News stories the mainstream media missed : 10/15/11

OK, this is just embarassing. I realized this morning I haven’t made any “News stories the mainstream media missed” posts since MARCH. My only defense is that, yes, it has been that kind of year for me. SO without any further delay…

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.

* This week’s winner of the gold-plated oxymoron award goes to the US Governemnt! Specifically, for sending “Armed military advisers” to help regional forces combat the “Lord’s Resistance Army” in Africa! OK, when someone holds a gun to another person’s head, they’re not exactly “advising”. It’s more of a “WHAT DOES MARSELLUS WALLACE LOOK LIKE?!” kind of thing. And the “Lord’s Resistance Army”? Seriously? Are they resisting the Lord? Or are they helping the Lord resist? Might make a difference if they spelled that out a little better. Unfortunately, in all seriousness, this sounds like the beginning of another “occupied” war for the US. The full story is at [NY TIMES]

* Faster than light speed travel IS possible! OK, so we still can’t do it, and mostly it’s fancy-pants conjecture, but at least it’s no longer laughed out of the high-and-mighty physicist’s bar and grill anymore! The gist of this article is that light speed is just a perception! (Meanwhile, the drunk philosopher in the back of the bar is yelling NOOOO KIDDING! I KOOODA TOLD YOUS BUMS THAT!!) Bonus points for some cool ancestor of mine figuring out the speed of gravitational wave propagation and how it relates to all this… smart stuff. Time travel hijinks and perceptive physicist mirth in the link. [PHYSORG]

* Get Peanut butter NOW!! Jif is going up 30% starting in November, while Peter Pan will raise prices as much as 24% in a couple weeks. Unilever wouldn’t comment on its pricing plans, but a spokesman for Wegmans Food Markets, the closely held supermarket chain in the Northeast U.S., said wholesale prices for all brands it carries, including Skippy, are 30% to 35% higher than a year ago. Kraft Foods Inc., which launched Planters peanut butter in June, is raising prices 40% on Oct. 31. Dammit, a PBJ isn’t a PBJ without enough P in it. Wait, that didn’t sound right. Story is at the [WSJ]

* When was the last time you used a film camera? You ‘member – a camera that actually uses a roll of chemically coated transparency paper-like stuff to take photos and video with? Well, the last film camera makers just called it quits. There will be no more film cameras made from here on out. It’s the end of a major era that spanned decades, and I don’t think anybody heard the door slamming on it. Details at [TECH CRUNCH]

* Governor Jerry Brown said it was OK for police to search cell phones at any time of an arrest. “Call records, text messages, photos, banking activity, cloud-storage services, and even where the phone has traveled” count for bonus points! Bear in mind that a traffic ticket, by strict definition, is also an arrest. So I guess I better keep a 44oz drink in my cup holder at all times so I can… OOPS!!! How did my cell phone wind up in there?!? Darn it! Now it’s all fried and useless! Sorry ossifer! [WIRED]

* I love how the foreign press loves to backhand Texas. A recent article in Spiegel says Fort Worth Texas as “…one of those hard-to-read provincial cities in the vastness of Middle America, a downtown-less cluster of commercial areas connected to too many expressways”. Hey, buddy, nobody makes fun of Fort Worth except Dallas. Got that? NOBODY! Except for that little pimp slap, the article covers an amazing little thing that happened recently. A man who had his face pulverized by an electrical accident received a full facial replacement – a face transplant – from a dead man. I’m torn between the “WOW” for the science part of it and a serious “OH $#!^” for what will happen to society when this procedure gets “mainstreamed” down to the plastic-surgery level of complication. [SPIEGEL]

* I’ve decided to go as 18hz for halloween… because that’s the frequency of fear!! Mu ha ha haaaa!! OK, that was a really cheesy line. Sorry. But seriously, scientists have figured out that 18hz is the sound frequency that makes people want to GTFO of a situation with no logical explanation. Examples and article at [GUARDIAN]

* Some things I just can’t make the funny with. This story for example – “We fabricated drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas, former detective testifies.” Wow. Some of the NYPD was planting drugs on innocent people for a monthly quota. That’s beyond vile. The only reason these scumbags were busted was that they missed some hidden security cameras in the home they were planting evidence in. Article at [NY DAILY NEWS]

* The headline from TIME magazine says “The Greek Meltdown: Putting the Hell in Hellas” Ah hah. I see what you did there TIME. Saying Greece is having a hella-time in their hella-predicament! How hella-cool of you hella-reporters! Too bad things are about to get rabid-zombie-infected-monkey kinds of FUBAR over there. Normal everyday people are living in the streets kind of broke, all the politicians and bankers are still as rich as a wet-cement chocolate cheesecake, and nobody in power has the brass nards necessary to make serious changes so Greece won’t go completely bankrupt. Unfortunately the Greece situation is a little too familiar sounding for comfort. What happens in Greece has a better than average chance of happening in other countries around the world. A European country at war with itself is never ever good for US (pun intended). But if it spreads worldwide? Hell won’t even begin to describe what will ensue. Sorry, got a little too serious there for a moment. Story at [TIME]

* And finally, I’ve been loving me some Twitter for awhile. The more time I spend on Twitter, the more I see the massive disconnect between Twitter and the mainstream media. News on Twitter arrives in a swarm-like manner – quick, lots of information, then it dissipates. Meanwhile, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, CBS, ABC, NBC and all the others are featuring some vapid dingbat of the month and completely ignoring reality outside their curtain-covered windows. Case in point – look up #OWS and #OccupyWallStreet and #OccupWallSt on Twitter. There are massive protests that are going on all over the world right now. Photos of Times Square with more people and riot-geared police than on New Year’s Eve. More photos of protesters and riot-geared police are coming from Seattle, Spain, Washington, Austin… all these places where everyday people are flooding the streets and gathering by the thousands, and not one damn moment of live coverage by the networks with multi-state broadcast capability. Where are the reporters in trench coats on the scene? Where are the writers who stay with the protesters in each city to write a fifteen page micro-spaced article in Rolling Stone? Where are the news helicopters to fly over the protests for a birds-eye-live view? Regardless of whether you agree with the protesters or not, knowing what is going on in the first place is absolutely critical. Not knowing what is going on is nowhere near as bad as the notion that the broadcast networks are unwilling to inform on what’s going on in the first place. No links on this one – just hit up Twitter and search for the #OWS and #OccupyWallStreet and #OccupWallSt .