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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 91011 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #8880 on: Jul 28th, 2013, 08:55am »

Washington Post

Ron Wyden: FISA court ‘anachronistic’

By Ed O'Keefe, Published: July 28 at 9:04 am

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) says he is likely to support legislative proposals to overhaul the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and is once again raising concerns over how intelligence agencies are tracking the cellphones of law-abiding Americans.

Wyden said in an interview airing Sunday that the secret surveillance court used by federal officials to seek further permission to track terrorism suspects “is just anachronistic.”

“They’re using processes that simply don’t fit the times,” Wyden said. “When the FISA Act was passed in the [1970s], nobody envisioned, for example, some of the astounding reach that the court has gone to with respect to the Patriot Act and its definition of relevance. The statute talks about relevance, in nowhere does it even suggest that you can collect the phone records of millions and millions of law-abiding Americans.”

Wyden spoke on Sunday’s episode of C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers,” which included questioning by a Washington Post reporter. He is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a leading critic of how the NSA has been collecting telephone and Internet records of U.S. citizens.

The senator said he is likely to support legislative proposals to overhaul the secretive court, because “it’s the most one-sided legal process in the United States. I don’t know of any other legal system or court that really doesn’t highlight anything except one point of view.” He said later that lawmakers should seek to “diversify some of the thinking on the court.”

In that vein, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, is pushing a new plan to require the surveillance court to hear both sides of classified cases. And Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is proposing that judges selected to serve on the court first be confirmed by the Senate instead of just chosen by the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The senator’s concerns with how the intelligence community tracks Americans have gained greater attention in the months since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden began leaking details of the agency’s operations to The Washington Post, the Guardian newspaper and other news outlets.

When asked whether the revelations made by Snowden amounted to the only lingering concerns he had about the NSA, Wyden said that he remains troubled by how intelligence agencies might be tracking American cellphones — a point he’s been making for several days after repeated requests for clarification by top government officials.

“The government’s official position is first they have the authority to do it,” he said, adding later that intelligence officials “will not spell out what the rules are today with respect to the rights of Americans, law-abiding Americans with respect to cell phone-tracking.

(After the interview was taped Friday, Wyden and other senators once again complained that Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. has inadequately responded to their requests to explain how intelligence agencies are tracking telephone usage.)

Can intelligence agencies track how a person is using a cellphone to make calls, send text messages and use the Internet? Wyden couldn’t say, because he is barred from publicly discussing information he’s learned as a member of intelligence panel.

But, he added this: “Having that computer in your pocket increases the potential that certainly people could be tracked 24/7. And when the FBI director says in public forums when we have asked and asked repeatedly, what are the rights of law-abiding Americans with respect to cell phones, yes, I think there’s a reason to be concerned.”

Watch the full C-SPAN interview with Wyden, which also includes his thoughts on Syria, the state of the U.S. Senate and tax reform, by clicking here: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/SenRon

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/07/28/ron-wyden-fisa-court-anachronistic/?hpid=z3

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« Reply #8881 on: Jul 28th, 2013, 08:59am »

New York Times

Weiner’s Campaign Manager Quits After Latest Revelations

By MICHAEL BARBARO
Published: July 27, 2013

In a new sign of tumult within Anthony D. Weiner’s embattled political operation, his campaign manager has quit, leaving his already skeletal team without a day-to-day leader.

According to two people told of the decision, the campaign manager, Danny Kedem, no longer wished to oversee Mr. Weiner’s bid for New York mayor after a week of bruising revelations about the candidate’s latest online conduct. The two people, who have close ties to the campaign, did not want to be identified because they were disclosing confidential conversations.

Mr. Kedem, 31, informed Mr. Weiner of his decision in the last 24 hours, the two people said.

Mr. Kedem and a spokeswoman for Mr. Weiner’s campaign declined to comment.

The move suggests that even as Mr. Weiner vows to press ahead with his candidacy, there are mounting doubts about its political viability within his own campaign.

