Archive for April, 2013

Storm Thorgerson: Pink Floyd album cover designer dies.

By   18th April 2013.    Find Full Article Here:-

Storm Thorgerson, the British graphic designer responsible for some of the greatest album covers of all time, has died aged 69.

Tributes were tonight paid to the artist, whose feature for Pink Floyd’s 1973 The Dark Side of the Moon, is widely viewed as one the greatest album covers of all time: Storm Thorgerson: Pink Floyd album cover designer dies

Tributes were tonight paid to the artist, whose feature for Pink Floyd’s 1973 The Dark Side of the Moon,
is widely viewed as one the greatest album covers of all time.  Photo: PA

The artist, who over an illustrious 40 year career was responsible for artwork for bands and musicians including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel and Muse, died peacefully after a battle with cancer.

Tributes were tonight paid to the artist, whose feature for Pink Floyd’s 1973 The Dark Side of the Moon, is widely viewed as one the greatest album covers of all time. This year it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

A statement issued by his management tonight said: “His ending was peaceful and he was surrounded by family and friends.

“He had been ill for some time with cancer though he had made a remarkable recovery from his stroke in 2003. ”

A statement from the band added: “We are saddened by the news that long-time Pink Floyd graphic genius, friend and collaborator, Storm Thorgerson, has died.

“Our thoughts are with his family and many friends.”

He is survived by his mother Vanji, his son Bill, his wife Barbie Antonis and her two children Adam and Georgia.

As a childhood friend of the founding members of Pink Floyd, he went on to become their designer-in-chief, creating a string of eye-catching designs including Atom Heart Mother, Wish You Were Here and The Division Bell, which have since adorned student bedrooms the world over.

David Gilmour, Pink Floyd’s guitarist and vocalist who had Thorgerson as his best man at his wedding, added: “He has been a constant force in my life, both at work and in private, a shoulder to cry on and a great friend.

”The artworks that he created for Pink Floyd from 1968 to the present day have been an inseparable part of our work. I will miss him.”

He said the pair first met in their early teens.

He added: “We would gather at Sheep’s Green, a spot by the river in Cambridge and Storm would always be there holding forth, making the most noise, bursting with ideas and enthusiasm. Nothing has ever really changed.”


See Also:-    Storm Thorgerson’s death marks the end of an era

British artist Storm Thorgerson, who worked with Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, was the master of a time when album covers were art and rock dared to take itself seriously, says Neil McCormick.

Storm Thorgerson album covers 1975-2011

Find Photo Gallery Here:-

Pink Floyd's ninth album Wish You Were Here (1975)

British artist Storm Thorgerson died last night, aged 69. See pictures from a 2012 exhibition which brought together the wierd and wonderful images dreamed up by celebrated designer to outfit albums and singles

ABOVE: Pink Floyd’s ninth album Wish You Were Here (1975)


The British Government Has Decided To Censor The Entire World’s Press And Media.

By Tim Worstall  19th March 2013.    Find Full Article Here:-

This isn’t what they think they’ve done, this is true. And it’s also not what they intended to do (or at least I hope they didn’t mean to do this) but it is still what they’ve done. They’ve passed a law which effectively censors the entire world’s media. And they’ve done this simply because they are ignorant of the very laws they’re trying to change. Which is, I think you’ll agree, a little disturbing, that politicians would casually negate press freedom just because they don’t know what they’re doing.

The background is simple enough: there have been enough scandals about what the British press has done for there to be a swell of opinion in favour of some form of regulation of said press. The problem is the particular restrictions that they’ve decided to bring in. Essentially, to be a news or current affairs publisher then you must be registered as such with some regulatory body. That this is a despicable idea goes without saying: it’s a reversal of the past three hundred years of liberty where we’ve been allowed to say or print whatever we damn well want to subject only to the laws of libel, incitement to immediate violence and pressing concerns of national security (and even that last was a voluntary matter). If there’s a complaint about something you’ve published then that regulatory body can get you to correct it, apologise, pay damages and so on. And of course we all worry that this will then morph into more direct control of the press.

However, bad as all that is it gets much worse. For our Lords and Masters don’t actually understand the system that they themselves are administering.

