Indecent Body Exposure at the Olympics

This is how Iranian television covers the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.

And the following is one of the most powerful images of the Olympics: a beach volley match between Egypt and Germany.

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Indecent Exposure

The concept of acceptable level of nudity in public and on TV varies remarkably around the world.

In Europe full frontal nudity is regularly seen on TV and in public. To Europeans, nudity isn’t always a sexual thing.

Meanwhile, in America, nudity is a taboo. TV broadcasters in the U.S. can’t show nudity on the air between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

In America, public nudity is often considered “indecent exposure” and is actually a punishable crime.

In Europe, however, Munich has legalized nudity in six “Urban Naked Zones,” Denmark legalized nakedness on all public beaches in 1976, and the Netherlands legalized “recreational nudity” back in 1985.

Out of all 50 wonderfully clothed states in America, only New York, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Texas have explicitly legalized toplessness of both men and women in public places.

On the flip side, good old Utah is one of the handful of states that went out of its way to include breast-feeding mothers in the category of “public lewdness.” In Louisiana, an exposed nipple could land you in jail for three years

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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The difference between a good (American) school and a bad (Spanish) school for 14 year olds in two pictures…

1) An email asking my son to choose two between the elective subjects: advanced networking, genetics, 3D design, movie making, photography, advanced math, culinary arts, creative writing. And to choose two between 4 languages: French, Spanish, German, Chinese.

2) My son was forced to write 30 times «I will not speak even if I have raised my hand to ask to speak» by his  professor in a Spanish school.

You can make your own judgment…

That Was Then, This Is Now

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These are the results achieved in the past ten years in Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria

The joint operations were largely led by an alliance of the U.S. with the royals of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, and other friendly countries, which finance jihadists everywhere but in their own country.

What’s especially interesting there, is that the vast majority of these missions were led by the U.S. and the Saud family, the royals who own Saudi Arabia, and who are the world’s largest buyers of American weaponry.

Via Zerohedge

1 Minute on the Internet in 2016

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701.389 logins on Facebook.

64.444 hours are watched on Netflix.

150 million emails are sent.

1.389 Uber transport services.

527.760 ictures shared on Snapchat.

51.000 apps downloaded from the Apple App Store.

$203.596 in sales at Amazon.

120 new accounts on Linkedin.

347.222 tuits on Twitter.

38.052 hoirs fo music are listened on Spotify.

2,4 millon searches on Google.

20,8 millon essages sent with WhatsApp

2,78 millon videos watched on Youtube.

You can Program the DNA of a Living Cell with your Laptop

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This is impressive beyond belief! It is now possible to use a language to program new functions into the DNA of living creatures with a web-based application from a laptop computer.

Biological engineers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technogy (MIT) have created a programming language that allows them to rapidly design complex, DNA-encoded circuits that give new functions to living cells.

Using this language, anyone can write a program for the function they want, such as detecting and responding to certain environmental conditions. They can then generate a DNA sequence that will achieve it.

“It is literally a programming language for bacteria.  You use a text-based language, just like you’re programming a computer. Then you take that text and you compile it and it turns it into a DNA sequence that you put into the cell, and the circuit runs inside the cell.”

Christopher Voigt,  MIT Professor of Biological Engineering.

Voigt and colleagues at Boston University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have used this language, which they describe in the April 1 issue of Science, to build circuits that can detect up to three inputs and respond in different ways. Future applications for this kind of programming include designing bacterial cells that can produce a cancer drug when they detect a tumor, or creating yeast cells that can halt their own fermentation process if too many toxic byproducts build up.

The researchers plan to make the user design interface available on the Web.

No experience needed

Over the past 15 years, biologists and engineers have designed many genetic parts, such as sensors, memory switches, and biological clocks, that can be combined to modify existing cell functions and add new ones.

However, designing each circuit is a laborious process that requires great expertise and often a lot of trial and error. “You have to have this really intimate knowledge of how those pieces are going to work and how they’re going to come together,” Voigt says.

Users of the new programming language, however, need no special knowledge of genetic engineering.

“You could be completely naive as to how any of it works. That’s what’s really different about this,” Voigt says. “You could be a student in high school and go onto the Web-based server and type out the program you want, and it spits back the DNA sequence.”

The language is based on Verilog, which is commonly used to program computer chips. To create a version of the language that would work for cells, the researchers designed computing elements such as logic gates and sensors that can be encoded in a bacterial cell’s DNA. The sensors can detect different compounds, such as oxygen or glucose, as well as light, temperature, acidity, and other environmental conditions. Users can also add their own sensors. “It’s very customizable,” Voigt says.

The biggest challenge, he says, was designing the 14 logic gates used in the circuits so that they wouldn’t interfere with each other once placed in the complex environment of a living cell.

In the current version of the programming language, these genetic parts are optimized for E. coli, but the researchers are working on expanding the language for other strains of bacteria, includingBacteroides, commonly found in the human gut, and Pseudomonas, which often lives in plant roots, as well as the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.This would allow users to write a single program and then compile it for different organisms to get the right DNA sequence for each one.

