Fat-Assed American Cars

As a FARKer noted, this is “inadvertently making the US the largest source of renewable energy in the world.”

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Fill ‘Er Up With Human Fat

by Peter C. Beller

How a Beverly Hills doctor powered his SUV using his patients’ spare tires.

Liposuctioning unwanted blubber out of pampered Los Angelenos may not seem like a dream job, but it has its perks. Free fuel is one of them.

For a time, Beverly Hills doctor Craig Alan Bittner turned the fat he removed from patients into biodiesel that fueled his Ford SUV and his girlfriend’s Lincoln Navigator.

Love handles can power a car? Frighteningly, yes. Fat–whether animal or vegetable–contains triglycerides that can be extracted and turned into diesel. Poultry companies such as Tyson are looking into powering their trucks on chicken schmaltz, and biofuel start-ups such as Nova Biosource are mixing beef tallow and pig lard with more palatable sources such as soybean oil. Mike Shook of Agri Process Innovations, a builder of biodiesel plants, says this year’s batch of U.S. biodiesel was likely more than half animal-derived since the price of soybeans soared.

A gallon of grease will get you about a gallon of fuel, and drivers can get about the same amount of mileage from fat fuel as they do from regular diesel, according to Jenna Higgins of the National Biodiesel Board. Animal fats need to undergo an additional step to get rid of free fatty acids not present in vegetable oils, but otherwise, there’s no difference, she says.

Greenies like the fact that waste, such as coffee grounds and french-fry grease, can be turned into power. “The vast majority of my patients request that I use their fat for fuel–and I have more fat than I can use,” Bittner wrote on lipodiesel.com. “Not only do they get to lose their love handles or chubby belly but they get to take part in saving the Earth.” Bittner’s lipodiesel Web site is no longer online.

Using fat to fuel cars might be environmentally friendly, but it’s definitely illegal in California to use human medical waste to power vehicles, and Bittner is being investigated by the state’s public health department.

Although it’s unclear when Bittner started and stopped making fat fuel or how he made it, his activities came to light after recent lawsuits filed by patients that allege he allowed his assistant and his girlfriend to perform surgeries without a medical license.

Attorney Andrew Besser, who represents three patients, says the assistant and girlfriend removed too much fat from clients and left them disfigured. Dozens of other patients have complained to the state medical board, Besser says. The board is investigating Bittner but declined to comment.

The investigations, however, might go nowhere: Bittner closed his practice, Beverly Hills Liposculpture, in November and moved to South America to do volunteer work at a clinic, according to a note on his Web site. Besser says Bittner likely fled the country because of the investigations. Bittner’s lawyer didn’t return calls seeking comment.

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Hardwired Sex: Bionic SexChip Comes … Into Being

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Bionic ‘sex chip’ that stimulates pleasure centre in brain developed by scientists

Scientists are developing an electronic ‘sex chip’ that works by stimulating the pleasure centres in the brain.

The technology, which creates tiny shocks deep in the brain, has already been used in America to treat Parkinson’s disease.

Now researchers are focusing on the orbitofrontal cortex, which is associated with feelings of pleasure caused by eating and sex.

A research survey conducted by Morten Kringelbach, a fellow at Oxford University, found the orbitofrontal cortex could be a ‘new stimulation target’ to help people with anhedonia – an inability to experience pleasure from such activities.

His colleague Professor Tipu Aziz said: ‘There is evidence that this chip will work.

‘A few years ago a scientist implanted such a device into the brain of a woman with a low sex drive and turned her into a very sexually active woman. She didn’t like the sudden change, so the wiring in her head was removed.’

But Professor Aziz said the present surgery needed to implant the wire in the brain was ‘intrusive and crude’ and would need about 10 years worth of development.

‘When the technology is improved, we can use deep brain stimulation in many new areas. It will be more subtle, with more control over the power so you may be able to turn the chip on and off when needed.’

An electronic machine that creates sexual feelings is already being developed in America by Dr Stuart Meloy. He calls his device, which is a modified spinal cord stimulator, the Orgasmatron. The name is taken from the 1973 Woody Allen film Sleeper.

