Gluten-free January Participants: Take the Survey!

Matt Lentzner, Janine Jagger and I have designed a survey for participants of Gluten-free January, using the online application StatCrunch. Janine is an epidemiologist who studies healthcare worker safety at the University of Virginia; she has experience designing surveys for data collection so we're glad to have her on board. The survey will allow us to systematically gather and analyze data on the results of Gluten-free January. It will be 100 percent anonymous-- none of your answers will be connected to your identity in any way.

This survey has the potential to be really informative, but it will only work if you respond! The more people who take the survey, the more informative it will be, even if you didn't avoid gluten for a single day. If not very many people respond, it will be highly susceptible to "selection bias", where perhaps the only people who responded are people who improved the most, skewing the results.

Matt will be sending the survey out to everyone on his mailing list. Please complete it, even if you didn't end up avoiding gluten at all! There's no shame in it. The survey has responses built in for people who didn't avoid gluten. Your survey will still be useful!

We have potential data from over 500 people. After we crunch the numbers, I'll share them on the blog.

Latch Match

What's that word again, the one that's for when you start seeing faces in inanimate objects? Like Hitler in a half-bitten McVitie's plain chocolate biscuit. Incidentally, I looked at my almost finished piece of toast this morning (Waitrose Seeded Batch, Wilkins Tiptree), and noticed that it bore a remarkable resemblance to a map of England and Wales, my last bite being Cardigan Bay. I was going to blog it but ate it before photography could commence. Anyway, this is a door latch at Ashley Towers in winter sunlight.

PS I've just noticed another, very unexpected face.


  • Stage I - limited to one or both ovaries
    • IA - involves one ovary; capsule intact; no tumor on ovarian surface; no malignant cells in ascites or peritoneal washings
    • IB - involves both ovaries; capsule intact; no tumor on ovarian surface; negative washings
    • IC - tumor limited to ovaries with any of the following: capsule ruptured, tumor on ovarian surface, positive washings
  • Stage II - pelvic extension or implants
    • IIA - extension or implants onto uterus or fallopian tube; negative washings
    • IIB - extension or implants onto other pelvic structures; negative washings
    • IIC - pelvic extension or implants with positive peritoneal washings
  • Stage III - microscopic peritoneal implants outside of the pelvis; or limited to the pelvis with extension to the small bowel or omentum
    • IIIA - microscopic peritoneal metastases beyond pelvis
    • IIIB - macroscopic peritoneal metastases beyond pelvis less than 2 cm in size
    • IIIC - peritoneal metastases beyond pelvis > 2 cm or lymph node metastases (retroperitoneal or inguinal)
  • Stage IV - distant metastases to the liver or outside the peritoneal cavity
  • Note: Liver capsule metastasis T3/Stage III; liver parenchymal metastasis M1/Stage IV.
    Pleural effusion must have positive cytology for M1/Stage IV.

Basic Health Tips Can Keep Out Trouble In School

Hand washing is the basic step towards maintaining a healthy body. The teachers should teach the students the importance of the hand wash.

According to a study, it has been found that lack of hand washing and improper food can cause gastrointestinal trouble. In a confined classroom, area where the students study the virus of gastrointestinal sickness can spread very quickly. This study was published in 2010 issue of the Journal of School Health, which dealt with the food processing in various schools and universities.

A gastrointestinal illness is short-lived. The symptoms are cramps, fever, diarrhoea and vomiting. It does not need medical treatment. However, the victim should be provided with water because sometimes dehydration takes place. The victim should have adequate fluid intake. In some cases, the children are admitted in hospitals for the speedy recovery. In case of E. Coli contamination, the victim can die of food poisoning.

The co-author narrates that there has been 121 outbreaks of gastrointestinal sickness. Around 51 percent of these involved bacterial infections and mostly the viruses were being transmitted by the food. Around 12 percent of these were transferred by drinking unsafe water.

Food-borne illnesses are “grossly underreported” to public health authorities, said Lee.

