Monthly Archives: December 2017

Boy Believed Muslim Accountant Was Santa. Years Later, The Pair Still Share A Special Bond.

In 2013, when Alfie Rose was about 2 years old, he spotted a man he believed to be Santa Claus walking past his front door in south London. Alfie, now 6, and “Santa” — whose real name is Mr. Hussain — have since forged a special bond that continues to this day.

Though it would have been easy for Hussain, a Muslim man with a billowy beard who works at an accounting firm near Alfie’s home, to ignore the toddler, he turned around and gave him some money, further bolstering the youngster’s belief that he was, in fact, Santa.

Over the course of the last four years, Hussain has grown closer to Alfie and his family, bringing gifts for him and his older sister each year on Christmas and on their birthdays. Recalling the first time Alfie and Hussain met, Alfie’s mom, Tracy Ashford-Rose, tells BuzzFeed News she remembers her son telling her he had seen Father Christmas.

Hussain “got three houses away and came back to knock on my door; he said he couldn’t pass without giving a gift as my little boy thought he was Father Christmas,” Ashford-Rose explained of the pair’s fateful first meeting. “This was four years ago, and we still exchange gifts to each other. He comes to see Alfie and my daughter Hayley on their birthdays and gives gifts, he never forgets the dates.”

Source: Boy Believed Muslim Accountant Was Santa. Years Later, The Pair Still Share A Special Bond.

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Erica Garner Dies, Rep Says Only Black Journalists May Ask For Comment 

A representative posting from Erica Garner’s official Twitter account said only black journalists may contact them.

​By Holly Matkin and Sandy Malone

Brooklyn, NY – Activist Erica Garner, the 27-year-old daughter of Black Lives Matter icon Eric Garner, died Saturday morning.

Erica suffered an asthma-induced heart attack on Dec. 23, and was placed on life support. Her cardiac arrest caused a lack of oxygen that led to significant brain damage, and she never regained consciousness, CNN reported.

A representative for Garner, who has been tweeting from her verified Twitter account @es_snipes since the heart attack, posted a divisive message on Saturday morning that many are calling racist.

“Out of respect to Erica please do not request comment if the journalist is not Black,” Garner’s account posted.

There was immediate blowback for the tweet.

“Those who knew erica call this post a disrespect to her and her legacy,” ABC anchor Bill Ritter tweeted in response to the request.

From the beginning of her activism after her father’s death, Garner said she believed she lost her father because of police brutality, and said that it was not a racial matter.

“This is not a black and white issue. This is a national crisis,” Garner told CNNin 2014.

But the person running Garner’s “official” Twitter account seemed to have no respect for anyone who wasn’t black..

And Twitter users clapped back at what they called a “racist” tweet.

Out of respect to Erica please do not request comment if the journalist is not Black.

BLM “We’re against racism” BLM activist dies “if your not black do not request a comment” Nice try

Wait, so you’re saying that it would be perfectly okay for a white family to say “no black journalists, they make us feel unsafe”? This IS a racist post. It is 100% excluding people for no other reason than the color of their skin.

The exact identity of whomever is posting to Garner’s Twitter account could not be verified, but the poster introduced herself on Christmas Eve in a tweet as “one of Ericas workers.”

It’s assumed that the same person was tweeting from Garner’s verified account on Dec. 26, when they falsely accused the New York Police Department (NYPD) of removing her family and friends from her hospital room.

The dramatic posts began at 6:05 a.m., and claimed “#NYPD cleared me out of the ICU leaving Erica BY HERSELF WITH NO EXPLANATION … We are at woodhull hospital. They are supposed to be bringing her out of her coma in less than an hour and the # NYPD cleared her support from the floor with no explanation.”

The poster said that she didn’t trust NYPD, and called on followers to activate.

There was only one problem in the escalating hospital drama – NYPD said there was no police presence at Garner’s hospital room.

NYPD’s Public Information Office said that whatever what taking place at the hospital involved hospital security, and not NYPD.

“The NYPD was not involved in any shape or form,” NYPD Detective Ahmed Nasser told Blue Lives Matter.

Garner was the oldest daughter of Eric Garner, who died after resisting arrest in police custody in 2014. The Black Lives Matter battle cry of “I can’t breathe” resulted from the video of her father’s arrest by the NYPD.

Her father’s autopsy report showed no damage to any area of Eric Garner’s neck, and it was determined that he died of a medical emergency induced by officers who were arresting him. The medical examiner declared it was a homicide. A New York Grand Jury declined to indict on any criminal charges.

In the wake of her father’s death, Garner became a major force behind protests against police brutality and in support of racial equality.

She gave birth to her second child in August, and her mother, Esaw Snipes, said that Garner had a difficult pregnancy and birth, and learned she had heart problems during the pregnancy.

Source: Erica Garner Dies, Rep Says Only Black Journalists May Ask For Comment – Blue Lives Matter

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UConn to help men stop ‘mansplaining,’ ‘interrupting others’

  • The application for the Men’s Project is open to all “male-identified students.”
  • Weekly meetings will feature discussions on “topics related to gender socialization, masculinities, social justice and gender-based violence.”

