Sunday, March 23, 2003

Hello, Dr. Menlo here. I am both saddened and happy to announce that the New World Disorder weblog, alas, is leaving--but it won't be far! Hey, hey, it'll be here now!:

Saddened, of course, that this ultrafine weblog is leaving our domain, and happy, of course, for Jason and his new and spiffy domain. So adjust yer monitors ya nutty neuronauts!

Richard Dawkins tests the God Helmet
Dr Michael Persinger of Laurentian University, Canada, has devised a special helmet that uses electromagnetic fields to induce electrical changes in the brain's temporal lobes, which are linked with religious belief.

Unfortunately, during the experiment, while Prof Dawkins had some strange experiences and tinglings, none of them prompted him to take up any new faith. "It was a great disappointment," he said. "Though I joked about the possibility, I of course never expected to end up believing in anything supernatural. But I did hope to share some of the feelings experienced by religious mystics when contemplating the mysteries of life and the cosmos."

Dr Persinger has explained away the failure of this Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator. Before donning the helmet, Prof Dawkins had scored low on a psychological scale measuring proneness to temporal lobe sensitivity. (reg. req.)

Yuri Andropov and the UFOs
Yuri Andropov, the former Soviet leader and long-time head of the KGB, had an acute personal interest in UFOs and ordered a 13-year programme that required every soldier in the military to monitor sightings over Russian territory, according to new revelations.

Igor Sinitsin, who worked as an aide to Andropov in the Politburo for six years and has just written his memoirs, told The Observer that in 1977 he discovered that Andropov kept a file on the phenomena in his desk.

Through Andropov's personal interest, in 1978 two committees were established to investigate UFOs, one military and one civilian. Andropov ordered four million Soviet soldiers to file detailed reports of incidents.

Right-wing radio host Michael Savage mouthpiece for cult leader?
In their press about their new Michael Savage TV show, MSNBC proudly tells you his radio show airs nationally on the Talk Radio Network.

Yet, MSNBC, an investigative and news gathering organization, WAS NOT SAVVY ENOUGH to research the Talk Radio Network and find out that it was owned and operated by a dangerous religious cult in Southern Oregon, which is using Savage as a mouthpiece for their agenda.

Michael Savage's radio show was given a national platform by Talk Radio Network based in Southern Oregon. Talk Radio Network was OWNED and OPERATED by cult leader Roy Masters, his family and their Foundation of Human Understanding

Boomerang shaped craft caught in space station photo
In the upper left corner, just over the ocean, there is a distinct, boomerang shaped craft. The Boeing B-47 Stratojet, similar in shape, has not taken flight since 60's. It also was not as large nor could attain such altitude to be visible at this size in a photo from the space station. The closest neighbor would be the B2 Stealth Bomber, though it is not exactly "boomerang" like the flying-V seen in this photo. If this is ours, what is it? It is either incredibly large, or incredibly high up to appear in such distinct resolution in this shot from just outside the atmosphere.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

New networks mimic the behavior of insects and bacteria
Drawing heavily on the chemistry of biology, researchers from Humboldt University in Germany have devised a way for electronic agents to efficiently assemble a network without relying on a central plan.

Rather than determine the structure of a network in a top-down approach of hierarchical planning, agents found nodes and created connections in a bottom-up process of self-organization.

When an agent happened on a node, it began to produce one of two simulated chemical trails at a rate that decreased in time. The strength of the chemical trail also faded as time went by. The key to the self-assembling network is that the agents are drawn to the chemical trails laid down by other agents.

The researchers‚ model contains two types of network nodesųblue and red. Each agent starts out as a green agent, which lays down no chemical trails and travels randomly. When an agent happens on a blue node, it turns blue, and when an agent happens across a red node, it turns red. Red and blue agents lay down chemical trails that attract agents of the opposite color.

Over time the model changes from many green agents traveling randomly to colored agents moving among nodes like traffic in a network.

Rational Mysticism
In ''Rational Mysticism,'' Horgan, a former senior writer for Scientific American, sets out to find how trances, visions, satori and other mystical experiences work. The early civilizations that invented science also used religion as an intertwining path to the truth, and Horgan follows in this tradition. He is a seeker as well as a journalist, and his mission is personal as well as professional. It's ''The Varieties of Religious Experience'' meets ''Siddhartha.''

