Thursday, September 29, 2011

Faster Than Light Particles Could Wreck Einstein’s Relativity Theory

Jesus Diaz September 22, 2011

This is extremely shocking: CERN scientists using a 1300-ton particle detector have measured particles travelling faster than the speed of light. If confirmed, this discovery could invalidate Albert Einstein's 1905 theory of special relativity and revolutionize physics.

Einstein's theory says that there's nothing in the universe that could travel faster than light. Now, CERN scientists believe this may be wrong according to their latest experiment.

The 3-year experiment timed about 16,000 neutrino packets launched from CERN facilities in Geneva, travelling through Earth and arriving 2.43 milliseconds later to the subterranean facilities of Italy's Gran Sasso National Laboratory. There, the Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus (the OPERA particle detector) recorded the hits.

When scientists discovered that the particles were arriving 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light—with only a 10 nanosecond error margin—they freaked out. I don't blame them. Imagine someone comes to you to tell you that a new observation shows that planet Earth is actually flat.

But University of Bern's Antonio Ereditato—spokesperson for the 160-member OPERA team—says that the experiment is "a straightforward time-of-flight measurement." It was repeatable, so they couldn't ignore it because that would be dishonest: "[T]he consequences can be very serious [...] We are forced to say something [...] We have high confidence in our results. But we need other colleagues to do their tests and confirm them."

The news are so extraordinary that other physicists are already saying this is impossible. Chang Kee Jung—a neutrino physicist at Stony Brook University in New York—believes it's a systematic error. Jung is the spokesperson for a similar project in Japan. Indiana University's physicist Alan Kostelecky believes that, while it may be possible that neutrinos can travel faster than light, the experiment needs to be repeated "by at least one and preferably several experiments." There are other facilities that could be used to run the same test, one of them is Fermilab in Chicago. The other one is the T2K experiment in Japan, the one in which Jung participates.

Still, Kostelecky confesses that he "would be delighted if it were true." I would be delighted too. I love when the world goes crazy.

Jumping Off a Building With Bubble Wrap

Rhett Allain of was asked this question: "How much bubble wrap would you need to wrap yourself in if you wanted to jump out of a first story window and survive?"

Spoiler Alert: Here's his answer:

I am going to go with 39 layers of bubble wrap. Should you actually do this? No. Don’t do this. Well, I guess you could do this with a dummy or something.

One more quick question. I wonder how much bubble wrap you would need to survive jumping out of a plane. You might not need too much more since all that bubble wrap would also slow your terminal speed down.

To see the science and math behind this answer:

Mind-Reading Machine


It sounds like science fiction: While volunteers watched movie clips, a scanner watched their brains. And from their brain activity, a computer made rough reconstructions of what they viewed.

Scientists reported that result Thursday and speculated such an approach might be able to reveal dreams and hallucinations someday.

In the future, it might help stroke victims or others who have no other way to communicate, said Jack Gallant, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of the paper...

Mind-Reading Experiment Reconstructs Movies in Our Mind
September 22, 2011

Awesome Quotes: Dimitar Sasselov

“It’s feasible that we’ll meet other sentient life forms and conduct commerce with them. We don’t now have the technology to physically travel outside our solar system for such an exchange to take place, but we are like Columbus centuries ago, learning fast how to get somewhere few think possible.”
Dimitar Sasselov, professor of astrophysics and director of Harvard University’s Origins of Life Initiative Project:

Bigfoot Toy Collectibles

Lyle Blackburn of the excellent Website has created a a virtual museum of Bigfoot related toys. Some of the pictures are here: others include GI Joe and Lego sets. To see the entire collection:

The Great Water Panther Coin


Mishepishu (pronounced Mee-shee-PEE-shoe, and also spelt Mishipeshu), whose name comes from the Algonquin Ojibwe word meaning “Great Water Lynx” or “Underwater Panther,” is described as a huge felid with horns on his head, a scaly, dragon-like body with spikes on its back and the tail of a fish...

Here is the Canadian Mint’s description of the new coin:

Children will be captivated by this Great Lakes mystery. Comes with a pull-out map identifying the locations of Mishepishu sightings.

Rediscover the magic of story telling.

For centuries, Ojibwe legends have described a mysterious creature lurking in the depths of Lake Superior. They call it Mishepishu, which means “Great Lynx”, to describe its wildcat shape. This clever shape-shifter is also believed to swim the waters of Lake Ontario and other Great Lakes in order to protect the precious copper found in the rocks throughout the region. Chances are, you’ll never be quick enough to spot it among the waves...

Mishepishu (Great Water Panther) Coin
Loren Coleman
September 22nd, 2011

New Raptor Dinosaur Used Giant Claw to Pin, Slash Prey?

"Incredibly rare" fossils give insight into raptor behavior, study says
Christine Dell'Amore
September 21, 2011

Talk about a lucky break — paleontologists have found "incredibly rare" fossils of a new species of raptor dinosaur that severely fractured its giant-clawed foot about 76 million years ago, paleontologists say.

The six-foot-long (two-meter-long) Talos sampsonsi lived in the rainy, "hothouse world" of late-Cretaceous North America, which was then two continents—Laramidia in the west and Appalachia in the east—divided by a shallow seaway.

It's one of the few troodontid theropods—small, birdlike predators—ever discovered in North America, said study leader Lindsay Zanno, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

Doctoral student Mike Knell, who found Talos while searching for fossil turtles in Utah in 2008, "stumbled across one of the nicest raptors that we've found in North America," she said.

"It was a thrilling discovery for those of us who got to work on it."

