View Full Version : Amesj's Odditorium

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

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
<object width="425" height="349"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/SvQMExRRS9E&rel=0&border=1&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/SvQMExRRS9E&rel=0&border=1&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="349"></embed></object>

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:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/RMYrpRGlWZ4&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/RMYrpRGlWZ4&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

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.

12-23-2008, 06:26 AM

More Americans Believe in the Devil, Hell and Angels than in Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
December 23rd, 2008 by Klintron

That very large majorities of the American public believe in God, miracles, the survival of the soul after death, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the Virgin birth will come as no great surprise. What may be more surprising is that substantial minorities believe in ghosts, UFOs, witches, astrology, and the belief that they themselves were once other people. Overall, more people believe in the devil, hell and angels than believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll®, a new nationwide survey of 2,126 U.S. adults surveyed online between November 10 and 17, 2008 by Harris Interactive®.

12-23-2008, 06:27 AM

Bionic ’sex chip’ that stimulates pleasure centre in brain developed by scientists
December 23rd, 2008 by Klintron

Scientists are developing an electronic ’sex chip’ that works by stimulating the pleasure centres in the brain.

The technology, which creates tiny shocks deep in the brain, has already been used in America to treat Parkinson’s disease.

Now researchers are focusing on the orbitofrontal cortex, which is associated with feelings of pleasure caused by eating and sex.

12-23-2008, 06:29 AM

Limbaugh: Democrats Started The Economic Crisis To Help Elect Obama
December 22nd, 2008 by Klintron

Today, the New York Times had an article about how right-wing talk radio is gearing up to aggressively go after President-elect Obama over the next four years. Rush Limbaugh demonstrated his commitment to this crusade today on his radio show by blaming Democrats — especially Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — for starting the current economic crisis.

Here’s how Limbaugh’s conspiracy theory goes: Schumer caused on run on IndyMac bank in California this summer, in order to create a feeling of financial panic amongst the public. Democrats then capitalized on this panic with electoral wins in the White House and Congress. The purpose of gaining this power, according to Limbaugh, was to nationalize U.S. industries:

LIMBAUGH: Who’s benefiting? Aside from the people being bailed out. The Democrat party and Barack Obama are benefiting.

12-23-2008, 06:33 AM

Smart kids more likely to be heavy drinkers
December 22nd, 2008 by Klintron

The Colony Club in Soho has been a watering hole for hard-drinking creative types since it was founded by Muriel Belcher in the late 1940s. It is a reasonable bet that her confidants - Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Jeffrey and Bruce Bernard, Michael Andrews, Eduardo Paolozzi and other regulars from the art and entertainment world - would have had high IQs. Some members may have been nightmare clients for their bank managers, exasperating husbands, wives or lovers, but no one would doubt their talents, originality and intellectual ability.

Research has now shown a link between high childhood IQ and an adult enthusiasm for alcohol that leads in some cases to problem drinking.

Parents may be aware that the easiest children to have around the house, and those who are also the most likely to have a predictable, comfortable lifestyle when adults, are those with a slightly aboveaverage intelligence, neither too clever, nor stupid.

12-23-2008, 06:57 AM

ScienceDaily (Dec. 19, 2008) — An evolutionary geneticist from the Université de Montréal, together with researchers from the French cities of Lyon and Montpellier, have published a ground-breaking study that characterizes the common ancestor of all life on earth, LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor).

Their findings, presented in a recent issue of Nature, show that the 3.8-billion-year-old organism was not the creature usually imagined.

The study changes ideas of early life on Earth. "It is generally believed that LUCA was a heat-loving or hyperthermophilic organism. A bit like one of those weird organisms living in the hot vents along the continental ridges deep in the oceans today (above 90 degrees Celsius)," says Nicolas Lartillot, the study's co-author and a bio-informatics professor at the Université de Montréal. "However, our data suggests that LUCA was actually sensitive to warmer temperatures and lived in a climate below 50 degrees."

12-23-2008, 06:58 AM

Resources about possible UFO physics / propulsion / technology

Summary: If we are to explain UFOs in terms of physics we understand to some degree, yet still conform to witness observations, it seems essential to assume UFOs are capable of generating artificial gravity fields (in GR terms, to manipulate the curvature of the fabric of space-time), much as we produce magnetism with electric currents. An approximation -probably oversimplified- of overall UFO behaviour is via accepting such a (hypothetical, or at least not known to or acknowledged by "white-world" Physics) gravity-like repulsive force-field. The glow / luminescence in various colours around the UFO (apparently shape depends on UFO's shape as well as its current maneuver, so the UFO's outline as seen by external observer can change), is thought to be due to ionization of surrounding air (atmosphere around the UFO "lights up", much like what happens in neon-lamps), referred to as "UFO plasma sheath". Brightness/color changes of the "UFO plasma sheath" seem to be related with thrust/acceleration. The air ionization seems to be caused by the EM radiation emitted by the UFO, and is thought to be a secondary effect of the propulsion system. This includes UV (suggested by many cases of sunburn-like effects and eye and skin irritation) and soft X-rays (suggested by "burn ring" traces on ground where UFOs landed). Considering the difficulty of creating plasma in normal atmospheric conditions, in combination with other observations, like the luminosity of submarine UFOs, the sudden appearance of condensation / mist when starting up in high humidity conditions and noise patterns, it all suggests an envelope of lower atmospheric density near the UFO's surface. A near vacuum, i.e. the air/water is "pushed away" from the skin of the craft (confirmed by observations when UFOs rise from water), which minimizes friction and heating issues. Plasmas can interact strongly with electromagnetic radiation, "Plasma Stealth" is a proposed process that uses ionized gas (plasma) to reduce the radar cross section (RCS) of an aircraft. This may explain why sometimes UFOs are seen visually, but not tracked on radar. Often UFOs have a very strong magnetic field. Also, in several cases, light (e.g. from car headlights or beaming spotlights) is reported to "bend" in front of the UFO, an effect which some suggest is related with the most controversial aspect of UFO reports: the apparent ability to disappear / "blink out" or seem to "implode" (diminish in angular size) [miniature-scale "gravitational lensing"-type phenomenon?]. Physiological effects on humans include: sunburn-type effect and eye irritation, extreme dryness of the nasal area and of the throat, color changes in vision, extreme headaches and a heating/burning sensation. Witnesses and animals have become sick and even died, with symptoms similar to radiation poisoning, after close approach to a UFO. Given the tremendous amount of energy UFOs seem to be expending, their power source is a big mystery. Many ideas have been proposed, including that UFOs are storing energy in a very concentrated form, or converting gravity to usable energy (H.Oberth 1950s), or utilising ambient energy (speculations about being able to tap the so-called Zero-Point-Energy) or utilize remote transmission of power (wireless energy transfer).

It seems that UFOs defy our currently accepted Physics, e.g. the conservation of momentum (UFOs accelerate without throwing any material out the backside). Both Newton's gravity and General Relativity (Einstein's theory of gravitation), require the existence of "negative mass" (or energy) for antigravity to be possible. This has been a major hurdle to the study of UFOs by many "mainstream" physicists in previous decades (e.g. read Markowitz, W., "The Physics and Metaphysics of Unidentified Flying Objects", Science, Vol. 157, 1967).

12-23-2008, 06:59 AM

Our grip on reality is slim, says UCL scientist

24 June 2006

The neurological basis for poor witness statements and hallucinations has been found by scientists at UCL (University College London). In over a fifth of cases, people wrongly remembered whether they actually witnessed an event or just imagined it, according to a paper published in NeuroImage this week.

Dr Jon Simons and Dr Paul Burgess led the study at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. Dr Burgess said: “In our tests volunteers either thought they had imagined words which they had actually been shown or said they had seen words which in fact they had just imagined - in over 20 per cent of cases. That is quite a lot of mistakes to be making, and shows how fallible our memory is - or perhaps, how slim our grip on reality is!

“Our work has implications for the validity of witness statements and agrees with other studies that show that our mind sometimes fills in memory gaps for us, and we confuse what we imagined occurred in a situation - which is related to what we expect to happen or what usually happens - with what actually happened.

“Most of us, though, have a critical reality monitoring function so that we are able to distinguish well enough between what is real and what is imagined and our imagination does not have too great an impact on our lives - unless the reality check system breaks down such as after stroke or in cases of schizophrenia.”

The study found that the areas that were activated while remembering whether an event really happened or was imagined in healthy subjects are the very same areas that are dysfunctional in people who experience hallucinations.

Dr Burgess said: “We believe that hallucinations are caused by a difficulty in discriminating information present in the outside world from information that is imagined. In schizophrenia the difficulty you have in separating reality from imagined events becomes exaggerated so some people have hallucinations and hear voices that simply aren’t there.” These results indicate a link between the brain areas implicated in schizophrenia and the regions that support the ability to discriminate between perceived and imagined information.

In the tests, healthy subjects were shown 96 well-known word pairs from pop culture such as ‘Laurel and Hardy’, ‘bacon and eggs’, and ‘rock and roll’. The participants were asked to count the number of letters in the second word of the pair. Often the second word wasn’t actually shown and the subject had to imagine the word – such as ‘Laurel and ?’.

Participants were then asked which of the second words they had actually seen on screen and which ones they had only imagined. The subjects’ brain activity was observed using fMRI scans while they remembered whether words had been imagined or seen on screen.

When people accurately remembered whether they had actually seen a word or just imagined it brain activity in the key areas increased – many of which are found in brain area 10, which is involved in imagination and reality checking, develops last in the brain and is twice as big in humans as in other animals. In the people who did not remember correctly, activation in brain area 10 was reduced.

Notes for Editors:

1. The paper ‘Discriminating imagined from perceived information engages brain areas implicated in schizophrenia’ was published online in NeuroImage on 21 June.

2. The list of authors is: Dr Jon S Simons, (ICN, Dept of Psychology, UCL, now at the Brain Mapping Unit, University of Cambridge) Professor Chris Frith (Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology, UCL) and Simon W Davies, Sam J Gilbert, Dr Paul Burgess (ICN, Dept of Psychology, UCL)

3. The work was supported by a Wellcome Trust grant.

4. For further information please contact Alex Brew at UCL press office on 020 7679 9726 or a.brew@ucl.ac.uk. Out-of-hours contact 07747 565 056

12-23-2008, 06:59 AM

ScienceDaily (Dec. 22, 2008) — All spiritual experiences are based in the brain. That statement is truer than ever before, according to a University of Missouri neuropsychologist. An MU study has data to support a neuropsychological model that proposes spiritual experiences associated with selflessness are related to decreased activity in the right parietal lobe of the brain.

12-23-2008, 07:00 AM

Friday, December 19, 2008
New facts surface in Stephenville UFO incidents

12-23-2008, 07:00 AM

Top Paranormal Events of 2008

From ghosts and monsters to psychic phenomena and demonic possession, 2008 was another year with no shortage of paranormal activity and unexplained strangeness. Here is a look back at the news stories that tend to make us wonder just what kind of reality we're living in -- the most unusual, intriguing and fascinating events of 2008.

12-23-2008, 07:01 AM


Bizarre prehistoric creatures—sea monsters, gargantuan rodents, a redheaded Neanderthal—are among the stars of the most read stories on dinosaurs and fossils covered by National Geographic News in 2008.

12-23-2008, 07:02 AM

The year in weird science and myth-busting

Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not toxic to people or animals, suicides do not increase over the Christmas holidays, and sugar does not make kids hyperactive. Also, Wales winning the rugby grand slam does not influence the death of popes, and douching with Coca-Cola is not an effective contraceptive method.

Those are some of the conclusions of reports in the British Medical Journal's annual Christmas issue, a compilation of the weird and lighthearted papers its editors accumulate over the year. In a related vein, a report in the journal Lancet details the curious case of a woman who fainted every time she ate a sandwich.

12-23-2008, 07:04 AM

Saturday, December 20, 2008
Soul Pillars

Another common phenomenon that I have found while researching the passing of terminally ill patients is that of ‘Soul Pillars’.

This is a phenomenon that is not readily perceived by the average person. And many who witness it almost never tell anyone else lest their sanity is called into question. But as I have investigated this phenomenon and sharing with my interviewees some of my personal paranormal experiences reports of this phenomenon arises over and over again.

It seems that when ‘sensitive’ individuals are around the time of death of certain patients they notice a light coming from the person’s body just as they pass away. Just as these same sensatives might have personal paranormal encounters such as visibly being able to see ghosts or other supernatural activity, they also are able to see this strange occurrence.

Many who have witnessed it have the opinion that they are witness to the patients soul passing from the body to the other side. Usually it lasts only for a few moments, from a split second to less than a minute. Other times Holy objects in the room where the deceased passes also have an influence over the ‘Soul Pillar’ and might even have a beam of energy to emit itself.

The color of the ‘Soul Pillar’ varies. Some people see a white pillar all the time, others see a pink or purple one. Some see pillars of various colors emitted from the dying ones body.

12-23-2008, 07:05 AM

Inventor's 'refrigeration system' for planet shows promise, but scientists are skeptical
December 19th, 2008 By Greg Gordon in Space & Earth science / Earth Sciences

Ron Ace says that his breakthrough moments have come at unexpected times - while he lay in bed, eased his aging Cadillac across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge or steered a tractor around his rustic, five-acre property.

In the seclusion of his Maryland home, Ace has spent three years glued to the Internet, studying the Earth's climate cycles and careening from one epiphany to another - a 69-year-old loner with the moxie to try to solve one of the greatest threats to mankind.

Now, backed by a computer model, the little-known inventor is making public a U.S. patent petition for what he calls the most "practical, nontoxic, affordable, rapidly achievable" and beneficial way to curb global warming and a resulting catastrophic ocean rise.

Spray gigatons of seawater into the air, mainly in the Northern Hemisphere, and let Mother Nature do the rest, he says.

The evaporating water, Ace said, would cool the Earth in multiple ways: First, the sprayed droplets would transform to water vapor, a change that absorbs thermal energy near ground level; then the rising vapor would condense into sunlight-reflecting clouds and cooling rain, releasing much of the stored energy into space in the form of infrared radiation.

McClatchy Newspapers has followed Ace's work for three years and obtained a copy of his 2007 patent petition for what he calls "a colossal refrigeration system with a 100,000-fold performance multiplier."

"The Earth has a giant air-conditioning problem," he said. "I'm proposing to put a thermostat on the planet."

Although it might sound preposterous, a computer model run by an internationally known global warming scientist suggests that Ace's giant humidifier might just work.

12-23-2008, 07:06 AM

Man stumbles on round, spinning ‘creek circle’

<img src="http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/toronto/creekcircle.jpg">

12-23-2008, 07:06 AM

# Story Highlights
# Each week CNN.com showcases some of our favorite new space-related photos
# Bode's Galaxy is one of the brightest galaxies that can be seen from Earth
# Cassiopeia A is what's left of a massive star that died in a supernova explosion
# Messier 104, better known as the Sombrero Galaxy, looks like a cosmic halo

12-23-2008, 07:08 AM

Interesting architecture


12-23-2008, 07:09 AM

<img src="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01210/squirrel_1210083c.jpg">

Purple squirrel baffles experts
A purple squirrel which appeared at a school has baffled experts who are unable to explain its colour.

12-23-2008, 07:22 AM

Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wild Theory Wed: Da 'Vinci The Sneaky Scion
At the request of a great friend who saw my fractal posts, here, here, and here I took a look at some of Da'Vinci's artworks from the "fractal viewpoint".

It's fairly known that Leonardo da Vinci was a Priory of Scion member and a brilliant artist, thinker, and inventor, not to mention schooled in the esoteric. He hid many symbols in his works pertaining to his own belief systems.

<img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_YT5lMzCouRo/SUn1RFKDN-I/AAAAAAAADkw/LtvmhZFX1rE/s400/Leonardo_da_Vinci_%281452-1519%29_-_The_Last_Supper_%281495-1498%29.jpg">

The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci

Above is the famous painting 'The Last Supper'. Now I've seen other syncronauts mention the "3 illuminated windows" behind Jesus and how he forms the Pyramid, yada yada yada, o.k. well, I decided to try and "think" like an esoterically trained artist would. My thoughts were "well, more than likely an esoteric secret society doesn't believe in Jesus, they just perpetrate the myth to keep their control". You know, power of myth belief? I decide to "ignore" the entire buffet scene and focus on the "not so apparent". Since Da Vinci was a very intelligent creator, and did some "self portraits", I theorized it must have been with mirrors...and the Hermetic belief of "as above, so below" came to mind. I decided ultimately to cut the entire cast of characters out and focus on the "above". I cut the above out and ran it through a "mirror mirror" filter which did the "as above so below" thang:

<img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_YT5lMzCouRo/SUn1Qqgjb1I/AAAAAAAADkg/EqVvFIct6WI/s400/DavinciLastSupper_MirrorBottom.jpg">

Here is a straight dead on view of the results..but turn it 90 degrees and...

<img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_YT5lMzCouRo/SUn1Q7kZKcI/AAAAAAAADko/1w_K3AdeJxA/s400/DavinciLastSupper_MirrorBottomHalfRotate.jpg">

Holy Kamole' Batman! Is that a Pyramid with a capstone hovering there?
Whats that above? The duality gates of Heaven/Hell? Looks like its heading
straight into the Void no less!

If you look more closely at the pyramid, you'll see some interesting patterns. So I have to ask, is this a "hidden symbol" for those that are aware? Did DaVinci hide this in there on purpose, or did some [K]osmic [K]onsciousness embed it in there? My money is on it was hidden there and mirrors were used in its inception onto canvas...if not, then the Luciferian mindset has some explaining to do! Either way, it makes for an interesting water cooler conversation.

That's all I have time for now folks, be wise, be well, and have peace!

12-23-2008, 07:33 AM
IMO, this guy is the anti-pope:


<img src="http://aftermathnews.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/pope_benedict_saturn_hat.jpg?w=500&h=332">

Pope Benedict XVI, wearing his Saturn Hat, named after the ringed planet Saturn, smiles as he tours St. Peter’s square aboard his popemobile during the weekly open-air general audience at the Vatican Wednesday, June 25, 2008. AP Photo by PLINIO LEPRI

The Pope tipped <a href="http://www.jordanmaxwell.com/articles/religion/religion12.html">his hat</a> to long-time Vatican bugbear Galileo this weekend as he helped kick off the 2009 International Year of Astronomy.

Pope Benedict also gave some comfort to pagans by acknowledging the connection between the date of Christmas and the Winter Solstice.

12-23-2008, 07:36 AM

Sex slavery: Living the American nightmare
December 23, 2008 · No Comments

Shadowy multibillion-dollar industry far more widespread than expected

MSNBC | Dec 22, 2008

By Alex Johnson and Cesar Rodriguez

When FBI and immigration agents arrested a 28-year-old Guatemalan woman three months ago in Los Angeles, they announced that they had shut down one of the most elaborate sex trafficking rings in the country. It was also the family business.

The woman, Maribel Rodriguez Vasquez, was the sixth member of her family to be rounded up in the two-year multi-agency investigation. Vasquez, five of her relatives and three other Guatemalan nationals were charged with 50 counts, alleging that they lured at least a dozen young women — including five minors as young as 13 years old — to the United States with promises of good jobs, only to put them to work as prostitutes. All remain in custody as investigators attempt to unravel the complex case.

Vasquez — quickly dubbed the “L.A. Madam” — attracted attention because she had been featured on the fugitive-hunting television program “America’s Most Wanted.” But it was one of only a few such cases to be spotlighted by national media, contributing to the false impression that cases of immigrant sex trafficking are isolated incidents, law enforcement officials and advocates for immigrants say.

The reality is that human trafficking goes on in nearly every American city and town, said Lisette Arsuaga, director of development for the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, a human rights organization in Los Angeles.

“Human trafficking is well hidden,” Arsuaga said. “I consider it a huge problem.”

Her assessment is shared by authorities in Bexar County, Texas, where the Sheriff’s Office has formed a task force with Shared Hope International, an anti-slavery organization founded by former Rep. Linda Smith, D-Wash. Bexar County is considered a crossroads of the cross-border Mexican sex slave trade because two Interstate highways that crisscross the state intersect there, some 150 miles from the Mexican border.

“I could go to a truck stop in South Texas right now and get on a CB radio and ask for some sweet stuff, and someone’s going to come out and offer something to sell,” Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Burchell said.

A $9.5 billion-a-year industry

Federal officials agree that the trafficking of human beings as sex slaves is far more prevalent than is popularly understood. While saying it is difficult to pinpoint the scope of the industry, given its shadowy nature, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials estimated that it likely generates more than $9.5 billion a year.

Last year alone, the FBI opened more than 225 human trafficking investigations in the United States. Figures for 2008 are not yet available, but in a coordinated nationwide sweep in July, federal, state and local authorities made more than 640 arrests and rescued 47 children in just three days.

In congressional testimony this year, FBI Director Robert Mueller called sex trafficking “a significant and persistent problem in the U.S. and around the world.”

Most cases involve “international persons trafficked to the United States from other countries,” who are generally less aware of their rights, probably do not speak English and are frightened to go to the authorities, he said. “Victims are often lured with false promises of good jobs and better lives and are then forced to work in the sex industry.”

While an increasing number of young men and boys are being forced into the commercial sex industry, more than 80 percent of victims are women and girls, the State Department estimated this year. Of those, 70 percent are forced into prostitution, stripping, pornography or mail-order marriage.

That allegedly was the case with the L.A. Madam.

Prosecutors said in court documents that the Vasquez ring sold Guatemalan women and girls to one another like slaves for several years. Ring members also would try to keep them in line by taking them to witch doctors who threatened to put curses on them and their families if they ran away, the prosecution said.

In one incident, three of the defendants repeatedly kicked and hit one of the victims to punish her for trying to escape, the documents allege.

“These young women were enticed into coming to this country by promises of the American dream, only to arrive and discover that what awaited was a nightmare,” said Robert Schoch, an ICE special agent.

12-23-2008, 07:37 AM

<img src="http://aftermathnews.files.wordpress.com/2006/09/cheney_foaming.jpg?w=410&h=361">

US Vice President Dick Cheney defended controversial interrogation methods in the US “war on terror”, while acknowledging he was not sure if al-Qa’ida chief Osama bin Laden was still alive.

12-23-2008, 07:38 AM

General George S. Patton was assassinated to silence his criticism of allied war leaders claims new book

12-23-2008, 08:00 AM

Old one caught on film.
Scientists call this a Siphonophone, but clearly this is one of the great old ones. Cant tell if its a partial capture of Chthulhu or perhaps a spawn of Azagthoth.

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/KT1TSbarW1U&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/KT1TSbarW1U&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

While on the subject of the great old ones it is time that I post some traditional Lovecraftian Carols for or your listening pleasure. Perhaps you might listen to them while hanging your traditional <a href="http://www.entertainmentearth.com/prodinfo.asp?number=TYV12527">Cthulhu Wreath over the hearth...</a>

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/1ftld7Ohojg&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/1ftld7Ohojg&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/KbzuzSbCyfQ&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/KbzuzSbCyfQ&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

12-23-2008, 11:33 AM

Flawed nanotubes could be perfect silicon replacement

The paradox of perfection – that flaws make things perfect – could be the key to designing nanoelectronic circuits from carbon nanotubes, according to US scientists.

They have discovered that a circuit of nanotubes can only guide a current if some of the tubes carry structural defects.

Individual carbon nanotubes are exceptionally good conductors because they are essentially a single carbon molecule. They can even outdo silicon at transmitting charge, which means nanotube circuits could boost computing speeds while reducing chip size (see our feature What happens when silicon can shrink no more? ).

But connecting nanotubes into such circuits is not easy, says Vincent Meunier at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. "The connections between individual nanotubes do not conduct well," he says.

Instead of jumping easily into an adjacent nanotube, as they would between metal wires, electrons are more likely to bounce back when they reach the end of a tube, says Meunier. Electrons treat junctions between nanotubes as barriers – what scientists call "opaque".

12-23-2008, 11:34 AM

Mitochondrial battery could sniff out explosives

A BIOELECTRONIC sensor the size of a postage stamp could sniff out bombs and other explosives.

Most commercially available explosives detectors tend to be expensive, bulky and complex - and hence difficult to use in the field. That may change thanks to a new sensor invented by Shelley Minteer and her colleagues at St Louis University in Missouri.

The detector is a spin-off from the Minteer group's work to develop fuel cells powered by mitochondria, the parts of cells that generate energy by burning a chemical called pyruvate. Produced by the digestion of sugars, pyruvate is the compound that starts the Krebs cycle - the complex series of chemical reactions in cells that releases energy as part of respiration.

