Business Insider – by JOE WEISENTHAL

We’ve been writing a lot about the record levels of smog in Shanghai lately.

Thanks to a combination of weather and other factors it’s gotten to levels that are genuinely hazardous to health.

So how do you survive it? Chinese state broadcaster CCTV put together this infographic with 10 ways to beat the smog, and it shows how miserable it all is.   Continue reading “This 10-Step Guide To Surviving The Smog In China Is So Depressing”

liu bolin invisible manBusiness Insider – by LINETTE LOPEZ

For the past three years 40 research teams across China have been working on technology to make things invisible. Now the South China Morning Post reports that they’re  getting close.

From the SCMP:

The main approaches are developing materials that guide light away from an object, creating electromagnetic fields to bend light away from what one is trying to hide and copying nature to make hi-tech camouflage materials.   Continue reading “Chinese Scientists Are Pretty Sure They’re Close To Inventing An Invisibility Cloak”

Screen Shot 2013 12 06 at 3.37.15 PMBusiness Insider -by MICHAEL KELLEY

We recently came across this map, based on the 2010 census data, of the largest religious groups in each country of the U.S.

A few observations from the perspective of 2013:   Continue reading “This Map Shows The Dominant Religious Group In Every US County”

Vladimir Putin Cries RussiaBusiness Insider – by JOE WEISENTHAL

Vladimir Putin just dissolved major state media organization RIA Novosti, which has been around since 1941.

In its place will be a new organization run by a TV presenter who had been embroiled in anti-gay remarks.

RIA Novosti’s own report characterizes the move as an effort to tighten the state’s grip on the media.   Continue reading “Vladimir Putin Just Dissolved A Major State-Run Media Organization That’s Been Around For Decades”

Global Times

A man in Qingdao, Shandong Province used a vacuum cleaner to save his father who began choking on a fish ball during dinner on December 1.

The son explained he had resorted to using a vacuum after he was unable to dislodge the fish ball from the throat of his 64-year-old father with his fingers or a chopstick.   Continue reading “Man saves father choking on fish ball with vacuum cleaner”

Global Times

Yang made the remarks when attending a meeting of BRICS senior representatives on national security held in South Africa’s Cape Town, saying that the world is undergoing profound and complicated changes and facing new security challenges.

He also said cyber and information security is vital to national security and social stability, and thus BRICS members should jointly promote information security, and solve cyber disputes through negotiation.   Continue reading “BRICS nations should strengthen security cooperation: Chinese state councilor”

Russian flag incident at Bloodhound Gang concert in Odessa RT News

The Fair Russia party has put forward a bill that classifies insulting a Russian’s patriotism as extremism, making it a criminal offence punishable with a prison term.

The author, MP Oleg Mikheyev describes patriotic feelings as the emotional connection between a person and his or hers country of citizenship. The feeling must also involve the love to this country, responsible attitude to its fate and respect to its culture and history. If approved, the bill would make insults to such feelings equal to extremist activities – a criminal offence with punishment ranging from 100,000 ruble fine (about $3000) up to five years behind bars.   Continue reading “Opposition party proposes 5 year jail term for insulting patriotism”

Police officers detain participants in "people's gathering" in Moscow's Biryulyovo district. Local residents urge the authorities to find the murderers of Yegor Shcherbakov.(RIA Novosti / Iliya Pitalev)RT News

Russia’s populist nationalist party LDPR suggests amending the criminal code making different ethnicities of participants of any insignificant brawl an aggravating condition, much like bodily harm, allowing criminal prosecution.

MP Vladimir Taskayev proposed the move to the State Duma on Thursday.   Continue reading “Different strikes: Russia may criminalize multi-ethnic fights between individuals”

Breitbart – by AWR Hawkins

Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) is a red state Democrat who voted for gun control earlier this year and is now losing ground in the polls.

To be fair, Hagan and other red state Democrats were assured this would not happen.

For example, just weeks weeks after Hagan voted for Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) failed gun control bill on April 17th, various media outlets reported that her support for gun control would actually help her in North Carolina. TalkingPointsMemo said Hagan “actually bolstered [her 2014] re-election prospects by supporting” Manchin’s gun bill.    Continue reading “Senator Hagan Loses Ground After Voting for Gun Control”

Breitbart – by DEBRA HEINE

In his attempt to downplay the IRS scandal during his soft-ball interview with Chris Matthews, Thursday, the President of the United States subverted the ongoing DOJ investigation of the scandal.

