Nude, the New Feminist Career

Girl Power!

You don’t have to be the daughter of a famous rockstar to see the bold new trend. What can you do for attention these days if you are an emancipated, educated, empowered female? You got it, the same gig that’s been hot since the first issue of Pleistocine Playboy was carved on a cave wall.


Cause, um, it is a protest, right? There’s a greater message, right? It is all about herstory and down with history, right?


Basically, yeah.


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Mutant Lobsters

What pollution?

But just think of the savings for seafood suppliers when each lobster yields four claws. I sense a new special at the Red Lobster!


Mutant, 4-clawed lady lobster caught in RI

A 1.5 pound lobster with four claws was caught off the coast of Newport and later released.

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) – A lady lobster with four claws was pulled from the deep this week in the waters off Newport.

With a large crusher claw and three pincher claws – instead of the usual one – the crustacean was unlike anything 39-year-old lobsterman Patrick Marks had ever seen in his 14 years catching the creatures.

All of the lobster’s excess appendages worked.

Marks, of Portsmouth, trapped the mutated animal about 60 miles south of Newport and hauled her up on Monday.

Marks told the Newport Daily News he sometimes lets lobsters go out of guilt when they look at him funny.

So after showed off the multi-clawed lobster for most of the day, he let her go. She weighed 1.5 pounds and could have sold for $7.50 retail.

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Ancient City of the Cloud People Discovered


Ancient lost city discovered deep in the Amazonian rainforest linked to the legendary Cloud People of Peru

An ancient lost city has been discovered in the remote Amazonian rainforest of north-east Peru, archaeologists have announced.

The fortified citadel appears to be from the pre-Inca era and may be linked to the country’s legendary ‘Cloud People’.


The main encampment comprises circular stone houses overgrown by lush jungle over an area of 12 acres, said archaeologist Benedict Goicochea Perez.

The citadel sits atop a chasm that the former inhabitants may have used as a lookout to spy on approaching enemies, she added.


Rock paintings cover some of the fortifications, and next to the dwellings are large platforms believed to have been used to grind seeds and wild plants for food and medicine, he continued.

It is tucked away in the remote Jamalca district of Utcubamba province, part of the northern Amazonas department, said Jamalca Mayor Ricardo Cabrera Bravo, who had joined the expedition.

The area, about 497 miles northeast of Lima, is famed for its vast, isolated natural beauty, surrounded by verdant foliage and soaring waterfalls, said Cabrera Bravo.

The citadel likely belonged to the Chachapoyas civilization – an ancient people whose glory days over a thousand years ago pre-date the hegemony of the powerful Incas.

The Chachapoyas culture (known as the Cloud Forest people) also built the imposing Kuelap fortress atop a mountain in Utcubamba, which can only be compared in scale to the Inca’s Machu Picchu retreat, built hundreds of years later.

The Chachapoyas, also called the Warriors of the Clouds, were an Andean people living in the cloud forests of the Amazonian region of present-day Peru.

The Incas conquered their civilization shortly before the arrival of the Spanish in Peru.

When the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, the Chachapoyas were one of the many nations ruled by the Inca Empire.

Their incorporation was not easy, due to their constant resistance to the Inca troops.

Since the Incas and the Spanish conquistadors were the principal sources of information on the Chachapoyas, unbiased first-hand knowledge of the people remains scarce.

Writings by the major chroniclers of the time, were based on fragmentary second-hand accounts.

Much of what is known about the Chachapoyas culture is based on archaeological evidence from ruins, pottery, tombs and other artifacts.

The chronicler Pedro Cieza de León offers some picturesque notes about the Chachapoyas.

He writes: ‘They are the whitest and most handsome of all the people that I have seen in Indies, and their wives were so beautiful that because of their gentleness, many of them deserved to be the Incas’ wives and to also be taken to the Sun Temple.

‘The women and their husbands always dressed in woolen clothes and in their heads they wear their llautos, which are a sign they wear to be known everywhere.’

The name Chachapoya is the name that was given to this culture by the Inca; the name that these people may have actually used to refer to themselves is not known.

The Chachapoyas’ territory was located in the northern regions of the Andes in present-day Peru.

It encompassed the triangular region formed by the confluence of the rivers Marañón and Utcubamba in the zone of Bagua, up to the basin of the Abiseo river, where the ruins of Pajáten are located.

This territory also included land to the south up to the Chontayacu river, exceeding the limits of the current department of Amazonas towards the south. But the centre of the Chachapoyas culture was the basin of the Utcubamba river.

