Archive | August 1, 2013

Dean Radin on ‘The Eternities’ Podcast

RadinVia The Eternities:

In his latest book, Supernormal – Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities, Dean Radin asks if humankind possesses latent psychic potential, presenting supportive new evidence that, he argues, challenges the assumptions of mainstream science and which suggests an underpinning reality in tune with the insights of the mystic.

Dr. Radin is one of the world’s foremost researchers into psychic phenomena. He is currently Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and bestselling author of The Conscious Universe and Entangled Minds.

Download the MP3 interview here.

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NSA Targets Users Who Search for ‘Suspicious Stuff’

suspicious-cat-ish-suscpicious-18294363945_xlargeThey flag users who search for “suspicious stuff”? I’m screwed. You might as well join me.

Via Slate:

If you have ever searched the Internet for something the NSA has deemed “suspicious,” you may have found yourself flagged up on the screen of a government spy. At least, that’s what a series of newly published secret documents suggest—raising fresh privacy concerns about the pervasive reach of the NSA’s global surveillance programs.

On Wednesday, the Guardian disclosed a range of new details about an NSA program called “XKEYSCORE,” which is an international system used by the NSA to secretly siphon data directly off of Internet networks. A small amount of information was first revealed about this system earlier this month by Brazilian newspaper O Globo, which published secret documents that appeared to show how the NSA was able to use XKEYSCORE to spy on Google maps searches.

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The Sorry Tale of Goldman Sachs, the FBI and Sergey Aleynikov

Sergey Aleynikov

aleynikov.org

Michael “Moneyball” Lewis has written a lengthy article for Vanity Fair in which he suggests that ex-Goldman Sachs employee Sergey Aleynikov may not have done too much to deserve a jail sentence other than piss off his omnipotent employer:

To Sergey Aleynikov’s new way of thinking, every American could benefit from some time in jail, but in the event that you are yourself actually arrested and sent away, “there are certain practical aspects to keep in mind.” First, dress warmly. Detention centers tend to be freezing cold, even in summer, and so if you happen to be wearing shorts or short sleeves you’re in for a spectacularly unhappy night. Second, carry no cash. “If you have money, they charge you a convenience fee,” he explains. “If you don’t have it, they don’t charge you. The less money you have on you, the better.” Third, memorize a couple of emergency contact phone numbers.

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Uruguay Likely to Create Legal Marijuana Market

Flag_of_Uruguay.svgUruguayan lawmakers say that creating a legal marijuana market will save money and lives.

Via The Guardian:

Uruguay’s unprecedented plan to create a legal marijuana market has taken its critical first step in the lower house of Congress.

All 50 members of the ruling Broad Front coalition approved the proposal just before midnight on Wednesday in a party line vote, keeping a narrow majority of the 96 MPs present after more than 13 hours of passionate debate.

The measure now goes to the Senate, where passage is expected to make Uruguay the first country in the world to license and enforce rules for the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adult consumers.

Legislators in the ruling coalition said putting the government at the centre of a legal marijuana industry is worth trying because the global war on drugs had been a costly and bloody failure, and displacing illegal dealers through licensed marijuana sales could save money and lives.

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Prepared Speech in the Event of World War III Revealed

433px-Elizabeth_II_greets_NASA_GSFC_employees,_May_8,_2007_edit

Pic: Public Domain

Thankfully, this is a speech that the monarch never had to make. Or at least, not yet.

Via the BBC:

Although it was only a simulation, the text of the Queen’s address – written as if broadcast at midday on Friday 4 March 1983 – seeks to prepare the country for the ordeal of World War III.

The script, which starts off by referring to the Queen’s traditional Christmas address, reads: “The horrors of war could not have seemed more remote as my family and I shared our Christmas joy with the growing family of the Commonwealth.

“Now, this madness of war is once more spreading through the world and our brave country must again prepare itself to survive against great odds.

Keep reading.

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Greek Scientists Create Robot Octopus, Hasten Doom of Planet Earth

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 10.03.37 AMRobot octopus? Wonder how long it seeks revenge for all of its grilled brethren?

Via Scientific American:

Researchers in Greece, however, have made a robot octopus that can propel itself through the water using only its eight arms.

Their prototype, announced earlier this summer, has mastered a handful of different swim strokes—including some even the octopus itself can’t pull off.

The robot octopus, initially outfitted with stiff limbs, can move all of its arms in and out in unison, slowly propelling the body along in the water. It can also perform a straight-armed technique in which each arm moves in and out independently

It has eight arms to hold you… and squeeze the life out of you.

 

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The NSA’s ‘Widest-Reaching’ Program XKeyscore Revealed

xkeyscoreVia the Guardian, the curtain keeps pulling back to reveal ever-greater levels of total surveillance:

The National Security Agency boasts in training materials that a program called XKeyscore is its “widest-reaching” system for developing intelligence from the internet.

The top secret program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The files shed light on one of Snowden’s most controversial statements, made in his first video interview with the Guardian on June 10: “I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.

Training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search.

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Drunk, Shirtless Cop Points Gun at Convenience Store Clerk During Three AM Visit

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 9.46.30 AM“Hey! No shirts, no service… Oh.”

One of two drunk, shirtless, and armed sheriff’s deputies equipped with bullet-proof vests who came wandering into a convenience store at three in the morning decided to point his pistol twice at the clerk working the desk. The 23 year-old deputy was already on probation ten months into his job. He has since been arrested and charged with aggravated assault. Inexplicably, he has since been released by the judge into “pre-trial services.” Be sure to ask for the same if you’re drunk and/or stupid enough to pull this kind of stunt.

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Back Alley Jinn Exorcism in the UK

jinnLast year, the BBC reported on a case where four family members were found guilty of murder.  The victim, Naila Mumtaz, an expectant mother, was found smothered in the home she shared with her husband, Mohammed, in Birmingham, England.  Mohammed and his parents, Zia Ul-Haq and Salma Aslan, along with his brother-in-law, Hammad Hassan, denied the allegations and defended themselves by claiming that Naila’s injuries were self-inflicted, and that she was possessed by a jinn (djinn), an Islamic evil spirit, similar to the Christian concept of a demon.

Although it received some media attention, this was not an isolated case.  Catrin Nye (BBC) reported a rise of criminal abuse in the UK related to the exorcism of jinn (a practice called “Ruqyah”) in recent years.  Some of these cases have resulted in the victims’ death, with the so-called “healer” (“raaqi”) often escaping punishment, being hidden by members of their communities.  Even in the majority of cases, where death does not occur, we find victims of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other mental health issues being denied the proper medical treatment in favor of exorcism.… Read the rest

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