Snoop Dogg, the veteran West Coast rapper, says he underwent a spiritual and artistic rebirth while making a new album in Jamaica last February. He abandoned rap as his preferred mode of expression, wrote more than a dozen songs in a traditional Reggae style and opened up to a documentary film crew about his long and sometimes violent journey from teenage gang member to a middle-aged hip-hop superstar. Along the way, he says, he shed the name and persona of Snoop Dogg and was rechristened Snoop Lion by Rastafarian priests.
I’m looking forward to the release of Snoop Mountain Lion next year…
An Iranian court has sentenced four people to death for a billion-dollar bank fraud that tainted the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, state media has reported.
Iranians, hit by sanctions and soaring inflation, were shocked by the scale of the $2.6bn bank loan embezzlement that was exposed last year and by allegations it was carried out by people close to the political elite or with their assent.
While one may not support the death penalty (and this may be a political prosecution), it is interesting that these bankers are being held personally accountable.
Pfizer has one of the largest marketing budgets in the world. One can only imagine how much they spend on consultants to strategically develop their online marketing campaigns. The email from our tipster read, in its entirety: “Our friends at Pfizer offer a fine product called Rimadyl. In order to market this product to vet clinics and canine lovers everywhere, they suggest you visit their website www.rimadog.com. I think perhaps they need to send their marketing team to urbandictionary.com before they suggest people engage in this behavior.”
The company “Limited Run” has announced on their Facebook page, that they’re leaving Facebook, after they’ve discovered that around 80% of the advertisement clicks they’re paying for, are obtained by the use of ‘bots’.
Limited Run used six or seven different independent analytics services, including Click and Google Analytics, and they did all more or less give the same result.
The analytic tools showed that 80% of their visitors / clicks from Facebook, were not registering any images. These incoming requests weren’t either loading the client-side assets.
The visitors were also being tracked as “non-standard”-user agents, which means that the “visitors” weren’t using any of the popular and widespread browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, Android, iOS, etc.). “Non-standard” is the type, that crawlers and bots usually are being tracked as, because they use some special tools / software for crawling the web.
Limited Run tried to contact Facebook, but the only answer they received, was an automated-message saying that ‘all analytics services track differently’, even though Limited Run pointed out, that they’ve run the test over a month, and could confirm everything.
Diving is hard. It takes an incredible amount of skill, training, and timing to pull of a beautiful dive. Those who can complete the amazing feat and win competitions are truly fantastic. Seriously, they rock. I could never do what they do. But on a less serious note, the faces they make while spinning at ridiculous speeds are… well, frankly, hilarious.
A NASA probe craft in orbit around the moon has confirmed that most of the US flags planted on the lunar surface by the Apollo astronauts of yesteryear are still flying, despite some scientists’ having theorised that their fragile materials would have failed to survive extremes of temperature and radiation over the decades.
At the fund-raiser on Monday, Mr. Romney talked favorably about Israel’s economy and gross domestic product.
“Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the G.D.P. in Israel? Eight percent,” he said. “You spend eight percent of G.D.P. on health care. You’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our G.D.P. on health care, 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, compare that with the size of our military — our military which is 4 percent, 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of G.D.P. We have to find ways — not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to fund and manage our health care costs.”
somebody should tell him Israel has a universal, single payer health care system.
Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians, outraging Palestinian leaders who suggested his comments were racist and out of touch with the realities of the Middle East. His campaign later said his remarks were mischaracterized.
Since it’s roughly the same doctrine his church has about black people, I seriously doubt that.
And somebody should make this remark: Israel: You didn’t build that all by yourself. Somebody else made that happen.
The French documentary director passed away today (July 30th 2012) having only celebrated his 91st birthday yesterday. He was best known for directing ‘Sans Soleil’; a documentary reflecting the impact memory recollection has on people’s and the world’s history. It was hailed by many as one of the most important films of all time and won him several accolades including an ‘OCIC Award – Honourable Mention’ at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1983 and a Sutherland Trophy at the British Film Institute Awards.
Among his other efforts are the well-received 1977 political film ‘A Grin Without A Cat’ and sci-fi thriller ‘Twelve Monkeys’ starring Bruce Willis which Marker co-wrote. Little is known about this elusive Frenchman’s personal life; he has often refused photographs and interviews. He was once quoted as saying, ‘My films are enough for [the audience]‘.
His best work is generally considered to be La Jetée, the source of the 12 monkeys movie:
Oh, and Chats Perchés of course
MIT has created a camera that can actually view light in motion. By firing trillions of pulses of light and syncing their cameras shutter, they can create a video that shows how light moves through space and reacts to mass. By recording this amazing detail, these cameras can actually see into objects and around corners by monitoring the way the light bounces off and around an object.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Sunday said that even “handheld rocket launchers” could be considered legal under his interpretation of the Constitution’s Second Amendment.
Dear Scalia, about that Second Amendment.
Does this look like a well regulated militia?
Ah, there’s nothing quite like the serene “swoosh-swooshing” of oars in the water, as Olympic rowers glide along the water. There really isn’t, because those sounds spectators are hearing on their TVs are not live from the event, The Atlantic reported.