The dinosaur is named for the mythological Greek figure Talos—a winged figure that supposedly could run at lightning speed—as well as Utah paleontologist Scott Sampson.

Raptor Dinosaur Used Talon to Puncture Prey?

Perhaps most exciting about Talos is its injured second toe, which has added to an existing debate on what troodontids did with the giant, sickle-like claw on that toe, study leader Zanno said.

Paleontologists have offered opposing explanations for the claw, for example that it helped troodontids climb, acted as a weapon in killing prey or fighting foes, or even enabled the dinosaur to clean itself.

When the scientists analyzed Talos's injured toe bone via a CT scanner, they found a mark that indicated that the injury—possibly caused by a bite from another animal—had been traumatic.

Assuming the dinosaur used the talon when walking, such a serious injury would've caused Talos to limp on that leg, which in turn would've caused obvious changes to the skeleton's structure, Zanno noted.

Instead, "we found the complete opposite," she said—the skeleton was otherwise unscathed.

This strengthens the theory that the raptor dinosaur carried its giant toe off the ground—an idea already supported by raptor tracks that lack claw marks, according to the study, published September 19 in the journal PLoS ONE.

Instead, Talos may have wielded its claw like a puncturing device when hunting, for example by getting a foothold as the raptor scrambled up a larger animal's back, Zanno said. Or, like some modern-day birds, the dinosaur may have used the claw as a weapon while fighting with other dinosaur rivals.

It's "giving us a window into the biology of the animal that we don't get from your average, everyday specimen," Zanno said.

New Dinosaur an Omnivore?

The fact that the toe was traumatically injured at all suggests the dinosaur used it as a weapon, said Thomas R. Holtz, Jr., a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Talos was "probably not going to get a wound like that from preening its feathers," said Holtz, who wasn't part of the study.

Based on the new findings and previous dinosaur tracks, Holtz suspects the dinosaur used its claw to pin down small animals and slash bigger prey.

What's more, the specimen's post-wound survival hints that the raptor was omnivorous, Holtz speculated. With its claw unusable for hunting, the dinosaur presumably had to eat plants or other foods to stay alive while it healed.

Holtz and colleagues have previously found that troodontids had teeth more like those of plant-eating reptiles than carnivorous ones, he added.

Study leader Zanno added, "In the end we can never observe the behavior of this animal—it's always going to be controversial."

But "the more individual lines of evidence that we can add that can support the [weapon] hypothesis, the stronger it becomes."

Acne Home Remedies

From NaturalNews:
1. Licorice: Researchers at the Skin Research Institute in Korea conducted research published in July 2008 that explored the role of Chinese herbs as agents against acne. They discovered that Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) had anti-bacterial properties against P. acnes. Apply licorice root extract directly to blemishes and use licorice root tea as a facial wash.

2. Echinacea: Another in vitro study conducted at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada used a standardized preparation of Echinacea against P. acnes. This research was published in September 2009 and showed that Echinacea both killed the bacteria and helped reverse inflammation brought on by the bacteria. Consume Echinacea internally in the form of either organic tea or capsules and apply Echinacea extract directly to pimples as an "on the spot" treatment.

3. Resveratrol: Researchers at the University of Naples in Naples, Italy published research in April 2011 that showed that the administration of a resveratrol containing gel improved acne symptoms in patients previously afflicted. Resveratrol is a substance naturally produced by grapes and other plants. The researchers in this experiment applied resveratrol gel once a day to acne-prone skin.

4. Basil Oil: Researchers at Naresuan University in Thailand conducted an in vitro study on the effect various basil oil preparations have on P. acnes. They discovered that sweet basil oil and holy basil oil were shown to have significant anti-bacterial effects against P. acnes. In this study, the sweet basil oil had higher activity against P. acnes than the holy basil oil did, although they both were active against it. Dilute basil oil in a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and apply to the skin to control acne.

5. Hops: Another study conducted in Washington D.C. and published in July 2007 showed that hops extract had significant activity against the most common acne-causing bacteria. Hops extract can be used externally as an astringent to cleanse the skin and to prevent acne outbreaks.

Cure acne at home with five lesser known home remedies
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Amelia Bentrup

Humor Break: 2012

Asteroid Framed for Murdering Dinosaurs


The source of the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago remains a mystery, a new study finds.

Some researchers had thought the deadly asteroid was a piece of a larger space rock called Baptistina. Baptistina broke apart after a massive in-space collision about 160 million years ago, the theory went, spawning a swarm of mountain-size chunks of rock. One of those eventually slammed into Earth, killing off the dinosaurs and many other species.

Scientists are confident that a 6-mile-wide (10-kilometer asteroid) is indeed what wiped out the dinosaurs. But new observations from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope suggest the space rock didn't come from Baptistina.

The timing just isn't right, according to the new study....

Origin of Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Is Still a Mystery
20 September 2011

Science Documentary of the Week

The Day I Died
BBC Documentary on Near-Death Experiences

The Underground Base Earthquake Conspiracy


While just the idea that earthquakes could be attacks on underground bases by nukes and/or HAARP type earthquake-prompting technologies, questions surrounding the Virginia earthquake event keep surfacing, including a massive sinkhole that appeared in the vicinity following the quake.

Even more intriguing is the fact that the only two admitted military underground base facilities in the US, besides some "storage" locations, are the NORAD facility in Colorado, and the Mount Weather underground base housing a back-up government in Virginia, nearby the US capital.

Yes, a back-up government, or so they said many years ago when it was first disclosed. Since then is hush hush, as usual.

What Is Mt. Weather?

