Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for June, 2009

Beware of the Killer Bikini Wax!

Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2009

http://pantv.ca/blogs/smiranda/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/brazilianwax.jpgAll Jennifer (not her real name) wanted was a smooth bikini line. But within 24 hours of getting a wax at a reputable New York City salon, an infection crept in. She developed a fever of 102, chills, and pain in her left thigh. “I thought I’d caught a cold,” she says, “but after five days, the pain was worse.”

Her doctor diagnosed her with cellulitis, a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection of the skin and the underlying tissue. Jennifer spent the next 15 days in the hospital hooked up to an IV that pumped her full of antibiotics and heavy-duty painkillers. She also had surgery to drain the infection. “One doctor said I could have lost my leg!” she recalls. “It took me months to recover physically and emotionally from the whole ordeal —a steep price to pay for a little vanity.”

While there are no reliable stats on waxing-related complications, Jennifer’s experience wasn’t unique. This past March, the state of New Jersey nearly banned Brazilian waxes after two women landed in the hospital as a result of them (one of the women filed a lawsuit against the state cosmetology board). And in 2007, an Australian woman with type 1 diabetes almost died of a bacterial infection she got after a bare-it-all wax.

What makes them risky? “Pubic hair is there for a reason—to protect the sensitive skin and mucous membranes in the genital region,” explains Linda K. Franks, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine. “Getting a wax literally strips away that layer of protection.”

Waxing can also pull off tiny pieces of the skin’s outermost layer, creating a portal through which bacteria can enter the body. What’s more, the process creates inflammation, which can trap bacteria beneath the skin. All of this sets the stage for skin infections (including staph), folliculitis (infection of the hair follicles), and ingrown hairs.

“Anytime you compromise the integrity of the skin, you’re going to increase your risk of infection,” Franks says. She advises people who have diabetes, chronic kidney or liver disease, skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, or weakened immune systems to avoid waxing altogether

via Beware of the Killer Bikini Wax! – MSN Health & Fitness – Health Topics.

Posted in Health | 1 Comment »

Air freshener disrupts RAF parade

Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2009

Red Telephone BoxA suspicious package which led to an RAF parade being cancelled in Lincolnshire, has turned out to be a phone box air freshener.

A bomb disposal team exploded the black BT device, which was spotted in the red telephone box in Market Place, Boston, by a worried member of the public.

A BT spokesman said air fresheners had been installed in enclosed phone boxes for years without problems.

Boston Borough Council is working with the RAF to rearrange the parade.

The BT spokesman said: “We do put air fresheners in some phone boxes – we like to make the environment as pleasant as possible for people using a payphone to make a call.

“Some people have been known to use phone boxes for reasons other than wanting to phone someone.

“We site the air fresheners discreetly so they don’t get vandalised.”

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police said: “We had no idea what it was, it was something we’d never encountered before.”

via BBC NEWS | UK | England | Lincolnshire | Air freshener disrupts RAF parade.

When in doubt, blow it up, eh? A sensible policy. Yes, completely sane.

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Did grapefruit juice kill Michael Jackson?

Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2009

Jacko’s heirs may have to sing for their supperMichael Jackson’s death could have been caused by grapefruit juice – at least that’s one of the more bizarre theories circulating on the web.

The singer was, on the advice of a nutritionist, drinking up to 2litres a day of a grapefruit-rich smoothie for three weeks while he rehearsed for his London concerts.

He is also rumoured to have been addicted to the narcotic painkiller pethidine.

But grapefruit juice contains a substance which stops the liver breaking down pethidine into safe by-products, meaning Jacko could have been unaware a lethal dose of the drug was building up in his blood. This inadvertent overdose would also explain why his breathing was reported to have slowed before his death and tie in with his cause of death, a heart attack.

via Did grapefruit juice kill Michael Jackson? | Metro.co.uk.

Posted in Popular Culture, Strange | 1 Comment »

Tunnel vision

Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2009

Criminals of all kinds are digging tunnels along the U.S. border at a fast and furious pace. Of every tunnel ever discovered by U.S. border patrol agents, 60 percent have been found in the last three years. Agents spot a new one every month.

“All of them have been found by accident or human intelligence,” said Ed Turner, a project manager with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). “None by technology.”

To battle these secret burrows in the 21st century, S&T thinks this will have to change. In partnership with Lockheed Martin, DHS S&T is pursuing a fresh approach that uses sophisticated ground penetrating radar. The Tunnel Detection Project is part of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), a distinct office within S&T set up to think out-of-the-box. HSARPA invests in concepts offering the potential for revolutionary changes in homeland security technologies. If successful, the tunnel detection technology will help agents locate and plug tunnels almost as fast as the criminals can dig them.