Here’s how they are going to make everyone sign up to be regulated by one of these regulators:

(2) A court determining publication proceedings brought against a non-regulated
news publisher shall (irrrespective of the outcome) award costs, on an indemnity
basis or otherwise, against the news publisher unless the court is satisfied that—
(a) the news publisher was unable to become regulated for reasons beyond
its control;
(b) it would have been unreasonable in the circumstances to expect the news
publisher to have become regulated;
(c) the issues raised by the proceedings could not have been resolved
satisfactorily in accordance with the procedures of any relevant
recognised regulator; or
(d) in all the circumstances, it is just to award costs to make a different award
of costs (or not to award costs).

The basis of the English legal system is that yes, of course, you can bring a case against anyone you like for whatever you want to allege. But the limit on people doing so is that if they lose said case then they’ve got to pay the legal costs of the defendant. This is how we prevent most (but sadly not all) frivolous cases from ever making it to court. You have to take a risk in bringing a case.

UK Snoopers’ laws could be used to ‘oppress us’, says David Cameron technology adviser.

By   19th April 2013.    Find Article Here:-

Ben Hammersley, a Number 10 adviser to the Tech City project, said the draft Communications Data Bill could be turned from a force for good into something more sinister under future governments.

The main aim of the Bill is to give security services like MI5 and GCHQ the ability to monitor email traffic, without actually looking at its content.

However, it is currently being revised after a committee of MPs and peers raised privacy concerns about the bill’s intrusion into people’s lives.

Asked for his views on the new laws, Mr Hammersley said the consequences could be “disastrous” in an interview with Tank magazine.

“I don’t trust future governments,” he said. “The successors of the politicians who put this in place might not be trustworthy.

“As a society, it would be stupid to build the infrastructure that could be used to oppress us. It just never works out well, because even if you’re using it for good stuff now, the fact that we don’t know who is going to be in charge in ten years’ time means that we shouldn’t give them free toys to play with.”

In a separate podcast last year, Mr Hammersley compared the Government’s aims on the draft Communications Bill to a country like North Korea and other “draconian” states.

“They are quite open about the fact that they want to have records of everybody’s online communications,” he said. “I advise the Government on stuff and my advice was laughing at them quite hard for about an hour and then writing a policy paper which told them it was nonsense.

“The idea that the internet is like the postal service or like the copper line phone network in that it can be monitored in such a way is hilarious, because it can’t be technologically speaking, unless you become North Korea. Unless you become massively draconian you can’t either monitor propery or censor completely the internet.”

The draft Communications Bill ran into problems late last year after it was criticised by a committee of MPs and senior Liberal Democrats for being too intrusive.

Ministers agreed to overhaul the controversial bill but it has still not published its revisions.

As part of the process, the Government also promised to speak to “technical experts, industry, law enforcement bodies, public authorities and civil liberties groups”.

However, four groups, including Privacy International, Big Brother Watch, Liberty and Open Rights Group, have now written to Theresa May, the Home Secretary, protesting that they have not been properly consulted.

“We remain concerned that the legislative process continues to be conducted within an unnecessarily closed process,” they said.

Dominic Raab, a Tory MP campaigning against the Bill, told The Spectator this week that the “irresponsible bill remains on life support”.

“There are fundamental questions about the scope and basic viability which remain unanswered,” he said. “It’s very difficult to see how this could get through Parliament.”

Despite reports of continuing clashes over the laws within the Government, ministers insist the Communications Data Bill is still going ahead.

James Brokenshire, a security minister, told the Telegraph that the new internet surveillance laws are crucial for catching criminals and have not been dropped.

“This legislation is vital to help catch paedophiles, terrorists and other serious criminals,” he said. “Communications data includes time, duration and dialling numbers of a phone call, or an email address. It does not include the content of any phone call or email.

“Two scrutiny committees who examined the previous Draft Communications Data Bill recognised the need for new laws and we have accepted the substance of the recommendations we made.

“The Government is committed to legislating to ensure that law enforcement and intelligence agencies continue to have the access to the communications data they need.”

Sources said the Bill will be brought forward “when parliamentary time allows”, which will probably not be before the Queen’s Speech.

UK Town halls join rush to use the snoopers’ charter.

By   13th April 2013.    Find Article Here:-

UK Council staff, health and safety inspectors and even Royal Mail want to harness the Government’s proposed “Snoopers’ Charter” to monitor private emails, telephone records and internet use.

It had been thought that only police, intelligence agencies and the taxman would be able to use the Communication Data Act, which will also allow scrutiny of social network sites including Twitter and Facebook.

