Archive for December, 2009
What, are lemmings retarded? Yes, mass suicide sounds like a wonderful evolutionary trait to have built into your species to ensure its survival. Lemmings do no such thing, except occasionally when they’re drunk at bachelor parties. This great misconception was perpetrated by none other than Disney, who, in all their evil, decided their early nature film “White Wilderness” would be much more awesome if it showed a bunch of rodents flinging themselves off cliffs. They were correct, of course, but that doesn’t make this “phenomenon” any less B.S.
“Light-emitting wallpaper may begin to replace light bulbs from 2012, according to a government body that supports low-carbon technology.
A chemical coating on the walls will illuminate all parts of the room with an even glow, which mimics sunlight and avoids the shadows and glare of conventional bulbs.
Although an electrical current will be used to stimulate the chemicals to produce light, the voltage will be very low and the walls will be safe to touch. Dimmer switches will control brightness, as with traditional lighting.
The Carbon Trust has awarded a £454,000 grant to Lomox, a Welsh company that is developing the organic light-emitting diode technology. The trust said it would be two and a half times more efficient than energy-saving bulbs and could make a big contribution to meeting Britain’s target of cutting carbon emissions by 34 per cent by 2020. Indoor lighting accounts for a sixth of total electricity use.
Dvorak predicts Apple among 2010’s ‘winners’ and Microsoft, Dell among ‘losers’
Thursday, December 31, 2009 – 10:12 AM EST
“The biggest hint of things to come in 2010 and beyond are tied up with three specific pieces of information that appeared near the end of 2009,” John C. Dvorak writes for MarketWatch. “The first two were the iPhone sales figures and the iPhone Internet usage rate. The third was the fact that Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle was the No. 1 high-tech Christmas gift.”
Today, we bring a collection of the most meaningful and conceptually creative surreal artworks. Surreal Art has now become a very familiar medium of art and it is growing continuously in its popularity because in this medium of art, artist has much more room to show his creativity and convey his feelings and way of thinking to his audience.
Here is a collection of 30 very conceptual and momentous Surreal Artworks for you. We are very much sure you will be inspired and enthused by this attractive surreal art collection. Hope you all will enjoy this post. Feel free to share your feeling about this post with others.
Nature is Sexy
Too-big-to-fail banks are profiting from bailout dollars and government guarantees, and growing bigger. Tell us which community bank you use, and why.
Last week, over a pre-Christmas dinner, the two of us, along with political strategist Alexis McGill, filmmaker/author Eugene Jarecki, and Nick Penniman of the HuffPost Investigative Fund, began talking about the huge, growing chasm between the fortunes of Wall Street banks and Main Street banks, and started discussing what concrete steps individuals could take to help create a better financial system. Before long, the conversation turned practical, and with some help from friends in the world of bank analysis, a video and website were produced devoted to a simple idea: Move Your Money.
Microsoft has admitted that the code used to create its Chinese microblogging service, MSN Juku, was copied.
In a blog post that initially got rumors swirling, the Taiwan microblogging site Plurk, a startup,alleged that it was “ripped off” by Microsoft, whose own microblogging site Juku looked “eerily similar” to Plurk’s.
Microsoft suspended MSN Juku to investigate the plagiarism allegations, and subsequently released a statement announcing that the Chinese vendor Microsoft hired to create MSN Juku had indeed used stolen code to build the site.
Hackers have released an application designed to thwart a Microsoft-packaged forensic toolkit used by law enforcement agencies to examine a suspect’s hard drive during a raid.
The hacker tool, dubbed DECAF, is designed to counteract the Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor, aka COFEE. The latter is a suite of 150 bundled, off-the-shelf forensic tools that run from a script. Microsoft combined the programs into a portable tool that can be used by law enforcement agents in the field before they bring a computer back to their forensic lab. The script runs on a USB stick that agents plug into the machine.
The tools scan files and gather information about activities performed on the machine, such as where the user surfed on the internet or what files were downloaded.
What could be better than striking gold? How about a huge list of Adobe Illustrator resources? For many designers, a list of resources to help finish those design projects in a quick and easy fashion is like finding gold on the Web.
In this article, there are over 200 (mostly) free resources for Adobe Illustrator. Since many designers have made these resources free for others, please take the time to check out the license agreements before using any resources for projects.
Finally, have fun stockpiling all the brushes, patterns,, symbols, vectors, swatches, and fun additions to the Adobe Illustrator presets. After all, among these resources, there’s sure to be a few gold nuggets just waiting to be found.
