"I'm kind of sworn to secrecy. But it sounds like it might be happening." — Winona Ryder hints that Beetlejuice 2 is a go. She adds: "It's not a remake. It's 27 years later. And I have to say, I love Lydia [Deetz] so much. She was such a huge part of me. I would be really interested in what she is doing 27 years later."
I have to admit it's getting better.
it's getting better all the time.
Image from www.un.org
The UN investigation concluded chemical weapons were used on a relatively large scale in the Ghouta area of Damascus on August 21. But, the report is unclear whether the weapons used belonged to Assad’s or rebel forces.
The UN mission concluded that there was “clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used in the Ein Tarma, Moadamiyah and Zamalka [neighborhoods] in the Ghouta area of Damascus.”
At the same time, the report remains unclear in terms of whom those surface-to-surface rockets belonged to – rebels or government forces.
The 38-page report was compiled by a UN expert team, which inspected Damascus at the end of last month, and collected over 30 samples from victims and the environment.
The UN team noted that they had limited time to conduct the investigation and cautions that evidence might have been “moved” or even “manipulated”, with many others visiting the sites before and during the investigation
Image from www.un.org
Of the five impact sites investigated by the UN, only two were able to provide the “likely trajectories” of the rockets.
Evidence recovered from the first site called Moadamiyah showed that the munitions used “matches one of the variants of the [Soviet] M14 artillery rocket”. The UN noted that the warhead (not seen at the impact site) could have been “original or improvised.”
An impact point at the site was identified as a crater and “the intact rocket motor” was found coincident to it, along with small metal fragments “scattered outside of the crater”.
“There was no indication of damage around the crater having been caused by a blast or explosives,” the report stated, adding that this meant that the warhead was not at the scene of the final impact.
The report explains: “The rocket initially impacted the corner of the second floor of an adjacent apartment building to the east, with either warhead functioning or shearing off from the body … and the motor section having sufficient kinetic energy to continue along its path to its terminal location.”
The weapon was described in the report as having “light gray paint”, black numbers “97-179” on the side, and Cyrillic engravings on the bottom ring of the engine.
“The engine had 10 jet nozzles ordered in a circle at the end of the rocket with a metal electrical contact plate in the middle.”
Image from www.un.org
Evidence recovered from the fourth site identified as Ein Tarma revealed that the weapon used matched a 330 mm caliber, artillery rocket, which had features “consisted with that of an unguided rocket.”
The UN experts suggested that based on the “orientation and impact craters” and other damage in the area, the rockets were fired from an unspecified area to the northwest.
The rocket engine consisted of “six stabilizer fins”, which were “equally arranged in a circle and stabilized with a metal ring.” One rocket had a number 153 sprayed in the middle of an engine tube.
The engine tube attached to the warhead had a “front metal plate with a fuse thread in the center.”
The rocket warhead appeared to have gone off prior to impacting the building, releasing its contents before going through the structure to its final location.
International reaction to the report has been mixed with Russia’s UN representative says the newly unveiled report on the chemical attack of August 21 offers no “bulletproof data or conclusions” on who ordered it.
In contrast, the US and UK say the study confirms the regime was behind the attack.
Image from www.un.org
i bet the secret ingredient is water
Because people will buy water
Quote:Nine seconds after 11 o’clock on the night of July 8, 1962, a 2,200-pound W-49 nuclear weapon detonated 248 miles above a tiny island to the west of Hawaii. The blast, which yielded 1.4 megatons, instantly turned the night sky daylight-bright. As the flash dissipated, electrons from the explosion interacted with the Earth’s magnetic field to create an artificial aurora thousands of miles long. The residual light danced across the sky for seven minutes. The blast’s accompanying electromagnetic pulse knocked out street lamps 800 miles away.
The explosion that night wasn’t hostile; it was an American weapons test called Starfish Prime. The Department of Defense and the Atomic Energy Commission were running a program designed to study the effects of nuclear warfare on the atmosphere. The effects the program found were far more profound than a light show. Starfish Prime created an artificial radiation belt that enveloped the Earth and intensified the Van Allen belts, fallout NASA quickly realized could threaten its Apollo program in the race to the Moon. For a brief period, it wasn’t clear whether manned space flight could continue at all.
