Thursday, January 5, 2017

Explaining Prophets 2, What is Liberal Democracy?, and More

Obvious continuation of last post,

- suspect that some scientists may have experienced prophetic visions (including Einstein, Newton, Galileo, Da Vinci, Edison, etc...) but didn't talk about them publicly)? Clear that there is almost a 'code' among prophets and genuinely religious people. They seem to know one another and what they are experiencing. Anyone outside of this group is sort of 'lost' and doesn't really know what they mean? Clear that what some of them said and experienced helps to explain their more deterministic view of the Universe at times? Some of they say seems very awkward if they are speaking from the perspective of an atheist or agnostic as well?
albert einstein prophetic visions
einstein quotes god does not play dice
leonardo da vinci prophet
Nostradamus and Leonardo Da Vinci
The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci — Complete by da Vinci Leonardo
giovanni bruno propet
newton prophetic visions
galileo prophetic visions
- very obvious implications for scientists if they also double as prophets who can control their abilities. They can traverse space and time (at will) which means they can look forward and attempt to create hypothesis on technology they may see in the future. This provides enormous advantages to them. If they are capable of lucid dreaming (effectively working while asleep, then it also effectively extends the amount of time they have in a single day to do their work (sleep and work/dream at the same time)
- we may have literally held humanity back several thousand years (or more) by not realising that we've been making the same mistakes repeatedly? The scientists and prophets above are probably only part of the story (who knows what else is missing?). The problem is that things continue to remain this way (to an certain extent)? The existence of these people contradicts our physics, seem to indicate that more 'advanced humans' seem to exist, that people want to hold back society as much as push it forward, etc...
- the obvious thing conclusion among non-believers is that people are deliberately manipulating events in order to make prophecies appear to come true. There's a huge problem with this. There are lots of prophets who don't have the ability or the network to be able to do this. Those who are engaging such behaviour causes a loss of credibility in religion (if it's real) and debasing of true faith
- my guess is that you can't convert the die hard Marxist/Leninists/Atheists/Agnostics (who disavow religion and the concept of God) without the prophets. Simply talking to them is unlikely to be enough. Suspect that if there is a God there will be evidence of people will 'ablities' among some of these countries. If they can be convinced that these people are receiving visions from an external source (and that they are there to help them) then there is a greater likelihood that they can be 'converted' peacefully. Kids may notice strange things from when they are young. For instance, predicting small things to the point where it becomes second nature (for those with prophetic abilities. Others may have other (and/or more) 'abilities'. For instance, being able to bias objects, being able to take control of animals/weather, etc...)? Some have noted that abilities seem to diminish as they grow older? Seems to be related to bloodline/family? Kids unlikely to know what they are seeing and may only figure out what it is that they are seeing many years (or even decades) down the line. Much more likely that they'll be 'activated' if they are healthy (maintain good 'neurochemical state'. Note that impact of on brain chemistry is limited by blood-brain barrier)?
- a lot of angels and prophets seem to have been people with extra 'abilities' (at times some feel like just really talented people?) based on what you read through some accounts of history? 'Wings appeared' at a particular moment in history?
The 7 Archangels
History of Angels
Yale Psychiatrist show that Psychic Abilities exist
- those prophets who looked back in time effectively warped backward several billion years in standard Earth time? Others seemed to have warped forward a hundred and thousand years ahead as well?
- if paranoid schizophrenics are actually schizophrenics who are pre-cogs with no control over their abilities then it makes sense why they become more paranoid. If they're warping forward by days or weeks (on top of their mind becoming scrambled) then it will drive them mad... through sheer paranoia? They may need to be chemically (or otherwise through other therapies) stablised (as alluded to in last post)? Mental illness theory doesn't explain pre-cognitive capabilities of a lot of these people. A lot of historical claims indicate that they are messengers only and have no other 'abilities'?
schizophrenia and prophecy
