Tibetan mastiff puppy ‘sold for $2 million’ in China

Tibetan mastiff (AFP)

By Agence France-Presse

A Tibetan mastiff puppy has been sold in China for almost $2 million, a report said Wednesday, in what could be the most expensive dog sale ever.

A property developer paid 12 million yuan ($1.9 million) for the one-year-old golden-haired mastiff at a “luxury pet” fair Tuesday in the eastern province of Zhejiang, the Qianjiang Evening News reported.

“They have lion’s blood and are top-of-the-range mastiff studs,” the dog’s breeder Zhang Gengyun was quoted as telling the paper, adding that another red-haired canine had sold for 6 million yuan.

Enormous and sometimes ferocious, with round manes lending them a passing resemblance to lions, Tibetan mastiffs have become a prized status symbol among China’s wealthy, sending prices skyrocketing.

The golden-haired animal was 80 centimetres (31 inches) tall, and weighed 90 kilograms (nearly 200 pounds), Zhang said, adding that he was sad to sell the animals. Neither was named in the report.

“Pure Tibetan mastiffs are very rare, just like our nationally treasured pandas, so the prices are so high,” he said.

One red mastiff named “Big Splash” reportedly sold for 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) in 2011, in the most expensive dog sale then recorded.

The buyer at the Zhejiang expo was said to be a 56-year-old property developer from Qingdao who hopes to breed dogs himself, according to the report.

The newspaper quoted the owner of a mastiff breeding website as saying that last year one animal sold for 27 million yuan at a fair in Beijing.

But an industry insider surnamed Xu told the paper that the high prices may be the result of insider agreements among breeders to boost their dogs’ worth.

“A lot of the sky-high priced deals are just breeders hyping each other up, and no money actually changes hands,” Xu said.

Owners say the mastiffs, descendants of dogs used for hunting by nomadic tribes in central Asia and Tibet, are fiercely loyal and protective.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/03/19/tibetan-mastiff-puppy-sold-for-2-million-in-china/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheRawStory+%28The+Raw+Story%29image

 

 

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How Misinformation Spreads on Facebook

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Sarah Gray reports for Salon (via AlterNet) on research about how people on Facebook interacted with “trolls” posting false information; she says the results are depressing:

From the steady roll of theories on what happened to Malaysian Arlines Flight 370, to Sarah Palin’s “death panels” panic, to Donald Trump’s birther theories, misinformation spreads like wildfire in the age of Facebook.

In 2013, professor Walter Quattrociocchi of Northeastern University along with his team studied how more than 1 million Facebook users engaged with political information during the Italian election. During that election a post appeared titled: “Italian Senate voted and accepted (257 in favor and 165 abstentions) a law proposed by Senator Cirenga to provide policy makers with €134 billion Euros to find jobs in the event of electoral defeat.”

The post was from an Italian site that parodies the news. According to  MIT Technology Review it was filled with at least four major inaccuracies: “[T]he senator involved is fictitious, the total number of votes is higher than is possible in Italian politics, the amount of money involved is more than 10% of Italian GDP and the law itself is an invention.”

Despite the blatant falsehoods of this  parody news post, the story went viral — shared over 35,000 times in less than a month. This, of course, wasn’t the worst of it. The post was then picked up by a political commentary page, which gave the falsehoods perceived credibility. MIT Technology Review explains the scary outcome, “Today, this ‘law’ is commonly cited as evidence of corruption in Italian politics by protesters in cities all over Italy.” This is the equivalent of an article from the Onion being treated as credible news ( which happens surprisingly regularly).

In order to study how instances of conspiracy theories, like the one above, happen, the team led by Quattrociocchi looked at both mainstream media posts, and those from alternative news media. They looked at how people engaged with these posts including “likes” and comments. They found that people engaged for the same amount of time on both mainstream and alternative news posts. However, people were more likely to engage with posts that were known to be false — either parodies, or posted by trolls…

http://disinfo.com/2014/03/misinformation-spreads-facebook/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+disinfo%2FoMPh+%28Disinformation%29

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Man arrested for drinking iced tea could get probation, community service

The stranger places a choke-hold on Mr. Beatty. (Source: YouTube)

Source: Police State USA

A man in plain clothes comes over and starts demanding to see the can of iced tea. (Source: YouTube)

FAYETTEVILLE, NC — A man drinking canned iced tea in a parking lot was accosted by a plainclothes beverage cop who demanded to inspect his drink.  He was placed in handcuffs and arrested.   Even though the man was innocent and was only drinking tea, prosecutors are still trying to set him up with probation and community service.

The incident took place on the evening of April 27th, 2013.  Two men were standing by their vehicle waiting for friends to arrive in the parking lot of a state-owned ABC Liquor Store.

One man, Christopher Lamont Beatty, was holding a canned beverage, while his friend, Tino Brown, was recording video using his cell phone.  That’s when the two were interrupted by a man who was interested in the man’s choice of refreshments.

