.

(cont'd on site)

12-19-2008, 07:26 AM

Ethics guidelines needed for robots

WASHINGTON: The introduction of robot ethics guidelines is needed immediately, amid surging use of the machines and concern about their lack of human responsibility, a British researcher has said.

In an article published today in the journal Science, artificial intelligence and robotics professor Noel Sharkey, from the University of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, argues that the steady increase in the use of robots in day-to-day life poses unanticipated risks and ethical problems.

12-19-2008, 07:27 AM

ScienceDaily (Dec. 18, 2008) — Scientists have shown that tiny crystals found inside bacteria provide a magnetic compass to help them navigate through sediment to find the best food.

<img src="http://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2008/12/081216201412.jpg">

Researchers say their study could provide fresh clues to explain biomagnetism – a phenomenon in which some birds, insects and marine life navigate using the magnetic field that encompasses the Earth.

The study focuses on magnetotactic bacteria, which contain chains of magnetic crystals, called magnetosomes. They exist all over the globe, living in lake and pond sediments and in ocean coastal regions.

Since the discovery of magnetotactic bacteria in the 1970s, it has not been clear exactly what magnetosomes were for. Previous research suggested that some magnetosome chains would not be useful for navigation because their crystal sizes did not possess the right magnetic qualities.

However, researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh have now shown that previous modelling methods were inaccurate. New calculations prove that all known magnetosomes do posses the right magnetic qualities needed to facilitate navigation. Study leader, Dr Adrian Muxworthy, from Imperial's Department of Earth Science and Engineering, explains:

"Magnetosomes align with one another to form a chain inside the bacteria and work like a magnetic compass. We are still not sure how, but this compass interacts with the Earth's magnetic field, helping the bacteria to navigate through sediment to the best feeding grounds."

Dr Muxworthy says the study is a nice example of evolution which demonstrates how a relatively simple organism can develop a highly optimised navigational capability. He says it may provide fresh insights into the evolutionary processes that have helped other animals and aquatic species to become skilled navigators.

12-19-2008, 07:29 AM

Goose Eggs Could Save Polar Bears

<img src="http://i.livescience.com/images/081215-polar-bear-02.jpg">

Polar bears could survive extinction despite many starving to death in coming years, according to scientists and other observers who have discovered that some of the bears have found a new food source — goose and duck eggs.

The eggs could be coming in part from a rebounding goose population in the Hudson Bay area, feeding polar bears whose icy habitat in the Arctic is melting, one new study finds.

In recent years, much of the sea ice that polar bears use as a hunting platform for seal meals has melted, forcing some bears — particularly young males — farther north or onto land, where they are not as adept at hunting. When stuck on land for months, a polar bear typically is forced to survive on its own fat reserves.

The bears were listed earlier this year as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act as populations have declined.

Meanwhile, snow geese are thriving near the western Hudson Bay, and researchers say there are in fact too many of them. Their eggs can be a good food source, researchers report in the online version of the journal Polar Biology. The geese nest on tundra that some bears have retreated to.

"Over 40 years, six subadult male bears were seen among snow goose nests, and four of them were sighted after the year 2000," says Robert Rockwell, an ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History and a biology professor at City University of New York's City College. "I've seen a subadult male eat eider duck eggs whole or press its nose against the shell, break it, and eat the contents."

(cont'd on site)

12-19-2008, 07:31 AM

Performing monkeys attack trainer in China
Three performing monkeys turned on their trainer in China after he beat one of them with a stick.

<img src="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01208/monkeys1_1208243c.jpg">

Three angry monkeys turned on their cruel trainer and beat him with his own stick Photo: EuroPics[CEN]

When one of the monkeys refused to ride on a child's bicycle in a street performance in Sizhou, in eastern China, their owner beat it with a stick.

Although they were tied to the man with ropes attached to their collars, the monkeys appear to have decided to fight back.

The two animals came to the defence of the third monkey, grabbing the stick from the man, pulling on his ear and biting his head.

When he dropped his cane, on monkey snatched it up and began beating the trainer on the head until he broke the stick, witnesses said.

<b>The dazed trainer told his audience: "They were once wild and these performances don't always come naturally to them. They may have built up some feelings of hatred towards me."</b>

Local police are apparently investigating allegations of animal cruelty and may confiscate the monkeys from the man.

Performances with monkeys are a common sight in markets and squares in China, but the treatment of the animals is frequently criticised by animal rights organisations.

12-19-2008, 07:31 AM

Streets ahead: The road that generates electricity from moving cars

We are told that driving alone in our cars is a waste of our dwindling fuel supplies.

But scientists now claim they have developed a way to use the movement of cars along a street to generate electricity.

And, to prove it, they will be opening the world's first road of its kind next month.

The scientists in Israel say that cars travelling along a mile length of asphalt could generate more than 640 kilowatts - enough power to run 12 small cars.

12-19-2008, 07:52 AM

New Timothy Leary writings surfaced in a new book, and its editor tells the story of a woman who "involved Leary in a successful conspiracy to turn John F. Kennedy on to LSD."

Its one of many startling revelations in a new interview, in which he also notes that Time magazine published an article last year titled "Was Timothy Leary right?"

The book's editor thinks Leary would be delighted by today's re-evaluation of psychedelics. "...with the growing awareness of the destructive nature of drug prohibition, it seemed wise to try to make this a fairly serious contribution to our collective knowledge and thinking regarding drugs."

12-19-2008, 07:55 AM

In the 1950s, Disneyland thrilled visitors with its imaginative House of the Future. Now Disney has opened a new House, with a new vision of future domesticity. Our correspondent looks in—and finds that what’s to come will be tough on the stomach, relentlessly beige, and, in every sense, subprime.
by P. J. O’Rourke

Future Schlock

In the 1950s, Disneyland thrilled visitors with its imaginative House of the Future.

Now Disney has opened a new House, with a new vision of future domesticity.

The Atlantic's correspondent looks in—and finds that what’s to come will be tough on the stomach, relentlessly beige, and, in every sense, subprime.

<img src="http://www.theatlantic.com/images/issues/200812/200/disney.jpg">

12-19-2008, 07:57 AM
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Kirk/Spock Cartoon Mashed Up With Pulp's 'Common People', Performed by William Shatner

Bronco Bob
12-20-2008, 12:29 PM

Streets ahead: The road that generates electricity from moving cars

We are told that driving alone in our cars is a waste of our dwindling fuel supplies.

