April 30, 2008

The amazing 'pixie dust'

Scientists are claiming an amazing breakthrough - regrowing a man's severed finger with the aid of an experimental powder.

Four weeks after Lee Spievack sliced almost half an inch off the
top of one of his fingers, he said it had grown back to its original

Four months later it looked like any other finger, complete with "great feeling", a fingernail and fingerprint.

Read more.

Intelligence or propaganda?

American security officials this week presented members of Congress with evidence supposedly showing that Syria, with North Korean assistance, was building a nuclear reactor on the target site and that this facility was "not intended for peaceful activities". Pictures have been released allegedly taken inside the facility showing a reactor core being built as well as an image of North Koreans working there.

There is no independent way to verify any of this, especially since the installation has now been destroyed. We must rely on the integrity of the Israeli and US intelligence services. That is where we hit a problem.

Read more.

Americans unload prized belongings to make ends meet

Struggling with mounting debt and rising prices, faced with the toughest economic times since the early 1990s, Americans are selling prized possessions online and at flea markets at alarming rates.


Economists say it is difficult to compare the selling trend with other tough times because the Internet, only in wide use since the mid-1990s, has made it much easier to unload goods than, say, at pawn shops.

But clearly, cash-strapped people are selling their belongings at bargain prices, with a flood of listings for secondhand cars, clothing and furniture hitting the market in recent months, particularly since January.

Read more.

Have Scientists Discovered a Way of Peering Into the Future?

"It's Earth shattering stuff," says Dr Roger Nelson, Emeritus researcher at Princeton University in the USA. "But unfortunately we don't have a box for predicting the future that we can sell to the CIA. We're very early on in the process of trying to figure out what's going on here. At the moment we're stabbing in the dark."

Dr Nelson's Global Consciousness Project - originally hosted by Princeton University - is one of the most extraordinary experiments of all time. It aims to ‘sense' whether all of humanity shares a single unconscious mind that we all tap into without realising it. Some might refer to it as the mind of God. But the machine has also thrown up another tantalising possibility: that scientists may have unwittingly discovered a way of predicting the future.

Interesting read.

Read the rest.

Is the Bible True? -- A Debate

"Somebody ought to tell the truth about the Bible."

Read more.

Foreclosures spike 112% - no end in sight

The worst hit states are still clustered in the Southwest; Nevada, California and Arizona lead the nation in foreclosure filings. Prices ran up rapidly in these areas during the bubble years as speculators snapped up single-family homes and condos as investments.

In the first quarter, 1 of every 54 homes in Nevada received some type of foreclosure filing - more than any other state. Its largest city, Las Vegas, had 1 out of every 44 homes go into foreclosure.

Stockton, Calif., had the highest foreclosure rate out of any U.S. metro area, with 1 out of every 30 homes receiving a notice - nearly seven times higher than the national average. The Riverside/San Bernardino region had the second highest rate in the quarter, with one of every 38 homes in default.

Read more.

"Hostile" Iran Sparks U.S. Attack Plan

A second American aircraft carrier steamed into the Persian Gulf on Tuesday as the Pentagon ordered military commanders to develop new options for attacking Iran. CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports that the planning is being driven by what one officer called the "increasingly hostile role" Iran is playing in Iraq - smuggling weapons into Iraq for use against American troops.

"What the Iranians are doing is killing American servicemen and -women inside Iraq," said Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Can Bob be anymore dramatic? Why should I believe what you say? What benefit does Iran gain? It seems like that would be a stupid move considering the US military has not been successful up to this point without Iran involvement. I'm thinking you're trying to pull another fast one over on the American people.

Read more.

US troop deaths hit 7-month high in Iraq

The killings of three U.S. soldiers in separate attacks in Baghdad pushed the American death toll for April up to 47, making it the deadliest month since September.

Just in case you forgot that killing and mayhem was still going on.

Read more.

April 29, 2008

BP and Shell post big profits in era of record oil prices

The combined profits of $17 billion reignited calls for a windfall tax on oil profits as consumers struggle to pay for food and fuel.

Read more.

April 28, 2008

India recalls measles vaccine after child deaths

Parents said their babies started frothing at the mouth and nose and died within 15 to 20 minutes of being administered the vaccine, news channel NDTV reported.

Read more.

Benefits of marijuana mimicked

A way has been found to mimic marijuana's relief of pain and anxiety, which could lead to drugs giving the same medical effect without disorienting side effects or raising questions of legality.

Marijuana's active ingredient, THC, stimulates a receptor in brain cells called CB1 which is also activated, to a much lesser degree, by chemicals, anandamide and 2-AG, our bodies produce naturally.

Read more.

Broadband 2.0 Poised to Reshape Web, TV

Now two of the largest ISPs in the United States are hoping to kick off yet another broadband renaissance, this time with home connections that promise to reach 50-100 Mbps, enabling a slew of high-definition content, better-quality video-sharing sites and even 3-D video. Call it Broadband 2.0.

Let's hurry this up.

Read more.

Why I Quit Hunting

It should be obvious to any thinking person that nature is a powerful but delicate force. Each living thing on the planet is striving for survival in one way or another, and striving to keep its kind from becoming extinct. Various species of plants, birds and animals have survived earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, floods and many other kinds of natural catastrophes only to fall victim to uncaring humans.


More often than not, the creature is killed for pleasure instead of for food. A certain sadistic pleasure is derived by killing another creature. When a human kills an animal the act fuels his ego: he has mastered the creature by taking its life.


It is nothing but fuel for the insecure ego of small men.


Humanity lives not by reality but by habits— often anchored in selfishness and staggering ignorance. It is this aspect of human nature we must work against.'

Read the rest.

April 26, 2008

All the president's liars

Did you watch any CNN or Fox News or MSNBC, lo, these past five or six years, listen to the pundits and ponder the wise, informed comments of all the military experts the networks brought on to discuss Iraq policy, then conclude that maybe this war, this appalling invasion might actually be positive, that maybe the surge is working and torture ain't all that bad and the democracy is taking root and America is proud and perky and victorious once again?

Did you believe any of it? Because oh my God, they sure as hell worked us over like a rabid dog works a hunk of gristle.

Who are "they," exactly? Why, they're the newly discovered and rather unexpected fraternity of expert BS artists, a highly specialized group known to gullible Americans as stoic, stern-faced retired generals, colonels, majors, military advisers, former Pentagon officials, the ones you've heard and seen on TV news for years, but who are known to the Bush administration as a delightfully dishonest gaggle of preferred liars, lackeys, shills, puppets and mouthpieces for Dick Cheney and Donny Rumsfeld and Dubya himself.


Here is the Times revealing, after two years of battling the Defense Department to release the 8,000 pages of incriminating documents by way of instigating lawsuits and leveraging the Freedom of Information Act — and barely even then — that this entire dour fraternity of deceitful military cretins has been in service of BushCo since Sept. 11 — and still is, to this very day.


