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Techmology and Scientism / Missing Link found?
September 08, 2011, 05:21:47 PM
An analysis of 2 million-year-old bones found in South Africa offers the most powerful case so far in identifying the transitional figure that came before modern humans — findings some are calling a potential game-changer in understanding evolution.

The bones are from Australopithecus sediba. The research places that pre-human branch of the evolutionary tree as the best candidate to be the ancestor of the human line, said Lee R. Berger of the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.

This could alter things quite a bit.

It's illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.

Whispering in someone's ear while he's moose hunting is prohibited.

Cutting down a cactus may earn you a twenty-five-year prison term.

It's illegal to mispronounce the name of the state of Arkansas.

You may not eat an orange in your bathtub.

It's unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor (Denver).

A pickle cannot actually be a pickle unless it bounces.

It's illegal to get married on a dare.

Washington, D.C.
It's against the law to post a public notice calling someone a coward for refusing to accept a challenge to duel.

If you tie an elephant to a parking meter, you must pay the same parking fee as you would for a vehicle.

It's illegal to change the clothes on a storefront mannequin unless you draw the shades first.

All residents may be fined for not owning a boat.

A man must not give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing fewer than fifty pounds.

It's illegal to take a French poodle to the opera (Chicago).

The value of pi is 4, and not 3.1415.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Happy labor day
September 05, 2011, 03:50:17 PM
Now get back to fucking work, the rich require your fucking production.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Triple Zero
August 24, 2011, 02:35:12 PM
Sorry man for firing at you like that. Bit of a rough patch right now, head space and meat sack are cluttered. No excuses though, my bad.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Dear P3ent
August 05, 2011, 04:00:20 PM
Thank you so very much, your talent continues to awe me.

Run the vacuum, take a hydrocodone.

Do the laundry, take a flexeril.

Do the dishes, take another hydrocodone and was it down with cheap whiskey.

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Attn
June 22, 2011, 09:21:18 AM
EB&G will no longer honor the quid pro quo rule. If you step in  it then you own it.
Aneristic Illusions / Attn. HIMEOBS
June 10, 2011, 11:42:29 PM
Please forward all offensive images to Tennessee.

A new Tennessee law makes it a crime to "transmit or display an image" online that is likely to "frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress" to someone who sees it. Violations can get you almost a year in jail time or up to $2500 in fines.

The Tennessee legislature has been busy updating its laws for the Internet age, and not always for the better. Last week we reported on a bill that updated Tennessee's theft-of-service laws to include "subscription entertainment services" like Netflix.

The ban on distressing images, which was signed by Gov. Bill Haslam last week, is also an update to existing law. Tennessee law already made it a crime to make phone calls, send emails, or otherwise communicate directly with someone in a manner the sender "reasonably should know" would "cause emotional distress" to the recipient. If the communciation lacked a "legitimate purpose," the sender faced jail time.

The new legislation adds images to the list of communications that can trigger criminal liability. But for image postings, the "emotionally distressed" individual need not be the intended recipient. Anyone who sees the image is a potential victim. If a court decides you "should have known" that an image you posted would be upsetting to someone who sees it, you could face months in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

You're welcome.
More than a dozen peace activists in the Midwest will face a federal grand jury in Chicago in the next few weeks, in an investigation related to terrorism.

The FBI searched the activists' homes last week, confiscating computers, photographs and other materials that the search warrants suggest could be evidence of "material support" of terrorist organizations. None of those whose homes were searched have been charged but they have been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury in Chicago.

They are using anti terrorist laws along with warrants to search homes and issue grand jury subpoenas. reliable sources are hard to dig up, but this appears to be happening nationwide.
I can prove it.

There are two Idol finalists, a 16 year old girl and a 17 year old boy. Both are country music singers.

Before you ask, no I do not vote, but sometimes I like to watch because I like music and I grew up with it on teevee.
It seems that those pesky fuel efficient cars are causing some problems as far as funding for highway maintenance.  Not to worry though, a new tax has been proposed.