Mr. Weiner’s staff was jolted by his admission last week that his habit of sending raunchy online photographs and messages to women had persisted long after he resigned from Congress in 2011. The disclosures clashed with Mr. Weiner’s claims that he had been rehabilitated after undergoing therapy and his suggestion that such behavior had long ago stopped.

Mr. Kedem had helped guide Mr. Weiner’s candidacy, originally considered a long shot, to the top of the polls in the mayoral field before last week.

Not long ago, Mr. Kedem made clear he had no qualms about his new job. He sent an e-mail to dozens of his associates in late June seeking volunteers and financial contributions for Mr. Weiner’s mayoral bid. “I am really proud to work for Anthony,” he wrote.

His departure is a hit to a campaign that was short of experienced staff members, because of Mr. Weiner’s scandal and his reputation as difficult boss.

Before working for Mr. Weiner, Mr. Kedem had managed the re-election of John DeStefano Jr. to a 10th term as mayor of New Haven in 2011, according to his online profile, and worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Michael M. Grynbaum contributed reporting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/nyregion/weiners-campaign-manager-quits.html?hp&_r=0

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« Reply #8882 on: Jul 28th, 2013, 09:10am »






Amazing UFO Sighting over Switzerland 17th june 2013

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« Reply #8883 on: Jul 28th, 2013, 3:11pm »

Yeh yeh just domestic cats lol, I can assure you Britain is rife with big cats mostly due to people being forced to abandon their pets rather than have them destroyed due to the new laws back in the seventies. I have a puma and a panther use my home as part of their territory and that is fact not fiction and I supplied the police with a plaster cast of prints that matched the paw print of a Siberian tiger so not exactly small. The panther had a go at Fred who is a seventeen and a half French warm blood so not a small horse but luckily it didn’t get a strangle hold so tried bringing him down from the rear but Fred must have got a few good kicks in that no doubt saved his life. These cats have been well witnessed and have been in the sights of the local lamper but lucky for the cat he is afraid to shoot it due to when he shot the last one here all hell broke loose and he nearly lost his gun license due to news reporters and animal rights.
This is the worst time for us so we have to be extra vigilant due to it being frog season and we are swarmed in their hundreds if not thousands and for some odd reason panthers love eating them.
As you can see in the photo no domestic cat could do such damage and poor Fred who is a perfect gentleman looked as miserable as sin as I treated his wounds on his upper rump using colloidal silver, Manuka honey and a good few stitches but he healed quick and is no worse for wear and hopefully that dumb cat will think twice about attacking a horse.

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« Reply #8884 on: Jul 28th, 2013, 4:06pm »

Hi crystal, it would be interesting to know what CERN where up to on the 17th and the location the video was taken.
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« Reply #8885 on: Jul 29th, 2013, 08:02am »

Good morning Hyundisonata cheesy

It's hard to believe that people mistake a Main Coon for a Puma. We have Mountain Lions in Arizona. There is no mistaking them for house cats!

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« Reply #8886 on: Jul 29th, 2013, 08:04am »

Associated Press

NZ article reopens debate on spying on journalists

By NICK PERRY
— Jul. 29 7:13 AM EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand on Monday disputed a newspaper report saying its military conspired with U.S. spy agencies to monitor a freelance journalist in Afghanistan, a report that has provoked concerns over how surveillance programs revealed by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden might be used to spy on reporters.

The New Zealand government said Monday there is no evidence to support a report in the Sunday Star-Times newspaper that the military was assisted by the United States in monitoring the phone data of journalist Jon Stephenson, a New Zealander working for the U.S.-based McClatchy news organization.

The report is the first indication that the NSA's techniques may have been used to spy on a journalist. It challenges U.S. claims that the NSA programs were not used to target specific individuals, but rather to compile large pools of usage data.

