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NEWS JUST IS...(Reuters) - Warren Jeffs, the fugitive leader of a polygamist Mormon sect and one of the FBI's 10 most wanted, was arrested in a traffic stop outside Las Vegas, the Nevada Highway Patrol said on Tuesday.

Jeffs, 50, the leader of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, is wanted for the alleged sexual misconduct in Arizona. He is also wanted as an accomplice to rape in Utah.

Jeffs, whose group is estimated to have 10,000 followers, allegedly arranged marriages between older men and underage girls.
He is the 'leader' of this huge cult, i find it all rather fascinating as its HUGE $ making, lots of enslaved women and just a total cult like repression.
Sept. 11, 2006, 1:49PM
Anna Nicole Smith's son, 20, dies in Bahamas

Associated Press

NASSAU, Bahamas "” The 20-year-old son of Anna Nicole Smith has been found dead in the Bahamas, where the former reality TV star and Playboy playmate gave birth to a baby girl days earlier.

Authorities had not determined what caused the death of Daniel Wayne Smith, whose body was found Sunday morning, said Robin Bonnema, a spokeswoman for Trimspa, the diet products company that has been endorsed by Smith. Bonnema had no other details, and calls to Smith's lawyer, Howard K. Stern of Santa Monica, Calif., were not immediately returned.

Bonnema declined to provide details, saying only that Smith died "in his bed.".......
From the BBC: Madrid Bans Malnutrition from Catwalk!

UN health experts recommend a BMI of between 18.5 and about 25, and some models may fall well below the minimum.

The Spanish Association of Fashion Designers has decided to ban models who have a BMI of less than 18.

Unhealthily skinny models at last year's fashion shows led to protests from doctors and women's rights groups.

The association agreed to use the BMI - a calculation based on height and weight - in response to local government pressure.

It suggests that 30% of would-be participants fail this test and this year's fashion week, which begins on 18 September, will offer medical treatment to excessively thin models.


"The restrictions could be quite a shock to the fashion world at the beginning but I'm sure it's important as far as health is concerned," Leonor Perez Pita, director of the Madrid fashion show, was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Madrid's local government says it wants to set a more positive, healthy image of beauty for teenagers to follow.

"Fashion is a mirror and many teenagers imitate what they see on the catwalk," said regional official Concha Guerra.

Spain's Anorexia and Bulimia Association says if designers refuse to follow these voluntary restrictions the government should legislate to ban thin models.

However, some sections of the fashion world have expressed outrage at the idea of weight restrictions.

Cathy Gould, of New York's Elite modelling agency, said the fashion industry was being used as a scapegoat for weight-related illnesses.

"I understand they want to set this tone of healthy beautiful women but what about discrimination against the model and what about the freedom of the designer?" she asked, adding that the careers of naturally "gazelle-like" models could be damaged.


Personally, I'd like to ban bitches who can't walk. It drives me insane to watch a girl shuffle knock-kneed down the runway in a frock. For shame.
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Ahhh. The passing of one of the best. She was such a firecracker. Probably spinning though at the W soundbites. He was so mean and nasty to her. I hope she sticks around and haunts the bastard.

The DNC speech she gave in '88 was the first political speech that really moved me to get active; led me to ActUP, Queer Nation, NOW.


Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards dies

By KELLEY SHANNON, Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN, Texas - Former Gov. Ann Richards, the witty and flamboyant Democrat who went from homemaker to national political celebrity, died Wednesday night after a battle with cancer, a family spokeswoman said. She was 73.

She died at home surrounded by her family, the spokeswoman said. Richards was found to have esophageal cancer in March and underwent chemotherapy treatments.

The silver-haired, silver-tongued Richards said she entered politics to help others "” especially women and minorities who were often ignored by Texas' male-dominated establishment.

"I did not want my tombstone to read, 'She kept a really clean house.' I think I'd like them to remember me by saying, 'She opened government to everyone,'" Richards said shortly before leaving office in January 1995.

Whether or not she succeeded at that, there was no question she cracked open the door.

Her single term as governor had ended in a 1994 defeat to George W. Bush, who went from besting his father's silver-haired critic to the governor's office to the presidency.

"Texas has lost one of its great daughters,"
President Bush said in statement after learning of Richards' death.

Two years before she was elected governor of Texas, Ann Richards electrified the 1988 Democratic National Convention with a keynote speech in which she joked that the Republican presidential nominee, George H.W. Bush, had been "born with a silver foot in his mouth."

A longtime champion of women and minorities in government who was serving at the time as Texas state treasurer, she won cheers when she reminded delegates that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, "only backwards and in high heels."

As governor, Richards appointed the first black University of Texas regent, the first crime victim on the state Criminal Justice Board, the first disabled person on the human services board and the first teacher to lead the State Board of Education. Under Richards, the fabled Texas Rangers pinned stars on their first black and female officers.

Ron Kirk, the black former mayor of Dallas, said Richards helped him get his first political internship during a state constitutional convention in 1974 and later, as governor, made him secretary of state.

"She set the table so somebody like me could become mayor of Dallas," Kirk said.

She also polished Texas' image, courted movie producers, campaigned for the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico, oversaw a doubling of the state prison system and presided over rising student achievement scores and plunging dropout rates.

Throughout her years in office, her popularity remained high. One poll put it at over 60 percent the year she lost her re-election bid to Bush.

Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry described Richards as "the epitome of Texas politics: a figure larger than life who had a gift for captivating the public with her great wit."

"Ann loved Texas, and Texans loved her," President Bush said. "As a public servant, she earned respect and admiration. Ann became a national role model, and her charm, wit and candor brought a refreshing vitality to public life."

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, said Richards never lost her zest for life.

"I wrote her a note when I heard about her cancer and she wrote me back a wonderful letter. She was upbeat and positive and I think she was going to go out with guns blazing," Hutchison said Wednesday night.

Richards was diagnosed with cancer in March and underwent chemotherapy treatments.

Her four adult children spent the day with her before she died Wednesday night at her home in Austin, said Cathy Bonner, a longtime family friend and family spokeswoman.

Born in Lakeview, Texas, in 1933, Richards grew up near Waco, married civil rights lawyer David Richards and spent her early adulthood volunteering in campaigns and raising four children. She often said the hardest job she ever had was as a public school teacher at Fulmore Junior High School in Austin.

In the early 1960s, she helped form the North Dallas Democratic Women, "basically to allow us to have something substantive to do; the regular Democratic Party and its organization was run by men who looked on women as little more than machine parts."

Richards served on the Travis County Commissioners Court in Austin for six years before jumping to a bigger arena in 1982 when her election as state treasurer made her the first woman elected statewide in nearly 50 years.

But politics took a toll. It cost her a marriage and forced her in 1980 to seek treatment for alcoholism.

"I had seen the very bottom of life," she once recalled. "I was so afraid I wouldn't be funny anymore. I just knew that I would lose my zaniness and my sense of humor. But I didn't. Recovery turned out to be a wonderful thing."

After her re-election defeat, Richards went on to give speeches, work as a commentator for Cable News Network and serve as a senior adviser in the New York office of Public Strategies.

In her last 10 years, Richards worked for many social causes and helped develop the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, scheduled to open in Austin in 2007.

Richards said she never missed being in public office. She grinned when asked what she might have done differently had she known she would be a one-term governor.

"Oh," she said, "I would probably have raised more hell."
I luv this article in the UK Daily Mail.. it's SO AbFab! It's so funny - if it weren't all true! Anyone else wanna join Class War with me?

Some tidbits -
Diary of a billion-heiress
Life of luxury: Yuki Oshima-Wilpon

Yuki's whole lifestyle is funded by her billionaire father, a Japanese financier.

MONDAY: 11.50am

One of my two protection officers, Richie, knocks on the bedroom door to wake me. Although I didn't go out last night, this is still fairly early for me. I normally get up at about 2pm if I've been to parties the night before. My left foot is still killing me.

... I give shoe designer Jimmy Choo a call. We recently talked about creating an 'ethically friendly' range, ............. He's a lovely man and a fashion icon, and I'd love to be his muse.

Eeek, am late for a meeting with my photographer. We're arranging to do a glamorous photoshoot "” not for the Press, just for me and my husband.

I decide the party isn't over and call up the Halkin Hotel in Belgravia to book their best suite so that everyone can carry on partying. It costs over £1,000, plus we get through 15 bottles of champagne, but we have a great night.


Am dragged out of the Halkin Hotel, where I've been partying all morning, by my driver and protection p officer. The driver has been waiting for me since 7pm m last night and wants to go to bed. Get home and go straigh ht to bed myself - the joy of bei a rich socialite and not havin ng to work.

Ugh, the doorbell wakes me. It's our organic shopping being delivered and food for our dog Billy. Bruce and I are vegetarian but we realise that is not fair for Billy.

Instead, we order organic chicken breast and the housekeeper cooks it for him daily with brown and white rice. He's quite fussy now and will eat only organic.

He's never been left alone in his life and a dog-sitter needs to be booked when we both go out. He's a privileged dog and has been flown around the world on private jets "” from Tokyo to Hawaii, New York to LA, Paris to London. He takes after his mother.

I have to get up again because Stuart, my hairdresser, comes round to style my hair for an event tonight. .. I rarely make the effort to go to his salon now. There's no point when I can pay him £450 to come to me.

Not really in the mood to carry on - I'd much rather have a massage. I like my massages at random times of the night when I've come in from a heavy dancing session.

I have a great masseuse whom I can call any time, day or night, and she drops anything for me. So I wake her up and she comes over for a few hours. It's bliss.


Didn't get to sleep properly until about 8am after my massage, so I needed a lie-in. But I've got loads to do so I can't sleep in any more. Suzie comes round and helps me choose what to wear for the day.

Once again, I am a woman in demand, but as I'm wearing my new gold sequinned Gucci dress - one of the hottest dresses from their autumn/winter collection - I'm determined to make an entrance at as many parties as possible.