To clarify: Whenever you've seen one of those dour-faced retired generals discussing details of U.S. war strategy on MSNBC, chances are staggeringly good he was/is in the pocket of Rummy or Cheney. Whenever a wise old colonel has appeared on Fox or CNN or CBS News to say the surge is working or troop morale is strong or that all those suicide bombings aren't really so bad, chances are overwhelmingly good that he is lying outright and you're hearing exactly what Donald Rumsfeld wanted him to say. Isn't that refreshing?

The Times story is simply astounding.

If you haven't read it yet, then read the Times story here.

Then read the rest of this San Francisco Gate article here.

The Biofuels Scam, Food Shortages and the Coming Collapse of the Human Population

It was one of the dumbest "green" ideas ever proposed: Convert millions of acres of cropland into fields for growing ethanol from corn, then burn fossil fuels to harvest the ethanol, expending more energy to extract the fuel than you get from the fuel itself! Meanwhile, sit back and proclaim you've achieved a monumental green victory (President Bush, anyone?) all while unleashing a dangerous spike in global food prices that's causing a ripple effect of food shortages and rationing around the world.

Read more.

Tyrannosaurus rex protein proves dinosaurs evolved into birds

Analysis of protein preserved within a fossil bone has provided molecular evidence to support the theory that dinosaurs evolved into birds.

Similarities between bone structure and the discovery of feather-like remains on dinosaur fossils have previously been cited, but scientists have now found the first molecular link.

Read more.


Below are a number of stories with links picked up in a cursory Google News Search. Child abuse cases involving rabbis and ultra-Orthodox families are percolating, and in some cases boiling over, in the Israeli, Australian, and Canadian press. Use any of the key words and you will likely find even more articles.

Funny, Wolf Blitzer and others don't seem to be talking about ANY of this. They're distracted by the "polygamy ranch" instead.

Read more.

FBI wants widespread monitoring of 'illegal' Internet activity

In addition, it's unclear whether "illegal activity" would be limited to responding to denial-of-service attacks and botnets, or would also include detecting other illegal activities, such as online gambling, the distribution of "obscene" images of adults engaged in sexual acts, or selling drugs without a license.

Oh, it's clear if you look past the smoke cloud. And even if you currently do not engage in the above activities, remember, what's legal to do today, may not be legal to do tomorrow. Thus, that list will grow.

Read more.

April 25, 2008

Human line 'nearly split in two'

Ancient humans started down the path of evolving into two separate
species before merging back into a single population, a genetic study

Read more.

Pain as an Art Form

Pain doesn’t show up on a body scan and can’t be measured in a test. As a result, many chronic pain sufferers turn to art, opting to paint, draw or sculpt images in an effort to depict their pain.

Read more.

Lying? Your face will give you away: study

Liars might think they are good at covering up their deceit but a new Canadian study shows there's one thing they can't control that will give them away -- flashes of emotion in their faces.


But instead of clues like shifty eyes or sweaty brows, their expression would crack briefly, allowing displays of true emotions such as happiness, sadness, disgust and fear to come through.

Read more.

Gallery: Galaxies Collide in New Images Released for Hubble's 18th Birthday

NASA has released 59 new high-resolution images of galaxies colliding across the universe to mark the Hubble Space Telescope's 18th birthday.

Check out the fantastic pictures!

Court: Government Must Reveal Watch-List Status to Constantly Detained Americans

Eight Americans of south Asian and Middle Eastern descent who were repeatedly detained at the border for questioning will be able to learn if they are actually on the government's terrorist watch list, a federal court in Illinois ruled last week, marking the first time that citizens have been able to learn whether they have been added to a sprawling and error-prone list used for screening at borders and traffic stops.

The government invoked the powerful state secrets privilege in the case, arguing that letting the plaintiffs know if they are or aren't on the list would harm national security since that could alert them to the fact they have been under government scrutiny.

But since the government admits it has stopped the six men and two women more than 35 times, federal Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier of the United States Northern Illinois District Court dismissed that argument. Instead he found that the government "failed to establish that, under all the circumstances of this case, disclosure of that information would create a reasonable danger of jeopardizing national security."

Read more.

No Bullets, No Guns

All gun owners are familiar with the 17th century maxim, "Keep your powder dry.” But if we expect to be gun owners in the 21st century, we have to update that to read, “Keep your powder—and all the rest of your ammunition—at all.” That’s because politicians who want to ban guns, but who don’t have the votes in Congress and state legislatures, are trying to achieve the same effect by banning the manufacture, importation, sale and possession of as much ammunition as possible, and severely restricting the rest.


The point of these bills is to prevent gun owners from having ammunition for defense, practice, sport and hunting. The fact that these bills are not gun bans is a mere technicality because, in practical terms, ammo bans are gun bans.

Read more.

Los Angeles 'is a Third World city'

Los Angeles is becoming a "Third World city" with immigrants making up half its workforce, says a new study.

A third of immigrants have not graduated from high school and 60 per cent do not speak English fluently, the Migration Policy Institute found.

Read more.

Monsanto Whistleblower Says Genetically Engineered Crops May Cause Disease

In the summer of 1997, Kirk spoke with a Monsanto scientist who was doing some tests on Roundup Ready cotton. Using a “Western blot” analysis, the scientist was able to identify different proteins by their molecular weight. He told Kirk that the GM cotton not only contained the intended protein produced by the Roundup Ready gene, but also extra proteins that were not normally produced in the plant. These unknown proteins had been created during the gene insertion process.

Read more.

Rush Limbaugh Calling For Riots In Denver

Talk show host Rush Limbaugh is sparking controversy again after he made comments calling for riots in Denver during the Democratic National Convention this summer.

He said the riots would ensure a Democrat is not elected as president, and his listeners have a responsibility to make sure it happens.

Is that really any different than screaming "fire" in a crowded theater?

"Operation Chaos".

He's such a waste of flesh.

Read more.

Wheat Crop Failures Could be Total, Experts Warn

On top of record-breaking rice prices and corn through the roof on ethanol demand, wheat is now rusting in the fields across Africa.

Officials fear near total crop losses, and the fungus, known as Ug99, is spreading.

Um, not good.

Read more.

Experts say sex abstinence program doesn't work

Programs teaching U.S. schoolchildren to abstain from sex have not cut teen pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases or delayed the age at which sex begins, health groups told Congress on Wednesday.

The Bush administration, however, voiced continuing support for such programs during a hearing before a House of Representatives panel even as many Democrats called for cutting off federal money for so-called abstinence-only instruction.

People are supposed to have sex, not abstain from it.

Read more.

Billion-dollar babies

WHO rules the world? The most familiar answers to this question are so poisoned by paranoia that it is tempting to dismiss the question itself.


Mr Rothkopf makes a fascinating tour of the world of the superclass. He opens the door to the office of the head of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, on the top floor of Goldman's tower on New York's Broad Street. He visits the factory that customises Gulfstream jets (every year nearly 10% of Gulfstream's clients attend Davos). He calls on the Carlyle Group where financiers and former presidents get together to make each other richer. And he offers a tour of the weird proceedings of the Bohemian Grove meetings, which Richard Nixon described as “the most faggy goddamned thing you could ever imagine.”

Read more.

Backlash grows against the housing bailout

Why should American taxpayers have to pay to bailout reckless lenders and borrowers?


