Hump Day Art

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Vaginas Can Now Be Implanted  

Four women have had new vaginas grown in the laboratory and implanted by doctors in the US.

A tissue sample and a biodegradable scaffold were used to grow vaginas in the right size and shape for each woman as well as being a tissue match.

They all reported normal levels of "desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction" and painless intercourse.

Experts said the study, published in the Lancet, was the latest example of the power of regenerative medicine.

In each woman the vagina did not form properly while they were still inside their mother's womb, a condition known as vaginal aplasia.

Current treatments can involve surgically creating a cavity, which is then lined with skin grafts or parts of the intestine.

Doctors at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in North Carolina used pioneering technology to build vaginas for the four women who were all in their teenage years at the time.

Scans of the pelvic region were used to design a tube-like 3D-scaffold for each patient.

A small tissue biopsy was taken from the poorly developed vulva and grown to create a large batch of cells in the laboratory.

Muscle cells were attached to the outside of the scaffold and vaginal-lining cells to the inside.

The vaginas were carefully grown in a bioreactor until they were suitable to be surgically implanted into the patients.

One of the women with an implanted vagina, who wished to keep her name anonymous, said: "I believe in the beginning when you find out you feel different.

"I mean while you are living the process, you are seeing the possibilities you have and all the changes you'll go through.

"Truly I feel very fortunate because I have a normal life, completely normal."

All the women reported normal sexual function.

Vaginal aplasia can lead to other abnormalities in the reproductive organs, but in two of the women the vagina was connected to the uterus.

There have been no pregnancies, but for those women it is theoretically possible.

Just Like the KKK

ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta/AP) — Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron (above) compared Republicans that oppose President Barack Obama to the Ku Klux Klan.

Speaking to USA Today Tuesday on the 40th anniversary of his then record-breaking 715th home run, the 80-year-old Aaron said that Republicans are hindering Obama’s job performance.

“Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated,” Aaron told USA Today Sports.

Aaron continued: “The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

Aaron stated that there is still room for improvement for race relations in the U.S.

“We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country,” Aaron told USA Today Sports.

Aaron goes on to describe the racist letters he has kept for decades as he was chasing Babe Ruth’s home run record.

“To remind myself that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record,” Aaron explained to USA Today Sports. “If you think that, you are fooling yourself. A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’s not a whole lot that has changed.”

Aaron was honored before the Braves game against the New York Mets on Tuesday night with a ceremony commemorating the 40th anniversary of his 715th home run, the one that pushed him past Babe Ruth and gave him the major league record.

Aaron finished with 755 home runs, but was eventually passed on the career list by Barry Bonds, whose career was tarnished by steroids allegations. Bonds has 762 homers, but many baseball fans don’t accept that number and stand by Aaron as the true record-holder.


Selfie Addiction

Danny Bowman (below), a man diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder, explained that he grew suicidal due to his addiction taking selfies, Guardian Liberty Voice reported. Bowman shared that he would shoot about 200 pictures a day in an attempt to take the “right” selfie of himself. He also said that he would spend up to 10 hours a day taking selfies.

Bowman attempted suicide by taking an overdose of drugs when he couldn’t take what he felt to be the perfect selfie.  Science Links Selfies to Narcissism, Addiction & Low Self Esteem

In trying to care for Bowman, Dr. David Veal expressed to Guardian Liberty Voice that taking too many selfies may cause mental illness, including body dysmorphic disorder, which has an “extremely high suicide rate.”

Bowman’s parents, who are both mental health professionals, explained that they believe there is a “huge lack of understanding” about how risky electronic gadgets and social media can be for users. His parents shared that his addiction to taking selfies caused him to dramatically lose weight, in addition to him trying to commit suicide.

Expert Dr. Pamela Rutledge explained in an article for Psychology Today that taking selfies is indicative of narcissism, attention seeking behavior and self-indulgence.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. 

People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life or to anyone they meet. While this pattern of behavior may be appropriate for a king in 16th Century England, it is generally considered inappropriate for most ordinary people today.

