Organic molecules detected on Comet by Philae

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via BBC:

The Philae lander has detected organic molecules on the surface of its comet, scientists have confirmed.

Carbon-containing “organics” are the basis of life on Earth and may give clues to chemical ingredients delivered to our planet early in its history.

The compounds were picked up by a German-built instrument designed to “sniff” the comet’s thin atmosphere.

Other analyses suggest the comet’s surface is largely water-ice covered with a thin dust layer.

The European Space Agency (Esa) craft touched down on the Comet 67P on 12 November after a 10-year journey.

Dr Fred Goessmann, principal investigator on the Cosac instrument, which made the organics detection, confirmed the find to BBC News. But he added that the team was still trying to interpret the results.

Read More: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30097648

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Nikola Tesla: Men’s Rights Hero

Tesla2.jpg

Nikola Tesla has been hailed as many things, inventor, genius, etc., but as a hero of so-called “men’s rights” activists? Apparently so, reports PaleoFuture:

Nikola Tesla is celebrated as a genius who had an amazing ability to envision the future. He predicted cellphones, television, and even elements of the internet long before any of these things existed. But he also had some weird ideas about the social issues of tomorrow. Which is why he’s become an unlikely hero in the so-called Men’s Rights community of today.

Despite his brilliance with all things technological, Tesla’s views on the social structure of the future were sometimes rather unfortunate. He advocated for the principles of eugenics and forced sterilization to ensure that only humans with the most desirable traits could reproduce. And he insisted that men would one day be forced to submit to women.

The inventor imagined a society structured like that of the bee — where male grunts do the heavy lifting and are otherwise only used for breeding purposes.

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Ian Anderson on Martin Barre’s Departure, Homo Erraticus AUDIO ONLY

This is an interview with Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson from the Indie Bohemians Morning Show. A morning show, for people who hate morning shows.

Ron Placone interviews Jethro Tull frontman, Ian Anderson. Ian offers a few thoughts on the new album, “Homo Erraticus” as well as the departure of long-time guitarist, Martin Barre. This interview is audio only and originally aired on the Indie Bohemians Morning Show in Nashville, TN.

 

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Africa’s Ancient Plant Diversity And Seed Independence Still Under Threat From Proposed New Laws

Grain Seeds from True Mind's Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds

Grain Seeds from True Mind’s Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds

via Tech Dirt:

Back in May 2013, we wrote about worrying attempts to create a harmonized system for controlling the sale of seeds in Africa that would increase the power of large suppliers such as Monsanto, at the expense of small farmers. A long and interesting article in Intellectual Property Watch indicates that those efforts are intensifying:

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), with the help of the United States and an international plant variety organisation, is working to grow regional support for a controversial draft law. The draft protocol would boost protection for new plant varieties, despite concerns of local civil society that it would not be in the best interest of ARIPO members’ food security due to its potential impact on small farmers. ARIPO held a regional workshop on the issue in recent weeks in part to build support for a treaty negotiation to lock in these protections.

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UK to stop its citizens seeing extremist material online

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Israel Defense Forces (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via Gigaom:

The U.K.’s big internet service providers, including BT, Talk Talk, Virgin Media and Sky, have agreed to filter out terrorist and extremist material at the government’s behest, in order to stop people seeing things that may make them sympathetic towards terrorists.

The move will also see providers host a public reporting button for terrorist material. This is likely to be similar to what is already done with websites that may host child pornography – people can report content to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), an organization that maintains a blacklist, to which that site could then be added.

In the case of extremist material, though, it appears that the reports would go through to the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU), which is based in London’s Metropolitan Police and has already been very active in identifying extremist material and having it taken down.

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How leading Tor developers and advocates tried to smear me after I reported their US Government ties

dollen (CC BY-ND 2.0)

dollen (CC BY-ND 2.0)

via Pando:

About three months ago, I published an article exploring the deeply conflicted ties between agencies of the U.S. National Security State, and the Tor Network—an online anonymity tool popular among anti-surveillance privacy groups and activists, including Edward Snowden.

