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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 45372 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8700 on: Jun 24th, 2013, 08:14am »

on Jun 23rd, 2013, 08:53am, riverrat wrote:
HUH! hard to believe that part of the world could have a catastrophic drought.



Good morning Riverrat,

I know, it would be like the North Puget Sound having a drought. Hard to fathom.

Crystal

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8701 on: Jun 24th, 2013, 08:17am »

on Jun 23rd, 2013, 3:59pm, philliman wrote:
sad

"I Am Sorry That It Has Come to This": A Soldier's Last Words
http://gawker.com/i-am-sorry-that-it-has-come-to-this-a-soldiers-last-534538357



Good morning Phil,

Heartbreaking.


Crystal



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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8702 on: Jun 24th, 2013, 08:22am »

on Jun 23rd, 2013, 4:57pm, Swamprat wrote:
Wow, Phil! That is simply......sad.......terrifying.......infuriating.

It hi-lights a huge shortfall in our support of veterans; not to mention questioning how we use them!


Good morning Swamprat,

This generation of soldiers have been used for a decade again and again and again. Awful. Then they come home and are basically thrown away. I thought I heard them say yesterday on the news that half of our homeless are vets.

Crystal

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8703 on: Jun 24th, 2013, 08:24am »

on Jun 23rd, 2013, 9:52pm, jjflash wrote:
I am very sorry. I am sorry for that segment of American history, its toll on the service personnel and its toll on their loved ones.

Thank you for your service, efforts and courage, swamprat. I personally appreciate it from all.


Good morning Jjflash,

Bless you for saying that. It isn't heard often enough.

Crystal



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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8704 on: Jun 24th, 2013, 08:26am »

Guardian

French Alps murders: man arrested over murder of British family

Arrested man is thought to be brother of Saad al-Hilli, who was gunned down along with his wife and mother-in-law last year

by James Meikle
guardian.co.uk, Monday 24 June 2013 07.56 EDT

Police investigating the killing of a British family in French Alps last year have arrested a 54-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.

The man is said by Sky News to be his brother of Saad al-Hilli, 50, who was shot dead along with his wife, Iqbal, 47, and her mother, Suhaila al-Allaf, 74, near lake Annecy in the Haute Savoie in September. The couple's daughters, Zainab, then aged seven, was shot in the shoulder and beaten on the head in the attack while Zeena, four, escaped unhurt after hiding in the footwell of the family's BMW estate under the skirt of her dead mother for eight hours.

A passing cyclist, Sylvain Mollier, 45,who appeared to have stumbled across the scene, was also killed in the attack, which French investigators have suspected was a contract killing.

Surrey police, who have been working with French detectives, said in a statement: "Detectives investigating the deaths of four people near Annecy, southern France, in September last year have this morning, 24 June 2013, arrested a man on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.

"The 54-year-old man was detained at an address in Chessington, Surrey at around 7.30am and is currently in police custody, where he will be interviewed."

The statement added: "As part of the joint investigation team (JIT), which was established on 21 September last year, officers from the Surrey and Sussex major crime team have been working closely with the French authorities to progress a number of lines of enquiry. This pre-planned arrest is a result of these ongoing enquiries."

Saad al-Hilli's brother Zaid, who lives in Surrey and is in his 50s, has previously denied any feud over a family inheritance.

Police inquiries into the case have spread to a number of other countries including Iraq, the former Yugoslavia and Switzerland.

The two girls are reportedly in the care of a foster family.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/24/french-alps-shootings-man-arrested

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8705 on: Jun 24th, 2013, 09:01am »






Published on Jun 24, 2013

~

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8706 on: Jun 24th, 2013, 09:09am »

Scientific American

How Perfect Is Perfect Pitch?

By Scicurious | June 24, 2013

When I was in college, the choir director used to begin every rehearsal with “Sing me an A!”. The 100 person choir would muddle around, with often hilariously off key results. Over the year, we’d get better and better, usually because we’d tune in to the few people in the choir who we KNEW had perfect pitch, the ability to name a music note (and then, hopefully, produce it) without the aid of another note to give them a clue.

And usually, if we all tuned in to the people with perfect pitch, we turned out ok. But sometimes…sometimes even THEN we didn’t. Then the people with perfect pitch would look pretty embarrassed. After all, perfect pitch is supposed to be, well, PERFECT!

But is it really?

Hedger et al. “Absolute Pitch May Not Be So Absolute” Psychological Science, 2013.

