- Today's comic by is God-Man's next reboot!:
- 83-year-old nun, two others convicted for breaking into "nuclear Fort Knox.". The three were convicted of sabotaging the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge in July 2012:
Defense lawyers said that federal prosecutors had overreached in the charges because of the embarrassment caused by the break-in, in which the protesters hung banners, strung crime-scene tape and hammered off a small chunk of the fortresslike Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility.
- NRA youth magazine recommends kids build indoor BB-gun ranges. Zack Beauchamp at ThinkProgress flipped through the pages of InSights, the gun lobby's children's magazine and found that the gun lobby is urging its young readers to build indoor ranges for their BB guns:
The article, “BB, It’s Cold Outside,” ran in the January 2013 edition of InSights. The spread features a picture of a young-looking boy holding a BB gun next to a fireplace, and is addressed to children who are “shooting a real gun now” but can’t wait to practice until it’s warm enough outside to make firing one fun. The NRA article recommends that, instead, the child build a home BB gun range to keep up.
I need your help! Can a bug-loving Kossack take a look at this image—taken from my back porch in Maryland—and see if you recognize this flag-waving little sucker? It was black and about 3" long and stuck around in the same spot for a couple of days before disappearing (and yeah, I try not to think too much about where). So if you know the name of this strange little critter, please share! Thanks in advance. —Barbara Morrill
- Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body buried. The controversy bubbled up when some graveyards refused to give Tsarnaev a resting place:
The funeral director, whom some people have called "un-American" for being willing to handle Tsarnaev's funeral, has said he has a professional obligation.
"We take an oath to do this. Can I pick and choose? No. Can I separate the sins from the sinners? No," Stefan said. "We are burying a dead body. That's what we do."
- CIA's 1960s Operation Acoustic Kitty fails to herd cats:
In the 1960s, the Central Intelligence Agency recruited an unusual field agent: a cat. In an hour-long procedure, a veterinary surgeon transformed the furry feline into an elite spy, implanting a microphone in her ear canal and a small radio transmitter at the base of her skull, and weaving a thin wire antenna into her long gray-and-white fur. This was Operation Acoustic Kitty, a top-secret plan to turn a cat into a living, walking surveillance machine. The leaders of the project hoped that by training the feline to go sit near foreign officials, they could eavesdrop on private conversations.
The problem was that cats are not especially trainable—they don’t have the same deep-seated desire to please a human master that dogs do—and the agency’s robo-cat didn’t seem terribly interested in national security. For its first official test, CIA staffers drove Acoustic Kitty to the park and tasked it with capturing the conversation of two men sitting on a bench. Instead, the cat wandered into the street, where it was promptly squashed by a taxi.
- Pumping young blood into old mouse hearts erases age:
Drawing on an odd experimental technique invented more than a century ago but rarely done now, researchers have found that a blood-borne protein makes old mouse hearts appear young and healthy again. It's not clear yet whether humans would react the same way, but scientists are hopeful that this discovery may help treat one of the heart's most frustrating ailments [the thickening of aging muscles that reduces its function].
- Google shows massive geographical changes with time-lapse maps:
A lot can change in 28 years, and Google has put together a very graphic demonstration of just how much can happen geographically with a new effort that combines global, annual Landsat satellite image composites with its Google Earth Engine software.
The result is a series of interactive time lapse images that progress year-by-year, showing exactly how things have changed in key areas like the Brazilian Amazon Rain Forest, booming metropolitan areas like Las Vegas and Dubai, and the progress of large bodies of water like the Aral Sea.
- Ancient DNA discovered below sea floor:
In the middle of the South Atlantic, there’s a patch of sea almost devoid of life. There are no birds, few fish, not even much plankton. But researchers report that they’ve found buried treasure under the empty waters: ancient DNA hidden in the muck of the sea floor, which lies 5000 meters below the waves.Impossible, obviously, since that's five times older than the earth.
The DNA, from tiny, one-celled sea creatures that lived up to 32,500 years ago, is the first to be recovered from the abyssal plains, the deep-sea bottoms that cover huge stretches of Earth.
- On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin discusses a proposed July 4th open carry protest in DC, austerity impeding the recovery, and the persistent belief that the President could somehow be charming his way to success. Meteor Blades joined in, and also updated us on the Benghazi circus. Picking up on yesterday's themes, we read through Lee Fang's "The Reverse Revolving Door." And despite dropping crime rates, firearms deaths are nonetheless on the rise in Florida. Some say more guns leads to less crime, but there are strong arguments for many, many other factors playing a bigger part.
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