The author says that hand washing before having meal is the best solution to prevent the viruses from the entering the body.

Ist Teddy's Neue Unterwasser boat to join Meer Hirten?

I'm not too sure about the translation.

Update: But what I am sure about, Babylon is malware, download it at your peril.

Header: "Is Teddy's new underwater boat to join Sea Shepherds?"


Testicular cancer survivors who were treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or both have increased long-term risks for cardiovascular disease, a new study found.

Because such cancers are usually diagnosed before age 40, survivors can live several decades after treatment and doctors should watch for complications, the researchers note in their paper published online September 20th in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The lifelong follow-up for these men should focus on their cardiovascular risk profile and lifestyle interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease, lead author Dr. Hege Haugnes, of the University of Tromso, Norway, told Reuters Health in an email.

Dr. Haugnes' team studied 990 men treated for unilateral testicular cancer, following them for a median of 19 years. They stratified the men into four groups according to their treatment: 206 who had surgery only, 386 who had radiotherapy, 364 who had chemotherapy, and 34 who had both radiation and chemotherapy.

Compared to the surgery group, there was a higher risk for diabetes in men treated with radiotherapy alone (odds ratio: 2.3) or the combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy (OR: 3.9).

The authors also found that 74 men (8%) developed atherosclerotic disease during follow up. Cox regression analysis showed increased hazard ratios for atherosclerosis after all cytotoxic treatments compared with surgery only (radiotherapy, HR 2.3; chemotherapy, HR: 2.6; both, HR 4.8).

Most chemotherapy was cisplatin-based, combined with bleomycin and either etoposide or vinblastine. When the researchers analyzed the men according to their treatments, etoposide was linked with a 5.7-fold higher risk for coronary artery disease and a 4.7-fold higher risk for atherosclerotic disease compared to surgery.

Compared to a separate group of matched controls, patients who received etoposide had a significantly higher risk of myocardial infarction (HR, 3.1) as did those in the combination therapy group (HR, 4.8).

Except for the etoposide results, previous studies had shown similar patterns, Dr. Haugnes said. She called the etoposide findings the most surprising in the study.

"A possible bias here is the inclusion of living men only, and thus only cardiovascular disease morbidity and not mortality has been reported," she said.


Patients with either saline- or silicone gel–filled breast implants may have a very small but significant risk for a rare cancer called anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) adjacent to the implant, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today.
While the agency continues to investigate the possible association between ALCL and breast implants, it is advising clinicians to consider the possibility of the cancer in patients with breast implants with late onset of fluid build-up called persistent peri-implant seroma. Clinicians also should report any confirmed cases of ALCL in women with breast implants to the FDA.
The agency is advising women with breast implants not to change their routine medical care and follow-up. Because the risk for ALCL appears to be very small, the agency believes the weight of evidence "supports a reasonable assurance that FDA-approved breast implants are safe and effective when used as labeled."
A rare cancer of the immune system that can occur anywhere in the body, ALCL is diagnosed in 1 of every 500,000 women per year in the United States. ALCL in the breast is rarer still, diagnosed annually in roughly 3 of every 100 million women without implants. In women with breast implants, it is usually inside the fibrous scar tissue — called a capsule — surrounding the implant. It is not a cancer of the breast per se.
Treatment options for ALCL are chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, said William Maisel, MD, MPH, chief scientist and deputy director for science in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, at a press conference today. The evidence suggests that the kind of ALCL found in conjunction with breast implants is less aggressive and is sometimes treatable by simply removing the implant, the capsule, and collected fluid, according to Dr. Maisel.
An FDA review of scientific literature published from January 1997 through May 2010 uncovered 34 unique cases of ALCL in women with breast implants throughout the world. The agency is aware of 60 cases in all, some of them identified through other channels. The FDA does not know how many of the 60 may be duplicates of cases found in the literature. An estimated 5 million to 10 million women worldwide have received breast implants, according to the FDA.
Of the 31 published cases of ALCL, 24 involved silicone implants, and 7 saline implants. The median time from implant to ALCL diagnosis was 8 years. For most of the women, the cancer was diagnosed when they sought treatment for implant-related symptoms, such as pain, lumps, swelling, or asymmetry, after their surgical sites had healed. These symptoms result from persistent peri-implant seroma, hardening of the breast area around the implant, or masses surrounding the implant.
Plastic Surgeons and FDA Will Develop Patient Registry
The vast majority of data suggesting a link between ALCL and breast implants emerged only after the FDA approved silicone gel breast implants made by Allergan and Mentor in 2006, said Dr. Maisel. From 1992 to 2006, such silicone gel implants were available only on an investigational basis.
Dr. Maisel noted that silicone from ruptured and even intact implants has been found in nearby breast tissue. According to one theory about the origins of ALCL, this silicone chronically stimulates immune system T cells and induces lymphoma.
"Please understand that is speculative, and a hypothesis," said Dr. Maisel.
To get to firmer scientific ground, the FDA will collaborate with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and other groups to develop a registry to collect more information that would better characterize ALCL in women with breast implants. The agency also is asking implant manufacturers to report ALCL cases. And for the sake of patient and clinician education, the FDA will work with these manufacturers to update product labeling materials.
More information about today's announcement is available on the FDA Web site. The FDA's preliminary findings and analyses are available here.

