Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Xeno’s Daily Strange News Awards Blog

Posted by Anonymous on February 28, 2011

Welcome. There are over 13,000 posts here and over 11,000 comments. Note: Content in a dotted line box is a quoted excerpt. Click the link to view the entire original article. Click « Previous Entries or browse the calendar. Comments are now moderated due to excessive spam.


Posted in Blog | 36 Comments »

FBI Director: be “deeply skeptical” of government

Posted by Anonymous on October 13, 2014

Americans should be “deeply skeptical” of government power, says FBI Director James Comey, adding that law enforcement should be able to access someone’s telephone only with a court order,

“I believe that Americans should be deeply skeptical of government power,” Comey told CBS News’ Scott Pelley in an interview for “60 Minutes” that will air on Sunday. “You cannot trust people in power.

“The Founders knew that,” he said. “That’s why they divided power among three branches, to set interest against interest.”

Comey, 53, who became FBI chief in September 2013, cautioned that courts must grant law-enforcement agencies permission to telephones if the information is deemed to be critical to a criminal case or national security.

His comments come in light of numerous leaks since last year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealing that agency’s extensive telephone and Internet surveillance programs and cell phones introduced last month by Apple Inc. that were designed to avoid surveillance by law enforcement.

Apple’s new iOS8 operating system for its cellphones and other devices contains personal encoding software to prevent anyone outside of the phone’s owner from accessing its data. Apple will not be able to access the data, Arstechnica.com reports.

“The notion that we would market devices that would allow someone to place themselves beyond the law, troubles me a lot,” Comey said. “As a country, I don’t know why we would want to put people beyond the law.

“That is, sell cars with trunks that couldn’t ever be opened by law enforcement with a court order, or sell an apartment that could never be entered even by law enforcement,” he continued. “Would you want to live in that neighborhood? This is a similar concern.

“The notion that people have devices, again, that with court orders — based on a showing of probable cause in a case involving kidnapping or child exploitation or terrorism — we could never open that phone?” Comey asked. “My sense is that we’ve gone too far when we’ve gone there.”

Link

Awesome. Let’s get back to checks and balances that work.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Lab grown penises

Posted by Anonymous on October 7, 2014

Organ by organ, we are learning how to regenerate body parts. Lab grown vaginas are already a success, as I previously posted. Now there’s this:

The engineered penises were developed by researchers at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina, USA, and are currently awaiting approval to be tested on humans.

The work is funded by the US Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, which hopes to use the technology to help soldiers with battlefield injuries. Professor Anthony Atala, director of the institute, told the Observer the target is to get the organs into patients with injuries or congenital abnormalities. The penises would be grown using a patient’s own cells to avoid the risk of immunological rejection after organ transplantation.

Atala previously led a successful project engineering penises for rabbits in 2008. The previous work on rabbits showed that once the tissue was there the body recognises it as its own.

Who will make history by becoming the first joker to add on a second real penis for reasons of … entertainment? It will happen.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Ebola Is Diagnosed in Texas, First Case Found in the U.S.

Posted by Anonymous on October 1, 2014

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/03/ebola%20outbreaks.jpgA man who took a commercial flight from Liberia that landed in Dallas on Sept. 20 has been found to have the Ebola virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday. He is the first traveler to have brought the virus to the United States on a passenger plane and the first in whom Ebola has been diagnosed outside of Africa.

As the disease has swept across West Africa, many health experts said it would be only a matter of time before it reached the United States. Hospitals and health departments around the country have been preparing for it, and a number of false alarms have occurred. But this time, the case is real.

The man, who was visiting relatives in the United States, was not ill during the flight, health officials said at a news conference Tuesday evening. Indeed, he was screened before he boarded the flight and had no fever. Because Ebola is not contagious until symptoms develop, there is “zero chance” that the patient infected anyone else on the flight, said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the disease centers. Ebola is spread only by direct contact with body fluids from someone who is ill.

via nytimes.com

For perspective:

The plan to bring two Americans stricken by the Ebola virus back to the United States for treatment has sparked a backlash on social media from some people terrified that the incurable disease will spread here as it has in western Africa.

“Stop the EBOLA patients from entering the U.S.,” Donald Trump tweeted Friday. “Treat them, at the highest level, over there. THE UNITED STATES HAS ENOUGH PROBLEMS!”