"A third of the American public rents," Brandon pointed out. "They're saying 'I've been saving for a mortgage for years. I could have jumped in on a subprime loan too. Now I'm going to have to pay for a government bailout."

Many CNNMoney.com readers agree, expressing outrage at the idea of seeing their taxes used to keep people in homes they never should have purchased.

Read more.

Humans lived in tiny, separate bands for 100,000 years

The genetic study examined for the first time the evolution of our species from its origins with "mitochondrial Eve," a female hominid who lived some 200,000 years ago, to the point of near extinction 70,000 years ago, when the human population dwindled to as little as 2,000.

Read more.

Food Crisis Starts Eclipsing Climate Change Worries

One factor being blamed for the price hikes is the use of government subsidies to promote the use of corn for ethanol production. An estimated 30% of America’s corn crop now goes to fuel, not food.

Read more.

Where News Breaks

As any journalist knows, news has to be about people - they either make it, or are affected by it. No people, no news. It therefore stands to reason that heavily populated areas of the US, like California or the Northeast, generate most of the news stories. But even allowing for population, some locations account for a disproportionately high number of news items.

Check out the map.

Read more.

April 23, 2008

Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh

Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming, the average temperature on Earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously.

All four agencies that track Earth's temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007. This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and it puts us back where we were in 1930. If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over.

Read more.

US Christian Leaders support Bush's use of Torture

If this pro-torture stand was Dobson's alone, there would be little attention paid to it. But last month an ethics professor, Daniel R. Heimback, at Southeastern Baptist Seminary, favors torture much as Dobson does. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) leaders also favor torture. A Baptist Press (BP) release reported that to oppose torture "threatens to undermine Christian moral witness in contemporary culture." They went on to say that situation ethics necessitates that sometimes torture is the right thing to do.

Read more.

Chertoff Says Fingerprints Aren’t ‘Personal Data’

Many of us should rightfully be surprised that our fingerprints aren’t considered “personal data” by the head of DHS. Even more importantly, DHS itself disagrees. In its definition of “personally identifiable information” — the information that triggers a Privacy Impact Assessment when used by government — the Department specifically lists: “biometric identifiers (e.g., fingerprints).”

Read more.

Masturbation may prevent prostate cancer

Frequent masturbation may help men cut their risk of contracting prostate cancer, Australian researchers have found. It is believed that carcinogens may build up in the prostate if men do not ejaculate regularly, BBC News reported on Wednesday. The researchers surveyed more than 1,000 men who had developed prostate cancer, and 1,250 men who had not. They found that men who had ejaculated the most between the ages of 20 and 50 were the least likely to get cancer. Men who ejaculated more than five times each week were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer.

Read more, then go masturbate.

Mother's diet can help determine sex of child: study

Oysters may excite the libido, but there is nothing like a hearty breakfast laced with sugar to boost a woman's chances of conceiving a son, according to a study released Wednesday.

Likewise, a low-energy diet that skimps on calories, minerals and nutrients is more likely to yield a female of the human species, says the study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Britain's de facto academy of sciences.


Beside racking up a higher calorie count, the group who produced more males were also more likely to have eaten a wider range of nutrients, including potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E and B12.

The odds of an XY, or male outcome to a pregnancy also went up sharply "for women who consumed at least one bowl of breakfast cereal daily compared with those who ate less than or equal to one bowl of week," the study reported.

These surprising findings are consistent with a very gradual shift in favor of girls over the last four decades in the sex ratio of newborns, according to the researchers.


The study's findings, she added, could point to a "natural mechanism" for gender selection.

The link between a rich diet and male children may have an evolutionary explanation.

Very interesting.

Read more.

Clueless in America

Ignorance in the United States is not just bliss, it’s widespread. A recent survey of teenagers by the education advocacy group Common Core found that a quarter could not identify Adolf Hitler, a third did not know that the Bill of Rights guaranteed freedom of speech and religion, and fewer than half knew that the Civil War took place between 1850 and 1900.


When two-thirds of all teenagers old enough to graduate from high school are incapable of mastering college-level work, the nation is doing something awfully wrong.


While we’re effectively standing in place, other nations are catching up and passing us when it comes to educational achievement. You have to be pretty dopey not to see the implications of that.

But, then, some of us are pretty dopey. In the Common Core survey, nearly 20 percent of respondents did not know who the U.S. fought in World War II. Eleven percent thought that Dwight Eisenhower was the president forced from office by the Watergate scandal. Another 11 percent thought it was Harry Truman.

Read the rest.

White House challenges release of visitor logs

A federal appeals court sought compromise Monday between a liberal group demanding the names of White House visitors and the Bush administration, which says releasing the names would erode the president's power.

It could use a little "eroding".

If released, the documents would show how often prominent religious conservatives visited the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's residence, allowing a glimpse into how much influence they exerted on government policy.

Read more.

Amnesty unveils shock 'waterboarding' film

Malcolm Nance, who trained hundreds of US servicemen and women to resist interrogation by putting them through "waterboarding" exercises, demanded an immediate end to the practice by all US personnel.

He said: "They seem to think it is worth throwing the honour of 220 years of American decency in war out of the window. Waterboarding is out-and-out torture, and I'm deeply ashamed President Bush has authorised its use and dragged the US's reputation into the mud."

Mr Bush faced criticism recently when he vetoed a Bill that would have outlawed such methods of "enhanced interrogation" – the White House refuses to describe it as torture.

Read more.

Truths and Myths About Weather in Hollywood Blockbusters

But what happens when Hollywood fiction is used as fact?

Al Gore's "traveling global warming show," the award-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," includes a long flyover shot of majestic Antarctic ice shelves. But this shot was first seen in the 2004 blockbuster "The Day After Tomorrow." Sculpted from Styrofoam and later scanned into a computer, the ice shelf "flyover" looks real.

Now isn't that rather interesting?

Read more.

Scientist's aim: Alter weather

Sill, Bruintjes and other scientists speaking Tuesday at an international conference on weather modification in Westminster said there are possibilities for managing and modifying weather — from making rain to reducing the severity of hurricanes.

What is needed, they said, is renewed federal backing of the research.

Read more.

Era of cheap food ends as prices surge

The United Nations Food Agency said that rising food prices threatened to plunge 100 million people across the world into hunger.

Read more.

Americans hoard food as industry seeks regs

Farmers and food executives appealed fruitlessly to federal officials yesterday for regulatory steps to limit speculative buying that is helping to drive food prices higher. Meanwhile, some Americans are stocking up on staples such as rice, flour and oil in anticipation of high prices and shortages spreading from overseas.

Read more.

April 21, 2008

Global Warming and the Iraq War

The war is responsible for at least 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) since March 2003. To put this in perspective, CO2 released by the war to date equals the emissions from putting 25 million more cars on the road in the US this year.

Read more.

Japan's hunger becomes a dire warning for other nations

While soaring food prices have triggered rioting among the starving millions of the third world, in wealthy Japan they have forced a pampered population to contemplate the shocking possibility of a long-term — perhaps permanent — reduction in the quality and quantity of its food.

