The invisible man - turning bodies transparent

We live in the future. Quite amazing development, scientists are working on turning living tissue transparent for improved diagnosis and treatment. Amazing.

What Shot Down Malaysian Airlines Flight MA17? Why was it in a conflict zone? How did it happen?

It's an interesting and incredibly sad story: commercial airliner shot down over Ukraine. Not only that, but this is a Malaysian Airlines plane - who so famously had the most bizarre disappearance in the history of modern commercial aviation. It's the kind of story rag newspapers are printed for.

But there are some very basic and very valid questions:

Why was it flying over a war zone?

How did it get shot down?

The answer to the first question is surprisingly simple. European and Ukranian authorities were allowing all commercial traffic over 32,000ft to proceed as normal. Eurocontrol, the co-ordination centre for air-traffic control in Europe, said: “This route had been closed by the Ukrainian authorities from ground to flight level 320 [32,000 feet] but was open at the level at which the aircraft was flying.” The plane was flying at the lowest permitted altitude over the area, flight level 330 [33,000 feet], when it disappeared from the radar.

Since the crash, all the airspace of eastern Ukraine has been closed to civil aircraft until further notice. Flight plans submitted by pilots are automatically checked against closed areas of airspace. Eurocontrol said: “All flight plans that are filed using these routes are now being rejected.” Well no shit. 

Ok, so that's why. But to go all Japanese (the 5 whys) on their ass, why did they allow flights to continue as normal? 

Simple. No one believed the armed groups had weapons capable of reaching that altitude. Why do we believe that? Well that leads us to the next question. 

How did it get shot down?

So we usually just fly far above conflict zones assuming that 32,000+ is a safe zone. Right now (or at least, right before this happened) we were still flying above Northern Iraq and waving down at ISIS on the way. The reason is that all most "rebel" groups or terrorist organizations can get their hands on are old MANPADS, or Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems. 

Something like this:
The Tacoma! Terrorists Love It! So Will You!
And that's been a pretty fair assumption for the last 60 years, since Nazi Germany first invented the things (along with 75% of other dangerous modern military inventions it seems).

The issue is that what the "Ukrainian Separatists" were using was this:

A little different, no? 

Putin has been giving these things to the low-IQ high-testosterone morons (seriously - the recordings of these guys make Michael Bay movies seem like James Joyce) who are fighting for a "free and independent" Eastern Ukraine. 

That is a Buk Missile System, also known as a SA-11 in NATO speak. It is a very modern, very powerful system which has been continuously upgraded since it went into service in 1980. Now, if Putin is following his usual tactics (such a the T-64 tanks which somehow ended up in the Ukraine) he probably gave them the older generation model. Which makes very little difference for shooting down transport aircraft. Or passenger planes. 

Is the Ukraine at war with Russia? We were incredibly reluctant to give the Mujaheddin fighters in Afghanistan the Stinger MANPAD because it would be linked to the US. A fucking huge tracked SAM system with integrated radar, protected by main battle tanks all supplied by Russia? Guess what happens when you give that to a bunch of madmen.

There were nearly 300 people aboard that flight, including 60 children. 

Fuck you Putin. 

The First Photo EVER on the Internet... hilarious

From the Boston Globe - this is pretty hilarious... the story of the first photo ever uploaded on the internet.

The First Photo Uploaded On The Internet 22 Years Ago Was A Gem

The first photo to be posted to the Internet featured Les Horribles Cernettes, a parody comedy group.
The first photo to be posted to the Internet featured Les Horribles Cernettes, a parody comedy group.SCREENSHOT/ FACEBOOK
Think back to the first photo you posted on the web. Maybe it was an awkward high school prom photo on Myspace or a selfie you posted on Facebook.
But for four British women, their first photo on the Internet was THE first photo in the history of the Internet.
Angela Higney, Michele de Gennaro, Colette Marx-Neilsen and Lynn Veronneau were a part of an all-female parody comedy group, “Les Horribles Cernettes.” They were also a part of the first photo to be posted on the web, according to The Guardian.
Their somewhat antiquated website states:
“Les Horribles Cernettes are the one and only High Energy Rock Band. They sing about colliders, quarks, microwaves, antiprotons and Internet...They were born at the same time, and in the office next door to... the World Wide Web. No wonder they were the first band to have their picture posted on the web!
The Guardian reported that the photo was taken by Silvano de Gennaro, an IT developer. It was posted by his colleague at the time,Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who happens to be the man who created the World Wide Web. They both worked at CERNand the four girls in the photo were girlfriends and secretaries at the company, according toABC.
Some of the band’s songs included names such as “My Sweetheart is a Nobel Prize” and “Every Proton of You,” ABC said.
“I kinda put it out sometimes and say, ‘Well, I’m in the first photograph on the World Wide Web,’” Marx-Nielson told Vice. “People don’t really care. I suppose it had to be somebody, and it just happened to be us.”
The Cernettes continued playing concerts until 2012.

