Friday, August 27, 2010

Shane Alexander & Jason Vantress Shoplift During 'Shop With a Cop' Day - Seattle News - The Daily Weekly

From our partners at True Crime Report comes this tale of border-state boneheadedness. Shane Alexander, 20, and Jason Vantress, 30,...

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Berlin 'cannibal' restaurant calls for diners to donate body parts for menu - Telegraph

A new restaurant in Germany has advertised for humans to donate body parts for the menu.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Are the offspring of therapists really more screwed up than the children of non-shrinks? - By Jessica Grose - Slate Magazine

Whenever Micah Toub tells acquaintances that his parents are both psychologists, they say something along the lines of "But you're so well-adjusted." That stock response is familiar to anyone who has a shrink for a parent—myself included. As Toub writes in

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

'I don't like British people’ says Japanese politician - Telegraph

Ichiro Ozawa, a politican tipped as a future Japanese prime minister has declared Americans are simple-minded and the British are not very likeable.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

U.S. Forgoes Salmonella Vaccine for Egg Safety -

British farmers virtually wiped out salmonella in eggs by vaccinating hens, but American regulators decided not to mandate the precaution.

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PHmF5.jpg (5500×1299)

Check out this website I found at

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Tyler Patrick Thomas, Oregon State Lineman, Found NUDE In Stranger's Home

CORVALLIS, Ore. รข€” An Oregon State University offensive lineman has been dismissed from the team after police say they found him naked and intoxicated in a stranger's home and had to use stun guns to take him into custody. Corvallis police say they received the call about a naked intruder early Sunday.

I love living in Oregon, because he was found nude without rape, so this is just Crazy Town, not Rape Town.

Posted via email from rakista's posterous Rabbi Who Endorsed Book Permitting Murder Of Arab Babies Says "Nigger" Music Not Kosher

Music can get contaminated. Experts will investigate and see if the tune is 'kosher,' if it expresses an aspiration to goodness, or if it is taken from the jungle and stimulates negative emotions. With pop, you can see clearly that...

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Photo Tampering Throughout History

Photography lost its innocence many years ago. Only a few decades after Niepce created the first photograph in 1814, photographs were already being manipulated. With the advent of high-resolution digital cameras, powerful personal computers and sophisticated photo-editing software, the manipulation of photos is becoming more common. Here, I have collected some examples of photo tampering throughout history. To help contend with the implications of this tampering, we have developed a series of tools for detecting traces of photo tampering.

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Photo Tampering Throughout History

Photography lost its innocence many years ago. Only a few decades after Niepce created the first photograph in 1814, photographs were already being manipulated. With the advent of high-resolution digital cameras, powerful personal computers and sophisticated photo-editing software, the manipulation of photos is becoming more common. Here, I have collected some examples of photo tampering throughout history. To help contend with the implications of this tampering, we have developed a series of tools for detecting traces of photo tampering.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Texas: War Veterans/Military Family Members Successfully Blockade Fort Hood Deployment to Iraq - Infoshop News

Aug. 23, 2010 (KILLEEN, TX) - Five peace activists successfully blockaded six buses carrying Fort Hood Soldiers deploying to Iraq outside Fort Hood's Clarke gate this morning at around 4 a.m. While the activists took the width of Clarke Rd. and slowed the buses to a halt, police made no arrests, but instead beat the activists out of the streets using automatic weapons and police dogs so the deploying Soldiers could proceed.

War Veterans/Military Family Members Successfully Blockade Fort Hood Deployment to Iraq

Aug. 23, 2010 (KILLEEN, TX) - Five peace activists successfully blockaded six buses carrying Fort Hood Soldiers deploying to Iraq outside Fort Hood's Clarke gate this morning at around 4 a.m. While the activists took the width of Clarke Rd. and slowed the buses to a halt, police made no arrests, but instead beat the activists out of the streets using automatic weapons and police dogs so the deploying Soldiers could proceed.

