Archive | June 3, 2013

The 2045 Project: Cyborg Avatars Uploaded With Human Consciousness

milestones_small_enWhen you’re a tech multi-millionaire, this is the kind of project you come up with, at least in the case of 32-year-old Russian Dmitry Itskov. David Segal reports for the New York Times:

Get right up close to Dmitry Itskov and sniff all you like — you will not pick up even the faintest hint of crazy. He is soft-spoken and a bit shy, but expansive once he gets talking, and endearingly mild-mannered. He never seems ruffled, no matter what question you ask. Even if you ask the obvious one, which he has encountered more than a few times since 2011, when he started “this project,” as he sometimes calls it.

Namely: Are you insane?

“I hear that often,” he said with a smile, over lunch one recent afternoon in Manhattan. “There are quotes from people like Arthur C. Clarke and Gandhi saying that when people come up with new ideas they’re called ‘nuts.’ Then everybody starts believing in the idea and nobody can remember a time when it seemed strange.”

It is hard to imagine a day when the ideas championed by Mr.

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Lobbyists for Canadian Pipeline Have Deep Ties to White House

via Pratap Chatterjee CorpWatch 6a0120a65d9a8c970b0148c6d1c8ab970c-250wi

TransCanada and the provincial government of Alberta are paying former advisors to the Obama administration – as well as former staff of the Hillary Clinton and John Kerry presidential campaigns – to help them lobby for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to transport tar sands fuel to the U.S.

The pipeline from Alberta – which is to be built by TransCanada – has been delayed for over four years pending approval from the U.S. State Department which has final say because it crosses the international border. President Barack Obama is expected to announce a decision this fall in consultation with John Kerry, who took over the State Department earlier this year from Hilary Clinton.

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The Real Problem With “Check Your Privilege”: It’s Too Generous

ninetymilesnrTbZ11rekkeio1_500Amanda Marcotte writes at the Raw Story:

In the comments of this post and on Twitter two days ago, I laid down a gauntlet: Since so many anti-feminist “skeptics” (I refuse to acknowledge the skepticism of someone who won’t apply it to gender roles and patriarchy, when these are major societal issues) were having multi-year meltdowns of tone policing feminists, I just wanted to know why. Over and over, I kept seeing the phrase: “You shouldn’t be able to call me privileged/misogynist/asshole/bigot just because I disagree with you!” This phrase is meant to force the conversation into more tone policing and rules-lawyering about how one is allowed to express disagreement, a debate that is set up so that progressives just give up and go home since any expression of displeasure at reactionary sentiments is considered “intolerant”, no matter how mild, as I noted yesterday.

So, I had one question.

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DMT: The Thinking Man’s Moonshine?

Bathtub

Via Slidewave:

Did you know that you are presently ‘holding’ a schedule 1 psychedelic drug in your brain right now?  Unfortunately as soon as that shit is anywhere other than in your brain, it’s as illegal as Heroin, or Crack.

You may be wondering what it is.  Well, psychnautical guru and all around interesting guy, Terence McKenna said DMT was the most shocking thing a human can consume this side of the yawning grave.  Coming from a guy who was to psychedelics what Lil’ Wayne is to ‘Sizzurp’, this is quite an astonishing claim.

Due to its difficulty to get a hold of, some have gone through the work of figuring out how to get this mystical substance in their expanding little minds.  A friend of mine was one of those people.  He, like many others had been hearing wonderful and sometimes terrifying stories of DMT’s transformational power.  He had read books like The Cosmic Serpent, Supernatural and DMT: The Spirit Molecule and watched all kinds of youtube stuff.

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Maddow: ‘Something Weird Is Going on’ in FBI Shooting of Ibragim Todashev

Boston Police booking photo from 2010. Ibragim TodashevDavid Fergusen writes at Raw Story:

On Thursday night’s edition of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow discussed the swirl of questions around the shooting of Ibragim Todashev, an associate of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the two men charged with the bombing of the Boston Marathon.

