Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for December 26th, 2011

Utah Woman Assaults Ice Cream Truck Driver Over High Prices

Posted by Anonymous on December 26, 2011

A Utah woman faces misdemeanor charges after police say she sprayed an ice cream truck driver in the face with cleaning solution because she was upset about the driver’s prices.

Authorities in the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville say 65-year-old Andrea Chavez told them she sprayed the woman because “she charges too much for ice cream.”

The incident happened Aug. 7 at an apartment complex. Charges were filed Monday, though the reason for the delay was unknown. A message left for Salt Lake County prosecutors was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Police say the driver was briefly hospitalized after being hit in the eyes with Mean Green cleaner, a product described on its website as a blend of nontoxic, biodegradable detergents.

Court papers say Chavez fought off Taylorsville police officer Mike Ikemiyashiro when he tried to take her into custody, threatening to “sock him in the face” and kick him in the groin.

Salt Lake County sheriff’s office records show Chavez was booked into jail after the incident and held for three days. She was released when no charges were filed. By law, authorities can hold someone in jail for only 72 hours without filing charges.

On Monday prosecutors charged Chavez with four misdemeanors: assault against a police officer, assault, interfering with an officer and committing a violent offense in front of a child. If convicted, she faces a combined punishment of two and half years in the county jail. …

via Utah Woman Andrea Chavez Accused Of Assaulting Ice Cream Truck Driver’s Face Because Prices Were Too High.

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Strange Exits: Man Dies Eating Brother’s Cocaine to Spare Him Jail

Posted by Anonymous on December 26, 2011

A 20-year-old South Carolina man died after eating an ounce of cocaine his brother was hiding in his buttocks as the two were sitting in the back of a police cruiser, authorities say. Wayne Joshua Mitchell began having difficulty breathing and collapsed an hour after his older brother begged him to eat the cocaine to save him from a prison sentence, according to video of the exchange taken in the cop car. The pair had been pulled over for a malfunctioning taillight, notes the Daily Mail.

DeAngelo Mitchell, 23, likely faced a strict sentence because of earlier convictions or “strikes.” You’re “gonna eat it, you gonna chew it,” DeAngelo tells his brother on the video. “You ain’t got no strike. I can get you out. I can’t afford another strike. You my lil’ brother. I’m gonna get life.” He appears to pass the cocaine to his brother, who appears to eat it on the video. “I love you, bro,” Wayne tells DeAngelo, who is now being charged in his younger brother’s death. …

via Cops: Man Dies Eating Bro’s Cocaine to Spare Him Jail – Older brother begged sibling to eat drugs to spare him prison, say officials.

Mitchell thought he was going to get life in prison for drug possession… then he committed a crime more fitting that sentence:  killing his own little brother with cocaine from his butt.

Posted in - Video, Crime, Strange | Leave a Comment »

Bird flu: Research row as US raises terror fears

Posted by Anonymous on December 26, 2011

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/55013000/jpg/_55013566_birdfluspl.jpgUS authorities have asked the authors of two controversial bird flu studies to redact key details after a government advisory panel suggested the data could be used by terrorists.

The papers show how a bird flu variant can pass easily between ferrets.

Editors at the journals Science and Nature say they will not agree to the redactions until they are assured the data will be accessible to researchers.

A spokesman for US health authorities said such a system was being prepared.

At least one set of scientists have already rewritten their paper in light of the recommendation, Science reports.

Albert Osterhaus told Science his team “completely disagreed” with the recommendation of the panel, the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB).

But Mr Osterhaus, who believes the information should be made widely available, said an editorial explaining his team’s “genuflection” to the panel is a condition of the paper’s publication in Science.

A second research team at the University of Wisconsin, Madison is also reluctantly submitting a revised paper to Nature, a university spokesman confirmed to Science. …

via BBC News – Bird flu: Research row as US raises terror fears.


“In a darkened conference room in Malta in September, a Dutch scientist announced to a virology meeting that he had created a mutated strain of H5N1 bird flu which had the potential to spread between humans.

Dr Ron Fouchier, from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, said his team had introduced a number of genetic variations – around five – which had enabled the virus to pass between ferrets – the best animal model we have for testing whether the virus will infect humans.

So while it is not certain that the Dutch team had created a deadly human strain of bird flu, it seems to be a real possibility.

This story made headlines today but has been around for some time. The Erasmus Medical Center issued a press statement last month in which Fouchier said the discovery could help prevent a pandemic: “We now know which mutations to watch for in the case of an outbreak and we can then stop the outbreak before it is too late. Furthermore, the finding will help in the timely development of vaccinations and medication.”

The assembled virologists in Malta were told the full data would be published in due course in the journal Science. But it is being held up by a review being undertaken by the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB).” – BBC


Posted in Biology, Survival, Technology | Leave a Comment »

New Invisibility Cloak. Not Only Invisible, But Also Inaudible. As If Nothing Was There

Posted by Anonymous on December 26, 2011

http://www.alphagalileo.org/AssetViewer.aspx?AssetId=60412&CultureCode=en&MaxWidth=800&MaxHeight=400Researchers from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now succeeded in demonstrating for the first time an invisibility cloak for elastic waves. Such waves also occur in strings of a guitar or drum membranes.