People with narcissistic personality disorder often display snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes. For example, an individual with this disorder may complain about a clumsy waiter’s “rudeness” or “stupidity” or conclude a medical evaluation with a condescending evaluation of the physician.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death for all ages in 2010. In the same year, there were 38,364 suicides in the United States averaging out to 105 each day.

Hidden but Seen

The Deep Web (also called the Deepnet, Invisible Web, or Hidden Web) is World Wide Web content that is not part of the Surface Web, which is indexed by standard search engines

It should not be confused with the dark Internet, the computers that can no longer be reached via the Internet, or with a Darknet distributed filesharing network, which could be classified as a smaller part of the Deep Web. There is concern that the deep web can be used for serious criminal activity.

Mike Bergman, founder of BrightPlanet and credited with coining the phrase, said that searching on the Internet today can be compared to dragging a net across the surface of the ocean: a great deal may be caught in the net, but there is a wealth of information that is deep and therefore missed.  

Most of the Web's information is buried far down on dynamically generated sites, and standard search engines do not find it. Traditional search engines cannot "see" or retrieve content in the deep Web—those pages do not exist until they are created dynamically as the result of a specific search. As of 2001, the deep Web was several orders of magnitude larger than the surface Web.

According to The Guardian, you can only access .03% of the internet via search engines like Google,
and the rest is what makes up the deep web. The deep web is truly anonymous – you can’t even get on it unless you yourself are anonymous.

You can’t just access the deep web from a normal web browser – like Firefox for example – you can only access the deep web through a deep web browser. The most famous of these deep web browsers is called Tor and this is the one we recommend you get if you’re looking to get onto the deep web. 

Downloads of Tor soared in August by almost 100% as the general population became more and more concerned about their privacy amid revelations about US and UK intelligence agencies monitoring web traffic. In short, more and more people are turning to the deep web to get their internet fix and protect their information.

This is because when you’re using Tor – or any other deep web browser – you are truly anonymous and your location cannot be picked up and neither can your browsing habits.

Essentially nothing you do in the deep web can be monitored and as such the deep web is becoming a more attractive option for all internet users – those who know about it at least.

If you want to jump into the deep web then you’re going to need a deep web browser.

Once you’re running your deep web browser you simply type in a deep web address like you would in a normal browser, hit enter and you’ll be transported to the site. All sites on the deep web are .onion domains, which basically means both the provider and user are anonymous and difficult to trace. 

Click here for a list of .onion website addresses that are part of the deep web and accessible via Tor.


Easter Monday

See below...
Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday and is celebrated as a holiday in some largely Christian cultures, especially Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox cultures. Easter Monday in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar is the second day of the octave of Easter Week. 

In Poland and parts of the United States, Easter Monday is called Dyngus Day, meaning "Wet Monday", referring to traditional pranks involving water.

Formerly, the post-Easter festivities involved a week of secular celebration, but this was reduced to one day in the 19th century. Events include egg rolling competitions and, in predominantly Roman Catholic countries, dousing other people with water which traditionally had been blessed with holy water the day before at Easter Sunday Mass and carried home to bless the house and food.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite, Easter Monday is known as Bright Monday or Renewal Monday, and is the second day of Bright Week. 

The services are exactly the same as on Pascha (Easter Sunday), except that the hymns from the Octoechos are in Tone Two. It is customary to have a Crucession (procession headed by a cross) either after Paschal Matins or after the Paschal Divine Liturgy. 

It is customarily a day for visiting family and friends. Easter Monday is also the day when the feast day of St. George is celebrated, in years when St George's Day (April 23) falls during Holy Week or on Easter Sunday.

Easter eggs, also called Paschal eggs, are decorated eggs that are often given to celebrate
Easter or springtime. As such, Easter eggs are common during the season of Eastertide. The oldest tradition is to use dyed and painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as jelly beans. Eggs, in general, were a traditional symbol of fertility, and rebirth.

In Christianity, the celebration of Eastertide includes Easter eggs symbolizing the empty tomb of Jesus:  though an egg appears to be like the stone of a tomb, a bird hatches from it with life; similarly, the Easter egg, for Christians, is a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave, and that those who believe will also experience eternal life


Easter Sunday

History of Easter

Easter, which celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, is Christianity’s most important holiday. It has been called a moveable feast because it doesn’t fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do. Instead, Christian churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. 

