Whether you love him or hate him, Kim Dotcom is one of the most successful Internet entrepreneurs to date. But, as the founder of piracy site MegaUpload, living at the sharp end of Internet-based business can have it’s dangers, especially when you are challenging the livelihood and business model of some of the most powerful industries around.
Eventually conventional law caught up with Dotcom and he was arrested at his New Zealand home in 2012 during a dramatic daytime raid. Dotcom petitioned the arrest and subsequent seizure of assets, eventually winning the case owing to issues with the arrest warrants. Dotcom also won a recent case forcing the police to return most of the items removed from his house during the raid.
He is currently fighting extradition back to America where he would face piracy based charges, but in the meantime he decided to add some salt to the wounds he has already inflicted.
In early 2013, Dotcom released a music video. The video, roughly set to music, splices together footage from CCTV and police cameras taken during the raid.
This must have been just the publicity the police were looking for after the public court snubbing.
Most mushrooms have a fairly unique flavour and are often used to either augment an existing dish or as a delicacy on their own. But, there are some mushrooms that can be used to replace and existing dish owing to the fact that they taste the same as the original.
The Laetiporus genus of edible mushrooms provides just such a mushroom. The laetiporus sulphureus mushroom is known colloquially as the “Chicken of the Woods” because those who eat it claim it tastes just like roast chicken.
The mushroom grows in large brackets—layers of mushrooms stacked one above the other and attached to a tree trunk – and can reach a weight of up to 100 lbs. The mushroom is widely found in Europe and North America, with it being considered a delicacy in Germany where it is sauted in butter and served as a replacement for chicken.
Laws are a good thing, they help to control society and provide the population and their government with boundaries to live by.
Unfortunately sometimes the makers of the laws get a little carried away, and history is littered with strange and obtuse laws that have been created over the years.
The northeastern American state of Vermont even has a law that forbids other laws being formed. In this particular case the law relates to a homeowners right to make use of energy saving devices, with the law stating that any other law written to prohibit a homeowner from “the use of solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources” is itself illegal.
Thus, anyone promulgating a law against the use of these devices would be breaking the law by doing so.
Where else, but in the good old US of A, could one break the law, by making a law?
Rod Serling was an American screenwriter, playwright, television producer and narrator who was best known for his live television dramas of the 1950’s and his science fiction TV series, The Twilight Zone.
He helped form current television industry standards. He was known as the ‘angry young man’ of Hollywood and often clashed with television executives and sponsors over various issues like censorship, racism, and war.
Gene Roddenberry has this to say about Rod Serling: “No one could know Serling, or view or read his work, without recognizing his deep affection for humanity… And his determination to enlarge our horizons by giving us a better understanding of ourselves.”
When Rod was a youngster, his dad, Sam Serling, built a small stage in their basement where Rod often put on plays. He could entertain himself for hours by acting out dialogue from movies he’d seen. Once, on a two hour-long trip from Binghamton to Syracuse, Rod’s family remained silent and did not say a word to see if Rod would notice. He didn’t and talked non-stop through the entire trip!
His seventh grade English teacher, Helen Foley, realized he has potential and encouraged him to enter the school’s public speaking extracurricular. Rod joined the debate team and was a speaker at his high school graduation.
Island Pond in Springfield, Massachusetts is a floating island the size of a football field. It has been floating for as long as anyone can remember, buoyed by a mat of sphagnum moss and gases from decomposing plants.
But the island does not just serenely bob around in the center of its pond habitat. Sometimes it boings about as if in a pinball machine and, unfortunately, during heavy rains or strong winds, it tears from its anchor of roots and sails (at sometimes rather high speed for an island) into somebody’s backyard!
On such occasions it has been reported to crush fences, swamp patios, wreck boat docks and flood sheds, before coming to an exhausted standstill in somebody’s yard. Despite the island’s mischievous and unpredictable behavior, the locals say the wandering island is a rarity that must not be tethered, altered or otherwise brought under control.
