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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Just the Facts?: Anomalous Lights On Mars -- Cyberwar 'Plan X' -- 1M+ Acres NOW Burning In United States

Curiosity Rover spots anomalous lights zooming across the Mars' horizon

So far, NASA has not commented on any of the strange sightings, but alien hunters have suggested these are alien ships monitoring our baby steps into the universe.

YouTube user StephenHannardADGUK, part of a group called Alien Disclosure UK, spotted the anomalies on the NASA images, publicly available on the space agency’s website, and applied a series of filters to try to shed light on the mystery.

Referring to the four pin-points of light pictured in the skies of Mars, he said: ‘Four objects caught by Mars Curiosity, very difficult to make out on original image so I have used a few filters to highlight.

However video analyst Marc Dantonio – who, in the interests of full disclosure, has worked on projects for the U.S. government – told the Huffington Post that these are simply ‘dead pixels’ in the image – a regular problem in the world of graphics.

Indeed, many computers and mobile phones develop dead pixel problems, as do modern digital camera.

Dantonio said: ‘After watching the video, it is actually quite clear that these are one-pixel sized image anomalies.

‘I fully concur at this point that these are dead pixels on the imager.

‘All CCD [cameras] have them, and in a bland atmosphere like that at Mars, they would be very obvious as opposed to an active atmosphere like Earth, where they could end up hidden for a long time before anyone noticed them.’

Another video appears to show an object rising from the horizon, followed shortly afterwards by another small object.

NASA has not publicly commented on either ‘sighting’. - dailymail

The Martian Codex: More Reflections from Mars

The NASA Conspiracies: The Truth Behind the Moon Landings, Censored Photos , and The Face on Mars


Record: Over 1 million acres of land on fire NOW in the US

The National Interagency Fire Center is reporting that the United States has established a new record for most acreage burned by wildfires as of this date. The previous record, which was set in 2006, also occurred during a megadrought year.

This news comes to us via Julia Whitty of Mother Jones, who notes that nearly 7 million acres — or 10,763 square miles — have burned so far this record hot and dry year. And at this very moment (August 21, 2012), there are 35 large fires and fire complexes actively burning across the United States across an expanse of 1,375,022 acres.

And as Whitty notes, these wildfires come at a considerable cost:

So far in Utah this year there have been more than 1,000 wildfires that have cost over $50 million to fight. The Chips Fire in northern California-at more than 50,000 acres-has a running tab of over $17 million as of five days ago and it's still going strong.

Wildfires also have intimate costs. Like the 'smoke-walker's' solo journey into the night. And tragic costs. Like the 20-year-old firefighter on the Steep Corner Fire in Idaho who died when a tree fell on her on 12 August. Or the inmate-firefighter who died fighting the Buck Fire in southern California on Sunday.

Plus the global costs. As Jeff Masters writes, a recent study suggests that while 8 percent of Earth should see decreases in fire activity over the next 30 years, 38 percent should see increases.

And as we reported last month, wildfires release as much energy into the environment as entire nuclear power plants. - io9


DARPA Looks to Make Cyberwar Routine With Secret ‘Plan X’

The Pentagon’s top research arm is unveiling a new, classified cyberwarfare project. But it’s not about building the next Stuxnet, Darpa swears. Instead, the just-introduced “Plan X” is designed to make online strikes a more routine part of U.S. military operations. That will make the son of Stuxnet easier to pull off — to, as Darpa puts it, “dominate the cyber battlespace.”

Darpa spent years backing research that could shore up the nation’s cyberdefenses. “Plan X” is part of a growing and fairly recent push into offensive online operations by the Pentagon agency largely responsible for the internet’s creation. In recent months, everyone from the director of Darpa on down has pushed the need to improve — and normalize — America’s ability to unleash cyberattacks against its foes.

That means building tools to help warplanners assemble and launch online strikes in a hurry. It means, under Plan X, figuring out ways to assess the damage caused by a new piece of friendly military malware before it’s unleashed. And it means putting together a sort of digital battlefield map that allows the generals to watch the fighting unfold, as former Darpa acting director Ken Gabriel told the Washington Post: “a rapid, high-order look of what the Internet looks like — of what the cyberspace looks like at any one point in time.” Continue reading at wired

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It

Cyber Warfare: Techniques, Tactics and Tools for Security Practitioners

Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar


Pub landlord cleared of 'being a vampire'

A pub landlord accused of being a vampire by superstitious villagers in the Philippines has finally won a battle to clear his name.

For the last five years John Teagle, the landlord of the Walmer Castle Pub in Margate, Kent, has been viewed with suspicion by the residents of Argawanon, on Cebu Island in the Philippines.

Werina Onpoc, the aunt of his wife Elsa, who was born on the island, spread the vicious rumour after he refused to lend her cash in 2007.

The 68-year-old dad-of-three, who married Elsa after meeting her 23 years ago through a lonely hearts ad, was shunned after the aunt told local radio that he was a ‘descendant of Dracula’ and drank the blood of children.

The aunt even told villagers that scars on Mr Teagle’s body - caused by operations to treat colon cancer - were wounds he suffered as he bolted from police hunting him for being one of the undead.

Mr Teagle, who owns a holiday home on the island and regularly visits, said: 'It made me laugh at first - then I realised how serious it was.'

Now his ordeal is over after Argawanon's Barrio Capitan - a kind of councillor - stepped in after the radio broadcast inflamed the situation.

He interrogated the aunt and others who had made the claims against Mr Teagle at a 500-strong ‘council meeting’ on the island. The chief reprimanded those responsible for the vampire rumours and ordered them to stop.

Mr Teagle said he was ‘very relieved’, but fears that some villagers still have a sneaking suspicion that he is a supernatural creature of the night.

He told the Thanet Times: 'They were severely reprimanded but it still left a very bad taste.

'The deed was done. It’s gone away a lot now, but it’s not dead.'

Elsa Teagle said that villagers in the Philippines thought he was coming over from the UK to 'suck their blood' and take it back to the UK to sell to other vampires.

The 49-year-old schoolteacher has three children with John including 22-year-old John Jnr, who helps run the pub, 21-year-old university student Oriana and schoolgirl Asia, 16.

She said: 'Many of my family - including my mum and dad - still live on the island and it has been very difficult for the last five years after John was accused of being a vampire.

'Some people are very ignorant and when my aunt watched a vampire film on TV five years ago she thought it made everything true.

'She thought John was coming over to Argawanon to suck the blood of the villagers and then take it back to Britain to sell to other vampires.

'She read about a lack of blood supplies in the UK and put two and two together and came up with five.'

She added: 'It is causing a lot of friction in the family and some villagers still believe John is a vampire even though the priest has told them he is not and that vampires do not exist.

'It is very difficult for everyone, but the village is very superstitious and the rumours will take a long time to go away.'

Last week Mr Teagle and Elsa were visited by Father Ely Suico of St Vincent’s Parish in Bogo City, who had defended them during the uproar in Argawanon.

Father Suico said: 'In the Philippines there are still a lot of superstitious beliefs and lots of fears about things which cannot be seen.

'Especially now there have been films which have shown vampires, they really believe these must be true.

'I thought I must tell them about these things because it’s very unchristian.' - dailymail

Wanted Undead or Alive: Vampire Hunters and Other Kick-Ass Enemies of Evil

Memoirs of a Monster Hunter: A Five-Year Journey in Search of the Unknown

Death Gods: An Encyclopedia of the Rulers, Evil Spirits, and Geographies of the Dead