In order to keep sight of the boats, broadcasters must follow them with chase boats and a helicopter. The result is that the sound of the rowing is drowned out by that noise. So, NBC elected to replace the live audio with a recorded soundtrack of rowing practices to deliver more accurate depiction of what the sport sounds like in its pure form.
Check out the difference between the sounds of live events as opposed to their TV equivalents.
Bradley Manning, the suspected WikiLeaks source, is seeking to call several military psychiatrists to testify that he was held in custodial conditions likened to torture against their professional advice.
Manning’s defence lawyers have lodged a motion with the military court in Fort Meade, Maryland requesting the appearance of seven medical and other experts at the next pretrial hearing scheduled for 1 October.
The defence team, led by civilian lawyer David Coombs, is trying to have all 22 charges against Manning thrown out of court on grounds that he was subjected to illegal pretrial treatment in violation of the constitutional prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
A Florida airboat captain whose hand was bitten off by a 9-foot alligator faces charges of feeding of the animal.
According to the Post, the coverup began as early as last February, “when Duval County Health Department officials felt so overwhelmed by the sudden spike in tuberculosis that they asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to become involved. Believing the outbreak affected only their underclass, the health officials made a conscious decision not to not tell the public, repeating a decision they had made in 2008, when the same strain had appeared in an assisted living home for people with schizophrenia.”
That decision now appears to have gone terribly awry, partly because the disease appears to have already spread into the general population but also because just nine days before the CDC warning was issued, Florida Governor Rick Scott had signed a bill downsizing the state’s Department of Health and closing the A.G. Holley State Hospital that had treated the most difficult tuberculosis cases for over 60 years.
With health officials preoccupied by the challenge of restructuring, the CDC report went unseen, and an order even went out for the hospital to be closed immediately, six months ahead of schedule.
According to the Post, by April the outbreak had been linked to thirteen deaths, with 99 individuals infected, including six children. Most of those affected were poor black men, ten of whom simply wasted away from the disease before getting treatment or were not treated in time to stop its progression.
But for at least two years, TB patients were routed by Duval County health officials to the Monterey Motel and told to stay put.
Longtime motel resident Alfred Scott — who was treated for the lung disease more than 20 years ago — said he and other residents only were told of the TB patients when they saw people wearing masks coming and going on the motel walkways.
“I stayed away,” he said.
Patients remained at the motel until they no longer were contagious, state Department of Health spokeswoman Jessica Hammonds said.
A southeastern Pennsylvania church and a youth pastor are facing criminal charges for a mock kidnapping of a youth group that was meant to be a lesson in religious persecution.
The Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Middletown and 28-year-old Andrew David Jordan of Elizabethtown were charged Friday with false imprisonment and simple assault, said Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico.
The church staged the event in March. Mock kidnappers covered the teenagers’ heads, put them in a van and interrogated them. Neither the young people nor their parents were told beforehand that it wasn’t real. The mother of a 14-year-old girl filed a complaint with police.
“This is a sad case for all those involved,” Marsico said, adding that while the church’s and Jordan’s intentions were not necessarily harmful, “they in essence terrorized several children.”
Part of the sentence are damages that have to be paid to various entertainment industry companies. EMI Music, Universal Music, Sony Music and other labels, for example, were awarded around €550,000 to compensate artists and rightsholders for the losses they suffered.
“We have filed applications with Sweden’s Enforcement Agency to secure assets to satisfy these funds. So far very little has been recovered as the individuals have no traceable assets in Sweden and the Enforcement Agency has no powers to investigate outside Sweden. There seems little realistic prospect of recovering funds,” the document reads.
While it may come as no surprise that the music industry has a hard time getting money from The Pirate Bay defendants, what comes next may raise a few eyebrows.
“There is an agreement that any recovered funds will be paid to IFPI Sweden and IFPI London for use in future anti-piracy activities,” IFPI writes.
In other words, the money that the Court awarded to compensate artists and rightsholders for their losses is not going to the artists at all. Instead, the labels will simply hand it over to IFPI for their ongoing anti-piracy efforts, which we documented in detail earlier this week.
According to former Pirate Bay spokesman Peter Sunde, one of the people convicted in the case, this shows who the real “thieves” are.
What if 2001 had been released as a modern summer blockbuster?
The United States government said Friday that even if the indictment of the Megaupload corporation is dismissed, it can continue its indefinite freeze on the corporation’s assets while it awaits the extradition of founder Kim Dotcom and his associates.
When the Director of Research for Google compares one of the most highly regarded linguists of all time to Bill O’Reilly, you know it is on. Recently, Peter Norvig, Google’s Director of Research and co-author of the most popular artificial intelligence textbook in the world, wrote a webpage extensively criticizing Noam Chomsky, arguably the most influential linguist in the world. Their disagreement points to a revolution in artificial intelligence that, like many revolutions, threatens to destroy as much as it improves. Chomsky, one of the old guard, wishes for an elegant theory of intelligence and language that looks past human fallibility to try to see simple structure underneath. Norvig, meanwhile, represents the new philosophy: truth by statistics, and simplicity be damned.
Worth reading in its entirety, I thought.
He who builds a better mousetrap these days runs into material shortages, patent-infringement suits, work stoppages, collusive bidding, discount discrimination–and taxes.”
– H. E. Martz