A photo on the Greek ministry of justice website after it was hacked by Anonymous in February 2012. Anonymous came in first place in Time Magazine’s 2012 online poll on the most influential “person” in the world.
Christopher Doyon, a.k.a. Commander X, sits atop a hillside in an undisclosed location in Canada, watching a reporter and photographer make their way along a narrow path to join him, away from the prying eyes of law enforcement.
It’s been a few weeks of encrypted emails back and forth, working out the security protocol to follow for interviewing Doyon, one of the brains behind Anonymous, now a fugitive from the FBI.
Doyon, who readily admits taking part in some of the highest-profile hacktivist attacks on websites last year — from Tunisia to Orlando, Sony to PayPal — was arrested in September for a comparatively minor assault on the county website of Santa Cruz, Calif., where he was living, in retaliation for the town forcibly removing a homeless encampment on the courthouse steps.
The “virtual sit-in” lasted half an hour. For that, Doyon is facing 15 years in jail.
Or at least he was facing 15 years in jail, until he crossed the border into Canada in February to avoid prosecution, using what he calls the new “underground railroad” and a network of safe houses across the country.
Thanks to his indictment, Doyon is one of the few Anonymous members whose real name is now publicly known.
But as the leader of the People’s Liberation Front — a hacker group allied with Anonymous — and the second-most wanted information activist after WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, he prefers not to show his face, and instead dons the ubiquitous Guy Fawkes mask, to wear with his Sunday best: a sweatshirt with the Anonymous calling card, “We do not forgive … We do not forget.”
Read more HERE.
CalorieLab: Calorie Counter “A calorie counter and nutrition facts database for tens of thousands of foods, including generic foods, brand name foods, and menu items from hundreds of fast food and table service restaurants.”
Contrary to popular belief, suicide rates during the Christmas holiday are low. The highest rates are during the spring. – Provided by RandomHistory.com
Much to the Internets’ delight, IMDB writer Jon Hopwood profiled Kim Kardashian in a thoughtful, well-argued roast of an IMDB bio.
Kim Kardashian is emblematic of the shallowness of American culture in the first two decades of the new millennium. While some cultural critics call her the prime avatar of the “famous for being famous” faux celebrity crowd, she along with Paris Hilton is a new breed of cat whose celebrity comes from the release of a sex tape and the canny exploitation of the resulting publicity. Like her good friend Miss Hilton (their relationship predates Kim’s “celebrity”, Kardashian is possessed of photogenic good looks but is short of any other discernible talents outside of the bedroom. Both expanded their celebrity by becoming reality TV “stars”.
Porn pioneer Harry Reems has commented how surprised he is at how porn stars like Jenna Jameson are accepted now in mainstream culture. His life was ruined by his participation in porn in its “Golden Years”. As for Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, the release (accidental or not-so-accidental) of boudoir tapes didn’t result in shame but celebration. America like ancient Rome seems to have shuffled off the moral coil of virtue of the Republic and is now enjoying its Imperial self in an orgy of ignominy. It’s always more fun on the toboggan ride down the hill than it was schlepping up it in the first place.
From : uproxx
George Zimmerman May Be Charged With Hate Crime: George Zimmerman, currently facing second-degree murder charges in the February 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, also may be charged with a hate crime. According to Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV:
WFTV has learned charges against George Zimmerman could be getting more serious.
State prosecutors said Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, profiled and stalked 17-year-old Trayvon Martin before killing him, so the FBI is now looking into charging him with a hate crime.
Zimmerman admitted to killing Martin in February during a confrontation. However, he claims the shooting was in self-defense. He’s facing a second-degree murder charge, which carries a maximum possible sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. But if Zimmerman is charged and found guilty of a federal hate crime involving murder, he could face the death penalty.
FBI investigators are actively questioning witnesses in the retreat at the Twin Lakes neighborhood, seeking evidence for a possible federal hate crime charge.
From : globalgrind
The Aokigahara Forest is a lonely place to die. So dense is the vegetation at the foot of Japan’s Mount Fuji, it is all too easy to disappear among the evergreens and never be seen again.Each year the authorities remove as many as 100 bodies found hanging at the country’s suicide hotspot – but others can lie undiscovered for years.After the novel Kuroi Jukai was published, in which a young lover commits suicide in the forest, people started taking their own lives there at a rate of 50 to 100 deaths a year.The site holds so many bodies that the Yakuza pays homeless people to sneak into the forest and rob the corpses.The authorities sweep for bodies only on an annual basis, as the forest sits at the base of Mt. Fuji and is too dense to patrol more frequently.
GRAPHENE, a form of carbon that comes in sheets a single atom thick, has gained a reputation as a wonder material. It is the best conductor yet discovered of heat at room temperature and is 40 times stronger than steel. It is also a semiconductor whose electrical conductivity is 1,000 times better than silicon’s. This means it could be used to make devices far more sensitive than is possible now, leading some to predict that it will one day become the material of choice for computer chips. There was little surprise, therefore, when Andre Geim (pictured above) and Konstantin Novoselov, two physicists who were investigating graphene’s structure, won the 2010 Nobel prize for their work.