You never want to be wearing something that someone else will be wearing, but this dress - which cost £4,290 - is not even available yet, so I know I'm onto a winner.

..... relax with him and get a table in the VIP area. Have lots of champagne as my mouth is dry from drinking cheap cocktails.

FRIDAY: 10am

It's my housekeeper Angie's birthday today and she has asked for make-up. Bless her, she says she has never owned make-up before ...

.. Then I head to Boots in Knightsbridge and grab everything on the make-up shelves - one of every shade of lipstick, eyeshadow and nail vanish.
.... I tend to buy my own make-up from Harrods and Harvey Nicks

And so it goes... Read the full article its a hoot!!! Sweetie dahling
I used to tend two midget dogs that lived on the 14th floor of a prewar building on 9th Street at 5th Avenue. Their transexual lesbian lingerie designer owner would be gone for a month at a time. The dogs would only eat broccoli fettucine from Balducci's. They used the livingroom for their toilet. We got $5,000 for the month.

Who needs to own it when you can babysit it.
Sisters are doing it for themselves! I love this story, and good for these ladies for sticking it to this fuck face. [from today's Post, of course.]




GOT WHUPPEDBig Grinwayne Buckle leaves court yesterday after testifying against four of the seven lesbians he says pummeled and stabbed him.
GOT WHUPPEDBig Grinwayne Buckle leaves court yesterday after testifying against four of the seven lesbians he says pummeled and stabbed him.
PrintEmailDigg ItStory Bottom

April 12, 2007 -- One of them was "slightly pretty," so the freelance film director decided to say hi.

Next thing he knew, he was encircled, beaten and knifed in the gut right there on a Greenwich Village sidewalk - by seven bloodthirsty young lesbians.

"The girls started coming out of nowhere," Dwayne Buckle told a Manhattan jury yesterday, describing the bizarre beat-down he suffered last summer, allegedly at the hands of a seething sapphic septet from Newark, N.J.

"I felt like I was going to die."

Buckle, 29, of Queens, took the stand in Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday to admit he was defenseless and terrified after his simple "hello" spurred a predawn melee on Sixth Avenue at West 4th Street.

Three of the original seven women are currently serving six-month jail sentences for attempted assault. But four others are on trial on first-degree gang-assault charges that could get them anywhere from three to 25 years in prison.

The accused ringleader - Patreese Johnson, 20, whom Buckle called the "slightly pretty one" - is additionally charged with attempted murder for allegedly pulling a knife from her purse and slashing Buckle repeatedly, lacerating his liver and stomach.

The women, in turn, claim they were defending themselves against a violent, anti-gay bigot, and counter that Buckle provoked them as he sat outside the IFC Center movie theater trying to talk pedestrians into buying his latest movie.

When they rebuffed his advances - telling him he wasn't their type - he began calling them "f- - -ing dykes," they say. He then spat on them, threw a cigarette at them, and even grabbed one of them by the throat - which, like much of the melee, was caught on an IFC video security camera.

"I'll f- - - you straight, sweetheart," he told defendant Venice Brown, 19, before choking her, her lawyer, Michael Mays, told jurors.

Buckle told a different story on the stand, assigning many of his alleged attackers monikers.

There was Brown, the one he admittedly called an "elephant." Then there was the one with the "low haircut," do-rag and wife-beater T-shirt, whom he admittedly called "a man," and the "slightly pretty" one to whom he first said hello.

It all started, he said, when the first two walked by. "They looked effeminate [sic] and one of them was slightly pretty, so I said 'hi' to them," he said.

But the "heavier girl, she started to dog me out," Buckle said.

"What does that, perchance, mean," asked the judge, Justice Edward McLaughlin. "Just disrespect me," Buckle explained. Then "more girls started coming out of nowhere."

Buckle admitted he retaliated, telling the one with the "low haircut" that "she looks like a man." He felt spit on the back of his neck, and spat back.

That's when the women's fists began flying. "I had my hands in the air in defense of their blows," he said. Then "I felt like a nick in my abdomen. I didn't know what happened.

"Everybody just jumped me," he added, including three male passers-by recruited on the spot by the women. "It felt like it was 10, 20 people." By the end, "I was messed up," he said.
I don't get the IMUS drama.

While I have never listened to his show, he seems to me like an ole fart. I think the reason he was fired was so less about what he said but more about him being put out to pasture.

The whole wild drama/headline grabbing about him saying they were nappy headed Ho's .... I find so 'whatever' since on a daily basis the rap industries icons are using these terms and much worse on a daily basis. Why then cos he's an ole white fart is this so taken to task?
I think it's really sad this kind of racial name calling but then again I am still sad that black americans call each other nigger. And loathe it that women are bitches and Ho's.
But I just don't get these double standards...
I don't think it's a reflection of a double-standard. I think it'a finally a reaction AGAINST the double-standard going on there since forever. It's an 'election year' and Imus has interviewed alot of big names. Probably everyone he's interviewed is going to have to answer questions about their racism now.

There were THREE articles about the nappy-head ho comment in the Times on Thursday. The most interesting one was about Imus' side-kick, a freak named McGuirk, who apparently is there to say the worst things in the background, while Imus challenges him or ignores him... but in short, the nasty stuff gets said, but through an intermediary.

THIS TIME, Imus repeated what what McGuirk said. McGuirk called them "hard-core ho's" in an undertone and Imus repeated it with the hairstyle comment. He blew his own cover.
If Imus had not repeated it, probably none of this would have happened.
Another angle to look at is Imus' history. His inclination to use racial slurs, out of the context of comedy, are well known in some circles.
For example, one comment by Imus that ran in Time magazine..'when speaking about Gwen Ifill, the African-American PBS anchor who was then the White House correspondent for the New York Times, he said,"Isn't the Times wonderful? It lets the cleaning lady cover the White House." ' Ha-Ha.
I mean he's a dull old coot looking to remain cutting edge and he just ended his career. Good riddance. Maybe he can go clean houses now.
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It's true Don Imus has been making condescending un-funny race jokes for years. He gets no sympathy from me. But it's also true that the rap industry is totally culpable in making it fashionable to characterize women as "bitches" and "hos" and to act and speak like a thug. To deny that is to ignore reality. One only need tune in Hot 97 first thing in the morning or watch MTV for 15 minutes to realize how pervasive and widespread the destructive nature of gangsta rap has become, and not just to our youth.

As for political correctness being "noxious", consider it sensitivity training for the masses, Darla. PC is what has civilized a great many people well versed in traditional etiquette (including truckloads of your fellow Republicans) from calling you a faggot to your face in board rooms or kicking your ass in the parking lot, deny all you like. Those who say they'd rather know someone's "honest" feelings about their sex lives or race (such as the apologists who defended General Pace's recent comments about "immoral" gays) are in fact far better off dealing with associates who stick to the task at hand and keep their personal morality-identity views to themselves. PC can become a jail cell when applied too stringently, like anything else. And PC is certainly not a criteria for good art. But if PC is what protects me from enduring racist or homophobic slurs in my daily life or forces someone to THINK before they act or speak, fine by me.
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Then I suppose Lenin and Stalin "civilized" the Soviet Union. I've been around a lot longer than you, Lex, or PC, so don't try and tell me what PC has done or has not done "for" me. PC is mind control and the foundation of dictatorships.

"Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language", 1946
Last edited by Darla Diamond
Then I suppose Lenin and Stalin "civilized" the Soviet Union.

Much like teaming the name "Hitler" with NYC bar crackdowns and smoking bans, your one-dimensional, straw-grasping comparison trivializes the murders of millions who really died under those horrific regimes.

And exactly how do you know how long I've been around? Again with faulty deductions. But I'll give you a pass on that one, given my membership in the Dorian Gray Set.

But you have a point. The part about trying to tell you anything. So done.
Last edited by Luxury Lex
This is a speech by Christopher Hitchens on Religion. I do not always agree with him, but on this I'm with him 100%. He is speaking against a proposed Canadian law that would ban "hate speech" that defames another persons religion.

I'm opposed to "hate speech" codes of all kinds. I want hear what people really think. I'm also opposed to religion in general and I love what Hitchens has to say about it in this clip.
Here's a hilarious editorial from Der Speigel today. If you are wondering what europeans are thinking right now about the end of the Little Bush Idiocracy. The article has a few good bellylaughs and is outspoken in a way US media gave up 6 years ago. When have you ever heard any US journalist rightly deem Little Bush as delusional, or in an emotional fugue, or disasociative? Listen........

Bush's European Disaster
By Sidney Blumenthal
The president's trip was a pageant of disdain, delusion and provocation masquerading as a respite from his troubles at home.

I returned from Europe a week before President Bush departed for the G8 summit in Germany. In Rome and Paris I met with Cabinet ministers who uniformly said the chief issue in transatlantic relations is somehow making it through the last 18 months of the Bush administration without further major disaster. None of the nonpartisan think tanks in Washington can organize seminars on this overriding reality, but within the European councils of state the trepidation about the last days of Bush is the No. 1 issue in foreign affairs.

One of the ministers with whom I met, who had supported the invasion of Iraq and had been an admirer of outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair's, ruefully cited Blair's remark about Iraq at his joint press conference with Bush on May 17 at the White House: "This is a fight we cannot afford to lose." "Cannot? Cannot lose?" mocked the minister. "Should not have lost."

High officials of European governments describe U.S. influence as squandered and swiftly eroding (one minister went down a list of Bush administration officials, rating them according to their stupidity), the country's moral authority nil. Lethal power vacuums are emerging from Lebanon to Pakistan, and Europeans are incapable on their own of quelling the fires that burn far closer to them than to the United States through their growing Muslim populations and proximity to the Middle East. They have no illusions that they will be treated seriously as real allies or that there will be a sudden about-face by the Bush administration. Their faint hope -- and it is only a hope -- is that they have already seen the worst and that it is not yet to come. Even worse than Bush, from their perspective, would be another Republican president who continued Bush policies and also appointed neoconservatives. That would toll, if not the end of days, then the decline and fall of the Western alliance except in name only, and an even more rapid acceleration of chaos in the world order.

