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Electronic Frontier Foundation
It's that time of year when people don sinister masks, spray themselves with fake blood, and generally go all out for a good fright. But here at EFF, we think there are plenty of real-world ghouls to last all year-round. Fortunately, we won't let them hide under your bed. Sometimes our work sounds like science fiction, but the surveillance techniques and technology we fight are all too real. Here are some of the beasts hiding in your backyard that we've been fighting to expose:
Automated License Plate Readers
Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) are cameras that can either be mounted on squad cars or stationary. They read license plates and record the time, date, and location a particular car was encountered. And they're paving the way for wholesale tracking of every driver's movements.ALPRs can scan up to 1,800 license plates per minute, and can collect data on vast numbers of vehicles. In Los Angeles, for example, the Los Angeles Police Department and Sheriff's Department collect data on 3 million cars per week.
Comment: For more on the psychopathic government's quest for total information awareness see:
A list of known NSA spying techniques
End of the world? Oliver Stone on Obama's empire, Big Brother's creepiest toys
Big Brother Surveillance - It is not just for governments anymore
The gas deal between Ukraine and Russia became possible because Europe realized that it wouldn't get the gas if it didn't get behind Ukraine, Wall Street analyst Michael Hudson told RT.
RT: How important is this gas deal for Ukraine and for Europe?
Michael Hudson: It's apparently most important for Europe because it was Europe that gave in on the deal. The problem was never about the price of the Russian gas. The problem was whether Ukraine was doing to keep up trying just to run up a larger and larger gas bill every month and every year and finally default. In the US Treasury, strategists have already discussed in public how Ukraine can simply avoid paying Russia the money that it owed by going to court and stalling it. So Russia understandably said, "We need credit in advance." Mr. Oettinger of the European Commission said "Wait a minute, Russia, why don't you just lend them the money. They will repay you." And Mr. Putin at the Valdai Club speech in Sochi last week made it very clear. Look, [Russia] has already lent them 11 billion dollars, much more than anyone else has lent to Ukraine. Ukraine is bankrupt, it's torn itself apart. Why didn't perhaps a European Bank underwrite the loan? Finally, Mr. Oettinger gave in. Europe said "OK, the IMF is going to lend Ukraine the money to pay Russia for the gas for the balance of the year." So that Ukraine would end up owing the IMF money and the European Commission money, not Russia. So Russia will not be exposed to having to lend any more money to a dead-beat economy.
RT: You think that it was the EU who gave in on that deal and not Ukraine or Russia. Why?
MH: Ukraine has passed. Ukraine said "We are broken, we don't have any money, we have spent all our money on war. Our export industry is collapsing. If we need gas, we'll simply steal the gas that Russia is sending to Europe. We are not going to starve - we'll just take your gas." And Putin said, "Well, if they try to steal gas like they did a few years ago, we'll just turn off the gas and Europe won't get gas". So Europe realized that it wouldn't get the gas if it didn't step behind Ukraine and all of a sudden Europe is having to pay for Ukraine's war against Russia. Europe is having to pay for the whole mess in Ukraine so that it can get gas, and this is not how they expected it to turn out.
RT: Do you think this deal will improve relations between Europe and Russia?
MH: Europe is very uncomfortable with being pressured by the US that essentially said "Let's you and Russia fight." Europe is already suffering. Germany has always been turning towards Russia, all the way. 50 years ago, I remember Konrad Adenauer in Germany always spoke very pro-Western and pro-American, but always turned economically towards Russia. So of course Europe, and Germany especially, has wanted to maintain its ties with Russia. The problem is the US [wants] to start a new Cold War. It created a lot of resentment in Europe, and Europe is finally capitulating. This means that the US pressure to set Europe against Russia has failed.
RT: Could we expect now easing of sanctions on Russia?
MH: No, Europe is still being pressured, the sanctions are pressured by NATO, and NATO is pressing for a military confrontation with Russia. The sanctions are going to continue unless Russia gives back Crimea, which of course it won't. The sanctions are hurting Europe, they are turning out to be a great benefit for Russia because finally Russia is realizing: "We can't depend on other countries to supply our basic imports, we have to rebuild our industry." And the sanctions are enabling Russia to give subsidies to its industry and agriculture that it couldn't otherwise do. So Russia loves the sanctions, Europe is suffering and the Americans are finding that the Europeans are suddenly more angry at it than they are at Russia.
Comment: So it goes with psychopaths who think they can will the world they want into existence. Washington cannot conceive of their plans going awry even as it is happening before their eyes. It can only be hoped the leaders of the European countries can find a spine while there is still time to forestall NATO's drive for WW3. Given how many of them are likely being blackmailed throughNSA/CIA snooping, it's an unlikely development.
Victim groups have come to the "unanimous" decision that Fiona Woolf should be replaced as the head of an inquiry into historical child sex abuse.
Pressure has mounted on Woolf, the Lord Mayor of London, over her connections with Lord Brittan - the former home secretary who faces scrutiny over his role in an alleged establishment cover-up of abuse within Government - with campaigners arguing she is "unsuitable" to lead the investigation.
But Downing Street said today that Prime Minister David Cameron "is absolutely clear that he thinks she can do this job with integrity and impartiality".
Alison Millar who represents survivors of child abuse as the head of the abuse team at law firm Leigh Day, said: "Representatives of survivors were unanimous that Fiona Woolf is unsuitable to lead this inquiry.
Representatives also called for a full statutory inquiry with powers to seize documents and compel witnesses to give evidence.
"The unanimous view from the representatives of all the groups present today is that there needs to be a statutory inquiry with full compulsory powers to seize documents and compel witnesses to give evidence; concern was raised that if the inquiry was not headed by a high court judge then it would not be practically possible to take criminal proceedings for contempt if truthful evidence was withheld," said Millar.
"The constitution of the current panel, it was felt, needs to be substantially revisited and enhanced so that it is more representative of the situations in which abuse occurred and engages the diverse range of people who have been abused."
The statement comes after documents published last night showed that a letter from Woolf regarding her links with Lord Brittan and his wife was redrafted seven times, with guidance from Home Office officials, before being sent to Home Secretary Theresa May.
Comment: Pedophile rings at the highest levels of society have historically gotten away with child rape. Promoting 'one of your own' to head up an "impartial" inquiry is one method employed of helping the cover up. Other means of suppressing their sick, perverted behaviour are blackmail, fall guys, 'suicides', and corrupt and complicit moles.