The University of Connecticut is recruiting 20 male students for an 11-week program to help them stop “mansplaining” and “interrupting others.”

The Men’s Project is hosted by the school’s Women’s Center and vows to train men to “positively influence their peers by challenging social norms that promote gender based violence.”

“[W]hat are some things you have been told men need to work on? (Ex: Mansplaining, Relationships & Gender Norms…)”

But while the program frames itself as a way to promote bystander intervention, the Men’s Project has a broader agenda, as weekly meetings will feature discussions on “topics related to gender socialization, masculinities, social justice and gender-based violence.”

The application, which went live last week, is open to all “male-identified students.”

“In your experience, what are some things you would like to work on, or what are some things you have been told men need to work on? (Ex: Mansplaining, Relationships & Gender Norms, Interrupting Others, etc),” the application asks, adding that participants may be asked to prepare for the weekly meetings by “reading or journaling.”

The application also asks men to rank how familiar they are with various social justice issues, including “heterosexism,” “consent,” “cissexism,” and “healthy relationships.” It also warns that they may get kicked out if they miss more than two sessions.

The program will be facilitated by Rhys Hall, a graduate student who  focuses on how “Black Masculinity has been developed [and] how it can oppress Black Femininity and Non-Heteronormative identities,” and Craig Alejos, a graduate student who studies “fatherhood education and empowerment.”

While the program is open enrollment, it appears to target more popular students, explaining that it seeks to “identify and train individuals who may be seen as having influence with their peers.” Additionally, the program hopes to find “students who relate well to other men.”

Applications for the program close December 1, and the program will start in January.

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Connecticut for comment on whether taxpayer funds support the program, but did not receive a response. The program’s facilitators, Rhys Hall and Craig Alejos, declined to comment.

Source: UConn to help men stop ‘mansplaining,’ ‘interrupting others’

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Man Charged For 911 Calls About Tiny Clams

 

-A man upset that he was served “extremely” small clams at a Florida seafood restaurant twice called 911 to complain, according to cops who cited the diner for misuse of the emergency system.

Nelson Agosto, a 51-year-old tow truck driver, was on his lunch break Monday when he stopped into Crabby’s Seafood Shack in Stuart. Agosto told TSG that he had previously dined at Crabby’s twice. While his first meal was “excellent,” Agosto said, he thought the clams were small during his second visit.

Source: Man Charged For 911 Calls About Tiny Clams

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‘I want to help humans genetically modify themselves’

Josiah Zayner with his Crispr gene-editing kit.
 Josiah Zayner with his Crispr gene-editing kit. Photograph:

Josiah Zayner, 36, recently made headlines by becoming the first person to use the revolutionary gene-editing tool Crispr to try to change their own genes. Part way through a talk on genetic engineering, Zayner pulled out a syringe apparently containing DNA and other chemicals designed to trigger a genetic change in his cells associated with dramatically increased muscle mass. He injected the DIY gene therapy into his left arm, live-streaming the procedure on the internet.

The former Nasa biochemist, based in California, has become a leading figure in the growing “biohacker” movement, which involves loose collectives of scientists, engineers, artists, designers, and activists experimenting with biotechnology outside of conventional institutions and laboratories.

Despite warnings from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that selling gene therapy products without regulatory approval is illegal, Zayner sells kits that allow anyone to get started with basic genetic engineering techniques, and has published a free guide for others who want to take it further and experiment on themselves.

Source: ‘I want to help humans genetically modify themselves’

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Bees attack Brazilian cops in sting gone wrong

Brazilian police looking for criminals ended up targets of a sting themselves when a swarm of bees attacked, sending seven officers to the hospital.

The officers were searching a piece of forest by a farm in Resende, northwest of Rio de Janeiro, on Friday when “they found a box,” the state police force said in a statement Saturday.

“On opening it, they encountered a swarm of bees and were attacked.”

Seven officers required hospitalization, two of them being quickly released, the statement said. Of the five still in hospital, one was in intensive care.

Globo News television reported that one of the victims was stung 300 times.

Source: Bees attack Brazilian cops in sting gone wrong

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A Road Has Been Paved with Beer Bottles in New Zealand

Call it “one for the road” – literally. A city in New Zealand has launched a pilot program that’s repaving roadways with old beer bottles. No, you can’t see a bunch of Budweiser labels when you come to a stop. Instead, the bottles are crushed into a fine sand and incorporated into a beer bottle asphalt.

According to the New Zealand news site Stuff, the first test of this new asphalt took place at an intersection in the city of Hamilton, located about 90 minutes south of Auckland on the country’s North Island. “We’re always looking at ways to innovate and improve environmental sustainability where possible,” said Steve Uffindell, capital works manager for the Waikato District Alliance, the road maintenance group behind the trial. “This single project has used the previously non-recyclable material created by almost 12,000 bottles and has produced an asphalt that has, so far, outperformed the existing material.”