Due to the great size of the Marañón river and the surrounding mountainous terrain, the region was relatively isolated from the coast and other areas of Peru, although there is archaeological evidence of some interaction between the Chachapoyas and other cultures.

The contemporary Peruvian city of Chachapoyas derives its name from the word for this ancient culture as does the defined architectural style.


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Body Swapping

The next step on the road to virtual lives and remote living. This should provide proof of concept for the ability to jack into artificial receptacles or robots and live either remotely or vicariously.


Scientists Produce Illusion Of Body Swapping

Cognitive neuroscientists at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet (KI) have succeeded in making subjects perceive the bodies of mannequins and other people as their own.

In the first experiment, the head of a shop dummy was fitted with two cameras connected to two small screens placed in front of the subjects’ eyes, so that they saw what the dummy “saw.” When the dummy’s camera eyes and a subject’s head were directed downwards, the subject saw the dummy’s body where he/she would normally have seen his/her own.

The illusion of body-swapping was created when the scientist touched the stomach of both with two sticks. The subject could then see that the mannequin’s stomach was being touched while feeling (but not seeing) a similar sensation on his/her own stomach. As a result, the subject developed a powerful sensation that the mannequin’s body was his/her own.

“This shows how easy it is to change the brain’s perception of the physical self,” says Henrik Ehrsson, who led the project. “By manipulating sensory impressions, it’s possible to fool the self not only out of its body but into other bodies too.”

In another experiment, the camera was mounted onto another person’s head. When this person and the subject turned towards each other to shake hands, the subject perceived the camera-wearer’s body as his/her own.

“The subjects see themselves shaking hands from the outside, but experience it as another person,” says Valeria Petkova, who co-conducted the study with Dr Ehrsson. “The sensory impression from the hand-shake is perceived as though coming from the new body, rather than the subject’s own.”

The strength of the illusion was confirmed by the subjects’ exhibiting stress reactions when a knife was held to the camera wearer’s arm but not when it was held to their own.

The illusion also worked even when the two people differed in appearance or were of different sexes. However, it was not possible to fool the self into identifying with a non-humanoid object, such as a chair or a large block.

The object of the projects was to learn more about how the brain constructs an internal image of the body. The knowledge that the sense of corporal identification/self-perception can be manipulated to make people believe that they have a new body is of potential practical use in virtual reality applications and robot technology.

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Star Trek vs. Star Wars

Stupid Evil Bastard’s hilarious post:

The age old Geek Question finally answered: Star Trek vs. Star Wars.

Posted by Les on 12/01/2008 at 01:53 PM. Read 76 times. Tags: easily amused, geeks, star trek, star wars, video clip

It’s an argument I can recall having in my youth. Who would win in a battle between a star destroyer and the starship Enterprise. Now, using recently discovered documentary footage, the question has finally been answered:

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Tara Donovan. Nebulous, 2002.

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Comets Impact Life


Did lack of comet impacts help life evolve?

IT SEEMS we got off lightly in the cosmic lottery. Deadly comet impacts may be much rarer in our solar system than in others nearby.

We can’t directly measure the rate of comet collisions in other solar systems but we can detect signs of the dust that such smashes kick up because the dust gets warmed by the star and so gives off infrared radiation. That radiation shows up as extra infrared in the spectrum of light coming from the star. Because such dust should dissipate quickly, it is thought to provide a good snapshot of the recent collision rate.

Jane Greaves of the University of St Andrews, UK, analysed observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope and found that the vast majority of sun-like stars near us have more dust than our solar system does and therefore have had more collisions in their vicinity. Our solar system may be one of the few that have been safe for life. Greaves presented her results at the Cosmic Cataclysms and Life symposium in Frascati, Italy, this month.

The vast majority of sun-like stars near us have had more collisions in their vicinity than our solar system has.

About 25 per cent of the stars have a very strong dust signature. The rest of them have too little dust for it to be readily apparent when each spectrum is studied in isolation. Adding the measurements from these stars together, however, is like looking through a stack of slightly dusty windowpanes, making the total amount of dust easier to see. Greaves’s analysis revealed that 90 per cent of solar systems are dustier and so more collision-ridden than our own.

Mark Wyatt of the University of Cambridge agrees that the rate of comet impacts is probably lower in our neck of the woods. But as the temperature of the dust found by Greaves indicates it tends to sit far from the parent stars, the impacts might not have affected life on habitable planets, which would sit closer to their star, he says.

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