Thatchers former bodyguard reveals most of her conservative ministers were regularly going to pedo parties
UK MP calls for public inquiry into child sex abuse If MPs are discovered to be harboring pedophiles damage to British democracy will be fatal
Randy Short on UK pedophiles Rich powerful get away with abuse of vulnerable
Home Office admits 114 files missing from Westminster pedophile ring dossier
British MPs calling for investigation into 1980s dossier on Westminster pedophiles
Home Office loses pedophile dossier naming big names
Putin isn't falling for it: Russia to resist forced confrontation, ready for fair dialogue on all issues
President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia takes the world situation and the Ukrainian conflict into account when ensuring the country's security.
"The world in the 21st century has not become more stable or more secure. The past threats have not disappeared and in a number of regions they have gotten worse. A seriously tense hot spot still remains on our borders in southeastern Ukraine," Putin said during a military awards ceremony.
"I want to emphasize that Russia has no plans of being drawn into a confrontation that we are forcibly being tangled into. We are open to equal and respectful dialogue in all issues of the global and regional agenda. Our military doctrine carries a defensive character. Its main task is to provide for the country's sovereignty, for peace and tranquility of our citizens," Putin said.
Speaking at the St George Hall in the Kremlin, the Russian president noted that the ceremony is being held on the eve of the National Unity Day - a holiday which "symbolizes the solidarity and the fortitude of our people, which helped [us] overcome any obstacles and win."
Comment: Putin is on a roll. Despite the propaganda machine presenting a picture completely at odds with reality in the West, Putin continues to speak the truth simply and plainly. What is happening in Ukraine is exactly what Putin says it is: a provocation to draw Russia into a war. Russia has been doing everything it can to avoid this, while juggling its moral obligation to support the Novorossians' resistance against the neo-Nazi attackers who have been shelling, murdering, and torturing civilians in east Ukraine for months WITHOUT overt military assistance.
Comment: This is rich. Ukraine has finally agreed to what has essentially been Russia's position since June, which was to offer gas to Ukraine at a discount of $100 per 1000 cubic meters from the agreed price of $485. This is basically the deal Poroshenko first accepted in Milan, then refused in an about-face once he realized it was the deal Kiev had been rejecting all along! Kiev wanted to go as low as $269, but were "willing" to pay $320. But it looks like their crack team of negotiators managed to get the price down another $7 per 1000 cubic meters. See: Alexander Mercouris: Deadlock and Gas Talks in Milan
Russia, Ukraine, and the European Commission have signed an agreement on gas supply and transit conditions until March 2015 during talks in Brussels.
The agreement was signed by Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yury Prodan, and vice president of the EC in charge of energy, Guenther Oettinger. The signing was witnessed by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and the EC's new vice president in charge of energy, Marosh Shefchovich.
Ukraine will be able to receive the needed volumes of Russian gas until the end of March based on a pre-payment plan at a price of $378 per 1,000 cubic meters, Oettinger said during the press conference.
Speaking at a briefing after the signing of the deal, Oettinger assured that Ukraine said it is ready to pay $1.451 billion of its gas debt to Russia "immediately."
According to Oettinger, Kiev will be able to pay back $3.1 billion of its gas debts before the end of the year. However, he added that the final figure will depend on the decision of the international Stockholm court of arbitration on the gas debt dispute.
Comment: Finally, the EU comes to its senses: you broke Ukraine, so you damn well start paying for it.
How long will this latest agreement last? The first agreement negotiated by the EU on February 21st was shattered within hours by mystery snipers
The second agreement reached in Minsk on September 5th is barely holding together as Kiev forces continue attacking Novorossiyan forces.
Once again, with this latest price concession, Putin has bent over backwards in the interest of peace and stability in eastern Europe. Can a US-imposed regime in Kiev be trusted to pay the debts as agreed in Brussels?
Time will tell.
Leaders of Portsmouth's Muslim community have condemned the Islamic State (IS formerly ISIS/ISIL) as a "violent and terrible regime" in an attempt to stop more young people travelling to join the fight in Syria.
Imams, with the city council and police, have signed a joint statement urging members of the community not to join the extremist Muslim group.
"We are united in our condemnation of hatred, violence and racism. We are united in our condemnation of the group known as the Islamic State," the statement read.
The comments come with the news that a fourth man from Portsmouth has been killed in the Syrian conflict. A photograph of the body of Mehdi Hassan, 19, was published on Twitter on October 17.
"Support for the group which calls itself Islamic State or Caliphate is illegal, and utterly opposed to everything that those who follow the Islamic faith believe in," the statement adds.
Three other Portsmouth men, Iftekar Jaman, 23, Mamunur Roshid, 24, and Hamidur Rahman, 25, were killed in Syria after travelling to join the conflict in October 2013.
Comment: These young people traveling to fight along with ISIS-nutjobs, are brainwashed, manipulated, and persuaded to join either by an ISIS member, or by Western agents pretending to be one. The majority of Muslims around the world do not stand behind ISIS' horrific actions. If there's anything that ISIS represents, it's a proxy army created by Western psychopaths in order to cause mayhem in the Middle East to further their agenda in the region. One can only hope that young and naive recruits will quickly figure out that they're fighting for Uncle Sam, and not against him.
For more information, give a listen to the latest SOTT Talk Radio Show: Connecting the Dots: SOTT Talk Radio Weekly Broadcast - 26 October 2014
Proxy army: French authorities 'accidentally' let returning ISIS recruiters slip back into countryThe Covert Origins of ISIS
U.S. ally President Burkina Faso, Africa's fourth largest gold producer, refuses to step down after protests
Mathieu Bonkoungou and Joe Penney
Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore said on Thursday he would stay in power at the head of a transitional government until after elections, rejecting opposition calls for him to step down immediately following a day of violent protests.
The head of the armed forces, General Honore Traore, had earlier dissolved parliament and announced talks with all political parties to create an interim government to take the West African country to democratic elections within a year.
The move came after at least three protesters were shot dead and scores wounded in clashes with security forces as demonstrators attacked the homes of senior members of the ruling party and symbols of Compaore's long rule.
Hundreds of people had earlier stormed parliament, looting the building and setting it on fire, while others ransacked state television, forcing it off the air.
Protests also gripped Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina's second-largest city, and other towns across the gold and cotton-producing country.
Comment: It will be interesting to see what happens next. Burkina Faso, a neighbour of Mali and Niger, is vital to the interests of the U.S.
For more information:
The war on Mali: What you should know
Military occupation of West Africa: U.S. Reaper drone crashes at Niger airport
Russia InsiderIgor Shuvalov, the top Kremlin official responsible for the economy: Sanctions force companies to modernize, be more efficient, less complacent. We've been saying this for months: sanctions are helping Russia. Western media is getting this badly wrong.