Prime Minister John Key fanned the debate Monday by saying it is possible that reporters could get caught in surveillance nets when the U.S. spies on enemy combatants. New Zealand and the United States are party to a five-country agreement on sharing intelligence information.

U.S. surveillance programs have become the focus of a global debate since Snowden, a former defense contract worker, leaked classified information about the NSA in June. The U.S. says the NSA programs are necessary to avert terror attacks, while critics have called it unregulated spying.

Military officials in Wellington were quick to reject the claims in the article by freelance investigative reporter and liberal activist Nicky Hager. He wrote that the military became unhappy at Stephenson's reporting on how it treated Afghan prisoners.

"We have identified no information at this time that supports Mr. Hager's claims," Maj. Gen. Tim Keating, the acting defense force chief, said in a statement.

He said the military officers responsible for operations in Afghanistan had assured him there had been no unlawful monitoring of Stephenson by New Zealand. "This includes asking foreign organizations to do this on our behalf," he said.

Also Monday, New Zealand Defense Minister Jonathan Coleman acknowledged the existence of an embarrassing confidential order that lists investigative journalists alongside spies and terrorists as potential threats to New Zealand's military. That document was leaked to Hager, who provided a copy to The Associated Press. Coleman said the order will be modified to remove references to journalists.

He also said the New Zealand Defense Force had conducted an extensive search of its records over the weekend and had found no evidence that either it or any other agency had spied on Stephenson.

"The collection of metadata on behalf of the NZDF by the U.S. would not be a legitimate practice, when practiced on a New Zealand citizen," Coleman said. "It wouldn't be something I would support as the minister, and I'd be very concerned if that had actually been the case."

Metadata is the information associated with a phone call or an email, such as the location of the caller or sender, or the length of the call. It is analogous to the information available on the envelope of a letter sent by regular mail.

Prime Minister Key, who is traveling in South Korea, told a reporter from The New Zealand Herald newspaper that "if you rang a member of the Taliban that the Americans were monitoring because they believed them to be a threat, then in theory that's how you could show up."

"I'm not saying that's happened. I'm just saying that we don't go and monitor journalists," he added.

On Monday, Hager said he stood by the story.

"Direct denials are always unsettling, but I would not have published unless I had a really good source," he said.

Hager, who has written several books on New Zealand military intelligence, declined to elaborate on his sourcing. He said he's faced unwarranted denials before.

The confidential order he obtained states under the heading "The Threat" that "Organizations with extreme ideologies may try to acquire classified information, not necessarily to give to a potential enemy, but because its use may bring the government into disrepute. There is also a threat from certain investigative journalists who may seek to acquire and exploit official information for similar reasons."

The revelation has angered journalism advocates in New Zealand.

Coleman said the order, first issued a decade ago and reissued in 2005, was heavy-handed and inappropriate, and that he'd asked the defense force to rewrite it to remove the references to journalists.

The story on Stephenson came after he sued the defense force for defamation. Stephenson had sought 500,000 New Zealand dollars ($405,000) in reparation after claiming the defense force had damaged his reputation by implying he fabricated an interview with a unit commander. During the trial this month, the defense force acknowledged the interview may have taken place. The trial ended with the jury unable to reach a verdict.

Stephenson, who is on vacation in Europe, could not be reached Monday.

The White House did not respond Sunday to requests for comment on the Sunday Star-Times story.

McClatchy said it had not yet spoken with its former freelancer, or with the U.S. or New Zealand governments.

"We don't have much information on this. We really have learned about it this morning from the Star-Times report," said Anders Gyllenhaal, McClatchy's vice president for news and Washington editor.

The company based in Sacramento, California, hasn't lodged a complaint with U.S. officials because it is still trying to figure out what exactly happened and when, Gyllenhaal added.

The NSA sometimes shares intelligence information with New Zealand agencies under a long-standing arrangement known as "Five Eyes." In addition to New Zealand and the U.S., the alliance includes Britain, Australia and Canada.

