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Submission + - Robot Babies Not Effective Birth Control, Australian Study Finds (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: From your baby AI department . . .

A weekend spent mothering a robot baby to mirror the “real experience” of parenting is meant to discourage teenage girls from getting pregnant. But so-called Baby Think it Over dolls don't cut teen pregnancy rates and in fact increase the risk, Australian research has found.

In a study published in The Lancet medical journal Friday, researchers found teenage girls who used the lifelike computerized dolls as part of a pregnancy-prevention program were more likely to become pregnant compared with girls receiving a less high-tech sex education.

I'm guessing that these robots didn't produce live, stinking diapers. When my sister and brother in law visited once, they were passing their baby around like a mirror of cocaine, taking a sniff, and saying, "Do we need to change it yet?"

While some students frayed at the pressure and consigned their crying robo-babies “to the back of their father’s tool shed” for the weekend, or placed putty over the speaker to dull the noise, most reported enjoying their brief exposure to motherhood.

“The numbers are small, but it makes such intuitive sense that something like this wouldn’t work,” said Dr. Kang, from the University of Sydney. “I think the reasons that young woman would choose to access contraception are far more likely about other reasons—the access to resources around her—being far more important than having time with a robot doll.”

Submission + - Taco Bell is Testing Out a Burrito Stuffed With Cheetos (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: Yummy . . . and healthy!

Taco Bell has confirmed reports that it is indeed testing a "Cheetos Burrito." The "Cheetos Burrito" is stuffed with beef, rice, nacho cheese, and, of course Cheetos.

The chain had tested out the "Cheetos Crunchwrap Slider" earlier this year in Canada, but this is the first time Cheetos are being used on its products in the U.S., the company said in an email to NBC News.

Tests will start mid-August in Cincinnati and the burritos will cost $1. This is the second Cheetos and fast food combo of the summer. Earlier, Burger King launched a "Mac n' Cheetos" dish.In 2012 the taco chain debuted the "Doritos Locos Taco," another fast-food and highly palatable salty snack food mashup.

Submission + - Are Swedes Having Less Sex? Their Government Wants to Know (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: Worried that Swedes aren't having enough sex, the government wants to analyze the bedroom activities of its citizens in a major new study. "It's important to investigate whether that is the case and if so, what the reason is," he wrote Friday in an opinion piece in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper. If stress and other health issues are affecting Swedes' sex lives, he said, "that is also a political problem."

Hey, wake up Hilary and Donald . . . it's high time that you start debating sex!

"Sex is an area that strongly influences people's health, so we can't just talk about things like, for example, venereal disease, but also things that are positive and lust-filled about sex," Wikstrom said.

Do any Swedish Slashdotters care to comment . . . ?

Submission + - Enjoy that pasta salad: Noodles linked to lower BMI (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: This one is a hoot and a half. The usual mantra about weight control used to be to "watch the carbs!" "Pasta is bad for you!"

So now this story pops up, and I had to think about Woody Allen's film "Sleeper", where he wakes up in the future, the the doctors give a cigarette. "Smoke this! It's tobacco and good for you!"

A little bit of what's irresistible is good for you, Italian scientists have discovered. Their analysis of more than 23,000 people found that eating some pasta is associated with a lower body mass index. Those who enjoyed their noodles were less likely to be overweight and obese.

"Our results are in agreement with a relatively recent study examining food and nutrient intakes in association with BMI in 1,794 United States middle-aged adults, showing that pasta intake among other food groups is negatively associated with BMI," the researchers wrote.

Were these researchers paid by Barilla, by any chance?

Though Americans commonly believe pasta is, in food terms, just another pretty face — "empty calorie" carbs, which provide no nutritional benefits — the Italians use it as the basis of their food pyramid. In fact, a cup of regular pasta provides 6.7 grams of protein and small amounts of calcium and potassium, while the same amount of enriched whole wheat pasta also provides iron, several B vitamins and up to 25% of your daily fiber and folic acid requirements.

Submission + - KFC Unveils Edible, Chicken-Flavored Nail Polish In Hong Kong (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: KFC in Hong Kong is marketing edible nail polish that tastes like chicken. KFC designed the polish "to appeal to young consumers' love of food and fashion."

The product comes in three flavors — original, hot and spicy — based on KFC's chicken recipe. It's not exactly clear what the nail polish is made of, but KFC says it is "formulated from natural ingredients."

We should note that KFC isn't the first to pitch edible nail polish. Kid Licks, for example, has created three polishes made with fruits and vegetables that are supposed to be safe for kid consumption. Those come in "sour carrot orange," "beet red" and "barley grass green."