Source: A Road Has Been Paved with Beer Bottles in New Zealand

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Kansas Man Killed In ‘SWATting’ Attack

A 28-year-old Kansas man was shot and killed by police officers on the evening of Dec. 28 after someone fraudulently reported a hostage situation ongoing at his home. The false report was the latest in a dangerous hoax known as “swatting,” wherein the perpetrator falsely reports a dangerous situation at an address with the goal of prompting authorities to respond to that address with deadly force. This particular swatting reportedly originated over a $1.50 wagered match in the online game Call of Duty. Compounding the tragedy is that the man killed was an innocent party who had no part in the dispute.

The following is an analysis of what is known so far about the incident, as well as a brief interview with the alleged and self-professed perpetrator of this crime.

It appears that the dispute and subsequent taunting originated on Twitter. One of the parties to that dispute — allegedly using the Twitter handle “SWauTistic” — threatened to swat another user who goes by the nickname “7aLeNT“. @7aLeNT dared someone to swat him, but then tweeted an address that was not his own.

Swautistic responded by falsely reporting to the Kansas police a domestic dispute at the address 7aLenT posted, telling the authorities that one person had already been murdered there and that several family members were being held hostage.

continue https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/12/kansas-man-killed-in-swatting-attack/

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More Women Are Smoking Pot While Pregnant

Here is some extremely chill news from the world of motherhood: A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week found that pot use among women during the first two months of their pregnancy has increased significantly since 2009.

Researchers found that marijuana use during the early stages of pregnancy rose about 7.5 percent a year between 2009 and 2016, and that in 2016, 1 in 14 mothers had consumed some form of pot after they had conceived.

Their findings are based on the medical records of 280,000 women in Northern California. The mothers-to-be were asked about their marijuana use during a prenatal exam, and were then given a cannabis toxicology test during their first trimester, which was important, because 55 percent of the women who tested positive for cannabis denied having used pot since they became pregnant. In their defense, the study’s authors say, it’s not clear whether all of the women knew they were pregnant when they consumed the pot (then they presumably winked theatrically and made the “OK” sign with their fingers.)

Source: More Women Are Smoking Pot While Pregnant

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Hackers could guess your phone PIN using its sensor data

Instruments in smart phones such as the accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensors represent a potential security vulnerability, according to researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), whose research was published in the open-access Cryptology ePrint Archive on 6 Dec.

Using a combination of information gathered from six different sensors found in smart phones and state-of-the-art machine learning and deep learning algorithms, the researchers succeeded in unlocking Android smart phones with a 99.5 per cent accuracy within only three tries, when tackling a phone that had one of the 50 most common PIN numbers.

The previous best phone-cracking success rate was 74 per cent for the 50 most common pin numbers, but NTU’s technique can be used to guess all 10,000 possible combinations of four-digit PINs.

Led by Dr Shivam Bhasin, NTU Senior Research Scientist at the Temasek Laboratories @ NTU, researchers used sensors in a smart phone to model which number had been pressed by its users, based on how the phone was tilted and how much light is blocked by the thumb or fingers.

continue https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171226134614.htm

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Electricity is important for light and heating, Brexit reports reveal

The reports also explain what an aeroplane is and how they are useful for conducting trade between countries, and features some sections which appear to have been lifted wholesale from Wikipedia.

In the report on electricity, published as written evidence on the Brexit department’s website yesterday, it notes: “Electricity is a fundamental part of modern society. Residential and industrial users rely on its use to ensure basic and vital needs such as lighting, heating or refrigeration are met on a daily basis.”

It footnotes Office for National Statistics data which reveal “that every sector in the economy depends on the availability of electricity to operate”.

The findings were mocked on Twitter by Duncan Weldon, head of research at the Resolution Group, with hundreds more joining to compare the analyses to, among others, the Janet and John series of children’s books.

Elsewhere, the analyses by Brexit secretary David Davis’ department show that “in coastal communities fishing brings employment and economic activity (fishing along with its ancillary industries e.g. fish processing, boat building and servicing).”

Source: Electricity is important for light and heating, Brexit reports reveal

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Secret Wars of the CIA John Stockwell (a talk from 12/27/1989)

by Scott Creighton I found this today while researching FISA Section 702 and thought I would share it with you. Have a listen and see how little has changed since back then. Sounds like Syria. Soun…

Source: Secret Wars of the CIA John Stockwell (a talk from 12/27/1989)

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Boyband-induced breathing difficulties (new study)

“A 16-year-old female with a history of type 1 diabetes presented to the Emergency Department (ED) with shortness of breath. She denied chest pain or sore throat. She reported a sudden onset of symptoms after forceful screaming at the ‘‘One Direction’’ concert the night prior. She denied any preceding emesis, odynophagia, or cough. Her physical examination revealed tachypnea to 22 breaths/min with normal breath sounds and no respiratory distress. A Hamman’s crunch was not appreciated.”

What treatment should be provided for such a case? Emergency medicine practitioner Dr. Slaughter and colleague Dr. Roppolo of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center decided on oxygen therapy:

“The patient was placed on 100% O2 via nonrebreather and was admitted to the hospital for observation. After an uneventful period of observation with an unchanged repeat chest x-ray study, the patient was discharged the following day with no further visits for this problem.”