But scientists now claim they have developed a way to use the movement of cars along a street to generate electricity.

And, to prove it, they will be opening the world's first road of its kind next month.

The scientists in Israel say that cars travelling along a mile length of asphalt could generate more than 640 kilowatts - enough power to run 12 small cars.

Only problem with that is the cars will get worse gas millage because
the energy has to come from somewhere, which will mean more drag on
the cars, so it will take more fuel for the cars to maintain the same speed
on the highway and so it will waste even more petroleum.
Obviously the scientist who came up with that idea flunked thermodynamics
when he was in college.

12-22-2008, 06:07 AM
Only problem with that is the cars will get worse gas millage because
the energy has to come from somewhere, which will mean more drag on
the cars, so it will take more fuel for the cars to maintain the same speed
on the highway and so it will waste even more petroleum.
Obviously the scientist who came up with that idea flunked thermodynamics
when he was in college.

The pioneering system works in a similar way to a power-generating dance floor that is already in use in a London nightclub.

As vehicles pass over a road, they squeeze tiny piezoelectric crystals that produce a small amount of energy.

If thousands of crystals are embedded in the road surface, huge amounts of power can be produced.

The current created can be either transferred back to the national grid or used for lighting or heating.

Innowattech, the Israeli company involved in the research, will unveil the first power-creating road in a few weeks' time.

The company is also developing a similar system for railways and for 'travelators' - or moving pavements - at airports.

If the idea was brought in across Britain, experts predict it would save enough energy to power nearly 35,000 small cars.

Scientists throughout the world have been working on similar schemes over the past decade.

American scientists operating in Turin showed in an experiment at the city's railway station last year that human energy could be used to create electricity.

They came up with a prototype generator powered by a succession of people stepping on blocks fixed to the floor.

They claimed that a large crowd could give enough energy to move a train, while nightclub dancers could provide heating, lighting and run sound systems.

The Israeli engineers behind the current project, based at the Technion Institute in Haifa, are led by scientist Haim Abramovich.

They are preparing to show how their system works on a 100m section of road.

12-22-2008, 07:35 AM
Urban farming slide show at Time


12-22-2008, 07:43 AM

"If programming languages were religions"
(Inspired by "If programming languages were cars")

C would be Judaism - it's old and restrictive, but most of the world is familiar with its laws and respects them. The catch is, you can't convert into it - you're either into it from the start, or you will think that it's insanity. Also, when things go wrong, many people are willing to blame the problems of the world on it.

Java would be Fundamentalist Christianity - it's theoretically based on C, but it voids so many of the old laws that it doesn't feel like the original at all. Instead, it adds its own set of rigid rules, which its followers believe to be far superior to the original. Not only are they certain that it's the best language in the world, but they're willing to burn those who disagree at the stake.

PHP would be Cafeteria Christianity - Fights with Java for the web market. It draws a few concepts from C and Java, but only those that it really likes. Maybe it's not as coherent as other languages, but at least it leaves you with much more freedom and ostensibly keeps the core idea of the whole thing. Also, the whole concept of "goto hell" was abandoned.

C++ would be Islam - It takes C and not only keeps all its laws, but adds a very complex new set of laws on top of it. It's so versatile that it can be used to be the foundation of anything, from great atrocities to beautiful works of art. Its followers are convinced that it is the ultimate universal language, and may be angered by those who disagree. Also, if you insult it or its founder, you'll probably be threatened with death by more radical followers.

C# would be Mormonism - At first glance, it's the same as Java, but at a closer look you realize that it's controlled by a single corporation (which many Java followers believe to be evil), and that many theological concepts are quite different. You suspect that it'd probably be nice, if only all the followers of Java wouldn't discriminate so much against you for following it.

Lisp would be Zen Buddhism - There is no syntax, there is no centralization of dogma, there are no deities to worship. The entire universe is there at your reach - if only you are enlightened enough to grasp it. Some say that it's not a language at all; others say that it's the only language that makes sense.

Haskell would be Taoism - It is so different from other languages that many people don't understand how can anyone use it to produce anything useful. Its followers believe that it's the true path to wisdom, but that wisdom is beyond the grasp of most mortals.

Erlang would be Hinduism - It's another strange language that doesn't look like it could be used for anything, but unlike most other modern languages, it's built around the concept of multiple simultaneous deities.

Perl would be Voodoo - An incomprehensible series of arcane incantations that involve the blood of goats and permanently corrupt your soul. Often used when your boss requires you to do an urgent task at 21:00 on friday night.

Lua would be Wicca - A pantheistic language that can easily be adapted for different cultures and locations. Its code is very liberal, and allows for the use of techniques that might be described as magical by those used to more traditional languages. It has a strong connection to the moon.

Ruby would be Neo-Paganism - A mixture of different languages and ideas that was beaten together into something that might be identified as a language. Its adherents are growing fast, and although most people look at them suspiciously, they are mostly well-meaning people with no intention of harming anyone.

Python would be Humanism: It's simple, unrestrictive, and all you need to follow it is common sense. Many of the followers claim to feel relieved from all the burden imposed by other languages, and that they have rediscovered the joy of programming. There are some who say that it is a form of pseudo-code.

COBOL would be Ancient Paganism - There was once a time when it ruled over a vast region and was important, but nowadays it's almost dead, for the good of us all. Although many were scarred by the rituals demanded by its deities, there are some who insist on keeping it alive even today.

APL would be Scientology - There are many people who claim to follow it, but you've always suspected that it's a huge and elaborate prank that got out of control.

LOLCODE would be Pastafarianism - An esoteric, Internet-born belief that nobody really takes seriously, despite all the efforts to develop and spread it.

Visual Basic would be Satanism - Except that you don't REALLY need to sell your soul to be a Satanist...

Thanks to jfs and other people on #aegisub for the suggestions. Keep in mind, this list is a joke, and is not meant to offend anyone. Also, if you're a Muslim, please don't kill me. ;)

12-22-2008, 07:51 AM

Sneezing a lot? You must be thinking about sex
December 20th, 2008 by TiamatsVision

“It may not sound like the most promising start to a romance, but a bout of sneezing can be sign that someone is attracted to you. Doctors have uncovered a bizarre medical condition where people sneeze every time they think about sex or have an orgasm. The condition appears to afflict both and men and women and to be uncontrollable.

Dr Mahmood Bhutta, an ear, nose and throat expert at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, who describes the condition in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, admits that his initial reaction was disbelief. But now he thinks the phenomenon is genuine and closely linked to the bursts of sneezing that one in four people have when they are exposed to bright sunshine.