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Gladiators Return to Rome

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Gladiators to return to Rome

Gladiators are to return to Rome 2,000 years after they clashed on the blood-soaked sands of the Colosseum.

By Nick Squires

Umberto Broccoli, the archaeologist in charge of the Colosseum, said that he is planning to bring the gladiatorial clashes of ancient Rome to the modern Italian capital as part of a “serious project” to revive interest in its monuments and museums.

Whereas the gladiators who entertained ancient Roman crowds in the huge amphitheatre often battled to the death, today’s fighters will engage in mock battles.

While sparing their opponents from injury, those aspiring to follow Russell Crowe’s heroics in the film Gladiator will nonetheless wear authentic helmets and body armour and wield the same swords, tridents, nets and daggers that were used in ancient times.

The idea of re-enacting the contests is being pushed by Mr Broccoli, superintendent of archaeology at Rome City Council.

“I don’t want this to be a carnival. It would be a serious project. Museums and ancient monuments like the Colosseum must speak to the public in a new way,” he told the newspaper La Repubblica.

Museums and monuments could no longer afford to be “collections of antiquities, often badly exhibited and explained”. It was important to revive the age of the gladiators “as it really was”, said Mr Broccoli, 54.

The aim would be to recreate the sights and sounds of a gladiatorial contest. “Only in this way can one succeed in making a visit an experience that won’t be forgotten,” he said.
It is unlikely that the fighting will take place in the Colosseum itself – its sand-covered arena has long since collapsed, leaving a honeycomb of tunnels and chambers through which gladiators, slaves and wild animals were herded.

Instead the contests, planned for next year, would probably be held outside a museum or on a stage near the Colosseum, which is at the heart of Rome’s ancient remains.

The re-enactments would not be “tacky”, he said, unlike the touts outside the Colosseum who dress as centurions and legionaries and charge tourists money to pose beside them for photographs.

The modern-day gladiators could be drawn from Rome’s “gladiator school”, whose 200 members spend their weekends dressed in sandals and breast plates and learning ancient fighting techniques.

“We fight each other in a way that is as authentic as possible, without hurting each other,” said Sergio Iacomoni, the president of the historical society that runs the school.

“A judge decides the winner when one adversary manages to land what is considered a mortal blow. Lots of people are interested in the fights, particularly American tourists and kids.”

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Albino Witchcraft in Africa and Other Palin News

These guys are probably associates of the Palin witchdoctor who blessed her Governorship and exorcised her campaign demons. I couldn’t imagine more than a few of these fucking idiots running around Africa.

As for as the victim, wow, much like Elric, he simply can’t catch a break. Hope he doesn’t have a patron named Arioch, or we’re all screwed.

Mbeya businessman held over albino kidnap attempt

A famous businessman in Mbarali district and seven other people are under arrest for allegedly planning to kidnap and kill one Hussein Power (15), an albino herdsman.
Mbeya Regional Police Commander Zelothe Stephen named the suspects as Benito Mwachembe (45), a dealer in motor vehicle spare parts and engaged in other business ventures.

Other suspects were identified as Shija Juma (23), Chonde Said (22), Said Kawawa (35), Luhende Nyalupala (32), Ezekiah Lugoma (32) and one Mkumbe, all residents of Mlango wa Tatu in Ubaruku Ward within the district and a resident of Chamwino in Dodoma Region, Thomas Lugoma (26).

The RPC said that on December 16, police were tipped off by Good Samaritans that a group of people, including the businessman, were scheming to kidnap an albino named Hussein with intent to kill him for witchcraft purposes. He said the suspects had planned to kidnap the boy at a forest he often used to herd cows. “The plan was to take him to the businessman alive in exchange for one million shillings,” he said.

He said that on the fateful day, Hussein somehow decided to stay home and let his younger brother, Sai Power (13) take the animals to the forest instead, where the suspects gave themselves away by asking probing questions about the whereabouts of their target.

The RPC further narrated that the suspects left the boy alone after they learnt that Husein was at home. “The boy later informed his mother about what happened at the forest … he was also able to identify the seven people who accosted him at the forest,” the RPC said, quoting a woman (Mkwimba Shija) who reported the matter to police.

