Saturday, 25 August 2012

During experiments on the axons of the Woods Hole squid (loligo pealei), we tested our cockroach leg stimulus protocol on the squid's chromatophores.

 

 The results were both interesting and beautiful. The video is a view through an 8x microscope zoomed in on the dorsal side of the caudal fin of the squid. We used a suction electrode to stimulate the fin nerve. Chromatophores are pigmeted cells that come in 3 colors: Brown, Red, and Yellow. Each chromatophore is lined with up to 16 muscles that contract to reveal their color.

Paloma T. Gonzalez-Bellido of Roger Hanlon's Lab in the Marine Resource Center of the Marine Biological Labs helped us with the preparation. You can read their latest paper at:http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2012/08/13/rspb.2012.1374

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STAR WARS DETOURS™ Trailer

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Monday, 13 August 2012

London's secret music venue and their livestream act

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With an invite-only door policy and super secret location, Boiler Room is London's most exclusive music venue. But elitism isn't the premise for its clandestine nature—in fact, anyone with an Internet connection can easily join in the fun. Using a simple webcam, the crew behind Boiler Room livestreams each set for the world to see free of charge, and each month more than a million viewers tune in to see performances by artists like James Blake, The xx, Roots Manuva, Neon Indian, Juan Maclean and more.

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We recently chilled out to the smooth sounds of Brooklyn's How To Dress Well before rocking out to revered musician Matthew Dear, who brought down the house with an intense 40-minute DJ set. Keep an eye out for our interview with Dear, but for now you can get a little more insight into the underground music scene's most talked about livestream show by checking out our interview with assistant musical programmer and Boiler Room host Nic Tasker.

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How important is it for Boiler Room to remain secret, at least in its location?

That is quite an important aspect of it, purely because it means when you do shows you don't get a lot of groupies, pretty much everyone in the room is either a friend of ours or one of the artist's. It helps to create a more relaxed atmosphere for the artist and I think they feel less pressure. They're also just able to chill out and be themselves more rather than having people being like, "Hi can I get your autograph?" If the artists are relaxed usually you get the best music.

It seems like there is more interaction among the crowd than at a typical venue, is that intentional?

It's definitely a social place. All the people that come down, most of them we know and they're all our friends. So they come down, hang, have a drink and just chill out, basically. From our very set-up, we do it with a webcam, we're not a highly professional organization but I think that's kind of the charm of it. The main thing is people come down with the right attitude.

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How much of the show is prescribed?

I guess that depends on the artist. We never say anything. Literally, whatever they want to do—we're kind of the platform for them to do whatever they want, so if Matthew Dear wants to come and play an hour of noise with no beats, he can do that. That's fine with us, and I think that's why artists like coming to play for us. We're not like a club where you have to make people dance, we don't give a shit if people dance. It's nice if they do and it makes it more fun, but some nights you just get people appreciating the music, which is equally fun.

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Is there a particular kind of artist you guys look for and ask to come perform?

No, not particularly, it's just whatever we're feeling. Thristian [Boiler Room's co-founder] has the main say on musical direction, but it's a massive team effort. In London there's five of us, New York there's two, LA there's one and Berlin there's two.

Tonight you had different set-ups for each artist, do you tailor their positioning in the room to their style?

It definitely depends on the act and what kind of music they do. With live bands we found what works nicely is having them opposite each other because it's like they're in rehearsal, like they're just jamming. Which is again trying to give them that chilled out feel that they're just at home jamming and there happens to be a camera there. For some of our shows we've had over 100,000 viewers. When you think of those numbers it's quite scary, but when you're in the room and it's all friends it creates that vibe that people don't mind. You can imagine if you had all those people in front of you it would be a very different situation.

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Have you ever thought of Boiler Room as an East London version of Soul Train?

It's never crossed my mind like that, but I can see why you think that. I like to think of us as the new music broadcaster, kind of the new MTV, but obviously we operate in the underground scene mainly. But I like to think that what we do is as revolutionary as what they were doing. We're always growing into something new.

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What's up next for Boiler Room?

We have had visual people in doing 3D mapping, and that's something we're looking forward to progressing—doing more with the visuals. We've got the upstairs as well, we're starting to do breakfast shows with some high profile DJs, we're going to be doing that regularly. Each will have an individual format. The next step is progressing the US shows, we're alternating weekly between New York and LA, so the next step is to take Boiler Room to America

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Breaking Free of the Co-dependency Trap presents a groundbreaking developmental road map to guide readers away from their co-dependent behaviors and toward a life of wholeness and fulfillment.