A 130% rise in the global cost of wheat in the past year, caused partly by surging demand from China and India and a huge injection of speculative funds into wheat futures, has forced the Government to hit flour millers with three rounds of stiff mark-ups. The latest — a 30% increase this month — has given rise to speculation that Japan, which relies on imports for 90% of its annual wheat consumption, is no longer on the brink of a food crisis, but has fallen off the cliff.

According to one government poll, 80% of Japanese are frightened about what the future holds for their food supply.

Read more...get used to eating less.

The Fallacy of "Climate Change"

"Climate Change" seems to be the new buzzword these days among environmentalists and politicians who were formerly the proponents of "Global-Warming". Unfortunately, the term "climate change" is a meaningless phrase. The climate is always changing, about as often as the weather in fact. Some years are warm, while others are cool. Some years are dry, while others are wet. There are El Niños, and there are La Niñas. There have been ice ages and warm periods throughout Earth's history. And the term "Global Climate Change" is not much better. That simply tells us that the climate is changing everywhere in the world. Yeah, and so...?

Read more.

Surgeons give hope to blind with successful 'bionic eye' operations

The device — the first of its kind — incorporates a video camera and transmitter mounted on a pair of glasses. This is linked to an artificial retina, which transmits moving images along the optic nerve to the brain and enables the patient to discriminate rudimentary images of motion, light and dark.

Read more.

What Are The Odds Of Finding Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life?

Is there anybody out there? Probably not, according to a scientist from the University of East Anglia. A mathematical model produced by Prof Andrew Watson suggests that the odds of finding new life on other Earth-like planets are low, given the time it has taken for beings such as humans to evolve and the remaining life span of Earth.

Read more.

Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World

Many parts of America, long considered the breadbasket of the world, are now confronting a once unthinkable phenomenon: food rationing. Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.


The curbs and shortages are being tracked with concern by survivalists who view the phenomenon as a harbinger of more serious trouble to come.

Read more.

Why I am not a Christian Part I

That's just sick if such a god existed I would refuse to worship it.

Read more.

Behind Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.

The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.

Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves. But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. The companies include defense heavyweights, but also scores of smaller companies, all part of a vast assemblage of contractors scrambling for hundreds of billions in military business generated by the administration’s war on terror. It is a furious competition, one in which inside information and easy access to senior officials are highly prized.

Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks.

So, since this is in the New York Times does that mean it's no longer a conspiracy theory?

Read the rest.

Disembowelled, then torn apart: The price of daring to teach girls

The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return safely. But his life was over, he was part-disembowelled and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes, the remains put on display as a warning to others against defying Taliban orders to stop educating girls.

The world we live in.

Read more.

Why flowers have lost their scent

Pollution is dulling the scent of flowers and impeding some of the most basic processes of nature, disrupting insect life and imperilling food supplies, a new study suggests.

The potentially hugely significant research – funded by the blue-chip US National Science Foundation – has found that gases mainly formed from the emissions of car exhausts prevent flowers from attracting bees and other insects in order to pollinate them. And the scientists who have conducted the study fear that insects' ability to repel enemies and attract mates may also be impeded.

Read more.

Biologists join the race to create synthetic life

Researchers will gather in London this week to outline plans to promote one of the most audacious, and controversial, scientific ideas of the 21st century - synthetic biology.

The new discipline, established by scientists such as human genome pioneer Craig Venter, involves stripping microbes down to their basic genetic constituents so they can be reassembled and manipulated to create new life forms. These organisms can then be exploited to manufacture drugs and fuels or to act as bio-sensors inside the body.

Read more.

Exposed: the great GM crops myth

Genetic modification actually cuts the productivity of crops, an authoritative new study shows, undermining repeated claims that a switch to the controversial technology is needed to solve the growing world food crisis.

The study – carried out over the past three years at the University of Kansas in the US grain belt – has found that GM soya produces about 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent, contradicting assertions by advocates of the technology that it increases yields.


The GM crop – engineered to resist Monsanto's own weedkiller, Roundup – recovered only when he added extra manganese, leading to suggestions that the modification hindered the crop's take-up of the essential element from the soil. Even with the addition it brought the GM soya's yield to equal that of the conventional one, rather than surpassing it.

The new study confirms earlier research at the University of Nebraska, which found that another Monsanto GM soya produced 6 per cent less than its closest conventional relative, and 11 per cent less than the best non-GM soya available.

Read more.

Government authority is crossing a line

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff recently waived more than 30 laws in order to expedite construction of the border fence. He did so with little regard for the concerns of residents, local officials and environmentalists.

And though the proposed path would cut through the properties of many citizens, it would bypass land owned by the wealthy and politically connected. The Texas Observer reported that the fence would detour around the River Bend Resort and golf course, as well as developments owned by the Hunt family, whose members are major supporters of President Bush. The fence would also cause irreparable damage to wildlife; two Texas nature preserves would wind up in Mexico. They'd likely have to close.

Chertoff maintains that the fence is necessary because Americans have been adamant about border security. Yet two recent polls by CBS and CNN show that Americans rank illegal immigration lowest on their short list of the most pressing national problems.

Read more.

The "War on Terror" is also a war on us

We delude ourselves when we think that what is happening will just magically ‘go away’ with the next president. We delude ourselves when we think that an election is the cure for what ails us. We delude ourselves when we deny our own individual responsibility in changing the trajectory of where our country is headed. We delude ourselves when we think that nothing can be done to stop what is happening. We delude ourselves when we think that the ‘War on Terror’ is only a war on evil crazy terrorists.


Recently I attended a showing of the film “American Blackout” and during the discussion that followed the film I stated the possibility that there may be no election at all considering the unprecedented powers that George Bush has put into play to declare martial law. One person in the room said that stating such a thing shows why there is no powerful anti-war movement, that such statements turn people off and make me sound crazy. In deference to the ‘vibe’ in the room I let this man have his say without argument only because every one else was rolling their eyes at his rant, but to those reading this who agree with what he was trying to say, let me ask you this: ten years ago did you think in your wildest paranoid “government is evil” fantasy that this country and your president, would lie us into war with a sovereign nation, or codify torture, abolish habeas corpus rights, squash the posse comitatus act, spy on Americans, or that a “Principals Committee,” made up of top level people in a presidential administration would gather together and outline and approve the use of "combined" interrogation techniques – TORTURE -- on terrorist suspects, and these leaders of YOUR COUNTRY would sit together in a room to openly discuss torture techniques, to approve of them, and then work together to circumvent and manipulate the law so that the archaic and ineffective practice of torture, which is absolutely illegal, could then become ‘legal’ and there would be no accountability for those who had approved it or practiced it? If I had whipped out my crystal ball in 1998 and told you this was where Reaganism, conservatism, neo-cons, corporate greed, and a do-nothing congress, and a do-nothing American public and more would lead this country, you would have said I was nuts – crazy – a conspiracy theorist, yet these facts are a very small taste of the very reality we, you and I, face here in 2008. And it’s not a conspiracy theory if it is FACT.

Read more.

April 20, 2008

You Will Lose All The Rights to Your Own Art

As an artist, you have to read this article or you could lose everything you've ever created!


