Thursday, 18 January 2018

Austrian Man Allowed To Wear Pastafarian Headgear For License

Remember when I posted about the sighting of the Flying Spaghetti Monster not too long ago?  I didn't think so.  It was an article that explained how Pastafarianism was the atheist's answer to creationism.  A man in Austria recently won the right to exercise his faith by wearing a  colander on his head during his license photo.

Niko Alm seeks global recognition of Pastafarianism

The BBC likes it al dente :

An Austrian atheist has won the right to be shown on his driving-licence photo wearing a pasta strainer as "religious headgear".

Niko Alm first applied for the licence three years ago after reading that headgear was allowed in official pictures only for confessional reasons.  Mr Alm said the sieve was a requirement of his religion, pastafarianism.  Later a police spokesman explained that the licence was issued because Mr Alm's face was fully visible in the photo.  "The photo was not approved on religious grounds. The only criterion for photos in driving licence applications is that the whole face must be visible," said Manfred Reinthaler, a police spokesman in Vienna.  He was speaking on Wednesday, after Austrian media had first reported Mr Alm's reason for wearing the pasta strainer.  After receiving his application the Austrian authorities had required him to obtain a doctor's certificate that he was "psychologically fit" to drive.  According to Mr Reinthaler, "the licence has been ready since October 2009 - it was not collected, that's all there is to it".

The idea came into Mr Alm's noodle three years ago as a way of making a serious, if ironic, point.

A self-confessed atheist, Mr Alm says he belongs to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a light-hearted, US-based faith whose members call themselves pastafarians.

A medical interview established the self-styled "pastafarian" was mentally fit to drive

NPR adds the meat sauce :

The AFP reports that Alm now wants to apply for "Pastafarianism to become an officially recognised faith in Austria."

If you want more, Alm detailed his fight on his blog. (We've linked to Google's English)

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Reefer Madness Part Deux

Didn't I just recently post that many leaders of the world wrote a report that the drug war is failing?  Yes.  Yes, I did.  Although I don't necessarily advocate the decriminalization of all drugs, I do advocate some reefer.  I mean really.  It gives people the munchies.  Americans are worried about our economy and the national debt.  Quit prosecuting potheads.  That should save at least a billion dollars or so... and think about the stimulus to the economy when Twinkie sales increase.

Anyways, Washington's back to it's weed hating ways.

You're doing it wrong. passes the fatty :

by Brian_Anderson on Thursday, Jul 14, 2011

Well, tough break for the green team, and for countless Americans who may stand to benefit from the potential therapeutic properties of medicinal herb. From the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s 2011 National Drug Control Strategy, released Monday:

The science, though still evolving in terms of long-term consequences, is clear: marijuana use is harmful. Independent from the so called “gateway effect” — marijuana on its own is associated with addiction, respiratory and mental illness, poor motor performance, and cognitive impairment, among other negative effects. . .

That is why no major medical association has come out in favor of smoked marijuana for widespread medical use. For example, the American Cancer Society, American Glaucoma Foundation, National Pain Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and other medical societies are not in favor of smoked “medical” marijuana. The American Medical Association has called for more research on the subject, with the caveat that this "should not be viewed as an endorsement of state-based medical cannabis programs, the legalization of marijuana, or that scientific evidence on the therapeutic use of cannabis meets the current standards for a prescription drug product.” 

The sky is falling, according to the 108-page White House report, which maintains marijuana’s long-standing Schedule I classification alongside heroin, MDMA, DMT, LSD, peyote, psilocybin, and others. Cocaine, PCP and oxycodone, for comparison’s sake, are all less menacing, Schedule II substances.

Recreational marijuana use is at an eight-year high. Among high school students surveyed last year in Monitoring the Future, a rolling University of Michigan study of the “behaviors, attitudes, and values” of American adolescents and young adults, daily use increased “significantly.” One in 11 users will become addicted – one in six, should dabbling begin during adolescence. Marijuana was behind 376,000 “emergency department” responses throughout the country in 2009. And “confusing messages” advanced by entertainers, the media and medicinal advocates only compound the scourge, the “false notion” that weed is harmless, the push for the drug’s wholesale commercialization.

God save us.

In his inauguration address, President Obama spoke of restoring science “to its rightful place.” That was great and, however vague, had a nice ring to it that cold morning. (He’s actually making good on the promise, too. The U.S. Department of Energy’s yearly budget has risen from $4.4 billion to $26.3 billion between 2008 and 2010.) A year later, on the control/enforcement end of the spectrum, Attorney General Eric Holder signaled a sea change from the big-screen, bust-‘em-up dispensary raids of the Bush era. The administration would now dissuade federal prosecutors from hunting down those growers, suppliers, and users in compliance with their state’s respective medical pot laws. “Our focus will be on people,” Holder said, “organizations that are growing, cultivating, you know, substantial amounts of marijuana and doing so in a way that’s inconsistent with federal and state law.” Maybe the ship of state was beginning its slow turn.