Breaking Free of the Co-dependency Trap presents a groundbreaking developmental road map to guide readers away from their co-dependent behaviors and toward a life of wholeness and fulfillment.UK Citizens

This is the book that offers a different perspective on codependency and is strongly recommended by Dream Warrior Recovery as part of a solution based recovery. This bestselling book, now in a revised edition, radically challenges the prevailing medical definition of co-dependency as a permanent, progressive, and incurable addiction. Rather, the authors identify it as the result of developmental traumas that interfered with the infant-parent bonding relationship during the first year of life.US Citizens

Drawing on decades of clinical experience, Barry and Janae Weinhold correlate the developmental causes of co-dependency with relationship problems later in life, such as establishing and maintaining boundaries, clinging and dependent behaviors, people pleasing, and difficulty achieving success in the world. Then they focus on healing co-dependency, providing compelling case histories and practical activities to help readers heal early trauma and transform themselves and their primary relationships.

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Saturday, 11 August 2012

Vintage Ads Most Disturbing Household Products

 


All of the following ads are real and unaltered, so don't blame us. We weren't there when they were made, and in some cases the entire insane thought process that went into creating them has been lost to history. Maybe they made perfect sense at the time?

Maybe. But it's really hard to see how even our parents and grandparents didn't get nightmares from ...

#13. Three-Legged Dingo Boots

vintageadbrowser.com

The Message:

Here are some boots that you should buy, because famous people wear them. Three of them.

The Horror:

Wait, what?

Yes, amazingly, the fact that this ad stars a pre-murder O.J. Simpson is the second-creepiest thing about it. And you can squint and try to read the text all you want -- it makes no reference whatsoever to the fact that their spokesperson has three legs. There's no cute slogan like "Boots so comfortable, you'll wish you had another foot!" Nope. It's like some guy in the art department just said, "Eh, I don't like how you can't really see the chair, let's just add another leg to fill that space."

We know what you're thinking: "Cracked, this is obviously a subtle 'big dick' joke. 'Third leg?' Get it?" But, no, it turns out this was a whole campaign they did with various celebrities, some of whom are women:

eBay
Like, uh ... this famous lady right here.

But O.J. seems to be the most frequent star of the "Third Leg" campaign, which apparently lasted for years. Note how his afro shrinks as he gets more comfortable with his new appendage:


The picture in that third ad would have been perfect for the cover of his book.

Please don't blame us for the inevitable nightmare in which O.J. is running after you, in the dark, those three boots pounding down the pavement after you with a noise like a wounded horse.

#12. Lord West Suits Will Impress Your 7-Year-Old Date

vintageadbrowser.com
"I like my women like I like my code names: 007."

The Message:

Women of all ages dig men in tuxedos!

The Horror:

According to the text, this dinner suit is for "sophisticated traditionalists," a euphemism we weren't previously aware of for "child molesters." Because there's no other way to interpret this picture. That's not tenderness on their faces. That's hunger. If you told us that they're a father and daughter, that would only make it creepier.

And it turns out that this is only the worst example in a whole series of ads associating little girls with selling tuxedos.

eBay
The style is best described as Godfather meets Lolita.

Can you imagine the pitch meeting that led to this campaign? Picture Don Draper from Mad Men standing before his clients, selling them on this idea:

"Class. Elegance. Making out with little girls. These are the values your company represents."

"Did ... did you say 'making out with little girls,' Don?"

"Yes," replied Don with perfect confidence.

"OK, just making sure."

Sitting at the end of the table, Peggy looks at Don and smiles. He did it again.

#11. Man in Tuxedo Carefully Considers Naked Child

library.duke.edu
"Told you it was bigger. Now pay up."

The Message:

Regular soap sinks in the bathtub, causing children to take longer in washing themselves and their fathers to get angry and spank them. Prevent child abuse by buying Ivory Soap -- it floats.

The Horror:

OK, they're clearly just fucking with us at this point. Remove the text and the message becomes clear: "In the old days, child predators used to dress way better than they do now." But let's put the pedophilia overtones aside for the moment and examine the text.

Was the elaborate scenario described under the picture (involving childhoods ruined by non-floating soap) really such a common problem in the '20s, or was this based on the painful personal experiences of whoever commissioned this ad? We're betting on the latter option. Note that the father's body language doesn't say "I'm going to spank you" -- he's clearly pondering which part of the kid's body to break first.


"Maybe the 28th trimester isn't too late for an abortion."

#10. "Are You Sure I'll Still Be a Virgin?"

thesocietypages.org
"If you didn't think band camp counted, I don't see why you'd think this would."

The Message:

Don't worry, teens, you can use Tampax tampons without losing your virginity.

The Horror:

Be honest: How many of you looked at this picture and immediately recognized it as a Tampax ad? And how many looked at it and thought it depicted a teenage girl being sexually propositioned? It's not just us, is it?

This ad would have looked 90 percent less sordid if both people involved were clearly visible. Instead, the second teenager is for some reason sitting on the floor of the porch with her back to us, so we can't see how young, or scared, she is. But, of course, all of that is purely from our own depraved imagination. The real ad is simply about two teenagers debating whether or not inserting a tampon counts as sex.

