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Old 06-30-2008, 11:05 AM   #176
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http://gizmodo.com/5020303/house-of-...from-asteroids

Don't worry, folks: Our trusted representatives in government just saw the movie Armageddon, and they aren't going to take the threat posed by this mediocre 1998 action movie lying down. They're going to pass laws to make sure we're prepared to face any asteroid-related threat without having to send a bunch of oil drillers into space.

The House of Representatives just passed bill H.R. 6063, directing NASA to come up with plans for a cheap mission to send a craft to the Apophis asteroid to attach a tracking device. Apophis is on route to come closer to Earth than geostational satellites in 2029, and if it smacked into the planet we'd be a little bit screwed.

In addition to paying close attention to Apophis, the bill requires the Director of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy to come up with a policy for notifying Federal agencies and other emergency response groups of an impending near-Earth object threat. Hopefully they'll come up with better plans than whatever it is they have enacted for natural disasters now, because their track record doesn't really inspire confidence. [KurzweilAI]
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:12 AM   #177
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http://www.scientificblogging.com/ne...work_in_humans

Cancer Cured? Granulocytes Treatment Worked 100 Percent In Mice Work But Will It Work In Humans?
<A HREF="http://a.tribalfusion.com/h.click/atmMfjUVn54bymmtIrXTev3tvHPVvC2mrLpdEtVW7fXbva1Ufh 1TypRUvZbUrM5Wdv5orjoPrbM1TYN5qUc5T73oTJG1rZbfUHF1 nPfLmcrwoWUF5EYk2dZaM3A7ZdnrvKXVQSXsFYXsrMnqrU5FUR WrnZc1pMlqsy2T5/422389092" TARGET="_blank"><IMG SRC=http://cdn5.tribalfusion.com/media/1287056/SRL_MLS_NewsOlympicsHD_052008_300x250.jpg WIDTH=300 HEIGHT=250 BORDER=0></A>
Submitted by News Account on 28 June 2008 - 3:07pm. Public Health

Scientists at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center are about to embark on a human trial to test whether a new cancer treatment will be as effective at eradicating cancer in humans as it has proven to be in mice.

The treatment will involve transfusing specific white blood cells, called granulocytes, from select donors, into patients with advanced forms of cancer. A similar treatment using white blood cells from cancer-resistant mice has previously been highly successful, curing 100 percent of lab mice afflicted with advanced malignancies.

Zheng Cui, Ph.D., lead researcher and associate professor of pathology, will be announcing the study June 28 at the Understanding Aging conference in Los Angeles.

The study, given the go-ahead by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will involve treating human cancer patients with white blood cells from healthy young people whose immune systems produce cells with high levels of cancer-fighting activity.

The basis of the study is the scientists' discovery, published five years ago, of a cancer-resistant mouse and their subsequent finding that white blood cells from that mouse and its offspring cured advanced cancers in ordinary laboratory mice. They have since identified similar cancer-killing activity in the white blood cells of some healthy humans.

"In mice, we've been able to eradicate even highly aggressive forms of malignancy with extremely large tumors," Cui said. "Hopefully, we will see the same results in humans. Our laboratory studies indicate that this cancer-fighting ability is even stronger in healthy humans."

The team has tested human cancer-fighting cells from healthy donors against human cervical, prostate and breast cancer cells in the laboratory – with surprisingly good results. The scientists say the anti-tumor response primarily involves granulocytes of the innate immune system, a system known for fighting off infections.

Granulocytes are the most abundant type of white blood cells and can account for as much as 60 percent of total circulating white blood cells in healthy humans. Donors can give granulocytes specifically without losing other components of blood through a process called apheresis that separates granulocytes and returns other blood components back to donors.

In a small study of human volunteers, the scientists found that cancer-killing activity in the granulocytes was highest in people under age 50. They also found that this activity can be lowered by factors such as winter or emotional stress. They said the key to the success for the new therapy is to transfuse sufficient granulocytes from healthy donors while their cancer-killing activities are at their peak level.