Horgan flies to Sudbury, Ontario, where the tourist attraction is the Big Nickel, a coin 27 feet across and 2 feet thick, and where he straps on the Octopus, a machine that promises to induce religious and mystical visions, out-of-body experiences and even alien-abduction episodes. Its inventor, Michael Persinger, a psychologist at Laurentian University, mows his lawn wearing a three-piece suit. Horgan dons the Octopus, a Velcro headband festooned with wires and solenoids, with disappointing results. He does not attain nirvana, thinking mostly, ''How will I turn this into a scene for my book?'' Persinger says his machine does not work well on skeptics. (reg. req.)

Friday, March 21, 2003

Bibleman fights for truth, discipline and the hearts of 5-year-old boys
Bibleman is the brainchild of actor Willie Aames, best known for his role on the '70s show "Eight is Enough" and the '80s sitcom "Charles in Charge," which co-starred Scott Baio.

He's a masked superhero who defeats villains by using biblical principles. And he has a line of videos, action figures, books and toys to take his message to kids.

Six 90-minute Bibleman videos are available, with such titles as "Shattering the Prince of Pride," "Conquering the Wrath of Rage" and "Breaking the Bonds of Disobedience."

The occult meaning of Shock and Awe
As bombers began taking off from aircraft carriers, from bases in Kuwait and elsewhere, and B-52s that started from England hours ago began to arrive over Iraq, the Pentagon announced that 'Shock and Awe' had begun. But did you know that this phrase has potent occult meaning?

According to leading mythologist William Henry, Shock and Awe relates to the ancient Hebrew phrase Shak-In-Ah, meaning glory. Among ancient mystics, Shak-In-Ah was known as the power of the Ark of the Covenant.

Iowa officials will monitor war underground
Key state officials plan to remain at an underground center at Camp Dodge near Des Moines for the next few days. Iowa Homeland Security Adviser Ellen Gordon says activity around the nation and the state will be monitored now that war with Iraq has begun.

The underground center has a high-tech communications system and reinforced concrete walls a foot thick. It was built to withstand natural disasters, such as an earthquake or tornado.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Militias revived in California
Militias in rural states have gone largely unnoticed since their apocalyptic predictions of a millennium disaster proved ridiculous. Now, the militias claim that the federal government has agitated a world situation it cannot control and that armed Americans must prepare to defend themselves, said Cooper and others.

The militia of 2003 is not a hate group but rather a collection of "godly men who truly love this country," Martin said. He estimated that as many as 4,000 members across the state stand ready to fight and have gone unnoticed because of their lack of formal command structure, and shunning of uniforms while training on ranches and rifle ranges.

Mind control countermeasure kits
The countermeasure devices being sold below cause a scrambling of frequencies emitted from implants and frequencies from directed energy by sending into the brain small frequencies that counter them effectively. The technique can be compared to jamming of the implants and directed energy.

US airstrikes blast Iraqi civilians
Missile attacks by American warplanes and naval ships on Baghdad hit some non-military targets and injured a number of civilians, an Iraqi government official said on Thursday.

"Initial information indicates a number of civilian targets were hit in the Doura area, and a number of civilians were wounded," Uday al-Taei, a senior information ministry official told reporters.

American anti-France sentiment hits stupid new low
The SBL organization is group of US patriots dedicated to having the Statue of Liberty sent back to the French.

Now is the time to show support for our PRESIDENT and our representatives realize that. They have already worked to change the name of FRENCH FRIES to FREEDOM FRIES. If we all make an effort and write to our Senators to let them know, we can have this gift sent back to the people who gave it, because they've obviously forgotten what liberty means.

As Liberty Island is an important tourist attraction, we believe a better, more American statue should be put in Liberty's place. Here is our suggestion:

Ronald Reagan.

Poor ecological situation cause of two-headed calf
At the end of February milkmaids at the Zarya farm clutched their heads in horror: their favorite cow named Toma delivered an unusual animal: it was a calf with two necks and two heads. The farmers were unhappy to see that the two-headed calf died during difficult confinement. Fortunately, the cow itself survived.

Veterinary specialists of the Vologda region say that appearance of the mutant calf is closely connected with worsening ecological situation in the region. Vets say that soils in the area where the strange calf was born catastrophically lack selenium and iodine, this fact causes anomalies. For instance, a calf without a tail was born at a neighboring farm last year. This was the first time that a two-headed calf was born.

Possible hijack thwarted in Florida
US authorities contacted air traffic controllers in Cuba, who said the plane might have been hijacked during a domestic flight from the Isle of Youth to Havana.

