Did “Anonymous” do Sony ?

In the course of its investigation into the PlayStation Network security breach, Sony discovered a file that makes a clear reference to the “Anonymous” hacking group.

In a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, Sony said a file named “Anonymous,” containing the words “We Are Legion,” was left behind by the intruders who gained access to the servers of Sony Online Entertainment, the company’s game development and distribution arm. The intruders in that breach compromised information on 24.6 million users, as well as 20,000 credit card and bank account numbers.

Sony discovered the SOE breach on Sunday while investigating an earlier attack that compromised information on 77 million accounts from Sony’s PlayStation Network and Qriocity services in April. Anonymous has not been linked to the PlayStation Network breach — the first one detected. However, Sony noted that both breaches took place in the same time frame, which also corresponded with a denial-of-service campaign launched by Anonymous in retaliation for Sony’s lawsuit against PlayStation tinkerer George Hotz.

Members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing Wednesday to address the subject of data theft and its potential impact on consumers. Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai did not attend, but sent written responses to the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. Sony summarized the content of Hirai’s letter on its official PlayStation blog, saying that it had suffered from a “very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyberattack.”

Sony said it knew how the intrusion was accomplished, but not who was responsible.

Photocopies of the letter were also made available. The letter details the company’s actions over the past two weeks and says Sony acted with “care and caution” while deciding how to act and when to inform companies of the security breach, .

On the afternoon of April 20, Sony first discovered evidence of an unauthorized intrusion, the company said in the letter. It then took down the PlayStation Network servers.

Over the next five days, the company hired multiple security firms and forensic teams to determine the scope of the breach. On April 25, Sony found that hackers could have obtained personal information for 77 million PSN accounts, and it informed customers of the breach on the following day.

Sony did not inform customers prior to April 26, because it did not want to “cause confusion and lead [customers] to take unnecessary actions,” the company said.

Major credit card companies have still not reported any fraud that they believe is directly related to the attack, Sony said, adding that 12.3 million customers had credit card information stored on the PlayStation Network, including 5.6 million in the United States. Sony says those credit card numbers were stored encrypted.

Sony added on Monday that its Sony Online Entertainment services had also been affected by the hack, and that hackers may have obtained personal information for its 24.6 million users. As of Wednesday, the company’s Facebook and other online game services have not been taken back online.

Sony said it plans to bring some of PlayStation Network’s services back up this week. As a goodwill gesture, customers will receive 30 free days of PlayStation Plus as well as a variety of free downloads.

Sony Hack Probe Uncovers ‘Anonymous’ Calling Card | GameLife | Wired.com.

Dad Gives Toddler Battling Brain Cancer Medical Marijuana

4th May 2011

A desperate father whose son was suffering from a life-threatening brain tumour has revealed he gave him cannabis oil to ease his pain. And he has now apparently made a full recovery.

Cash Hyde, known as Cashy, was a perfectly healthy baby when he was born in June 2008 but became sick shortly before his second birthday.

At first he was misdiagnosed with glandular fever before his parents Mike and Kalli, from Missoula in Montana, were given the devastating news he had a serious brain tumour.

The little boy had to have arduous chemotherapy treatment to reduce the growth, which had drastic side effects including seizures and a blood infection.

Mike Hyde with his son Cash who was diagnosed with a severe brain tumourMike Hyde with his son Cash who was diagnosed with a severe brain tumour
Cash had to have high-dose chemotherapy which made him very illCash had to have high-dose chemotherapy which made him very ill

His distraught parents were repeatedly told he was likely to succumb to the illness because the condition was so bad.

After one bout of high-dose chemotherapy, Cash was so weak he could not lift his head and was too sick to eat any solid food for 40 days.

It was at this point that Mr Hyde decided to take action and go down the route of medical marijuana to try to help his young son.

Cash’s doctors refused to even discuss the option but his father went and sought authorisation elsewhere and then secretly administered it through his son’s feeding tube.

He also told doctors to stop giving Cash the cocktail of anti-nausea drugs he had been taking – although he never told them what he was doing.

Mr Hyde told KXLY News that his son started looking better right away.

Cash's father secretly gave him medical marijuana through a feeding tubeCash’s father secretly gave him medical marijuana through a feeding tube
The youngster with his older brother Colty as he is treated in hospital The youngster with his older brother Colty as he is treated in hospital

Mr Hyde said: ‘He hadn’t eaten a thing in 40 days – and, it was really incredible to watch him take a bite of a piece of cheese. It shows that he wants to live’.

He credits the cannabis oil with helping his son get through the chemo, and say Cash has now been declared cancer free by doctors.

The boy is now back and home and living the life of a typical young boy, playing with his elder brother Colty.

Medical marijuana is legal in some states, including Montana, but its use for children is poorly understood and quite rate.

The US federal government does not recognise the legality of using the drug for medical reasons and frequently clashes with states over the issue.

Mr Hyde told KXLY: ‘It’s very controversial, it’s very scary. But, there’s nothing more scary than losing your child.’

Cash is now at home and able to live like a normal little boy Cash is now at home and able to live like a normal little boyYouTube – Dad Gives Toddler Battling Brain Cancer Medical Marijuana.

Dubious US Exceptionalism: WE’RE #1, WE’RE #1

Is America the exceptional, #1 country in the world?