Annise Parker has an unbeatable lead over Gene Locke in Houston’s hotly contested mayoral election, meaning she will become the city’s first openly gay mayor.
The Harris County elections Web site says 53.62 percent of voters who turned out Saturday chose Parker.
Her rival, former city attorney Gene Locke, was pitching to become the city’s second black mayor.
The election battle leading up to Saturday’s balloting was marked by fierce campaigning and anti-gay rhetoric. Parker is a lesbian who has never made a secret or issue of her sexual orientation. If she wins, Houston will become the largest U.S. city to ever have an openly gay mayor.
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund put out a press release calling this “a watershed moment in American politics.” Full press release below:
Microsoft CEO Ballmer laughs at Apple iPhone
Microsoft Is Losing Fight for Consumers, Analyst Says
Marijuana might cause new cell growth in the brain
* 22:00 13 October 2005 by Kurt Kleiner
A synthetic chemical similar to the active ingredient in marijuana makes new cells grow in rat brains. What is more, in rats this cell growth appears to be linked with reducing anxiety and depression. The results suggest that marijuana, or its derivatives, could actually be good for the brain.
In mammals, new nerve cells are constantly being produced in a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is associated with learning, memory, anxiety and depression. Other recreational drugs, such as alcohol, nicotine and cocaine, have been shown to suppress this new growth. Xia Zhang of the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, and colleagues decided to see what effects a synthetic cannabinoid called HU210 had on rats’ brains.
They found that giving rats high doses of HU210 twice a day for 10 days increased the rate of nerve cell formation, or neurogenesis, in the hippocampus by about 40%.
Just like Prozac?
A previous study showed that the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) also increases new cell growth, and the results indicated that it was this cell growth that caused Prozac’s anti-anxiety effect. Zhang wondered whether this was also the case for the cannabinoid, and so he tested the rats for behavioural changes.
When the rats who had received the cannabinoid were placed under stress, they showed fewer signs of anxiety and depression than rats who had not had the treatment. When neurogenesis was halted in these rats using X-rays, this effect disappeared, indicating that the new cell growth might be responsible for the behavioural changes.
In another study, Barry Jacobs, a neuroscientist at Princeton University, gave mice the natural cannabinoid found in marijuana, THC (D9-tetrahydrocannabinol)). But he says he detected no neurogenesis, no matter what dose he gave or the length of time he gave it for. He will present his results at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC in November.
Jacobs says it could be that HU210 and THC do not have the same effect on cell growth. It could also be the case that cannabinoids behave differently in different rodent species – which leaves open the question of how they behave in humans.
Zhang says more research is needed before it is clear whether cannabinoids could some day be used to treat depression in humans.
Journal reference: Journal of Clinical Investigation (DOI:10.1172/JCI25509)
Oh, Berkeley. You’ve still got it.
I admit, I doubted. Sure, you’re a revolutionary in delicious crunchy food and the wearing of comfortable Birkenstocks. And there have been some choice anti-war protests. But where was the spark of your radical 60s heyday? In eight years of George Bush, I expected more of you.
Then this, and my faith is restored: “The city of Berkeley mailed coat hangers to 20 members of Congress on Wednesday.”
Nothing illustrates the danger we face from our own Taliban better than the way American “Christians” are now tangled up with the homophobic — now potentially gay murdering — Ugandan Christian/political leadership.
The Ugandan Parliament is considering a bill that would impose the death penalty on gays. One American must be cheering from the grave. Here’s what the late R.J. Rushdoony, Reconstructionist theologian and founder of the modern movement of that name, wrote in a letter to gay rights activist Mel White: “God in His law requires the death penalty for homosexuals.”
Disclosure: Both Mel White and Rushdoony were friends of mine, back in the day I was a Religious Right leader and sidekick to my father – the late Francis Schaeffer – who is “credited” by many, including by Karen Armstrong and Max Blumenthal – with being a key father of the Religious Right…along with R.J. Rushdoony. I quit the movement over its hate for the “other” and got out by the late 80s and started writing novels like Portofino, aimed at the heart of the movement through humor at fundamentalist’s expense.
Back in the day before Mel came out he was working with me on one of my father’s movie/book projects. We both left our far right “faith.” Mel acknowledged that he was gay and I said I’d had it with hate. These days I propose an anti-right progressive Christianity in my book Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don’t Like Religion (or Atheism)
That said… The problem of American exceptionalism combined with a theocracy in which the “we” of evangelical faith finally destroy the “they” (everyone else) is growing. Who do you think Fox News’ rabid followers are? Who do you think calls Obama “Hitler” while using the tactics of fascism themselves?…
Rick Warren et al
Today Rick Warren under the guise of his benign smile, the C-Street religious gang and commune in Washington DC and Mike Huckabee, amongst many other American political and religious leaders, are carrying on my father’s ideology of “taking back America” for Jesus, and forwarding the theocratic delusions and radical hate campaign of the late R.J. Rushdoony.