Bush's procession through Europe was a pageant of contempt, disdain, delusion, provocation and vanity masquerading as a welcome respite from his troubles at home. In Albania he landed at last in a place where he was hailed as a conquering hero. His demolition derby of U.S. influence was presented as a series of bold moves, but it confirmed the fears of the other world leaders at the G8 summit (and elsewhere) that the rest of Bush's presidency will be an erratic series of crashes. His performance ranged from King Nod, issuing proclamations oblivious to and even proud of their negative effect, to King Zog (the last king of Albania). No president has had a more disastrous European trip since President Reagan placed a wreath on the graves of SS officers in the Bitburg cemetery. Yet Reagan's mistake was unintentional and symbolic, a temporary and superficial setback, doing no real damage to U.S. foreign relations, while Bush's blunders not only reinforced counterproductive policies but also created a new one with Russia that has the potential of profoundly undermining U.S. national security interests for years to come.

Bush's foreign policy has descended into a fugue state. Dissociated and unaware, the president and his administration are still capable of expressing themselves as if it all makes complete sense, only contributing to their bewilderment. A fugue state should not be confused with cognitive dissonance, the tension produced when irreconcilable ideas are held at the same time and their incompatibility is overcome by denial. In a fugue state, a trauma creates a kind of amnesia in which the sufferer is incapable of connecting to his past. The impairment of judgment comes in great part from a denial of distress. Bush's fugue state involves the reiteration of a failed formula as though nothing has happened. So he proudly reasserts the essence of his Bush doctrine: Our acts are independent of other countries' interests. And he adds new corollaries: Other nations must forgive our unacknowledged mistakes even if we threaten their national security. To this, Bush overlays cognitive dissonance: Our policy is working; it just needs more time. Thus the incoherent becomes coherent.

Bush's amusing gaffes should not divert attention from the gravity of his underlying decline. Though his verbal hilariousness has been present since the beginning, his miscues, misstatements and mistakes now highlight a foreign policy in utter disarray.

Upon meeting Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican last weekend, Bush presented him with a gift of a wooden cane carved with English words. When the pope asked the president what they were, Bush told His Holiness, "The Ten Commandments, sir." To sir? With love?

In Rome, on June 9, a reporter asked Bush about setting a deadline for Kosovo independence. "What? Say that again?" "Deadline for the Kosovo independence?""A decline?" "Deadline, deadline.""Deadline. Beg your pardon. My English isn't very good." Bush then declared, "In terms of the deadline, there needs to be one. This needs to come -- this needs to happen." The next day, asked when he would set a deadline, he replied, "I don't think I called for a deadline." Reminded of his previous statement, Bush said: "I did? What exactly did I say? I said, 'Deadline'? OK, yes, then I meant what I said."

Before offering that tongue twister, Bush quite deliberately upset German Chancellor Angela Merkel's proposal for climate change at the G8. She put before the summit a program for carbon limits and an emissions trading system supported by, among others, Tony Blair, as his final gesture to burnish his reputation before he leaves office on June 27. Bush countered with a proposal for voluntary limits that would have to be approved by China, India and other major industrial countries that would not agree. In short, Bush's program was no program at all, except as a gambit to push aside Merkel's. With that, Bush demolished the possibility of any positive plan emerging from the summit. He also deprived Blair of a last achievement. Were it not for his relationship with Bush and support for his Iraq policy, Blair would not be leaving Downing Street. He has sacrificed his career to Bush's fiasco. His advice on the reconstruction of Iraq ignored, his advocacy grew more passionate. From whom much has been asked, nothing has been given.

While Bush was undermining traditional allies, Russian President Vladimir Putin was making child's play of him. Bush's proposal to put tracking stations for a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic gave Putin his opening. In response, he offered a radar site in Azerbaijan to be jointly operated by the United States and Russia. Bush had deployed the wrong tactic on behalf of the wrong strategy. Bush's missile shield has not been proved to work, has cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and has an uncertain purpose. Is the plan meant to reassure eastern European nations of the former Warsaw Pact, Donald Rumsfeld's "new Europe," against Russia, or is it a short-term ploy to rally support in the one region in the world that still likes Bush because of deep residual pro-Americanism? If Bush intended to persuade Putin to temper his authoritarianism, he only succeeded in antagonizing the Russian leader. As Bush's "freedom" agenda has collapsed, he has reverted to a Plan B for a new ersatz Cold War. His ham-handed move allowed the adroit Putin to change the subject and corner him. Meanwhile, the engagement of Russia in areas of mutual interest -- containing Iran -- languishes.

In Iraq, Bush's policy is now to arm all sides in the sectarian civil war between Shiites and Sunnis. He claims to be devoted to nation building, which he previously dismissed, while he presides over a mass exodus of 2 million Iraqis, upholds law and order while holding tens of thousands of prisoners without due process, and conducts a "surge" of troops to secure the capital city of Baghdad whose main effect has been to facilitate its ethnic cleansing. The Iraqi government, for its part, has not met any of the benchmarks in reforming its laws demanded by the United States as the sine qua non of continuing support.

And where in the world is Condoleezza Rice? While Bush was in Europe, the secretary of state was at home. Instead of attending the summit, she delivered a speech at the Economic Club of New York, announcing that the new doctrine of the administration henceforth should be called "American realism." Until that moment, we were supposed to refer to it as "transformational diplomacy." Rice, the former realist turned neoconservative fellow traveler, seemed to have come full circle. But what was it exactly that she was doing with her rhetorical adjustment?

Rice's frenetic but feckless diplomacy in the Middle East has been fruitless. She is unwilling or unable to break beyond the bounds that Bush establishes, forbidding relations with Syria, for example, and thus guaranteeing her failure.

As she shuttles endlessly and meaninglessly, neoconservatives within the White House undermine her foredoomed initiatives. Elliott Abrams, the deputy national security advisor for policy, in briefing a meeting of Jewish Republicans, said that Rice's "talks are sometimes not more than 'process for the sake of process,'" the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on May 14. According to Haaretz, "Those attending the meeting of Jewish Republicans understood Abrams' comments as an assurance that the peace initiative promoted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice doesn't have the full backing of President George W. Bush." As she engages in an academic exercise to rebrand empty rhetoric with new empty rhetoric, the neocons continue to create a parallel foreign policy.

Rice contradicts herself but forgets that she has. Bush continues to prattle about "freedom" but cannot remember his benchmarks. Only Dick Cheney remains consistent. The new mission statement is the old mission statement. The new scenarios are the old delusions. Time marches on.
Today's excitement: Bush has vetoed the children's health plan because it will cost (gasp ) $35 billion over the next five years.

That's about three months' worth of mayhem and destruction in ONE YEAR in Iraq... as the war gets $200 BILLION dollars to operate in 2008.

Maybe American parents have to consider sending their children to Iraq to get their heath care. I'm sure there's a free state of the art clinic in the Green Zone.

The perversity and shame of this country's actions is overwhelming. Every month that goes by it gets worse, more hideous, more sad.
and again, and again......................


AP Newswire service. By MIKE STOBBE,

` ATLANTA - More than 1 million cases of chlamydia were reported in the United States last year "” the most ever reported for a sexually transmitted disease, federal health officials said Tuesday.

"A new U.S. record," said Dr. John M. Douglas Jr. of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More bad news: Gonorrhea rates are jumping again after hitting a record low, and an increasing number of cases are caused by a "superbug" version resistant to common antibiotics, federal officials said Tuesday.

Syphilis is rising, too. The rate of congenital syphilis "” which can deform or kill babies "” rose for the first time in 15 years.

"Hopefully we will not see this turn into a trend," said Dr. Khalil Ghanem, an infectious diseases specialist at Johns Hopkins University's School of medicine.

The CDC releases a report each year on chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, three diseases caused by sexually transmitted bacteria.

Chlamydia is the most common. Nearly 1,031,000 cases were reported last year, up from 976,000 the year before.

The count broke the single-year record for reported cases of a sexually transmitted disease, which was 1,013,436 cases of gonorrhea, set in 1978.

Putting those numbers into rates, there were about 349 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 people in 2006, up 5.6 percent from the 329 per 100,000 rate in 2005.

CDC officials say the chlamydia record may not be all bad news: They think the higher number is largely a result of better and more intensive screening.

Since 1993, the CDC has recommended annual screening in sexually active women ages 15 to 25. Meanwhile, urine and swab tests for the bacteria are getting better and are used more often, for men as well as women, said Douglas, director of the CDC's Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention.

About three-quarters of women infected with chlamydia have no symptoms. Left untreated, the infection can spread and ultimately can lead to infertility. It's easily treated if caught early.

Health officials believe as many as 2.8 million new cases may actually be occurring each year, he added.

Chlamydia infection rates are more than seven times higher in black women then whites, and more than twice as high in black women than Hispanics. But it's a risk women of all races should consider, CDC officials said.

"If (health care) providers think young women in their practice don't have chlamydia, they should think again," said Dr. Stuart Berman, a CDC epidemiologist.

The gonorrhea story is somewhat different.

In 2004, the nation's gonorrhea rate fell to 112.4 cases per 100,000 people in 2004, the lowest level since the government started tracking cases in 1941.

But since then, health officials have seen two consecutive years of increases. The 2006 rate "” about 121 per 100,000 "” represents a 5.5 percent increase from 2005.

Health officials don't know exactly how many superbug cases there were among the more than 358,000 gonorrhea cases reported in 2006. But a surveillance project of 28 cities found that 14 percent were resistant to ciprofloxacin and other medicines in the fluoroquinolones class of antibiotics.