This mystifies infectious disease experts, who consider the viruses that cause Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and bird flu much more contagious — and therefore more dangerous to the public. Transmission of Ebola requires direct contact with an infected person’s blood, vomit or feces during the period that he or she is contagious, something that is extremely unlikely for anyone but health-care workers. The virus is not spread by coughing or sneezing. Nor do Americans bury their own dead family members or friends, as some residents of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea must do with Ebola victims.

Via WashPost

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Robin Williams, July 21, 1951 – Aug 11, 2014, Apparant Suicide

Posted by Anonymous on August 13, 2014

File:Robin Williams 2011a (2).jpg

Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor, stand-up comedian, film producer, and screenwriter.

Rising to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy (1978–82), Williams went on to establish a successful career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting. His film career included such acclaimed films as The World According to Garp (1982), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), and Good Will Hunting (1997), as well as financial successes such as Popeye (1980), Hook (1991), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Night at the Museum (2006), and Happy Feet (2006). He also appeared in the video “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin.

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times, Williams received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Good Will Hunting. He also received two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and five Grammy Awards.[4][5]

On August 11, 2014, Williams was found unresponsive at his residence in Marin County, California and was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, the cause of death was asphyxiation by hanging.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Williams

Robin Williams — who first made America laugh and eventually touched “every element of the human spirit” in a remarkable range of performances — died at his Northern California home Monday.

Williams apparently took his own life, law enforcement officials said. He was 63.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/11/showbiz/robin-williams-dead/

Williams (63), was found dead by his personal assistant at midday yesterday when he failed to respond to knocks on his bedroom door, Marin County’s assistant chief deputy coroner Keith Boyd told a news conference. Williams had been seeking treatment for depression, Mr Boyd said.

http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/film/robin-williams-died-by-suicide-coroner-confirms-1.1894488

Very sad. He was an amazing guy. Rest in peace, Robin. Don’t start drinking, kids. Just never start.

Robin Williams, 62, is in a rehab facility in Minnesota following a lifelong struggle with addiction, TMZ is reporting. However, the good news is that he is not staying because he has fallen off the wagon. …

In 2006, Robin entered a rehab facility in Newberg, Oregon, due to a problem with alcohol. At the time, his publicist stated that “After 20 years of sobriety, Robin Williams found himself drinking again and has decided to take proactive measures to deal with this for his own well-being and the well-being of his family.”

http://hollywoodlife.com/2014/07/01/robin-williams-rehab-checks-in-to-sober-living-facility/

Posted in Popular Culture | Leave a Comment »

The internet hit 512K BGP routes today, causing widespread network issues.

Posted by Anonymous on August 12, 2014

http://www.renesys.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/plot2.png

BGP is a routing protocol that coordinates routes to blocks of IP addresses. … all edge routers across the Internet keep a full routing table; for example, your ISP’s edge router has a map of the entire Internet in its memory and knows where to forward one of your packets … The issue today is that routers only have a certain amount of memory for these routes. Router memory size compared to the Internet’s BGP routes has been an issue for [a long time]. One way to fix it is by “aggregating,” which is taking two smaller routes and combining them into one, thereby turning two announcements into merely one. …

BGP is a routing protocol that advertises routes externally, each large organization advertises some BGP routes at the edge of their network. Each edge device has a routing table with all the advertised BGP routes from around the internet. By the sounds of it there are hardware limitations on these edge routers that can only hold 512k routes in their routing table, which is the number we hit today.

http://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/2dcol3/the_internet_hit_512k_bgp_routes_today_causing/

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »

Government launches two nights of spraying residents (and mosquitoes) with poison in Yolo County

Posted by Anonymous on August 7, 2014

A government aircraft flying low at about 300 feet sprayed for hours last night, Aug 6, 2014, and will be spraying again tonight, Aug 7, 2014, during a four hour window 8 PM to approximately midnight, covering about 22,000 acres. If you saw the plane, you would not see an apparatus for spraying connected to it. The spraying done in the dark will come from embedded 8 inch nozzles off of the wingtips of a piloted small blue and white two engine plane (Beechcraft perhaps) that will fly out of McClellan Air Force Base, a contaminated Superfund site.  Sprayed, so they say, will be 0.75 oz/acre of TRUMPET ( http://iaspub.epa.gov/apex/pesticides/f?p=PPLS:102:::NO::P102_REG_NUM:5481-481  an insecticide to kill adult mosquitoes. Well, that would be about 1,030 lbs of liquid insecticide if one plane covered all 22,000 acres.  That’s about 130 gallons. Trumpet is sold in 30 gallon drums. Of course, with one pilot flying out of a Superfund site closed to the public, this would be the perfect cover for another government experiment, wouldn’t it? I’ll be out of town. Have fun. Oh, did I mention that Trumpet was linked with leukemia and pancreatic cancer in lab tests? 1, 2