While most tunnels are used to move drugs or people, they could also be used to move in weapons and explosives for a terrorist attack. Tunnels are a serious challenge for border patrol agents because they can begin and end almost anywhere; their entrances and exits are often hidden inside old warehouses or under trees; if old ones are discovered, new ones are quickly begun.

Initially, S&T explored the possibility of an unmanned aircraft equipped with radar technology that would fly along the border searching for tunnels. While this concept remains a goal, Department scientists and agents realize that most of the existing tunnels run through large urban centers where they are difficult to spot from satellite imagery. In addition, the airborne radar’s radio frequency signals pose privacy concerns if they cross into someone’s home.

The new design technology is to place the radar antennas in a trailer that will be towed by a Border Patrol truck. The antennas shoot a signal directly into the ground and use it to construct a multi-colored picture of the earth. Tunnels show up as red, yellow, and aquamarine dots against a blue background. Border patrols agents would see these images on a monitor mounted inside their truck.

Ground penetrating radar is a promising technology because it is already used by civil engineers to reconstruct underground images.

via Tunnel vision.

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »

Everything Works Out Fine, YouTube Video

Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2009

Thanks to JES for putting images to my song Everything Works Out Fine.

Posted in - Video, Music | 2 Comments »

Is Michael Jackson Really Dead?

Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2009

Recent appearances of Michael Jackson have prompted rumours by many fans that Michael Jackson has employed a “look-alike” body double to carry the burden of the up-coming world tour.

The shock news that pop legend Michael Jackson has suffered a fatal cardiac arrest at the age of 50 has sent his fans reeling. The big question is, was it really Michael Jackson who died?

Many who watched the press announcement for the up-coming world tour were convinced that it was not the real Jacko…….but a body double that faced the eager press.

Many devoted fans watching world tour announcement and other recent appearances commented that his hands, face, stature and general demeanour and mannerisms were unfamiliar (beyond any consequences of physical surgery), leading to rumours of a body double.

For a 50 year old man who has been rumoured to have suffered from Skin Cancer, Skin Disease, a debilitating Spider Bite, requirement for a lung transplant, addiction to Vicodin, nervous exhaustion, cosmetic surgery complications, to name a few, the prospect of a strenuous world tour would be a virtual impossibility.

Music journalists reported on sky news on the night of the announcement of his death that Michael Jackson was only contracted to perform for a few minutes on stage for each of the tour dates, suggesting that a well trained “look-alike” may stand in, secretly, for the bulk of the performances.

via Is Michael Jackson Really Dead? | Newsflavor.

It is kind of a tradition, perhaps started by Elvis (or was it Hitler?), that if you get world famous (or infamous), there will be rumors that the news of your death has been greatly exaggerated.

Posted in Popular Culture, Strange | 27 Comments »

Uranium Found on the Moon

Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2009

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_e3gDaHO8VLQ/SRvSj-BPy0I/AAAAAAAAGUc/ejHjMpxS2XM/s320/moon_rocks.jpgUranium exists on the moon, according to new data from a Japanese spacecraft.

The findings are the first conclusive evidence for the presence of the radioactive element in lunar dirt, the researchers said. They announced the discovery recently at the 40th Lunar and Planetary Conference and at the Proceedings of the International Workshop Advances in Cosmic Ray Science.

The revelation suggests that nuclear power plants could be built on the moon, or even that Earth’s satellite could serve as a mining source for uranium needed back home.

The Japanese Kaguya spacecraft, which was launched in 2007, detected uranium with a gamma-ray spectrometer. Scientists are using the instrument to create maps of the moon’s surface composition, showing the presence of thorium, potassium, oxygen, magnesium, silicon, calcium, titanium and iron.

“We’ve already gotten uranium results, which have never been reported before,” said Robert Reedy, a senior scientist at the Tucson-based Planetary Science Institute, and a member of the Kaguya science team. “We’re getting more new elements and refining and confirming results found on the old maps.”

The findings could help decide where to build future lunar colonies, since manned outposts will need energy, and could potentially derive it from nuclear power plants.

Furthermore, since uranium supplies on Earth are scarce, mining uranium on the moon to satisfy our energy needs at home could prove lucrative.

Kaguya, officially named SELENE (“Selenological and Engineering Explorer”), crashed into the lunar surface at the end of its mission on June 10.

via Uranium Found on the Moon – Yahoo! News.