"Havana indicated that it was a domestic flight with 35 people on board and that it was a possible hijacking."

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Djindjic predicted his own death
"I was in Belgrade a month ago, on February 17. He gave me a full run-down of his reform programmes.

"It was then suddenly that he told me: 'They'll kill me'," prosecutor Carla del Ponte said in an interview with the Italian daily La Republica on Tuesday.

"He knew that the fight against organised crime went hand-in-hand with the arrest of war criminals. He knew what the connections were between the old paramilitary apparatus and the mafia."

Street preacher charged with raping Elizabeth
This is the first time officials have acknowledged that Elizabeth was sexually assaulted, although court documents and Mr Yocom steered clear of graphic details.

The charges of sexual assault were listed after negotiations between prosecutors and family members who worried that Elizabeth's psychological recovery might be affected if she was questioned in a trial about sex in captivity.

Wave UFO by Mariko Mori
Wave UFO is a visionary work, which brings together art, science, performance, music, and architecture in an integral work of art. In this project, Mariko Mori has fused new technologies, computer graphics, video projections, and engineered structures in order to expand the art experience. The visitors participate in the artist's conceptions of interconnected dream worlds. In a capsule within a huge architectural sculpture of whale-like proportions (approx. 5 x 11 x 5 m), which can only be accessed via a staircase, three people can recline in seats for seven minutes. The images projected on the dome screen of the capsule are generated by a kind of interactive bio-feedback loop that reads the brainwaves of the participants. In a computer-animated video projection, Mori sends the "travelers" on a trip to a spiritual cosmos.

Reverse racial lawsuit against Sun Micro
Sun Microsystems is faced by a lawsuit alleging it practices discriminatory policies by replacing older American employees with younger and lower paid Indians.

Analysts note that the allegation struck at the heart of an ongoing debate between US technology groups and their high-tech employees over the federal government's H-1B visa programme, which allows corporations to temporarily import foreign workers.

The visa programme was designed to help US companies find workers with hard-to-find skills but there is growing concern among American workers that the companies are taking advantage of it to merely cut costs.

Briton jailed for amassing terror books
Mohammed Azam, 32, was arrested in September after police searched his home in Luton, north of London, as part of a drug inquiry. Detectives said they discovered more than 140 books on topics including urban terrorism, guns and bomb-making.

Prosecutors at Southwark Crown Court said Azam, who has been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, bought the books over the Internet five years ago when he was contemplating going to Algeria to fight for an Islamic state.

Video games: An electronic pain killer
Psychology researchers at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia, have found that video games are a good distraction from chronic pain.

In the study, subjects were asked to take up the joystick for a few rounds while experiencing pain -- and reported lower pain ratings as well as higher tolerance of pain.

Red Alert would end some personal freedoms
"You literally are staying home, is what happens, unless you are required to be out. No different than if you had a state of emergency with a snowstorm."

"The reason being is, what we're saying is, 'Everybody sit down!'

"If you are left standing, you are probably a terrorist. And if you are not law enforcement or emergency response; That's how we're going to catch you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Farmer with explosive-laden tractor in standoff with police
The incident began around noon Monday, when a man police identified as Dwight Watson, 50, of Whitakers, N.C., drove his Jeep ų which was towing a trailer carrying a green John Deere tractor and a motorcycle ų into the pond. He mounted the tractor and drove it off the trailer and into the shallow water.

Watson wore a military medic's helmet emblazoned with what appeared to be a red cross and a T-shirt bearing a variety of badges or patches. On the tractor were banners reading "Salute to Veterans" and "God Bless the Troops." An American flag flown upside down in the traditional signal of distress flew from the vehicle. Another flag depicted tobacco leaves.

Update: He surrenders
Dwight W. Watson fought for years to keep alive the tobacco farm that had been in his family for five generations.

In the interview via cell phone, Watson referred to his action as a "mission" and said the intent was to spread the message that government policies had forced farmers like himself out of business.

"I don't give a damn no more," Watson said, his voice rising with anger. "If this is the way America will be run, to hell with it. I'm out of here."

Feral children
Ever since the legend of Romulus and Remus Ų the twins, brought up by a she-wolf, who founded Rome Ų people have been intrigued and fascinated by tales of children brought up by wild animals, away from normal human contact.