Nuclear testing and the early Cold War
In the mid-1950s, the Soviet Union and the United States were both developing nuclear weapons, a practice that demanded rigorous test programs. On both sides of the world, these weapons were purposefully detonated underground, underwater, and in the upper atmosphere. (Between 1953 and 1958, the United States, Soviet Union, and United Kingdom, combined, launched a total of 231 atmospheric nuclear weapons tests.) The ongoing tests led to international unease as people became increasingly worried about the effects nuclear radiation would have on their health. This was particularly true in the United States, where victims of the Hiroshima bombings sought treatment, showing Americans exactly what their nuclear weapons could do.
As public concern over nuclear testing increased, so did political pressure to limit the hazardous practice. But for President Dwight Eisenhower, it wasn’t a simple matter. His administration was divided. On the one hand, it was clear that continued nuclear testing was necessary for the US to maintain its technological lead over the Soviet Union. But on the other hand, agreeing to a test ban would improve the nation’s international standing. In 1958, Eisenhower was forced into making a decision when the Soviet Union, led by Premier Nikita Khrushchev, called for a blanket ban on all nuclear testing. The United States agreed.
Negotiations began; agreeing to a ban wasn’t the same as enforcing it, and the United States demanded some way of keeping tabs on the Soviets before it would halt all testing. Talks toward this end took place at a conference in Geneva in the summer of 1958 and, while Cold War tensions were high, they didn’t block negotiations. On August 21, international experts prepared a report suggesting the establishment of a network of 170 monitoring stations scattered throughout Eurasia and North America equipped to detect nuclear activity. The solution pleased Eisenhower.
The ban took effect on October 31. The intervening weeks saw a flurry of last-minute nuclear testing.
Read more: http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/08/h...or-apollo/
Titled " MSNBC Jumps the Shark".
It's more certain than ever that Alec Baldwin, of "30 Rock" and paparazzi-dueling fame, will become a regular part of the MSNBC lineup.
On Thursday, Mediaite reported that a "senior source in the cable news industry" had confirmed Baldwin would get his own show, scheduled for Fridays at 10 p.m. and featuring his trademark aggressive liberalism.
The report got a lot of traction, but MSNBC has so far declined to give a hard answer on the addition of Baldwin to the Friday slate. In response to Mediaite, a spokesman said: "We're fans of Alec but we've got nothing to say regarding this unconfirmed report."
There's currently no news content in this slot; "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" only airs Monday through Thursday and the station runs a prison documentary series called "Lockup" on Friday nights.
Baldwin is no stranger to the world of NBC: the network aired "30 Rock," which snagged him two Emmy Awards, for seven seasons. Perhaps more importantly, he's not one to apologize for his progressive, often combative views, which makes sense for a network that publicly acknowledges its left-leaning stance.
Quote:Two encrypted email services have closed down for reasons linked to US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.
Texas-based Lavabit service has shut down but said legal reasons prevented it explaining why.
Correspondents say Lavabit appears to have been in a legal battle to stop US officials accessing customer details.
In addition, secure communications firm Silent Circle has shut its email service because messages cannot be kept wholly secret.
Mr Snowden, a former contractor to the American National Security Agency (NSA), has admitted leaking information about widespread US surveillance on electronic communications to the media.
He fled the US - where he now faces espionage charges - and has been granted temporary asylum in Russia.
Lavabit came under scrutiny following reports that Mr Snowden was using the service while holed-up in Moscow airport.
"I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people, or walk away from nearly 10 years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit," Mr Levison wrote in a letter posted on the Lavabit website.
He said he had decided to "suspend operations" but was barred from discussing the events over the past six weeks that led to his decision.
"This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States," he wrote.
Silent Circle said it shut down its email service for both technical and political reasons.
"Email as we know it... cannot be secure," wrote Jon Callas, co-founder and head of technology officer at Silent Circle, in a blogpost. "Email that uses standard Internet protocols cannot have the same security guarantees that real-time communications has."
Excerpted from WSJ Twitter Inc.’s growing ambitions are making it harder to carry the Internet’s free-speech banner.