Because greater fuel economy is letting motorists drive more miles using less gas, the current gas tax that funds the federal government's efforts to build and maintain highways isn't generating enough money.

A driving tax, officially known as a "vehicle miles traveled" tax, could close that gap.

Oh, and as part of calculating how much you owe they are considering putting a gps in your vehicle.
Robotics for the handicapped.

Along the lines of finger controlled blacksmith hammer, etc.

I suspect there would be one helluva market for something like that.

Aneristic Illusions / 9/11 a Fraud?
May 10, 2011, 05:35:16 PM

I swear it is getting more difficult to separate bullshit from partial truth or even real truth even more.
Good morning America, how are you?

I have seen the White Rabbit and have been informed I need to be Leaving on a Jet Plane. Not sure why, but I need to be 8 Miles High, maybe because it's Summer in the City.

Rocky Raccoon came to me in a dream and told me there would be Another Pleasant Summer Sunday in Crimson and Clover before I climb the Stairway to Heaven. Because of this I found myself Groovin' and wondering what War! was good for.

Okay, you should get the idea by now. A movement that started in San Francisco  and spread to every city in America and a great deal of the world, culminated at it's peak in a field in upstate New York. Roughly 500,000 people showed for a celebration. A celebration of music, coming of age and anger.

This era produced Giants like we have never seen before. Unlikely giants, they had long hair, made loud and unconventional music and protest. Often they were heavy drug users, wild, free and the real leaders of the popular movement. People began to question things.

They tried to beat them back into submission, but their numbers were far too large and their determination was unequaled. These people didn't mind so much going to jail, or even being slapped down by the police.


What happened to those people? Where did they go? Sadly they became a part of normal society. They grew up and caved in. Sold out. Not by intention to be sure, but by the desire for human comforts, the knowledge and wisdom of age, and the blunt realization that if they wanted anything they would need to blend in and play the game.

We can't blame them for this at all, after all, it's human conditioning.

All of the heroes and giants found greater success in being the mainline people they had become by general acceptance. Seriously, it's hard to protest when you show up to huge crowds and big paydays.

Who are we to judge them? We ourselves, those of us from that era, have done the same thing. We scratch our way up to mid-management in order to take care of our families and to be able to buy those nice things we see on TV and in the stores.

I am convinced that every era, every new generation is so sure they have the answers. I am equally sure they will eventually be assimilated into society. You see, it's what must be, there is no escape. Somebody has to do that job, be in charge, take that responsibility. And as the new generation grows they begin to see the benefits for them in doing these things.

The world and society will, in the end, win. Not because they are better than us, but simply because they are implacable. All they have to do is wait, and they know it.

We are born, we grow up, we follow the footsteps of those before us. This is the world, as it will ever be. To the youth, go rebel, scream into the wind, kick against the pricks and be heard. Soon enough this will pass and when you drive home to your family, just once in a while you will remember those days, with great fondness and you will be glad for them and you will be glad they no longer involve you.

From The Spinning Wheel.
Seems to be rather pissed lately.



You are invited to join my new forum:

Our ideology is left wing. We are international in scope. And we focus on topics that are frequently unwelcome at forums, which will not be relegated to a "conspiracy theory" dungeon.
We do not accept advertisements or donations.

I ask that user names consist of real Firstname and "First Initial of last name" (e.g., Myra B).

Hope to see you at Pottersville.

Myra B
A provision in the new 9/11 health bill may be adding insult to injury for people who fell sick after their service in the aftermath of the 2001 Al Qaeda attacks, The Huffington Post has learned.

The tens of thousands of cops, firefighters, construction workers and others who survived the worst terrorist assault in U.S. history and risked their lives in its wake will soon be informed that their names must be run through the FBI's terrorism watch list, according to a letter obtained by HuffPost.

Any of the responders who are not compared to the database of suspected terrorists would be barred from getting treatment for the numerous, worsening ailments that the James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Law was passed to address.

