Author Archive | Aaron Dames

Professor to Install Camera in the Back of His Head

Wafaa BilalTracy Staedter writes at Discovery News:

According to this article from the Wall Street Journal, Wafaa Bilal, an Iraqi assistant professor at New York University is having a camera surgically embedded in the back of his head.

The unusual act is part of a museum installation called 3rdI. For a year, the camera will take still pictures in one-minute intervals and send them wirelessly to Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar, which will display them on monitors.

Bilal is known for his provocative art. He has a tattoo on his back that details American and Iraqi casualties, he set up a website where people could shoot him remotely with paint balls and created a suicide-bomber avatar of himself in a video game that hunted down President George W. Bush.

The 3rdI project, which launches December 15, has raised a bunch of privacy concerns that the university is still addressing.

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‘Most Dangerous Bill In History Of U.S.’ – Vote Imminent

From Mike Adams at Natural News:
Senate Bill 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, has been called "the most dangerous bill in the history of the United States of America." It would grant the U.S. government new authority over the public's right to grow, trade and transport any foods. This would give Big brother the power to regulate the tomato plants in your backyard. It would grant them the power to arrest and imprison people selling cucumbers at farmer's markets. It would criminalize the transporting of organic produce if you don't comply with the authoritarian rules of the federal government.
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"It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one's choice...
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Outlaw Professor Confirms Alcohol ‘More Harmful Than Heroin’

[disinfo ed.'s note: although we ran a story about this report previously, we decided that Aaron's post had sufficient additional information to run it too.]
Not sure about the "harm score" reliability, but the chart is worth a gander nevertheless;  the BBC reports:
Alcohol is more harmful than heroin or crack, according to a study published in medical journal the Lancet. The report is co-authored by Professor David Nutt, the former UK chief drugs adviser who was sacked by the government in October 2009. It ranks 20 drugs on 16 measures of harm to users and to wider society. drugs comparison
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Hundreds of Thousands of Centenarians Go Missing in Japan

Where Are They?Jenna Fisher writes in the Christian Science Monitor:

More than 230,000 Japanese citizens over the age of 100 have gone missing, according to a government survey released Friday, highlighting poor record-keeping practices and sharp changes in Japanese attitudes about family ties.

In August, the Monitor reported that Japan’s Health Ministry was investigating cases involving some 840 missing people over the age of 85 in connection with potentially fraudulent pension claims. At that time, 75 centenarians were unaccounted for in 19 of the country’s 47 prefectures.

The search began ahead of a national holiday held every September to show respect for the elderly. It was fueled in part by the discovery that Tokyo’s oldest resident – listed as 113 years old – had not been seen for more than 20 years. When welfare officials attempted to contact Fusa Furuya at her home, her 79-year-old daughter told them she hadn’t been seen since around 1986.

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Pentagon Workers Found To Have Downloaded Child Pornography

PentagonEwen MacAskill writes for the Guardian:

Dozens of Pentagon staff and contractors with high-level security clearance have been found by US federal investigators to have downloaded child pornography.

A spokesman said the defence department takes such matters seriously but would not comment on specific cases.

The Pentagon concern is not just that crimes have been committed, though that alone would be grounds for dismissal, but that it makes those involved security risks.

One of those charged was a contractor who had security clearance at the National Security Agency, which eavesdrops on communications worldwide. He fled the US and is thought to be hiding in Libya.

Details about links between the Pentagon and child pornography were disclosed yesterday in the Boston Globe.

The paper quotes an internal report from the defence criminal investigative service in 2009 which says that though the number found to be involved is small compared with the number employed by the defence department and related organisations, it leaves those involved “at risk of blackmail, bribery, and threats, especially since these individuals typically have access to military installations”.

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Blogetery And The FBI’s War On Terror

FBI_logoGreg Sandoval writes for CNET News:

The U.S. war on terror may have inadvertently stripped as many as 70,000 people of their blogs, but those bloggers may get their work returned to them.

Blogetery.com, a small blogging platform based in Toronto, was abruptly shut down on July 9 by Burst.net, its Web host, after FBI agents alleged Blogetery was home to links that led to bomb-making tips and the names of Americans targeted for assassination by al-Qaeda. Joe Marr, Burst.net’s chief technology officer, said Wednesday that the company is considering its options and there’s a chance executives there could hand over a copy of most of the information found on Blogetery’s server–it won’t be returning anything created by al-Qaeda. That means the service’s users could see their blogs again. What they won’t see is Burst.net hosting Blogetery in the future, said Marr. That relationship is severed.

After the FBI requested information about Blogetery, Scranton, Pa.-based Burst.net cut off Internet access for the service.

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BP Hires Prison Labor to Clean Up Spill While Coastal Residents Struggle

bpThe Democracy Now! summary of Abe Louise Young’s article in The Nation:

The Nation magazine has revealed new details about how BP is receiving tax credits by relying on cheap or free prison labor to help clean up the Gulf spill. BP’s reliance on prison labor has been criticized by many in the region since the disaster has left so many people out of work. But the hiring of prison labor has apparently been financially beneficial for BP. Each new prisoner hired by BP comes with a tax credit of $2,400. On top of that, BP may earn back up to 40 percent of the wages they pay to prisoners. Prison workers are required to work up to twelve hours a day, six days a week, and are liable to lose earned good time if they refuse the job. Inmates are also forbidden to talk to the public or media.

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