- anyone who knows the physics of warping ('viewing' is probably the better word) back and forth in time and space like this knows that the energy involved is 'abnormal/unrealistic' for other people to 'not notice'. My guess is that this is just like the religion problem. They couldn't or haven't been able to figure things out yet. Aspects of Quantum Mechanics reminds me of past detection of planetary objects at the outer edges of our solar system ( They're basically hinting at the existence of something else possibly but we haven't quite reached the power levels required in order to figure this out yet (particle accelerator power levels). It could be like that (think of trying to achieve resolution on a small object using long band RADAR. This could be like that) or it could be hinting that our model of physics may be wrong. There may be other forces at work (besides the 'Four Fundamental Forces' that have been hinted at)
copernicus vs ptolemy
- if these people are really 'warping' ('viewing' is probably the better word) back and forth that far in time and space we're basically talking near instantaneous travel/teleportation (Quantum Entanglement/Tunneling at a 'macro level'). The way it appears to be interpreted seems to indicate that while we can see forward and back since we can't change things it doesn't violate relativity theory and doesn't have any impact upon causality ( Still doesn't really make sense though (must read up more on this though. See next point). My guess is that that even they can change time they won't know it (since the future has been altered). They have no means of confirmation
change of time
- while Quantum Tunneling theory sort of offers an explanation it still doesn't offer a complete explanation since the quantum tunneling probability amplitude is likely to head to tiny levels to make an explanation of the prophecy phenomenon ridiculous? Gibberish science? Moreover, the causation argument makes little sense as well. If it is possible to accelerate to the point wherein it's possible to see the endpoint surely there has to be rapid acceleration and deceleration points which would result in visible changes in the picture that you are viewing at the other end (most prophets/pre-cogs seem to feel enhanced visions and indicate no presence of red-shift/blue-shift/doppler effect/warping anomalies that you'd expect if they were to be moving at FTL speed. 'Crystal clear' images)
- true prophets will notice know some strange things with false prophets/charlatans because their visions are often highly exacting and specific. Their may be a difference in interpretation but raw content is always correct. No background material is required for the visions for themselves (unlike 'mentalists')
- for the foreseeable future you can not unite the world without being able to resolve religious differences. For that particular reason, any empire which just delays things without resolving them will always be viewed with suspicion. Watch the Middle East and you see some of what is being done and it's tit for tat tactics
- despite what is said almost all of the religions seem to share a common heritage (even outside of the core global religions such as Hindu, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity)? They're basically a off by a few prophets here and there?
- if you read through a lot of the religions it's parts of them that are so incompatible with one another that it is almost impossible for them to be 'reconcilable' without one subsuming the others (merger is difficult to foresee?)? Often there are parts about partners/spouses having to convert too. If it's a mix of real material, mythology, etc... it makes a lot more sense then if it were pure truth or myth, etc...
- the reasons why the 'true prophets' are so dangerous is that they may actually be seeing the future. That gives them 'faith'. Re-inforced over hundreds or thousands of times (possibly more) over their lifetime it means that they may be more willing to do things based on faith, that there is an afterlife, and that God is looking out for their best interests no matter what. This is the reason why religious conflicts are so difficult to resolve. If there are 'true prophets' on both sides they're willing to go to all the way to see things through but since the 'final answers' have never been within reach/resolvable they're stuck in the middle of nowhere. The obvious issue is if there are 'true prophets' combined with abnormal abilities and bullet proof 'faith' they are very difficult to counter? That said, I doubt that they are out to (deliberately) do horrible things to anyone?
History of Angels
Why Can't David Icke Be 'Taken Out'
- obvious question here is if there is a God and God is on the side of these people (angels and true prophets) then effectively we have no control over our lives and 'free will' is simply a myth?