For the upcoming study, the researchers are currently recruiting 500 local potential donors who are 50 years old or younger and in good health to have their blood tested. Of those, 100 volunteers with high cancer-killing activity will be asked to donate white blood cells for the study. Cell recipients will include 22 cancer patients who have solid tumors that either didn't respond originally, or no longer respond, to conventional therapies. The study will cost $100,000 per patient receiving therapy, and for many patients (those living in 22 states, including North Carolina) the costs may be covered by their insurance company. There is no cost to donate blood. For general information about insurance coverage of clinical trials, go to the American Cancer Society's web site at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/co...cal_Trials.asp.)

For more information about qualifications for donors and participants, go to www.wfubmc.edu/LIFT (Web site will be available the evening of 6/27.) Cancer-killing ability in these cells is highest during the summer, so researchers are hoping to find volunteers who can afford the therapy quickly.

"If the study is effective, it would be another arrow in the quiver of treatments aimed at cancer," said Mark Willingham, M.D., a co-researcher and professor of pathology. "It is based on 10 years of work since the cancer-resistant mouse was first discovered."

Volunteers who are selected as donors – based on the observed potential cancer-fighting activity of their white cells – will complete the apheresis, a two- to three-hour process similar to platelet donation, to collect their granulocytes. The cancer patients will then receive the granulocytes through a transfusion – a safe process that has been used for more than 30 years. Normally, the treatment is used for patients who have antibiotic-resistant infectious diseases. The treatment will be given for three to four consecutive days on an outpatient basis. Up to three donors may be necessary to collect enough blood product for one study participant.

"The difference between our study and the traditional white cell therapy is that we're selecting the healthy donors based on the cancer-killing ability of their white blood cells," said Cui. The scientists are calling the therapy Leukocyte InFusion Therapy (LIFT).

The goal of the phase II study is to determine whether patients can tolerate a sufficient amount of transfused granulocytes for the treatment. Participants will be monitored on a regular basis, and after three months scientists will evaluate whether the treatment results in clear clinical benefits for the patients. If this phase of the study is successful, scientists will expand the study to determine if the treatment is best suited to certain types of cancer.

Yikong Keung, M.D., a medical oncologist, is the chief clinical investigator of the study. Gregory Pomper, M.D., assistant professor of pathology and the director of the Wake Forest Baptist blood bank, will oversee the blood banking portion of the study.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:16 PM   #178
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Old 06-30-2008, 02:16 PM   #179
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Old 06-30-2008, 02:23 PM   #180
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don't call me white

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Old 06-30-2008, 02:36 PM   #181
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:51 AM   #182
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Calif. man gets prison for burning Burning Man

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Old 07-01-2008, 12:21 PM   #183
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:04 PM   #184
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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1214...s_inside_today

Get Out of Your Own Way
Studies Show the Value of Not Overthinking a Decision
June 27, 2008; Page A9

Fishing in the stream of consciousness, researchers now can detect our intentions and predict our choices before we are aware of them ourselves. The brain, they have found, appears to make up its mind 10 seconds before we become conscious of a decision -- an eternity at the speed of thought.

Their findings challenge conventional notions of choice.

"....Studying the brain behavior leading up to the moment of conscious decision, the researchers identified signals that let them know when the students had decided to move 10 seconds or so before the students knew it themselves. About 70% of the time, the researchers could also predict which button the students would push....."

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Old 07-01-2008, 03:11 PM   #185
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http://www.physorg.com/news134108296.html

Cancer cells revert to normal at specific signal threshold, researchers find
Medicine & Health / Cancer
Cancer starts when key cellular signals run amok, driving uncontrolled cell growth. But scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine report that lowering levels of one cancer signal under a specific threshold reverses this process in mice, returning tumor cells to their normal, healthy state. The finding could help target cancer chemotherapy to tumors while minimizing side effects for the body's healthy cells.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:12 PM   #186
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Your brain can lie to you

BY Sam Wang and Sandra Aamodt

New york

June 30: False beliefs are everywhere. One poll has found that 18 per cent of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth.

Thus it seems slightly less egregious that, according to another poll, 10 per cent think that the Senator, Mr Barack Obama is a Christian instead of a Muslim.