This web site is intended to provide light reading for those with a passing interest in feral children, and includes:

- extracts from a range of popular books on the subject
- some rather more substantial works and academic papers
- an extensive list of other books for those carrying out serious research

Comic book discourages illegal Mexican immigration
the fictional village of San Gumer, an impoverished young man's thoughts are candied by images of U.S. dollars, the Statue of Liberty, hamburgers and blondes posing with brand-new cars.

"It's a paradise, brother," a veteran migrant named Checho devilishly tells Berny, the naive country youth who has lost his factory job and is tempted to migrate illegally from Mexico to the "Yunaites Staites."

In the fictional story, bandits in the Arizona desert descend on a migrant and kill him with a pistol blast to the back when he tries to save his wife from being raped.

Computer virus writers mostly lonely losers without girlfriends
In almost all cases, virus writers were computer-obsessed males between the ages of 14 to 34 years, he said.

"They have a chronic lack of girlfriends, are usually socially inadequate and are drawn compulsively to write self-replicating codes. It's a form of digital graffiti to them," Hruska said.

Lithuanian Catholic Church accuse president of deal with the devil
as president last month. Since then, Lena Lolishvili, a Georgian who claims to be able to see the future and cure illnesses with her psychic powers, has caused outrage as her influence over government has spread.

Cardinal Audrius Juozas Backis, Lithuania's leading Catholic cleric, spoke out in an interview with the magazine Veidas. "Only God and the Devil can see the future," he said, adding that Ms Lolishvili's deeds "demonstrate Satan's work and his efforts to operate through people under the command of evil powers".

Ms Lolishvili first came to the public's notice during the president's inaugural mass, held in the Catholic cathedral of the capital, Vilnius. She was seated directly behind Mr Paksas among the country's leading politicians.

Monday, March 17, 2003

Violent sketches taken from sniper Malvo
The documents feature scattered writings, including lyrics from reggae songs, references to the movie The Matrix, quotes from various philosophers and references to Islam. There are also drawings that resemble newspaper photographs of Malvo, with the addition of crosshairs of a sniper scope centered on Malvo's head.

The second page features what appears to be a tracing of a photograph of Malvo in shackles, guarded by a uniformed man. "Bondage" is written across Malvo's chest. Cartoon bubbles coming from Malvo have him saying "Justice be done!" "I'll never give up my pride even though I'm broken up inside," a lyric by Jamaican reggae singer Luciano, and "What is meant to be will be! Death!" The page also features snippets of lyrics from several songs by reggae star Bob Marley.

Raelian cult claims demands pour in from parents to clone children killed in intifada
Like Judiasm, Christianity and Islam, the Raelians have a deep connection to Israel. Cult members believe in the creation story recounted in the book of Genesis, but they believe the word Elohim - the Hebrew word for the God who created Adam and Eve - means not "God" but "those who came from the sky," or in other words, visitors from another planet. The first humans, they believe, were clones made by these extraterrestrial visitors, and their deep interest in human cloning stems from the belief that they are thereby imitating the acts of their creators. And once they have assured themselves of eternal life through cloning, the Raelians also plan to build the Third Temple here.

Poetic serial killer strikes again
For two years in 1996 and 1997, the killer known as "the Mons dismemberer" sowed panic by leaving over 40 bags of body parts around the region.

They were all dumped in such evocatively named locations as the Rue de la Solitude (Loneliness Street), the Chemin de l‚Inquietude (Path of Anxiety) or the meeting point of the Rivers Haine (Hatred) and Trouille (Fear). The heads of the five women who were his victims were never found.

Investigators believed the killer, who had not struck for six years, was probably dead until two more bags of body parts appeared in northern France. The first grisly discovery was made on February 25 when an arm and leg concealed in a bin liner were fished out of a riverside leisure centre in the village of Locquignol, in the forest of Mormal near Lille.

The fact that the place is known locally as La Hachette (The Hatchet) raised suspicions among the local gendarmerie that the crime was the work of the Mons killer.

Then on March 4, a woman‚s torso, also wrapped in a plastic bag, was found floating on the River Escaut at a place known as Vieux-Conde, a name which translates as "Old Cop".

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Islamic gold dinar will minimize dependency on US dollar
Malaysia will start using the Islamic gold dinar starting mid 2003 in its foreign trade section with some countries replacing the U.S. dollar in a first step move toward unifying the currency used in commercial dealings between Islamic countries.

The success of this idea, according to several western newspapers, may lead to minimizing the U.S. dollar hegemony as an intermediate tool in commercial dealings in the world.

