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Quantum Spacecraft & Other Hidden Truths: What Lies Hidden In Snowden’s ‘Black Budget’ World?

Christina Sarich via Collective Evolution:

Not long ago Edward Snowden, a former intelligence contractor leaked the very first documentation that proves the existence of clandestine black budget operations. You can read more about that here.  So what discoveries lay hidden that are open to reasonable speculation?

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When Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the White House in the 1970s, the whole world thought we were about to enter a new era of alternative energy. As soon as Reagan was elected, however, he took them down, taking us back to the dark ages of energy and marking several more decades of dependency on a polluting, non-renewable substance – oil. Conspiracy theories abound regarding why this happened, but the energy crisis goes down a deeper rabbit hole in Alice’s little wonder world than some of us could have imagined – enter quantum spacecraft, and a few other little secrets.

In order to travel light years away, compelling the forces of gravity to work in one’s favor is just the first of numerous challenges to overcome.

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Forget Little Green Men – Aliens Will Look Like Humans

Alright alien-hunters, you can stop looking for Grays, Little Green Men or other freakish alien stereotypes. They’re going to look like us according to Professor Simon Conway Morris, reports the Independent:

They are often portrayed on screen as little green men with elongated limbs and saucer-like eyes.

Credit: Anthony Appleyard (CC)

Credit: Anthony Appleyard (CC)

From E.T to the X-Files, aliens from outer space have captured our imagination for decades.

Yet a new book from a leading evolutionary biologist argues that if they exist and we ever encountered them, they would look very similar to us.

Professor Simon Conway Morris said extra-terrestrials that resemble human beings should have evolved on at least some of the many Earth-like planets that have been discovered by astronomers.

In his new book published on 2 July, The Runes of Evolution, the University of Cambridge academic builds on the principle of convergent evolution – that different species will independently evolve similar features, with the comparison of the camera eye of an octopus and a human eye a favourite example – and argues it will not just took place on Earth.

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The Surprisingly Imperfect Science of DNA Testing

Katie Worth tells us “how a proven tool may be anything but,” in reference to DNA testing, for Frontline:

…Peter Gill is a giant in the forensic DNA community, counted among the scientists who wrote the original paper conceptualizing DNA as a forensic tool in 1985. But he has spent recent years warning people using his tool against blindly trusting its results. In a 2014 book called “Misleading DNA Evidence: Reasons for Miscarriages of Justice,” Gill wrote that contamination is dangerous because investigators are eager to believe that DNA found at a crime scene must come from the perpetrator.

“The presence of a DNA profile says nothing about the time frame or the circumstances under which it came to be there,” says defense expert and researcher Dan Krane. “Test results can’t distinguish between the possibility of contamination, or evidence tampering, or, you know, murder.”

Technology may soon increase the danger of implicating innocent people.

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The Dopest Blunts Ever

In interesting find over at Digg, where they profile the maker of some extraordinarily complicated blunts:

Here is a man with too much time and marijuana on his hands. Instagram user Valleyrec420, a self-described California Prop 215 patient, is spending his days rolling the most incredible blunts we’ve ever seen. Err… not that we’ve seen a ton of blunts. We’re not experts. Who’s asking? Are you a cop? You have to tell us if you’re a cop.

Instagram / valleyrec420

Instagram / valleyrec420

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The Ballad of the Piggyback Bandit and other Strange Criminals

The Piggyback Bandit is the nickname for Sherwin Shayegan, who is known for soliciting piggyback rides from high-school athletes in the Northwestern United States in 2008. Shayegan has been banned from high-school sporting events in five states.

The Piggyback Bandit is the nickname for Sherwin Shayegan, who is known for soliciting piggyback rides from high-school athletes in the Northwestern United States in 2008. Shayegan has been banned from high-school sporting events in five states.

While most of you were at work yesterday morning I found myself reminiscing about the Piggyback Bandit.

The Piggyback Bandit is a guy named Sherwin Shayegan. He loves piggyback rides. LOVES THEM!