Biological circuits

Using this language, the researchers programmed 60 circuits with different functions, and 45 of them worked correctly the first time they were tested. Many of the circuits were designed to measure one or more environmental conditions, such as oxygen level or glucose concentration, and respond accordingly. Another circuit was designed to rank three different inputs and then respond based on the priority of each one.

Read more at MIT Press Center

Venezuela

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The picture describes better than a thousand words how bad the situation has got in Venezuela.

A man was caught smuggling… not drugs, not guns…

But food – powdered milk!!!

Venezuela is the country in the world with the highest level of oil reserves. It is an uncommonly blessed country as far as natural resources and geographic position.  It is not being bombed from forrign powers or ravaged by 5 years of civil war like Syria. 

The mess can only be be attributed to a massively incompetent government.  

How Islamic Terrorism Was Born

This post is based on a great article by Tyler Durden via Zerohedge

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President Ronald Reagan gestures while talking to Burhaneddin Rabbani, a spokesman for the Afghan Resistance Alliance, at the White House in Washington, June 16, 1986. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

Where did violent Islamic extremism come from?

In the wake of the terrorist Paris attacks on Friday, November the 13, this is the question no one is asking — yet it is the most important one of all. If one doesn’t know why a problem emerged, if one cannot find its root, one will never be able to solve and uproot it. 

History takes no prisoners. It shows, with absolute lucidity, that the Islamic extremism ravaging the world today was born out of the Western foreign policy of yesteryear.

In order to understand the rise of militant Salafi groups like ISIS and al-Qaida; in order to wrap our minds around their terrorist attacks on civilians in the U.S., France, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria, Turkey, Yemen, Afghanistan and many, many more countries, we must recover this historical memory

Where did militant Salafi groups like ISIS and al-Qaida come from? The answer is not as complicated as many make it out to be — but, to understand, we must delve into the history of the Cold War, the historical period lied about in the West perhaps more than any other.

Osama bin Laden

We needn’t reach back far into history. Just a few decades.

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Article about Bin Laden the 'freedom fighter" on the UK newspaper The Independent

A photo of an article published in British newspaper the Independent in 1993 exemplifies “warrior puts his army on the road to peace.” It features a large photo of Osama bin Laden, who, at the time, was a close Western ally.

The newspaper noted that bin Laden organized a militia of thousands of foreign fighters from throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and “supported them with weapons and his own construction equipment” in their fight against the USSR in the 1980s. “We beat the Soviet Union,” . bin Laden boasted.

The mujahedin, this international Islamic extremist militia organized and headed by bin Laden, is what eventually morphed into both al-Qaida and the Taliban.

Portraying bin Laden in a positive light, less than eight years before he would help mastermind the largest terrorist attack on American soil in decades, the British publication claimed that the “Saudi businessman who recruited mujahedin now uses them for large-scale building projects in Sudan.” In reality, bin Laden was setting the stages for what would be become al-Qaida.

In Islamic history, jihad as an international violent phenomenon had disappeared in the last 400 years, for all practical purposes. It was revived suddenly with American help in the 1980s. When the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan, Zia ul-Haq, the [U.S.-backed] military dictator of Pakistan, which borders on Afghanistan, saw an opportunity and launched a jihad there against godless communism. The U.S. saw a God-sent opportunity to mobilize one billion Muslims against what Reagan called the ‘Evil Empire.’

Money started pouring in. CIA agents starting going all over the Muslim world recruiting people to fight in the great jihad. Bin Laden was one of the early prize recruits. He was not only an Arab. He was also a Saudi. He was not only a Saudi. He was also a multimillionaire, willing to put his own money into the matter. Bin Laden went around recruiting people for the jihad against communism.

Extremist “Freedom Fighters”

In the 1950s and ’60s, Afghanistan was a somewhat secular country in which women were granted relatively equal rights. What turned Afghanistan into the hotbed for extremism it is today? Decades of Western meddling.

Throughout the 1980s, the U.S. government supported and armed bin Laden and his mujahedin in Afghanistan, in their fight against the Soviet Union. President Ronald Reagan famously met with the mujahedin in the Oval Office in 1983. “To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom,” Regan said.

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Those “freedom fighters” are the forefathers of ISIS and al-Qaida. When the last Soviet troops were withdrawn in 1989, the mujahedin did not simply leave; a civil war of sorts followed, with various Islamist militant groups fighting for control in the power vacuum. The Taliban came out on top, and established a medieval theocratic regime to replace the former “godless” socialist government.

The Cold War

There are extremists in every religion, but they tend to be few in number, weak and isolated. Salafism, in its modern militarized form, has its origins in the 1920s, and even before. For decades, this movement remained weak and isolated. Yet, in the 1970s and ’80s, Western capitalist governments, particularly the U.S., came up with a new Cold War strategy: supporting these fringe Islamic extremist groups as a bulwark against socialism.

