How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Ring

Now that most of the major figures are dead, the truth is emerging about the systematic sexual abuse of children by members of the British government, reports Nico Hines at Daily Beast:

A newspaper editor was handed startling evidence that Britain’s top law enforcement official knew there was a VIP pedophile network in Westminster, at the heart of the British government. What happened next in the summer of 1984 helps to explain how shocking allegations of rape and murder against some of the country’s most powerful men went unchecked for decades.

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Thatcher’s Ministry meets Reagan’s cabinet in 1981.

 
Less than 24 hours after starting to inquire about the dossier presented to him by a senior Labour Party politician, the editor was confronted in his office by a furious member of parliament who threatened him and demanded the documents. “He was frothing at the mouth and really shouting and spitting in my face,” Don Hale told The Daily Beast.

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What that Black and Blue (or White and Gold) Dress Teaches us about our Over-Privileged Lives (Hint: It’s not what You Think)

Harlem Trash Ioan Sameli (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Harlem Trash
Ioan Sameli (CC BY-SA 2.0)

  1.  I’m sure that many (most?) Disinfonauts are familiar with this irrationally infamous Black and Blue dress. It was all over the interwebz for several days last week, to an extent that it was basically the only thing one could read about in certain corners of it. I’m sure many of you thought it was a waste of time. A trifling and trivial thing to devote so much energy on.

There are certainly a number of valid reasons for feeling as much. But I didn’t. I found the whole thing fascinating. Legitimately so. The situation roused a certain wonder within me that I don’t feel near enough these days. I found it incredible that people could look at the same exact picture and see two so wildly distinct and divergent things. Moreover, it was stupefying that most people saw the dress as white and gold when its real color was the less common sight of black and blue.… Read the rest

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Germ Line Engineering the Perfect Baby

Scientists are developing ways to edit the DNA of tomorrow’s children. Should they stop before it’s too late? asks Antonio Regalado for MIT Technology Review:

If anyone had devised a way to create a genetically engineered baby, I figured George Church would know about it.

A smiling baby.jpg

Photo: Kenny Louie (CC)

 

At his labyrinthine laboratory on the Harvard Medical School campus, you can find researchers giving E. Coli a novel genetic code never seen in nature. Around another bend, others are carrying out a plan to use DNA engineering to resurrect the woolly mammoth. His lab, Church likes to say, is the center of a new technological genesis—one in which man rebuilds creation to suit himself.

When I visited the lab last June, Church proposed that I speak to a young postdoctoral scientist named Luhan Yang, a Harvard recruit from Beijing who’d been a key player in developing a new, powerful technology for editing DNA called CRISPR-Cas9.

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War on Wildlife Crime – Time to Enlist the Ordinary Citizen

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Bradnee Chambers writes at Common Dreams:

It is no exaggeration to say that we are facing a “wildlife crisis”, and it is a crisis exacerbated by human activities, not least criminal ones.

Whatever our definition of wildlife crime, it is big business. In terms of annual turn-over it is up there narcotics, arms and human trafficking – and the proceeds run into billions of dollars each year, helping to finance criminal gangs and rebel organizations waging civil wars.

With seven billion people on the planet, it is tempting to shrug one’s shoulders and ask “What difference can any one individual make?”  Such an attitude means that we are in danger of repeating the “tragedy of the commons” – everyone making seemingly rational decisions in their own immediate interests – but this is a short-sighted approach that undermines the common good and ultimately sows the seeds of its own downfall.

With seven billion people on the planet, it is also tempting to say that people’s need for food, shelter and well-being should take precedence over nature conservation, but the two are not necessarily irreconcilable.  In fact far from it – the two often go hand in hand and are totally compatible – non-consumptive use of wildlife, such as whale-watching and safaris, provide sustainable livelihoods for thousands of people.

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Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

Shrine 93rd circus 2014 Paula Lively (CC BY 2.0)

Shrine 93rd circus 2014
Paula Lively (CC BY 2.0)

Tamara Lush via ABC News:

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus says the “Greatest Show on Earth” will go on without elephants.

Animal rights groups took credit for generating the public concern that forced the company to announce its pachyderm retirement plan on Thursday. But Ringling Bros.’ owners described it as the bittersweet result of years of internal family discussions.

“It was a decision 145 years in the making,” said Juliette Feld, referring to P.T. Barnum’s introduction of animals to his “traveling menagerie” in 1870. Elephants have symbolized this circus since Barnum brought an Asian elephant named Jumbo to America in 1882.

