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Weird Sea Mollusk Sports Hundreds of Eyes Made of Armor

Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University.

Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University.

Aren’t all sea mollusks kind of weird?

Stephanie Pappas via LiveScience:

A marine mollusk built like a tiny tank can see with eyes made of the same material as its armor.

Acanthopleura granulata is a chiton, a pill bug of the sea. This animal has a shell made of overlapping plates, which allows it to roll up in defense if a predator manages to pry it from the tidal-zone rock it calls home. Researchers have long known that chitons have soft tissue embedded in their flexible suits of armor, and that some of this soft tissue is sensitive to light. Now, they’ve discovered that A. granulata has hundreds of actual eyes that can see an 8-inch-long (20 centimeters) fish from 6.5 feet (2 meters) away.

Even weirder, these eyes are made of the same calcium-carbonate mineral as the chiton shell. However, the animal does have to trade off some structural integrity in return for the sensory function.

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Black Knight UFO Goes Mainstream

Disinfonauts probably know about the Black Knight satellite controversy (if you don’t, check out these stories), but have you seen Pepsi’s new short film “Black Knight Decoded”? Once again Madison Avenue has coopted an underground meme and trivialized it, but with massively expensive production values and the most perfectly groomed actors money can buy:

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The chilling aftershock of a brush with death


It was April 8, 2003. I was in Baghdad, covering the war in Iraq. That day, Americans tanks started arriving in Baghdad. We were just a few journalists in the Palestine Hotel, and, as happens in war, the fighting began to approach outside our windows. Baghdad was covered in black smoke and oil. It smelled awful. We couldn’t see a thing, but we knew what was happening.

Of course, I was supposed to be writing an article, but that’s how it always goes — you’re supposed to be writing and something big happens. So I was in my room on the 16th floor, writing and looking out the window every now and then to see what was happening. Suddenly, there was a huge explosion. During the previous three weeks, there had been shelling with half-ton missiles, but this time, the shock — I felt it inside of me, and I thought, “It’s very close.Read the rest

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Mœbius & Jodorowsky’s Sci-Fi Masterpiece, The Incal, Brought to Life in Animation

From the director Pascal Blais:

A movie trailer project inspired by the graphic novel “The INCAL”, from Moebius and Jodorowsky.

A while ago, I reunited a bunch of artists from the original “Heavy Metal” movie, to produce a trailer based upon this great work. Then I got busy building my company and it sat on my shelf until a few months back, when I decided to revamp it with today’s digital punch.

Two sequences from the original “Heavy Metal” movie were borrowed from Moebius’s work; “The Long Tomorrow” story and “Arzach”. Given that till this day, Moebius and Jodorowsky are heralded as some of the world’s greatest Sci-Fi visionaries; it seems to me that a film, based on their work would be even more successful than one inspired by it.

Bringing these incredible artists’s work to the big screen, I am convinced would be a great success…so much so that I animated and directed this piece with other like artists.

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Galactic Monster Mystery Revealed in Ancient Universe

ESO’s VISTA survey telescope has spied a horde of previously hidden massive galaxies that existed when the Universe was in its infancy. By discovering and studying more of these galaxies than ever before, astronomers have for the first time found out exactly when such monster galaxies first appeared. The newly discovered massive galaxies are marked on this image of the UltraVISTA field. ESO/ULTRAVISTA TEAM. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: TERAPIX/CNRS/INSU/CASU

ESO’s VISTA survey telescope has spied a horde of previously hidden massive galaxies that existed when the Universe was in its infancy. By discovering and studying more of these galaxies than ever before, astronomers have for the first time found out exactly when such monster galaxies first appeared. The newly discovered massive galaxies are marked on this image of the UltraVISTA field.

Astronomers have found a lot of galaxies that shouldn’t exist.

Ian O’Neill via Discovery:

Astronomers have detected something baffling at the furthest frontiers of our observable universe: massive galaxies — lots of massive galaxies — that shouldn’t even exist.