Most people can SORT of remember a note from day to day or from hour to hour. That A might vary a pitch or two (or three) up or down from day to day, but it’s often (for trained musicians, anyway) in the rough range. But people with absolute pitch are spot on, varying by only 0.05 semitones within a day.

But how does it work? Some scientists hypothesize that people with perfect pitch establish the pitches early on in life, and they then never change, and that there might even be a physical neural map for the notes laid down in these people. But these scientists were not so sure. They hypothesized that people with perfect pitch were still dependent on what they were listening to. If this is the case, then you SHOULD be able to get someone with perfect pitch…out of tune. If people with absolute pitch just learn early and then maintain the pitches, then changing the pitches around them should not be able to “mess them up”. They should always be able to tell if a pitch matches their interior learned pitch. In contrast, if someone maintains their pitch by hearing pitches around them constantly, then changing someone’s pitch experience (by exposing them to off key pitches) should make them go off key as well.

To test this, the authors of this study wanted to see if they could shake up a sense of perfect pitch. They didn’t want to just expose the subjects to jarring pitches. In the words of the authors:


It is said that if you want to boil a frog alive, you cannot
simply drop the frog into boiling water because it will
hop right out. Instead, you need to place the frog in cold
water and raise the temperature in such small steps that
the frog does not perceive a particular increase.


Just as someone with absolute pitch would probably notice immediately if they were off key, a frog will notice when you drop it in boiling water. So for this study, the authors slowly “turned up the temperature” of the pitches. They took 13 participants who they confirmed to have absolute pitch. Then, after testing their abilities, they had them listen to Brahams symphony number 1 in C minor.

No word on why they picked this particular piece, but there you have it. The symphony started out in tune, but during the first 15 minutes, the tuning was gradually tweaked, at such a slow rate that it could not be detected, ending at a pitch that was 33 cents off the original (in this case, it went flat), will within most people’s ability to detect a difference. The participants then heard the rest of the entire symphony off key.

Afterward, they were tested for pitch perception again. And the participants, all with absolute pitch…were flat.

more after the jump:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/scicurious-brain/2013/06/24/how-perfect-is-perfect-pitch/

Crystal

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8707 on: Jun 24th, 2013, 09:12am »

Der Spiegel

Surveillance: The Public Must Fight for its Right to Privacy

A Commentary by Christian Stöcker

June 24 2013

The British-American surveillance program Tempora marks a historic turning point. Unnoticed by the public, intelligence agencies have pursued total surveillance. Governments have deliberately concealed from the public the extent to which we are being watched.

The term, "information superhighway" has always been insufficient to describe the Internet. In reality, the Web is a global communication space containing the private information of a large part of the population of every developed country. If someone were able to train an all-seeing eye onto the Internet, the blackmail potential would be almost limitless.

It is precisely this all-seeing eye that the British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the American National Security Agency (NSA) have developed under the name Tempora. An appropriate real-world metaphor for the program might be something like this: In every room of every house and every apartment, cameras and microphones are installed, every letter is opened and copied, every telephone tapped. Everything that happens is recorded and can be accessed as needed.

It sounds preposterous, but it is frighteningly close to the reality that was unveiled by the Guardian on Friday. Together, the GCHQ and NSA monitor Internet traffic by tapping directly into the data stream sent through fiber-optic cables. They are able to copy and cache this data, to be sifted through later as needed.

Those behind this disgraceful program have not even bothered to deny what they are up to. The British spy agency has said it will not be commenting on the program -- but said that whatever they do is in the service of the fight against terrorism and subject to strict legal controls. The NSA has been making this same argument since the Prism program was unveiled earlier this month. What we're doing, they say, is for a good cause. It's all regulated, and we're only looking at the information collected when we deem it necessary.

But that's all just pretence.

Would the public agree to the total video surveillance of their private living space because it could possibly also help in the pursuit of terrorists? Would we be satisfied with the fact that we would only be observed if some unnamed intelligence analyst considered it necessary? Of course not. A government proposing such a program would be forced out of office -- and rightly so.

Where is the Outrage?

It therefore seems odd that the reactions in the Anglo-Saxon world have been so restrained. Sure, the Guardian, as well as the Washington Post, have reported in detail about the programs. Yet in the political sphere, it was mainly a few German politicians voicing their outrage.

And for good reason. The fact that the Americans and the British -- it is yet to be revealed who else participated -- have granted themselves this enormous power, without ever informing their own people, is a scandal of historic proportions. To the initiated, all the recent public debate about data retention, Internet privacy and the practices of Facebook and Google must have been downright amusing. The state, as it turns out, knew everything all along.