- they seem to be skipping back and forth in time/space but at levels that are variable? Most of them are warping back small time periods though. The pre-cognitive visions combined with schizophrenia seems to make things worse and drive many of them to insanity (paranoid schizophrenia). Most of those who can cope are already intelligent. Too much evidence online to suggest that pre-cognitives aren't real?
schizophrenia claiming precognitive abilities
Have you noticed psychic abilities since you became Schizophrenic?
- how did they verify prophets in the past? How can anyone verify what is in the Holy Scriptures of any religion without being a genuine prophet themselves? How certain are they of the authenticity of the current Holy Scriptures?
- people may look at religion and say it is sham but even if it is, the world may fall apart without it? Imagine if kids (and people in general) never complied with the basics of religion such as the Ten Commandments. There may be a lot of people who would want to revert to pure primal instincts? The world may look very different very quickly. Suspect that even if it is a a complete sham there need to be enough people who believe in it for it to maintain 'social stability'. It would have to be replaced by something else?
Dalai Lama Meets Tibetans From Tibet at Russian Buddhist Teachings in Delhi
Big Changes To Coming To Turkey
- if my estimates are right there may actually be a lot of these people (with 'abilities') floating around? If so, one wonders how many of these people may actually be part of religious orders?
- some conspiracy theorists (don't know what else to call them) are actually closer to the truth then the public realise? It's the really weird ideas (that are difficult to prove outright) which causes them to lose credibility though. If 'shadow government' exists it helps to explain why politicians change drastically between when they start out in politics and finally end up in a position of political power. Note one other interesting thing about society. It generally trains people in an 'ideology'. It doesn't really teach them to critically think to see through all through the junk that life throws at them and how to deal with it (which helps to maintain the existing power structure)
David Icke - The Genius of Nikola Tesla
The Targeting of Conspiracy Research - The David Icke Videocast
- possible 'cover stories' look obvious over time
- interesting ideas from time to time despite some really weird ones. Belief in a 'system' is flawed. Look at history and we oscillate around specific ideas? Moreover, since wealth seems to be consolidating over time we are reverting back to a more 'feudal arrangement'
David Icke, Why The System Is Falling Apart
- there's an enormous danger in believing in prophets. If time can be changed then we essentially turn a vision into a self fulfilling prophecy. That said, it feels incredibly obvious that a lot of them believe that time (to a certain extent) can not be changed and that everything is part of God's will? Most people are just bits and pieces as part of a greater plan?
- proving things wrong is really easy. Proving things right is much more difficult
- the idea of religion and Messianic figures actually provide a nice political escape route for those who simply can't figure things out?
- 'dopamine' theory of schizophrenia can help to explain notion of 'possession'. However, it doesn't explain how they may get pre-cognitive visions and knowledge from outside of their general environment (for those who have experienced unusual happenings). One interesting thing is that consequences/experiences of schizophrenic people is different across cultures
- if religion is a conspiracy that has lasted thousands of years then it feels diabolical. The amount of fiddling, manipulations, etc... in order to fulfill prophecies and maintain faith?
Israel explained in 5 minutes
Jerusalem - 4000 Years in 5 Minutes
Christianity from Judaism to Constantine - Crash Course World History #11
History of Religions
Religion of Peace - A Brief History of Islam - Brigitte Gabriel #islam #religionofpeace
The Big Story - Origins of Religion
The five major world religions - John Bellaimey
Animated map shows how religion spread around the world
A cute cartoon about the History of Religion
The Cruellest Hoax, Israel's Fake History - The David Icke Videocast
Rothschild Zionism, World War 3 & The New World Order - David Icke
Give Your Power Away to Psychopaths, This is What Happens - The David Icke Videocast Trailer
Rothschild, The Hidden Hand - David Icke
- whether or not some religious figures were genuine or not it's clear that they were definitely politicised (even after they passed away)
- in reality, it's very difficult for anyone to live religiously. It's almost like they've created a perfect system to make hypocrites out of anybody and everybody sometimes? That said, there seems to be quiet a lot of evidence of people experiencing strange phenomena through history. None of it forces you to conclude the presence of God or not but it does make things a lot easier to explain?