Others with ties to violent groups are also striving to turn America into our version of a “Christian” Iran. Reconstructionism, otherwise known as Dominionist Christianity, and the Republican Party are one and the same thing these days.
Consider Erik Prince – founder of the nefarious Blackwater private “security” firm.
Prince is the son of Edgar Prince. His vast wealth funded Dominionist organizations including the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family. I was connected to both groups, speaking often for Jerry Falwell, and James Dobson gave away 150,000 copies of one of my right wing “books” (A Time For Anger) in which I called for revolution against the “Left” and the “liberals.”
Erik Prince grew up with powerful leaders in the Christian Right. Prince quit a White House internship with George H.W. Bush. He said Bush was too secular. As a converted Catholic, Prince joined the Knights of Columbus. Today Prince sees himself as a Christian crusader, an armed one with a private army. Blackwater’s criminal torture of U.S. war prisoners has been documented so has employee intimidation and threats of violence. Prince sees his call to rid the world of Islam and make way for Christian hegemony.
Rushdoony who Prince, Huckabee and others follow, said the Bible must replace civil laws and constitutions with the Old and New Testaments, including the revival of the death penalty for homosexuality, incest, adultery, losing virginity before marriage and apostasy. Rushdoony once told me: “Democracy is a heresy.”
These are core beliefs among several leading figures including Huckabee, Sarah Palin and the inner core of George W. Bush’s far right “crusader” religious circle.
Others carried on where Rushdoony left off.
George Grant is one of the far right/theocratic mentors. He appeared with Rushdoony in the video, “God’s Law and Society.” Grant was the co-author for Huckabee’s 1998 book, Kids Who Kill: Confronting Our Culture of Violence. That was the book where Huckabee and Grant said homosexuality and pedophilia, sadomasochism and necrophilia were all “institutionally supported aberrations.”
George Grant wrote The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action. He called on a “holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ – to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.”
“…It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel.”
It’s instructive that Huckabee gave his friendship to Bill Gothard, who runs an outfit called the Institute In Basic Life Principles. Gothard teaches that “character choices” result in societal “ills” : “homosexuality, divorce, contraception, crime.”
Gothard runs “training institutes” that teach that families must be ruled by his Reconstructionist beliefs. Hundreds of thousands of American (mostly home schooled) children have been raised according to his ideas. He forbids dancing, dating, rock music and “wrong clothes.” Wives must submit to their husbands. Adults must submit to their fathers, and there must be no birth control.
Meanwhile over on C-Street…
“The Family” at C Street is allegedly backing the proposed anti-gay legislation in Uganda. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, and David Bahati, the Ugandan lawmaker, are both active members of “The Family” which has poured millions of dollars into their “international outreach.”
Congressmen Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Joe Pitts (R-PA), Senator John Ensign (R-NV), Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC), and former Representative Chip Pickering (R-MS), and, Senators Brownback (R-KS) and Inhofe (R-OK) are “Family” members amongst many others.
As Jeff Sharlet, author of the exposé The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power says the Ugandan bill’s biggest supporter is a member of “The Family”. David Bahati, the lawmaker pushing for homosexuality crimes, “appears to be a core member of ‘The Family’,” Sharlet said recently. “He works, he organizes their Ugandan National Prayer Breakfast and oversees a African sort of student leadership program designed to create future leaders for Africa, into which ‘The Family’ has poured millions of dollars working through a very convoluted chain of linkages passing the money over to Uganda.”
What unites all the Reconstructionists from Erik Prince to Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee?