 Among those blockading were three veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and one military spouse. (See attached bios) The action, organized by a group calling themselves "Fort Hood Disobeys," was aimed at preventing the deployment of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Soldiers to what the veterans termed an illegal and immoral occupation.

 While standing in the street, the activists held banners reading "Occupation is a Crime" and "Please Don't Make the Same Mistake We Did. RESIST NOW." From the TX HW-190 overpass, additional supporters attempted to hang larger banners that read, "Tell the Brass: 'KISS MY ASS' Your family needs you more" "Sick of Fighting Your Wars" and "Col. Allen [3 ACR Commander]: Do not deploy wounded Soldiers."

 This latest deployment comes less than two weeks after President Obama announced the second end to combat operations in Iraq. FHD organizers denounced this as a lie, and pointed to the deployment of the 3rd ACR, a combat regiment, to Iraq as clear proof. They have stated they will continue to organize direct action in the Fort Hood community to oppose the wars as long as troops continue to deploy.

 The action organizers have established a website at where they will be posting statements, photographs and video from the actions as they become available during the next 48 hours. As well, for the length of the day, FHD ran live webcasts updating their supporters and depicting portions of the direct action. All live broadcasts from the day are archived at

 For more information or to arrange coverage of today's events, call 347-613-8964 or write to See attached bios for more information on those who participated in today's action.

 ------------------Participant Bios:------------------------

 I am Bobby Whittenberg-James, a Marine veteran of the war against the people of Iraq, a Purple Heart recipient and a third generation military service member. I joined the Marines in June of 2003, believing the lies about weapons of mass destruction and an imminent threat to our safety. I have since come to learn that these wars and occupations do not keep the people of the United States or the Middle East safe, but instead serve the interests of politicians, capitalists and corporations; the ruling elite.

 These unjust wars and occupations rob the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen of their dignity and their right to self-determination and serve to make the people of both the Middle East and the United States less safe. They also serve to further destabilize a region that has suffered under the boot-heel of western colonialism for over a century. The US Empire also supports both financially and militarily the brutal apartheid regime that occupies Palestine. All of this is done in our name with our money, and I am here to say "Not in my name!"

 The recent information leaks about the US Empire's wars lay bare their war crimes and crimes against humanity. We must face the truth, even if it makes us uncomfortable or shows us something about ourselves that we don't want to see. When we find the truth, we must respond accordingly. I will not be complicit in the killing of people. Since I do not believe that the government or the capitalists will end these wars, I will vote with my body.

Bobby Whittenberg-James



I am Crystal Colon. I was a sergeant in the Army for five years, stationed at Fort Hood the entire time, save two deployments to Iraq totaling 26 months. I was a Signal Support Systems Noncommissioned Officer, coordinating communications for various commands. I was honorably discharged in Jan., 2010, and have been organizing in the veterans peace movement ever since.

 I first began to question the war in Iraq during my first deployment in '05-'06. After my friend Robbie was killed, I was very deeply affected. I started questioning why we were in Iraq. It felt like he had died for nothing. After returning from Iraq, I planned to leave the military. I was stop-lossed and forced to return to Iraq for 15 months, in total held beyond the length of my enlistment more than 450 days. Since leaving the military, I have been active with the veterans peace movement, speaking out about my experiences and supporting troops who refuse to fight.

 I am doing this today because I can't allow this war in which I have fought to continue. I can't allow other Soldiers to make the same mistake I did, deploying in support of a war crime. As a veteran of Iraq, how could I not do this today? For the people I helped occupy, for the friends I lost and stilI have over there, for the Soldiers on those buses. How could I not do this today? I should have disobeyed. I should have never boarded those buses to Iraq. I wish someone had tried to stop me.

 Crystal Colon



 I am Matthis Chiroux, former Army sergeant and War Resister. I was press-ganged into the Army by the Alabama Juvenile "Justice" System in 2002. While in the military, I occupied the nations of Japan and Germany for more than four years, with shorter tours in the Philippines and Afghanistan. I was a Public Affairs Noncommissioned Officer specializing in strategic communications. In reality, I was a propaganda artist. I was discharged honorably to the Individual Ready Reserve in 2007.