But dozens of public sector organisations have applied to use the powers. They include nine Whitehall departments, NHS trusts, the Environment Agency, the Charity Commission and the Pensions Regulator. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has argued that the legislation is vital to combat terrorism and other serious offences.

But the Home Office confirmed that it was considering all the submissions made by public bodies.

Dominic Raab (Rex Features)

Dominic Raab, one of 40 Conservative MPs who oppose the legislation, said: “This scheme is Orwellian. Intrusive surveillance powers should be limited to pursuing terrorists, paedophiles and villains – not enabling jobsworth inspectors at the Health and Safety Executive or council busybodies to snoop into the private lives of ordinary citizens.”

Last year the Home Office asked organisations who wanted to be able to use the powers outlined in the Communications Data Bill — which will be included in the Queen’s Speech next month — to submit a “business case”.

Following a Freedom of Information Act request from Big Brother Watch, a privacy campaign body, the Home Office said 36 “groups” had applied, but it counted local authorities and NHS trusts once each, making it unclear how many individual councils or health trusts were involved. Fire authorities, the Food Standards Agency and the Gambling Commission also submitted cases.

The proposed legislation obliges internet service providers to keep all records of their customers’ online activity for 12 months. This includes every email, posting on a social networking site, video or telephone calls over the internet.

Approved bodies would need a warrant for the content of any message to be handed over.

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said its officials used such powers rarely and only to help in its criminal investigations.

A Home Office spokesman said that Parliament would make the final decision about which bodies would have access.

Two Earth-like ‘blue-planets’ discovered orbiting distant star.

By   18th Aoril 2013.      Find Article Here:-

Two Earth-like planets thought to be covered in water have been discovered orbiting a distant star and may even have the right conditions to support life.

One of the planets – called Kepler-62f – is 1.4 times larger than while another, called Kepler-62e, is 1.6 times the size of Earth and is closer to the star.

One of the planets – called Kepler-62f – is 1.4 times larger than while another, called Kepler-62e, is 1.6 times the size of Earth and is closer to the star.  Photo: David A. Aguilar (CfA)

Astronomers believe the two ocean dominated worlds, which are around one and a half times the size of Earth, lie within the so-called Goldilocks zone around their star.

This is the distance from the star where it would be neither too hot nor too cold for there to be liquid water on the planet surface.

Scientists using Nasa’s Kepler space telescope, which has been searching for habitable planets outside our solar system, spotted the two planets orbiting a star called Kepler-62 1,200 light years away.

They found three other planets orbiting the same star – which is slightly smaller and cooler than our sun.

By calculating the amount of light the planets blocked out as they passed in front of their star, astronomers were able to calculate their size and orbit.

One of the planets – called Kepler-62f – is 1.4 times larger than the Earth and may even be a rocky planet while another, called Kepler-62e, is 1.6 times the size of Earth and is closer to the star.

Most other planets discovered in the habitable zone around stars have been giants, many times larger than our own.

Dr Eric Agol, an astronomer at University of Washington who was one of the team to discover the planets, said: “Planets this small found until now have been very close to their stars and much too hot to be possibly habitable.

“This is the first one that Kepler has found in the habitable zone that is a small size.”

Computer modelling by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, suggests the two new planets may be covered in global oceans.

They said that while Kepler-62e was likely to have a cloudy and humid climate, Kepler-62f would be cooler and could even be covered in large areas of ice.

“These planets are unlike anything in our solar system,” said Dr Lisa Kaltenegger, who conducted the modelling. “They have endless oceans.

“Life on these worlds would be under water with no easy access to metals, to electricity, or fire for metallurgy.

“Nonetheless, these worlds will still be beautiful blue planets circling an orange star.”

Study reveals GMO corn to be highly toxic.

Published April 15th, 2013.               Find Article Here:-

AFP Photo / Paul J. Richards

A leaked study examining genetically-modified corn reveals that the lab-made alternative to organic crops contains a startling level of toxic chemicals.

An anti-GMO website has posted the results of an education-based consulting company’s comparison of corn types, and the results reveal that genetically modified foods may be more hazardous than once thought.

The study, the 2012 Corn Comparison Report by Profit Pro, was published recently on the website for Moms Across America March to Label GMOs, a group that says they wish to “raise awareness and support Moms with solutions to eat GMO Free as we demand GMO labeling locally and nationally simultaneously.” They are plotting nationwide protests scheduled for later this year.

