Rightwing nutball plotted to kill Muslims, Obama with death ray

A Ku Klux Klan member conspired to use a remote-controlled X-ray device hidden in a truck, which he called “Hiroshima on a light switch,” as a weapon of mass destruction to harm Muslims and President Barack Obama, a prosecutor told jurors on Monday…

In opening arguments at U.S. District Court in Albany, a lawyer for Glendon Scott Crawford, 51, of Galway, New York, said the device would have never been built if not for the government supplying the necessary components via “criminal” sources…

Crawford and Eric Feight were arrested in 2013 and charged in the plot to unleash radiation at a mosque in Albany and a Muslim school in nearby Colonie.

The men also planned to attack the White House, according to a recording of their May 2012 conversation played at the trial, in which Crawford described himself a Klansman and called the remote-controlled device “Hiroshima on a light switch.”

Feight, of Hudson, New York, pleaded guilty in 2014 to providing material support to terrorists…

Rodney Margolis, chief executive of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, testified that Crawford tried to interest Jewish leaders in a “black-bag operation” that “would kill Israel’s enemies while they slept.”

Margolis said that Crawford scared him and he immediately called police. As a result, the FBI in Albany soon began surveilling Crawford at home and ultimately deployed a confidential source to further discuss Crawford’s scheme with him…

The dividing line between criminals and political activists is much closer together on the Right than many imagine. Especially if your brain is already confounded by what passes for conservative common sense, nowadays.

The Left has a long history of crazy bomb-throwing anarchists who justify their violence through one or another religion-like rationale about direct action. Rightwing thugs are simply that. They reject democracy, republican delegation of power as a sign of weakness. Not realizing the critical weakness is in their own minds.

Runaway pulsar with an extraordinary jet trailing behind…

Click to enlarge

An extraordinary jet trailing behind a runaway pulsar is seen in this composite image that contains data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (purple), radio data from the Australia Compact Telescope Array (green), and optical data from the 2MASS survey (red, green, and blue). The pulsar – a spinning neutron star – and its tail are found in the lower right of this image (mouse over the image for a labeled version). The tail stretches for 37 light years , making it the longest jet ever seen from an object in the Milky Way galaxy…

The pulsar, originally discovered by ESA’s INTEGRAL satellite, is called IGR J1104-6103 and is moving away from the center of the supernova remnant where it was born at a speed between 2.5 million and 5 million miles per hour. This supersonic pace makes IGR J1104-6103 one of the fastest moving pulsars ever observed.

A massive star ran out of fuel and collapsed to form the pulsar along with the supernova remnant, the debris field seen as the large purple structure in the upper left of the image. The supernova remnant (known as SNR MSH 11-61A) is elongated along the top-right to bottom left direction, roughly in line with the tail’s direction. These features and the high speed of the pulsar suggest that jets could have played an important role in the supernova explosion that formed IGR J1104-6103.

Yes, you should RTFA. Also – the latest Chandra newsletter is rocking with space goodies. Click below to move on to the next one:

Continue reading

Dumb [and drunk] tourist trick of the day

The 36-year-old, who has not been named, arrived at the international terminal of Italy’s busiest airport at the end of last month with a backpack and a can of beer in his hand.

The Norwegian was due to check in for a flight to Oslo and when he found no one on duty at the airline desk he leapt across the counter and fell into a deep asleep on the baggage belt with his bag beside him.

As the belt began to move the unsuspecting tourist reportedly travelled for 15 minutes through the secure baggage area in Terminal 3 before officials spotted his body curled up in a foetal position in an X-ray image on their monitors.

He slept through the whole episode and airport police had trouble waking him when they were called to the scene to investigate what had happened…

A senior officer with Fiumicino airport police said…it was not the first kind of incident involving “drunks or people with psychological problems”…”There’s usually an episode like this once a year and we are alert,” the official said. “In this case we were notified we sounded the alarm immediately and we took action…”

Concerned about the tourist’s exposure to the powerful X-rays, police took him to a nearby hospital before reporting him to prosecutors at Civitavecchia for causing alarm at the airport.


I must admit to something similar – though I fell asleep underneath a conveyor belt I’d been assigned to repair – instead of atop. A significant amount of alcohol was also involved in the course of a shop holiday celebration.

Feathers trapped in amber reveals Dinosaurs covered in color

Color is coming to the formerly black-and-white Mesozoic world of dinosaurs and early birds.

Not exactly high-definition color, and some formidable characters may show up in the same old drab and scaly wardrobes; they are dinosaurs, after all, with a reputation for resistance to change. But in time, you can look for splashes of color in museum dioramas of feathered figures from the age of dinosaurs.

For more than a decade, hardly a season has passed without more discoveries of dinosaur and bird fossils in China bearing impressions of feathers and traces of chemical coloring agents. Now, in Canada, paleontologists have found 70-million-year-old amber preserving 11 specimens showing a wide diversity of feather types at that time…

Preserved pigment cells encased in the amber, along with other evidence, suggested that the feathered animals had an array of mottled patterns and diffuse colors like modern birds, scientists at the University of Alberta, led by Ryan C. McKellar, said in a report…

In a commentary accompanying the report, Mark A. Norell…noted that only now, with these amber specimens added to the Chinese finds, “are we beginning to understand just how diverse feather types were in the Mesozoic,” roughly the age of dinosaurs from 250 million to 65 million years ago.