The Obama campaign has created a website to dispel misinformation. But this effort may be more difficult than it seems, thanks to the quirky way in which our brains store memories — and mislead us along the way.

The brain does not simply gather and stockpile information as a computer’s hard drive does. Facts are stored first in the hippocampus, a structure deep in the brain about the size and shape of a fat man’s curled pinkie finger.

But the information does not rest there. Every time we recall it, our brain writes it down again, and during this re-storage, it is also reprocessed. In time, the fact is gradually transferred to the cerebral cortex and is separated from the context in which it was originally learned.

For example, the capital of California is Sacramento, but no one probably remembers how one has learnt it. This phenomenon, known as source amnesia, can also lead people to forget whether a statement is true. Even when a lie is presented with a disclaimer, people often later remember it as true.

With time, this misremembering gets worse. A false statement from a non-credible source that is at first not believed can gain credibility during the months it takes to reprocess memories from short-term hippocampal storage to longer-term cortical storage.

As the source is forgotten, the message and its implications gain strength. This could explain why, during the 2004 presidential campaign, it took weeks for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign against the Senator, Mr John Kerry to have an effect on his standing in the polls. Even if they do not understand the neuroscience behind source amnesia, campaign strategists can exploit it to spread misinformation. In 1919, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that "the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market." The thought is admirable in realising the truth. — Reuters
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:19 AM   #187
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/mai...hawking126.xml

Stephen Hawking's explosive new theory

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 26/06/2008

Prof Stephen Hawking has come up with a new idea to explain why the Big Bang of creation led to the vast cosmos that we can see today.



"...Most models of the universe are bottom-up, that is, you start from well-defined initial conditions of the Big Bang and work forward. However, Prof Hertog and Prof Hawking say that we do not and cannot know the initial conditions present at the beginning of the universe. Instead, we only know the final state - the one we are in now.

Their idea is therefore to start with the conditions we observe today - like the fact that at large scales one does not need to adopt quantum lore to explain how the universe (it behaves classically, as scientists say) - and work backwards in time to determine what the initial conditions might have looked like.

In this way, they argue the universe did not have just one unique beginning and history but a multitude of different ones and that it has experienced them all.

The new theory is also attractive because it fits in with string theory - the most popular candidate for a "theory of everything."

String theory allows the existence of an" unimaginable multitude of different types of universes in addition to our own," but it does not provide a selection criterion among these and hence no explanation for why our universe is, the way it is", says Prof Hertog.

"For this, one needs a theory of the wave function of the universe."

And now the world of cosmology has one. The next step is to find specific predictions that can be put to the test, to validate this new view of how the cosmos came into being. ...."
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:11 PM   #188
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I get rep comments here and there for this thread. I say thanks, and thanks to those that post articles. I do find them interesting (even if i don't comment/rep).

I figure this thread should exemplify *WHERE* we can go, and to not fall into the trappings of the "damned" part of being human.
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:54 PM   #189
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Drawing Lines: Magical Tribalism
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:17 PM   #190
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Neopaganism growing quickly
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:26 PM   #191
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http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=...agic-mushrooms

Long Trip: Magic Mushrooms' Transcendent Effect Lingers


People who took magic mushrooms were still feeling the love more than a year later, and one might say they were on cloud nine about it, scientists report in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

"Most of the volunteers looked back on their experience up to 14 months later and rated it as the most, or one of the five most, personally meaningful and spiritually significant of their lives," comparing it with the birth of a child or the death of a parent, says neuroscientist Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who led the research. "It's one thing to have a dramatic experience you say is impressive. It's another thing to say you consider it as meaningful 14 months later. There's something about the saliency of these experiences that's stunning."


http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/livi...lth/ci_9760531

Mad for mushrooms
By Ronnie Fein
Special Correspondent
Article Launched: 07/02/2008 01:00:00 AM EDT

Click photo to enlarge

* «
* 1
* 2
* »

Mushrooms have always had an aura of mystery about them. There are tales of "fairy rings," stemming from the circular pattern in which they grow and myths about the need to gather the fungi at night. Eat the wrong one and you could wind up with a severe stomach ache or a night haunted by violent hallucinations. Or far worse.