Currently, you don't have to register your artwork to own the copyright. You own a copyright as soon as you create something. International law also supports this. Right now, registration allows you to sue for damages, in addition to fair value.

What makes me so MAD about this new legislation is that it legalizes THEFT! The only people who benefit from this are those who want to make use of our creative works without paying for them and large companies who will run the new private copyright registries.

These registries are companies that you would be forced to pay in order to register every single image, photo, sketch or creative work.


If the Orphan Works legislation passes, you and I and all creatives will lose virtually all the rights to not only our future work but to everything we've created over the past 34 years, unless we register it with the new, untested and privately run (by the friends and cronies of the U.S. government) registries. Even then, there is no guarantee that someone wishing to steal your personal creations won't successfully call your work an orphan work, and then legally use it for free.

This is a bad idea.

Read more.

Lawmakers want Iraq to start paying the bills

Noting that Iraq is running a higher-than-expected budget surplus because of the rising price of its oil exports, Nelson said, "It's time now for Iraq to assume responsibility for its future with its own investment."

Read more.

Experts: Nude Cell Phone Pictures Now Part Of Teen Dating

Forget about passing notes in study hall; some teens are now using their cell phones to flirt and send nude pictures of themselves.


"A lot more girls are aggressive," said Ray, 18. "Some girls are crazy and they are putting themselves out there."

God damn it, I was born too early. When I was in high school we had to draw stick figures of ourselves and pass those around because we didn't even have digital cameras to take still pictures, much less video.

Ah, the joys of youth.

Read more.

Top Bush aides pushed for Guantánamo torture

America's most senior general was "hoodwinked" by top Bush administration officials determined to push through aggressive interrogation techniques of terror suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, leading to the US military abandoning its age-old ban on the cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners, the Guardian reveals today.


The Bush administration has tried to explain away the ill-treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq by blaming junior officials. Sands' book establishes that pressure for aggressive and cruel treatment of detainees came from the top and was sanctioned by the most senior lawyers.

This shit should piss you off.

Read all of it.

April 18, 2008

Scientists Build World's Smallest Transistor, Gordon Moore Sighs With Relief

British researchers have unveiled the world's smallest transistor, which measures one atom thick and ten atoms across.

The newly announced transistor is more than three times smaller than the 32 nanometer transistors at the cutting edge of silicon-based electronics.

Read more.

World's oldest tree discovered in Sweden

The world's oldest tree has been found in Sweden, a tenacious spruce that first took root just after the end of the last ice age, more than 9,500 years ago.

The tree has rewritten the history of the climate in the region, revealing that it was much warmer at that time and the ice had disappeared earlier than thought.

Read more.

New kind of killer virus discovered in Bolivia

The CDC laboratory confirmed they were dealing with something never seen before. Tests on even the most obscure pathogens all turned up negative, Rollin says. When the researchers squirted the patient’s serum sample onto human cells growing in a Petri dish, a virus started multiplying. Rollin’s team dubbed it Chapare, after the victim’s home province.

Read more.

April 17, 2008

By winning back unhappy GOP voters, McCain makes it a race

Republicans are no longer underdogs in the race for the White House. To pull that off, John McCain has attracted disgruntled GOP voters, independents and even some moderate Democrats who shunned his party last fall.

How depressing.

Read more.

Aboriginal children 'injected with leprosy'

ABORIGINAL children were injected with leprosy treatments in a medical testing program that used members of the Stolen Generation as guinea pigs, a Senate Committee has heard.

Read more.

April 16, 2008

Why I Am a Bitter Man

In short, bitterness is a motivator -- maybe the motivator when it comes to the forcing of social tipping points.

So, while I'm bitter that this administration has turned me bitter, I am crystal clear on the reasons why I'm bitter:


Those are the reasons I'm bitter. And it you're one of those folks
Hillary and McCain keep assuring me are "not bitter," I have only one
question for you:

What the hell's wrong with you?

I agree.

Read more.

Feds to collect DNA from every person they arrest

The government plans to begin collecting DNA samples from anyone arrested by a federal law enforcement agency — a move intended to prevent violent crime but which also is raising concerns about the privacy of innocent people.

Read more.

An 'average' American will never be president

Can we all just stop the silly nonsense over who is an elitist and whether an "average American" will occupy the White House?

Listening to the punditry today, you would think folks who revel in the comedy of Larry the Cable Guy or Katt Williams really would have a shot at the White House.

It's totally absurd.


We have deluded ourselves into thinking the person elected to the White House is really and truly like the rest of us.

All three candidates don't know what it's like to face the daunting health care challenges millions of Americans are confronted with daily. Each are members of the U.S. Senate, and they have the best health care money can buy for life -- we pay for it! While your pension plan is shot to hell, their plan will NEVER be underfunded. The members will see to that, courtesy of taxpayer dollars.


Bottom line: The narrative about our presidential candidates being just regular folks is a tired myth that gets repeated each and every day. And their efforts to show that they are "just like us" are really pathetic.

This is a very good commentary. I encourage you all to read it.

Read more.

RFID with longer range to cut network costs

The resulting coverage could be up to 2.35 hectares , or about 100 times the coverage area of previous systems based on conventional tag readers.

Now, isn't that interesting?

Read more.

Sperm From Skin Becoming a Reality?

In as little as 5 years, scientists may be able to grow eggs and sperm from ordinary body cells, an international consortium of scientists and ethicists announced in a consensus statement yesterday. The technological advance could be a boon for infertile couples as well as for research on reproduction, providing policymakers don't ban the tools, the group says.

Last year scientists announced that they had learned to turn back the clock on body cells (ScienceNOW, 20 November 2007). By inserting a select group of genes, they were able to convert skin cells into pluripotent stem cells (PSC)--cells capable of developing into any type of body tissue. This capability has opened up a whole new world of research--and it's brought closer to reality the possibility of generating embryos from gametes (i.e., sperm and eggs) grown in the lab, bypassing the need to collect oocytes from women.


Read more.

Nuclear attack on D.C. a hypothetical disaster

"It's inevitable," said Cham E. Dallas, director of the Institute for Health Management and Mass Destruction Defense at the University of Georgia, who has charted the potential explosion's effect in the District and testified before a hearing of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. "I think it's wistful to think that it won't happen by 20 years."

As long as you keep fucking with other people's countries this is a possibility.

This does seem more like a "fear" piece of journalism, designed to scare the populace.

Read more.

Web site makes suing easy

A new Web site promising to simplify the lawsuit process by pairing lawyers and potential litigants is a bad idea, tort reform advocates say.

Legal Newsline reported Tuesday that critics say the SueEasy Web site encourages people to be litigious.

Darren McKinney, spokesman for the American Tort Reform Association, said the site is the "latest distillation" of an attitude promoted by trial lawyers.

"It's an attitude that runs against personal responsibility and seems to promote the notion that whatever negative happens in your life somebody else can be blamed and thus sued," McKinney told Legal Newsline.

Read more.

Conn. Students To Get Cash For Passing AP Tests

The students who pass their final AP tests next year will earn $100 for themselves for every test they pass.

