Archive | March 13, 2014

Father of the Web Tim Berners-Lee: The Integrity of the Internet Must Be Protected

Pic: Cellanr (CC)

Pic: Cellanr (CC)

Der Spiegel interviews Tim Berners-Lee, the man widely credited as the father of the internet. Among other things, Berners-Lee is hard at work on a web version of the Magna Carta.

Via Der Spiegel:

SPIEGEL ONLINE: You and others are launching a global campaign to ensure the legal protection of Web users’ rights internationally. What would you include in your personal Magna Charta for the Web?

Berners-Lee: First, I would like us to have that conversation together. That is why we created webwewant.org. I want us to use this year to define the values that we as Web users are going to insist on. I would like every country to debate what that means in terms of their existing laws. In what areas must we enhance our regulations to guarantee fundamental rights on the Internet? The right to privacy must be in there, the right not to be spied on and the right not to be blocked.

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Americans Are the Weirdest People in the World: Here’s Why

WeirdTalesv36n1pg127_False_Teeth_ModelAnthropologist Joe Henrich and colleagues have studied the American mind, and comparing it to the rest of the world, their findings suggest that the nation’s citizens are the “weirdest” in the world. Must explain why journalists like Louis Theroux and Jon Ronson spend so much of their time here.

Via PSmag:

I had to wonder whether describing the Western mind, and the American mind in particular, as weird suggested that our cognition is not just different but somehow malformed or twisted. In their paper the trio pointed out cross-cultural studies that suggest that the “weird” Western mind is the most self-aggrandizing and egotistical on the planet: we are more likely to promote ourselves as individuals versus advancing as a group. WEIRD minds are also more analytic, possessing the tendency to telescope in on an object of interest rather than understanding that object in the context of what is around it.

The WEIRD mind also appears to be unique in terms of how it comes to understand and interact with the natural world.

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The Brain Shrinking Except for the Frontal Lobe: It’s Growing

PIC: Camazine (CC)

PIC: Camazine (CC)

Scientific studies indicate that while the brain overall is shrinking, the frontal lobe – that part of the brain responsible for communication, planning and executive function, among other things – is growing. No one knows why for certain, but there are a lot of theories. Could it be related to the birth of reading and writing? Also interesting is an apparent increase in sexual dimorphism:

Via EvoAnth:

The 7,000 years or so these endocasts cover is also the period writing was invented and spread around the world; until many countries have almost universal literacy rates. In other words, as reading and writing becomes more important the region of the brain needed for it becomes larger, despite the fact the rest of the brain is shrinking. It’s a “no duh” question; but could there be a link? The researchers think so1, but it is worth noting the frontal lobe is also linked to planning and memory.

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Cop Who Went on Violent Rampage Said Antibiotic Made Him Psychotic

Pic: Yikrazuul (PD)

Pic: Yikrazuul (PD)

This is the first I’ve ever heard of it, but apparently clarithromycin, an antibiotic sold under the brand name Biaxin can cause psychosis, agitation, mania and delirium in about 3% of patients. Maybe Officer Colas has a case.

Via

A Virginia Beach police officer who was jailed for three months after stabbing two Accomack County firefighters and shooting at a third says there should have been warning labels on an antibiotic that briefly turned him psychotic.

A lawyer for Officer Bradley Colas recently filed a federal lawsuit seeking more than $75,000 from Abbvie, Inc. and Abbot Laboratories. The suit contents the drug maker knew that, in some cases, its popular antibiotic Biaxin has triggered psychotic episodes. But the lawyer says there were no warnings on the prescription.

In March, 2012, Colas started taking Biaxin for bronchitis. The lawsuit says after a few doses, Colas began to believe he was a prophet with special religious powers.

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Chinese Woman Awaiting Trial for Hacking Off Husband’s Penis Returns for His Balls

PIC: Uncredited (CC)

PIC: Uncredited (CC)

Apparently her husband had forgiven her after she cut off his penis. Then she came back and cut off the rest of his genitals.