But the risk was always part of mushrooms' lure. Long ago, someone discovered that these wild, weird-looking things were among earth's finest delicacies - worth foraging for the right ones.

In ancient times, mushrooms were considered too exotic for the hoi polloi; they were food for royalty, reserved for pharaohs and Roman nobles. Today, you might still pay a king's ransom for some kinds but most are fairly inexpensive. They were once difficult to come by, but now are widely available. Today, even many so-called wild varieties are cultivated and for sale at most markets. Even noncultivated species are fairly easy to find.

These days you needn't worry about nightmares, seeing things or being poisoned when you eat store-bought mushrooms. Emperor Claudius may have been done in by mushroom ragout but markets today sell only edible varieties.

Although mushrooms are commonplace now, they are as worthy as ever. They make good eating in any season, but summer is prime time for indulging our mycological fancies, if only because mushrooms pair so well with the season's best produce: locally grown goods picked up at the farmer's market or even


(recipes at end of story)


http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/542247/

Mushrooms the Hidden Superfood



http://www.reuters.com/article/newsO...36154720080629

Accidental fungus leads to promising cancer drug
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:26 AM   #192
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080702/...tradivarius_dc

Wood density holds key to Stradivarius sweet sound
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:54 PM   #193
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http://cryptogon.com/?p=2859

CIA Operative Fired for Refusing to Suppress or Falsify Reports That Iran Had Suspended Work on Nuclear Weapon
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:11 PM   #194
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DNA Technology Posts Dramatic Speed Increases

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2...h-institu.html

A prominent genetics institute recently sequenced its trillionth base pair of DNA, highlighting just how fast genome sequencing technology has improved this century.

Every two minutes, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute sequences as many base pairs as all researchers worldwide did from 1982 to 1987, the first five years of international genome-sequencing efforts.

That speed is thanks to the technology underlying genomics research, which has been improving exponentially every couple of years, similar to the way computer tech improves under Moore's Law.

"Up to 2006, the various cycles of new technology and introduction were cutting costs in half for a similar product every 22 months," said Adam Felsenfeld, a program director at the National Human Genome Research Institute, which invests about as much money in DNA sequencing as the Sanger Institute.

Progress in DNA sequencing has been as breathtaking as any technological change in the IT realm. The Human Genome Project was estimated to cost $3 billion -- to sequence a single genome -- when it began in 1990, but cost reductions during the decade-long effort drove its actual cost closer to $300 million. By the end of the project, researchers estimated that if they were starting again, they could have sequenced the genome for less than $50 million.

By 2006, Harvard's George Church estimated that his lab could sequence a genome for $2.2 million. In 2007, the sequencing of James Watson's genome was said to cost less than $1 million. Looking into the future, the NIH wants genomes to cost a mere $100,000 by 2009, and $1,000 five years later.

With dropping costs and increasing speed, a flood of genetic data is flowing out of international institutes across the world. Previous progress was measured in gigabases (billions of DNA base pairs), but now major research centers are stepping up to the terabase level (trillions of bp, as they are abbreviated). (Human genomes contain about 3 gigabases.)
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:12 PM   #195
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https://www.space.com/scienceastrono...th-sounds.html

Earth's Cries Recorded in Space
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:29 PM   #196
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Marshall McLuhan speech (this is good stuff). 30min

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Old 07-03-2008, 03:34 PM   #197
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http://www.disinfo.com/content/story...-Youve-Watched

Google has been ordered to hand over all of its electronic data on the videos watched by users on YouTube to Viacom. The data, which is 12 terabytes in size, includes records of every video watched by every user, including the user's login name and IP address.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:35 AM   #198
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http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/07/02/d...ity/index.html

Who wants straight reality when you can augment it

Augmented reality (AR) -- or the "real world Web" -- has been listed by research firm Gartner as one of the most disruptive technologies companies could face over the next few years. The possibilities of AR are impressive.