The cash rewards are part of a new program to expand student participation in Wilby's Advanced Placement program. It is funded by a $451,113, grant from the National Math and Science Initiative.

Read more.

April 14, 2008

Most voters disagree with Obama comment

The Rasmussen Reports survey asked voters nationwide: "Do you agree or disagree with Barack Obama’s statement that people in small towns 'cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations'?

Among all voters, 56 percent disagreed, and 43 percent of Democrats did. Not surprisingly, those who described themselves as conservatives were more adamant in their disagreement.

Among all voters, 45 percent said the comments reflected an "elitist view" of small town voters. The poll was conducted Saturday and Sunday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Read more.

Your Internet provider is watching you

Those documents you agree to — usually without reading — ostensibly allow your ISP to watch how you use the Internet, read your e-mail or keep you from visiting sites it deems inappropriate. Some reserve the right to block traffic and, for any reason, cut off a service that many users now find essential.

Read more.

Brazil oil field could be huge find

A deep-water exploration area could contain as much as 33 billion barrels of oil, an amount that would nearly triple Brazil's reserves and make the offshore bloc the world's third-largest known oil reserve, a top oil official said Monday.

Read more.

Food Costs Rising Fastest in 17 Years

The U.S. is wrestling with the worst food inflation in 17 years, and analysts expect new data due on Wednesday to show it's getting worse. That's putting the squeeze on poor families and forcing bakeries, bagel shops and delis to explain price increases to their customers.

U.S. food prices rose 4 percent in 2007, compared with an average 2.5 percent annual rise for the last 15 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And the agency says 2008 could be worse, with a rise of as much as 4.5 percent.

Read more.

John McCain 'would confront Russia and China'

A John McCain presidency would take to a more forceful approach to Russia and China, according to senior foreign policy advisers to the Republican candidate.

The Arizona senator has already signalled that he intends to confront Russian president Vladimir Putin more directly than George W Bush if he wins the White House in November.


His experience of foreign affairs is one reason why the 71-year-old Vietnam war veteran has drawn level with both his potential Democratic rivals, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, in opinion polls, suggesting the public may accept his more muscular approach to the world.

Kill 'em all! Let God sort 'em out!

Fucking pathetic.

Read more.

McCain: More conservative than his image

The independent label sticks to John McCain because he antagonizes fellow Republicans and likes to work with Democrats.

But a different label applies to his actual record: conservative.

The likely Republican presidential nominee is much more conservative than voters appear to realize. McCain leans to the right on issue after issue, not just on the Iraq war but also on abortion, gay rights, gun control and other issues that matter to his party's social conservatives.

Read more.

Music Label's Copyright Argument is Rubbish

Tossing it like a Frisbee is OK. The kids, cat and dog scratching the hell out of it is just fine.

But throwing away that CD is copyright infringement.


The record label says throwing away such CDs is a no-no because it claims it has an eternal right of ownership to them.

The label's attorney taking that position is Russell Frackman, and he's no stranger to copyright law. Frackman was one of the lead lawyers who brought down Napster.

Threat Level called him Friday at his Los Angeles office, and got "No reply." (Taking Frackman's argument to its logical conclusion, Threat Level just opened itself up to a lawsuit for writing the name of a Beatles' song without permission. And deleting this post from your RSS inbox might also get you hauled into court.)

Read more.

Cancer Therapy Without Side Effects Nearing Trials

A promising new cancer treatment that may one day replace radiation and chemotherapy is edging closer to human trials.


Based on technology developed by Pennsylvania inventor John Kanzius, a retired radio and TV engineer, the treatment has proven 100 percent effective at killing cancer cells while leaving neighboring healthy cells unharmed. It is currently being tested at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Read more.

The Future of Food

I watched this documentary last week. Learn about the relationships between agriculture, big business, and of course the government. There are things in this documentary that everyone should know about so I encourage you to check it out.

Read more, then go rent the film.

The World According to Monsanto - A documentary that Americans won't ever see.

On March 11 a new documentary was aired on French television (ARTE - French-German cultural tv channel) by French journalist and film ... all » maker Marie-Monique Robin, The World According to Monsanto - A documentary that Americans won't ever see. The gigantic biotech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years.

Watch the documentary here.

April 13, 2008

'Now we have the technology that can make a cloned child'

Scientists who used the procedure to create baby mice from the skin cells of adult animals have found it to be far more efficient than the Dolly technique, with fewer side effects, which makes it more acceptable for human use.


"At this point there are no laws or regulations for this kind of thing and the bizarre thing is that the Catholic Church and other traditional stem-cell opponents think this technology is great when in reality it could in the end become one of their biggest nightmares," he said. "It is quite possible that the real legacy of this whole new programming technology is that it will be introducing the era of designer babies.

"So for instance if we had a few skin cells from Albert Einstein, or anyone else in the world, you could have a child that is say 10 per cent or 70 per cent Albert Einstein by just injecting a few of their cells into an embryo," he said.

"And the world spins madly on." ~ The Weepies

Read more.

How Your Tax Dollars Are Spent

The biggest chunk of your money -- 42.2 cents of every income-tax dollar -- goes to fund the military. Over half of it, or 28.7 cents, goes to pay for the current war and military, 10 cents goes to interest payments on past and present military debt and 3.5 cents is allocated for Veterans' benefits.


Read more.

US to skip cluster bomb meeting

The United States will skip a meeting in Dublin next month that aims to ban cluster bombs, officials said Friday.

Instead, Washington will focus on separate United Nations talks in Geneva that will restrict — but not ban — the use of the weapon, the head of the U.S. delegation said.

How sad.

Read more.

IMF Head Warns About Food Prices

The head of the International Monetary Fund warned Saturday that if food prices remain high, there will be dire consequences for people in many developing countries, especially in Africa.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn added that the problem could also create trade imbalances that would affect major advanced economies, "so it is not only a humanitarian question."

Read more.

Administration Set to Use New Spy Program in U.S.

The Bush administration said yesterday that it plans to start using the nation's most advanced spy technology for domestic purposes soon, rebuffing challenges by House Democrats over the idea's legal authority.


But Congress delayed launch of the new office last October. Critics cited its potential to expand the role of military assets in domestic law enforcement, to turn new or as-yet-undeveloped technologies against Americans without adequate public debate, and to divert the existing civilian and scientific focus of some satellite work to security uses.

Read more.

April 11, 2008

The new chip that will let an iPod store 500,000 songs

Scientists at IBM say they have developed a new type of digital storage which
would enable a device such as an MP3 player to store about half a million
songs - or 3,500 films - and cost far less to produce.

In a paper published in the current issue of Science, a team at the
company's research centre in San Jose, California, said that devices which
use the new technology would require much less power, would run on a single
battery charge for "weeks at a time", and would last for decades.

Read more.

Higher state tax on beer?

The San Jose Democrat on
Thursday proposed raising the beer tax by $1.80 per six-pack, or 30
cents per can or bottle. The current tax is 2 cents per can. That's an
increase of about 1,500 percent.

Read more.

April 10, 2008

Grand Canyon as old as dinosaurs, says new research

New geological evidence indicates the Grand Canyon may be so old that dinosaurs once lumbered along its rim, according to a study by researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the California Institute of Technology.