Just 46 miles from Washington DC, a mysterious and secretive underground military base exists, located deep inside a mountain near the rural town of Bluemont, Virginia. Here lies Mount Weather, also known as the Western Virginia Office of Controlled Conflict Operations.

In March, 1976, The Progressive Magazine published an astonishing article entitled "The Mysterious Mountain." The author, Richard Pollock, based his investigative report on Senate subcommittee hearings and upon "several off-the-record interviews with officials formerly associated with Mount Weather." His report, and a 1991 article in Time Magazine entitled "Doomsday Hideaway", supply a few compelling hints about what is going on underground.

Mount Weather is virtually an underground city, according to former personnel interviewed by Pollock. Buried deep inside the earth, Mount Weather was equipped with such amenities as:

•private apartments and dormitories
•streets and sidewalks
•cafeterias and hospitals
•a water purification system, power plant and general office buildings
•a small lake fed by fresh water from underground springs
•its own mass transit system
•a TV communication system

Mount Weather is the self-sustaining underground command center for the Federal Emergency Management Agency - FEMA. The facility is the operational center of approximately 100 other Federal Relocation Centers, most of which are concentrated in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. Together this network of underground facilities constitutes the backbone of America's "Continuity of Government" program. In the event of nuclear war, declaration of martial law, or other national emergency, the President, his cabinet and the rest of the Executive Branch would be "relocated" to Mount Weather.

FEMA's our back-up government?

First of all, I can only assume that's a partially true cover story for a multitude of covert operations. But if even that part's true that's even scarier. How was that response to Andrew or Katrina, boys? Or the gulf oil disaster? Anybody in anybody's back pocket?

At least that explains the ineptness. Disaster exploitation is more like it. They're amassing resources for a manipulated national disaster on a scale we can't even imagine. And with dire consequences for the American people.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency

Some people have referred to it as the "secret government" of the United States. It is not an elected body, it does not involve itself in public disclosures, and it even has a quasi-secret budget in the billions of dollars. This government organization has more power than the President of the United States or the Congress, it has the power to suspend laws, move entire populations, arrest and detain citizens without a warrant and hold them without trial, it can seize property, food supplies, transportation systems, and can suspend the Constitution. Not only is it the most powerful entity in the United States, but it was not even created under Constitutional law by the Congress.

FEMA was created in a series of Executive Orders. A Presidential Executive Order, whether Constitutional or not, becomes law simply by its publication in the Federal Registry. Congress is by-passed. Executive Order Number 12148 created the Federal Emergency Management Agency that is to interface with the Department of Defense for civil defense planning and funding. An "emergency czar" was appointed. FEMA has only spent about 6 percent of its budget on national emergencies, the bulk of their funding has been used for the construction of secret underground facilities to assure continuity of government in case of a major emergency, foreign or domestic.


OK, so what's the connection

This supposedly manipulated earthquake happened in a very peculiar location, quite close to Washington DC. According to the nuke theory people, this was a take down by forces opposing what the US/London based cabal is up to; the military and financial subjugation of the world in order to impose their new, improved wicked system, affectionately called the "New World Order".

Well, it seems equally powerful forces might be wanting to send a signal back to these unchecked overlords of darkness to let them know "we're not gonna take it".

Man, wouldn't that would be good news.

But we don't know yet. And it's doubtful we'll get any kind of disclosure of anything of that nature. Shoot, they haven't fessed up to Pearl Harbor or Vietnam, never mind Oklahoma City, 9/11, chemtrails etc...or even who the hell Obama is! Underground bases and tunnel system to house the elites and "essential personnel" during a serious catastrophe?

Are you kidding me?

Connecting More Dots

What made me think about Mt. Weather is the fact that it and NORAD are the only two acknowledged government involved underground bases in the US and they're both near where these almost simultaneous, atypically large quakes struck...

The Colorado Underground Base and Quake

An unusually large 5.3 quake hit central Colorado within hours of the big DC/Virginia quake in question. Again, this time it's a huge "defense" installation under Cheyenne Mountain operated by NORAD.

Cheyenne Mountain is a mountain located just outside the southwest side of Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S., and is home to the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station and its Cheyenne Mountain Directorate, formerly known as the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center (CMOC).

Throughout the Cold War and continuing to this day, the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center and the Cheyenne Mountain Directorate collect data from a worldwide system of satellites, radar, and other sensors and process that information in real time. Operations are conducted year-round in the Air Warning Center, Missile Correlation Center, Operational Intelligence Watch, Systems Center, Weather Center, and the Command Center.


Epilogue - A LOT of forces at play makes for many possibilities

Well, as always I'm just wondering.

The fact that these are two significant bases are two they do admit exist, besides a few "storage facilities", and that large earthquakes struck both within hours with strange circumstances including very unusual signatures, and then we hear claims that these were nuke attacks on underground bases....well, let's just say the jury is still out, but the important thing is it's very interesting and perhaps extremely significant.

I like to bring awareness of peripheral information when a plausible theory is put out there, especially when the knee jerk reaction is to dismiss it as "impossible". And just as it's healthy to challenge what you're told NOT to believe, it's also a very sane reaction to challenge what you are told TO believe.

There are a lot more forces at play than most people can begin to believe or realize, including not just the black-ops types of 'spy vs spy' operations continually struggling amongst themselves, but there are extraterrestrial influences way beyond even some people's imagination well at work on our planet.

Even if nukes weren't involved, when quakes happen I look for how they COULD be induced, by cosmic forces and alignments such as we're apparently experiencing with Elenin and other cosmic influences. But also the likelihood that they're being manipulated or exacerbated by the PTB-directed scientific madmen, knowing full well this HAARP-type technology exists in the hands of MANY countries and forces...

