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Finally Friday 3-16-2012


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  • 1. News | SpaceNASA Crushes 2012 Mayan Apocalypse ClaimsThe agencys Near-Earth Objects Program head points out many fallacies, includingthe claim that an imaginary planet will collide with Earth in December. Thousands ofastronomers have not seen thisScientific American| March 9, 2012 |2012 DOOMSDAY DEBUNKED Their calendar does not end on December 21, 2012; its just the end of the cycle and the beginning ofa new one.Scientists at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory have put out a new video to address false claims about the "Mayan apocalypse," a non-event that some people believe will bring the world to an end on Dec. 21.In the video, which was posted online Wednesday (Mar. 7), Don Yeomans, head of the Near-Earth Objects Program Office atNASA/JPL, explains away many of the most frequently cited doomsday scenarios. [See video]Addressing the belief that the calendar used by the ancient Mayan civilization comes to a sudden end in December 2012, and that thiswill coincide with a cataclysmic, world-ending event, Yeomans said: "Their calendar does not end on December 21, 2012; its just theend of the cycle and the beginning of a new one. Its just like on December 31, our calendar comes to an end, but a new calendarbegins on January 1.―Yeomans also attempted to allay fears regarding potential causes of a Mayan apocalypse, including Nibiru, an imaginary planet thatsome people think is swinging in from the outer solar system just in time to collide with Earth in December. "This enormous planet issupposed to be coming toward Earth, but if it were, we would have seen it long ago. And if it were invisible somehow, we would haveseen the [gravitational] effects of this planet on neighboring planets. Thousands of astronomers who scan the sky on a daily basis havenot seen this," he said. [Believers In Mysterious Planet Nibiru Await Earths End]He added that there is zero possibility of a NASA cover-up. "Can you imagine thousands of astronomers who observe the skies on adaily basis keeping the same secret from the public for several years?"
  • 2. Hong Kong dentist helping to uncover the mysteries of the PyramidsA self-described daydreamer, the dentist created tiny grips to fit on to amini robot that will enter the tomb behind unmovable stone postMarch 8, 2012 18:35A Hong Kong-based dentist by day and inventor by night, Ng Tz--chuen, will be part of a team studying the secrets stillhidden in the narrow passageways of the Pyramids of Giza, according to Reuters.Ng is part of a team, along with former Egyptian Antiquities Minister, Zahi Hawass, seeking to solve the mystery surroundingthe stone doors that block what is believed is the tomb of Pharaoh Cheops - the ancient Egyptian ruler after whom the largestpyramid is named.A self-described daydreamer, Ng, 59, thought up and created tiny grips, not unlike those he uses to pull teeth, to fit on to amini robot that will enter the tomb behind the doors."The Chinese have more experience with chopsticks. And a dentist has more experience in gripping with forceps," said Ng toReuters. "Why Egypt is so interesting, its because of the hieroglyphics. Its like a detective story. Its all waiting for me to usemy grippers.―More on GlobalPost: Chinese cars, made in BulgariaThe Great Pyramid of Cheops, at nearly 500 feet, is the largest of the three pyramids located in Giza just outside of Cairoand was completed around 2,500 BC.The chamber behind the solid doors and narrow shafts has bewildered archaeologists for over 100 years since theirdiscovery. They speculate that it might be a burial room.The international team, of which Ng is a part, will send small robots into the shafts to explore what might be deeper into thePyramid - areas that have yet to be explored by archaeologists.
