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Submission + - Russia highway robbery: Official 'stole 50km road' (bbc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC reports, "Police said Alexander Protopopov, acting deputy chief of Russia's prison service, oversaw the dismantling of the road in the far-northern Komi region. He then sold off its 7,000 reinforced concrete slabs for personal profit, ... Officials believe the scheme cost the government more than 6m roubles ($79,000; £54,000). The road was "dismantled and driven away" over the period of more than a year, between 2014 and 2015, the Investigative Committee said in a statement ... The concrete slabs were then used by a commercial company which also sold them on for a profit, it added. Mr Protopopov was the head of Komi region's prison service from 2010 to 2015 ... He was arrested on Wednesday and faces charges of misappropriating of state property while using his official position, which could lead to 10 years in jail, the agency adds."

Submission + - Berkeley Breathed Revives Bloom County Comic Strip After 25 Years (npr.org)

cold fjord writes: Just as it was needed then, it is needed now (more than ever). NPR reports, "Fans of the well-loved comic strip Bloom County are celebrating ... cartoonist Berkeley Breathed issued the first panels of his satirical strip in decades. Breathed won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on Bloom County back in 1987; two years later, he quit producing it. ... It's unclear whether Breathed will syndicate his new work in newspapers; he recently recalled how an editorial dispute with a publisher had a direct role in his decision to quit cartooning in 2008. His Facebook postings, Breathed said earlier this month, are "nicely out of reach of nervous newspaper editors, the PC humor police now rampant across the web ... and ISIS." When Bloom County went idle in 1989, it was one of several clever and inventive comic strips, such as Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side, that were beloved by fans and yet were also comparatively short-lived. Today, devoted fans are treating its return as a small miracle." — The Washington Post adds, "“Honestly, I was unprepared for it,” Breathed tells me of the public outpouring. “It calls for a bit of introspection about how characters can work with readers and how they’re now absent as a unifying element with a society. “There is no media that will allow a Charlie Brown or a Snoopy to become a universal and shared joy each morning at the same moment across the country,” Breathed continues. “Maybe the rather marked response to my character’s return is a reflection of that loss. A last gasp of a passing era.”" --

Submission + - Stunning New Assange Revelation - Plans Modeling Debut At London Fashion Show (independent.co.uk) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Independent reports, "Julian Assange could now be turning to modeling ... The Australian WikiLeaks founder will reportedly model for Vivienne Westwood’s son, Ben Westwood, at a fashion show ... Assange – who will be joined by six models during his catwalk outing – has also inspired some of the clothes. Westwood told the Daily Mail his collection was influenced by costumes worn by Clint Eastwood’s western films and also Assange’s combat-beret look. The show’s soundtrack will come by way of music from The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. “I’ve designed something for him along those lines and will be getting him to wear it,” Ben added. “I’ve got another garment with a Julian Assange print.” The British Fashion Council was "unable to shed light on the story"...." — IBTimes adds, "George Clooney and his lawyer wife to be Amal Alamuddin, ... are reportedly going to be guests as Assange struts his stuff for the cameras, "

Submission + - Conspiracy Theorists Think Government Planted 'Fake Snow' In US (ajc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Are the secrets of the "National Weather Agency" about to be revealed due to a "Snowden" leak? The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports, "This week's wild weather across the south of the U.S. has raised a controversial question online: was it just a light snow, or a nefarious government conspiracy? It was definitely just snow. But the last few days have seen scores of videos like this from skeptics who claim the snowflakes aren't the real deal. — "I have a sample of 'snow' ... leaving the snow unmelted." (Via YouTube / sugar magnolia) — The conspiracy reasoning goes like this: the snow is unusual in Georgia and other southeast areas and doesn't melt when burned. Therefore, it must be fake snow, distributed by the government, as a diversion from big government tyranny: (Via YouTube / Div9neImages) — "You're being distracted from all fronts, you're preoccupied. They're up here signing bills, the government, to pretty much take away more of your rights and freedoms." (Via YouTube / Occult Sin)"" — More at Popular Science