See: “Screaming your Lungs Out!” A Case of Boy Band-Induced Pneumothorax, Pneumomediastinum, and Pneumoretropharyngeum Journal of Emergency Medicine, November 2017, Volume 53, Issue 5, Pages 762–764

Also see: Caution regarding shouting “HOOAH” (study)

continue https://www.improbable.com/2017/12/25/boyband-induced-breathing-difficulties-new-study/

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“Exquisite Human Leather” Products, Wallets, Belts, Shoes, Being Sold Online

Extremely discerning clientele can now purchase their own one-of-a-kind ‘human leather’ products such as wallets, belts, and shoes online but prices start at $14,000 USD, according to the company which handcrafts the items out of the ‘finest leather known.’

That’s right, you can now order your very own wallet or belt made from a previously living human being despite the fact that human leather, much like certain fur, is illegal.

The company/website “HumanLeather.co.uk” boasts about their “exclusive real human leather products” online.

Welcome to ][umanLeather. We are specialists in producing exquisite and exclusive products for an extremely discerning clientele.  All products are carefully hand-crafted by experienced master craftsmen, with years of experience in handling the finest leather known – human leather.

We only craft the best and most beautiful products out of our unique leather.  We have produced bespoke items for some of our clients, but due to the limited size of the lengths that we work with, we are limited to what items we can fashion out of the leather.

We cater to a small but highly discerning clientele.  They are amongst those lucky few who have everything they could possibly desire.  Our supply is restricted and we prefer to keep it that way as we are the only firm in the world that crafts these special products.

Source: “Exquisite Human Leather” Products, Wallets, Belts, Shoes, Being Sold Online

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“123456” Remains Most Common Password Found in Data Dumps in 2017

For the second year in a row, “123456” remained the top password among the millions of cleartext passwords exposed online thanks to data breach incidents at various providers.

While having “123456” as your password is quite bad, the other terms found on a list of  Top 100 Worst Passwords of 2017 are just as distressing and regretful.

Some of these include an extensive collection of sports terms (football, baseball, soccer, hockey, Lakers, jordan23, golfer, Rangers, Yankees), car brands (Mercedes, Corvette, Ferrari, Harley), and various expressions (iloveyou, letmein, whatever, blahblah).

But, by far, the list was dominated by names, with the likes of Robert (#31), Matthew (#32), Jordan (#33), Daniel (#35), Andrew (#36), Andrea (#38), Joshua (#40), George (#48), Nicole (#53), Hunter (#54), Chelsea (#62), Phoenix (#66), Amanda (#67), Ashley (#69), Jessica (#74), Jennifer (#76), Michelle (#81), William (#86), Maggie (#92), Charlie (#95), and Martin (#96), showing up on the list.

List compiled from five million leaked credentials

The list was put together by SplashData, a company that provides various password management utilities such as TeamsID and Gpass. The company said it compiled the list by analyzing over five million user records leaked online in 2017 and that also contained password information.

“Use of any of the passwords on this list would put users at grave risk for identity theft,” said a SplashData spokesperson in a press release that accompanied a two-page PDF document containing a list of the most encountered passwords.

This is because attackers use these same leaked records to build similar lists of leaked passwords, which they then assemble as “dictionaries” for carrying out account brute-force attacks.

Source: “123456” Remains Most Common Password Found in Data Dumps in 2017

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Beetle Penises May Hold Clues For Better Medical Devices

Thistle tortoise beetles have enormously long, hooked penises that are rigid in some parts and soft in others. Scientists hope studying the beetle penises could help people design better catheters.

The industry has long struggled with an engineering problem: How do you keep a very thin tube flexible enough to snake into hard-to-reach places but rigid enough to withstand insertion? Plus, there is the problem of buckling — when a thin tube crimps so fluids can’t flow through it anymore.

Enter the penis of the thistle tortoise beetle. It has a few things going for it, from a scientific perspective. First, like many insect penises, it is enormously long compared with the creature itself. At 10 millimeters, it is longer than the beetle’s entire body. Second, it is capable of contorting to trace the coiled sexual organ of the female beetle.

Source: Beetle Penises May Hold Clues For Better Medical Devices

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Diet rich in apples, tomatoes may help repair lungs of ex-smokers, study suggests

The natural decline in lung function over a 10-year period was slower among former smokers with a diet high in tomatoes and fruits, especially apples, according to a study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, suggesting certain components in these foods might help restore lung damage caused by smoking.

The researchers found that adults who on average ate more than two tomatoes or more than three portions of fresh fruit a day had a slower decline in lung function compared to those who ate less than one tomato or less than one portion of fruit a day, respectively. The researchers inquired about other dietary sources such as dishes and processed foods containing fruits and vegetables—such as tomato sauce—but the protective effect was only observed in fresh fruit and vegetables.

Source: Diet rich in apples, tomatoes may help repair lungs of ex-smokers, study suggests

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Prayer service for the OMV machine

When it was announced that the Office of Motor Vehicles was again issuing drivers licenses. what they didn’t tell you was that the machine heats up and stops functioning after so many photos.

People have had to line up early in the morning and then wait to see how the machine fares that day…whether it will work beyond 10, 20 or 30 drivers licenses.

Students, government officials and employees, church ministers, and business owners have all gone through the waiting at OMV.

