Daily Archives: January 11, 2016

Scientists in Italy rediscover snake that was used by ancient Greeks as a weapon of war

Scientists in Italy have rediscovered a type of snake that the ancient Greeks used to hurl at their enemies to create panic and confusion during sea battles.

The Javelin Sand Boa had not been officially recorded in Italy for 80 years, but sightings by locals suggested that it might still survive in a region of Sicily.

The Greeks used to use snakes as projectiles, hurling them at enemy ships before attacking in order to create confusion and fear
Gianni Insacco, researcher

Snake experts decided to investigate and found the species, officially known as Eryx jaculus, living in an area of sand dunes and woodland around the resort town of Licata, on the island’s south coast.

They believe the snake may well have been introduced to Sicily in ancient times, when the island was colonised by the Greeks.

The area where it was found is close to the sites of two ancient battles, one in the fifth century BC and the other in the fourth century AD.

Snakes were introduced to places conquered and settled by the ancient Greeks for “religious cults or war rituals”, the scientists said.

continue http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/12076680/Scientists-in-Italy-rediscover-snake-that-was-used-by-ancient-Greeks-as-a-weapon-of-war.html

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‘Just being white, you will win’: Thai skin-whitener commercial prompts outrage

A Thai cosmetics company has dropped a commercial promoting a skin-whitener with the boast that “just being white, you will win” after the video unleashed a barrage of criticism.


The advertisement for the product “Snowz” featuring a famous actress sparked a fierce debate about racism and beauty stereotypes in the South East Asian country.


Skin whitening products are popular in many Asian and African countries. But the overt nature of the YouTube commercial prompted particular outrage as a pale 35-year-old Thai film star talked about the challenges of ageing as the video showed another actress’ skin turning black.

“Just being white, you will win,” declared Cris Horwang, the porcelain-skinned star, adding that without the product, “the whiteness I have invested in will just vanish”.


As the other actress looked despondent as her skin was digitally darkened, Horwang assured viewers that Snowz “will help you not to return to being dark”.

continue http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/thailand/12089450/Just-being-white-you-will-win-Thai-skin-whitener-commercial-prompts-outrage.html

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‘Pinch and park’: Car thieves’ new tactic to avoid being snared by tracking devices

Car thieves are adopting new tactics like 'pinch and park'

Car thieves are adopting new tactics like ‘pinch and park’


Car thieves have developed a new tactic to avoid arrest after stealing cars which may have been fitted with a tracking device, an official report has disclosed.


Criminals are increasingly adopting the new method – dubbed “pinch and park” – which sees them steal a vehicle and then park it in a safe place for several days in case police have access to GPS data from an on-board security device.


If the car has not been picked up by the authorities a few days after being taken from its owners, the thieves know it is safe to move to a workshop to fit new number plates and then sell on or export.

“Some offenders routinely park a vehicle in a safe location for a few days immediately after stealing it to check it is not being tracked.”
Home Office report

It is thought the new tactic is particularly being used for performance cars, 4x4s and other high-value vehicles which are more likely to have been fitted with GPS tracking devices.

The anti-theft equipment can be triggered by the manufacturer as soon as the vehicle is reported stolen and police can access the location of the vehicle down to within a few feet.

continue http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/12080627/Pinch-and-park-Car-thieves-new-tactic-to-avoid-being-snared-by-tracking-devices.html

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802.11ah Wi-Fi Standard Approved

A new wireless standard that extends Wi-Fi’s reach down into the 900MHz band will keep the 802.11 family at the center of the developing Internet of Things, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced today.

The new standard, 802.11ah, combines lower power requirements with a lower frequency, which means that those signals propagate better. That offers a much larger effective range than current Wi-Fi standards, which operate on 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, and lets the newer technology penetrate walls and doors more easily.

The alliance, which refers to 802.11ah as HaLow, said that the technology will be well-suited to the vast numbers of new connected devices predicted to be in use soon across many different areas, including auto, smart home, industrial, and retail, among others.

continue http://www.networkworld.com/article/3018954/wi-fi/802-11ah-wi-fi-standard-approved-will-underpin-internet-of-things.html

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The IMF Confirms That ‘Trickle-Down’ Economics Is, Indeed, a Joke

“Trickle-down” economics began as a joke. Seriously.

If there’s one person most often associated with the origins of of trickle-down economics, it’s President Ronald Reagan. Few people know, however, that the phrase was actually coined by American humorist Will Rogers, who mocked President Herbert Hoover’s Depression-era recovery efforts, saying that “money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes it would trickle down to the needy.”

Rogers’ joke became economic dogma within two generations, thanks in large part to Reagan. At the center of Reagan’s economic doctrine was the idea that economic gains primarily benefiting the wealthy—investors, businesses, entrepreneurs, and the like—will “trickle-down” to poorer members of society, creating new opportunities for the economically disadvantaged to attain a better standard of living. Prosperity for the rich leads to prosperity for all, the logic goes, so let’s hurry up with those tax cuts already. The legacy of Reaganomics continues to shape modern debates over macroeconomic policy in the United States, from the Bush tax cuts of the mid-2000s to the deficit hawks waging war over the federal budget in Congress.

