More Things To Worry About
Maybe we're already in the Matrix. How would we know? While you ponder that, scientists at the University of Florida are developing a neural implant that can think independently. This is not just an implant that deciphers brain signals, but one that can learn, adapt to various scenarios and help the host achieve certain goals. The initial technology is being developed for therapeutic applications, such as allowing paraplegics the ability to control their own limbs again. You can read more about the Neural Implants here.
Of course, giving such a "machine" partial control of your brain could lead to any number of problems; questions about who is really in charge. Which version of the future would you prefer to live in: I, Robot, 2001: A Space Odyssey or The Matrix?
Proponents of evolution have long stated that humans are descendants of apes but there has been no evidence of a link between the higher primates and their more distant relatives. Until now. A recent article in National Geographic claims that a fossil, found in Germany, links humans to... lemurs. Paleontologist Jorn Hurum lead the team of researchers who studied the 47-million-year-old fossil and claims, "This is the first link to all humans, the closest thing we can get to a direct ancestor." Read the article here (there's video too).
Now I don't generally have a problem with thinking that my great, great, great (many greats) ancestors were apes. Especially judging by some of the men I've dated. But lemurs? Did any of you see the movie, Madagascar?
Have you commited a crime lately? Are you on the run from the law? Be glad you don't have this micro-chip implanted. A Saudi Arabian scientist has filed for a patent for a "killer" tracking device, which would be used to trace fugitives from justice, terrorists, illegal immigrants, criminals, political opponents and more. The chip acts like a DPS tracker, but with the added bonus of being able to inject a deadly poison into anyone that becomes a security risk. The Story.
More Things to Worry About on Wednesday
Britain's SilentNight mattress company says it has insured (via the carrier Zurich, for £1M) tester Graham Butterfield's butt
(because it "isn't like any other" in that he can detect tiny differences in a bed's materials just by sitting on it . . . . . The traditional celebration at this Turkish wedding included slaughtering 70 animals and firing 60,000 bullets
. . . . . A Bethlehem, Pa., cop and his wife both got stayaway orders against each other
(she allegedly had sprayed bleach in his face; he had loaded his gun and promised a "blood bath") . . . . . One London health care unit is proposing merit-pay bonuses for surgeons if their patients survive. Today's Newsrangers: Jenny Beatty, Scott Langill, Vic McDonald, Paul Music, Bruce Strickland, Jessica McRorie
More Things to Worry About on Tuesday
California headline, "Men Sentenced for Setting Friend's Crotch Ablaze"
("Friend's"?) . . . . . At a Wiccan ceremony in Lebanon, Ind., a woman who was to plunge a sword into the ground as a symbol of thanks, missed the ground and got her foot
(How does one miss "the ground"? "The ground" is a big place.) . . . . . In Kokomo, Ind., a Crossroads Community Church pastor, intending to make a point on "unity" by riding his motorcycle across the stage, accidentally plunged into the pews
and broke his wrist . . . . . Among the findings of a Gov't Accountability Office report on the Indian Health Service: About $700K worth of computer equipment had been ruined by "bat dung" in a storage room
. . . . . The scrap-metal market for brass has now dangerously provoked thieves to cannibalize fire hydrants for their (and I quote) "brass nuts"
. . . . . Part of Beijing's all-court spruce-up for the Olympics (says the L.A. Times
) is an online course in how Chinese should greet visitors from different cultures, e.g., "A]n American male [would be] received with a hearty clasping of the hands and a 'Hey, man, what's up?'" Today's Newsrangers: Tony Jeswald, Jessica McRorie
More Things to Worry About on Monday
Police in Bedford, Pa., intercepted a murder-for-hire plan that was using as a payoff, er, NASCAR collectibles
("[a]fter providing a large trash bag of NASCAR memorabilia" to the undercover cop) . . . . . The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
uncovers what looks like a sweetheart deal for the police chief—with the tip-off being that the chief's adult daughter keeps banging up the gift cars
. . . . . A Tennessee city's commissioners grapple with the dilemma of who has priority in the water at the city boat launch: boaters or churches doing baptisms
(Bonus: The city's name is Soddy-Daisy) . . . . . Lawyers in Iran believe 8 women and 1 man currently face stoning-to-death sentences
(despite a 2002 edict against it), all in sex-related cases . . . . . A London physician tells how the 7-7 (2005) subway bombings gave Dr. Stewart Drage the courage to finally become Dr. Michelle Drage
. Today's Newsranger: Scott Langill
More Things to Worry About on Saturday
A police lieutenant with 15 yrs on the job was fired for repeatedly harassing a Starbucks for free coffee
. . . . . An SUV sailed airborne
in a San Diego-area neighborhood and went either through or into three homes and some cars (possibly, alcohol was involved) . . . . . God came through for Mr. Absolom Morifi in Johannesburg, who survived a serious auto collision, and it might have been because just hours earlier he had canceled his life insurance policy precisely so he could free up money to continue his church-tithing
. . . . . And here is the Eleva, Wis., cornfield-trimmed tribute to, er, Brett Favre
. Today's Newsrangers: Karl Olson, John Holsinger, Kathryn Wood, Scott Langill, Tony Jeswald, Matt Mirapaul
More Things to Worry About on Friday
The latest surprise python visit:
nesting with the clothes in a woman's washing machine in Gorham, Maine [Ed.: which is convenient, because she can wash her spontaneously-soiled underwear right there!] . . . . . At a military formation review at Kansas's Fort Riley, a parachutist's landing went off-course and took out two tuba players and a trumpeter
. . . . . Once more, a Bible stops a stray bullet
and saves a life (well, a Bible and a watermelon) . . . . . Headline from an Australian murder trial: "Man used teen's head as bowling ball, court told"
. . . . . At a press conference on gun control in Nanchong, China, a cop dropped a gun, which fired and hit three reporters (only three). Today's Newsranger: Philip Urban
More Things to Worry About on Thursday
A Dutch company is selling machines, for taverns, that release the scent of cigarette and cigar smoke
(for atmosphere, now that smoking is banned) . . . . . A San Jose, Calif., marijuana grower made the bad decision to discard his sick plants by burning them in his fireplace,
to the joy of the whole neighborhood (but not the police). Today's Newsrangers: Emmitt Dove and Jeff Spirko, plus a slew of people making sure I didn't miss the the Jury Duty stories!
More Things to Worry About on Monday
Police in Pontiac, Mich., believe that the reason a man shot in the mouth is still alive is because his braces deflected the bullet
. . . . . A woman parking her car in Athens, Ga., opened the door to lean out and talk to another driver, but fell out and ran over herself
(she survived) . . . . . Windsor Hills Baptist Church (Oklahoma City) canceled the annual semiautomatic assault rifle giveaway it holds for teenagers
(to bring more kids into the pews) . . . . . The local school board in La Mesa, Calif., is sensing a problem with Helix High, in that four (4) teachers now have had student-sex issues
in less than two yrs. Today's Newsrangers: Bob Pert, Josh Levin, Joel Walz, Ginger Katz, Roger Gulbransen
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.