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The DIY neuroenhancers hacking their brains with electricity

Brain Simulation_2
© Motherboard
The discussion around neuroenhancement, especially the kind you might be able to try at home, has largely centred around brain-boosting chemicals. But smart drugs aren't the only way that more intrepid transhumanists are trying to spur their cognitive function.

On Tuesday night, I went along to meet a few neuroenchancement enthusiasts at London Hackspace, where they introduced me to their homebrew variety of a method of brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS. This experimental technique applies a small electrical current to your head to try to stimulate certain areas of your brain. It's literally an attempt to jolt your neurons into firing.

I came across Dirk Bruere on a transhumanist subreddit, where he posted about the meeting. He explained in an email that he was trying to get a group together, ultimately to look into "less mainstream stuff like low intensity patterned magnetic fields, cold laser stimulation and the effects of modulated IR and microwaves," but that he'd bring his homemade tDCS kit along that evening.

The equipment was very simple; Bruere said part of the point was to show how cheap and easy it could be. Two wires came out of a black box with an LED and a tempting big red button. On the end of the red wire was an anode, on the end of a blue a cathode. Two small sponge pads fit the copper electrodes, and were soaked in salt water before being applied to the user's head. A Nike sweatband held them in place.

City Council bans saggy pants in Ocala, FL

Baggy pants
© Reuters / Mohamad Torokman
A city in Florida doesn't want people showing off their 'whale tails,' 'plumber's cracks' or boxers on public property so much that they banned the saggy-pants fashion statement within city limits.

"Lookin' like a fool, walkin' downtown with ya pants on the ground," 'General' Larry Platt famously sang in his 'American Idol' audition. "Giddy up! Get ya pants off the ground!"

Comment: Another sign of our totalitarian society, where people are forced to conform to the values of the rulers. For an interesting study about conformity and the types of people who are enforcers of conformity, read the book by Bob Altemeyer called "The Authoritarians".


Uhhh, duh! Texas man shoots self hitching up shorts in store: 'It's dangerous to stick a gun in your pants'

gun in pants
© via Shutterstock
A Texas man was wounded Friday afternoon after accidentally shooting himself during a trip to a convenience store.

Police said Jason Bryant, who held a concealed carry permit, went into the store in Orange, where the gun discharged as he pulled up his shorts, reported the Longview News-Journal.

"He walked maybe six feet in the door when he pulled his shorts up, something caught the trigger and the gun discharged into his leg," said Chief Jim Vanover, of Orange police. "People immediately rushed over to help."

Another customer fashioned a tourniquet from a belt by the time emergency crews arrived, and Bryant was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Vanover said the shooting could have been prevented by proper gun safety.

"If you're going to carry a gun it needs to be in a safe holster," Vanover said. "It's dangerous to stick a gun in your pants."

No one else was injured during the incident, which remains under investigation.

Bryant has not been charged in the negligent discharge.
Heart - Black

Gabor Maté: Beautiful dream of Israel has become a nightmare

 Israeli strike rise over Gaza City
© Hatem Moussa / AP
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 22.
Everyone ought to be sad at what the beautiful old dream of Jewish redemption has come to. Everyone ought to grieve the death of innocents.

As a Jewish youngster growing up in Budapest, an infant survivor of the Nazi genocide, I was for years haunted by a question resounding in my brain with such force that sometimes my head would spin: "How was it possible? How could the world have let such horrors happen?"

It was a naïve question, that of a child. I know better now: such is reality. Whether in Vietnam or Rwanda or Syria, humanity stands by either complicitly or unconsciously or helplessly, as it always does. In Gaza today we find ways of justifying the bombing of hospitals, the annihilation of families at dinner, the killing of pre-adolescents playing soccer on a beach.

In Israel-Palestine the powerful party has succeeded in painting itself as the victim, while the ones being killed and maimed become the perpetrators. "They don't care about life," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says, abetted by the Obamas and Harpers of this world, "we do." Netanyahu, you who with surgical precision slaughter innocents, the young and the old, you who have cruelly blockaded Gaza for years, starving it of necessities, you who deprive Palestinians of more and more of their land, their water, their crops, their trees - you care about life?

There is no understanding Gaza out of context - Hamas rockets or unjustifiable terrorist attacks on civilians - and that context is the longest ongoing ethnic cleansing operation in the recent and present centuries, the ongoing attempt to destroy Palestinian nationhood.

Cleveland driver asked Jesus to take the wheel, hit motorcyclist

Usually when someone says "Jesus take the wheel" it's meant to help them through a rough patch in life.

But police say an Indiana woman took the phrase literally on July 11th, when she took her hands off the steering wheel as she was driving.

The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette reports 25-year-old Prionda Hill told authorities she let go of the wheel because "God told her he would take it from here."

Unfortunately for Anthony Olivery, her car veered off the road and slammed into his motorcycle, throwing him to the ground. Then the car ran over him.

"When I looked at that bumper and looked at that tire, I told myself, today is the day you die," he told the paper.

The accident broke all of Olivery's ribs on his left side, cut his spleen, bruised his kidney and caused severe injuries to his left arm and leg.