Of course it is!

David Morris of the Institute For Local Self-Reliance has published the truth about American exceptionalism.

It turns out, the US is #1 in all sorts of ways.

There is nothing normal about celebrating death

113546409 254x300 There is nothing normal about celebrating deathI thought justice was about bringing people to trial for crimes they have committed, not targeted assassinations.  It seems I was wrong.  I thought disdain for Britain and the US was born from our imperialist foreign policy, not one man recording video messages.  It seems I was wrong.  First, NATO bomb Libya and kill three of Gaddafi’s grandchildren, and people celebrate.  What were the crimes of those children?  Or is it acceptable to celebrate their deaths because they are ‘the devil’s spawn’?

Today, we are celebrating the death of former CIA employee Osama Bin Laden.  Why are there no photographs of his body?  Why was he buried in the sea?  Why is he not on trial?  Of course, we are not encouraged to question the official line.

Can one man be solely responsible for atrocities that kill thousands of people?  As with Saddam Hussein, as with Muammer Gaddafi, the complete dehumanisation of Osama Bin Laden as an individual has served as the pretext for the killing of hundreds of thousands of people.  If we were to follow the logic that the killing of one man called Bin Laden comprises ‘justice’ for the thousands of victims of 9/11, then what would ‘justice’ for the estimated one million Iraqis dead since the US and British-led invasion of Iraq entail?

The truth is, the conditions that allow Bin Laden’s ideology to proliferate still exist.  The colonialist Israeli occupation of Palestine still exists.  The occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan still exist.  The bombing of Libya continues.  We do not celebrate those victims of our ‘military humanitarianism’; rather, we completely ignore them.

If Osama Bin Laden was killed today, then is the world a better place?  Should we feel safer?  I do not feel safer to know that a country with a thousand military bases across the world still holds the arrogant vision of itself as the world’s policeman.  I think there is another reason Bin Laden would never be put on trial; perhaps then, we could have found out who he was taking his orders from?

“I think that all the silence is worse than all the violence,” sings rapper Lupe Fiasco on his latest single, ‘Words I Never Said’, “Fear is such a weak emotion that’s why I despise it / We’re scared of almost everything afraid to even tell the truth…”

When will we stop allowing our fears to blind our sense of humanity?

There is nothing normal about celebrating death | Jody McIntyre | Independent Editor’s choice Blogs.

2012 Signs of the Time or “End of the World” (as we know it)

Monday, May 02, 2011 11:21

Photo: Nostradamus: original portrait by his son Cesar

The Prophecies

Is time short for life on earth as we know and love it? Is this the time of devastation foretold by many – the Mayans, Edgar Cayce (Sleeping Prophet), Mother Shipton (Englishsoothsayerand prophetess), Nostradamus in his quatrains, and others including the Bible?

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” Luke 21:25-26

According to a report by Oxfam, a British charity, “The number of natural disasters around the world has increased by more than four times in the last 20 years.” According to FEMA, “Natural disasters are getting more frequent and more severe.”

  • In the early 1980s, about 120 natural disasters a year, compared with more than 500 natural disasters a year currently
  • In 1980, about 60 weather-related disasters, compared with 240 in 2006.

Governments are overwhelmed with natural disasters – earthquakes, floods, landslides, and collapsing buildings. People are threatened, concerned, and afraid, perhaps rightly so.

Is Mother Earth throwing a tantrum?

So, what are we talking about? We are NOT talking about an “occasional freak year,” but rather about an ongoing string of catastrophic events of increasing intensity, as well as a pattern of more frequent, erratic, unpredictable, and extreme weather events affecting more and more people over larger and larger areas. To name a few:

For a perfect example of multiple catastrophes, we need look no farther than Japan’s March 11 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown.

Most Common Natural Disasters

According to International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), the most common natural disasters appear to be:

    • Earthquakes – noticeable increase in intensity, frequency, and loss – Japan, New Zealand
    • Landslides –Brazil, Bolivia, Thailand, Philippines, India, and the United States
    • Floods – Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Australia, where flood waters don’t recede but continue to rise, even in the absence of rain
    • Windstorms – hurricanes, typhoons, and tornadoes – St. Louis International Airport and Virginia, where two nuclear reactors shutdown when a tornado cut off power
    • Extreme temperatures – heat waves in England, Greece, eastern Europe, Russia
    • Drought – worldwide, devastating to economy, social structure, and environment
    • Wildfires – historic wildfires in Texas
    • Volcanoes – Taal volcano in the Philippines with 12 quakes recorded in last 24 hours
    • Insect Infestations – worldwide bedbug infestation (exponential increase) “verging on the threshold of a pandemic”  according to National Pest Management Association of America

2012 Signs of the Time or “End of the World” (as we know it) | Before It’s News

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5 Best Countries to Escape America’s Decline


Okay, you’re upset with the direction America is headed and you’ve been thinking of moving to another country. Perhaps you feel exhaustedly cynical about the political, economic, or social situation in the U.S. and think it is beyond repair. You wouldn’t be alone. Many top economists and other trend forecasters are now openly predicting that a total economic, environmental, and social collapse may be imminent in America.

