Thursday, September 20, 2012

DARPA combines human brains and 120-megapixel cameras to create the ultimate military threat detection system

After more than four years of research, DARPA has created a system that successfully combines soldiers, EEG brainwave scanners, 120-megapixel cameras, and multiple computers running cognitive visual processing algorithms into a cybernetic hivemind. Called the Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System (CT2WS), it will be used in a combat setting to significantly improve the US Army’s threat detection capabilities.

There are two discrete parts to the system: The 120-megapixel camera, which is tripod-mounted and looks over the battlefield (pictured below); and the computer system, where a soldier sits in front of a computer monitor with an EEG strapped to his head (pictured above). Images from the camera are fed into the computer system, which runs cognitive visual processing algorithms to detect possible threats (enemy combatants, sniper nests, IEDs). These possible threats are then shown to a soldier whose brain then works out if they’re real threats — or a false alarm (a tree branch, a shadow thrown by an overheard bird).


Pew’s Shocking Find: The U.S. Has Become More Religiously Intolerant & Socially Hostile

Religion, considering its mass appeal and prevalence, plays a key role in global and domestic events. Considering the fact that sociopolitical issues are often dictated or impacted by personal faith, new findings from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life are potentially concerning, specifically when it comes to faith in America.

The non-partisan research organization found that religious intolerance is on the rise across the globe. But — among the surprising data present within the study — Pew notes that the United States’ standing at both the governmental and societal level has devolved noticeably.

The report’s main emphasis is on governmental restrictions on religious beliefs and practices. Shockingly, the report finds that 75 percent of the world’s population (as of mid-2010) lives in nations “where governments, social groups or individuals restrict people’s ability to freely practice their faith.”

The latest results, which are certainly disconcerting for religious-freedom advocates the world-round, take into account the year ending mid-2009 to mid-2010. A previous report published in 2009 by Pew found that there were 31 countries with high or very high restrictions on faith; in the newest report, this number jumped to 37. While the U.S. government isn’t “high” on the list, it has officially moved from the low to the moderate level of religious restriction.


Hot Tub Confessions with Victoria Jackson & Chonda Pierce

Over two-thirds living paycheck to paycheck in US: Survey

A new survey by the American Payroll Association has indicated that more than two-thirds of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

According to the association, 68 percent of respondents said it would be somewhat difficult or very difficult if their paychecks were delayed for a week, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

The study also found that the results show Americans are still struggling with the recession's effects.

Sixty-five percent of respondents reported living paycheck to paycheck in 2006, a figure that increased to 72 percent in 2010 in the wake of the recession.


Nashville City Fights Church Over Homeless Encampment

The City of Nashville is demanding that a church close down its encampment of tents for the homeless on its property, saying that it violates a zoning law.

Nashville officials told Green Street Church of Christ that the placement of about ten tents is a zoning violation, but the church maintains that such an encampment is part of their mission to help the poor.
Tom Cross, an associate director with Nashville's legal division, told The Christian Post that the tent community falls under the zoning laws regarding camping.

"The Metropolitan Government's zoning laws allow camping only in specific areas, which do not include the church property at issue," said Cross.

Cross also told CP that he hopes an agreement can be reached between the City and the church outside of the courtroom.

"We're all interested in seeing that shelter and other services are available for those who need them," said Cross, noting that there are other facilities nearby that could help the tent dwellers.

Professor wants to reduce human population by ‘controlling human fertility’

A professor at the University of California recently gave a middle school presentation in which he claimed the earth has “too many people” and proposed a reduction of the population through “vegetarianism” and “controlling human fertility.”

Professor Richard Cardullo, a professor of biology at the University of California – Riverside (UCR), told a group of seventh grade students that the environment’s well-being was in jeopardy “if we don’t do anything about population.”
A professor at the University of California Riverside told a group of seventh graders the Earth has “too many people” and proposed “controlling human fertility” as a solution to reduce the population.
“If we want to decrease our population, we can do it through any number of ways,” he said.

The renowned professor proposed scientifically manipulating an individual’s ability to have children as a feasible solution.

“So we are talking about controlling human fertility,”  he said.

“Many scientists want to know: are there ways, are there new ways, that we can control population… or fertility rates, by targeting specific cells, sperm or eggs, so that individuals can make the decision to keep those rates low?” he asked.

Cardullo also suggested other solutions including vegetarianism.

“You are going to start hearing more and more about human’s carbon footprint and one of the biggest contributions to that carbon footprint is the production of meat,” said Cardullo. “And we can do a lot by simply becoming more vegetarian than we currently are.”


America Drops To 18th Most Economically Free Country in the World

Earlier today, the Fraser Institute released its “Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report.” Analyzing data from 144 countries based on 42 distinct variables, the study’s authors rank countries according to their relative level of economic freedom.
After ranking 2nd in 2000, the U.S. falls to 18th in this year’s report. As the authors explain:
“[T]he United States has fallen precipitously from second in 2000 to eighth in 2005 and 19th  in 2010 (unadjusted ranking of 18th). By 2009, the United States had fallen behind Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Chile, and Mauritius, countries that chose not to follow the path of massive growth in government financed by borrowing that is now the most prominent characteristic of US fiscal policy. By 2010, the United States had also fallen behind Finland and Denmark, two European welfare states. Moreover, it now trails Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Taiwan, and Qatar, countries that are not usually perceived of as bastions of economic freedom.”
The Fraser Institute’s full report is available below and on the Economic Freedom Network website.


