June 2011

Wikileaks is suffering under a banking blockade. In response, they decided to help make Mastercard’s advertising more accurate:

Censorship, like everything else in the West, has been privatized.

For six months, five major US financial institutions, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union and the Bank of America have tried to economically strangle WikiLeaks as a result of political pressure from Washington. The attack has blocked over 90% of donations, costing some $15M in lost revenue. The attack is entirely outside of any due process or rule of law. In fact, in the only formal review to occur, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner found, on January 12, that there were no lawful grounds to add WikiLeaks to a financial blockade.

Assassinating enemy divers with CO2-filled syringes? Parachuting from the sky and blowing up enemy ships kamikaze-style? Acoustically detecting a 3-inch ball 200 meters away in complete darkness? All this and more as Skeptoid…

ouanaminthe_784119Wikileaks unveils an incredibly infuriating revelation, via the Nation. To sum up: desperately poor Haiti planned to raise its minimum wage from 24 cents per hour to 62 cents, angering the contractors for U.S. corporations such as Levis and Hanes, who pay slave wages to Haitians who sew our clothes. The Obama administration intervened on behalf of those companies, and bullied the Haitian government into setting the mark at 32 cents.

To put things in perspective, upping the hourly wage to 62 cents would have cost Hanes an additional $1.6 million each year. Hanesbrands turned $211 million in profit last year and CEO Richard Noll personally was paid $10 million.

Sand has been used as a purifier for thousands of years. An innovative way of cleaning water, by adding graphite waste, provides a cost affective way to bring purified water to those who may not normally have access to a clean water source. Via Treehugger:

The solution is cheap since the sources of graphite could include the waste produced by graphite mining companies that still contains a significant amount of graphite. And the researchers believe that it is possible to modify the graphite oxide to pick out particular pollutants and therefore tailor the super sand to specific areas that might be having trouble with certain water-borne diseases or pollutants.

He may have turned on, tuned in and dropped out, losing his post as a Harvard professor and instead becoming an icon of ’60s counterculture, but Timothy Leary has finally (and posthumously)…

Really?!? Meredith Melnick explains for TIME: Recently in the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch columnist David Weidner noted that women “do almost everything better” than men — from politics to corporate management to…

Le_Voyage_dans_la_luneDreamy and surreal, it lives up to its name:

A Trip to the Moon (French: Le Voyage dans la lune) is a 1902 French black-and-white silent science fiction film. The film was written and directed by Georges Méliès, assisted by his brother Gaston. It is based loosely on two popular novels of the time: From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne and The First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells.

It is the first science fiction film and uses innovative animation and special effects, including the well-known image of the spaceship landing in the moon’s eye.

20110619_eguchi2-600x449Has CGI technology become super realistic? Or is it more that actual famous people now resemble virtual creations to the extent that the difference is hardly noticeable? Kotaku reveals:

AKB48 is Japan’s most popular female pop group. With give-or-take 48 members, its latest member is Aimi Eguchi, who has rocketed from obscurity to become the poster girl for a Japanese ice candy, Ice no Mi. Now revealed as a computer composite of other girls in the group, she appears 4 seconds in below.

io9 and CONELRAD Adjacent detail a broadcast of the Ed Sullivan Show that “scared the hell out of kids” when a short animation was aired on 27 May 1956. Peter and Joan Foldes’ cartoon, A Short Vision, depicts a nuclear apocalypse, showing the faces of men and animals melting off, the audience off guard when Sullivan shared no warning but this introduction:

“Just last week you read about the H-bomb being dropped. Now two great English writers, two very imaginative writers – I’m gonna tell you if you have youngsters in the living room tell them not to be alarmed at this ‘cause it’s a fantasy, the whole thing is animated – but two English writers, Joan and Peter Foldes, wrote a thing which they called ‘A Short Vision’ in which they wondered what might happen to the animal population of the world if an H-bomb were dropped. It’s produced by George K. Arthur and I’d like you to see it. It is grim, but I think we can all stand it to realize that in war there is no winner.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests there’s a causal link between watching junk food commercials on television and obesity. Alice Park reports for Time:

How much TV do your kids watch? If you don’t know, you might want to find out, say experts, since the time children spend in front of a TV or computer screen can have a profound effect on their physical and developmental health.

In a new policy statement on the role of media on obesity, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Council on Communications and Media warns parents that TV watching doesn’t just make children more sedentary, but also influences their eating habits…