You often hear the terms 'Western Values' or 'Shared Values' from time to time in the media. We'll try to examine what Western values, liberal democracy, etc... are in this part
Political Science: Modern Foundation of Politics(Yale)

- basically means 'anything goes' for the most part. Majority rule through vote. Can obviously lead to some very uncomfortable problems...
11 Aspects of a Liberal Democracy
Athens Democracy Forum 2015 - Is Liberal Democracy Universal
Chomsky on Classical Liberalism, Freedom, & Democracy
Political Ideology - Crash Course Government and Politics #35
- is probably not suitable for all cultures/countries
Zhang Weiwei - Liberal democracy may be right for the West, but would be wrong for China
Western liberal democracy would be wrong for China
liberalism and democracy
- there are limits to it. The primary problem seems to be overwhelming consequence of power of money of capitalist democracies. Other is inequality gap (though that must be buttressed with welfare programs across most developed economies now)
Liberal Democracy and Its Limits
Obama Admits the Limits of Liberal Democracy
Ending Institutional Corruption _ Francis Fukuyama keynote
Francis Fukuyama and panelists debate alternatives to democracy
Francis Fukuyama Democracy's Failure to Perform
Francis Fukuyama interview on Charlie Rose (1995)
Francis Fukuyama - Political Order and Political Decay
Francis Fukuyama, What is Development
How Today's Basic Political Institutions Developed - China, India, Middle East, Europe (2011)
Think 34 Francis Fukuyama with Eric X Li
Where Is History Heading
- it's clear that most people wouldn't know what the differences are between a lot of different countries are. That said, there seems to be a battle of values around the world among the political class (though not really the citizens ironically?)
DEBATE - Are Western Values Superior
Douglas Murray - Islam & Western Values Arguments
Pratap Mehta - The Global Crisis of Liberal Democracy
Prof Bob Woodberry - Religion & the Roots of Liberal Democracy
We Should Not Be Reluctant to Assert the Superiority of Western Values
- civilisations have gone through peaks and troughs. You can't say that certain groups of people have always been good or bad, civilised or uncivilised, etc... I doubt that the US/West will be able to maintain global leadership indefinitely. The very basis for it means it's unsustainable (uncapped capital buildup and (for the most part) unlimited resource consumption based economy. Only way it can continue is with genuine space-faring capabilities. Will most likely require FTL drive capability)
- the disparity in wealth across countries basically comes down the colonial period which was primarily brought about by European countries but soon went global. The was basically the last US imperial power left standing based on some accounts of history that I've seen. They've obviously let go of a lot of their former colonies (though it feels like it just like the other colonies they haven't entirely let go of ties)
- what some people don't realise is that when China last had a stronger position within the world trade imbalances basically were one of the triggers which led to conflict with them (the current situation with China reminds me a bit of the leadup to the Opium War. Feels a bit different now though. Chinese tourists among highest spending in world when going overseas. Capital flight out of China at the moment is different. Also, institutions like AIIB, RCEP trade agreement, etc... gives the whole thing a bit of a different look. The money seems to be flowing to China's allies and friends rather then the existing US/Western establishment though...)
- seems clear that most people value prosperity, dealing with corruption, rule of law, etc... over the idea of democracy?
‘Degradation of democracy’ - Putin responds to EU Parliament resolution on Russian media ‘propaganda'
- the concept of exceptionalism has been going for a long while. Look through the ages...
- China seems to practice hybrid capitalist democracy and Marxism-Leninism? They have heaps of mechanisms to get feedback from population. Previously thought that patronage played a greater role in their system. Possibly not?
Eric X. Li - A tale of two political systems
- sceptical about liberal democracy. Young results in belief that you know everything? Things are certain. Heaps of places tried conversion but lots of trouble in conversion. China didn't go by the book but has resulted in success. No free press, lack of judicial oversight, lack of popular vote. Democracy can say everything but can't do anything? Chinese system is flawed but agile, genuine meritocracy. If you examine Central Committee tiny percentage are from privileged background. The rest are from poor background. Inversion of developed countries such as Europe, US, other parts of Asia and elsewhere. Xi Jinping is first person of privilege to lead CCP/China. Generally takes 30 years to reach top. Free speech limited/calibrated for conditions. It doesn't really exist anywhere in the world. Chinese system is suitable for cultural conditions and times in China. Not really exportable. Idea is that localisation fo system is best. After WWII world was divided into two camps. Liberal democracy and Communism. After Cold War belief was that eventually everyone would move to liberal democracy. Problem is that US/Western desire to convert others who are resistent hasn't really worked. Has only really served to economically weaken them. Chinese don't care about revolution or expansion. Many cultures have 'exceptionalist' concept inherent to them. Believes that world is entering unstable period and that whether there is external intervention or not it will cause sufferring and other problems
New World Disorder _ Erix X. Li _ Oxford Union
China and Democracy
China’s Political System and its Evolution
Democracy is Failing _ Eric X Li _ Oxford Union
Democracy is Failing _ Eric X Li _ Oxford Union
Eric Li, Building a Business in China
Eric X. Li - A tale of two political systems
New World Disorder _ Erix X. Li _ Oxford Union
- clear that those who aren't keen on US/Western leadership have basically been waiting things out? Feels diabolical to anyone who realises what may have happened?
- in a way the US/Western leadership thing is sort of funny. It's almost like others decided that they didn't want do it (and still don't. They had more rebuilding of their countries to do anyhow because they were more directly involved in the World Wars,, The good thing for those other countries is that they can blame the US/West for anything that goes wrong? Some of them need an external partner, some don't, etc...
Nuclear umbrella - Europe needs own deterrence plan - German lawmaker
- I think part of the reason why we still allow for such an unfair system is that deep down a lot of people don't really want to have to compete people who may be smarter or work harder then a lot of others. They want to have a chance to cheat, steal, lie, manipulate, be lazy, etc... on their way to success? Otherwise, things would make more sense and you wouldn't see heaps of people doing strange jobs?
- anybody who the slightest belief in prophets knows that the question of religion needs to be 'dealt with'. For my mind we can not deal with it unless we back out of it (unlikely given thousands of years of history), go to war with one another (which seems to be what is happening) until one side wins, there are those who can figure out a way to resolve religious conflicts peacefully, etc?
- wonder whether imperialism is innate or acquired? Theme sees to be present in religion, cartoons, etc... can be induced via drugs?
Pinky and the Brain - Intro Theme (closed captions)
Pinky and The Brain Intro
Pinky and the Brain Russian Intro (Пинки и Брейн)
Pinky and The Brain Intro(French)
Pinky y Cerebro (Opening HD en Español)
Pinky und der Brain Intro (deutsch)
Pinky und Brain german intro
Pinky and the Brain _ Japanese-version Theme
Pinky and the Brain intro Arabic
Men in Black II 'Locker C-18' HD
Men in Black Locker Scene