It's a requirement that was tacked onto the law during the bitter debates over it last year.

I can't believe this slipped under my radar. This is as disgusting as it gets IMO.
Discordian Recipes / Make Hawks heart healthy.
April 26, 2011, 08:33:38 PM
Since my cholesterol is in the danger zone I am being forced to alter my eating habits. I will not scarifice taste for longevity, however.

I have given up whiskey, mayo, cheese and pretty much all fatty foods except whole milk and real butter.

To eliminate whiskey I have taken a frozen sugar free fruit blend and added a decent red wine and tossed it in the blender to make a smoothie.

All fried foods are hereby eliminated and olive oil has replaced regular cooking oil.

Last night I made grilled butterfly pork chops that I cut from a nice tenderloin, the only seasoning was Kick Ass Butt Rub™. I also made a broccoli, vermachelli and rice combo. I rounded this out with applesauce and a baked potato. Yes, I know there are two starches there, but I just started this.

Recipes are welcome.
Dixie Normous

Aneristic Illusions / Tennessee completes batshit process
February 25, 2011, 04:47:55 PM
A proposed Tennessee law would make following the Islamic code known as Shariah law a felony, punishable by 15 years in jail.

State Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and state Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, introduced the same bill in the Senate and House last week. It calls Shariah law a danger to homeland security and gives the attorney general authority to investigate complaints and decide who's practicing it.

It exempts peaceful practice of Islam but labels any adherence to Shariah law — which includes religious practices such as feet washing and prayers — as treasonous. It claims Shariah adherents want to replace the Constitution with their religious law.|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Aneristic Illusions / Saudi held on Texas terror charge
February 24, 2011, 04:26:11 PM
Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, was arrested on Wednesday night and charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

He is accused of eyeing targets including the Dallas home of former president George W Bush.

Mr Aldawsari is due to appear before a federal court on Friday.

Prosecution documents say investigators were tipped off after a supplier became suspicious of an order of toxic chemicals, made by Mr Aldawsari.

They go on to say that the suspect researched the possibility of hiding bombs in children's dolls, and backpacks.

The Department of Justice said in a statement that the suspect was arrested "on a federal charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction in connection with his alleged purchase of chemicals and equipment necessary to make an improvised explosive device (IED) and his research of potential US targets".

I find myself wondering exactly what a WMD is now.
Now they will re-focus the study to try and determine if this is good, bad or neutral.

The radiation emitted after just 50 minutes on a mobile phone increases the activity in brain cells, according to a new government-funded study.

The effects of that brain activity are not known, said the researchers, who called for more study.

Phones that were turned off did not create the same brain activity.

The small study, published in the Journal of American Medical Association, is the first to look specifically at how electromagnetic radiation from cell phones affects glucose metabolism, a normal function, in the brain.

"When glucose metabolism goes up, it activates cells. The findings are an indication that exposure to cell phones activate the brain much more easily than we previously thought," said Dr. Nora Volkow, National Institutes of Health neuroscientist and lead study author.
I tried to post a new thread under the Dok Howl name, and when I logged in, it said I was banned.  It will not log me back in as TGRR, either.
Or Kill Me / How the West was lost.
February 14, 2011, 04:30:20 PM

Western civilization Has over the last few decades become a world of consumerism. Once we were manufacturers, builders, innovators. Those days are all but gone now, we have become just consumers.

Think I'm being harsh? Think again.

I hear the youth of today prattle on about technology. Sure, it has helped make life easier. Maybe too easy. It is getting more difficult with every passing day to find someone who is willing to get dirty, who knows the nuts and bolts of how things work.

When I take my car in for service the mechanics wear those little doctors gloves. Can you believe that? Maybe I can see plumbers wearing some protection since we now have some rather spectacular diseases out there. But an auto mechanic?

Even games kids play today have predictable outcomes. Yes, I am talking about those video games so many are so addicted to. If the least desirable outcome happens, there is a reset button. This allows a second, third, etc chance of winning the game. This is not reality.