Greenpeace: Money Well Spent?

I have "borrowed this post from Cyber Whale Warrior, Holise E Cleveland III.

He says it better than I could hope to, and in posting the full article here it enables me to get the links out as requested, and it enables Teddy to get his message out again regarding Greenpeace.

Teddy has by the way, has just signed up for a Wordpress domain aptly named, Don't Fuck With Teddy ( He has the thing set to private for the moment, but I'm sure he will be up and running shortly.

What Holise E Cleveland III, no less, has to say about Greenpeace was brought home to me recently when watching an episode of Whale wars. The Steve Irwin and the Sea Shepherds were steaming all over the Southern Ocean trying to locate the Japanese whaling fleet, but all to no avail.

The location of that fleet was apparently known to Greenpeace, who were themselves in the South Atlantic, doing what, I don't know, poncing about as usual would be my only guess. A request from the Steve Irwin for Greenpeace to share this information with the Shepherds, was met only by radio silence. No such silence from Himself though, as he called Greenpeace all the cocksucking names under the sun.

As Teddy says: wankers. Pussy cat wankers in fact.

But before you head on down the page, read this, sourced from the first link.

Where is Greenpeace?
Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
Thursday, December 09, 2010

Greenpeace has not sent a ship down to the Southern Ocean to defend the whales since 2007, but I wish they would. The more ships down there opposing the illegal activities of the Japanese whaling fleet - the better. Greenpeace has the ships, and they certainly have the resources, and supposedly they are against whaling, so where are their ships?

And where is Greenpeace when it comes to defending the dolphins at Taiji? Nowhere to be found! They have an office and staff in Japan but not a single Greenpeacer has gone to the Cove.

And where is Greenpeace when it comes to defending the pilot whales in the Faeroe Islands? Nowhere to be found!

Iceland? Not there. Not to be found in Norway either!

They gave up defending seals in Canada decades ago.

So why does much of the public think that Greenpeace is leading the fight to save the whales, dolphins and seals? It might have something to do with where Greenpeace is spending its money:

Promotional mailings and Internet appeals! They need your money in order to ask more people for more money.

Now I don’t begrudge Greenpeace and their right to do things their way but when I am stopped on the streets in Melbourne last March and asked to donate money to send a Greenpeace ship down to Antarctica to defend the whales, I was course very inquisitive. The couple with the clipboards in hand did not recognize me, so I asked when was the last time Greenpeace had a ship in the Southern Ocean?

They told me that two Greenpeace ships had just returned from saving whales.