FBI officials have given conflicting accounts of the questioning and killing of Todashev, who knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev through Mixed Martial Arts fighting. Todashev, who, like the Tsarnaevs, was Chechen, lived in Boston for a time before moving to Florida. Agents from the FBI traveled to Florida to question Todashev repeatedly about the bombing.

“Last week while being questioned again in Florida,” said Maddow, “something went very, very wrong and he ended up dead.”

Law enforcement officials were interviewing Todashev in his apartment in Orlando on Wednesday, May 22, when something occurred that resulted in the young man being shot multiple times.

On Thursday, Todashev’s family held a press conference in Moscow, where they showed autopsie photos of their slain son.

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EPA Declares More Than Half Of U.S. Rivers Unfit For Aquatic Life

river

Our world is so gross right now. Via Inhabitat:

The EPA has declared that an astounding 55 percent of rivers and streams in the country are in “poor condition for aquatic life.”

The results of their first comprehensive survey of waterway health reveal shrinking vegetation cover, high levels of phosphorous and nitrogen, and pollution from mercury and bacteria—none of which are all that great for human health either. Additionally, as the EPA emphasizes, the polluted, unhealthy waterways include vital sources of drinking water.

So where are these contaminants coming from? Phosphorous and nitrogen, both key ingredients in fertilizer, have long been recognized as a problem in US water health. 40 percent of waterways surveyed had high levels of phosophorous, while high levels of nitrogen were found in 27 percent of waterways.

Over 13,144 miles of waterways featured levels of mercury that similarly exceed safe levels for human health, making it ill-advised to consume fish from those areas.

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2001: Is HAL IBM?

hal9000

As if there weren’t enough Kubrick conspiracy memes floating about the auteur and his work, this interesting short video claims that the HAL 9000 computer that serves as the villain in 2001: A Space Odyssey is actually a veiled criticism of IBM.

Here is the gist:

For the most part audiences have assumed that HAL had genuinely made a mistake in predicting the AE-35 fault and that the conflict afterwards was due to HALs desire not to be shut down. However, there is plenty of evidence to support a much more sinister hypothesis … that HAL was actually ordered by mission control to kill the crew.

For starters there are a multitude of references to IBM. The three letters comprising HALs name come just before the letters I, B and M in the alphabet. This was claimed by Arthur C Clarke to be a coincidence, but the other references you’re about to see demonstrate that Kubrick simply did not want to publicly acknowledge the encoded references.… Read the rest

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Motorola Aiming To Replace Smartphone Passwords With Electronic Tattoos

biostampsIf you’re concerned about the mark of the beast, this has to be worrying. Via the Telegraph:

Initially designed for medical purposes, Motorola hopes the ‘Biostamps’ could now be used for consumer authentication purposes.

The technology, which aims to remove the need to enter passwords and replace them simply with a phone being close to a user’s body, was one of the suggestions by Dennis Woodside, Motorola’s chief executive, at California’s D11 conference yesterday.

Nokia has previously experimented with integrating tattoos into mobile phones, and Motorola’s senior vice president of advance research, Regina Dugan, a former head of the US Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, demonstrated the silicon-based technology that uses bendable electronic circuits.

The tattoos have been developed by Massachusetts-based engineering firm MC10, and contain flexible electronic circuits that are attached to the wearer’s skin using a rubber stamp.

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Unapproved Monsanto Crop Found Growing in Oregon

monsantoVia RT USA:

A genetically modified strain of wheat that was never approved by the United States Department of Agriculture as been discovered growing in Oregon, triggering a federal probe that is now spanning several states.

Investigators with the USDA want to know why the GMO crop, made by biotech company Monsanto but never approved for use, sprouted up in a field in the Pacific Northwest.

America’s wheat trade could be jeopardized if concerns grow among foreign consumers already weary of genetically engineered and modified organisms. Several countries across the European Union have banned the cultivation of GMO crops, and last weekend anti-Monsanto demonstrations were attended by millions of protesters on six continents.

The USDA has yet to approve any GMO strain of wheat to be grown in the US, but Monsanto field tested a genetically engineered variety from 1998 through 2005 before withdrawing their application from the agency’s regulatory approval process.

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