To read the whole article:

Were NORAD And Shadow Gov't Bases The Nuke/Quake Targets?
Zen Gardner
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

After Troy Davis's Death, Questions I Can't Unask

by Dave Zirin

Folks - In honor of Troy Davis, I gave more than I can afford to the Campaign to the End the Death Penalty. at the following link. Please do the same:

In struggle,
Dave Zirin

1. Can Troy Davis, who fought to his last breath, actually be dead this morning?

2 - If we felt tortured with fear and hope for the four hours that the Supreme Court deliberated on Troy's case, how did the Davis family feel?

3. Why did the state of Georgia need to leave him strapped to the death-gurney while waiting for the Supreme Court to rule?

4. Why does this hurt so much?

5. Does Judge Clarence Thomas, an impovershed African American son of Georgia, ever acknowledge in quiet moments that he could easily have been Troy Davis?

6. What do people who insist we have to vote for Obama and support the Democrats "because of the Supreme Court" say this morning?

7. Why does the right wing in this country distrust "big government" on everything except executing people of color and the poor?

8. Why were Democrats who spoke out for Troy the utter exception and not the rule?

9. Why didn't the New York Times editorial page say anything until after Troy's parole was denied when their words wouldn't mean a damn?

9. Why does this hurt so much?

10. How can Barack Obama say that commenting on Troy's case is "not appropriate" but it's somehow appropriate to bomb Libya and kill nameless innocents without the pretense of congressional approval?

11. What would he say if Malia asked him that question?

12. How can we have a Black family in the White House and a legal lynching in Georgia?

13. Why does this hurt so much?

14. Can we acknowledge that in our name, this country has created hundreds of thousands of Troy Davises in the Middle East?

15. Can we continue to co-exist peacefully in a country that executes its own?

16. What the hell do I tell my seven year old daughter who has been marching to save Troy since she was in a stroller?

17. If some Troy's last words were, "This movement began before I was born, it must continue and grow stronger under we abolish the death penalty once and for all", then do we not have nothing less than a moral obligation to continue the fight?

"The death penalty system in our country is unjust and outdated."


The execution of death row inmate Troy Davis in Georgia shows that the nation's death penalty system is "unjust and outdated," former President Jimmy Carter said following Davis' death.

The Georgia Democrat said Thursday in a statement to The Associated Press that he hopes "this tragedy will spur us as a nation toward the total rejection of capital punishment."

Davis was executed late Wednesday night for the 1989 murder of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail. His supporters insist he was the victim of mistaken identity, while prosecutors and MacPhail's family said justice was finally served after four years of delays.

Carter says "if one of our fellow citizens can be executed with so much doubt surrounding his guilt, then the death penalty system in our country is unjust and outdated."

Davis maintained his innocence until the end.

"All I can ask ... is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth. I ask my family and friends to continue to fight this fight," he said moments before he was executed Wednesday night...

Carter: Davis execution shows system is "unjust"
September 22, 2011

Great Quotes on Troy Davis

"If you are pro-death penalty, you should be shouting twice as loud as the rest of us about the imminent murder of Troy Davis. Otherwise, you can't claim to be supporting a stark but necessary act of justice. You're just a fan of killing people in general. There are words for people like that. None of them are nice."
Tom Chivers of the London Telegraph

Troy Davis executed at 11:08 p.m. EST

Georgia inmate killed by lethal injection after last-minute appeal refused by Supreme Court
GREG BLUESTEIN, Associated Press
Wednesday, Sep 21, 2011

Georgia inmate Troy Davis has been executed for the killing of an off-duty police officer in a case that has drawn worldwide support over his claims of innocence.

Courts consistently ruled against him, however, and the officer's family says they finally have justice after 22 years.

Davis was pronounced dead at 11:08 p.m. Wednesday. He was put to death for the 1989 killing of Mark MacPhail. The officer was shot to death while rushing to help a homeless man being attacked by Davis and others.

Davis' global support came from high-profile advocates, including a former U.S. president, the pope and celebrities.

Shortly before, the Supreme Court late Wednesday had rejected an 11th-hour request to block the execution.

The court did not comment on its order, four hours after receiving the request. Davis' execution had been set to begin at 7 p.m., but the high court's decision was not issued until after 10 p.m.

Though Davis' attorneys said seven of nine key witnesses against him disputed all or parts of their testimony, state and federal judges had repeatedly ruled against granting him a new trial. As the court losses piled up Wednesday, his offer to take a polygraph test was rejected and the pardons board refused to give him one more hearing.

Davis' supporters staged vigils in the U.S. and Europe, declaring "I am Troy Davis" on signs, T-shirts and the Internet. Some tried increasingly frenzied measures, urging prison workers to stay home and even posting a judge's phone number online, hoping people would press him to put a stop to the lethal injection. President Barack Obama deflected calls for him to get involved.

"They say death row; we say hell no!" protesters shouted outside the Jackson prison where Davis was to be executed. In Washington, a crowd outside the Supreme Court yelled the same chant.

The crowd outside the prison swelled to more than 500 as night fell and a few dozen riot police stood watch. About 10 counterdemonstrators also were there, showing support for the death penalty and the family of Mark MacPhail, the man Davis was convicted of killing in 1989.

"He had all the chances in the world," his mother, Anneliese MacPhail, said of Davis in a telephone interview before the execution. "It has got to come to an end."

At a Paris rally, many of the roughly 150 demonstrators carried signs emblazoned with Davis' face. "Everyone who looks a little bit at the case knows that there is too much doubt to execute him," Nicolas Krameyer of Amnesty International said at the protest.