#9. Escaped Convicts Love Revell Authentic Model Kits

vintageadbrowser.com
"Is this the new plan, boss?"
"I've spent all day plotting against Superman; this is 'Lex Time'."

The Message:

Hey kids! Check out these sweet model kits!

The Horror:

There's only one possible scenario in which this picture could have come to exist: The photographers were getting ready to shoot this ad when they realized that the boy who was supposed to be holding up the models in the picture never showed up for work. Panicking, the man from the ad agency looked around the studio.

"Dmitri, can you come here for a second?" he said to the guy who fixes the lighting. "Stand here and hold this model. Yes, that's great. You'll play the boy in this ad."

"But sir," said the photographer, "Dmitri was just released from jail. In fact, he's still wearing the prison jumpsuit."

"No, no, he's perfect. Look at him. Look at that childlike innocence in his face."


"Could you open the top button maybe, show a little chest hair?"

"Perfect."

#8. Our Competitors = Surgical Ass Torture

vintageadbrowser.com
"Don't worry, sir, the gloves are just to establish atmosphere."

The Message:

Using cheap toilet paper can lead to medical complications.

The Horror:

... which in turn can lead to rubber-gloved hands inserting clamps in your anus. Better play it safe and go with Scott Tissues.

This attempt to traumatize customers into buying their product with threats of anal torture was part of a whole marketing campaign created during the Great Depression in which Scott Tissues' slogan went from "Wipe your butt with us" to "Wipe your butt with us, or die in a world of asshole pain."

Of course, it was all bullshit: There's no such thing as "toilet tissue illness," it was just a thing they made up to convince people to keep buying tissues at a time when they were lucky enough if they had a toilet.

#7. "Before You Scold Me, Mom ... Maybe You'd Better Light Up a Marlboro"

deceptology.com

The Message:

Before you beat your baby for stealing your favorite hat, have a cigarette and relax yourself. Then beat the baby.

The Horror:

How many times did this months-old child have to be punched before it learned to pick up the Marlboros and offer them to mommy to calm her down? If that's not the saddest thing you've imagined all week, you're dead inside. This is actually one in a series of ads from the '50s, back when Marlboro was targeting mommies instead of rugged cowboys. Sometimes the babies actually seem to be guilting their moms into smoking more.

tobacco.stanford.edu
"You turned me into an addict when I was a fetus, now deal with it."

Oddly enough, the version of this ad aimed at fathers doesn't involve scolding, but a pompous baby in a basket defending daddy's rather feminine cigarette tastes (note the reference to "beauty tips" at the bottom).

tobacco.stanford.edu
This is the kind of debate babies have all the time.




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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Jessica Harper admits £2.4m Lloyds Bank fraud

A former Lloyds Bank worker in charge of online security has admitted carrying out a fraud worth more than £2.4m. Jessica Harper, 50, had been accused of submitting false invoices to claim payments between 2007 and 2011. At the time she was working as head of fraud and security for digital banking and made false claims totalling £2,463,750. Harper, of South Croydon, south London, will be sentenced on 21 September. At Southwark Crown Court, Harper admitted a single charge of fraud by abuse of position by submitting false invoices to claim payments. 'A very simple fraud' She also admitted a single charge of transferring criminal property, the money, which she had defrauded from her employers. Harper was arrested on 21 December before being charged in May. Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote Jessica Harper has today been convicted of the type of crime the bank employed her to combat” Sue Patten Crown Prosecution Service Antony Swift, prosecuting, did not open the facts of the case but said it was a "a very simple fraud". He added Harper had already repaid £300,000 and was in the process of selling her house for about £700,000. "That will be some £1m out of £2.5m that's gone missing," he told the judge. Carol Hawley, defending, said: "She appreciates the seriousness and has made full admissions in interview. "She understands perfectly well on the next occasion she will be facing imprisonment of some length." Breach of trust Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith granted Harper bail on the condition she stays at her current address, obeys a 21:00 to 07:00 curfew and hands in her passport. Sue Patten, head of the Crown Prosecution Service, Central Fraud Division, said: "Jessica Harper has today been convicted of the type of crime the bank employed her to combat. "The evidence in the case was clear and left Harper with little choice but to plead guilty. "In doing so, she has admitted to a huge breach of trust against her former employer." Lloyds is now 39.7% state-owned after being bailed out by the government during the financial crisis.