While I have always been against the war in Iraq, I began resisting it actively in 2008, after I received mobilization orders for a year-long deployment to Iraq. I refused those orders in Congress in May of 2008, calling my orders illegal and unconstitutional. I believed appealing to Congress would end the war. When 13 Members signed a letter of support for my decision and sent it to Bush, I thought we had won a victory for peace. This was more than two years ago. The president has changed, and the wars and destruction drag on.

 Today, I am blocking the deployment of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment with my fellow vets and military family members because the wars will continue to victimize our communities until we halt this bloody machine from within. I am putting my body on the line in solidarity with the people of the Middle East, whose bodies have been shot, burned, tortured, raped and violated by our men and women in and out of uniform. I cannot willfully allow Americans in uniform to put their lives and the lives of Iraqis in jeopardy for a crime. We are here because we have a responsibility to ourselves as veterans and as humans of the world. I will not rest until my people, ALL PEOPLE, are free.

 In Struggle and Solidarity,

 Matthis Chiroux



 I am Cynthia Thomas, and I have been an Army Wife for 18 years. My husband has been deployed three times since the wars began. During his second deployment, he was severely wounded and medevaced to Walter Reed Army Hospital on Life Support. Even though he had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, suffered three fractures in his back, three fractures on his pelvis and countless other injuries, the Army deployed him a third time. This was devastating to our two daughters, our step-son and to me.

 Three months after my husband deployed for the third time, our step-son called to inform me he was joining the Marines. That was the exact moment I realized that our children would be fighting these endless wars. I decided that I needed to start resisting.

 The reason I am doing this today is because for the past 3 years that I have been speaking out and advocating for Soldiers, things have only gotten worse. I have heard countless stories from Vets and Active Duty Soldiers that give people nightmares. I have heard stories from family members that would shock people awake if they would just listen! Our military community is being destroyed!

 If these wars are destroying our Soldiers and military families with 12 to 15-month, often repeat deployments, how do you think the Iraqi and Afghan people doing? They have been living these wars 24/7, 365 days a year for nearly a decade! My youngest daughter is an Operation Iraqi Freedom baby. She was less than one-year-old when her father left to invade Iraq. I look at her, and I see an Iraqi or Afghan child having to live in constant fear with no end in sight! I am doing this for our community, for my girls, for my husband and our Marine. I am doing this for the Iraqi and Afghan People. Enough is enough. If Soldiers really want to go fight, they'll have to go through me.

 Cynthia Thomas


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The billionaire Koch brothers’ war against Obama : The New Yorker

A REPORTER AT LARGE about billionaire libertarians Charles and David Koch and their funding of think tanks, grassroots groups, and other organizations that oppose the Obama Administration’s policies. With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas…

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Michael B. Laskoff: ADHD Entrepreneurs

Starting a new business is ridiculously hard. So why would any sane individual set out on this sort of quixotic journey? Some will tell you it's for love or passion, but I think that people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) do it out of necessity.

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China tries in vain to keep bellies buttoned up - Los Angeles Times

In the sweltering heat of summer, when the refreshing breezes desert the city, Hu Lianqun absent-mindedly reaches for a solution: He rolls up his shirt to expose his belly, often fanning himself

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Behold the BK Whopper Bar Featuring the NY Pizza Burger : Fast Food : Eater National

[Photos:] In the hurly-burly neon buffet of Times Square signage, the new BK Whopper Bar is relatively understated. The Subway sign, for instance, has a lot of flashy lights....

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

YouTube - Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury

A sexy pop music video about the science fiction author, Ray Bradbury.

Starring: Rachel Bloom
Writer: Rachel Bloom
Arranger: Jack Dolgen
Director/Editor: Paul Br...