Americans, young professionals and baby boomers alike, are increasingly saying that their main desire for moving out of America is to seek “political asylum” of sorts.  In the past, this political discontent was typically drawn along party lines — under Bush’s 8 years the exodus mainly consisted of bitter Democrats, while as recently as March Rush Limbaugh declared, half-jokingly, that he’d move to Costa Rica if “Obamacare” became law.  However, these days, more Americans have grown cynical of the system itself and have given up on left-right politics.

Many believe that dropping out of the system as much as possible is the best form of protest. And now, because many people can telecommute through the Internet, it seems that living outside the U.S. is more do-able than ever. Furthermore, the lower cost of living in many other countries may actually increase the standard of living for some people.

Surely, America will rebound from its eventual collapse, much like Russia and Argentina have, but it might make for uncomfortable sacrifices in America during the next decade.  More Americans are looking to “ride out the storm” elsewhere, while others desire to become permanent nomads seeking foreign opportunity and adventure.

It should be noted that no country is perfect and you’ll face challenges no matter where you go. You’ll find that modernization and rampant consumerism is expanding into almost every corner of the world. Some view this as a good thing, as more American comforts can be found, while others view it as a cultural blight to foreign lands. Your expectations must be kept realistic in that you may not find paradise, but your expat adventure may ultimately lead to a more peaceful lifestyle.

The criteria for countries of safe haven include social stability, economic opportunity, freedom of self-expression, relative self-sufficiency, and an essential local community strength. These critical components are the foundation for living life with a greater sense of independence.

Here are our 5 best countries for Americans to escape the decline:

1.Uruguay, whose official motto is “libertad o muerte (liberty or death),” is located in South America, southwest of Brazil and east of Argentina. Uruguay borders on the Atlantic Ocean and has developed infrastructure, a stable democracy, European flair, and rich culture that draws many expats to her borders. Uruguay is a constitutional democracy with one of the most developed economies in South America, possessing a high GDP per capita. Between the years 2007 and 2009, Uruguay was the only country in the Americas which didn’t technically experience a recession, and now has the lowest Income Inequality and highest Quality of Life in Latin America, second only to Canada in all the Americas.  Uruguay is rated as the least corrupt country in Latin America with its political and labour conditions being among the freest on the continent.  In 2010, Uruguay became the first nation in Latin America to test hemp cultivation, while no drugs are illegal for personal consumption.  Located entirely in the temperate zone, Uruguay provides an excellent climate for growing.

Housing costs are much lower than the United States, as well as health care and food. Some consumer products such as cars and electronics can cost more, as well as Internet connection fees. Americans can buy real estate and own businesses, and they have an automatic 90-day visa to explore Uruguay.  Americans only need to have a proof-of-income of $500/mth to apply for residency.

2. Costa Rica is a peaceful country in Central America, often referred to as the “Switzerland” of the Latin America due to its stable economy, political stability, and quality health care. Costa Rica, blessed with two beautiful coast lines (Pacific and Caribbean), is roughly the size of West Virginia and home to around 4 million people. The Central Valley’s eternal springlike climate is said to be one of the best in the world allowing for a year-round growing season.  Costa Rica is consistently voted one of the “Happiest and Greenest” countries in the world with about 95% of its electric production coming from renewable sources.  AARP and others have ranked it one of the best foreign retirement locations, as it has all the same modern conveniences found in America and is only a 5-hour flight from New York.

Besides the price of real estate, which is comparable to the U.S., the cost of living is lower — especially property taxes, health insurance, and fresh food. Americans have an automatic 90-day visa which can be renewed by leaving the country for 3 days before re-entering.  Non-residents can own real estate and businesses, but are not allowed to work without a work visa.  Residency requirements vary based on category.  Current information is available here.

3. New Zealand might be the most isolated fully developed nation in the world. It shares no borders, sits relatively distant from any other nation, has no real national enemies, has a safe democracy and a diverse landscape with many remote places to hide away within. Located in the South Pacific with beautiful beaches, sunshine, friendly people, and stunning vistas, it has two main islands and several smaller islands like Chatham Island and the Cook Islands. New Zealand ranks highly in international comparisons on many topics, including education, economic freedom, and lack of corruption.  New Zealand now ranks among the freest economies in the world with one of the least corrupt governments ranked #1 on the Global Peace Index in 2010 — second year in a row.  Its cities also consistently rank among the world’s most liveable.  The most commonly spoken language is English.

The cost of living is somewhat comparable to the United States.  Americans have an automatic 90-day visa to enter and explore the country.  Non-residents can apply for a 2-year work visa only in fields determined by immigration.

4. Iceland has a free market economy that has historically been one of the wealthiest and most developed nations in the world. In 2007, it was ranked as the most developed country in the world by the United Nations’ Human Development Index, and the fourth most productive country per capita economy.  In 2008, Iceland’s economy was devastated by the international bankers calling their foreign debt due.  However, because of pride and solidarity among the people, strong social services, a nearly self-reliant energy sector, and a manageable population (320,000), it is poised to recover once the foreign debt issues are settled. Iceland has passed legislation to establish the country as a “free speech haven” to protect journalists and their sources. This law is a huge deal as most Western countries seem to be heading toward regulating the Internet, and it has the potential to jump-start the Icelandic economy in terms of offering censorship-free servers and other services to journalists and internet businesses.  Iceland is also a peaceful country with no standing army.