Reality doesn't have a reset button. What are they learning from this? There was a day when things like that didn't exist. Kids would be outside using their imagination.

A game involving a stick could turn into some kind of crazy invention that had a better than even chance of leaving a scar somewhere on your body. But we didn't quit, we would make it better.

We were thinking, inventing, doing. We had games like Erector sets, Lincoln Logs, things that required hands on participation and thought.

As the Boomer generation retires and dies off who will fill out shoes? Who will be willing to lay down on a dirty factory floor to keep the equipment running? Who will even know how to?

Real craftsmen are becoming more and more difficult to find. Sub-standard work is more readily accepted now. Why? Because this has to start at a time when one is young. What youth today would rather learn to make woodwork worthy of a gasp from its viewers when they have technology and games?

Who among us today would be willing and able to paint a ceiling so perfect that people would come from every corner of the world to see it and wonder at its glory?

The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. The West will finally be defeated, not by a great army at its borders, but by forgetting how to accomplish things.

Aneristic Illusions / Are you scared?
February 09, 2011, 07:56:06 PM
The terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland has continued to "evolve" and may now "be at its most heightened state" since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told members of Congress on Wednesday.

There is an increased reliance on recruiting Westerners into terrorist organizations, she told the House Homeland Security Committee. State and local law enforcement officers are increasingly needed to combat terror, and the focus must be on aiding law enforcement to help them secure communities, she said.

What scares the hell out of me is the last sentence.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Sealed doors
February 08, 2011, 07:49:43 PM
Some things are hard to remember, in a terrible kind of way. I will do my best in the telling of this, but it's been sealed away a very long time.

I must have been 17 or 18 years old at the time. It was in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. I was in the army at AIT. We had a pretty good bunch of guys in the platoon. For the most part we all got along pretty good.

Except for Tommy. He was a small kid, but plenty mouthy. He had a natural ability to piss people off. We all pretty much ignored him or told him to shut the fuck up. Pretty much.

Teague was probably my best friend there. He was my age, and he was black. You will see why this is important shortly. I mean, we went everywhere together. Beers at the PX, the occasional movie, things like that. We rarely ever got off post leaves in AIT.

One day little Tommy decided to fuck with Teague. He and I kept walking away but Tommy wasn't having it. Finally I shoved Tommy down, hoping that would stop it. He jumped right up and started in on Teague again. We were outside the barracks, it was a beautiful day.

Then it happened. Everything went into slow motion. Teague grabbed Tommy around his neck and lifted him off the ground. I waited for Teague to put him down, but he didn't. Tommy was turning a bad color and I started yelling at Teague.
"You're killing him, He isn't worth it, put him down."
I tried to remove his hands from Tommy's neck but they were like steel. Tommy was starting to pass out.

I kept trying to get Teague to stop, but he was too far gone by now. I drew back my fist to knock Teague out and somehow I went flying. I landed on my back, looking up at two black guys. I screamed for them to stop Teague.

Then it started raining, real hard. I felt detached and once in a while I thought it was raining combat boots. This just didn't make any sense at all. Then I went to sleep, for a long time. When I woke up it hurt, like nothing had ever hurt before. I had no idea who or where I was.

Then they told me about the thing. They said I would be fine and that healing would take some time. I asked why I needed to heal. They were very helpful in making me remember. I had been stomped up pretty badly.

Some broken bones and things like that. Teague was arrested and was expected to be in prison for a very long time. They estimated that about 200 soldiers were involved in the riot. Only one death. Little Tommy would never lip off again.

I didn't want to remember this, ever.

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / THEY say
February 07, 2011, 10:56:09 PM
The mind is the second thing to go.

Damned if I can remember the first.
Aneristic Illusions / Sudan to split.
February 07, 2011, 05:26:24 PM
The final results of Southern Sudan's referendum on independence are due to be announced.

Provisional results showing nearly 99% in favour of dividing Africa's biggest country are expected to be confirmed.

January's referendum was agreed as part of a 2005 peace deal ending more than two decades of civil war between the south and north Sudan.