  • 3. Its 10 Minutes to Midnight: Introducing The Iran War ClockThe AtlanticMar 8 2012War or peace in the Middle East amounts to a coin toss. The probability that the United States or Israelwill strike Iran in the next year is 48 percent according to a new project that predicts the chances ofconflict--the Iran War Clock. And as a result, the clock is set to 10 minutes to midnight.How does the Iran War Clock work?Weve assembled a high-profile panel of experts from the policy world, academia, and journalism to periodically predict the odds of conflict. Theyinclude: Daniel Byman, Shahram Chubin, Golnaz Esfandiari, Azar Gat, Jeffrey Goldberg, Amos Harel, Ephraim Kam, Dalia Dassa Kaye, MatthewKroenig, John Limbert, Valerie Lincy, James Lindsay, Marc Lynch, Gary Milhollin, Trita Parsi, Paul Pillar, Barry Rubin, Karim Sadjadpour, KennethTimmerman, Shibley Telhami, Stephen Walt, and Robin Wright.Its a diverse group ranging from a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran, to a Senior Vice President at the Council on Foreign Relations;from a Deputy Head of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, to a military correspondent at Haaretz.Each panelist makes an individual estimate about the percentage chance of war and we report the average score. Based on this number, we adjust theIran War Clock so that the hand moves closer to, or further away from, midnight.If there is a zero percent chance of war, the clock hand is at 20 minutes to midnight. Each extra 5 percent chance of war moves the hand one minutecloser to midnight. So, for instance, a 10 percent chance of war would set the clock at 18 minutes to midnight, and a 75 percent chance of war would setthe clock at 5 minutes to midnight. We round up and down, so 48 percent is rounded up to 10 minutes to midnight.The Iran War Clock is not designed to be pro-war or anti-war. Instead, the purpose is to estimate the chances of conflict in the hope of producing a moreinformed debate. If people hold a very inaccurate view of the odds of war it could be dangerous.Were humble about the accuracy of this prediction, which is really a collective "gut-check" feeling. But it may be closer to the truth than the alternativeforecasts available.
  • 4. $38.5 million lotto winner cheated co-workers out of jackpot, court rulesyahoo news3/15/2012For most people, sharing a $38.5 million lottery jackpot with five co-workers is a deal theycould live with. But it was apparently too much for Americo Lopes, who a jury found guilty of cheating his colleagues out of their rightful share of winnings.Lopes and his co-workers at a New Jersey construction company took part in a lottery pool going back to 2007. But in 2009, when Lopesdiscovered he had the winning Mega Millions ticket, he claimed to have purchased the winning numbers on his own, rather than as part ofthe company pool.After a unanimous jury decision on Wednesday, Lopes must now pay each co-worker a pretax $2 million from the jackpot, according to aspokeswoman for the Superior Court in Elizabeth, New Jersey.The Star-Ledger reports that Lopes left the courtroom saying in Portuguese, "they robbed me.―The five former co-workers testified that they gave Lopes money to purchase lottery tickets on the day he purchased the winning ticket. Asixth construction worker who was not in the lottery pool also testified against Lopes. "I have a lot to do," Carlos Fernandez, one of thefive plaintiffs, told the Star-Ledger after the verdict was announced.Still, for all his complaining of being "robbed," it could have been worse for Lopes, who stood to lose up to $20 million of his after-tax $24million in winnings.Winning the lottery has been a mixed blessing for a number of past winners. Just last week, a Michigan lottery winner fell under intensescrutiny when it was revealed she was still accepting food stamps despite being a millionaire. The day after Yahoo! News reported on herstory, the Michigan Bridge Card program stepped in and removed her from the welfare program.On the other hand, a number of other lottery winners have voluntarily chosen to share their lottery winnings with family, friends and theless fortunate. Last month, we told you about several repeat Georgia lottery winners who have given away substantial portions of theirjackpot winnings.Winning the lottery can even be fatal in some extreme cases. In 1996, Jeffrey Dampier famously won $20 million in the Illinois statelottery, using some of his money to help family and friends. But when Dampier offered to help his sister-in-law and her boyfriend outfinancially, they rewarded his generosity by kidnapping and murdering him.