Obama declared that the IRS office in Cincinnati was merely trying to “streamline the system” for “bureaucratic reasons” and that agents weren’t intentionally singling out “Tea Party folks.”   Continue reading “POTUS Subverted DOJ Investigation During Chris Matthews Interview”

Breitbart – by JOHN NOLTE

Apparently the media is growing tired of the White House selectively releasing ObamaCare data that gets to the heart of nothing but makes the program look like it is much more popular than it likely is. For instance, today the White House informed the media that between Sunday and Friday, enjoyed 3.7 million visits.

We have also been told  that the site’s error rate was .077 percent, the response time averaged under a second, and a whopping (and improbable) 93% of consumers did come back later after they were asked to due to the site being too busy.   Continue reading “Media Tires of White House Selective Release of ObamaCare Data”

londonembassy12.jpgFox News

The State Department on Friday defended its decision to commission a $1 million sculpture for the American embassy in London just days before the partial government shutdown in October.

The department awarded the contract for the granite sculpture to Sean Scully, an Irish-born American artist, as part of its Art in Embassies program, which curates exhibitions for American embassy and consulate facilities.   Continue reading “State Department defends $1 million sculpture for London embassy”

Maryland_website.jpgFox News

The top Maryland official in charge of the state-run ObamaCare exchange resigned this weekend amid major efforts to fix the problematic website.

Rebecca Pearce, executive director of the Maryland Health Benefits Exchange, resigned Friday, according to several news sources.

She appears to be the first official to lose a job as a result of problems with ObamaCare exchanges since they went live Oct. 1.   Continue reading “Maryland official who led problematic, state-run ObamaCare site resigns”

Stanford – by BRUCE GOLDMAN

A brain region activated when people are asked to perform mathematical calculations in an experimental setting is similarly activated when they use numbers — or even imprecise quantitative terms, such as “more than”— in everyday conversation, according to a study by Stanford University School of Medicine scientists.

Using a novel method, the researchers collected the first solid evidence that the pattern of brain activity seen in someone performing a mathematical exercise under experimentally controlled conditions is very similar to that observed when the person engages in quantitative thought in the course of daily life.    Continue reading “Method of recording brain activity could lead to ‘mind-reading’ devices, scientists say”

GOP USA – by Washington Times DC

President Obama launched a marketing blitz this week in an attempt to get back some public support for his health care law and salvage his legacy. The problem with his plan is that Americans’ overwhelming dislike of Obamacare stems from finally finding out how big of a disaster it is for their families. No fancy public relations campaign can change reality.

The White House is planning a daily event from now until Christmas to sell the supposed benefits of Obamacare. The president wrongly thinks that the past two months of disastrous press and plummeting poll numbers were all a result of the broken website.   Continue reading “The lipstick-on-a-pig Obamacare tour”

MedScape – by Megan Brooks

Electrical stimulation of a specific brain region may help individuals anticipate a challenge and have the confidence and determination to overcome it, new research suggests.

The findings from this novel study conducted by investigators at Stanford University in California showing neuromodulation of the anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) evokes such a response may have potential clinical implications for psychopathologic conditions involving a reduced capacity to endure psychological or physical stress.   Continue reading “Brain Stimulation May Boost ‘Will to Persevere’”

GOP USA – by Watertown Daily Times (NY)

A majority of millennials — those age 18 to 29 — do not approve of the Affordable Care Act, the performance of President Barack Obama or the U.S. Congress, according to a survey conducted by the Harvard Institute of Politics.

Reactions to the results in the north country reveal similar frustrations, although there are supporters of President Obama’s signature health-care legislation.   Continue reading “The young turn against Obama, Congress and Obamacare”

The Official Microsoft Blog – by Brad Smith

Many of our customers have serious concerns about government surveillance of the Internet.

We share their concerns. That’s why we are taking steps to ensure governments use legal process rather than technological brute force to access customer data.   Continue reading “Protecting customer data from government snooping”

Microsoft and NORAD Santa TrackerEngadget – by Jon Fingas

NORAD’s Santa Claus tracking has officially entered the tablet era. The defense agency has teamed up with Microsoft on an updated web-based tracker that’s designed for touch-friendly browsers, including Internet Explorer 11. The new site lets you follow St. Nick by spinning a WebGL-powered globe with your finger, and you can even call NORAD through Skype to get the sleigh’s latest position. You won’t have to wait until Christmas Eve to have fun, either, as Microsoft promises a daily dose of games, movies and music. Continue reading “NORAD and Microsoft team on a touch-friendly Santa Claus web tracker”