Iceland will be working it’s way back from financial collapse, while the U.S. still appears headed for the cliff.  Because of the shattered financial system, there are good opportunities to live on less income in Iceland now than during its peak, while all the signs seem poised for recovery. Residency has traditionally been difficult to get in Iceland and is usually done through vital employment needs, but the new push as a political safe-haven may open up the process a bit. Currently, American passports have an automatic 90-day visa to visit Iceland.

5. Argentina has bounced back from its financial collapse in 2002 when it defaulted on international debt causing massive inflation and high unemployment.  The people said “Nunca Mas,” the government has since paid off its debt to the IMF, and Argentina now has one of the world’s highest qualities of life.  Argentina is the second largest country in South America and the 8th largest in the world.  It is a fully-developed country with strong agricultural production as the second-largest exporter of corn in the world — not to mention good wines and beef too.  The capital of Buenos Aires is known as the “Paris of Latin America” because it feels like a European city with rich architecture and numerous sidewalk cafes.  If the arts and ambiance with a low cost of living are your thing, then Argentina may be the best bang for your buck.

The cost of living is reportedly much lower than the United States for housing, food, travel, and health care.  Americans have an automatic passport visa of 90 days to Argentina as well. Pensioners will need to prove a $700 per month income to qualify for residency, while others can apply if they prove a steady income of $900 per month.

Activist Post: 5 Best Countries to Escape America’s Decline.

Labeling theory: Wannabe experts claim healthy eating is a mental disorder

(NaturalNews)

Do you avoid foods that contain artificial colors and sweeteners, and stick to whole, unprocessed foods instead? If so, you just might have orthorexia, an imaginary “disease” created in 1997 by Dr. Steven Bratman that appears to be gaining more attention in recent days. According to a recent report in Yahoo! News, restricting one’s diet to healthy, pure foods is a compulsive disorder that requires cognitive behavior therapy in order to cure.

Written about in so-called respected health journals like the Journal of the American Medical Association and Psychology Today, “orthorexia nervosa,” which means “nervous about correct eating” in Latin, allegedly causes malnourishment, anxiety, and social disorders. Its creators claim it stems from a type of obsessive compulsive disorder, and that it can lead to anorexia.

As bizarre as it all sounds, there are actually individuals out there that have fallen for the crazy tale that eating healthy is a disease, and some actually take these claims seriously. In other words, eating processed foods filled with artificial chemicals, pesticides, and genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) is considered normal behavior, while eating raw, organic broccoli could potentially land you in a psychiatric hospital filled with pharmaceutical drugs designed specifically to treat your “illness.”

NaturalNews covered the issue of orthorexia last summer (http://www.naturalnews.com/029098_o…), but the fictitious disease is once again making the rounds in the mainstream media. According to reports, orthorexics “may start by eliminating processed foods, anything with artificial colorings or flavorings as well as foods that have come into contact with pesticides, and eventually shun other things like caffeine and alcohol.”

This ridiculous criteria, of course, includes millions of health-conscious Americans that choose to eat healthy and avoid chemicals. Currently, however, this fake disease has not yet been officially added to the American Psychiatric Association’s ridiculous Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). So any supposed “treatments” that are sure to be developed by drug companies will not qualify for insurance reimbursement.

Wannabe experts claim healthy eating is a mental disorder.

Chemtrails: “This is genocide,” said Former FBI Chief Ted Gunderson. “This is poison. This is murder.”


ALBANY, N.Y.– Questions about what’s happening in the sky are popping up across the country. Concerns among the populace about what they see are leaving many to fear the worst. There are varied motives behind what some people see and what they believe to be some kind of geo-engineering conspiracy.

The conspiracy is a worldwide growing movement. A number of people believe it’s an effort to curb global warming, while others, like Bonnie Hoag of Shushan, believe it’s a covert military operation.

“What is more fundamental than breath? What is more fundamental than life on earth to breath?” said Hoag. “This is theft of breath.”

She said planes are spraying aluminum and other toxic metals, which are being blamed for skyrocketing rates of a variety of illnesses.

“This is genocide,” said Former FBI Chief Ted Gunderson. “This is poison. This is murder.”

Gunderson thinks a world government is behind the spraying. He thinks the reason behind it has something to do with some form of population control.

“They’re death dumps. They’re dumping poison on us to reduce the world population,” said Gunderson. “And our government is doing nothing about it!”

Documents such as the 1996 U.S. Air Force 2025 “White Paper,” includes pages 36 and 37 which both discuss ways to use the atmosphere and weather to affect human health and perceptions (see below). Other related documents could be found by clicking here.

According to Rosalind Peterson, the president of the Agriculture Defense Coalition, “University, NASA, and NOAA studies have begun to be published which show that these jets are not having a benign effect on our environment and are considered part of  an atmospheric geo-engineering experiment that reduces the amount of direct sunlight reaching the Earth.”

Others, like Dr. Kevin Rhoads, who specializes in atmospheric chemistry, agree with Peterson’s notion that these won’t negatively affect citizens. He said it’s not a conspiracy at all, but rather contrails and explained that exhaust of carbon dioxide and water can leave streaks in high altitudes and cold temperatures.

