Archive | March 10, 2014

Peruvian Authorities Vow to Crack Down On Machu Picchu’s Naked Travelers

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 2.57.35 PMApparently no trip to famed cultural heritage site Machu Picchu is complete until you’ve wiggled your wang at it.

Warning: Video features naked tourists.

Via Peruvian Travel Trends:

There is a growing fad at Machu Picchu that officials hope to nip in the bud: tourists who pose for nude snapshots with the iconic Inca Citadel looming in the background.

For years, the practice has occurred pretty much under the radar.

That changed earlier this month when photos of two buddies from lands “Down Under” with buttocks bared, went viral, along with a YouTube video of a couple streaking across Machu Picchu’s principal plaza.

Peru’s media pounced.

Cusco’s new Regional Director of Culture, Ricardo Ruiz Caro, issued a statement that the incidents happened on the watch of his predecessor and that he should not be held responsible. He added that park guards at Machu Picchu and other historic sites in the region would increase surveillance from now on “to avoid these unfortunate events that threaten cultural heritage.

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NASA’s WISE Survey Finds Thousands of New Stars, But No ‘Planet X’

Nibiru ,Planet X ,Annunaki

Nibiru ,Planet X ,Annunaki (Photo credit: tortuga767) (CC)

Sad to say, but there will be no vacation from this three ring circus sideshow of Freaks. Nor a Kirsten Dunst flavored Melancholia stylized Nibiru cataclysm. Yet you still may want to learn to swim. There’s still comets  to fret about and whatever other fear of the week our imaginations can dredge up.

via NASA

After searching hundreds of millions of objects across our sky, NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has turned up no evidence of the hypothesized celestial body in our solar system commonly dubbed “Planet X.”

Researchers previously had theorized about the existence of this large, but unseen celestial body, suspected to lie somewhere beyond the orbit of Pluto. In addition to “Planet X,” the body had garnered other nicknames, including “Nemesis” and “Tyche.”

This recent study, which involved an examination of WISE data covering the entire sky in infrared light, found no object the size of Saturn or larger exists out to a distance of 10,000 astronomical units (au), and no object larger than Jupiter exists out to 26,000 au.

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Florida Family Hospitalized After Eating Steak Laced with LSD

PIC: Katrin Morenz (CC)

PIC: Katrin Morenz (CC)

Four members of a Florida family were hospitalized after eating steaks loaded with LSD. The steaks were purchased at a local Walmart, but police are saying that it was an isolated incident. I for one would have liked to have met that cow…

Via The Smoking Gun:

When the couple arrived at the hospital, Rosado, 31, “also became ill and was rushed across the street to St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital where they induced labor,” according to a police statement. Shortly thereafter, Rosado’s two young daughters “started experiencing hallucinations and felt ill,” cops added.

Morales and the girls “received tracheal intubation and were hospitalized” until their release Wednesday, while “The mother and her healthy baby boy were released Thursday, March 6th,” police reported.

The family members suffered hallucinations, dizziness, rapid heart rates, and difficulty breathing, according to Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor, who said that there was “no indication” of any involvement on the part of Morales or Rosado in the meat tampering.

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Florida Lawmakers Want to Dissolve State’s Most Corrupt Town

Pic: Google Maps (C)

Pic: Google Maps (C)

This town isn’t just corrupt. It’s Florida corrput. The mayor is in jail facing charges of dealing Oxycontin. There’s one cop for every 25 people – in a town of only 500 residents. The county sheriff compares the town’s municipal government to that of The Dukes of Hazzard character “Boss Hogg” – only worse. Welcome to Hampton, FL. You’ll probably stop in whether you want to or not: Speeding tickets is the town’s main source of income.

Via CNN:

How off-the-charts corrupt do you have to be to capture somebody’s attention in the Sunshine State?

You can lay claim to a 1,260-foot stretch of busy highway a mile outside of town and set up one of the nation’s most notorious speed traps. You can use the ticket money to build up a mighty police force — an officer for every 25 people in town — and, residents say, let drugs run rampant while your cops sit out by the highway on lawn chairs, pointing radar guns at everybody who passes by.

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Artist Paints Portraits With Cremated Human Remains

Pic: Adam Brown (C)

Pic: Adam Brown (C)

Missouri artist Adam Brown offers a unique memorial service to those seeking to remember deceased loved ones: He paints their portraits using paint mixed with ashes. He doesn’t just limit his services to human beings, either: He’ll do pet portraits, as well. It’s surprisingly affordable, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Via Beautiful Decay:

After Brown’s clients submit a sampling of sandy ashes, the artist dons a pair of gloves and mixes them with paint to create personalized renditions and imaginings of the dead that span from straight black and white portraiture to dreamy colored abstractions. He carefully preserves any and all unused ashes, ultimately returning them to his client.

The project, titled Ashes to Art, poignantly aims to reconstruct the deconstructed body, fixing delicate cremains with glue and paint; in this way, his paintings work to encapsulate the entirety of the human body and lifetime into one sly smile, one glint of the eye, or one splash of color.