Similar samples found that 9 percent were resistant to those antibiotics in 2005, and 7 percent were resistant in 2004. The appearance of the superbug has been previously reported, and the CDC is April advised doctors to stop using those drugs against gonorrhea.

Douglas said it doesn't look like the superbugs are the reason for gonorrhea's escalating numbers overall, but they're not sure what is driving the increase.

Other doctors are worried. The superbug gonorrhea has been on the rise not only in California and Hawaii, where the problem has been most noticeable, but also in the South and parts of the Midwest.

"Suddenly we're starting to see the spread," Ghanem said.

Syphilis, a potentially deadly disease that first shows up as genital sores, has become relatively rare in the United States. About 9,800 cases of the most contagious forms or syphilis were reported in 2006, up from about 8,700 in 2005.

The rate rose from 2.9 cases per 100,000 people to 3.3, a 14 percent increase.

For congenital syphilis, in which babies get syphilis from their mothers, the rate rose only slightly from the previous year to 8.5 cases per 100,000 live births.
Why promote a whole galaxy of warped values to young females if they can't participate in that same value system?


From The Times
March 25, 2008

Miss Bimbo website promotes extreme diets and surgery to 9-year-olds

The internet game, aimed at girls aged 9 to 16, gives users 'bimbo dollars' to buy lingerie, diet pills and nightclub outfits. It has attracted 200,000 UK members

A website that encourages girls as young as 9 to embrace plastic surgery and extreme dieting in the search for the perfect figure was condemned as lethal by parents' groups and healthcare experts yesterday.

The Miss Bimbo internet game has attracted prepubescent girls who are told to buy their virtual characters breast enlargement surgery and to keep them "waif thin" with diet pills.
Healthcare professionals, a parents' group and an organisation representing people suffering anorexia and bulimia criticised the website for sending a dangerous message to impressionable children.

In the month since it opened the site, which is aimed at girls aged from 9 to 16, has attracted 200,000 members. Players keep a constant watch on the weight, wardrobe, wealth and happiness of their character to create "the coolest, richest and most famous bimbo in the world". Competing against other children they earn "bimbo dollars" to buy plastic surgery, diet pills, facelifts, lingerie and fashionable nightclub outfits.

The website sparked controversy when it was introduced in France, where it attracted 1.2 million players.

The Miss Bimbo site was set up by Nicholas Jacquart, a French entrepreneur. He moved to Tooting, South London, recently and with a 30-year-old businessman called Chris Evans set up Ouza Ltd to promote the website in Britain.
Registration on the Miss Bimbo site is free but it makes money by charging £1.50 per text message to buy "dollars" to spend on the characters. On the rules section it states that despite contestants wanting "to keep your bimbo waif thin . . . every girl needs to eat, every now and again". It suggests feeding the character to prevent her dying of starvation.

Mr Jacquart claims the game teaches children about the real world and is simply harmless fun.

He said: "The game is structured in such a way that it simply mirrors real life in a tongue-in-cheek way. It is not a bad influence for young children. They learn to take care of their bimbos. The missions and goals for the bimbos are morally sound and teach children about the real world.

"If they eat too much chocolate in the game, it is bad for their bimbos' bodies and their happiness levels compared to if they eat fruit and vegetables, which reinforces positive healthy eating messages.

"The breast operations are just one part of the game and we are not encouraging young girls to have them."

Mr Evans admitted that the story in the script had been created by "lads" and no professional advice was sought about how girls may interpret issues surrounding weight loss and gain.

Nick Williams, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, said that he was appalled when he saw his daughters Katie, 9, and Sarah, 14, on the site pondering whether to buy their character breast operations and facelifts.

Mr Williams, 42, said: "I noticed them looking at possible breast operations and facelifts at the game's plastic surgery clinic. It is irresponsible of the site's creators to be leading young girls astray. They are easily influenced at that age as to what is cool and these are not things they should be encouraged to aspire to before they are old enough to be making up their own minds."

Peer pressure
Users are set targets:
Level 7
After you broke up with your boyfriend you went on an eating binge! Now it's time to diet . . . Your target weight is less than 132lbs

Level 9
Have a nip and tuck operation for a brand new face. You've found work as a plus-size model. To gain those vivacious curves, you need to weigh more than 154lbs

Level 10
Summertime is coming up and bikini weather is upon us. You want to turn heads on the beach don't you?

Level 11
Bigger is better! Have a breast operation

Level 17
There is a billionaire on vacation . . . You must catch his eye and his love! Good luck!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Take a look, become a virtual bimbo!
Miss Bimbo, virtual fashion game! - The world's first virtual fashion game ! Become the most famous and beautiful bimbo in the world.

If the site is blocked here is copy from the splashpage:

Welcome to Miss Bimbo. The world's first virtual fashion game !
Become the most famous and beautiful bimbo in the world !

* Find your own place to live.
* Find a job to provide for your needs and to buy all the clothes you want.
* Buy the latest fashions and become the coolest bimbo on the street !
* Become a socialite in order to increase your popularity and fame.
* Charm a famous handsome man to become a social diva.
* Even resort to medicine or cosmetic surgery. Stop at nothing to make yourself the Queen of the bimbos !
* Tackle the 68 tasks as quick as possible to become a star bimbo !!

----Or take a peek at the original French site:

View the demo:

1,192,524 bimbos subscribe !

---Society eats its own gender values.
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From The Independent.

USA 2008: The Great Depression

Food stamps are the symbol of poverty in the US. In the era of the credit crunch, a record 28 million Americans are now relying on them to survive – a sure sign the world's richest country faces economic crisis

David Usborne in New York
Tuesday, 1 April 2008

We knew things were bad on Wall Street, but on Main Street it may be worse. Startling official statistics show that as a new economic recession stalks the United States, a record number of Americans will shortly be depending on food stamps just to feed themselves and their families.

Dismal projections by the Congressional Budget Office in Washington suggest that in the fiscal year starting in October, 28 million people in the US will be using government food stamps to buy essential groceries, the highest level since the food assistance programme was introduced in the 1960s.

The increase – from 26.5 million in 2007 – is due partly to recent efforts to increase public awareness of the programme and also a switch from paper coupons to electronic debit cards. But above all it is the pressures being exerted on ordinary Americans by an economy that is suddenly beset by troubles. Housing foreclosures, accelerating jobs losses and fast-rising prices all add to the squeeze.

Emblematic of the downturn until now has been the parades of houses seized in foreclosure all across the country, and myriad families separated from their homes. But now the crisis is starting to hit the country in its gut. Getting food on the table is a challenge many Americans are finding harder to meet. As a barometer of the country's economic health, food stamp usage may not be perfect, but can certainly tell a story.

Michigan has been in its own mini-recession for years as its collapsing industrial base, particularly in the car industry, has cast more and more out of work. Now, one in eight residents of the state is on food stamps, double the level in 2000. "We have seen a dramatic increase in recent years, but we have also seen it climbing more in recent months," Maureen Sorbet, a spokeswoman for Michigan's programme, said. "It's been increasing steadily. Without the programme, some families and kids would be going without."

But the trend is not restricted to the rust-belt regions. Forty states are reporting increases in applications for the stamps, actually electronic cards that are filled automatically once a month by the government and are swiped by shoppers at the till, in the 12 months from December 2006. At least six states, including Florida, Arizona and Maryland, have had a 10 per cent increase in the past year.

In Rhode Island, the segment of the population on food stamps has risen by 18 per cent in two years. The food programme started 40 years ago when hunger was still a daily fact of life for many Americans. The recent switch from paper coupons to the plastic card system has helped remove some of the stigma associated with the food stamp programme. The card can be swiped as easily as a bank debit card. To qualify for the cards, Americans do not have to be exactly on the breadline. The programme is available to people whose earnings are just above the official poverty line. For Hubert Liepnieks, the card is a lifeline he could never afford to lose. Just out of prison, he sleeps in overnight shelters in Manhattan and uses the card at a Morgan Williams supermarket on East 23rd Street. Yesterday, he and his fiancée, Christine Schultz, who is in a wheelchair, shared one banana and a cup of coffee bought with the 82 cents left on it.

"They should be refilling it in the next three or four days," Liepnieks says. At times, he admits, he and friends bargain with owners of the smaller grocery shops to trade the value of their cards for cash, although it is illegal. "It can be done. I get $7 back on $10."

Richard Enright, the manager at this Morgan Williams, says the numbers of customers on food stamps has been steady but he expects that to rise soon. "In this location, it's still mostly old people and people who have retired from city jobs on stamps," he says. Food stamp money was designed to supplement what people could buy rather than covering all the costs of a family's groceries. But the problem now, Mr Enright says, is that soaring prices are squeezing the value of the benefits.

"Last St Patrick's Day, we were selling Irish soda bread for $1.99. This year it was $2.99. Prices are just spiralling up, because of the cost of gas trucking the food into the city and because of commodity prices. People complain, but I tell them it's not my fault everything is more expensive."

The US Department of Agriculture says the cost of feeding a low-income family of four has risen 6 per cent in 12 months. "The amount of food stamps per household hasn't gone up with the food costs," says Dayna Ballantyne, who runs a food bank in Des Moines, Iowa. "Our clients are finding they aren't able to purchase food like they used to."

And the next monthly job numbers, to be released this Friday, are likely to show 50,000 more jobs were lost nationwide in March, and the unemployment rate is up to perhaps 5 per cent.
How long before they shoot someone by mistake?


Machine-Gun-Toting Officers To Patrol NYC Subway
M4 Carbine Rifles, MP5 Submachine Guns & Bomb Sniffing Dogs Part Of New "Torch Team" Anti-Terror Efforts

Magee Hickey NEW YORK (CBS) "• More protection against terrorists is coming to a subway station near you. Starting Thursday, special bomb teams - "Torch Teams" - will be toting submachine guns and bringing bomb-sniffing dogs onto the platforms and into the trains. CBS 2 was out first thing Thursday morning on the lookout for these significant security measure improvements.