The ideological link between the members of “The Family” on C-Street to the Ugandan fascists wanting to kill gays can be best summed up by looking at several quotes from R.J. Rushdoony:
“The Bible is without reservation in its condemnation of homosexuality . . . If a man also lie with mankind . . . they shall be put to death. (Lev. 20:13) . . . This is certainly clear enough and there is not a single text in all of the New Testament to indicate that this penalty has been altered or removed. . . (pp 422-25). . . We find that St. Paul far from setting aside the law and its penalties appeals to the death penalty against homosexuals as an established and continuing fact.” (Rom 1:32) (p735) [R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law]
“Democracy is the great love of the failures and cowards of life.” [R.J. Rushdoony, Thy Kingdom Come 1978]
“One faith, one law and one standard of justice did not mean democracy. The heresy of democracy has since then worked havoc in church and state . . . Christianity and democracy are inevitably enemies.” (p 100) [R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law]
“The ‘civil rights’ revolutionary groups are a case in point. Their goal is not equality but power. The background of Negro culture is African and magic, and the purposes of magic are control and power. . . Voodoo or magic was the religion and life of American Negroes. Voodoo songs underlie jazz, and old voodoo, with its power goal, has been merely replaced with revolutionary voodoo, a modernized power drive.” (p. 61) [R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law]
“Biblical law permits voluntary slavery because it recognizes that some people are not able to maintain a position of independence . . . The law is humane and also unsentimental. It recognizes that some people are by nature slaves and will always be so.” (pp. 286, 251) [R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law]
“All who are content with a humanistic law system and do not strive to replace it with Biblical law are guilty of idolatry. They have forsaken the covenant of their God, and they are asking us to serve other gods. They are thus idolaters, and are, in our generation, when our world is idolatrous and our states also, to be objects of missionary activity. They must be called out of their idolatry into the service of the living God. ….” [R.J. Rushdoony, Law and Society: Volume II of the Institutes of Biblical Law pp. 468, 316]
“The goal is the developed Kingdom of God, the New Jerusalem, a world order under God’s law.” [R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law p. 357]
Killing homosexuals? Why doesn’t Rick Warren condemn the anti-gay legislation in Uganda?
In a January 2009 piece for The Daily Beast, Max Blumenthal wrote that “a charismatic pastor named Martin Ssempa”, the head of the Makerere Community Church — “a rapidly growing congregation” — was “Warren’s man in Uganda.” Blumenthal pointed out that Ssempa “enjoys close ties to his country’s First Lady, Janet Museveni, and [was] a favorite of the Bush White House.”
During a Meet the Press appearance on November 29, Warren said: “I’m not pro-life, I’m whole life, which means I don’t just want to protect that little baby girl before she’s born; I want to make sure she gets an education, she’s not raised in poverty, she gets her vaccinations,” he said. “And so this is what I call the whole life platform, which, beyond just pro-life of protecting that unborn child, goes on.”
When asked about whether he would oppose gay marriage if the issue returned to the ballot in 2010, Warren said: “As a pastor, my job is to encourage, to support. I never take sides.”
Why Rick Warren’s silence? Because under the mask of love he buys into Reconstructionism.
“The Christian goal for the world”?
“The Christian goal for the world,” theologian David Chilton has explained, is “the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics.” To which Erik Prince, George W. Bush, Rick Warren and C-Street all say a hearty Amen!
Prominent California philanthropist Howard F. Ahmanson Jr., (someone who once handed me a check for 150,000 dollars for one of my far right projects), who has given Rushdoony’s operations more than $700,000 over the years is tired of this mess. According to the June 30, 1996, Orange County Register, Ahmanson departed the Rushdoony-founded “Chalcedon” board and says he “does not embrace all of Rushdoony’s teachings.”
But Howard is the exception. So am I.
More “respectable” leaders like Warren, Huckabee and Palin won’t admit it but they would like to do here what the Ugandans are doing there, and not just to gays, to all the “other” who are in the way of their taking America into the darkness of theocracy.
Pastor Rick is the epitome of the two-faced friendly evangelical leader today: say one thing for the public, believe another thing and work for it.
Reconstructionists persist and the movement is growing while key figures in Congress, to big time pastors, routinely deny they are part of this political/religious movement. Meanwhile they’re fixin’ to go to a hangin’ in Uganda, with the blessing of the smiling nice guys like Rick W
Forehead arteries pulsing dangerously beneath purpling and apocalyptic skin stretched taut, a Microsoft manager recently told journalists not to use or even mention Apple products at a Windows Mobile event in Germany.
Eyeballs bulging out of his skull like the enraged ocular twins of his every spitted umlaut, the manager rebuked a journalist who had dared to opine over dinner that there has never been an easier-to-use smartphone than the iPhone.
“This is a Microsoft event,” the manager shouted. “Apple products have no business being here!”
Silence followed, during which onlookers tried to decide for themselves whether or not the eruption was meant as a joke, in which case it was safe to laugh, or as the prelude to some sort of stabbing frenzy.
Germans, however, are not fans of ambiguity. “I’m serious about it!” the manager clarified with a dark and terrible glower.