This move is considered from one side a way to recall a currency related to the history of Muslims and their monetary heritage since the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and from the other side, the ability to find the Islamic alternative to the dollar at a time the calls to boycott all what is labelled as American starting from goods to currency, are intensified.

Clonaid plans to provide proof of cloning
Clonaid, the firm that claims it has created five human clones so far, today said it plans to produce scientific evidence to support its claim soon.

„All the proofs for the Japanese baby are ready to be published and that should be in a few days ... maybe next week,š Ms Boisselier said. The evidence would include the results of DNA testing performed by a credible scientist, she said, adding: „Not someone chosen by me.š

Ms Boisselier said about 50 Israelis and Palestinians had asked to use the group‚s cloning technique, among them several on both sides who had lost a child during 29 months of Israeli-Palestinian conflict and wanted to reproduce their lost offspring, she said.

Columbia accident investigation spurs photo fakes
Finding out the root cause of the Columbia tragedy is a tough, technological detective story, demanding the time and talents of engineers and scientists both inside and outside the government.

Particularly irksome to those involved in the investigation are a number of images now circulating around the Internet Ų photo fakes of the catastrophe.

According to one investigator on a NASA team studying the Columbia accident, this type of "Photoshop slop" only helps to undermine the serious work of investigators, and fuels "the conspiracy nuts out there."

Mysterious People: The site of human mysteries, anomalies and enigmas
Mysterious People is devoted to the lives of mysterious, strange and unusual people. It consists of a series of biographical articles, with sources and further reading listed at the end of each piece.

The choice of subjects for the site is entirely personal, and reflects the author's own interests and preferences, rather than following any strict, objective criteria which make up an unusual or mysterious person. In the main I have tried to write about those who were, experienced or did things, genuinely, sometimes startlingly, unexplainable or unique. I have also included a number of characters whose exploits are not as widely known as perhaps they should be. So you will find shadowy occultists rubbing shoulders with enigmatic imposters, eccentric travellers with mystical writers, the king of the gypsies with a princess from Javasu.

Women used as guinea pigs for male sex offenders
The woman, Catherine, (not her real name) was a patient at the hospital for three years. Now living in the community, she has revealed that female patients were ordered to pair up with male offenders at a special event dubbed "the clinical disco" by staff.

The youngest female patients were also frequently "groomed" by paedophiles and then sexually abused.

Online Dreamachine
Get very close to the screen and close your eyes. Best results are in a dark room, with your nose almost touching the screen. try to fit at least four rectangles on screen at a time. close any curtains around you, try to make you tool bar smaller, whatever is necessary.

Ram Daas: Guru or mind control expert?
Ram Daas is famous and active in the Bay Area. At the funeral of Polly Klaas, he presided as "priest" at Eve Nichol's request. Winona Ryder, the brilliant young actress from Petaluma who posted a million dollar reward for the capture of Polly's kidnapper, was a close friend of Timothy Leary, and, in fact, was at his death bed (See Charlie Rose PBS programming.) Ram Daas and Timothy Leary, now deceased, started their career together at Harvard. Timothy Leary was in charge of psychology at Kaiser in Oakland and had a degree from the University of California. Last year, Ram Daas lectured at Grace Cathedral. Richard Alpert has become "mainstream." In August, Ram Daas will return to the Bay Area to lecture again. Who is Ram Daas?

Cameroon threatens to jail urine drinkers
A dramatic surge in the popularity of "urine therapy" in Cameroon has prompted the government to ban its consumption and threaten persistent offenders with jail.

"I had haemorrhoids for five years and nothing gave me relief. But six months ago, I started drinking half a glass of my urine every morning and I am practically healed," a shopkeeper from the capital Yaounde wrote to Le Messager newspaper. A magistrate claimed: "For several years I haven't had a hair on my head, but since I started drinking my urine it's started growing again - it's extraordinary." (reg. req.)

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Murderer blames killing on being from "dark world"
In a quiet, halting tone, Alexander elaborated on the description of Jared that he began in a rambling statement he read in the Mineola courtroom on the day of his sentencing. He said Jared came from a "dark world" that was separated from this world by gates that had to be guarded by Alexander as "the chosen one." "I allowed the being from the dark world to slip through the gates and commit the ultimate crime," he said.

It is a universe that he called Shystrayeb, he said, to which he travels often, and is only one of many places he goes to in his mind. "I am capable of traveling to just about any world I choose," said Alexander, who often referred to being unable to properly translate that universe's language.

