Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for January 20th, 2012

Utah School Board Says Cougar Mascot Too Offensive To Women

Posted by Anonymous on January 20, 2012

One Utah school district believes a cougar mascot would be insensitive to women.

The Canyons School District overrode the students top choice of a cougar mascot for their high school that is to be completed in 2013.

Would-be Corner Canyon High School students chose the Cougars as their mascot — a name principal Mary Bailey said carries an ugly connotation that is disrespectful to women.

In popular culture, the cougar is a sexually aggressive middle-aged woman who attracts younger men.

The school board, which consists of six men and one woman, thought the Charger would be more appropriate, which was on the ballot but failed to appeal to students as the cougar had.

Cougars — the large mountain cats — are popular in Utah. Brigham Young University, considered conservative, uses the cougar for its mascot.

via Utah School Board Says Cougar Mascot Too Offensive To Women « CBS Las Vegas.

Posted in Strange | Leave a Comment »

Calif. HS student devises possible cancer cure

Posted by Anonymous on January 20, 2012

If you ever worry about the future of America, there is no need: it is in good hands. A high school student named Angela is proof of that. We think you’ll agree she is nothing short of amazing. CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman met her on the road.

Born to Chinese immigrants, 17-year-old Angela Zhang of Cupertino, California is a typical American teenager. She’s really into shoes and is just learning how to drive.

But there is one thing that separates her from every other student at Monta Vista High School, something she first shared with her chemistry teacher, Kavita Gupta.

It’s a research paper Angela wrote in her spare time — and it is advanced, to say the least. Gupta says all she knows is its recipe — for curing cancer.

“Cure for cancer — a high school student,” said Gupta. “It’s just so mind-boggling. I just cannot even begin to comprehend how she even thought about it or did this.”

“I just thought, ‘Why not?’ ‘What is there to lose?’” said Angela.

When she was a freshman, she started reading doctorate level papers on bio-engineering.

“At first it was a little bit overwhelming,” said Angela, “but I found that it almost became like a puzzle, being able to decode something.”

By sophomore year she’d talked her way into the lab at Stanford, and by junior year was doing her own research.

In a lab area, Hartman asked Angela: “Try and make it for a feeble mind, such as this one, to understand.”

Angela: “So I made something that’s an iron-oxide, gold dangle…

Hartman: “You lost me.” (laughter)

Eventually, here’s what he did get.

Angela’s idea was to mix cancer medicine in a polymer that would attach to nanoparticles — nanoparticles that would then attach to cancer cells and show up on an MRI. so doctors could see exactly where the tumors are. Then she thought shat if you aimed an infrared light at the tumors to melt the polymer and release the medicine, thus killing the cancer cells while leaving healthy cells completely unharmed.

“I think it was more of a — ‘This is really cool, I want to see if it works’ — type thing,” she said.

“And when you found out it did…” asked Hartman.

“That was pretty amazing.”

It’ll take years to know if it works in humans — but in mice — the tumors almost completely disappeared.

Angela recently entered her project in the national Siemens science contest. It was no contest. She got a check for $100,000 and promptly bought about a dozen more pairs of shoes.

“I got these shoes because they’re purple and I didn’t have purple yet,” she explained.

Easy to forget, she is still high school. It’s just her dreams that keep graduating.

“I’m excited to learn just everything possible,” she said. “Everything in the sciences — biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, even computer science — to make new innovations possible.”

Pretty big flats to fill. How will she top her cancer discovery? We can’t wait.

via Calif. HS student devises possible cancer cure – CBS News.

… The judges awarded the top individual $100,000 prize to Angela Zhang of Cupertino, California for a nanotechnology design. The high school student working under the mentorship of Dr. Zhen Cheng of Stanford University devoted almost 1,000 hours to the project. Announcing her award, Siemens explained that the targeted gold and iron oxide-based nanoparticle has the potential to eradicate cancer stem cells through a controlled delivery of the drug salinomycin to the site of the tumor. The multifunctional nanoparticle combines therapy and imaging into a single platform, with the gold and iron-oxide components allowing for both MRI and Photoacoustic imaging.

via bson

Posted in Biology, Health, Technology | 1 Comment »

Why (and how) is NASA censoring an 8-minute sci-fi horror movie?