Snowden's leaked information exposed the reach of the U.S. programs that monitor millions of telephone and Internet records inside and outside the U.S. Officials have said the surveillance tracks only metadata and not specific details like the contents of telephone calls. They say the surveillance programs have averted multiple terror attacks.


Associated Press writer Philip Elliott in Washington contributed to this report.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/new-zealand-probes-report-it-spied-journalist

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« Reply #8887 on: Jul 29th, 2013, 10:58am »

The Hill

Report: Judge orders Bernanke to testify in AIG bailout lawsuit

By Peter Schroeder
07/29/13 11:17 AM ET

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may be required to testify in a lawsuit filed against the United States for the former head of American International Group (AIG).

Bernanke, typical of Fed chairmen, is judicious in choosing spots to make public remarks, with markets poring over his every word. But he may not have that choice after Judge Thomas Wheeler of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled Monday that since he was a "central figure" in the decision to bail out the insurance giant during the financial crisis, his testimony would be critical to the shareholder suit, according to Reuters.

"The court cannot fathom having to decide this multi-billion dollar claim without the testimony of such a key government decision maker," Wheeler wrote. "These facts constitute 'extraordinary circumstances' for the taking of Mr. Bernanke's deposition."

The $25 billion suit, originally filed in 2011 by the company owned by AIG's former CEO, Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, alleges that the government charged onerous interest rates on bailout funds and violated shareholders' rights when it assumed the vast majority of the company's stock.

The U.S. government had previously argued before the court against ordering Bernanke to testify.

AIG, a poster child for public anger over Wall Street bailouts, came under heavy fire from congressional Democrats earlier this year when the firm considered signing on to Greenberg's lawsuit. The insurance company's board ultimately decided not to sign on to the case, but not before Democrats in both chambers expressed their outrage at the mere idea of joining a suit against the government after the company was rescued via a $182 billion bailout.

AIG paid back the funds it received under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in the fall of 2012.


http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/banking-financial-institutions/314039-report-judge-orders-bernanke-to-testify-in-bailout-suit

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« Reply #8888 on: Jul 29th, 2013, 11:04am »

Wired

Watch: Art Piece Makes You Feel Like You’re Inside a Lightning Storm

By Liz Stinson
07.29.13
11:33 AM



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Sou Fujimoto’s massive pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery in London is a beautiful and sprawling piece of architecture. The delicate climbing frame, made from 20mm steel poles, consumes nearly 3,800 square feet of the London gallery’s front lawn. On its own, it’s an impressive sight. But in the hands of United Visual Artists, a London-based artist studio that specializes in sound and light architecture, it becomes nearly awe-inspiring in its visual magnitude. Commissioned by the Serpentine Gallery and My Beautiful City, UVA transformed Fujimoto’s spindly structure with a light show that echoes the insane lightning storms you see in the natural world. “This piece specifically aimed to energize Sou Fujimoto’s architecture, which is representative of a somewhat serene Cumulus cloud,” UVA explains. “Our intervention aimed to evoke a terrific and comparatively overwhelming electric storm in the architecture, kind of simply aiming to bring it to life.”

more after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/design/2013/07/this-installation-places-you-in-the-middle-of-a-lightening-storm/

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« Reply #8889 on: Jul 29th, 2013, 11:10am »

Science Daily

Borneo's Orangutans Are Coming Down from the Trees; Behavior May Show Adaptation to Habitat Change


July 29, 2013 — Orangutans might be the king of the swingers, but primatologists in Borneo have found that the great apes spend a surprising amount of time walking on the ground. The research, published in the American Journal of Primatology found that it is common for orangutans to come down from the trees to forage or to travel, a discovery which may have implications for conservation efforts.

An expedition led by Brent Loken from Simon Fraser University and Dr. Stephanie Spehar from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, travelled to the East Kalimantan region of Borneo. The region's Wehea Forest is a known biodiversity hotspot for primates, including the Bornean orangutan subspecies, Pongo pygmaeus morio, the least studied of orangutan subspecies.

