Author Archives: binghamboatwright

About binghamboatwright

newshound, tech adventurist, with an interest in anything electricity goes into and out of.

Spoofing Cell Networks with a USB to VGA Adapter

RTL-SDR brought cheap and ubiquitous Software Defined Radio (SDR) to the masses, opening up whole swaths of the RF spectrum which were simply unavailable to the average hacker previously. Because the RTL-SDR supported devices were designed as TV tuners, they had no capability to transmit. For the price they are still an absolutely fantastic deal, and deserve to be in any modern hacker’s toolkit, but sometimes you want to reach out and touch someone.

GSM network broadcast from a VGA adapter

Now you can. At OsmoDevCon [Steve Markgraf] released osmo-fl2k, a tool which allows transmit-only SDR through cheap USB 3.0 to VGA adapters based on the Fresco Logic FL2000 chip. Available through the usual overseas suppliers for as little has $5 USD, these devices can be used unmodified to transmit low-power FM, DAB, DVB-T, GSM, UMTS and GPS signals.

In a demonstration on the project page, one of these USB VGA adapters is used to broadcast a GSM cellular network which is picked up by the adjacent cell phones. Another example shows how it can be used to broadcast FM radio. A GitHub repositoryhas been set up which includes more examples. The signals transmitted from the FL2000 chip are obviously quite weak, but the next step will logically be the hardware modifications necessary to boost transmission to more useful levels.

To say this is a big deal is something of an understatement. For a few bucks, you’ll be able to get a device to spoof cellular networks and GPS signals. This was possible before, of course, but took SDR hardware that was generally outside the budget of the casual experimenter. If you bought a HackRF or an Ettus Research rig, you were probably responsible enough not to get into trouble with it, but that’s not necessarily the case anymore. As exciting as this technology is, we would be wise to approach it with caution. In an increasingly automated world, GPS spoofing can have some pretty bad results.

Source: Spoofing Cell Networks with a USB to VGA Adapter

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The Pentagon Is Making a Ray Gun to Stop Truck Attacks

The van driver who killed 10 Toronto pedestrians on Monday showed that a terror technique that ISISpioneered in Iraq and Syria in 2015 remains terrifyingly effective against unsuspecting urban populations. But the U.S. military is working on a new weapon to stop vehicle-born terrorist threats, one that could help police departments as well.

The Defense Department’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program, or JNLWD, is pushing ahead with a new direct energy weapon that uses high-powered microwaves to stop cars in their tracks without damaging the vehicle, its driver, or anyone else.

The jammer works by targeting the car’s engine control unit causing it to reboot over and over, stalling the engine. Like an invisible hand, the microwaves hold the car in place. “Anything that has electronics on it, these high-powered microwaves will affect,” David Law, who leads JNLWD’s technology division, said in March. “As long as the [radio] is on, it holds the vehicle stopped.”

Source: The Pentagon Is Making a Ray Gun to Stop Truck Attacks

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Exorcisms booming as Christian faith declines and internet offers easy access to black magic, priests told

Demand for exorcisms is booming as a result of a decline in Christian faith and the internet providing easy access to black magic, the occult and Satanism, a Vatican conference for exorcist priests was told on Monday.

So many people are asking to be liberated from the malign hold of the Devil that some priests are now delivering prayers of liberation – a first step towards exorcism – over the phone.

“There are priests who carry out exorcisms on their mobile phones. That’s possible thanks to Jesus,” said Cardinal Ernest Simoni, an Albanian who was tortured and imprisoned by the Communist authorities but after his release performed frequent exorcisms.

Source: Exorcisms booming as Christian faith declines and internet offers easy access to black magic, priests told

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University student who filmed flatmates in the shower asks for privacy

A University of Wollongong student who hid a camera inside a sponge in order to film his female flatmates while they showered has requested privacy as his case is dealt with by the courts.

“Please, give me privacy,” Rico Auliaputra said, outside Wollongong Local Court on Thursday.

“I’m so embarrassed.”

'Privacy, please,' says confessed shower peeper

‘Privacy, please,’ says confessed shower peeper

A University of Wollongong student who was convicted of filming a person in a private act without consent has requested privacy as his case goes before court.

Auliaputra, a 25-year-old Indonesian national studying for a degree in internet technology, was convicted of filming a person in a private act without consent, after he failed to front Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday to answer the charge.

Police documents tendered to the court said the three flatmates were at the CBD unit they shared with Auliaputra the night of October 28 last year when one of them noticed a green flashing light coming from a yellow sponge on the floor of the bathroom.

Source: University student who filmed flatmates in the shower asks for privacy

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CIA Has Plans To Switch Human Spies With Artificial Intelligence

The American security agency CIA knows that the future can’t go without artificial intelligence. The agency was all over the news last year because of Wikileaks which published their collection of hacking tools.

CIA wants to deal with foreign spies, not human but AI-powered spies tracking CIA agents deployed overseas. An effective countermeasure would be using technology instead of humans to get the required intel.