“It’s a pretty far fetched idea that these aircrafts could be spreading much quantity of anything other than the exhaust,” said Dr. Rhoads. “The word ‘Chemtrail‘ has never appeared in any scientific literature anywhere.”

He explained that exhaust of carbon dioxide and water can leave streaks in high altitudes and cold temperatures.

“If you were to load some type of chemical agent aboard that plane, that were to be spread, the very weight of that would make the plane unflyable,” said Dr. Rhoads.

Even Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters claim that ‘Chemtrails’ don’t exist. But sky watchers like Cynthia Pikoulas insist the trails form deliberate grids, and linger too long to be water vapor.

“No one has the right to alter our sky,” said Pikoulas. “We breathe the air in, and people are getting sick, so something is causing it.”

“It just breaks my heart every day,” said Hoag.

Pikoulas and Hoag have sought out every legislator they can find, but they say no one will look, or listen.

“It wouldn’t be the first time that governments around the world have done testing on their populations unbeknownst to them,” said Pikoulas.

Getting to the heart of the matter however, isn’t very easy. Scientists have discussed geo-engineering as a possibility in the future but they say it is not happening now.

News 10 Special Report: Secrets in the Sky – News 10 WTEN: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports.

Think it’s easy to be macho? Psychologists show how ‘precarious’ manhood is


ScienceDaily (May 2, 2011)

Manhood is a “precarious” status — difficult to earn and easy to lose. And when it’s threatened, men see aggression as a good way to hold onto it. These are the conclusions of a new article by University of South Florida psychologists Jennifer K. Bosson and Joseph A. Vandello. The paper is published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“Gender is social,” says, Bosson. “Men know this. They are powerfully concerned about how they appear in other people’s eyes.” And the more concerned they are, the more they will suffer psychologically when their manhood feels violated. Gender role violation can be a big thing, like losing a job, or a little thing, like being asked to braid hair in a laboratory.

In several studies, Bosson and her colleagues used that task to force men to behave in a “feminine” manner, and recorded what happened. In one study, some men braided hair; others did the more masculine — or gender-neutral — task of braiding rope. Given the options afterwards of punching a bag or doing a puzzle, the hair-braiders overwhelmingly chose the former. When one group of men braided hair and others did not, and all punched the bag, the hair-braiders punched harder. When they all braided hair and only some got to punch, the non-punchers evinced more anxiety on a subsequent test.

Aggression, write the authors, is a “manhood-restoring tactic.”

When men use this tactic, or consider it, they tend to feel they were compelled by outside forces to do so. Bosson and her colleagues gave men and women a mock police report, in which either a man or a woman hit someone of their own sex after that person taunted them, insulting their manhood (or womanhood). Why did the person get violent? When the protagonist was a woman, both sexes attributed the act to character traits, such as immaturity; the women also said this about the male aggressors. But when the aggressor was a man, the men mostly believed he was provoked; humiliation forced him to defend his manhood.

Interestingly, people tend to feel manhood is defined by achievements, not biology. Womanhood, on the other hand, is seen primarily as a biological state. So manhood can be “lost” through social transgressions, whereas womanhood is “lost” only by physical changes, such as menopause.

Who judges manhood so stringently? “Women are not the main punishers of gender role violations,” says Bosson. Other men are.

Bosson says that this area of research gives psychological evidence to sociological and political theories calling gender a social, not a biological, phenomenon. And it begins to demonstrate the negative effects of gender on men — depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or violence.

The work has also changed Bosson personally. “When I was younger I felt annoyed by my male friends who would refuse to hold a pocketbook or say whether they thought another man was attractive. I thought it was a personal shortcoming that they were so anxious about their manhood. Now I feel much more sympathy for men.”

Think it’s easy to be macho? Psychologists show how ‘precarious’ manhood is.

  1. J. K. Bosson, J. A. Vandello. Precarious Manhood and Its Links to Action and Aggression. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2011; 20 (2): 82 DOI: 10.1177/0963721411402669

Peasants Dancing

This was the number one video in Argentina recently.

YouTube – El mejor video de internet.

Liposuction fat is back within a year: What’s taken from thighs ‘returns on arms’

By Chris Brooke
3rd May 2011

Liposuction carries the unwanted side-effect of making other parts of a patient’s  body fatter, a study  has found.

One year after having litres of fat removed, those undergoing the procedure will effectively be back at square one in terms of  the amount of fat in  their body.

However, the fat will not return to the areas of the body where it was removed from, usually the thighs, lower abdomen and buttocks.

Woman getting marked by doctor for liposuction plastic surgery

Can’t cheat nature: A new study finds that fat removed by liposuction comes back within a year, though not in the same place

Instead it will reappear elsewhere, typically around the shoulders, arms and  upper abdomen, according to U.S. researchers.

Liposuction is a simple but crude surgical process involving the insertion of a tube under the skin attached to a powerful vacuum pump which literally sucks the fat out of chosen areas of the body.

After bruising and swelling from the operation has healed, the areas treated visibly shrink to achieve what months of dieting has failed to do.

Last year there were 3,369 liposuction operations carried out in the UK by members of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

The procedure, which usually costs up to £5,000, has boomed in popularity in recent years.

But the latest findings could be a serious blow to its popularity.

