New Weight Loss Approach: Watch a Scary Movie!

It’s the weight loss advice you never thought you’d hear: To burn as many calories as a 30-minute walk, sit on your sofa and watch a movie.

The catch? The movie has to be scary and the scarier it is the more calories you’re likely to use.

Scientists at the University of Westminster tested ten people as they watched a selection of classic horror films. They monitored the viewers’ heart rate, oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output to work out how much energy they were using.

The scientists found that on average the participants used up a third more calories watching the scary films than if they had been sitting in front of a blank screen.

Read more from this story HERE.

Paganism Revels On

Pagans in Utah stepped out of the broom closet, so to speak, earlier this month to declare their existence and to dispel misinformation about paganism and witchcraft. “A lot of the misinformation is that witches are evil, that witches are green, that witches are ugly, that witches sacrifice children or eat babies or whatever the case may be, that there is worship of Satan, things of that nature,” said pagan entrepreneur Rita Morgan, whose store Crone’s Hollow in South Salt Lake not only sells ritual supplies but serves as a meeting place for local covens.

The pagan festival of Samhain (“Sawin”) was celebrated by the Celts as the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter, halfway between the summer and winter solstices on about October 31st. With bonfires and (rumored) human sacrifice to shy off the dead, the holiday was considered a day in which the door opened between this world and the next, and the dead walked among the living. Other historical efforts to protect oneself from evil spirits involved dressing in costume and lighting carved-out turnips or beets.

In our civilized, scientific culture, we tend to think of paganism as something distant, lost in the world of developing nations. In those places, ignorant medicine men seek to chase off disease through spiritual rituals when they would find better results with a tub of bleach water and penicillin. The word “pagan” often brings to mind half-clothed natives dancing around the missionary in the pot, human sacrifice, and barbarism in general.

However, today there is a form of popular paganism that looks surprisingly modern and has followers among intellectuals. While Judeo-Christian morality is increasingly seen as outdated and ‘puritanical’ in our Western World, the human need for spiritual fulfillment has not disappeared. Instead, updated forms of the old pagan religions are spreading once again. Neo-Paganism embraces a wide variety of religious traditions, including Wicca, Druidism, Asatru, Shamanism, and neo-Native American beliefs, mixing a variety of the ancient pagan beliefs about nature and the universe, fitting them to modern society. College professors, screenplay writers and the leaders of many ecological movements have delved into modern Paganism, and their ideas come home to us through our college students and our children’s movies.

Many people dive into Paganism innocently – out of a desire to find out more about God and the spiritual. They love nature, or they are weary of dry, boring church services. Many do not know the Bible well enough to recognize red flags, and a large number of people consider themselves “Christian” pagans. It is important that we recognize when Neo-Pagan beliefs come in conflict with Biblical Christianity and not confuse being “spiritual” with being led by the Holy Spirit. With a better understanding, we can help prepare our families to deal with the lure of modern Paganism.

Read more from this story HERE.

A to Z: Deadly Slang by Gangs Where a “Biscuit” is a Gun & an “Elbow” is a Pound of Drugs

The crab got a biscuit and is drinking the bumble bee’s milk. Translation: a Crip gang member has a gun and is looking to kill a Latin King rival.

New York gangs aren’t just a frightening menace driving up crime in the city. They operate in a shadowy underworld with their own signs, signals and terminology.

But a forthcoming book by gang expert Lou Savelli pulls back the veil, revealing thousands of insider terms for everything that makes up gangster life: guns, drugs, money and murder.

“Gangs have their own language to represent who they are and to show their camaraderie,” says Savelli, a leading consultant who founded the NYPD’s gang unit and is now deputy director of the nonprofit East Coast Gang Investigators Association. “The slang they develop helps protect them from law enforcement. They also don’t want other criminals ripping them off.”

Savelli says the emergence of small youth crews and the rising power of outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) pose significant threats.

Read more from this story HERE.

Extraordinary Humanoid Military Robot Can Climb Stairs, Operate in any Terrain

For anyone who was relying on being able to escape from a robot simply by climbing stairs, it could be a bone chilling sight.

[US researchers] have revealed astonishing footage of a human-like robot able to walk, jump and run over almost any obstacle in its path.

Eventually it is hoped the technology could be used to create a new breed of robotic soldiers able to operate in any terrain, and robots capable of being sent into dangerous disaster zones deemed impossible for humans to enter.

The amazing robot, called proto-pet, is expected to be one of those competing in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) which was announced today.

The US military funded challenge is for robots who can operate entirely by themselves. Read more from this story HERE.

Here’s a video of the amazing robot in action:

Man Auctions Off Side of His Face for $15,000, Gets Tattooed With Romney Campaign Logo

Some say that campaign ads are getting just ridiculous. But now it’s taken a turn to the truly bizarre. An Indiana man has auctioned off space on the side of his head, where he tattooed Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign “R” logo in a 5-by-2-inch spot for a bid of $15,000.

Eric Hartsburg posted the eBay listing in August, and told ABC News that he was paid $15,000 by a Republican eBay user, who preferred to remain anonymous, to get the Romney logo permanently inked on the side of his head. Hartsburg, who is an Indiana native, told ABC News that he agreed because the tattoo was something that he could live with.

“I am a registered Republican and a Romney supporter,” Hartsburg said. “I didn’t mind getting this tattoo because it is something that I could live with and it’s something that I believe in.”

He wasn’t so enthusiastic about all of the bids he was offered. Hartsburg, whose fresh ink is only three days old, said that he actually rejected the highest bid because it was “lewd.” His only requirement for bidding on the ‘ad space’ was that it could not be racist or offensive.