The TV elite 'assume Christians are lunatics’

The BBC and other broadcasters are dominated by a “liberal secular elite” whose “default position” is to assume that Christians are “lunatics”, a Radio 4 broadcaster warned last night.   

In an outspoken attack, Roger Bolton, a former presenter of the station’s Sunday programme, warned that those in charge of broadcasting suffered from a “suicidal” ignorance about religion.
He said the BBC was failing to meet its obligations as a public service broadcaster to improve understanding of religion.

Mr Bolton, who presents Radio 4’s Feedback programme in which listeners air their views, said there was a growing view among the audience that Christians in particular were being treated unfairly in comparison with other faiths.

He said it appeared to be impossible to make jokes about followers of other faiths while Christians were viewed as fair game.

Speaking at a debate organised by the BBC’s religion and ethics department, he called for television news reporters to receive training to teach them about faith.


‘Blessing in disguise’: After zoning denial church steers into new sanctuary

The Assembly at Riverside opened its doors Sunday for its first service at 3960 Riverside Drive.
It’s not the location organizers originally envisioned, but it’s where they believe God has put them.

“After a zoning denial of property across from The Shoppes at River Crossing back in December, we were disappointed our plans were dashed,” said Mark Merrill, pastor of the Assembly at Warner Robins, which is planting the new Macon congregation. “But it was a blessing in disguise. This facility is everything we wanted and better suited to what we’re doing. Physically, it’s rare you can lease a place with such a huge space for children, office space, space for fellowship and of course an auditorium.”

Merrill also serves as regional presbyter for more than 50 Assembly of God churches in the Macon, Warner Robins, Griffin and Dublin area. He said the facility is 20,000 square feet with more than 200 parking spaces. He said the location is not far from the original site and is closer to an interstate exit, the one at Riverside Drive and Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard.


Read more here:

Worries over violence against churches in Israel

     JERUSALEM (AP) -- After a series of attacks by vandals on Christian holy sites in Israel, normally tight-lipped Roman Catholic officials are beginning to speak out, publicly appealing to authorities to take a stronger stand against the violence.

The Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, one of the church's top officials in the Holy Land, said he is worried about relations between Jews and Christians in the Holy Land. He believes the blame can go all around.
"I think the main atmosphere is ignorance," Pizzaballa told The Associated Press in an interview.

Because the local Christian population is tiny, "we do not exist for the majority ... They have other priorities," he said. "On the other side, we as a minority maybe didn't invest enough energy and initiatives" to reach out to Israeli Jews.


War on Football: TX School District Bans Christian Banners at Football Games

Just months before the annual War on Christmas is slated to kick-off, atheist activists are tackling yet another target — football. TheBlaze has covered a number of stories involving non-believers and their campaign to eradicate any semblance of religion from public high school and college teams. In the latest example, Kountze Independent School District has officially banned run-through banners that contain religious messages — an act that has set off a firestorm of controversy.

According to Fox 33, the trouble started after cheerleaders in the city of Kountze came up with the idea to add Bible verses to banners after attending a cheer camp. The words of encouragement were intended to inspire the football team, but following a complaint, the district’s superintendent Kevin Weldon has banned any and all religious-themed designs.

KSNW-TV has more:

National Prayer Committee Chairman Challenges Christians to Pray for the Elections

A Call to 40 Days of Prayer between September 28th and November 6th
TERRE HAUTE, Ind., Sept. 19, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- National Prayer Committee Chairman, David Butts was in Jakarta, Indonesia for the World Prayer Assembly in May, and during the course of that week, he met six different prayer leaders from six different nations, who told him that they had been mobilizing their intercessors to pray for the elections in the United States. David thought, "If Christians in China, India, Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Great Britain are praying for our elections, how can we not?" These leaders then posed a challenging question to him -- "Are Christians in America praying?" As Dave has shared his experience here at home, the response has been incredible. All across the nation, Christian leaders are issuing calls to pray before the elections. "All of the issues facing our country are obviously a huge touch point, and a catalyst to ignite this growing movement to pray."

The United States is clearly a nation in trouble. A battered economy, political divisiveness, the culture wars, racial uneasiness, and a sidelined church, provide the dry tinder for an inflammatory national election in November of 2012. Many stake their hopes or fears on the outcome. The seriousness of our day, requires an intensity of prayer that is unprecedented. This is a call, not from one ministry or organization, but from diverse leaders from across the entire spectrum of the U.S. Church. It is also not a call to a particular event. It is a pleading for all Christians to do something proactive and powerful in prayer for the 40 days leading up to our fall elections.

Mr. Butts has issued a challenge to Christian's across the nation, "For 40 days between September 28th and November 6th, let's allow ourselves, our friends, and our congregations to be challenged by the same question that was posed to me in May -- 'Are Christians in America praying?' Let's get the word out through every means possible, so that millions of Christians in America can join together and answer with one resounding voice, 'YES WE ARE!'"

To join in this powerful prayer movement, visit our website at To schedule an interview with David Butts, please contact Dion Elmore at 719-338-2293 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            719-338-2293      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or send your request by email to

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