It's a first for mass transit in the United States. NYPD officers, armed with rifles, submachine guns, body armor and bomb sniffing dogs will begin patrolling the city's subway system thanks to a 50 percent increase in a homeland security grant.

The city's massive subway system has long been considered a potential terror target; six officers and a dog will constitute a team, patrolling all platforms and trains in 12-hour shifts. The "Torch Teams" will be toting MP5 submachine guns and M4 Carbine rifles that are used by Navy seals and FBI hostage-rescue teams. The teams are being paid for by $151 million from the Feds.

Similarly equipped NYPD units, known as "Hercules Teams," have patrolled Wall Street, the Empire State building and other aboveground city landmarks for years as a response to the World Trade Center attacks.

A police official likened the "Torch Teams" to "Hercules Teams" with metro cards. In this age of heightened security, commuters and keen canines will share the underground world of mass transit
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And just how much did being pickled in ergot play in old Albert getting to be 102?

Albert Hofmann, the Father of LSD, Dies at 102
Published: April 30, 2008

PARIS "” Albert Hofmann, the mystical Swiss chemist who gave the world LSD, the most powerful psychotropic substance known, died Tuesday at his hilltop home near Basel, Switzerland. He was 102.

The cause was a heart attack, said Rick Doblin, founder and president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a California-based group that in 2005 republished Dr. Hofmann's 1979 book "LSD: My Problem Child."

Dr. Hofmann first synthesized the compound lysergic acid diethylamide in 1938 but did not discover its psychopharmacological effects until five years later, when he accidentally ingested the substance that became known to the 1960s counterculture as acid.

He then took LSD hundreds of times, but regarded it as a powerful and potentially dangerous psychotropic drug that demanded respect. More important to him than the pleasures of the psychedelic experience was the drug's value as a revelatory aid for contemplating and understanding what he saw as humanity's oneness with nature. That perception, of union, which came to Dr. Hofmann as almost a religious epiphany while still a child, directed much of his personal and professional life.

Dr. Hofmann was born in Baden, a spa town in northern Switzerland, on Jan. 11, 1906, the eldest of four children. His father, who had no higher education, was a toolmaker in a local factory, and the family lived in a rented apartment. But Dr. Hofmann spent much of his childhood outdoors.

He would wander the hills above the town and play around the ruins of a Hapsburg castle, the Stein. "It was a real paradise up there," he said in an interview in 2006. "We had no money, but I had a wonderful childhood."
It was during one of his ambles that he had his epiphany.

"It happened on a May morning "” I have forgotten the year "” but I can still point to the exact spot where it occurred, on a forest path on Martinsberg above Baden," he wrote in "LSD: My Problem Child." "As I strolled through the freshly greened woods filled with bird song and lit up by the morning sun, all at once everything appeared in an uncommonly clear light. "It shone with the most beautiful radiance, speaking to the heart, as though it wanted to encompass me in its majesty. I was filled with an indescribable sensation of joy, oneness and blissful security."

Though Dr. Hofmann's father was a Roman Catholic and his mother a Protestant, Dr. Hofmann, from an early age, felt that organized religion missed the point. When he was 7 or 8, he recalled, he spoke to a friend about whether Jesus was divine. "I said that I didn't believe, but that there must be a God because there is the world and someone made the world," he said. "I had this very deep connection with nature."

Dr. Hofmann went on to study chemistry at Zurich University because, he said, he wanted to explore the natural world at the level where energy and elements combine to create life. He earned his Ph.D. there in 1929, when he was just 23. He then took a job with Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, attracted by a program there that sought to synthesize pharmacological compounds from medicinally important plants.

It was during his work on the ergot fungus, which grows in rye kernels, that he stumbled on LSD, accidentally ingesting a trace of the compound one Friday afternoon in April 1943. Soon he experienced an altered state of consciousness similar to the one he had experienced as a child.

On the following Monday, he deliberately swallowed a dose of LSD and rode his bicycle home as the effects of the drug overwhelmed him. That day, April 19, later became memorialized by LSD enthusiasts as "bicycle day."

Dr. Hofmann's work produced other important drugs, including methergine, used to treat postpartum hemorrhaging, the leading cause of death from childbirth. But it was LSD that shaped both his career and his spiritual quest.
"Through my LSD experience and my new picture of reality, I became aware of the wonder of creation, the magnificence of nature and of the animal and plant kingdom," Dr. Hofmann told the psychiatrist Stanislav Grof during an interview in 1984. "I became very sensitive to what will happen to all this and all of us."

Dr. Hofmann became an impassioned advocate for the environment and argued that LSD, besides being a valuable tool for psychiatry, could be used to awaken a deeper awareness of mankind's place in nature and help curb society's ultimately self-destructive degradation of the natural world.

But he was also disturbed by the cavalier use of LSD as a drug for entertainment, arguing that it should be treated in the way that primitive societies treat psychoactive sacred plants, which are ingested with care and spiritual intent.

After his discovery of LSD's properties, Dr. Hofmann spent years researching sacred plants. With his friend R. Gordon Wasson, he participated in psychedelic rituals with Mazatec shamans in southern Mexico. He succeeded in synthesizing the active compounds in the Psilocybe mexicana mushroom, which he named psilocybin and psilocin. He also isolated the active compound in morning glory seeds, which the Mazatec also used as an intoxicant, and found that its chemical structure was close to that of LSD.

During the psychedelic era, Dr. Hofmann struck up friendships with such outsize personalities as Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg and Aldous Huxley, who, nearing death in 1963, asked his wife for an injection of LSD to help him through the final painful throes of throat cancer.

Yet despite his involvement with psychoactive compounds, Dr. Hofmann remained moored in his Swiss chemist identity. He stayed with Sandoz as head of the research department for natural medicines until his retirement in 1971. He wrote more than 100 scientific articles and was the author or co-author of a number of books
He and his wife, Anita, who died recently, reared four children in Basel. A son died of alcoholism at 53. Survivors include several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Though Dr. Hofmann called LSD "medicine for the soul," by 2006 his hallucinogenic days were long behind him, he said in the interview that year. "I know LSD; I don't need to take it anymore," he said, adding. "Maybe when I die, like Aldous Huxley."

But he said LSD had not affected his understanding of death. In death, he said, "I go back to where I came from, to where I was before I was born, that's all."
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So, you're all moving, before the Little Bush Idiocracy gets its puppets on the Supreme Court to parrot their anti-social extremeist diktats?

California Court Affirms Right to Gay Marriage
Published: May 16, 2008
Same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The court's 4-to-3 decision striking down state laws that had limited marriages to unions between a man and a woman makes California only the second state, after Massachusetts, to allow same-sex marriages. The decision, which becomes effective in 30 days, is certain to play a role in the presidential campaign.
"In view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship," Chief Justice Ronald M. George wrote of marriage for the majority, "the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples."
California already has a strong domestic partnership law that gives gay and lesbian couples nearly all of the benefits and burdens of heterosexual marriage. The majority said that is not enough.
Given the historic, cultural, symbolic and constitutional significance of the concept of marriage, Chief Justice George wrote, the state cannot limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. The court left open the possibility that another terms could denote state-sanctioned unions so long as that term was used across the board.
The state's ban on same-sex marriage was based on a law enacted by the Legislature in 1977 and a statewide initiative approved by the voters in 2000, both defining marriage as limited to unions between a man and a woman. The question before the court was whether those laws violate provisions of the state Constitution protecting equality and fundamental rights.
Conservative groups have proposed a new initiative, this one to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. If it is allowed onto the ballot in November and approved by the voters, Thursday's decision would be overridden. The groups have gathered more than a million signatures on initiative petitions and submitted them to the state.
Justice Marvin R. Baxter, dissenting, said the majority had should have deferred to the state Legislature, which has in recent years increased legal protections for same-sex couples.
"But a bare majority of this court," Justice Baxter wrote, "not satisfied with the pace of democratic change, now abruptly forestalls that process and substitutes, by judicial fiat, its own social policy views for those expressed by the people themselves."
The California Legislature has twice passed bills allowing same-sex marriages, but they were vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said they would overturn the 2000 referendum.
Mr. Schwarzenegger opposes the current ballot initiative seeking a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. He said Thursday that he respected the court's decision and would not support overturning it, according to The Associated Press.
In 2004, Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco directed the county clerk to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Before the California Supreme Court halted the practice, more than 4,000 same-sex couples received marriage licenses in San Francisco.
Strictly for geeks, but.....
Remember the next time you perform an exaflop, which is a quintillion calculations per second, followed by the zettaflop, the yottaflop and the xeraflop, your computer liesuretime fun is owed to the need of the military to test nuclear bomb detonations.


Military Supercomputer Sets Record

Published: June 9, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO "” An American military supercomputer, assembled from components originally designed for video game machines, has reached a long-sought-after computing milestone by processing more than 1.026 quadrillion calculations per second.

The Roadrunner supercomputer costs $133 million and will be used to study nuclear weapons.
The new machine is more than twice as fast as the previous fastest supercomputer, the I.B.M. BlueGene/L, which is based at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

The new $133 million supercomputer, called Roadrunner in a reference to the state bird of New Mexico, was devised and built by engineers and scientists at I.B.M. and Los Alamos National Laboratory, based in Los Alamos, N.M. It will be used principally to solve classified military problems to ensure that the nation's stockpile of nuclear weapons will continue to work correctly as they age. The Roadrunner will simulate the behavior of the weapons in the first fraction of a second during an explosion.

Before it is placed in a classified environment, it will also be used to explore scientific problems like climate change. The greater speed of the Roadrunner will make it possible for scientists to test global climate models with higher accuracy.