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Green Tea Kit Kat | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

My girlfriend goes to Hawaii to visit family. While she is there she picks these up. They are awesome!! Green Tea Kit Kat? Yes please! Why is it that everything Japanese is so great?! Including my girlfriend ;)

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How to Make Justin Bieber Sound Incredible: Slow Him Down 800 Percent

You totally hate Justin Bieber, right, because you're a rebel, or whatever? That's just because you haven't listened to Bieber slowed down 800 percent. Now his new single "U Smile" is a 30-minute epic. And it sounds awesome. No, really.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thieves use breasts to distract victim - Telegraph

Did you ditch the TV? Watch out for the neighbors. -

Why trashing the TV and other acts of frugality often create a backlash from friends and neighbors.

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Dr. Laura's Rant on Race Begs the Question: Just Who Needs a Doctor?

Professional to professional, Dr. Laura, let Dr. Mary explain why, as offensive as it was, saying the N-word is the least of your problems.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

I.H.T. Op-Ed Contributor - Collateral Damage Control -

Collateral damage may be increasing in international wars in part because of the absence of clear-cut rules.

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Nervous System | Xylem | cluster pendant

Nervous System creates experimental jewelry, combining nontraditional materials like silicone rubber and stainless steel with rapid prototyping methods. We find inspiration in complex patterns generated by computation and nature.

Great Stuff, I want some!

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Suspected Israeli serial killer arrested in U.S. - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Elias Abuelazam, alleged to have committed a series of stabbings in three U.S. states, was arrested in Atlanta as he tried to board a Delta flight to Tel Aviv.

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Is firing (a lot of) teachers the only way to improve public schools? - By Ray Fisman - Slate Magazine

In 1983, a presidential commission issued the landmark report " A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform." The report warned that despite an increase in spending, the public education system was at risk of failure "If an unfriendly foreign p

Posted via email from rakista's posterous || Gambling on grades online

College grades can pay off

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Report: 8 percent of U.S. newborns have undocumented parents -

One of about every 12 babies born in the United States in 2008 was the offspring of unauthorized immigrants, a Pew Hispanic Center study released Wednesday concluded.

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Building muscle doesn't require lifting heavy weights: study

A new study shows that building muscle depends on achieving muscle fatigue not on pumping heavy weights as previously believed.

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Swedish motorist facing world's biggest speeding fine - Telegraph

A Swedish motorist is facing the world's biggest ever speeding fine of £650,000 after being caught driving at 180mph on a Swiss motorway.

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Newt Gingrich Profile - Esquire Story on Newt Gingrich - Esquire

Read the Newt Gingrich Esquire profile that everyone is talking about — the ex-wife, the money trail, and much more

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The Rude Pundit

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BBC News - Woman starts fight over chicken nuggets

A customer was so frustrated that she couldn't order chicken nuggets that she attacked the member of staff.

They need to start putting sedatives in the food or they are going to have ketchup running in the streets I tells ya!

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Monday, August 9, 2010

JetBlue Flight Attendant Grabbed Two Beers Before Fleeing Onboard Scuffle -- Daily Intel

Because why not?

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Fishing: The Purity and the Predation - Room for Debate -

In the right conditions, in the right place, for the right reasons, fish are food.

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Slashdot Idle Story | Study Says Your Personality Doesn't Change After 1st Grade

A study authored by Christopher Nave, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, says that our personalities stay pretty the same from early childhood all the way through old age. From the article: "Using data from a 1960s study of approximately 2,400 ethnically diverse schoolchildren (gr...

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With Many Still Starving, India Rethinks Its Safety Net -

India is debating whether to dismantle an inefficient, decades-old food distribution system and try something radical.

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k-punk: "No I've never had a job ..."

"No I've never had a job ..."