The condition came to light in a middle-aged man, who has not been named, who complained that he had an uncontrollable fit of sneezes each time he was sexually aroused. After overcoming his scepticism, Dr Bhutta began searching medical records - and internet chat rooms - to see if anyone else had a similar problem. ‘I was surprised by how many people also reported the same reflex in internet chat rooms,’ he said. Typing the words ’sex, sneeze or sneezing’ into the Google search engine produced a surprising number of hits. Seventeen men and women reported sneezing immediately when they thought about sex, and three had the same experience after orgasm.”

12-22-2008, 07:52 AM

Some Points About Pointing
December 20th, 2008 by TiamatsVision

<img src="http://imaginingourselves.imow.org/Asset/2489_lowresPointing_to_the_future2.jpg">

“A few years ago I published a book, The Hand: A Philosophical Inquiry into Human Being, which identified the opposable thumb as one of the main drivers of humanity to its uniquely self-conscious state. Full opposability not only made the hand more versatile, but for a variety of reasons changed the hand into a proto-tool unlike any other organ in the animal kingdom. It was this that awoke the sense that humans have of being conscious agents and set them on a direction away from the condition of organisms which merely live, to that of embodied subjects who lead their lives. There was nothing particularly original in identifying the hand as the key to the exceptional nature of humans: Anaxagoras, Aristotle, Kant, Erasmus Darwin, had preceded me, to name just a few. What originality my thesis had lay in the details of my argument and the precise way in which I linked the hand to Man the Toolmaker, and, though this, to the development of a true sociality. This sociality is based upon what I characterised as ‘the collectivisation of consciousness’, from which emerged the community of minds that is the human world.

Some years after I had published this book, I received a fascinating letter from a reader. While accepting the main thrust of my thesis, they argued that I had overlooked the importance of another feature of the human hand: the relative freedom of the index finger. This observation fell on fertile ground. For many years, I have been fascinated by one of the primary functions of the index finger: pointing. Up in the loft I still had a manuscript, abandoned in 1973, called Studies in Pointish. Clearly the time had come to re-visit the manuscript and the topic. The result is a work in progress – Michelangelo’s Finger – and a good deal of fun.

One of the joys of philosophical thought is that it requires no equipment or any particular occasion. The necessary materials are always to hand – in the case of meditating on pointing, literally so. Something apparently trivial, if examined in the right spirit, can become a glass-bottomed boat, giving us access to the near-fathomless depths upon which everyday life floats. It was Wittgenstein who pointed out (the phrase is inescapable but I shall try not to use it again) that there is nothing obvious about pointing. It is not, for example, self-evident that the direction of the pointer is from the shoulder to the finger tip and not vice versa. It takes a Martian or genius to notice that (and Wittgenstein was of course both). In fact, the rules of basic pointing turn out to be quite complicated. This nails the mistaken belief that pointing is a natural sign – that it is transparent and requires no interpretation. It is highly conventional.”

12-22-2008, 07:53 AM

Were the California drones a promotion for the Sarah Connor Chronicles?

<img src="http://www.klintron.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/ufo09_drone_compare_p.jpg">

They were getting completely behind their product, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, by ramping up a viral advertising campaign that would draw the public into their show. With the right public momentum, the gimmick would have netted them some serious press coverage and ratings. But the project got snuffed when the writers’ strike hit. That pushed back the airing date of this mid-season finale episode, and Fox moved on. In their wake, they forgot to let on about it and left the hundreds of UFO-ologists spinning up hundreds of thousands of hours combing over the Drones evidence and tossing out their conjectures. […]

Did Fox perpetrate the viral ad gone south, or did they take advantage of something that is out in the public domain and made it their own, risking possible legal issues?

12-22-2008, 07:55 AM

Brain Injuries Linked to Spirituality
December 21st, 2008 by TiamatsVision

“Two University of Missouri psychologists are proposing “a neurophysiological model of spiritual experience” that explains what is happening inside the brain when people experience feelings of selflessness and transcendence. The model “suggests that all individuals, regardless of cultural background or religion, experience the same neurophysiological/neuropsychological functions during spiritual experiences,” according to co-authors Brick Johnstone and Bret A. Glass. It also attempts to explain why these brain activities are interpreted in such different ways by people from different religious traditions and cultures.

Their work, which is detailed in a newly published paper in the journal Zygon, builds on that of researchers such as Dr. Andrew Newberg, who conducted MRI scans of meditating Buddhist monks and Catholic nuns engaging in contemplative prayer. As Miller-McCune reported in October, such activity is associated with increased activity in the frontal lobe, combined with decreased activity in another part of the brain, the parietal lobe.

The Missouri researchers approached the issue from another angle altogether, studying the spiritual experiences of people who suffered traumatic brain injuries. They asked 26 adults who had suffered such injuries about their personal spiritual experiences, the amount of time they devote to spiritual or religious practices and the degree to which they feel close to God or some other spiritual entity.”

12-22-2008, 07:56 AM

Twitter as alternative currency?
December 21st, 2008 by Klintron

I brainstormed a few ideas for business models for Twitter at my other blog the other day. Here’s an idea from it that I think is of interest to readers of this blog:

Twitter could become a virtual free bank, offering their own digital currency that can be traded through Twitter. Give a certain amount of starting credits to verified users, and let the market determine the actual value. Hey, maybe if they limit the number of tweets per day they could make “tweet credits” tradable - a la cell phone minutes in Africa.

12-22-2008, 07:57 AM

How To Live Freegan and Die Old
December 21st, 2008 by TiamatsVision

“Marko Manriquez is the founder of The Freegan Kitchen, a site that promotes cooking found food. He’s been diving in dumpsters for food going on three years now. As a result his lifestyle is both environmentally and socially responsible. I recently became aware of freeganism through a mutual friend. Then I got to interview Manriquez about how he’s been off the agri-business grid since. Photo by electromute.

Kelly Abbott: When did you first become interested in the freegan lifestyle and what drew you to it?

