An office stiff wakes up in an alley mysteriously covered in blood. In the aftermath, he attracts the attention of his beautiful coworker, granting him a new lease on life …but something strange is afoot.
Patrick Henningsen writes at 21st Century Wire:
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ACTION: On Monday morning Nov. 24th, Sony employees log into their computers only to be greeted by a neon red skeleton on their monitor screens accompanied by the words, “#Hacked by #GOP,” (no, not the Republican Party), followed by lots of threats to release data and post Hollywood secrets online in text-sharing sites like PasteBin, frequented by ‘hactivists’.
Worst of all, the hack attack upset what is by far America’s utmost important group of individuals – actors (including the one in the White House).
The whole affair is said to be very traumatic for Angelina Jolie, and Adam Sandler, and has also exposed a bitter turf war between the agents of both Charlize Theron and Scarlett Johansson. So studio execs are panicking, actors are traumatized, narcissistic sensibilities have been rattled, and publicists are really stressed-out too.
To make matters worse, these unknown, nameless and faceless hackers also oppose the release of Sony’s new political ‘comedy’ (we’ll use that term loosely), entitled, The Interview, which lovingly portrays the violent assassination of North Korea’s Dear leader Kim Jong Un.
From the re-mixer: “I performed John Cage’s 4’33”, treated the recording as a found object and re-mixed it in autotune. Let the debates begin.”
WikiLeaks on Sunday released two CIA documents that offered tips to help spies maintain their cover while using false documents as they crossed international borders.
The two documents, dating from 2011 and 2012, are marked classified and “NOFORN,” which means they were not meant to be shared with allied intelligence agencies, WikiLeaks said.
The documents outline a number of strategies for agents to avoid secondary screening at airports and borders.
Some are obvious: don’t buy a one-way ticket with cash the day before flying. Others perhaps less so: don’t look scruffy while traveling on a diplomatic passport.
“In one incident during transit of a European airport in the early morning, security officials selected a CIA officer for secondary screening,” one of the documents reads.
“Although the officials gave no reason, overly casual dress inconsistent with being a diplomatic-passport holder may have prompted the referral.”…
[continues at Yahoo News/AFP]
According to the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD) have frequent upsetting thoughts that they try to control by repeating certain rituals or behaviors.
Though healthy people also have rituals – including checking to see that the stove is off before leaving the house – people with OCD obsessively perform their rituals, even though they interfere with daily life.
“While some habits can make our life easier, like automating the act of preparing your morning coffee, others go too far and can take control of our lives in a much more insidious way, shaping our preferences, beliefs, and in the case of OCD, even our fears,” notes Prof. Trevor Robbins, a study author from the Department of Psychology at Cambridge.
He and Dr. Claire Gillan led a team of researchers to investigate the idea that compulsions in OCD result from an “overactive habit-system.”
Sarah Lazare writes at Common Dreams:
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For over three years, indigenous Peruvian farmworker Maxima Acuña de Chaupe has refused to allow a U.S.-based multinational corporation to turn her land into an open-pit gold mine, withstanding multiple violent eviction attempts by corporate and state agents.
On Wednesday, Acuña de Chaupe finally saw victory when a Peruvian appeals court struck down a lawsuit levied by the Yanacocha mine—which is 51 percent owned by Colorado’s Newmont Mining Corporation—that had sought to expel and imprison the family for “invading” their own land.
The ruling is an important win in a case that has become a rallying point for local resistance to multinational plunder.
In 1994, Acuña de Chaupe and her family built their home in Tragadero Grande in the region of Cajamarca next to the Blue Lagoon of Celendin. This lake was sought after for the building of the open-pit Conga gold mining project—an extension of the one at Yanacocha.
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It’s a Monday morning. I’ve just locked the door to leave for work. Then I think, is the coffeemaker turned off? I unlock the door, go back and check. And as I head out the door again, I stop. I remember seeing that the little red light on the coffeemaker was dark. That means it’s off. But I don’t trust the evidence of my own senses. Or perhaps I don’t trust my own memory. And I go back and look at the coffeemaker again. It’s futile, really, because if I didn’t trust my sight and memory 30 seconds ago, why should I trust them now?
I’ve missed some doses. Not many, but enough to matter. I fell asleep reading one night, simply forgot another night because I had an unexpected phone call. Those lapses add up.
I know because OCD symptoms are the first problems to surface when I’m not taking enough medication.
via The New Yorker:
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Baalbek, Lebanon, is the site of one of the most mysterious ruins of the Roman Empire, a monumental two-thousand-year-old temple to Jupiter that sits atop three thousand-ton stone blocks. (The pillars of Stonehenge weigh about a fortieth of that.) The blocks originated in a nearby limestone quarry, where a team from the German Archaeological Institute, in partnership with Jeanine Abdul Massih, of Lebanese University, recently discovered what they are calling the largest stone block from antiquity, weighing one thousand six hundred and fifty tons and matching those that support the temple. Its provenance is more shadowy than one might expect of a three-million-pound megalith. Nobody seems to know on whose orders it was cut, or why, or how it came to be abandoned.
Baalbek is named for Baal, the Phoenician deity, although the Romans knew the site by its Greek name, Heliopolis.
Sorry Doc, but half of everything you know is wrong. From the Washington Post:
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It’s not hard to understand what makes Dr. Oz so popular. Called “America’s doctor,” syndicated talk-show host Mehmet Oz speaks in a way anyone can understand. Medicine may be complex. But with Dr. Oz, clad in scrubs and crooning to millions of viewers about “miracles” and “revolutionary” breakthroughs, it’s often not. He somehow makes it fun. And people can’t get enough.
“I haven’t seen a doctor in eight years,” the New Yorker quoted one viewer telling Oz. “I’m scared. You’re the only one I trust.”
But is that trust misplaced? Or has Oz, who often peddles miracle cures for weight loss and other maladies, mortgaged medical veracity for entertainment value?
These questions have hammered Oz for months. In June, he was hauled in front of Congress, where Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told him he gave people false hope and criticized his segments as a “recipe for disaster.” Then last month, a study he widely trumpeted lauding coffee bean weight-loss pills was retracted despite Oz’s assertions it could “burn fat fast for anyone who wants to lose weight.”
This post originally appeared on Morocco World News.
Kenitra – “Why should we be so arrogant as to assume that we’re the first homo-sapiens to walk the earth?” (J.J. Abrams et al., 2010)
No one remembers one’s moment of birth and neither does humanity. The beginning of man is a scientific mystery. This article, however, is not about how man came to be, but about shortly after that; it is about the dawn of humanity, a missing chapter in human history. People, in this forgotten chapter, mapped the earth and sky long before there were ancient Egyptians or Jews. They are not to be confused with Australopithecus, Homo Habilis, or Homo Ergaster. Instead, they are remembered by ancients as ‘gods’ because it is they who first engineered societies, leaving baffling traces on earth.
The idea of how humanity’s progress began is relative. Before the enlightenment, human civilizations throughout history viewed the past as glorious and expected the future to simply resemble and repeat the past.… Read the rest