Things to consider: increased nail-biting, eating real food that conflicts with your nail flavor, the general awkwardness of tasting nail polish.

Submission + - Merkel allows prosecution of German comedian who mocked Turkish president (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has cleared the way for the prosecution of German comedian Jan Böhmermann, whose poem mocking Turkey's president has become the centerpiece of a clash between Germany's free-speech traditions and the government's efforts to safeguard its important relations with Turkey.

Wow! Angie should visit the US and watch "Saturday Night Live" or "The Daily Show"! Hey, politicians are varmints, and there is no official hunting season for them. Bag 'em if you see 'em!

In a news conference Friday, Merkel emphasized that it will now be up to German courts to decide whether Böhmermann is guilty of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But critics — including members of her own government — have described it as a betrayal of values protecting open expression.

If a politician is afraid of satire . . . the politician has some problems, and shouldn't be serving in any government.

Although Böhmermann could face several years in jail if convicted, lawyers familiar with similar cases expect that the comedian would have to pay a fine, if at all.

I'm guessing that if you go out into a pedestrian walkway in Germany, with a bucket labeled, "Give a few cents to support open humor!", you will have the fine paid off really fast.

Criticism of her reaction to the incident had mounted ahead of the announcement. Opponents have said the chancellor made a glaring misstep earlier by calling the poem "deliberately offending" — a comment interpreted by some as support for Erdogan, who has been accused of cracking down on press freedom in Turkey.

So Erdogan thinks that he can crack down on press freedom in the EU, sponsored by Germany? Um, sorry . . . no thanks.

Submission + - Starboard Will Seek to Replace Yahoo's Entire Board, WSJ Says (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: Starboard Value LP will announce Thursday it’s seeking to replace Yahoo! Inc.’s entire board with its own slate of directors, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a letter prepared by the activist investor.

. . . but will the new directors be allowed to work from home . . . ?

Investors are losing patience with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who has little progress to show on her revival efforts after more than three years. Mayer has presided over sluggish sales growth and so far failed to separate the company’s main Web business from a multibillion-dollar stake in China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Investors? Who the Hell would invest in Yahoo?

Starboard has a track record of compelling companies to heed its wishes. In 2014, it persuaded investors to replace Darden Restaurants Inc.’s 12-member board after the unpopular sale of the Red Lobster restaurant chain to Golden Gate Capital. The investment firm also pressured office-supply rivals Staples Inc. and Office Depot Inc. into a merger.

Something makes me think that this could save Yahoo. But then again, is Yahoo worth saving . . . ?

Submission + - North Korea leader tells military to be ready to use nuclear weapons at any time (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his country to be ready to use its nuclear weapons at any time and to turn its military posture to "pre-emptive attack" mode in the face of growing threats from its enemies, state media said on Friday.

Oh, joy oh joy . . . I knew that 2016 was missing something . . . the threat of nuclear war!

The comments, carried by the North's official KCNA news agency, marked a further escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula after the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday imposed harsh new sanctions against the isolated state for its nuclear program.

South Korea's defense ministry said on Thursday North Korea launched several projectiles off its coast into the sea up to 150 kilometers (90 miles) away, an apparent response to the U.N. sanctions.

Kim said North Korea should "bolster up (its) nuclear force both in quality and quantity" and stressed "the need to get the nuclear warheads deployed for national defense always on standby so as to be fired any moment," KCNA quoted him as saying.

North Korea has previously threatened pre-emptive attacks on its enemies including South Korea, Japan and the United States. Military experts doubt it has yet developed the capability to fire a long-range missile with a miniaturized warhead to deliver a nuclear weapon as far as the United States.

Well . . . I guess the best way to go, is to wait and see if North Korea can toss a nuke into California.

Submission + - Candidate's legal name change puts 'none of the above' on ballot in Canada (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: The ballot to fill a legislative seat in Canada next month includes none of the above—and it’s a real person. Sheldon Bergson, 46, had his name legally changed to Above Znoneofthe and is now a candidate for the Ontario legislature, the CBC reports. The election is Feb. 11. The ballot lists candidates in alphabetical order by surname so his name will be the 10th of the 10 candidates as Znoneofthe Above, according to CBC.

One of his opponents is running on the line of the None of The Above Party.

Maybe the American folks can learn from their cousins up north . . . ?

Submission + - Bernie Sanders accesses Hillary Clinton data, suspended from DNC voter files

PolygamousRanchKid writes: The Democratic National Committee has suspended Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign from accessing its voter database after the campaign took advantage of a software error to access Hillary Clinton's confidential voter information. The suspension is a setback for the Vermont senator because the database is a goldmine of information about voters nationwide. Campaigns usually use that data to plot their next moves. The DNC database keeps the information gathered by different campaigns separated by a firewall. But the data systems vendor that runs the program dropped the firewall for a brief period Wednesday, during which time the data was accessed. Ooops!