I should have pointed out that Ivor Southwood has his own blog: here he is on the Fairy Jobmother; and here's Digital Ben with more on the same theme. Ben's post is, in the best possible way, sad. The key line is Why can everyone else do it and not me? When I was unemployed, I was convinced that an absolute ontological gulf separated me from Work. Work - which, like "being in a relationship" - would automatically confer on me the status of being a Real Person. But the horrific irony was that one couldn't achieve this status. You couldn't become a Real Person by getting a job. It was the other way round: only Real People could get work. Being unemployed wasn't a cause of shame; rather the sense of shame which I carried around as if it was the core of my being was what prevented me getting a job. So my job applications and interviews had an air of total hopelessness about them. I know there's no way you would give the job to an insect like me, and we both know I couldn't do it even if by some miracle you offered it to me, but ... It took me years to realise that job interviews were a ritualized exchange where the point was to determine whether you knew what the right communicative etiqutte was, and that telling the truth made you some weirdo. Surely even those who have not been in the Castle know that one doesn't behave like that ...

Being a postgraduate student was little better than being unemployed - not least because it was regarded (by me as much as anyone else) as a way of avoiding work. (A friend once remarked that, in most circles in Britain, it would be less shameful to confess to being a drug addict than to admit you were a postgraduate student in an arts subject.) But I only "avoided work" because I didn't think I could do it. Ben writes:

    I can�t quite make up my mind whether this missing quality is a ruling-class privilege (for which see the discussions collected
here a few years back), or more of a stereotypical working class thing - hustle, graft, with its suggestions of not-entirely-legitimate activity. Perhaps it�s something possessed by people at both ends, but lost by those inbetween? Rather like the ridiculous etiquette books of early Victorian times - real aristocrats didn�t worry about that type of thing, they just did what the hell they pleased (knowing that they were immovably established and that being seen using the wrong kind of spoon wasn�t going to affect them at all). Only the upwardly mobile bourgeoisie cooked up these arcane rules and customs to try and monopolise the road up and discreetly kick the bulk of the population off the ladder.

For me, it was absolutely a question of being projected into a space between classes. When I did work in factories, I was either pitied or pilloried. Every job seemed impossible: manual work because of my feckless diliatoriness, graduate jobs because, well, I wasn't the sort of person who could do them. Me, a teacher, a journalist or a lawyer - surely not.

Is there anyone who has caught the agony of this state of worklessness better than Morrissey? The useless jouissance of refusing what was anyway impossible: "No I've never had a job/ because I've never really wanted one" "No, I've never had a job because I'm too shy" ... I do sometimes think that the implicit political position in those handful of early Smiths songs was one of the most powerful of the 80s. Singing "England is mine and it owes me a living" at the time of 3 million unemployed and the Miners Strike ... Rejecting the masculine destiny of Fordist worker at the very moment when that destiny was being denied to the working class ("No, we cannot cling to the old dreams any more") ... Rejecting, that is to say, all of those working class homilies about the dignity of labour ... If there was a militant dysphoria in Morrissey it was here ... and the dysphoria was absolutely integral to the militancy: incapacity as refusal. Failure as negative capability. I'd rather be me miserable and shy than a successful communicative capitalist ... All of this when the Wildean defiance was shaped by gaucheness and awkwardness, rather than staged as a pomo panto turn. "There are brighter sides to life/ and I should because I've seen them/ but not very often". The "but not very often" is the genius touch, of course. Without that, the gesture of refusal could seem like empty breastbeating; it would just be the swagger of "Wham Rap"... With it, there is just enough suggestion of other worlds, other ways of being, which no-one in the current state of things has more access to than the unemployed dysphoric ... And no-one sees the Total System of capital - the way that work, sexual relationships, commodities all intermesh and entail one another - no-one sees that more clearly than the person excluded from work ....

Morrissey represented the desire for a proletarian bomemia at the moment when - after the 60s, after glam, after punk and post-punk - that possibility was being closed down. There's an excellent chapter in Jim McGuigan's excellent Cool Capitalism about the history of bohemia, which McGuigan connects with Marcuse's concept of art as the Great Refusal. It seems to me that the installation of business ontology over the last thirty years has centrally involved the defeat of bohemia: art schools returning to largely being places for the privileged; the reduction of the print music press to Indie Smash Hits; TV becoming populist trash or middlebrow mediocrity. The business culture of "selling yourself" (which I, like every right thinking person still regard as the height of vulgarity) has engendered the mandatory, seamless positivity that Ben and Ivor talk about: the Great Acceptance, as opposed to the Great Refusal. The aspiration to enter into bohemia was always the wrong kind of ambition from the perspective of a certain working class way of thinking. Still is ... many members of my family have never encouraged me to write, and continue to regard it as a "hobby", doing everything they can to put pressure on me to get "proper work" ... Contrast this with the bourgeois kids doing unpaid internships for years on end ...