My article traced the history of Tor and the US military-intelligence apparatus that spawned it—from Tor’s initial development by military researchers in the mid-1990s at the US Naval Laboratory in Washington DC, through its quasi-independent period after it was spun off as a nonprofit in 2004 but continued to receive most of its funding from a variety of government branches: Pentagon, State Department, USAID, Radio Free Asia. My article also revealed that Tor was created not to protect the public from government surveillance, but rather, to cloak the online identity of intelligence agents as they snooped on areas of interest. But in order to do that, Tor had to be released to the public and used by as diverse a group of people as possible: activists, dissidents, journalists, paranoiacs, kiddie porn scum, criminals and even would-be terrorists — the bigger and weirder the crowd, the easier it would be for agents to mix in and hide in plain sight.

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ACLU Awarded $50 Million by Open Society Foundations to End Mass Incarceration

Kate Ter Haar (CC BY 2.0)

Kate Ter Haar (CC BY 2.0)

via Don’t Comply:

The Open Society Foundations today awarded a grant of $50 million to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in support of its nationwide campaign to end mass incarceration. The campaign seeks to reform criminal justice policies that have increased incarceration rates dramatically during a period of declining crime —and exacerbated racial disparities. The nation’s adult jail and prison population numbers over 2.2 million with one in 100 adults behind bars, the highest incarceration rate in the world. The ACLU intends to cut that number in half by 2020, with the most ambitious effort to end mass incarceration in American history.

“Reducing our nation’s prison population by 50 percent may sound like a lofty goal. But Americans are recognizing that we can’t arrest our way out of every social problem and, in fact, the overuse of our criminal justice system has been making matters worse,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D.

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Activist Comics: Disclosure

If someone was talking shit about you, wouldn’t you want to know who it was? And if it was $145 million worth of shit you were buried under, wouldn’t you be outraged and demand to know who was dumping all this excrement on top of you, and why?

Well, here we are: After $145 million of anonymous spending in the midterm elections, the American public remains none the wiser as to who not only wanted to spend fortunes influencing politics, but needed to do it without exposing their identities and their motives. Insomuch as political spending is largely an investment made by eager pay-to-players looking to get a massive return in the form of tax breaks, contracts, or legislative deference, how much worse must these interests be if they need to keep their motives secret?

There are some — such as Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas, and fulminating lawyer James Bopp — who believe there should no disclosure on spending in elections at all, because that might expose a particular donor to criticism from others, which then would make them hesitant to give large sums to unpopular causes, and that is JUST LIKE restricting their First Amendment right to free speech.… Read the rest

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Memories Transplanted With Organs

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I recently came across an interesting and novel phenomenon via a remarkable fact I read on Kickassfacts.com. It seems organ recipients sometimes have living memories or peculiar affinities which somehow carried over along from their donor. Can the ‘Ship of Theseus’ that arrives with new oars, planks, and sail be considered the same ship that left port?

Ethically, very few religions around the world actually have a problem with organ harvesting and transplantation. With reference to harvesting from the brain-dead, Pius XII said that knowledge of when death occurs is the domain of medical science. However some Judaic authorities take issue with harvesting the organs of a brain-dead individual because anything that will stop the heart beating causes death. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses have changed their stance since the 1980s, excluding the acceptance of an organ from their definition of cannibalism (which includes accepting blood transfusions).

However, no religions to my knowledge presently acknowledge the idea that a person may somehow be incarnate after their death when another person has accepted that person’s organ.… Read the rest

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Young French Maker 3D Prints a Replica of His Fiancée

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via 3D print:

When French 3D design company Le FabShop set up its booth near the Shapify space at the Autodesk Pop-Up Gallery in Paris last October, one young designer with Le FabShop, Samuel N. Bernier, could not resist collaborating with the neighbors. Le FabShop is a major distributor of Makerbot 3D printers and scanners in France, organizes Maker Faires, and provides retailers such as the upscale gift shop at the Versailles Palace with high-quality 3D printed objects such as architectural models. Shapify, a branch of Artec, the 3D scanner manufacturer, has begun setting up 3D scanning photo booths in Europe, the UK, and the US. The booths allow users to create full-body 3D scans and then 3D prints of the scan subjects. In short, they are 3D photo booths.

Enter Le FabShop’s young maker, who saw an opportunity to combine the resources of Le FabShop and Shapify to pay homage to his unnamed fiancée.

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