Marko Manriquez: I’ve always considered myself an environmentalist (as well as a bit of cheapskate), so it was a natural fit for my lifestyle. My friends kept finding amazing things from the dumpster, including food. At first, I was apprehensive to eat any of it, taking only timid bitefuls. But, I was surprised at both how much perfectly good food was being thrown away (~14% by conservative estimates) and that no one really knew about it. And it also bothered me that most of our garbage was being literally entombed in landfills rather than composted or returned into the ecosystem. The United States is a culture of enormous consumer appetites (obviously)—we consume (and waste) so much but it never really seems to satisfy our desires. The impulse to buy our way out of anything is very strong, rarely questioned and conditioned into us perpetually from a very early age. I wanted to share this revelation with others. I created FK as a way to both satirize our consumer media bubble (how better than with a cooking show?) while at the same time empower others to alternative forms of sustainability—all the while leveraging the tools of the system to critique itself.”

12-22-2008, 07:58 AM

The art of R.S. Connett

<img src="http://www.klintron.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/robertstevenconnett.jpg">

<img src="http://www.mactonnies.com/connett.jpg">

12-22-2008, 07:59 AM

New site from Danny Chaoflux:


A new site for occultnik ****tard mutant astral warriors.

The site is two-fold. Imageboard forums that are all out nonsense [for the most part], and a blogroll with carefully selected RSS feeds plugged into it.

We got IRC going on, and more plans for random bells and whistles down the line.

The blog can be viewed by itself at neopostnow.net, and it still needs some work. [Feeds are not set up at the moment.]

I wanted to release the site on the Solstice, so screw perfection, here it is. Enjoy.


Better site explanation forthcoming.

More forums were planned, but I didn’t want to get too carried away this early in the game.


12-22-2008, 07:59 AM

US balks at backing condemnation of anti-gay laws

By DAVID CRARY – 3 days ago

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Alone among major Western nations, the United States has refused to sign a declaration presented Thursday at the United Nations calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.

In all, 66 of the U.N.'s 192 member countries signed the nonbinding declaration — which backers called a historic step to push the General Assembly to deal more forthrightly with any-gay discrimination. More than 70 U.N. members outlaw homosexuality, and in several of them homosexual acts can be punished by execution.

Co-sponsored by France and the Netherlands, the declaration was signed by all 27 European Union members, as well as Japan, Australia, Mexico and three dozen other countries. There was broad opposition from Muslim nations, and the United States refused to sign, indicating that some parts of the declaration raised legal questions that needed further review.

"It's disappointing," said Rama Yade, France's human rights minister, of the U.S. position — which she described as in contradiction with America's long tradition as a defender of human rights.

According to some of the declaration's backers, U.S. officials expressed concern in private talks that some parts of the declaration might be problematic in committing the federal government on matters that fall under state jurisdiction. In numerous states, landlords and private employers are allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation; on the federal level, gays are not allowed to serve openly in the military.

12-22-2008, 08:01 AM

Pain Hurts More If Person Hurting You Means It

ScienceDaily: Researchers at Harvard University have discovered that our experience of pain depends on whether we think someone caused the pain intentionally. In their study, participants who believed they were getting an electrical shock from another person on purpose, rather than accidentally, rated the very same shock as more painful. Participants seemed to get used to shocks that were delivered unintentionally, but those given on purpose had a fresh sting every time.

"This study shows that even if two harmful events are physically identical, the one delivered with the intention to hurt actually hurts more," says Gray. "Compare a slap from a friend as she tries to save us from a mosquito versus the same slap fro

12-22-2008, 08:02 AM

Two Women Tortured, Killed By Exorcist

Qamaruddin, Intolerant Faith: Two men were arrested on Friday on charges of torturing two women to death in ritualistic exorcism in Qadir Bux Behrani village of Kot Ghulam Mohammad taluka.

Nabi Bux Behrani filed an FIR against a fake ‘Pir’ Allah Bux, his sons Niaz Hussain and Aijaz Hussain and accused him of killing the two women Fatima and Sakina. Six other unidentified people were also named in the First Information Report (FIR). A police official said that another woman, Nazeeran, was still in Allah Bux’s custody.

12-22-2008, 08:03 AM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20081220/pl_usnw/bush_insider_who_planned_to_tell_all_killed_in_pla ne_crash__non_profit_demands_full_federal_investig ation

Bush Insider Who Planned To Tell All Killed In Plane Crash: Non-Profit Demands Full Federal Investigation

PRNewswire, WASHINGTON: Michael Connell, the Bush IT expert who has been directly implicated in the rigging of George Bush's 2000 and 2004 elections, was killed last night when his single engine plane crashed three miles short of the Akron airport.

Velvet Revolution ("VR"), a non-profit that has been investigating Mr. Connell's activities for the past two years, can now reveal that a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how he can tell all about his work for George Bush. Mr. Connell told a close associate that he was afraid that George Bush and Dick Cheney would "throw [him] under the bus."

A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell's life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR's attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell's not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged.

Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside of Washington DC to meet some people. It was on his return flight the next day that he crashed.

12-22-2008, 08:03 AM

Is the internet going down? Undersea sub-cables have just broken...

TechCentral: Breaking news: something's happening to the internet, right now. We're just not quite sure what.

Interoute, the internet networks company, reports that three of the four internet sub-cables that run from Asia to North America have been damaged.

These carry more than 75 per cent of traffic between the Middle East, Europe and America. It's hard to gather what this actually means — is it that the internet is down or (more likely) significantly slower than usual between the Middle East and America? (If you're reading this, let's face it, the internet has not shut down altogether)

12-22-2008, 08:05 AM
Time Mag's Top Underreported News Story Of 2008? Missing Nuke Fuses Shipped to Taiwan


Those helicopter batteries the Pentagon thought it had shipped to Taiwan back in 2006? In March, seven months after the Air Force lost track of six nuclear warheads that were inadvertently flown over the U.S., the Defense Department was informed that the batteries it meant to deliver to Taiwan had actually been fuses used to trigger nuclear warheads. Whoops. Though the shipments contained no nuclear material, this was still a potentially explosive mistake since China considers Taiwan part of its territory, making U.S. arms sales to Taiwan among the most sensitive points in U.S.-China relations. Amazingly, the fuses' absence managed to escape notice in at least six and possibly up to eight quarterly inventory checks. The U.S. only learned about the mix-up when the Taiwanese found themselves a few helicopter batteries short, dusted off the 2006 shipment and told the Pentagon what was inside.

12-22-2008, 08:06 AM

Intelligent Soldiers More Likely To Die In Combat

Analysis of IQ statistics shows that Scottish soldiers who survived the second world war were less intelligent on average than those who died fighting the Nazis.

The data is available because Scotland conducted national IQ tests for all 11-year-olds in 1932; no other country has ever done such a massive, thorough test of the mental ability of its population.