Posted by mark at August 6, 2010 11:12 PM | TrackBack

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dangerous Minds | Good shit: Pulp Fiction dubbed by Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse

  Brilliant! “English, motherf*cker! Do you speak it?!” (via TDW)

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Prop 8 Decision and Ground Zero's Mosque Controversy: Who Loses? - The Daily Beast

Reihan Salam on how the Prop 8 ruling and the mosque controversy in New York cast a group of Americans straight out of polite society.

Posted via email from rakista's posterous – Online Idiom Dictionary Easy-to-use free idiom dictionary with over 5,000 idioms and phrases explained. A concise, clear, and comprehensive explanation of all commonly used idioms.

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

New Statesman - Blair must be arrested

Having helped destroy other nations far away, our former prime minister — “peace envoy” to the Middle East — is now free to profit from the useful contacts he made while working as a “servant of the people”.

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Army Chaplain Tries to Cure PTSD With Jesus | World | AlterNet

A top army chaplain has published his prescription for PTSD: Jesus. His actions may be unconstitutional -- and dangerous to soldiers.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Government accused of 'promoting privatisation' of NHS | Society |

Angry response from unions after sell-off plans announced for agency providing thousands of health workers

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7-Year-Old Lemonade Stand Owner Gets Shut Down | The Stir

Rules are rules, kiddo, and it's about time you learned them! Which is what I'm speculating the government inspector in Portland, Oregon, sa...

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Massive Censorship Of Digg Uncovered « OOO

YouTube - Basil Marceaux for TN Governor OFFICIAL CAMPAIN AD

This is the official campaign ad for Basil Marceaux's 2010 bid for the Tennessee Governor seat. Filmed on Capitol Hill, Nashville TN

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BBC News - Ancient 'cat-like' crocodile had bite like a mammal

Palaeontologists working in Tanzania unearth fossils of a tiny ancient crocodile-like creature with unusual, mammal-like teeth.

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After being called out for adding a white nationalist tweet to his favorites, Beck deletes his entire list.

After being called out for adding a white nationalist tweet to his favorites, Beck deletes his entire list.

The site noticed that, recently, Fox News host Glenn Beck added a tweet by @MalevoFreedom to his list of favorites on Twitter. Others included one by @owillis (which was retweeted by @jaketapper) wishing his mother a happy father’s day, and another by @agentrevolt about how President Obama is paying more attention to baseball than “ACORN atrocities.” The @MalevoFreedom one was troubling, however, because the user writes in its bio, “White Nationalist News And Forum.” The tweet that Beck added as a favorite promoted white pride:

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I Was Almost a Chinese Dating-Show Star - By Benjamin Haas | Foreign Policy

Several times a day I hear the theme song from If You Are the One, the hit Chinese dating show, blaring from my co-worker's cell phone: It's an embarrassing techno mix with a man's voice wailing, "Can you feeeeel it?!" But what really makes me cringe is something else. It's not the show's blatant materialism, or the Chinese government's aversion to the program. It's the fact that I was once a contestant on the show. A film crew visited my home and recorded an episode for the dating show at Jiangsu Satellite Television in Nanjing. But almost no one but me knows about this bizarre episode, because when it came time for my segment to air, my portion was cut out, censored, or as we say in China, "harmonized."


If You Are the One premiered in January and has since become a national phenomenon. The format is copied from the British dating show Take Me Out. The Chinese version is in your face about money; male contestants will frequently show off their bank statements and luxury cars in an effort to woo interest from a parade of 24 women, who will either pass on them or vie for a date. One memorable female contestant, Ma Nuo, was once asked by a guy if she would like to go on a date with him and ride on the back of his bicycle; she famously responded, "I'd rather cry in the back of a BMW." She has since been banned from appearing on television.

