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More news of the weird, wild, wacky, wonderful and weawwy weawwy scawy. Read at your own risk. Void where prohibited. Actual mileage may vary. Not valid in combination with any other offer. No purchase necessary. Batteries not included. Light fuse, get away.
"Australian Dinosaur Found To Have South American Heritage"
It takes two continents to tango.
' Australia's links to South America have just gotten a bit closer, but not due to economic forces, rather fossil forces. University of Queensland palaeontologist Dr Steve Salisbury was part of an international team of palaeontologists from the US, Argentina and Australia that identified a fossil that had previously only been found in South America. Dr Salisbury, from UQ's School of Integrative Biology, said an upper arm bone found at Dinosaur Cove in southern Victoria, shares a suite of unique features with a medium-sized predatory dinosaur from Argentina called Megaraptor. He said it was the first time a dinosaur with unquestionable affinities to animals from other Southern Hemisphere continents had been recognised in Australia. "Throughout much of the Age of Dinosaurs, Australia formed part of the southern super-continent of Gondwana," Dr Salisbury said. "As a result, there has long been an expectation that our dinosaur fauna would show similarities to similarly aged faunas from adjoining Gondwanan landmasses, in particular Antarctica, New Zealand and South America. "Of the Australian dinosaurs that have been recognised so far, the consensus has been that some are relics of groups that went extinct much earlier in other parts of the world, while others have been seen as early representatives of groups that are more typical of the Northern Hemisphere. "Partly as a result, it has been proposed that Australia was somehow isolated from the rest of Gondwana, either through geographic or climatic barriers. Dr Federico Angolin, from the Argentinean Museum of Natural Sciences, said when the six palaeontologists on the research team independently recognised the close similarity between the Dinosaur Cove fossil and the remains of Megaraptor from Argentina, they knew they had an important discovery on their hands. Project leader Nate Smith, from The Field Museum in Chicago, said fossils of Megaraptor have previously only been found in central and southern Patagonia, in rocks at least 15 million years younger than those in southern Victoria "The recognition of Megaraptor in Victoria provides the first definitive evidence for interchange between the dinosaur faunas of South America and Australia during the Cretaceous," Mr Smith said. "Our results are consistent with several geological models for rifting between the southern continents during the time that these dinosaurs existed. "This discovery indicates that we might need to rethink the longstanding claims of the Northern Hemisphere affinities for many Australian dinosaurs, and of geographic and/or climatic isolation of Australian dinosaur faunas." '
SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER.ORG
"Terror from the Right"
Here's what the Republicans did NOT want you to hear, Americans. The new Civil War is already on.
' The slaughter engineered by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, men steeped in the conspiracy theories and white-hot fury of the American radical right, marked the opening shot in a new kind of domestic political extremism — a revolutionary ideology whose practitioners do not hesitate to carry out attacks directed at entirely innocent victims, people selected essentially at random to make a political point. After Oklahoma, it was no longer sufficient for many American right-wing terrorists to strike at a target of political significance — instead, they reached for higher and higher body counts, reasoning that they had to eclipse McVeigh's attack to win attention. What follows is a detailed listing of major terrorist plots and racist rampages that have emerged from the American radical right in the years since Oklahoma City. These have included plans to bomb government buildings, banks, refineries, utilities, clinics, synagogues, mosques, memorials and bridges; to assassinate police officers, judges, politicians, civil rights figures and others; to rob banks, armored cars and other criminals; and to amass illegal machine guns, missiles, explosives and biological and chemical weapons. Each of these plots aimed to make changes in America through the use of political violence. Most contemplated the deaths of large numbers of people — in one case, as many as 30,000, or 10 times the number murdered on Sept. 11, 2001. Here are the stories of plots, conspiracies and racist rampages since 1995 — plots and violence waged against a democratic America. '
SACRAMENTO BUSINESS JOURNAL
"Web site connects consumers to free health care"
Why fight for national healthcare when you can go begging for charity? "Please, sir, can I have another chemo treatment?"
