Daily Archives: June 7, 2017

Churches would be more popular if they stopped ‘banging on’ about God, Sir Simon Jenkins says 

Cathedrals are doing better than churches because they don’t “bang on” about God, Sir Simon Jenkins has suggested.The author, who was discussing his new book on England’s churches at the Hay Festival, said cathedrals were responding to the public’s desire for a more spiritual and less religious experience.Considering the popularity of Cathedrals among the public he said, “there’s something about cathedrals that draws you in which is not being drawn into parish churches.“One or two sociologists have explained it, one said if you go to a cathedral now it’s anonymous. It’s pillar worship, people can’t see you reading.”No one shakes you by the hand, no one says peace be upon you. I asked a canon once why cathedrals are doing so well, he said ‘unlike churches we don’t bang on about God’. Which is very odd but also I sense rather true.”

Source: Churches would be more popular if they stopped ‘banging on’ about God, Sir Simon Jenkins says 

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Biotech Company Wants to Bring Brain-Dead People Back to Life

Bioquark, a biotechnolgy company from Philadelphia believes brain death is not as irreversible as most people think, and claims to have come up with a series of injections capable of “resetting” the brain, essentially bringing patients back to life.Up until a few years ago, a person was declared dead when their heart stopped beating and they were no longer breathing. But then we came up with advanced medical technology capable of pumping oxygen into the body and keeping major organs in working condition. All but one, the brain. Today, most countries define death as the permanent loss of brain stem function. Once someone suffers complete and irreversible loss of brain function, they are officially declared dead. But one company wants to prove that brain death isn’t the end.Share PinBioquark originally announced its intention to carry out a series of tests in India in order to prove the efficacy of a treatment based on stem cell injections in resetting the brain, last year. The initial trial was supposed to be carried out in India, but the company’s plan was thwarted by the Indian Council of Medical Research. But the company didn’t give up on the revolutionary discovery, and has recently announced that the tests will be carried out in an undisclosed South American country, in the near future.Ira Pastor, the CEO of Bioquark, and his collaborator, Indian orthopedic surgeon Himanshu Bansal, have yet to announce the details of the tests, but according to the study record of the canceled trial, we can get a pretty good idea of how they plan to reverse brain death.

Source: Biotech Company Wants to Bring Brain-Dead People Back to Life | Oddity Central – Collecting Oddities

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Amazon Prime Is Now Cheaper for People on Welfare

Amazon is now offering Amazon Prime subscriptions at a discounted rate for anyone receiving government assistance. So, having persuaded enough Americans on high- and middle-incomes to sign up for Prime, Amazon is now going after Americans earning less than the average. Bold strategy.Which Amazon Prime Subscription Is Right for You? Which Amazon Prime Subscription Is Right for You?Potential subscribers formerly only had one option when it came to Amazon Prime. However, now, Amazon is offering three different subscription plans so you can pick the one that best suits your needs.READ MOREThe United States is a rich country. However, there’s a huge gap between the rich and the poor. At one end of the scale are billionaires like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, and at the other end are people who are struggling to get by. Amazon, whose founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is worth $85 billion, is now reaching out to the lowest earners. Because everyone deserves Amazon Prime.Amazon Prime Is Great Value for MoneyIn the U.S., Amazon Prime costs $99-per-year or $10.99-per-month. This buys you free two-day shipping on most items, access to Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Photos, and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, among other things. This represents great value for money, but only if you can actually afford Amazon Prime in the first place.

Source: Amazon Prime Is Now Cheaper for People on Welfare

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How Facebook Makes Money Off You: The Economics of Social Networks

It’s pretty hard to exaggerate the influence Facebook has built since it launched in 2004. Whether used for creating envy between “friends” or swaying political discourse, Facebook’s influence plays a huge roll.All of this essentially boils down to the currency of the “new media landscape”: attention.One study by marketing agency Mediakix found that, on average, Facebook users spend 35 minutes each day on the platform — adding up to almost five and a half years of your life. That’s more time than you will spend socializing (1 year 3 months) or eating and drinking (3 years 5 months).With Facebook expected to hit 2 billion users in 2017, this ability to hold our attention converts to truly impressive earnings. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the company’s revenue was a whopping $8.81 billion, with $3.56 billion of that being profits.And with a reported 1.86 billion monthly users, Facebook generates $1.57 of revenue per user per month. Not bad. Especially with a userbase that’s growing by tens of millions each month.But where exactly does all this money come from?