  • 5. Dont ask what hes drinking13/03/2012Theres an old saying about being immature, stupid and... Well thats how Blenheimman Anthony Walsh described himself at Hokitika Wildfoods Festival on Saturdayafter downing a shot of stallion protein. Thats fancy talk for horse semen.The event has gained notoriety over the last two years after it started offering shotsof the good stuff to festival-goers and surprisingly the stall has become one of themost popular.Not everyone is willing to cough up $10 for the pleasure but plenty are willing to watch others take one for the team.Particularly game party-goers can kneel and have a syringe of protein shot blasted into their mouth and face.Even the mayor of Hokitika, Maureen Pugh, didnt shy away from the stallion juice.Mr Walsh, a vineyard worker in Blenheim, was attending his third Hokitika Wildfoods Festival on Saturday.The protein shot was definitely the craziest thing yet, the 24-year-old said."I dont like calling it horse semen. I just call it milkshake because thats what it tastes like."Mr Walsh, originally from Palmerston North, hadnt planned on trying the equestrian smoothie, he said."It was a blend of people urging me to do it and the girls I was with paying for it. Then the guy [stall holder] said `take a knee soI did."The taste wasnt that bad, he said. "I thought it would be creamy and curdled. The grossest part was it hitting me in the face."The stall had a microscope so punters could see the live semen, he said."I didnt look in," he said. "That would have freaked me out."
  • 6. March 8th, 201211:40 AM ETCNN HealthWhy women moan during sexAll you have to do is watch nearly any depiction of female orgasm on screen to get an idea of how a woman is―supposed‖ to react during sex.From "When Harry Met Sally" to "Sex and the City" to your basic porn film, women in the throes of passion aren‘t justshouting their ecstasy from the rooftops - they‘re moaning with pleasure. Loudly.But is this just cinematic license, or is there really something to noisy sex?Experts wondered the same thing. Last year, Gayle Brewer of the University of Central Lancashire and Colin Hendrie ofthe University of Leeds published their research on the topic - technically known as ―copulatory vocalization‖ - in theArchives of Sexual Behavior. In the study, they asked 71 sexually active heterosexual women between ages 18 and 48for more details about vocalization during sex.The researchers found that many of the women did make noise, but not necessarily while they were having an orgasm.Instead, 66% said that they moaned to speed up their partner‘s climax, and 87% stated that they vocalized during sexto boost his self-esteem.
  • 7. Sexually super-charged: Jessica Simpson has revealed her sex life is better than ever now shespregnant, and she posed in this seductive shot with fiance Eric Johnson in this months Elle magazine
  • 8. Grandmother faces capital charge in death of Alabama third-graderCNNWed March 14, 20129-year-old Savannah Hardin died after she was forced to run for eating chocolateSpokeswoman: Grandmother Joyce Garrard, 46, faces a capital murder chargeA grand jury indicts the girls stepmother on a felony murder chargeAn attorney says the women are "falsely accused and wrongly incarcerated“(CNN) -- Alabama prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a grandmother who authorities say forced her granddaughter to run as punishment foreating chocolate, an official said Tuesday.Joyce Garrard, 46, is facing a capital murder charge in her granddaughters death, said Heather Rickles, a spokeswoman for the District Attorneys Officein Etowah County, Alabama.Authorities say Savannah Hardin died last month after her grandmother and stepmother forced her to run around the familys house for three hours aspunishment for lying about taking a chocolate candy bar.A grand jury also indicted stepmother Jessica Mae Hardin, 27, on a felony murder charge, Rickles said. That means she will not face the death penalty ifconvicted.Dani Bone, an attorney representing Garrard, told CNN affiliate WBRC that the allegations were false."I think it makes for good newspapers, it makes for good television. It think its absolutely unfair to this family who again have lost a child, a grandchild andnow they have two family members who were falsely accused and wrongly incarcerated," Bone said.Last month, attorneys for Hardin said she was devastated by her stepdaughters death, and urged the public to disregard rumors and assumptions."Unfortunately, whenever a child passes, our society wants to place blame, our media wants to sensationalize and our elected officials want to makegrandiose statements that are not based on facts," attorneys Morgan Cunningham and Vincent Pentecost said in a statement.Authorities said the girl had a bladder condition that could have been worsened by eating the candy, according to WBRC."It is alleged that the grandmother was out in the yard with Savannah, and she was encouraging her with the words, Move it! Move it! Move it! -- muchlike a drill sergeant," Natalie Barton, spokeswoman for the Etowah County Sheriffs Office, told CNN last month.At one point, prosecutors say Savannah was crawling, crying and begging to stop, WBRC reported.