Virginia father leaves twin baby girls in hot car, police find him having sex 30 feet away

© Rawstory
A Virginia man was charged with felony child endangerment and indecent exposure on Friday after police found his 1-year-old twin daughters inside his hot vehicle while he was having sex behind a friend's duplex.

Prince George police told WTVR that neighbors called on Friday to report hearing the sounds of children crying. Officers responding to the scene found the two 1-year-old babies inside 47-year-old Juan Munford's hot car, while he was having sex with a woman about 30 feet away.

"We went around to the back of the duplex and discovered a male and a female engaging in sexual intercourse," Prince George Police spokesperson Capt. Brian Kei explained. "At that point [officers] made contact with the individual who identified himself as the father of the two twins."

The neighbor who called police insisted to WTVR that he made the right decision because so many children had recently died from being left in hot cars. But the neighbor said that he did not feel safe interrupting the father's tryst.

Did new dad capture ghost in photo taken at a UK hospital?

© Coventry Telegraph
Is this a ghost captured on camera?
A spooky figure has been caught on camera in a deserted ward of the city's main hospital. David Deakin, 25, from Chapelfields, took this photo at University Hospital, in Walsgrave, at around 11.30pm on Tuesday - and reckons he's caught a ghostly figure. He insists he was alone in the corridor on the maternity ward at the time and now believes mysterious forces could be at work.

David, who was at the hospital while his fiancée Jo gave birth, said: "I think the figure is a woman. A ghost maybe, who knows?

"I took the photo in the labour ward main corridor.

"I was alone and the corridor reminded me of a game called 'Fear 2' which one level is set in a hospital and a crazy little girl attacks you.

Boy's ear problems had rare cause: Gut disease

© studio online/Shutterstock
A child's ear.
A 10-year-old boy in North Carolina suffered from ear pain and hearing problems for years before doctors were finally able to crack the case: He did not have an ear condition after all, but an underlying disease in the gut.

The boy saw multiple doctors for his ear symptoms, which included episodes of ear pain, bloody ear discharge and problems hearing. He was prescribed eardrops, antibiotics and other medications, but nothing seemed to help, said Dr. Eileen M. Raynor, a pediatric head-and-neck surgeon at Duke University Medical Center who treated the boy.

"It was like swimmer's ear gone crazy," Raynor said. "He was really miserable." The boy was also being treated for the skin condition psoriasis, and had skin lesions on his scalp and other parts of his body.

When the boy arrived at Raynor's center, his ears were red and inflamed, and were leaking pus, and his ear canals were narrow from inflammation. Raynor said she could not see his eardrums because the ear canals were so inflamed and damaged.

Doctors put the boy under anesthesia to perform a biopsy of his ear. Results from this biopsy and a second skin biopsy revealed that he had a skin condition that can occur as a complication of Crohn's disease.

Crohn's disease is a condition that causes swelling and irritation in the digestive tract, which can lead to symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea. In rare cases, patients can develop skin disorders, eye inflammation and mouth sores, but nearly everyone who develops these complications has been diagnosed with Crohn's disease before the skin symptoms show up, Raynor said.

'Werewolves' kill herds of animals in remote Philippines island

© Robert Evora
Mysterious killer. An artist sketch of the Werewolves of Sibale (above photo) and a gutted goat (below) its blood sucked and without liver, heart.
Sibale Island, Romblon - Farmers in this isolated island in the central Philippines have reported that mysterious killers believed to be werewolves attacked farm animals during nights before the full moon, sucking blood and tearing away vital organs such as the liver and the heart.

Sibale Mayor Lemuel Cipriano said more than 200 goats have been killed in the past two years, their carcasses scattered in the open field and showing the same tell-tale marks: strangulated necks and gaping wounds in the stomach.

"It's a continuing goat massacre happening at the onset of the full moon almost every year since 2012. So far, more than 200 goats had been massacred by this unknown killer," Cipriano said.
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Florida city imposes fines and jailtime for violating dress code on public property

Dress Code
© Reuters/Lucas Jackson
A suspected pants sagger concealing his waistline.
Ocala - A city council has voted unanimously to impose a public dress code, enforceable by the police, and punishable by fines and up to 6 months in jail.

The 4-0 vote on July 15th officially created a new crime in the City of Ocala: wearing saggy pants. Councilwoman Mary Rich introduced it, as she did once before in 2009.

Individuals whose pants sag two (2) inches below the natural waistline may now be issued a 2nd Degree Misdemeanor. The punishment is fines of up to $500.00 or the possibility of jail time up to 180 days.

Officials lauded the new policy, citing it as "the right thing to do" and an improvement on "public decency." Others questioned how it could be enforced and what kind of confrontations it might create between police and citizens.

The dress code can be enforced on any property that is owned or leased by the city. That includes streets, sidewalks, parking lots, parks, sports & recreation facilities, swimming pools, municipal buildings, the downtown square, and public transportation.

City Attorney Patrick Gilligan could not definitively say how the law applies to bathing suits. "If that becomes a problem, we will start dealing with that," said Gilligan. "Right now, it's pants on men or women."