At a conference in Florida, CIA’s Science and Technology division deputy director Dawn Meyerriecks talked about their AI developments without going into the details. Meyerriecks told the audience there are around 30 countries that are so good at digital surveillance that they don’t need physical tracking.

Source: CIA Has Plans To Switch Human Spies With Artificial Intelligence

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Mum delivers her own baby after watching YouTube tutorial

A woman who had no idea she was pregnant was forced to deliver her own baby in a hotel room with only YouTube for guidance.

Tia Freeman, 22, had to make a 17-hour stopover in Istanbul as she flew to Germany for a holiday from her home in Nashville, Tennessee – but she picked up more than just a few souvenirs… she returned home with a SON.

Sharing her outrageous real life story on Twitter, she explained how she had had no idea that she was pregnant until she had passed the six month mark, but decided to go ahead with her holiday regardless, assuming the baby would be born after she got home.

However, she went in to labour on the flight out of the US – but wrongly believed her twinges and contractions to be symptoms of food poisoning after eating Salmon as her in-flight meal. 

After arriving at Istanbul airport and being trapped in a “chaotic” customs queue, she realised that in fact her baby was coming – but she was determined not to “give birth on the airport floor”.


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New ordinance in Terre Haute requires permit to dance

A permit to dance? Terre Haute officers say a new city ordinance requiring a permit for dances and dance parties will keep the community safer, WTHIreports. But not everyone agrees.

The Terre Haute City Council passed the ordinance in 2017. Sec. 4-301 of the city code states anyone hosting or allowing a dance party on their property without  permit will be cited. Also, hosts need liability insurance.

Terre Haute Police Sergeant Denzil Lewis tells WTHI the ordinance was created to crack down on violent crimes at parties. He says many of the people throwing the dance parties are former Indiana State University students, and they sometimes charge people to get it. Lewis says they’ve seen a decrease in incidents on the weekends they’ve been out enforcing the dance permit.

“If we see a house that is obviously having a dance party we will approach it; but for the most part, the majority of these have been calls for service, and we’ve responded to them and we’ve issued the citations,” Lewis said.

Source: New ordinance in Terre Haute requires permit to dance

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“Jeremy” is a song based on a true story about a student at Richardson High School in Richardson, Texas


Someone once told me the song Jeremy was about a student at a school I attended for a short while. I attended J.J. Pearce in Richardson, Texas, but went to Richardson High School for a few months. After hearing this several times, I searched the Internet for related stories and confirmed this to be true. To be sure, I checked the Dallas Morning News online archives and confirmed the article there and have reproduced it below.  Since publicizing this information on my site, a number of individuals who knew Jeremy have contacted me and this page has grown.  The more I learn about Jeremy the more I realize just how tragic this really was.  As one kind employee of Richardson High School has told me and discussed during a four hour interview at my home recently, “Jeremy was a good kid with a mountain of problems that he didn’t deserve.”  That interview will be posted here in the relatively near future.  See some details and facts from our meeting toward the bottom of this page.

To follow are the Jeremy Video, the interview with Pearl Jam where they first discuss what Jeremy is about, both of the news articles from the Dallas newspaper the next day, and photos of the school where Jeremy died.  This page continues to evolve.  As more and more people see this page, I am being contacted and given additional information.

Note from SS: At times life will get really rough people, even unbearable, and you just have to realize it is temporary, it too shall pass.  Be strong and be patient.

The Idea for “Jeremy”

“Jeremy” is a song based on a true story about a student at Richardson High School in Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas (photos below). Eddie Vedder saw the newspaper article (that also follows) by which he was inspired to write the song. Eddie states in addition to this there was a student at his school growing up whom also played a part in the song.


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Abu Dhabi government official questioned for appointing baby as ‘happiness executive’

Prosecutors are questioning an official after they gave a baby a job as a ‘happiness executive’ in a government office.

The Public Prosecution Office of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) on Wednesday said it summoned the individual to “clarify the issue of appointing a less than eight-month old baby boy to a, ‘Happiness Executive’ role”, state news agency Wam reported.

Video footage of the child came to light on social media on Tuesday, in which the child is pictured in a range of activities that were apparently aimed at boosting morale.

Prosecutors said the video indicates that the baby has been appointed in an ‘entertainment’ position and it sees the need to, “investigate the case with the concerned authority”.

It did not state who the official was.

No charges have been brought against them yet.

The video generated a torrent of comments from social media users, many of which were offended rather than entertained.

“This makes my blood boil. Qualified and educated Emirati men and women cant find jobs and you hired a baby! Consider me a child,” one wrote.