Kenneth Feld — whose father bought the circus in 1967 and who now runs Feld Enterprises Inc. with his three daughters — insisted that animal rights activists weren’t responsible.

“We’re not reacting to our critics; we’re creating the greatest resource for the preservation of the Asian elephant,” Kenneth Feld told The Associated Press as he broke the news that the last 13 performing elephants will retire by 2018, joining 29 other pachyderms at the company’s 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida.

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Marine Corps Veteran Questions “American Sniper” Movie-Goers

How does modern propaganda work? How effective is it? Adam blows these issues wide open with an incredible series of man on the street interviews. For the record, this was not a selective group, or even in a particularly conservative or pro-military area. The people you see in this video were the first seven people on the 3rd St Promenade in Santa Monica, California who answered yes to, “Did you see American Sniper? Do you think Chris Kyle is a hero? Would you like to do a quick interview for my YouTube channel?” I was simply seeking a good age and gender variety.

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10 emerging technologies that could change the world in 2015

Hyundai Fuel Cell engine.

Hyundai Fuel Cell engine.

Bernard Meyerson via Business Insider:

Technology is perhaps the greatest agent of change in the modern world. While never without risk, technological breakthroughs promise innovative solutions to the most pressing global challenges of our time.

From zero-emission cars fuelled by hydrogen to computer chips modelled on the human brain, this year’s 10 emerging technologies offer a vivid glimpse of the power of innovation to improve lives, transform industries and safeguard our planet.

To compile this list, the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies, a panel of 18 experts, draws on the collective expertise of the Forum’s communities to identify the most important recent technological trends.

By doing so, the Meta-Council aims to raise awareness of their potential and contribute to closing the gaps in investment, regulation and public understanding that so often thwart progress.

The 2015 list is:

1. Fuel cell vehicles

2. Next-generation robotics

3. Recyclable thermoset plastics

4. Precise genetic engineering techniques

5.

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Americans Turning Away From Organized Religion in Record Numbers

A recent article by Alternet reveals that Americans are turning away from organized religion in record numbers. As two Millennials who fall into this category, we examine why that may be and trends we noticed in our life that encouraged us to turn away from the religion(s) we were raised with.

This clip is from the Indie Bohemians Morning Show. A morning show, for people who hate morning shows.

If the above player doesn’t work, please go here.

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Silicon Valley Is Hooked On Nootropic Drugs

Noo-What? Nootropics are so-called “brain-enhancing” drugs. Kevin Noose tells Fusion his tales of sucking down some dubious supplements in Silicon Valley:

It’s 3 p.m., and I am crushing my e-mail inbox. At this time of day, I’m typically struggling to stave off the post-lunch slowdown by downing another cup of coffee or two. But today, message after message is flying off my fingertips effortlessly—work e-mail, personal e-mail, digital errands I’d been meaning to run for months. I’m in the zone, as they say, and for this burst of late afternoon productivity, I might have nootropics to thank.

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Nootropics—the name given to a broad class of so-called “cognitive-enhancing” drugs—are all the rage in Silicon Valley these days. Programmers like nootropics because they’re said to increase productivity and sharpen focus without the intensity or side effects of a prescription drug like Adderall or modafinil. Some users mix their own nootropics using big bins of powders, purchased off the Internet or in supplement stores.

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NASA Ames reproduces the building blocks of life in laboratory

Left to right: Ames scientists Michel Nuevo, Christopher Materese and Scott Sandford reproduce uracil, cytosine, and thymine, three key components of our hereditary material, in the laboratory. Credit: NASA/ Dominic Hart

Left to right: Ames scientists Michel Nuevo, Christopher Materese and Scott Sandford reproduce uracil, cytosine, and thymine, three key components of our hereditary material, in the laboratory.

Credit: NASA/ Dominic Hart

Via Science Daily:

NASA scientists studying the origin of life have reproduced uracil, cytosine, and thymine, three key components of our hereditary material, in the laboratory. They discovered that an ice sample containing pyrimidine exposed to ultraviolet radiation under space-like conditions produces these essential ingredients of life.

Pyrimidine is a ring-shaped molecule made up of carbon and nitrogen and is the central structure for uracil, cytosine, and thymine, which are all three part of a genetic code found in ribonucleic (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA). RNA and DNA are central to protein synthesis, but also have many other roles.

“We have demonstrated for the first time that we can make uracil, cytosine, and thymine, all three components of RNA and DNA, non-biologically in a laboratory under conditions found in space,” said Michel Nuevo, research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.

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