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Submission + - US College students raise money for sex-change (yahoo.com)

RockDoctor writes: In a small and unusual outbreak of peculiarity, Yahoo is carrying news of an American college "fraternity" (approximately, a single-gender house owned by a student group, providing communal accommodation at universities that don't have student accommodation) which has raised thousands of dollars to pay for the gender re-assignment surgery of one of their first-year members.

According to the story, "Donnie Collins, 20, a sophomore at Emerson College in Boston, was born female but has been living as a male since he was 17..." and had joined a male fraternity (females go to a "sorority" ; it's Latin, live with it), but his health insurance (American for "citizen's medical service", approximately) wouldn't pay for the surgery to remove his breasts. So, the men in his accommodation grouped together to raise the money for the surgery.

Yahoo's editors (or Reuters, the source of the story) are obviously puzzled about the motivation of the fraternity men. But it seems obvious to me : the severed breasts are going to be mummified and nailed to the wall of the living room. Once the "girl" has gone.


Illinois Politician Wants a Kill Switch For Anonymous Speech Online 522

New submitter OhSoLaMeow writes with a story at The Daily Caller with unpleasant news from the Illinois state Senate, where a state senator has introduced a bill that "would require anonymous website comment posters to reveal their identities if they want to keep their comments online." From the article (warning — obnoxious ads with sound): "The bill, called the Internet Posting Removal Act, is sponsored by Illinois state Sen. Ira Silverstein. It states that a 'web site administrator upon request shall remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless the anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate.'"

Submission + - Ancestor of All Placental Mammals Revealed (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: The ancestor of all placental mammals—the diverse lineage that includes almost all species of mammals living today, including humans—was a tiny, furry-tailed creature that evolved shortly after the dinosaurs disappeared, a new study suggests. The hypothetical creature, not found in the fossil record but inferred from it, probably was a tree-climbing, insect-eating mammal that weighed between 6 and 245 grams—somewhere between a small shrew and a mid-sized rat. It was furry, had a long tail, gave birth to a single young, and had a complex brain with a large lobe for interpreting smells and a corpus callosum, the bundle of nerve fibers that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The period following the dinosaur die-offs could be considered a "big bang" of mammalian diversification, with species representing as many as 10 major groups of placentals appearing within a 200,000-year interval.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 5, Funny) 246

Try it, call the police up sometime and report that your car was broken into... or your house... they may show up sometime in the next 12 to 48hrs... maybe... in my city you get to file a report over the phone to an answering machine. Then try calling them and telling them you've got an once of pot. You'll have 3 squad cars in your driveway in under 5 minutes. Welcome to American indeed.

Reminds me of a humorous story many of you are probably familiar with:

Going to bed the other night, I noticed people in my shed stealing things.
I phoned the police but was told no one was in the area to help. They said they would send someone over as soon as possible.
I hung up. A minute later I rang again. 'Hello,' I said, 'I called you a minute ago because there were people in my shed. You don't have to hurry now, because I've shot them.'
Within minutes there were half a dozen police cars in the area, plus helicopters and an armed response unit. They caught the burglars red-handed.
One of the officers said: 'I thought you said you'd shot them.'
To which I replied: 'I thought you said there was no one available.'

Comment That's not how warrants work (Score 1) 2

You seem to be a little backwards on how warrants work. Warrants are tools for the police officers to obtain information that they might not otherwise be privy to, they are not a restriction on what information the police are able to have. Your statement, "The police didn't ask for the information yet got it anyway." seems to indicate you believe that the police aren't authorized to be in possession of any data they didn't have a warrant for; this is completely untrue. The police can ask for whatever data they wish at any time, and the company is free to decide whether or not they want to comply. It's when the company says "no" that the police can try to get a warrant from a judge. If the judge issues the warrant, now the company is forced into complying with the officer.

TL;DR: Warrants don't restrict the police, they restrict the ones the police deal with.

Submission + - SPAM: Steve Jobs doesn't have a nice afterlife according to one of New York's top 10 p

psychicdom writes: "It has only been a year since Steve Jobs, the man behind the Apple technology we are enjoying today, passed away. How could he be doing in his afterlife? Where could he be now? Recently, a psychic who is among the top 10 psychics in New York and who claims to be in contact with Jobs says that not everything is very good in the genius’ afterlife."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Skype illegally hands personal details to IT-firm (www.nu.nl) 2

An anonymous reader writes: Without a warrant Skype hands personal details of a 16-year old boy to a security firm. They provide this to police for a criminal case against a member of Anonymous. The security firm wanted to stop the boy in attacking Paypal as a part of Operation Payback where people rebelled against companies that boycotted Wikileaks.

The police didn't ask for the information yet got it anyway.


Submission + - Island's Historic Hotsprings Dry Up After Earthquake

theshowmecanuck writes: The National Post newspaper in Canada reports: "Days after the remote B.C. archipelago of Haida Gwaii emerged virtually unscathed from Canada’s second-strongest earthquake, locals discovered that the shifting earth had mysteriously switched off a centuries-old hot spring considered sacred by the Haida. ... A Parks Canada inspection party set out to investigate and stepped ashore to find that the island’s three main hot spring pools, which once bubbled with water as warm as 77 Celsius, were bone dry. “Not even a small puddle,” said Mr. Gladstone. Surrounding rocks, once warm to the touch, were cold." The earthquake measured 7.7 on the Richter scale.

Bill Gates To Develop a Revolutionary Nuclear Reactor With Korea 413

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft founder Bill Gates has pledged to develop with Korea a revolutionary nuclear reactor that will leave far less radioactive waste than existing ones. Gates invested US$35 million in a nuclear-power venture company TerraPower in 2010. TerraPower is led by John Gilleland. It was formed from an effort initiated in 2007 by Nathan Myhrvold's company, Intellectual Ventures. The company includes expert staff and individual consultants who have worked for some of the most prestigious nuclear laboratories and engineering companies in the world." You may remember that Gates worked with China to build a reactor late last year.

Comment Re:I welcome (Score 4, Insightful) 68

Well sure, if we could actually observe the weather on this planet and confirm or refine our speculations, that would be great. Unfortunately, the technology to do so is well beyond our means at this point. By the time we actually are able to directly observe this planet, our weather models will probably be much more refined as well.

I'm reminded of the planet discovered over a year ago that was tidally locked to its star, which created a habitable zone circling the planet where the light from the star would hit it at an oblong angle, creating a zone of essentially perpetual twilight where life could form. We had quite a few ideas already for what the environment on this planet must be like, until further measurements of the star system revealed that the "planet" was really just minor errors in the calculations of the star's wobble, and there wasn't even a planet there to begin with.

This article isn't "just knowledge for knowledge's sake." Indeed, it seems to be purely speculation for speculation's sake. I'm actually very concerned by the line in the summary, "With patience and cunning, more than you might think," because that really implies we know a lot more about what we're talking about than we actually do. I'll just be happy when the weather forecaster on TV can accurately tell me the weather for the next week.

To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T