The exact origins of this religious feast day’s name are unknown. Some sources claim the word Easter is derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Other accounts trace Easter to the Latin term hebdomada alba, or white week, an ancient reference to Easter week and the white clothing donned by people who were baptized during that time. 

Through a translation error, the term later appeared as esostarum in Old High German, which eventually became Easter in English. In Spanish, Easter is known as Pascua; in French, Paques. These words are derived from the Greek and Latin Pascha or Pasch, for Passover

Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection occurred after he went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover (or Pesach in Hebrew), the Jewish festival commemorating the ancient Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. Pascha eventually came to mean Easter.

Easter is really an entire season of the Christian church year, as opposed to a single-day observance. Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday, is a time of reflection and penance and represents the 40 days that Jesus spent alone in the wilderness before starting his ministry, a time in which Christians believe he survived various temptations by the devil.

We cannot find Easter in the Bible

This is a major problem for some of us, because some of us are Bible Christians. We only worship the Lord Jesus Christ according to what is written in the Holy Scriptures. The great and dreadful God of the Bible demands worship exactly as He has commanded. He will not tolerate additions or deletions, no matter how innocent, noble, popular, or sincere. If you doubt this, ask Cain about his offering, Nadab and Abihu about contemporary worship, Moses about striking a rock, or David about moving the Ark of the Covenant on a new ox cart. All four were judged severely for altering the worship of God. 

If we cannot find a doctrine or practice clearly taught in the Bible, then what should some of us do?

Some of us hate the fact that Easter and anything to do with it, is not in the Bible, and if you want proof, then check out some of these links...

We can find Easter in pagan history

Pagans have always gotten excited about spring, because they saw the sun increasing in power, animals mating, and plant life reviving. With their minds totally blinded by a holy God, they exalted animal and human fertility, reproduction, and sexual love. 

Goddesses of love and fertility were worshipped with spring festivals and gross immorality. The Roman Catholic Church, seeking to "Christianize" the pagans, gave new names and meanings to the old pagan festivals to keep their unregenerated members happy. 

Any encyclopedia will confirm this brief synopsis, and below some links have been provided to help you, the reader, discover this discrepancy yourself. 


Good Friday

Good Friday in US

Good Friday occurs two days before Easter Sunday in the United States. It is the day when Christians commemorate Jesus Christ's crucifixion, which plays an important part in the Christian faith. It is not a federal holiday in the United States, although it is a state holiday in some states.

Some Christians may attend special church services or prayer vigils. Good Friday is a day of mourning and quiet prayer for many Christians. The candles are often extinguished and statues, paintings and crosses may be draped in black, purple or gray cloth. Some Catholics treat Good Friday as a day of fasting, while others observe a partial fast involving the exclusion of meat.

Some homes keep a quiet atmosphere, with little or no outside activities and limited television, radio, and computer use, in observing Good Friday. Others choose to play music such as JS Bach's St. Matthew's Passion. Some people bake hot cross buns, a traditional Good Friday sweet.

Good Friday is another day at work for many Americans, as it is not a national holiday. Some people may choose to take a day off work and have a long “Spring Break” weekend. In some states, employees are given a day off on Good Friday.

Good Friday is not an official holiday in the United States. Regular services will continue according the schedule in some areas, including Toledo, Ohio, where the city’s refuse will be collected during its regular schedule. However, financial markets, as well as many businesses, public schools and universities/colleges are closed on Good Friday.

Good Friday is a state holiday in some states such as Hawaii, where city and state offices are closed and some forms of public transport (eg. buses) run on the state holiday schedule.  In some areas, such as Perry County in Tennessee, Good Friday is a school holiday. Good Friday is a holiday designated by the governor as a day of fasting and prayer in Connecticut.

In accordance with state law, Indiana state employees are given a day off on Good Friday, a religious holiday. In 1999, in the case of Bridenbaugh v O'Bannon, an Indiana state employee sued the governor for giving state employees Good Friday as a day off. The US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the plaintiff, stating that the government could give state employees a paid day off when that day is a religious holiday, including Good Friday, but only so long as the state can provide a valid secular purpose that coincides with the obvious religious purpose of the holiday.