It is as if Harry Potter had a cloak that also makes him unhearable. “Maybe a place of peace and quiet in the Christmas season,” say the KIT researchers, who succeeded in transferring the concepts underlying the optical invisibility cloak to acoustic waves in a plate.

“The key to controlling waves is to specifically influence their local speed as a function of the ‘running direction’ of the wave,” says Dr. Nicolas Stenger from the Institute of Applied Physics (AP). In his experiment, he used a smartly microstructured material composed of two polymers: A soft and a hard plastic in a thin plate. The vibrations of this plate are in the range of acoustic frequencies, that is some 100 Hz, and can be observed directly from above.

The scientists found that the sound waves are guided around a circular area in the millimeter-thin plate in such a way that vibrations can neither enter nor leave this area. “Contrary to other known noise protection measures, the sound waves are neither absorbed nor reflected,” says Professor Martin Wegener from the Institute of Applied Physics and coordinator of the DFG Center for Functional Nanostructures (CFN) at KIT.

via New Invisibility Cloak. Not Only Invisible, But Also Inaudible. As If Nothing Was There | Before It’s News.

Posted in Physics, Strange | 2 Comments »

Comet Lovejoy Plunges into the Sun and Survives

Posted by Anonymous on December 26, 2011

An image of Comet Lovejoy as it moves ever closer toward the sun taken on December 15, 2011 at 4:30 AM ET.Comet Lovejoy survived its rendezvous with the sun!  This image was taken by the SOHO the morning of Dec. 16, 2011.These two images were taken by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and show comet Lovejoy heading in toward the sun (top) and then emerging back out the other side (bottom).

This morning, an armada of spacecraft witnessed something that many experts thought impossible. Comet Lovejoy flew through the hot atmosphere of the sun and emerged intact.

“It’s absolutely astounding,” says Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab in Washington DC. “I did not think the comet’s icy core was big enough to survive plunging through the several million degree solar corona for close to an hour, but Comet Lovejoy is still with us.”

The comet’s close encounter was recorded by at least five spacecraft: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and twin STEREO probes, Europe’s Proba2 microsatellite, and the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. The most dramatic footage so far comes from SDO, which saw the comet go in (below) and then come back out again (above).

The comet is seen here exiting (video) from behind the right side of the sun, after an hour of travel through its closest approach to the sun. By tracking how the comet interacts with the sun’s atmosphere, the corona, and how material from the tail moves along the sun’s magnetic field lines, solar scientists hope to learn more about the corona. This movie was filmed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in 171 Angstrom wavelength, which is typically shown in yellow. Credit: NASA/SDO”

via NASA – Comet Lovejoy Plunges into the Sun and Survives.

Posted in Space, Strange | Leave a Comment »

‘Anonymous’ hackers hit US security firm Stratfor

Posted by Anonymous on December 26, 2011

Credit cardsThe activist hacker group Anonymous says it has stolen thousands of emails, passwords and credit card details from a US-based security think-tank.

The hackers claim they were able to obtain the information because the company, Stratfor, did not encrypt it.

They say Stratfor’s clients include the US defence department, law enforcement agencies and media organisations.

The Austin-based company says it has now suspended the operation on its servers and email.

An alleged member of Anonymous posted an online message, claiming that the group had used Stratfor clients’ credit card details to make “over a million dollars” in donations to different charities.

Stratfor later announced that it would keep its email and servers suspended for some time.

It also said the disclosure was “merely a list of some of the members that have purchased our publications and does not comprise a list of individuals or entities that have a relationship with Stratfor”.

Anonymous has previously claimed responsibility for cyber attacks on financial institutions seen as enemies of the whistleblowing website Wikileaks. …

via BBC News – ‘Anonymous’ hackers hit US security firm Stratfor.

Posted in Crime, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Brazil economy overtakes UK, says CEBR

Posted by Anonymous on December 26, 2011

Charcoal-producing plant in Paragominas, northern state of Para, BrazilBrazil has overtaken the UK as the world’s sixth largest economy, an economic research group has said.The Centre for Economics and Business Research CEBR said its latest World Economic League Table showed Asian countries moving up and European countries falling back.The CEBR also predicted that the UK economy would overtake France by 2016.It also said the eurozone economy would shrink 0.6% in 2012 “if the euro problem is solved”, or 2% if it is not.CEBR chief executive Douglas McWilliams told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Brazil overtaking the UK was part of a growing trend.”I think it’s part of the big economic change, where not only are we seeing a shift from the west to the east, but we’re also seeing that countries that produce vital commodities – food and energy and things like that – are doing very well and they’re gradually climbing up the economic league table,” he said.A report based on International Monetary Fund data published earlier this year also said the Brazilian economy would overtake the UK in 2011.Brazil has a population of about 200 million, more than three times the population of the UK.

via BBC News – Brazil economy overtakes UK, says CEBR.

Posted in Money | Leave a Comment »


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