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New tool tracks who is editing Wikipedia, uncovers sleaziness

See Who's Editing Wikipedia - Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign

On November 17th, 2005, an anonymous Wikipedia user deleted 15 paragraphs from an article on e-voting machine-vendor Diebold, excising an entire section critical of the company's machines. While anonymous, such changes typically leave behind digital fingerprints offering hints about the contributor, such as the location of the computer used to make the edits.

In this case, the changes came from an IP address reserved for the corporate offices of Diebold itself. And it is far from an isolated case. A new data-mining service launched Monday traces millions of Wikipedia entries to their corporate sources, and for the first time puts comprehensive data behind longstanding suspicions of manipulation, which until now have surfaced only piecemeal in investigations of specific allegations.

Wikipedia Scanner -- the brainchild of CalTech computation and neural-systems graduate student Virgil Griffith -- offers users a searchable database that ties millions of anonymous Wikipedia edits to organizations where those edits apparently originated, by cross-referencing the edits with data on who owns the associated block of internet IP addresses.

Wired has an expanding list of all of the sleazy edits users have found right here.

New spa treatment: Fish that feed on human skin

Boing Boing: Fish that feed on dead skin cells are a nice spa treatment

Garra Rufa, a type of small tropical fish, also nicknamed Chinchin Yu, nibble fish or simply doctor fish, are put in hot springs. As they can live and swim freely in at least 43-degree-hot waters, they are naturally used for the treatment of skin diseases in such spas. When placed in the spa, these fish can feed themselves on the dead cells of the human body, since they only consume such cells, leaving the healthy skin of the human body to grow. The whole process is reportedly free of pain. It won't hurt and the bather might feel a pleasant tingling on his or her skin.

Kevin McKidd to play Thor?

Blog@Newsarama � Rumor mill: Kevin McKidd as Thor?

Fucking A. I have chills. He was amazing in Rome.

IESB.net reports that newly named Thor director Matthew Vaughn is rumored to be considering Kevin McKidd for the role of the God of Thunder.

If true, that would mean two actors have made the jump from HBO’s Rome to Marvel movies. Last week, McKidd’s co-star, Ray Stevenson, was confirmed as the lead in The Punisher.

McKidd stars in the upcoming NBC series, Journeyman, and played in one of my favorite werewolf movies, 2002’s Dog Soldiers.

Colbert Round-Up: August 14th, 2007

Hillary choosing states rights over gay rights

Sen. Mike Gravel: Hillary Chooses States Rights Over Gay Rights - Politics on The Huffington Post

During last week's historic gay debate, Hillary Clinton dredged up the old states rights argument when justifying her opposition to gay marriage. Apparently she thinks that the second class citizenship of gays and lesbians is a matter for the states to decide.

By drawing upon the language of states rights, Hillary embraces the tradition of John Calhoun and the defenders of slavery along with Strom Thurmond and the segregationists. Throughout our nation's history, every time national public opinion turns against oppression, opponents of progress use states rights to present themselves as defenders of liberty in the face of federal power.

States rights has always been the last refuge of the bigots. Now Hillary has given rhetorical cover to the homophobes. If she wins the Democratic nomination, opponents of gay marriage will cite her statement to justify their opposition to national marriage equality over the next decade.

Mattel recalling another 18 million child-killing toys

US toymaker Mattel recalls 18 million toys made in China...

Spain fighting plague of rodents

Spain Wields Weapons on Rodent Plague

What's a country to do with a millions-strong plague of crop-munching rodents? Ideas abound for Spain's Castille-Leon region to quell its infestation: Burn them. Drown them. Choke them with engine exhaust. Squish them with a rolling pin attached to a plow.

Then there's this high-tech doozy from a government veterinarian: Zap these mouse-like animals called voles with earsplitting ultrasound, using a cross between the Pied Piper ploy and a military pincer movement to herd them together for a collective death blow with water or fire.

. . .

Voles give off a characteristic odor and the plague is so intense you can smell the critters — live ones, not rotting bodies — as you drive around, he said.

"The other day I was driving along the highway and the smell was overpowering," Pinero said from Valladolid, the regional capital.

Grain crops have been devastated and the voles are now turning their appetites to summer crops like potatoes, grapevines and beets.