Giant Hole Appears in Russia

While the world waits to see if Angela Merkel has the cohones to actually put sanctions on Putin's Russia for giving advanced SAM launchers to a bunch of morons, Russia is apparently falling apart from the inside.


There'a  huge hole in Russia. From.. err.. something. Probably a giant "natural" underground explosion. Because that makes sense.

New Video of Mysterious Giant Siberian Hole Filmed by Investigation Team

By Omar Kardoudi on  at 
Watch new footage of the mysterious giant hole that opened up in Siberia as a scientific expedition—with the country's Emergencies Ministry represented—reaches the remote site and looks inside. An explosion below the ground is currently thought to be the most probable explanation—but the date and cause remain unknown.

If a Russian speaking reader could help with a detailed translation of the video it would be appreciated.
The Emergencies Ministry told Russia Today that a meteorite was not the cause of the hole. Evidence such as earth around the edge of the entrance appears to point strongly to an explosion from within the ground. However the mystery of how—and even when—the hole was formed in this distant region remains very much unresolved.
New video of mysterious giant Siberian hole filmed by investigation team
The hole sits around 1,800 miles east of Moscow in a huge 400 mile stretch of permafrost with a wide variety of animal species and that is famous for archaeological discoveries including wooly mammoths. The zone is also of key strategic importance for Russian oil and gas production.
New video of mysterious giant Siberian hole filmed by investigation team
A 28 inch layer of permafrost reportedly discovered around the edge of the hole—mentioned in the video—is puzzling given the amount of heat that would be expected to have been generated by an explosion of the magnitude necessary to create such a large crater. It is therefore possible that the remote site lay undiscovered for months if not years.
New video of mysterious giant Siberian hole filmed by investigation team
New video of mysterious giant Siberian hole filmed by investigation team
Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences are on the expedition and are said to be collecting samples of soil, air and water from the area. The hole reportedly has an outer diameter of around 200 feet and an inner diameter of around 130 feet. The depth is unconfirmed.
New video of mysterious giant Siberian hole filmed by investigation team

Internet Traffic

Turns out that yes - Netflix is an internet hog. We don't tend to upload a whole lot, mostly BitTorrent. Interesting to look at. 

America.. This is just sad: NY Passes "No Tiger Selfies Law"... Really

Ever tried to impress someone on a dating site? How about taking a selfie with a tiger? Apparently, this is a big enough issue in NY that we have to pass a law about it...

So proud right now.

New York state lawmakers have passed a bill banning residents from taking "tiger selfies" — a rising trend on dating websites in which single men post photos of themselves posing with the ferocious felines in hopes of impressing potential mates. (

New York state lawmakers have passed a bill banning residents from taking “tiger selfies” — a rising trend on dating websites in which single men post photos of themselves posing with the ferocious felines in hopes of impressing potential mates.
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat, explained that she introduced the legislation in order to increase safety at circuses and fairs, but acknowledged proudly that it would also put the kibosh on tiger selfies, which have become increasingly popular on dating websites Tinder and OKCupid, the New York Post reported.
The bill prohibits “hugging, patting, or otherwise touching” tigers at fairs or circuses.
“They can still pose with bears and monkeys,” the assemblywoman said. “They just have to take big cats off their list.”
“I feel bad now,” cracked Miss Rosenthal’s staffer Lauren Schuster, the Post reported. “We’re killing bros’ dreams and chances of being laid!”
New Yorkers who cuddle a jungle cat would face fines of up to $500.
A spokesman for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the Post that the bill was under review.