Davis' execution has been stopped three times since 2007, but on Wednesday the 42-year-old ran out of legal options.

As his last hours ticked away, an upbeat and prayerful Davis turned down an offer for a special last meal as he met with friends, family and supporters.

"Troy Davis has impacted the world," his sister Martina Correia said at a news conference. "They say, 'I am Troy Davis,' in languages he can't speak."

Correia, who is battling breast cancer and using a wheelchair as she helps coordinate rallies and other events, called on people to push for change in the justice system. Then she said, "I'm going to stand here for my brother," and got up with help from people around her.

Amnesty International says nearly 1 million people had signed a petition on Davis' behalf. His supporters included former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI, a former FBI director, the NAACP, several conservative figures and many celebrities, including hip-hop star Sean "P. Diddy" Combs.

"I'm trying to bring the word to the young people: There is too much doubt," rapper Big Boi, of the Atlanta-based group Outkast, said at a church near the prison.

The U.S. Supreme Court gave Davis an unusual opportunity to prove his innocence in a lower court last year, though the high court itself did not hear the merits of the case.

He was convicted in 1991 of killing MacPhail, who was working as a security guard at the time. MacPhail rushed to the aid of a homeless man who prosecutors said Davis was bashing with a handgun after asking him for a beer. Prosecutors said Davis had a smirk on his face as he shot the officer to death in a Burger King parking lot in Savannah.

No gun was ever found, but prosecutors say shell casings were linked to an earlier shooting for which Davis was convicted.

Witnesses placed Davis at the crime scene and identified him as the shooter, but several of them have recanted their accounts and some jurors have said they've changed their minds about his guilt. Others have claimed a man who was with Davis that night has told people he actually shot the officer.

"Such incredibly flawed eyewitness testimony should never be the basis for an execution," Marsh said. "To execute someone under these circumstances would be unconscionable."

State and federal courts, however, repeatedly upheld Davis' conviction. One federal judge dismissed the evidence advanced by Davis' lawyers as "largely smoke and mirrors."

"He has had ample time to prove his innocence," said MacPhail's widow, Joan MacPhail-Harris. "And he is not innocent."

Davis' best chance may have come last year, in a hearing ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the first time in 50 years that justices had considered a request to grant a new trial for a death row inmate.

The high court set a tough standard for Davis to exonerate himself, ruling that his attorneys must "clearly establish" Davis' innocence -- a higher bar to meet than prosecutors having to prove guilt. After the hearing judge ruled in prosecutors' favor, the justices didn't take up the case.

The execution has drawn widespread criticism in Europe, where politicians and activists made last-minute pleas for a stay.

Spencer Lawton, the district attorney who secured Davis' conviction in 1991, said he was embarrassed for the judicial system -- not because of the execution, but because it has taken so long to carry out.

"What we have had is a manufactured appearance of doubt which has taken on the quality of legitimate doubt itself. And all of it is exquisitely unfair," said Lawton, who retired as Chatham County's head prosecutor in 2008. "The good news is we live in a civilized society where questions like this are decided based on fact in open and transparent courts of law, and not on street corners."

Associated Press reporters Russ Bynum in Savannah, Kate Brumback and Marina Hutchinson in Jackson, Eric Tucker and Erica Werner in Washington and Sohrab Monemi in Paris contributed to this report.


The Ten Richest People in America

1. Bill Gates $59 B 55 Medina, Washington Microsoft
2. Warren Buffett $39 B 81 Omaha, Nebraska Berkshire Hathaway
3. Larry Ellison $33 B 67 Woodside, California Oracle
4. Charles Koch $25 B 75 Wichita, Kansas diversified
4. David Koch $25 B 71 New York, New York diversified
6. Christy Walton $24.5 B 56 Jackson, Wyoming Wal-Mart
7. George Soros $22 B 81 Katonah, New York hedge funds
8. Sheldon Adelson $21.5 B 78 Las Vegas, Nevada casinos
9. Jim Walton $21.1 B 63 Bentonville, Arkansas Wal-Mart
10. Alice Walton $20.9 B 61 Fort Worth, Texas Wal-Mart


Cool TV Trend: Babes

With the reboot of Charlie's Angels along with new shows Pan Am & The Playboy Club, as well as the Zooey Deschanel vehicle New Girl, it's a good year for BabeWatch fans on the boob tube...


YouTube Clip of the Week

Tom & Jerry tell you who's the illuminati president of Hollywood:


Food Porn of the Week


Mac N' Cheese Big Daddy Patty Melt, which comes in at 1,690 calories, 99 grams of fat, courtesy of Denny's...


The Triple Double Oreo...


Hewlett-Packard's New CEO: Meg Whitman

HP has made some bad business decisions lately: will putting the former EBay CEO as their head be a step in the right direction?



Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankess gets his record 602nd save:

Nevermind turned 20 years old on September 24th:

The rock band Queen turned 40 on September 23rd. They have a book out documenting their history:

Jimi Hendrix died 41 years ago on September 18th. Guitar World has a tribute to him:

The UFO abduction report of Betty & Barney Hill happened 50 years ago on September 19th in New Hampshire. It inspired a great TV movie starring James Earl Jones & Estelle Parsons, and Konformist pal Bryce Zabel is planning to make a new film about it. While not the first UFO abduction tale, it was the one that put it in the popular culture and still is probably the most famous. Fox News, to its credit, has a great article on the anniversary:

Mark Hamill turned 60 on September 25th. No matter what he does (including his brilliant vocal portrayal of The Joker in the animated Batman series) his career will always be reduced to his performance of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars Trilogy. Which isn't a bad thing:

Singer, songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen turned 77 on September 21st. That's as good of a reason as any to view the excellent documentary Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man. Here it is, courtesy of

Jazz artist John Coltrane turned 85 on September 23rd. Dangerous Minds has a great tribute to him:


Discovered: Hydrogen from Wastewater

Hydrogen is a clean fuel, but making it usually takes fossil fuels, until now: A new discovery allows hungry bacteria to eat dirty water to make the fuel...