Source: Abu Dhabi government official questioned for appointing baby as ‘happiness executive’

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NATO’s terrible cafeteria food is apparently “a violation of the chemical weapons ban”

Diplomats strike me as formal and sophisticated, worldly and impeccable in their tastes. If you’d asked me to imagine the cafeteria at NATO—the fancy-pants intergovernmental military and diplomatic alliance headquartered in Brussels—I would have described a gleaming international food hall full of fresh sushi and organic vegetables. The reality is, apparently, the exact opposite. Politico quotes a number of anonymous NATO employees who describe the cafeteria’s food as, essentially, a crime against humanity.

Source: NATO’s terrible cafeteria food is apparently “a violation of the chemical weapons ban”

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Schools are removing analogue clocks from exam halls as teenagers ‘cannot tell the time’

Schools are removing analogue clocks from examination halls because teenagers are unable to tell the time, a head teachers’ union has said.

Teachers are now installing digital devices after pupils sitting their GCSE and A-level exams complained that they were struggling to read the correct time on an analogue clock.

Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said youngsters have become accustomed to using digital devices.

Source: Schools are removing analogue clocks from exam halls as teenagers ‘cannot tell the time’

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Barn conversions pushing bats into churches, bishop says 

Bats are ruining churches because of barn conversions, the Bishop of Norwich has said.

Speaking in the house of Lords, the Rt Revd Graham James said that bats had moved into churches in his diocese because old barns were being made into homes.

“All over Norfolk there are barns once used by bats which have been turned into beautiful homes for human beings. And their new owners do not want to share their property with them. And so the bats have moved to medieval churches,” he said.

Source: Barn conversions pushing bats into churches, bishop says 

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US soldier gets world’s first penis and scrotum transplant

Dr Andrew Lee and other members of the surgical teamImage copyrightJOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE
Image captionDr Andrew Lee (second from left) and his team at Johns Hopkins University

A team of US doctors has successfully carried out the world’s first total transplant of a penis and scrotum.

Surgeons at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, performed the operation on a soldier who had been wounded by a bomb in Afghanistan.

They used a penis, scrotum and partial abdominal wall transplanted from a deceased donor.

They say the soldier should be able to regain sexual function, which is impossible with penis reconstructions.

The team of 11 surgeons performed the transplant over 14 hours on 26 March.

It is the first surgery on a combat veteran injured on duty and the first to transplant a complete section of tissue including the scrotum and surrounding abdominal area.

Doctors said the donor testicles were not transplanted, due to ethical considerations.


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Claims by Joy Reid’s Cybersecurity Expert Fall Apart

MSNBC host Joy Reid claims that recently unearthed homophobic articles attributed to her are fakes. And she says a cybersecurity consultant has proof that her old blog has been hacked.

But that consultant, Jonathan Nichols, had trouble producing the promised evidence. And what he did produce failed to withstand scrutiny, according to a Daily Beast analysis. Blog posts that Nichols claimed do not appear on the Internet Archive are, in fact, there. The indicators of hacked posts don’t bear out.

Last year, the AM Joy host apologized for a 2007 blog post in which she had mocked Florida’s then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist by referring to him as “Miss Charlie” and suggested that while on honeymoon with his wife, he secretly wanted to sleep with men.

Reid apologized on-air, suggesting she had evolved over a decade from those “insensitive, tone-deaf and dumb” remarks.

But Monday, media-news site Mediaite published—using screenshots taken from The Wayback Machine’s cached versions of Reid’s blog—more homophobic blog posts from the late aughts. In them, Reid appeared to crassly mock gay celebrities like Anderson Cooper and Clay Aiken, defend homophobia as “intrinsic” to straight people, declare that she wouldn’t see Brokeback Mountain because of the gay sex scenes, and imply that gay advocacy groups prey upon “impressionable teens.” On Thursday, the Washington Free Beacon followed up by revealing another set of homophobic posts not previously reported by Mediaite.

Source: Claims by Joy Reid’s Cybersecurity Expert Fall Apart

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Genius! Woman Puts Fake Parking Ticket in Her Own Car Window So Police Wouldn’t Give Her a Real One

A resourceful driver in Suzhou, China, found the perfect way of avoiding a parking ticket. When leaving her car in a no-parking zone, she would simply leave a fake parking ticket in her window so that policemen would think one of their colleagues had already fined her.

It was the perfect crime! Most policemen would only check if the date was correct and move one, and if one of them actually paid enough attention to figure out that the parking ticket was fake, the woman would simply say that she had no idea, that she was the victim of a prank. Genius and safe, I tell you! Unless someone actually saw her putting the ticket in the window, there was no way to prove she was guilty.


There’s no way to know how long the woman had used this method to avoid parking tickets for, but she was finally caught in the act earlier this month. In what can only be described as sheer bad luck, the woman parked her car right next to that of an undercover police car, which, to make matters worse, also had the dash-cam turned on.

Source: Genius! Woman Puts Fake Parking Ticket in Her Own Car Window So Police Wouldn’t Give Her a Real One

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Gov’t To Court: Driving A Car In Iowa With A Valid Iowa Temporary Tag Is A Traffic Violation

We have a new item to add to the list of things law enforcement finds suspicious. And not just “hmm, that’s strange,” but rather, “hmm, let’s stop this vehicle and search everyone and everything in it.” To date, a long list has been compiled of activities law enforcement finds inherently suspicious, many of which are contradictory or encompass the routine daily activities of millions of non-criminal US citizens.