Via UPI

During the first incident, Zhang reportedly crushed up sleeping pills and put them in Han Mou’s drink. When he fell asleep, she went after his private parts with some scissors and was able to flush his penis down the toilet before he woke up.

She was apparently worried that he was interested in another woman. “If he and I divorced, and that our children will have a stepmother, a terrible thing.” Zhang told China News.

Somehow Mou was able to forgive her. “I still love my wife,” he said. “She was 16 years old just like me, and gave me two sons.”

Zhang was released on bail and returned home to look after her husband and children.

According to the translation about what happened next, some time passed before Zhang became jealous again and used a syringe to inject a box of milk with crushed sleeping pills.

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Man Make ‘Cowasaki’ Motorcycle Out of Animal Bones

Pic: Ron Moore (CC)

Pic: Ron Moore (C)

Meet Florida artist Reese Moore. The former snake wrangler and whale trainer (Yes, really.) creates art out of animal bones. He calls his latest creation Cowasaki. You can have it for $55,000. No idea if it’s street legal. Incidentally, Moore has never ridden a motorcycle.

You know it’s a good story when it starts with a guy at Froggy’s Saloon wanting some dinosaurs…

Via The Daytona News Journal:

If you come across a dead animal, it’s likely Reese Moore is willing to take it off your hands.

What started out as a way to create Halloween decorations for his children has made Moore into one of the more unique motorcycle manufacturers in the nation. Of course, his creations don’t run and their parts don’t either — at least not anymore. For more than a decade, the Orange City resident has been making choppers out of animal bones.

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Punishing Reporters for Truth in a Censored Media | Abby Martin & Amber Lyon

Abby Martin takes a look the state of media today, highlighting instances of journalists who have gone against the editorial lines of their respective networks. Abby also speaks with investigative journalist and former CNN reporter Amber Lyon, about her experience with media censorship and the topic of journalist integrity in time when disinformation is abound.
LIKE Breaking the Set @ http://fb.me/BreakingTheSet
FOLLOW Abby Martin @ http://twitter.com/AbbyMartin
FOLLOW Amber Lyon @ http://twitter.com/AmberLyon

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Compilation of Cannabis Studies and Documentaries

HansRoht (CC)

A useful and comprehensive compilation of what we know so far about the most widely used illegal flower in the world…A plant that purportedly has “no currently accepted medical use”, despite the endless stream of studies and individual cases heavily suggesting otherwise. Now that two states have legalized it, with many more on the way, it won’t be long before the rest of the [police] States follow suit.

Via The Nexian:

“If cannabis were discovered in an Amazon rainforests today, people would be clambering to make as much use as they could out of the potential benefits of the plant”….”Unfortunately, it carries with it a long and not so long history of being a persecuted plant.” Donald L. Abrams, MD

Cannabis is one of the most thoroughly studied, yet misunderstood, medicinal psychedelic plants. Owing mainly to the propaganda of the “War on [Some People Who Use Certain] Drugs,” Cannabis’ potential for self-development, exploration, and therapy is largely ignored, discounted, and stigmatized. On theDMT-Nexus, Cosmic Spore has been compiling and organizing published scientific literature on this fascinating plant.… Read the rest

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Did the CIA Rape Iraqi Children in Front of Their Parents?

Pic: Institute for Policy Studies (CC)

Pic: Institute for Policy Studies (CC)

Seeing as how questions about the CIA’s torture program(s) and what crimes they’re attempting to cover up are in the news again, it seems like a good time to pull an old Seymour Hersh quote out of the Memory Hole:

“Some of the worst things that happened that you don’t know about. OK? Videos. There are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at [Abu Ghraib], which is about 30 miles from Baghdad — 30 kilometers, maybe, just 20 miles, I’m not sure whether it’s — anyway. The women were passing messages out saying please come and kill me because of what’s happened. And basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children, in cases that have been recorded, the boys were sodomized, with the cameras rolling, and the worst above all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking.

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