Read more.

The first animal on Earth was probably significantly more complex than thought

A new study mapping the evolutionary history of animals indicates that Earth's first animal - a mysterious creature whose characteristics can only be inferred from fossils and studies of living animals - was probably significantly more complex than previously believed.


Among the study's surprising findings is that the comb jelly split off from other animals and diverged onto its own evolutionary path before the sponge. This finding challenges the traditional view of the base of the tree of life, which honoured the lowly sponge as the earliest diverging animal. 'This was a complete shocker,' says Dunn. 'So shocking that we initially thought something had gone very wrong.'

But even after Dunn's team checked and rechecked their results and added more data to their study, their results still suggested that the comb jelly, which has tissues and a nervous system, split off from other animals before the tissue-less, nerve-less sponge.

Read more.

April 9, 2008

I was given a young man's heart - and started craving beer and Kentucky Fried Chicken. My daughter said I even walked like a man

Yesterday, the Mail told the extraordinary story of how a heart transplant recipient in America committed suicide - just like the man whose heart he had received 12 years previously. In another extraordinary twist, it emerged that the recipient had also married the donor's former wife.

So can elements of a person's character - or even their soul - be transplanted along with a heart?

One woman who believes this to be the case is CLAIRE SYLVIA, a divorced mother of one.

She was 47 and dying from a disease called primary pulmonary hypertension when, in 1988, she had a pioneering heartlung transplant in America.

She was given the organs of an 18-year-old boy who had been killed in a motorcycle accident near his home in Maine.

Claire, a former professional dancer, then made an astonishing discovery: she seemed to be acquiring the characteristics, and cravings, of the donor.

Read more.

New anti-terror weapon: Hand-held lie detector

The Defense Department says the portable device isn't perfect, but is accurate enough to save American lives by screening local police officers, interpreters and allied forces for access to U.S. military bases, and by helping narrow the list of suspects after a roadside bombing. The device has already been tried in Iraq and is expected to be deployed there as well. “We're not promising perfection — we've been very careful in that,” said Donald Krapohl, special assistant to the director at the Defense Academy for Credibility Assessment, the midwife for the new device. “What we are promising is that, if it's properly used, it will improve over what they are currently doing.”

Make note of the phrase "if it's properly used".

Read more.

April 8, 2008

Los Angeles considers global warming tax

To fight global warming, a bill in Sacramento would enable Los Angeles
County transit officials to increase taxes on motorists. It's a bad
idea that may foreshadow even worse to come.

What bullshit.

We all knew this was coming.

Still pissed off about it.

Read more.

April 7, 2008

Solar System's 'look-alike' found

Martin Dominik, from St Andrews University in the UK, said the finding
suggested systems like our own could be much more common than we

And he told a major meeting that astronomers were on the brink of finding many more of them.

Read more.

Archaeologists unearth 35,000-year-old tools in Australia

While the archaeologists hailed the find as one of the oldest inhabited sites uncovered so far in Australia, one local Aboriginal elder saw it as vindication of what his people have said all along -- that they have inhabited this land for tens of thousands of years.

Read more.

What Do We Stand For?

Americans traditionally thought of their country as a "city upon a hill," a "light unto the world." Today only the deluded think that. Polls show that the rest of the world regards the United States and Israel as the two greatest threats to peace.

This is not surprising. In the words of Arthur Silber: "The Bush administration has announced to the world, and to all Americans, that this is what the United States now stands for: a vicious determination to dominate the world, criminal, genocidal wars of aggression, torture, and an increasingly brutal and brutalizing authoritarian state at home. That is what we stand for."

Addressing his fellow Americans, Silber asks the paramount question, "Why do you support" these horrors?

Read more.

Rabbi Eliyahu: Life of one yeshiva boy worth more than 1,000 Arabs

We do not seek vengeance, we seek retaliation. The terrorist's house should have been demolished immediately, regardless of the law.

What a fucked up world we live in.

Read more.

April 6, 2008

Blood test that gives 'a six-year early warning' of Alzheimer's

The test will allow doctors to alert those at risk of developing the conditions, and advise them of lifestyle changes such as improvements to their diet or more exercise.

It could also allow earlier treatment with drugs which slow the progress of the diseases.

But the breakthrough has raised fears that insurance companies could force people to undergo the check - and raise premiums for those deemed at risk.

Read more.

New evidence of earliest North Americans

New evidence shows humans lived in North America more than 14,000 years ago, 1,000 years earlier than had previously been known. Discovered in a cave in Oregon, fossil feces yielded DNA indicating these early residents were related to people living in Siberia and East Asia, according to a report in Thursday's online edition of the journal Science.

Read more.

Sex and Financial Risk Linked in Brain

Stanford psychologist Brian Knutson, a lead author of the study, says it's all about the power of emotion and arousal and our financial decisions. The trigger doesn't have to be sex - it could be chocolate or a winning lottery ticket.

"It didn't matter if the sexy woman didn't tell you anything about the odds of winning a roulette game," Knutson said. "What really matters is that the sexy woman is having an emotional impact. That bleeds over into your financial decisions."

Read more.

Researchers Cram 20-Second Clarinet Solo into Sub-Kilobyte File

A quest by researchers at the University of Rochester resulted in a 20-second clarinet solo being compressed into less than a single kilobyte of data -- nearly 1,000 times smaller than a standard MP3 representing the same audio.

Read more.

Muslim is spared a speeding ban so he can drive between his two wives

His lawyer told a Scottish court the Muslim restaurant owner has one wife in Motherwell and another in Glasgow - he is allowed up to four under his religion - and sleeps with them on alternate nights.

Wow! With religion, you can get away with just about anything!

Read more.

Algae: 'The ultimate in renewable energy'

"We are a giant solar collecting system. We get the bulk of our energy from the sunshine," said Kertz.

Algae are among the fastest growing plants in the world, and about 50 percent of their weight is oil. That lipid oil can be used to make biodiesel for cars, trucks, and airplanes.


Kertz said he can produce about 100,000 gallons of algae oil a year per acre, compared to about 30 gallons per acre from corn; 50 gallons from soybeans.

Read more.

Sonny Bono 'assassinated' by hitmen

The former agent, who has been researching Bono's accident for the past decade, said top officials linked to an international drug and weapons ring feared the singer-turned-politician was about to expose their crimes - so they had him killed on the slopes.

Bono, an experienced skiier, was ambushed on the slopes by hired hitmen, who beat him to death and then staged a tree collision, Mr Gunderson said.

Read more.

It Has Happened: I'm a 9/11 Truther; A New Investigation, Broad Amnesty, and Forgiveness

The biggest problem with the 9/11 Truth Movement is where it leads: a place dark and evil beyond imagination. Even if deep down you believed it was an inside job, you would need to deny it.

So when hundreds of American military officers, pilots, engineers, and CIA veterans stepped forward to say they believed the official story to be a monstrous lie, I was shaken to the core.

Read more.

Mexico reconquers California? Absolut drinks to that!

The billboard and press campaign, created by advertising agency Teran\TBWA and now running in Mexico, is a colorful map depicting what the Americas might look like in an "Absolut" -- i.e., perfect -- world.