The team had been working on a fuel cell that uses mitochondria bathed in pyruvate to generate an electric current, and devised a biological "off" switch in the form of a naturally occurring antibiotic called oligomycin, which hampers the oxidation of pyruvate. Adding oligomycin to the cell switches off the current.

Minteer and her colleagues found that if they then added trace amounts of nitrobenzene - a member of the same chemical family as many explosives - they could reverse the effect of oligomycin and switch the mitochondria back on. She says any chemically related explosive should do the same, and that the sensor is able to detect explosives in concentrations as low as 2 parts per trillion (Journal of the American Chemical Society, DOI: 10.1021/ja807250b).

"We should be able to detect all nitroaromatic explosives," says Minteer. "We are studying the other nitroaromatic explosives to determine what we can detect."

Timothy Swager, head of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says the new device is "an elegant demonstration of a bioelectronic sensor".

12-23-2008, 11:40 AM

Gas memory could send spooky messages the full distance

Quantum entanglement, which Einstein dubbed "spooky action at a distance", would be the perfect way to communicate data – if technical hurdles could be overcome.

The method involves linking the quantum properties of two objects such that a change to one is instantly reflected in the other – offering a whole new way to transmit information from opposite sides of the globe.

Entanglement has already been exploited as a way to securely share pass phrases for secret communications, but only over distances of less than 200 kilometres. The inability of the gas-based quantum computer memory used to hold onto information for more than a fraction of a second is to blame.

Now a way to have that memory store quantum information for longer opens up the possibility of entangled communication over 1000 kilometres.

12-23-2008, 11:41 AM

Invention: Slimline radioactive battery

Engineers have long hoped to exploit radioactive decay to generate electricity. One way to do this is to use a radioactive isotope, such as a variant of hydrogen called tritium, that emits electrons as it decays. Current is generated when the electrons hit semiconductive material nearby.

Attempts to put the theory into practice have been plagued by extremely low efficiency, though, converting only a small fraction of the emitted electrons into current.

The problem is that the electrons cannot travel far from their starting place in the tritium nucleus. Most end up lodging in the radioactive material itself and never reach the adjacent semiconductor.

Now Paul Engel and colleagues at Rice University in Houston, Texas, say that these batteries can be made more efficient by using a thin layer of a liquid polymer that contains the isotope.

12-23-2008, 11:42 AM

Fat fingers no problem with 'see-through' touchscreen

<embed src="http://services.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/980795828" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashVars="videoId=5172840001&playerId=980795828&viewerSecureGatewayURL=https://console.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&domain=embed&autoStart=false&" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="486" height="412" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed>

Electronic devices have been shrinking for years, but you might be forgiven for thinking that one that's only a centimetre across would be just too difficult to operate.

Now tests of a prototype device only slightly larger than this have shown that it can be made perfectly usable by combining a screen on the front with a touch-sensitive pad on the back.

Touch screens can be an intuitive method of interacting with computers and are now near ubiquitous in smartphones and other high-end hand-held gadgets.

12-23-2008, 11:43 AM

Transparent memory makes for see-through phones

TRANSPARENT cellphones, iPods and memory sticks are among the oddball possibilities being predicted for the world's first transparent flash memory chip.

Transparent transistors have been made before, but they have not been assembled into working see-through chips. The new memory chip, made by engineers at Korea's Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, records data by changing the resistance of a metal oxide film, a technology known as resistive RAM or RRAM.

KAIST's trick is to use a clear zinc oxide film as the recording layer and to connect it up with transparent indium tin oxide electrodes (Applied Physics Letters, DOI: 10.1063/1.3041643). The chip itself looks like a microscope slide. Expect commercial applications in three to four years.

12-23-2008, 11:43 AM

Invention: Vision amplifier

* 13:20 22 December 2008 by Justin Mullins
* For similar stories, visit the Invention and Mental Health Topic Guides

The number of people suffering seriously impaired vision due to damaged retinas is increasing in the developed world, as populations age and diabetes becomes more common. The search for a technological solution to the problem has led to growing interest in "bionic eyes".

Devices developed so far have usually involved installing a silicon chip into the eye to electrically stimulate the retina's nerves in response to light. Some impressive results have been achieved in this way, but implanted chips do have drawbacks.

Their relatively large size means they block light that would have fallen on healthy parts of the retina and they can also cause tissue damage, such as tearing.

So Jeffrey Olsen at the University of Colorado Hospital has come up with another method entirely – amplifying the light that reaches the retina using the eye's still functioning light-sensitive cells.

<img src="http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn16315/dn16315-1_300.jpg">

Microscopic specks of semiconductor material injected into the retina can make the image a person sees brighter, a new patent application claims (Image: Wipo)

12-23-2008, 11:44 AM

iamond 'wires' – quantum computing's best friend

* 12:18 23 December 2008 by Jeff Hecht
* For similar stories, visit the Quantum World Topic Guide

Using diamond to make micro circuits that channel light, not electricity, could help realise the elusive promise of quantum computing.

The allure of quantum computing is that it is able to solve problems which are near-impossible for conventional computers to crack, such as breaking very long cryptography keys.

Quantum computers hold "qubits" of information stored in the quantum properties of a system, for example, a single photon or a cloud of gas atoms in a gas. Diamond can be used to generate single photons and create qubits by writing information into their quantum states.

What's more, diamond can shield the photons from external influences, preventing unwanted modification of the stored data. And unlike other qubit techologies, which require supercooling, diamond operates fine at room temperature.

"All the essential elements for a quantum computer have been demonstrated in diamond," says Steven Prawer of the University of Melbourne, Australia

12-23-2008, 11:45 AM

Chameleon-like 'opal' can take on any colour

<embed src="http://services.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/980795828" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashVars="videoId=5635204001&playerId=980795828&viewerSecureGatewayURL=https://console.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&domain=embed&autoStart=false&" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="486" height="412" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed>

A new material could give a chameleon a run for its money - it can rapidly change colour to match that of any in the visible spectrum.

The synthetic material can be likened to an opal, a mineral that owes its variety of colours to its layered structure: regions with a high refractive index, in which light travels slowly, are interleaved with regions with a low refractive index. Light waves with a wavelength – or colour – similar to that of the space between layers are scattered in a way that gives opal its iridescent sheen.

The chameleon-like "opal" developed by British and Canadian chemists has a similar layered structure. But their material goes one better than nature. It can rapidly shrink or swell to change the distance between its layered regions, changing the colour of light that it scatters (see video above).
Silica stack

The starting point for the new material is a stack of silica marbles, each 270 nanometres across, on a flat electrode. A polymer is added on top to encase the spheres and to hold them in place. Next, the spheres are dissolved with acid to leave behind a regular pattern of air pockets inside the polymer. Finally, these pockets are filled with a liquid electrolyte and the structure is sealed.

The result behaves just like an opal. The polymer and electrolyte have different refractive indexes, and their repeating pattern scatters only blue photons to make the material an iridescent blue. But when a voltage is applied, the material becomes red, flitting across every other colour in the visible spectrum along the way.

"The polymer is crucial to the whole thing," says Ian Manners at the University of Bristol in the UK, and a member of the research team. "It contains iron atoms which can exist in two oxidative states."

When a voltage passes through the flat electrode, it draws out electrons from the polymer and oxidises the iron. That leaves the polymer positively charged and so negative ions from the electrolyte flood in. The oxidised iron's chemistry helps the polymer absorb the liquid, and the structure swells.

The pores shrink as the liquid inside them moves into the polymer. As a result the structure now scatters photons of a different wavelength and so has a different colour.
Good on paper

"The more you oxidise the system the more it swells," says Manners. Increasing the voltage slightly leads to more iron being oxidised, more swelling, and a greater shift towards red.

"We can currently get full spectrum tuning - blue all the way to red - in a little under 1 second," says Andre Arsenault, a member of the team and Manners's former PhD student.

Arsenault is chief technology officer at Opalux, a company he founded with fellow chemists from the University of Toronto. "Given the current switching speeds, an ideal first product may be something like full-colour electronic paper," he says. Although a pulse of voltage is needed to shift the colour, maintaining it in a given state requires no energy at all.

12-23-2008, 11:46 AM

Giant stinking flower reveals a hot secret

<img src="http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn16316/dn16316-1_300.jpg">

Night-time image of carrion flower with flash photography (left) and (right) with thermal image (Image copyright: Jörg Szarzynski)

<embed src="http://services.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/980795828" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashVars="videoId=5553994001&playerId=980795828&viewerSecureGatewayURL=https://console.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&domain=embed&autoStart=false&" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="486" height="412" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed>

You would think a flower that resembles a 3-metre phallus would have no problems attracting attention, especially if it also stinks like a rotting corpse.

But for the carrion flower, which has the world's largest flowering head, getting noticed by flesh-eating insect pollinators in its jungle home requires yet another amazing adaptation – and one that only came to light thanks to a serendipitous TV recording.

"The film crew was using very strong backlighting and suddenly we saw smoke rising up along the flower's central column. We thought the plant was on fire," says Wilhelm Barthlott from the University of Bonn in Germany.

The 'smoke' turned out to be steam that is puffed out in regular pulses, coinciding with waves of carrion scent. "We had wondered before why one moment the flower would stink like a dead donkey, and a little while later there would be hardly any smell. It never occurred to us that there was cyclic odour production."

12-23-2008, 11:47 AM

Blight hits world's vanilla supply

Savour the egg-nog while you can - a lethal disease is wiping out vanilla plantations in Madagascar, the world's major producer of the spice.

Last week Simeon Rakotomamonjy and his team at the National Center for Research Applied to Rural Development in Antananarivo reported that an unknown fungus has struck 80 per cent of plantations in two of the country's main growing areas.

They blame a price surge in the 1990s, which prompted farmers to plant seedlings too densely and without optimal shade and moisture. Since vanilla is propagated as cuttings it has little genetic diversity. Both factors make it a prime target for the fungal disease - which has yet to be properly diagnosed.

"Yet again a crop vital for poor farmers is getting killed off due to lack of funding for services that diagnose plant diseases," says Dagmar Hanold of the University of Adelaide, Australia.

12-23-2008, 11:52 AM
http://www.greatnewsnetwork.org/index.php/news/article/gene_mutation_helps_protect_heart_from_high_fat_di et/?source=rss

Washington, D.C., USA - The genetic mutation found in a small group of people helps protect their heart against the effects of high-fat diet, U.S. researchers reported Thursday.

It may open the door to new therapies for cardiovascular disease.

12-23-2008, 11:54 AM

Small-Scale Smart Grid in Massachusetts

Julia Levitt
December 23, 2008 9:47 AM

3129522270_1c38ab2597.jpgA recent occurrence in a small New England town has us thinking that a working future for the smart garage -- a concept which promises symbiotic energy-sharing links between buildings, plug-in hybrid vehicles and the energy grid -- is not too far off.

When residents of Harvard, Massachusetts were hit with an ice storm that left many without power for a full four days, one innovative neighbor successfully used his Prius as a generator.

From last Friday's edition of the independent local publication The Harvard Press:

Around the corner at Madigan Lane, John Sweeney, a member of the town’s conservation-minded Heat Advisory Committee, took a characteristically green approach to powering his home during the storm. He reported his achievement in an e-mail, saying it was no big deal, but that his wife thought it an impressive tale worth sharing: Sweeney ran his refrigerator, freezer, TV, woodstove fan, and several lights through his Prius, for three days, on roughly five gallons of gas.

“When it looked like we were going to be without power for awhile, I dug out an inverter (which takes 12v DC and creates 120v AC from it) and wired it into our Prius…These inverters are available for about $100 many places online,” he wrote.

The device allowed the engine to run every half hour, automatically charging the car battery and indirectly supplying the required power.

12-23-2008, 12:07 PM

Opinion: George W. Bush is a Victim of Mind Control

12-24-2008, 10:50 AM
I'm watching "What would Jesus buy" (a documentary) - i dig it. But it's up my alley.




12-24-2008, 11:46 AM
I'd like to take a moment and wish you all a very happy Yule.

i'm very glad you've enjoyed this thread, and i'm happy that from the read count - that some of you really like what i do here.

I have many things to say, but i think you are going to have to wait a spell.

Also to those of you whom walk in the world(s) i do - i'm stuck and i need some consultation.

01-02-2009, 10:10 AM
Happy New Years to you!

I've been lax lately. I've had much done with trying to get the mag ready for spring pressing...

i'm looking at finishing it up - what i'm asking is for those of you who read my thread...the following:

is there anything you'd like to see me include, or i should see/be aware of?

I got about 36% to go yet - and i'm rounding out content...

01-05-2009, 05:53 AM

<img src="http://www.sloshspot.com/photos/blog/full/photo_1230743974.png">

<img src="http://www.sloshspot.com/photos/blog/full/photo_1230744066.png">

<img src="http://www.sloshspot.com/photos/blog/full/photo_1230743914.png">

<img src="http://www.sloshspot.com/photos/blog/full/photo_1230743783.png">

<img src="http://www.sloshspot.com/photos/blog/full/photo_1230743892.png">

01-05-2009, 06:14 AM
<img src="http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/i_know_youre_listening.png">

01-05-2009, 06:18 AM

Dubai: Another Ponzi Scheme Collapses
January 4th, 2009

Via: CBS News:

Over the years, booming oil prices helped turn Dubai into a land of opportunity and playground for the ultra rich.

But that was then and this is now. And as CBS News correspondent Sheila MacVicar reports, even Dubai is feeling the pinch of the worldwide economic crisis.

The gulf city state’s property prices went up as fast and as high as the towering buildings. But reality has suddenly intruded.

One investor said it was as if someone had thrown a switch, as the global credit crunch slammed a city that was, in effect, the world’s biggest construction site

It took just 20 years for Dubai to go from a desert outpost with a handful of office towers to a world metropolis, where one fifth of the world’s cranes operate, and property became a very hot commodity, with some people playing real estate the way others play poker.

“People were buying and flipping properties on a launch basis,” says Manesh Khadri of Century 21 Real Estate. “You launch a property and you flip it within the same day.”

Before an apartment was even built you could away with tens, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Developers promised: Pay $140,000 for an unbuilt apartment, and within six months, reap a $46,000 profit. So as fast as the city expanded, investors snapped up the real estate, taking on big debt.

American Internet entrepreneur Mahmood Panjwani understands the risk of building a business

But, “I really did not know what risk was until I came here,” Panjwani says. “I mean Dubai is like Silicon Valley on steroids from a risk perspective.”

01-05-2009, 06:21 AM

UK: Thefts of Food, Metal, and Petrol Increasing
January 3rd, 2009

Via: Independent:

Supermarkets have been forced to tag cuts of meat because shoplifters have turned to stealing food during the credit crunch. Retailers warn that the recession has changed the pattern of crime in high street stores, with thieves switching from luxury items to basic foodstuffs.

Shops have been forced to step up security around food counters after sharp increases in the quantity of beef, chicken, bacon and cheese going missing.

Tesco, Iceland and Marks & Spencer have all reported rises in theft in their stores this year. The problem has become so acute in some areas that retailers, including Somerfield, have experimented with fitting electronic tags to expensive cuts of meat.

Over the past decade, most shoplifters have pilfered small high-value items – such as perfumes, packets of razor blades and DVDs – to fund drug habits.

Richard Dodd, spokesman for the British Retail Consortium, said: “In difficult times likes these, there is evidence that the range of people stealing expands. They are stealing a bigger range of items and going for things they want to use rather than sell.

“Retailers believe there has been an increase in theft as a result of the downturn and are tightening their security. More security staff are being taken on and the tagging of items is becoming more widespread.”

Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King’s College in London, said: “If members of the public are risking prosecution to steal basic staples, that adds to the evidence that families are experiencing real hardship. It’s not just shops feeling the pinch. Their customers are too.”

Police are also reporting an increase in thefts of metal, and petrol being siphoned from cars and stolen from filling stations. Mick Giannasi, the chief constable of Gwent, said: “We’re starting to pick up crime trends associated with the economic situation. We ask ourselves where can we best put our resources. Metal thefts started to increase, so we put a response in and that had an impact in bringing it down. We’re now looking at petrol thefts using our roads policing unit.”

01-05-2009, 06:22 AM

UK: Flawed Accounting Method Hides True Scale of Pension Fund Losses
January 2nd, 2009

Via: Guardian:

Many of Britain’s biggest companies are preparing year-end accounts that show their pension schemes moved into surplus last year despite the collapse in world markets, which wiped hundreds of billions from their assets.

The latest figures from the pensions advisers Aon Consulting show that a steep decline in the FTSE 100 over last year and a sharp drop in commercial property values has sent most final-salary schemes into crisis and pushed fund deficits to new lows. According to government figures, company pension fund deficits rose in the 12 months to November from £58bn to £155bn.

Aon Consulting warned that the figures underestimated the problem and pension funds had suffered a £226bn loss on their investments in the year to October.

However, accounting rules - which critics argue distort company pension scheme fund values - will show a rise in assets. For the top 200 companies in Britain, that will mean a £13bn surplus at the end of 2008. Aon says the top 100 firms have seen a £5bn improvement over the last year, based on current accounting rules.

Auditors must calculate deficits using the IAS19 accounting method, which assumes pension funds are invested entirely in corporate bonds and ties the value of the fund to current bond yields. Calculations under IAS19 put pension deficits at £2bn in December 2007. Figures from Aon show that a subsequent rise in bond yields turned that small deficit into a surplus of £3bn.

Marcus Hurd, of Aon, said when bond yields were low IAS19 exaggerated deficits, but now it was hiding them. In 2007, yields were 5.75% whereas last November they stood at 6.8%. He said that while a handful of schemes were heavily invested in corporate bonds, most had a mix of assets and tended to rely heavily on stockmarket investments. “They will be invested in stocks and shares, commercial property and bonds, which have all gone down in value, but the accounting rule says it is only the bond yield that counts.”

01-05-2009, 06:23 AM

Is a Generalized Crackup Occurring in Britain? The Average Person Spends 2-1/4 Hours of Every Day Worrying
January 2nd, 2009

Could this possibly be true?

Via: Reuters:

Britain is becoming a nation of worriers, according to a new survey, with the financial crisis giving people ever more reason to fret about their lives.

The average person now spends 2-1/4 hours of every day worrying — six and half years of the average life span — a figure up 30 minutes a day from last year, according to the worry index compiled by reallyworried.com, a support group.

Young adults — those aged between 16 and 24 — worry the most, and women worry substantially more than men, according to the survey of 1,400 people nationwide.

The top five concerns in 2008 were: the cost of living, energy prices, personal health, outgoings and income, and personal debt.

Job security, which last year didn’t figure in the top 25 worries, shot up to number 7 in the rankings, one notch below recession and a bigger concern than crime.

So much fretting can take a terrible toll on people’s health and their sex lives, according to the survey’s compilers.

One in five questioned said they drowned their concerns in drink, up 50 percent on last year. One in six said they now shy away from sex because of their constant fretting.

“It is alarming to learn from this research just how many people in Britain are chronic worriers,” said Phillip Hodson, a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

“Worry is the central component of all anxiety disorders and most depression. It is a sign of a double difficulty — that we cannot get our problems into perspective nor take effective action to solve them.”

01-05-2009, 06:23 AM

Welcome to Your New Job: One that Pays 30%, 50%, 70% Less than Your Old One
January 2nd, 2009

According to CNN, phone service is an, “extravagance”?

The bankers and politicians who created this mess must really think that this is hilarious. As people are getting financially screwed to within an inch of their lives, the Wall Street pricks buy new homes with taxpayer bailout money and the crooked Congress gets an automatic pay raise.

What a country.

Via: CNN:

Happy New Year and welcome to your new job. One that pays 30%, 50%, 70% less than your old one.

That’s right: With more than three job seekers for every opening, more workers are having to take significant pay cuts to find employment.

“For people who have been laid off, this is obviously a buyer’s market,” said Ravin Jesuthasan, a managing principal at Towers Perrin. “We’re seeing pay levels in new positions coming down.”

In fact, 63% of unemployed workers said they would be willing to accept a job offer that pays less than their previous job, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Employment Law Project. Still, only 37% of respondents expressed high confidence in finding a job in the next four months despite being willing to make such a sacrifice.

Nearly 2 million jobs were lost in 2008 and economists say the unemployment rate, which stands at 6.7%, will continue to rise into 2010.

“People realize that this is a different environment, said Jeff Joerres, chairman and CEO of employment services firm Manpower. “People are more anxious and are willing to secure something even if it is less.”

Shaun Chedister, 30, is one of those people. Chedister was laid off from his job at Washington Mutual at the end of last year. After eight months of actively looking for work to help support his wife and four children, he accepted an offer from Ernst & Young even though the new position as an executive administrator paid less than half of what he was making before.

“My unemployment had run out, and I had to get something,” he explained.

But the adjustment to making $66,000 a year from $125,000 has been hard. “For the last four to five years I’d been making six figures,” Chedister said. “My lifestyle had been at a certain level.”

Now Chedister said he’s looking for a more affordable home. Last week one of the family’s cars was repossessed after he got behind on the payments.

“It could be worse,” he said, I could still be unemployed.”

Often the hardest part of accepting a pay cut is the change in lifestyle that goes along with it, says Manpower’s Joerres. “When you recalibrate your earnings expectations that means you have to recalibrate your lifestyle as well.”

And for those living paycheck to paycheck, that can mean having to move, sell possessions or give up everyday extravagances such as cable TV or phone service.

After Jarrod Posner, 34, was laid off from his $110,000-a-year job as a mortgage lender for D.R. Horton, he had to change careers to find employment. After months of looking he took a job as an enrollment counselor at the University of Phoenix - a position that paid $33,000.

“I was actually thankful because I was getting a job, but at the same time my wife and I realized we had to make a lot of lifestyle changes,” Posner said.

Since then, the Posners, who have two children, foreclosed on their home, moved into a rental property, downgraded from two cars to one and learned how to budget, he said. They’ve also given up their telephone and cable TV package. “All the little luxuries we don’t enjoy anymore,” he said.

Despite the dramatic downsizing that came with a 70% salary reduction, “I’m kind of happy,” Posner said. “It’s nice to know that I have pretty steady employment.”

01-05-2009, 06:24 AM

Mexican Federal Agents Arrested in Covina
January 2nd, 2009

Via: Los Angeles Times:

The residents of North Monte Verde Drive, a stretch of oak-shaded suburban calm in the Covina area, normally would feel safe knowing that two off-duty police officers were visiting the neighborhood.

Not this time. These officers were far from home — agents of the Mexican federal police — and they ended up on the wrong side of a bust, with a fortune in cash that prosecutors say was tied to narcotics trafficking.

The raid in July raised the specter that the often-brutal workings of the Mexican drug trade have reached deep into Southern California. But five months later, the fuller background of the case remains a mystery.

“We all just sort of went, ‘Yikes!’ ” Susan Wood, a longtime Monte Verde resident, said of the possible link between her neighborhood and the mayhem a country away. “This isn’t a drug-trafficky area at all.”

No connections to Mexican drug syndicates have been alleged in the Covina case, and defense attorneys say there are none. But speculation has been fueled by the fact that authorities have been unusually tight-lipped about the circumstances surrounding the arrests and the direction of their investigation.

One of the Mexican suspects, a federal police commander based in the border city of Mexicali, is believed to have been the target of an assassination attempt there last summer, when gunmen shot up his car and killed two of his aides.

The commander, Carlos Cedano Filippini, 35, was not in the vehicle at the time. Mexican media reported that Cedano abandoned his job after the shooting.

He was the second Mexican federal officer arrested in a Southern California drug probe in three weeks. Earlier in July, agents from the state Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement arrested Omar Lugo and another man in Riverside County on suspicion of transporting 154 pounds of cocaine in their car. A judge later ordered the two suspects released, ruling in favor of defense attorneys who said officers had lacked probable cause to search the car, said Orlando Lopez, a special agent in charge for the bureau. That ruling is under appeal and an investigation is continuing, Lopez said.

Narcotics-related violence in Mexico claimed more than 5,000 lives last year, as rival drug cartels battle over smuggling routes and beleaguered government forces press a crackdown. The spoils of the carnage are narcotics bound for the United States — Southern California is a top trans-shipment point — but there have been few outward signs here of cartel operations and attendant bloodshed.

Like Wood, other Monte Verde residents said they know nothing about the case beyond what they had learned in news reports, and very little about the occupants of the spacious home where the Mexicans were taken into custody. Some residents were fearful of being quoted by name.