The show's popularity has also been a curse. As ratings went up, so did government scrutiny. In China, popularity and influence go hand in hand, and that makes the government nervous. Previously, a drama discussing topics like China's spiraling real-estate prices and local-government corruption, Wo Ju ("Dwelling Narrowness"), was taken off the air midway through the first season after it began to attract a large following. Or, as the director of If You Are the One told me, "You can say whatever you want in China, as long as you're not influential. The government doesn't care what you say if no one is listening." But if someone is listening, it's a different story.

About two months ago, I applied to be on the show. My Chinese co-worker thought the novelty of being a foreigner would give me a leg up, and he was right. A week later I got a call from the director.

When I arrived at the station, I entered the meeting room and was greeted with familiar signs of China, despite the modern-looking building: A group of men gathered in the corner were chain-smoking, another group of playing games on their cell phones. The director's first words to me were a reminder of what I couldn't say. "You can't talk about religion on TV," she said. "China is an officially atheist country, so there is no mention of religion on TV or radio." She also told me I couldn't mention television shows that had been banned, or other potentially controversial topics.

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The Emerging Scholarly Brain. (arXiv:1008.0826v1 [physics.soc-ph])

Check out this website I found at

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Guardian Angels Founder Curtis Sliwa Puts Us in Sicilian Handcuffs | What's New at Big Think | Big Think


Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa says, despite what the brainiacs from the ivy league say, citizen's arrests are not vigilante acts.  In fact, he insists that they have been "embedded into the fabric of law since the Magna Carta." In 1979, Sliwa created the Guardian Angels, a volunteer neighborhood patrol, at a time when New York was practically lawless. In the subsequent 31 years, the Guardian Angels haven't been sued once even though they've made thousands of interventions in over 140 cities around the globe.

The ambiguous legality of citizen's arrests notwithstanding, Sliwa spent much of his Big Think interview teaching us how to take the law into our own hands in the name of Good Samaritanism. Like a "Chinese menu," he offered three different scenarios to choose from, depending on the seriousness of the situation.  If you're up against a "real nebbish" who "probably does yoga," the amount of physical force you'll need to exert is minimal, Sliwa told us. But if the perpetrator is looking to put up a fight, things may get more interesting, and Sliwa gave us some martial arts lessons that we won't soon forget. 

Aside from putting us in "Sicilian handcuffs," Sliwa talked about the problems that still plague our society. Though things are much better than they were 30 years ago, crime is still rampant, and the biggest contributor is dysfunction in the family, says Sliwa: "Dysfunction is what paralyses society.  It means people learn less.  They can’t function properly.  They can’t speak.  They can’t communicate.  They have anger management problems.  They develop necessities and desires to have drugs and alcohol to self medicate."

To combat this disfunction, Sliwa suggested some rather "draconian" measures: "You wouldn’t be able to get married in my society until you were 30.  I would put you in a gulag.  If you dare got married before 30 I’d think the furniture was upstairs and rearranged in the wrong rooms and if you decided to have kids I’m going to test you first...I'd want to test your parenting skills." 


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The anthropology of coffee - Boing Boing

Think Progress » Texas mosque and educational center vandalized with offensive graffiti and fire, causing $20,000 in damage.

A state afraid of its past - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

About two weeks ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed regulations restricting access to government archives. As Barak Ravid revealed yesterday in Haaretz, 50-year-old materials that were to be opened to the public for historical study will now remain classified for two more decades.

Jerusalem convent

The Jerusalem convent after the 1948 Independence War.

Photo by: Courtesy of Soeurs Reparatrices

The decision was preceded by intense pressure from the defense establishment and intelligence services on the state archivist, Prof. Yehoshua Freundlich. The archivist accepted their position, and said "these materials are not fit for public viewing."