Random Stuff:
- bears getting up to shenanigans. Didn't realise a lot of wild bears seem reasonably friendly?
Momma Bear and Cubs Caught Having a Pool Party in Backyard
Funny Video of Black Bear Seated at Picnic Table Eating
Black Bear Gnaws on Delta 15s Seakayak in Berg Bay, Alaska
Grizzly Bears Catching Salmon - Nature's Great Events - BBC
Super Intelligent BEARS - BEar Eating One hand at Sweet Corn In Hyderabad Zoo
Funniest bears asking for food ★ Funny animals
Watch - Giant pandas create trouble as staff cleans their house
Grizly Bear Cub & Wolf Cub Playing
Feeding a funny bear in a freeway from Russia
Feeding a funny bear _ Only in Russia
Playtime With The Big Bear In Russia - [Funny Animals 03]
Russian Man Feeding A Wild Bear Through A Window
Cute Grizzly Bear Jumps Into Swimming Pool
A Bear Stuck Under my Car
Bear with Head Stuck in Can is Rescued by Fish and Game Biologists
Deputies Free Bear Stuck in Car
Koala climbs up my leg for a cuddle
Koala loves cuddling - Super cute
Koala Wants A Cuddle
The moment this baby koala climbs up and cuddles cameraman
- apparently, moose like (or need) salt so much they lick it off cars?
- does anyone see anything wrong (or strange) with this?
- one wonders why they just don't have seaborne platforms at times?
- freedom and democracy at work?
- more reason to think happy thoughts?
- spoke about these style of green technologies a long while back. Interesting to see how this works out
- more interesting conspiracy theories
- wonder whether it recycles?
- didn't realise military incidents were fairly regular? Weird given what we hear about things sometimes? It's at times like this you want re-assurance that we're sending people into harms way for the right reasons?
- this will be interesting. Could be the first time 5th-Gen fighters going up against one another. For some strange reason I don't think this will be as simple as some think?
- hmmm... Apparently my blog is blocked in China. Wonder where the traffic coming from then? I guess it's hello to the Chinese government?
- things not looking great?
- will be interesting how the Chinese setup their navy. Suspect it will be frugal but efficient (much like their space program which seems to have been able to do things for a fraction of the cost (compared to GDP) of what the USSR and US have been able to. My guess is that there has probably been a lot of Russian help though?)
Red star rising China’s space ambitions skyrocket as the US loses ground in race
China is technically ready to explore Mars
China and Russia to launch joint mission to Mars
- heaps of media is becoming crowd sourced? Despite what many/some say, there does seem to be a genuine market for investigate media'Keefe
- clearly, this scientist is headed for great things!,443828 
- a lot of free website hosting options out there actually
free website hosting
- similar to 'Dynajail' technology/concept that I was working ('Cloud and Internet Security' Book, p.403) on a while back
- I don't mind glow in the dark fish. How about you?
- if these actually work there are chances that Newton's work goes out the window as well?
- hmmm...
- hmmm... turns out the intelligence services may have a 'heart' after all? Part of me wonder if Snowden and Assange had come clean from the beginning and said it was all about 'hot babes' (Russian and Latin American girls in particular) they may be back home by now?
- feels like we're in a zoo at times now? Perhaps people should start 'mooing' until the security services get the idea they've gone over the top? It feels like literally everything has been defined as a 'domain of warfare' now. It makes them almost impossible to avoid no matter what you do?
Snowden exposed mass surveillance to show it's for control, not counterterrorism – Oliver Stone
Fairview, Stormbrew and Blarney
- interesting...
- they're just archived JS scripts if you're wondering
- clear that I've been working on algorithmic music but from time to time I still have to work in a DAW enrivonment
ableton max4live arpeggiator
maschine arpeggiator
- another day, another new piece of defence equipment
China targets export sales with its latest advanced fighter jet
AVIC developing ultrafast tilt-rotor aircraft
- curious what the real status of the JSF program is?
Pak-fa/fgfa Discussions
- looks funny but it works?

Random Quotes:
- “And we have seen this coup attempt against Erdogan, after which Erdogan was supported by Iran and Russia. The coup attempt has been blamed on Fethullah Gülen, who is a CIA-linked so-called Islamist who lives in Pennsylvania,” the commentator said.

"And elements of the US deep state were widely blamed for that coup attempt, which was also perhaps an attempt to ruin warming relations between Turkey, Russia and Iran,” he said.

“So the rumors are going wild and indeed being amplified by people who are in official positions in Russia and Turkey who are saying that this looks like may have been done by the usual sort of Gladio and/or Israel-linked forces to destabilize Turkey and ruin its warming relations with Moscow and Tehran,” the analyst said. 

