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Scientists for first time study the elusive Giant Shipworm

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>At the top, two flesh-toned siphons swish water over massive gills. At the bottom, a slimy, eyeless head resembles a mix of wet lips and diseased tonsils. In between, a glistening gunpowder blue body stretches up to four feet long. Instead of eating, bacteria in the creature’s gills helps it suck energy from sulfur. The whole thing is sheathed in a tusklike tube created from its secretions of calcium carbonate.

>Behold, the giant shipworm, your newest living nightmare.

>In a study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Daniel Distel, a microbiologist at Northeastern University, and colleagues described a live one for first time. Its symbiotic relationship with bacteria provides clues to how the giant shipworm evolved its strange way of eating, and may enrich our understanding of infection in humans.

>“We were used to shipworms, which are very delicate creatures and much smaller,” said Dr. Distel, who spent two decades searching for a living specimen of this elongated clam. “This thing is a really beefy animal.”

>Dr. Distel tracked down living animals after a student spotted people sucking them down like spaghetti on YouTube. Local researchers and fishermen helped locate the creatures at the bottom of a remote lagoon in the Philippines, where they are a delicacy called tamilok purported to have medicinal properties.

>“It’s like finding the lost elephant graveyard or finding a dinosaur wandering around, live,” Dr. Distel said.

>Examining the shipworms wasn’t easy. Dr. Distel carefully cracked open its shell like a soft boiled egg, then slid the shipworm out and improvised a dissection.
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(28 replies)

Sandstorm Uncovered Possible Unknown Archaeological Site in Iran

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It was actually found last week. The details are just now coming out in western press outside of Iran.

>“A team of archaeologists has been dispatched to Fahraj in order to determine whether the site was used to be a necropolis or an inhabitance,” CHTN quoted Mohammad Vafaei, the director of the CHTHO provincial department, as saying on Saturday.

>The CHTHO officials have yet to confirm the antiquity of the site until the surveys conclude whether the area or the excavated objects are of historical value.

>Vafaei added it is premature to label the region as ‘historical’ without studying it first.

>Previously, Fahraj Governor Gholamreza Nejat-Khaleqi announced that some 5,000 square meters of the site and its relics have been unearthed in a district called Negin Kavir.

>Law enforcement forces have cordoned off the area, letting archeologists to dig up and determine the exact age of the site, Nejat-Khaleqi added.

>Big, sprawling Kerman Province is something of a cultural melting pot, blending various regional cultures over the course of time. It is also home to rich tourist spots and historical sites including bazaars, mosques, caravanserais and ruins of ancient urban areas.
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(13 replies)

Thousands of Massachusetts drug cases to be dismissed after lab scandal

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>It will mean the largest number of drug cases tossed out in U.S. history due to one person, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Rogue chemist Annie Dookhan pleaded guilty in 2013 to tampering with evidence during her nine years working at a state crime lab in Boston. The scandal shook the foundation of the state's criminal justice system.
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(26 replies)

Leader of ‘Cal-Exit’ Drops Bid for California to Secede, Instead Moves to Russia

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>SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Supporters of one long-shot bid to make California an independent nation ended their effort on Monday, while another group said it will launch a new campaign for a statewide vote next year.

>The drive to make the nation's most populous state its own country, with what would be the world's sixth-largest economy, has drawn extra interest after last year's election of Republican Donald Trump as president.

>But the Yes California Independence Campaign faltered after its president, Louis Marinelli, revealed ties to Russia. Marinelli said in a lengthy message to supporters Monday that he is seeking permanent residence in Russia because of his "frustration, disappointment and disillusionment with the United States."

>The secretary of state's office confirmed that Marcus Ruiz Evans, the group's vice president, withdrew the California Nationhood ballot measure.
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(341 replies)

Big Denial

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Marvel Will Discipline Artist Who Sneaked Political Messages Into X-Men

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>The X-Men have battled evil mutants, killer robots and alien invaders, but now one of the most venerable franchises in the Marvel universe has found itself embroiled in a new — and unexpected — conflict: the religious and political tensions in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

>On Saturday, Marvel said that it would remove artwork from the first issue of X-Men Gold, part of a reboot of the X-Men franchise, after readers in Indonesia raised alarm bells on Reddit and elsewhere on social media about what they said were anti-Christian and anti-Semitic messages in some panels of the comic.

>The messages that jumped out to readers in Indonesia appeared to refer to political frictions there over Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is the first Christian governor of Jakarta, the capital, in more than 50 years. He is up for re-election this month.

>Some images in the comic appeared to refer to hard-line Islamist opposition to Mr. Basuki, who is also known by the nickname Ahok. Others seemed to have less to do with Indonesian politics and more to do with anti-Semitism, the critics said. The artist who sneaked the messages into the images was Ardian Syaf, an Indonesian citizen.

>The uproar added to headaches for Marvel, which was criticized in recent weeks after one of its executives seemed to blame a sales slump on reader disdain for female and nonwhite characters.
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(53 replies)

Alabama senate votes to allow church to form own police force

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>TheAlabamaSenate has voted to allow a church to form its own police force.

>Lawmakers on Tuesday voted 24-4 to allow Briarwood Presbyterian church in Birmingham to establish a law enforcement department.

>The church says it needs its own police officers to keep its school as well as its more than 4,000 person congregation safe.

>Critics of the bill argue that a police department that reports to church officials could be used to cover up crimes.

>The state has given a few private universities the authority to have a police force, but never a church or non-school entity.

>Police experts have said such a police department would be unprecedented in the US.

>A similar bill is also scheduled to be debated in the House on Tuesday.
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(8 replies)

Youtube Channel

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This poor excuse of a father needs to have his youtube channel removed. Please go and flag his channel for child abuse. - channel name is "daddyofive"
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(33 replies)

In Travis County custody case, jury will search for real Alex Jones

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>At a recent pretrial hearing, attorney Randall Wilhite told state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo that using his client Alex Jones’ on-air Infowars persona to evaluate Alex Jones as a father would be like judging Jack Nicholson in a custody dispute based on his performance as the Joker in “Batman.”

>“He’s playing a character,” Wilhite said of Jones. “He is a performance artist.”

>But in emotional testimony at the hearing, Kelly Jones, who is seeking to gain sole or joint custody of her three children with Alex Jones, portrayed the volcanic public figure as the real Alex Jones.

>“He’s not a stable person,” she said of the man with whom her 14-year-old son and 9- and 12-year-old daughters have lived since her 2015 divorce. “He says he wants to break Alec Baldwin’s neck. He wants J-Lo to get raped.

>“I’m concerned that he is engaged in felonious behavior, threatening a member of Congress,” she said, referring to his recent comments about California Democrat Adam Schiff. “He broadcasts from home. The children are there, watching him broadcast.”

>Beginning Monday, a jury will be selected at the Travis County Courthouse that in the next two weeks will be asked to sort out whether there is a difference between the public and private Alex Jones, and whether, when it comes to his fitness as a parent, it matters.

>For Naranjo, who has been the presiding judge of the 419th District Court since January 2006, it is about keeping her eyes, and the jury’s eyes, on the children.

>“This case is not about Infowars, and I don’t want it to be about Infowars,” Naranjo told the top-shelf legal talent enlisted in Jones v. Jones at the last pretrial hearing Wednesday. “I am in control of this court, not your clients.”
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