Society's ChildS


NASA Specialist Axed Over Intelligent Design Files Lawsuit

© The Associated Press/Nick UtDavid Coppedge worked as a 'team lead' on Nasa's Cassini mission exploring Saturn and its many moons
US: California, Los Angeles - A computer specialist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is going to court over allegations that he was wrongfully terminated because of his belief in intelligent design.

Openings statements in the lawsuit by David Coppedge were expected Monday afternoon in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Coppedge, who worked as a team lead on the Cassini mission exploring Saturn and its many moons, claims he was discriminated against because he engaged his co-workers in conversations about intelligent design and handed out DVDs on the idea while at work.

Intelligent design is the belief that a higher power must have had a hand in creation because life is too complex to have developed through evolution alone.

Coppedge lost his team lead title in 2009 and was let go last year after 15 years on the mission.

In an emailed statement, JPL dismissed Coppedge's claims. In court papers, lawyers for the California Institute of Technology, which manages JPL for NASA, said Coppedge received a written warning because his co-workers complained of harassment.


Four Bodies Found Floating Near Boat off California

US: Santa Barbara, California - The search is expected to resume Monday for a body spotted floating near a capsized boat off the Southern California coast.

The Coast Guard says four bodies were located off Santa Cruz Island Sunday.

A search was launched after the four men failed to return from a daylong fishing trip,

Searchers in the air spotted one body on the boat and two others floating close by. A fourth body was spotted five miles away.

But Coast Guard Lt. George Kolumbic says by the time rescuers arrived by boat, they were only able to recover three bodies.

There was no immediate word on the cause of death. Autopsies were being conducted.

Heart - Black

Brother Charged After Actress's Headless Body Found in Canal

© unknownGemma McCluskie
UK - The brother of an actress who starred in popular British soap opera was on Saturday charged with her murder, police said, four days after her headless body was found in a London canal.

Tony McCluskie, 35, was charged with killing his 29-year-old sister Gemma McCluskie, who disappeared last week, Scotland Yard said in a statement, adding that he would appear in court on Monday.

The actress's limbless and headless torso was found on Tuesday when a member of the public reported a suspicious object floating close to a market in east London, not far from the street where she and her brother lived.

Gemma McCluskie played Kerry Skinner in 2001 in the BBC television soap EastEnders about the residents of a working-class district of east London.


Utah Man Recognizes Suspect in Video: His Son

© The Associated Press/Davis County Sheriff via KSL-TVThis police booking photo provided by the Davis County Sheriff's Office shows Jeremy Blair, 26, of Kaysville, Utah. Blair's father persuaded his son to surrender to authorities after recognizing him as a suspect in a computer store burglary while watching a TV news program, officers said.
US, Woods Cross, Utah - A Utah man persuaded his son to surrender to authorities after recognizing him as a suspect in a computer store burglary while watching a TV news program, officers said.

The two were eating breakfast Friday morning when the father recognized his son in surveillance tapes that police released on the burglary, said Woods Cross police Detective Adam Osoro.

Jeremy Blair, 26, of Kaysville, turned himself in later Friday to the Davis County Sheriff's Office, the Standard-Examiner of Ogden and Deseret News reported.

"This case is very unique for a father to recognize that his son has a problem," Osoro said. "It's a hard thing to do, but I think ultimately it's the best thing for the son, and I think the father sees that."

While Blair was booked into the county jail on an unrelated warrant, the county attorney's office is reviewing the burglary case for formal charges.

Blair and another man are accused of smashing the front windows and taking about $6,500 in computer equipment from StarWest Computers in Woods Cross early Monday morning.


Murder Charge for California Man With Cannon-Like Device

US - A San Diego County man who allegedly ignited a homemade cannon that exploded and killed his live-in girlfriend was charged with murder on Thursday.

Prosecutors said Richard Fox was drinking with his girlfriend and friends Tuesday at the home in Potrero, a tiny rural community near the Mexican border. Fox went outside and lit the fuse to a 21-inch-long, 2-inch-thick steel pipe that he had stuck into the ground outside, authorities said.

The tube was packed with powder taken from fireworks and some kind of projectile. The girlfriend, 38-year-old Jeanette Ogara, was struck in the chest by shrapnel that tore into the home. Fox injured his leg.

Eye 2

Investment Banker Admits Placing Fake 'Collar Bomb' Around Teen Girl's Neck

An investment banker pled guilty Thursday to charges he broke into a Sydney, Australia mansion and strapped a fake "collar bomb" around an 18-year-old girl's neck in a failed extortion attempt.

Paul Douglas Peters, 51, appeared in the Sydney courtroom by video-link from prison, while his lawyer, Kathy Crittenden, entered the plea on his behalf.

"Mr. Peters deeply regrets and is profoundly sorry for the impact that this incident has had on Ms. Pulver and her family," Crittenden told The Associated Press Thursday.

Peters, a former Kentucky resident, reportedly entered the home of Madeleine Pulver in a wealthy suburb of Sydney on Aug. 3 wearing a ski mask and carrying an aluminum baseball bat. After telling her, "Sit down and no one needs to get hurt," Peters strapped a bomb-like device around the girl's neck. He then left her with a note and a computer thumb drive. The note gave instructions to transfer money to Peters and warned that the bomb would explode if removed.