The Piggyback Bandit ingratiates himself with high school sports teams  by pretending to be a team manager or a fan, often he wears some sort of team jersey. He has pretended to interview athletes for a term paper, acted as a team manager or just tried to blend in with the crowd, but no matter what he pretends, one thing is for sure, sooner or later he is going to ride some high school athlete all around the gym.

Shayegan’s piggybacking on the backs of young and virile teen athletes harkens back to 2008 and had been mainly confined to Washington and Oregon.… Read the rest

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‘Inception’ Is Possible—At Least In Sleeping Mice

A man in a suit with a gun in his right hand is flanked by five other individuals in the middle of a street which, behind them, is folded upwards. Leonardo DiCaprio's name and those of other cast members are shown above the words "Your Mind Is the Scene of the Crime". The title of the film "INCEPTION", film credits, and theatrical and IMAX release dates are shown at the bottom.If you liked the movie Inception and are interested in the science of dreaming, you’ll be interested to learn that scientists are now able to influence the dreams of mice (humans coming soon no doubt). From Quartz:

Scientists have been poking around in mice brains a lot recently. They’ve found that they have dreams, and that those dreams can be manipulated.

Research (paywall) by scientists at the Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution in Paris has shown that scientists can influence mouse dreams, in a way reminiscent of the 2010 science fiction movie Inception. Researchers placed electrodes into a part of the mouse brain called the hippocampus, which contains cells that send electrical signals in specific places (hence their name, place cells). After monitoring mice in a specific arena, scientists were able to locate specific cells that fired in specific locations.

As the mice were sleeping, the electrodes illustrated that place cells in mice were still firing, as they dreamed about particular places.

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The Future of Facebook is Telepathy

Facebook. Telepathy. From CNN/Money

Mark Zuckerberg just dropped a big clue about Facebook’s future.

The social network’s founder and CEO believes that one day, we’ll be able to share our thoughts directly — brain to brain — using technology.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg. Credit: Wired Photostream (CC)

“You’ll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too if you’d like,” Zuckerberg said. “This would be the ultimate communication technology.”

He made his comments during a public Q&A session on his Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon. The response was addressed to a user who asked about Facebook’s long-term plans.

In the past decade, the company has expanded the way users communicate on the platform. First there were plain profile pages. Next came comments, and then the Wall, Likes, Groups and News Feed.

Over the last year Facebook has moved away from mass sharing and focused on personal messaging.

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Amazon Debuts Philip K. Dick’s ‘The Man in the High Castle’ Series by Ridley Scott

Hey Dick-Heads, are you excited for the The Man in the High Castle? Amazon Studios has released a new teaser in advance of the debut of the first two series episodes at San Diego Comic Con on July 10th (if you can’t get to San Diego, EW is going to stream the event live):

Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel, and executive produced by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), The Man in the High Castle explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States. Starring Rufus Sewell (John Adams), Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars) and Alexa Davalos (Mob City), the series results from the Amazon Studios one hour pilot, which you can access here if you subscribe to Amazon Prime.

Dick set The Man in the High Castle in 1962, fifteen years after the end of a fictional longer Second World War (1939–47).… Read the rest

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Shocking Documents Reveal Fracking Health Complaints Swept Under the Rug in Pennsylvania

Anti-frackers may be celebrating in New York State, where the ban on hydraulic fracturing was made permanent this week, but in Pennsylvania it’s a very different story. EcoWatch reports that a ream of official state documents show a pattern of sweeping health complaints under the rug:

Heavily-fracked Pennsylvania is a battle ground in the fight to protect affected families from the harms of the toxic drilling method. Last week after months of resisting our efforts, the state finally delivered more than 100 pages of documents to Food & Water Watch that were requested through a public Right-to-Know request. And what we received was shocking. The documents clearly demonstrate an ongoing pattern of alarming negligence and incompetence by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) in responding to scores of fracking-related health complaints from state residents.

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Food & Water Watch requested, through a public Right-to-Know request, documents that clearly demonstrate an ongoing pattern of alarming negligence and incompetence by the Pennsylvania Dept.
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