A beverage cop’s rage begins to surface. (Source: YouTube)

Beatty, who also goes by the name “Xstravagant” or “Xstrav” as his rapping persona, began receiving harassment about the can he was holding.  A man in plainclothes, claiming to be “the police”, insisted that he turn over his beverage for an inspection.  Beatty refused the stranger’s requests, but pointed out that it was only an AriZona-brand drink, “Half-and-Half” iced tea and pink lemonade — not alcohol.

Brown and Beatty pointed out that they didn’t know the identity of the nosy man and that Beatty had committed no crime.   Still, the man demanded to examine his beverage and would not take no for an answer.

The stranger then claimed that Mr. Beatty was under arrest.  He began became grabby and ended up putting Beatty in a choke-hold as he took him down to the ground.

The bully, who turned out to be Alcohol & Beverage Control Law Enforcer Rick Libero, forced Mr. Beatty face-down onto the concrete and placed him in handcuffs.

Tino Brown had been recording the whole incident and documented the labeling on the can, showing that it was a non-alcoholic drink.

Beatty was arrested and taken to jail.  He was charged with two crimes; second degree trespass and resisting a public officer.  Months have gone by and the prosecution has offered a deal.

The assailant starts sizing up his next potential victim. (Source: YouTube)

The government requests that Beatty “submit to a year of probation, do 24hours of community service, have a mental health assessment, and submit to drug testing and warrantless searches,” reported the Fayetteville Observer.

“It would get it dismissed at the end, but I would still have to take responsibility for my actions, and I felt like I did nothing wrong,” Beatty said.

Beatty could also potentially take this to trial, in which a jury of his peers would have the opportunity to vindicate him of an unjust charge.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Man_arrested_for_drinking_iced_tea_could_get_probation%2C_community_service/33817/0/0/0/Y/M.html

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‘We map the world as it is:’ National Geographic maps Crimea as part of Russia

A map showing Crimea as part of the Russian Federation was briefly showcased Tuesday on Wikipedia's English-language entry for Russia. (image from wikipedia.org)

A map showing Crimea as part of the Russian Federation was briefly showcased Tuesday on Wikipedia’s English-language entry for Russia. (image from wikipedia.org)

“We map the world as it is – not as people would like it to be,” National Geographic’s map-making authority says, as the educational entertainment giant prepares to mark Crimea as part of Russia after the parliament officially ratifies the measure.

Juan Jose Valdes, NatGeo’s geographer, chief editor and research  director for the map-making division, emerged from a meeting with  the magazine’s editorial, legal and cartographic authorities on  Tuesday, where the decision was made to give the area a temporary  special shading (like the Gaza Strip or the West Bank), until  permanent coloring after the Russian parliament approves the  treaty signed by President Putin and the Crimean authorities.

When the parliamentary vote takes place later in the week,  “the document will be revised to indicate that the change has  officially occurred and Crimea is officially part of Russia, then  we will identify Crimea with the Russian boundary tint,”Valdes told the U.S. News.

“As you can only surmise, sometimes our maps are not received  in a positive light by some individuals who want to see the world  in a different light,” the director explained, which is not  the case with other map makers. Rand McNally, another leader in  atlas and map production, will not be making any changes to its  maps.

The company spokesperson, Amy Krouse said “we take our  direction from the State Department.”

This latest opposition between the camps is yet another brick in  the political standoff that has gripped Russian-Western relations  after the latter’s refusal to recognize Crimea’s joining Russia.  In the run-up to the referendum on secession, many, including  Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama have  denounced it as illegal. The US, EU, Japan and Canada have  imposed sanctions on Russian and Crimean officials…

more…

http://rt.com/news/national-geographic-map-crimea-758/

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You’re Not Alone: Medical Conspiracies Believed By Many

Flu vaccine drips out of a syringe as a nurse prepares for a patient at a clinic in central London November 22, 2005. - RTR1BGZ1

By Andrew M. Seaman

Reuters Health) – About half of American adults believe in at least one medical conspiracy theory, according to new survey results.

Some conspiracy theories have much more traction than others, however.

For example, three times as many people believe U.S. regulators prevent people from getting natural cures as believe that a U.S. spy agency infected a large number of African Americans with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

J. Eric Oliver, the study’s lead author from University of Chicago, said people may believe in conspiracy theories because they’re easier to understand than complex medical information.

“Science in general – medicine in particular – is complicated and cognitively challenging because you have to carry around a lot of uncertainty,” Oliver said.

“To talk about epidemiology and probability theories is difficult to understand as opposed to ‘if you put this substance in your body, it’s going to be bad,'” he said.

For the new study, he and his colleague used data from 1,351 adults who answered an online survey between August and September 2013. The data were then weighted to represent the U.S. population.

The participants read six popular medical conspiracy theories and then indicated whether they had heard of them and whether they agreed or disagreed with them.

Like the theories about conspiracies to infect African Americans with HIV and to prevent citizens from accessing alternative medicines, the other theories on the list had mistrust of government and large organizations as themes.