“It’s like a TV show,” a neighbor said of the case.

Arrested along with the agents were two U.S. citizens, siblings Hector and Julissa Lopez. Their parents, who live in the 4,800-square-foot house at the end of a long driveway, have not been implicated, authorities say.

Julissa Lopez, 36, is the common-law wife of Cedano, the commander from Mexico’s Federal Investigative Agency, that nation’s equivalent of the FBI. Also charged is one of Cedano’s officers, Victor M. Juarez, 36.

The four have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court on charges of possessing more than $630,000 as part of an alleged drug transaction. If convicted, they face a maximum of four years in prison.

A stakeout team of narcotics investigators stormed the house and spotted the defendants walking out of a bedroom, according to prosecutors. Seized along with the suitcase full of cash were a money-counting machine, other bundles of currency, heat-sealable packets for the bills, and lists of payments and debts for narcotics, authorities say. Defense attorneys have said the lists were innocent jottings of family activities.

No drugs were found, but a police dog trained to sniff out narcotics residue showed a positive response to the suitcase and to other items in the bedroom, investigators say.

01-05-2009, 06:25 AM

New Law in Russia Ends Jury Trials for ‘Crimes Against State’
January 2nd, 2009

Via: Los Angeles Times:

President Dmitry Medvedev signs the controversial measure with little publicity. A pending Putin-backed law widens the definition of treason. Government critics fear the stage is set for a crackdown.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev paused in the last, quiet hours of a dying year to sign into law a controversial bill that eliminates jury trials for “crimes against the state,” a move that lawyers and human rights groups fear will be the start of a dangerous exertion of Kremlin control over government critics.

The law does away with jury trials for a variety of offenses, leaving people accused of treason, revolt, sabotage, espionage or terrorism at the mercy of three judges rather than a panel of peers. Critics say the law is dangerous because judges in Russia are vulnerable to manipulation and intimidation by the government.

A parallel piece of legislation, pushed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and still awaiting discussion in parliament, seeks to expand the legal definition of treason to such a degree that observers fear that anybody who criticizes the government could be rounded up by police — and, because of the law signed Wednesday, tried without a jury.

Human rights groups and lawyers have warned that the changes to Russia’s criminal code, largely undiscussed in the state media, would allow the government to crack down on any whispers of dissent. The changes also seek a stronger hand for the FSB, the modern incarnation of the Soviet KGB, by giving the state wider latitude in cases that fall under intelligence agency rather than police jurisdiction. Some critics point to the days of dictator Josef Stalin as a comparable legal structure.

“It’s a preparation for terror, although not the grand terror of the 1930s,” said Andrei Illarionov, a fellow at Washington’s Cato Institute and a former economic advisor to Putin. “They are much smarter now. They are preparing some kind of selective terror against those who are courageous enough to speak up.”

The purpose, many observers agree, is not only to give the government greater tools in cracking down, but also to send out tremors of fear.

01-05-2009, 06:25 AM

Rising Desperation as China’s Exports Drop
January 2nd, 2009

Maybe the Fed will bailout China? Oh, hmm, uhh… Wait, it’s supposed to be the other way around.

Via: IHT:

At the docks here, the stacks of shipping containers that used to loom above the highway overpass are gone. Logistics managers say they negotiate deeper discounts every week on ships that are leaving half empty.

In nearby Guangdong Province, so many factories are closing without paying employees that some workers are resigning pre-emptively and demanding immediate pay before their employers go bankrupt.

In Sichuan and other interior provinces, municipal officials are desperately searching for ways to provide jobs for millions of out-of-work migrant laborers whose families no longer need them for farming.

Those are the effects of millions of Americans’ cutting their spending.

American retailers, after suffering a dismal holiday shopping season, are delaying payment for Chinese goods 90 or even 120 days after shipping, in contrast to the usual 30 to 45 days, requiring their suppliers to try to borrow more money to cover the difference. Some Chinese suppliers who cannot raise the money - many already operate on thin margins - are going out of business.

01-05-2009, 06:51 AM
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/P7dbSFi53Z4&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/P7dbSFi53Z4&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

01-05-2009, 06:53 AM
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/vws9fTtQgz4&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/vws9fTtQgz4&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

01-05-2009, 07:12 AM

The Chronophage: Demonic Eater of Time

Professor Stephen Hawking has unveiled a spectacular clock at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge - the Corpus Clock (more evocatively named the Chronophage - the eater of time) is a $1.8 wonder of a timepiece.

The video is an excellent examination of this wonderful beast all presented by its creator, John Taylor, in a very polite and understated manner (so reminiscent of the old Open University videos):

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/pHO1JTNPPOU&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/pHO1JTNPPOU&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Here is some more background:

The masterpiece, introduced by famed cosmologist Stephen Hawking, challenges all preconceptions about telling time. It has no hands or digital numbers and it is specially designed to run in erratic fashion, slowing down and speeding up from time to time.

Inventor John Taylor used his own money to build the clock as a tribute to John Harrison, the Englishman who in 1725 invented the grasshopper escapement, a mechanical device that helps regulate a clock's movement.

Making a visual pun on the grasshopper image, Taylor created a demonic version of the insect to top of the gold-plated clock face where it devours time.

However, don't get distracted by the splendour it touches on the big themes:

Taylor said he also hopes the clock will remind people of their own mortality.

Rather than having it toll the hour by a bell or a cuckoo, the clock relies on the clanking of a chain that falls into a coffin, which then loudly bangs closed.

"I'm in my early 70s and I realize that time is a destroyer," Taylor said in a telephone interview. "When you're a young person you think there is plenty of time.

"The sound was to remind me of my mortality."

So there you are - it is really eating your life away. You'd better do whatever it is you've been putting off all this time, as you never know when a demonic grasshopper could appear and tell you your time is up!!

01-06-2009, 06:48 AM

Orange Drinks with 300 Times More Pesticide than Tap Water
January 5th, 2009

Don’t forget that the sodium benzoate in these drinks causes severe damage to mitochondria.

Via: Daily Mail:

Fizzy drinks sold by Coca-Cola in Britain have been found to contain pesticides at up to 300 times the level allowed in tap or bottled water.

A worldwide study found pesticide levels in orange and lemon drinks sold under the Fanta brand, which is popular with children, were at their highest in the UK.

The research team called on the Government, the industry and the company to act to remove the chemicals and called for new safety standards to regulate the soft drinks market.

The industry denies children are at risk and insists that the levels found by researchers based at the University of Jaen in southern Spain are not harmful.

The researchers tested 102 cans and bottles of soft drinks, bought from 15 countries, for the presence of 100 pesticides. The UK products were bought in London, Cambridge, Edinburgh, St Andrews and at Gatwick Airport.

The experts said the levels found were low under the maximum residue levels allowed for fruit, but they were ‘very high’ and ‘up to 300 times’ the figure permitted for bottled or tap water.

The chemicals detected included carbendazim, thiabendazole, imazalil, prochloraz, malathion and iprodione. They are mainly applied to fruit after harvest to stop it developing fungal infections and rotting.

A total of 19 products were bought in the UK, all made by Coca-Cola.

Two orange drinks bought in the UK contained imazalil at 300 times the limit permitted for a single pesticide in drinking water.

Two similar products contained 98 times the legal drinking water limit for thiabendazole.

The average level of the total pesticide contamination of the British drinks was 17.4 parts per billion - 34.6 times the EU maximum residue level for water.

Coca-Cola GB insisted the products are safe. A spokesman said: ‘All of the drinks tested meet the safety regulations relating to food products made from agricultural ingredients, which include drinks with fruit juice as an ingredient.

‘The generally miniscule levels that were detected were well within the acceptable daily intake levels and these findings should reassure consumers there is no safety issue here.’

01-06-2009, 06:58 AM


01-06-2009, 06:59 AM

IT Job Prospects Make Dot Com Crash Seem Like a Cake Walk
January 6th, 2009

Via: Register:

Compared to the current job market, IT professionals should recall the collapse of the dot-com bubble with a fondness for the good ol’ days.

That’s according to the latest bi-annual IT salary survey from management consultant Janco Associates, which has painted a dreary picture for tech workers. The firm called current conditions “a perfect storm” of company closures, layoffs, cost cutting, outsourcing, and retirees returning to work. That massive surplus of IT talent is matched by what the firm reckons is the lowest hiring demand it has observed in the 15 plus years it’s conducted the salary survey.

The study said that extensive layoffs, cost-cutting and hiring freezes have eliminated higher-priced positions, and in some cases lowered wages.

01-06-2009, 06:59 AM

China Seen Facing Wave of Unrest in 2009
January 6th, 2009

Via: Reuters:

China faces surging protests and riots in 2009 as rising unemployment stokes discontent, a state-run magazine said in a blunt warning of the hazards to Communist Party control from a sharp economic downturn.

The unusually stark report in this week’s Outlook (Liaowang) Magazine, issued by the official Xinhua news agency, said faltering growth could spark anger among millions of migrant workers and university graduates left jobless.

“Without doubt, now we’re entering a peak period for mass incidents,” a senior Xinhua reporter, Huang Huo, told the magazine, using the official euphemism for riots and protests.

“In 2009, Chinese society may face even more conflicts and clashes that will test even more the governing abilities of all levels of the Party and government.”

President Hu Jintao has vowed to make China a “harmonious society,” but his promise is being tested by rising tension over shrinking jobs and incomes, as well as long-standing anger over corruption and land seizures.

China also faces a year of politically tense anniversaries, especially the 20th year since the June 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square. That date has already galvanised the “Charter 08″ campaign by dissidents and advocates demanding deep democratic reforms.

While foreign commentary about risks to China’s recipe of fast economic growth and one-party control are common, the nation’s leaders are usually reticent about such threats.

This report and other recent open warnings may be intended to help snap officials to attention, said one Chinese expert.

“The candor about these problems reflects the severity of the unemployment problem. It’s meant to attract the attention of all levels of government,” said Mao Shoulong, a professor of public policy at Renmin University in Beijing.

“The government wants to show that stability is at the top of its agenda.”


The biggest threats to China’s social fabric will come from graduating university students, facing a shrinking job market and diminished incomes, and from a tide of migrant laborers who have lost their jobs as export-driven factories have shut.

Factory closures, sackings and difficulties paying social security had already unleashed a surge of protests, the report said. Officials in provinces that have provided tens of millions of low-paid workers for coastal factories have reported a leap in the number returning to their farm homes without work.

State statistical authorities estimated that close to 10 million rural migrant workers had lost their jobs, the magazine said, without specifying when the sackings happened.

Including students who graduated in 2008 and had not found work, there would be more than 7 million university and college graduates hunting for jobs this year, Huang calculated.

01-06-2009, 07:00 AM

More Americans Getting Multiple Chronic Illnesses
January 6th, 2009

Via: Reuters:

More Americans are burdened by chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure, often having more than three at a time, and this has helped fuel a big rise in out-of-pocket medical expenses, a study released on Tuesday showed.

With prescription drugs playing a key role, average annual out-of-pocket medical costs — those not covered by health insurance — rose from $427 per American in 1996 to $741 in 2005, researchers wrote in the journal Health Affairs.

Based on government survey data, 44 percent of Americans in 2005 had at least one chronic medical condition, which could include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, cancer, arthritis, heart failure and others. That compares to 41 percent in 1996.

The study did not look directly at the causes of the increases, but there appear to be several factors.

The rise in Americans with multiple chronic illnesses comes as obesity and sedentary lifestyles have grown more common. Obesity contributes to many chronic ailments including diabetes. U.S. health officials say the rate of new cases of diabetes soared by about 90 percent in the past decade.

01-06-2009, 07:01 AM

And Now: The Terrorist Insect
January 6th, 2009

Via: Telegraph:

Terrorists would find it “relatively easy” to launch a devastating attack using swarms of insects to spread a deadly disease, an academic has warned.

Jeffrey Lockwood, professor of entomology at Wyoming University and author of Six-legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War, said such Rift Valley Fever or other diseases could be transported into a country by a terrorist with a suitcase.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think a small terrorist cell could very easily develop an insect-based weapon.”

He said it would “probably be much easier” than developing a nuclear or chemical weapon, arguing: “The raw material is in the back yard.”

He continued: “It would be a relatively easy and simple process.

“A few hundred dollars and a plane ticket and you could have a pretty good stab at it.”

Governments, he advised, needed to have robust “pest management infrastructure that’s able to absorb and respond to an introduction” of infected insects, he said.

Trying to stop everything coming in at the border would not work, he said.

Rift Valley Fever is an east African disease which “can cause severe disease in both animals and humans, leading to high rates of disease and death” according to the World Health Organisation.

However, WHO says that “the vast majority of human infections result from direct or indirect contact with the blood or organs of infected animals.”

01-06-2009, 07:02 AM
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/WYrK1k97OI8&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/WYrK1k97OI8&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

01-06-2009, 07:52 AM

Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Toole, Jonestown and Bundy?
What does Ottis Toole have to do with Jonestown, Ted Bundy, and Satanists? Or with the name "wood" and the Tescumseh Curse? A little or a lot? Who knows?

A press conference was held in Hollywood, Florida, on Tuesday, December 16, 2008, to close the Adam Walsh case. As you will recall, the six year old Adam was abducted from a Sears department store at the Hollywood Mall in Hollywood, Florida, on July 27, 1981. Adam's mother, Revé, had left him playing in a video game section of the store with older boys. When she returned, he was gone. Adam's severed head was found in a Vero Beach, Florida, canal on August 10, 1981.

At the news conference today, the murder was blamed on serial killer Ottis Elwood Toole (March 5, 1947 – September 15, 1996). Toole had confessed and withdrawn his confession to the Walsh twice each, and did the same kinds of confessing and recanting with other killings throughout his life.

For more on the initial Adam Walsh "Case Closed" report, see here. For more on the questions being raised, days later, see here.

Ottis Elwood Toole has a bizarre history, including these quick tidbits from Wikipedia and other sources:

1) His father's name was Elwood Toole;
2) Ottis Toole claimed his mother was a religious fanatic who often abused him and dressed him in girl's clothing;
3) Toole's maternal grandmother was a satanist who exposed him to various satanic practices and rituals in his youth and gave him the nickname "Devil's Child";
4) In 1976, Toole met serial killer Henry Lee Lucas* (August 23, 1936 – March 13, 2001) while working at a soup kitchen in Jacksonville and they reportedly became lovers; [*Lucas also had been dressed as a girl as a child, Lucas at one time lived in Tecumseh, Michigan, Lucas claimed to have delivered poison to cult leader Jim Jones in Jonestown prior to the notorious mass murder/suicide of Jones's group, & Lucas's sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1998 by then-Governor George W. Bush. Lucas's was the only death penalty case among the 153 that came across Bush's desk in his tenure as Texas Governor in which he intervened and commuted the death sentence.]
5) Toole and Lucas claimed to have committed hundreds of murders, sometimes at the behest of a secret cult called "The Hand of Death Cult";
6) Toole briefly shared a cell with serial killer Theodore Robert Bundy (November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989) in Florida's Raiford Prison, according to Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me.


From Court TV:

Of all the claims of violent behavior Lucas and Toole have made to police, none is more outrageous then their story of a strange religious cult that they were asked to join. Supposedly, while on one of their murderous sprees, Henry and Ottis were approached by a stranger who offered the men the job of delivering stolen cars to various destinations. Lucas wasn’t impressed and declined the offer, as he was afraid that it would increase their chances of being caught by police. The stranger then made another offer. He asked if they would be interested in "contract" killing on behalf of his "organization."

He told them that they would be paid $10,000 for each "execution." Lucas and Toole were interested. They figured that since they’d been killing for fun, they might as well get paid for it. The stranger said that they would be hired on one condition.

"You have to join our religion, and once you join, there is only one way out," he told them.

"What kind of religion," Lucas asked.

"It’s called, "The Hand of Death," the stranger replied. "We worship the devil."

"...Also included in the CIA rogue's gallery of distinguished alumni, according to a number of researchers, is Lucas' self-described "close friend," the notorious Jim Jones. What then are we to make of Henry's professed connection to the tragic People's Temple? It has been documented by numerous investigators that the Jonestown massacre was not by any means a case of mass suicide, as was reported by the U.S. press. It was in fact a case of mass murder. The Guyanese coroner, Dr. C. Leslie Mootoo, concluded that only three of the 913 victims at Jonestown died by means of suicide on that fateful day. All of the rest were executed, some by lethal injection, some by strangulation, and some simply shot through the head.

It is apparent then that if Lucas was in fact at Jonestown at the time of the mass murder, he was quite likely doing considerably more than just serving as a delivery boy. A man of Henry's talents would bean invaluable asset in a clean-up operation of this type. And what was being cleaned up was, of course, yet another MK-ULTRA project, complete with vast stockpiles of drugs, sensory deprivation equipment, and a band of zombie-like assassins who gunned down Congressman Leo Ryan's entourage just prior to the massacre (thus necessitating the clean-up operation.)

Strange that Henry would claim a connection to a man whose operation was notable primarily for being a breeding ground for mind control and mass murder. Of course Henry, being uneducated and illiterate, would not likely have had access to this information.

Even if Henry was literate, he would not have known the story that Maury Terry was to later tell in his book, The Ultimate Evil. Told therein is a tale that chillingly parallels that of Henry and Ottis. What Terry revealed was that the murders attributed to the Son of Sam, the Manson Family, and numerous other interconnected killings (including possibly the Zodiac murders) were not what they appeared to be.

While these killings appeared to be the random work of serial/mass murderers, they actually were contract hits carried out for specific purposes by an interlocking network of Satanic cults (this book has, by the way, recently been reprinted by Barnes & Noble - go figure - and is highly recommended to anyone who questions the plausibility of Henry's story.) In other words, these were professional hits orchestrated and disguised to look like the work of yet another 'lone nut' serial killer. Which is, of course, exactly what Henry claimed his crimes to be, several years before investigative journalist Terry published his convincingly documented work.

Lucas' story then, as bizarre as it may appear to be, is certainly not without precedent. Other events that have transpired since Henry first began telling his tales of The Hand of Death lend further credence to various aspects of his story. For example, there is the issue of the cult-run ranch just south of the border. While this may have sounded rather far-fetched back in the early 1980's, it certainly doesn't today. In 1990, just such a ranch was excavated in Matamoros, Mexico, yielding the remains of over a dozen ritual sacrifice victims. While Ottis Toole - still alive at the time - noted that this was not the specific ranch with which he and Henry were associated, he also mentioned that there were numerous such operations in the area.

So closely did the Matamoros case parallel the stories told years before by Lucas that some law enforcement personnel in Texas chose to take a closer look at Henry's professed cult connections. In fact, Jim Boutwell, sheriff of Williamson County, Texas later told a reporter that investigators had verified that Lucas was indeed involved in cult activities. And a decade later, yet another excavation was begun, this time at a ranch near Juarez, Mexico, which is precisely where Henry claimed it to be. This story made a brief appearance in the American press in December of 1999, until U.S. officials moved in to take over the investigation, after which coverage promptly ceased.

Of course, it could just have been lucky guesses by Henry about the cult-run ranches and the networks of Satanic cults running murder-for-hire oper

01-06-2009, 07:53 AM
Is it possible that some serial killers were made to be that way?

01-07-2009, 11:12 AM

New Year 2009: Leading thinkers offer predictions of 'next big thing'
Leading thinkers - including Craig Venter and Ian McEwan - have marked New Year 2009 by predicting what will be the next big thing to shape the future.

Announcing the project, titled Annual Question 2009, the website's editor, John Brockman, wrote: "We are moving towards the redefinition of life, to the edge of creating life itself ... What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?"

Freeman Dyson - Physicist at the Institute of Advanced Studies: Telepathy
"Radiotelepathy, the direct communication of feelings and thoughts from brain to brain. The ancient myth of telepathy ... would be replaced by a prosaic kind of telepathy induced by physical tools ... We have only to invent two new technologies, first the direct conversion of neural signals into radio signals and vice versa, and second the placement of microscopic radio transmitters and receivers within the tissue of a living brain."

Ian McEwan - Novelist and writer: New energy
"The full flourishing of solar technology ... The technologies are unrolling at an exhilarating pace, with input from nanotechnology and artificial photosynthesis ... My hope is that architects will be drawn to designing gorgeous arrays and solar towers in the desert –as expressive of our aspirations as Medieval cathedrals once were."

J. Craig Venter - Genome Scientist at the J. Craig Venter Institute: The expansion of genetic engineering
"We have now shown that DNA is absolutely the information-coded material of life by completely transforming one species into another simply by changing the DNA in the cell ...Very soon we will be able to do the same experiment with the synthetic chromosome ... to direct organisms to do processes that are desperately needed, like create renewable biofuels and recycle carbon dioxide."

Kevin Kelly - Editor-at-Large at Wired magazine and author of New Rules for the New Economy: Artificial intelligence
"Cheap, powerful, ubiquitous artificial intelligence ... We'd use it the same way we've exploited previous powers –by wasting it on seemingly silly things. Of course we'd plan to apply AI to tough research problems like curing cancer ... but the real disruption will come from inserting wily mindfulness into vending machines, our shoes, books, tax returns, automobiles, email, and pulse meters."

John Gottman - Psychologist and founder of Gottman Institute: Colonisation of the Milky Way
"In the year 2,500 more than 20,000 ships set out, 2 headed for each planet. It was inevitable that many ships would successfully make the journey. No one knew what they would find. There was no plan for communication between the stars. The colonisation of the Milky Way had begun."

Karl Sabbagh - Writer and television producer: End of harm
"In the brains of everyone, from abusive parents and rapists to arms dealers and heads of state, there can arise a concatenation of nerve impulses which allow someone to see as 'normal'... the mutilation, maiming or death of another for one's own pleasure, greed or benefit ... If such a specific pattern of brain activity were detectable, could methods then be devised that prevented or disrupted it whenever it was about to arise? At its most plausible ... everyone could wear microcircuit-based devices that detected the pattern and suppressed or disrupted it."

Irene Pepperberg - Psychologist at Harvard University: Mastering of the brain
"Knowledge of exactly how the brain works will change everything ... We will, for example ameliorate diseases in which the brain stops working properly –from diseases involving cognitive deficits such as Alzheimers to those involving issues of physical control such as Parkinsons. We will monitor just when the brain stops functioning optimally and begin interventions much earlier. Age-related senility, with its concomitant problems and societal costs, will cease to exist."

Lawrence Krauss - Physicist and Director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University: Use of nuclear weapons against civilians
"The detonation of even a small nuclear explosive, similar in size, for example, to the one that destroyed Hiroshima, would produce an impact on the economies, politics, and lifestyles of the first world in a way that would make the impact of 9/11 seem trivial."

Steven Pinker - Professor of Psychology at Harvard University: Personal genomics
"Personalised medicine, in which drugs are prescribed according to the patient's molecular background rather than by trial and error ... The ultimate empowerment of medical consumers, who will know their own disease risks and seek commensurate treatment, rather than relying on the hunches and folklore of a paternalistic family doctor."

Anton Zeilinger - Scientific Director at the Austrian Academy of Sciences: Breakdown of all computers
"Some day all semi-conductors, and therefore all computers will break down ... The breakdown will be caused by a giant electromagnetic pulse (EMP) created by a nuclear explosion outside Earth's atmosphere."

Brian Eno - Musician and producer: The end of optimism
"Human development thus far has been fuelled and guided by the feeling that things could be, and are probably going to be, better. But suppose the feeling changes ... Humans fragment into tighter, more selfish bands ... Long term projects are abandoned–their payoffs are too remote. Global projects are abandoned–not enough trust to make them work. Resources that are already scarce will be rapidly exhausted as everybody tries to grab the last precious bits ... Survivalism rules. Might will be right."

01-07-2009, 11:14 AM



<img src="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01215/stonehenge_1215704c.jpg">

The monument has baffled archaeologists who have argued for decades over the stone circle's 5,000-year history but academic Rupert Till believes he has solved the riddle by suggesting it may have been used for ancient raves.

Mr Till, an expert in acoustics and music technology at Huddersfield University, West Yorks., believes the standing stones had the ideal acoustics to amplify a "repetitive trance rhythm".

The original Stonehenge probably had a "very pleasant, almost concert-like acoustic" that our ancestors slowly perfected over many generations

Because Stonehenge itself is partially collapsed, Dr Till, from York, North Yorks., used a computer model to conduct experiments in sound.