The study involved 32 non-obese and healthy women of average weight and aged in their mid-30s.

While 14 were randomly selected to have a modest amount of fat removed by liposuction from their hips and thighs, the remaining 18 acted as ‘controls’ who did not have the procedure.

Liposuction surgery tools

Tools of the trade: About 450,000 liposuctions are performed every year, at a cost of several thousand dollars a pop. But it might not be effective in the long term

All the women agreed not  to undergo ‘lifestyle changes’ while the research was  being conducted.

Measurements of all the women were carried out at  six weeks, six months and a year, to monitor the distribution of fat.

After six weeks the treated patients had lost 2.1 per cent of their fat, compared with 0.28 per cent in the control group, but this difference had disappeared at one year to the point where it was ‘no longer significant’.

The fat did not return to the same place, but in general was ‘redistributed from the thigh to the abdomen’.

However, the findings were not regarded negatively by many of the women involved.

The women who underwent liposuction were happy that fat had been removed permanently from their hated hips and thighs, even at the expense of transferring the  fat elsewhere.

And more than half in the ‘control’ group still decided to go ahead with planned procedures – which they had earlier been promised at reduced cost at the end of the study.

Tara Reid on the beach in Malibu
Actress/Comedian Kathy Griffin arrives at the 77th Annual Academy Awards

Cut celebs: Tara Reid and Kathy Griffin are well-known devotees of liposuction

Film 'THE SCORPION KING' (2002) DWAYNE JOHNSON
Louise Ennis to be known as 'Suzanne Bates' for Liposuction Treatment

Men and women: Although researchers targeted women in their study, men get liposuction too, including Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who had it in the chest

The study was led by Teri Hernandez and Robert Eckel of the University of Colorado.

Commenting on the results, Dr Eckel said fat ‘was redistributed upstairs’, mostly in the upper abdomen, but also around the shoulders and triceps of the arms. Tests previously carried out in the laboratory on rats have shown similar results.

Fat was surgically removed and returned in other parts of the rodents’ bodies.

Analysing the results, Rudolph Leibel, an obesity researcher at New York’s Columbia University, said that liposuction surgically destroys the structure under the skin, which may be why the fat cells don’t regrow in the place from which they were removed.

Instead the body compensates for their swift loss by growing new fat cells in  other areas.

‘It’s another chapter in the “You can’t fool Mother Nature” story,’ Dr Leibel said.

Liposuction techniques were developed during the 1970s and have been popular in the United States for 30 years.

About 450,000 liposuction operations are carried out annually there.

Fat cells in humans die  and new ones are born throughout life.

Scientists have found that fat cells live for only about seven years and that every time a fat cell dies, another is formed to take its place.

Liposuction fat is back within a year: What’s taken from thighs ‘returns on arms’ | Mail Online.

FBI using surveillance software to track suspects online


By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, May 2nd, 2011 — 5:08 pm

Documents recently obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveal detailed information about the FBI‘s electronic surveillance capabilities. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed the FOIA request in 2007 after it was reported that the agency was using “secret spyware.”

The documents show that software called the Computer and Internet Protocol Address Verifier (CIPAV) was used by the FBI since at least 2001. The software allows the FBI to collect a variety of information from a computer every time it connects to the Internet, including the IP address, Media Access Control (MAC) address, open communication ports, list of the programs running, URLs visited, and more.

It is unclear how the FBI installs the software on a computer, but it is suspected that the spyware exploits a vulnerability in the user’s browser, like other common Internet viruses.

The documents also suggest the FBI frequently uses the software during investigations, including domestic criminal cases and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) cases.

The the U.S. Air Force, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations, as well as foreign governments, have expressed interest in obtaining the software for their own use.

In February, the FBI urged members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security to update the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and make it easier for authorities to eavesdrop on Internet.

The act was passed in 1994 and requires telecommunication companies to design their equipment and services to ensure that law enforcement and national security officials can monitor telephone and other communications whenever necessary.

The proposal to expand CALEA would require companies involved in online communications to re-engineer their software so that law enforcement could easily access it.

“These documents show the FBI already has numerous tools available to surveil suspects directly, rather than through each of their communications service providers,” Jennifer Lynch of the EFF said.


“A device that remains ‘persistent’ on a ‘compromised computer’ is certainly concerning,” she added. “However, if the FBI obtains a probable cause-based court order before installing tools like CIPAV, complies with the minimization requirements in federal wiretapping law by limiting the time and scope of surveillance, and removes the device once surveillance concludes, the use of these types of targeted tools for Internet surveillance would be a much more narrowly tailored solution to the FBI’s purported problems than the proposal to undermine every Internet user’s privacy and security by expanding CALEA.”

FBI using surveillance software to track suspects online | The Raw Story.

The Nazi Death Machine: Hitler’s Warriors were High on Crank (Meth)

Hitler’s Drugged Soldiers

By Andreas Ulrich

The Nazis preached abstinence in the name of promoting national health. But when it came to fighting their Blitzkrieg, they had no qualms about pumping their soldiers full of drugs and alcohol. Speed was the drug of choice, but many others became addicted to morphine and alcohol.

The stimulant Pervitin was delivered to the soldiers at the front.