When it goes astray, the island is just towed back into the pond! “It’ll probably go back to somebody else’s property,” said John Miller. There is a legend that a turtle the size of a bearnamed Big Ben lives on the Island Pond island, feeding on ducks, geese and anything else it can snap up.
Pax Mongolica (Latin for Mongol peace) is a term used to describe the stabilizing effects of the conquests of the Mongol Empire under the reign of Genghis Khan, beginning in the 13th century. This may be surprising, considering his brutal reputation as a cruel and heartless conqueror.
More and more people were incorporated into the Mongolian tribe under his rule due to his many conquests, and this had the effect of diversifying the societal balance within the tribe. By 1206, Genghis Khan’s military expansion had unified the tribes of Mongolia, and in the same year he was elected and acclaimed as the leader of Mongolia.
The Mongolian empire stretched from Shanhaiguan in the east to Budapest in the west; from Rus’ in the north to Tibet in the south. This united a large part of the continent under one political authority and resulted in safe trade routes for merchants. It also led to an overall growth and expansion of trade from China in the east to Britain in the west.
The code of Mongol law, known as the Yassa, helped suppress tribal feuding and war, thus helping to ensure a peaceful environment for all in the Mongol Empire. The Black Death was largely responsible for the demise of the Mongol Empire.
Wireless networks are everywhere these days. Coffee shops offer access, libraries offer access, shopping malls offer access, not to mention that most homes and businesses have a WiFi network or two deployed.
The problem with WiFi is that it does not respect boundaries the way us humans do, and the wireless signal tends to spill over into surrounding areas. If the security on the wireless network is not strong enough, this spillage will allow people nearby to use the wireless connection.
In the early days of WiFi, and before people really paid too much attention to security, there was a practice called “Wardriving” where folks would drive around neighbourhoods with WiFi scanners looking for insecure networks. The term is an adaption of the old “Wardialing” from the 1980’s, where one would dial random phone numbers looking for a modem to hack into.
A subsequent evolution of the Wardriving concept is now called Warchalking, and is the practice of marking the status of a WiFi network on the surrounding buildings, pavements or lamp posts. The markings, originally done in chalk – hence the name – alert others to the network name, bandwidth and security level of the WiFi signal spilling over.
So, if you happen to see a warchalk symbol outside your house or office, you should probably check your WiFi network security otherwise you might be unwittingly sponsoring Internet access to passers by.
Most of us simply scroll down to the “Agree” button, click and carry on, and there’s a good reason for this. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon recently conducted a study to see how long it would take the average person to read just the privacy policies they were presented with when visiting websites.
Of course, no one has that sort of time to spend reading dry documents like these, and that might just be the point.
In 1990, a group of researchers dated the remains of some dwarf mammoths that had been discovered on Wrangle Island. The researchers were able to place the remains in the time period of 7390-4740 BP, about 5000 years after the last known date of mammoths on the Eurasian continent.
This discovery was remarkable not only because of the date, but because the scientists were able to track the evolution of these mammals on the island. These mammoths survived so much longer that they were actually on earth during the time of the building of the pyramids.
The reason these particular mammoths were able to survive was that the environmental conditions on Wrangle Island during that time were suitable for mammoths to live in. Wrangle Island is located in the northeast corner of Siberia.
Selenium is a naturally occurring element with a periodic number of 34. It was discovered in 1817 and is found impurely in metal sulfide ores.
Selenium has an interesting property that most elements do not have called photoconductivity. Photoconductivity is a phenomenon where a substance actually becomes more conductive when visible light is shown on it!
Not only does Selenium become more conductive when light is shown on it, but it is actually an insulator when there is not light on it!
Selenium is mostly used in glass production, with over 50% of its consumption used in giving glass a red color after the selenium is added.
For all the Doctor Who fans out there, I cannot help but wonder if the “Weeping Angels,” a reoccurring foe of the doctor that can only move when they are not seen, aren’t made of some other element that has an anti-photoconductivity phenomenon!