One businessman who went to get his drivers license renewed yesterday said their group started a prayer service for the OMV machine to work so that they can receive their licenses.

Source: Prayer service for the OMV machine

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U.K.’s Secret Brexit Studies Reveal That Airbus Makes Planes

For months, journalists tried to get their hands on government papers setting out how leaving the European Union will affect different parts of the British economy. They contained, according to Brexit Secretary David Davis, “excruciating detail.”

But despite boasting about their contents, ministers were reluctant to let anyone else see the documents. In November, after being forced to give way by a vote in Parliament, the government allowed lawmakers to read them under controlled conditions. Their phones were confiscated, and they were only permitted to make notes with pen and paper, lest too much information leak into the public domain.

 “These documents in aggregate represent the most comprehensive picture of our economy on this issue to date,” Davis wrote this month, explaining why he was being cautious about publication.

 

Source: U.K.’s Secret Brexit Studies Reveal That Airbus Makes Planes

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‘Don’t Play Sean Paul’: Song Brings Seizures

Stacey Gayle really liked dancehall reggae artist Sean Paul’s music, but it turned out one of his popular songs was also triggering her epileptic seizures.

“It was terrible,” said Gayle, a 24-year-old New Yorker. “It didn’t even have to be that loud.”

The seizures were so bad that Gayle recently had part of her brain surgically removed in an effort to control her problem.

Gayle began noticing the connection between the seizures and the music in 2006, when one of Sean Paul’s tracks, “Temperature,” was popular. One of the first music-induced seizures happened at a cookout where the song was being played, “then it happened at a restaurant,” said Gayle.

Source: ‘Don’t Play Sean Paul’: Song Brings Seizures

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Zines are the future of media

 

My favorite Nieman Lab prediction for journalism in 2018 (including this one I wrote myself) is Kawandeep Virdee’s “Zines Had It Right All Along.

kawandeep-zines.jpg

His actual prediction is that in 2018, digital media “will reflect more qualities that make print great.” Virdee distills a shortlist of qualities of zines and quarterly mags that he thinks are portable to digital:

  • Quarterlies are a pleasure to read with a variety in layout and pacing
  • They’re beautiful to hold.
  • They’re less frequent, and much better.
  • Even the ads are well-crafted, and trusted.
  • Zines have an enormous variety.
  • They’re experimental and diverse.
  • This gives them a freshness and surprise.
  • They’re anti-formalist; they’re relatable.

“Most sites look the same,” Virdee writes. “It can be weird and wonderful.”

The positive example he gives isn’t a text feature, but the NYT video series “Internetting with Amanda Hess.” It’s an odd choice because digital video hasn’t had much of a problem picking up on a zine aesthetic or giving us that level of freshness and surprise; it’s digital text that’s been approaching conformity.

Source: Zines are the future of media

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Sacramento Deputy Arrested In Prostitution Sting Was Part Of One In August

CBS13 had the only camera at a prostitution sting that included Sacramento Sheriff Sgt. Kevin Steed earlier this year.

Now he’s the one busted, accused of soliciting prostitution.

Video shows Steed preparing his task force team for a series of undercover prostitution stings August. He shares advice to fellow deputies posing as prostitutes.

“Under any circumstances do not get in a guy’s car,” Steed tells fellow deputies posing as prostitutes.

Now just months later it’s Steed, caught in another agency’s prostitution sting.

Roseville police report Steed was one of a dozen arrested in their undercover operation.

Their officers posed as prostitutes and posted ads directing responders where to meet. Steed allegedly responded.

Source: Sacramento Deputy Arrested In Prostitution Sting Was Part Of One In August

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Erie woman receives $284 billion electric bill

Mary Horomanski’s bill was more than the combined national debts of Hungary and South Africa.

Mary Horomanski went online earlier this month to check her electric bill.

The Erie woman was stunned to see that she owed Penelec, her electricity provider, more than $284 billion — an amount greater than the national debts of Hungary and South Africa combined.

“My eyes just about popped out of my head,” said Horomanski, 58. “We had put up Christmas lights and I wondered if we had put them up wrong.”

The good news, if you can call it that, was that Horomanski didn’t have to pay the entire $284,460,000,000 until November 2018. Her minimum payment for December was a relatively paltry $28,156.

And Penelec hadn’t turned off her electricity.

Horomanski texted her son, who contacted Penelec and told them about the bill. She said they confirmed it was in error.

Her online statement was quickly fixed to the correct amount: $284.46.

Mark Durbin, a spokesman for Penelec’s parent company First Energy, said he doesn’t know how the error occurred but obviously a decimal point was accidentally moved.

“I can’t recall ever seeing a bill for billions of dollars,” Durbin said. “We appreciate the customer’s willingness to reach out to us about the mistake.”

Horomanski said the $284 billion bill caused her to ask her son for a different Christmas present this year.

“I told him I want a heart monitor,” she said.

Source: Erie woman receives $284 billion electric bill

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Gaming disorder officially recognized as mental health issue

Put down the controller. Experts say you can be addicted to video games.

Put down the controller. Experts say you can be addicted to video games.

