Archive | February, 2014

Cloning The Mammoth

Paul Jamin - Le MammouthNathaniel Rich writes for the New York Times Magazine that “bringing extinct animals back to life is really happening — and it’s going to be very, very cool. Unless it ends up being very, very bad.”

The first time Ben Novak saw a passenger pigeon, he fell to his knees and remained in that position, speechless, for 20 minutes. He was 16. At 13, Novak vowed to devote his life to resurrecting extinct animals. At 14, he saw a photograph of a passenger pigeon in an Audubon Society book and “fell in love.” But he didn’t know that the Science Museum of Minnesota, which he was then visiting with a summer program for North Dakotan high-school students, had them in their collection. He was shocked when he came across a cabinet containing two stuffed pigeons, a male and a female, mounted in lifelike poses. He was overcome by awe, sadness and the birds’ physical beauty: their bright auburn breasts, slate-gray backs and the dusting of iridescence around their napes that, depending on the light and angle, appeared purple, fuchsia or green.

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What Really Happened to Michael Rockefeller

Asmat Demon Mask natural fiber New Guinea

Asmat Demon Mask natural fiber New Guinea (Photo credit: mharrsch) (CC)

Apparently some answers to 50 year old questions about a privileged young man.

via Smithsonian Mag

A journey to the heart of New Guinea’s tribal homeland sheds new light on the mystery of the heir’s disappearance there in 1961

Asmat is, in its way, a perfect place. Everything you could possibly need is here. It’s teeming with shrimp and crabs and fish and clams. In the jungle there are wild pig, the furry, opossumlike cuscus, and the ostrichlike cassowary. And sago palm, whose pith can be pounded into a white starch and which hosts the larvae of the Capricorn beetle, both key sources of nutrition. The rivers are navigable highways. Crocodiles 15 feet long prowl their banks, and jet-black iguanas sun on uprooted trees. There are flocks of brilliant red-and-green parrots. Hornbills with five-inch beaks and blue necks.

And secrets, spirits, laws and customs, born of men and women who have been walled off by ocean, mountains, mud and jungle for longer than anyone knows.

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Western Spy Agencies Infiltrating, Warping World of Online Activism

abc_edward_snowden_2_jt_130609_msJon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

According to newly published documents, Western spy agencies like the GCHQ and NSA have developed sophisticated online operations in which covert agents infiltrate online communities, networks and forums in order to “manipulate, deceive”—even destroy the reputations of—targeted individuals and groups even if those people have not be charged, or necessarily accused, of a crime.

Building on his previous reporting about so-called “dirty tricks” used by GCHQ to ensare, trap, and discredit online hacktivists and other digital networks, journalist Glenn Greenwald late Monday published a new series of internal agency slides—leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden—which show how a special unit, called JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group), has attempted “to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse” for its own ends. In so doing, writes Greenwald, these operations are disrupting “the integrity of the internet itself.”

Using sophisticated psychological templates, the slides show how the intelligence service believes it can use subversion to disrupt online networks by using various tactics, of which Greenwald descibes two as key: “(1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable.”

In just one example, a slide titled “Disruption” offers a playbook for some of the tactics used to discredit a target.

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What Men Find Behind Female Masks

Female theatre mask. Roman fresco from Casa del Bracciale d'Oro (VI 17, 42) in Pompeii.

Female theatre mask. Roman fresco from Casa del Bracciale d’Oro (VI 17, 42) in Pompeii. (PD)

This is an entirely new subculture that I was unaware of. Not that I seek them out, but the internet has a way of providing.

via The Atlantic

 Julie, an immaculately made-up woman, sits down in front of a camera. She has thick, voluminous hair that frames the high cheekbones of her conspicuously crease-free face. Her elegant, arched eyebrows and extra-long eyelashes act as a counterbalance to her plump, painted lips. She looks out of frame, as if admiring herself in a mirror, before giggling and batting her eyelids.

“Oh dear,” she purrs, tilting her head from side to side. “Another long day in a wig and a girdle.”

She reaches up and emits a light moan as she unclips her gold earrings and gently sets them aside, one by one. She considers her image a few moments longer, then places her hands just below her ears and begins to pull her blemish-free skin off and away from her jawline.

