Teacher Allegedly Burned Students With Tesla Coil, Sparking Controversy

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

tesla-coilThe mysterious ways of a familiar high school institution, the Tesla Coil, once again has conjured another spectacle. A Salem, Oregon high school teacher was charged with the shocking crime of Criminal Mistreatment after allegedly employing the coil to burn sweet nothings into the arms of students

After an investigation, Salem Police arrested Samuel Dufner for the alleged crime at South Salem High School.

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Attention Span of A Goldfish? You Wish . . .

220px-Goldfish3Please try to read this story in eight seconds and do not get distracted by the picture of the goldfish. There is an interesting study that seems to confirm one curious aspects of our information technology revolution. As we are increasingly bombarded by information and images from different sources, our attention spans appears to be failing. The study of 2,000 people found that the average attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. With the decline, we have now fallen below the attention span of a goldfish (at nine seconds).

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Happy Mother’s Day Mitochondrial Eve

mitochondrial-eveBy Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

This mother’s day, we can all express our gratitude and love for Mitochondrial Eve—the mother from whom we all descend. While we all cannot remember her from long ago we carry with us her lessons passed from her to each mother, who then did so to their children through all mothers of yesterday to all mothers today. Her words live in our Mitochondrial DNA; a part of our genetics that we all share.

Let us all toast this day the mothers of all our families and our common mom!

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Scientists Reportedly Succeed In First Test of EM Drive Engine That Could Take Humans To Mars In 70 Days

MV5BMTIyODE4NjI2Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODg4MjMyMQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_This is very cool. Scientists have successfully tested an engine with an electromagnetic propulsion drive, or the EM Drive, that could conceivably take humans to Mars in just 70 days. The EM Drive works in a vacuum that replicates space. This breakthrough has gotten comparatively little attention despite its transformative impact on space travel.

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Is The Cell Phone Kill Switch in the Wrong Hands?

Electronic_Privacy_Information_Center_logo

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

You may not have heard of it before, but the government has the ability to shut off cell phone service at any time, under the guise of National Security.  The Department of Homeland Security has an operating procedure known as Standard Operating Procedure 303( SOP 303) and it has been labeled as the cell phone “kill switch”.

I knew very little about the “kill switch” before today, but according to a recent Al Jezeera America article, the kill switch authority is being currently debated in Federal court. Continue reading

Computer Scientist Gives Virginia Voting Machines F- Security Grade

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

WinVote User Interface
WinVote User Interface

A six year effort by Computer Scientist Jerry Epstein of SRI International has finally achieved fruition in his quest to decertify AVS WinVote Machines for election use due to what can described as extremely broken security measures and weaknesses in its design. Such deficiencies were so magnified the machines had not only the potential for fault but a relatively unsophisticated hacker could have brought down the State of Virginia’s election system.

Mr. Epstein reportedly stated the WinVote system “would get an F-” in security.

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Study: 69 Percent Of People On Antidepressants Do Not Meet Criteria For Clinical Depression

Old_guitarist_chicagoThere is an interesting study out in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry that has concluded that the majority of people taking antidepressants may not actually have depression. The study found that more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of people taking antidepressants did not meet the criteria for major depressive disorder, or clinical depression.

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