The most exciting discoveries came when he and colleague Dr Bruno Fazenda visited a full-size concrete replica of Stonehenge, with all the original stones intact, which was built as a war memorial by American road builder Sam Hill at Maryhill in Washington state.

lthough the replica has not previously gained any attention from archaeologists studying the original site, it was ideal for Dr Till's work.

He said: "We were able to get some interesting results when we visited the replica by using computer-based acoustic analysis software, a 3D soundfield microphone, a dodecahedronic speaker, and a huge bass speaker from a PA company.

"By comparing results from paper calculations, computer simulations based on digital models, and results from the concrete Stonehenge copy, we were able to come up with some of these theories about the uses of Stonehenge.

"We have also been able to reproduce the sound of someone speaking or clapping in Stonehenge 5,000 years ago.

"The most interesting thing is we managed to get the whole space (at Maryhill) to resonate, almost like a wine glass will ring if you run a finger round it.

"While that was happening a simple drum beat sounded incredibly dramatic. The space had real character; it felt that we had gone somewhere special."

01-07-2009, 11:15 AM

<img src="http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2009/01/01/PH2009010101961.jpg">

Nanodiamonds, such as these in the black layer of sediment at the Murray Springs archaeological site in Arizona, may explain the extinction of large animals, the disappearance of the Clovis culture and the climate change of an epoch known as the Younger Dryas. (Courtesy Of University Of Oregon)

In just the last few years, there has arisen a controversial scientific hypothesis to explain this chain of events, and it involves an extraterrestrial calamity: a comet, broken into fragments, turning the sky ablaze, sending a shock wave across the landscape and scorching forests, creatures, people and anything exposed to the heavenly fire.

Now the proponents of this apocalyptic scenario say they have found a new line of evidence: nanodiamonds. They say they have found these tiny structures across North America in sediments from 12,900 years ago, and they argue that the diamonds had to have been formed by a high-temperature, high-pressure event, such as a cometary impact.

01-07-2009, 11:16 AM

'Dinosaur City': World's largest fossil site unearthed in China

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:05 PM on 30th December 2008

* Comments (1)
* Add to My Stories

Scientists claim to have uncovered the world's largest haul of dinosaur fossils in China.

They recovered some 7,600 fossils from a 980ft-long pit near Zhucheng city in the eastern province of Shandong in a dig lasting seven months.

The finds at the site - dubbed 'Dinosaur City' - include the remains of a 65ft hadrosaurus, possibly a record size for fossils of the duck-billed species.

<img src="http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/12/30/article-0-02EA8941000005DC-512_634x952.jpg">

01-07-2009, 11:17 AM

European Neanderthals had ginger hair and freckles
Neanderthals living in Europe were fair skinned, freckled and had ginger hair, a study has revealed.

<img src="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01213/neanderthals_1213317c.jpg">

The gene known as MC1R suggests the Neanderthals had fair skin and even freckles like redheads.

In a major breakthrough, Spanish scientists have discovered the blood group and two other genes of the early humans who lived 43,000 ago.

After analysing the fossil bones found in a cave in north-west Spain, the experts concluded they had human blood group "O" and were genetically more likely to be fair skinned, perhaps even with freckles, have red or ginger hair and could talk.

The investigating team from Spain's government scientific institute, CSIC, used the very latest forensic techniques to remove the bones for analysis to prevent them getting contaminated with modern DNA.

Carles Lalueza, an evolutionary biologist with the investigation, said: "What we were trying to do was to create the most realistic image of the Neanderthals with details that are not visible in the fossils, but which form part of their identity."

The report, published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, concludes that: "These results suggest the genetic change responsible for the O blood group in humans predates the human and Neanderthal divergence" but came "after humans separated from their common ancestor ... chimpanzees."

The Spanish scientists also describe how they also discovered two other genes.

One gene known as MC1R suggests the Neanderthals had fair skin and even freckles like redheads.

Another, a variety of FOXP2, is related to speaking and the capacity to create a language and therefore suggests they could communicate orally.

01-07-2009, 11:18 AM

Secret army of ‘scallywags’ to sabotage German occupation

<img src="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00459/Army_459705a.jpg">

By day they were ordinary civilians — from dentists and clergymen to gamekeepers and roadmenders – in a Britain gripped by fear of imminent invasion by Hitler’s blitzkreig troops.

The only clue to their alter egos might have been the pieces of paper in their pockets – informing any police officer suspicious of their behaviour “to ask no questions of the bearer but phone this number”.

But new details have now emerged of the highly secretive role played by a “resistance” army of fit young men and women chosen as would-be saboteurs and spies in the event of a German landing.

In the dark days of 1940, the unit grew to about 6,000 members, who knew little of each other and operated in small guerrilla groups. Recruited to disrupt a German occupation force – including roles such as blowing up tanks, lorry parks and communications – the teams prepared by carrying out covert missions, known as “scallywagging”, at night.

01-07-2009, 11:18 AM

Energy of the Stars, With No Emissions

A consortium of governments will build a groundbreaking fusion power plant in France for a price in excess of €5 billion. After decades of discouraging setbacks, plasma physics has made jaw-dropping recent progress. Could it save the world?

Something went wrong during reactor experiment number 23,995. The fusion process started, continued for a second, but suddenly broke off. Before it collapsed the plasma in the reactor chamber began to vibrate, and microphones transmitted a squealing sound to the control center.

"The plasma probably had too much contact with the chamber walls," physicist Arne Kallenbach surmised, "and then underwent a sudden drop in temperature. That happens fairly often. Unfortunately, the plasma is pretty unstable, particularly during the phase when it is being heated up."

01-07-2009, 11:20 AM

The Fight Over NASA’s Future

<img src="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/12/30/science/30nasa2-600.jpg">

NASA has named the rocket Ares I, as in the god of war — and its life has been a battle from the start.




NASA may get a boost from the Pentagon under Obama



A New Fleet of Spacecraft

NASA is developing spacecraft to replace its aging shuttle fleet and return astronauts to the Moon by 2020. The first spacecraft in the Constellation program is expected to be launched in 2015, five years after the scheduled end of the shuttle program. Related Article

01-07-2009, 11:22 AM

2009 – the year of the big switch-off has arrived

Published Date: 03 January 2009
By Jenny Haworth
A FIFTH of the world's population can no longer see the Milky Way with the naked eye due to artificial lights blocking out the view of the stars.
This year, which is International Year of Astronomy, a new project is taking place to try to improve the visibility of the stars.

Campaigners at the Dark Skies Awareness project will be lobbying local authorities and members of the public to turn off lights in built-up areas at night.

Malcolm Smith, an astronomer at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, wrote about the importance of the project in the journal Nature.



A New Push to Turn Off the Lights in 2009

<img src="http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/images/2008/12/31/chicagolights.jpg">

01-07-2009, 11:24 AM
<img src="http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200901/r328022_1474194.jpg">

Cattle up trees, roads swept away in NT flooding


A property manager from the Northern Territory's Barkly region says eight times more rain has fallen in one downpour than fell in the whole of last year.

Manager of Avon Downs, Ben Wratten says he's had about 450 millimetres since Saturday, forcing his neighbours at Austral House to be evacuated by helicopter after being inundated.

In the 14 months previous, his property had received only 55 millimetres.

Mr Wratten says the rain has devastated the region because of the dry conditions leading up to it.

"There have been cattle swept away in the flood waters. Because we've had such a volume of rain in such a short period of time, although this country is very flat, the water's been very fast and that's where we've copped the most losses because there's cattle tangled in trees."

The Northern Territory roads manager in the Barkly says he's never seen so much rain dumped in the region during his 25 years with the department.

John Bertram says the monsoonal rain is unusually heavy, with massive falls in the Rankin and James River catchment areas.

He says the Barkly Highway has been closed since Saturday and is likely to be cut off for some time.

"At a rough guess, we would say about a week. We won't know the extent of the damage until the flooding recedes, but ... we currently have all contractors on standby to affect repairs (where the highway has been washed away) as soon as we're able to reach the location."

01-07-2009, 11:28 AM

Florida Biochemist designs a citrus tree with THC

<img src="http://img378.imageshack.us/img378/3213/valenciaorangegz4.gif">

In the summer of 1984, 10th-grader Irwin Nanofsky and a friend were driving down the Apalachee Parkway on the way home from baseball practice when they were pulled over by a police officer for a minor traffic infraction.

“It’s quite simple, really,” Nanofsky explains, “I wanted to combine Citrus sinesis with Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol.” In layman’s terms, the respected college professor proposed to grow oranges that would contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Fourteen years later, that project is complete, and Nanofsky has succeeded where his letter writing campaign of yore failed: he has the undivided attention of the nation’s top drug enforcement agencies, political figures, and media outlets.

The turning point in the Nanofsky saga came when the straight-laced professor posted a message to Internet newsgroups announcing that he was offering “cannabis-equivalent orange tree seeds” at no cost via the U.S. mail. Several weeks later, U.S. Justice Department officials showed up at the mailing address used in the Internet announcement: a tiny office on the second floor of the Dittmer Laboratory of Chemistry building on the FSU campus. There they would wait for another 40 minutes before Prof. Nanofsky finished delivering a lecture to graduate students on his recent research into the “cis-trans photoisomerization of olefins.”

“I knew it was only a matter of time before someone sent me more than just a self-addressed stamped envelope,” Nanofsky quips, “but I was surprised to see Janet Reno’s special assistant at my door.” After a series of closed door discussions, Nanofsky agreed to cease distribution of the THC-orange seeds until the legal status of the possibly narcotic plant species is established.

01-07-2009, 11:54 AM

Turning On, Tuning In and Painting the Results

<img src="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/12/20/arts/design/sacred.span.jpg">

The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in Chelsea will close at the end of this month. That may not mean much to most of the art world’s hipper denizens, but it will to visionary and psychedelic-art fans for whom the chapel has been a mecca since it opened in 2004.

<img src="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/12/19/arts/sacred.seraphic.jpg">

01-07-2009, 11:56 AM

The Intention Economy
by Daniel Pinchbeck

While exploring shamanism and non-ordinary states, I discovered the power of intention. According to the artist Ian Lungold, who lectured brilliantly about the Mayan Calendar before his untimely death a few years ago, the Maya believe that your intention is as essential to your ability to navigate reality as your position in time and space. If you don’t know your intention, or if you are operating with the wrong intentions, you are always lost, and can only get more dissolute.

This idea becomes exquisitely clear during psychedelic journeys, when your state of mind gets intensified and projected kaleidoscopically all around you. As our contemporary world becomes more and more psychedelic, we are receiving harsh lessons in the power of intention on a vast scale. Over the last decades, the international financial elite manipulated the markets to create obscene rewards for themselves at the expense of poor and middle class people across the world. Using devious derivatives, cunning CDOS, and other trickery, they siphoned off ever-larger portions of the surplus value created by the producers of real goods and services, contriving a debt-based economy that had to fall apart. Their own greed — such a meager, dull intent — has now blown up in their faces, annihilating, in slow motion, the corrupt system built to serve them.

Opportunities such as this one don’t come along very often and should be seized once they appear. When the edifice of mainstream society suddenly collapses, as is happening now, it is a fantastic time for artists, visionaries, mad scientists and seers to step forward and present a well-defined alternative. What is required, in my opinion, is not some moderate proposal or incremental change, but a complete shift in values and goals, making a polar reversal of our society’s basic paradigm. If our consumer-based, materialism-driven model of society is dissolving, what can we offer in its place? Why not begin with the most elevated intentions? Why not offer the most imaginatively fabulous systemic redesign?

The fall of capitalism and the crisis of the biosphere could induce mass despair and misery, or they could impel the creative adaptation and conscious evolution of the human species. We could attain a new level of wisdom and build a compassionate global society in which resources are shared equitably while we devote ourselves to protecting threatened species and repairing damaged ecosystems. Considering the lightning-like pace of global communication and new social technologies, this change could happen with extraordinary speed.

To a very great extent, the possibilities we choose to realize in the future will be a result of our individual and collective intention. For instance, if we maintain a Puritanical belief that work is somehow good in and of itself, then we will keep striving to create a society of full employment, even if those jobs become “green collar.” A more radical viewpoint perceives most labor as something that could become essentially voluntary in the future. The proper use of technology could allow us to transition to a post-scarcity leisure society, where the global populace spends its time growing food, building community, making art, making love, learning new skills and deepening self-development through spiritual disciplines such as yoga, tantra, shamanism and meditation.

One common perspective is that the West and Islam are engaged in an intractable conflict of civilizations, where the hatred and terrorism can only get worse. Another viewpoint could envision the Judeo-Christian culture of the West finding common ground and reconciling with the esoteric core, the metaphysical purity, of the Islamic faith. It seems — to me anyway — that we could find solutions to all of the seemingly intractable problems of our time once we are ready to apply a different mindset to them. As Einstein and others have noted, we don’t solve problems through employing the type of thinking that created them, but rather dissolve them when we reach a different level of consciousness.

We became so mired in our all-too-human world that we lost touch with the other, elder forms of sentience all around us. Along with delegates to the UN, perhaps we could train cadres of diplomats to negotiate with the vegetal, fungal and microbial entities that sustain life on earth? The mycologist Paul Stamets proposes we create a symbiosis with mushrooms to detoxify eco-systems and improve human health. The herbalist Morgan Brent believes psychoactive flora like ayahuasca and peyote are “teacher plants,” sentient emissaries from super-intelligent nature, trying to help the human species find its niche in the greater community of life. When we pull back to study the hapless and shameful activity of our species across the earth, these ideas do not seem very farfetched.

In fact, the breakdown of our financial system has not altered the amount of tangible resources available on our planet. Rather than trying to re-jigger an unjust debt-based system that artificially maintains inequity and scarcity, we could make a new start. We could develop a different intention for what we are supposed to be doing together on this swiftly tilting planet, and institute new social and economic infrastructure to support that intent.

Daniel Pinchbeck is the author of Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism (Broadway Books, 2002) and 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006). His features have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Wired and many other publications.

01-07-2009, 11:56 AM

Peru: Hell and Back—Video Exclusive
Deep in the Amazon jungle, writer Kira Salak tests ayahuasca, a shamanistic medicinal ritual, and finds a terrifying—but enlightening—world within.

<img src="http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/images/03_06/peru.jpg">

01-07-2009, 11:58 AM

Peru: Shamans hope the best for Barack Obama

<img src="http://filer.livinginperu.com/news/img2/shamanluck.jpg">

A group of Peruvian shamans met at Lima's highest point on Sunday to perform a ceremony which they believe will help protect the spirits of world leaders in 2009.

The cleansing ritual was lead by shaman Juan Osco who took his group of shamans to the highest point of Lima, San Cristóbal, located in the district of Rimac.

The ceremony involved the flag of the United States of America, a picture of Barack Obama and his family and a group of shamans wishing the family and Obama’s 2009 presidency good luck.

Also on the list for cleansing were Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Cuban President Fidel Castro, Bolivian President Evo Morales and Peruvian President Alan Garcia Perez. The shamans wished for Chavez, Fidel and Morales to rid themselves and their countries of bad spirits.

Oddly enough, also on the list was pop sensation Michael Jackson. Shamans dedicated a cleansing ceremony for the King of Pop wishing him good health and strength in the coming year.

To watch the video of the shamans performing their ceremony, click <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7802564.stm">here</a>.

01-07-2009, 11:59 AM


<img src="http://images.izvestia.ru/inauka/43790.jpg">

A myth “How human appeared on earth” about a maiden and an eight-legged reindeer was written down in Chubukulakh, Mid-Kolyma district of Yakutia, in 1978 by professor Vasily Afanasievich Robbeck according to a story told by Even Semyon Egorovich Dyachkov, born in 1919. The English translation is published by Yuri Klitsenko according to book V.A. Robbeck, E.K.Tarabukina, Folklore of the Even People of Berezovka. Samples of Masterpieces, Yakutsk, 2005.

A maiden, expelled from heaven, descends to the surface of the sea riding an eight-legged reindeer. On the reindeer's advice the maiden threw flocks of reindeer’s fur on water that turned in no time into wooden logs, out of which she made a raft. On strong request of the reindeer she sacrificed it and carved it, as it willed. At once the reindeer's skin turned into earth, skull and bones into mountains, hair into forests, lice into wild reindeer. When she broke its bones, the crackle turned into thunder, and death sigh - into wind. The reindeer's heart turned into a hero, lungs - into a boy and a girl.

The Evens told that before dry land appeared first humans had to float on the waters on rafts: "The Evens floated in the sea on a raft. One of them saw land on the bottom of the sea. At request of people Sun evaporated Sea… Earlier this earth was all water, without firm ground. One lad with his sister floated on a raft… Earlier the land was covered with ice. When it gradually got warmer, ice started melting, and heroes commenced floating on a raft. There appeared animals and fish… Diver (loon) brought from sea floor a hardly visible fleck of clay. God took this fleck of clay with his finger and put on the edge of the raft. In the morning the Even sees: his raft stands berthed to the bank of an island" (V.А.Robbeck, Kh.I.Dutkin, Myth about the origin of earth and human in the Even folklore. Epical art of Siberian and Far East peoples. Materials of All-Union folklorist conference, Yakutsk, 1978).

Wooden decorations of the Evenk shaman's tent include rafts floating along cosmic rivers, as well as monumental images of sacred kalirs – elks, reindeer and mammoths.

In a number of Tungus myths the primeval elks and reindeer are identified with mammoths: "When rocks appeared from under water, wild reindeer gradually came out of water. They were called mammoths. Tracks of those wild reindeer (mammoths) turned into rivers. Where they stepped, lakes appeared. Place of their pasture turned into sea" (V.A.Robbeck, Descriptions of reindeer in Even myths. Folklore and Etnography of indigenous peoples of the North, Leningrad, 1986). “The great elk cow got from the sky to the sea. The elk became mammoth and remained in the sea” (G.M.Vasilevich, Evenk Concepts about the Universe, Studies in Siberian Shamanism, edited by Henry N. Michael, Toronto, 1963).

01-07-2009, 12:01 PM


01-07-2009, 12:01 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20090102/sc_livescience/wherewordscomefrom;_ylt=AnYCmnDWkT7o.JKr2E832moPLB IF

Where Words Come From

I want to tell you something. Wait, wait, I'm searching for the right word to begin. I just can't remember it. Oh, there it is ...

We all fumble around for the right word, and once you get to a certain age, that fumbling often ends with, "Ah, another senior moment," and the secret worry that dementia is around the corner.

Researchers at Rice University in Houston have just discovered that there is a particular part of the brain that guides us when choosing words. On an MRI brain scan, the left temporal cortex and the LIGF, an area that encompasses Broca's area, which is known for speech production, light up when people are trying to choose between two words. The researchers were also able to pinpoint those two areas as the spots for word choice when testing subjects with brain damage.

Any research that informs us about language production is important because words are what make humans special.

No one knows when people began to speak, but anthropologists assume that talking came when we emerged as fully human, about 200,000 years ago. Of course, there was communication before that. All animals have ways to convey their feelings to others - dogs bark, birds sing, monkeys screech - but in most cases individuals are calling out their immediate situation. That communication is important because those calls can mean the difference between life and death.

But it gets interesting when animals have something else to say besides, "Help! That eagle is going to eat me." And it's not just humans who choose the right words.

Anthropologists have dragged recorded equipment into the field to figure out exactly what nonhuman primates say to each other. They recorded the animals in various social situations and then replayed the recordings to see the animals' reactions. It turns out that monkeys can identify calls from individual troop mates, that is, they "know" each others' voices, and they use this information selectively. And the grunts, calls, and screams of primates carry more information than the emotional reaction of fear or contentment. In other words, they have words, of a sort.

For example, rhesus monkey mothers can tell if their kids are really in trouble. When a juvenile is being attacked by a relative, it seems, they call out in a fake-y way and mothers ignore them. But if the kid is being attacked by a non-relative, someone who really might hurt them, the mother goes running. And the kid does this using "words" alone.

The words we primates choose are especially important in social interactions.

Anthropologist John Mitani of the University of Michigan analyzed the shape of the male chimpanzee's classic "pant-hoot," a call that starts out with a low "huh, huh, huh" and then builds to a scream. He compared this call from two sites in Tanzania and found that males modulate their voices to sound like each other, much as we take account of the accent of another country or culture when we move around. Sounding like each other, Mitani thinks, is important to male chimps because they are tightly bonded. Males hang out together, patrol the borders of a territory together and hunt together.

We don't know why exactly humans developed their word play beyond grunts and screams. But in doing so, we gained the ability to talk about more than predators and more than each other.

Unlike other primates, we can choose the right words to describe a dream, or talk about our goals. We can tell a story, or write a column, if only we can find the right words.

* Video - Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees
* Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind
* Amazing Animal Abilities

Meredith F. Small is an anthropologist at Cornell University. She is also the author of "Our Babies, Ourselves; How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent" (link) and "The Culture of Our Discontent; Beyond the Medical Model of Mental Illness" (link).

* Original Story: Where Words Come From

LiveScience.com chronicles the daily advances and innovations made in science and technology. We take on the misconceptions that often pop up around scientific discoveries and deliver short, provocative explanations with a certain wit and style. Check out our science videos, Trivia & Quizzes and Top 10s. Join our community to debate hot-button issues like stem cells, climate change and evolution. You can also sign up for free newsletters, register for RSS feeds and get cool gadgets at the LiveScience Store.

01-07-2009, 12:02 PM

Isaac Newton is, as most will agree, the greatest physicist of all time.

At the very least, he is the undisputed father of modern optics,­ or so we are told at school where our textbooks abound with his famous experiments with lenses and prisms, his study of the nature of light and its reflection, and the refraction and decomposition of light into the colours of the rainbow.

Yet, the truth is rather greyer; and I feel it important to point out that, certainly in the field of optics, Newton himself stood on the shoulders of a giant who lived 700 years earlier.

For, without doubt, another great physicist, who is worthy of ranking up alongside Newton, is a scientist born in AD 965 in what is now Iraq who went by the name of al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham.

Most people in the West will never have even heard of him.

As a physicist myself, I am quite in awe of this man's contribution to my field, but I was fortunate enough to have recently been given the opportunity to dig a little into his life and work through my recent filming of a three-part BBC Four series on medieval Islamic scientists.

01-07-2009, 12:03 PM

New treatment for blood poisoning could prove instant hangover cure
A bloodstream 'cleaner' which could save thousands of lives a year by quickly disabling poisons has been invented by British scientists, and and may even provide an instant hangover cure.

01-07-2009, 12:03 PM

An extract from grape seeds can destroy cancer cells, US research suggests.

In lab experiments, scientists found that the extract stimulated leukaemia cells to commit suicide.

Within 24 hours, 76% of leukaemia cells exposed to the extract were killed off, while healthy cells were unharmed, Clinical Cancer Research reports.

The study raises the possibility of new cancer treatments, but scientists said it was too early to recommend that people eat grapes to ward off cancer.

01-07-2009, 12:20 PM

A New Cigarette Hazard: ‘Third-Hand Smoke’

Parents who smoke often open a window or turn on a fan to clear the air for their children, but experts now have identified a related threat to children’s health that isn’t as easy to get rid of: third-hand smoke.

That’s the term being used to describe the invisible yet toxic brew of gases and particles clinging to smokers’ hair and clothing, not to mention cushions and carpeting, that lingers long after second-hand smoke has cleared from a room. The residue includes heavy metals, carcinogens and even radioactive materials that young children can get on their hands and ingest, especially if they’re crawling or playing on the floor.

01-07-2009, 12:20 PM

In an important breakthrough in deciphering dolphin language, researchers in Great Britain and the United States have imaged the first high definition imprints that dolphin sounds make in water.

The key to this technique is the CymaScope, a new instrument that reveals detailed structures within sounds, allowing their architecture to be studied pictorially. Using high definition audio recordings of dolphins, the research team, headed by English acoustics engineer, John Stuart Reid, and Florida-based dolphin researcher, Jack Kassewitz, has been able to image, for the first time, the imprint that a dolphin sound makes in water. The resulting "CymaGlyphs," as they have been named, are reproducible patterns that are expected to form the basis of a lexicon of dolphin language, each pattern representing a dolphin 'picture word.'

Certain sounds made by dolphins have long been suspected to represent language but the complexity of the sounds has made their analysis difficult. Previous techniques, using the spectrograph, display cetacean (dolphins, whales and porpoises) sounds only as graphs of frequency and amplitude. The CymaScope captures actual sound vibrations imprinted in the dolphin's natural environment-water, revealing the intricate visual details of dolphin sounds for the first time.