Hartsburg says that the whole thing was done as a gag but now he believes his new tat has a purpose. He says he is trying to “educate people on his beliefs.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Judge Sends Naked Picture of Himself to Married Subordinate, Keeps Job (+video)

Third Circuit Court Judge Wade McCree sent a naked picture of himself to a female court bailiff. Apparently she didn’t mind, but her husband did, so he gave it to us and we gave it to you and now the Michigan Supreme Court has given it back to Judge McCree, publicly censuring him Wednesday for judicial misconduct.

“It’s very rare for a judge to get a slap on the wrist like this unless the judge did something really bad on the bench. So for the Supreme Court to look at this, to review this, and for the judge to agree with it, it’s pretty bad,” said FOX 2 legal analyst Charlie Langton.

“A judge has to set the example for others to follow. I mean, judges are held to a higher standard. There’s integrity in the system of being a judge and this guy didn’t do it.”

Fox 2 News Headlines

Judge McCree wouldn’t come out of his chambers for an interview, but here are a few of the court’s findings. During an interview with yours truly, McCree “conducted himself in a flippant manner and did not give the interview the seriousness he should have. As a result, he brought shame and obloquy to the judiciary. For example, when discussing the digital image of himself, he said, ‘There is no shame in my game.'”

Click on the second video in the player above to watch Charlie LeDuff’s original report.

The Supreme Court also found that the interview and the digital image spread rapidly around the internet and became the subject of jokes and ridicule.

Read more from this story HERE.

A Future Where We’ll Actually Be Able to Download Memories From Our Brains

It sounds like the stuff of science-fiction and geek ideology, but the ability to download memories may be a full blown reality for the future generations of planet Earth. Science (well, Neuroscience, Neuroengineering, and Optogenetics to be exact) is getting closer and closer to creating a solution for this fascinating prospect.

Just imagine being able to download memories from a favorite holiday or event in your life. You’d be able to store these memories forever and then simply upload them again when you want to reminisce. You’d be able to remember your favorite gig like it was today, not yesterday. It’s pretty awesome stuff, but is it really feasible?

[O]ne genius from MIT named Ed Boyden is developing ways of using light to decode brain patterns and control the activity of neurons. This is the deeply complex world of Optogenetics. Through scouring nature’s wonders, he’s found proteins that convert light into electricity. He can then insert these proteins into neurons via a harmless virus that most of you reading this probably already have. When he flashes light on these neurons, their electrical signalling pathways activate. Ed can then go on to map out these pathways with the help of specially designed computer software. He’s already used this approach to cure analogs of PTSD in mice, and hopes to develop ‘Neuroprosthetics’ in the future, which could help restore neurons to full functionality in conditions such as Alzheimer’s, where neural functionality is lost.

Read more from this story HERE.

NYPD Officer Arrested By FBI Planned to Cook & Eat Women Tracked by Law Enforcement Database

A city cop with a taste for human flesh was charged Thursday with plotting to kidnap, torture, “slow cook” and eat women he tracked down through law enforcement databases.

Accused cannibal cop Gilberto Valle, 28, was living a double life — a married dad and civil servant who moonlighted as a secret psycho straight out of a James Patterson crime thriller, federal authorities revealed.

Like the diabolical character in Patterson’s made-for-the-big-screen “Alex Cross” novel, Valle is accused of using high-tech surveillance to track would-be victims, even worming his way into their lives while plotting to kidnap, rape and kill them.

He once boasted in an instant message to a depraved ally that his oven was “big enough to fit one of these girls if I folded their legs.”

At his arraignment in Manhattan Federal Court Thursday, prosecutor Hadassa Waxman said it was only a matter of time before Valle acted on his sinister desires.

Read more from this story HERE.

Seen a Threatening Tweet? Alert the Secret Service!

Twitter users sent more than 6.5 million Tweets during the third presidential debate Monday – and a few of them were death threats against President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Less than 24 hours later, the Secret Service took to Twitter in what the department calls a new tactic to gather information on potential threats against the people they protect.

“To report a tweet that concerns you,” @SecretService wrote Tuesday in its first such Tweet, “call the nearest field office in your state.” The agency posted a similar message Wednesday morning.

The Secret Service wants to be aware of what messages are being disseminated on Twitter as the social networking website grows, said Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan. The Secret Service has been on Twitter for more than a year and has no other social media accounts.

“We’re not an intelligence agency – we’re consumers of information,” Donovan said. “We cast a wide net for information, and that includes law enforcement agencies, federal agencies and the general public.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Man in Devil Mask Robs Store, Shoots Customer, Falls Off Cliff & Has Leg Amputated

A man officials say went on a crime spree wearing a devil mask is now in custody and hurting like hell.

The man authorities say robbed several businesses in Jefferson and Blount counties in the past two weeks, and shot a man in the process, fell off of a cliff in Remlap. He suffered a broken back and has had one of his legs amputated.

“When he robbed the drug stores I said I hoped we could find him before he hurt someone or got himself killed,” said Jefferson County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Randy Christian. “Well he did hurt someone and almost got himself killed.” [A 53-year-old customer walking into the store just after the holdup was told the store had just been robbed and started to follow the robber. The gunman shot the man, who remains hospitalized with critical injures.]

“He has a long road of medical problems ahead of him and an extended prison stay,” Christian said. “I would like to think that maybe he jumped off of that cliff because of remorse, but I can’t give him that much credit”…

On Saturday, Christian said today, investigators received information from Blount County authorities that a man had fallen from a cliff and been critically injured. He crawled to a nearby home to get help. Lawmen who responded found items in his vehicle that led them to believe he may have been involved in the robberies.

Read more from this story HERE.