This Cold War strategy ended up being successful: After the fall of the USSR, the secular socialist groups that dominated the resistance movements of the Middle East were replaced by Islamic extremists ones that had previously been supported by the West.

It is not a coincidence that most of the secular countries in the history of the Middle East have been socialist of some sort. In contrast, the most reactionary countries — the countries where women are not granted equal rights and where the rule of law is based on Sharia — have frequently tended to be close Western allies. Why? The West was much, much more interested in preserving capitalism than it was in allowing secularism, gender equality and relative economic equality to flourish under socialism.

Many have argued that the Middle East, North Africa and Muslim-majority parts of South Asia are presently going through their parallel to the West’s Dark Age, a bloody period of religious extremism. They blame the rise of extremist groups like ISIS and al-Qaida on Islam itself, or on the Middle East’s supposedly “backward” culture, yet conveniently gloss over their own countries’ histories and policies.

There is much more than a tinge of racism in this orientalist idea that, for some reason, Muslims in the Middle East are centuries behind the englightened Christian West. This ludicrous claim does not stand up to even the most superficial historical scrutiny.

For one, never mentioned is the fact that, only decades ago, most Middle Eastern countries were Western colonies. Their civilian populations were terrorized and brutalized by Western colonial powers.

And, again, what were the most secular and modern governments in the history of the Middle East? It was almost always the Soviet-aligned or non-aligned leftist governments that were either enemies of the West or non-allies in the Cold War.

Regardless of the critiques of these governments’ many problems, which is a separate issue, the reality is the Middle East was significantly more progressive and secular during the height of the Cold War than it is today. That’s not a coincidence. The U.S. and its allies destroyed secularism as part of their larger Cold War strategy.

The Cold War bites back

This Cold War strategy continues to bite back today, and hard. Because of this policy, we have now ended up with capitalist dystopias like those in Saudi Arabia, Qatar or the UAE — filthy rich oil states where businessmen are drowning in money while the migrant modern-day slaves upon which their economies are built die in droves, and theocratic monarchies imprison or even behead anyone who challenges the regime.

The Gulf states remain some of the most reactionary and extremist countries on the planet, and they happen to be close Western allies. Saudi Arabia, in particular, is the fountainhead of militant Sunni Islamism — and yet the Obama administration has done more than $100 billion in arms deals with the Saudi monarchy in just five years. In fact, less than three days after the Paris attacks, the U.S. sold another $1.3 billion of bombs to Saudi Arabia — bombs it will likely use to drop on Yemen, where human rights organizations say it is committing egregious war crimes, and where the chaos created by the Saudi-led coalition is helping al-Qaida and ISIS expand into Yemen.

Ideologies are not devoid from material reality. Yes, there are extremists in every religion, but why do they not have the same power in other faiths? There is no such thing as an ideology independent of the material conditions and social forces that assert that ideology materially — that is to say, politically — in reality. Islamic extremism was violently imposed upon the Middle East through a mixture of imperial machinations and individual radicalization under tyranny and extreme poverty.

Ending Terrorism

Up until the 1990 Gulf War, throughout the Iran-Iraq War that consumed the 1980s, the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein — the very same dictator it would violently depose in 2003.

Fast-forwarding two decades later, it is now widely acknowledged that the illegal U.S.-led war in Iraq — a catastrophic occupation that led to the deaths of at least 1 million people — destabilized the entire Middle East, creating the extreme conditions in which militant groups like al-Qaida spread like wildfire, eventually leading to the emergence of ISIS.

Saddam Hussein was the first Frankenstein’s monster U.S. policy created in Iraq, al-Qaida was the second, and now ISIS is the third.

If we truly want to end the abominable acts of violence perpetrated by extremist groups like ISIS and al-Qaida, we should take to heart the simple yet profoundcounsel of Noam Chomsky, another modern-day Cassandra: “Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.”

Job Vacancy – Perpetrator of Retribution – 5 Figure Salary and Benefits

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Looking for a career move?

We like to keep our global readers informed of the employment opportunities that are openening up around the world.

If you are struggling to find a decent, well paid job in your own country,  or you belong to the Lost Generation of Greeks and Spaniards who suffer from 50% youth unemployment,  you might consider joining Saudi Arabia’s Ministry Of Civil Service as a Perpetrator Of Retribution.

The New York Times reports today that the Government of Saudi Arabia is hiring 8 executioners to behead sentenced drug offenders and thieves.

Candidates should be:

…particularly adept at wielding a sword and believe strongly that stiff penalties for crime play an important role in deterring future misdeeds…

Should you consider that your professional experience and academic background fit the requirements of the advertised position, you can apply online by following this link.

A Booming Sector

The Capital Punishment sector is well placed to benefit from a sustained boom over the next 10 years: executioner’s skills are in high demand.

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As The Economist reports, China is by far the most prolific executioner and, although numbers are shrouded in secrecy, around 8% of judicial killings in 2014 were for drug crimes.

In Iran, almost half of the 278 people executed in 2014 were for drug offences. But this year alone, 241 traffickers have been put to death.