“You mean the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker?” I asked.

“Yes,” they answered.

“Really,” I replied, “I believe those are Sea Shepherd ships.”

“Yes,” the woman said, “but Sea Shepherd is part of Greenpeace.”

I looked at her and calmly said, “No, it is not.”

Defensively she said, “Yes it is!”

It was then I introduced myself as the Captain of the Steve Irwin and the founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. She suddenly looked a little frightened and said, “I just work for Greenpeace and they told me to say what I said.”

If this was a something that happened this once, it could be seen as a mistake but other members of my crew have had similar conversations with Greenpeace canvassers on the streets of Paris, Washington D.C., and Perth, Western Australia.

And today I received the following internet message from Greenpeace:

I have taken the liberty of adding my editorial comments (in italics). more, lots more.

Gambling With Greenpeace

In the SSCS December 9th issue of 2010, Where Is Greenpeace?, Captain Paul Watson states how many Greenpeace volunteers are claiming that Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is their organization. Greenpeace isn’t doing squat in the Southern Ocean, yet they are soliciting funds for it! I have even seen where the media supports this farce. This video here is one example.

In January 3, 2011 we read how Wikileaks Reveals Sea Shepherd Is A Serious Concern to Japanese Illegal Whaling Operations. Greenpeace and the Japanese whalers are basically on the same side. No wonder there’s no Greenpeace in the Southern Ocean! As of January 11, Sea Shepherd has openly requested the support of just one Greenpeace ship. Frankly, I just don’t see it happening. Greenpeace will not risk upsetting the whalers, which is the same reason Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard will not deploy a single vessel.

People need to know what’s happening with their money, or what’s not happening with their money. Many like to “give at the office” because it makes them feel good that they are doing something for this world. Well, how would it make them feel if they knew the truth? Wouldn’t you like to know if it was your money? A serious injustice to people’s good intentions is being perpetrated here. So, please, get these links out. Email them to everyone you can. Post them on every facebook wall and forum. Send them to every media source and tweet them like there’s no tomorrow. Because that is what we are really fighting for: tomorrow! Saving the world costs money. I don’t know about you, but I want my money to actually make a difference!

Where Is Greenpeace?

Wikileaks Reveals Sea Shepherd Is A Serious Concern to Japanese Illegal Whaling Operations

Sea Shepherd Requests the Support of a Greenpeace Ship

Gambling With Greenpeace

Sea Shepherd News: Hunting the Hunters

Sea Shepherd News

Hunting the Hunters Through Ice and Storms
Report from Captain Paul Watson
Friday, January 28, 2011

It is difficult to describe the sea, weather conditions, and the obstacles we face each day while in our pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet. The vastness of this Southern Ocean is awesome. The unpredictability of the weather is a constant surprise, and the ice, well, the ice is even more unpredictable than the weather.

This morning we found ourselves surrounded by large floes where the ice charts say there are no floes to be found. Miles away, the Bob Barker was also encumbered by the barrier of ice. And once again, the Nisshin Maru is on the loose. Not whaling, but out of our sight, and once again we renew our efforts to hunt it down. Fortunately the Gojira will be back in place within a few days, and it will be free to search for the whalers as a scout ship without a tail.

The Steve Irwin must return to land for fuel. We have delayed longer than we should have, and being jammed into ice is no comfort with fuel reserves running low. We still have the Yushin Maru No. 2 on our stern.

The Bob Barker also has a tail, which keeps us from approaching the Nisshin Maru because these tails simply relay our coordinates ahead allowing the factory ship to stay out of our way.

The Nancy Burnet helicopter gives us an advantage, but only when it can fly. Weather conditions prevent us from flying for over 50 percent of the time. All and all, it is a formidable challenge, but so far this season has been an incredible success. more SSCS

~ ~ ~

There are some heartless bastards on this planet.

