Bizarre ISIS Plot To Behead Random Australian Foiled

Australian Federal Police with Ian Thorpe.jpg

Australian Federal Police with Ian Thorpe by Graeme Bartlett (CC)

Is this story too strange to be true? Or just strange enough? ABC Australia reports that ISIS planned to grab a random person from a crowd in  Sydney, Australia, and behead them:

Police say a large-scale anti-terrorism raid in Sydney this morning has foiled a plot to “commit violent acts” in Australia, including a plan to behead a member of the public.

More than 800 officers launched the raids as part of Operation Appleby in suburbs across Sydney’s west and north-west, with a further 70 police involved in raids on properties in Brisbane’s south.

Police said 15 people had been detained in Sydney as part of the operation between NSW officers, the Australian Federal Police and ASIO.

Court documents are expected to reveal that the raids, at 25 different properties, were aimed at a cell which planned to behead a member of the public in Sydney.

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The Weirdest Massage Technique: Rolling Down a Flight of Concrete Stairs

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via Oddity Central:

Of all the unusual ways to get a massage, this has got to be the weirdest one. 51-year-old Li Chia rolls himself down 30 concrete steps every morning at Xi’an Changle Park. Once he gets to the bottom, he rocks himself back up to the top again without getting up, using a careful, self-taught technique. He claims that by doing this he receives a thorough massage that addresses all the pressure points in his body.

“I got the idea from rolling on pebbles at a health club, and when I couldn’t find any pebbles at my local park, I decided to try the stairs and was surprised to find it really works,” Chia explained. “I have always been a great fan of Chinese massage and the possibility that pressure points can do all sorts of things including relieving stress. After all, that’s why massage is so popular,” he said.

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Ancient Egyptian Woman with 70 Hair Extensions Discovered

Credit: Photo by Jolanda Bos and Lonneke Beukenholdt

Credit: Photo by Jolanda Bos and Lonneke Beukenholdt

via Live Science:

More than 3,300 years ago, in a newly built city in Egypt, a woman with an incredibly elaborate hairstyle of lengthy hair extensions was laid to rest.

She was not mummified, her body simply being wrapped in a mat. When archaeologists uncovered her remains they found she wore “a very complex coiffure with approximately 70 extensions fastened in different layers and heights on the head,” writes Jolanda Bos, an archaeologist working on the Amarna Project, in an article recently published in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology.

Researchers don’t know her name, age or occupation, but she is one of hundreds of people, including many others whose hairstyles are still intact, who were buried in a cemetery near an ancient city now called Amarna. [See Photos of the Egyptian Skeletons and Elaborate Hairstyles]

This city was constructed as a new capital of Egypt by Akhenaten (reign ca.

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How the media shafted the people of Scotland

First Minister Alex Salmond speaks at the launch of A National Conversation August 14, 2007

“There is the chronic inability to distinguish between a cause and a person: the referendum is widely portrayed as a vote about Alex Salmond, who is then monstered beyond recognition (a Telegraph editorial compared him to Robert Mugabe).” //Photo by the Scottish Government via Wikimedia Commons

via The Guardian:

Journalists in their gilded circles are woefully out of touch with popular sentiment and shamefully slur any desire for change

Perhaps the most arresting fact about the Scottish referendum is this: that there is no newspaper – local, regional or national, English or Scottish – that supports independence except the Sunday Herald. The Scots who will vote yes have been almost without representation in the media.

There is nothing unusual about this. Change in any direction, except further over the brink of market fundamentalism and planetary destruction, requires the defiance of almost the entire battery of salaried opinion. What distinguishes the independence campaign is that it has continued to prosper despite this assault.… Read the rest

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Hamster Wheel Standing Desk

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I’ve often contemplated purchasing a standing desk as I have to sit for long hours. Now there’s this newfangled invention: The Hamster Wheel Standing Desk. As nifty as it is, I can’t help but find it disheartening how sedentary most of us have become these days. What’s even worse is that it’s not necessarily a choice we get to personally make. Office life and the typical 9-5 has forced our hand.

via Instructables.com

You are not reaching your current productivity potential. Numerous esteemed experts agree that standing is better than sitting and that walking is better than standing. Despite this, your workplace only provides inhumane chairs and stagnant standing desks for you to use while you struggle to get through a workday full of distractions and bodily pains.

