News stories the mainstream media missed : 04/03/10

Here are some news stories from this week that I think the mainstream media completely missed out on. All links are from legitimate news sources and not the fringe / wacko sites.

* You’ll never ever see this in the mainstream media… cola lowers a man’s sperm count by 30 percent. As in only 7 out of 10 are still there! Tea and/or coffee are OK, so it’s not caffeine that’s doing it! Just say no to Coke! [PHYSORG]

* The first paragraph of the story says it all. “Using a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation – in which magnets are used to disrupt neural activity in specific parts of the brain – scientists managed to “turn off” people’s moral centers.” Great. So if someone puts a specially modified hat on someone’s head, they can make them “bad” and forget their own code of morality. This has all kinds of ugly written all over it. The technical story is at [PNAS] and one “in English” is at [IO9]

* In more positive scientific news, “Playing the video game Tetris after a major shock can reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, claim Oxford researchers.” OK. What I wanna know is how the hell did they find this correlation? And why do I suddenly hear the Tetris music? [TELEGRAPH.CO.UK]

* Trees are growing faster and bigger throughout the world? Maybe because there’s more CO2 for them to inhale? [NPR]

* Hoarders may have some serious drain bamage. “…hoarders had lower metabolic rates in the anterior cingulate cortex, one region responsible for motivation, focused attention, error detection, and decision making.” So, according to my sitcom science degree, another whack on the head should restore them to normal, right? Or is that only good for amnesia? [DISCOVER]

* Scientists have also just proven that “the presence of an attractive woman elevates testosterone and physical risk taking in young men.” This needed scientific proof? Seriously? [DISCOVER MAGAZINE]

* In more serious and infuriating news, some U.S. Bishops have very quietly started to allow priests accused of pedophilia back into the church [NPR] AND the head of the Catholic League said all that all this alleged abuse really wasn’t pedophilia because the boys were ‘post-pubescent’, saying “the age at which children become “post-pubescent” is around 12 or 13.” [RAWSTORY] Oh, so it wasn’t 11 year old boys being molested, it was 12 year old boys. And this makes it OK then? Somebody in the upper echelon of the Catholic church needs to clean house with a vengeance. Justified wrath of God, excommunication, “and you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee” kind of cleaning house.

* In another bit of infuriating news, the father of a Marine whose funeral was picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church has to pay the Westboro Baptist Church more than $16,000 for their legal fees and for their protest of his son’s funeral. [CNN] But the cavalry arrives from… Bill O’Reilly?!? Bill O’Reilly said he will pay every cent of that $16,000 legal fee for the father, saying “That is an outrage. I will pay Mr. Snyder’s obligation. I am not going to let this injustice stand.” Wow. I’m actually impressed and surprised. [NEWSMAX]

* If you notice the roads you travel on start to suck in a few years, it’s because gravel roads are making a comeback. Asphalt is $400 a ton and gravel is $20 a ton. That ads up quick! Michigan and Minnesota are starting it off. [KIPLINGER]

* The states are now getting in deep trouble financially in other areas too. Nothing to see here people! Move along! [NYTIMES]

*… aaaaand Greenspan says the economy is going to get worse, too. His early warning prediction was just validated. Keep moving! Nothing to see! [BLOOMBERG]

* …aaaand A giant sell-off in treasuries is being viewed as “a warning to Washington that it can no longer borrow with impunity.” Nothing to see at all! That’s why it’s only being covered in England! Move along now! [TELEGRAPH.CO.UK]

* What kind of man repos private jets from drug lords? Or from corrupt governments? Or steals them out of the heart of Russia? Helloooooo Hollywood? I got another summer blockbuster for you people! Contact me for a script! [AIRSPACE MAG]

* Speaking of summer blockbusters, Independence Day 2 and 3 are in the works, with Will Smith supposedly onboard for both. Yes, Independence Day is a movie with a major plot hole every five minutes, but it was fun to watch. Maybe this time they will send something aside from fighter jets with air-to-air missiles after the motherships. A sequel demands fuel-air bombs and other assorted thermobaric carpet-bomb runs from the stratosphere! I’ll pay to see that! [IO9]

* In technical news, an HDMI cable is an HDMI cable. There is NO DIFFERENCE between a $150 HDMI monster cable and a generic $10 HDMI cable to connect stuff to your High Definition TV. I have three generic $7 HDMI cables, and everything connected to them gives a perfect picture on my HDTV. Here’s the proof… [MINT.COM]

* In other technical news, how about a counter-surveillance camera that “spots other cameras, scopes, binoculars and human eyeballs gawking at it.” You can see who is spying on you or has you in their sights in real time? I’ll take two please. [GIZMODO] and the actual product is available at [JET-PROTECT]

* Want a secret lift to park your car directly in the living room? Not a problem, Mr, Wayne. Will you and Mr. Grayson be dining in tonight? [TODAYANDTOMORROW] with blueprints at [WHATWEDOISSECRET.ORG]