During investigations, police allegedly established that Mwachembe and his henchmen wanted the albino taken to his home alive – and that would be a million shillings for the service. He is further alleged to have given instructions that the body of his victim be buried within his house. Hussein’s mother, Mkwimba Shija, alleged that two of the suspects visited her several times under the pretext that they were selling goods at a bargain. “Little did I suspect they were watching my son’s every move … all with evil intentions,” she moaned.

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Condom E. Cheese

Some sick cheese news.

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Prepare to vomit before you run for the exits dragging your children to safety.

Kids find condom at Bel Air Chuck E. Cheese’s

Of course, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this was a simple oops from the latest Brangelina visit.

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Either way, I won’t be taking my kids back to slide through the snot n sperm tubes. We’re down with Chuck.

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Flying Sunset, Leaping Day

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Cognitive Computing

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Cognitive Computing: Building A Machine That Can Learn From Experience

Suppose you want to build a computer that operates like the brain of a mammal. How hard could it be? After all, there are supercomputers that can decode the human genome, play chess and calculate prime numbers out to 13 million digits.

But University of Wisconsin-Madison research psychiatrist Giulio Tononi, who was recently selected to take part in the creation of a “cognitive computer,” says the goal of building a computer as quick and flexible as a small mammalian brain is more daunting than it sounds.

Tononi, professor of psychiatry at the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and an internationally known expert on consciousness, is part of a team of collaborators from top institutions who have been awarded a $4.9 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the first phase of DARPA’s Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) project.

Tononi and scientists from Columbia University and IBM will work on the “software” for the thinking computer, while nanotechnology and supercomputing experts from Cornell, Stanford and the University of California-Merced will create the “hardware.” Dharmendra Modha of IBM is the principal investigator.

“Every neuron in the brain knows that something has changed,” Tononi explains. “It tells the brain, ‘I got burned, and if you want to change, this is the time to do it.’’

Thus, a cat landing on a hot stovetop not only jumps off immediately, it learns not to do that again.

The idea is to create a computer capable of sorting through multiple streams of changing data, to look for patterns and make logical decisions.

There’s another requirement: The finished cognitive computer should be as small as a the brain of a small mammal and use as little power as a 100-watt light bulb. It’s a major challenge. But it’s what our brains do every day.

“Our brains can do it, so we have proof that it is possible,” says Tononi. “What our brains are good at is being flexible, learning from experience and adapting to different situations.”

While the project will take its inspiration from the brain’s architecture and function, Tononi says it isn’t possible or even desirable to recreate the entire structure of the brain down to the level of the individual synapse.

“A lot of the work will be to determine what kinds of neurons are crucial and which ones we can do without,” he says.

It all comes down to an understanding of what is necessary for teaching an artificial brain to reason and learn from experience.

“Value systems or reward systems are important aspects,” he said. “Learning is crucial because it needs to learn from experience just like we do.”

So a system modeled after the neurons that release neuromodulators could be important. For example, neurons in the brain stem flood the brain with a neurotransmitter during times of sudden stress, signaling the “fight-or flight” response.

“Every neuron in the brain knows that something has changed,” Tononi explains. “It tells the brain, ‘I got burned, and if you want to change, this is the time to do it.’”

Thus, a cat landing on a hot stovetop not only jumps off immediately, it learns not to do that again.

Tononi says the ideal artificial brain will need to be plastic, meaning it is capable of changing as it learns from experience. The design will likely convey information using electrical impulses modeled on the spiking neurons found in mammal brains. And advances in nanotechnology should allow a small artificial brain to contain as many artificial neurons as a small mammal brain.

It won’t be an easy task, says Tononi, a veteran of earlier efforts to create cognitive computers. Even the brains of the smallest mammals are quite impressive when you consider what tasks they perform with a relatively small volume and energy input.

“I would be happy to create a mouse brain,” Tononi says. “A mouse brain is quite remarkable. And from there, it shouldn’t be too hard to scale up to a rat brain, and then a cat or monkey brain.”

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