People have been declared “suspicious” for being too calm or too nervous. For making eye contact and not making eye contact. Talking too much is suspicious. The same goes for not talking enough. Driving roads that connect major cities is suspicious because all major cities contain both buyers and sellers of drugs. Cops have argued that activities they’ve witnessed daily without affecting an arrest is suddenly suspicious when a traffic stop/fishing expedition results in a drug bust.

An officer with the Waterloo, Iowa police department is adding something new to this impossibly long list of dubious traffic stop justifications: driving with valid Iowa dealer’s plates in Iowa. (via Brad Heath)

Source: Gov’t To Court: Driving A Car In Iowa With A Valid Iowa Temporary Tag Is A Traffic Violation

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Are two spaces better than one? The effect of spacing following period

The most recent edition of the American Psychological Association (APA) Manual states that two spaces should follow the punctuation at the end of a sentence. This is in contrast to the one-space requirement from previous editions. However, to date, there has been no empirical support for either convention. In the current study, participants performed (1) a typing task to assess spacing usage and (2) an eye-tracking experiment to assess the effect that punctuation spacing has on reading performance. Although comprehension was not affected by punctuation spacing, the eye movement record suggested that initial processing of the text was facilitated when periods were followed by two spaces, supporting the change made to the APA Manual. Individuals’ typing usage also influenced these effects such that those who use two spaces following a period showed the greatest overall facilitation from reading with two spaces.

Source: Are two spaces better than one? The effect of spacing following period

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Jeopardy! Contestant Says He’d Spend Winnings on a Lifetime Supply of Taco Bell

When the thought of winning $100,000 came across one Jeopardy contestant‘s mind, he knew exactly how he’d spend it: on a lifetime supply of Taco Bell.

Georgia Tech freshman Rishab Jain, who was a contestant during the show’s special college edition last week, told host Alex Trebek that he put some thought into the idea of winning the grand prize with a little help from his mom.

“She said, ‘Well, you eat Taco Bell pretty often’ and that’s really all she had to say,” the 18-year-old told Fox News.

Jain says as a vegetarian, the fast food chain often subs meat for beans in his order (he loves Mexican Pizzas and Crunchwrap Supremes) and the campus location, where he frequents, is very familiar with his specifications.

Source: Jeopardy! Contestant Says He’d Spend Winnings on a Lifetime Supply of Taco Bell

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Leaked Audio Reveals Democrats Cheating Progressives Again

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Don’t glare at your horse, scientists warn: it may hold a grudge

Horses can be tricky creatures, and even the most tolerant rider will occasionally yield to the temptation to give their mount a ticking off and a stern look.

But, according to groundbreaking new research, they really shouldn’t: the horse may bear a grudge.

Scientists at the Universities of Sussex and Portsmouth have established that horses can not only read emotions, but can then remember the emotional expression of humans.

Source: Don’t glare at your horse, scientists warn: it may hold a grudge

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Bid to toughen Louisiana anti-bestiality law draws pushback


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – A Louisiana senator’s effort to strengthen anti-bestiality laws is facing unexpected opposition from lawmakers who see it as an underhanded move to strike the state’s unconstitutional ban on sodomy.

The proposal to create a new, wide-ranging law against bestiality would untangle the crime from the ban on sodomy in Louisiana’s “crime against nature ” statute. That’s causing some lawmakers to label the measure a sly chess move meant to get rid of the anti-sodomy law.

But Sen. J.P. Morrell is pushing back, arguing the state’s four-word bestiality law is inadequate and needs to include things like mental evaluations and penalties for trafficking animals for sex.

Advocates for Morrell’s proposal say that in the past three years six states have updated their laws against bestiality.

Source: Bid to toughen Louisiana anti-bestiality law draws pushback

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‘Enjoy Cocaine’ kids’ clothing pulled from Amazon

Children’s clothes emblazoned with the words “enjoy cocaine” were removed from Amazon following a customer backlash.

The offensive range of bibs, T-shirts and babygrows was being sold by an independent retailer, believed to be based in Estonia, reports the Daily Mail.

The design of the garments imitates the distinctive “Enjoy Coke” logo used by Coca-Cola, replicating the colour and font.

However the solid white curved line below the text has been replaced with a white “powder” version.

The range also featured babies' bibs printed with the phrase. Photo / Amazon
The range also featured babies’ bibs printed with the phrase. Photo / Amazon

She shared a screenshot of one baby bib design on the Amazon UK Facebook page with the caption: “Admittedly, yes I was looking for a Libertines T-shirt but what the actual hell is this? WTF.”