Although the vote was peaceful, tension remains high in parts of the oil-rich border region.

I wonder if this really will stop the civil war.
"Charley, do you know what your job is?"

"Yeah, and as soon as you leave me alone I will get to it."

"No, you don't understand. Your job is to make me look good."

"Shit. I need more headcount."


He walked away.
Aneristic Illusions / World food crisis
February 04, 2011, 05:43:05 PM
World food prices have hit their highest level on record in January, the United Nations has said.

It said on Thursday that its Food and Agriculture Organisation Food Price Index rose for the seventh month in a row to reach 231, topping the peak of 224.1 last seen in June 2008.

It is the highest level the index has reached since records began in 1990.

"The new figures clearly show that the upward pressure on world food prices is not abating. These high prices are likely to persist in the months to come," said Abdolreza Abbassian, an economist for FAO, which is based in Rome.

Rising food prices have been cited among the driving forces behind the recent popular revolts in north Africa, including the uprising in Egypt and the toppling of Tunisia's long-time president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

In response, some countries are increasing food imports and have built stockpiles to meet their domestic needs.

Among them is Algeria, wary after food riots in early January. It has made huge wheat purchases to avoid shortages, and on Thursday it announced plans to lift a 19-year-old state of emergency in
a bid to to avert spreading protests.

Hungry people are dangerous people. Add in the economic crisis, global population and government stockpiling the coming decade could be one of global restructuring.
Techmology and Scientism / Hey, Kai
February 04, 2011, 12:48:36 AM
Scientists have identified a new type of mosquito.

It is a subgroup of Anopheles gambiae, the insect species responsible for most of the malaria transmission in Africa.

Researchers tell Science magazine that this new mosquito appears to be very susceptible to the parasite that causes the disease - which raises concern.

The type may have evaded classification until now because it rests away from human dwellings where most scientific collections tend to be made.

Dr Michelle Riehle, from the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France, and colleagues made their discovery in Burkina Faso, where they gathered mosquitoes from ponds and puddles near villages over a period of four years.

Heard of this?

Pretty little thing.
In light of recent discoveries I have been thinking about this.

Techmology and Scientism / Cloaking technology.
February 01, 2011, 07:17:41 PM
Science following fiction yet again?

Researchers have demonstrated an idea for an invisibility cloak using calcite, a common crystalline material.

Cloaking relies on guiding light waves such that waves from a hidden object do not reach the eye.

Calcite accomplishes this by sending the two "polarisations" of light - directions in which the light waves oscillate - in different directions.

The work in Nature Communications can hide centimetre-sized objects, limited only by the calcite crystal's size.

The approach offers a simpler, more scalable route to invisibility than prior approaches.
A Swiss male social worker has confessed to abusing 114 children and disabled adults in care homes, over three decades, prosecutors say.

The unnamed man, who worked in nine care homes, also admitted to eight cases of attempted abuse, most of them taking place in the Bern area.

An investigation was launched after two of his alleged victims reported him.

A Bern police official said evidence against the man included photos and video recording the abuse.

"One of the central questions of this investigation is how such levels of abuse could go undetected for so long," said Gabriele Berger, head of Bern police's special investigations unit.

Words fail me.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / REPENT AUSSIES!
February 01, 2011, 04:47:12 PM
I don't know what you fuckers did to piss God off so bad, but you better figure it out.

Patients are being evacuated from hospitals in the north Queensland city of Cairns as Cyclone Yasi roars closer to the Australian coastline.

Troops are flying patients to Brisbane, while residents in coastal areas are being urged to find safer locations.

Yasi is expected to hit the state as a category four storm early on Thursday, bringing a storm surge and heavy rain.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has described the cyclone as "huge and life-threatening".

"This is potentially a deadly storm and we need to take it absolutely seriously," she said.

"If you are in a low-lying or waterfront area in the danger zone and beyond, you need to relocate yourself and your family to safety."