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America... The ridiculous

Virginia authorities back off plan to take pictures of teenager while he's aroused

'World's deadliest island' has one snake for every square meter

Over 4,000 deadly snakes call this tiny 110 acre island home, including one species with venom that can 'melt human flesh.'
This is one island you wouldn't want to find yourself shipwrecked on. Ilha de Queimada Grande, a small 110 acre island off the coast of São Paulo, Brazil, is home to over 4,000 deadly snakes, earning it the nickname of 'Snake Island.' Some reports suggest you can find one snake per square meter here. It might just be the deadliest island on Earth, according to the Huffington Post.
Even more terrifying, the island is the only known home of the golden lancehead (Bothrops insularis), one of the most venomous vipers in the world. The snake's venom is three to five times more potent than any snake found on the mainland, and it is apparently capable of 'melting human flesh.' Ophidiophobe or not, you'll want to stay away from this serpent. 
The snakes are not timid either; the lancehead genus is responsible for 90 percent of all snakebite-related deaths in Brazil. Mostly due to the island's legendary status as a dangerous place, few people have ventured there, but tales of snake encounters with the golden lancehead do exist. The travel guidebook Atlas Obscura retells a couple of them:
"In one [tale], a fisherman unwittingly wanders onto the island to pick bananas. Naturally, he is bitten. He manages to return to his boat, where he promptly succumbs to the snake's venom. He is found some time later on the boat deck in a great pool of blood."
Naturally, the fisherman was bitten. Naturally
"The other story is of the final lighthouse operator and his family. One night, a handful of snakes enter through a window and attack the man, his wife, and their three children. In a desperate gambit to escape, they flee towards their boat, but they are bitten by snakes on branches overhead."
While this tale sounds exaggerated, it just goes to show how feared this island is among locals.
The island was originally populated by snakes some 11,000 years ago when the landmass was still connected to mainland Brazil, before rising sea levels permanently left it isolated. The golden lancehead is believed to be related to the mainland lancehead species B. jararaca, but branched off when a common ancestor of the two snakes became stranded on the island.
Though scientists occasionally venture to the island for study, no humans call this frightening place home today. In fact, the island contains no mammal species at all (perhaps done away with by the snakes?). Birds do regularly visit the island, however-- at their own risk, of course.
The golden lancehead has no known natural predators on the island. It is the predator. The island's small size is the only thing that keeps the snake's population in check. 

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Freedompop Phone Service Review: Frustration for Free!

Do you like being endlessly frustrated when technology refuses to work? Do you like logging in and logging out repeatedly just to get basic phone service? Do you enjoy low quality support and frustrating procedures?

Freedompop is for you!

As some background - I used to have Sprint, so tried to activate my old Motorola Photon 4G on the network. It "worked" but then would never connect... ok...

So when the Samsung Galaxy S2 came up for Freedompop on - I bought one. $90 for a second phone with a "free" network? I'll try it out. I also figured that because I was buying the phone from them, setup should be a breeze.

I was so wrong.

Even though the phone came directly from them, and is branded Freedompop - it can't connect to the internet over their network. It can make phone calls etc, but to actually get through to you know, data, you have to reset your connection.. oh.. 10-20 times. Pathetic.

Turns out this is a pretty common issue. Because they are trying to piggyback and share data, you don't have a "normal" connection to the Sprint network - this is not Virgin Mobile. Instead, you are logging in to a shared pool of data (Freedompop) and then it gets doled out - IF you can connect correctly.

So far - I have never been able to connect my phone over 3G. 4G is WIMAX - so screw that, it covers about 2% of the US and drains your battery like a flashlight in a horror movie.

Free phone - yes. Worth it? Absolutely not.

Absurd - the UK now has a $17,000 Speeding ticket

Not quite Swiss levels (which are based on your assets), but the fact that this comes from a speed camera... ridiculous.

The idiocy of Japan's whale hunt

Read this:

The picture is worth 1,000 words.

Long story, Japan wants to get back into the business of killing, or "research," Antarctic whales.

Fucking stupid.

With China on its doorstep and Japan searching for defense agreements with the US and Australia especially, what an idiotic time to take a stand on a barbaric and internationally reviled practice. Bad science, bad politics.