Depending on the wavelength you observe the universe in, different celestial objects and cosmic phenomena present themselves. This rule is especially true when looking deeper into the universe — the further you look, the farther back in time you can see. Because the universe is expanding, the most ancient light traveling over these vast distances becomes more difficult to observe.

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A NATO Country Shot Down a Russian Bomber: It’s Time to Start Paying Attention


(ANTIMEDIA) A Turkish fighter plane shot down a Russian bomber near the Syria-Turkey border early this morning. Turkey claims the Russian aircraft violated its airspace, while Russia claims it was flying over Syria. Oddly enough, both claims could conceivably be simultaneously true in a sense, but only because Turkey has infringed on Syrian sovereignty by extending its airspace five miles over Syrian territory.

The pilots were able to eject and begin parachuting down, but they were executed in mid-air by gunfire from fighters on the ground. The fighters were insurgents who have been battling the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad in a war that has been raging since 2011. A video has emerged showing insurgents standing over one of the dead Russian pilots.

A Russian helicopter searching for the downed pilots was also shot down, possibly with a U.S.-supplied anti-tank missile.

Turkey is a member of NATO, which means if it enters a war with Russia, it can drag the United States and most of Europe along with it.… Read the rest

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Memories Of A Heroin Head: “Heroin Has Given Me More Life Than It Has Taken Away”

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Shane Levene is a writer, artist, and a heroin addict. He is quite fabulous at being all three of those things. He was kind enough to answer some questions about his work and his lifestyle.

B.W. By anyone’s standards I have used excessive amounts of drugs and alcohol over my life. I once had a girlfriend who was a heroin addict who would use in my presence, but still I never used. What do you think separates those who embrace heroin from those of us that don’t?

S.L. I think it’s probably a lot to do with association. But not only association to the drug and what it is and what it represents, but an association of ourselves and who we think we are, would like to be and what we feel we represent through our existence. They’re very complicated things, figuring out what the hell life and existence is all about and how best to be oneself/find oneself in the midst of everything that is on offer.… Read the rest

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How LSD Microdosing Became the Hot New Business Trip

Acid is back in California, except this time is the workaholics not the hippies who are champions of LSD. From Rolling Stone:

Let’s call him “Ken.” Ken is 25, has a master’s degree from Stanford and works for a tech startup in San Francisco, doing a little bit of everything: hardware and software design, sales and business development. Recently, he has discovered a new way to enhance his productivity and creativity, and it’s not Five Hour Energy or meditation.

Ken is one of a growing number of professionals who enjoy taking “microdoses” of psychedelics – in his free time and, occasionally, at the office. “I had an epic time,” he says at the end of one such day. “I was making a lot of sales, talking to a lot of people, finding solutions to their technical problems.”

A microdose is about a tenth of the normal dose – around 10 micrograms of LSD, or 0.2-0.5 grams of mushrooms.

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The Story Behind ‘The Creature From Jekyll Island,’ the Anti-Fed Conspiracy Theory Bible

The Creature from Jekyll Island WND.jpgIf you’ve been wondering what all the fuss over the Federal Reserve Bank (a/k/a The Fed) is about, Daily Beast supplies the details:

It’s the kind of conspiracy theory so all-encompassing that it explains the very roots of all modern American wars, depression, economic boom, and (most importantly!) the darkest, best-kept secrets of international banking.

Typically, the Federal Reserve is a government entity that frustrated high schoolers in America are forced to learn about before entering adulthood and forgetting exactly what it is or why it exists. The Fed is our central banking system that was created at the tail end of 1913 as a response to a string of financial crises. It is responsible for implementing the United States’s monetary policy, and is routinely and aptly described as “boring.”

It’s all fairly mundane and unsexy (though hugely consequential) stuff. The Fed doesn’t bomb anything, invade anything, or even tax anything.

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