It’s called gaming disorder and it’s being officially classified as a mental health condition in the latest version of the International Classification of Diseases published by the World Health Organization due out next year, The Independent reported.

The classification will tell health providers that gaming disorder is serious enough to be monitored.

The exact write-up has not been released, but criteria is needed to determine if someone suffers from the disorder.

Source: Gaming disorder officially recognized as mental health issue

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TSA agents are apparently still confused as to whether the District of Columbia is in the U.S. 

The confusion first started in 2013, when the district changed its drivers licenses to read ‘District of Columbia’ instead of ‘Washington, D.C.’

Just in time for the peak holiday travel season, D.C. congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is issuing a not-so-friendly reminder to Transportation Security Administration officers.

Yes, the District of Columbia is a real place. Yes, it’s in the United States. And yes, D.C. residents can use their D.C. driver’s licenses to travel through airport security.

In a letter sent to TSA Administrator David Pekoske this week, Norton said she was dismayed to learn that D.C. residents are still encountering problems at airport security using their licenses to board domestic flights.

She described the latest episode as “humiliating.”

According to Norton’s letter, a D.C. resident was stopped in the TSA line at Newark Liberty International Airport at Thanksgiving.

“The TSO [transportation security officer] refused to accept her District license as a valid form of ID,” Norton said. “It is my understanding that other TSOs came over and discussed whether it was valid before letting her through, although the resident nearly missed her flight as a result.”

Source: TSA agents are apparently still confused as to whether the District of Columbia is in the U.S. (Hint: it is) | Toronto Star

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Woman finishes college finals from hospital bed while in labor

Nayzia Thomas has her eyes on the prize, or in her case, a college degree — and not even labor is slowing her down. The college sophomore recently went viral after tweeting a photo of herself completing a final while in labor.

Thomas studies psychology at Johnson County Community College in Kansas City, Mo., and, like most college kids, is wrapping up the semester. She stayed in school until she was 39 weeks pregnant and even aimed to finish her final exams before her son came into the world. But babies are on their own timelines, and Thomas went into labor ahead of schedule.

Instead of putting off her final psych exam and getting an “incomplete” on her grade sheet, she decided to finish the assignment.

“It wasn’t due until the end of the week — finals week is Dec. 11 to tomorrow — but my goal was to try to have everything done before,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “[I thought] ‘before all this gets crazy let me hurry up and finish this final.’”

Source: Woman finishes college finals from hospital bed while in labor

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An old drug for alcoholism finds new life as cancer treatment

By age 38, the patient’s breast cancer had spread to her bones, a typically fatal turn of events. She became an alcoholic, and her doctors stopped all cancer treatment, instead giving her a drug to discourage her drinking. She died 10 years later, after an inebriated fall from a window. But an autopsy revealed something unexpected: Her bone tumors had melted away, leaving only a few cancer cells in her marrow.

That 1971 case report, along with numerous lab studies, have suggested that the 6-decade-old drug disulfiram (commercially known as Antabuse), which makes people feel sick from drinking small amounts of alcohol, might also be a cancer fighter. Now, researchers have finally figured out how—by blocking a molecule that is part of a process that gets rid of cellular waste.

“This paper solves a puzzle that has persisted in cancer research for decades,” says cancer biologist Michele Pagano of New York University School of Medicine in New York City, who was not involved in the study.

Starting in the 1970s, scientists found that disulfiram killed cancer cells and slowed tumor growth in animals. It increased survival in women who had breast tumors removed in a small clinical trial published in 1993. But since then, disulfiram hasn’t gotten much attention for treating cancer, partly because scientists disagreed about how it worked.

Source: An old drug for alcoholism finds new life as cancer treatment

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Founding Father of Virtual Reality: “If you control the person’s reality, you control the person”

“Founding Father” of virtual reality Jaron Lanier: “If you control the person’s reality, you control the person… “Never has a medium been so potent for beauty and so vulnerable to creepiness.”

This Christmas, many Americans will receive VR (Virtual Reality) gadgets. The bulky headsets are introducing us to the concept of virtual interaction that Facebook and major tech companies hope to get us drawn into for life. Transhumanists see these technologies as a step toward the integration of the human brain with computers.

Virtual Reality headsets are one type of virtual interaction. Augmented reality (which involves digital information about real physical locations, products, and people displayed on cell phone screens, and eventually contact lenses) is being introduced to the masses through cell phone apps like Snapchat and Facebook’s camera app. VR technologies are projected to become billion dollar industries over the next several years.

Microsoft, Apple, Google and Facebook are all heavily investing in and developing products that will plunge users into a new “augmented” reality that is superimposed over our real world.

Source: Founding Father of Virtual Reality: “If you control the person’s reality, you control the person”

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FedRAMP Wants to Improve Continuous Monitoring of Cloud Services

The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, better known as FedRAMP, authorizes cloud service providers to work with agencies. However, once that approval process is finished (FedRAMP is still working on ways to streamline it), FedRAMP, other agencies and cloud vendors must stay vigilant and continuously monitor the security of that authorized cloud service.

FedRAMP’s staff, part of the General Services Administration, spends a large chunk of its time and resources monitoring services and it hopes to change that in 2018.