Chief Executive Dick Costolo promotes Twitter as a protector of more than 200 million people who broadcast their lives, be it love for a new pop song or Tahrir Square protests. But increasingly, freewheeling tweets are clashing with divergent global laws and standards in markets where Twitter is spreading its wings.
In recent weeks, Twitter has found itself labeled a censor, an enabler of hate speech and a tool of Big Brother. It drew flak in July for turning over to French prosecutors information about users who tweeted anti-Semitic messages. U.K. lawmakers in the last week have blasted Twitter for failing to deal effectively with abusive tweets, after an activist was threatened repeatedly by other Twitter users.
Twitter’s hands-off approach to users’ expression is being stressed as it opens offices in countries including France, Germany and Brazil ahead of its expected initial public stock offering—making workers and company assets subject to arrest or seizure if it breaks local laws.
All Internet companies have to walk a fine line between protecting free expression and creating hospitable services. Battles erupt over, for example, whether Google Inc. GOOG +0.26% should have done more to pull down a YouTube video considered insulting to Muslims, or whether Facebook Inc. FB +1.50% goes too far in barring some photos of breast-feeding women.
Recent controversy over Internet companies’ involvement in U.S. spying programs underscored how a handful of tech companies like Twitter are the last line of defense for massive caches of personal information.”You have to abide by the rule of law in the countries in which you operate,” the 49-year-old Mr. Costolo said in an interview at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters. Defending free expression “gets more challenging for us as a company as we become an ever-growing global company, and have a presence and offices and people on the ground around the world.” Twitter’s speech conundrum is particularly acute because the high bar it sets for itself exposes the company to criticism that it isn’t living up to its ideals.
Just ask Malcolm Harris, an Occupy Wall Street protester whom Twitter initially backed in a high-profile disorderly-conduct trial. Twitter in September complied with prosecutors’ demands for his Twitter messages and other account information. The company faced a contempt-of-court citation and fine if it didn’t comply.
“Though it’s clear their heart is with their users, it was disappointing not to see them go all the way to the mat,” Mr. Harris said in an email. “I hope in the future they’re more creative about how they protect user information.”Mr. Costolo, who has held up Twitter’s long legal fight in the Harris case as an example of Twitter’s defense of users, declined to comment, as did a Twitter spokesman.
Historically, digital-rights advocates say that Twitter has been more willing than most U.S. companies to fight government demands to reveal private Twitter information. The company also gives a wide berth to tweets about unpopular points of view and to controversial groups like Anonymous.
Sometimes that has meant picking fights in potentially lucrative markets. Mr. Costolo in 2011 defended Twitter from U.K. authorities, who blamed the service as a tool of rioters.
In a January interview, Mr. Costolo also said he wouldn’t comply with Chinese censorship. “We are not going to make the kinds of sacrifices we might have to currently make for Twitter to be unblocked in China,” he said.
“This really illustrates how difficult some of the growing pains can be when a company gets bigger and more established,” said Marcia Hofmann, an attorney whose specialties include digital privacy. “You have more at stake.”
Twitter says it blocked 73 tweets in the first half of the year based on government demands from Brazil, Russia and other countries—up from zero in the first half of 2012. If a post is deemed illegal in one country, Twitter continues to let users outside that country see the banned posts. The majority of Twitter’s users are outside the U.S.
Mr. Costolo said he knows the benefits and costs of letting people post on Twitter anonymously—which Facebook doesn’t permit. “Doing so enables political speech in countries where political speech isn’t particularly welcome or worse,” Mr. Costolo said. “We think that’s really important.”
The unavoidable downside, Mr. Costolo said, is that people sometimes tweet “horrible, disgusting revolting things.”
To help counter abuse, Twitter several weeks ago started letting users click on a single button to initiate a report about tweets they believe are malicious. Some 40 employees review those claims.
At the end of July, Mr. Costolo was peppered with questions on Twitter about fears the company was shutting down accounts belonging to critics of Turkey’s government. Twitter says some people in Turkey are trying to silence rivals by reporting them as spammers.
Mr. Costolo said Twitter is trying to quash bogus spam reports that are politically motivated. Answering complaints, he wrote: “We understand the importance of this public, live, conversational platform across the world.”
"Starship Troopers" has pretty much everything you want from a satirical science-fiction action flick.