€1,000 (Euros)
For the first successful conviction of a fisherman using a dog or cat as shark bait and €200 for each conviction thereafter

Dogs and cats are also involved in an assault on nature, this time as victims and as bait. On the French island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean, fishermen have been using live dogs and cats as bait for sharks. more SSCS

My new kitchen design

Whale Blog or Not, Somethings Just Need To Be Posted

h/t D

What people with disabilities should know about the flu

The flu is never fun for anyone. Most people who get sick will have only a mild illness. Some people, however, are at greater risk and are more likely to experience complications.

Flu can be especially serious if you have disabilities or certain health issues, as you may require special treatment and care when you get sick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you’re at greater risk if you:

• have health problems that make it hard for your body to fight off infections;
• have lung problems, like asthma or bronchitis;
• have difficulty walking and moving around; or
• aren’t able to stay away from people who may be sick with the flu.

If you rely on a caregiver, you should take extra precautions. If you or your caregiver gets the flu, have a list ready of local friends, family and agencies that can help. Make sure you know at least two ways of staying in contact with others, such as phone, text messaging and e-mail. Also, ask your health care provider whether flu medicine is safe to take with regular medicine.

CDC also recommends that you:

• make sure you prevent the spread of germs by using a tissue when you cough or sneeze;
• stay away from sick people; and
wash your hands often.
If you do get sick, call your doctor. And, of course, be sure that you, your family members and caregivers get vaccinated against the flu every year. (It’s not too late to get your vaccination for this flu season!)

Preventing flu is important for everyone. But for some of us, taking extra care to stay well is especially important.

Your Hair: These Coifs are Setting the Fashion

(Click on the images to see more details.)
Source: 1000 Hints Beauty #7, 1956

Steve Irwin Needs a Sup Sea Shepherds Head For Wellington

The Steve Irwin Disengages for Refuelling
Sea Shepherd News
Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin has no alternative but to disengage from further pursuit of the Nisshin Maru. The Steve Irwin will now head for Wellington, New Zealand to refuel and then will return to the Southern Ocean.

“We have run our fuel levels down to the point that we have no choice but to disengage,” said Captain Paul Watson.

The Bob Barker will continue to pursue the whaling fleet. The Gojira is en route back to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary from Hobart, Australia.

“Our continuous disruption, the constant fleeing of the factory ship, and the fact that two of three harpoon vessels have been taken off from whaling duties to tail Sea Shepherd for a month have significantly damaged the ability of the Japanese whaling fleet to conduct their operations down here in the sanctuary,” said captain of the Bob Barker Alex Cornelissen. “We will hound them until the end of the season. This whale sanctuary must be defended from these greedy poachers.”

“I am confident that the crews of the Bob Barker and the Gojira can keep the pressure on the whalers while we refuel and resupply,” said Captain Watson. “I’ve got two excellent captains and two incredibly passionate crews on those two vessels. The whales will remain in good hands while we are gone.”

It is a seven-day voyage to New Zealand, and seven days back, plus approximately two days in port. The Steve Irwin should be back in the Southern Ocean by mid February. The whaling season will last through mid to late March.

The whalers have become increasingly desperate in recent days, and have entered large heavy fields of ice to lose the Sea Shepherd ships.

“No matter where they go, we will follow them, and we will be relentless in our pursuit. It is a vast ocean down here fraught with dangers from weather and ice and with no recourse for assistance, if needed. We recognize these dangers and we recognize that this is a difficult campaign against a ruthless opposition. We have no alternative but to do all that we can to save as many whales as we can and to defend what is designated by law as a sanctuary for whales,” said Captain Watson. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Only in America Blogging For Whales

In order that I may give the plight that faces our big fat friends in the sea
the attention it deserves, I have decided to make Only in America, for the main part, a single issue blog, a blog for whales and other threatened creatures of the sea. And for the other stuff, perhaps just a daily round-up of links that may be of interest.