The information that remains classified deals, among other things, with the expulsions and massacres of Arabs in the War of Independence, Mossad operations in foreign countries, surveillance of opposition politicians by the Shin Bet security service in the 1950s and the establishment of the Biological Research Institute in Nes Tziona and the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona.

The material was not accessible to the public previously, and the new regulations merely put a retroactive stamp of legality on the closure of the archives, which until now was sealed illegally. The state archivist warned that some of the classified materials "has implications over [Israel's] adherence to international law."

His words suggest that the state will be seen as an outlaw if the past deeds of the security and intelligence services are made public. But his explanations are not reasonable. Israel, which this year celebrated its 62nd birthday, can and must confront the less than heroic chapters in its past and reveal them to the public and for historical study. The public has a right to know about the decisions made by the state's founders, even if they involved violations of human rights, covering up crimes or harassing political opponents by security means. The country is mature and strong enough to absorb the criticism that could arise if, for example, previously unpublished testimonies are discovered about the events at Deir Yassin.

The role of the security establishment and intelligence services is to protect the state in the present, not to hide the past. The new regulations, prepared in response to petitions by journalists to the High Court of Justice, reverse the trend of openness set in the Freedom of Information Law, which the Supreme Court called "a guiding law." Israelis should study history as it happened and as it was documented, not just a censored and prettified version.

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Shared Frequencies

Check out this website I found at

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Dragon Age: Origins Is The First Game About Gay Marriage & The Power of Mods

Robert Yang, a video game design student, comments on a Dragon Age mod that enabled new dating options, including gay romance. We're republishing his account of what happened when he played it. There will be marked spoilers.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Finding Myself: 100+ Years of Gay Couples: Part One 1875-1955

The Top 5 Qualities of Productive Creatives (And How to Identify Them!) :: Tips :: The 99 Percent

Want to make ideas happen? Or hire someone who can? We shortlist the key traits for putting ideas into action, and tell you how to identify them.

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New Democratic strategy for creating jobs focuses on a boost in manufacturing

President Obama and congressional Democrats -- out of options for another quick shot of stimulus spending to revive the sluggish economy -- are shifting toward a longer-term strategy that promises to tackle persistently high unemployment by engineering a renaissance in American manufacturing.

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Six New Bizarre Ramune Sodas Soothe Thirsts, Shock Stomachs

Octopus Ball Soda, anyone? Ramune summer shocker sodas do their worst to keep up with the Joneses.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD — Peer-to-Peer Edition



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Sunday, August 1, 2010

5 Steps to Writing Successful Suspense (With Glenn Beck!) |

As some of you know, I've been running a growing book-publishing company out of my neighbor's shed for the best four years. So far, we've only focused on novels catered to one specific audience, but I'm

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Fury as Israel president claims English are 'anti-semitic' - Telegraph

Israel's president has accused the English of being anti-semitic and claimed that MPs pander to Muslim voters.

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TIME’s Epic Distortion of the Plight of Women in Afghanistan « SpeakEasy

Schneier on Security: Pork-Filled Counter-Islamic Bomb Device

Schneier on Security

A blog covering security and security technology.

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July 27, 2010

Pork-Filled Counter-Islamic Bomb Device

Okay, this is just weird:

Mark S. Price, a specialist in public security, and his privately held company, Paradise Lost Antiterrorism Network of America (, have recently applied to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a Utility Patent on their Suicide Bomb Deterrent, a security device designed, manufactured and distributed by PLAN-A. This device has been designed to warn and deter potential fanatical religious suicide bomb-wielding terrorists from otherwise detonating an explosive charge within close proximity of said device, to the intended end of successfully accomplishing its namesake purpose of Suicide Bomb Deterrent and the protecting and preserving of all life and property otherwise in mortal and destructive danger.

Reading the partial patent application on their minimal website, it appears to be a packet of pork product, combined with a big sign saying something like: "Warning. If you blow up a bomb right here, you'll get pork stuff all over you before you die -- which might be suboptimal from a religious point of view."

This appears to not be a joke.

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 12:33 PM69 Comments

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