There's the over-the-top action, with guns that hold seemingly infinite ammo.
There's the incredibly cheesy dialogue, with such gems as, "The only good bug is a dead bug!"
And then there's the awesome technology that the makers predicted we'd have in the future.
While much of it's still in the realm of fantasy — like faster-than-light space travel — the movie also predicted many things that are already part of our everyday tech.
The US has black leaders?
President Obama said Friday that all Americans should respect the George Zimmerman verdict, but white Americans should also understand that African Americans continue to face racial discrimination.
"Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," Obama said during a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room. Obama said he himself has been subjected to casual prejudice, but also said African Americans need to address the problems of violence in their own communities.
Unless something dramatic happens, Google Reader is shutting down July 1.
A few days ago, I posed the question:
Has anyone written up their expectations/projections re:how the Google Reader shutdown will affect traffic to blogs?
For comparison, when Google makes an algorithm change to Google Search results, it can make or break a business. For a publisher on the web, having an significant source of daily referrals go dark one day is likely to have at least as dramatic an effect as a Google Search algorithm change.
Frankly, I have no idea what will happen, but I will present three possible scenarios regarding what will happen from a traffic perspective.
As a consequence of the creative destruction brought upon by the demise of Google Reader, a new class of excellent feed reading software is being created. This is a Good Thing from the perspective of a user.
In this scenario the aggregate market size of RSS readers increases, and the net traffic being driven by people directly consuming content via RSS increases. A publisher would hopefully see a changeover in daily referrers immediately, and then a slow but steady increase as interesting new software is built.
The people that really care about RSS will migrate to new Reader alternatives. The Reader alternatives will be competing for this passionate market.
In this scenario, the net amount of traffic being driven by RSS feeds will stay essentially the same because the folks who don’t bother to migrate their feeds out of Google Reader weren’t actually using it. Sure, the number of subscribers you conceptually have will decrease, but that matters a lot less than the daily traffic being generated.
Some percentage of people that are currently using Google Reader will either not bother to migrate to another service, or, if they do migrate, they won’t get in the habit of actually using it.
In this scenario, there will still be a vibrant market for RSS readers, but the total amount of referral traffic currently being generated by Google Reader will drop overnight, and some percentage of that traffic isn’t coming back. A publisher would see a significant, immediate drop in their daily referrals, and perhaps a small increase over time as the stragglers migrate.
Those are the three likely scenarios that I could think of, are there other scenarios that would happen?
If you are a publisher of a blog that was featured/promoted inside of Google Reader, are you more likely to see a traffic drop? Will the traffic change affect blogs with large or small numbers of subscribers more?
I suppose we are about to find out.
“Free Kokesh” rally to be held outside jail on Saturday.
July 12, 2013
Barefoot and wearing the same shorts he was arrested in, combat veteran, radio host and freedom activist Adam Kokesh is still being held without bond in a frigid, ant-infested jail cell less than 50 square feet in size.
Kokesh is currently charged with possession of a Schedule 1 or 2 drug and possession of a Schedule 1 or 2 drug while in possession of a firearm. A sheriff’s deputy informed Kokesh, held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, that authorities are also considering to charge him with armed sedition and illegal transportation of a firearm.
Sedition is defined as inciting rebellion against the authority of a state or monarch.
Kokesh was allowed a phone call to his father but the conversation was monitored by a sheriff’s deputy standing there the entire time.
As we reported via RT, Kokesh refused to leave his jail cell to go to his arraignment. He was forced into a wheelchair and pushed in front of the judge, but never spoke a word in court.
“He happened to be in a wheeled chair because he did not want to walk,” Steve Elbert of the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office told WTOP News, a DC radio station.
Kokesh refuses to speak in court without counsel.
As of July 11, Kokesh had not been appointed a public defender.
As we recently reported, “Storm Trooper” police raided the radio host’s house on July 9, ramming down his front door and throwing in a flash grenade.
The grenade exploded right in front of Kokesh and he did not immediately receive medical attention for his injuries.
Even as Kokesh held his hands up, police kept multiple laser sights pointed to his chest.