SAN FRANCISCO – Fifty-one years ago, Edward J. Nevin checked into a San Francisco hospital, complaining of chills, fever and general malaise. Three weeks later, the 75-year-old retired pipe fitter was dead, the victim of what doctors said was an infection of the bacterium Serratia marcescens. Decades later, Mr. Nevin’s family learned what they believe was the cause of the infection, linked at the time to the hospitalizations of 10 other patients. In Senate subcommittee hearings in 1977, the U.S. Army revealed that weeks before Mr. Nevin sickened and died, the Army had staged a mock biological attack on San Francisco, secretly spraying the city with Serratia and other agents thought to be harmless. The goal: to see what might happen in a real germ-warfare attack. The experiment, which involved blasting a bacterial fog over the entire 49-square-mile city from a Navy vessel offshore, was recorded with clinical nonchalance: “It was noted that a successful BW [biological warfare] attack on this area can be launched from the sea, and that effective dosages can be produced over relatively large areas,” the Army wrote in its 1951 classified report on the experiment.

See http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Serratia-has-dark-history-in-region-Army-test-2677623.php

http://www.democracynow.org/2005/7/13/how_the_u_s_government_exposed

 

http://news.maryland.gov/mda/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2014/06/mosquito-plane-jeff-moreland1.jpgJuly 1, 2014: SACRAMENTO – Officials moved to spray a wide swath of south Sacramento after a spike in West Nile Virus detection.

At 9:15 pm Monday, a lone aircraft took off from McClellan Air Park to begin spraying an organophosphate pesticide across thousands of acres from Broadway to the north to Meadowview Road on the south and from Interstate 5 on the west to Power Inn Road on the east.

To those wondering why this drought year has brought a spike in the detection of the virus in birds and mosquitos, the district points out that normally flowing water has turned stagnant this year.

“It’s the birds and the mosquitos and other insects congregating at these limited water sources that increases the risk of virus transmission between the birds and the mosquitos,” said Luz Maria Rodriguez, spokeswoman for the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.

The spraying has rekindled debate over the safety of the pesticide application and even the need for it.

“The main concern I have is that for a very small risk from the West Nile Virus, a large number of people are being exposed to a poison,” said primary care physician Dr. Kelly Sutton. …

http://www.news10.net/story/news/local/sacramento-central/2014/07/01/sacramento-west-nile-spraying/11835473/


 

Published: Wednesday, Jul. 16, 2014 – 3:53 pm

Residents living in parts of Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks and Orangevale are advised to stay indoors with their pets tonight from 8 p.m. to midnight as aerial spraying for the West Nile virus begins.

The same advisory is in effect for Thursday evening, the second of two consecutive nights of overhead spraying for mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus.

Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District officials said spreading insecticides over about 19,000 acres of dense suburban housing is necessary because of “intense West Nile virus activity,” measured by the large number of mosquitoes and dead birds testing positive for the virus.

The area to be sprayed is marked by Highway 80 and Garfield Avenue on the west to Hazel Avenue on the east. The southern boundary of the targeted neighborhoods is Lincoln Avenue and the northern border is the Sacramento County line.

The virus has also spread to other areas of Sacramento and Yolo counties, especially to the city of Davis, district officials said. Aerial spraying also covered large portions of Sacramento’s southern neighborhoods two weeks ago.

Aircraft will drop an insecticide that’s registered with the U.S. EPA and the California Environmental Protection Agency. The bug spray, called Trumpet, is expected to disperse in the air by morning.

http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/16/6561413/aerial-spraying-of-parts-of-citrus.html


 

Elk Grove, Ca— The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District announced today that aerial treatments for adult mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus are scheduled for two consecutive nights on Wednesday, August 6 and Thursday, August 7 from approximately 8:00 pm to midnight over the cities of Davis and Woodland and the surrounding agricultural areas in Yolo County.  “We are moving forward with plans for aerial spraying” said Gary Goodman, District Manager. For the past few weeks the District has been monitoring these locations which became areas of concern due to the many mosquito samples and dead birds that tested positive for the disease. “Our surveillance results indicate very high infection rates among mosquitoes and the need to spray in order to protect area residents from the threat of West Nile virus” added Goodman.