"Orangutans are elusive and one reason why recorded evidence of orangutans on the ground is so rare is that the presence of observers inhibits this behaviour," said Loken. "However, with camera traps we are offered a behind the scenes glimpse at orangutan behaviour."

The team positioned ground-based cameras across a 38-square-kilometre region of the forest and succeeded in capturing the first evidence of orangutans regularly coming down from the trees. The amount of time orangutans spent on the forest floor was found to be comparable to the ground-dwelling pig-tailed macaque, Macaca nemestrina, which is equally abundant in Wehea Forest. Over 8-months orangutans were photographed 110 times, while the macaques were photographed 113 times.

The reason orangutans come down from the trees remains a mystery. However, while the absence of large predators may make it safer to walk on the forest floor, a more pressing influence is the rapid and unprecedented loss of Borneo's orangutan habitat.

"Borneo is a network of timber plantations, agro-forestry areas and mines, with patches of natural forest," said Loken. "The transformation of the landscape could be forcing orangutans to change their habitat and their behaviour."

This research helps to reveal how orangutans can adapt to their changing landscape; however, this does not suggest they can just walk to new territory if their habitat is destroyed. The orangutan subspecies P. p. morio may be adapted to life in more resource scarce forests, having evolved larger jaws which allow them to consume more tree bark and less fruit but they are still dependent on natural forests for their long term survival.

"While we're learning that orangutans may be more behaviourally flexible than we thought and that some populations may frequently come to the ground to travel, they still need forests to survive," said Dr. Spehar. "Even in forest plantation landscapes they rely heavily on patches of natural forest for food resources and nesting sites."

Wehea Forest is one of the only places in Borneo where ten primates species, including five species found only in Borneo, overlap in their ranges. Since Wehea Forest is a biodiversity hotspot, paperwork have been submitted to legally change the status of Wehea Forest from "production forest" to "protected forest." However, given that 78% of wild orangutans live outside of protected areas, it is critical that all of Borneo's remaining forests are either protected or sustainably managed.

"We do not know how long this may take, but protecting Wehea Forest and Borneo's remaining forests is vital to the long term survival of the orangutans," concluded Loken. "Fortunately 60% of Wehea Forest falls under Indonesia's logging moratorium, which helps give legal protection to a large part of the forest for a few more years."


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130729083300.htm

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« Reply #8890 on: Jul 29th, 2013, 2:57pm »

LA Squirrel Tests Positive For Bubonic Plague

CBS News
Mon 12:59 PM, Jul 29, 2013

A discovery of plague has prompted campgrounds at Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County to be closed down as officials investigate.

A squirrel captured in a trap on July 16 tested positive for the bubonic plague, CBS Los Angeles reported.

Twisted Arrow, Broken Blade and Pima Loops of the Table Mountain campgrounds have been closed since 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
No people have been infected.

"It is important for the public to know that there have only been four cases of human plague in Los Angeles County residents since 1984, none of which were fatal," Los Angeles County Department of Public health chief, Dr. Jonathan Fielding, said in a statement to Reuters.

The sites will be closed for seven days while squirrel burrows in the area will be dusted for fleas.
The last time an infected animal was found was in 2010, CBS LA reported.

About five to fifteen cases of plague in humans occur each year in the western United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.

Read more: http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/LA-Squirrel-Tests-Positive-For-Bubonic-Plague-217407611.html
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« Reply #8891 on: Jul 29th, 2013, 5:31pm »

on Jul 29th, 2013, 2:57pm, Swamprat wrote:
LA Squirrel Tests Positive For Bubonic Plague

CBS News
Mon 12:59 PM, Jul 29, 2013

A discovery of plague has prompted campgrounds at Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County to be closed down as officials investigate.

A squirrel captured in a trap on July 16 tested positive for the bubonic plague, CBS Los Angeles reported.