The Sanders campaign will remain suspended until it provides the DNC with a full explanation of the episode and provides proof that any accessed data has been discarded.

Submission + - Thai Man insults King's dog on social media: gets 37 years in jail (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: A Thai man faces up to 37 years in prison for mocking the king’s dog over social media, an apparent violation of Thailand’s stringent laws against insults aimed at the country’s monarchy.

Authorities arrested factory worker Thanakorn Siripaiboon at his home in suburban Bangkok last week and charged him with writing a “sarcastic” Internet post about Tongdaeng, the mongrel owned by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, as well as with sedition and insulting the King, reports the New York Times.

Journalists on Twitter noted that the Times report on the charges against Thanakorn did not appear in editions of the newspaper printed and sold in Thailand. It is the third time this month a blank space has appeared in lieu of content in the Thai edition, the Guardian reports: once on Dec. 1, replacing a story on the struggling Thai economy, and again three days later, instead of an opinion piece on the Thai royal family’s wealth.

Submission + - Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Urges Students to Carry Guns (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: The president of one of the nation's largest Christian colleges is encouraging students to legally carry guns on campus in the wake of a shooting that left 14 dead in San Bernardino, California. Those in attendance at Liberty University's mandatory convocation erupted into applause when the Virginia school's president, Jerry Falwell Jr., asked students to take a concealed weapon permit course that the college offers for free.

I would *really* not like to play against that school in any sporting events.

"If some of those people in that community center had had what I've got in my back pocket right now," Falwell said, stopping when roaring cheers became too loud for him to speak over.

But Falwell was also met with backlash after saying, "I've always thought, if more good people had concealed carry permits then we could end those Muslims before they walked in killing ... Let's teach them a lesson if they ever show up here."

Um . . . excuse me? What did you just say?!?!

"I'm sure 'those Muslims' are not the people group you meant to refer to...Maybe 'Islamic terrorist' or 'terrorist,'" a woman, who identified herself as a Liberty student on Twitter, wrote to Falwell. Falwell replied: "That's correct. Islamist terrorists is what I meant."

Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition

Submission + - Spaghetti Strainer Helmet Driver's License Photo Approved On Religious Grounds (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: Just over the border from New Hampshire in the Massachusetts city of Lowell, a woman identifying herself as a follower of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), otherwise known as Pastafarianism, has been approved by the state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to wear a spaghetti strainer on top of her head in her state issued driver’s ID.

The approval to wear the helmet was initially denied. However, citing religious grounds, Lowell resident Lindsay Miller filed an appeal. Following intervention by the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center, the RMV reversed their decision and allowed her to put on her colander and get her driver’s license picture taken.

According to the church’s website, while there are those who perceive the religion to be satirical in nature, it “doesn’t change the fact that by any standard one can come up with” the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is “as legitimate as any other” religion.

. . . now what about my tinfoil hat . . . ?

Submission + - Ben Carson's unusual theory about pyramids (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: Ben Carson stood by his long-held belief about ancient pyramids in Egypt, that they were used to store grain, rather than to inter pharaohs. The subject came up when Buzzfeed published a 1998 commencement speech delivered by Carson at Andrews University, a college founded by Seventh-day Adventists.

"My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain," Carson said. "Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs' graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don't think it'd just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain."

In the same speech, he went on to say, "[W]hen you look at the way that the pyramids are made, with many chambers that are hermetically sealed, they'd have to be that way for various reasons. And various of scientists have said, 'Well, you know there were alien beings that came down and they have special knowledge and that's how--' you know, it doesn't require an alien being when God is with you."

Submission + - Dell, HP support agents advise callers to ditch Windows 10 (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: If you call your PC maker to troubleshoot a Windows 10 machine, don't be surprised if the advice is to roll back to an earlier version. In a pair of undercover tech support calls, representatives from HP and Dell both suggested uninstalling Windows 10 as a blanket solution to problems, Laptop Mag reports.

The call to Dell was most baffling, as the caller was merely asking how to invert the scrolling direction on a laptop's touchpad. This is an easy fix with the same procedure across all Windows versions, yet the representative suggested rolling back to Windows 8.1 as a solution, saying "there are a lot of glitches in Windows 10." An HP support rep also suggested reverting to Windows 8.1 after the computer's CoolSense temperature control utility failed to work properly with the new operating system. "I really don't recommend [that] customers upgrade to Windows 10," the representative said. (HP's support then tried to sell a $40 USB recovery key when the rollback itself didn't work.)

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