Source: ‘Enjoy Cocaine’ kids’ clothing pulled from Amazon

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Rooster Undergoes World’s First Cataract Surgery

A rooster in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz has undergone cataract surgery which is the first of its kind in the world.

The surgery was performed by Behnam Ghaffarzadeh, a surgeon and eye examiner, on a five-year-old cock.

“The operation was carried out on the animal’s left eye, and I also examined its other eye to see when the surgery on the next must be performed,” said Ghaffarzadeh in Farsi interview with Fars News Agency.

This specialist also mentioned he had already performed a similar surgery on a 9-year-old duckling in his office.

“Given the fact that pupils of birds are not like human, cats and dogs, this surgery is much more difficult and it is even possible that they lose their pupil. However, the operation was successfully completed without any problem.”

Source: Rooster Undergoes World’s First Cataract Surgery

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Art gallery discovers more than half of its paintings are fake

An art gallery in the south of France has discovered that more than half of its collection of paintings are forgeries. The state-owned museum dedicated to the Catalan artist Étienne Terrus in Elne spent an estimated 160,000 euros (£140,000) on the fakes over 20 years. Doubts about the collection of paintings, drawings and watercolours were first raised by art historian Eric Forcada several months ago. He noticed that some of them depicted buildings that were only constructed after Terrus’ death in 1922.

Source: Art gallery discovers more than half of its paintings are fake

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Testicle Festival canceled following deaths, attendance decline

After 35 years of drinking, nudity, debauchery and tens of thousands of Rocky Mountain oysters, the Testicle Festival is over.

The summer festival in Clinton known for all things rowdy has also been known for generating its fair share of fights, drunken driving and fatal crashes. Now Matt Powers, owner of the Rock Creek Lodge where the festival is held every summer, says enough is enough.

“At the end of the day I have to be able to hold my head up and be proud of how I make my living,” he said.

Two people were killed and seven others injured during last year’s Testicle Festival when a man who had been kicked out of the event and put on a shuttle back to Missoula allegedly grabbed the wheel, causing the Jeep to roll. Donny Barlow, 36, and 33-year-old Vannessa Anderson, who also was known by the last name Batt, were killed in the crash.

James Bayford has pleaded not guilty to two felonies for negligent vehicular homicide and another six for criminal endangerment in the case, and currently has a trial set for July.

Capt. Jim Kitchin of the Montana Highway Patrol was one of six troopers who responded to the fatal crash on the night of Aug. 5. He said from a traffic safety standpoint alone, he’s glad to hear that Testy Fest is going away.

“It saves my troopers a lot of heartache, not having to go out there and be pulling dead people off the road,” he said. “I will applaud his decision not to do that anymore.”

Anderson’s ex-husband and the father of their children has filed a lawsuit against Rock Creek Lodge, Bayford and the shuttle company that was contracted for transports during last year’s Testy Fest.

After he took over running the lodge, Powers offered bus shuttles between the festival and Missoula in an attempt to reduce drunken driving, and later contracted with another local shuttle company — the one involved in last summer’s fatal crash. But the worst of the rowdy festivalgoers found a way to cause havoc.

In 2012, the vehicle of a Seattle family driving through the area on the way to a vacation in Yellowstone National Park was hit by a pickup truck driving the wrong way on Interstate 90 by Daniel Martin, killing 8-year-old Jacob Gamble.

Martin, who was also killed in the crash, had been partying at the festival when he found a truck owned by Rock Creek Lodge, with its keys in the ignition, according to court records. He got in and took off, driving the wrong direction for nearly six miles before the truck hit the Gamble family’s vehicle, according to the records.

Patrol Capt. Rob Taylor of the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, which partners with the Highway Patrol and adds additional deputies for Testicle Festival, said it was one of the bigger events every year for the office, which usually dipped into its pool of state funding for additional enforcement to make sure enough officers were available.

“It was an event that had an alcohol consumption element, and driving distances, and unfortunately some people are going to try to risk that,” Taylor said.

In 2005, the year Powers purchased the Rock Creek Lodge, a man was stabbed at Testicle Festival following a dispute. In 2007 a woman was arrested for stabbing a man and a woman with a butterfly knife after an argument that ensued when she flashed her bare breasts at a second man, according to records. That same year, 13 DUI arrests over the weekend were considered related to the Testicle Festival, according to Missoulian coverage.

Source: Testicle Festival canceled following deaths, attendance decline

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Colorado man bitten by shark in Hawaii previously attacked by bear, rattlesnake



A Colorado man attacked by a shark in Hawaii earlier this week had earlier encounters with a bear and rattlesnake, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Dylan McWilliams, 20 of Grand Junction, was bitten by a shark Thursday while swimming off the island of Kauai.

He suffered several cuts to his leg that can be seen in one of his recent Facebook posts.

McWilliams said he believes a tiger shark bit him.

“That was the scariest part. I didn’t know where the shark was, and I didn’t know if he would come after me again,” he told the Star-Advertiser.

This was not McWilliams’ first painful bite from a wild animal. In fact, it was his third.