Posted by Anonymous on January 20, 2012

We know the space program’s been slow lately, but we never expected the people at NASA to be so bored that they’d take time out of their day to look at someone’s sci-fi short film and say “Nah, that’s not going out.” But wait, how does NASA have the ability to block a movie’s release, and why would they care in the first place?

Well, because it was filmed on their space station.

The short is called Apogee of Fear, and it was shot on board the International Space Station by millionaire videogame designer and space tourist Richard Garriott, who spent $300 million of his own cash to fly to the ISS in October 2008. Last week marked the release of Man on a Mission, a documentary chronicling Garriott’s flight, but his other flick is still in the dark because NASA won’t sign off on publicly screening it.

Why? Well, because NASA essentially paid for the sets, the production design and the cast.

“NASA has, so far, decided that since it’s filmed onboard NASA hardware and uses NASA astronauts as actors, they have resisted me releasing it publicly,” Garriott told Space.com.

The film stars astronauts Mike Fincke and Greg Chamitoff and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov, who all discover that there’s an unexplained increase in oxygen use onboard the ISS and realize that an alien life form is the only explanation. Garriott has shown the film privately, but he can’t show it publicly until NASA gives permission, and so far they’ve been unwilling to let Apogee of Fear out.

But Garriott’s not getting mad just yet. He sees what’s happened so far as the “default” reaction for NASA. After all, this is the first time someone’s shot a fiction-based film in outer space.

“It’s just that the default answer is no,” Garriott said.

With any luck, NASA will eventually cave and Garriott will get to release his opus to the world. Then we get to find out which is scarier: an alien onboard the ISS or astronauts trying to act.

(Space.com via TG Daily)

via Why (and how) is NASA censoring an 8-minute sci-fi horror movie? | Blastr.

Posted in - Video, Science Fiction, Space | Leave a Comment »

Megaupload shut down by US officials. Anonymous targets DOJ and FBI websites in retaliation

Posted by Anonymous on January 20, 2012

Megaupload logo

Megaupload, one of the internet’s largest file-sharing sites, has been shut down by officials in the US.

The site’s founders have been charged with violating piracy laws.

Federal prosecutors have accused it of costing copyright holders more than $500m (£320m) in lost revenue. The firm says it was diligent in responding to complaints about pirated material.

In response, the hackers group Anonymous has targeted the FBI and US Department of Justice websites.

The news came a day after anti-piracy law protests, but investigators said they were ordered two weeks ago.

The US Justice Department said that Megaupload’s two co-founders Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, and Mathias Ortmann were arrested in Auckland, New Zealand along with two other employees of the business at the request of US officials. It added that three other defendants were still at large.

“This action is among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States and directly targets the misuse of a public content storage and distribution site to commit and facilitate intellectual property crime,” said a statement posted on its website.

The FBI website was intermittently unavailable on Thursday evening due to what officials said was being “treated as a malicious act”.

The hackers’ group Anonymous said it was carrying out the attacks.

The Motion Picture Association of America’s website also suffered disruption.

The move comes one day after many websites including Wikipedia and Craigslist shut down in protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA).

Link

Posted in Control Freaks, Crime, Politics, Technology | Leave a Comment »

SOPA/Protect IP – Putting An End To Youtube

Posted by Anonymous on January 20, 2012

SOPA/Protect IP – Putting An End To Youtube – Help Stop This! [Senate Votes January 24th, 2012] – YouTube.

Posted in - Video, Politics, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Ex-wife Claims Gingrich Sought ‘open Marriage,’ Gingrich Calls Allegation False

Posted by Anonymous on January 20, 2012

gingrich_sc_011812.jpg

Newt Gingrich’s second ex-wife told ABC News that the Republican presidential candidate sought an “open marriage” and that his campaign positions do not coincide with what she saw during their 18 years of marriage.