I shall still keep the other blog current, no doubt continuing to make posts about the asinine and absurd demented rantings of that lunatic fringe of losers, disgrace to the species, the contemptible cultists of Young Earth Creationism.

And if you should struggle to understand the degree of contempt that I hold for the whaling Nation of Japan, then you could never possibly comprehend the contempt I reserve these idiots.

Besides, I have unfinished business there.

Two short videos that I first posted in February 2007, only brought to my attention due to a little re-tagging of various posts. The first entitled, Amazingly Friendly Whale, and the second, Antarctic Whale Defence Campaign, includes words of wisdom from Captain Paul Watson, some wonderful footage of these magnificent creatures, and, sad to say, the horrors of a whale kill by the Japanese.

But let me make one thing quite clear, xenophobia is not in my DNA, not in the slightest; but I'm afraid it's the big brush application when it comes down to this lot. These pricks sail under the Japanese flag, tar one, tar all.

Bugger and damnation! I've used the wrong Teddy. Teddy two swords, that's what you get for buggering about in the small hours. Later. Mutter chunner grumble bollocks.

And let me say how delightful it is to have put that other stuff behind me, it's like a heavy dark cloud has lifted.

The Diabetes Epidemic

The CDC just released its latest estimate of diabetes prevalence in the US (1):
Diabetes affects 8.3 percent of Americans of all ages, and 11.3 percent of adults aged 20 and older, according to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet for 2011. About 27 percent of those with diabetes—7 million Americans—do not know they have the disease. Prediabetes affects 35 percent of adults aged 20 and older.
Wow-- this is a massive problem. The prevalence of diabetes has been increasing over time, due to more people developing the disorder, improvements in diabetes care leading to longer survival time, and changes in the way diabetes is diagnosed. Here's a graph I put together based on CDC data, showing the trend of diabetes prevalence (percent) from 1980 to 2008 in different age categories (2):

These data are self-reported, and do not correct for differences in diagnosis methods, so they should be viewed with caution-- but they still serve to illustrate the trend. There was an increase in diabetes incidence that began in the early 1990s. More than 90 percent of cases are type 2 diabetics. Disturbingly, the trend does not show any signs of slowing.

The diabetes epidemic has followed on the heels of the obesity epidemic with 10-20 years of lag time. Excess body fat is the number one risk factor for diabetes*. As far as I can tell, type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, which is probably due to energy intake exceeding energy needs (overnutrition), causing a state of cellular insulin resistance as a defense mechanism to protect against the damaging effects of too much glucose and fatty acids (3). In addition, type 2 diabetes requires a predisposition that prevents the pancreatic beta cells from keeping up with the greatly increased insulin needs of an insulin resistant person**. Both factors are required, and not all insulin resistant people will develop diabetes as some people's beta cells are able to compensate by hypersecreting insulin.

Why does energy intake exceed energy needs in modern America and in most affluent countries? Why has the typical person's calorie intake increased by 250 calories per day since 1970 (4)? I believe it's because the fat mass "setpoint" has been increased, typically but not always by industrial food. I've been developing some new thoughts on this lately, and potentially new solutions, which I'll reveal when they're ready.

* In other words, it's the best predictor of future diabetes risk.

** Most of the common gene variants (of known function) linked with type 2 diabetes are thought to impact beta cell function (5).

The Planet Is Fucked: Australian Edition

Australia's Katrina Moment
By John Pilger
Thursday 27 January 2011

When you fly over the earth's oldest land mass, Australia, the view can be shocking. Scars as long as European countries are the result of erosion. Salt pans shimmer where native vegetation once grew. This change is almost impossible to reverse. The first species to die are those that are most vulnerable.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Australia's devastation of its natural environment has caused more mammal extinction than in any other country. The iconic koala is used to attract tourists; the queen and Oprah Winfrey are photographed cuddling one, unaware that this unique creature has enriched the state of Queensland for decades with its industrial slaughter and the sale of its skin to Britain and America. Today, the belatedly "protected" koala is not threatened by flood or drought, but by rapacious land clearing, of which Queensland is the national champion. Each year, according to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, the state effectively destroys 100 million birds, mammals and reptiles.