In a letter dated November 9, 1939, to his “dear parents and siblings” back home in Cologne, a young soldier stationed in occupied Poland wrote: “It’s tough out here, and I hope you’ll understand if I’m only able to write to you once every two to four days soon. Today I’m writing you mainly to ask for some Pervitin …; Love, Hein.”

Pervitin, a stimulant commonly known as speed today, was the German army’s — the Wehrmacht’s — wonder drug.

On May 20, 1940, the 22-year-old soldier wrote to his family again: “Perhaps you could get me some more Pervitin so that I can have a backup supply?” And, in a letter sent from Bromberg on July 19, 1940, he wrote: “If at all possible, please send me some more Pervitin.” The man who wrote these letters became a famous writer later in life. He was Heinrich Boell, and in 1972 he was the first German to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in the post-war period.

Many of the Wehrmacht’s soldiers were high on Pervitin when they went into battle, especially against Poland and France — in a Blitzkrieg fueled by speed. The German military was supplied with millions of methamphetamine tablets during the first half of 1940. The drugs were part of a plan to help pilots, sailors and infantry troops become capable of superhuman performance. The military leadership liberally dispensed such stimulants, but also alcohol and opiates, as long as it believed drugging and intoxicating troops could help it achieve victory over the Allies. But the Nazis were less than diligent in monitoring side-effects like drug addiction and a decline in moral standards.

After it was first introduced into the market in 1938, Pervitin, a methamphetamine drug newly developed by the Berlin-based Temmler pharmaceutical company, quickly became a top seller among the German civilian population. According to a report in the Klinische Wochenschrift (“Clinical Weekly”), the supposed wonder drug was brought to the attention of Otto Ranke, a military doctor and director of the Institute for General and Defense Physiology at Berlin’s Academy of Military Medicine. The effects of amphetamines are similar to those of the adrenaline produced by the body, triggering a heightened state of alert. In most people, the substance increases self-confidence, concentration and the willingness to take risks, while at the same time reducing sensitivity to pain, hunger and thirst, as well as reducing the need for sleep. In September 1939, Ranke tested the drug on 90 university students, and concluded that Pervitin could help the Wehrmacht win the war. At first Pervitin was tested on military drivers who participated in the invasion of Poland. Then, according to criminologist Wolf Kemper, it was “unscrupulously distributed to troops fighting at the front.”

Thirty-five million tablets

During the short period between April and July of 1940, more than 35 million tablets of Pervitin and Isophan (a slightly modified version produced by the Knoll pharmaceutical company) were shipped to the German army and air force. Some of the tablets, each containing three milligrams of active substance, were sent to the Wehrmacht’s medical divisions under the code name OBM, and then distributed directly to the troops. A rush order could even be placed by telephone if a shipment was urgently needed. The packages were labeled “Stimulant,” and the instructions recommended a dose of one to two tablets “only as needed, to maintain sleeplessness.”

Even then, doctors were concerned about the fact that the regeneration phase after taking the drug was becoming increasingly long, and that the effect was gradually decreasing among frequent users. In isolated cases, users experienced health problems like excessive perspiration and circulatory disorders, and there were even a few deaths. Leonardo Conti, the German Reich‘s minister of health and an adherent of Adolf Hitler’s belief in asceticism, attempted to restrict the use of the pill, but was only moderately successful, at least when it came to the Wehrmacht. Although Pervitin was classified as a restricted substance on July 1, 1941, under the Opium Law, ten million tablets were shipped to troops that same year.

Pervitin was generally viewed as a proven drug to be used when soldiers were likely to be subjected to extreme stress. A memorandum for navy medical officers stated the following: “Every medical officer must be aware that Pervitin is a highly differentiated and powerful stimulant, a tool that enables him, at any time, to actively and effectively help certain individuals within his range of influence achieve above-average performance.”

“Their spirits suddenly improved”

The effects were seductive. In January 1942, a group of 500 German soldiers stationed on the eastern front and surrounded by the Red Army were attempting to escape. The temperature was minus 30 degrees Celsius. A military doctor assigned to the unit wrote in his report that at around midnight, six hours into their escape through snow that was waist-deep in places, “more and more soldiers were so exhausted that they were beginning to simply lie down in the snow.” The group’s commanding officers decided to give Pervitin to their troops. “After half an hour,” the doctor wrote, “the men began spontaneously reporting that they felt better. They began marching in orderly fashion again, their spirits improved, and they became more alert.”

Towards the end of the war, Germany used younger and younger soldiers. More and more of them relied on drugs or alcohol for courage and endurance.

DPA

Towards the end of the war, Germany used younger and younger soldiers. More and more of them relied on drugs or alcohol for courage and endurance.

It took almost six months for the report to reach the military’s senior medical command. But its response was merely to issue new guidelines and instructions for using Pervitin, including information about risks that barely differed from earlier instructions. The “Guidelines for Detecting and Combating Fatigue,” issued June 18, 1942, were the same as they had always been: “Two tablets taken once eliminate the need to sleep for three to eight hours, and two doses of two tablets each are normally effective for 24 hours.”

Toward the end of the war, the Nazis were even working on a miracle pill for their troops. In the northern German seaport of Kiel, on March 16, 1944, then Vice-Admiral Hellmuth Heye, who later became a member of parliament with the conservative Christian Democratic party and head of the German parliament’s defense committee, requested a drug “that can keep soldiers ready for battle when they are asked to continue fighting beyond a period considered normal, while at the same time boosting their self-esteem.”