Marianne Gingrich, in her first television interview since the couple’s 1999 divorce, told ABC News that when Gingrich admitted to a six-year affair with a congressional aide, he asked her if she would share him with the other woman, Callista, who is now married to Gingrich.

“And I just stared at him and he said, ‘Callista doesn’t care what I do,’” Marianne Gingrich told ABC News. “He was asking to have an open marriage and I refused…that is not a marriage.”

Marianne Gingrich detailed her “shock” regarding the former House speaker’s behavior and said she learned he conducted his affair with Callista “in my bedroom in our apartment in Washington.”

“He always called me at night,” she told ABC News, “and always ended with ‘I love you.’ Well, she was listening.”

This occurred, according to Marianne Gingrich, during the same time Gingrich condemned President Bill Clinton for his lack of moral leadership. …

Marianne Gingrich’s account of her husband’s infidelity was detailed in an interview with Esquire Magazine in 2010, in which she had scathing words for her former husband, who conducted an extramarital affair with then-congressional aide Callista Bisek during Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceedings.

In that account, Marianne said Gingrich proposed to Callista before he asked her for a divorce and an end to their 18-year marriage. “He believes that what he says in public and how he lives don’t have to be connected,” she said in the interview.
via Ex-wife Claims Gingrich Sought ‘open Marriage,’ Gingrich Calls Allegation False | Fox News.

This is the kind of junk we get, instead of everyone working together to find the best solution to our real problems: fixing the economy, education, promoting world peace, alternative energy, health, etc.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

iPhone app: Sleep Talk Recorder

Posted by Anonymous on January 20, 2012

Do you snore? Talk in your sleep? You might be surprised! Sleep Talk Recorder

Check out this application:

Cover Art

Sleep Talk Recorder

MadInSweden

Category: Utilities

Updated: Aug 04, 2011

view_item_button.png

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »

iPhone app: Heart Rate Monitor

Posted by Anonymous on January 20, 2012

Check this out, a free app that uses your camera to read your pulse from your finger.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/instant-heart-rate-free/id409625068?mt=8

20120119-204230.jpg

Posted in Health, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Paranormalia: Plans for the Million Dollar Challenge?

Posted by Anonymous on January 20, 2012

The Million Dollar Challenge, in case you don’t know, is an offer by “The Amazing Randi” a magician who offered a million dollars to anyone who can demonstrate a paranormal ability such as moving an object with his/her mind.

“At JREF, we offer a one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. … All tests are designed with the participation and approval of the applicant. In most cases, the applicant will be asked to perform a relatively simple preliminary test of the claim, which if successful, will be followed by the formal test. Preliminary tests are usually conducted by associates of the JREF at the site where the applicant lives. Upon success in the preliminary testing process, the “applicant” becomes a “claimant.”

To date, no one has passed the preliminary tests.” – randi.org

Robert McLuhan writes:

I’ve been listening to a conversation between organisers of James Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge. They were discussing a test of psychics that they organised for ABC’s Primetime Nightline show last summer. It was quite revealing.

The test was set up by the stage magician Banacheck, DJ Grothe (president of the James Randi Educational Foundation), and Jamy Ian Swiss, also a magician and one of JREF’S resident experts on psychics. The clip can’t be viewed outside the US, so I can’t comment on how it went. But I was struck by the comments of Grothe and Swiss afterwards.

They categorise psychics in three ways. First there are the celebrities, led by the ‘Unholy Trinity’ of John Edward, James van Praagh and Sylvia Browne. Such people do great harm and make big bucks scamming ordinary people, they complain. They’re desperate for scientific endorsement – if they get one they’ll never stop talking about it – yet at the same time they’re ‘desperately afraid’ to submit themselves to proper scientific testing. That’s why none of them ever pitches for the million dollars.

Then there are the ‘store-front’ psychics, who offer quick readings off the street for a token fee, then try to bilk their customers with expensive cures for invented ills. The JREF folks were dismayed to learn that Nightline was targeting these people as potential participants, as of course none would submit to testing – and none did.