The indie band that did well: the first album they released after signing a major record deal was titled Green - a nod to business success and not environmental concerns...

All My Children

We'll especially miss the Susan Lucci Emmy Awards jokes...


RIP: Tom Wilson, 80, creator of the comic strip Ziggy...

Oktoberfest 2011

The 178th Oktoberfest opened in Munich, Germany, with the traditional tapping of the first keg of beer by Munich's mayor, Christian Ude, shouting "O'zapft is!" ("It's tapped!"). The Bavarian festival takes place over 17 days, and some 6 million people are expected to attend. Here are some of the photos from Oktoberfest 2011's first weekend, via The Atlantic:


Anne Hathaway as Catwoman

Minka Kelly

Sofia Vergara



Jennifer Love Hewitt

Jennifer Lopez

Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross & Felicity Huffman of Desperate Housewives

New Documentary of the Month: Smile 'Til It Hurts

Credit to for tipping us off. From

Before there were yuppies, there were uppies—the term Up With People members use to refer to themselves. Most Americans over the age of 35 are vaguely familiar with Up With People, as its cast members have sung to more than 20 million people worldwide, and at the height of the ensemble’s fame it provided the halftime entertainment at four Super Bowls (1976, 1980, ’82, ’86). But many are unaware of the group’s cultish utopian ideology, its political connectedness, and how it was funded by corporate America, part of a deliberate propaganda effort to discredit liberal counterculture in the 1960s and ’70s. In the documentary Smile ’Til It Hurts: The Up With People Story (Storey Vision), writer-director-producer Lee Storey provides a thorough, balanced look at the organization’s history, demonstrating “what can happen when ideology, money and groupthink converge to co-opt youthful idealism.”

Stoner Cooking

Chewy Chocolate Pan Cookies

1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) REESE'S Peanut Butter Chips


1 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 15-1/2x10-1/2x1-inch jelly-roll pan.

2 Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually blend into butter mixture. Stir in peanut butter chips. (Batter will be stiff.) Spread batter in prepared pan.

3 Bake 20 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack; cut into bars. About 4 dozen bars.


OREO® Banana Peanut Butter Treats

What You Need

4 bananas, cut crosswise in half
12 OREO Cookies, finely chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
2 Tbsp. multi-colored sprinkles
3/4 cup PLANTERS Creamy Peanut Butter

Make It

INSERT wooden pop stick into cut end of each banana half; set aside. Mix chopped cookies and sprinkles; set aside.

SPREAD bananas evenly with peanut butter. Roll in cookie mixture until evenly coated. Wrap individually with plastic wrap.

FREEZE 2 hours or until firm. Remove from freezer 10 min. before serving to soften slightly.


Prepare as directed, substituting 1/4 cup chopped PLANTERS Dry Roasted Peanuts for every 3 cookies.


Lobster Mac and Cheese with Fontina

Serves 8


1 pound cavatappi or elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds cooked lobster meat
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup flour
4 cups whole milk
1 cup Wisconsin Mascarpone Cheese
4 tablespoons clam juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 cups (about 12 ounces) Wisconsin Fontina Cheese, grated, divided
salt and white pepper, as needed
1/2 cup chives, minced, divided
1/2 cup scallions white and light green parts, thinly sliced, divided
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Extra-Sharp Wisconsin White Cheddar, finely grated
1 1/2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs (about 5 slices bread with crusts removed)


Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring a 4-quart saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost cooked, about 6 minutes. Drain pasta, transfer to a bowl, toss with the oil and set aside.

Pull out about half of the biggest, firmest pieces of lobster, and then neatly slice it into attractive pieces. Roughly chop the rest.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk and cook, continuing to whisk often, until sauce has thickened and coats the whisk, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in Mascarpone, along with the clam juice, cayenne, and nutmeg; stir until smooth. Return the mixture to low heat and add 2 cups Fontina cheese, stirring until smooth; season with salt and white pepper. Add reserved pasta to cheese sauce. Stir in the chopped lobster, half of the chives, and half of the scallions.

Transfer mixture to a 9×13-inch or similar capacity baking dish and sprinkle with remaining Fontina cheese and the Cheddar. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle over the top of the pasta. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the pasta is browned on the top. Let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining lobster slices, scallions, and chives.

17 Things You Might Not Have Known About 'The Lion King'

Gary Susman
Sep 13th 2011

Call it the circle of life: many kids who saw 'The Lion King' in theaters when it opened in 1994 can now take their own kids to see it when the 3D version hits the cineplex on Sept. 16. (The film hits both standard and 3D Blu-ray on Oct. 4.) Of course, it's hard to believe there's a generation that has never been exposed to 'The Lion King'; since the landmark Disney cartoon debuted, it has spawned an industry that's included two direct-to-video sequels, a TV series, several video games and a long-running Broadway musical.

To celebrate the 17-year history of 'The Lion King,' Moviefone has unearthed 17 things you might not have known about the furry film fable, including which Oscar-nominated song Elton John thought would kill his career, the supposed secret "sex" scene, what that chant at the beginning of 'Circle of Life' means, and a precedent-setting blast of warthog flatulence.