Rise up, sedentary sentients, and unleash that untapped potential within by marching endlessly towards a brilliant future of focused work. Step forward into a world of infinite potential, bounded only by the smooth arcs of a wheel.

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[Poll] Which torture device/method is the most heinous?

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This week, we’re going take a darker turn with our polls and vote on which torture device/method is the most heinous.

Quick recap of “The Most Damaging President of The Last 50 Years”

By far the largest poll we’ve run! As always, thanks to everyone who voted. I let this one go for two weeks as it kept growing larger and larger.

  • George W. Bush (45%, 1,626 Votes)
  • Barack Obama (22%, 784 Votes)
  • Ronald Reagan (17%, 628 Votes)
  • Richard Nixon (5%, 175 Votes)
  • George H. W. Bush (5%, 173 Votes)
  • Lyndon B. Johnson (3%, 105 Votes)
  • Bill Clinton (1%, 50 Votes)
  • Jimmy Carter (1%, 48 Votes)
  • John F. Kennedy (1%, 34 Votes)
  • Gerald Ford (0%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,635

I was actually surprised to see Obama beat Reagan, but I assumed that George W. Bush would take the cake.

Which torture device/method is the most heinous?

All definitions were taken from the respective Wikipedia pages, unless otherwise noted.… Read the rest

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Better Things – The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones

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Who Was Jeffrey Catherine Jones?

Frank Frazetta once called Jones the “greatest living painter.”

Born in 1944, Jones first published a comic book in 1965 (Blazing Combat #1). Jones quickly grew to popularity within the art community and went on to paint “covers for books, including the Ace paperback editions of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series and Andre Norton’s Postmarked the Stars, The Zero Stone, Uncharted Stars and many others. For a period during the early 1970s she also contributed illustrations to Ted White’s Fantastic. Jones drew many covers and short stories for a variety of comics publishers including DC Comics, Skywald Publications, and Warren but generally avoided the superhero genre.”

In 1998, Jones underwent hormone therapy. According to Steven Ringgenberg at The Comics Journal, “It’s now known from the artist’s personal writings that she had felt conflicted about her gender since childhood, always feeling a greater affinity for the fair sex than for her own maleness.Read the rest

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Kevin Smith’s TUSK Memorabilia Giveaway

1940001_527693247359457_755596116126798391_nTusk is creepy, enthralling and infused with Kevin’s distinct sense of humor.

Disinfo is honored to be running a giveaway of Tusk goodies for Kevin Smith’s highly anticipated horror-comedy. Tusk recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival to rave reviews. Personally, I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while now, which makes this giveaway even more exciting for me!

Plot

The idea for Tusk came about when Smith saw a hoax-ad on Gumtree. The ad’s creator asked that any potential lodgers agree to wear a Walrus costume for 2 hours a day in exchange for free rent. Go here to see the advert in all its glory.

A rehash of the plot by Henry Barnes at The Guardian (who gave the film four out of five stars):

 Silly and sick, with very little blubber, Tusk, a comedy-horror about a man who is turned into a walrus, is the first great Kevin Smith film since Dogma.

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Wealthy L.A. Schools’ Vaccination Rates Are as Low as South Sudan’s

I know there are lot of pro- and anti-vaccination readers who are going to want to weigh in on this, so without comment from me either way, consider the resurgence of whooping cough in LA, where vaccination rates are, according to The Atlantic, “as low as south Sudan’s”:

When actors play doctors on TV, that does not make them actual doctors. And that does not mean they should scour some Internet boards, confront their pediatricians, and demand fewer vaccinations for their children, as some Hollywood parents in Los Angeles have apparently been doing.

The Hollywood Reporter has a great investigation for which it sought the vaccination records of elementary schools all over Los Angeles County. They found that vaccination rates in elite neighborhoods like Santa Monica and Beverly Hills have tanked, and the incidence of whooping cough there has skyrocketed…

Parents in these schools are submitting a form called a “personal belief exemption,” which states that they are not vaccinating their kids due to “a diffuse constellation of unproven anxieties, from allergies and asthma to eczema and seizures,” reporter Gary Baum writes.

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