Read more.

Coming soon: superfast internet

THE internet could soon be made obsolete. The scientists who pioneered it have now built a lightning-fast replacement capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds.

At speeds about 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection, “the grid” will be able to send the entire Rolling Stones back catalogue from Britain to Japan in less than two seconds.

Read more.

Divorce, abortion an offence to God, pope says

"They are serious offences... which violate human dignity, inflict deep injustice on human and social relations and offend God himself, guarantor of conjugal peace and origin of life," he said.

Read more.

April 5, 2008

Food additives 'could be as damaging as lead in petrol'

Artificial food colours are set to be removed from hundreds of products after a team of university researchers warned they were doing as much damage to children's brains as lead in petrol.

Read more.

'Ruthlessness gene' discovered

Selfish dictators may owe their behaviour partly to their genes, according to a study that claims to have found a genetic link to ruthlessness. The study might help to explain the money-grabbing tendencies of those with a Machiavellian streak — from national dictators down to 'little Hitlers' found in workplaces the world over.

Read more.

April 4, 2008

The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ

Despite all of this literature continuously being cranked out and the significance of the issue, in the public at large there is a serious lack of formal and broad education regarding religion and mythology, and most individuals are highly uninformed in this area. Concerning the issue of Christianity, for example, the majority of people are taught in most schools and churches that Jesus Christ was an actual historical figure and that the only controversy regarding him is that some people accept him as the Son of God and the Messiah, while others do not. However, whereas this is the raging debate most evident in this field today, it is not the most important. Shocking as it may seem to the general populace, the most enduring and profound controversy in this subject is whether or not a person named Jesus Christ ever really existed.

Read more.

Straight or gay? U.S. court says Web site can't ask

A roommate-finding site cannot require users to disclose their sexual orientation, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Thursday, in the latest skirmish over whether anti-discrimination rules apply to the Web.

Read more.

Global warming 'dips this year'

This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory.

But experts say we are still clearly in a long-term warming trend - and they forecast a new record high temperature within five years.

Read more.

April 3, 2008

Weak Economy Sours Public’s View of Future, New Poll Finds

In the poll, 81 percent of respondents said they believed that
“things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track,” up from
69 percent a year ago and 35 percent in early 2003.

Although the public mood has been darkening since the early days of
the war in Iraq, it has taken a new turn for the worse in the last few
months, as the economy has seemed to slip into recession. There is now
nearly a national consensus that the country faces significant


The dissatisfaction is especially striking because public opinion
usually hits its low point only in the months and years after an
economic downturn, not at the beginning of one. Today, however,
Americans report being deeply worried about the country even though
many say their own personal finances are still in fairly good shape.

Read more.

Computer software can judge physical attractiveness

Some may say that Artificial Intelligence has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years, but perhaps a very practical use for this has been discovered by a group of Tel Aviv University students. They have combined pinpointing software with physiological research. Amit Kagian, the program’s developer explained, “Coordinates are used for calculating geometric features and asymmetry”.

Read more.

HIV-AIDS was created with the use of Gay men as targets for Eugenic experiments suggests U.S. doctor

There is no doubt that AIDS erupted in the U.S. shortly after government-sponsored hepatitis B vaccine experiments (1978-1981) using gay men as guinea pigs. The epidemic was caused by the "introduction" of a new retrovirus (the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV for short); and the introduction of a new herpes-8 virus, the virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma, widely known as the "gay cancer" of AIDS. The taboo theory that AIDS is a man-made disease is largely based on research showing an intimate connection between government vaccine experiments and the outbreak of "the gay plague"

The widely accepted theory is that HIV/AIDS originated in a monkey or chimpanzee virus that "jumped species" in Africa. However, it is clear that the first AIDS cases were recorded in gay men in Manhattan in 1979, a few years before the epidemic was first noticed in Africa in 1982. It is now claimed that the human herpes-8 virus (also called the KS virus), discovered in 1994, also originated when a primate herpes virus jumped species in Africa. How two African species-jumping viruses ended up exclusively in gay men in Manhattan beginning in the late 1970s has never been satisfactorily explained.

Researchers who claim AIDS is a man-made disease believe it is much more likely that these two primate viruses were introduced and spread during the government's recruitment of thousands of male homosexuals beginning in 1974.

Read more.

No benefit in drinking eight glasses of water a day, scientists say

Scientists say there is no evidence drinking large amounts of water is beneficial for the average healthy person, and do not even know how this widely held belief came about.

I wonder if this idea is being floated to the public because supposedly the planet is running out of fresh water.

Just a thought for this Thursday morning.

Read more.

Comcast offers super-fast Internet speeds

Comcast Corp. the largest U.S. cable television operator, said on Wednesday it has started offering a super-fast Internet service that allows customers to download a high-definition movie in 10 minutes.

The new premium service was launched in the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis-St. Paul, and marks a leap in connection speeds for Comcast. The new service offers speeds starting at 50 megabits per second, compared with the previous fastest connection speeds of 16 mb per second.

Read more.

ACLU: Military skirting law to spy

The military is using the FBI to skirt legal restrictions on domestic surveillance to obtain private records of Americans' Internet service providers, financial institutions and telephone companies, the ACLU said Tuesday.

Read more, but know the military knows you're reading more.

April 2, 2008

The underemployment rate is rising

Don't be fooled by the relatively low 4.8% unemployment rate. Other measures, such as the number of people only working part-time, are a sign of recession.

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Hersh: children raped at Abu Ghraib, Pentagon has videos

" Some of the worst things that happened you don't know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib ... The women were passing messages out saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened' and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."

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Pentagon: Colleges must hand over names

Under rules that will take effect April 28, defense officials said they want the exact same access to student directories that is provided to all other prospective employers.

Students can opt out of having their information turned over to the military only if they opt out of having their information provided to all other recruiters, but schools cannot have policies that exclude only the military, defense officials said in a March 28 notice of the new policy in the Federal Register.

What crap.

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Iraq war shows limits of US power

More importantly, the war has shown the limits of American power. It is clear the United States can only manage to fight two small wars at a time.

Iraq and Afghanistan have stretched the US armed forces almost to breaking point. America after the invasion of Iraq is no longer the superpower it was before.

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Thirty-Six U.S. States to Face Water Shortages in the Next Five Years

Even with such measures, the forecast is not expected to improve. "Unfortunately, there's just not going to be any more cheap water," said Randy Brown, utilities director for Pompano Beach, Fla.

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April 1, 2008

Rapists in the ranks

The stories are shocking in their simplicity and brutality: A female
military recruit is pinned down at knifepoint and raped repeatedly in
her own barracks. Her attackers hid their faces but she identified them
by their uniforms; they were her fellow soldiers. During a routine
gynecological exam, a female soldier is attacked and raped by her
military physician. Yet another young soldier, still adapting to life
in a war zone, is raped by her commanding officer. Afraid for her
standing in her unit, she feels she has nowhere to turn.

are true stories, and, sadly, not isolated incidents. Women serving in
the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than
killed by enemy fire in Iraq.

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