BP Launches Effort To Restrict Publication Of Scientific Research On Disaster

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BP’s actions make a wonderful argument for revisiting corporate rights in this country.

Climate Progress reports that scientists from Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University and Texas A&M “have ‘signed contracts with BP to work on their behalf in the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) process’ that determines how much ecological damage the Gulf of Mexico region is suffering from BP’s toxic black tide…

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Study Shows Genetically Modified Crops ‘Can Cause Liver and Kidney Damage’

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An environmental campaigner protesting against the grim outcome of GM crops.

Fresh fears were raised over GM crops yesterday after a study showed they can cause liver and kidney damage.

According to the research, animals fed on three strains of genetically modified maize created by the U.S. biotech firm Monsanto suffered signs of organ damage after just three months.

The findings only came to light after Monsanto was forced to publish its raw data on safety tests by anti-GM campaigners.

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The Great Climate Scandal Takes Center Stage

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The secret underground “climate mafia” exposed

Electronic files that were stolen from a prominent climate research center and made public last week provide a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes battle to shape the public perception of global warming.
While few U.S. politicians bother to question whether humans are changing the world’s climate — nearly three years ago the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded the evidence was unequivocal — public debate persists. And the newly disclosed private exchanges among climate scientists at Britain’s Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia reveal an intellectual circle that appears to feel very much under attack, and eager to punish its enemies.

Electronic files that were stolen from a prominent climate research center and made public last week provide a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes battle to shape the public perception of global warming. The London Telegraph is referring to it as “Climategate” involving conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organized resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.

Already India has begun challenging Western data linking climate change to melting glaciers in the Himalayas

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Voting Opens For Angry Mermaid Award For Most Detrimental Climate Lobbying

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That’s one pissed fish!

The damaging impacts of corporate lobbying on international efforts to fight climate change are exposed today with the announcement of the eight candidates for the Angry Mermaid Award 2009.

The Angry Mermaid Award is named after the iconic Copenhagen mermaid who is angry about the destruction being caused by climate change

Thousands of members of the public are expected to vote at www.angrymermaid.org between today and Sunday 13 December for the candidate which they believe has done the most to sabotage effective action to tackle climate change.

Lobby groups representing oil, coal, aviation, the chemicals industry and emissions trading are all on the shortlist for the Angry Mermaid Award 2009, alongside biotech company Monsanto, oil giant Shell and energy company Sasol. The winner of the angry mermaid award will be announced at the Copenhagen climate talks on Tuesday 15 December 2009.

The eight nominees for the Angry Mermaid Award are:

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Interview with Photoshop Genius – Erik Johansson

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Photo Manipulations are always very interesting to watch because – and that’s what is important – they give a realistic view of an unreal picture. Erik Johansson, a 23-year-old computer engineering student, from sweden has a sense for good ideas for manipulations.
1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer?
I am studying computer engineering and right now I am studying my masters program in Interaction Design. It is about how to interact with the user and make computers more user friendly. It does not have much to do with me photographing, that is something I discovered later. I got my first digital camera when I turned 15, I did some changes to the photos and thought it was fun. But I really started in 2007 when I bought my first SLR camera. That is when I started to do some serious photo manipulations.
2. Your manipulations are pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? How do you come up with the ideas?
That is a hard question because I can’t really tell. The inspiration is everywhere in the daily life, but I also look a lot at photos and drawings on the web. I think the most important thing is to make a note of every idea, otherwise it will might be gone in a few seconds.
3. Could you describe for us your typical ‘start to finish’ workflow when working on a design?
I always have a sketch of the final idea. But it always end up different, in a good way mostly. When I have come up with an idea I try to find good spots to use for the photos and then it’s time for the photoshopping. The time it takes differ, but somewhere between 10 – 20 hours for each photo.
4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software?
My camera is a Canon eos 40d mostly used with the Canon 17-40/4L. The computer I use has a Intel i7 processor, 6 gb ram and a Asus Radion 4850, the monitor I use is a Eizo 22″. For the software part I use Vista 64-bit and Photoshop cs4, no 3d-software.
5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer?
It’s hard to always be creative, but it is a creative job.
6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example?
Yes, sometimes I get stuck in thinking about what kind of ideas I could do with the things I see around me. But I have learned to relax more now.
7. What are your coming projects?
The future will tell, but I might need a fish in one of the projects. I also have an idea about streetlights that I probably will realize soon.
8. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why?
Tricky question.
Fotosidan.se – a swedish photo community
Moderskeppet.se – a swedish photoshop website
Deviantart.com – good for inspiration
Worth1000.com – good for inspiration
smhi.se – the swedish weather service, important to see if it’s photo or photoshop weather (-:
9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers?
Trying is a good way of learning, that is how I have learned most of the things I know. Thank you too.
Where to find Erik Johansson on the web
www.alltelleringet.com/ – Personal website
http://www.fotosidan.se/…./98073 – His profile in a swedish community

Winner in Fotosidan’s Photo challange 2008 theme: “Dreams”

Photo manipulations done well are an amazing new art form. They give a realistic view of an unrealistic world. Erik Johansson, a 23-year-old computer engineering student, from Sweden is a photoshop prodigy with off-the-charts levels of ingenuity. His works takes us to an entirely new dimension of reality.  (Pics)

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Telecom Spy Suits Dismissed – EFF, ACLU Plan Appeal

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 You are currently under surveillance. Really.

Bad news for freedom as noted in this snip from WIRED Threat Level piece by David Kravets:

A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed lawsuits targeting the nation’s telecommunication companies for their participation in President George W. Bush’s once-secret electronic eavesdropping program. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker upheld summer legislation protecting the companies from the lawsuits. The legislation, which then-Sen. Barack Obama voted for, also granted the government the authority to monitor American’s telecommunications without warrants if the subject was communicating with somebody overseas suspected of terrorism.

UPDATE: EFF and ACLU plan to appeal the ruling…

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Chinese Ordered to Smoke More to Boost Economy

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LOOK, I can smoke an entire cigarette in one lung full! 

Local government officials in China have been ordered to smoke nearly a quarter of a million packs of cigarettes in a move to boost the local economy during the global financial crisis.

The edict, issued by officials in Hubei province in central China, threatens to fine officials who “fail to meet their targets” or are caught smoking rival brands manufactured in neighbouring provinces.

Even local schools have been issued with a smoking quota for teachers, while one village was ordered to purchase 400 cartons of cigarettes a year for its officials.
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China Scores On 1st Weather Manipulation at Olympics

China Scores On 1st Weather Manipulation at Olympics

Chinese weather control rockets like this were used Friday to stop rain from disrupting the Olympics

Beijing fired over 1,000 rain dispersal rockets on Friday evening to blow away rain clouds for the smooth opening ceremony of the 29th Olympic Games at the National Stadium, confirmed the local observatory on Saturday morning. It was the largest rain dispersal operation in China, and the first time that such technology has been used to ensure the weather condition for Olympic opening, said Chinese meteorologists.

    

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Lose Weight thru Manipulation of Fat Cells

 Lose Weight thru Manipulation of Fat Cells

Manipulating fat cells will soon be the key to weight loss

Australian scientists may have discovered how to help people lose weight without cutting back on food, a breakthrough that could pave the way for fat-burning drugs.

Researchers in Melbourne found that by manipulating fat cells in mice they were able to speed up the animals’ metabolisms.
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