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Old 02-21-2012, 09:23 AM   #3201
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Werd, i'll score that issue from the Library - thanks Kaylor!!
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:18 AM   #3202
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http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/117735

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

© Yslb Pak/Xinhua Press/Corbis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

D.B. Grady is a freelance writer and novelist. He is coauthor of The Command: Deep Inside the President’s Secret Army, author of Red Planet Noir, and a correspondent for The Atlantic. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife and family, and can be found at dbgrady.com.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:40 AM   #3203
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http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/4144

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

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

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

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

These numbers will almost certainly increase greatly in coming years. Many people still do not know about their rights under GINA or even what genetic discrimination is. There will also no doubt be more lawyers developing genetic-discrimination practices. But the main reason these claims are likely to rise is that, as biological science advances, there is likely to be even more genetic information available about people. Tests are getting better at identifying those who are predisposed to cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Even though this sort of medical information should remain private, employers and insurance companies will have strong financial incentives to get access to it — and to use it to avoid people who are most likely to get sick.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:46 PM   #3204
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Learning about gardneing has geen awesome, learning about aquaculture/aquaponics has been incredible!!!!


*This post was brought to you by the #5, the Letters G & W
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:50 AM   #3205
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http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-...osts-revealed/

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

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

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

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

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-...#ixzz1nDFpHuZi
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:56 AM   #3206
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http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2012/0...of-the-wendigo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The wild things, whether the stuff of reality, or of ingrained superstition and legend, are still very much among us…
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:59 AM   #3207
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https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/0...y-takes-effect

How to Remove Your Google Search History Before Google's New Privacy Policy Takes Effect
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:18 AM   #3208
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http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boing...-for-drug.html

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

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

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

http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/39687/
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:20 AM   #3209
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http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boing...dependent.html

http://lunch.publishersmarketplace.c...selling-terms/


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

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

Suchomel writes: "Amazon.com is putting pressure on publishers and distributors to change their terms for electronic and print books to be more favorable toward Amazon. Our electronic book agreement recently came up for renewal, and Amazon took the opportunity to propose new terms for electronic and print purchases that would have substantially changed your revenue from the sale of both. It's obvious that publishers can't continue to agree to terms that increasingly reduce already narrow margins. I have spoken directly with many of our clients and every one of them agrees that we need to hold firm with the terms we now offer. I'm not sure what has changed at Amazon over the last few months that they now find it unacceptable to buy from IPG at terms that are acceptable to our other customers." Suchomel reiterated to us that the company's terms of sale for ebooks have not changed.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:34 AM   #3210
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:52 AM   #3211
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http://www.newscientist.com/article/...ef=online-news

Farmyard antibiotics linked to superbugs
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:09 AM   #3212
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:06 AM   #3213
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:19 AM   #3214
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http://www.blacklistednews.com/55_In...0/0/0/Y/M.html

55 Interesting Facts About The U.S. Economy In 2012
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:35 PM   #3215
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Re-Cycler has been specifically formulated for use in either a soil based media or stand alone hydroponics system. It is non-chemical and non-hazardous. Re-Cycler is not designed as a flushing agent, it is a 100% organic beneficial additive comprised from select strains of hyper-vigorous naturally occurring microorganisms. Re-Cycler works on anything in the plant kingdom from trees and shrubs to your favorite vegetables and flowers. When added to your feeding/watering schedule, Re-Cycler proves to be an extremely valuable “tool” that EVERY gardener should have in his/her arsenal!

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

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

Another added benefit of Re-Cycler is that it breaks down toxins such as un-spent herbicides and pesticides in the system/media. They are transformed into fatty acids, CO2 and water. Using Re-Cycler will force the breakdown of other dead organic material like carbohydrates and proteins, and convert them into soluble forms of N and P. Proteins break down into ammonia; Re-Cycler converts it into an assimilated form of nitrate your plants can use.
Another extremely valuable added benefit of using Re-Cycler is that our strains of hyper-vigorous microbes will overgrow harmful pathogenic microbes that may be present in your environment, thus enabling gardeners to be more effective at proactively managing the health of their plants environment. Re-Cycler eliminates nematodes in the larval stages which is good news for your roots. Re-Cycler “fluffs” up the soil making it spongier, which aides in aeration of the root zone enabling the plants to soak up the nutrients more effectively.
As far as the staff goes here at Hydro-Ponics we’re convinced Re-Cycler is THE way to improve and enhance your environment! So stop wasting your money on less effective microbial inoculants and cleaners! Instead Re-Cycle and make your plants and our planet happy and at the same time lessen the amount of work you as a gardener need to perform in order to maintain a clean, healthy system.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:20 PM   #3216
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http://gizmodo.com/5886774/extraordi...nese-coal-mine

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

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

Like Pompeii, this swamp forest is so perfectly maintained that scientists know where every plant originally was. This has allowed them to map it and to create the images above. This extraordinary finding "is like Pompeii", according to University of Pennsylvania paleobotanist Hermann Pfefferkorn, who characterized it as "a time capsule."
Pretty amazing stuff.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:03 AM   #3217
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Very cool!
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:08 AM   #3218
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http://www.truth-out.org/white-house...ist/1329857360

White House Refuses to Release Email From Monsanto-Linked Lobbyist

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

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

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

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


http://www.truth-out.org/emails-show...ges/1311621066

Emails Show White House Promotes Genetically Engineered Crops in Wildlife Refuges




http://www.truth-out.org/monsanto-fo...nce/1329834175


Monsanto Found Guilty of Chemical Poisoning in France


Quote:
Monsanto’s Deadly Concoctions

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

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

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

It is also important to note that Monsanto’s Lasso pesticide was actually banned in France back in 2007 following a European Union directive that came after the ban of the product in other nations.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:33 AM   #3219
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:35 AM   #3220
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http://m.reason.com/26821/show/cc223...4d7f066a1ed2a/
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:36 AM   #3221
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http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-c...tml?c=y&page=1

Teller Reveals His Secrets
The smaller, quieter half of the magician duo Penn & Teller writes about how magicians manipulate the human mind
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:38 AM   #3222
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http://communicatescience.com/zoonom...me-scientists/

The Darker Side (of some) Scientists

Incidentally, Hunter was also in his day the top expert on venereal disease, and it’s thought likely he intentionally infected himself with syphilis via his penis for the sake of research. So despite his unconventional sourcing strategy for bodies, at least he wasn’t selfish.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:39 AM   #3223
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http://www.scientificamerican.com/po...-wind-12-02-26

How Raindrops Calm the Wind

New research suggests the drag on falling precipitation helps slow atmospheric circulation. David Biello reports
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:39 AM   #3224
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http://news.discovery.com/space/gala...ds-120224.html

The Milky Way may be teeming with more than 100,000 free-flying planets for every star -- these are worlds that unlike our orderly solar system are not orbiting parent stars.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:43 AM   #3225
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http://drdavidclarke.co.uk/2012/02/2...g-heeled-jack/

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

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

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

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