In July, he was attacked by a bear in Colorado.

The bear bit his skull, grabbed his head and dragged him about 12 feet from where he was sleeping. The bear was later euthanized.

The Star-Advertiser reported McWilliams was also bitten by a rattlesnake while hiking in Utah about 3 1/2 years ago.

“My parents are grateful I’m still alive,” he told the newspaper.


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Woman horrified after mistaking pal’s wombat photos for first pics of new baby

A WELL wisher was left mortified after mistaking photos of a tiny wombat for a pal’s newborn baby.

The mix-up happened after a pregnant woman posted a picture on Facebook of a tiny animal she had rescued from the side of the road.

 The Facebook post which sparked the bizarre baby mix-up

The Facebook post which sparked the bizarre baby mix-up

What should have been a heartwarming story then took a very awkward twist when one of her friends mistook the hairless marsupial for her baby.

“OMG congratulations! He’s beautiful. I miss you so much,” the friend wrote on the social media site.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, it took the pal nearly eight hours to realise the shocking mistake.

“I didn’t look properly. I thought you’d had your baby. I’m so sorry. OMG.”

Source: Woman horrified after mistaking pal’s wombat photos for first pics of new baby

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NHL reportedly asked Brad Marchand to stop licking opposing players


Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman regals readers with many great nuggets in his regular “31 Thoughts” column, but this bit on how the NHL reportedly responded to Brad Marchand‘s obnoxious kissing/licking of Leo Komarov from Game 1 (see the video above) might just take/taste the cake:

22. After Game 1 of the Toronto/Boston series, the Bruins got a, “We’d prefer if you could tell Brad Marchand to stop licking people” phone call from the NHL.

Seems fair enough?

[NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub]

That said, you wonder if the NHL might have sent the Boston Bruins pest a better message by, say, handing him a fine for unsportsmanlike conduct? The league could have attached a helpful message, such as: “There are better ways to tell Leo Komarov that you like his cologne.”

Source: NHL reportedly asked Brad Marchand to stop licking opposing players

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Town holds .5K – not 5K – for underachievers

Instead of slogging through all 3.1 miles of a typical 5K, “fellow underachievers” will gather in Boerne May 5 to run what amounts to 0.31 miles, or 1,640.42 feet.

Source: Town holds .5K – not 5K – for underachievers

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Blood testing at dinner parties takes health awareness to new level

Agood dinner party once involved glugging back copious amounts of wine, eating too many hors d’oeuvres and struggling to squeeze in a few mouthfuls of pud. Not to mention the scintillating company and raucous laughter.

But the latest trend in the quest for peak personal fitness involves guests having their blood tested while being given a detailed nutritional breakdown of every morsel that passes their lips.

Rather than competing over their latest holiday adventures or children’s piano grades, the group of friends will compare notes on who has the highest cholesterol or not enough vitamin D.

Source: Blood testing at dinner parties takes health awareness to new level

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Town wants UFO memorial moved; witness objects

A memorial in a remote corner of Massachusetts that marks a 1969 UFO sighting has been ordered moved, but one man who experienced a close encounter is objecting.

The 5,000-pound (2,300-kilogram) memorial in Sheffield was installed in 2015, but was moved about 30 feet (9 meters) a few weeks later when it was discovered it was on town land.

Now, Town Administrator Rhonda LaBombard tells The Berkshire Eagle it has to be moved again because it’s on a town right-of-way easement.

That’s not sitting well with Thom Reed. He was 9 when he, his mother, grandmother and brother saw what he described as a “self-contained glow” that flooded their car with an amber light. About 40 people in several surrounding towns reported the strange light.

Reed is threatening legal action.

Source: Town wants UFO memorial moved; witness objects

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The Southern Poverty Law Center Is Sitting on $477 Million – American Renaissance

The Trump era has been very good for the group’s fundraising efforts.

{snip} The SPLC’s already impressive endowment grew a staggering 35 percent in fiscal year 2017 to more than $432 million. Including operating funds, total assets topped $477 million as of October 31, 2017. Total revenues and gains in fiscal 2017 exceeded $180 million, more than triple the organization’s expenses for the year, of just under $60 million.

The SPLC has long been considered a fundraising powerhouse, but 2017’s take was mind boggling by any standard. Donations were up 164 percent over 2016: The group took in $132 million between November 2016 and October 2017, compared with $50 million in the preceding 12 months.

While direct contributions produced the lion’s share of the 2017 increase, a booming stock market led to astounding growth in the SPLC’s investment portfolio. In fiscal 2016, unrealized gains came to less than $1 million; a year later they totaled nearly $45 million.

Source: The Southern Poverty Law Center Is Sitting on $477 Million – American Renaissance

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Prof: Gender inclusive term ‘Latinx’ is ‘clapping back at whiteness’ – The College Fix

It’s time for another sojourn into the pseudo-intellectual miasma that is the field of “studies.”