Elizabeth Smart kidnapper wrote bizarre manifesto
A copy of a 27-page work called "The Book of Immanuel David Isaiah" was seized at the Montana home of one of Mitchell's relatives, authorities said.

One passage indicates God decreed that polygamy had been taken away from the people as punishment for the sins of humanity - but the "blessing" of multiple marriage would be restored to those who truly followed Jesus.

The Mickey Mouse gas mask
On January 7th, 1942, one month after Pearl Harbor, T.W. Smith, Jr., the owner of the Sun Rubber Company, and his designer, Dietrich Rempel, with Walt Disney‚s approval introduced a protective mask for children. This design of the Mickey Mouse Gas Mask for children was presented to Major General William N. Porter, Chief of the Chemical Warfare Service. After approval of the CWS, Sun Rubber Products Company produced sample masks for review. Other comic book character designs were to follow, depending on the success of the Mickey Mouse mask.

The mask was designed so children would carry it and wear it as part of a game. This would reduce the fear associated with wearing a gas mask and hopefully, improve their wear time and, hence, survivability.

Fake shuttle photos circulating in 'Israeli satellite' e-mail
A set of electronic images of space shuttle Columbia attached to an e-mail is the latest Internet hoax concerning the orbiter.

The electronic images show the shuttle exploding in a ball of fire in space. The e-mail is claiming that the photos were taken by an Israeli satellite during re-entry.

The images do not appear to match with what is known about how Columbia broke up over Texas during re-entry from orbit.

Why conspiracy theories live on despite the facts
Patrick Leman of the Royal Holloway University of London tested six theories on 64 students. He found everyone was prone to forge conspiracy theories to make the explanation seem proportionate to the magnitude of the event.

"Everyone ... tends to believe a major event has a major cause," he said. "So in a scenario in which a President is attacked and dies, they are more likely to invoke a conspiracy theory in place of a 'lone gunman' explanation than if he survives." But the readiness to believe such theories varied. Asked to rate six scenarios on whether they were the product of conspiracies, the students gave the highest vote to the poisoning of the food supply. The results showed that those most prone to believe such theories were less likely to accept facts that undermined their theory.

Earlier research has suggested people from ethnic minorities are prone to believe conspiracy theories. "Ethnic minorities tend to feel less connected to the authority. If people become distanced from institutions of power they are more likely to distrust official accounts."

Carp speaks in Hebrew, gives apocalyptic warnings
Rosen, whose family owns the store, and Mr. Nivelo, who has worked at the shop for seven years, say that on Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. they were carving up carp.

Mr. Nivelo, who is not Jewish, lifted a live carp out of a box of iced-down fish and was about to club it in the head.

But the fish began speaking in Hebrew, according to the two men. Mr. Nivelo does not understand Hebrew, but the shock of a fish speaking any language, he said, forced him against the wall and down to the slimy wooden packing crates that cover the floor. (reg. req)

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Another Islamic soda: Muslim Up
Bottled in the blue of the European Union and the UN flag rather than the green of Islam, "Muslim Up" soft drinks aim to use a share of profits to fight "all injustice seen in the world", a cherished value among the world's 1,2 billion Muslims.

Muslim Up cola hit shops this week, its bottles bearing the slogan "Refreshment has a meaning" in French and Arabic.

Pensioner arrested for eating cats
Elias Cassini was allegedly caught skinning a Siamese cat in the backyard of his house in Sao Paulo.

He is reported to have said: "I do have the habit of eating cat stew and fried cat. I do that because I don't have enough money to buy food."

But Mr Cassini's family told the police he has more than enough money to support himself and that this is nothing more than a bizarre habit.

Bush painting provokes furor in Montreal
A painting showing the World Trade Center towers protruding from U.S. President George W. Bush's trousers was torn down and later restored at an art festival today at Concordia University.

The painting depicts Bush wearing a cowboy hat, with the twin towers extending from his unzipped pants.

Here's a pic

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Adopt a pub rat service launched on web
It's the next best thing to buying the next round: from Friday, anyone on the Internet will be able to adopt an English country pub regular for £20 (about R260) a year.

Log on to and take your pick from a growing list of seasoned Gloucestershire punters including Arthur Ayres at the Town Inn ("a real farmers pub") and Clive Ludlow at the Lansdown ("a lot nicer than my flat").

Hitler syphilis theory revived
The latest book, "Pox: Genius, Madness and the Mysteries of Syphilis" by Deborah Hayden, says that Hitler had many of the symptoms which might point to advanced syphilis.