Aneristic Illusions / Health care struck down.
February 01, 2011, 04:02:32 PM
A federal judge in Florida has tossed out the sweeping health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama, setting up what is likely to be a contentious Supreme Court challenge over the legislation in coming months.

Monday's sweeping ruling came in the most closely watched of the two dozen separate challenges to the law. Florida along with 25 states had filed a lawsuit last spring, seeking to dismiss a law critics had labeled "Obamacare."

U.S. District Judge Robert Vinson declared unconstitutional the key provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- the so-called "individual mandate" requiring most Americans to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties. Vinson also declared unconstitutional the section of the act that withholds Medicare funds from states that refuse to participate.

But unlike another federal judge who ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional last month, Vinson ruled that the unconstitutionality voided the entire act.

I wonder if the Supreme Court will be Justices or Puppets on this one?
Aneristic Illusions / Chuck Schumer...LOL
January 31, 2011, 06:38:53 PM
Okay, did he really say that or, nah, he couldn't have.

"We have three branches of the government. We have a House, we have a Senate and we have the President."
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Please unlock
January 31, 2011, 05:06:05 PM
I have abandoned dreams of grandeur and want to write some more.
Aneristic Illusions / $15 M pay for Goldman exec.
January 29, 2011, 08:27:11 PM
Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs Group has tripled the base salary of chief executive Lloyd Blankfein to $2m (£1.3m), up from $600,000.

And company filings show he was also awarded shares currently worth $12.6m, a 42% hike from the the stock bonus he received for 2009.

It comes even after the bank's profit fell 38% in 2010 to $8.35bn.

Banks were pressed to reduce bonuses in 2009 after the 2008 global economic collapse, largely blamed on bankers.

The financial system had been rescued by more than a trillion dollars of support from the US government, and there was public outrage from Main Street at the sums of money Wall Street bankers were being paid in salaries and bonuses.

But now bonuses for top executives for 2010 appear to be creeping higher again.

Last week Citigroup chief executive Vikram Pandit got a $1,749,999 pay rise days after the bank reported its first full-year profit since 2007.

Well, glad he got that worked out.  :argh!:
Aneristic Illusions / UK proactive on climate change.
January 29, 2011, 07:46:08 PM
Roads built to the same standards as the scorching south of France; fish moved from the overheated Lake District to cooler waters in Scotland; lighthouses threatened by rising seas.
From measures in use already to seemingly far-fetched scenarios for the future, these are some of the findings in the first batch of climate adaptation plans submitted to the environment ministry Defra.
Under the Climate Change Act, 91 major organisations responsible for key aspects of national infrastructure have to explain how they will cope if the climate alters as forecast.
The latest projections suggest the potential for major change - for example that it is "very likely" that southern England will on average be 2.2-6.8C warmer by the 2080s.

Nice to see some advanced planning!
Techmology and Scientism / Dangerous and exciting
January 28, 2011, 03:57:27 PM
This could be the most dangerous and exiting discover in history. Who knows what they will find in this lake.

With only about 50m left to drill, time is running out for the Russian scientists hoping to drill into Vostok - the world's most enigmatic lake.
Vostok is a sub-glacial lake in Antarctica, hidden some 4,000m (13,000ft) beneath the ice sheet.
With the Antarctic summer almost over, temperatures will soon begin to plummet; they can go as low as -80C.
Scientists will leave the remote base on 6 February, when conditions are still mild enough for a plane to land.
The team has been drilling non-stop for weeks.
"It's like working on an alien planet where no one has been before," Valery Lukin, the deputy head of Russia's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) in St Petersburg, which oversees the project, told BBC News.
"We don't know what awaits us down there," he said, adding that personnel at the station have been working shifts, drilling 24 hours a day.
Well, so much for ever leaving Iraq now.

Heritage said it estimated the field could have up to 12.3 trillion cubic feet of gas, with a flow rate of 75m cubic feet per day when the field is operational.

However, shares in the company fell 75.9p, or 17%, to 360.7p on the news.