Source: How Facebook Makes Money Off You: The Economics of Social Networks

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‘They filmed him before providing first aid’: Father of blood & dust-covered Aleppo boy

The Syrian boy, whose traumatized face covered in blood and dust flashed across media screens and prompted global outrage, was filmed and exploited purely “for the sake of propaganda,” the boy’s father who now lives in liberated Aleppo told RT’s Ruptly.Omran Daqneesh was rescued from the rubble in the aftermath of a bombing in the rebel-held Qaterji district of Aleppo in August 2016. The controversial Syrian Civil Defense group, better known as the White Helmets soon released harrowing footage of Omran sitting in an ambulance chair.Read more#Aleppo Boy: Ash-covered child brings home horror of Syrian war to the world (GRAPHIC VIDEO, PHOTOS)The White Helmets group has a controversial reputation. While they are hailed as hero volunteers by the Western mainstream media, and even have an Academy Award-winning documentary about them, their reputation on the ground in Syria is much more sinister.Witnesses accuse them of collaborating with terrorist groups, filming staged reports about their rescue work, engaging in looting and other misdeeds. Members of the group have been caught on camera several times performing dubious acts, including assisting an apparent execution of a prisoner.The photo quickly spread across the internet, shocking and disturbing social media users.The US State Department during the Obama administration even called the child “the real face” of the Syrian war and the “brutal Damascus regime.”Now, almost a year later, RT’s video agency Ruptly caught up with Omran and his family in government-controlled Aleppo.

Source: ‘They filmed him before providing first aid’: Father of blood & dust-covered Aleppo boy to RT — RT News

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Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy leaves US island facing hard times

San Juan (AFP) – In San Juan, chants of “the debt is illegal” and “colonial dictatorship” fill the morning air, as students from the University of Puerto Rico block a palm-lined avenue.Across the street, a board of overseers imposed by Washington is meeting with student representatives to hear their demands as they mull ever deeper cuts to pull this “Greece of the Caribbean” out of bankruptcy.To some, it’s a necessary corrective to get a stumbling Puerto Rico back on its feet.But to others like Mariana de Alba, a 27-year-old law student at the protest, it all smacks of colonial subjugation.”What they’ve come to do is to cut back the public budget and the island’s public services to give it to the big bond holders, to pay off a debt that we don’t even know whether it is legitimate,” she says.The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico — made up of seven members appointed by the US president and one by the island’s governor — is tasked with getting a handle on the territory’s crushing $74 billion debt.

Source: Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy leaves US island facing hard times

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France switched to the meter in the 18th century, they placed 16 of these across Paris so people would know how long a meter is.

Source: wk337v6dg92z.jpg (4032×3024)

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RFID as Fast As Possible 

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Erasing history: why Islamic State is blowing up ancient artefacts

One of the many tragedies that have unfolded in the wake of the Islamic State (IS) is their smashing of statues and the destruction of ancient archaeological sites. Indeed, the rapid and terrifying advance of the IS has proved fatal for much invaluable heritage.

They toppled priceless statues at the Mosul Museum in northern Iraq. They used sledgehammers and power tools to deface giant winged-bull statues at Nineveh on the outskirts of Mosul. At Nimrud, IS detonated explosives, turning the site into a giant, brown, mushroom cloud. They used assault rifles and pickaxes to destroy invaluable carvings at Hatra; and at Palmyra in Syria they blew up the 2,000-year-old temples dedicated to the pagan gods Baal Shamin and Bel.

Source: Erasing history: why Islamic State is blowing up ancient artefacts

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During a hospital stay, all microbial hell breaks loose between you and the room 

In the first few hours of a hospital stay, the microbes living on the walls and other surfaces of the hospital try to overthrow your skin microbiome. Then all hell breaks loose. Within 24 hours—and possibly as little as seven—your microbes rise up to beat back the invaders. Before the germ clouds settle, your microbiome has invaded the room.At least, that seems to be the standard way of things, according to a new study in Science Translational Medicine. For the study, researchers at the University of Chicago, led by microbiologist Jack Gilbert, meticulously tracked the microbial comings and goings of a new hospital over the course of a year. They started from before the hospital opened and kept researching past when it was full of patients. The researchers set out to understand microbial dynamics so they can one day tweak them. Gilbert envisions future probiotics—not pills or lotions, but surface sprays and wall treatments—that can bulk up beneficial bacteria capable of ejecting deadly pathogens and even prime helpful immune defenses in patients.

Source: During a hospital stay, all microbial hell breaks loose between you and the room | Ars Technica

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Meet Snappers: Lobster with 4 claws on display in Norris Point – Newfoundland & Labrador 

A lobster with four claws is the latest attraction at the Bonne Bay Marine Station. The rare creature was caught by a fisherman in the area who brought the crustacean to Norris Point. The lobster, which has since been named Snappers, has one regular-sized claw on its left side, and three fully functioning smaller claws on the right. Orange and blue lobsters find new home at Bonne Bay Marine Station’He just wiggled out of his shell’: Larry the lobster has audience for strip showDuncan McIlroy, interim director of the marine station, is fascinated with the catch and has been researching similar finds. So far, he’s only been able to find a couple of other cases. “It’s absolutely amazing, because I’ve never even heard of it before. The first time I come across this type of abnormality with the functioning claws was yesterday.”

