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Mermaids, Like Zombies, Not Real, Say Government Experts

Image
© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/Robert Sullivan
According to the government’s National Ocean Service, mermaids are not real, but at Florida’s famed Weeki Wachee Springs, ‘mermaid camp’ is real.
Sorry everyone, mermaids can't actually be found under the sea.

The National Ocean Service has declared that the mythical creatures do not exist after Animal Planet aired a seemingly realistic TV show in May about the half-human, half-fish sea creatures.

"No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found," the service wrote in an article online.

The service decided to respond last week to inquiries from at least two confused viewers who watched the fictional show titled Mermaids: The Body Found and couldn't tell whether the creatures were real or not.

The statement, which describes mermaids' mythological origins, was written based on public knowledge because "mermaid science programs" do not exist, NOS spokesperson Carol Kavanagh told the BBC.

The rather unusual declaration comes on the heels of a similarly bizarre announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Arrow Up

A New Record for Retractions? Anesthesiologist Completely Faked 172 Papers

Medical Fraud
© Health Care Services, California
An investigating committee in Japan has concluded that a Japanese anesthesiologist, Yoshitaka Fujii, fabricated a whopping 172 papers over the past 19 years. Among other problems, the panel, set up by the Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists, could find no records of patients and no evidence medication was ever administered.

"It is as if someone sat at a desk and wrote a novel about a research idea," the committee wrote in a 29 June summary report posted in Japanese on the society's Web site.

The fabrications could produce a record number of retractions by a single author if the journals, as seems likely, decide to retract the papers. ScienceInsider was unable to reach Fujii, who had asked the society not to provide the media with his contact information.

Fujii's findings have been under a cloud since 8 March when an analysis in the journal Anaesthesia raised questions about his data. On 9 April, 23 journal editors publicly asked seven Japanese institutions named in the papers to investigate. The anesthesiology society took on the task because "it would have been difficult for any one institution to clarify what happened," says Koji Sumikawa, an anesthesiologist at Nagasaki University who headed the investigation.

The panel focused on 212 of 249 known Fujii papers. It tried to review the raw data, laboratory notebooks, and records on the patients or animal subjects involved. Committee members also interviewed relevant people.

Among the 172 papers judged bogus, the report claims that 126 studies of randomized, double-blind, controlled trials "were totally fabricated." The committee identified only three valid papers. For another 37 papers, the panel could not conclusively determine if there had been fabrication.

Airplane

JetBlue Pilot Who Had Midair Freak Out Found Not Guilty by Texas Judge

Clayton Osbon
© unknown
The JetBlue pilot who forced a Las Vegas-bound flight to make an emergency landing following a mid-flight meltdown in March was found guilty by a Texas judge on Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson in Amarillo issued the ruling during a bench trial for Clayton F. Osbon, noting he suffered from a "severe mental disease or defect." Osbon's attorney, Dean Roper, declined to comment.

Clayton F. Osbon, 49, has been charged with interfering with a flight crew, which is defined as assaulting or intimidating the crew, interfering with its duties or diminishing its ability to operate the plane.

Obson will go back to a federal mental health facility in Fort Worth for further examination, and is expected to be brought back to Amarillo for another hearing in August. The judge will decide then whether Osbon can be released or committed to a mental facility.

Dollar

France Considering Making Those Who Own A Computer Screen But No Television Pay Up

TV
© RubberBall / Alamy/Alamy
A survey said more than 11 million French people watch television programmes on computer screens, tablets or smart phones.
The French government is considering extending the television licence fee to include computer screen owners to boost revenues for public-sector broadcasting operations, the culture minister said on Saturday.

President François Hollande's Socialist government aims to raise an extra €7.5bn (£6bn) this year through tax rises included in an amended budget bill to be unveiled next week.

"Is it necessary to extend the fee to [computer] screens when you do not have a television? It is a question we're asking ourselves, but obviously it would be a fee per household and you would not have to pay an [additional] fee if you have a computer and a television," Aurélie Filippetti said on RTL radio.

USA

Inmate serving life won't be charged in killing of prisoner

A Michigan prosecutor has decided not to charge an inmate in the killing of another inmate because he's already serving a life sentence.
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© Michigan Department of Corrections
Andre Marcel Adams was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 for murder.

Andre Marcel Adams, 39, is suspected of strangling Carlos Love at the Alger Correction Facility on May 31 but won't face charges at this time, Alger County Prosecutor Karen Bahrman announced in a written statement, according to local media reports.

Adams had been serving a life sentence at the maximum security prison in Munising, Mich., for a 2006 murder in Wayne County. He was transferred to Marquette Branch Prison after he was identified as a suspect in Love's slaying.