The term “Latinx” is supposed to “escape the implicit gender binary […] and include all possible gender and sexual identities” since Spanish is a — gasp! — gender-based language … you know, masculine nouns typically end in the letter “o,” and feminine nouns in “a.”

According to Inside Higher Ed, the word’s spread has been mostly confined (mercifully) to the university, which should come as no surprise considering what academics like the University of Texas-Austin’s Nicole Guidotti-Hernández say the term signifies.

According to The Dickinsonian, during a discussion at Dickinson College, Guidotti-Hernández — an expert in Transnational Feminist Methodologies, Latinx Studies and Popular Culture and Immigration — said use of “Latinx” is being led by “queer millennials” as a “declaration of community,” and serves as a “critique [of] racism and heterosexism.”

Source: Prof: Gender inclusive term ‘Latinx’ is ‘clapping back at whiteness’ – The College Fix

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‘Anatomy of a Smear’ of Conservatives by Minnesota Public Radio

Shocking liberal bias on taxpayer-subsidized public broadcasting isn’t happening just on national networks like PBS and NPR. John Hinderaker at Power Line blogged “Anatomy of a Smear” by Minnesota Public Radio. The topic was “a thoroughly documented expose of leftist political indoctrination and bullying of nonconforming students, teachers and staff in the Edina, Minnesota public school system.”

The author was Katherine Kersten, a fellow of the Minnesota-based think tank Center for the American Experiment (and during the Obama years a rare conservative columnist at the Minneapolis Star Tribune). When Kersten’s work on Edina’s schools was published in The Weekly Standard and featured on the Drudge Report and other conservative media sites and Twitter accounts.

MPR reporter Solvejg Wastvedt called Hinderaker for an interview, but when he heard the story, he could hardly believe how Kersten was somehow smeared with a white-supremacist brush:

WASTVEDT: [A] critique that began with a post on the website of local conservative think tank Center of the American Experiment has garnered national media coverage and found a new audience this month in hearings at the Minnesota legislature.

During the fall of 2017 — as Edina voters weighed candidates for four school board seats and a school tax referendum — Fox News, Breitbart, a blog by Newt Gingrich and the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer all picked up the story. Katherine Kersten, the author of the Center’s two magazine articles, appeared on Fox & Friends in October 2017. Hinderaker presented the critiques at a meeting of the local Republican party.

The coverage sparked a thread on the white supremacist website Stormfront. A thread on the anonymous internet forum 8chan posted a street address and phone numbers for an Edina English teacher and said, “We need to literally crucify her and destroy her completely.”

Hinderaker complained:

It is obvious that the principal purpose of MPR’s story was to smear Katherine Kersten and Center of the American Experiment by associating us with the Daily Stormer (“neo-Nazi!”), Stormfront (“white supremacist!”) and 8chan. No mention of mainstream conservatives like Dennis Prager, Brit Hume, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Dana Perino, Power Line, InstaPundit, Independent Women’s Forum, Hot Air, the Drudge Report, Legal Insurrection, Frontpage, Intellectual Takeout, Education News, American Conservative, PJ Media, as well as neutral outlets like Real Clear Politics and the Kansas City Star. These mainstream sites have traffic that is, what? 100,000 times greater than the Daily Stormer and Storm Front? 1,000,000 times greater? Obviously, Ms. Wastvedt featured the obscure, extremist sites as a politically-motivated smear.

I wanted to ask Ms. Wastvedt some questions. To begin with, I wondered how she even knew that Stormfront and 8chan had references to Kathy’s stories. The sites I referred to can be identified in less than two minutes with a Google search, and Daily Stormer comes up on page 9. But Stormfront and 8chan don’t show up at all; Google has barred 8chan, which I had never heard of prior to the MPR story, from its search results. So someone had to do some digging to come up with material for MPR’s smear.

When Hinderaker asked for an interview with Wastvedt to discover how she found the neo-Nazi information, suddenly the public-radio folks refused to be available. After a few exchanges of corporate-speak, MPR explained “Solvejg is not available for an interview.I did connect with her and her goal was to make the point that the CAE story had been picked up by national media. Were there some that were missed?”

Source: ‘Anatomy of a Smear’ of Conservatives by Minnesota Public Radio

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Download 16,000+ Sound Effects From The BBC

Need some sound effects for a personal project? The BBC has got you covered with an archive of over 16,000 WAV files you can download for free.

The BBC Sound Effects archive grew out of the Reminiscence Archive, which is designed to help trigger memories in people with dementia using BBC Archive material as stimulation.

At the moment there are 16,016 Sound Effects in the archive, each one available to download in .WAV format. You can choose to display 10, 25, 50 or 100 results at a time and the sound effects cover an extensive range of sounds, from a parrot talking, waterfalls falling, to a “Land Rover, interior, engine started, idles, pulls away, continuous journey, stop & idle, engine off. (Land Rover, Long Wheel Base, 109″ Safari Diesel, Series 2A, 1967)”.