Just one mid-level Windows Mobile manager’s overblown and self-righteous overreaction to the elephant in the room? Almost definitely. But as a tech journalist, I have to say, I hope this doesn’t mark the beginning of a company-wide “final solution” to the problem of Apple products being used to cover Microsoft events. I picture an ocean of MacBook-toting bloggers looking over to the chained doors of some Las Vegas Convention Center hall, just as several dozen hooded Microsoft representatives pull machine guns from their robes and aim them at the audience while Steve Ballmer maniacally shouts down from the stage: “Jetzt! Schnell!”
Children’s books don’t just help our kids develop better reading skills, but they can be extremely important in shaping their value and helping them understand complicated issues. As adults we can still remember the selflessness of The Giving Tree… a message we hope to pass on to our own children. But there are a lot more books on the shelf (or Kindle library) than there were when we were kids. Covering topics like prison, drugs and conservatism, there are some really unconventional children’s book out there today.
The floodgates are beginning to open. Just last week we had the first live streamer, Knocking Live [iTunes link], that worked from iPhone to iPhone. Now, Ustream is offering a free app [iTunes link] that lets you put a live or recorded stream on the web that multiple people can watch from a web browser.
This is a rather stunning turnaround from just weeks ago when Apple did not allow any live streaming of video from the iPhone. This app supports the 3G and 3GS iPhones, and allows streaming over the 3G network and Wi-Fi. You can record the stream to your iPhone for a later upload, and it even works on 3G phones that don’t have built-in video record capability.
Rachel Maddow today is receiving well-deserved praise for a devastating interview she conducted last night with Richard Cohen, an “ex-homosexual” therapist who is head of the “International Healing Foundation,” which purportedly helps gay people become straight. Cohen’s rancid slander against gay people (they’re a threat to children, etc.), masquerading as “research,” is being used by advocates of a proposed law in Uganda that would allow the state to execute homosexuals. The 17-minute interview is worth watching if you want to see how an extremely smart and well-prepared interrogator can absolutely destroy a guest who is brazenly spouting baseless claims and patent falsehoods (the video is also posted below).
[From Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com]
Fox fudges poll numbers to claim 120 percent of the public believes scientists falsify global warming data.
Last week, Fox and Friends showed a Rasmussen poll graphic revealing that a whopping 120 percent of the American public believes scientists may be falsifying research to support their own theories on global warming:
Interviewé par un agent de police, Zappa explique comment il s’occuperait du “probleme de la drogue”.
This is so brilliant! An anti-rape female condom invented by Sonette Ehlers… A South African women working as a blood technician with the South African Blood Transfusion Service, during which time she met and treated many rape victims.
The device, known as The Rape-aXe, is a latex sheath embedded with shafts of sharp, inward-facing microscopic barbs that would be worn by a woman in her vagina like a tampon. If an attacker were to attempt vaginal rape, their penis would enter the latex sheath and be snagged by the barbs, causing the attacker pain during withdrawal and (ideally) giving the victim time to escape. The condom would remain attached to the attacker’s body when he withdrew and could only be removed surgically, which would alert hospital staff and police. This device could assist in the identification and prosecution of rapists.
Watch closely or you might miss it.
This made me laugh so hard…..and they say criminal are stupid.
Anti Cheese/Cheese, The Best Cheese On Earth Is Actually Vegan
Scientists have located a giant 13-billion year old galaxy at the edge of the observable universe. Detecting this huge galaxy was a challenge because of the massive quantities of light coming from the black hole, and if you think you spotted two problems in that sentence, read on.
The galaxy, which is 12.8 billion light-years from Earth, is as large as the Milky Way galaxy and harbors a supermassive black hole that contains at least a billion times as much matter as does our Sun.
“It is surprising that such a giant galaxy existed when the universe was only one-sixteenth of its present age, and that it hosted a black hole one billion times more massive than the sun. The galaxy and black hole must have formed very rapidly in the early universe,” said University of Hawaii astronomer Dr. Tomotsugu Goto who discovered the object.
12 and 0!
Meachem had two of perhaps the top five or 10 plays in team history in a 33-30 overtime win over the Redskins, a victory that clinched the NFC South title and preserved the magical unbeaten run for New Orleans (12-0). The plays could become even bigger if this season goes where it seems to be headed. Meachem sent the game to OT when he caught a 53-yard touchdown pass from Brees, 27 seconds after Washington kickerShaun Suisham botched a 23-yard field goal attempt. If Suisham made that kick, the Redskins would have taken a seemingly insurmountable 33-23 lead.
“I never thought it was over,’’ Meachem said.
As corny as that may sound, it’s the truth. Not just for Meachem, but for all the Saints. They got outplayed by a bad team almost all game and still won.