“Kerry himself may very well believe that the US had no role because the deep state is not usually connected to the State Department.  Everything is deniable, everything is compartmentalized. But Kerry has to deny, that’s part of his job. And it doesn’t mean the rest of us have to believe it,” the researcher concluded.
- Assange, who briefly hosted his own talkshow on the state-owned television network Russia Today, has long had a close relationship with the Putin regime. In his interview with la Repubblica, he said there was no need for WikiLeaks to undertake a whistleblowing role in Russia because of the open and competitive debate he claimed exists there.

“In Russia, there are many vibrant publications, online blogs and Kremlin critics, such as [Alexey] Navalny, are part of that spectrum,” he said. “There are also newspapers like Novaya Gazeta, in which different parts of society in Moscow are permitted to critique each other and it is tolerated, generally, because it isn’t a big TV channel that might have a mass popular effect, its audience is educated people in Moscow. So my interpretation is that in Russia there are competitors to WikiLeaks.”

Dozens of journalists have been killed in Russia in the past two decades, and Freedom House considers the Russian press to be “not free” and notes: “The main national news agenda is firmly controlled by the Kremlin. The government sets editorial policy at state-owned television stations, which dominate the media landscape and generate propagandistic content.”
- It was announced on Tuesday that the queen would no longer be the patron of 25 national organizations before her 91st birthday.

The patronages will be passed to the other members of the royal family. Elizabeth II is currently a patron of more than 600 charities, according to the Palace.

She became the longest reigning monarch in the world after the October death of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Meanwhile, a petition criticizing the royal family’s extravagant use of public funds for personal purposes has reached nearly 145,000 signatures.

The petition was posted online after the government of Prime Minister Theresa May authorized the royal family’s use of £369 million in taxpayers' money to repair the Buckingham Palace.

The royals own 350,000 acres of land across the UK and their taxpayer-funded income was raised this year to £45.6 million-- a 47-percent boost in five years.
- The Party Barrel for Christmas became almost immediately a national phenomenon, says Joonas Rokka, associate professor of marketing at Emlyon Business School in France. He has studied the KFC Christmas in Japan as a model promotions campaign.

“It filled a void,” Rokka says. “There was no tradition of Christmas in Japan, and so KFC came in and said, this is what you should do on Christmas.”

Advertisements for the company’s Christmas meals show happy Japanese families crowding around barrels of fried chicken. But it’s not just breasts and thighs – the meals have morphed into special family meal-sized boxes filled with chicken, cake, and wine. This year, the company is selling Kentucky Christmas dinner packages that range from a box of chicken for 3,780 yen, ($32), up to a “premium” whole-roasted chicken and sides for 5,800 yen. According to KFC, the packages account for about a third of the chain’s yearly sales in Japan.

It also helped that the stores dressed up the company mascot, the smiling white-haired Colonel Sanders, in Santa outfits. In a country that puts high value on its elders, the red satin-suited Sanders soon became a symbol of a holiday.
- The proliferation of fake news stories - spread on social networks and produced by a variety of sources including pranksters, foreign governments and enterprising individuals who hope to receive advertising revenue by driving traffic to their websites - has become an increasingly serious problem.
- “A president of a democratic South Africa telling the Church to stay out of politics? You would be forgiven for thinking that you had climbed into a time machine and gone back 30 years into the past, when apartheid presidents said the same thing.”

He added: “As we look ahead to 2017, we see a ruling party at war with itself, crippled by division to the degree that some serving members of the Cabinet believe the President must step down. As a result we see a government becoming paralysed by an inability to achieve policy certainty and to chart a clear way ahead. People of faith need to begin asking: At what stage do we, as churches, as mosques, as synagogues, withdraw our moral support for a democratically-elected government?”

However, he said that South Africa's democracy was vibrant: “South Africa is not broken. We have a sound Constitution and we have seen over this past year that we have resilient institutions. The courts, especially the Constitutional Court, civil society, the media, whistle-blowers in the government and private sector, and the many honest and hard-working public servants we do have—they are all doing their jobs well.”

But, he added, the Church was not doing enough, and he announced a series of Lenten Bible studies for next year to address this.
- ANCIENT men had multiple sexual partners who followed in tow as they roamed the birthplace of humanity, scientists have claimed.

Newly discovered footprints dating back to 3.7 million years ago show a 165cm stud walking with what experts say could be his harem of female admirers.

The 13 prints left in volcanic ash in eastern Africa suggest he was the tallest person yet discovered from a primitive prehuman species.

Named S1, he towered over his clan of up to three wives and their several children who left marks in the ground nearby, archaeologists found.