Twisted Arrow, Broken Blade and Pima Loops of the Table Mountain campgrounds have been closed since 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
No people have been infected.

"It is important for the public to know that there have only been four cases of human plague in Los Angeles County residents since 1984, none of which were fatal," Los Angeles County Department of Public health chief, Dr. Jonathan Fielding, said in a statement to Reuters.

The sites will be closed for seven days while squirrel burrows in the area will be dusted for fleas.
The last time an infected animal was found was in 2010, CBS LA reported.

About five to fifteen cases of plague in humans occur each year in the western United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.

Read more: http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/LA-Squirrel-Tests-Positive-For-Bubonic-Plague-217407611.html


Oh Crap!

Thanks for that article Swamprat.

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« Reply #8892 on: Jul 30th, 2013, 11:22am »

Scientific American

Neuroscientists and the Dalai Lama Swap Insights on Meditation

An encounter with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the scientific study of meditation

By Christof Koch
30 July 2013

"Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it."

This line from Herman Hesse's 1922 novel Siddhartha came unbidden to me during a recent weeklong visit to Drepung Monastery in southern India. His Holiness the Dalai Lama had invited the U.S.-based Mind and Life Institute to familiarize the Tibetan Buddhist monastic community living in exile in India with modern science. About a dozen of us—physicists, psychologists, brain scientists and clinicians, leavened by a French philosopher—introduced quantum mechanics, neuroscience, consciousness and various clinical aspects of meditative practices to a few thousand Buddhist monks and nuns. As we lectured, we were quizzed, probed and gently made fun of by His Holiness, who sat beside us [see photograph above]. We learned as much from him and his inner circle—such as from his translator, Tibetan Jinpa Thupten, who has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Cambridge, and from the French monk Matthieu Ricard, who holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the Pasteur Institute in Paris—as they and their brethren from us.

What passed between these representatives of two distinct intellectual modes of thinking about the world were facts, data—knowledge. That is, knowledge about the more than two-millennia-old Eastern tradition of investigating the mind from the inside, from an interior, subjective point of view, and the much more recent insights provided by empirical Western ways to probe the brain and its behavior using a third-person, reductionist framework. What the former brings to the table are scores of meditation techniques to develop mindfulness, concentration, insight, serenity, wisdom and, it is hoped, in the end, enlightenment. These revolve around a daily practice of quiet yet alert sitting and letting the mind settle before embarking on a specific program, such as “focused attention” or the objectless practice of generating a state of “unconditional loving-kindness and compassion.” After years of daily contemplative exercise—nothing comes easily in meditation—practitioners can achieve considerable control over their mind.

Twelve years of schooling, four years of college and an even longer time spent in advanced graduate training fail to familiarize our future doctors, soldiers, engineers, scientists, accountants and politicians with such techniques. Western universities do not teach methods to enable the developing or the mature mind to become quiet and to focus its considerable powers on a single object, event or train of thought. There is no introductory class on “Focusing the Mind.” And this is to our loss!

From introspection, we are all familiar with the mental clutter, the chatter that makes up our daily life. It is a rapid fire of free associations, of jumping from one image, speech fragment or memory to the next. Late-night lucubrations are particularly prone to such erratic zigzagging. Focusing on a single line of argument or thought requires deliberate, laborious and conscious effort from which we flee. We prefer to be distracted by external stimuli, conversations, radio, television or newspapers. Desperate not to be left alone within our mind, to avoid having to think, we turn to our constant electronic companions to check for incoming messages.

Yet here we had His Holiness, a 77-year-old man, who sat during six days, ramrod straight for hours on end, his legs tucked under his body, attentively following our arcane scholarly arguments. I have never experienced a single man, and an entire community, who appeared so open, so content, so happy, constantly smiling, yet so humble, as these monks who, by First World standards, live a life of poverty, deprived of most of the things we believe are necessary to live a fully realized life. Their secret appears to be mind control.

