Why Not Be Cyborgs

Tech Insider published a rather timid, shallow little article endorsing transhumanism but at least it is on the right path.

Here’s an excerpt.  Link-back to the original source below.

…Humans’ relationship to technology is growing more intimate by the microsecond. Eventually — Harbisson [a self-identified cyborg] suspects within the next 10 to 15 years — part-human, part-machine “cyborgs” will become the norm.

“I think it will happen in the late twenties that I will be able to walk out in the street and it will be normal,” Harbisson says of his antenna. “Just as it’ll be normal to see someone else with a new body part.”

…For the general population, cyborgism represents the logical next step in the evolution of tech’s role in our lives.

What’s the difference between a fitness-tracking wristband and a microchip that performs the same function, but lives just a few millimeters deeper, underneath your skin?

The idea may still violate some people’s ideas of personhood, but new technologies always make the majority of people uncomfortable at first.

In 1551, Swiss scientist Conrad Gessner panicked that humanity would suffocate from the information overload brought on by the printing press. In his 1909 book “Are the Dead Alive?” author Fremont Rider questioned whether the voices people were hearing over the phone were actually ghosts. Up until recently, if you used a hands-free device to talk on the phone, you looked a little crazy.

“At the beginning it was weird to see people talking on their own, and people would laugh or point at others because it looked very weird,” Harbisson says. “Now you see people every day talking without using the phone, so it looks like they’re talking to themselves. And it’s become normal.”

Soon, chip implants will seem normal, too.

Read the rest at http://www.techinsider.io/neil-harbisson-is-our-cyborg-future-2015-9.

Science and Capitalism Eliminating Plastic Water Bottles!

The future of water: Ooho’s edible water bottle.

“An edible alternative to plastic water bottles made from seaweed has topped the UK round of an EU competition for new, more sustainable products.

The new spherical form of packaging, called Ooho and described by its makers as “water you can eat”, is biodegradeable, hygenic and costs 1p per unit to make. It is made chiefly from calcium chloride and a seaweed derivative called sodium alginate…



This is why I fucking love capitalism.

Who on earth would have thought of a water bottle MADE OF PLANTS????!!!!!!!!   A water bottle you have to buy more of BUT DOESN’T POLLUTE THE PLANET!!!!!

Only a capitalist.

News like this makes me happy to live in this world.




Edit: Check out Ooho’s Twitter at https://twitter.com/OohoWater and sign up for email updates at their website http://www.skippingrockslab.com.

Adorable “Lesbian” Haircut Story

I loved this lesbian blogger’s take on her mom’s reaction to her new hairstyle…  Here’s an excerpt; definitely read the whole thing and follow her blog at the link-back below.

So there is silence over dinner and I can’t take it anymore.  “I got a haircut…”


“it wasn’t quite what I wanted, I did say I wanted to go edgier..(I start fluffing the top for effect) I’m working with it and its growing on me.”

Mom puts her fork down.  “I wasn’t going to say anything…”

Ohhhhh here we go..

Mom looks around like she is going to give me the space shuttle launch codes and we are super spies in a foreign land.  “It’s a little D.I.K.E.Y”  She spelled it slowly for effect and it struck me as so funny I had to stifle a laugh.

I am smiling and fooling with my hair, “Mooooom!” I actually laugh through the next sentence.  “It’s kind of truth in advertising I guess.”

She gives me the mom eyebrows and starts telling me how I can soften the style so I don’t actually, you know, look like a lesbian.

In my head I’m wondering what the hell a lesbian actually looks like and then immediately if this haircut will get me a date, and that would be great, and I’m sure she kept talking but my mind wandered and thats all I remember.

I did go out after dinner that night to a bar, and I did get a date.

Score one for the haircut with an alternative lifestyle flair.

Read more at https://lesbianlikeme.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/my-mom-reacts-to-my-first-lesbian-haircut.

Cops Will Arrest Kids for Nothing

The other day, Cop Block exposed some of the idiotic excuses that police have used to ARREST CHILDREN.

To give you an idea:

#1 At one public school down in Texas, a 12-year-old girl named Sarah Bustamantes was arrested for spraying herself with perfume.

#2 A 13-year-old student at a school in Albuquerque, New Mexico was arrested by police for burping in class.