Aerial spraying will take place over two areas. The Davis block is approximately 20,000 acres and the boundaries are from County Road 29 on the north, down to Levee Road along Putah Creek on the south and from County Road 98 on the west to County Road 105 on the east.

The Woodland block is about 12,000 acres from Churchill Downs Ave on the north, to County Road 25A on the south and from County Road 97 on the west to County Road 102 on the east.  For exact spraying locations please refer to the attached map or visit www.FIGHTtheBITE.net.


 

McClellan AFB was closed as a result of BRAC 1995. After it officially closed on 13 July 2001, portions of McClellan and the surrounding area were converted into a business park.

The chemicals used in aircraft maintenance, such as solvents, caustic cleaners, fuel oils and lubricants have caused extensive contamination at McClellan, particularly of groundwater. In addition, there are small amounts of radioactive waste at the base. The contamination was the result of leaks of pipes and storage tanks, spills, landfills and fire training areas. At one time, it was one of the most heavily polluted bases in the nation. Cleanup started in the 1980s. As of 2005, it is still ongoing and expected to take at least another decade. McClellan is listed on the United States Environmental Protection Agency‘s National Priorities List as part of the Superfund created during the 1980s.[4][5]

McClellan’s air traffic control tower remains standing, but was deactivated following the closure of McClellan AFB. However, the airfield’s navigational aids such as the VOR/DME and ILS remain operational. McClellan Airfield now operates as an uncontrolled (non-towered) joint civil-military airfield with various mixed-use tenants as part of McClellan Park.[6] The remaining military activity consists of Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, operating HC-130 Hercules aircraft, as well as an AAFES BX, a commissary and VA Outpatient Clinic[7]VA Hospital which are primarily utilized by Coast Guard personnel, military retirees and National Guard and Reserve personnel, and their immediate families/dependents in the Sacramento area. McClellan is also the home of the Aerospace Museum of California. Since 2002, the base has also been home to the Pacific Region Campus for the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McClellan_Air_Force_Base

 


 

EPA Registration Number:5481-481

Company Name: AMVAC CHEMICAL CORPORATION
Address: 4695 MACARTHUR COURT, SUITE 1200
City, State Zip: NEWPORT BEACH, CA 926601706

http://www.amvac-chemical.com/Product-Details/pid/199

rumpet EC is an emulsifier-based, water-washable formulation of naled that offers powerful pest-management performance and easy post-application clean-up. When used as directed, Trumpet EC controls mosquitoes and flies quickly and effectively, with no environmental persistence. Naled is a “Restricted Use Insecticide” ideally suited for agriculture, commercial pest control and public health or pest abatement programs. There is no known resistance to Trumpet EC, which may only be used by federal, state, tribal, local government or vector control officials, or by appropriately authorized or certified personnel. Product comes in a returnable 30-gallon drum with Micromatic fittings for added handler safety.

 

Posted in Health | Leave a Comment »

LAPD to get Stealth Motorcycle

Posted by Anonymous on June 24, 2014

http://hw.infowars.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/lapd-stealthbike.jpgThe LAPD recently announced the purchase of a Zero MMX, an eletronic military-grade motorcycle developed for the U.S. Special Operations Forces.

Well, that’s kinda terrifying.

Santa Cruz-based Zero Motorcycles has said that it was only one bike as part of a “pilot program,” according to Wired. Zero has been supplying police departments across the country with electric motorcycles since 2011, with the biggest advantage of these bikes being their stealthiness. With no gas engine, it is easy to avoid being heard.

“Our officers have an added tactical advantage while on patrol,” said Officer Steve Carbajal of the LAPD Off-Road Unit in a press release. Among these tactical advantages aside from the quiet engine include the ability to go zero-to-60 in 4.4 seconds and ford water over three feet deep. The bike is designed for off-road use, but can even be used in indoor pursuits down with zero emissions. It has a top speed of 85 MPH.

via infowars

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »

Ebola virus outbreak, epidemic is out of control

Posted by Anonymous on June 24, 2014

http://img.rt.com/files/news/24/9b/50/00/000_was8471186_copy.si.jpgThe deadly Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has hit “unprecedented” proportions, according to relief workers on the ground.