These included encephalitis, dizziness, neck pustules, chest pain and an "accentuated heartbeat".

Ms Hayden also points to signals which suggests a mental decline in his last years, including "paranoid rages".

Miami Vice star Don Johnson caught with 8 billion in suitcase
The actor was stopped driving into the country from Switzerland and a paper fortune was discovered in shares, bonds, cheques and credit notes.

When asked about the $8billion Johnson, 53, allegedly said: „I am going to buy a car.š

Operation Kuwaiti Field Chicken - or KFC
In simpler times it was the canary. But today's avian suicide jockeys are chickens, which are to be press-ganged into service by the US Army when/if/when it invades Iraq.

No, they won't be packed with explosives - like the kamikaze camels of Afghanistan. Instead they will sit "in cages atop Humvees, used as early warning gas detectors," the BBC reports.

Israeli peace activists tout mysticism
About 100 peace campaigners, most of them Israelis, came to this crossing point between Jerusalem and the West Bank town of Ramallah on Tuesday on a mission to distribute 1,000 copies of writings from the Zohar, or Book of Splendor, the central text of Kabbalah, the ancient Jewish mystical tradition that has won celebrity adherents like the singer Madonna.

A tall Palestinian joined in holding his hands above his head in a gesture of benediction.

"Inshalah (God willing)," he said. "Peace to everyone."

Choking Man receiving psychiatric treatment
The reign of Choking Man may be over. The middle-aged, stocky, pleasant-mannered man who staged fake choking incidents across Southwest Florida -- and sent one woman to the hospital -- is now receiving psychiatric treatment in a local mental health facility.

In addition to bread, Choking Man has coughed up nuts, hard candies and pieces of celery, apple, hot dog, waffle fries and bagel. (via)

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Rael: Style guru
While modern messiahs claim to have unlocked the secrets of the universe, wardrobe remains a mystery to most of them. David Koresh led his Branch Davidians to their destiny in a wife-beater. Jim Jones wore his sunglasses at night. And members of the dot-com cult Heaven's Gate died with their Nikes on.

Some saviors are smarter about shmatte. His holiness Rael, the spiritual leader behind Clonaid's baby-cloning claims, is acutely aware of how appearance affects message. Rael designed his all-white vestments almost 20 years ago, after an alien race called the Elohim allegedly showed him a good time on their home planet. A confessed admirer of Karl Lagerfeld and Gianni Versace, Rael didn't get many fashion tips from the planet-hopping beings. ''On their planet, they are mostly nude,'' he says matter-of-factly. (reg. req.)

Movie men add special effects to media war
Fresh from the latest Michael Douglas film, one of Tinseltown‚s top art directors has been hired to create a $200,000 (£125,000) set for General Tommy Franks and other American commanders to give daily updates.

George Allison's work in Qatar reflects the Pentagon‚s realisation that it needs to look good on prime-time television, especially given public disquiet about the war.

On a set that will become instantly recognisable, generals will present updates from two podiums at the front of a stage adorned with five 50in plasma screens and two 70in television projection screens ready to show maps, graphics and videos of action.

Behind them will be a soft-focus elongated map of the world, as if to suggest that the world is united behind them.

Article on Rupert Sheldrake speech
In a new book being published Tuesday, "The Sense of Being Stared At," Sheldrake says 90 percent of people have reported having this sensation. The experience is not a quirk of our brains, he writes, "but leads to the conclusion that our minds are not confined inside our heads."

To test the hypothesis, Sheldrake blindfolded subjects and had a "starer" alternately look or turn away from them. The subjects then recorded whether they believed they were being looked at or not. By the laws of chance, 50 percent of guesses would be correct. But Sheldrake said results showed consistently that people end up getting it right 55 percent of the time.

Duke U screens Axis of Evil film festival
"Reel Evil," a film festival that runs into next month, is featuring movies from Iraq, Iran and North Korea, as well as from a trio of countries designated by the State Department as "rogue states" - Cuba, Libya and Syria.

But the next screening, of the 1985 North Korean film "Pulgasari" could be the biggest draw.

It was produced by dictator Kim Jong Il, who kidnapped a South Korean director to film the tale of a metal-eating monster who helps an army of farmers overcome a tyrannical king.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Homeland security phone gets telemarketers
When a newly installed emergency telephone in Gov. John Hoeven's office rang the first three times, it wasn't someone with news of a disaster or terrorist assault.

One caller had a wrong number. The other two were telemarketers.