Good Friday is the day when Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

This is an important event in Christianity, as it represents the sacrifices and suffering in Jesus' life. The crucifixion was the culmination of a number of events in Holy Week, including: the triumphal return of Jesus to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; the washing of the disciples' feet by Jesus; and the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday. Some churches organize a prayer vigil on Good Friday for various causes, such as for cancer patients or for the American troops who have been sent to the middle-east.

The crucifix, or cross, which represents the way Jesus died, is an important symbol seen on Good Friday. Some crosses bear a figure of Christ. Other symbols of Good Friday include black cloth used to cover the cross, paintings and statues in churches and some homes to signify mourning.

Read more about Good Friday in other countries.


Pot Not Selling... but, Girl Scout Cookies are...

 In Colorado, not as many people are buying recreational pot as predicted.  And that means the high tax revenues state lawmakers thought would be rolling in are not.

With seemingly everyone wanting a cut of Colorado’s pot taxes, for the first time, the joint budget committee took up the debate over how to dole the dollars out. And new numbers show sales aren’t quite the what the state expected.

Not only are sales lower than projected, so too are the number of businesses approved to sell it.
The state expected to approve one-hundred-ten businesses the first month.

Only about half that number, 59, were approved as of February 1.

“They missed the mark and so the volatility unpredictability of this revenue stream is why I think responsible prudent thing to do is spend these moneys in rears looking at last year’s actual collection,” Pat Steadman, (D) Co. General Assembly said.

Meaning they won’t spend money they don’t have yet, except this year.

The budget committee will create a mini-budget for the tax dollars collected in the first six months – an estimated 20-million dollars.

Far below the 54-million the governor budgeted for.

Like the governor, the committee plans to put much of the money toward prevention programs to protect kids.

But, the legislature will have the final say.

“If there’s going to be amendments, feeding frenzies, shopping sprees, and lots of lobbying that goes on around this so be it,” Steadman said.

However, Danielle Lei, an enterprising Girl Scout, sold more than 100 boxes of cookies in just two hours outside of a San Francisco medical marijuana dispensary last week. 

But the Girl Scouts of Colorado leadership is killing the buzz for local members, saying that Colorado scouts cannot likewise sell cookies in front of pot shops, despite recreational marijuana being legal in the state.

"Our position is really pretty simple," Rachelle Trujillo, chief marketing officer for the Girl Scouts of Colorado, told The Huffington Post. 

"For years in our council, we've said it's not appropriate for Girl Scouts to sell cookies outside of adult-oriented businesses, and marijuana dispensaries fall right in line with this policy. 

There's a place for everything, and just like a liquor store or a gun show, a marijuana dispensary isn't a place for young girls to be selling cookies. 

There are plenty of other options for customers of adult businesses to purchase cookies at other locations."

On The Prowl

France is allowing wolf hunts in places where sheep are at risk from the carnivore's growing numbers, the BBC's John Laurenson reports. 

But efforts to cull wolves are controversial.

Late at night, up in an Alpine forest, a woman in a black skirt carrying a black gun gets out of her car.

Caroline Bourda (left) is a sheep farmer, in the hamlet of Esparron la Batie. Tonight, like most nights, she is trying to show the wolf who is top predator.

She fires. But up into the sky.

The government advises farmers to shoot near their farms to educate the wolves to stay away.

It has also advised - and paid for - sheep farmers to buy electric fences and huge protection dogs with spiked metal collars to stop the wolves sinking their fangs into their necks.

The French government is spending 12m euros (£10m) a year on wolf attack prevention and compensation.

In some areas the government pays out more for the wolf than it does for the unemployed, according to the hill farmers' organisation Eleveurs et Montagnes (Breeders and mountains).

Now France has allowed wolf hunts around threatened sheep farms like Caroline's and ordered a cull of 24 animals.

Hunters have so far managed to kill just seven, while the wolves - there are now more than 250 in France - are killing more sheep than ever.

Caroline says her last wolf attack was the previous weekend. She has lost dozens of ewes.