To put the performance of the machine in perspective, Thomas P. D'Agostino, the administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, said that if all six billion people on earth used hand calculators and performed calculations 24 hours a day and seven days a week, it would take them 46 years to do what the Roadrunner can in one day.

The machine is an unusual blend of chips used in consumer products and advanced parallel computing technologies. The lessons that computer scientists learn by making it calculate even faster are seen as essential to the future of both personal and mobile consumer computing.

The high-performance computing goal, known as a petaflop "” one thousand trillion calculations per second "” has long been viewed as a crucial milestone by military, technical and scientific organizations in the United States, as well as a growing group including Japan, China and the European Union. All view supercomputing technology as a symbol of national economic competitiveness.

By running programs that find a solution in hours or even less time "” compared with as long as three months on older generations of computers "” petaflop machines like Roadrunner have the potential to fundamentally alter science and engineering, supercomputer experts say. Researchers can ask questions and receive answers virtually interactively and can perform experiments that would previously have been impractical.

"This is equivalent to the four-minute mile of supercomputing," said Jack Dongarra, a computer scientist at the University of Tennessee who for several decades has tracked the performance of the fastest computers.

Each new supercomputing generation has brought scientists a step closer to faithfully simulating physical reality. It has also produced software and hardware technologies that have rapidly spilled out into the rest of the computer industry for consumer and business products.

Technology is flowing in the opposite direction as well. Consumer-oriented computing began dominating research and development spending on technology shortly after the cold war ended in the late 1980s, and that trend is evident in the design of the world's fastest computers.
The Roadrunner is based on a radical design that includes 12,960 chips that are an improved version of an I.B.M. Cell microprocessor, a parallel processing chip originally created for Sony's PlayStation 3 video-game machine. The Sony chips are used as accelerators, or turbochargers, for portions of calculations.
The Roadrunner also includes a smaller number of more conventional Opteron processors, made by Advanced Micro Devices, which are already widely used in corporate servers.

"Roadrunner tells us about what will happen in the next decade," said Horst Simon, associate laboratory director for computer science at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "Technology is coming from the consumer electronics market and the innovation is happening first in terms of cellphones and embedded electronics."

The innovations flowing from this generation of high-speed computers will most likely result from the way computer scientists manage the complexity of the system's hardware.

Roadrunner, which consumes roughly three megawatts of power, or about the power required by a large suburban shopping center, requires three separate programming tools because it has three types of processors. Programmers have to figure out how to keep all of the 116,640 processor cores in the machine occupied simultaneously in order for it to run effectively.

"We've proved some skeptics wrong," said Michael R. Anastasio, a physicist who is director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. "This gives us a window into a whole new way of computing. We can look at phenomena we have never seen before."
Solving that programming problem is important because in just a few years personal computers will have microprocessor chips with dozens or even hundreds of processor cores. The industry is now hunting for new techniques for making use of the new computing power. Some experts, however, are skeptical that the most powerful supercomputers will provide useful examples.
"If Chevy wins the Daytona 500, they try to convince you the Chevy Malibu you're driving will benefit from this," said Steve Wallach, a supercomputer designer who is chief scientist of Convey Computer, a start-up firm based in Richardson, Tex.

Those who work with weapons might not have much to offer the video gamers of the world, he suggested. Many executives and scientists see Roadrunner as an example of the resurgence of the United States in supercomputing.
Although American companies had dominated the field since its inception in the 1960s, in 2002 the Japanese Earth Simulator briefly claimed the title of the world's fastest by executing more than 35 trillion mathematical calculations per second. Two years later, a supercomputer created by I.B.M. reclaimed the speed record for the United States. The Japanese challenge, however, led Congress and the Bush administration to reinvest in high-performance computing.

"It's a sign that we are maintaining our position," said Peter J. Ungaro, chief executive of Cray, a maker of supercomputers. He noted, however, that "the real competitiveness is based on the discoveries that are based on the machines."
Having surpassed the petaflop barrier, I.B.M. is already looking toward the next generation of supercomputing. "You do these record-setting things because you know that in the end we will push on to the next generation and the one who is there first will be the leader," said Nicholas M. Donofrio, an I.B.M. executive vice president.

By breaking the petaflop barrier sooner than had been generally expected, the United States' supercomputer industry has been able to sustain a pace of continuous performance increases, improving a thousandfold in processing power in 11 years. The next thousandfold goal is the exaflop, which is a quintillion calculations per second, followed by the zettaflop, the yottaflop and the xeraflop
We were in Oaxaca and saw them.
One scene I'll never forget was this one "woman" had a maid, as many of them do.
But the maid was also a tranny.
She was an Indian wearing traditional Zapotec clothes and pigtails but was clearly a man.
It's funny the gender thing was not an issue but the class thing...
as an Indian she was the maid.
So if you think real estate is bad here and getting worse.......
How about what could be the reason I received this SPAMmail from Moscow ? ? ? ?

-----Original Message-----
From: Осип (Иосиф) Виталий []
Sent: Monday, February 16, 2009 11:34 AM
Subject: Premises for night club in Moscow

Premises for lease (1000 sq m). The premises of the former restaurant on the 2nd and 3rd floors in an A-class building in the centre of Moscow near metro stations Chekhovskaya, Pushkinskaya, Tverskaya.

Power capacity is 700 kW. Panoramic view elevator for 40 persons. Modern architectural conception of the restored in 2002 monument of history and architecture (total area 5649 sq m). Ceiling hight - 3,5 - 4m. One possessor of right.

Possible usage: bank, stock exchange, restaurant, karaoke or nightclub, exhibition halls, offices, marriage agency, producer centre, model agency, dance school, fitness club etc.

Time of lease - by agreement

Rental rate - USD 900 per sq m a year, including VAT

Utility payments and operating costs - on actual basis

You can contact us via e-mail: or phones+7 926 111 78 58 ; +7 495 699 3858 ; +7 495 699 7236 ; +7 495 699 3205


Only $75,000 a month rent!
And what is a marriage agency and how is it lucerative enough to foot that rent?
I like how in Moscow a dance school or fitness club can make as much money as a bank or stock exchange. What kind of dances are they teaching?
I'd like to just rent out the "panoramic view elevator for 40 persons." Then I would get Daddy and Sammy Jo to DJ in it and call it the Rise and Fall Club.
The news is, NYC makes the largest amount of arrests, nearly half a million since '97 !, for marijuana possession of any city in the whole world. Against the intent of New York State Law.

Here's the authoritative word on NYC police department's continuing crusade to arrest people for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The interesting focus is on the exact technique the cops use to intimidate and fool individuals into getting themselves arrested:

"However, police officers can legally make false statements to people they stop, and officers can trick people into revealing things. So in a stern, authoritative voice, NYPD officers will say to the young people they stop:

"We're going to have to search you. If you have anything illegal you should show it to us now. If we find something when we search you, you'll have to spend the night in jail. But if you show us what you have now, maybe we can just give you a ticket. And if it’s nothing but a little weed, maybe we can let you go. So if you’ve got anything you’re not supposed to have, take it out and show it now.”

When police say this, the young people usually take out their small amount of marijuana and hand it over. Their marijuana is now "open to public view." And that – having a bit of pot out and open to be seen – technically makes it a crime, a fingerprintable offense. And for cooperating with the police, the young people are handcuffed and jailed."

Here is the whole news article:

The Epidemic of Pot Arrests in New York City
Posted by CN Staff on August 10, 2009 at 04:55:22 PT
By Harry G. Levine, AlterNet
Source: AlterNet

New York -- There are two things that need to be understood about marijuana arrests in New York City.
First, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is not a crime in New York State. Since 1977 and passage of the Marijuana Reform Act, state law has made simple possession of less than seventh-eights of an ounce of pot a violation, like a traffic violation.

One can be given a ticket and fined $100 for marijuana possession, but not fingerprinted and jailed. For over thirty years, New York State has formally, legally, decriminalized possession of marijuana.

Second, despite that law, since 1997 the New York City Police Department has arrested 430,000 people for possessing small amounts of marijuana, mostly teenagers and young people in their twenties. Most people arrested were not smoking pot. Usually they just carried a bit of it in a pocket. In 2008 alone, the NYPD arrested and jailed 40,300 people for possessing a small amount of marijuana. These extraordinary numbers of arrests and jailings, continuing for over twelve years, now make New York City the marijuana arrest capital of the world.

The arrests for marijuana possession first increased dramatically under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. They have continued unabated under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. By 2008 Bloomberg had arrested more people for pot possession than Giuliani, and more than other mayor in the world.

Why has the NYPD continued to order narcotics and patrol officers to make so many misdemeanor pot arrests? For many reasons. The arrests are easy, safe, and provide training for new officers. The arrests gain overtime pay for patrol and narcotics police and their supervisors. The pot arrests allow officers to show productivity, which counts for promotions and choice assignments. Marijuana arrests enable the NYPD to obtain fingerprints, photographs and other data on many young people they would not otherwise have in their criminal justice databases. And there is very little public criticism and thus far no political opposition to New York City's marijuana arrest crusade.

Do the pot arrests reduce serious and violent crimes? No, if anything they increase other crimes. Professors Harcourt and Ludwig at the University of Chicago Law School analyzed NYPD data and concluded that the pot possession arrests took officers off the street and distracted them from other crime-fighting activities. "New York City’s marijuana policing strategy," they reported, "is having exactly the wrong effect on serious crime – increasing it, rather than decreasing it.” Veteran police officers agree terming the possession arrests "a waste of time." The arrests drain resources not just of police, but also of courts, jails, prosecutors and public defenders.

Perhaps most appalling is who the police are arresting for marijuana possession. U.S. government studies have consistently found that young whites use marijuana at higher rates than do young blacks or Latinos. But the NYPD has long arrested young blacks and Latinos for pot possession at much higher rates than whites.