The tracks are the oldest evidence of the existence of a species named Australopithecus afarensis, a forerunner to Neanderthal humans.
The fossilised footprints of a human ancestor, believed to be Australopithecus afarensis, at the Laetoli site in northern Tanzania.
- Armenia and Pakistan have a long-standing dispute: Pakistan not only supports Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh, but goes so far as refusing to recognize Armenia's existence until it gives Karabakh back to Azerbaijan. "This position contradicts the approach both of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as of the CSTO," Sharmazanov said.

The episode seems to have been little covered in the media, and no comment from Pakistan or from any other CSTO member was reported. Pakistani media reported on the speech given by Pakistan's envoy to the event, National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, but did not mention the issue of Pakistan's observer status.

China, India, Iran, and Mongolia also appear to have been invited as CSTO PA observers, along with Pakistan. (Afghanistan and Serbia are already observers.) Pakistan is set to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a full member; the SCO and CSTO share several of the same members, but Armenia is not in the SCO.

This all takes place as the CSTO continues to search for a new secretary general, who is supposed to be an Armenian, to take over from the current head Nikolay Bordyuzha. But other CSTO member states appear to have blocked Yerevan's earlier proposals for unclear reasons. And Armenia has been vocally complaining about the failure of some CSTO members -- particularly Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan -- for supporting their Muslim, Turkic ally Azerbaijan over their treaty ally Armenia. Will Armenia's eventual chairmanship of the CSTO have any effect over all this? It'll be interesting to see.
- Assange seems unfazed by the latest attacks on his organization. Over 10 years, WikiLeaks has learned that "power is mostly the illusion of power," he said.
- Councils across the UK have abused a law to carry out an extensive spying program on unsuspecting citizens a period of five years, a new report shows.

According to a mass freedom of information request by the Liberal Democrats party, at least 186 local authorities have used secret listening devices, cameras and private detectives to spy on Britons under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), The Guardian reported on Sunday.

The freedom of information request was sent to 283 local authorities but nearly 100 of them decided not to reply.

The paper said it was in possession of evidence that showed local authorities were given permission to conduct 55,000 days of covert surveillance.

The report noted that the councils had launched 2,800 separate surveillance operations, some of them stretching over 90 days each.

Midlothian council, for example, used the law to monitor dog barking and Allerdale borough council tried to find out who was feeding pigeons.

Lancaster city council, meanwhile, used the act for “targeted dog fouling enforcement” in two hotspots over 11 days in 2012.

RIPA’s critics argue that the government has failed to keep its promise on using the spying law only when it is absolutely necessary.

“It is absurd that local authorities are using measures primarily intended for combating terrorism for issues as trivial as a dog barking or the sale of theatre tickets. Spying on the public should be a last resort not an everyday tool,” said Brian Paddick, the Lib Dem who represents the party on home affairs.

The report comes as the British government is already under fire for its plans to conduct an indiscriminate mass gathering of data on British citizens by introducing a bill called the Investigatory Powers Act (IP Act).
- According to Fu Qianshao, the next challenge for AVIC is to use the FC-31 to capture market share at home and overseas.

“I believe the aircraft will have bright prospects in the market. Based on my experience and knowledge, I presume its price will be around $70 million, about half that of the United States’ Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II,” Fu said.

“Moreover, the fourth-generation Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale fighter jets are priced at about $100 million. All of these mean you can spend a lot less money to get an advanced, fifth-generation stealth combat plane,” he added.

The deputy general manager of AVIC, Li Yuhai, previously told the newspaper that the company wants the FC-31 to help “put an end to some nations’ monopolies on the fifth-generation fighter jet” and this plane “is able to compete with any other aircraft of its kind.”

The only fifth-generation fighter jet currently available on the market is the US Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, a single-engine combat aircraft designed to perform ground attack and air defense missions. According to Lockheed Martin, it’s the “world’s most advanced” multi-role fighter, boasting “unmatched capabilities” to military forces around the world.
LONDON — The Russian economy is in trouble — “in tatters,” President Obama has said — so why aren’t Russians more upset with their leaders? The country underwent a major recession recently. The ruble lost half of its value. And yet, according to a leading independent pollster in Russia, President Vladimir V. Putin’s approval ratings have consistently exceeded 80 percent during the past couple of years.

One reason is that while the Russian economy is struggling, it is not falling apart, and many Russians remember times when it was in a much worse state. Another, perhaps more important, explanation is that Mr. Putin has convinced them that it’s not the economy, stupid, anymore.

Thanks largely to the government’s extensive control over information, Mr. Putin has rewritten the social contract in Russia. Long based on economic performance, it is now about geopolitical status. If economic pain is the price Russians have to pay so that Russia can stand up to the West, so be it.
- As seasonal smog shrouds China’s cities, triggering red alerts in Beijing and across the northeast, local governments have been deploying industrial “mist cannons” in a bid to remove toxic particles from the air.