This is an account of comments made by Igor Shuvalov, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the economy, last week in Sochi.
Western leaders might care to reflect on them and on what Shuvalov reports Putin telling Biden (see the two paragraphs at the end).
This is an extract from an interview to Russia Direct, by the American political scientist, Nikolai Petro.
"Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov put forward the view that, if they last long enough, Western sanctions will be an impetus for modernization.
Is Washington a revisionist power?
The idea that the United States must exercise "global leadership" is rationalized by our interventionists as a necessary prerequisite for maintaining some type of "world order." Who will guard the sea lanes? Who will deter "aggression"? Who will defend the "rules" against those "rogue states" just waiting for an opportunity to wreak havoc, if not the United States of America?
No "mainstream" politician dares challenge this mythology, and those academics and popular writers who do so risk being marginalized. Challenging the motives of our wise rulers isn't good for your career: that is, not if you want to have any influence in Washington. And while it's okay to question whether this episode of meddling or that murderous invasion is really in our interest, the benevolence and historical legitimacy of the American empire is not to be questioned. Because, after all, the theoreticians of imperialism say, without the stability enforced by America's military supremacy "liberalism" could not exist.
This is how the world is seen inside the Washington Beltway, where the monuments of Empire loom large and more than half the population owes its livelihood to the Imperium. Outside that bubble of hubris and skyrocketing real estate values, however, the world looks to be quite a different place - as does America's role in it.
To an Iraqi citizen, who has watched his nation be torn to pieces by the American eagle, stability is the last thing he associates with the Americans. To a Libyan who had hopes his country might evolve into something more than Gaddafi's playground, "order" fled the moment the Americans intervened. To a resident of eastern Ukraine who voted in an internationally-recognized election for Victor Yanukovych - and who awoke one morning to discover his government had been overthrown by force - America is anything but the champion of liberal democracy.
But of course none of these peoples - Iraqis, Libyans, Ukrainians - count for much in the Imperial City. Their wishes, hopes, dreams, and opinions are irrelevant to the making of American foreign policy: they are outside the pale, forever exiled to that netherworld separating the West from the rest. And there is no race or nation farther outside that pale than the Russians, who lost the cold war and therefore - in Washington's view - have ceded any power or influence they once had over the calculations of US policymakers.
Russia and the Russians are routinely demonized in Washington: they are the one people it is perfectly okay to hate - unless, that is, you are a member of "Pussy Riot," or a has-been chess champion who's taken up Russophobia as a second career. That is, unless you're a traitor to your own country and allow yourself to be used as an instrument in Washington's hands.
Naturally the number one hate object is Vladimir Putin, who is regularly characterized as either the reincarnation of Stalin, the second coming of Hitler, or, preferably, both. That's because he doesn't recognize the implications of Russia's defeat in the cold war and still seems to think his opinions amount to something in the brave new unipolar world Washington is building.
Dominic BasultoPolitical science professor Nicolai Petro analyzes the key themes and takeaways from this year's much talked-about Valdai Club event in Sochi, an event that was dedicated to the topic of Russia's role in the post-Cold War world order.
This year's meeting of the Valdai Club brought together many of the world's top Russia experts to debate the changing needs of the global security system. Over a three-day period, participants discussed key issues related to Russia's future role in this global security architecture. The final day of the event was capped off by the appearance of Russian president Vladimir Putin, who reiterated many of the same concerns that he originally mentioned in his 2007 Munich speech.
Nicolai Petro, a professor of political science at the University of Rhode Island specializing in Russian affairs, just returned back from attending the Valdai event in Sochi.
In a Q&A for Russia Direct, he helps to break down the key issues and themes that emerged over the three-day period. In his extensive analysis of Putin's Valdai speech - a speech that many Western media outlets immediately criticized as "anti-American" - Nicolai Petro provides an insider's view of how the Russian foreign policy establishment views the world.
Russia Direct: The theme of this year's Valdai Club was "The World Order: New Rules or No Rules?" Based on what you heard in Sochi, which way do you think we're headed?
Nicolai Petro: Many participants felt that these two assumptions led only to rather extreme outcomes. While the loss of rules leads to the danger of global anarchy, new rules presuppose some sort of coercion, which returns us to the problems of hegemony that characterize the present.
We are in this situation precisely because the current rules satisfy an ever smaller number of states, yet there is no agreement among key international actors on new rules. This results in a transition fraught with perilous uncertainties.
It was suggested during the conference that one way to make this transition safer might be to strengthen regional associations of powers. Within the framework of the United Nations they would be tasked with maintaining order and peace according to rules established by their respective communities. Vladimir Putin picked up this theme in his speech at the end of the conference.
RD: One of the highlights of this year's Valdai Club meeting was the appearance of Vladimir Putin. What were some of the key ideas and takeaways from his talk?
N.P: Meeting the president of Russia is always the highlight of these meetings and he has used the past two meetings to explain Russia's vision of world affairs. In 2013 he elaborated on how a more traditional Russia seeks to advance its values in the world.
In 2014 he elaborated on many of the themes raised in his speech to the Munich Security Conference in 2007. In fact, the headline of one of Russia's leading newspapers the next day read: "Putin transitions from 'Munich Speech' to 'Native Speech.'"
By calling Russia (along with Iran and China) a new "center of evil," Putin says that the West is gradually "sawing off the branch it sits on." The globalization of economics, security and politics will continue, and Russia will expand its contacts with other nations.
If some countries wish to cut themselves off from Russia, then it will be their loss. Russia will simply expand profitable relations with other countries.
Borrowing rhetoric familiar to Americans, he spoke of unipolarity as undermining the system of checks and balances that has existed since the end of the Second World War. The U.S. made a critical error, according to Putin, when it abandoned this system after the collapse of the USSR but did not have anything with which to replace it.
What arose to take its place was American hegemony increasingly suffused with a sense of America's "exceptional" and "indispensable" historical mission. In the absence of any countervailing balance, these ideological motifs in U.S. foreign policy, which have always been present, have become dominant.
The result is a newly aggressive foreign policy that, because it does not see any other nation's interests as constraints upon American action, now poses a direct threat to Russia's vital national interests. This, according to Putin, is what has exacerbated the current crisis in Ukraine.
Russia, according to Putin, would like all major actors agree to restore the principle of balance of power, and to respect each other's national interests. Only in this context can international law work and international cooperation, which Russia says it wants, be resumed.
After Putin's speech, former French Prime Minster Dominique de Villepin commented that no one wants Ukraine to become a "frozen crisis." Personally, I suspect that what political leaders want even less is for Ukraine to become a successful state, if that means that it is conceded to the "other side."