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McGruff Crime Dog Actor Busted For Drugs, Guns

Pic: USMC (CC)

Pic: USMC (CC)

Imagine a story reporting the death of Ronald McDonald by a Big Mac-induced myocardial infarction, (known commonly as a “Big Mac Attack”).

VIA First Coast News

John Russell Morales, 41, an actor who once played the crime-fighting cartoon bloodhound, has been sentenced to nearly two decades behind bars after pleading guilty to possessing 1,000 marijuana plants and a cache of nearly 30 weapons — including a grenade launcher and thousands of ammunition rounds.

Morales was arrested in 2011 after Galveston, Texas, police and drug-sniffing dogs — real dogs, that is — stopped him for speeding, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Kusin, who later prosecuted the case.

Authorities discovered diagrams of two indoor pot-growing operations and an abundance of marijuana seeds in Morales’ Infinity, according to the Houston Chronicle newspaper.

Keep reading.

 

 

 

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Man Had 42 Pearls Lodged In His Flesh In Alternative Medicine Gone Wrong

4790-P7Today’s waking nightmare via Your Jewish News:

A 61-year-old man named Zou of Beijing, China, had to undergo emergency surgery to remove 42 pearls that were embedded in his body for years as part of an unusual remedy for severe pain in the legs.

Doctors in Changsha, Hunan Province, removed the pearls from the man’s waist, hips and legs. Zou suffered from back and leg pain when a friend introduced him to a doctor in Yiyang, Hunan Province, who places pearls under the skin in order to heal pain.

One of Zou’s relatives who underwent the pearl therapy, got better. However, Zou started experiencing a sharp pain in his legs last year, which subsequently left him unable to walk. As a result of the unusual remedy, Zou had contracted bilateral femoral head necrosis, a condition which stops blood supply to the bone.

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Is ADHD a Mental Health Crisis, or a Cultural One?

Children in a classroomKate Lunau looks at the reasons behind the rapid rise in ADHD diagnosis rates for MacLeans:

Any visitor to North Carolina and California will know that the two states have their differences. The former is a typically “red state”; California is staunchly “blue.” Each has certain geographic, ethnic and cultural peculiarities, different demographic makeup, family income levels, and more. Yet perhaps the most surprising divide, one many wouldn’t expect, is that North Carolina appears to be a hotbed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD—especially when compared to California. A child who lived in North Carolina instead of California in 2007, according to U.S. academics Stephen Hinshaw and Richard Scheffler, was 2½ times more likely to be diagnosed.

In their forthcoming book The ADHD Explosion, Hinshaw and Scheffler—a psychologist and health economist, respectively, at the University of California at Berkeley—examine the causes behind the startling and rapid rise in diagnosis rates of ADHD, a neurobehavioural disorder that has somehow become epidemic.

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Cody Wilson on Creating the 3d Printed Gun


In this video Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange talks to Cody Wilson, the creator the 3d printed gun. Cody calls the gun’s development an activist project and describes his work as a psychological operation. All over the world the 3d printed gun is shaking up political discourse. Since launching the information into the political domain Cody has been facing an intense ongoing legal battle.

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Houston “Chupacabra” Sightings Could Be Real, Intentionally Bred Animal

chupaAre fantasy fans attempting to breed their own real-life mythical animals? Via the Houston Chronicle:

A recent sighting of the mythical chupacabra could be the result of exotic animal owners interbreeding their pets, according to a Houston animal control expert.

Two residents of the Doliver Point gated community near Gessner and Doliver claim to have seen giant footprints alongside Buffalo Bayou and say they have photos to prove it is the mysterious chupacabra.

Scott Black and David McKee took several photos of the animal Sunday, according to KPRC news. “It was very vicious, very long, longer than a human,” said Claude Griffen from Gotcha Pest control, who was brought into check out the photos. “It was a pretty big animal, very well fed.”

Houston animal control officials said they have heard of people trying to breed dogs that look like so-called direwolves from the TV show Game of Thrones.

Griffen said it’s not the first one he’s come across and asserts that people are deliberately trying to breed animals that match descriptions of these mythical creatures.

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