Now, nearly 80 years later, Rogers’ quip is getting the punchline it deserves: A devastating new report from the International Monetary Fund has declared the idea of “trickle-down” economics to be as much a joke as he’d imagined.

Increasing the income share to the bottom 20 percent of citizens by a mere one percent results in a 0.38 percentage point jump in GDP growth.

The IMF report, authored by five economists, presents a scathing rejection of the trickle-down approach, arguing that the monetary philosophy has been used as a justification for growing income inequality over the past several decades. “Income distribution matters for growth,” they write. “Specifically, if the income share of the top 20 percent increases, then GDP growth actually declined over the medium term, suggesting that the benefits do not trickle down.”

CONTINUE http://www.psmag.com/business-economics/trickle-down-economics-is-indeed-a-joke


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Sex Made a Commercial Airline Pilot Go Blind

Among the myriad pleasures of certain television series’ are the new terms they introduce into your lexicon. Law & Order: SVU taught us “exsanguination” and “ligature marks,” while The O.C. gave us the gift of “Chrismukkah,” which hit particularly close to home for this Jew-Catholic hybrid. The season premiere of the outrageous TLC docuseries Sex Sent Me to the ER brought two terms to my attention: “vajaycial” and “transient monocular blindness.”

If you’re not familiar with Sex Sent Me to the ER, well, that’s understandable. There’s a lot of television out there, and the premise is pretty insane. The series features real-life couples delivering testimonials about sexcapades gone terribly awry, which are then dramatized by “actors” whose heightened re-creations boast cheeky, telenovela-quality thesping. Past episodes have depicted a 440-pound virgin man crushing his girlfriend during intercourse to a skydiving mishap. The second season of Philip J Day’s show premiered on Jan. 2, and featured three sex-filled scenarios that landed people in the emergency room: a vajaycial screw-up, a horny pilot who’s lost his vision, and sex during the zombie apocalypse.

continue http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/01/03/when-sex-made-a-commercial-airline-pilot-go-blind.html

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Can wearing a ‘musical tampon’ while pregnant stimulate your unborn child’s brain?


When I was pregnant with my first child 12 years ago, I regularly placed headphones on my stomach while I sat for hours at my work computer. My unborn child was regularly treated to a sophisticated medley of the great classical works by Bach, Beethoven and Mozart (and well, let’s be honest here, a whole lot of garage rock from The White Stripes).

I was an ambitious, soon-to-be first-time mom wanting to give my future daughter the best start in life (and good taste in music). And like many newbies to motherhood, I was motived by articles citing research that music, especially the more complicated classical compositions, stimulates a developing brain and promotes learning. But my efforts were ineffective (no wonder my daughter quit piano!) according to a new company based in Spain claiming fetuses don’t benefit from melodies played outside the belly.

To give babies a premium musical listening experience, Baby Pod produced an oval-shaped, silicon speaker that pregnant women can insert into their vaginas as they would a tampon. The device is controlled by a mobile phone app allowing soon-to-be-moms to stimulate their fetuses’ brains with their favorite songs. A pair of split head phones hang from the vagina allowing future parents to listen along.

continue http://blog.mysanantonio.com/mommyfiles/2016/01/can-wearing-a-musical-tampon-while-pregnant-stimulate-your-unborn-childs-brain/

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Marine Corps Plans to make Boot Camp Gender Neutral

No longer is the world’s greatest military specifically designed to prevent other nations from attacking, as it has now become America’s largest social experiment.

After repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ a few years back, the Obama administration is hellbent on making sure that women become elite soldiers who can do everything men can do, regardless of whether or not they can meet the same standards.

Newsflash: when it comes to the physical and emotion strength of men and women, we’re not equal.

Stop trying to pretend that we’re all the same!

Here’s Captain and Counterintelligence officer Eric Kirsch’s take…

From IJR:

On January 15th, the Marine Corps is required to submit a plan to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on how they’re going to make boot camp gender neutral.

Sadly, the plan must also apply to Officer Candidate School, and it has to include ways to label Marines in a gender neutral way.

“The Navy Secretary served for 24 months (1971-1972) in a non combat role within the United States Navy prior to attending Harvard Law School.

He issued his memo request on 1 JAN and expects a detailed plan to be delivered no later than 15 JAN, erasing 241 years in 14 days, the United States Marine Corps, compliant to lawful order, obedient and faithful, always, is scrambling to dismantle title, as if it were an gangrenous arbitrary item and they have 5 further business days in which to do it.”

continue http://www.youngcons.com/marine-corps-plans-to-make-boot-camp-gender-neutral-usmc-captain-lashes-out/

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