Hive Mind
Sunday, February 05, 2006

Woman bites husband to death

I guess this is old news, but I thought it was amusing:
Modesto police said Kelli Pratt wanted her feeble 65-year-old husband to have sex with her the night of Oct. 7.

When Arthur Pratt refused, police said, his 45-year-old wife held him down and bit him repeatedly during a savage attack that ultimately killed him.

Arthur, whose skin was riddled with more than 20 deep tooth marks, died Sunday at Doctors Memorial Center in Modesto -- six days after the attack.

Detective Sgt. Al Carter said Wednesday that Dr. Jennifer Rulon, a Stanislaus County forensic pathologist, believes that the case will be ruled a homicide and that the bites are the likely cause of death.

"He was able to dial 911 that night," Carter said. "We have a tape recording of him screaming while she was biting him. When officers arrived, he was screaming that he'd been assaulted. She fought with the officers and tried to bite them, too."


(Via Fortean Times). 
Thursday, December 29, 2005

Biomimicry in Space Exploration

From the BBC article:

Ideas that could further exploration in space are coming from a surprising source - animals such as ants, fish and squirrels.
The future of space exploration could lie in biomimetics, where engineering meets biology. In effect, it steals nature's evolutionary tricks to create revolutionary applications.

Engineers like Dr Alex Ellery, head of the Robotics Research Group at the University of Surrey, are trying to find out how natural systems might inspire human-made technology in space.

"One obvious way is in the way nature, in particular plants, package themselves into very small volumes, and yet deploy large structures, like flowers and so on," he told BBC World Service's Discovery programme.

"We can learn about how to package things like spacecraft, and then have them deploy their solar arrays, antennae and so forth.

"The applications are essentially limited only by our own imagination."


(Via Vortexegg). 
Saturday, December 10, 2005

Gary Busey's feces on sale for only $23.00

Unfortunately I don't think this is real.


In case you forgot how fucking batshit crazy some people are

Here's a sample:
The reader must be aware of the evil mathematicians, because most of them are engaged in their fantasies, really believing that mathematics is "the Science that doesn't lie, the mother of all Sciences, the owner of the truth", and so on. If they were lovers of the truth they would reject the monstrous marriage of reality and unreality. The roots of this evil math spring out of Kabbalah, Sorcery, and Freemasonry

I've heard people attribute alot of things to the "diabolical machinations of those evil freemasons", but mathematics!? This guy also believes that the earth is flat, and his "proof" of this statement is AMAZING! His website is here
Thursday, December 08, 2005

Liberate not Exterminate

I'm typically not too impressed with crimethinc's publications, but I have to admit that this pamphlet makes for a pretty sensible and refreshing read. 
Wednesday, November 02, 2005

20 percent of human genes have been patented

Think you own what's in your cells? Think again:
A new study shows that 20 percent of human genes have been patented in the United States, primarily by private firms and universities.

The study, which is reported this week in the journal Science, is the first time that a detailed map has been created to match patents to specific physical locations on the human genome.

Researchers can patent genes because they are potentially valuable research tools, useful in diagnostic tests or to discover and produce new drugs.

"It might come as a surprise to many people that in the U.S. patent system human DNA is treated like other natural chemical products," said Fiona Murray, a business and science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and a co-author of the study.

"An isolated DNA sequence can be patented in the same manner that a new medicine, purified from a plant, could be patented if an inventor identifies a [new] application."

Meanwhile, the anti-biotech crowd blathers on and on about how it's not "safe" to eat biotech foods. Now, as someone who's had a fair bit of training in biology, I can assure you that for all practical purposes, GMO-containing foods are just as safe to eat as any other type of food. But that's not the real point. In fact, it's that very type of technophobic discourse that obscures the real issues, such as the fact that access to this technology is denied to the general public. Furthermore, this denial of access is maintained through widespread scientific illiteracy, the spreading of corporate misinformation, and perhaps most crucially, the existence of an archaic and draconian system of intellectual property laws. Thus, I'd like to humbly make the tactical suggestion that anyone concerned about biotechnology should make dismantling the institution of intellectual property as we know it a primary focus of their efforts.

Friday, October 28, 2005
Monday, September 26, 2005

Viral Batteries

Biomimicry - the technique of looking to living systems as inspiration for the design of materials, devices, or architecture - is a really cool idea. This example struck me as particularly interesting:

Material scientist and engineer Angela Belcher's interest in nanotechnology came from studying how nature makes materials. "Abalone just happened to be a great example of a natural biomaterial, and one of the reasons that it is such a great material is that it's constructed on the nano-scale," she says. "So I approached the question, can you use the same principles that nature's evolved and apply it to other materials that nature hasn't had the opportunity to work with yet, like electronic materials and magnetic materials?" Since then, her goal has been to grow inexpensive nanomaterials in her lab at room temperature and pressure, that, among other qualities, self-assemble, self-correct and generate little waste, but offer the possibility of ever smaller and more powerful electronic devices.

Copying how red abalone build their shells, Belcher and her team are developing a way to actually "grow" rechargeable batteries with the help of viruses — tiny microbes that multiply by infecting living cells. Their technique would take a matter of weeks, rather than the 15 years the red abalone needs to assemble a full-sized shell.

"We're forcing the viruses to interact with materials that they would never interact with, normally. So now the viruses are a template to actually grow that material… it incorporates these new materials into its coat surface," Belcher explains.

The team uses a type of virus that infect bacteria, called bacteriophages. When mixed together with a metal or other materials, millions of them can align and stack themselves into orderly layers, creating a new material.


(Via Worldchanging). 


Redbeard Gets Down
Reuters Alertnet
New World Disorder
A Graboid Ate My Mommy
Science Daily
Boing Boing
Infoshop News
Posthuman Blues
Vortex Egg
Cult of the Dead Cow
Mechanical Spirit
MySociety Blog


Open Source, D.I.Y. Media/Tech:

Blackout Media Project
Biological Innovation for Open Society
Open Source Biotechnology
Downhill Battle
Bureau of Inverse Technology
Carbon Defense League
Critical Art Ensemble
Biotech Hobbyist Magazine
Ubuntu Linux


CIA World Factbook
Spunk Library
Hyperhistory Online
Noborder Network
People's Global Action
Critical Resistance


Public Library of Science
Quantum Consciousness
MIT Biology Hypertextbook


Art Crimes
Guns and Dope Party
Temple of the Screaming Electron

Brain Tools:

SMI2LE Nootropics
Bouncing Bear Botanicals

Online Books and Booksellers:

AK Press
Project Gutenberg
Feral House


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