According to the press release written by Kokesh’s radio staff:
Numerous police vehicles, including a light armored vehicle and two low-flying helicopters barricaded Adam’s street. More than 20 armored SWAT team members surrounded the house, as well as a number of detectives, and plainclothes officers. Assault rifles were aimed on all members of the team as they were handcuffed without being told why they were detained. Masked and armored police in full “Storm Trooper” gear flooded in and ransacked the residence. The team was cordoned in a front room, while Adam was pulled aside for questioning.
His staff went into further detail on the raid during the Alex Jones Show:
The home invasion and Kokesh’s arrest was undoubtedly a response to Kokesh’s July 4 video in which Kokesh loads a 12 gauge shotgun only a few blocks away from the White House and the U.S. Capitol.
The raiding party involved local police as well as U.S. Parks Police, an extension of the Department of Homeland Security.
They did not knock or announce that they had a warrant.
Alex interviewed Kokesh merely hours before the invasion:
Kokesh supporters are holding a Free Adam Kokesh Prison Rally on Saturday morning in front of the detention center.
Republished with permission from: Infowars
At the risk of wading into the lukewarm bathtub of hyperbole, service dogs are pretty much the greatest creatures in the entire world, perhaps even in the galaxy. There are probably some crazy awesome levitating jelly monsters that live by a code of pure altruism in some far corner of the universe, but that hardly seems relevant to our immediate circumstances here, on Earth, which are vastly improved by the existence of service dogs. Even if service dogs just sat around and played bridge only deigning to help us when they grew bored, they’d still be the best creatures around.
Case in point: two English service dogs fell in love at a service dog finishing school, bringing their blind owners together 101 Dalmatians style. After Venice and Rodd fell in love, it was only a matter of time before their respective owners fell in love, too:
Newly engaged couple Claire Johnson and Mark Gaffey said it was their guide dogs who fell in love first and are responsible for bringing them together. The pair live in Stoke-on-Trent in England. They met when they were attending guide dog training. During the lessons their guide dogs, Venice and Rodd, were always playing together. Mark said, "The trainers said that they were the love and romance of the course, and they brought us together."
In case you were wondering, the answer is yes — Venice and Rodd do share a bed where they cuddle the cuddles of blissful amorous golden retrievers.
Eventually someone in going to get hurt, and I don’t just mean state and county agents, I mean women and children. They are getting well organized in Michigan and other states. What seems to be occurring more now is employees inside the agencies are speaking out in public meetings and on their jobs against their own agency directives and refusing to carry them out. In my view these actions can be a form of religious persecution. They tend to target large families that homeschool, independent-minded, liberty lovers and that are religious. They believe they are doing right by choosing to farm with older and healthier methods and is a large part of their mission and ministry.There are a number of legal problems the MDNR will have to deal with—but it is possible the judge will side with the state and not allow this to be mentioned in court. These are some of the disturbing findings of the Journal investigation that included published and internal documents, public hearings and interviews with both sides.
All are welcome and invited to celebrate farm fest at Bakers Green Acres the weekend of July 12 for a pig roast –pigs MDNR wants destroyed. All the friends and supporters within the MNDR, MDA and the department of health are also invited. Come and meet the farmed and “dangerous”. But first, readers should know they need to bring home some bacon to the Baker’s by donating a few dollars.David Michael has recently retired from a local health department as a contract pollution engineer for Ohio EPA. He has helped farmers facing enforcement actions and has taught many seminars on food, nutrition and raw milk in the evenings while working at the health department. He is the publisher of the Journal of Natural Food and Health and author of the Locator eGuide to Finding Safe, Local Raw Milk and Real Food Too!
sticks and stones may break my bones
but words will get you thrown in jail
He’s been put in solitary confinement, nude, for days on end because he’s depressed. All of this is extremely traumatic to this kid. This is a horrible experience.A woman in Canada saw Justin's comment – a comment which has been described as being sarcastic by Justin and his father – and gave a tip to police.
My son, Justin Carter, was arrested on February 14, 2013 (yes, Valentine’s Day) because of a sarcastic comment he posted on Facebook about a computer game which was then taken out of context by a complete stranger! Please sign my petition to help release my son, Justin.Justin has become a victim of the war on terror. Anti-terror laws have put an innocent teenager behind bars for months without a trial.
Soledad O'Brien Becomes Al Jazeera America Correspondent - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013...