Apparently, Scottish soldiers who died in WWII and had taken the IQ tests as children had achieved an average IQ score of 100.8, while survivors who had taken the same test averaged 97.4.

The higher war death rate for smart individuals finally explains studies which found a dip in intelligence among Scottish men directly after the war.

12-22-2008, 08:07 AM

Did Cheney Confess to a Felony?

Did Cheney Confess to a Felony? It looks that way to me. In an interview conducted with ABC News’s Jonathan Karl yesterday, Vice President Cheney was probed on his role in the Bush Administration’s torture program. His answers were in part extremely disingenuous, but he did acknowledge a key role in the decision to torture one prisoner. Here’s the key passage:

KARL: Did you authorize the tactics that were used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

CHENEY: I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the agency in effect came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn’t do. And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it.

KARL: In hindsight, do you think any of those tactics that were used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others went too far?

CHENEY: I don’t.

There are some amazing whoppers in this exchange. The Bush White House has consistently strained to present the introduction of torture techniques as an initiative that started with interrogators on the front line and worked its way up. First British author Philippe Sands (The Torture Team) and then the Senate Armed Services Committee itself, in the still-unreleased Levin-McCain Report, established that this narrative was a fraud. Instead, torture was introduced as an initiative that started with Dick Cheney. In the first weeks following 9/11, Cheney pushed and needled senior figures at the CIA, suggesting that they introduce tactics involving fear, threats and physical brutality. When he was informed that CIA seniors believed their palette of techniques went as far as the law allowed, Cheney, drawing on the skills of his counsel David Addington and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, arranged to have John Yoo craft a memorandum (the infamous torture memo) to overrule the CIA and its counsel. It was not a situation in which they proposed and he accepted, but rather one in which he cajoled and pressured them to accept torture techniques, enlisting the Justice Department in the process. Those are the facts; Cheney has, of course, contrived a paper trail that provides him cover and that carefully elides his decisive role in the process from the outset. Throughout his career he has been a master manipulator who gets his results without leaving behind a clean set of fingerprints.

12-22-2008, 08:08 AM
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Nominated for 8 Grammys, Hip-Hop superstar Lil Wayne talks about the inequalities of the War on Drugs in this clip from the track "Dontgetit" off of his latest album, Tha Carter III.

12-22-2008, 08:09 AM

Katrina's Hidden Race War

Three years later, the Nation looks into claims of organized attacks on black residents in New Orleans by white vigilantes in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Apparently, the fate of Donnell Herrington (who was blasted in the neck with a shotgun by a group of men shouting, "Get that ****er!") was part of a larger pattern:

"Facing an influx of refugees, [some] white residents, convinced that crime would arrive with the human exodus, sought to seal off the area, blocking the roads in and out of the neighborhood by dragging lumber and downed trees into the streets. They stockpiled handguns, assault rifles, shotguns and at least one Uzi and began patrolling the streets in pickup trucks and SUVs. The newly formed militia, a loose band of about fifteen to thirty residents, most of them men, all of them white, was looking for thieves, outlaws or, as one member put it, anyone who simply 'didn't belong.'

The existence of this little army isn't a secret — in 2005 newspaper reporters wrote up the group's activities in glowing terms in articles that showed up on an array of pro-gun blogs; one story called it 'the ultimate neighborhood watch.'"

12-22-2008, 08:09 AM

There is a very good possibility that the World War III option is an attempt to control the Internet by eliminating Net Neutrality and online free speech. It appears that the boundaries set between countries through treaties are vanishing due to the exponential dissemination of information through the Internet. This is in conflict with the wishes of the oligarchy who are willing to do anything to maintain control.

The attack on the Internet is three-pronged, it involves bandwidth throttling by ISP’s, Internet censorship by governments, and the oligarchy trying to prevent Network neutrality. Just a few examples of what is happening are:

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12-22-2008, 08:22 AM

Barack Obama: The Naked Emperor

<img src="http://www.davidicke.com/oi/extras/08/obama/obama19.jpg">

12-22-2008, 09:40 AM
How Obama Got Elected... Interviews With Obama Voters


12-22-2008, 09:49 AM

How Odin Became Santa Claus: Symbolism and Pagan Origins of a Gift-Giving Saint

12-22-2008, 09:50 AM

Pagan origins, Christian adaptation, & secular status

12-22-2008, 09:55 AM

NASA will give away old Shuttles for free

12-22-2008, 10:03 AM

Banks Not Disclosing What They Did with Bailout Cash


Money Market Funds Closing Down as Yields Near Zero

12-22-2008, 10:03 AM

Change: Rice Says That Obama Will Follow Bush Foreign Policy

12-22-2008, 10:11 AM

'Hobbit' Fossils Represent A New Species, Concludes Anthropologist

12-22-2008, 10:11 AM

Uncovering ancient Egyptian secrets

12-22-2008, 10:12 AM

Scientists discover new forest with undiscovered species on Google Earth
Conservationists have found a host of new species after discovering uncharted new territory on the internet map Google Earth.

12-22-2008, 10:12 AM

Microscopic plankton get the big picture

<img src="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00452/Plank1_452680a.jpg">

12-22-2008, 10:13 AM

Study clears cannabis of schizophrenia rap

No greater risk than general non-tokers

By Tim Worstall

Posted in Policing, 6th November 2008 13:19 GMT

Free Download - Comparing Data Center Batteries, Flywheels and Ultracapacitors

Regular readers will recall the confused mess (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/08/cannabis_law_analysis/) that is this government’s cannabis policy. There has been a drop in cannabis consumption since it was downgraded from Class B to C, but nevertheless they want to put it back up to Class B again. Yes, we know all about the argument that what you ingest is entirely your business, it being your body and all that but morals are always trumped by politics.

In the comments section to our last piece the general consensus was that the policy was driven either by a craven servility to the Murdoch press or, as a daring alternative, a bending to Daily Mail woo woo. The general consensus however was that it was Puritanism, that awful fear that someone, somewhere, might be enjoying themselves and that this situation cannot be allowed to continue. We’re arguing over whose Puritanism, not whether.

There was one vaguely respectable argument that could be put forward on the prohibitionist’s side, that of cannabis induced schizophrenia. This has been increasing even as the general incidence of schizophrenia has been stable (or even falling, depending upon who you ask). That the rise was on the order of 500 people a year means it’s not a very important point, not when compared to 3 million regular tokers, but there are still those who will buy the argument that people should be stopped from harming themselves, even if the risks are very low.