Within the field of cetacean research, theory states that dolphins have evolved the ability to translate dimensional information from their echolocation sonic beam. The CymaScope has the ability to visualize dimensional structure within sound. CymaGlyph patterns may resemble what the creatures perceive from their own returning sound beams and from the sound beams of other dolphins.

Reid said that the technique has similarities to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs. "Jean-Francois Champollion and Thomas Young used the Rosetta Stone to discover key elements of the primer that allowed the Egyptian language to be deciphered. The CymaGlyphs produced on the CymaScope can be likened to the hieroglyphs of the Rosetta Stone. Now that dolphin chirps, click-trains and whistles can be converted into CymaGlyphs, we have an important tool for deciphering their meaning."

Kassewitz, of the Florida-based dolphin communication research project SpeakDolphin.com said, "There is strong evidence that dolphins are able to 'see' with sound, much like humans use ultrasound to see an unborn child in the mother's womb. The CymaScope provides our first glimpse into what the dolphins might be 'seeing' with their sounds."

The team has recognized that sound does not travel in waves, as is popularly believed, but in expanding holographic bubbles and beams. The holographic aspect stems from the physics theory that even a single molecule of air or water carries all the information that describes the qualities and intensity of a given sound. At frequencies audible to humans (20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz) the sound-bubble form dominates; above 20,000 Hertz the shape of sound becomes increasingly beam shaped, similar to a lighthouse beam in appearance.

Reid explained their novel sound imaging technique: "Whenever sound bubbles or beams interact with a membrane, the sound vibrations imprint onto its surface and form a CymaGlyph, a repeatable pattern of energy. The CymaScope employs the surface tension of water as a membrane because water reacts quickly and is able to reveal intricate architectures within the sound form. These fine details can be captured on camera."

01-07-2009, 12:22 PM

Beloved Pets Everlasting?

<img src="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/01/01/garden/01clone-600.jpg">

IT TAKES TWO MissyToo, left, and Mira, clones from the same dog, share a love of chicken, which they wait for here.

THE most difficult thing about the cloned puppies is not telling them apart, but explaining why they don’t look exactly alike. This was the problem Lou Hawthorne faced on a recent afternoon hike with Mira and MissyToo, two dogs whose embryos were created from the preserved, recycled and repurposed nuclear DNA of the original Missy, a border collie-husky mix who died in 2002.

To be sure, they have a very strong resemblance to each other and to Missy. It’s just that sometimes, as soon as people hear that the dogs are clones, the questions start coming:

“Why is one dog’s fur curlier?”

“Why aren’t the dogs the same size?”

“Why is one of them darker?”

“Why does this one have a floppy ear?”

01-07-2009, 12:23 PM

Scientists discover true love

SCIENTISTS have discovered true love. Brain scans have proved that a small number of couples can respond with as much passion after 20 years as most people exhibit only in the first flush of love.

The findings overturn the conventional view that love and sexual desire peak at the start of a relationship and then decline as the years pass.

A team from Stony Brook University in New York scanned the brains of couples who had been together for 20 years and compared them with those of new lovers. They found that about one in 10 of the mature couples exhibited the same chemical reactions when shown photographs of their loved ones as people commonly do in the early stages of a relationship.

Previous research suggested that the first stages of romantic love, a rollercoaster ride of mood swings and obsessions that psychologists call limerence, start to fade within 15 months. After 10 years the chemical tide has ebbed away.

The scans of some of the long-term couples, however, revealed that elements of limerence mature, enabling them to enjoy what a new report calls “intensive companionship and sexual liveliness”.

The researchers nicknamed the couples “swans” because they have similar mental “love maps” to animals that mate for life such as swans, voles and grey foxes.

The reactions of the swans to pictures of their beloved were identified on MRI brain scans as a burst of pleasure-producing dopamine more commonly seen in couples who are gripped in the first flush of lust.

“The findings go against the traditional view of romance – that it drops off sharply in the first decade – but we are sure it’s real,” said Arthur Aron, a psychologist at Stony Brook.

Previous research had laid out the “fracture points” in relationships as 12-15 months, three years and the infamous seven-year itch.

01-07-2009, 12:23 PM

European researchers can now attach hyperlinks to pictures you take using your mobile phone. It offers the prospect of new ways to discover, engage and navigate your surroundings.

You wake up in a strange city with no recollection of how you got there and no information about where you are. Demonstrating nerves of steel, you calmly pick up your mobile phone and take a picture of the streetscape.

Quickly, the picture comes alive with hyperlinks, offering the names of the buildings, monuments and streetscape features that appear in the photograph. The hyperlinks lead to information about the history, services and context of all the features in the photograph. You have just hyperlinked your reality.

That scenario might be a little far-fetched, but the technology exists and is no figment of some fevered imagination. This is not a gee-whiz gadget invented by Q for the next James Bond movie; this is a working technology just developed by European researchers. It could be coming to a phone near you, and soon.

This, as the marketing types say, is a game changer. It develops a completely new interface paradigm that meshes web-technology with the real world. It is big and fresh like Apple’s game-changing multi-touch interface for the iPhone. But it goes much further and has implications that are much more profound.

The MOBVIS platform completely rewrites the rules for navigation, exploration and interaction with your physical environment. It identifies the buildings from a photograph you take in an urban environment and then places icons on points of interest.

Technology that pays attention

Then you simply click on the icon, using a cursor or, more frequently, a touch-screen phone, and the MOBVIS system will provide information on the history, art, architecture or even the menu, if it is a restaurant, of the building in question.

MOBVIS stands for mobile attentive interfaces in urban scenarios and it is the brainchild of the EU-funded MOBVIS project, a team of engineers and scientists who have successfully demonstrated the technology working in a real environment, with real users unconnected to the project.

The project’s work is all the more remarkable because image recognition technology has long been pregnant with promise, but seemed to suffer from an unending labour.

Now MOBVIS has not only developed image recognition; it has also developed compelling applications for the technology; and it has done so in the most striking and visible manner by adapting it to the world’s most ubiquitous technology: the mobile phone.

01-07-2009, 12:25 PM

Activist Unmasks Himself as Federal Informant in G.O.P. Convention Case

When the scheduled federal trial begins this month for two Texas men who were arrested during the Republican National Convention on charges of making and possessing Molotov cocktails, one of the major witnesses against them will be a community activist who acted as a government informant.

Brandon Darby, an organizer from Austin, Tex., made the news public himself, announcing in an open letter posted on Dec. 30 on Indymedia.org that he had worked as an informant, most recently at last year’s Republican convention in St. Paul.

“The simple truth is that I have chosen to work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” wrote Mr. Darby, who gained prominence as a member of Common Ground Relief, a group that helped victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

He added, “I strongly stand behind my choices in this matter.”

Mr. Darby’s revelations caused shock and indignation in the activist community, with people in various groups and causes accusing him of betrayal.

“The emerging truth about Darby’s malicious involvement in our communities is heart-breaking and utterly ground-shattering,” said the Austin Informant Working Group, a collection of activists from the city who worked with Mr. Darby. “Through the history of our struggles for a better world, infiltrators and informants have acted as tools for the forces of misery in disrupting and derailing our movements.”

Mr. Darby’s letter answered lingering questions in the case of the two Texas men, David McKay and Bradley Crowder, both also from Austin. They are scheduled to go on trial in Minnesota on Jan. 26, and if convicted on all counts, each faces a prison sentence of up to 30 years.

Neither the United States attorney’s office in Minnesota nor the F.B.I. would comment on Mr. Darby’s announcement.

01-07-2009, 12:27 PM
I'm not really sure if this is THE GUY in this anthrax deal:


Portrait Emerges of Anthrax Suspect’s Troubled Life

Nearly seven years and many millions of dollars later, after an investigation that included both path-breaking science and costly bungling, the F.B.I. concluded that Dr. Haigwood had been right: the anthrax killer had been at the investigators’ side all along. Prosecutors said they believed they had the evidence to prove that Dr. Ivins alone carried out the attacks, but their assertions immediately met with skepticism among some scientists, lawmakers and co-workers of Dr. Ivins.

With the F.B.I. preparing to close the case, The New York Times has taken the deepest look so far at the investigation, speaking to dozens of Dr. Ivins’s colleagues and friends, reading hundreds of his e-mail messages, interviewing former bureau investigators and anthrax experts, reviewing court records, and obtaining, for the first time, police reports on his suicide in July, including a lengthy recorded interview with his wife.

That examination found that unless new evidence were to surface, the enormous public investment in the case would appear to have yielded nothing more persuasive than a strong hunch, based on a pattern of damning circumstances, that Dr. Ivins was the perpetrator.

01-07-2009, 12:27 PM

The End of the Financial World as We Know It

01-07-2009, 12:30 PM

Loser: Hot or Not? By Erico Guizzo
First Published January 2009
BlackLight Power says it's developing a revolutionary energy source—and it won't let the laws of physics stand in its way

Imagine that you could make hydrogen atoms do something that quantum mechanics says they can’t: slip into an energy state below the ground state, the collapse releasing 100 times as much energy as you’d get by just burning the hydrogen. If you could harness the heat to produce power, using hydrogen from water as fuel, you’d consume no oil, create no fumes, and solve the problems of energy and global warming forever.

Of course, first you’d have to overturn a century’s worth of physical theory, prove your point experimentally, and demonstrate its feasibility in a prototype power-producing system. Yet this is precisely what a company called BlackLight Power says it has done. The company, based near Princeton, N.J., has raised US $60 million, equipped massive labs, hired two dozen employees, gotten some high-profile executives to serve on its board, and attracted a devoted following of fans to online discussion boards.

Last year BlackLight announced that it had a prototype reactor capable of putting out 50 kilowatts of thermal power using a tiny amount of hydrogen. The company said that the device releases energy in one short burst and that it’s working to make the reaction continuous. It also said it planned to scale up for pilot operation sometime this year, estimating that its technology could produce electricity for under 2 cents per kilowatt-hour. That’s on a par with nuclear and coal power plants and considerably better than gas and petroleum plants.

Is this real, or just fodder for a science-fiction TV show?

Ask experts in atomic physics and you’ll hear that a new form of hydrogen is just fantasy.

“This is scientific nonsense—there is no state of hydrogen lower than the ground state,” says Wolfgang Ketterle, an MIT scientist and a Nobel Prize laureate in physics. “Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, and it’s had time enough to find its ground state.”

Anthony Leggett, a professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and also a Nobel laureate, says that quantum mechanics is “consistent with just about everything we know about atomic physics, so the onus is firmly on anyone who wants to discard it to prove his case.” He adds, “I don’t see that [BlackLight] has got anywhere near doing this.”

But turn to Randell Mills, the founder, chairman, chief executive, and president of BlackLight Power, and he’ll tell you that this lower-energy hydrogen, which he calls hydrino, is very real indeed.

“We produce hydrino on demand,” he tells IEEE Spectrum, adding that his team has isolated and characterized hydrino’s properties using spectroscopy and has even created hydrino-rich materials it can provide for analysis.

Mills is unfazed by the criticism, having faced down the physics establishment since he first put forward his hydrino theory some 20 years ago. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, he veered into physics after taking some courses at MIT in the late 1980s. His theory has been evolving since then. Not only does it explicitly reject quantum mechanics as it is currently understood, it also attempts to explain physics and chemistry “from the scale of quarks to cosmos,” as Mills puts it. Unlike quantum theory’s statistical approach, his theory is completely deterministic.

Page 1 of 3

01-07-2009, 12:32 PM

Huge undersea 'wall' discovered

A giant rock formation resembling a city wall has been discovered under the Taiwan Strait.

The 220m stretch of basalt rock was found by biodiversity researcher Jeng Ming-hsiou.

He said it was likely to have been formed by a volcanic eruption up to 1,800 years ago.


01-07-2009, 12:32 PM

New powers for police to hack your PC (UK)

Civil liberties groups raise alarm over extension of surveillance without warrant

01-07-2009, 12:33 PM

New window on the high-energy universe
New telescope finds that the high-energy share of gamma-ray bursts arrive at Earth significantly later than the low-energy portion

01-07-2009, 12:34 PM

Can a Kind of Ancient Charcoal Put the Brakes on Global Warming?
Biochar was first created and used thousands of years ago to help plants grow. Researchers have found that this charcoal-like substance traps carbon and is a renewable source of fuel. Nine countries are pouring research dollars into the charcoal-like substance to see if it can sequester carbon, improve the soil and produce biofuels all at once—on an economically competitive scale. Could this ancient fertilizer really put a dent on global warming?
By Jeremy Jacquot

01-07-2009, 12:35 PM

The Nature-Nurture Debate, Redux

Genetic research finally makes its way into the thinking of sociologists

If sociologists ignore genes, will other academics — and the wider world — ignore sociology?

Some in the discipline are telling their peers just that. With study after study finding that all sorts of personal characteristics are heritable — along with behaviors shaped by those characteristics — a see-no-gene perspective is obsolete.

Nor, these scholars argue, is it reasonable to concede that genes play some role but then to loftily assert that geneticists and the media overstate that role and to go on conducting studies as if genes did not exist. How, exactly, do genes shape human lives, interact with environmental forces, or get overpowered by those forces? "We do ourselves a disservice if we don't engage in those arguments," says Jason Schnittker, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. "If we stay on the ropes, people from a different perspective, with a more extreme view, will be making them."

01-07-2009, 12:36 PM

Introduction: The dictatorship of relativism

by Roger Kimball

An introduction our symposium "The Dictatorship of Relativism: Who Will Stand Up for Western Values Now?”

01-07-2009, 12:38 PM

Timing is Everything

Time is the stuff of music: music manipulates our experience of time; it plays with the rhythm of experience; it stretches and complicates our relationship to the passing of time. If the world of physics is a space-time continuum, music is a pitch-time continuum. We use spatial metaphors to express our experience of frequency - notes are higher and lower, something expressed formally in staff notation, and deeply inscribed in our experience of music as performers and listeners. A large interval between two notes is a gulf to be stretched over. The quintessential musical form, melody, as it moves up and down in pitch space, over time, is a sort of quasi-miraculous bridging of the gap between the abandoned past, the ungraspable present and the as-yet-to-be-achieved, utterly unreal future. We grasp it and, as we do so, time is attended to and made palpable and affective.

It's no coincidence that the great age of music as metaphysics - Schopenhauer above all - coincided with the construction of larger and more complex forms in classical music. These brought a specialised form of rationality, musical rationality, to the subjective experience of time, through both the eked out, endless melody of Wagner, and the great symphonic structures of Bruckner and Mahler. Nineteenth-century music's ambitions for itself were in many ways as cosmic as the Pythagorean vision of an art form in tune with the construction of the universe itself, the music of the spheres. It wanted to mirror the ebb and flow of being itself.

While this all seems impossibly grandiose in a postmodern age, classical music still has the capacity to generate visions of the sublime. Here is Daniel Barenboim, recently quoted in the International Herald Tribune: "Since every note produced by a human being has a human quality, there is a feeling of death with the end of each one, and through that experience there is a transcendence of all the emotions that these notes can have in their short lives; in a way, one is in direct contact with timelessness."

01-07-2009, 12:39 PM

Maple Syrup and Baking Powder - mixture used to fight tumors.

The Remedy - Maple Syrup and Baking Powder (Bicarbonate of soda)

* Mix 1 part baking soda to 3 parts maple syrup
* Heat rigorously in a pan for 5 minutes
* Take two teaspoons of the mixture per day for the first week and then one teaspoon per day for weeks two and three - the remedy should not be continued after three weeks

Try to get aluminium free baking powder (from organic / health food shops) and pure 100% Grade B maple syrup.

Dr Mark Sircus has examined the results and comments as follows:-

"cancer cells gobble up sugar so when you encourage the intake of sugar it's like sending in a Trojan horse. The sugar is not going to encourage the growth of the cancer colonies because the baking soda is going to kill the cells before they have a chance to grow"

"The treatment is a combination of pure, 100% maple syrup [bulk Grade B from the health food store] and baking soda and was first reported on the Cancer Tutor site. When mixed and heated together, the maple syrup and baking soda bind together. The maple syrup targets cancer cells (which consume 15 times more glucose than normal cells) and the baking soda, which is dragged into the cancer cell by the maple syrup, being very alkaline forces a rapid shift in pH killing the cell."

An almost identical remedy has been suggested by Italian Dr Simoncini - who claims to treat cancer as if it were a fungus.

01-07-2009, 12:41 PM

Archaeology : Archaeologists find lost city of ‘cloud people’ in Peru

* Posted by ranjankul in Other News

Archaeologists have discovered a lost city carved into the Andes Mountains in Peru by the mysterious Chachapoya tribe, which is also known as the ‘cloud people’.

According to a report in the Telegraph, the settlement covers some 12 acres and is perched on a mountainside in the remote Jamalca district of Utcubamba province in the northern jungles
of Peru’s Amazon.

The buildings, found on the Pachallama peak, are in remarkably good condition, estimated to be over 1,000 years old and comprised of the traditional round stone houses built by the Chachapoya, the ‘Cloud Forest People’.

The area is completely overgrown with the jungle now covering much of the settlement, but explorers found the walls of the buildings and rock paintings on a cliff face.

The remote nature of the site appears to have protected the site from looters as archaeologists found ceramics and undisturbed burial sites.

01-07-2009, 12:42 PM

Effect of subliminal marketing greater than thought
January 5th, 2009 in General Science / Other

(PhysOrg.com) -- Marketing statements influence us subliminally more than was ever assumed. Even when you are not aware of being exposed to advertising material, it can still affect your actions. This emerged from research by Marieke Fransen of the University of Twente, Netherlands, who obtained her doctorate from the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences on 19 December.

01-07-2009, 12:48 PM

Bagnold's Stone Circle

<img src="http://www.fjexpeditions.com/desert/archeology/Bagsc/GJBG1m.jpg">

"In a small basin in the hills we came the next day (27th October, 1930) upon a circle 27 feet (8.5 metres) in diameter of thin slabs of sandstone, 18 to 24 inches high. Half were lying prone, but the rest were still vertical in the sand. There was no doorway or other sign of orientation, and though we searched within and without the circle, no implements could be found. I understand that other similar circles have been found in the neighborhood of the Gilf Kebir."

Major R.A.Bagnold, Journeys in the Libyan Desert 1929 and 1930,
The Georgaphical Journal, Vol. LXXVIII No. 1. (July 1931)]

Bagnold and his party made their discovery purely by chance, as the low structure is only visible from a few hundred metres. Bagnold did mark the circle on his map acompanying the Geographical Journal article, however on the scale of 1:10 million the half milimetre dot represents an area 5 kilometres in diameter, plus of course any error in Bagnold's position estimate. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack when we set out to locate the circle in march 2001. However luck was with us, after rounding a low hill suddenly the circle right in front, though the GPS still showed six kilometres to go, based on the position plotted from Bagnold's map.

01-07-2009, 12:49 PM

Mystery Of South American Trophy Heads Solved

ScienceDaily (Jan. 6, 2009) — The mystery of why ancient South American peoples who created the mysterious Nazca Lines also collected human heads as trophies has long puzzled scholars who theorize the heads may have been used in fertility rites, taken from enemies in battle or associated with ancestor veneration.

<img src="http://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2009/01/090105120310.jpg">

01-07-2009, 12:50 PM

Pyramids in China

The "White Pyramid" discovered!

It is the Maoling Mausoleum!

<img src="http://web.utanet.at/mahain/Pyramide2.jpg"

01-07-2009, 12:51 PM

Passage graves from an astronomical perspective

Shown here is the passage grave "Nordenhoj" at Kaerby near Kalundborg in Denmark. Credit: The National Museum of Denmark

<img src="http://www.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/passagegrave.jpg">

Passage graves are mysterious barrows from the Stone Age. New research from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen indicates that the Stone Age graves' orientation in the landscape could have an astronomical explanation. The Danish passage graves are most likely oriented according to the path of the full moon, perhaps even according to the full moon immediately before a lunar eclipse. The results are published in the scientific journal Acta Archaeologica.

01-07-2009, 12:53 PM

UPDATE PLUS VIDEO FOOTAGE: Tentacle UFO spotted night before carnage at Conisholme wind farm

Published Date: 06 January 2009
TUESDAY 13.20pm -
ENGINEERS from Ecotricity are working to establish how a 20m blade mysteriously fell off a turbine at Conisholme wind farm - but residents have their own conclusions.
It is believed the a blade fell off the 89m turbine and another was left badly bent on Sunday January 4.

Speculation has continued amongst residents in Conisholme and the surrounding villages with some saying they saw strange flashing tentacle shaped lights above the wind farm on the night before it happened.

Mr John Harrison, Saltfleetby described how on Saturday night, January 3 he looked out of his landing window to see a 'massive ball of light' with 'tentacles going right down to the ground' over Conisholme wind farm.

"It was huge" he said "At first I thought it must have been a hole where the moon was shining through but then I saw the tentacles – it looked just like an octopus.

"It was an incredible site; I have never seen anything like it before. I have no idea what it was, all I can say is what I saw".

And although many believe the incident is an isolated one, reports of damage to wind turbines appear to be more common than people think:

* April 2005: A 40m blade of a turbine on a wind farm in Berwickshire, Scotland suddenly shattered. The failure was blamed on strong winds and icy weather conditions.

* November 2006: The tip of the rotor blade of a turbine in Oldenburg, Germany was ripped off following a sudden gust of wind throwing it into a field 200m away.

* January 2007: A family narrowly avoided tragedy when a 16ft blade spun off a wind turbine and crashed through the roof of their home in Belfast.

* July 2008: A giant wind turbine between Sheffield and Rotherham was shut down using a controlled deconstruction and the blades fell to the ground after cracks in the blades appeared.

* December 2008: Shards of ice were catapulted from an 80m high turbine in Peterborough leaving residents fearing for their safety.

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/c3FZtmlHwcA&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/c3FZtmlHwcA&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

01-07-2009, 12:54 PM

WHY ET HAS TO BE HUMANOID by Anthony Bragalia

Space Shuttle Columbia Astronaut and physicist Dr. Ulrich Walter makes this case very well in a 2004 paper. He goes against traditional scientific thought on the matter of what ET would look like. He says of the visiting alien form, "No matter from which angle you approach the problem, the only realistic approach seems to be the variant realised by the human race." He examines in fine detail why the basis of such evolutionary life has be be carbon chemistry, or organic chemistry. This is why ET cannot be that much different from earthly life with regard to its basic substances. Space-faring creatures would require the same stereoscopic vision and the same hand-eye coordination as humans. Dr. Walter says that (unless artificially created) such sentient ET life would be made of "flesh" (agglomerate of reproducing aqueous cells) and "blood" (a liquid which tranports needed substances.) The "flesh" and "blood" of a humanoid. Dr. Walter concludes that ET's functional counterparts are similar to ours, and that "the only question that remains is where these parts are located."

When another child was asked, "What does ET look like?" he replied: "They can be anything." He too is right. If the universe teems with sentient life, then there are beings that are at once ancient and advanced. And those that survive, adapt. Over the eons, technology has no doubt enabled them to appear as they wish. And if something is sufficiently Alien, it may appear as anything. Or it might not even wish to be noticed as "living" or recognized as sentient at all. Their form is likely whatever they desire it to be. It is "self-engineered." Aliens who visit us would have to be unfathomably adaptable- with the technology to change form to exploit all habitat. Just as their craft (and the material from which they are comprised) can change state, so too can ET's appearance.

Though they appear as they wish- ET's core nature remains humanoid. The reason that their form is so familiar is because we are from the same source. We share ultimate origin. And one day we will do what they do. The truth is that Man and Visitor both reflect the infinite image of God- rendering meaningless the very use of the term "Alien."

01-07-2009, 12:54 PM

Largest Marine Reserve Declared; Home to Mariana Trench
Dina Cappiello in Washington, D.C.
Associated Press
January 6, 2009

The home of a giant land crab, a sunken island ringed by pink-colored coral, and equatorial waters teeming with sharks and other predators have been designated national marine monuments by U.S. President George W. Bush in the largest marine conservation effort in history. (See photos.)

The three areas—totaling some 195,274 square miles (505,757 square kilometers)—include the Mariana Trench and the waters and corals surrounding three uninhabited islands in the Northern Mariana Islands, Rose Atoll in American Samoa, and seven islands strung along the equator in the central Pacific Ocean.