Investors had been expecting Heritage to find oil in the Miran West field.

The infrastructure for getting gas to its ultimate markets is not as highly developed in the region as the infrastructure for oil.

"The discovery of a major gas field with exceptional flow rates makes this one of the largest gas fields to be discovered in Iraq," said Heritage chief executive Tony Buckingham.
Aneristic Illusions / Russia approves START
January 26, 2011, 04:21:41 PM
The Federation Council (upper house) unanimously approved the deal signed by US President Barack Obama and Russia's Dmitry Medvedev in April 2010.

Under the agreement, the number of nuclear warheads deployed by each country will be cut to 1,550.

The US Senate approved the treaty by 71 votes to 26 last year, after months of wrangling.

Wednesday's vote by the Federation Council comes a day after the treaty was ratified by the Duma, or lower house, and represents the final step in its passage through parliament.

The New Start (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), will replace its predecessor, signed in 1991, which lapsed at the end of 2009.

The treaty will bring about a cut in warheads of about 30% from the previous limit and will also allow each side visually to inspect the other's nuclear capability, with the aim of verifying how many warheads each missile carries.

In addition, there will be legally binding limits on the number of warheads and missiles that can be deployed on land, on submarines, and on bombers, at any one time.

Many will argue that this doesn't go nearly far enough, but we must realize that many great successes have been attained through small steps. I, for one, am relieved to see this.
There is now even more evidence that life on Earth may have been seeded by material from asteroids or comets.

Prior research has shown how amino acids - the building blocks of life - could form elsewhere in the cosmos.

These molecules can form in two versions, but life on Earth exclusively uses just one of them.

Now an Astrophysical Journal Letters paper shows how conditions around a far-flung star could favour the formation of one type over another.

Interesting, but a long road ahead to prove it.
Or Kill Me / Old Timers
January 25, 2011, 07:33:48 PM
Old Timers often live in the past. We are full of "Back in my day" stories. This is because the best days are long gone. The spark, the energy and the ambition slowly give way to, well, being old. Old Timers can be pretty jaded, after all, we have seen and done so much, and we have watched new generations grow up and repeat the cycle. Just like it was scripted.

We thought we were edgy and smart once. The Old Timers of our day had plenty of stories too. They would smile and nod when we talked of changing the world, making it better. They shook their heads when we spoke about how they wasted their chance and accomplished nothing. And they smiled.

The Old Timers once thought they should share their knowledge with the young. The young smiled and shook their heads at the foolish old men. After all, what did they do with their chance? Nothing, the old fools did nothing with it. They left all this mess that the young feel such a strong need to clean up. The young laugh at the old Timers as they are convinced that it is all so simple. The Old Timers just smile and shake their heads.

So the young move out and move on, and this is as it should be. They step out with vigor and confidence, firm in their goals. This too is as it should be. Maybe in some small ways they just might make some things better. Us Old Timers hope so. What? Do you think that because we are old we have lost all hope? We spent much of our youth trying to give you every opportunity to make a difference.

This is your world now, what will you do with it? Will you end up in the daily trap of trying to outrun and outperform the other rats in the race? Will you slow down once in a while to appreciate what is around you? Us Old Timers don't know the answers to these questions, we didn't know the answers when it was our turn.

Well, I'm going fishing. Just a little time on the river bank sitting in the sun. AS you go busily about your life, look down once in a while. Some of the footprints you are following are mine.

I am smiling.
Aneristic Illusions / Ventura sues DHS
January 25, 2011, 05:02:40 PM
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura sued the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration on Monday, alleging full-body scans and pat-downs at airport checkpoints violate his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Ventura is asking a federal judge in Minnesota to issue an injunction ordering officials to stop subjecting him to "warrantless and suspicionless" scans and body searches.
The lawsuit, which also names Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and TSA Administrator John Pistole as defendants, argues the searches are "unwarranted and unreasonable intrusions on Governor Ventura's personal privacy and dignity and are a justifiable cause for him to be concerned for his personal health and well-being."