There is certainly a correlation, but we should still want to know about causation before we take any further action. For it is possible, and it is a view advanced by some (like myself last time), that those who are about to become schizophrenic dose themselves on cannabis as they are known to on alcohol and any other substance that comes to hand to still the voices. Or perhaps there’s a milder version, that cannabis induced psychosis isn’t in fact cannabis induced at all, but is simply coincidental: that it’s an early marker of schizophrenia rather than something brought on by cannabis itself.

When we try to test this we also want to be very careful indeed about our sample groups. We really don’t want to be making the mistake that the World Health Organisation has been making with HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa. Testing pregnant women to give you the incidence of a sexually transmitted disease in the general population really ain't all that clever: you’re testing the one group of the population where you have actual proof that they’ve been partaking in unprotected sex. It might be useful to get an idea of scale, but it's just not going to be all that accurate.

Fortunately, all of this is just what some scientists have done (http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE4A26JV20081103?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews&rpc=22&sp=true) (sadly, the full paper (http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/65/11/1269) is not online for free access). We know that there is a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia (more accurately to three different conditions that we'll, for convenience sake, group together here). If we’re lucky we can also find a decent data set which we have indeed got, some 2.25 million Danes born between 1955 and 1990, and we know both their own treatments for either cannabis induced psychosis or for those varied schizophrenic type diseases. We can also track their familial relationships and see which of them did or didn’t suffer in these manners. Excellent, we can now try to test our correlation. Do people who have had cannabis induced psychotic episodes then go on to develop schizophrenia at a higher rate than their genetic predisposition (as evidenced by their familial incidence of schizophrenia) would lead us to believe they would?

Well, looking at the 609 who had treatment for such pot induced freakouts and those 6,476 who were treated for the full blown nastiness, well, umm, no. Formally:

In terms of estimated rate ratios, persons who develop cannabis-induced psychosis are as predisposed to schizophrenia spectrum disorder and other psychiatric disorders as those who develop schizophrenia spectrum disorder without a history of cannabis-induced psychosis.

So at this point we can say that, no, that bad trip on some heavy **** does not lead on to schizophrenia. There’s no difference in incidence.

But the paper’s authors go much further:

Altogether, these findings, in addition to those of previous studies, indicate that cannabis-induced psychosis may not be a valid diagnosis but an early marker of schizophrenia.

That is, that the very idea of that bad trip is itself wrong. The disease is already there, simply wrongly diagnosed as being cannabis induced. And finally we get:

Rather, the degree of hereditary predisposition in individuals who receive treatment of cannabis-induced psychosis closely mirrors that in those who develop schizophrenia with no history of cannabis induced psychosis. The results agree with those of other studies that show that cannabis predominantly causes psychotic symptoms in those persons who are predisposed to develop psychosis or show signs of psychosis in the absence of cannabis use.

This goes a great deal further than my or anyone else’s original supposition, that pot consumption might cause problems only for those who are already predisposed to mental health problems. If it were simply this then we could deal with legalised pot simply by placing warnings upon it, as we do with nuts and nut allergies (umm, 'nut' possibly isn’t le mot juste there). But this finding goes further. There seems to be no evidence that cannabis consumption increases the incidence of these mental diseases at all. Incidence is the same for those who have had the "cannabis induced" version as it is in the general population, adjusting for the risks we perceive from the incidence of such problems in their immediate families. That there’s actually nothing to do with cannabis at all, that it just so happens that some who are becoming schizophrenic, something which is often marked by short episodes before it fully takes grip, happen to have been puffing 'erb when such episodes hit.

Thus there really is no logical leg for the government to stand upon in its reclassification of cannabis: there's not in fact one reason against the legalisation of the damn stuff and the increase in liberty and freedom that would result.

So, anyone think this is going to make any difference? No, thought not myself. OK, back to basics then, could the Murdochists and the Mailites let us know who is really to blame for the idiocy which is current drugs policy? ®

12-22-2008, 10:14 AM

US Navy's robot stealth carrier plane unveiled

<img src="http://regmedia.co.uk/2008/12/18/x47b_ucas.jpg">

12-22-2008, 10:15 AM

Ohio prof develops CCTV people-tracker 'ware

Boffins in Ohio have taken another step towards the global surveillance panopticon of the future, developing software which can autonomously track an individual through a city using CCTV cameras.

James W Davis, associate prof at the Ohio State computer science and engineering department, developed the new spyware with the aid of grad student Karthik Sankaranarayanan.

Davis and Sankaranarayanan's code works by using a pan-tilt-zoom camera to create a panoramic image of its entire field of view, and then linking each ground pixel in the picture to a georeferenced location on a map. This means that when the camera sees a person or vehicle, the computer also knows in terms of map coordinates where it is looking.

That in turn makes it possible for a new camera to be trained on the target as he/she/it passes out of the first one's field of view. In this way, a subject can be followed automatically anywhere that the monitoring computer has CCTV coverage. There's no need for a human operator to manually train cameras around, using up man-hours and sooner or later making a mistake and losing track.

"That's the advantage of linking all the cameras together in one system - you could follow a person's trajectory seamlessly," says Davis.

12-22-2008, 10:15 AM

Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/17/world_at_risk_wmd/
Censored scenes from the Congress WMD report

Last minute bioterror rewrites?

By George Smith, Dick Destiny

Posted in Government, 17th December 2008 12:52 GMT

Free Download - Comparing Data Center Batteries, Flywheels and Ultracapacitors

World at Risk, the final report (http://www.preventwmd.org/) of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, received a good build-up. Its publicity stretched from reports outlining a draft of it (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/29/AR2008112901921_pf.html) in the Washington Post over the Thanksgiving Day weekend, with more news and private and public briefings the following week. We are, the general consensus went, in deadly danger.

This overriding message from the released copy was given in one sentence from the preface: "[Unless] the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013 ... The Commission further believes that terrorists are more likely to be able to obtain and use a biological weapon than a nuclear weapon."
Five years till doomsday?

The Houston Chronicle was one newspaper which took the grim pronouncement and made it worse, amplifying the fear and claiming, (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/nation/6142214.html) a little imprecisely, that the commission's message was "The United States can expect a terrorist attack using nuclear or more likely biological weapons before 2013 ..."