The problem in Russia's relations with the West is therefore not really one of "crisis management," but something much, much deeper. It is the very assumption that, within European civilization itself, opposed to "our side" is "another side" which is its moral antithesis.
It is this assumption that made the Cold War a Manichean struggle, and its persistence is indispensable for future conflict. At present, we are trapped into repeating the Cold War simply because there is no cultural context in Western society for cooperation with Russia - there is no common cultural framework that would allow the West to see Russian values as their own values.
The Daily Sheeple
Amid California's record drought, towns up and down the state are rolling out smartphone apps that enable people to snap pictures of neighbors and businesses who are violating water restriction rules and "play water cop":
The apps put more boots on the ground to spot waste and leaks that might go unnoticed, officials say. They say the high-tech citizen reporting programs are intended to encourage water conservation, and not to be used as evidence to fine offenders.Here are a few examples:
Virgin Galactic said plane designed for commercial space travel was undertaking test flight in California when an 'in-flight anomaly' occurred
Richard Branson's plans for commercial space travel suffered a blow on Friday when one of his "rocket planes", SpaceShipTwo, crashed.
The plane was undertaking a test flight from its base in the Mojave desert when an "anomaly" occurred, Virgin Galactic said.
- Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic)October 31, 2014According to NBC News, the aircraft was forced to wait on the runway at the test site for three hours, while the ground team assessed the weather conditions, before it took off.
Analysts have been sceptical about whether Branson's plans for commercial space travel can be achieved. The launch date has been repeatedly delayed.
Almost 700 people, including Tom Hanks and Angelina Jolie, have paid to book a two-hour journey on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, which would include a planned five minutes of weightlessness.
Update: California Highway Patrol now says 1 person, believed to be a pilot, is dead and one injured.
Comment: It's interesting that this event comes on the heels of the Antares rocket explosion:
More children in Britain are considering suicide than ever before, according to ChildLine, which claims to have received more than 34,000 calls in one year from under-18s seeking guidance
ChildLine, which is run by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), said it had received 34,500 calls since 2013 - double the number it received in 2011.
According to the charity's 'On the Edge' report, published on Friday, almost 6,000 children told ChildLine counselors they had previously attempted suicide, many of them aged between 12 and 15.
Head of ChildLine Sue Minto said the rise of cyber-bullying on social media had exacerbated the problem, as it meant young people "couldn't escape" bullying.
"When I was a child you could go home, shut the door and you would have some escape and some release and a chance to pull yourself together again," she told BBC news.
"That doesn't happen for our children and young people. They live in a highly pressurized world where the internet never sleeps and even if they turn off their phone, it's still there waiting for them," she added.
The American Red Cross was ill-equipped to provide aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac, a new report suggests, and allocated resources not towards offering help, but on generating publicity.
A new report conducted jointly by ProPublica and NPR raises concerns about how the humanitarian group conducted itself in the wake of the storms that occurred in 2012 and 2011, respectively, and claims that the organization's actions were "politically driven" and not on par with how the Red Cross routinely acts in such situations.
Through internal documents obtained by journalists and interviews conducted with those close to the Red Cross' response to those emergencies, the reports published this week by both media outlets conclude that evidence depicts "an organization so consumed with public relations that it hindered the charity's ability to provide disaster services."
Among the allegations unearthed in the new report are claims that "as many as 40 percent" of the agency's emergency vehicles were used as backdrops during pressers, not for providing relief, during those emergencies, and accusations that Red Cross headquarters in Washington "diverted assets for public relations purposes." According to one of the truck drivers, Jim Dunham, relief vehicles were ordered by the dozens to be deployed not to assist, but "just to be seen" at press conferences.
Comment: As you can see below, the Red Cross' use of funds and general mode of operation has been questionable and self-serving for a while now:
A video has surfaced showing a homeless man being shot dead by eight police officers as he held a small penknife. 46 bullets were fired.
Milton Hall, 49, has been described as "a community worker, and he was always there speaking out for those whom he considered the weak, for those who did not have the strength to speak for themselves," according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which released the disturbing video.
Given such seemingly clean credentials, it's unfathomable to imagine such a person being shot over a dozen times for merely holding a pen knife at a safe distance from police officers. But that's exactly what happened in July 2012 in Saginaw, Michigan, after Hall got into an argument with police following an alleged fight with a store clerk.
The graphic video, taken by a bystander, shows Hall in a parking lot surrounded by eight police officers, all of whom have their weapons drawn and aimed at him. One of the officer's orders Hall to drop his weapon. He refuses. After a period of about 10 seconds the officers open fire, with Hall appearing to be dead before he hit the ground.
Of the 46 shots fired, Hall had been hit 14 times.
Comment: Police atrocities in US surpassed the third world countries. That includes rape, murder,stealing people's money, nude photos and racism.
Russian humanitarian aid convoys have reached the eastern Ukrainian cities of Luhansk and Donetsk, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Friday.
The contents of the trucks are currently being unloaded into warehouses.
One hundred trucks, which were split into two convoys, carried about 1,000 tons of humanitarian aid including food, medication, construction materials and winter supplies.
Military authorities removed a Halloween display that depicted a black family hanging in effigy from a tree at Fort Campbell.
A photograph of the display, which was set up at a residence on the base that straddles Kentucky and Tennessee, was sent to Army officials for investigation.
Authorities at the base said the occupant, who was not identified, told military officials the display was not intended to be offensive and agreed to take it down.
Comment: Whether it was intended to be racist or not, the damage done by the image of a lynching is real and it, and its undercurrent of racism, has horrific historical roots:
A clandestine Home Office experiment in 1982 tested Britain's capacity to rebuild after a catastrophic nuclear assault. Previously secret files, made public by the National Archives, document proposals to keep order using psychopathic recruits.
The exercise, dubbed 'Regenerate', was devised to prepare Britain to cope with a massive nuclear attack. The project aimed to create back-up measures in the event of a World War Three scenario.
Establishment officials imagined a situation where a nuclear exchange had devastated Britain's major cities, causing millions of casualties and widespread radiation poisoning.
The Cold War experiment's strategic means of dealing with such a disaster entailed assembling and recruiting a large group of officials, who would report to 12 carefully selected commissioners.
Those who participated in the experiment were predominantly police officers, state officials, military officers and fire services.