01-07-2009, 12:55 PM

Protecting Whales from Dangerous Sonar
NRDC's campaign to regulate harmful Navy sonar systems is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

01-07-2009, 12:55 PM

Three-second memory myth: Fish show they can remember things for up to five months

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:53 AM on 07th January 2009

* Comments (20)
* Add to My Stories

Their brain power is at best shallow. Or so we thought. But scientists believe fish may have hidden depths.

The creatures said to have a mere three-second memory span can actually recall information for up to five months.

Scientists found that fish trained to respond to certain sounds in captivity still reacted months later when they heard them in the wild.

01-07-2009, 12:56 PM

Pelicans fall out of sky from Mexico to Ore.

Pelicans suffering from a mysterious malady are crashing into cars and boats, wandering along roadways and turning up dead by the hundreds across the West Coast, from southern Oregon to Baja California, Mexico, bird-rescue workers say.

01-07-2009, 12:58 PM

Traffic jam after 'ghost sighting'

This time of year is traditionally associated with high spirits as revellers welcome in another year.

However, a spirit of a different kind has been causing a bit of a commotion outside Coalisland in County Tyrone.

An apparent sighting of a ghost has led to crowds of people descending on the Brackaville area over the holidays.

"At one point, there was a line of up to 60 cars on the Mullaghmoyle Road with people trying to spot it," said Sinn Féin Councillor Desmond Donnelly.

"It wasn't just one night, it was going on for a week or so over the holidays. I'm not sure how it all started - I wouldn't be one for ghosts, but you know how this type of thing spreads.

"If you ask me, it's more likely to be a reflection of the moon on the river that flows through the area. Although the talk is that what was seen was in the shape of a person."

Pat Hughes, speaking at the Central Bar in Coalisland, said the sighting had certainly got people in the town talking.

"Everybody's been talking about it in the bar and it has also caught the imagination of young people," he said.

If anybody down there would like us to investigate this latest sighting, we'd only be too happy to help
Warren Coates, NIPRA

"It has got to the stage where it's a bit like a drive-in movie."

As with these sorts of things, rumours about what was or was not seen quickly spread. It was claimed the apparition was a woman who had lived locally.

Warren Coates of the Northern Ireland Paranormal Research Association (NIPRA) said he was aware of "previous paranormal activity" in the area.

"It related to a phantom female hitchhiker, but if anybody down there would like us to investigate this latest sighting, we'd only be too happy to help," he said.

01-07-2009, 02:01 PM
Re: The Intention Economy, post #1364 -

That's my new goal - I want to be the UN Special Envoy to the Mushroom King.

How much do you think that would pay?

01-07-2009, 05:15 PM
Re: The Intention Economy, post #1364 -

That's my new goal - I want to be the UN Special Envoy to the Mushroom King.

How much do you think that would pay?

...****... ;)

01-09-2009, 06:25 AM
This is really god's church:


Ten-thirty p.m. in East Oakland. Sirens and gunshots, the soundtrack of this stretch of Fruitvale Avenue, punctuate the air. Dozens of homeless people are gathered beneath a street lamp - some in wheelchairs, some drunk, some ranting furiously to themselves.

Then the Preacherman appears.

Everything stops.

"What are we here for, brothers and sisters?" the 39-year-old man with the neatly trimmed beard calls out quietly as he takes a spot beneath the lamp. He slowly pulls a small Bible from the pocket of his paint-spattered sweatshirt.

"To pray with you," a few call back. "Thank God you're here," others say. Some bow their heads and clench their eyes shut. Most simply stand and wait, silent.

"Amen," the Preacherman says. He opens the book.

And then, for the next half hour, there is church in the street at the corner of Foothill and Coolidge, where the homeless and even many criminals don't usually hang out this late at night.

The Preacherman is Vincent Pannizzo, but most who come to his sermons don't know his name. Or that he was working on a doctorate at UC Berkeley when he dropped out nine years ago to begin preaching. Or that he comes from middle-class comfort in New Jersey, did a three-year hitch in the Army and once dreamed of being a history professor.

To his street flock, Pannizzo is simply "the Preacherman," who shows up seven nights a week, rain or not, to gently sermonize and hand out sandwiches, blankets and the few dollars he makes through day labor.


Good read

01-09-2009, 06:28 AM

This satirical infomercial, which had been on YouTube for months, was pulled by Youtube, who deemed it "inappropriate content," only after it skyrocketed into the top three topics on digg.com and began accumulating tens of thousands of views. Upset by the censorship and implications, several youtube users have re-uploaded or 'mirrored' the video in protest. Watch it in full here:

01-09-2009, 06:29 AM

Alleged Murder-For-Hire Rattles Small Town
CBS Evening News Exclusive: Placid Midwest Town Turned Upside Down By Alleged Hit List And Secretive Group

The small city of Shawano, Wisconsin is home to a religious cult called the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology, run by a man who has at various times been known as Dr. Samanta Roy, Rama Behera, or Avraham Cohen. This holiday season held a nasty surprise for local residents; the FBI has notified 60 Shawano residents that their names are on a hit list of people whom the cult wants killed. The list includes the town's mayor, who has gone into hiding.

01-09-2009, 06:34 AM

<img src="http://aftermathnews.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/obama_antichrist.jpg?w=468&h=558">

Barack Obama’s ‘Black Widow’: Here come the thought police!

Thanks to Bush and Obama, the National Security Agency now knows more about you

Village Voice | Dec 23, 2008

By Nat Hentoff

Barack Obama will be in charge of the biggest domestic and international spying operation in history. Its prime engine is the National Security Agency (NSA)—located and guarded at Fort Meade, Maryland, about 10 miles northeast of Washington, D.C. A brief glimpse of its ever-expanding capacity was provided on October 26 by The Baltimore Sun’s national security correspondent, David Wood: “The NSA’s colossal Cray supercomputer, code-named the ‘Black Widow,’ scans millions of domestic and international phone calls and e-mails every hour. . . . The Black Widow, performing hundreds of trillions of calculations per second, searches through and reassembles key words and patterns, across many languages.”

In July, George W. Bush signed into law the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which gives the NSA even more power to look for patterns that suggest terrorism links in Americans’ telephone and Internet communications.

The a court ACLU immediately filed a lawsuit on free speech and privacy grounds. The new Bush law provides farcical judicial supervision over the NSA and other government trackers and databasers. Although Senator Barack Obama voted for this law, dig this from the ACLU: “The government [is now permitted] to conduct intrusive surveillance without ever telling who it intends to spy on, what phone lines and e-mail addresses it intends to monitor, where its surveillance targets are located, why it’s conducting the surveillance or whether it suspects any party to the communication of wrongdoing.”

..."Consider the enormous and bottomless databases that the government—and its NSA—can have a ball with. In James Bamford’s The Shadow Factory (Doubleday)—a new book that leads you as far as anyone has gone into the bowels of the NSA—he notes: “For decades, AT&T and much of the rest of the telecommunications industry have had a very secret, very cozy relationship with the NSA.” In AT&T’s case, he points out, “its international voice service carried more than 18 billion minutes per year, reaching 240 countries, linking 400 carriers, and offering remote access via 19,500 points of presence in 149 countries around the globe.”

Voilá! Also, he notes: “Much of those communications passed through that secret AT&T room that Klein found on Folsom Street in downtown San Francisco.”

There’s a lot more to come that we don’t know about. Yet. In The Shadow Factory, James Bamford quotes Bush’s Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell as saying that this wiretapping program was and is “only one program of many highly secret programs approved by Bush following the attacks on 9/11″ (emphasis added). McConnell also said of the NSA’s nonstop wiretapping: “This is the only aspect of those various activities whose existence has officially been acknowledged.”

Come on, Mike. Bush acknowledged the NSA’s flagrant contempt of the First and Fourth amendments only after The New York Times broke the story in December 2005. When the Times executive editor, Bill Keller, first decided to hold the explosive story for a year, General Michael Hayden—the former head of the NSA who is currently running the CIA—was relieved because he didn’t want the news to get out that “most international communications pass through [these telecommunications] ’switching,’ ” Bamford reports. It would blow the cover off those corporate communicators. Now, AT&T, Verizon, et al., don’t have to worry, thanks to the new law.

There are increasing calls, inside and outside of Congress, for President Obama to urge investigations by an independently bipartisan commission—akin to the 9/11 Commission—to get deeply into the many American and international laws so regally broken by Bush and his strutting team.

But there is so much still to find out about the NSA’s “many highly secret programs” that a separate commission is sorely needed to probe exclusively into the past and ongoing actions of the Black Widow and other NSA lawless intrusions into our privacy and ideas.

President Obama could atone for his vote that supported the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 by appointing such a bipartisan commission composed of technology experts who are also familiar with the Constitution.

Bamford says that the insatiable NSA is “developing an artificial intelligence system designed to know what people are thinking.” Here come the thought police!..."

01-09-2009, 06:37 AM

Kissinger: Obama has a “great opportunity for a New World Order”

<img src="http://aftermathnews.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/kissinger_globalist_slug.jpg?w=500&h=334">

Policy guru says global upheaval presents ‘great opportunity’

WorldNetDaily | Jan 6, 2009

Kissinger: Obama primed to create ‘New World Order’

By Drew Zahn

Conflicts across the globe and an international respect for Barack Obama have created the perfect setting for establishment of “a New World Order,” according to Henry Kissinger, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former secretary of state under President Nixon.

01-12-2009, 10:23 AM
One year of Anonymous against Scientology has come and gone, and it's time to take a look back at this year. The Church of Scientology said we'd be gone in a flash, that we were a passing fad. They said that we would disappear as soon as we realized that Scientology was serious about this, and that we simply wouldn't last. They also tried issuing impotent orders to Cease and Desist to anyone whose name they managed to get, pressed criminal charges against us, and tried to get us to tear each other apart.

They also lost one of their major financial backers, Australian multi-billionaire James Packer. Some of their former spokespeople came out against them quite publicly. Tommy Davis, perhaps their biggest spokesman, embodied "fail" on CNN. Perhaps most importantly, the Church of Scientology and its wrongdoings became more than just a joke on a cartoon and became something that people began to discuss.

<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=2693372&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=2693372&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/2693372">Anonymous: Still Alive</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user1055273">blue</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.


01-12-2009, 11:17 AM

An FBI provocateur and undercover informant, Brandon Michael Darby, unmasked himself December 30 in a bizarre letter to the Independent Media Center (IMC), an activist website and alternative news clearinghouse.

Darby’s admission came after government documents were provided to defense attorneys representing Bradley Crowder and David McKay. The activists were arrested in early September during the Republican National Convention and charged with one count of possession of firearms. They remain in jail awaiting trial.

01-12-2009, 11:52 AM

Wednesday, January 7. 2009
Obama and Bigfoot

Well I thought things were getting silly when UFOs appeared over one of Obama's rallies, aliens declared their support and then he came out as an alien (Baraktus Devourer of Worlds*) but it seems that was only the start. Other fields of Forteana are elbowing in. Rushing to the front of the stage is cryptozoology because it appears a man who claims to have evidence that Obama isn't a US citizen (you'd think better connected folks like the Secret Service might have looked into this already), with all sorts of shenanigans involved, is also the guy who claims he has a map to the location of two Bigfoot corpses, as he was the one who accidental blew them away:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/A4sQePBTMAU&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/A4sQePBTMAU&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Naturally, I'm not commenting on the broader issues (which sound awfully suspect to me) but you can read all about that above, the important thing to note is that weirdness still dogs Obama's heels. Also, I doubt this is the last time we return to him, he hasn't even been inaugurated yet!!! I wonder if anyone "special" might show up for the event - beyond the usual denizens of the lower fourth dimensions in humansuits, that is.

01-13-2009, 06:16 AM

The earth’s magnetic field impacts climate: Danish study
January 13, 2009 · No Comments

<img src="http://aftermathnews.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/magnetosphere_rendition.jpg?w=500&h=273">

COPENHAGEN (AFP) — The earth’s climate has been significantly affected by the planet’s magnetic field, according to a Danish study published Monday that could challenge the notion that human emissions are responsible for global warming.

01-13-2009, 07:35 AM

<img src="http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Third_Party_Graphic/2009/01/10/11brain2axx__1231575167_0544.jpg">

01-13-2009, 11:06 AM

The Magic of Mushroom Spores

<img src="http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/images/2009/01/08/haeckel_basimycetes_2.jpg">

What made their paper special, said Money, is their description of variation in this mechanism. They found that tiny changes in spore shape produced profound alterations in water droplet shape. Changes in water droplet shape then affected the the trajectory of dispersed spores.

At one level, the findings are literally microscopic; at another, they're universal.

"Mushrooms are masterpieces of natural engineering," said Money, "and we are just beginning to understand how they work."

01-13-2009, 11:06 AM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20090112/sc_livescience/lifeasweknowitnearlycreatedinlab;_ylt=AtdBEjHQszYi RqlpPAwTB1wPLBIF

Life As We Know It Nearly Created in Lab

Buzz Up
* Send
o Email
o IM
* Share
o Digg
o Facebook
o Newsvine
o del.icio.us
o Reddit
o StumbleUpon
o Technorati
o Yahoo! Bookmarks
* Print

Robert Roy Britt
Editorial Director
LiveScience.com robert Roy Britt
editorial Director
livescience.com – Sun Jan 11, 9:55 pm ET

One of life's greatest mysteries is how it began. Scientists have pinned it down to roughly this:

Some chemical reactions occurred about 4 billion years ago - perhaps in a primordial tidal soup or maybe with help of volcanoes or possibly at the bottom of the sea or between the mica sheets - to create biology.

Now scientists have created something in the lab that is tantalizingly close to what might have happened. It's not life, they stress, but it certainly gives the science community a whole new data set to chew on.

The researchers, at the Scripps Research Institute, created molecules that self-replicate and even evolve and compete to win or lose. If that sounds exactly like life, read on to learn the controversial and thin distinction.

Know your RNA

01-13-2009, 11:08 AM

What has been moving rocks on Mars?

<img src="http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn16389/dn16389-1_300.jpg">

Photos from NASA's Spirit rover show small rocks spaced so evenly on the surface that it seems as if they must have been carefully arranged by order-loving Martians. But with no evidence of extraterrestrial landscapers, what could have created the pattern?

01-13-2009, 11:19 AM

How Bed Bugs Outsmart Poisons Designed To Control Them

ScienceDaily (Jan. 12, 2009) — Bed bugs, once nearly eradicated in the built environment, have made a big comeback recently, especially in urban centers such as New York City. In the first study to explain the failure to control certain bed bug populations, toxicologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Korea’s Seoul National University show that some of these nocturnal blood suckers have developed resistance to pyrethroid insecticides, in particular deltamethrin, that attack their nervous systems.

01-13-2009, 11:20 AM

Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches Physicist Alex Wissner-Gross says that performing two Google searches uses up as much energy as boiling the kettle for a cup of tea

01-13-2009, 11:21 AM

If you want to know if he loves you so... it's in his sweat

01-13-2009, 11:22 AM

Old Gastrointestinal Drug Slows Aging, Researchers Say

ScienceDaily (Jan. 7, 2009) — Recent animal studies have shown that clioquinol – an 80-year old drug once used to treat diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders – can reverse the progression of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. Scientists, however, had a variety of theories to attempt to explain how a single compound could have such similar effects on three unrelated neurodegenerative disorders.

01-13-2009, 11:25 AM

Japan researchers unveil robot suit for farmers

4 days ago

TOKYO (AFP) — Japanese researchers on Friday unveiled a robot suit designed to help reduce the heavy burden of harvesting as the nation's farm industry faces an ageing, shrinking workforce.

Researchers at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology demonstrated a prototype wearable assistance machine equipped with eight motors and 16 sensors.

The 25-kilogramme (55-pound) device is designed to assist elderly farmers who need support for their leg muscles and joints when they keep a crouching position or lift their arms high.

In a demonstration, a person wearing the suit pulled radishes from the ground and picked oranges from high branches like a robot.

The researchers said they were looking to commercial use of the suit in two to three years at an initial price ranging from 500,000 yen to one million yen (about 5,000 to 10,000 dollars).

"Human robotic technology is being applied to various industries but it has great potential in the agricultural industry, in which people have to bear a heavy burden," said professor Shigeki Toyama.

"That's especially obvious in Japan, where the industry is rapidly ageing and its population is shrinking," he said.

He expected robotics would increasingly be put to use in farming in Japan and smaller European countries, where there is not enough space for large-scale agriculture and manual labour is costly.

Japan has been developing robots to serve in a growing number of jobs including office receptionists and security guards.

<img src="http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/media/ALeqM5j1_nZI4YIfa18yiIBAeinLyPOo2g?size=s">

01-13-2009, 11:26 AM

As a psychic mediator, Missoula woman says she can communicate with animals

Of the Missoulian
MISSOULA - In her living room high above the Missoula Valley floor in upper Miller Creek, Kathleen Mensing spends most of her early mornings in deep meditation, conversing with animals.

She calls herself an animal communicator, and for the past several years she has learned how to tap into an innate psychic ability, which she says all humans possess in varying degrees, to help heal human-animal relationships.

She's not a psychic medium. Rather, Mensing is a psychic mediator.

Her telepathic work most frequently involves locating lost pets, helping animals understand medical procedures, explaining to young or new animals the rules and expectations of living with humans, and helping abused or abandoned animals through trauma.

01-13-2009, 11:27 AM

Believe it or not, this little devil had a wild week 100 years ago

<img src="http://media.pressofatlanticcity.com/smedia/2009/01/12/07/356-devil.embedded.prod_affiliate.101.jpg">

01-13-2009, 11:28 AM

Genetic secrets from Tassie tiger

<img src="http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45368000/jpg/_45368880_11626.jpg">

Scientists have detailed a significant proportion of the genes found in the extinct Tasmanian "tiger".

The international team extracted the hereditary information from the hair of preserved animal remains held in Swedish and US museums.

The information has allowed scientists to confirm the tiger's evolutionary relationship to other marsupials.

The study, reported in the journal Genome Research, may also give pointers as to why some animals die out.

The two tigers examined had near-identical DNA, suggesting there was very little genetic diversity in the species when it went over the edge.

01-23-2009, 06:41 AM

Nicolas Sarkozy in Witchcraft Puzzle?


The French president Nicolas Sarkozy has angrily demanded the withdrawal from French bookshops, of the voodoo doll in his image sold with a bag of pins.

The evil eye and other spells are taken very seriously in France.

“The voodoo manual of Nicolas Sarkozy, by Yael Rolognese” has sold 20,000 copies already, and contains a satirical biography, and the message, “ put a spell on Sarkozy before he does more damage” his verbal blunders are printed strategically on the dolls anatomy, such as ”work more to earn more” and his now famous words to a bystander who would not shake his hand, “get lost, you poor sod”.

The presidential lawyer Thierry Herzog, has said the publishers will be sued, if the book and the witchy image is not withdrawn.

Sarkozy has used the law on a number of occasions to silence opponents, including the former chief of the intelligence service, Yves Bertrand, for talking about his sex life and personal finances, and to silence rumours he is a Mossad plant and a U.S. Puppet.

Michel Vandereist, was just one who clamed that Sarkozy was being blackmailed by Mossad after sex sessions, of the sort they claimed Max Mosely was involved in, the smear was for revenge of who Mosely’s father was.

Tony and Cherie Blair were also said to have been involved in bizarre witchy type rituals, he recently was allowed to enter the Catholic church, even after his dodgy dossiers, killed an estimated 1 million people in Iraq, and devastated the county beyond belief.

Former French leaders such as Francois Mitterrand have used dirty tricks and sexual rumors to silence critics.

01-23-2009, 06:43 AM

Our world may be a giant hologram

For many months, the GEO600 team-members had been scratching their heads over inexplicable noise that is plaguing their giant detector. Then, out of the blue, a researcher approached them with an explanation. In fact, he had even predicted the noise before he knew they were detecting it. According to Craig Hogan, a physicist at the Fermilab particle physics lab in Batavia, Illinois, GEO600 has stumbled upon the fundamental limit of space-time - the point where space-time stops behaving like the smooth continuum Einstein described and instead dissolves into "grains", just as a newspaper photograph dissolves into dots as you zoom in. "It looks like GEO600 is being buffeted by the microscopic quantum convulsions of space-time," says Hogan.

If this doesn't blow your socks off, then Hogan, who has just been appointed director of Fermilab's Center for Particle Astrophysics, has an even bigger shock in store: "If the GEO600 result is what I suspect it is, then we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram."

01-26-2009, 06:07 AM

Our world may be a giant hologram

For many months, the GEO600 team-members had been scratching their heads over inexplicable noise that is plaguing their giant detector. Then, out of the blue, a researcher approached them with an explanation. In fact, he had even predicted the noise before he knew they were detecting it. According to Craig Hogan, a physicist at the Fermilab particle physics lab in Batavia, Illinois, GEO600 has stumbled upon the fundamental limit of space-time - the point where space-time stops behaving like the smooth continuum Einstein described and instead dissolves into "grains", just as a newspaper photograph dissolves into dots as you zoom in. "It looks like GEO600 is being buffeted by the microscopic quantum convulsions of space-time," says Hogan.

If this doesn't blow your socks off, then Hogan, who has just been appointed director of Fermilab's Center for Particle Astrophysics, has an even bigger shock in store: "If the GEO600 result is what I suspect it is, then we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram."

Mosca asked me for some old links/stories - and i found some other stuff i think they are sort of related..but i haven't put it all together (if indeed it fits) yet.




Bob Dobbs & the matrix om/matrix.html+bob+dobbs+matrix&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a om/bobdobbs.html+bob+dobbs+matrix&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us&client=firefox-a om/bobdobbsawake.html+http://www.paranoiamagazine.com/bobdobbsawake.html&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Sorry for using cached links, within one week the content has been 404'd on their page. I have photo copies but not the original content saved in electronic form (just hard copies).

01-26-2009, 06:12 AM

Obama orders CIA prisons, Guantanamo shut
President also orders that all interrogations must follow Army manual

01-26-2009, 06:13 AM

Goat detained over armed robbery
Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:08pm EST

Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

LAGOS (Reuters) - Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of attempted armed robbery.

Vigilantes took the black and white beast to the police saying it was an armed robber who had used black magic to transform himself into a goat to escape arrest after trying to steal a Mazda 323.

"The group of vigilante men came to report that while they were on patrol they saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car. They pursued them. However one of them escaped while the other turned into a goat," Kwara state police spokesman Tunde Mohammed told Reuters by telephone.

"We cannot confirm the story, but the goat is in our custody. We cannot base our information on something mystical. It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat," he said.

Belief in witchcraft is widespread in parts of Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation. Residents came to the police station to see the goat, photographed in one national newspaper on its knees next to a pile of straw.

01-26-2009, 06:14 AM

Bush Was Actually Spying on ... Everyone?!?

Following up on the earlier post from Jacob about NSA whistleblower Russell Tice, he sits down with Keith Olbermann again to expand on the extent of the illegal wiretapping program under the Bush Administration.

President Obama, is this still going on?

<div><iframe height="339" width="425" src="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/28802588#28802588" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe><style type="text/css">.msnbcLinks {font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #999; margin-top: 5px; background: transparent; text-align: center; width: 425px;} .msnbcLinks a {text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px;} .msnbcLinks a:link, .msnbcLinks a:visited {color: #5799db !important;} .msnbcLinks a:hover, .msnbcLinks a:active {color:#CC0000 !important;} </style><p class="msnbcLinks">Visit msnbc.com for <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com">Breaking News</a>, <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032507">World News</a>, and <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032072">News about the Economy</a></p></div>

01-26-2009, 06:15 AM

It seemed like an urban legend -- but it's confirmed by a 1979 article in the L.A. Times. A Pennsylvania banker punished more than 50 customers who were late on their loan payments by...spanking them in his office.

In the tiny town of Baden, Pennsylvania (population 4,377), bank manager David Rhodes admitted that he'd spanked all 50 of the delinquent customers, bragging that it was effective because "I never had any trouble with them afterward."

The best part of the story? He was later convicted for "misappropriating" $88,000 in bank money -- and was sent to prison for three years.

The reason? "[H]e was forced to make eight unrecorded loans totaling $88,268 when six of those who were spanked threatened to report him to his superiors."

Rhodes had worked at the bank for 14 years, averaging about 1,500 loans a year. But most of the customers he spanked were men -- not middle-aged men, but younger -- and one of them threatened to report it as a homosexual activity. At the trial, Rhodes' attorney defensively presented polygraph results and psychiatric tests, saying later that "all undertones of homosexuality were disproved." (Rhodes was married and had two teenaged children.)