Actually converting the wonders of graphene into products has been tough. But Frank Koppens and his colleagues at the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona think they have found a way to do so. As they describe in Nature Nanotechnology, they believe graphene can be used to make ultra-sensitive, low-cost photodetectors.
Read more HERE.
Surfer’s Record-Breaking Ride
Professional surfer Garrett McNamara’s heart pounding ride on a massive wave off the coast of Portugal has given him more than just a thrill—it has earned him a place in the record books. Experts reviewed footage of the Hawaiian surfer’s feat and calculated the wave’s height to be a towering 78 feet (24 meters). According to Guinness World Records, it was the biggest wave ever ridden, beating the previous record, set in 2008, by more than a foot. More …
US Department of Agriculture Is Created (This day in 1862)
US President Abraham Lincoln created the Department of Agriculture, which he referred to as the “people’s department,” at a time when most Americans were farmers. It played a key role in the survival of many during the Depression, and today it continues to ensure that those in need receive food. It also aids farmers, inspects meat and dairy products, oversees food stamp and school lunch programs, and administers national forests. Before Lincoln, the Agricultural Division was part of what office? More…
The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife by Daniel Maclise (1854)
Today I am moving from France to Ireland for my featured artist. I will be looking at the life of the Irish painter Daniel Maclise and one of his historical paintings which will allow me to take you back in time to the twelfth century and regale you about a happening at that time in Irish History, but first let me tell you a little about the artist.
Daniel Maclise was born in Cork in 1806 into a poor but thrifty Scottish Presbyterian family. His father, after leaving the British Army, became a shoemaker. Maclise was educated locally in Cork and attended the Cork Institute where he studied drawing. Whilst still a teenager he was introduced to the art connoisseur, George Newenham, and the antiquarian and merchant, Richard Sainthill and it was through Sainthill that Maclise became interested in medals, coins, and aspects of heraldry and he would often illustrate coin catalogues for Sainthill.
In 1825, when he was nineteen years of age, Walter Scott the novelist and playwright visited a local bookstore in Cork and Maclise made a sketch of him which was subsequently lithographed and the copies sold. This was to launch Maclise’s artistic career and enhanced his reputation as a portraitist.
“I despise modern music. Words cannot express how much it gets on my nerves – the false, pretentious, smug assertiveness of it. I hate business, having to deal with money. Money is one of the most hateful inventions of the human race. I hate the commodity culture, in which everything is bought and sold. No stone is left unturned. I hate the mass media, and how passively people suck up to it.” — R. Crumb
Technology in America
If America’s ongoing experiment in democracy and economic freedom is to endure, we will need to think again about cultivating the necessary habits of the heart and resisting the allure of the ideology of technology.
Why are Americans addicted to technology? The question has a distinctly contemporary ring, and we might be tempted to think it could only have been articulated within the last decade or two. Could we, after all, have known anything about technology addiction before the advent of the Blackberry? Well, as it turns out, Americans have a longstanding fascination and facility with technology, and the question of technology addiction was one of the many Alexis de Tocqueville thought to answer in his classic study of antebellum American society, Democracy in America.
To be precise, Tocqueville titled the tenth chapter of volume two, “Why The Americans Are More Addicted To Practical Than To Theoretical Science.” In Tocqueville’s day, the word technology did not yet carry the expansive and inclusive sense it does today. Instead, quaint sounding phrases like “the mechanical arts,” “the useful arts,” or sometimes merely “invention” did together the semantic work that we assign to the single word technology.1 “Practical science” was one more such phrase available to writers, and, as in Tocqueville’s case, “practical science” was often opposed to “theoretical science.” The two phrases captured the distinction we have in mind when we speak separately of science and technology.
To answer his question on technology addiction, Tocqueville looked at the political and economic characteristics of American society and what he took to be the attitude toward technology they encouraged. As we’ll see, much of what Tocqueville had to say over 150 years ago resonates still, and it is the compelling nature of his diagnosis that invites us to reverse the direction of the inquiry—to ask what effect the enduring American fascination with technology might have on American political and economic culture. But first, why were Americans, as early as the 1830s, addicted to technology?
Read more HERE.
Group finds facial expressions not as universal as thought…
(Medical Xpress) — For most of history, people have assumed that facial expressions are generally universal; a smile by someone of any cultural group generally is an expression of happiness or pleasure, for example. This whole line of thinking was backed up by Charles Darwin who proposed that all humans have six basic facial expressions, which correspond to six general types of emotions: anger, sadness, happiness, fear, disgust and surprise. Unfortunately, new research by a team looking into whether this common assumption is true has found, as they discuss in their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that such perceptions are likely distorted by the fact that most studies on the subject don’t look at the differences between cultures, and that when subjected to study, don’t appear to hold up under scrutiny.
Read more HERE.