' The online resource comes as unemployment continues to rise in the region and growing numbers of local residents lose their health insurance along with their jobs. There are an estimated 250,000 people without health insurance in Sacramento County, said registered nurse Maria Robles, president of Californians for Patient Care. “Sacramento’s teachers, firefighters and state government workers are losing their jobs at an alarming rate,” Robles said in a press release. The online service provides information on how to get coverage and/or treatment at no or low cost. While the Web site is intended for consumers who need direction to services, doctors and other providers may want to use it to find out how to help an uninsured patient get access to further care. '
"On Facebook, a Spy Revealed (Pale Legs, Too) "
Super Top Secret, except for a little social networking. WTBFD?
' The man in the Facebook photographs seems like your average guy having a little fun. Here he is in a festive scene at a park, gamely wearing a red fleece and a Santa Claus hat. Here he is again, playing Frisbee on the beach, clad in a pair of snug bathing trunks that show off his muscular, if pale (he is British) legs. Oops. It turns out that this is not a regular person at all. He is in fact Sir John Sawers, diplomat and spy, currently the British ambassador to the United Nations and soon to be the chief of MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service. It is as if, suddenly, the Internet were awash with pictures of the C.I.A. director, Leon E. Panetta, cavorting half-naked on vacation. The photographs, and a great deal more, came from the collection of Sir John’s wife, Shelley, who has for some time enjoyed chronicling the life and times of her family and friends on a Facebook page. Since its presence was revealed in the tabloid newspaper The Mail on Sunday, the page has been altered so that any revealing photographs it may or may not contain can no longer be seen by the general public. '
"U.S. Justice Dept eyeing telecom probe"
I can haz iPhone on Mobi?
' The U.S. Justice Department has begun looking at big telecom companies such as AT&T Inc (T.N) and Verizon Communications (VZ.N) to try to determine if they have abused their market power, the Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition on Monday. The report said that a probe could concern exclusive agreements between phone companies and handset makers or whether phone operators are "unduly restricting" services third parties companies can offer on their network. Lawmakers have recently raised questions about whether large wireless carriers were hurting smaller rivals by entering into exclusive agreements with the makers of popular phones. Deals like AT&T's pact with Apple Inc (AAPL.O) for exclusive rights to U.S. iPhone sales are at the center of some lawmaker concerns. The iPhone has made this trend a bone of contention among consumers because of the devices' widespread popularity and the fact that AT&T has been the sole U.S. provider selling it since 2007. Exclusivity deals often end after about a year. '
"N.C. terror suspects had arms, ammo, FBI 'playbook,' agent says"
Wonder how they got the FBI's playbook?
' Men arrested last week on suspicion of plotting a "violent jihad" overseas had weapons, thousands of rounds of ammunition and $13,000 cash in their home, an FBI agent testified in court Tuesday. Also found at the home of Daniel Patrick Boyd and his sons were gas masks and a book that FBI special agent Michael Sutton called "essentially our playbook to how we respond to acts of terrorism." On a tape made in May 2009, the elder Boyd talks about getting the money needed to wage jihad and hitting Wells Fargo trucks and banks. He makes reference to how he had robbed a bank in Pakistan. In the search of the Boyd home the FBI says agents found: • Several weapons; • 27,000 rounds of ammunition, including some armor-piercing types; • $13,000 in cash. In addition, Dylan Boyd had a deposit slip for $16,000; • Four gas masks; • A book called "Emergency Response to Terrorism," which Sutton said would be useful to someone trying to counter law enforcement; '
"Researchers: Social Security Numbers Can Be Guessed"
If it ain't broke, why are they fixing it?
' Researchers have found that it is possible to guess many -- if not all -- of the nine digits in an individual's Social Security number using publicly available information, a finding they say compromises the security of one of the most widely used consumer identifiers in the United States. Many numbers could be guessed at by simply knowing a person's birth data, the researchers from Carnegie Mellon University said. The results come as concern grows over identity theft and lawmakers in Washington push legislation that would bar businesses from requiring people to supply their Social Security number when purchasing a good or service. "Our work shows that Social Security numbers are compromised as authentication devices, because if they are predictable from public data, then they cannot be considered sensitive," said Alessandro Acquisti, assistant professor of information technology and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and a co-author of the study. A Social Security Administration spokesman said the government has long cautioned the private sector against using a Social Security number as a personal identifier, even as it insists "there is no fool proof method for predicting a person's Social Security Number." "For reasons unrelated to this report, the agency has been developing a system to randomly assign SSNs," which should make it more difficult to discover numbers in the future, Mark Lassiter, a spokesman for the Social Security Administration, said by e-mail. '.
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