1. Originally, the movie was going to be called 'King of the Jungle,' until the filmmakers realized that lions live on the savanna, not in the jungle.

2. Initially, the film was not going to be a musical, but rather, a more realistic, National Geographic-type story. It was lyricist Tim Rice -- who'd worked with Disney on 'Aladdin' -- who suggested adding songs and hiring Elton John to compose them.

3. The film's writers referred to the film in private as 'Bamblet,' noting the similarity between their movie's plot and those of 'Bambi' and 'Hamlet.'

4. Conservative activists objected to a scene where particles in the night sky supposedly spell out, for an instant, the word "SEX." The animators have said that they were actually spelling out the abbreviation "SFX" (for "special effects") as a signature of their work that would be visible only to viewers with sharp eyes (and fast thumbs on the pause button).

5. For inspiration, the animators and artists spent two weeks in Africa, visiting Hell's Gate National Park in Kenya. They also had real lions brought into the animation studio, under the supervision of Jim Fowler, of TV's 'Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.'

6. The song 'Hakuna Matata' originated with a phrase the animators heard from a tour guide during their African trip. Tim Rice heard the phrase (which, as every fan knows, means "no worries") and noted its similarity to 'Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo' from Disney's 'Cinderella,' and he turned it into the film's comic centerpiece. Elton John, however, was afraid the tune would mark a low point in his career. "I sat there with a line of lyrics that began, 'When I was a young warthog," John said in 1995, "and I thought, 'Has it come to this?'"

7. Hans Zimmer, who eventually won an Oscar for composing the instrumental score, brought aboard Lebo M, a South African composer and singer he'd worked with on the film 'The Power of One.' (A self-imposed exile from the apartheid regime, Lebo M was parking cars in Los Angeles when Zimmer met him.) It's Lebo M who added the African choral passages to the score, including the famous 'Circle of Life' chant that opens the movie.

8. Lebo M's 'Circle of Life' chant, translated from Zulu, means, "Here comes a lion, Father/Oh yes, it's a lion/We're going to conquer/A lion and a leopard come to this open place."

9. Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella, who were co-starring on Broadway in 'Guys and Dolls,' auditioned together, hoping to play hyenas. But the filmmakers liked their chemistry and cast them instead as Timon and Pumbaa, the meerkat/warthog comic relief duo. For the hyenas, the filmmakers initially wanted Cheech and Chong , but the stoner comedy duo had broken up by the time the movie was made. So the filmmakers stuck with Cheech Marin but used Whoopi Goldberg instead of Tommy Chong.

10. 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' was almost a comic duet for Timon and Pumbaa, but Elton John balked. As a traditional love ballad, marking Simba and Nala's romance, the song became one of three from the film nominated for Oscars (along with 'Hakuna Matata' and 'Circle of Life,') and it won the Academy Award for Elton John and Tim Rice.

11. A musical number called "The Morning Report" didn't make it into the film (it was replaced by dialogue), but it was used in the Broadway musical and was included in the 2002 IMAX re-release and the platinum-edition DVD, accompanied by newly created footage.

12. 'The Lion King' marks the second time that James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair played royal parents of an African prince. The first time was 'Coming to America,' where they played Eddie Murphy's dad and mom.

13. When Simba (voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas) tells Scar (Jeremy Irons), "You're so weird," and Scar replies, "You have no idea," the reference is to a nearly identical exchange between Ron Silver and Irons during the latter's Oscar-winning turn as Claus Von Bulow in 'Reversal of Fortune.'

14. While the characters in the movie are all hand-drawn, computers were used for assistance in some sequences, notably, the wildebeest stampede. In that sequence, a computer multiplied several hand-drawn animals into hundreds and created random paths for them. The resulting two-and-a-half-minute sequence took more than two years to create.

15. 'The Lion King' was the highest grossing movie worldwide in 1994, with a total of $772.6 million grossed around the globe. It's also the top-grossing hand-drawn cartoon of all time and the fourth-biggest animated feature of all time (behind CGI features 'Shrek 2,' 'Toy Story 3,' and 'Finding Nemo') in the U.S.

16. For a long time, 'The Lion King' held the record as the best-selling home video release, having sold 30 million copies on VHS.

17. Pumbaa was the first Disney character to fart.

Follow Gary Susman on Twitter @garysusman.

New Lucky Charms With 15 Percent Less Leprechaun Meat

General Mills Releases New Lucky Charms With 15 Percent Less Leprechaun Meat
September 23, 2011 | ISSUE 47•38,26135

MINNEAPOLIS — Saying that Lucky Charms is "as magically delicious as ever but now lower in magically saturated fats," General Mills announced Friday it would begin making the cereal with 15 percent less leprechaun meat.

"Lucky Charms will still have the same great taste and marshmallowy goodness, but now only the tastiest, leanest parts of the leprechaun will be used," a press release read in part, noting that the Lucky Charms recipe had not changed since 1964, when leprechaun meat was first added as an emulsifier. "As always, we use only natural colorings and flavorings in our cereals, which is why you may still sometimes find a wee hat in your bowl." The announcement comes only weeks after General Mills discontinued the use of ground rhinoceros in Wheaties.

Why the First 'Star Wars' Is Still the Best 'Star Wars'

Colin Fleming
Sep 14 2011
Fan favorite Empire Strikes Back may thrill, but A New Hope beats it because for the way it transports viewers to another world

Just as Friday's Blu-Ray release of all six Star Wars films affords fans another chance to bemoan George Lucas's meddlesome ways, it also grants us an opportunity to reassess what's what—and what's best—in the Star Wars universe.