Comment: The irony here is that the very professions involved in this experiment - police officers, state officials, military officers - are full of psychopaths. So Hogg's suggestion, "extraordinary" and "bizarre" as it may appear to someone like Hennessy, is actually not that far from the truth. The problem is that psychopaths' lack of feelings for others is NOT an advantage. That's what they would like us to believe, and there has been a disinformation campaign for years to put these ideas in the public's awareness. But as Andrew Lobaczewski shows in Political Ponerology, psychopaths are anything but good in such situations; they make life intolerable for everyone else.
|Science & Technology|
Scientists say they can predict "with 95 percent accuracy where you'll fall on the liberal-conservative spectrum by showing you just one picture" and then studying how your brain responds to the image. Furthermore, studies show that political orientation may be as inheritance-based as height.
According to New Scientist, increasing evidence indicates that the sense of disgust is closely aligned with a person's political orientation. People who land on the conservative end of the spectrum have a more easily aroused sense of disgust than their liberal counterparts.
A team of scientists at Virginia Tech led by researcher Read Montague found that people who are more likely to sit on the right side of the political spectrum have a higher sensitivity to disgusting pictures like bodily waste, gore or the remains of dead animals.
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo has been destroyed after "an in-flight anomaly" during a rocket powered test flight over the Mojave Desert, Calif. Friday morning.
"#SpaceShipTwo has experienced an in-flight anomaly. Additional info and statement forthcoming," the official Virgin Galactic feed tweeted at 10:13 a.m. PDT (1:13 p.m. EDT). This announcement came 6 minutes after the space tourism company announced the sub-orbital spacecraft's engines had ignited.
The anomaly appears to have occurred after the spacecraft, which is designed to carry 6 passengers and two pilots on a trip to the edge of space, was released from its mothership, WhiteKnightTwo, and under powered flight.
Comment: This has been a bad week for space flight:
Antares rocket explosion: A "vehicle anomaly", a deliberate destruction, or something else?
NASA rocket bound for International Space Station explodes just seconds after takeoff
An unmanned rocket exploded shortly after takeoff Tuesday evening (28th of October) on Virginia's eastern shore. It was carrying a capsule loaded with experiments and much needed equipment. There were no injuries, but because of "classified crypto equipment" onboard, NASA made sure tosecure the area.
Although there is much to say about the symbology of the event (starting with it being US's another flop and Russia saving the day, or the fact that Antares was being partly developed in Ukraine), there are plenty of other no less curious details.
During a recent flyby of Saturn's moon Titan, NASA's Cassini mission captured some breathtaking infrared views of the small world, photographing sunlight glinting off its hydrocarbon seas.
Cassini has spotted sun glint before on Titan's surface, but this is the first set of observations (stitched together as a mosaic) where the boundaries of the seas and the sunlight glint are visible in the same view.
As Titan's surface is so cold, water cannot exist in a liquid state. Instead, the world cycles liquid methane (a substance that has a lower freezing point than water) from Titan's "great lakes", into the atmosphere as vapor, which condenses as clouds, raining methane back down onto the hydrocarbon surface. Much like Earth's water cycle, Titan's methane cycle creates rivers, deltas, valleys and large masses of liquid methane as observed here.
The sea glinting in sunlight is Kraken Mare, Titan's largest body of liquid. Surrounding Kraken Mare is a 'bathtub ring' - an old coastline that suggests the sea was at a higher level than it is now.
This observation was captured by Cassini's Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) on Aug. 21.
Comment: The colorized mosaic from the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer, which maps infrared colors onto the visible-color spectrum, reveals differences in the composition of material around the lakes. The data suggest parts of Titan's lakes and seas may have evaporated and left behind the Titan equivalent of Earth's salt flats. The evaporated material is thought to be organic chemicals originally from Titan's haze particles that once dissolved in liquid methane. They appear orange in this image against the greenish backdrop of Titan's typical bedrock of water ice.
The bright area suggests that the surface here is unique from the rest of Titan, which might explain why almost all of the lakes are found in this region. Titan's lakes have very distinctive shapes -- rounded cookie-cutter silhouettes and steep sides -- and a variety of formation mechanisms have been proposed. The explanations range from the collapse of land after a volcanic eruption to karst terrain, where liquids dissolve soluble bedrock. Karst terrains on Earth can create spectacular topography such as the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. -JPL
Launched in 1997, Cassini has been exploring the Saturn system since 2004. A full Saturn year is 30 years, and Cassini has been able to observe nearly a third of a Saturn year. In that time, Saturn and its moons have seen the seasons change from northern winter to northern summer.
See that blue glow? That's the ghostly remains of once-dazzling galaxies that have since been blended in a Cosmic grinder. It may sound like a gruesome Hallowe'en space slasher movie, but this is actually a stunning portrait of galactic evolution as captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Abell 2744, or "Pandora's Cluster," consists of 500 galaxies over 4 billion light-years away from Earth. The stunning array of galaxies of all shapes and sizes are a sight to behold. But in this case, scientists studying this Hubble observation aren't admiring the beautiful elegance of the spiral galaxies or arcs of light bent by gravitational lensing, they're focused on the long-lost stars cast adrift in intergalactic space, released like tiny sparkles after an immense galactic smashup that occurred billions of years ago.
The blue glow has been detected by Hubble's sensitive optics and represent cosmic forensic evidence of the galactic violence - it is caused by countless billions of stars that are no longer gravitationally bound to their galaxies, forever drifting alone.
ScienceDailyNew research offers a novel insight into the nature of dark matter and dark energy and what the future of our Universe might be.
Researchers in Portsmouth and Rome have found hints that dark matter, the cosmic scaffolding on which our Universe is built, is being slowly erased, swallowed up by dark energy.
The findings appear in the journal Physical Review Letters, published by the American Physical Society. In the journal cosmologists at the Universities of Portsmouth and Rome, argue that the latest astronomical data favours a dark energy that grows as it interacts with dark matter, and this appears to be slowing the growth of structure in the cosmos.
Professor David Wands, Director of Portsmouth's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, is one of the research team.
ScienceDailyEarth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet's surface and are home to the world's greatest diversity of life. While water is essential for life on the planet, the answers to two key questions have eluded us: where did Earth's water come from and when?
While some hypothesize that water came late to Earth, well after the planet had formed, findings from a new study led by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) significantly move back the clock for the first evidence of water on Earth and in the inner solar system.
"The answer to one of the basic questions is that our oceans were always here. We didn't get them from a late process, as was previously thought," said Adam Sarafian, the lead author of the paper published Oct. 31, 2014, in the journal Science and a MIT/WHOI Joint Program student in the Geology and Geophysics Department.
One school of thought was that planets originally formed dry, due to the high-energy, high-impact process of planet formation, and that the water came later from sources such as comets or "wet" asteroids, which are largely composed of ices and gases.
Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are posted for parts of the Appalachians and snow advisories are in effect in the Great Lakes as the season's first snow targets those areas from Halloween into the weekend.
As of Friday morning up to 8 inches of snow fell in Winchester, Wisconsin and near Three Lakes, Michigan. Wind gusts up to 60 mph have also been reported in parts of Michigan.
Given the expected intensity of a southward plunge of the jet stream and the magnitude and depth of cold air pulled with it, we're not simply talking about chilly rain showers, but also accumulating snow for some as well as the first flakes of the season for others.
- Friday: The cold front plunges through the Great Lakes early, then through the Ohio Valley and Appalachians. Rain will mix with, or changeover to wet snow in parts of Michigan and Wisconsin and spread to the Ohio Valley and Appalachians later in the day into the night. Bands of lake-effect rain or snow will also set up.
- Saturday: Additional snow will fall over the Appalachians and parts of the piedmont from east Tennessee and western North Carolina (possibly Upstate South Carolina) north to at least West Virginia. Some wet snow may also linger in parts of eastern Lower Michigan, Ohio, western Pennsylvania, western New York. Snow may develop later in parts of northern New England.
- Sunday: Snow, possibly heavy, in parts of northern New England and gusty winds are expected as well.
Comment: To learn more about what is behind the erratic weather and climate change, listen to the SOTT Talk radio shows below:
SOTT Talk Radio: Climate Change, Food Shortages and the Future
SOTT Talk Radio show #70: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?
Tropical Storm Vance continues to churn over the waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean after developing on Thursday afternoon.
The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center is keeping a close eye on the system, located several hundred miles south-southeast of Acapulco.
Further strengthening will occur through this weekend as the tropical cyclone remains over the warm waters of the eastern Pacific and in an environment that lacks disruptive wind shear, which can shred apart tropical systems as evident with Tropical Cyclone Nilofar.
The system is likely to strengthen into a hurricane by Sunday.
The coldest air since April will blast into the Eastern states and will shock parts of the South this weekend.
In many areas, the cold air will be pushed along and enhanced by gusty winds.
The winds will be generated by a winterlike storm swinging off the mid-Atlantic coast and possibly taking a curved path back toward New England.
Gusts ranging between 35 and 50 mph will sweep from the southern Appalachians to the Carolina, Georgia and northeastern Florida coasts, initially. Next, the swath of strong winds will roll across the mid-Atlantic and New England later this weekend.
The combination of plunging temperatures, winds and other conditions will produce shockingly low AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures. Levels will dip into the teens over the Appalachians and New England to the 20s over the interior South and along the mid-Atlantic coasts and to the lower 30s in part of Florida.
You (South Africa)
A woman died after being trampled and bitten by a wild boar in a mountainous area of central Vietnam, a local official said Thursday.
The 39-year-old woman was working in a rice field in Pho Hoa commune in Quang Ngai province when the animal attacked her, said Nguyen Van Nho, chairman of the commune's People's Committee.
The woman died several hours later.
The boar was being pursued by hunters when it attacked the woman, and the animal was later shot, Nho said, adding that it was the first such incident reported in the commune.
"If it was not being chased, the animal would not have attacked her," he said.
Boars used to be a common sight in the area, but they have become much scarcer in recent years because of hunting.
Seven people including a child have been trampled to death by rampaging elephants that strayed from Malawi's southern Liwonde National Park into a nearby village, police say.
The two beasts charged into Nyambi village, trampling an eight-year-old child, a 75-year-old man and five others who failed to outpace the gigantic mammals.
"This was the highest death toll caused by elephants in recent memory," said Andrew Mayawo, a police spokesman from Machinga district on Tuesday.
The elephants were later herded back to the national park with the help of police and environmental experts, Mayawo said.
"The problem is that the villagers have vandalised the barbed wire fence which keeps the elephants at bay."
The Chicago Tribune
Windy conditions and snow have caused hundreds of flight cancellations and delays Friday at O'Hare International Airport, officials said.
As of 11 a.m., more than 300 flights were reported canceled and delays of up to an hour were reported at O'Hare, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.
According to to FlightStats, an online site that monitors air traffic, 304 flights in and out of O"Hare had been canceled.
Halloween started with a record snowfall for many Chicago-area residents. As of 8 a.m. Friday, O'Hare and Chicago Rockford Airport had one-tenth of an inch of snow, the most snow on record for Oct. 31 for the city of Chicago, according to the National Weather Service.
Scattered snow showers are expected throughout Friday morning, said Gino Izzi, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
"It's just scattered showers, but it could come down decently, briefly," Izzi said. "I doubt anything will stick though."
Precipitation should end later Friday morning for the Chicago metropolitan area, but a high wind warning will be in effect until 6 p.m., with wind gusts expected to reach 60 mph near the lake.
Residents around Lower Township, New Jersey have turned to social media to confirm they were not alone in feeling the ground rumble Wednesday afternoon.
A source tells CBSPhilly the township has received reports from residents regarding the mysterious vibration in the area.
Lower Township resident Jo Ann Armstrong says, "The kitchen moved. My husband was outside on the riding mower and I thought he had run into the house."
And she wasn't alone - several others turned to Twitter to share their experience: It seemed like the room moved. It's didn't shake, it didn't twitch or anything, it just actually seemed like it moved," Jo Ann Armstrong said.
It was a shakeup Jo Ann Armstrong just couldn't figure out.
And she wasn't alone.
In cities up and down the shore, people reported feeling the ground move or hearing a loud boom.
Comment: Below is a collection of strange booms and mysterious vibrations from the eastern shore of the US and the New Jersey area from Sott.net. These events are often blamed on unspecified military flights, as is the case with this recent event. The possibility exists that the military flight explanation is likely an excuse used for covering up unexplained phenomena happening in the earth or overhead meteor explosions.
Another mysterious boom in Ocean City, Maryland reportedly caused by sonic boom
Booms and tremors in Ocean City, Maryland blamed on military jets (yeah, right!)
Earthquake ruled out after tremors and loud boom reported in Ocean City, Maryland
Mysterious loud booms in Rockaway were small, shallow earthquakes?
Now it's New Jersey: What was the mysterious shake rattling New Jersey? Residents feel the earth move...but it's not an earthquake
More mysterious earthquake-like tremors rattle homes in South Jersey
New mysterious "booms" reported in Manchester Township, New Jersey
The biggest eruption in a century at a volcano in Costa Rica has rained ash over the Central American country and prompted authorities to evacuate some communities.
Emergency services and scientists remained on high alert on Friday after the overnight explosion at the Turrialba volcano, close to the capital San Jose.