#3 Another student down in Albuquerque was forced to strip down to his underwear while five adults watched because he had $200 in his pocket.  The student was never formally charged with doing anything wrong.

#4 A security guard at one school in California broke the arm of a 16-year-old girl because she left some crumbs on the floor after cleaning up some cake that she had spilled.

#5 One teenage couple down in Houston poured milk on each other during a squabble while they were breaking up.  Instead of being sent to see the principal, they were arrested and sent to court.

#6 A 12-year-old girl at a school in Forest Hills, New York was arrested by police and marched out of her school in handcuffs just because she doodled on her desk. “I love my friends Abby and Faith” was what she reportedly scribbled on her desk.

 #7 A 6-year-old girl down in Florida was handcuffed and sent to a mental facility after throwing temper tantrums at her elementary school.
#8 One student down in Texas was reportedly arrested by police for throwing paper airplanes in class.

#9 A 17-year-old honor student in North Carolina named Ashley Smithwick accidentally took her father’s lunch with her to school.  It contained a small paring knife which he would use to slice up apples.  So what happened to this standout student when the school discovered this?  The school suspended her for the rest of the year and the police charged her with a misdemeanor.

#10 In Allentown, Pennsylvania a 14-year-old girl was tasered in the groin area by a school security officer even though she had put up her hands in the air to surrender.

#11 Down in Florida, an 11-year-old student was arrested, thrown in jail and charged with a third-degree felony for bringing a plastic butter knife to school.

#12 An 8-year-old boy in Massachusetts was sent home from school and was forced to undergo a psychological evaluation because he drew a picture of Jesus on the cross.

#13 A police officer in San Mateo, California blasted a 7-year-old special education student in the face with pepper spray because he would not quit climbing on the furniture.

#14 A 5-year-old boy was arrested, handcuffed, and had zip ties placed on his hands and feet. He was also forced to go to a psychiatric hospital. The boy suffers from ADHD and had pushed a cops hand away from him. He was charged with assaulting a police officer.

#15 At one school in Connecticut, a 17-year-old boy was thrown to the floor and tasered five times because he was yelling at a cafeteria worker.

#16 A teenager in suburban Dallas was forced to take on a part-time job after being ticketed for using foul language in one high school classroom.  The original ticket was for $340, but additional fees have raised the total bill to $637.

#17 Police were called out when a little girl kissed a little boy during a physical education class at an elementary school down in Florida.

#18 A 6-year-old boy was charged with sexual battery for some “inappropriate touching” during a game of tag at one elementary school in the San Francisco area.

#19 In Massachusetts, police were sent out to collect an overdue library book from a 5-year-old girl.

Read the rest at http://www.copblock.org/140900/stupid-reasons-police-arrested-kids-school.


In case anyone else is excited about Catalonians exercising their freedom:

Separatists on Sunday won a clear majority of seats in Catalonia’s parliament in an election that sets the region on a collision course with Spain’s central government over independence.

“Catalans have voted yes to independence,” acting regional government head Artur Mas told supporters, with secessionist parties securing 72 out of 135 seats in the powerful region of 7.5 million people that includes Barcelona.

The strong pro-independence showing dealt a blow to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, three months before a national election.


That Famous Pope just canonized a brutal dictator

While so many are applauding this figurehead of one of the world’s most historically evil institutions, the reality is that he has no shame for the wrongs of the Catholic Church.

Here’s a perspective from Native Americans, discussing the Pope declaring Junipero Serra a saint:

Serra was the first Padre presidente and architect of the California mission system from 1769 until his death in 1784. His policies unequivocally led to atrocities against our ancestors; he does not deserve the honor of sainthood.     .

While many applaud Pope Francis for the many reforms he is instituting in the Catholic Church, they are also deeply shocked and hurt that he has decided to canonize Junipero Serra.

Serra was the principal perpetrator for the oppression of our ancestors.  He  instituted brutal policies, regulations and systems for capturing, enslaving, whipping and torturing Indians by the use of shackles and stocks.

Serra’s mission system resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 California Indians and the extermination of many California tribes. He and his fellow friars effectively and intentionally destroyed the culture, spiritual beliefs and the environment of our ancestors.

Source: http://nativenewsonline.net/currents/california-tribes-oppose-junipero-serra-canonization-this-is-a-serious-error.


ACLU Uncovers Creepiest DEA Tactic

From the ACLU Blog.  Check out the original at the link-back below.