Yet raids still occur, albeit on scales far more reserved. In 2011, NPR, the DEA has raided medical pot shops “in Seattle, West Hollywood and Helena, Montana, all places where the drug is now legal for patients.” Additionally, DEA administrator Michele M. Leonhart filed a letter to quash requests from various groups calling for cannabis Schedule reclassification. Weed “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” she said, and it “lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision.” The letter was published last Friday in the Federal Register.

So any number of boilerplate beefs could be bandied about here — another year, another “strategy.” More of the same, business as usual at the White House pillory – even though using, or past use, is essentially now a prerequisite for leading a global superpower. Obama and his two immediate predecessors all (sorta) admit to their youthful indiscretions. Fun, honest fact: Abe Lincoln was known for the occasional front-porch burn, his beloved Hohner harmonica singing the high praises of “sweet hemp.”

That Honest Abe was a true patriot.

Read the rest of the article here.

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Space-Time Cloak Possible To Hide Events

Thank god for science.  Physicists are there to help prevent your friends from finding out about that wildebeest you are about to bed in your drunken stupor.

Photograph by Joe McNally, National Geographic

That's what happened to my fiber optic decorative lamp.


National Geographic knows about large animal mating habits :

Richard A. Lovett

for National Geographic News

Published July 11, 2011

It's no illusion: Science has found a way to make not just objects but entire events disappear, experts say.

According to new research by British physicists, it's theoretically possible to create a material that can hide an entire bank heist from human eyes and surveillance cameras.

"The concepts are basically quite simple," said Paul Kinsler, a physicist at Imperial College London, who created the idea with colleagues Martin McCall and Alberto Favaro.

Unlike invisibility cloaks—some of which have been made to work at very small scales—the event cloak would do more than bend light around an object.

(Also see "Acoustic 'Invisibility' Cloaks Possible, Study Says.")

Instead this cloak would use special materials filled with metallic arrays designed to adjust the speed of light passing through.

In theory, the cloak would slow down light coming into the robbery scene while the safecracker is at work. When the robbery is complete, the process would be reversed, with the slowed light now racing to catch back up.

If the "before" and "after" visions are seamlessly stitched together, there should be no visible trace that anything untoward has happened. One second there's a closed safe, and the next second the safe has been emptied.

Event Cloak "Fun" but Challenging

The concept of an event cloak "is definitely an interesting idea and great fun," said invisibility researcher Ulf Leonhardt, a physicist at the University of St. Andrews in the U.K. who wasn't part of the study team.

Steve Cummer, a cloaking specialist at Duke University, calls the concept "interesting and exciting," but he thinks that actually making such a cloak would be "really, really challenging."

"All of the material parameters need to be time-varying in a very specific way," Cummer said by email.

Currently, nobody knows how to do that except in fiber optics, in which the speed of a signal can be varied by a few percent by changing the intensity of the light. (Related: "Nobel Prize in Physics Goes to 'Masters of Light.'")

"You can use an intense control beam to slow a signal down," Kinsler said. In that way, an event occurring inside a fiber optic cable—such as an electrical signal moving from "on" to "off"—could be hidden from view.

"You would see the fiber, but some event occurring in the fiber could be cloaked," he said. Such a proof of concept, he added, could be possible within a few years.

(Related: "Long-Distance Quantum Message May Advance Code Making, Code Breaking.")

So, that's how David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear!

Read the whole article here.


Woman Dies From Dog Sex

It's another case of : too bizarre to be fiction.  A woman in Ireland dies from fucking a dog.  Beastiality is illegal in Ireland by the way.

I doubt that woman looked like this.

Newsflavor throws us a bone:

Having met on a fetish website, a 43 year old woman was persuaded to have sex with a 57 year old man's dog.  A few hours later she died.


In what has to be one of the most bizarre stories of late, a 43-year-old Irish Woman has died after having sex with a German Shepard.


The unnamed woman met with 57-year-old Sean McDonnell on a fetish based website, the pair organised a meet and during the meeting he persuaded the woman to have sex with his dog.


A few hours after the incident, the woman fell sick and was rushed to mid-western regional hospital in Limerick but died later. The cause of her death was allergy based, not dissimilar to the reaction someone may suffer when they have a peanut allergy.


The dog has been detained and placed in quarantine, while McDonnell has been arrested, and could face life in prison, for committing bestiality offenses, and for committing sexual offences to a person under an act formed in 1961.


Amazingly the incident occurred back in 2008, however McDonnell has only just been charged for the offence, as prosecutors have been apparently working ways through legal loopholes.


This is what happens after way too many car bombs at the pub.


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