Volcanologist Gino Gonzalez said that the volcano had been rumbling and producing seismic activity since Wednesday evening.
He said the explosion caused the side of the crater to collapse, and ashfall was recorded in four provinces.
The discovery of another unapproved variety of genetically modified wheat in Montana has increased pressure to tighten the regulation of biotech crops, a change that could cause havoc for farmers in Iowa and across the U.S. eager to get their hands on the newest varieties.
The popular crops are staunchly defended by farmers who depend on genetically altered seeds to provide them with higher yields, better-quality products, and lower consumption of chemicals to rebuff attacks from weeds or insects. The result is a boon to their bottom line.
The United States is by far the world's largest grower of biotech crops, planting 173 million acres in 2013 - almost 4% of all biotech acreage globally. In Iowa, 95% of all corn planted this year came from genetically engineered seeds.
But food and environmental groups are skeptical about the safety of these crops in everyday foods and in the environment in which they grow. The discovery of unapproved wheat has renewed calls for regulators to adopt a slower, more stringent approval process.
Comment: "I would hope that USDA would use this as an opportunity to do some research about the efficacy of their field trail conditions that they put in place"
Wishful thinking Greg Jaffe! The whole idea behind biotechnology is to mass contaminate, it's the norm, once GMO seeds are in nature they take over, they are bred to survive toxic herbicides, and contrary to Jaffe's statement, these isolated incidences do have food safety and environmental impacts:
Biotech crop supporters claim there has been plenty of research done, and so-called isolated incidents like this, cast a cloud over the benefits of biotechnology. The reality?
science-based requirements for field trials, is seriously lacking! There will be no additional oversight, mainly because federal regulators, like the USDA, are on the same team as Monsanto:
Monsanto: 'There is no need for, or value in testing the safety of GM foods in humans'
Monsanto does not actually care about science, though, and has actually made it a point to just arbitrarily deny the need for actual GMO testing in humans to prove its claims. In concluding its unsubstantiated diatribe about why human testing of GMOs is unnecessary, the agri-giant says there is simply "no need, or value" in testing the safety of GMOs - in other words, if Monsanto says they are safe, then they are safe!
|Fire in the Sky|
Manchester Evening News
Mystery continues to surround phantom lights that appeared in the skies over Rochdale last week.
As featured in Wednesday's Rochdale Observer, strange flashes of blue and green were spotted in the skies, power went out and homes were left without electricity during the curious episode last Thursday evening, October 23.
Some people also reported hearing a loud bang, while others thought they had seen an object shoot into the sky.
And social media users have come up with all sorts of explanations for the events, from fireworks to a solar flare, the Northern Lights and even alien activity.
The lights were spotted above homes over Rochdale, Norden, Littleborough, Newhey and Whitworth, with many residents noticing their own lights flickering, a temporary loss of power, flashes and the triggering of burglar alarms.
Comment: The sun did have a massive sunspot during the time of the sighting of the mysterious lights.
Solar flare danger - massive sunspot the size of Jupiter takes aim at Earth
|Health & Wellness|
From time to time, I reprint my interview with Dr. Barbara Starfield. Each time I try to write a new introduction.
In this case, I'll highlight the arbitrary nature of scare-propaganda. And by arbitrary, I mean "has a covert agenda."
For instance, suppose you learned that a single source in the US, every year, like clockwork, kills 225,000 people. That would be 2.25 million killings per decade.
Wouldn't you think we'd hear about it? Wouldn't public health agencies make a big deal about it? Wouldn't they call it an epidemic?
After all, we supposedly have a handful of "Ebola cases" in the US, and the media are hyping this "fact" to the skies.
Suppose they had far, far bigger numbers to work with? Suppose they had 225,000 deaths, not just once, but every year, as the raw material for their stories?
Suppose they could say, "We now have 225,000 deaths in the US as a result of Ebola, and the authorities are quite sure that next year, and the year after that, and every year we're going to have 225,000 more."
Can you imagine the reaction at every level of society? The insane panic? The madness in the streets? The attacks against institutions tasked with preventing such a cataclysm? The collapse of the stock market and the healthcare system? The predictions of the end of the world? The churches on roaring business highs?
On July 26, 2000, the Journal of the American Medical Association published Dr. Barbara Starfield's review, "Is US health really the best in the world?"
Comment: One reason that the US healthcare system is one of the worst in the developed world is that the pharmaceutical industry makes so much money that it basically owns the FDA and Congress. In fact, the FDA has been shown to use mafia tactics to protect BigPharma. The industry is so corrupt, that even large fines don't have any affect on the marketing of unsafe drugs. Worse, is that it has successfully brainwashed so many people, that few never dare to ask important questions of their doctors, or do the necessary research that could save their lives. Only when more people take responsibility for their health back from the AMA and BigPharma is this situation likely to change.
The way that oil and gas fracking is practiced in the US is dangerous to public health exposing people living around wells to respiratory infections, cancer and a reduction in brain activity, David O. Carpenter, environmental health expert, told RT.
Scientists have discovered dangerously high level of cancer-causing chemicals in the air around fracking wells in five different states in the US. A report revealed that levels of benzene, hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde were many times above American air pollution limits and were detected within residential areas near to fracking sites.
RT spoke with David O. Carpenter, author of the study to find out how dangerous fracking is for health.
David Carpenter: I don't think fracking has to be dangerous to our health but fracking in the way it's practiced right now in the US - at least in these five states - is extraordinary dangerous. We focused a lot in our report on two chemicals that cause cancer - benzene and formaldehyde - and their levels were sky high, much higher than it is regulated in other industries. They are both known human carcinogens, according to the World Health Organization. They should not be released in this fashion. It isn't that the fracking per say is something that is necessarily dangerous but clearly there is a release of all of these organic chemicals, including these carcinogens, benzene is released, formaldehyde is formed. That's just not acceptable because these [chemicals] are very dangerous for public health.
According to research published on Thursday, Brits are more likely to be grumps because they possess a "short form" version of a gene that produces serotonin - the neurochemical which controls happiness levels in the brain.
In contrast, the researchers at Warwick found that the Danes possessed the longer form of the gene, and are therefore more likely to be happy.
According to Professor Andrew Oswald, the economist and social scientist who led the research, happiness levels had little to do with wealth or material gains or good weather, as people who possessed the shorter length gene would still be more prone to unhappiness.
"Among the nations we studied, Denmark and the Netherlands appeared to have the lowest percentage of people with the short version of the serotonin gene," he told the Times.
In a new study, scientists have found that seizures and migraines may actually be linked as they could be produced by a single gene mutation.