"Although he was aware the loans were illegal," the AP reported, "Rhodes said he didn't turn himself in because he didn't think the authorities would believe his story."

Jet magazine called him the "Banker Spanker," and provided one more crucial detail about his case. "He said he was glad when bank auditors caught up to the scheme." And the L.A. Times' site provides the ultimate epitaph, offering the "all-time great headline" which appeared in another newspaper.

01-26-2009, 06:23 AM

UPS Delivers 30-Pound Brick of Marijuana to Wrong Address

I don't know what the lead story is here. UPS delivers pot; or UPS delivers pot to wrong address?

UPS delivers, but not always to the right address, a Denton man discovered Monday when he found a lot of green inside a package dropped on his porch by the men in brown. The man took the package to Denton police later that night, police spokesman Officer Ryan Grelle said. It contained a 30-pound brick of compressed marijuana with a street value of $10,500.

UPS mistakenly delivered it to the Denton house about 8 p.m., Grelle said. The resident was not at home at the time and opened it when he returned. “He was expecting tools that he had ordered from Sears,” Grelle said. “He opened it up and thought, ‘Oh my.’ He loaded it up and brought it to the police department.”

01-26-2009, 06:25 AM

Whistleblowers’ evidence of NASA UFO fraud might kill UK hacker case

Evidence that U.S. space agency NASA has defrauded U.S. taxpayers for billions of dollars could scrap NASA’s case against UK hacker Gary McKinnon. Credible witnesses have claimed that NASA has altered or destroyed its photos containing images of UFOs. This could become a legal and public relations nightmare for NASA.

The space agency is attempting to prosecute McKinnon for hacking into NASA computer files. McKinnon has stated that he saw UFO-related files in NASA’s computers. But NASA has denied any “cover-up”.

NASA’s claim of innocence faces a serious challenge. Some of the whistleblowers are former NASA employees and contractors with inside knowledge of NASA’s operation. If NASA’s destruction of public property is confirmed, the alleged cost of McKinnon’s hacking would be insignificant compared to NASA’s annual funding of more than $17 billion. Even worse, NASA’s year 2000 mission statement boasted that it is “ethical and honest” in all that they do.

Part of NASA's mission is to look for signs of intelligent life in outer space. So asking for more money to 'look', after they've already destroyed evidence that they 'found', is a not going to be easy.

Among these whistleblowers are US Air Force Sergeant Karl Wolfe, former NASA employee Donna Hare, and former NASA engineer John Schuessler. Wolfe and Hare exposed some of NASA’s misdeeds at the May 9, 2001 Disclosure Project press conference in Washington, D.C. They both offered to give similar testimony before the U.S. Congress.

01-26-2009, 06:40 AM

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/pX6KXsdGsR0&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/pX6KXsdGsR0&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Over the weekend, the skies were lit up in Denmark and southern Sweden by an incredibly bright object hurtling through the sky. The meteor [or UFO?] landed somewhere in the Baltic Sea, and its descent was captured on video by surveillance camera. Scandinavian law enforcement and emergency services were deluged with calls from frightened residents who witnessed the gigantic ball of light; the curator of the Danish Geological Museum’s meteor collection has told papers that the event was "very unusual." Watch the video and make up your own mind as to what the fiery "meteor" might really be.

01-26-2009, 06:41 AM

Nazi angel of death Josef Mengele 'created twin town in Brazil'
The Nazi doctor Josef Mengele is responsible for the astonishing number of twins in a small Brazilian town, an Argentine historian has claimed.

<img src="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01243/twins_1243896c.jpg">

One in five pregnancies in the small Brazilian town have resulted in twins - most of them blond haired and blue eyed

01-26-2009, 06:45 AM
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/tag_clouds_of_obamas_inaugural_speech_compared_to_ bushs.php

Word Cloud Analysis of Obama's Inaugural Speech Compared to Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Lincoln's

Barack Obama was just sworn in as President of the US and though he stumbled in repeating his oath, the speech that followed was delivered flawlessly and was widely praised around the web. (Several readers have told us that it wasn't Obama that stumbled, it was Justice Roberts.) There were quite a few concepts discussed that we suspect haven't been a part of past inaugural speeches. What words were used most often? We ran the full text of the speech through tag cloud generator Wordle.net for one view of the event, and just for the sake of historical context we ran George W. Bush's second inaugural speech through as well. Update: After one reader suggested it, we've also added word clouds from Bill Clinton's second inaugural speech and Reagan's first below. Second update: By reader request, we've added Lincoln's first and second inaugural speeches as well.

The most common words in the Obama and Bush speeches were dramatically different.

Obama's Speech

<img src="http://www.readwriteweb.com/images/obamaonblack.jpg">

Bush's Speech 2005

<img src="http://www.readwriteweb.com/images/Bushspeech.jpg">

(more examples on site)

01-26-2009, 06:48 AM

North Korea claims to have weaponized plutonium

* Story Highlights
* News may bode ill for future of talks to end North Korean nuclear program
* North Korean officials tell U.S. scholar they want rest of promised fuel aid
* One possible reason for tough stance could be declining health of leader Kim Jung Il
* Military hard-liners seek normalization of relations with Washington before more talks

01-26-2009, 06:52 AM

Black Death Plague Hits Al Qaeda — Biological Warfare?

Anti-terror bosses last night hailed their latest ally in the war on terror — the BLACK DEATH.

At least 40 al-Qaeda fanatics died horribly after being struck down with the disease that devastated Europe in the Middle Ages. The killer bug, also known as the plague, swept through insurgents training at a forest camp in Algeria, North Africa. It came to light when security forces found a body by a roadside.

The victim was a terrorist in AQLIM (al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb), the largest and most powerful al-Qaeda group outside the Middle East. It trains Muslim fighters to kill British and US troops.

Now al-Qaeda chiefs fear the plague has been passed to other terror cells — or Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

01-26-2009, 10:31 AM

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/pX6KXsdGsR0&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/pX6KXsdGsR0&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Over the weekend, the skies were lit up in Denmark and southern Sweden by an incredibly bright object hurtling through the sky. The meteor [or UFO?] landed somewhere in the Baltic Sea, and its descent was captured on video by surveillance camera. Scandinavian law enforcement and emergency services were deluged with calls from frightened residents who witnessed the gigantic ball of light; the curator of the Danish Geological Museum’s meteor collection has told papers that the event was "very unusual." Watch the video and make up your own mind as to what the fiery "meteor" might really be.

That looks like a meteor, I would have loved to be there to see it come down.

01-26-2009, 11:27 AM
i know, it would have been a killer show.

01-26-2009, 12:37 PM

Nazi angel of death Josef Mengele 'created twin town in Brazil'
The Nazi doctor Josef Mengele is responsible for the astonishing number of twins in a small Brazilian town, an Argentine historian has claimed.

<img src="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01243/twins_1243896c.jpg">

One in five pregnancies in the small Brazilian town have resulted in twins - most of them blond haired and blue eyed

this is very interesting

01-28-2009, 10:26 AM

Whistleblowers’ evidence of NASA UFO fraud might kill UK hacker case

Evidence that U.S. space agency NASA has defrauded U.S. taxpayers for billions of dollars could scrap NASA’s case against UK hacker Gary McKinnon. Credible witnesses have claimed that NASA has altered or destroyed its photos containing images of UFOs. This could become a legal and public relations nightmare for NASA.

The space agency is attempting to prosecute McKinnon for hacking into NASA computer files. McKinnon has stated that he saw UFO-related files in NASA’s computers. But NASA has denied any “cover-up”.

NASA’s claim of innocence faces a serious challenge. Some of the whistleblowers are former NASA employees and contractors with inside knowledge of NASA’s operation. If NASA’s destruction of public property is confirmed, the alleged cost of McKinnon’s hacking would be insignificant compared to NASA’s annual funding of more than $17 billion. Even worse, NASA’s year 2000 mission statement boasted that it is “ethical and honest” in all that they do.

Part of NASA's mission is to look for signs of intelligent life in outer space. So asking for more money to 'look', after they've already destroyed evidence that they 'found', is a not going to be easy.

Among these whistleblowers are US Air Force Sergeant Karl Wolfe, former NASA employee Donna Hare, and former NASA engineer John Schuessler. Wolfe and Hare exposed some of NASA’s misdeeds at the May 9, 2001 Disclosure Project press conference in Washington, D.C. They both offered to give similar testimony before the U.S. Congress.

That's so cool.

I don't actually believe in aliens visiting this planet, but I'm SO fascinated by it.

Any other articles confirming this story?

01-28-2009, 10:27 AM
That's so cool.

I don't actually believe in aliens visiting this planet, but I'm SO fascinated by it.

Any other articles confirming this story?

I'll look. I've had my head buried in neurolinguistics, tracking down a story, and some other endeavors. Got more time though now that i'm single again.

01-28-2009, 11:46 AM
I'll look. I've had my head buried in neurolinguistics, tracking down a story, and some other endeavors. Got more time though now that i'm single again.

Enough excuses! Get with the program!

01-28-2009, 11:47 AM
Enough excuses! Get with the program!

neurolinguistics, fractals, oh and work make it tough. I'll try to get time thsi week to do a link dump

Bronco Bob
01-28-2009, 08:25 PM
That's so cool.

I don't actually believe in aliens visiting this planet, but I'm SO fascinated by it.

Any other articles confirming this story?

Yes, I too would like to see some independent confirmation from
some more mainstream news sources. I am extremely hesitant
in just taking the word of a UFO website that may just have
an their own agenda in trying to claim NASA is trying to cover
up UFO claims.

01-29-2009, 12:07 PM
Not to mention, the information seems to be about eight years old. (Quotes from 2000, 2001)

01-30-2009, 04:30 PM
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/llgj5-obyC8&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/llgj5-obyC8&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

02-02-2009, 07:33 AM
it was a foon!

Bronco Bob
02-03-2009, 08:30 PM
it was a foon!

It was Foneco!

02-16-2009, 01:17 PM
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/9Jd68_34nsg&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/9Jd68_34nsg&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

02-17-2009, 10:57 AM

Obama and Bond, James Bond


Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Celebrating the 17th (UPDATES)
Don't you think the blue and gold chairs go well with the rug?

Today is February 17th and today Barack Obama will be in Denver signing the "Stimulus Package" into law. He's chosen a very strange venue to do so:

The bill-signing, an unusual event outside of Washington, will be Tuesday at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in City Park... "This is like a dream," said George Sparks, director of the museum." - Denver Post

Funny, neither Sparks nor the Secret Service know why the museum was selected. Not to worry; while Obama is at the museum perhaps he'll make time to check out these exhibits:

02-17-2009, 11:07 AM

Bad News From America’s Top Spy

The specter of social unrest was raised at the U.S. Army War College in November in a monograph [click on Policypointers’ pdf link to see the report] titled “Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development.” The military must be prepared, the document warned, for a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,” which could be provoked by “unforeseen economic collapse,” “purposeful domestic resistance,” “pervasive public health emergencies” or “loss of functioning political and legal order.” The “widespread civil violence,” the document said, “would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.”

“An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home,” it went on.

“Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD [the Department of Defense] would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance,” the document read.

In plain English, something bureaucrats and the military seem incapable of employing, this translates into the imposition of martial law and a de facto government being run out of the Department of Defense. They are considering it. So should you.

02-17-2009, 05:14 PM
of course MI is concerned that we might riot.

Because.. We might riot.

Bronco Bob
02-17-2009, 09:32 PM

Obama and Bond, James Bond


Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Celebrating the 17th (UPDATES)
Don't you think the blue and gold chairs go well with the rug?

Today is February 17th and today Barack Obama will be in Denver signing the "Stimulus Package" into law. He's chosen a very strange venue to do so:

The bill-signing, an unusual event outside of Washington, will be Tuesday at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in City Park... "This is like a dream," said George Sparks, director of the museum." - Denver Post

Funny, neither Sparks nor the Secret Service know why the museum was selected. Not to worry; while Obama is at the museum perhaps he'll make time to check out these exhibits:

Cool. I love the Denver Museum. When I was a little kid and we would
visit a relative in Denver, one of the must see things to do while in Denver
for me was to visit the Denver Museum.

02-19-2009, 07:22 AM
First quarter of mirror is about done - i just need a cover.

02-19-2009, 11:33 AM
‘Absurd’ Conspiracy Theories Prevalent in Afghanistan

February 19th, 2009

Nato forces mistakenly supplied food, water and arms to Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan, officials today admitted.

Containers destined for local police forces were dropped from a helicopter into a Taliban-controlled area of Zabul province.

The coalition helicopter had intended to deliver pallets of supplies to a police checkpoint in Ghazni, a remote section of Zabul late last month.

By mistake they were dropped some distance from the checkpoint where it was taken by the Taliban, the Internal Security Affairs Commission of the Wolesi Jirga — the Afghan parliament’s lower house — was told.

Hamidullah Tukhi, a local politician from Zabul, told the parliamentary commission that the consignment had been taken by a local Taliban commander.

A Nato spokesman said the pallets were carrying rocket propelled grenades, ammunition, water and food.

—NATO Forces Supplied Food, Water and Arms to Taliban Forces in Southern Afghanistan

Via: Stars and Stripes:

To many in the Afghan capital, there’s an obvious explanation for the dramatic re-emergence of the Taliban — a force that seemed thoroughly dust-binned after the arrival of the world’s most powerful army seven years ago.

“Now,” as one 23-year-old Kabul shopkeeper, Qand Mohmadi, put it, “we think America is supporting both the Taliban and the Afghan government. That’s what everyone says.”

Indeed, the rumor of U.S. support for the Taliban is virtually ubiquitous in Kabul. And absurd as it might sound after a year in which American and other Western troops suffered record casualties in fighting with insurgents, many Kabul residents say they see at least a kernel of truth in the story.

“We don’t know for sure why they are doing it,” said Daoud Zadran, a middle-aged real estate broker. “Politics is bigger than our thoughts. But maybe America wants to build up the Taliban so they have an excuse to remain in Afghanistan because of the Iranian issue.”

Byzantine political conspiracy theories are nothing new in a region with little tradition of transparent government and where the arrival of international troops in 2001 was preceded by a long history of shadowy meddling by Western powers.

Still, the emergence of the rumor in what is easily Afghanistan’s most prosperous and best-educated city reflects a growing sense that the country is again sliding into chaos.

"....Many blamed corruption, with some seeing the U.S. or at least western companies in league with pilfering Afghan officials.

“This government is so corrupt that if Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar were crossing the street together right outside, no one would call the police because they know the police would just take a bribe to let them go,” Rahman said.

But there’s also another theory about bin Laden.

“A lot of people say that Osama is really from America,” said Nasrallah Wazidi, shrugging noncommittally. “They say he’s just playing a role like a movie star...."

02-19-2009, 11:48 AM

Do cells think...and is this what it sounds like?


02-19-2009, 11:57 AM
‘Absurd’ Conspiracy Theories Prevalent in Afghanistan

February 19th, 2009

Nato forces mistakenly supplied food, water and arms to Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan, officials today admitted.

Containers destined for local police forces were dropped from a helicopter into a Taliban-controlled area of Zabul province.

The coalition helicopter had intended to deliver pallets of supplies to a police checkpoint in Ghazni, a remote section of Zabul late last month.

By mistake they were dropped some distance from the checkpoint where it was taken by the Taliban, the Internal Security Affairs Commission of the Wolesi Jirga — the Afghan parliament’s lower house — was told.

Hamidullah Tukhi, a local politician from Zabul, told the parliamentary commission that the consignment had been taken by a local Taliban commander.

A Nato spokesman said the pallets were carrying rocket propelled grenades, ammunition, water and food.

—NATO Forces Supplied Food, Water and Arms to Taliban Forces in Southern Afghanistan

Via: Stars and Stripes:

To many in the Afghan capital, there’s an obvious explanation for the dramatic re-emergence of the Taliban — a force that seemed thoroughly dust-binned after the arrival of the world’s most powerful army seven years ago.

“Now,” as one 23-year-old Kabul shopkeeper, Qand Mohmadi, put it, “we think America is supporting both the Taliban and the Afghan government. That’s what everyone says.”

Indeed, the rumor of U.S. support for the Taliban is virtually ubiquitous in Kabul. And absurd as it might sound after a year in which American and other Western troops suffered record casualties in fighting with insurgents, many Kabul residents say they see at least a kernel of truth in the story.

“We don’t know for sure why they are doing it,” said Daoud Zadran, a middle-aged real estate broker. “Politics is bigger than our thoughts. But maybe America wants to build up the Taliban so they have an excuse to remain in Afghanistan because of the Iranian issue.”

Byzantine political conspiracy theories are nothing new in a region with little tradition of transparent government and where the arrival of international troops in 2001 was preceded by a long history of shadowy meddling by Western powers.

Still, the emergence of the rumor in what is easily Afghanistan’s most prosperous and best-educated city reflects a growing sense that the country is again sliding into chaos.

"....Many blamed corruption, with some seeing the U.S. or at least western companies in league with pilfering Afghan officials.

“This government is so corrupt that if Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar were crossing the street together right outside, no one would call the police because they know the police would just take a bribe to let them go,” Rahman said.

But there’s also another theory about bin Laden.

“A lot of people say that Osama is really from America,” said Nasrallah Wazidi, shrugging noncommittally. “They say he’s just playing a role like a movie star...."

Most of the countries involved in Afghanistan have had talks with Taliban leaders over the last 6 months to try to work with them to resume control of parts of Afghanistan.

What is really needed in Afghanistan is a major hearts and mind campaign, they need to win over the regular citizens who have no particular side. It should be so that every time a militant is seen he will be reported to the NATO forces, everybody should want to turn over the weapons that are hidden to the NATO forces. The NATO forces have to make themselves the good guys.

02-19-2009, 12:02 PM

his video shows the movement of a deionized water drop provoked by surface acoustic waves. The waves are generated by means of an interdigited transducer laid on a piezoelectric substrate. Surface waves are launched when an alternating voltage at the resonance frequency of the transducers is applied. The waves propagating on the substrate surface reach the liquid/substrate interface and radiate a longitudinal wave into the liquid droplet. The latter causes a streaming movement within the drop. When SAW driving force reaches a certain critical value (depending on several parameters, such as the drop’s size and shape or the power input at the transducer), the force generated by the streaming enables the displacement of the drop in the direction of wave propagation.

02-25-2009, 06:00 AM
A GUIDE TO CODED SECURITY MESSAGES (http://linkblotter.com/List_coded_security_messages.html)
Hospitals, airports and other public places use coded messages in public address annoucements to inform personnel or security of a possible emergency, without causing panic to the general public. If you ever hear one of the following messages over the intercom, it might be time to run like hell.

02-25-2009, 06:08 AM
Picture of 100ft-long 'snake' sparks fears of mythical monster in Borneo (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1149743/Picture-100ft-long-snake-sparks-fears-mythical-monster-Borneo.html)

According to legend, the Nabau was a terrifying snake more than 100ft in length and with a dragon's head and seven nostrils.

But now local villagers living along the Baleh river in Borneo believe the mythical creature has returned after this photo of a gigantic snake swimming along the remote waterways has emerged.

The picture, taken by a member of a disaster team monitoring flood regions by helicopter, has sparked a huge debate about whether the photos are genuine or merely the work of photo-editing software.


Even the respected New Straits Times newspaper in Kuala Lumpur has asked readers to make up their own minds about the photos.

Villagers who claim to have seen the snake say they have given it the name of Nabau, after an ancient sea serpent which can transform itself into the shapes of different animals.

People who have studied the photograph of the shape taken from the air have dismissed suggestions that it's a log.

As one writer asked: 'A log can't be that winding, can it?' Others have suggested it's a speedboat, but this has been dismissed because of the twisting wake.

The most common accusation is that the photo has simply been manipulated on a computer, while others complain that the river is a different colour to the real Baleh rover which is a murky brown.


Mythical: A second frame appears to show something snake-like in the water off a remote village

But villagers who insist the snake exists say that photos of the creature being taken in different parts of the river prove it is swimming about.

Earlier this month scientists unearthed the fossil of a killer snake that was longer than a bus, as heavy as a small car and which could swallow an animal the size of a cow.

The 45ft long monster - named Titanoboa - was so big that it lived on a diet of crocodiles and giant turtles, squeezing them to death and devouring them whole.

Weighing an impressive 1.25 tons, it slithered around the tropical forests of South America 60million years ago, just five million years after the last dinosaurs were wiped out.

Partial skeletons of the boa constrictor-like prehistoric killer were found in a Colombian coal mine by an international team of fossil hunters.

02-26-2009, 08:17 AM
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/EhzX9kBziOA&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/EhzX9kBziOA&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/YhFFEnGYzlo&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/YhFFEnGYzlo&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/lIvbvPD58Uk&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/lIvbvPD58Uk&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

(I was there, on the other side of the tent for the lightning and rain, etc)

02-26-2009, 08:18 AM
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/QyLfIhVSZDc&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/QyLfIhVSZDc&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

02-26-2009, 08:29 AM
WTF is starscape?

02-26-2009, 08:30 AM
a big ass rave.


02-26-2009, 10:25 AM

Personal data of innocent citizens must be made available to the Government to combat terrorism, according to an influential former security chief.

Sir David Omand, Whitehall’s former and security and intelligence coordinator, called for unprecedented Big Brother powers to allow access to private details - including phone records, emails and travel information - to be given to the intelligence services.

Setting out a hugely controversial blueprint for the future of national security he said ‘moral rules’ about individual privacy would have to be broken.

02-26-2009, 10:51 AM

Personal data of innocent citizens must be made available to the Government to combat terrorism, according to an influential former security chief.

Sir David Omand, Whitehall’s former and security and intelligence coordinator, called for unprecedented Big Brother powers to allow access to private details - including phone records, emails and travel information - to be given to the intelligence services.

Setting out a hugely controversial blueprint for the future of national security he said ‘moral rules’ about individual privacy would have to be broken.

We all knew this is what they wanted to do. They would prefer everyone to have a GPS device and microphone implanted so they don't have to do their job at all.

Intelligence services just need to shut their cake holes, go to work and realize that they already have a LOT easier than most other people.

02-26-2009, 10:58 AM
Granted, that article was originally from the UK, but i feel it's just a matter of time before it's here....

I do agree with you though.

03-03-2009, 12:28 PM
Our Worst Enemies Aren't Terrorists: Rethinking National Security on a Sinking Planet

By Chip Ward, Tomdispatch.com. Posted March 3, 2009.

The chances of being affected by a terrorist attack are slim, but disruptions to our far-flung supply lines for food, water and energy are a reality.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/129660/our_worst_enemies_aren%27t_terrorists%3A_rethinkin g_national_security_on_a_sinking_planet/?page=entire

03-03-2009, 12:48 PM

See: The Miracle of Vitamin D.

Via: Deseret News:

While the nation is in the midst of a financial crisis, another crisis is looming large — a health crisis caused by vitamin D deficiency.

That message was delivered to about 55 medical researchers, nutritionists and public health officials who gathered at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on Friday to hear from Dr. Carol Wagner, a medical researcher from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Wagner presented the preliminary findings from her current study which focuses on the role of vitamin D during pregnancy and early infant development. Even in the preliminary stages, the results of Wagner’s study show profound, far-reaching implications for pregnant women, infants and the entire population as a whole.

“It’s quite likely that chronic nutritional vitamin D deficiency puts all of us at risk for developing debilitating, long-latency, chronic diseases,” Wagner said. “Diseases such as insulin-resistance, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and autoimmune diseases.”

03-03-2009, 12:52 PM
Laid-Off Professionals Turn to ‘Survival Jobs’
March 2nd, 2009

This reads like Cryptogon circa 2004-2005.

During the final days at the last corporate job that I would ever have, I tried to tell those guys that I worked with…

“Don’t blindly sell yourself to another criminal organization. They’ll just screw you again and again. Play the next one to win. Get out of debt. Slash your cost of living. You might as well think of this as a life or death struggle, because that’s what it is.”

They thought I was nuts.

Via: Seattle Times:

Mark Cooper started his workday recently cleaning the door handles of an office building with a rag, vigorously shaking out a rug at a back entrance and pushing a dust mop down a long hallway.

Nine months ago he lost his job as the security manager for the Western United States for a Fortune 500 company, overseeing a budget of $1.2 million and earning about $70,000 a year. Now he is grateful for the $12 an hour he makes in what is known in unemployment circles as a “survival job” at a friend’s janitorial-services company. But that does not make the work any easier.