They include the theory that the government knows cell phones cause cancer but does nothing about it, that genetically modified organisms are being used to shrink the world’s population, that routine vaccinations cause autism and that water fluoridation is a way for companies to dump dangerous chemicals into the environment.

Some 49 percent of the survey participants agreed with at least one of the conspiracies.

In fact, in addition to the 37 percent of respondents who fully agreed that U.S. regulators are suppressing access to natural cures, less than a third were willing to say they actively disagreed with the theory…

more…

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/18/us-medical-conspiracies-idUSBREA2H22K20140318

 

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Uploading Memories and Other Mysteries of the Future

Watch this video

Brain programming may not be confined to movies like “The Matrix” anymore.

Futurist and theoretical physicist Michio Kaku  explores the seemingly endless possibilities of manufacturing memories, the potential for discoveries in brain mapping and a future where we can see each other’s dreams  in his new book “The Future of the Mind.”

“Just last year, for first time in history, we uploaded a memory into a mouse,”  he said on “New Day” Friday.  “Next we’ll upload into primates, for example, chimpanzees. And then we want to create a brain pacemaker for people with Alzheimer’s disease so they can upload memory of who they are, who their children are, where they live. And then after that, who knows? ”

SEE FULL INTERVIEW ABOVE

http://newday.blogs.cnn.com/2014/03/07/uploading-our-brains-to-computers-and-other-mysteries-of-the-future/

 

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“Transhumanism”, Genetic Manipulation and the Age of Human Destruction: Towards The End of Homo Sapiens?

By Rady Ananda

In TransEvolution: The Coming Age of Human Deconstruction, Daniel Estulin crafts a cogent and frightening scenario for the end of Homo sapiens, as new technologies enable genetic changes, bionic replacements and artificial, nanosized neural connections.  We’re not just evolving into a new species, we’re creating a new life form that marries materials science with biology.

It’s exciting and horrifying, and its implications vast.

 “Transhumanism fills people’s hopes and minds with dreams of becoming superhuman,” he writes, “but the fact of the matter is that the true goal is the removal of that pesky, human free will itself.”  For those that remain, that is. TransEvolution reveals the darkest of depopulation strategies.

The pinnacle chapter focuses entirely on transhuman developments. Here, he highlights the potentials created by the Information Age, such as:

.Already over 100,000 people have cochlear implants, which have a direct neural connection.

.One-third of all US military missions will be unmanned by 2015.

.Cyborg soldiers and bipedal machine avatars will allow remote operation.

.Stealth bombers undetectable by radar, retina enhancement and self-replicating nanobots already exist.

Author of Deconstructing Wikileaks, The Octopus Deception, and Shadow Masters, Estulin is an award-winning investigative journalist who came to global fame with his best-selling book, The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, which was translated into 53 languages.

Known as Homo superior, H+ is being developed by “the convergence of the NBIC fields that can improve human performance: nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science,” from an earlier piece mentioning Ray Kurzweil.  Estulin deems him the face of transhumanism.

UK health authorities, as well as the US FDA have been discussing decriminalizing human germline modification for a couple years now, despite earlier catastrophes.  The transhumanist movement is long underway with at least 30 genetically modified humans born by at least the year 2000, and likely others—not admitted—populate their ranks.

Globalists plan to seize all of the planet’s assets, natural and otherwise.  One of the ways used to achieve these aims is by collapsing the global economy, which he reminds us will not hurt the 1% (or the 30% supporting them).  They’ll simply create a new monetary system that inures to their benefit.

The fictional fiat monetary system we live under today is merely a Ponzi scheme for gambling debts now foisted on the world’s populace, as if “we” owe them for their failures. Its collapse is being engineered, Estulin warns, describing an economic worldview supported by the ideas raised in Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hitman, and the films, The Corporation and The Idiot Cycle.

The orchestrated color revolutions, austerity measures, IMF infrastructure loans, and agricultural systems that put independent farmers in debt are all part and parcel of their plans, he warns.

Some of the book was dense enough to give the reader pause more than once, but given who listens to him, the material is worth digesting.  In a front-page article, Wall Street Italy called Estulin “one of the few people who understands the current crisis.” He has given two press conferences at the European Parliament on the Bilderberg group and the international monetary crisis. In 2010, he met with Fidel Castro and gave a speech to the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Venezuelan armed forces.

Global economic destruction supports a number of strategies to ensure the 1% seizes control of all remaining assets, natural and otherwise.  Financial collapse cripples nation-states, an idea the merchant globalists deem “quaint” in light of modern economic realities where corporations write the rules via trade agreements that supersede national laws.

Spending some time on trade agreements, Estulin shows how corporations rule today regardless of national borders, and how these trade agreements serve to weaken, sicken and starve humanity. From an earlier piece, the TransPacific Partnership, for instance, “forces trade in genetically modified organisms. It fast-tracks patent approval and forbids nations from banning genetically modified organisms solely on the grounds that it already bans them.”…

more…

http://www.globalresearch.ca/transhumanism-genetic-manipulation-and-the-age-of-human-destruction-towards-the-end-of-homo-sapiens/5373858

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