Posted in Alt Energy, Radiation, Space, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Nurse: Surgeon Threw Human Tissue on Her

Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2009

http://www.emergiblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/05/em-1953nurses.jpgA Colorado nurse says a heart surgeon tossed bloody human tissue at her during an operation, then the hospital demoted her after she complained.

Sonja Morris is suing Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs. In papers filed Friday, Morris claims that Dr. Bryan Mahan tossed a piece of human heart tissue at her during a 2008 open-heart surgery. Morris said the 4-by-6-inch piece of protective heart tissue hit her on the leg and that Mahan joked about throwing it.

Morris says she was demoted off a heart surgery team after complaining about the tissue incident and other harassment.

The lawsuit names only the hospital, not the surgeon. A Memorial Hospital spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit.

via Nurse: Surgeon Threw Human Tissue on Her.

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Nearly one in five Italians trusts sorcerers

Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2009

Nearly one in five Italians trusts sorcerers: watchdog Nearly 18 percent of the Italian population — 11 million people — trusts self-styled sorcerers and healers, a consumer watchdog said in a report Monday.

The group Telefono Antiplagio found more than 16,000 cases of people being scammed by sorcerers and healers since 1994. There are 155,000 sorcerers and healers active in Italy.

Every day, 33,000 people see sorcerers or astrologers in Italy, the study found.

The top reason for seeing a sorcerer is to soothe a broken heart (46 percent), followed by health problems (25 percent), violence (22 percent) and trouble at work (seven percent).

via Nearly one in five Italians trusts sorcerers: watchdog – Yahoo! News.

Posted in Paranormal, Strange | Leave a Comment »

The panopticon economy

Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2009

Surrounded by barbwire fencing, the anonymous yet massive building on West Military Drive near San Antonio’s Loop 410 freeway looms mysteriously with no identifying signs of any kind. Surveillance is tight, with security cameras surrounding the under-construction building. Readers are advised not to take any photos unless you care to be detained for at least a 45-minute interrogation by the National Security Agency, as this reporter was.

There’s a strangely blurry line during such an interrogation. After viewing the five photos I’d taken of the NSA’s new Texas Cryptology Center, the NSA officer asked if I would delete them. When I asked if he was ordering me to do so, he said no; he was asking as a personal favor. I declined and was eventually released.

America’s top spy agency has taken over the former Sony microchip plant and is transforming it into a new data-mining headquarters — oddly positioned directly across the street from a 24-hour Walmart — where billions of electronic communications will be sifted in the agency’s mission to identify terrorist threats.

“No longer able to store all the intercepted phone calls and e-mail in its secret city, the agency has now built a new data warehouse in San Antonio, Texas,” writes author James Bamford in the Shadow Factory, his third book about the NSA. “Costing, with renovations, upwards of $130 million, the 470,000-square-foot facility will be almost the size of the Alamodome. Considering how much data can now be squeezed onto a small flash drive, the new NSA building may eventually be able to hold all the information in the world.”

Bamford’s book focuses on the NSA’s transformation since 9/11, with the impetus for the new facility being a direct ramification of those attacks. At the time, the NSA had only about 7 percent of its facilities outside the Washington D.C./Baltimore area. But the realization that additional attacks could virtually wipe out the agency catalyzed a regional expansion. [See “Secret Agency Man,” November 5, 2008.]

The new facility is a potential boon to the local economy since it’s reportedly going to employ around 1,500 people, but questions remain about whether there will be adequate oversight to prevent civil-rights violations like Uncle Sam’s recent notorious warrantless wiretapping program. The NSA would suggest the facility’s ability to sort through surveillance data is one of America’s top defenses against terrorist threats, but the NSA’s presence comes with concerns that abuse of its secretive power could see the agency become akin to the “Thought Police” of 1984, George Orwell’s classic novel depicting the nightmare of a total surveillance society — and all for nothing. Even as the facility is completed, a new government-backed report has concluded that data surveillance is an ineffective method for identifying potential terrorists or preventing attacks. …

via SA Current – NEWS+FEATURES: The panopticon economy.

Ah. So everything I ever type on this blog will be archived forever in some secret underground government computer… and based on what I have written, the computer can determine what I will and will not do.  It would be nice if they would provide some added service to ordinary citizens. … like fortunes, or advice:  “Based on your profile, the NSA Superbrain recommends that you stop eating walnuts and buy a large screen TV in October.”

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »

 
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