Submission + - Scientists create glow-in-the-dark pigs with jellyfish DNA (smh.com.au)

cold fjord writes: (Anybody have some green eggs?) The Sydney Morning Herald reports, "Chinese scientists have unveiled a litter of glow-in-the-dark piglets. The team from South China Agricultural University were able to create 10 pigs that turn green under black fluorescent lights, thanks to a technique developed by the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Medicine. The method sees animal embryos injected with DNA from a jellyfish and was used to create the world's first glow-in-the-dark rabbits in Turkey earlier this year. The goal is to introduce beneficial genes into larger animals to create less costly and more efficient medicines. "We can make those enzymes a lot cheaper in animals rather than a factory that will cost millions of dollars to build," Dr Stefan Moisyadi of the University of Hawaii explained. "
Transportation

Submission + - Wisconsin Begins Using Cheese to De-Ice Their Roads 1

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: The NYT reports that Milwaukee has begun a pilot program to use cheese brine to keep city roads from freezing, mixing the dairy waste with traditional rock salt as a way to trim costs and ease pollution. “You want to use provolone or mozzarella,” says Jeffrey A. Tews, the fleet operations manager for the public works department, which has spread the cheesy substance in Bay View, a neighborhood on Milwaukee’s south side. “Those have the best salt content. You have to do practically nothing to it.” Local governments across the country have been experimenting with cheaper and environmentally friendly ways of thawing icy thoroughfares, trying everything from sugar beet juice to discarded brewery grain in an attempt to limit the use of road salt, which can spread too thin, wash away and pollute waterways. “If you put dry salt on a roadway, you typically lose 30 percent to bounce and traffic,” says Emil Norby, who works for Polk County and was the first in Wisconsin to come up with the cheese brine idea to help the salt stick. In a state where lawmakers once honored the bacterium in Monterey Jack as the state’s official microbe, residents of Bay View say they have noticed little difference, good or bad, in the smell of their streets, and city officials say they have received no complaints. The mayor of Bay View says it's an experiment, but one that makes sense. The brine will come from the Dresser Farm in Polk County, where it is already being used on the roads. The only cost will be for transportation and distribution. "We thought, 'Well, let's give it a shot.' The investment in this project is $1,474."

Submission + - The Evolution Of Google (pjmedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: An Instapundit tweet of the day by Brent Butt @BrentButt

Google motto 2004: Don't be evil
Google motto 2010: Evil is tricky to define
Google motto 2013: We make military robots

Submission + - Why Do Hobbits Always Win? Credit Vitamin D (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Ever wonder how a hobbit and his small band of allies were able to defeat armies of goblins and trolls in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings? Vitamin D. That’s the conclusion of a study published today in The Medical Journal of Australia, which proposes that good always triumphs in fantasy literature because villains are sun-deprived and eat poorly.

Submission + - The Onion: Terrified Obama Trapped Inside Healthcare.gov Website (theonion.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Onion reports, "According to an urgent report issued today by the White House, a terrified and frantic President Obama is currently trapped inside the healthcare.gov website.

Early reports indicate the president inadvertently became physically enmeshed in the inner workings of the online health insurance exchange at approximately 11:48 a.m. this morning, and is at this very moment attempting to find any possible means of escape from the highly unstable and dangerous healthcare.gov internal network.

“Please, if anyone can hear me, I need help!” said Obama, his voice reportedly echoing endlessly in the distance as he carefully stepped along a green grid of individual and family enrollment information. “Is anyone there? Can anyone hear me? I’m Barack Obama, President of the United States of America! I need to get out of here!”"

Submission + - Nigerians Shocked To Be Linked To Obamacare Website - Ambassador Demands Apology (politico.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Politico reports, "The Nigerian ambassador to the United States ... decried Sen. Ted Cruz’s joke ... that “Nigerian email scammers” built the government’s health care exchange website, saying his comments are offensive and demanded an apology. Ambassador Ade Adefuye told POLITICO that Nigerians are “disappointed and shocked” by Cruz’s comments. “We deplore the statement, and we demand an apology, and we demand it be withdrawn,” Adefuye said. ... A spokeswoman for Cruz said the comments were made in jest and were not intended to impugn Nigerians as a people. “The senator meant no offense. He was making a joke based on the official term of a commonly utilized type of scam, referenced often by the FBI, security firms and various news sites,” Catherine Frazier said. The FBI identifies “Nigerian letter fraud” on its website describing common fraud schemes, saying it involves a letter sent from Nigeria offering to share profits if the recipient helps a self-proclaimed government official transfer funds out of the country."