The land is "cleared" by fire or machinery, often with a heavy chain tied between two bulldozers. The technique was developed by Queensland's most notorious land-clearer, the late Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen, the conservative state premier for 19 years, whose self-awarded knighthood was given for "services to parliamentary democracy" such as winning gerrymandered elections with 20 percent of the votes. In 1992, a defamation jury found that Bjelke-Petersen had been bribed "on a large scale and on many occasions." Two of his ministers and his police commissioner were jailed for corruption. Lucrative land became a prize for cronies known as the "white shoe brigade." Brown envelopes of cash were handed over at a five-star hotel recently lapped by floodwaters in the centre of Brisbane.

Last July, the Queensland Labor government sold swathes of the state's forests and plantations to Hancock Queensland Plantations, a subsidiary of a US-based timber multinational. Queensland has many low-lying flood plains on which developers have been allowed to make fortunes selling plots. The victims of the great flood have been mostly poor people, including timber workers and their families. Most could not afford insurance or discovered their policies did not include "types of flood." more

Brit Cops Arrest Five DDoS Hackers, The Children Aging From...

Police arrest five over Anonymous WikiLeaks attacks

Five people in custody on suspicion of crippling the websites of MasterCard, Visa and PayPal
Thursday 27 January 2011

Five people from across the UK were arrested early today in connection with a spate of online attacks last month in support of the whistleblowers' site WikiLeaks.

Police said the five males, aged between 15 and 26, are being held after a series of arrests in the West Midlands, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey and London.

Three teenagers, aged 15, 16 and 19, were arrested in a series of coordinated raids at 7am along with two men aged 20 and 26. All five are being held in custody at local police stations.

The five were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the loose-knit group of "hacktivists" known as Anonymous, who temporarily crippled the websites of MasterCard, Visa and PayPal after those companies cut off financial services to WikiLeaks. The attacks followed WikiLeaks' release of US diplomatic cables from late November.

Today's arrests were coordinated by the Metropolitan police working in conjunction with other UK forces and international agencies.

"They are part of an ongoing [Metropolitan police] investigation into Anonymous which began last year following criminal allegations of DDoS [distributed denial of service] attacks by the group against several companies," Scotland Yard said.

"This investigation is being carried out in conjunction with international law enforcement agencies in Europe and the US."

The so-called DDoS attacks, which bring down sites by bombarding them with repeated requests to load web pages, are illegal in the UK under the Computer Misuse Act and carry a maximum fine of £5,000.

Anonymous leapt to the support of WikiLeaks after Amazon and other companies terminated business links with the site. The 1,000-strong group of activists launched what they called Operation Payback, vowing to give perceived anti-WikiLeaks firms a "black eye".

More recently, the group has turned its attention to supporting the political uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, temporarily disabling access to 10 Tunisian government websites and four Egyptian government sites.

Anonymous says the cyber attacks are in retaliation for government censorship in both countries. Facebook, Twitter and other information-sharing sites have been routinely blocked by the authorities in Tunisia and Egypt.

Ireland's main opposition party's website was also hacked into earlier this month, with Anonymous claiming responsibility for the attack which compromised up to 2,000 people's personal details.

Authorities across Europe signalled an intention to identify those behind the attacks, the majority of which are traceable by their internet protocol (IP) addresses that connect each device to the internet.

The more sophisticated "hacktivists" use technology that makes their connection anonymous on the internet, so authorities and other internet users cannot see who is behind the computer. But most of those involved in the Anonymous attacks are understood to be "average internet citizens", whose location can be discovered through the IP address.

Dutch police last month arrested two teenagers suspected of involvement in the online campaign. They face trial later this year. Gruniad

h/t Truthout

Two Wheat Challenge Ideas from Commenters

Some people have remarked that the blinded challenge method I posted is cumbersome.

