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Photographer Mark Gee Captures An Absolutely Beautiful Real-Time Moonrise At 1300mm

Posted on February 1st, 2013 at 19:35 by Paul Jay in category: News


Now here’s something I’ve never seen before. Photographer Mark Gee shot this footage of the moon rising in real time at Mt Victoria in Wellington, New Zealand. The video, shot with a Canon 1d Mark IV, 500mm lens and 2x teleconverter from over 2km away used the extremely long focal length to create an incredibly surreal look, which silhoutted a group of people on a lookout platform against an enormous moon. Due to the long focal length, the moon moves rapidly across the frame, like something straight out of a sci-fi film. This is planet earth, folks! Mark says that the video was not edited in any way – this is just straight out of the camera. Great work, Mark!

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FBI Banned from Iceland

Posted on February 1st, 2013 at 14:52 by Paul Jay in category: News


REYKJAVÍK (Rixstep) — FBI agents landed in Reykjavík without prior notification in an attempt to investigate WikiLeaks operations in the country, but Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson found out about the visit and forced them to leave the country, with the Icelandic government then issuing a formal protest to US authorities, according to Islandsbloggen.

The hunt for WikiLeaks by the US has on several occasions involved private individuals and companies on Iceland. Authorities in the US have for example succeeded in obtaining account information from Twitter on parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir. Jónsdóttir today refuses to travel to the US out of fear of being arrested for her connections with WikiLeaks.

Birgitta Jónsdóttir is also one of the people behind a new piece of Icelandic media legislation which will make the country a bastion for freedom of speech and source protection. The law proposal is still a long way from being completed and can still take years before it’s ratified by the Icelandic parliament.

This past summer the credit card company Valitor was forced by a court decision to again offer the opportunity to donate to WikiLeaks. Their payment channel had previously been closed off after massive pressure was brought to bear by international credit card companies which in turn was fueled by US efforts to stop the organisation. An appeal of the ruling is expected.

The Icelandic government have already protested against the activities of the US in Reykjavík. It’s been found, for example, that the US embassy there is monitoring people who enter the immediate area, and they also attempt to thwart people taking pictures of their building, this despite it being perfectly legal.

A private plane landed at the Reykjavík airport in August 2011. Onboard were FBI agents who’d flown directly to Iceland from the US. Their mission was to investigate WikiLeaks operations in the country as part of a larger investigation of the whistleblower organisation. The FBI agents contacted the head of the national Icelandic police and the head prosecutor in an effort to gain access to all available information on WikiLeaks.

Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson learned of the visit and summoned the FBI agents. They were told that the Icelandic government would not permit a foreign power running their own investigations in the country. Jónasson admonished the FBI agents to return to the US. Foreign minister Össur Skarphéðinsson was given the task, after a special meeting of the cabinet, to formally protest against the behaviour of the US.

he story was revealed in an Icelandic national broadcaster RUV report on 30 January 2013 by WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson. Hrafnsson explains.

‘The FBI arrived in private planes and landed at the Reykjavík airport. According to my sources, which are highly reliable and which I have been able to corroborate, news of the visit reached Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson who reacted sharply, as it was unbelievably presumptuous to come to Iceland that way. According to my sources, Jónasson demanded that the FBI agents pack their bags, get back onboard, and leave the country. The matter was then brought before the cabinet and a formal protest was issued to US authorities.’

Ögmundur Jónasson corroborates for Morgunblaðið that FBI agents arrived on Iceland and remained in the country a few days. He claims he doesn’t know how many there were, but that it was out of the question that a foreign power be allowed to conduct private investigations of Icelandic citizens and their activities in the country:

‘I can corroborate this took place in August 2011. Agents from the FBI arrived in Iceland. They’ll have to answer for what their plans were. I can also corroborate that they wanted to get the cooperation of the national police and the national prosecutor’s office.’

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  1. Sounds like Iceland is a terror threat to the US. The FBI was the first wave of the assault.

Michael Shermer’s “What should we be worried about?” essay on edge.org

Posted on February 1st, 2013 at 13:52 by Desiato in category: Commentary


Ever since the philosophers David Hume and G. E. Moore identified the "Is-Ought problem" between descriptive statements (the way something "is") and prescriptive statements (the way something "ought to be"), most scientists have conceded the high ground of determining human values, morals, and ethics to philosophers, agreeing that science can only describe the way things are but never tell us how they ought to be. This is a mistake.

We should be worried that scientists have given up the search for determining right and wrong and which values lead to human flourishing just as the research tools for doing so are coming online through such fields as evolutionary ethics, experimental ethics, neuroethics, and related fields. The Is-Ought problem (sometimes rendered as the "naturalistic fallacy") is itself a fallacy. Morals and values must be based on the way things are in order to establish the best conditions for human flourishing. Before we abandon the ship just as it leaves port, let’s give science a chance to steer a course toward a destination where scientists at least have a voice in the conversation on how best we should live.

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Oh shit, somebody is getting fired!

Posted on February 1st, 2013 at 10:35 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!


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How to get your stolen car back

Posted on February 1st, 2013 at 8:10 by John Sinteur in category: News


Oh, and here’s a tip I hope you never need: if your car is ever stolen, your first calls should be to every cab company in the city. You offer a $50 reward to the driver who finds it AND a $50 reward to the dispatcher on duty when the car is found. The latter is to encourage dispatchers on shift to continually remind drivers of your stolen car. Of course you should call the police too but first things first. There are a lot more cabs than cops so cabbies will find it first -and they’re more frequently going in places cops typically don’t go, like apartment and motel complex parking lots, back alleys etc. Lastly, once the car is found, a swarm of cabs will descend and surround it because cabbies, like anyone else, love excitement and want to catch bad guys. Cabbies know a lot of stuff*. I found a traveling shoplifting ring in Phoenix once. Professional shoplifters always take cabs. So do strippers going to work but that’s another story.

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Cats are ruthless killers. Should they be killed.

Posted on February 1st, 2013 at 4:44 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


Every few months, the fact that domestic cats are ruthless killers hits the news… how many animals are killed by cats annually in the US: 1.4-3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals each year…

…But I also can admit that the science is staring us in the face. We can’t bear to talk about euthanizing cats because they are so friggin’ cute–but, if we’re honest with ourselves, the best solution to this problem is to kill cats. Kill them, with their cute little faces, their soft fur and their snuggles. Some of the cats need to be dead.

You’ll take my pussy from my cold, dead hand!


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  1. Humans are ruthless killers. Should they be killed.

  2. Yeah but cats torment, play with and torture their prey simply for the fun of it, whereas humans…Oh, right.

    But cats don’t, to my knowledge, have religions to justify the fun.

And now the good news…

Posted on February 1st, 2013 at 4:27 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


A retired US army sergeant who underwent a double arm transplant after losing both arms and both legs in Iraq has been discharged from the hospital, saying he was anxious to get back to an active life.

I wish him all the luck in the world.

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Zimbabwe’s bank balance stands at $217

Posted on February 1st, 2013 at 4:24 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


The balance in cash-strapped Zimbabwe’s government public account has fallen to just $217 after paying public workers’ salaries last week, Tendai Biti, the country’s finance minister has said.

“Last week when we paid civil servants there was $217 (left) in government coffers,” Biti told journalists in the capital Harare on Tuesday, claiming some of the workers had healthier bank balances than the state.

“The government finances are in paralysis state at the present moment. We are failing to meet our targets.”

No money and no credit.

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