But while many newspapers jumped on the story, it did not have quite the jolt announcements of this nature have had in the past. Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman of California, Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence & Terrorism Risk Assessment, immediately issued a blunt press release. (http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/ca36_harman/12_2WMB.shtml) "Much in the report ... is important," it read. "However, it's time to retire the fear card." The American people needed to be educated about the threat, not terrified, it continued.

Even two years ago, such a statement would probably have been unheard of coming from a Congressional leader. Congress had done a lot to mitigate the threat, Harman wrote. And now it was "time for the rhetoric about the threat to calm..."

This writer hopes therefore that the rhetoric of imminent and catastrophic bioterrorism will be given quietus. During the election campaign, one of Barack Obama's chief policy advisors on the threat of bioterrorism was Richard Danzig, an assistant secretary of defense during the Clinton administration well known for his belief that the bioterror threat is unprecedented. And the World at Risk report uses a Danzig quote that speaks for itself: "Only a thin wall of terrorist ignorance and inexperience now protect us."

Over the past few years, The Register has written about the subject quite a bit, and readers know opinion is strongly divided on the subject. Generally speaking, there are reasonable critics who have been excluded from the press when reports are delivered, their input not sought.

In the report's introduction, the Commission claims it gathered the thoughts of two hundred experts. That's a big number, so this writer emailed Milton Leitenberg, an expert on bioterrorism and one of the well-known reasonable critics mentioned above. Since Leitenberg has written widely on the subject, the question was, had he been consulted by the commission? (Full disclosure: This writer has, in the past, collaborated with Leitenberg and exchanged findings with him.)

Leitenberg replied in email that he hadn't, nor had two other experts he contacted. But a staffer on the Commission had everything that he had written. Further email discussion followed in an informal trading of comments on aspects of the Commission report, the fruits of which are discussed.

It has not been widely pointed out that the Washington Post's November 30 story on a pre-release draft of the Commission report showed differences between it and the edition released the following Wednesday.

"The biodefense research industry that sprang up after 2001 offers potential solutions to a future attack, but also numerous new opportunities for theft or diversion of deadly germs, the report says," wrote Joby Warrick for the Post.

The final report deals with the first part of the assertion in some detail; the second part gets somewhat less attention. "The rapid growth in [biodefense] facilities and people handling select agents has increased the risk of accidents or intentional misuse by insiders," it states somewhat blandly.

More problematical is the draft's conclusion, as reported by the Post, on the result of attempts for a new Biological Weapons Convention accord under the Bush administration. "Efforts to strengthen the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention were dealt a symbolic blow in 2001 when the Bush administration withdrew its support for a new accord that had been under negotiation for six years," it said.

But in the Commission's final report, this has been turned around. While mentioning that the Bush administration's decision resulted in "widespread international criticism," the US government's primary objection - that "acquiescing to an international control regime [would] potentially jeopardize sensitive US information" - along with two others, were valid. The Commission seems to conclude the opposite of what had been reported by the Post - that since "verifying compliance to the BWC" has only become more difficult, the decision to walk away from it was seemingly justified.
Biodefense's internationalization

"Meanwhile, the growth in biodefense research seen in the United States has spread to dozens of countries, including developing nations such as Malaysia and Cuba that are investing heavily to develop world-class biotech industries," Warrick wrote of the draft report copy's findings. While the assertion that expansion has spread to "dozens" may be a bit of a stretch, the gist of this was apparently excluded from the final report.

(Backgrounder: "There are a sizeable number of countries that have maintained biodefense labs since the 1970's," emailed Leitenberg. In the 1980's: "UK, Germany, Sweden, Australia, Norway, Netherlands, of course the USSR/Russia, Israel - the latter two probably offensive rather than 'defense' - Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the CIS states after the dissolution of the USSR in 1992. In more recent years India, Taiwan, Singapore and some others have joined, but probably the most significant aspect is that these newcomers enlarged their programs substantially since the mid 1990's.")

In any case, if accurate, such things point to a final published position at odds in major ways with the original draft. One implication is that staff analysis was inverted, "[Presumably] by the politicians making up the Commission," emailed Leitenberg.

Currently, no state-less organizations (like al Qaeda or associated jihadi groups) possess the materials or means to produce biological weapons. Over the past few years, The Reg has written of the phenomenon in which government officials and experts have asserted the opposite or claimed it was only a matter of time before they acquired them.

"We accept the validity of intelligence estimates about the current rudimentary nature of terrorist capabilities in the area..." reads the Commission's report. But it then considers that this does not preclude them from recruitment of real scientists who will not find the technical obstacles to making such weapons insurmountable. And, the argument continues, there is a new threat posed by synthetic genomics. The reconstitution of the Spanish flu is given as one example. For Newsweek magazine, Commission chair Bob Graham mentioned that one of his worst nightmares was "Should that fall into the hands of evil people with the appropriate capability for organization and technical dissemination, it could exceed the lethality of 90 years ago." But it is also worth mentioning that it has been US science and government money which brought the 1918 flu virus back.

Even prior to the Commission report, the impression has been given that the US biodefense effort has escaped from oversight. The report mentions $60 billion dollars being spent on new facility construction. Problems have cropped up - infections occurred - "exacerbated by the unbridled growth in the number of high-containment laboratories since 2001..."

"The government has recommended a site in Kansas for a new $450 million laboratory to study biological threats such as anthrax and foot-and-mouth disease," read a newspaper report on December 4.

"The Homeland Security Department’s choice of Manhattan, in central Kansas, (http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081204/NEWS/812040325/1005/NEWS10) beat out intense competition from sites in Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas." ®

George Smith is a senior fellow at GlobalSecurity.org, a defense affairs think tank and public information group. At Dick Destiny (http://www.dickdestiny.com/blog/dickdestiny.html), he blogs his way through chemical, biological, and nuclear terror hysteria, often by way of the contents of neighbourhood hardware stores.

12-22-2008, 10:16 AM

Elderly 'use rose tinted spectacles to overcome negative thoughts'
Elderly people are able to look at the world through rose-tinted spectacles because negative memories fade more quickly as we age, scientists have found.

12-22-2008, 10:16 AM

The cleverness pill
Scientists are proposing we consider using more 'cognitive enhancers'. If you could pop a pill to raise your IQ, would you?

12-22-2008, 10:17 AM

Woman injured in 'big cat' attack

An elderly woman has reported being attacked by a large cat in the Highlands.

Pat MacLeod, 74, from Ardross Road in Alness, told police she was injured by a 3ft-long cat while putting out her bins earlier this week.