  • 9. World’s Most ExpensiveWatch?03/11/12–―A Swiss watchmaker unveiledtoday what is believed to be theworld‘s most expensivetimepiece.Hublot‘s new watch, which has aprice tag of $5million, dazzleswith a staggering 140 carats ofdiamonds, all set in white gold.The precious stones cover theentire face, as well as the band,giving an appearance more akinto fine jewellery than practicalaccessory. Six of the 1,292diamonds weigh more thanthree carats each.‖ w/ photos
  • 10. Worlds First Double Barrel 1911 Semi-automatic PistolMon Mar 12 2012Awesome! Why shoot one bullet when you can shoot TWO bullets? This is the AF2011-A1 Double Barrel Pistol by Arsenal Fireams. It isjust like a regular pistol, but shoot two bullets at once! Check out more watch the video of it in action!"The gun can be handled by any shooter able to shoot with a .45 Acp and it is not only very pleasing, but very accurate and great fun.The AF2011-A1 holds amazing and surprising target performance for the shooter: in fact, it will group all the 8 double .45 caliber rounds(16 bullets) held in the duplex, single columns magazines, in a target of the size of an orange at 15 yards and of a water melon at 25.The stopping power of the AF2011-A1 is tremendous: 2 bullets for a total of 460 Grains weight impacting at 1 to 2 inches apart(depending on the distance of the target) will knock down a bull, while the whole 18 bullets, for a payload exceeding 4000 Grains, can bedelivered to the target in about 3 seconds."
  • 11. The Hanging Tent03/15/12–―These waterproof floating tents are great for experienced campers or for those who want to get somecool photos from above the forest floor but are physically unable to climb trees. They‘re available in 2man, 3-4 man and 5-8 man sizes, but women are surely allowed to use them too. Tentsile HangingTents look great, but I would avoid rough-housing in them unless you want to fall a good ten feet.‖ w/photos
  • 12. French beauty Emmanuelle Beart launches campaign against plasticsurgery after her looks are ruined by botched ops.
  • 13. Top 10 Before & After Face Transplant Photos03/13/12–―Medical science can do weird and wonderful and slightly unsettling things. Following yesterday‘samazing story of Ugur Acar, here are nine more examples of face transplant procedures. WARNING:While most will find these images fascinating and inspirational, some may find them disturbing.‖ w/photos
  • 14. Incredible bravery of acid attack victim as she arrives to testify against married lover who scalded her when she dumped himPatricia Lefranc, 48, left disfigured after sulphuric acid attackShe had been mistress of married Richard Remes, 57He launched assault after she ended relationship13 March 2012A mother whose face was hideously deformed by acid sprayed by her married lover appeared in court today and accused him of turning me into amonster.Speaking on the first day of Richard Remess trial for attempted murder in Belgium, Patricia Lefranc said she was determined to look him in the eye andshow the jury what he has done to me.The 48-year-old, who underwent 86 operations following the attack, added: I hope to convince the court that he did indeed want to murder me.Remes, 57, is said to have planned the sulphuric acid attack after Ms Lefranc ended their relationship just over two years ago.Ms Lefranc told Brussels Assizes that December 1, 2009 was the day Remes finally destroyed my life.‗She said he was waiting for her as she emerged from a lift in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean.He sprayed the sulphuric acid, once referred to as oil of vitriol by medieval European alchemists, all over her head and upper body, she told the court.She said she was convinced she would die, but neighbours in a nearby building heard her screams and managed to get her to the burns unit of a nearbyhospital, where she lay in a coma for three months.Ms Lefranc said: I hope Remes is convicted of attempted murder, and not just for assault and battery with torture. He did not just want to hurt me, hewanted me out of the way. I just hope that I get to tell the court what I experienced, and how it hurt.