Israel-Gaza violence rages into fourth day

© REUTERS/Nir EliasIsraeli fire-fighters work near a car that was [allegedly] damaged from a rocket fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza, in the southern city of Ashdod March 12, 2012.
Israel launched more air strikes in the Gaza Strip and Palestinians kept up rocket fire against southern Israel on Monday in a fourth day of hostilities in which 23 Palestinians have been killed.

Egyptian efforts to broker a ceasefire appeared to be stuck over a demand by the Islamic Jihad militant group that Israel first promise not to target militant leaders for future attack.

Israeli air strikes on Monday killed two Palestinian militants and an elderly man and his daughter, medical officials said.

A 15-year-old Palestinian youth died in an explosion that Palestinians blamed on an Israeli missile. The Israeli military denied it had carried out a strike. A Reuters cameraman at the scene, where militants had been launching rockets toward Israel, saw no signs of impact or of shrapnel.

More than 30 rockets, seven of them intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system, were fired at Israel, causing no casualties, police said.

Eighteen of the Palestinians killed since fighting flared on Friday were identified by medical officials as militants and five as civilians. At least 74 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and three Israelis have been wounded in the past four days.

Comment: Where to begin? This story is completely backward from the reality on the ground.

"Israel is not keen to see an escalation [while escalating things], Israel is not keen to hurt innocents [while innocents are being killed], Israel is absolutely opposed to this [while doing exactly what it claims to be opposed to]."

"For now [while doing exactly what it is implying it is not doing].."

The whole article can be seen line for line that Israel is (made to appear as) the victim, when in fact the people of Gaza have been the victims of Israel for years.

The Image: Look closely - Where is the hole from where the alleged rocket hit? How is pouring air on a back tire that is not burning helping stop a non-fire? Why are there no other signs of damage, broken windows on buildings, other forms of debris, burn marks..? Why is there no large group of civilians in the background, but only men in yellow vests and a few camera people, vs. the hordes you'd find during any police/medical situation in a populated area?

Heart - Black

U.S. Soldier - Deadly Rampage: Taliban Vow Revenge

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A rogue sergeant reportedly killed 16 innocent Afghan villagers.

The Taliban has vowed revenge against "sick-minded American savages" after a U.S. soldier was accused of going on a deadly shooting rampage Sunday.

The group said it would "take revenge from the invaders and the savage murderers for every single martyr," according to a statement posted on its website, the Times of London reported.

An Army veteran of three tours in Iraq who left his base in the middle of the night is suspected of methodically killing 16 Afghan civilians, most of them children and women.

The soldier's name has not been released, but a U.S. official told ABC News he is a 38-year-old staff sergeant who is married with two children. He is apparently based at Fort Lewis in Washington state.

The soldier wore night-vision goggles during the alleged rampage and has "lawyered up" and declined to talk, according to a source.

Comment: Already the story does not add up. A lone soldier, goes out "at 3 a.m." on a murder spree, in the middle of "a hotbed for the Taliban insurgency" doesn't sound possible nor plausible.

Logically, a squad or platoon had to have done this. It would have to be a group, as the soldier would have been shot acting alone. The feeling (of this editor) is that, it's likely the least pathological person's being branded the fall guy for this heinous act. Regardless, he would be just as guilty as the others in the group for enabling.

Also, how was he able to do this in two different villages at nearly the same time?


DNA Marketing: The Next Step Beyond Behavioral?

dna graphic
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A SXSW presentation took a dramatic look at a new kind of marketing that reaches far beyond behavioral understandings about people---looking at our personal DNA genome, and marketing to us as a result of this information that is literally in our bones.

"Influence, It's In Your Genes," presented by Paul Saarinen, of the agency Yamamoto in Minneapolis and Dr. Scott Fahrenkrug of the University of Minnesota, a genetic scientist.

The fight over personal privacy and sharing social information is already upon us. There was a firestorm of controversy from an article in the New York Times that exposed market research practices at Target Corporation that involved some creepy data crunching about personal information of consumers.

The New York Times story began with the tale of an angry father confronting a store manager at the local Target. He was angry because his teen age daughter had been receiving discount coupons from Target for products related to pregnancy and babies. The manager was baffled, but promised to find out what he could.

The manager called the father back a week later to check in and again apologize. The father sheepishly admitted that he had talked with his daughter and she admitted that she was in fact pregnant.

So how did Target know the teenager was pregnant?


Best of the Web: Corrupted and Evasive Language Now a Core Template of Our Social Behaviors

Nixon press secretary Ron Ziegler
© n/aNixon press secretary Ron Ziegler
Though I was fairly young at the time, I will always remember the moment in the Spring of 1973 when Nixon's Press Secretary, Ron Ziegler, tried to explain away his and his bosses previous lies about the fast-progressing Watergate scandal with the words, "mistakes were made".

If the truth be told, I can't say I have a very clear recollection of actually seeing president's spinmeister say the famous phrase live on TV. Rather, my "memories" of the event are derived almost wholly from the comments Ziegler's words evoked among the adult members of my family.

Particularly memorable were (and are) the derisive hoots of my Aunt Kathleen, a fiercely intelligent women who, I am pretty sure, never voted anything but a straight Republican ticket in the course of her long and eventful life.

Why was Kay, as we called her, so exercised with the chief spokesman of her party's President?

Because his clumsy attempt to have the "chalice" of responsibility "pass from his lips", violated everything she had been taught about how individuals and collective entities engender better futures. She understood quite fundamentally that without reckoning for deeds done, there could be no meaningful move toward moral renewal.