Mrs MacLeod, who suffered deep cuts to her legs and cuts and scratches on her hands, needed stitches in hospital.

Police and Scottish Natural Heritage are trying to trace the cat, which has been described as grey coloured.

Mrs MacLeod said it was the second time she had been attacked by a cat outside her home and on this occasion the animal sprang at her as soon as she made eye contact.

'Shockingly strong'

She said the "shockingly strong" cat managed to drag her some distance and expressed concern about what might happen if a child encountered the animal.

Northern Constabulary said an unprovoked attack would be very uncharacteristic of a Scottish wildcat and suggested that the animal may be a hybrid of a domestic and feral cat.

A force spokesman said there had previously been sightings of big cats in the area, but no reports of attacks.

Police have advised anyone who sees a "unusually large" cat not to approach it or feed it.



12-22-2008, 10:19 AM

The living dead
The afterlife has long been an article of religious faith. And now scientists are finally putting the idea to the test

12-22-2008, 10:20 AM

Specializing in Problems That Only Seem Impossible to Solve

12-22-2008, 10:20 AM

Thousands mark winter solstice and Yule festival across UK
Gatherings at Stonehenge and other ancient British landmarks mark start of longer days and shorter nights


Stone Age graves align with full moons
In the period from 3,300 to 3,100 BC there was an over frequency of 50 percent in the number of lunar eclipses that could be seen in Denmark

12-22-2008, 10:21 AM

Stains on Leonardo da Vinci panel turn out to be sketches

PARIS: The mystery is set in the Louvre and the clues are hidden behind a 16th-century masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci. Remind you of anything?

Lovers of Dan Brown novels will be salivating at the discovery of three previously unknown drawings on the back of one of Leonardo's major works. A curator spotted the sketches on the back of The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne when it was taken down in September for restoration.

Sylvain Laveissiere pointed out grey marks that had previously been dismissed as stains. To him they resembled a horse's head and a human skull.

When the painting was photographed with an infra-red camera at the Centre for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France, he was proved right.

On the wood on which the work was mounted was an 18cm by 10cm equine head and a 16.5cm by 10cm skull, complete with orbital and nasal cavities, jaw and teeth. The camera detected a third drawing, a 15cm-high infant Jesus with a lamb, which was invisible to the naked eye.

A spokeswoman for the Louvre said the discovery was "amusing and moving". It is also mysterious, because the drawings appear to have gone unnoticed for 500 years. "They were not meant to be kept," said Bruno Mottin, from the Louvre's art laboratory. "They had been largely wiped out, which explains why no one had spotted them until now."

The Louvre said there was evidence to suggest the sketches - in black stone or charcoal - were indeed by da Vinci.

"We're being very careful," said Vincent Pomarede, head of paintings at the Louvre. "But what is troubling is thesimilarity with drawings that are already known."

The skull resembles those in Leonardo's other sketches, and the horse's head is reminiscent of those in The Battle of Anghiari - a lost masterpiece known only because it was copied.

The baby Jesus appears to be a draft for the figure in The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne.

Jill Burke, an Italian Renaissance specialist at Edinburgh University, said: "It would be quite typical of his working style for him quickly to sketch out ideas that came into his head on whatever paper - or, in this case, panel - was tohand."

The Louvre will carry out tests to try to confirm the identity of the author.

The Times

12-23-2008, 06:14 AM

Rod Blagojevich's Deleted Facebook Profile

<img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v351/jakub4/blagy.jpg">

Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich's Facebook profile was deleted immediately following his arrest by the FBI. Luckily, Gawker has some screen shots of Blago's recent activity, and it's pretty hilarious: hamming-it-up photos and posted notes in which he discusses his humble approach to the task of picking a successor for Obama's vacated Senate seat. ("To give you a low-down, I'm looking for a candidate that will prioritize the average Illinoisan who is too burdened by taxes and economic hardship.") Unfortunately, in recent days, the comments from his constituent "friends" turned vicious: "Rot in hell you scum bag." "Is that a toupee?" "Just wanted to say goodbye. I'm glad you've been arrested."

12-23-2008, 06:15 AM
Couple to Have Britain's First Baby Genetically Modified to be Free of Breast Cancer Gene

Fiona Macrae, Daily Mail: The first British baby designed to be free of breast cancer is due to be born next week.

The child's parents opted for genetic screening tests in the hope of freeing their children from the disease which has blighted the lives of their relatives for generations. Without screening, any girl they had would have been likely to develop a fast spreading, hard-to-treat form of breast cancer.

Doctors at University College Hospital, London, created embryos through IVF then screened them for the deadly gene before transferring only healthy ones into the womb. The sex of the baby is not known.

Paul Serhal, medical director of the hospital's assisted conception unit, said the pioneering treatment, which was carried out on the NHS, allowed the parents the chance of a healthy family. Many more couples could benefit from pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD.


12-23-2008, 06:19 AM

Eight major undersea Internet communication cables cut in 2008: We most definitely do live in interesting times

In early February 2008 at least five major underwater Internet cables were cut in just a few days, sending large portions of the Middle East into communication blackout.

Two days ago, on 19 December 2008, we learned that three of the four internet sub-cables that run from Asia to North America were damaged ... "Industry experts told The Times that two sub-sea cables went down just off Alexandra, causing the mass disruption. It happens to a single cable typically once a year, and companies have developed the fail-safe of redirecting traffic to a second cable should this occur."...

I found this last statement by “Industry experts” to be the most telling bit of information from the above news. What are the odds of eight Internet cables accidentally being severed in one year when it “happens to a single cable typically once a year”? Extremely unlikely would be an intelligent guess.

12-23-2008, 06:20 AM

ScienceDaily (Dec. 19, 2008) — A person's unconscious attitudes toward science and God may be fundamentally opposed, researchers report, depending on how religion and science are used to answer "ultimate" questions such as how the universe began or the origin of life.



12-23-2008, 06:24 AM

Science Behind Mysterious ‘Fifth Taste’ Revealed


It’s appetizing news for anyone who’s ever wanted the savory taste of meats and cheeses without actually having to eat them: chemists have identified molecular mechanisms underlying the sensation of umami, also known as the fifth taste.

The much-loved but historically unappreciated taste is produced by two interacting sets of molecules, each of which is needed to trigger cellular receptors on a tongue’s surface.

“This opens the door to designing better, more potent and more selective umami enhancers,” said Xiaodong Li, a chemist at San Diego-based food-additive company Senomyx. Li co-authored the study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.