  • 15. Flying F*CK R/C Helicopter03/13/12–―Hey… we‘re all jaded and sometimes you just don‘t give a flying f*ck… but wouldn‘t it be nice if you could? Now youcan give a flying f*ck to a friend or loved one. This fine r/c helicopter is in the form of a giant hovering F*CK. It has two-channel control meaning it is always moving forward slowly. You control the hover and right and left turns. It‘s really agenuine gift from the heart… Rather than telling someone you don‘t care a rats ass about them, you can let them knowyou respect them enough to give a flying f*ck. Awww… We‘re tearing up right about now.‖ w/ photo
  • 16. LSD Gets Another Look As Alcoholism TreatmentMarch 9, 2012-03-12LSD might provide a life-changing experience for people struggling with alcohol, a provocativeanalysis suggests.LSD might provide a life-changing experience for people struggling with alcohol, a provocative analysis suggests.You might be tempted to chuckle about some Norwegian researchers peering back at experiments done duringthe 60s and 70s with LSD as a treatment for alcoholism.But dont.Their rigorous analysis, combining data from six different studies, concludes that one dose of thehallucinogenic drug might just help.The past studies randomly assigned patients to get a strong dose of LSD or something else (anotherdrug, such as amphetamine, a low dose of LSD or nothing special). And the results provide evidencefor a beneficial effect on abstinence from alcohol.For what its worth, the analysis, just published online by the Journal of Psychopharmacology, wasfunded by the Research Council of Norway, not exactly a fringe outfit.These mash-ups of previously published studies can be done well or badly, so I talked with Matthew W Johnson, a psychologist at Johns Hopkins. Hesaid this so-called meta-analysis helped quantify the effect and give more heft to work that had suggested LSD could work.The Hopkins group that Johnson is part of has been investigating the use of psilocybin, the hallucinogen in "magic mushrooms," for smoking cessationand to help terminal cancer patients cope with their illness. Theyve also taken a look at Salvinorin A, a hallucinogen in salvia, too.Why would hallucinogens be suited for these kinds of treatments? Johnson said people taking the drugs in the studies hes helped with report that it is"one of the most meaningful experiences — or the most meaningful — in their life.―Some says the "trip" changes the direction of their lives and can trigger a redefinition of how they see themselves. That could be as profound as, "Im nowa nondrinker, or whatever the adciction may be," he said.Of course, the LSD experiments analyzed in the latest report involved about 500 people. And the drug can cause very disturbing problems for somepeople who take it — especially at high doses. Larger, more careful studies would be required to assess the approach.As it is, Johnson said various tests of hallucinogens as treatments suggest that the right surroundings and support are important during a therapeutic trip."There have been plenty of people who have been alcoholics who have taken LSD, and it has done nothing for their alcoholism," Johnson said.