By streamlining the continuous monitoring process, FedRAMP can free up its own resources as well as those of agencies and communication service providers (CSPs). FedRAMP Director Matt Goodrich says the program is meeting with vendors to try and figure out ways to improve and potentially automate aspects of the monitoring.

“We spend about 75 percent of our security budget in continuous monitoring in my office alone, and it is too much for any agency or organization to maintain,” Goodrich said at a Dec. 7 Digital Government Institute Cloud Computing Conference, according to GCN. “We are looking to reduce the burden of continuous monitoring — not only in our office but for our vendors as well.”

Source: FedRAMP Wants to Improve Continuous Monitoring of Cloud Services

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Man Saving Bunny From Wildfire Reminds Leftists Of ‘Everything Wrong With Whiteness’

Leftist race-baiters have decided a video of a man rescuing a bunny from the California fires can best be viewed from a racist lens.

Declaring that the video shows “everything wrong with whiteness,” a GQ columnist tells us that the BBC video – showing a man identified as Caleb Wadnad rescuing a bunny from the wildfires is somehow a metaphor for how white people behave.

Wadnad is editor of the “digital magazine” Very Smart Brothas in addition to his gig at GQ. The site has stories with headlines like “The World’s 10 Greatest Enunciating-Ass Negroes, Ranked” and “10 Things White People Don’t Really Seem To Give A Fuck About,” so we don’t expect too much.

Still, Wadnad’s column, titled “The Video of the Man Saving the Rabbit From the Fire Captures Everything Wrong With Whiteness in 30 Seconds,” is beyond lunacy. It makes the argument that Wadnad rescuing the bunny from flames shows that white people care more about animals than African-Americans, The Daily Callerreports.

Source: Man Saving Bunny From Wildfire Reminds Leftists Of ‘Everything Wrong With Whiteness’

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Amazon And Google Employees Busted In Asian Sex Trafficking Sting

Several Seattle employees of both Google and Amazon were busted after using their corporate accounts to send emails to local brothels and pimps looking to purchase services from sex workers trafficked from Asia, according to emails obtained by Newsweek.

“[E]mails obtained by Newsweek reveal another sordid corner of the tech sector’s treatment of women: a horny nest of prostitution “hobbyists” at tech giants Microsoft, Amazon and other firms in Seattle’s high tech alley.” 

Many of the emails were swept up in a 2015 sting operation which targeted online chat rooms and message boards in which customers rate sex workers – resulting in the arrest of 18 of these “prostitution hobbyists,” including several high level Amazon and Microsoft directors – two of which are currently scheduled for trial in March.

Source: Amazon And Google Employees Busted In Asian Sex Trafficking Sting

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Long-Term, Supplemental, Related Vitamin B Use in Relation to Lung Cancer Risk in the Vitamins and Lifestyle

 

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Indoor air at University off-campus house party tests positive for alcohol

There was so much booze being consumed at a college fraternity party, Montgomery County Police say the air inside of the building tested positive for alcohol.

The scene – a modest split-level red brick home along the 5500 block of Massachusetts Avenue in Bethesdam Md. The date – a Tuesday night in mid-November. The sales pitch – an event marketed on Facebook as “Tequila Tuesday Hoy a las 22:00.” The guest list – around 70 people, predominantly American University students.

At some point during the evening, aggravated residents called police to report the party jams thumping their way through the family-centric neighborhood of upper-class homes. A trio of dispatched patrol officers pulled up to the home and knocked on the front door. Partygoers peered through windows, but walked away. Moments later, a few of the hosts answered the door and allowed officers inside.

Source: Indoor air at American University off-campus house party tests positive for alcohol

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Deep Pockets, Deep Cover: The UAE Is Paying Ex-CIA Officers to Build a Spy Empire in the Gulf

Spies like us: how former American intelligence officials built the UAE’s intelligence infrastructure.

Not far from the northeastern Zayed Port in Abu Dhabi, in a typical modern Gulf villa framed on one side by an elegant swimming pool, Westerners are teaching Emiratis the tools of modern spycraft.

The day starts with the basics: a 10 a.m. seminar on Sunday morning is titled “What is intelligence?” On Thursday, the recruits learn how to operate in four- to six-man surveillance teams. Over the course of the first week, they embark on scavenger hunts intended to hone their problem-solving skills. The following weeks get more advanced — students are schooled on creating cover identities to use when attending galas with diplomats, they are taught how to groom intelligence assets, and they watch skits about recruiting Libyan sources.

The Emirati recruits also train at another site about 30 minutes outside downtown Abu Dhabi called “The Academy” — complete with gun ranges, barracks, and driving courses — reminiscent of the CIA’s “Farm” at Camp Peary, a training facility located in southeastern Virginia.

The details of the training are contained in an official course schedule reviewed by Foreign Policy and were described by former U.S. intelligence officials who have been involved in the effort. The facilities and courses are part of the United Arab Emirates’ nascent efforts to create a professional intelligence cadre modeled after the West’s.

continue : Deep Pockets, Deep Cover: The UAE Is Paying Ex-CIA Officers to Build a Spy Empire in the Gulf

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Washington DC’s surveillance cameras hacked… to send spam

Everything and everybody is hackable – and that includes Big Brother.