The report, writes the website’s Zen Honeycutt, was provided by a representative for De Dell Seed Company, an Ontario-based farm that’s touted as being Canadian only non-GMO corn seed company.

“The claims that ‘There is no difference between GMO corn and NON Gmo corn’ are false,” says Honeycutt, who adds she was “floored” after reading the study.

According to the analysis, GMO corn tested by Profit Pro contains a number of elements absent from traditional cord, including chlorides, formaldehyde and glyphosate. While those elements don’t appear naturally in corn, they were present in GMO samples to the tune of 60 ppm, 200pm and 13 ppm, respectively.

Honecutt says that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (FDA) mandates that the level of glyphosate in American drinking water not exceed 0.7 ppm and adds that organ damage in some animals has been linked to glyphosate exposure exceeding 0.1 ppm.

“Glyphosate is a strong organic phosphate chelator that immobilizes positively charged minerals such as manganese, cobalt, iron, zinc [and] copper,” Dr. Don Huber attested during a separate GMO study recently released, adding that those elements “are essential for normal physiological functions in soils, plants and animals.”

“Glyphosate draws out the vital nutrients of living things and GMO corn is covered with it,” adds Honeycutt, who notes that the nutritional benefits rampant in natural corn are almost entirely removed from lab-made seeds: in the samples used during the study, non-GMO corn is alleged to have 437-times the amount of calcium in genetically modified versions, and 56- and 7-times the level of magnesium and manganese, respectively.

These studies come on the heels of a recent decision on Capitol Hill to approve an annual agriculture appropriations bill, even though a provision within the act contained a rider that frees GMO corporations such as the multi-billion-dollar Monsanto Company from liability. The so-called “Monsanto Protection Act,” written by a lawmaker that has lobbied for the agra-giant, says biotech companies won’t need federal approval to test and plant GMO-crops, even if health risks are unknown.

“The provision would strip federal courts of the authority to halt the sale and planting of an illegal, potentially hazardous GE crop while the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) assesses those potential hazards,” reads a letter to the House of Representatives that was delivered to Congress last month with the signatures of dozens of food businesses and retailers, as well as interest groups and agencies representing family farmers. “Further, it would compel USDA to allow continued planting of that same crop upon request, even if in the course of its assessment the Department finds that it poses previously unrecognized risks.”

Is ‘electrosmog’ harming our health?

April 20, 2013 1 comment

By Michael Segell  18th January 2010.      Find Full Article Here:-

Electrical pollution from cell phones and WiFi may be hazardous.

In 1990, the city of La Quinta, CA, proudly opened the doors of its sparkling new middle school. Gayle Cohen, then a sixth-grade teacher, recalls the sense of excitement everyone felt: “We had been in temporary facilities for 2 years, and the change was exhilarating.”

But the glow soon dimmed.

One teacher developed vague symptoms — weakness, dizziness — and didn’t return after the Christmas break. A couple of years later, another developed cancer and died; the teacher who took over his classroom was later diagnosed with throat cancer. More instructors continued to fall ill, and then, in 2003, on her 50th birthday, Cohen received her own bad news: breast cancer.

“That’s when I sat down with another teacher, and we remarked on all the cancers we’d seen,” she says. “We immediately thought of a dozen colleagues who had either gotten sick or passed away.”

By 2005, 16 staffers among the 137 who’d worked at the new school had been diagnosed with 18 cancers, a ratio nearly 3 times the expected number. Nor were the children spared: About a dozen cancers have been detected so far among former students. A couple of them have died.

Prior to undergoing her first chemotherapy treatment, Cohen approached the school principal, who eventually went to district officials for an investigation. A local newspaper article about the possible disease cluster caught the attention of Sam Milham, MD, a widely traveled epidemiologist who has investigated hundreds of environmental and occupational illnesses and published dozens of peer-reviewed papers on his findings. For the past 30 years, he has trained much of his focus on the potential hazards of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) — the radiation that surrounds all electrical appliances and devices, power lines, and home wiring and is emitted by communications devices, including cell phones and radio, TV, and WiFi transmitters.

His work has led him, along with an increasingly alarmed army of international scientists, to a controversial conclusion: The “electrosmog” that first began developing with the rollout of the electrical grid a century ago and now envelops every inhabitant of Earth is responsible for many of the diseases that impair — or kill — us.