During a heart transplant, identifier labels can be superimposed over the valves and chambers of a beating heart. On airplane factory floors, AR visors help electricians navigate complex mazes of wiring. Military minds dream up darker uses of AR.

Early on, consumer products might be predominantly entertainment-oriented, available not just on cell phones but also handheld gaming and other devices.

For instance there's the "magic book" idea, where every page can host a virtual 3-D pop-up that's viewable through a visor.

Or "AR tennis," where a virtual tennis court is superimposed on a real table and you view the action through your cell phone screen. The "racket" is your cell phone, which you wave through the air to hit the virtual ball. (Just don't topple your beer with your backhand.)

Offerings similar to these might reach store shelves within a year or so, believes Blair MacIntyre, who directs the Augmented Environments Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology, which devised the cemetery experiment.

But it will be some time before you can "click on people," or stand on a street corner and look at an augmented world through your phone or visor.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:39 AM   #199
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“To fight the Empire is to be infected by its derangement. This is a paradox; whoever defeats a segment of the Empire becomes the Empire; it proliferates like a virus, imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes its enemies.”
Philip K. Dick’s VALIS




http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/us...Zw&oref=slogin

Correction Appended

WASHINGTON — The military trainers who came to Guantánamo Bay in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of “coercive management techniques” for possible use on prisoners, including “sleep deprivation,” “prolonged constraint,” and “exposure.”

What the trainers did not say, and may not have known, was that their chart had been copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners.

The recycled chart is the latest and most vivid evidence of the way Communist interrogation methods that the United States long described as torture became the basis for interrogations both by the military at the base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Some methods were used against a small number of prisoners at Guantánamo before 2005, when Congress banned the use of coercion by the military. The C.I.A. is still authorized by President Bush to use a number of secret “alternative” interrogation methods.

Several Guantánamo documents, including the chart outlining coercive methods, were made public at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing June 17 that examined how such tactics came to be employed.

But committee investigators were not aware of the chart’s source in the half-century-old journal article, a connection pointed out to The New York Times by an independent expert on interrogation who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The 1957 article from which the chart was copied was entitled “Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From Air Force Prisoners of War” and written by Albert D. Biderman, a sociologist then working for the Air Force, who died in 2003. Mr. Biderman had interviewed American prisoners returning from North Korea, some of whom had been filmed by their Chinese interrogators confessing to germ warfare and other atrocities.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:45 AM   #200
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http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/200...l#previouspost

U.S. Spies Want to Find Terrorists in World of Warcraft

Be careful who you frag. Having eliminated all terrorism in the real world, the U.S. intelligence community is working to develop software that will detect violent extremists infiltrating World of Warcraft and other massive multiplayer games, according to a data-mining report from the Director of National Intelligence.

The Reynard project will begin by profiling online gaming behavior, then potentially move on to its ultimate goal of "automatically detecting suspicious behavior and actions in the virtual world."

* The cultural and behavioral norms of virtual worlds and gaming are generally unstudied. Therefore, Reynard will seek to identify the emerging social, behavioral and cultural norms in virtual worlds and gaming environments. The project would then apply the lessons learned to determine the feasibility of automatically detecting suspicious behavior and actions in the virtual world.

* If it shows early promise, this small seedling effort may increase its scope to a full project.

Reynard will conduct unclassified research in a public virtual world environment. The research will use publicly available data and will begin with observational studies to establish baseline normative behaviors.

The publicly available report -- which was mandated by Congress following earlier concerns over data-mining programs -- also mentions several other data-mining initiatives. These include:

* Video Analysis and Content Extraction - software to automatically identify faces, events and objects in video

* Tangram - A system that wants to create surveillance and threat warning system that evaluates known threats and finds unknown threats to issue warnings ahead of an attack

* Knowledge Discovery and Dissemination - This tool is reminiscent of the supposedly-defunct Total Information Awareness program. It seeks to access disparate databases to find patterns of known bad behavior. The program plans to work with domestic law enforcement and Homeland Security.

The report gives no indication why the find-a-terrorist cell in Sims project is called Reynard, though that is a traditional trickster figure in literature.
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