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Shares in Standard Chartered dive after Iran allegations

Shares in Standard Chartered PLC dropped sharply today as investors reacted to US charges that the bank was involved in laundering money for Iran. The charges against Standard Chartered were a shock for a bank which proudly described itself recently as “boring.” Shares were down nearly 20 percent at 1,187 pence at one point in early trading Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange. In Hong Kong, they were down 16.6 percent near the end of the session. New York State Department of Financial Services alleged on Monday that Standard Chartered schemed with the Iranian government to launder $250 billion from 2001 to 2007, leaving the United States' financial system “vulnerable to terrorists.” Standard Chartered said it “strongly rejects” the allegations. In a statement, the bank said “well over 99.9 percent” of the questioned transactions with Iran complied with all regulations, and the exceptions amounted to $14 million. The New York regulator ordered Standard Chartered representatives to appear in New York City on Aug. 15 “to explain these apparent violations of law” and to demonstrate why its license to operate in the State of New York “should not be revoked.” Gary Greenwood, analyst at Shore Capital in London, said the possible revocation of the New York license was of far greater concern than any potential fine, which could run into hundreds of millions of dollars. Standard Chartered's US operation facilitates trade for customers that have operations in both the United States and emerging markets. “Indeed, this is an area of the business that has been highlighted by management for growth,” Greenwood said. “A loss of its US banking license would not only jeopardize part of this profit stream, but the associated reputational damage could also have a severely damaging impact to its operations within emerging markets.” The New York agency alleged that Standard Chartered conspired with Iranian clients to route nearly 60,000 different US dollar payments through Standard Chartered's New York branch “after first stripping information from wire transfer messages used to identify sanctioned countries, individuals and entities.” The New York regulators called the bank a rogue institution and quoted one of its executives as saying: “You (expletive) Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we're not going to deal with Iranians.” The order also identifies an October 2006 “panicked message” from a London group executive director who worried the transactions could lead to “very serious or even catastrophic reputational damage to the group.” If proven, the scheme would violate state money-laundering laws. The order also accuses the bank of falsifying business records, obstructing governmental administration, failing to report misconduct to the state quickly, evading federal sanctions and other illegal acts. Between 2004 and 2007, about half the period covered by the order, the department claims Standard Chartered hid from and lied about its Iranian transactions to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Before 2008, banks were allowed to transact some business with Iran, but only with full reporting and disclosure, the order states. In 2008, the US Treasury Department stopped those transactions because it suspected they helped pay for Iran to develop nuclear weapons and finance terrorist groups including Hamas and Hezbollah. The order states the bank has to provide information and answer questions to determine if any of the funding aided the groups or Iran's nuclear program. Last week, Standard Chartered' chief executive, Peter Sands, boasted that the bank has racked up a 10-year string of record first-half profits “amidst all the turbulence in the global economy and the apparently never-ending turmoil in the world of banking.” “It may seem boring in contrast to what is going on elsewhere, but we see some virtue in being boring,” Sands added.

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Sunday, 5 August 2012

Pigs worship God of Materialism

If ever there was a god to prevent you from worshiping material things, it would be this one.


The hideous pig-like thing is the masterpiece by Chinese artist Chen Wenling called God Of Materialism.

godmaterialismUgly pig with green eye darting at thier master

Looking chuffed, the huge greedy pig has minions of other tiny, and just as unattractive and scary, pigs worshiping in awe at its heels.

The group stare up at their master, adorned with a plethora of jewels and necklaces representing the grotesque love of material things.

The sculpture, which looks like a bad dream, can be found at the Asia Art Centre in Beijing.

And if you're brave enough to go and see it, it will be there till October 18th 2008.



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Brad Pitt is reportedly utilising his free time to plan his wedding with Angelina Jolie.


Brad Pitt busy planning wedding

The 48-year-old has taken charge of preparations for the wedding that is expected to take place end of September. He has flown in a team of builders to renovate the home he shares with Jolie in southern France.

"Angelina isn`t so bothered about when they tie the knot, it`s Brad who is piling on the pressure," a website has quoted a source as saying.

"He wants the main house to be finished when the event takes place, even though the close friends and relatives who are invited aren`t the types to care. He wants everything to be absolutely perfect," the source added.

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Saturday, 4 August 2012

yellow jacket stun gun case for iphone



yellow jacket is a case that transforms the iPhone 4 & 4S into that 650,000-volt stun gun you've always needed.





scheduled to hit the US market in fall 2012 the case is advertised as being able to 
easily stop an aggressive male attacker, and ready for use in less than two seconds. 
its designer seth froom, a former military policeman came up with the product after 
being robbed in his home at gunpoint.

what is the demand for such a hostile product you might ask? well, yellow jacket 
has managed to receive over 100,000 USD worth of backing on the crowd-funding 
website indiegogo which means that there must be quite a few people out there 
who feel the need to transform their phone into a weapon.


detail of the stun gun nodes 

the iPhone's designers could never have conceived half of the the weird and wonderful accessories 
that have been designed for use with the iPhone since its launch, but even in the name of self defense 
a stun gun seems a bit much, doesn't it?

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