Among the more extreme cases of mind control is the self-immolation of the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc in 1963 to protest the repressive regime in South Vietnam. What was so singular about this event, captured in haunting photographs that are among the most readily recognized images of the 20th century, was the calm and deliberate nature of his heroic act. While burning to death, Duc remained throughout in the meditative lotus position. He never moved a muscle or uttered a sound, as the flames consumed him and his corpse finally toppled over.

I am filled with utter bewilderment in the face of this singular event and would have found it difficult to accept as real, were it not captured in the testimony of hundreds of onlookers, including jaundiced journalists with their cameras.

more after the jump:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=neuroscientists-dalai-lama-swap-insights-meditation

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« Reply #8893 on: Jul 30th, 2013, 11:24am »

Reuters

Appeals court upholds ruling that halted NYC's large-soda ban

NEW YORK
Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:55am EDT

(Reuters) - New York City's plan to ban large sugary drinks from restaurants and other eateries was an illegal overreach of executive power, a state appeals court ruled on Tuesday, upholding a lower court decision in March that struck down the law.

The law, which would have prohibited those businesses from selling sodas and other sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces, "violated the state principle of separation of powers," the First Department of the state Supreme Court's Appellate Division said in a unanimous decision.

The decision was a blow to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had advanced the pioneering regulation as a way to combat obesity among city residents. Beverage makers and business groups, however, challenged it in court, arguing that the mayoral-appointed health board had overstepped its authority when it approved the law.

A four-judge panel at the appeals court agreed, finding that the board had gone beyond its power to regulate public health and usurped the role of the legislature.

In particular, the court focused on the law's many loopholes, which exempted businesses not under the auspices of the city's health department. As a result, grocery and convenience stores - such as 7 Eleven and its 64-ounce Big Gulp - were protected from the ban's reach.

"The selective restrictions enacted by the Board of Health reveal that the health of the residents of New York City was not its sole concern," Justice Dianne Renwick wrote for the court. "If it were, the 'Soda Ban' would apply to all public and private enterprises in New York City."

The American Beverage Association, one of the industry groups that challenged the law, did not immediately comment.

State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling struck down the law in March, a day before it was to take effect, calling it "arbitrary and capricious." At the time, Bloomberg said the ruling was "totally in error" and expressed confidence that the city would prevail on appeal.

The city can still ask the state's high court, the Court of Appeals, to take up the issue, though the court is not bound to do so.

"Today's decision is a temporary setback, and we plan to appeal this decision as we continue the fight against the obesity epidemic," Bloomberg said in a statement.

During his three terms in office, Bloomberg has made public health a signature issue, prohibiting smoking in restaurants, bars and parks; banning trans fats; and requiring chain restaurants to post calorie counts.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Additional reporting by Martinne Geller and Jessica Dye; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Kenneth Barry)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/30/us-sodaban-lawsuit-idUSBRE96T0UT20130730

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« Reply #8894 on: Jul 30th, 2013, 11:27am »

OpenMindsTV

Cigar-shaped UFO caught on video hovering above Manchester, England

Posted by: Jason McClellan
July 30, 2013

A witness captured video of a cigar-shaped UFO hovering above the Manchester town of Denton in England. It is unclear when the event occurred, but the witness uploaded the video to YouTube on July 9, 2011 with the following description:

HUGE UFO cigar shaped metallic UFO object caught on camera in Denton, Manchester UK 2011. Object was just visible to the naked eye. Was in the sky for around 40 minutes before raising so high that it could not be seen at all. UFO means unidentified flying object so I’m not saying it was little green men, but still . . . Interesting to watch. The camera is so shaky because it was at full zoom, and knowing how high it appeared in the sky (higher than planes) I’m guessing its size was massive.


video and more after the jump:
http://www.openminds.tv/cigar-shaped-ufo-caught-on-video-hovering-above-manchester-england-1094/

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