That was precisely the goal, according to the head of the NSA, Lieutenant General Keith Alexander. "Why can't we collect all the signals all the time?" he asked in an internal document acquired by the Guardian. "Sounds like a good summer project for Menwith," he continued, referring to a GCHQ facility at Menwith Hill in northern England.

Voters Must Defend Themselves

A different quote shows that intelligence personnel lied to the public following the first revelations of the existence of the program. European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said that, in meetings with US officials, she had been assured that data from Europeans had not been collected "in bulk." The surveillance of Europeans, they insisted to Reding, had been targeted and only undertaken in exceptional cases. That now appears to be untrue -- it's just that the mass acquisition of data in Europe is taken care of by GCHQ, rather than by the NSA.

The public revelation of these activities in the Guardian, thanks to the risky actions of former NSA worker Edward Snowden, marks a turning point. The next weeks and months will show whether democratic societies across the world are strong enough to take a stand against the unlimited, totalitarian ambitions of Western secret services -- or not.

The governments of the countries in question apparently did not have the necessary backbone. They knew full well that the kind of surveillance being undertaken lacked all democratic legitimacy. But they pursued the programs anyway, behind the backs of their electorates.

It is now up to voters to defend themselves. It is up to us, whose data has landed as by-catch in the nets of Tempora. We must force our own representatives to defend our freedoms.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/public-must-fight-against-prism-and-tempora-surveillance-a-907495.html

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8708 on: Jun 24th, 2013, 10:41am »

"... The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions.

Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control..."
... President John F. Kennedy

Kennedy spoke these words in his address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, April 27, 1961.
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8709 on: Jun 24th, 2013, 1:55pm »

Thanks for your posts, Crystal and Swamprat. Great posts.

As Swamp and some others have observed about my blogging and whatnot, my interest in UFOs evolved into interests in the intelligence community and related issues. I took particular interest in some individuals alleging abuse from the US Federal government. In researching such circumstances, one finds them self quickly wading through issues undeniably surrounding the Vietnam War, the mistreatment of veterans as demonstrated in a lawsuit, Vietnam Veterans of America et al. v CIA et al., about to go to trial and, of course, Project MKULTRA.

Extremely controversial actions undertaken by the CIA and subcontractors in MKULTRA were the intentional administration of emotional trauma, as described in philliman's posted article. The military perspective of such activities goes something like this: It being a given that traumatized people behave in manners that might be advantageous to manipulate, then perhaps it could be useful to explore intentionally inducing such trauma and experimenting with its control. While such lines of reasoning might could be argued to a frightened Cold War-era series of administrations, it could also be argued that, from a practical perspective, such mindsets are, in a word, insane. Mad scientists on the loose.

But propaganda is indeed a force of which to be reckoned. MKULTRA was initially sold to funding politicians under such mentalities as 'the Russians will get us if we don't get them first' and 'we have to understand how to screw with people's heads in order to know how to best defend our heads from being screwed with'. The truth of the matter was more as John Marks wrote in his groundbreaking The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, "Nearly every Agency document stressed goals like 'controlling an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against such fundamental laws of nature as self preservation.' On reading one such memo, an Agency officer wrote to his boss: 'If this is supposed to be covered up as a defensive feasibility study, it's pretty damn transparent.'"

But perhaps the most concerning aspect of such goings ons, at least as they relate to such points as made in recent posts in this thread, was a point eventually released by the Church Committee. Senator Frank Church headed a group which, circa 1970s, delved into just what in the hell had been going on within the Central Intelligence Agency since its 1947 advent. Among the abuse of military personnel, drugging citizens and conducting what were termed "terminal" experiments, or research resulting in the loss of human life, all in the name of supposed national security, Frank Church demonstrated that the CIA sought proper approval for the activities from the Executive Office once in 25 years. Once. In 25 years.

That is not a covert operation. It is an effing coup.

Thanks again for your posts and interest. It is appreciated.
« Last Edit: Jun 24th, 2013, 4:39pm by jjflash » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8710 on: Jun 24th, 2013, 4:51pm »

on Jun 24th, 2013, 1:55pm, jjflash wrote:
Thanks for your posts, Crystal and Swamprat. Great posts.

As Swamp and some others have observed about my blogging and whatnot, my interest in UFOs evolved into interests in the intelligence community and related issues. I took particular interest in some individuals alleging abuse from the US Federal government. In researching such circumstances, one finds them self quickly wading through issues undeniably surrounding the Vietnam War, the mistreatment of veterans as demonstrated in a lawsuit, Vietnam Veterans of America et al. v CIA et al., about to go to trial and, of course, Project MKULTRA.