A short time later, Kiel pharmacologist Gerhard Orzechowski presented Heye with a pill code-named D-IX. It contained five milligrams of cocaine, three milligrams of Pervitin and five milligrams of Eukodal (a morphine-based painkiller). Nowadays, a drug dealer caught with this potent a drug would be sent to prison. At the time, however, the drug was tested on crew members working on the navy’s smallest submarines, known as the “Seal” and the “Beaver.”

Alcohol consumption was encouraged

Alcohol, the people’s drug, was also popular in the Wehrmacht. Referring to alcohol, Walter Kittel, a general in the medical corps, wrote that “only a fanatic would refuse to give a soldier something that can help him relax and enjoy life after he has faced the horrors of battle, or would reprimand him for enjoying a friendly drink or two with his comrades.” Officers would distribute alcohol to their troops as a reward, and schnapps was routinely sold in military commissaries, a policy that also had the happy side effect of returning soldiers’ pay to the military.

“The military command turned a blind eye to alcohol consumption, as long as it didn’t lead to public drunkenness among the troops,” says Freiburg historian Peter Steinkamp, an expert on drug abuse in the Wehrmacht.

But in July 1940, after France was defeated, Hitler issued the following order: “I expect that members of the Wehrmacht who allow themselves to be tempted to engage in criminal acts as a result of alcohol abuse will be severely punished.” Serious offenders could even expect “a humiliating death.”

Drugs were also a problem on the home front, but the Nazis tried harder to control their abuse.

DPA

Drugs were also a problem on the home front, but the Nazis tried harder to control their abuse.

But the temptations of liquor were apparently more powerful that the Fuehrer’s threats. Only a year later, the commander-in-chief of the German military, General Walther von Brauchitsch, concluded that his troops were committing “the most serious infractions” of morality and discipline, and that the culprit was “alcohol abuse.” Among the adverse effects of alcohol abuse he cited were fights, accidents, mistreatment of subordinates, violence against superior officers and “crimes involving unnatural sexual acts.” The general believed that alcohol was jeopardizing “discipline within the military.”

According to an internal statistic compiled by the chief of the medical corps, 705 military deaths between September 1939 and April 1944 could be linked directly to alcohol. The unofficial figure was probably much higher, because traffic accidents, accidents involving weapons and suicides were frequently caused by alcohol use. Medical officers were instructed to admit alcoholics and drug addicts to treatment facilities. According to an order issued by the medical service, this solution had “the advantage that it could be extended indefinitely.” Once incarcerated in these facilities, addicts were evaluated under the provisions of the “Law for Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Diseases,” and could even be subjected to forced sterilization and euthanasia.

Executing a bootlegger

The number of cases in which soldiers became blind or even died after consuming methyl alcohol began to increase. From 1939 on, the University of Berlin’s Institute of Forensic Medicine consistently listed methyl alcohol as the leading factor in deaths resulting from the inadvertent ingestion of poisons.

The execution of a 36-year-old officer in Norway in the fall of 1942 was intended to set an example. The officer, who was a driver, had sold five liters of methyl alcohol, which he claimed was 98 percent alcohol and could be used to produce liquor, to an infantry regiment’s anti-tank defense unit. Several soldiers fell ill, and two died. The man, deemed an “enemy of the people,” was executed by a firing squad. According to the daily order issued on October 2, 1942, “the punishment shall be announced to the troops and auxiliary units, and it shall be used as a tool for repeated and insistent admonishment.”

But soldiers apparently felt that anything that could help them escape the horrors of war was justifiable. Despite general knowledge of the risks involved, morphine addiction became widespread among the wounded and medical personnel during the course of the war. Four times as many military doctors were addicted to morphine by 1945 than at the beginning of the war.

Franz Wertheim, a medical officer who was sent to a small village near the Western Wall on May 10, 1940, wrote the following account: “To help pass the time, we doctors experimented on ourselves. We would begin the day by drinking a water glass of cognac and taking two injections of morphine. We found cocaine to be useful at midday, and in the evening we would occasionally take Hyoskin,” an alkaloid derived from some varieties of the nightshade plant that is used as a medication. Wertheim adds: “As a result, we were not always fully in command of our senses.”

German doctors experimented on themselves

To prevent an “outbreak of morphinism, as occurred after the last war,” Professor Otto Wuth, a master sergeant and consulting psychiatrist to the military’s senior medical command, wrote a “Proposal to Combat Morphinism” in February 1941. Under Wuth’s proposal, all wounded who became addicted as a result of treatment were to be centrally recorded and reported to the “District Medical Board,” where they would be either legally provided with morphine or routinely examined and sent to drug rehabilitation treatment centers. “In this manner,” Wuth concluded, “morphine addicts will be recorded and monitored, and the entire group will be prevented from becoming criminal.”

The Nazi leadership was more lenient with those who became drug-addicted as a result of the war than with alcoholics, probably because the Wehrmacht was concerned that it could be sued for damages, because it was in fact responsible for dispensing the drugs in the first place.

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

The Nazi Death Machine: Hitler’s Drugged Soldiers – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International.