Reader "Me" suggested:
You can buy wheat gluten in a grocery store. Why not simply have your friend add some wheat gluten to your normal protein shake.
Reader David suggested:
They sell empty gelatin capsules with carob content to opacify them. Why not fill a few capsules with whole wheat flour, and then a whole bunch with rice starch or other placebo. For two weeks take a set of, say, three capsules every day, with the set of wheat capsules in line to be taken on a random day selected by your friend. This would further reduce the chances that you would see through the blind, and it prevent the risk of not being able to choke the "smoothie" down. It would also keep it to wheat and nothing but wheat (except for the placebo starch).
The reason I chose the method in the last post is that it directly tests wheat in a form that a person would be likely to eat: bread. The limitation of the gluten shake method is that it would miss a sensitivity to components in wheat other than gluten. The limitation of the pill method is that raw flour is difficult to digest, so it would be difficult to extrapolate a sensitivity to cooked flour foods. You might be able to get around that by filling the pills with powdered bread crumbs. Those are two alternative ideas to consider if the one I posted seems too involved.

6 Tips for Finding a Weight-Loss Program

If your health care provider has advised you to lose weight, research your options before settling on a weight-loss program. Good ones should encourage healthy behaviors and should include:
  • Healthy eating plans that reduce calories but do not forbid specific foods or food groups.
  • Tips to increase moderate-intensity physical activity.
  • Tips on healthy behavior changes that keep your cultural needs in mind.
  • Slow and steady weight loss. Depending on your starting weight, experts recommend losing weight at a rate of half a pound to two pounds per week. (Weight loss may be faster at the start of a program.)
  • Medical care, if you are planning to lose weight by following a special diet, such as a very-low-calorie diet.
  • A plan to keep the weight off after you have lost it.

My new red kitchen designed by Kabnoury

Further Tales From a Police State and The Big Fascist Picture Show

No U-Turns on the Road to Serfdom?
The “anti-terrorist” witch-hunt and the future of America
by Justin Raimondo, January 24, 2011

In a series of raids last year, the FBI raided the homes and offices of antiwar activists in Minneapolis, North Carolina, Chicago, and California. They seized boxes of materials, cell phones, documents, and other private property, and issued subpoenas to a number of individuals, 24 at last count, demanding their appearance before a federal grand jury. The focus of this fishing expedition is ostensibly the “solidarity work” engaged in by the Antiwar Committee of Minneapolis, and sympathizing organizations, in Palestine and Columbia, but the history of police repression against these groups and individuals goes back years, specifically involving their work in organizing a march on the Republican and Democratic national conventions: in the Twin Cities, the “RNC Welcoming Committee,” which planned the protest, was of particular interest to the authorities. The local cops, working with the FBI, actively worked to recruit informants, and – using information gleaned from these infiltrators – conducted a weekend-long reign of terror in early September 2008, breaking down doors, manhandling protesters – including journalists – and rounding up dissidents in anticipation of violence they claim “might” have occurred had the authorities not acted.

In reality, of course, the RNC Welcoming Committee was engaged in perfectly legal activities protected by the First Amendment, and there was no evidence presented that violence was forthcoming – but, under the terms of the post-9/11 legislative assault on the Constitution that culminated in the “Patriot” Act and subsequent acts of Congress, the First Amendment is no longer operative in this country.

If you’re an Influential Person, however,....more

Previous: Further Fascist Fun In Florida - The road to Damascus. (funny)

Not so funny Portland Oregon 2002

I have stopped watching videos of America's finest in action, A, because they make me extremely angry, and B, because of some of the cuntish comments made by the cunts of the law and order brigade. See, Further Fascist Fun in Florida, above.
This has been sat in the archives for three years. The girl's crime, if I remember correctly, was to be walking home, or was that, walking home whilst being black?

Bill Hicks - "Officer nigger hater."

Update: This clip below is the one I was searching for originally.