With a little help from Hungarian scientists, the seemingly impossible just occurred — the birth of long-nosed, spiky-finned hybrids of Russian sturgeons and American paddlefish. Though the results were accidental, about 100 of these so-called “sturddlefish” are now in captivity.
According to LiveScience, the Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Hungary scientists didn’t intend to birth this entirely new species. After all, 184 million years of evolution on separate continents made it seem clear that these two kinds of fish were sexually incompatible.
After placing sperm from an American paddlefish near eggs from a Russian sturgeon, however, they were proven wrong. According to ScienceAlert, the eggs reproduced asexually through gynogesis, a process that requires the presence of sperm but not the actual introduction of its DNA.
The defining moment in the “rules for thee but not for me” ethos of the ruling class during the COVID-19 pandemic may have come when Neil Ferguson, the epidemiologist behind Britain’s lockdown policy, met with his married girlfriend in defiance of the restrictions he promoted. Eager to threaten the common people with penalties if they failed to socially distance, he saw no reason to inconvenience himself the same way—although at least he conceded that propriety required him to resign his government post when the trysts were discovered in May.
“He has peculiarly breached his own guidelines, and for an intelligent man I find that very hard to believe,” marveled Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a prominent member of the ruling Conservative Party. “It risks undermining the Government’s lockdown message.”
Well, yes. But like all too many officials, Ferguson obviously never thought he’d be caught violating rules that he’d never intended be applied to himself. As we’ve since learned, Ferguson’s above-the-law attitude is common among those who feel entitled to write regulations and impose penalties on others for violating them.
In just the past week, the national-security states of the United States and United Kingdom have discreetly let it be known that the cyber tools and online tactics previously designed for use in the post-9/11 “war on terror” are now being repurposed for use against information sources promoting “vaccine hesitancy” and information related to Covid-19 that runs counter to their state narratives.
A new cyber offensive was launched on Monday by the UK’s signal intelligence agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), which seeks to target websites that publish content deemed to be “propaganda” that raises concerns regarding state-sponsored Covid-19 vaccine development and the multi-national pharmaceutical corporations involved.
Similar efforts are underway in the United States, with the US military recently funding a CIA-backed firm—stuffed with former counterterrorism officials who were behind the occupation of Iraq and the rise of the so-called Islamic State—to develop an AI algorithm aimed specifically at new websites promoting “suspected” disinformation related to the Covid-19 crisis and the US military–led Covid-19 vaccination effort known as Operation Warp Speed.
Both countries are preparing to silence independent journalists who raise legitimate concerns over pharmaceutical industry corruption or the extreme secrecy surrounding state-sponsored Covid-19 vaccination efforts, now that Pfizer’s vaccine candidate is slated to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by month’s end.
Pfizer’s history of being fined billions for illegal marketing and for bribing government officials to help them cover up an illegal drug trial that killed eleven children (among other crimes) has gone unmentioned by most mass media outlets, which instead have celebrated the apparently imminent approval of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine without questioning the company’s history or that the mRNA technology used in the vaccine has sped through normal safety trial protocols and has never been approved for human use. Also unmentioned is that the head of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Patrizia Cavazzoni, is the former Pfizer vice president for product safety who covered up the connection of one of its products to birth defects.
Today in “those who surrender their liberty for security” news…
The Jackson, Mississippi police department is piloting a 45 day program that allows them to live stream private security cameras, including Amazon Ring cameras, at the residences of its citizens.
It’s no surprise that Amazon’s Ring cameras were the only brand named for the pilot program, as EFF pointed out, since they have over 1,000 partnerships with local police departments.
The program allows Ring owners to patch their camera streams to a “Real Time Crime Center” – i.e. a dispatcher on desk duty whose new favorite way of passing the time is to watch you bring out your garbage twice a week in a bathrobe.
While the pilot program is supposedly “opt-in” only, meaning residents have to volunteer to be a part of it, it is an obvious step in the wrong direction of mass privacy invasion without a warrant.
RESEARCHERS HAVE DEBATED for decades over the relationship between hallucinogens and rock art. Ancient cultures around the world have left an intriguing legacy of abstract, even psychedelic-looking images on cliff faces and cave walls, but modern researchers argue over the motivation behind the creation of such artworks.
Until now there has been no physical evidence of the use of hallucinogens at rock art sites. But a surprising discovery at a site in southern California now provides proof that at least some people experienced the site in an altered state of consciousness centuries ago.
In a study published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an international research team reports that 400-year-old chewed-up wads of datura, a plant with powerful psychoactive properties, have been found stuffed into the cracks of the ceiling of a sacred cave. Located near the edge of the traditional territory of the Chumash people, the cavern had been dubbed Pinwheel Cave after the swirling red painting on its curved ceiling. Researchers think this artwork might represent a datura flower, which unfurls in a pinwheel shape at dusk, and that the site may have been a place for group ceremonies where datura was consumed.
Across Canada, long-term care homes and retirement homes are seeing rising cases of COVID-19 and deaths yet again, a worrisome trend that is leading to more restrictions for the residents.
But these lockdowns are taking another toll among those who don’t get COVID-19.
Residents eat meals in their rooms, have activities and social gatherings cancelled, family visits curtailed or eliminated. Sometimes they are in isolation in their small rooms for days. These measures, aimed at saving lives, can sometimes be detrimental enough to the overall health of residents that they find themselves looking into other options.
Russell, described by her family as exceptionally social and spry, was one such person. Her family says she chose a medically-assisted death (MAID) after she declined so sharply during lockdown that she didn’t want to go through more isolation this winter.
Two megachurches decided to open Sunday services with some safe-for-work joke stripteases, in a cheeky protest against California’s closing down of churches due to the Covid-19 pandemic, while letting strip clubs stay open.
Before the start of Sunday’s sermon, pastors at two churches opened with short burlesque dance routines, taking off their jackets and even throwing their ties into the cheering audience.
“Strip clubs (Not Churches) are exempt from the Covid lockdowns, and are deemed essential by our governor!” said senior pastor of Awaken Church Jurgen Matthesius on Instagram. “So we decided we are NOW Awaken family friendly strip club!” he quipped.
The pastor then rolled with the joke, clarifying, “we strip the devil of his hold, power & authority over people’s lives!”