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Ending Currency Manipulation—Just Follow the Money

Dollar billsRobert Scott of the Economic Policy Institute has some ideas about how to end currency manipulation, posted at TradeReform.org:

Growing trade deficits have cost US workers millions of jobs over the past two decades, (these were good jobs in manufacturing industries).  Currency manipulation by more than 20 countries, of which China is by far the largest, is the single most important reason why U.S. trade deficits have not decisively reversed.  Currency manipulation lowers the value of foreign currencies, relative to the U.S. dollar, which acts like a subsidy to their exports, and a tax on U.S. exports to China and every other country where the U.S. competes with the exports of currency manipulators.

In an era of fiscal austerity, ending global currency manipulation is the best way to reduce trade deficits, create jobs, and rebuild the U.S. economy, as shown in Stop Currency Manipulation and Create Millions of Jobs.   Eliminating currency manipulation would reduce the U.S.

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Matt Taibbi Talks New Digital Magazine; ‘Toothlessness’ of Modern Media

PIC: Tony (CC)

PIC: Tony (CC)

In my opinion, Matt Taibbi has been one of the most compelling and informative journalists on the politics and culture beat for the better part of a decade. Taibbi sat down with The New Yorker magazine to talk about his new digital magazine, putting the personal touch in reporting and the public’s lack of confidence in mainstream media. It’s a rather short piece, but if you’re a Taibbi fan like me then you’ll probably enjoy it. Here’s a snippet.

Via The New Yorker:

…none of Taibbi’s anger at the “toothlessness” of the media has dissipated. “I think it’s a lost art in this country—developing that narrative voice where readers connect with you as a human being,” he says, harpooning a stray piece of scrambled egg. “They want to see how you react individually to things. And if you think something is outrageous, and you write about it in a tone without outrage, then that’s just deception, you know?”

Taibbi says his decision to leave Rolling Stone was predicated in part on the need to make a change and “keep from falling into a pattern,” and partly by his desire to “be on Glenn’s side.” Glenn being Glenn Greenwald, who, along with Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, is currently editing another First Look property, the national-security-centric The Intercept, which has been live since February.

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Rethinking Privacy: Google Glass Harassment & The Coming Age of Sousveillance

PIC: Antonio Zugaldia (CC)

PIC: Antonio Zugaldia (CC)

“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.” – Dalai Lama

A woman was recently accosted at a bar in San Francisco for wearing Google Glass, and while I can sympathize to a certain degree with those disgruntled patrons who had not agreed to be recorded while out in public, I cannot help but wonder:  do these same individuals share a similar sense of outrage over the illegal monitoring and recording of all our digital data by the NSA? Many view Glass as a further intrusion of privacy, and as wearable/recordable tech becomes increasingly ubiquitous we are probably going to start seeing signs like these popping up in stores and restaurants all over the place.

This tech will force us to reconsider previously held notions of “public versus private” and that is not necessarily a bad thing, but another question worth asking might be: could this tech – when used responsibly – potentially help us to regain some sense of equilibrium and empowerment against the current surveillance state?… Read the rest

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Fukushima Radiation About to Reach U.S. West Coast

VOA Herman - April 13 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant-04When the mainstream media like USA Today is reporting on radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster reaching the Unites States’ West Coast, you can pretty much be sure that it’s no longer alarmist environmentalists and other activists sounding the alarm:

Very low levels of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster likely will reach ocean waters along the U.S. West Coast next month, scientists are reporting.

Current models predict that the radiation will be at extremely low levels that won’t harm humans or the environment, said Ken Buesseler, a chemical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who presented research on the issue last week.

But Buesseler and other scientists are calling for more monitoring. No federal agency currently samples Pacific Coast seawater for radiation, he said.

“I’m not trying to be alarmist,” Buesseler said. “We can make predictions, we can do models. But unless you have results, how will we know it’s safe?”

The news comes three years after the devastating Japan tsunami and resulting nuclear accident.

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Wastewater Injection Triggered Oklahoma’s Earthquake Cascade

Pic: USGS (PD)

Pic: USGS (PD)

Becky Oskin writes at LiveScience:

One of Oklahoma’s biggest man-made earthquakes, caused by fracking-linked wastewater injection, triggered an earthquake cascade that led to the damaging magnitude-5.7 Prague quake that struck on Nov. 6, 2011, a new study confirms.

The findings suggest that even small man-made earthquakes, such as those of just a magnitude 1 or magnitude 2, can trigger damaging quakes, said study co-author Elizabeth Cochran, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

“Even if wastewater injection only directly affects a low-hazard fault, those smaller events could trigger an event on a larger fault nearby,” she told Live Science.

The Prague earthquake was the largest of thousands of quakes that rattled Oklahoma in late 2011. Three were magnitude-5 or stronger. The 2011 quakes struck along the Wilzetta fault, a fault zone near Prague. Earthquakes break faults like a boat plowing through thick ice — the fault zips open as the earthquake ruptures the fault, and then seals itself shut behind.

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