However they got a number of takers from their third category. These are psychics in the spirituality and New Age community, some of whom accidentally found out about the show and were keen to take part. Swiss calls them ‘shut-eyes’, by which he means people who actually believe that their psychic powers are real.

Grothe was fascinated by this. The idea of a faker who doesn’t realise he/she is faking seemed to be a new idea for him. The psychics he met in the studio were all warm, sincere and kind-hearted, he commented with surprise. It’s true, there really are such people, Swiss explained; they just don’t realise that what they do is illusory.

Swiss went on to comment that sceptics are far too quick to assume they know what is going on in other people’s minds. I’d say that hardly states the case. If they weren’t so stuck in their ideological bubble these guys would know that psychic vision isn’t just a game played by con artists – it’s a mental process that people experience – more often than one would think.

via Paranormalia: Plans for the Million Dollar Challenge?.

My experience ( see Xeno’s Tree Dream) leads me to believe that we have, occasionally, perceptions outside of the normal flow of time. Also, people do benefit from the advice of psychics, priests or anyone else who takes time speaking to a lot of other people about problems. I have a toe in the paranormal belief camp, but I take a lot of convincing. If people are living a lie but don’t know it and end up helping others with their imagined psychic superpowers, the benefits people get are still real. For example, I know someone who may have been cured of a deadly cancer by John of God… Or not by him, but by her belief in him mobilizing her immune system in some miraculous way.

Posted in Paranormal | Leave a Comment »

The Great Pyramid of Garut?

Posted by Anonymous on January 20, 2012

A pyramid far older and larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza, may have been discovered in Indonesia.

Mount Sadahurip in Garut, West Java, dubbed the “Garut Pyramid,” has been undergoing verification tests by the Ancient Catastrophic Disaster Team to see if the mount is indeed based upon a man-made structure.

By using geo-electric instruments, surveyors are measuring the resistance of the geological layers, while seeking additional funding to begin excavations. An initial survey determined that the structure is unlikely to be of natural formation.

A 3D contour plot of topographical digital data supports the following hypothesis, “There exists an anomaly formation made of sinder cone located on a horizontal unconformity intrusion base.” Carbon-14 dating shows that the age of the ancient top soil dates back to at least 6000 BC, while the age of the hard soil in the lower strat is from 7500 BC.

Prior to testing, a series of excavations were carried out claiming, “that a number of covert rock inscriptions were spotted,” and that the pyramid buried within the hill would be larger than that of the Great Pyramid of Giza. “The height is estimated to reach 200 meters,” and “it was figured to have been constructed around 10,000 years ago.”

The Deutsche Orient-Gesellscaaft (DOG), with research Prof. Bonatz, will meet with another interested researcher, Stephen Oppenheimer of Oxford University, and author of Eden in the East, in Bali to discuss a way to fast-track excavation. More research will be necessary to determine the validity of these unorthodox claims.

via The Great Pyramid of Garut? | Reality Sandwich.

The phenomenon of “Garut Pyramid” found on a mount in Garut, West Java, has encouraged the Ancient Catastrophic Disaster Team to conduct verification.

The verification is carried out to determine the existence of a man-made structure that formed Mount Putri in Garut using Superstring geo-electric instruments.  The geo-electric instruments were used to scan geological layers on the hill by measuring its resistivity.

In a written statement received by VIVAnews, Monday, Dec 19, a member of the Ancient Catastrophic Disaster Team, Iwan Sumule, said that the results of the geo-electric instruments within 20 meters and 10 meters electrodes showed that there was a horizontal unconformity on the intrusion (red) rocks within around 120 meters from the summit.

The finding shows that the right-side intrusion branch seems to form a terrain morphological base that has similar topographical elevation with Cirahong valley.  Then, the 120 meter-limit seems to coincide with the base of a steeper ascending topography, where the rocks turn red.

Moreover, the results of the geo-electric instruments within 5 and 3 meters stretch East-West and North-South confirmed the conclusion that the structure is highly unlikely to be of natural formation. …

via vivanews.com

Posted in Archaeology | 1 Comment »

 
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