Images of water cannons, some three to four meters in length, have been broadcast by state media channels this week to show the nation that the government is acting on the urgent healthcare crisis caused by smog from coal and steel factories. However, critics say the cannons are ineffective anti-smog weapons, and serve instead to divert attention away from the root causes of pollution and enrich equipment manufacturers.

After observing how air pollution levels tend to drop after rainy days, Chinese cities began using “magic smog cleaners” to deal with seasonal smog last year. Originally used on mining and construction sites to combat dust, modified versions mounted on trucks were distributed.

This year the trucks have returned in force. An increasing number of cannons have appeared on the streets of cities in new parts of the country such as Chongqing and Changsha in central China. According to Southern Metropolis Daily, so far there have been 61 bids from different provinces requesting cannons, with Hebei, one of China’s smog hotspots, top of the list with 11 bids.

The cannons work by spraying nebulized water droplets to trap dust particles in the air. But scientists argue that the cannons fail to combat the most hazardous microscopic particles that are most damaging to heath.

The latest mobile truck-mounted machines cost around $90 000 (620,000 yuan) each. The first bids for cannons date from 2014, after manufacturers started rebranding them as tools for environmental protection. According to the Nandu Daily, there were less than 10 manufacturers in China in 2012. However, a report from South China Morning Post found that sales have boomed since then, with many unregistered products appearing on the market at a much lower price.
- "I'm deeply inspired by what you have done because it affirms everything I believe and entered politics to help accomplish, that discrimination and disadvantage can be overcome if we have the courage to confront them."
- Although many details of the new prototype torpedo are secret, senior Navy officials do say modifications include giving the weapon a longer range and a more varied, high-tech warhead.

The U.S. Navy is now prototyping a new, longer range and more lethal submarine-launched heavyweight Mk 48 that can better destroy enemy ships, subs and incoming weapons at longer ranges, service officials said.

Many details of the new weapon, which include newer propulsion mechanisms and multiple kinds of warheads, are secret and not publically available. However, senior Navy leaders have talked to Scout Warrior about the development of the weapon in a general sense.

Naturally, having a functional and more high-tech lethal torpedo affords the Navy an opportunity to hit enemies at further standoff ranges and better compete with more fully emerging undersea rivals such as Russia and China.

Progress with new torpedo technologies is happening alongside a concurrent effort to upgrade the existing arsenal and re-start production of the Mk 48, which had been on hiatus for several years.

"Richard did add that some of the improvements to the torpedo relate to letting more water into the bottom of the torpedo as opposed to letting air out the top."

The earlier version, the Mk 48 Mod 6, has been operational since 1997 – and the more recent Mod 7 has been in service since 2006.

Lockheed has been working on upgrades to the Mk 48 torpedo Mod 6 and Mod 7 – which consists of adjustments to the guidance control box, broadband sonar acoustic receiver and amplifier components.
- SHE’S New York’s most coveted paid companion.

Lisa VanArsdale, 27, has cuddled her way to the top of the snuggling business as the Big Apple’s only five-star snuggler.

“I just f–king love cuddling,” she said of her G-rated sessions with lonely men. “Plus, the money is good.”

The cozy companion, who works for The Snuggle Buddies service, sees business grow during the holidays.

“I saw a huge increase in clientele right after Thanksgiving,” VanArsdale said, noting that she has received 15 snuggle requests in the past two weeks alone.

“One reason is that Christmas is a time of year to spend with family, and if you don’t have that, it can be very lonely,” she said.

VanArsdale’s clients are mostly men between 40 and 60 who “have a hard time finding companionship organically and lack human connection and touch,” the petite brunette explained.
- One of the world's longest high-speed railways has started operating in China, linking the country's prosperous eastern coast to the less-developed southwest, the state Xinhua news agency has reported.

The 2,264-kilometer Shanghai-Kunming rail line runs across the five provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou and Yunnan. It cuts the travel time from Shanghai to the capital of Southwest China's Yunnan province Kunming from 34 to 11 hours.

According to train driver Wang Jinda, the trains can travel at speeds up to 330 kilometers per hour.

In 2012, China started operating another high-speed link, the 2,298-km Beijing-Guangzhou line which stretches north to south.

The country has more than 20,000 km of high-speed rail lines and expects to more than double that to 45,000 km by 2030.

READ MORE: China to build 'world’s largest' high-speed railway station under Great Wall

Beijing is also actively developing its own high-speed train technology. In the summer it set a new speed record with a train reaching 840 km per hour on a test run. Two trains were tested at the same time to prove the quality of Chinese technology. The trains, known as Golden Phoenix and Dolphin Blue zipped past each other with only 1.6 meters of space between them.