In 2008, blacks were about 26% of New York City's population, but over 54% of the people arrested for pot possession. Latinos were about 27% of New Yorkers, but 33% of the pot arrestees. Whites were over 35% of the City's population, but less than 10% of the people arrested for possessing marijuana. In 2008, police arrested Latinos for pot possession at four times the rate of whites, and blacks at seven times the rate of whites.

Do the arrests violate New York State's decriminalization law? Yes and no. Yes, they certainly violate the spirit and intent of the 1977 law which explicitly sought to eliminate the pot possession arrests and the stigma of criminal records, especially for young people. And yes, some police, in particular narcotics squads, do make some illegal searches and arrests.

But no, most of the arrests are probably technically legal. The NYPD has found easy ways to trick or intimidate young people so they allow a search, or even just take out their marijuana and hand it over to the officers.

Here's how the police do it. NYPD commanders direct officers to stop and question many young people and make arrests for possessing "contraband." In 2008, the NYPD made more than half a million recorded stop and frisks and an unknown number of unrecorded stops, disproportionately in black, Latino and low-income neighborhoods. By far, the most common contraband young people might possess is a small amount of marijuana.

According to U.S. Supreme Court decisions, police are allowed to thoroughly pat down the outside of someone's clothing looking for a gun, which is bulky and easy to detect. But police cannot legally search inside a person's pockets and belongings without permission or probable cause.

However, police officers can legally make false statements to people they stop, and officers can trick people into revealing things. So in a stern, authoritative voice, NYPD officers will say to the young people they stop:

"We're going to have to search you. If you have anything illegal you should show it to us now. If we find something when we search you, you'll have to spend the night in jail. But if you show us what you have now, maybe we can just give you a ticket. And if it’s nothing but a little weed, maybe we can let you go. So if you’ve got anything you’re not supposed to have, take it out and show it now.”

When police say this, the young people usually take out their small amount of marijuana and hand it over. Their marijuana is now "open to public view." And that – having a bit of pot out and open to be seen – technically makes it a crime, a fingerprintable offense. And for cooperating with the police, the young people are handcuffed and jailed.

Before Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, New York police rarely if ever did this to make marijuana arrests. Since 1997 the NYPD has used this procedure to make tens of thousands of marijuana arrests a year, averaging about a hundred a day, every day for over twelve years. This is more than ten times the average number of marijuana arrests the City made previously. As NYPD and New York Criminal Court data show, before 1997 marijuana arrests were less than one percent of all arrests. The lowest-level misdemeanor pot possession arrests are now over ten percent of all arrests in New York City.

New York is extreme in the number of its marijuana arrests. But other cities are also making many pot possession arrests and jailings at high rates, often using the same techniques as the NYPD. As FBI arrest data shows, this includes Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, and other cities.

Since the 1990s, the U.S. War on Drugs has emphasized making many low-level possession arrests, especially of marijuana. At least forty percent of all drug arrests are now just for marijuana possession and U.S. marijuana arrests are at an all time high. In the last ten years, the U.S. has arrested more than six million people, mostly young people, for possessing marijuana.

As in New York City, pot arrests nationally are racially skewed, racially biased. Throughout the U.S., young blacks and Latinos are stopped, searched and arrested for pot possession at much higher rates than whites – even though young whites use marijuana at higher rates.

Do the arrests harm the people arrested? Absolutely. They produce permanent, criminal records which potential employers can easily find, often on the internet. As even the New York City Health Department recognizes, "A marijuana conviction can keep you from getting a student loan, a job, a house or an apartment – even years later." In effect, the marijuana arrests provide the young, mostly low-income blacks, Latinos and whites with a head start for unemployment and prison.

The arrests are expensive, but state and local governments do not have to pay for them all. Arrests for possessing even tiny amounts of marijuana and other drugs are subsidized by the U.S. government. Up to a billion dollars a year has been going to states, prosecutors and police departments through the Byrne Grant Program to “fight” drugs and crime. Many Democrats in Congress have been strong supporters of Byrne Grants, including Senators Joe Biden and Barack Obama.

In 2009, the economic stimulus package enacted by Congress added two billion dollars more to the Byrne Grant Program. This tripled Byrne Grant funding raising it to the highest level ever. As a result, this epidemic of racially-biased and stigmatizing marijuana possession arrests in New York City and elsewhere will grow even larger.

The Obama administration's Department of Justice could alter Byrne grant regulations so that police departments, prosecutors and local governments cannot use the federal funds to subsidize arrests of people who possess only small amounts of marijuana. That alone could do a great deal to reduce the arrests, jailings, and stigmatizing criminal records. But police departments and prosecutors have enormous political clout in Washington. And other than a few civil liberties and drug policy reform groups, there is currently little organized opposition to the pot arrests.

Partly because of the economic crisis, some people, especially in California, have proposed that marijuana be legalized, taxed and regulated like alcohol is. Serious, broad-ranging debate about alternatives to marijuana prohibition would be a sensible, hopeful development. But marijuana legalization would constitute a huge change in U.S. drug law and is not likely any time soon. Meanwhile, the great many damaging, expensive, racially-biased marijuana possession arrests and jailings continue – even in places like New York that have legally decriminalized simple possession.

In the 1980s Barack Obama was a college student in New York City, living on the border of Harlem. He used marijuana, walked around the city a lot, and sometimes may have carried a bit of pot in his pocket. If the current policing policies of New York and other cities were in effect at that time, he might well have been arrested and jailed. If that had happened Barack Obama would not be president today.

Is this what Americans want their police to be doing: arresting enormous numbers of young people, disproportionately black and Latino, and destroying their futures, for … pot possession?

Harry G. Levine is a professor of sociology at Queens College, City University of New York. He is the coauthor of Crack in America: Demon Drugs and Social Justice, and of the NYCLU report: Marijuana Arrest Crusade: Racial Bias and Police Policy in New York City, 1997-2007
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Baltimore Police have a similar nasty way of catching these same types of people. The police go into areas that have strip bars and these low class motels that are usually used by short term stays. The police go to the motels late at night knocking on peoples doors telling them that there are criminals robbing people in the area and the police then ask the motel guests if they, the police, can come into their room and talk to the guests about how they can be safe and not become a victim to criminals in the area. But in reality the police use this tactic so the guest allows the police to enter the motel room to hear how they can stay safe and once in the room the police can look around and search for contraband. Somehow because the guest at the motel allowed the police to enter, it’s then OK for the police to search without a warrant.

I rarely go to these motels, I now use the high class luxury hotels downtown. Lol

It is ironic that Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama all “experimented” with substances but they are not afraid to jail(enforce laws) people who do the same as they did. I wonder if the new senator Al Franken will be happy writing stiff drug enforcement laws with his new colleagues, I bet he smoked a few joints in his life,,,lol It’s funny what wearing a tie will do to a man. The phrase to use is, “do as I say, not what I do“.
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The frightening thing about this is it took about 20 years before health officials could see the real need for techaddiction rehab.


Internet rehab clinic for 'screenager' children hooked on modern technology

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 7:51 AM on 18th March 2010

Tech addicts: Teenagers hooked on computers and mobile phones will be treated in the first rehab clinic of its kind.
Children who are hooked on computer games, the internet and mobile phones are to be offered help at what is thought to be the first dedicated technology addiction service for young people in Britain.
The Capio Nightingale Hospital in central London - where singer Amy Winehouse was treated for drug addiction - launched the new service for patients as young as 12 following calls from parents concerned about their children's obsession.
Youngsters will be weaned off their gadgets in a residential unit and will also be taught face-to-face social skills.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Richard Graham said parents had told him their children flew 'into a rage' when they were asked to turn off their computers and police had even been called to settle the rows.
Dr Graham, who is leading the new addiction treatment, said rehab services need to 'adapt quickly' to help young people affected by technology addiction - who he dubbed 'screenagers' - rather than sticking with the same treatment models used for substance abuse.
'Mental health services need to adapt quickly to the changing worlds that young people inhabit, and understand just how seriously their lives can be impaired by unregulated time online, on-screen or in-game,' he said.
'We have found that many of the existing services fail to recognise the complexity of these situations, borrowing from older models of addiction and substance misuse to very limited effect.
'This is why Capio Nightingale Hospital has launched the first Young Person Technology Addiction Service, which we hope will address the underlying causes of this addiction to transform screenagers back into teenagers.'
The treatment aims to increase off-screen social activities and improve the person's confidence in face-to-face situations, the lack of which may have made them more susceptible to technology addiction.
It also encourages them to think about their relationship with their phone, computer games or social networking websites like Facebook and teaches them skills to help them to switch off.
The treatment package may also include a look at body image and physical health if the addiction has affected the child's confidence, activity levels or diet.
Strategies to deal with online problems, like cyber bullying, may also be part of intensive in-patient care, group or individual therapy.
Dr Graham told the London Evening Standard the technology addicts - who he compared to gambling addicts - were hyper-stimulated so they were 'always on the alert' and could suffer withdrawal symptoms like agitation.
'I've been contacted by parents who see their children going into a rage when they're told to turn off their computer. Some end up having to call the police,' he said.
Dr Graham said children played some computer games for the social contact, adding: 'It gives them a sense of connection so they end up playing all the time.'

He said: 'What we need are official guidelines now on what counts as healthy or unhealthy use of technology.'
Other clinics, including The Priory, offer treatment for internet addiction but have no dedicated service for young people.
A spokeswoman for Capio Nightingale Hospital said the service will be offered for children as young as 12 but those aged 15 to 17 are expected to be the main target group.
She said the service did not aim to make children give up technology use completely, instead they are encouraged to cut out any problem use - like computer games - and restrict the time spent using their phone or computer
She said the service did not aim to make children give up technology use completely, instead they are encouraged to cut out any problem use - like computer games - and restrict the time spent using their phone or computer

Isn't that the parent's responsibility? Why rob the taxpayer, other than the fact it's now tradition in socialist England?
This reminds me of a poem I heard recently at Low Life about the dog run in the park.
Here’s the Pub, Church and Field for Public Sex

Published: October 7, 2010

PUTTENHAM, England — There was the man they called “Bob the Builder,” who wore only a hard hat. There was the naked sunbather who remarked, “Nice day for it, isn’t it?” to a woman taking a walk. And there was the moment, Jules Perkins said, when the dizzying array of sexual forces that have somehow descended on her blameless Surrey village came together all at once, like a scene from a one-size-fits-all X-rated film.

