The Catholic Church in Australia finally admits to child abuse

Australia’s Roman Catholic Church has confirmed that more than 600 children have been sexually abused by its priests since the 1930s in the state of Victoria.

The archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, described the figures as “horrific and shameful”.

The admission came in a submission to a state parliamentary inquiry into the handling of abuse cases, however campaigners say the true figure could be up to 10,000 victims…

“We look to this inquiry to assist the healing of those who have been abused, blah, blah, blah!

Chrissie Foster, whose two daughters were raped by their parish priest from the mid-1980s, said the church had had decades to address the issue but had only revealed the figure to the Victorian inquiry on Friday.

“It’s only been victims coming out and going to the police that has stopped all of this”.

“The church has never lifted a finger to stop their paedophile priests,” added Foster, who said one of her daughters had ultimately taken her own life.

The Victorian state government announced the inquiry into the handling of child abuse cases by religious and non-government bodies after the suicides of dozens of people abused by clergy.

Before the Victorian state government pats themselves on the back too much – consider how long they didn’t notice there may have been a problem. The Catholic Church is guilty of aiding those who were committing crimes. The government is as guilty in their own way for ignoring the abuse.

From Japan – the brain-controlled tail that wags with your mood

At this year’s Tokyo Games Show, Japanese purveyor of electronically-augmented fashion Neurowear unveiled the successor to its Necomimi brain-activated cat ears. It’s called Shippo, and it’s a brain-controlled motorized tail that responds to the user’s current emotional state with corresponding wagging.

Apparently a translation of tail in Japanese, Shippo requires a NeuroSky electroencephalograph headset, alongside a clip-on heart monitor, in order to observe brain activity and pick up on the user’s emotional state. This information is then translated to wagging, which will be soft and slow or hard and fast, depending on whether one is relaxing or excited/anxious. The EEG headset communicates with the fluffy appendage via a Bluetooth connection.

Shippo also features geotagging and smartphone sharing capability, which updates friends with the user’s current mood and location, in addition to allowing devotees of the wearable tech to seek out locations which like-minded people have flagged as making them feel relaxed and happy.

Oh, brother!

Libyan revolutionaries kick Islamist militia out of Benghazi


Demonstrators celebrate clearing out Islamist Ansar al-Sharia militia

An Islamist militia was driven out of the city of Benghazi early on Saturday in a surge of anger against the armed groups that control large parts of Libya…

A spokesman for Ansar al-Sharia, which some U.S. and Libya officials blame for the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last week in which the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed, said it had evacuated its bases “to preserve security in the city”…

The invasion of Ansar al-Sharia’s compounds, which met little resistance, appeared to be part of a sweep of militia bases by police, troops and activists following a large demonstration against militia units in Benghazi on Friday.

Demonstrators pulled down militia flags and set a vehicle on fire inside what was once the base of Gaddafi’s security forces.

Hundreds of men waving swords and even a meat cleaver chanted “Libya, Libya”, “No more al Qaeda!” and “The blood we shed for freedom shall not go in vain!”

“After what happened at the American consulate, the people of Benghazi had enough of the extremists,” demonstrator Hassan Ahmed said. “They did not give allegiance to the army. So the people broke in and they fled.

“This place is like the Bastille. This is where Gaddafi controlled Libya from, and then Ansar al-Sharia took it over. This is a turning point for the people of Benghazi…”

Libya’s government had promised Washington it would find the perpetrators of what appeared to be a well planned attack on the U.S. consulate, which coincided with protests against an anti-Islam video and the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks…

Although Ansar al-Sharia denies any role in the consulate attack, the latest events in the cradle of Libya’s revolution appeared at least in part to vindicate Obama’s faith in Libya’s nascent democracy.

RTFA for a great deal of detail, chronology of events.

This revolutionary period still runs the risk of being subverted by thugs loyal to Gaddafi’s tribe and ideology. There is the danger of pro-government militias run by Islamists and even al Qaeda attaining positions of political power.

A period of immediate post-revolutionary turmoil is rife with opportunities for agents provocateur as well as the standard flavor of political opportunists who flock to a moment of critical change like greed-driven lemmings.

I wish those folks truly dedicated to building a better Libya nothing but the best.

Republican “critic” of Wall Street takes job as CEO of Wall Street’s biggest lobbying firm


Why do you think this man is laughing?

Tim Pawlenty, the former Republican governor of Minnesota who criticized Wall Street while running for president last year, is joining the Financial Services Roundtable as president and chief executive officer.

Pawlenty…will take over from the retiring Steve Bartlett as CEO of the Washington-based group that represents 100 of the biggest financial-services companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America. Corp. and Citigroup Inc. The new job means quitting his post as national co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign…

In a Bloomberg Television interview last year before he ended his presidential run and joined Romney’s campaign, Pawlenty said his “truth message to Wall Street is going to be, ‘Get your snout out of the trough’.” He was viewed as a potential Romney running mate before the former Massachusetts governor selected Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Pawlenty, who campaigned as a “Sam’s Club Republican” concerned with issues affecting the middle class, will represent the interests of the large financial firms across a broad range of business, from insurance giants such as State Farm Insurance Cos. and money managers including BlackRock Inc. to payment networks like Visa…

In a statement, Romney said…“While I regret he cannot continue as co-chair of my campaign, his new position advancing the integrity of our financial system is vital to the future of our country”…

He may also receive a substantial raise. Bartlett was paid $1.8 million in 2010, according to the group’s IRS filings for that year. Pawlenty’s most recent salary as governor was $121,000, according to a 2011 financial filing for his presidential bid. Scott Talbott, a senior vice president of public policy at the Financial Services Roundtable, declined to share Pawlenty’s salary information.

Musical jobs among the politicians of America, two pantywaist parties and the corporate plutocrats who own our lawmakers, legal system and judges – continues without missing a beat.

I hear America singing. And it ain’t Bob Dylan.

Dry-run experiments verify key of Sandia’s nuclear fusion concept


Click photo to enlarge

Magnetically imploded tubes called liners, intended to help produce controlled nuclear fusion at scientific “break-even” energies or better within the next few years, have functioned successfully in preliminary tests, according to a Sandia research paper…

To exceed scientific break-even is the most hotly sought-after goal of fusion research, in which the energy released by a fusion reaction is greater than the energy put into it — an achievement that would have extraordinary energy and defense implications.

That the liners survived their electromagnetic drubbing is a key step in stimulating further Sandia testing of a concept called MagLIF (Magnetized Liner Inertial Fusion), which will use magnetic fields and laser pre-heating in the quest for energetic fusion.

In the dry-run experiments just completed, cylindrical beryllium liners remained reasonably intact as they were imploded by huge magnetic field of Sandia’s Z machine, the world’s most powerful pulsed-power accelerator. Had they overly distorted, they would have proved themselves incapable of shoveling together nuclear fuel — deuterium and possibly tritium — to the point of fusing them. Sandia researchers expect to add deuterium fuel in experiments scheduled for 2013.

A later simulation, published last January in PRL by Sandia’s Steve Slutz and Sandia researcher Roger Vesey, showed that a more powerful accelerator generating 60 million amperes or more could reach “high-gain” fusion conditions, where the fusion energy released greatly exceeds (by more than 1,000 times) the energy supplied to the fuel…

Sandia researchers intend to test the fully integrated MagLIF concept by the close of 2013.

RTFA for all the technical details. Interesting stuff.

I don’t understand it well enough to scare myself – but, I’m confident there are a few folks around who feel that any “oops” moment in this research will leave a very large hole where Albuquerque used to be.