  • 17. Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias3-9-2012US NewsScreen shot from a training video used by the Christian militia group Hutaree in March 2010. The group was allegedly preparing for a battle with the Antichrist, whom they believed wouldbe supported by local, state and federal officials. Nine were arrested and charged with conspiringto kill police officers, then kill scores more by attacking a funeral using homemade bombs.The election of President Barack Obama in 2008 triggered an explosion in the number of militias and so-called patriot groups in the United States, theSouthern Poverty Law Center reported in its annual tally of such anti-government organizations.There were 149 militias and patriot groups when Obama took office, compared to more than 1,200 today — an increase of 755 percent, the nonprofit civilrights organization reported."The increase has just been astounding," said Mark Potok, editor-in-chief of the SPLC report. "The reality is that many of these groups are becomingmore and more fearful that Barack Obama will win the re-election. You can see the anger rising along with that fear.―The SPLC defines the "patriot" movement as made up of conspiracy-minded individuals who see the federal government as their primary enemy. Themovement includes paramilitary militias as well as groups of "sovereign citizens," who believe they are not subject to federal or state laws, nor obligatedto pay federal taxes, according to SPLC.The center also reports a steady rise in the number of hate groups in America — from 604 in 2000, to more than 1,000 last year. Those include anti-gaygroups, anti-Muslim groups, black separatists and "Christian Identity" groups, which hold racist and anti-Semitic views that overlap with neo-Nazi beliefs.The spike in these groups can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the sluggish economy, radical propaganda and anxiety over the electionof a black president, Potok said.
  • 18. Irish nun to face 87 charges of sexual abuse against youngschool girls Case thought to be the first of its kind in IrelandIrishCentral, March 7, 2012, 7:41 AMAn Irish nun is to appear before a special sitting of the country‘sCircuit Court on 87 charges of the sexual abuse of primary schoolgirls.The nun, whose name has been withheld by the State to protect her victims, appeared at Sligo CircuitCourt on Tuesday.Her case, thought to be the first of its kind in Ireland, has been listed for mention again on May 22nd.Judge Rory McCabe has ordered the special sitting after the Director of Public Prosecutions outlinedthe huge number of files to be considered by the prosecution‘s legal team.The case was transferred from another county only last week according to DPP barrister Dara Foynes.Newspaper reports say that several of the nun‘s alleged victims were in court for the brief hearing.Those present heard the barrister for the accused woman complain about the delay in the trial. Shesaid her client had been charged in January 2010.In response, Foynes said a ‗voluminous‘ number of files had only been given to prosecution solicitorHugh Sheridan last week after the transfer of the case from another county.
  • 19. Angry Father Bites Off 6-Year-Old Sons Penis In Shenzhen, ChinaThe Huffington Post03/ 8/2012 6:12 pmDoctors in Shenzhen, China have reattached a 6-year-old boys penis after hisfather bit it off, the Shanghai Daily reports.According to the paper, witnesses said the 32-year-old father was walking withhis naked son and 4-year-old daughter on the street Thursday when he commandedthe boy to bite his penis.When the boy refused, the man attacked him.Horrified passersby subdued the man, forced him to spit out his sons penis, and called the police, China Buzz reports.The boys reattachment surgery was successful, but it is too early to tell whether he will have normal use of theappendage. The Shanghai Daily reports that relatives will care for the boys sister.Cops say the father is likely to have a mental illness -- he was recently seen pretending to strangle his son on theirbalcony, according to witnesses. Police also found that the man, who was only identified by the surname Yu, wasseverely in debt after a failed business venture and was often seen gambling.This isnt the first horrific story involving penis mutilation in recent months.Last year, 53-year-old Arun Sandhukha died after rats bit off his penis at a hospital in India.According to Asia Age, he was found in a pool of blood by his family, who had come to visit him."No nurse was found at the scene and he was writhing in pain. His penis had been nibbled by rats," Sandhukha relativetold the paper.Original news story, courtesy of the Southern City Posts Shenzhen edition:
  • 20. Man Charged In Brown Co. BurglariesAdditional Charges PendingMarch 14, 2012SARDINIA, Ohio -- A Peebles man is facing burglary charges.The Brown County Sheriffs Office said Christopher Tolle, 23, broke into the Five PointsAnimal Hospital near Sardinia and Kendall Tire near Macon on March 4.Tolle was arrested Monday after an investigation identified him as the suspect.Tolle is being held on a breaking and entering charge. Bond was set at $5,000.The sheriffs office said additional charges are pending.Read more:
  • 22. Raquel Welsh