Source: Meet Snappers: Lobster with 4 claws on display in Norris Point – Newfoundland & Labrador – CBC News

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Boom! Supersonic passenger jet coming by 2020

Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic has just partnered with startup Boom Technology to build a supersonic aircraft, Boom Technology announced. The plane would zip through the skies faster than the Concorde jet or any other commercial aircraft today, Boom Technology said.Aircraft that fly faster than the speed of sound were first developed in the mid-20th century. But regulations and technical challenges halted innovation and expansion of the concept, said Boom Technology, which has headquarters in Denver. The aviation startup said it aims to change that by developing a modern, supersonic passenger jet that travels at Mach 2.2. That’s twice the speed of sound, or 1,451 mph (2,335 km/h). The Concorde, a now-retired supersonic passenger jet, flew at speeds of up to about 1,350 mph (2,180 km/h).

Source: Boom! Supersonic passenger jet coming by 2020 | Fox News

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Exclusive: U.S.-Mexico sugar deal struck ahead of NAFTA talks; industry divided

The U.S. and Mexican governments reached a deal in a dispute over trade in sugar on Monday, sources said, averting steep U.S. duties and Mexican retaliation by Mexico on imports of American high-fructose corn syrup ahead of the renegotiation of NAFTA.Two sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the two sides were working on final details of a deal in Washington that would end a year of wrangling. The latest talks began in March, two months after President Donald Trump took power vowing a tougher line on trade to protect U.S. industry and jobs.They are seen as a precursor as well as significant hurdle to the more complex discussions on the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada, which are expected to start in August.One source said the sugar deal would benefit both the United States and Mexico, with another saying Mexico will agree to export less refined sugar and send a lower quality of crude sugar to the United States than it previously did.

Source: Exclusive: U.S.-Mexico sugar deal struck ahead of NAFTA talks; industry divided | Reuters

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What could possibly go wrong?: Photos of children riding alligators

 Like it says in the title, “What could possible go wrong?” A lot of these vintage images are from the Los Angeles Alligator Farm located in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The singularly stupid tourist attraction was opened in 1907. In 1953 the attraction moved to Buena Park, California where it was renamed the California Alligator Farm. The farm closed its doors in 1984 due to poor attendance. I’m shocked it was allowed to go on that long, quite honestly.According to Wikipedia (and I truly hope this is true) the alligators were moved to a private estate in Florida where we can presume no one tried to ride them… (The word about the gators had probably gotten out by then, you’d think.)

Source: What could possibly go wrong?: Photos of children riding alligators | Dangerous Minds

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Washington’s War on Food is Making Us Sick!

“It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” agency spokeswoman Tamara N. Ward said in November 2011.The FDA’s position represents more than a matter of opinion. In 1987, the feds implemented 21 CFR 1240.61(a), providing that, “no person shall cause to be delivered into interstate commerce or shall sell, otherwise distribute, or hold for sale or other distribution after shipment in interstate commerce any milk or milk product in final package form for direct human consumption unless the product has been pasteurized.”Not only do the Feds ban the transportation of raw milk across state lines, they also claim the authority to ban unpasteurized milk within the borders of a state.“It is within HHS’s authority…to institute an intrastate ban [on unpasteurized milk] as well,” FDA officials wrote in response to a Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund lawsuit against the agency over the interstate ban.The FDA clearly wants complete prohibition of raw milk and some insiders say it’s only a matter of time before the feds try to institute an absolute ban. Armed raids by FDA agents on companies like Rawsome Foods back in 2011 and Amish farms over the last few years also indicate this scenario may not be too far off.However, legalizing what the feds claim the power to prohibit makes it far less likely that such a federal prohibition scheme could ever take effect.This week on the Ron Paul Liberty Report, Ron talks with food freedom activist Liz Reitzig.  It was an interesting conversation to say the least.

Source: Tenth Amendment Center Blog | Washington’s War on Food is Making Us Sick!

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Hackers hosted tools on a Stanford University website for months 

Compromising legitimate websites and the web servers that store and deliver them is a time-honoured tactic of opportunistic hackers, and a failure to keep them out can result in the servers hosting phishing and scam pages, spam mailers, exploit kits, or malware.Sometimes, these vulnerable servers are abused by different hackers, who vie for sole control or are simply content to share the asset.Case in point: the website and web server of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Stanford University (at glennlaboratories.stanford.edu).According to Netcraft’s Paul Mutton, the site is now clean, but for many months, it was a playground for hackers.

Source: Hackers hosted tools on a Stanford University website for months – Help Net Security

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