That’s one takeaway from a criminal complaint filed last week against two Romanians in the US District Court of Washington DC for allegedly hacking into nearly two thirds of the outdoor surveillance cameras operated by the city’s police department.

According to an 11 December affidavit from US Secret Service Special Agent James Graham, Mihai Alexandru Isvanca and Eveline Cismaru took control of 123 of the 187 cameras used by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC) for four days, from 9-12 January 2017.

The scheme apparently wasn’t intended to commandeer cameras to spy on the city, however. According to Graham, the two sought to use the internet-connected computers behind the cameras to send “ransomware-laden spam emails.”

Source: Washington DC’s surveillance cameras hacked… to send spam

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At Vice, Cutting-Edge Media and Allegations of Old-School Sexual Harassment

 

 

One woman said she was riding a Ferris wheel at Coney Island after a company event when a co-worker suddenly took her hand and put it on his crotch. Another said she felt pressured into a sexual relationship with an executive and was fired after she rejected him.

A third said that a co-worker grabbed her face and tried to kiss her, and she used her umbrella to fend him off.

These women did not work among older men at a hidebound company. They worked at Vice, an insurgent force in news and entertainment known for edgy content that aims for millennial audiences on HBO and its own TV network.

But as Vice Media has built itself from a fringe Canadian magazine into a nearly $6 billion global media company, its boundary-pushing culture created a workplace that was degrading and uncomfortable for women, current and former employees say.

An investigation by The New York Times has found four settlements involving allegations of sexual harassment or defamation against Vice employees, including its current president.

continue https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/23/business/media/vice-sexual-harassment.html

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‘Brain-On-A-Chip’ Tests Effects of Biological and Chemical Agents

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and engineers have developed a “brain-on-a-chip” device aimed at testing and predicting the effects of biological and chemical agents, disease or pharmaceutical drugs on the brain over time without the need for human or animal subjects.

The device, part of the Lab’s iCHIP (in-vitro Chip-Based Human Investigational Platform) project, simulates the central nervous system by recording neural activity from multiple brain cell types deposited and grown onto microelectrode arrays. The platform, described in the journal PLOS One(link is external), could help scientists understand how brain cells connect and interact, combat brain disorders, determine how soldiers are affected by exposure to chemical and biological weapons and develop antidotes to counteract those effects.

“While we’re not close to the point where we can fully recapitulate a brain outside of the body, this is an important step in terms of increasing complexity of these devices and moving in the right direction,” said co-lead author and LLNL research engineer Dave Soscia. “The idea is that eventually the community gets to a point where people are confident enough in the devices that the effects they see from putting chemicals or pharmaceutical drugs into the platform environment are similar to the results we would see in the human body.”

Source: ‘Brain-On-A-Chip’ Tests Effects of Biological and Chemical Agents

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Biopic of Churchill carries secondhand smoke health warning

It’s impossible to think of Winston Churchill without a cigar.

Yet the makers of a new biopic of the wartime leader have still deemed it necessary to warn film-goers that ‘the depictions of tobacco smoking are based solely on artistic consideration’.

The ludicrous health alert comes in the final credits of Darkest Hour, in which Gary Oldman has been acclaimed by critics for his performance as the former Prime Minister.

The movie is already out in the US and will be released in Britain next month.

Churchill is rarely seen without a cigar in the film, set in 1940 when Britain stood alone against Hitler. In the opening scenes his face is lit in a darkened room by a cigar. He continues to puff away when he greets a five- month-old baby on the London Underground.

Source: Biopic of Churchill carries secondhand smoke health warning

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Weekly fish consumption linked to better sleep, higher IQ, study finds

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Children who eat fish at least once a week sleep better and have IQ scores that are 4 points higher, on average, than those who consume fish less frequently or not at all, according to new findings from the University of Pennsylvania published this week in Scientific Reports, a Nature journal.

Previous studies showed a relationship between omega-3s, the fatty acids in many types of , and improved intelligence, as well as omega-3s and better sleep. But they’ve never all been connected before. This work, conducted by Jianghong Liu, Jennifer Pinto-Martin and Alexandra Hanlon of the School of Nursing and Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor Adrian Raine, reveals sleep as a possible mediating pathway, the potential missing link between fish and intelligence.

“This area of research is not well-developed. It’s emerging,” said Liu, lead author on the paper and an associate professor of nursing and . “Here we look at omega-3s coming from our food instead of from supplements.”

Source: Weekly fish consumption linked to better sleep, higher IQ, study finds

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Angry non-smoker chops off roommate’s penis over smoking in flat

The mutilated remains of Eduard Assylov were found by neighbours.

Having people smoking around can be an unpleasant experience for some non-smokers, but how far would someone go to make it stop? Most people would consider asking smokers to stop politely, but then there are always those who take things too far.

A man from Moscow was so furious about his roommate’s cigarettes leaving an odour in the flat, that he actually chopped off the man’s penis over it.

Source: Angry non-smoker chops off roommate’s penis over smoking in flat

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