You can sort the sound effects by description, category, and duration (in seconds) or use the search box for a particular item. Many of the sound effects don’t have categories assigned to them, so that’s the least effective sorting option.

Source: Download 16,000+ Sound Effects From The BBC

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Implant will show when cancer is present by generating artificial mole on skin  

An implant which detects cancer in the body and causes a small artificial mole to appear on the skin as an early warning sign has been developed by scientists.

Source: Implant will show when cancer is present by generating artificial mole on skin  

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Employee from hell busted by VPN logs

We’ve said it before, but an employee from Hell apparently didn’t get the memo: VPN, as in Virtual Private Network, is not shorthand for secure internet connection.

What the “private” means is that your VPN connection can be made to behave as though you had a direct hook-up to your destination network. What it does not mean is that your hacking forays into your ex-employer’s network – using the company’s own VPN – are going to be hidden away when the FBI starts digging around.

Suzette Kugler, who last year left her job after a 29-year career at PenAir, was sentenced on 12 April for repeatedly hacking the airline’s reservation and ticket system. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Kugler pleaded guilty in January to one felony offense of fraud in connection with computers.

As part of the plea agreement, Kugler will pay $5,616 in restitution to PenAir, and the DOJ dropped a second count of the same offense. If it seems like a light sentence, bear in mind that this was her first ever crime.

Source: Employee from hell busted by VPN logs

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Student op-ed calls black conservative example of ‘tokenism’

The Texas State University student newspaper published yet another racially provocative piece Tuesday, accusing a prominent black conservative of being  a “token black woman” for conservative students.

“With the wave of social vocalism, specifically by or on behalf of minorities, the illusion of diversity is important for every organization to maintain a favorable public perception,” Temi Ikudayisi begins the op-ed, which was published in the print edition of The University Star. “Diversity statistics are often highlighted to prove faux inclusivity, otherwise known as tokenism.”

“While Temi gives a great definition of tokenism, this is the very reason I left the Democratic party.”   

Giving the example of a white person deflecting charges of racism by claiming that “my best friend is black,” Ikudayisi claims that the school’s Turning Point USA chapter similarly tokenized Second Amendment advocate Antonia Okafor by inviting her to speak about gun rights after a student government representative accused the group of “perpetuating this false sense of inclusivity to make itself appear up on their diversity quota while not addressing issues affecting minorities.”

Source: Student op-ed calls black conservative example of ‘tokenism’

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Army Develops Face Recognition Technology that Works in the Dark

Army researchers have developed an artificial intelligence and machine learning technique that produces a visible face image from a thermal image of a person’s face captured in low-light or nighttime conditions. This development could lead to enhanced real-time biometrics and post-mission forensic analysis for covert nighttime operations.

Thermal cameras like FLIR, or Forward Looking Infrared, sensors are actively deployed on aerial and ground vehicles, in watch towers and at check points for surveillance purposes. More recently, thermal cameras are becoming available for use as body-worn cameras. The ability to perform automatic face recognition at nighttime using such thermal cameras is beneficial for informing a Soldier that an individual is someone of interest, like someone who may be on a watch list.

The motivations for this technology — developed by Drs. Benjamin S. Riggan, Nathaniel J. Short and Shuowen “Sean” Hu, from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory — are to enhance both automatic and human-matching capabilities.

Source: Army Develops Face Recognition Technology that Works in the Dark

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Ubuntu 18.04 LTS – Bionic Beaver Is Now Available For Download

Ubuntu, which is one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions, has finally released the latest Long Term Support (LTS) version of Ubuntu – version 18.04, after numerous alpha/beta releases over the past few months. It is now available for download for workstations, cloud, and IoT (Internet of Things).

Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical’s CEO and Ubuntu’s founder, said, “Most public cloud instances — Azure, AWS, Oracle, and so on — are Ubuntu. To better support Ubuntu, 18.04 features improvements in network and storage and improved boot time optimization so that Ubuntu instances can ramp up faster with demand. In addition, Canonical has been working with NVIDIA to improve its public cloud General Purpose GPU (GPGPU) support.”

He further added, “Multi-cloud operations are the new normal. Boot-time and performance-optimized images of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on every major public cloud make it the fastest and most efficient OS for cloud computing, especially for storage and compute-intensive tasks like machine learning.”

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, also code-named “Bionic Beaver” features GNOME 3.28 as the default Ubuntu desktop environment instead of Unity and the GNOME apps have been updated to version 3.28. The kernel is based on Linux 4.15 and LibreOffice 6.0 is included by default. Further, on-premises and on-cloud AI (artificial intelligence) development within Ubuntu will be enhanced by the integration of Kubeflow and a range of CI/CD tools into Canonical Kubernetes. Kubeflow, the Google approach to TensorFlow on Kubernetes, is a machine learning (ML) library built on Kubernetes.

Source: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS – Bionic Beaver Is Now Available For Download

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