The accepted history goes something like this: The three prequel films are largely rubbish, redeemed only in rare instances, like when Darth Maul appears in The Phantom Menace, or when Anakin/eventual-Darth Vader goes bad in Revenge of the Sith. The original three films, of course, are where it's at. Star Wars, which was later given the subtitle A New Hope, gets plaudits for kicking off the journey and blowing minds in '77. Return of the Jedi, six years later, capped it in Wagnerian style, but also featured the Ewoks, kid-pleasing fuzzballs that embarrassed sci-fi zealots everywhere. The second film—The Empire Strikes Back—has aged the best with the fans, and it remains arguably the most popular of all the Star Wars offerings.

Wherever you turn, Empire does well for itself. Time cited it as a prime example of a sequel that outpaces its predecessor—even if that predecessor is the lone Star Wars representative on AFI's list of the top 100 American movies. And according to Rotten Tomatoes, critics lean towards Empire above all others. It's easy to see why. Empire has always had what you might call movie bling: Think the ice planet of Hoth, AT-ATs, the pop culture hit that was Yoda, lady-loving Lando—"works every time," indeed, baby—and, of course,"I am your father," which may be the most iconic declarative sentence of the 1980s.

And as much as we enjoy being thrilled by on-screen action, there's nothing like feeling as though you've been rendered invisible and inserted into a film. But Star Wars: A New Hope is better. Unrivaled in its ability to bridge the gap between the people who are sitting in their seats watching the movie and the characters that are dashing about in it, it's film as a congruous journey. Empire, conversely, doesn't have Hope's cohesion, even though its plot, essentially, is that the rebels run away, and assorted incidents, adventures, and anecdotes accrue with great rapidity.

Maybe that frantic pacing is why Empire resonates so much with many of the younger Star Wars fans. There's nothing stately about it. It's action upon action upon action. If you're watching Empire, you've probably already seen the first film, and you've bought into its universe. You know that Han Solo is the galaxy's master of Robert Mitchum-type bad-assery, so it's OK for the filmmakers to give him a few killer lines—like his response to Leia just before getting frozen in carbonite—and turn him loose. The film's emotional resonance—and its cultural resonance, too, really—hinges on its crescendo moments, which are familiar even to people who haven't seen the film: those moments parodied, discussed, and referenced time and again. If you want a popcorn flick that shows what's both good and bad about the mega-blockbuster movie experience, Empire is for you.

But if you look at a film as a film and not as part of a phenomenon, A New Hope is the galactic gold standard. It's the one movie out of the six Star Wars movies that you can put alongside The Searchers, Bride of Frankenstein, or The Wizard of Oz as an American film masterpiece. There's a lot of talk in it, but that dialogue is not deployed merely for exposition, as it often is in the Star Wars films, but rather for fostering a feeling of place and community within the picture. Its overall look is rougher, with less chrome and gloss, and more dirt and ash. But that griminess lends the film a mood that—despite the triumphant climax—infiltrates you, rather than pumps you up. And there's a beguiling innocence in the film-making that might be unmatched in the medium's history. You get full on visual derring-do, balls-to-the-wall-style, almost as if Lucas and his crew had been granted one chance to do a movie and one chance only. In other words: If anyone wants to try some crazy idea, now would be the time.

There are plenty of gutsy cinematic moments. The heartrending shot of Luke staring toward the horizon with the two suns overhead is a perfect example of how an internal emotion like longing can be made visual. We're talking distances: a boy far removed from what he wants to be, and celestial bodies far removed from where he is presently standing.

But the film reveals its characters' personalities in more subtle ways, as well. People hang out a lot in A New Hope. Luke and C-3PO get to know each other in a glorified tool shed; Luke and Ben bond in the latter's hut; space chess and early Jedi training occur simultaneously as our plucky band travels from one spot of adventure to the next. We understand these individuals because Lucas had the courage to simply show them together, during their downtime. Viewed in relation to the rest of the franchise—especially the prequels—New Hope's restraint seems radical.

Lucas was well-versed in the old serials, and when you consider all of the transitional wipes and the occasional faux-camp spirit of Star Wars, it's obvious that the film was pitched as an extension of something like The Secret of Treasure Island or Captain Marvel. But Star Wars goes where serials like that never could. Serials rely on spectacle as spectacle; A New Hope uses spectacle to create meaning. Its loud, splashy moments turn to foster quiet, personal scenes. After Darth Vader strikes down Obi-Wan Kenobi, we see Leia consoling Luke in a hushed, almost maternal manner that pulls the viewer into the screen as we note each gesture, each word. You start to feel like you're riding along with these characters, invested in a way that you weren't previously.

Granted, it doesn't hurt that A New Hope starts with a shot to rival the crane sequence at the beginning of Orson Welles' Touch of Evil or the view down the tower stairs in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. No matter how many times I see it, I can't get over how big that Imperial ship looks as it passes over us in our collective, movie-watching consciousness. That's one of the film's many go-for-broke shots. So is the scene when the Millennium Falcon first blasts into hyperdrive and traverses the infinite vastness of space in a few manic seconds as the stars turn into streams of light. Many of these shots are very fluid, with a nimble camera—or, at least, a camera that wants to get up and guide us, Beatrice-like, through this strange new world.

On the other hand, I have a sense of wandering on my own as I watch Empire and Jedi—even though the latter's opening act, set on Tatooine, makes for a great mini-movie. And as much as we enjoy being thrilled by on-screen action, and pulling for one side over another, there is nothing like feeling as though you've been rendered invisible and inserted into a film, relegated to stand just out of view, but privy to every breath and whisper. That's what movie magic really is, and few films put it on display better than the first Star Wars.