The lay-by on the A31that is a popular haunt of Doggers and people cruising for sex.

“There were two blokes sitting side by side, watching a man and a woman having sex,” Ms. Perkins said, describing what happened as she strolled with her dog on the hill between her house and the Hog’s Back ridge. “Nearby, there were two men sunbathing together, wearing nothing but tight little white underpants.”

Later, she found a pink vibrator in the bushes.

“I gave it to the police,” she said. “They said, ‘What should we do with it?’ I said, ‘Put it in Lost Property.’ ”

Puttenham, about an hour’s drive from London, has fewer than 2,500 residents and is famous for its ancient church; its friendly pub, the Good Intent; and its proud inclusion in both the Domesday Book — an 11th-century survey of English lands — and “Brave New World.”

Unhappily for many people here, it is also famous for being featured on lists of good places to go “dogging” — that is, to have sex in public, sometimes with partners you have just met online, so that others can watch. So popular is the woodsy field below the ridge as a spot for gay sex (mostly during the day) and heterosexual sex (mostly at night) that the police have designated it a “public sex environment.”

Public sex is a popular — and quasi-legal — activity in Britain, according to the authorities and to the large number of Web sites that promote it. (It is treated as a crime only if someone witnesses it, is offended and is willing to make a formal complaint.) And the police tend to tread lightly in public sex environments, in part because of the bitter legacy of the time when gay sex was illegal and closeted men having anonymous sex in places like public bathrooms were routinely arrested and humiliated.

Enthusiasts’ Web sites alert practitioners to known dogging locations — more than 100 in Surrey alone — and offer handy etiquette tips for the confused or overly excited.

“Only join in or move closer if you are asked,” advises one site, Swinging Heaven, which says it has more than one million registered members.

Richard Byrne, a senior lecturer in countryside management at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire, said that modern technology has made dogging much more convenient than it used to be, thanks to search engines, Facebook groups and people tweeting about their experiences. “And of course, everybody’s got mobiles,” he said.

Swinging Heaven says that the practice began in Britain in the 1970s, and that the term comes from the phenomenon of voyeurs “doggedly” following people having sex. Others say that practitioners claim to be “walking the dog” when they are, in fact, going out to meet naked strangers in fields.

Britons are a tolerant bunch, and most probably would not care who watched whom doing what in whatever configuration, as long as they all went somewhere else. Why, Puttenham residents wonder, do they have to do it 400 yards from the village nursery school?”

“We have nothing against gays or whoever it is up there,” said Lydia Paterson, who lives here. “It’s just the principle of, ‘What on earth is going on?’ ”

A stroll through the field the other day unearthed no doggers (it was raining) but revealed much evidence of their existence. Debris — used condoms, things made of rubber, pages torn from pornographic magazines, snack wrappers, discarded tea cups — littered the area. The paths were dotted with black mats that people had conveniently left behind for the next time.

Residents have been pressing the authorities to do something, arguing that the government should simply close the rest stop that provides access to the offending field, just off the busy A31 road. That way, people hoping to have sex would have nowhere to park.

But local government officials refused, saying closing it would unfairly penalize motorists who genuinely wanted just to rest and would deprive the owner of the Hog’s Back cafe, also at the rest stop, of his livelihood.

Alternative suggestions, discussed at a recent meeting of the Surrey County Council Cabinet, included deploying rangers to patrol the site on horseback; encouraging hikers to roust doggers with actual dogs; and filling the field with potentially bad-tempered bulls.

“It was like, ‘Are you taking this seriously?’ ” Ms. Paterson said. “One cabinet member said, ‘If you close this site, there could be an increase in suicides because these people have nowhere else to go.’ ”

Some older residents sympathize with the council. “Honestly, it’s been going on for so many years,” said Jennifer Debenham, 71, a customer at the Good Intent.

Referring to a nearby village, an elderly man at the bar piped up, “At Wisley, there are two sites, one for males and one for heteros.”

Mrs. Debenham said, “I think we should just let them get on with it.”

The man added, “If you want to find out more, just put ‘dogging’ into your search engine.”

Meanwhile, frazzled residents trade tales of woe: The half-dressed men who materialize from the shrubbery and theatrically pretend to be foraging for nuts and berries. The Internet reviews (“One site listed us as the No. 2 dogging site in Europe,” Ms. Perkins said wearily). The occasion when an unsuspecting motorist went for a bathroom break in the bushes, only to be surrounded by a crowd of eager men.

“It was the quickest pee he’d ever done in his life,” Ms. Paterson said.

The council has agreed to institute an “active management plan” that might include cutting down some shrubbery and putting in security patrols. And the police recently put up a sign warning people not to engage in “activities of an unacceptable nature.”

“There was a lot of debate over the wording for that sign,” Ms. Paterson said. “I guess they didn’t want to say, ‘Don’t have sex.’ ”
Don't let the science stop you, it's about what makes you feel good !

February 16, 2011, 12:01 am

Phys Ed: What Really Causes Runner’s High?

<address class="byline author vcard">By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS</address>
Jordan Siemens/Getty Images

For decades, endorphins have hogged the credit for producing “runner’s high,” that fleeting sense of euphoria and calm that many people report experiencing after prolonged exercise. Who among us, after an especially satisfying workout, hasn’t thought, “ah, my endorphins are kicking in.” Endorphins are the world’s sole celebrity peptide.

Endorphins first gained notoriety in exercise back in the 1980s when researchers discovered increased blood levels of the substance after prolonged workouts. (Endorphins, for those who know the word but not the molecules’ actual function, are the body’s home-brewed opiates, with receptors and actions much like those of pain-relieving morphine.) Endorphins, however, are composed of relatively large molecules, “which are unable to pass the blood-brain barrier,” said Matthew Hill, a postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University in New York. Finding endorphins in the bloodstream after exercise could not, in other words, constitute proof that the substance was having an effect on the mind. So researchers started to look for other candidates to help explain runner’s high. Now an emerging field of neuroscience indicates that an altogether-different neurochemical system within the body and brain, the endocannabinoid system, may be more responsible for that feeling.

In a groundbreaking 2003 experiment, scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology found that 50 minutes of hard running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle significantly increased blood levels of endocannabinoid molecules in a group of college students. The endocannabinoid system was first mapped some years before that, when scientists set out to determine just how cannabis, a k a marijuana, acts upon the body. They found that a widespread group of receptors, clustered in the brain but also found elsewhere in the body, allow the active ingredient in marijuana to bind to the nervous system and set off reactions that reduce pain and anxiety and produce a floaty, free-form sense of well-being. Even more intriguing, the researchers found that with the right stimuli, the body creates its own cannabinoids (the endocannabinoids). These cannabinoids are composed of molecules known as lipids, which are small enough to cross the blood-brain barrier, so cannabinoids found in the blood after exercise could be affecting the brain.

<h6 class="kicker">Since that 2003 study, a flurry of research has been teasing out the role that endocannabinoids play in the body’s reaction to exercise. In some of Dr. Hill’s work, for instance, rats treated with a drug that blocked their endocannabinoid receptors did not experience the increase in new brain cells that usually accompanies running, suggesting that a well-functioning endocannabinoid system may be required for cognitive improvements from exercise. Other researchers have found that endocannabinoids may be what nudge us to tolerate or enjoy exercise in the first place. In an experiment published last year, groups of mice were assigned either to run on wheels or sip a sweetened drink. Running and slurping sugar previously were identified as pleasurable behaviors in animals. Now the researchers saw that both activities lit up and sensitized portions of the animals’ endocannabinoid systems, intimating that the endocannabinoid connection may lend both exercise and dessert their appeal.</h6>

But perhaps the most telling experiment was published last year by researchers in France who had bred mice with no functioning endocannabinoid receptors. Mice usually love to run, but the genetically modified animals, given free access to running wheels, ran about half as much as usual. Although the full intricacies of the endocannabinoid system’s role in motivating and rewarding exercise is not yet understood, it seems obvious, the researchers say, that the cannabinoid-deprived mice were not getting some necessary internal message. Typically, the endocannabinoid system “is well known to impact onto central reward networks,” the authors write. Without it, exercise seemed to provide less buzz, and the animals didn’t indulge as much.

Whether this accumulating new science establishes, or ever can establish, definitively, that endocannabinoids are behind runner’s high, is uncertain. As Francis Chaouloff, a researcher at the University of Bordeaux in France and lead author of the genetically modified mouse study, pointed out in an e-mail, rodents, although fine models for studying endocannabinoid action, “do not fill questionnaires to express their feelings related to running,” and runners’ high is a subjective human experience. Still, endocannabinoids are a more persuasive candidate, especially given the overlap between the high associated with marijuana use and descriptions of the euphoria associated with strenuous exercise. One recent review article described them: “pure happiness, elation, a feeling of unity with one’s self and/or nature, endless peacefulness,” and “inner harmony.” Ahhhh.

Since the multiple disasters in Japan interest in bomb/disaster shelters has gone up 1,000%.
At this great link you can scroll down about a third of the page to a really useful interactive chart where you can plug in the exact size of explosion and find out what the range and extent of various detrimental effects will be. Very educational. In the 'search' field just type in New York City, or wherever You are, then below the map move the 'weapon selector' slider to select the type of bomb, then click 'nuke it.'

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