Marvel releasing comic adaptation of "The Picture of Dorian Gray"

WW CHICAGO: MARVEL ILLUSTRATED'S THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY - NEWSARAMA

They claim that despite their frequent homophobia they will keep the gay subtext intact. I'll believe it when I see it.

Born Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde in 1854, the Irish playwright, novelist, poet, author of short stories did not invent aestheticism, which took place in the late Victorian period from mid-1800s to early 1900s that also included such novelists and poets as Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, Lewis Caroll, and Charles Dickens. However, Wilde was the chief proponent of the aesthetic movement near the end of the 19th century, and was prosecuted and convicted for gross indecency in 1895.

And this won’t be the first time Wilde has played a role in comics. Several of Wilde’s short stories like “The Selfish Giant,” “The Star Child,” “The Young King,” “The Remarkable Rocket,” “The Birthday of the Infanta,” “The Devoted Friend,” and “Nightingale and the Rose” were adapted into comic book format by multiple Harvey and Eisner Awards winner P. Craig Russell in a series of collections entitled Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde.

Wilde himself has “appeared” in multiple award-winning creator Dave Sim’s postmodern comic book epic Cerebus in a multi-issue chapter entitled “Melmoth” which presented a fictionalized telling of the death of Wilde.

Inside the hipster bikestore

The Bike Store (Ftrain.com)

A man and a woman stood around a repair stand like it was a warming fire. I eavesdropped on them as I waited to come into focus.

"He built a bike from five tricycles," said the man. "Melted down in a solar-powered furnace. With foam pedals. In Yonkers."

"I'm talking," said the woman, "about one from a warehouse in Queens, a warehouse taken over violently by the Modern Agrarians and turned into a nine-level sustainable farm. This bicycle is made from aluminum pipes from the dumpster outside a nuclear laboratory. The handlebars are bamboo and the rims are nanocarbon buckysteel."

Suddenly they see my factory bicycle, bought in this store two months ago, and I materialize behind it. I hold up the broken chain, the product of yesterday's lazy repair work ("Please," I said, "I'd rather you fixed it." "No," said the man, "it won't break again.")

I'd like to say that Valencia Cyclery, where I bought a bike recently, was nothing like this. The indie boy who helped us couldn't have been nicer if he tried.

(via One Good Move)

Love makes teenagers crazy, seriously clinically crazy

Puppy love makes teenagers lose the plot - health - 14 August 2007 - New Scientist

Adolescents who claim they are "madly in love" might not be too far off the mark: a new study suggests that they show almost manic behaviours.

Serge Brand of the Psychiatric University Clinics in Basel, Switzerland, and his colleagues surveyed 113 teenagers at around 17 years of age, asking them to complete questionnaires about their conduct and mood and to keep a log of their sleep patterns. Of those, 65 indicated they had recently fallen in love and experienced intense romantic emotions.

The lovestruck teenagers showed many behaviours resembling "hypomania" – a less intense form of mania. For example, they required about an hour less sleep each night than teens who didn't have a sweetheart. They were also more likely to report acting compulsively, with 60% saying they spent too much money compared with fewer than 30% of teenagers who were not in love.

Moreover, the lovestruck teens were more than twice as likely to say they had lots of ideas and creative energy. Worryingly, they were also more likely to say they drove fast and took risks on the road.

Trailer: Thanksgiving

NSFW. This was the best part of Grindhouse, in my opinion. The voiceover is utterly disturbing.

Daily Show Round-Up: August 14th, 2007

Candybar -- Make your icons pretty

Panic - CandyBar 2 - Customize your Mac OS X...

New Rules Would Let Gonzales "Fast Track" Executions

New Rules Would Let Gonzales "Fast Track" Executions - The Huffington Post

The rules implement a little-noticed provision in last year's reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act that gives the attorney general the power to decide whether individual states are providing adequate counsel for defendants in death penalty cases. The authority has been held by federal judges.

Under the rules now being prepared, if a state requested it and Gonzales agreed, prosecutors could use "fast track" procedures that could shave years off the time that a death row inmate has to appeal to the federal courts after conviction in a state court.

August 13, 2007

The Writer's Database

The Writer's Database: Market and Submission Tracker

A free online application built to track literary markets and submissions, and to share your experiences with various markets with other writers.

*Thanks to Maureen for the link*

Adium -- A chat aggregator for Macs

Adium - Download

Adium is a free instant messaging application for Mac OS X that can connect to AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, and more.