“The epidemic is out of control,” Dr. Bart Janssens, director of operations for Doctors Without Borders, said in a statement.

There have been 567 cases and 350 deaths since the epidemic began in March, according to the latest World Health Organization figures.

In April, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta traveled to Conakry, Guinea, to report on what was being done to treat patients and contain the outbreak.

“It took only moments to feel the impact of what was happening here,” Gupta wrote after landing in Conakry. “There is a lot we know about Ebola, and it scares us almost as much as what we don’t know.”

Ebola outbreaks usually are confined to remote areas, making it easier to contain. But this outbreak is different; patients have been identified in 60 locations in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Officials believe the wide footprint of this outbreak is partly because of the close proximity between the jungle where the virus was first identified and cities such as Conakry. The capital in Guinea has a population of 2 million and an international airport.

People are traveling without realizing they’re carrying the deadly virus. It can take between two and 21 days after exposure for someone to feel sick.
Ebola outbreak not under control
Inside an Ebola isolation ward in Guinea

Ebola is a violent killer. The symptoms, at first, mimic the flu: headache, fever, fatigue. What comes next sounds like something out of a horror movie: significant diarrhea and vomiting, while the virus shuts off the blood’s ability to clot.

As a result, patients often suffer internal and external hemorrhaging. Many die in an average of 10 days. …

The good news is that Ebola isn’t as easily spread as one may think. A patient isn’t contagious — meaning they can’t spread the virus to other people — until they are already showing symptoms.

There is no cure or vaccine to treat Ebola, but MSF has shown it doesn’t have to be a death sentence if it’s treated early. Ebola typically kills 90% of patients. This outbreak, the death rate has dropped to roughly 60%. …

via CNN

Posted in Health, Survival | Leave a Comment »

A map of human problems

Posted by Anonymous on June 21, 2014

20140621-135253-49973427.jpgI want something I can’t find on the net, something big and important. I want a visual interactive map of human problems and where we are along the various paths to solutions. I want everyone to be able to interact with it, add to it, vote on it!

We have all this information, so organize it! Who can help? Google? I want a globe where the continents are categories.

Here is a great planet maker: http://planetmaker.wthr.us/# I’d like something like terrestrial planet X.0 with randomly generated continents like this:
http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~amitp/game-programming/polygon-map-generation/demo.html

I want to zoom in on a problem to see the bleeding edge technology with details explained so anyone could understand it.

Update:

“At this year’s CeBIT exhibition, the team from Fraunhofer IGD / Fraunhofer IDM@NTU, Singapore, presents a new, exciting, X3DOM-based prototype for fast, intuitive exploration of information, which is entitled InfoLand. Information is presented on a multi-touch interface through a graphical representation, serving as an information or marketing tool for industry partners and collaborators, researchers, and students. Information is presented in the form of text, images, videos and 3D models, which can be accessed intuitively.”

Sounds like the InfoLand engine is close to being capable of what I’m imagining, but it doesn’t seem to be available for anyone to use.  What are the big categories?

Here’s a nice model as a start, but replace the Earth continents with the human problem continents, let them take different shapes as people add content and as old ideas erode.

http://workshop.chromeexperiments.com/projects/armsglobe/

Posted in Alt Energy, Do stuff, Earth, Education, Health, human rights, Money, Physics, Survival, Technology, War | 5 Comments »

Solar Freakin’ Roadways

Posted by Anonymous on June 21, 2014

Not a good idea from an engineering point of view, but fun! For practical reasons we would be much better off building huge solar arrays across the Sahara desert, not to mention harnessing the tides.

Tides are more predictable than wind energy and solar power. Among sources of renewable energy, tidal power has traditionally suffered from relatively high cost and limited availability of sites with sufficiently high tidal ranges or flow velocities, thus constricting its total availability. However, many recent technological developments and improvements, both in design (e.g. dynamic tidal power, tidal lagoons) and turbine technology (e.g. new axial turbines, cross flow turbines), indicate that the total availability of tidal power may be much higher than previously assumed, and that economic and environmental costs may be brought down to competitive levels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_power

Posted in Alt Energy | Leave a Comment »

 
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