The wolf is a formidable adversary for man, she says: clever, determined and slightly unhinged.

"When they attack a flock - especially when they get inside an enclosure - they don't stop killing as long as there's still a sheep or a lamb moving," says Caroline.

They eat one and kill the others just for the sake of it, she says.


Hump Day Art


A new study covering 17 EU countries says that far more honeybees are dying in the UK and other parts of northern Europe than in Mediterranean countries.

The European Commission says it is Europe's most comprehensive study so far of bee colony deaths.

Winter mortality was especially high for bees in Belgium (33.6%) and the UK (29%) in 2012-13. But in spring-summer 2013 France was highest with 13.6%.

Bumblebees and other wild bees were not studied, nor were pesticide impacts.

The study, called Epilobee, described 10% as an acceptable threshold for bee colony mortality - and Greece, Italy and Spain were among the countries with rates below that threshold.

The mortality percentages are national estimates based on representative samples. All 17 countries applied the same data collection standards, the report says.

The survey covered almost 32,000 bee colonies.

But there is also much concern about death rates among wild bees, which are vital pollinators too.

Last year the EU introduced a ban on four chemicals called neonicotinoids which are used in pesticides.

They are believed to be linked to the collapse of bee colonies across Europe, though there is a heated scientific debate over the chemicals' impact and many experts say further studies are needed.

The Commission wanted pesticide impacts to be included in the Epilobee study, but it was overruled by member states' governments.

Bee stress map below:

Bee expert Dr. Reese Halter explains the importance of bees for pollinating crops, producing beneficial honey and other medicinal food substances, and most importantly for sustaining the world's natural life cycle. 

A conservation biologist who has traveled the globe studying bees, Dr. Reese offers unique insights into where bees originally came from, how they function, and how certain human interventions are disrupting their normal activity and even killing them off.

"To begin to tantalize the wonderment of this critter ... the next time any one of us takes a hearty teaspoon of honey, would you believe that that's 6,000 miles, 10,000 kilometers, that a dozen bees have spent their entire foraging lives - three weeks, seven days a week working - to make that one teaspoon," says Dr. Reese.

You can listen to Dr. Reese's full interview with host Russell Scott here:

Sex Slavers Sentenced

A court in Argentina has sentenced 10 people to up to 22 years in jail for the kidnapping and sexual exploitation of a young woman, Marita Veron.

The defendants were all cleared of abducting her in 2012, but a new trial was ordered after her mother, Susana Trimarco, appealed.

NOTE:  Marita's mother, Susana Trimarco, said she would continue to look for her missing daughter.

She said "justice has been done".

The case shone a light on sex trafficking in Argentina after Ms Trimarco rescued many women in the search for her daughter.

Ms Veron disappeared from the city of San Miguel de Tucuman when she was 23 years old, but has never been found.

Sex workers reported spotting her in several locations in the country, where they said she was forced to work as a prostitute.

The court in the north-western province of Tucuman handed down sentences of 22 years in prison to two brothers, Jose and Gonzalo Gomez.

Seven other defendants received sentences of at least 10 years; a 10th accused was given 15 days of house arrest.

"I never found Marita, but justice has been done," Ms Trimarco said after the sentencing.

"I do not mean with this that I'm not going to keep fighting.

"We will continue until the day we will know what they did with Marita," the Argentine newspaper, La Nacion, quoted her as saying.

Last December, a court in Tucuman overturned an earlier ruling which had cleared the defendants.

Their acquittal in December 2012 caused outrage in Argentina, with thousands taking to the streets in Tucuman and the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, in protest.

Ms Veron had been on her way to a local hospital for a medical appointment when she was abducted.

As her mother launched a campaign to find her, the case soon became a symbol of the fight against human trafficking in Argentina.

The information she gathered led to police raids in which dozens of sexually exploited women were rescued.

Ms Trimarco's campaign also helped bring about new laws against human trafficking in Argentina.

In 2007, she set up a foundation, the Fundacion Maria de los Angeles, named after her missing daughter, which has helped rescue victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

She was also among those given the first US Secretary of State International Women of Courage award in 2007 by Condoleezza Rice, for her efforts against human trafficking.