Submission + - Police use 'nose telescope' for cannabis odour mapping (telegraph.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: As more cities in America legalize the drug, attention has switched to the pungent smell that wafts from the joint itself.

Denver has passed a new “odor ordinance” with a potential $2,000 (£1,247) fine for anyone found guilty of polluting the atmosphere.

Submission + - Britney Spears' music used to deter pirates (mirror.co.uk)

mi writes: Blasting Western music seems quite effective against the people, who hate Western culture in general, according to the article in Mirror Online, and Britney Spears' tunes proved to be a great deterrent indeed. Second Officer Rachel from Aberfoyle in Scotland said: “Her songs have been chosen by the security team accompanying our tankers because they thought the pirates would hate them most."

The music is currently used as a second line of defence and is broadcast when initial calls from armed security guards on board fail to deter the pirates. The speakers can be aimed solely at the pirates so as not to disturb the crew. “They’re so effective the ship’s security rarely needs to resort to firing guns," — says Rachel.

Steven Jones, of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, said the US police and military were the first to use music to quell rioters.

Security industry is well aware of the power of music — and is cautious not to exceed humane limits. Justin Bieber, for example, is not used, because officials are wary of violating Geneva Conventions.

Submission + - Eureka! An Unexpected Ray Of Hope For Americans And Scientific Literacy! (politico.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Politico reports, "A finding in a study on the relationship between science literacy and political ideology surprised the Yale professor behind it: Tea party members know more science than non-tea partiers. Yale law professor Dan Kahan posted on his blog this week that he analyzed the responses of more than 2,000 American adults recruited for another study and found that, on average, people who leaned liberal were more science literate than those who leaned conservative. However, those who identified as part of the tea party movement were actually better versed in science than those who didn’t, Kahan found. The findings met the conventional threshold of statistical significance, the professor said. Kahan wrote that not only did the findings surprise him, they embarrassed him. “I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension,” Kahan wrote. “But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the tea party,” he continued." — More at the Independent Journal Review.

Submission + - Scientist Develops Graph That Depicts Differences Between Geeks And Nerds (dailymail.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: This is too fun to not report. The Daily Mail reports, "The debate about the differences between geeks and nerds has been raging for years but a scientist believes he has come up with a mathematical equation that may finally put the argument to rest. Software engineer Burr Settles from Pittsburgh studied the language used in 2.6 million tweets, and also sampled tweets that appeared when he searched for the terms 'geek' and 'nerd'. By comparing tweets in each query, Settles devised a mathematical equation that established the probability of a particular word appearing in a geeky tweet, or a nerdy one. Put more simply, Settles worked out which words were used and associated most by geeks or nerds, and what the differences in subjects and topics were. These words were then plotted on a graph; the further along the horizontal, or x-axis, a word appeared, the more nerdy it was. .... Commenting on his findings, Settles said: 'In broad strokes, it seems to me that geeky words are more about stuff, while nerdy words are more about ideas. 'Geeks are fans, and fans collect stuff; nerds are practitioners, and practitioners play with ideas. Of course, geeks can collect ideas and nerds play with stuff, too. 'Plus, they aren’t two distinct personalities as much as different aspects of personality.'"

Submission + - Obamacare's Unfortunate National Hotline Number (dailycaller.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The symbolism, it burns us. From The Daily Caller: "Need health insurance? The Obama administration has you covered. Simply dial 1-800-FUCKYO to reach the next available health-care provider. Far from being a mistype, that’s the official number that Health and Human Services wants Americans to dial when seeking health care. Obamacare’s national call center really did list its number as 1-800-318-2596, ... After allowing for the lack of letters attached to 1 on a traditional American telephone keypad, the number spells out a clear message... 1-800-3(F) 8(U) 2(C) 5(K) 9(Y) 6(O)."

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