“You’re fighting despair, discouragement, depression every day,” he said.

Cooper is not counted in traditional unemployment statistics since he works five days a week, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. But his tumble down the economic ladder is among the more disquieting and often hidden aspects of the downturn.

It is not clear how many professionals such as Cooper have taken on these types of lower-paying jobs, which are themselves in short supply. Many professionals are doing their best to hold out as long as possible on unemployment benefits and savings while looking for work in their fields.


03-03-2009, 12:53 PM

Italy: Gypsy Vaccination Scheme Starts
March 3rd, 2009

Via: Financial Times:

Italy’s Red Cross has launched its biggest vaccination programme since the second world war, with the goal of immunising several thousand gypsy children living in camps around Rome.

The operation began at Casilino 900, a camp on the eastern outskirts of the capital that is believed to be one of the largest gypsy settlements in Europe. Some two dozen doctors were among 200 Red Cross volunteers that <b>included clowns to provide entertainment in one of the big tents erected for the exercise.</b>

03-03-2009, 12:56 PM

Scientists Make HIV Strain That Can Infect Monkeys
March 3rd, 2009

My commentary consists of two links:

1. The AIDS conspiracy (If this is new to you, prepare to lose many hours.)


2. Dr. Mary’s Monkey by Edward T. Haslam

Via: Reuters:

Scientists have created a strain of the human AIDS virus able to infect and multiply in monkeys in a step toward testing future vaccines in monkeys before trying them in people, according to a new study.

This strain of HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus, was developed by altering a single gene in the human version to allow it to infect a type of monkey called a pig-tailed macaque, the researchers said on Monday.

The genetically engineered virus, once injected into this monkey, proliferates almost as much as it does in people, but the animal ultimately suppresses it and the virus does not make it sick, they said.

The strain is called simian-tropic HIV-1, or stHIV-1.

Researchers hope to be able to test possible new AIDS drugs and vaccines in monkeys before trying them in people.

There is a “cousin” virus to HIV called SIV, or simian immunodeficiency virus, that causes a disease similar to AIDS in certain types of monkeys.

But this monkey AIDS virus is not identical to the one that infects people and is not a perfect substitute for testing drugs and vaccines against HIV.

“If our research is taken further, we hope that one day perhaps in the not-too-distant future, we’ll be able to make vaccines that are intended for use in humans and the very same product will be able to be tested in animals before human trials,” Paul Bieniasz of the Rockefeller University in New York, one of the researchers, said in a telephone interview.

Scientists have struggled to create an AIDS vaccine.

“If you make a drug that’s effective against HIV, sometimes it works against SIV and sometimes it doesn’t. So that basically devalues SIV as an animal model for doing experiments involved with developing drugs,” Bieniasz said.

“Now if you want to develop a vaccine, essentially what you have to do is to make a parallel vaccine for HIV and for SIV. You can test the SIV vaccine in animals and then have to make the leap of faith that the same approach would work equivalently in humans.”

Writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists said in making the genetically engineered virus they removed the HIV version of a gene, known as vif, and inserted the SIV version. This gene acts to thwart proteins made by the monkey that that kill viruses.

Bieniasz said the scientists may need to make additional changes in the stHIV-1 to make it better for testing vaccines.

The genetically engineered virus infects the monkeys and during the early course of infection is a reasonably good mimic of what happens in HIV-infected people, Bieniasz said.

But after initially spreading in the monkey’s body, the animal succeeds in suppressing the virus — not completely clearing the virus but driving it to very low levels.

“The slight problem is the monkeys don’t go on to develop AIDS, they don’t get sick,” Bieniasz said.

03-03-2009, 01:10 PM
<object width="480" height="295"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZxmvRDTELy8&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZxmvRDTELy8&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="295"></embed></object>

03-04-2009, 07:57 AM

Influenza expert calls for more use of Tamiflu
March 3, 2009 · No Comments

Star Times | Feb 22, 2009


Bird flu hasn’t hit New Zealand yet, but a killer Brisbane flu’s imminent threat is a prime reason to dust off your stockpiled Tamiflu.

Influenza expert Dr Lance Jennings told the Sunday Star-Times the best way to protect against flu was vaccination, which would be available around the country from the first week in March.

However, he said the antiviral flu drug, Tamiflu, was underused in New Zealand, despite its effectiveness in treating the potentially fatal disease if taken soon after symptoms begin.

“A lot of people have a stockpile of Tamiflu for bird flu, but few GPs prescribe it for flu.

“I think we need more education around the usage of this drug and for GPs so they are aware they can prescribe it for influenza.”


Flu strain proves resistant to Tamiflu
March 3, 2009 · No Comments

AFP | Mar 2, 2009

WASHINGTON (AFP) — A virulent strain of influenza sowing misery across the United States is proving resistant to what had been until recently the most effective anti-viral drugs, according to a study released Monday.

A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that the H1N1 subtype of influenza A viruses commonly proved resistant to the popular drug oseltamivir.

Oseltamivir, sold commercially in the United States as the drug Tamiflu, is produced by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche, and is the main antiviral remedy on the market.

But during the 2007-2008 flu season last year, the Tamiflu-resistant strain of the virus accounted for fully one in five cases of flu in the United States.

Preliminary data during the current 2008-2009 influenza season shows that the virus’s resistance to the Tamiflu continues to be high and that the drug-resistant strain of the flu continue to have a high incidence.

Equally worrying is the virulence of this particular strain of flu. Data last year for 99 individuals infected with oseltamivir-resistant influenza found that five of the patients had to be hospitalized, four of whom died.


Biotech firm admits flu product contained live bird flu virus
March 3, 2009 · 2 Comments

Baxter admits flu product contained live bird flu virus

The Canadian Press | Feb 27, 2009

160_bird_flu_060106TORONTO — The company that released contaminated flu virus material from a plant in Austria confirmed Friday that the experimental product contained live H5N1 avian flu viruses.

And an official of the World Health Organization’s European operation said the body is closely monitoring the investigation into the events that took place at Baxter International’s research facility in Orth-Donau, Austria.

“At this juncture we are confident in saying that public health and occupational risk is minimal at present,” medical officer Roberta Andraghetti said from Copenhagen, Denmark.

“But what remains unanswered are the circumstances surrounding the incident in the Baxter facility in Orth-Donau.”

The contaminated product, a mix of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses and unlabelled H5N1 viruses, was supplied to an Austrian research company. The Austrian firm, Avir Green Hills Biotechnology, then sent portions of it to sub-contractors in the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany.


Experimental Virus Mistake Alarms Europe
March 3, 2009 · No Comments

Miller-McCune | Feb 27, 2009

By Barbara Hesselgrave

mmw_virus_022709_articleEuropean health authorities are unraveling how an “experimental virus material” focused on a seasonal flu became contaminated with H5N1 live bird flu virus and was distributed throughout Central Europe.

The tip-off to a serious problem began in early February, when researchers at a Czech subcontractor facility who inoculated ferrets with the experimental vaccine reported the animals died immediately.


Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu
Defense Secretary, ex-chairman of flu treatment rights holder, sees portfolio value growing.
October 31, 2005: 10:55 AM EST
By Nelson D. Schwartz, Fortune senior writer

03-04-2009, 10:30 AM

Xe tries to leave history of Blackwater behind as transformation cuts top 2 executives

RALEIGH, N.C. - The Blackwater name is gone. So is the focus on the security business that made it famous. Now the founder who built the private company into one of the world’s most respected — and reviled — defense contractors is stepping aside as its chief executive.

Erik Prince’s decision Monday to relinquish his role as chief executive officer underscored how hard the company now called Xe — pronounced like the letter “z” — is working to bury the Blackwater brand and move its focus further away from the security contracting that severely tarnished its reputation.

03-06-2009, 12:52 PM

Do these mysterious stones mark the site of the Garden of Eden?

<img src="http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/02/27/article-0-03B05683000005DC-812_306x516.jpg">

03-06-2009, 12:56 PM

<img src="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01358/pink_dolphin_1358282c.jpg">

03-06-2009, 01:04 PM

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a technique using spun-sugar filaments to create a scaffold of tiny synthetic tubes that might serve as conduits to regenerate nerves severed in accidents or blood vessels damaged by disease.

03-06-2009, 01:30 PM

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a technique using spun-sugar filaments to create a scaffold of tiny synthetic tubes that might serve as conduits to regenerate nerves severed in accidents or blood vessels damaged by disease.

That's amazing. This will compliment the organ scaffolding that's already been developed. They just need to get the organ tissue seeded with blood vessels and nerves. If this works we could see custom grown organs in a decade.

03-06-2009, 03:00 PM
That's amazing. This will compliment the organ scaffolding that's already been developed. They just need to get the organ tissue seeded with blood vessels and nerves. If this works we could see custom grown organs in a decade.

i know! this s cool stuff. i read about the organ scaffolding and saw this as the next step.

03-09-2009, 08:09 AM
Cross-post -

Tea party picks from the weekend.


03-09-2009, 08:33 AM
Hey! Where've you been?

Hop in my UFO thread on the main page :)

03-09-2009, 08:46 AM
Just been busy -

03-13-2009, 07:19 AM
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZWVmlxhk-tU&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZWVmlxhk-tU&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

03-13-2009, 07:21 AM
That's roughly 2 years old, I believe?

03-13-2009, 07:26 AM
You didn't find it entertaining?

03-13-2009, 07:29 AM
You didn't find it entertaining?

Once upon a time? Yeah. It's been resurrected over and over again since then.

03-13-2009, 07:30 AM
It was new to me.

(nothing is ever new, just new to you)

03-13-2009, 07:32 AM
This Week's (Random) Moment in History: On March 11, 1958 a U.S. Air Force B-47 Stratojet was ascending across Florence County, South Carolina on its way to England — carrying an atomic bomb. Navigator Bruce Kulka was summoned to the bomb bay area after the plane's captain saw a cockpit fault light indicating that the harness-locking pin did not engage. As Kulka was reaching around the bomb to pull himself up, he mistakenly grabbed hold of the emergency release pin.

The bomb dropped to the floor of the B-47 and its weight forced the bay doors open — sending the bomb 15,000 feet down to the ground below. Although the bomb did not contain the removable core of fissionable uranium and plutonium (that was stored in a containment
area onboard the plane), it was loaded with 7,600 pounds of TNT.

The resulting explosion created a mushroom cloud and crater estimated to be 75 feet wide and 25–35 feet deep. It destroyed a local home, the residence of Walter Gregg, and leveled nearby trees. Nobody was directly killed from the blast but several people in Gregg's family were injured from the explosion.

The crater is preserved and can still be seen today in Mars Bluff, South Carolina.

03-13-2009, 07:41 AM
HR 875 The food police, criminalizing organic farming and the backyard gardener, and violation of the 10th amendment
Today at 10:39am | Edit Note | Delete

HR 875 The food police, criminalizing organic farming and the backyard gardener, and violation of the 10th amendment

HR 875 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:1:./temp/~c1112RD9bb:e11439:

This bill is sitting in committee and I am not sure when it is going to hit the floor. One thing I do know is that very few of the Representatives have read it. As usual they will vote on this based on what someone else is saying. Urge your members to read the legislation and ask for opposition to this devastating legislation. Devastating for everyday folks but great for factory farming ops like Monsanto, ADM, Sodexo and Tyson to name a few.

I have no doubt that this legislation was heavily influenced by lobbyists from huge food producers. This legislation is so broad based that technically someone with a little backyard garden could get fined and have their property siezed. It will effect anyone who produces food even if they do not sell but only consume it. It will literally put all independent farmers and food producers out of business due to the huge amounts of money it will take to conform to factory farming methods. If people choose to farm without industry standards such as chemical pesticides and fertilizers they will be subject to a vareity of harassment from this completely new agency that has never before existed. That's right, a whole new government agency is being created just to police food, for our own protection of course.

DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT, READ THIS LEGISLATION FOR YOURSELF. The more people who read this legislation the more insight we are going to get and be able to share. Post your observations and insights below. Urge your members to read this legislation and to oppose the passage of this legislation.

Pay special attention to

* Section 3 which is the definitions portion of the bill-read in it's entirety.
* section 103, 206 and 207- read in it's entirety.

Red flags I found and I am sure there are more...........

* Legally binds state agriculture depts to enforcing federal guidelines effectively taking away the states power to do anything other than being food police for the federal dept.
* Effectively criminalizes organic farming but doesn't actually use the word organic.
* Effects anyone growing food even if they are not selling it but consuming it.
* Effects anyone producing meat of any kind including wild game.
* Legislation is so broad based that every aspect of growing or producing food can be made illegal. There are no specifics which is bizarre considering how long the legislation is.
* Section 103 is almost entirely about the administrative aspect of the legislation. It will allow the appointing of officials from the factory farming corporations and lobbyists and classify them as experts and allow them to determine and interpret the legislation. Who do you think they are going to side with?
* Section 206 defines what will be considered a food production facility and what will be enforced up all food production facilities. The wording is so broad based that a backyard gardener could be fined and more.
* Section 207 requires that the state's agriculture dept act as the food police and enforce the federal requirements. This takes away the states power and is in violation of the 10th amendment.
* There are many more but by the time I got this far in the legislation I was so alarmed that I wanted to bring someone's attention to it. (to the one person who reads my blog)

Didn't Stalin nationalize farming methods that enabled his administration to gain control over the food supply? Didn't Stalin use the food to control the people?

Last word...... Legislate religion and enforce gag orders on ministers on what can and can't be said in the pulpit, instituting regulations forcing people to rely soley on the government, control the money and the food. What is that called? It is on the tip of my tongue..........

I haven't read any of the Senate's version of the bill as I have been poring thru the House's version. Here is the link and I hope some of you can take a look and post your observations and insights below. One thing I am pretty sure of is that very few if any Senator's have actually read the legislation and when it comes up for a vote they will more than likely take someone else's word on how they should vote. The other thing I am pretty sure about is that the legislation was probably written by lobbyists and industry experts.

S 425 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:s425:

Things you can do

1. Contact your members at 202-224-3121 and ask them to oppose HR 875 and S 425. While you are at it ask them if they personally have read the legislation and what their position is? If they have not read the legislation ask them to read it and politely let them know that just because other representitives are not reading the legislation and voting on it does not mean they can do the same.
2. Get in touch with local farmers and food producers by attending a local farmers market and asking them how business is.
3. Attend a local WAPF meeting, this is a good start to learning about what is going on in farming and local & state initiatives . The website is http://www.westonaprice.org/localchapters/index.html
4. Check out the Farmers Legal Defense Fund at http://www.ftcldf.org/index.html
5. Find out who sits on your states agriculture and farming committee and contact them with your concerns.
6. Continue to contact your elected officials and let them know your position on legislation and why.
7. Get active at the local and state levels, this is the quickest way to initiate change.

03-13-2009, 07:44 AM

The "dirty bomb" that disappeared
From Wikileaks
Jump to: navigation, search

March 8, 2009
The curious tale of an Obama hating, cashed up, nuclear Timothy McVeigh from Maine.

* 1 Why hasn't the story been picked up by the national press?
* 2 Source document
* 3 See
* 4 References

By Julian Assange (investigations editor)

It has all the makings of a great story. But outside of the US state of Maine and select counter-terrorism circles, you won't have heard about it. For this is a story with all the right ingredients but one wrong ingredient.

On the right side is a leaked FBI intelligence report, Obama's inauguration, a multi-million dollar trust fund, a woman, uranium, thorium, the first attempt to build a "dirty bomb" on US soil, and, of course, murder.

On the wrong is the body of James G. Cummings, white supremacist millionaire, found in his Belfast home on December 9, 2008, shot to death.

After local police attended the scene, the FBI moved in and sealed off the building. Men in protective suits descended on the home but police refused to comment about what they found. Mrs. Cummings was taken into custody.

Then on January 12, 2009, Wikileaks revealed a confidential FBI field intelligence report on the incident as part of a Presidential inauguration threat analysis.[1]

According to the FBI report, Cummings had four lots of one gallon containers of bomb-grade hydrogen peroxide, uranium, thorium (also radioactive), lithium metal, thermite, aluminum powder, beryllium (radiation booster), boron, black iron oxide and magnesium ribbon.

While the radiation levels from Cummings initial device would have not have been physically significant compared to its explosive and toxic effects, had Cummings set off the device in Washington DC, during Obama's Presidential inauguration, its psychogenic effect may have hospitalized thousands.

The FBI states it also seized literature on how to build “dirty bombs” and information about cesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60 and other radioactive materials.

There was also evidence linking Cummings to white supremacist groups, including Cummings' membership application to the US National Socialist (Nazi) party.

Local tradesmen who worked at the Cummings home told Maine reporters that Cummings was an ardent admirer of Adolf Hitler and had a collection of Nazi memorabilia around the house, including a prominently displayed flag with a swastika. Cummings claimed to have pieces of Hitler’s personal silverware and place settings.[2]

Though the Associated Press independently confirmed the Wikileaks FBI report, no-one outside of the Maine press (and Wikileaks) wanted to tell their readers about the first credible "dirty bomb" plot on US soil.
Why hasn't the story been picked up by the national press?

Perhaps the media has simply tired of "dirty bombs"? Not at all!

There have been at least 1,264 media references to "dirty bomb" in the past month. A mere 23, or 1.8%, relate to the Cummings case--despite it being the only real plot among them.[3]

Of the 23 Cummings references 21 are local Maine media and two are from security industry magazines.

The same time period saw 409 blog references, Some 76, or 19%, relate to the Cummings case--ten times the ratio of organized media.[4]

However, 78 out of 79 bloggers simply copied text from Maine's paper of record, the Bangor Daily News (BDN) which followed up the Wikileaks document with a strong traditional press investigation. The 79th also wondered about the media silence outside of Maine.

Conservatives apparently didn't want to draw attention to a radioactive, wealthy version of Timothy McVeigh coming from their own sphere, although nearly every day during Bush's reign saw "dirty bombs" hyped as the ultimate threat.

The left didn't want to repeat another "dirty bomb" story, the likes of which Republicans had used to drive hundreds of billions of dollars into Republican dominated military and security contractors.

Those same contractors normally would have comprised a lobby to get the story out--and counter-terrorism dollars in--but their message lines were finely honed to hype threats posed by militant Islam and radical anti-capitalist greens.

Libertarians all over had conditioned themselves to oppose reportage that might lead to reactionary state controls.

The FBI wasn't talking and the Maine government tried to play incident down, under the rubric that they had protected Maine citizens at all times, despite apparently having had no conception of the Cummings plot.

Journalists of various hues at influential east coast outlets could have pushed the story had there been enough prestige incentive to overcome other allegiances, but because Wikileaks and BDN were "first" there was no such incentive. If there were journalism awards to be had, they'd be going to Maine journalists and Wikileaks.

And there you have it. The first "dirty bomb" plot on US soil, cut short only by a Shakespearean murder. But until now, you probably never heard about it, because only a few had incentives to tell you.

But the Belfast dirty bomber is just one drop from an ocean of truth that is unreported, not repeated, and does not enter into civil discourse, because it is not perceived to be profitable to talk about, regardless of how profitable it may be to hear.

Yet it is from these shared perceptions that we form the structure of civilization itself. Every government, every law, every regulation and every constitution is its product. Hence the quality of civilization is predicated on the degree to which civil discourse is a fair representation of the world we live in.

That is why the revelation of primary source knowledge, from which everything else follows, is so important. Its limits are the limits of civilization itself.

03-13-2009, 07:54 AM

Strange Bedfellows

Many of us may think that politics and the occult are an unlikely couple, but the truth is that the two have had a long and remarkably influential relationship involving some of the key turning points in western history. It is true that for some, the notion of an occult politics may not be entirely alien. Yet most accounts of the connection between these two seemingly radically different pursuits tend to focus on the dark side of occult politics, i.e., the links, real or imaginary, between occultism and far-right, fascist politics, specifically Hitler and the Nazis.

While it is true that some forms of far-right political philosophy have had some links to occultism, most of the stories about the dark forces and "black brotherhoods" who were behind the rise of National Socialism are merely that, stories, fun to read and highly exciting, but in reality based more on fantasy and conjecture than on any hard facts.

Yet having said this, what I found in researching my book is that, in the last few centuries, there have been real links between occult thought and more conservative forms of politics, but that this coupling isn’t the whole story. There has also been what we can call a "progressive" occult politics, although to be sure, its presence and influence have received less attention than the more sensational tales of mystical Nazis using magic powers to conquer the world.

03-13-2009, 07:58 AM

Pancake winner dies in all-you-can-eat contest

03-13-2009, 08:01 AM

Hidden Cameras in DTV Converters? YouTube Hoax Fans Conspiracy Fears


Ever wonder what the government is really up to paying for all those digital TV converter boxes? Last week a Spokane, Washington man claimed he'd discovered the horrifying truth, and he produced a YouTube video to prove it.

In a 90-second video that's popping up on tin-foil-hat sites everywhere, 28-year-old software engineer Adam Chronister is seen cracking open his government-subsidized Magnavox converter, and revealing to the world the tiny video camera and microphone hidden inside.

"I had a friend who was trying to tell me that they put cameras in these things," Chronister narrates in a deadly-serious monotone. "So what I did was open it up to prove them wrong, and lo and behold ... this thing does in fact have both a camera and a microphone. " His finger points at a small lens attached to a transformer in the guts of the unit.

The video instantly went viral, tapping into a current of DTV conspiracy theory that's been building online since the government started issuing $40 converter box coupons last summer.

So far, the U.S. has spent $1.3 billion subsidizing the boxes that will keep TV lovers watching CSI when the last broadcasters shut off their analog transmissions in June. The huge government effort to put a -- mysterious, to many -- piece of technology in millions of American homes has spurred conspiracy theories ranging from a mind control experiments to mass telescreen surveillance.

03-16-2009, 07:22 AM

Erasing traumatic memory possible, researchers say

Joseph Hall
Health Reporter

A group of researchers at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children have erased brain cells in mice that store fearful memories, holding out the hope that terrifying memories in humans may one day be erased before causing conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

While the sights and sounds of a terrifying blast or crash would stay intact, the memory of the fear it caused could conceivably be erased, the researchers suggest. Their work appears today in the journal Science.

"You wouldn't want to completely get rid of all aspects of a memory," says Dr. Michael Salter, head of the Neurosciences & Mental Health program at the hospital.

"To help people with these kinds of post-traumatic stress disorders ..... you might just want to minimize the emotional association between the memory and the highly disruptive and negative emotions that people have in this context."

He says the research may well conjure "Orwellian" notions of mind manipulation and thought control.

"But that's not really the goal of this. The idea would be (to use it) in a therapeutic way," Salter says, referring in particular to post-traumatic stress prevention.


Spotless Mind? Fear Memories In Humans Weakened With Beta-blocker Propranolol

ScienceDaily (Mar. 12, 2009) — A team of Dutch researchers led by Merel Kindt has successfully reduced the fear response. They weakened fear memories in human volunteers by administering the beta-blocker propranolol. Interestingly, the fear response does not return over the course of time.

03-16-2009, 07:26 AM

Wag The Robot? Robot Responds To Human Gestures

ScienceDaily (Mar. 12, 2009) — Imagine a day when you turn to your own personal robot, give it a task and then sit down and relax, confident that your robot is doing exactly what you wanted it to do.


They're After Our Children!: Robot Substitute

<img src="http://www.geekologie.com/2009/03/11/robo-sub%202.jpg">

Have kids? Well you won't for long if Saya, the robot substitute, has her way. The harbinger of death is allegedly multilingual, capable of calling roll, reading, and assigning work from textbooks. Also, scaring the **** out of your children.

Behind her latex face -- modeled on a university student -- 18 motors create expressions including happiness, surprise, fear, disgust, sadness and even anger.

Saya will start teaching after passing a trial term at a Tokyo primary.

Her creator, science professor Hiroshi Kobayashi, had been working on the robot for 15 years.

Wow, robotic substitutes -- what will they think of next? Robotic cafeteria ladies? That would suck, because I'm a boy that needs extra fish sticks, and you can't bribe a robot. Or can you? Hey Roomba, I'll oil you if you clean under the bed really well. *BEEP BOP BEEP* DOES NOT COMPUTE. You piece of ****, I knew I never should have WOOTed you.

Hit the jump to see what your robotic substitute looks like with no face.

03-16-2009, 07:31 AM

White Masters in the deserts of China?

The discovery of Caucasoid mummies in China shows that East and West might have been meeting since the Bronze Age. Do they validate some of the ancient legends?