"It was a guy trying to sell him two pizzas on special," Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple said. "We're trying to figure out what kind of a disaster is taking place, and it's some guy trying to give the governor a two-for-one."

Animal bar codes to take over from Latin names
Today 40 leading scientists involved in taxonomy Ų the classification of organisms Ų will meet in New York with the aim of setting up an international bar-coding system using individual DNA as labels for new species. Existing species will get their own bar code, too.

With the right technology, says a report co-authored by scientists at the Natural History Museum, in London, up to 1,000 species a day could be bar coded by just one institution. And that, say scientists, will make it possible to catalogue animal life on the planet within two decades, 1,000 or so years sooner than under the current system.

Hoover thwarted American Nazi Party plot to kill Trudeau
The intrigue began on April 25, when someone called Ottawa police from a beachside phone booth in Santa Monica, Calif., to tell them a pair of men had left four days earlier and were making their way northward to kill Mr. Trudeau.

Mr. Hoover, keenly sensitive to these kinds of threats after the assassinations of president John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, immediately launched a round-the-clock manhunt.

A May 1 memo from the L.A. field office summarizing the case said one of those connected to the plot has attended meetings of the American Nazi party.

Nazis were inspired by California's eugenics program
Lombardo cites an incident in which California's sterilization practices were held up as models for the Nazi regime. In 1935, Eugenics Record Office leader Harry Laughlin was invited to an international conference on eugenics in Germany. Unable to attend, Laughlin instead sent his German hosts a diagram displaying the pedigree of "a feeble-minded woman sterilized by the state of California."

The chart shows how the woman was born to a mother deemed by state officials to be "neurotic (and) feeble-minded" and a father termed a "drunkard (and) gambler (with) low mentality." The woman's ovaries were removed, a permissible form of asexualization under California law.

While the Nazis practiced eugenics to "purify" their race, Americans had more pragmatic reasons for trying to prevent certain people from having children.

"This was about saving money. It was the economic motive."

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Upskirt peeper found with nine-step manual
One man arrested earlier this month in Osaka was found to have captured footage from up the skirts of about 300 unsuspecting lasses. Most frightening was the nine-step manual he had made for himself:

NEVER target women in pairs;
DON'T leave the scene after getting a shot because it arouses suspicion;
USE a flash as often as possible because it gives a better shot;
TRY and get a shot of a woman's face if you've already got a snap inside her skirt;
AVOID letting whatever you carry the camera in from ever touching the target;
HANGING around in the same place for too long will attract unwanted attention;
EASIEST shots are snared while women stand around reading or riding escalators; and
SKIRTS made of denim or other thick material will always hide the flash, so use it at will.

Raelians disrobe to protest Iraq war
Four members of the group stood on the grounds of the federal building, disrobed for several minutes, and encouraged others to do the same as a sign of their opposition to war.

"Whenever everybody undresses, the ego goes away and then we can make decisions," said protester Nadine Gary. "Imagine President Bush nude addressing the state of the union. Imagine Saddam Hussein nude."

Applied Digital sues IBM over microchip
Applied Digital, which has borrowed $77 million from IBM, alleged that the world's largest computer company is using its position as its lender to take control of a subsidiary that holds the intellectual rights to the Verichip, which can be embedded under the human skin and read by a remote sensor.

That unit is the collateral in the loan from IBM, on which Applied Digital just missed a $46 million payment.

The company also charged that IBM prevented Applied Digital from receiving funding from a third party that would have enabled it to meet its loan obligations, according to a copy of the lawsuit the company said was filed in Florida state court in Palm Beach County.

So in other words, Applied Digital may be going broke, but IBM is going to be in the implantable microchip business soon ...

Boys' urine in high demand - for cooking eggs
The Chinese Business View reported that residents in Dongyang City of Zhejiang province believed eggs cooked in the urine of young boys were nourishing.

It said people were queuing with washbasins in hand outside every primary school.

A teacher who has been teaching for more than 20 years said the practice had been going on for years in the villages, where residents would line up outside schools for their 'ration' of urine.

Devil tells man to kill Oscar-nominated filmmaker
The man who slashed his Emmy-award winning documentarian girlfriend said he attacked his live-in-lover with a kitchen knife because the devil told him to kill her, sources said yesterday.

"I talked to the devil, and he said to kill you," David Penick told Oscar-nominated moviemaker Susan Froemke, who suffered severe a gash on her hands trying to fend him off during the Friday-morning rampage, sources said.
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