Bahrman said any sentence Adams might face upon conviction in Love's death wouldn't exceed his current life term.

"While it goes against every personal and professional instinct to do nothing about a chargeable murder, the fact remains that we cannot obtain additional consequences for the prospective defendant," Bahrman said, The Mining Journal reported Tuesday.

Clock

'Leap Second' Wreaks Internet Havoc

Leap Second
© Corbis
An oddity in the world’s atomic clocks caused problems with some big-name web operations on Saturday, including Reddit and Mozilla.
An adjustment of a mere second in the official global clock sent dozens of websites crashing in an incident reminiscent of the Y2K bug over a decade ago.

The "leap second" was added to the Coordinated Universal Time to adjust clocks to the earth's rotation the night of June 30, delaying for one second the transition to July 1.

A later message by Reddit attempted to make fun of the issue: "You ever wish you had an extra second or two? This is not one of those times."

Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox browser, also had problems.

"Java is choking on leap second," said Mozilla engineer Eric Ziegenhorn, who noted that some services using the Java software platform were malfunctioning.

The outages came roughly at the same time as a major US storm which knocked out power to an Amazon data storage site which serves as cloud host for many websites, including Netflix.

Some sites such as the social network Foursquare said it was affected by the Amazon outage.

USA

Twitter's Transparency Report Reveals Nosy Uncle Sam

Twitter has released its first transparency report, revealing Washington D.C. to be the most nosy government worldwide.
Image
© Unknown

Admittedly inspired by Google, Twitter released on Monday its very first transparency report -- just two days before July 4th.

According to Twitter, the primary goal of the report is to shed more light on government requests received for user information, government requests received to withhold content, and DMCA takedown notices received from copyright holders. The report also provides insight into whether or not Twitter actually takes action on these requests.

"One of our goals is to grow Twitter in a way that makes us proud," the company said. "This ideal informs many of our policies and guides us in making difficult decisions. These policies help inform people, increase awareness and hold all involved parties -- including ourselves -- more accountable."

Twitter points out that it has received more government requests in the first half of 2012 than in the entirety of 2011. The United States shows to be the most nosy across the globe, flooding Twitter with 679 requests regarding 948 user accounts since January 2012. Twitter said it only complied with 75-percent of those requests.

Comment: The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, provides, in Article 19, that:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.



Footprints

Crazed naked man threatens to eat police officers as they try to arrest him on golf course

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© Fox 5
Newest 'cannibal': Karl Laventure apparently told police he wanted to eat their faces.
A 'zombie cannibal' was tasered by police after he charged at them wielding a golf club. Karl Laventure, 21, was believed to be high on bath salts when he tried to attack the officers in Lilburn, Georgia. And after they had managed to subdue him he began threatening to eat them.

Laventure appeared out of some woods and was seen running naked around a golf range near Atlanta, swinging a club around his head and screaming. Police said that it took several officers to subdue the man who had 'super-human strength'.

'He came running at us out of the woodline,' officer Ross Hancock told local station WSBTV.

Comment: It was also believed that the ''Miami Zombie'' was high on bath salts, but a toxicology report stated otherwise.


Life Preserver

Stressed to hell: 83 percent of young French pessimistic about the future


Globalization and the high-tech are meant to make us happy and satisfied.

But the exact opposite is happening, shows a new French study.

At the French National Centre for Scientific Research, or the CNRS, these researchers have come to a conclusion, we live in extremely uncertain times and that is what increases fear and worry.

Experts say, stress is one of the key elements of the rising sense of insecurity around the world. This in turn leads to a vicious circle of more dependence on cutting edge technology which in turn disrupts the rhythm of life in the long run.

Comment: As well they should be, given what they have to go through to become adults and given what's unfolding around them and everyone else on planet Earth:

How is the World Going to End in 2012?


Che Guevara

Thousands in Los Angeles Rally Against Wal-Mart Expansion

Several thousand anti-corporate protesters have staged a march in Los Angeles's Chinatown against the continued expansion of Wal-Mart stores across the United States, Press TV reports.
Image
© Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times
Myca Tran, 23, shows her opposition to a new Wal-Mart store in Chinatown. Wal-Mart got building permits one day before the Los Angeles City Council approved a moratorium on big-box stores.
Labor activists and union workers from across California gathered in a Saturday rally which organizers said was the biggest demonstration against the company in its 50-year history.

Protesters voiced their anger at Wal-Mart's attempt to open a store in the historic Chinatown area of downtown Los Angeles.

"We're not gonna continue to let Wal-Mart be the biggest retailer in the world and set the pace for corporate America that will oppress and keep our communities at 99 percent," a protester told a Press TVcorrespondent.