According to the lawsuit, Ventura received a hip replacement in 2008, and since then, his titanium implant has set off metal detectors at airport security checkpoints. The lawsuit said that prior to last November officials had used a non-invasive hand-held wand to scan his body as a secondary security measure.

But when Ventura set off the metal detector in November, he was instead subjected to a body pat-down and was not given the option of a scan with a hand-held wand or an exemption for being a frequent traveler, the lawsuit said.

Good luck with that one Jesse.
Aneristic Illusions / Hungry? Soon, friends.
January 24, 2011, 07:38:14 PM
A UK government-commissioned study into food security has called for urgent action to avert global hunger.

The Foresight Report on Food and Farming Futures says the current system is unsustainable and will fail to end hunger unless radically redesigned.

It is the first study across a range of disciplines deemed to have put such fears on a firm analytical footing.

The report is the culmination of a two-year study, involving 400 experts from 35 countries.

According to the government's chief scientific adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington, the study provides compelling evidence for governments to act now.

The report emphasises changes to farming, to ensure that increasing yields does not come at the expense of sustainability and to provide incentives to the agricultural sector that address malnutrition.

It also recommends that the most resource-intensive types of food are curbed and that waste is minimised in food production.

"We know in the next 20 years the world population will increase to something like 8.3 billion people," he told BBC News.

"We know that urbanisation is going to be a driver and that something of the order of 65-70% of the world's population will be living in cities at that time.

"We know that the world is getting more prosperous and that the demand for basic commodities - food, water and energy - will be rising as that prosperity increases, increasing at the same time as the population."

He warned: "We have 20 years to arguably deliver something of the order of 40% more food; 30% more available fresh water and of the order of 50% more energy.

"We can't wait 20 years or 10 years indeed - this is really urgent."

Damn. Who was it that called this one?
Aneristic Illusions / Health Care Fraud.
January 24, 2011, 06:43:52 PM
The government collected a whopping $4 billion last year -- the largest sum ever recovered in a single year -- through its health care fraud prevention and enforcement efforts, according to a new report Monday.

"This is the highest annual amount ever recovered from people who attempted to defraud seniors and taxpayers," the Department of Health & Human Services said in a statement.
HHS and the Justice Department jointly created the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) in 2009, with the intention to prevent waste, fraud and abuse in programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

"Through this initiative, we are working in partnership with government, law enforcement, industry leaders, and the public to protect taxpayer dollars, control health care costs, and ensure the strength and integrity of our most essential health care programs," associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, said in a statement.

The agencies said $4 billion was stolen between Oct. 1 2009 and Sept. 30, 2010.

The HEAT task force issued 140 indictments against 284 defendants who fraudulently billed Medicare more than $590 million.

Federal prosecutors opened 1,116 criminal health care fraud investigations and a total of 726 defendants were convicted. 146 defendants were imprisoned, averaging more than three years of jail time.

But the biggest chunk of money collected came not from individual fraudsters but from large drugmakers -- accounting for half of the $4 billion recovered.

Botox-maker Allergan (AGN, Fortune 500), Inc. agreed to pay the government $600 million last year to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from its marketing of Botox for treatment of headaches and other issues that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Novartis (NVS) agreed to pay $422.5 million to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from the illegal marketing of certain pharmaceutical products.

In April 2010, AstraZeneca (AZN) paid $520 million to resolve allegations that the company marketed the anti psychotic drug, Seroquel, for uses not approved by the FDA and paid kickbacks to doctors.

Tougher rules ahead: In 2011, HHS said the screening process for Medicare providers and suppliers will become tougher "to help keep bad actors out of Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP [Children's Health Insurance]" programs.

Among the new steps: More rigorous screening for providers and suppliers to check for previous fraudulent activity; providers that have been kicked out of Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP programs in one state will be barred from all Medicaid and CHIP programs.

Also, the government will temporarily halt payments to providers and suppliers being investigated for fraud.

Those god damn poor people stea.......oh, never mind.