Thursday, 30. June 2016

When Music Is Violence

From trumpets at the walls of Jericho to pop songs as torture in the Iraq War, sound can make an effective weapon.
In December, 1989, the Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was expelled from power by American forces. To escape capture, he took refuge in the Papal Nunciatura in Panama City. When an American general arrived to confer with the papal nuncio, the U.S. Army blared music from loudspeakers to prevent journalists from eavesdropping. Members of a psychological-operations unit then decided that non-stop music might aggravate Noriega into surrendering. They made requests for songs on the local armed-forces radio station, and directed the din at Noriega’s window. The dictator was thought to prefer opera, and so hard rock dominated the playlist. The songs conveyed threatening, sometimes mocking messages: Alice Cooper’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.”

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Escape Tunnel, Dug by Hand, Is Found at Holocaust Massacre Site

A team of archaeologists and mapmakers say they have uncovered a forgotten tunnel that 80 Jews dug largely by hand as they tried to escape from a Nazi extermination site in Lithuania about 70 years ago.

The Lithuanian site, Ponar, holds mass burial pits and graves where up to 100,000 people were killed and their bodies dumped or burned during the Holocaust.

Using radar and radio waves to scan beneath the ground, the researchers found the tunnel, a 100-foot passageway between five and nine feet below the surface, the team announced on Wednesday.

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Rare Dinosaur-Era Bird Wings Found Trapped in Amber

Bone, tissue, and feathers show the almost 100-million-year-old wings are remarkably similar to those on modern birds.

Two tiny wings entombed in amber reveal that plumage (the layering, patterning, coloring, and arrangement of feathers) seen in birds today already existed in at least some of their predecessors nearly a hundred million years ago.

A study of the mummified wings, published in the June 28 issue of Nature Communications and funded in part by the National Geographic Society's Expeditions Council, indicated they most likely belonged to enantiornithes , a group of avian dinosaurs that became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period. (Read more about the evolution from dinosaurs to modern birds.)

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Why ultra-powerful radio bursts are the most perplexing mystery in astronomy

No astronomer had ever seen anything like it. No theorist had predicted it. Yet there it was — a 5-millisecond radio burst that had arrived on 24 August 2001 from an unknown source seemingly billions of light years away.
“It was so bright, we couldn't just dismiss it,” says Duncan Lorimer, who co-discovered the signal1 in 2007 while working on archived data from the Parkes radio telescope in New South Wales, Australia. “But we didn't really know what to do with it.”

ultra-powerful radio bursts

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Home Computers Connected to the Internet Aren't Private, Court Rules

A judge in Virginia rules that people should have no expectation of privacy on their home PCs because no connected computer "is immune from invasion."
A federal judge for the Eastern District of Virginia has ruled that the user of any computer that connects to the Internet should not have an expectation of privacy because computer security is ineffectual at stopping hackers.
The June 23 ruling came in one of the many cases resulting from the FBI's infiltration of PlayPen, a hidden service on the Tor network that acted as a hub for child exploitation, and the subsequent prosecution of hundreds of individuals. To identify suspects, the FBI took control of PlayPen for two weeks and used, what it calls, a "network investigative technique," or NIT—a program that runs on a visitor's computer and identifies their Internet address.

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Read the DEA's Guide to Raves

Agency claims “Ravers have an enhanced sense of sight” and enjoy head rubs as much as sex.
Last week, we wrote about the DEA’s files on Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, the so-called “grandfather of ecstasy.” Included in the report is the agency’s guide to rave culture circa 2001, cobbled together from a one-day seminar on the subject taught by the “extremely knowledgeable” Sgt. ██████ … The DEA raided “the grandfather of ecstasy” over a “High Times” article

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Marijuana compound removes toxic Alzheimer's protein from the brain

An active compound in marijuana called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been found to promote the removal of toxic clumps of amyloid beta protein in the brain, which are thought to kickstart the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
The finding supports the results of previous studies that found evidence of the protective effects of cannabinoids, including THC, on patients with neurodegenerative disease. Amyloid proteotoxicity initiates an inflammatory response blocked by cannabinoids Cannabinoids remove plaque-forming Alzheimer’s proteins from brain cells

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Initiative to Legalize Recreational Use of Pot in California Qualifies for November Ballot

An initiative that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in California officially took its place on the Nov. 8 ballot on Tuesday as its campaign took a commanding lead in fundraising to battle the measure’s opponents.
The Secretary of State’s Office certified that a random sample showed sufficient signatures among the 600,000 turned in to qualify the measure. The initiative is backed by a coalition that includes former Facebook President Sean Parker and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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Mir ist das persönlich schnurzegal

Die EU-Kommission steht in der Kritik, weil sie die nationalen Parlamente nicht über das CETA-Abkommen abstimmen lassen will. Eine juristische Analyse ergab laut Kommissionspräsident Juncker, dass die Zuständigkeit bei der EU liege. Ihm persönlich sei das "schnurzegal".
EU-Kommissionspräsident Jean-Claude Juncker hat die Einschätzung seiner Behörde zum Freihandelsabkommen mit Kanada (CETA) verteidigt. Die Frage der Zuständigkeit sei auf Grundlage einer juristischen Analyse beantwortet worden, sagte er nach dem EU-Gipfel in Brüssel. Es sei absurd zu behaupten, dass er persönlich ein Mitspracherecht nationaler Parlamente verhindern wolle. "Mir ist das persönlich relativ schnurzegal", sagte Juncker. "Ich werde nicht auf dem Altar juristischer Fragen sterben." EU will Ceta ohne nationale Parlamente ratifizieren Juncker: "Hören Sie mit dem österreichischen Klamauk auf"

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Wednesday, 29. June 2016

Wahlanfechtung: Verfassungsrichter setzen Verhandlung fort - livebericht

Das Verfassungsgericht verhandelt am Mittwoch wieder öffentlich, diesmal kommen Parteienvertreter zu Wort

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After Legalizing Recreational Weed, Colorado Has Lowest Teen Use in the Country

Cannabis prohibitionists have long cautioned that legalizing the plant will inevitably lead to increased use among teens, couching their restrictive beliefs in concern for the youth. While some of these concerns may be genuine, a recent survey from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment demonstrates — for the second year in a row — that youth in Colorado do not use cannabis any more than teens in other parts of the country. In fact, by at least one measure, they use less.
The Healthy Kids Colorado survey is a “voluntary survey that collects anonymous, self-reported health information from middle and high school students across Colorado,” according to the initiative’s website. Over 17,000 middle- and high-schoolers throughout the state were randomly selected to participate. The survey is conducted every other year, and the 2015 version, released this week, confirmed the 2013 findings that marijuana use among teens in Colorado had fallen flat.

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The fascinating, strange medical potential of psychedelic drugs, explained in 50+ studies

After years of struggling with treatments for his worsening cancer, Roy was miserable — anxious, depressed, hopeless. Traditional cancer treatments had left him debilitated, and it was unclear whether they would save his life.
But then Roy secured a spot in a clinical trial to test an exotic drug. The drug was not meant to cure his cancer; it was meant to cure his terror. And it worked. A few hours after taking a little pill, Roy declared to researchers, "Cancer is not important, the important stuff is love." His concerns about his imminent death had suddenly vanished — and the effects lasted for at least months, according to researchers.

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