Dr. Norell went on to point out that amber preserves “not only the microstructure, but the actual visual color as well — features not preserved in typical compression fossils.” In other amber 94 million years old, he said, the feathers did not appear to be as diverse.

Another research approach is being tested by a team led by Roy A. Wogelius of the University of Manchester in England. In the same journal, they report results of an advanced X-ray method for detecting minute geochemical traces, including metals like copper, that are long-lived biomarkers of coloring agents in feathered fossils…

Although “research into fossil feathers is still at a nascent stage,” Dr. Norell wrote, evidence is mounting that feathers were part of the earliest stages of dinosaur evolution, and now “we are filling in the colors.”

In China, Confuciusornis and a few non-avian dinosaurs appeared to have had ruddy feathers; Sinosauropteryx, a reddish banded tail; and Anchiornis probably resembled a woodpecker, with a black body, banded wings and reddish head comb.

Dinosaur exhibits in your friendly neighborhood museum may sprout colored feathers soon. 🙂

Smuggler busted with 72 cocaine capsules in stomach

Pretty fancy X-Ray tech

A 20-year-old Irishman had a $200,000 lunch — and now he might have to pay.

Security personal at a Sao Paulo, Brazil airport on Monday detained a nervous traveler later allegedly found to be smuggling approximately 72 bags of cocaine in his stomach, the Irish independent reports.

Authorities with the Brazilian Federal Police released x-ray images of the suspect, identified only as F.B.B., which appear to show his belly full of drugs. The nearly two-pound stash of coke is estimated to be worth $200,000.

Police said the man was boarding a flight to Lisbon en route to Brussels. Instead of making the trip, authorities escorted the man to a nearby hospital where the capsules were removed, MSNBC reports.

The suspect is charged with international drug trafficking and could face up to 15 years in prison.

No mention of which end of the alimentary canal was utilized to remove the cocaine capsules. 🙂

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Snakes NOT on a plane – Indonesian style

Indonesian customs officials have arrested two men suspected of trying to take 40 snakes on to a flight to Dubai.

The two were about to enter the departure area at Jakarta airport when X-rays showed their bags were filled with sedated pythons…

The two suspects told investigators they planned to sell the animals to collectors in the United Arab Emirates, the AP news agency reports…

“People often use the flights to Dubai to smuggle illegal animals,” an official at Jakarta airport told AFP news agency.

For the sake of flight safety and security, no animals are allowed to be brought on to aircraft without permission and special handling,” the official, Salahudin Rafi, added.

And if they get loose on the plane, it’s a remake of a not-very-good movie.

Pneumonia often misdiagnosed on patient readmissions

Patients were misdiagnosed with pneumonia at an alarming rate when they were readmitted to the hospital shortly after a previous hospitalization for the same illness, according to two Henry Ford Hospital companion studies.

Researchers say the misdiagnoses led to overuse of antibiotics and increased health care costs. Pneumonia ranks second to congestive heart failure as the reason for readmission within 30 days of a previous hospitalization.

Led by Henry Ford Infectious Diseases physicians Hiren Pokharna, M.D., and Norman Markowitz, M.D., researchers found that:
72 percent of patients were misdiagnosed with pneumonia upon readmission to the same hospital.

African-Americans were twice more likely than Caucasians to be misdiagnosed with pneumonia…

72 percent of the misdiagnoses occurred in the Emergency Department.

Fewer than 33 percent of patients had any outpatient follow-up care prior to their readmission.

“This also points to the importance of using X-ray for ruling out pneumonia. And once pneumonia is ruled out, the antibiotics can be discontinued…”

Health care associated pneumonia is a newly recognized form of pneumonia in patients who had recent close contact with a health care system, either through a hospital, outpatient dialysis center, nursing home or long-term care facility. The classification was added with the shift from hospital-based care to home-based care.

Cripes. So, adding another human aspect to medicine seems to increase the likelihood of misdiagnosis. Or is it just reliance on ER treatment for people without healthcare insurance?

Not inspiring a lot of confidence here, folks.

Oz coppers appeal for public assistance in nail gun murder

Australian police have released an X-ray image showing the skull of a murdered Chinese immigrant shot repeatedly with a nail gun.

Police are appealing for help to solve the murder of Chen Liu, 27, whose body was found by two children last year in marshland in south Sydney. Detectives said the weapon was a gas nail gun used in construction, firing nails up to 85mm (3.3in) long.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Mr Liu was shot 34 times in the head and neck with a high-powered nail gun, police said.

The weapon has not yet been recovered. Police have appealed for information from anyone who may have been in the area at the time of Mr Chen’s death.

“In 36 years, I’ve never seen a murder of this nature,” Homicide Squad Superintendent Geoff Beresford told reporters. “It’s a particularly brutal and vicious murder and hence the reason we are seeking information from the public,” he said.

Mr Chen’s badly decomposed body was found on 1 November 2008, wrapped in plastic, wire and an electrical cord.

Obvious from this article and others that the killer(s) tried their best to keep the body from being discovered. Earlier coverage noted Chen Liu’s car was first discovered in the area after he went missing.

I hope they catch the cruds who did this, soon.