Extremely controversial actions undertaken by the CIA and subcontractors in MKULTRA were the intentional administration of emotional trauma, as described in philliman's posted article. The military perspective of such activities goes something like this: It being a given that traumatized people behave in manners that might be advantageous to manipulate, then perhaps it could be useful to explore intentionally inducing such trauma and experimenting with its control. While such lines of reasoning might could be argued to a frightened Cold War-era series of administrations, it could also be argued that, from a practical perspective, such mindsets are, in a word, insane. Mad scientists on the loose.

But propaganda is indeed a force of which to be reckoned. MKULTRA was initially sold to funding politicians under such mentalities as 'the Russians will get us if we don't get them first' and 'we have to understand how to screw with people's heads in order to know how to best defend our heads from being screwed with'. The truth of the matter was more as John Marks wrote in his groundbreaking The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, "Nearly every Agency document stressed goals like 'controlling an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against such fundamental laws of nature as self preservation.' On reading one such memo, an Agency officer wrote to his boss: 'If this is supposed to be covered up as a defensive feasibility study, it's pretty damn transparent.'"

But perhaps the most concerning aspect of such goings ons, at least as they relate to such points as made in recent posts in this thread, was a point eventually released by the Church Committee. Senator Frank Church headed a group which, circa 1970s, delved into just what in the hell had been going on within the Central Intelligence Agency since its 1947 advent. Among the abuse of military personnel, drugging citizens and conducting what were termed "terminal" experiments, or research resulting in the loss of human life, all in the name of supposed national security, Frank Church demonstrated that the CIA sought proper approval for the activities from the Executive Office once in 25 years. Once. In 25 years.

That is not a covert operation. It is an effing coup.

Thanks again for your posts and interest. It is appreciated.


A round of applause, jj. Unfortunately, the CIA isn't the only blot on the American landscape. The FBI and it's COINTELPRO activity leaves a very bad taste in the mouth. While it is claimed that it ended in 1971, evidence found in current FBI operations suggest otherwise. A number of "faux bombings" demonstrate that the FBI is still very active in this sort of unethical behavior, luring targeted individuals into cooperating with imaginary terrorists who are, in fact, FBI agents. There is also evidence that the Boston Marathon bombings have FBI connections (check that out here).
« Last Edit: Jun 24th, 2013, 4:52pm by bewildered » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8711 on: Jun 24th, 2013, 10:52pm »

on Jun 24th, 2013, 4:51pm, bewildered wrote:
A round of applause, jj.


Thank you.

on Jun 24th, 2013, 4:51pm, bewildered wrote:
Unfortunately, the CIA isn't the only blot on the American landscape. The FBI and it's COINTELPRO activity leaves a very bad taste in the mouth.


Absolutely. As a matter of fact, in the event the Hill case is not simply a matter of an urban legend springing up around confused individuals, I would lean towards suspecting the likes of MKULTRA and COINTELPRO were much more likely explanations than aliens - but that's just my opinion, of course.

on Jun 24th, 2013, 4:51pm, bewildered wrote:
There is also evidence that the Boston Marathon bombings have FBI connections (check that out here).


Thanks for the link. I am not qualified to know if Professor Scott is correct in his suspicions, but he is sure right that lines become very blurry concerning informants, entrapment and related issues.
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8712 on: Jun 25th, 2013, 09:47am »

Testing testing 123
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8713 on: Jun 25th, 2013, 11:43am »

on Jun 25th, 2013, 09:47am, Swamprat wrote:
Testing testing 123



Hooray! Thanks Swamprat, I wouldn't have been able to get here without your help. cheesy

Crystal



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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8714 on: Jun 25th, 2013, 11:58am »

Good morning Jjflash,

"But perhaps the most concerning aspect of such goings ons, at least as they relate to such points as made in recent posts in this thread, was a point eventually released by the Church Committee. Senator Frank Church headed a group which, circa 1970s, delved into just what in the hell had been going on within the Central Intelligence Agency since its 1947 advent. Among the abuse of military personnel, drugging citizens and conducting what were termed "terminal" experiments, or research resulting in the loss of human life, all in the name of supposed national security, Frank Church demonstrated that the CIA sought proper approval for the activities from the Executive Office once in 25 years. Once. In 25 years.

That is not a covert operation. It is an effing coup."


Excuse my language but that is some scary sh*t!

Crystal

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