The two brain events have always been considered separate physiological phenomena in the brain, as seizures are marked by electrical hyperactivity, while migraine auras, based on an underlying process called spreading depression, are marked by a silencing of electrical activity in part of the brain. Also, seizures spread rapidly, but migraines propagate slowly.
However, a team of engineers and neuroscientists looked at the brain from a physics viewpoint and discovered a link between the two. Steven J. Schiff, director of the Penn State Center for Neural Engineering, said that they realized that no one had ever kept proper track of the neuronal energy being used and all of the ions, the charged atoms, going into and out of brain cells.
|Science of the Spirit|
|No new articles.|
Reports of a girl with "coal-black pits for eye sockets" first emerged in the capital in the 1980s - but experts now say she is back.
The last sighting was just two weeks ago and a paranormal investigator says he has been flooded with reports.
One terrified traveller said he and his wife were waiting for the tube with their child when they heard the chilling sound of a little girl giggling in the tunnel.
"To our amazement, a child, no taller than one meter in height appeared as if out of nowhere further up the track in front of us," he said.
"We stopped dead in our tracks after noticing her eyes had no colour."
Comment: See also: New report of ghostly black-eyed children sightings in Cannock Chase
The annual burning of the Mexican boogeyman, known as El Kookooee, draws crowds to Albuquerque's South Valley. At this year's event, the burning may have drawn more than just people.
"All of us were just freaked out by this thing," said Steve Vaughan.
The figure was captured in a picture taken by a pair of local firefighters at the burning Sunday. A ghost enthusiast said it could be some sort of wizard or spirit.
"It's either a real humanoid figure up there hovering in the sky or it's an extremely good projection from either a slide or some kind of camera," said Rick Walter.
The image is getting a lot of attention.
"I showed it to them and they were all, 'Oh my gosh, that's wild,' 'I want to see that, text it to me,' and then they put it on Facebook and it kind of blew up from three," said Josh Ellis.
Whether you're a believer or not, religious experts say exorcisms are happening more and more.
Pope Francis often speaks about the devil in his morning homilies, and he did so again today ahead of the All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
"This generation, and many others, have been led to believe that the devil is a myth, a figure, an idea, the idea of evil. But the devil exists and we must fight against him," the pope told faithful gathered for Mass at St Martha's guesthouse where he resides.
This year, the Vatican dedicated a group of 250 priests from around the world to perform the ancient rite of casting out demons. The Vatican's chief exorcist told a Vatican newspaper that he has casted out as many as 70,000 demons.
Catholics describe exorcism as the eternal battle between good and evil and a fight for souls on earth. To them, it is a spiritual war where demons possess the living, giving them dark powers.
"Demons are fallen angels, evil spirits," said Sister Madeline Grace. "The devil is using their physical powers in ways they never had before."
Exorcism is a topic that many Catholic priests will not talk about, but one in Gary, Indiana spoke to Eyewitness News.
Ghost ships have long sparked fascination and fear, from mariners and non-mariners alike. These spooky vessels run the gamut from phantom ships that appear as eerie apparitions to real-life abandoned wrecks to those craft that disappeared mysteriously with no survivors, such as the HMSErebus that was lost in the Canadian Arctic in 1845. Here's a look at some of the most haunted ships throughout history.
El Caleuche is a ghost ship said to sail the waters off the coast of Chile. "El Caleuche always sails at night and appears suddenly through the fog or mist, brightly lit," writes author Ann Bingham in her book South and Meso-American Mythology: A to Z (Chelsea House, 2010). The ship "guards the waters and punishes those who bring hardship to the sea or the creatures that live in it."
The ship's crew is said to consist of dead, shipwrecked, sailors along with witches. The witches are said to leave the ship by riding a seahorse named Caballo Marino Bingham added. Apparently the witches and shipwrecked sailors are a happy crew. "On calm nights, it is said, music and laughter can often be heard coming from the ship," Bingham writes.
|Don't Panic! Lighten Up!|
At a public unveiling ceremony today, October 22 at 1:00pm, the 400 block of West 121st street between Morningside Drive and Amsterdam Avenue will officially be co-named "George Carlin Way," after the celebrated comedian, actor and author, George Carlin, who grew up on West 121 Street. Confirmed attendees include Colin Quinn and Keith Olbermann, along with Carlin's daughter Kelly, older brother Patrick, comedian Kevin Bartini, who headed the efforts in the co-naming of street.
The process to get a street named in Carlin's honor begun in June of 2011 and finally became a reality on July 9, 2014 when Mayor DeBlasio signed the law allowing the co-naming to be official. Comedian Bartini would pass by West 121 Street and realized that there was no recognition of one on the communities' most celebrated residents. Bartini researched the process and went into action collecting over 9000 signatures in support of the name changing.
Although George Carlin is the most esteemed alumni of Corpus Christi School located at 529 West 121 Street, just a few doors away from his childhood home, Bartini met staunch opposition by the church, but with overwhelming support from the neighborhood and as well as local council persons, the church dropped their opposition to the bill. Manhattan Community Board 9 Voted 24-4 in support of "George Carlin Way," the bill then went on to the NYC City Council for a final affirming vote.
"The neighborhood my dad grew up in meant the world to him. He often spoke about his friends and life on the streets of "Irish Harlem." I'm so thrilled that the current and future residents of Morningside Heights will know about that connection through the sign that hangs there. Yay for George Carlin Way!!," says daughter Kelly.
Following India's successful attempt to put a vehicle in Mars orbit, the New York Times published a cartoon acknowledging the event that some called racist. But India did not have to wait long to issue a comic rebuttal.
On September 24, India's fledgling space program got a historic first: The country's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) probe achieved the grand finale of its 10-month mission when it entered the Red Planet's gravitational field, thus making India just the fourth country to successfully send a space vehicle into Mars orbit.
The New York Times, however, could not resist taking a cheap shot with a stereotypical cartoon:
The prophecies of the French astrologer Nostradamus remain famous more than 400 years after his death. He has been credited with predicting events like the French Revolution and World War II. But, after careful scrutiny, we present evidence that his prophecies were, in fact, plot spoilers for the Star Wars films.
Nostradamus' prophecies were written in such vague, metaphorical language, that, over the years, people have selectively quoted and interpreted them to prove that he could see centuries into the future.
But, did it ever occur to anyone that Nostradamus wasn't predicting events, but film plots? More specifically, that Nostradamus, through his visions, saw the entire Star Wars saga before it was even made? We believe his writings were those of an enthusiastic fan and, as proof, we present his prophecies and - for the first time in history - interpret them for what they really are.