We recently received a handbook from the DEA, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, seeking information about the use of impersonation as an investigative technique. While the 1999 handbook, titled Online Investigative Principles for Federal Law Enforcement Agents, was almost identical to a version of the handbook that is available online, there is one notable difference: the version that the DEA sent us includes a copy of the DEA’s Consent to Assume Online Identity: Adult Consent form.

The DEA apparently used this fifteen-year-old form to obtain consent from individuals to impersonate their online identities. It states: “I ____ hereby voluntarily provide consent to the Drug Enforcement Administration or other Federal, State or Local Task Force officers to assume my Internet online identity. My Internet screen name(s), nick name(s), and/or e-mail addresses are as follows.” It goes on to state:

I understand that these law enforcement officers will changes [sic] the password(s) to this account so that I will no longer have access to these accounts. My Internet online identity may be used by these law enforcement officers for any official purpose relating to an official investigation, including sending and receiving e-mail, making direct communications on systems such as ICQ or AOL instant messaging, and any other electronic communications. I have been advised of my right to refuse to allow the assumption of my identity. I give this consent freely and voluntarily.

We filed this FOIA request because the impersonation of actual individuals and organizations by law enforcement agencies has the unique ability to erode our trust in each other’s identities. If government agencies impersonate Senate staffers, Internet repair technicians,newspapers, and individual citizens at will — as they appear to have done in the past — or others in our lives, it will erode a form of trust that is critical for relationships in a free society: our ability to trust stated identities.

Unfortunately, the documents released to us so far raise more questions than they answer. This consent form in particular raises some thorny ones, including:

  • Under what circumstances can law enforcement agencies ask for consent to impersonate actual individuals?
  • If the individual does not consent, can law enforcement get a warrant to impersonate someone?
  • Once a law enforcement agency is impersonating someone, what is it allowed to do? Can it communicate with the individuals’ Facebook friends? Can it respond to emails from their family members?
  • What factors do law-enforcement agencies consider in deciding whether the extraordinary risks of impersonation are worth the possible reward?

Without this information, it is difficult to assess the lawfulness or wisdom of the DEA’s impersonation of actual individuals — a practice which raises serious constitutional questions. The Fourth Amendment prohibits “unreasonable searches and seizures,” and while courts have generally approved of the government’s use of deception (for example, undercover officers), few have ruled upon the constitutionality of the impersonation of actual individuals.

A recent decision in a Las Vegas District Court involved evidence collected by members of the FBI who impersonated Internet repair technicians to gain physical access to suspects’ hotel rooms. During their investigation of an online gambling ring, FBI agents disconnected the Internet in three rooms of a Las Vegas hotel and impersonated technicians to enter the rooms without suspicion and to collect evidence later used against the suspects in court. The judge eventually tossed the evidence out on the grounds that it was “fruit of a poisonous tree” — legal jargon indicating that the evidence was obtained using an unlawful search.

In another case, the DEA created a fake Facebook profile for a real individual, Sondra Prince, who was arrested on drug charges in 2010, in order to investigate an alleged New York drug ring. The DEA agent who arrested Prince seized her cell phone and mined it for photographs. These were then used to create the fraudulent Facebook profile which was used by the agents as a critical part of their investigation into the drug ring. These photographs notably included ones of Prince in a bathing suit, and photos of her two young children. Prince ultimately sued the DEA over its impersonation of her profile. The Justice Department eventually paid $134,000 to settle the case, which drew the public’s attention to potential privacy violations at play in government agencies’ impersonation of individuals (not to mention the potential dangers involved).

The consent form also raises tricky questions about the scope of consent. Does the form allow the agents, for example, to answer incoming messages from the mother of the consenter? What about a romantic partner or close friends? The form does nothing to clarify these questions. Nor does it address the fact that asking people to turn over their passwords so that law enforcement can then log in to their accounts violates the terms of service of Facebook and a number of other major service providers, which all prohibit password sharing. The government itself has argued in other cases that such password sharing may be a crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Finally, the date of the form — 1999 — raises an obvious but unanswered question: what is the DEA’s current practice? Technology and social media have transformed our society in the last sixteen years. Have the DEA’s practices changed since then? Do they impersonate individuals routinely now? What are the rules that now govern that impersonation? We just don’t know, and that’s a problem.



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