Useless information thread

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by forzainter, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    I had smørrebrød for lunch.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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  3. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Olympic track superstar Carl Lewis jumped into a race for New Jersey state Senate on Monday, saying he wanted to help struggling children, families and seniors in the region where he grew up.
    Lewis, 49, announced that he will be running as a Democrat to challenge incumbent Republican Senator Dawn Addiego in the heavily Republican area about 25 miles east of Philadelphia.
    "When I run -- you can see my record -- I run to win," Lewis told a news conference outside Mount Holly's historic courthouse.
    Lewis, a nine-time Olympic gold medalist, has been living back in the state where he grew up since 2005.
    A political novice, Lewis said he was running to help young people, improve education and aid senior citizens. A detailed platform will be coming soon, he said.
    "My focus will be on children, on the future," he said. "We cannot rest until we make sure that our families can afford to live and raise their kids here, that our seniors can remain in their homes and afford their health and pharmaceutical costs."
    He quoted his late father, choking up as he said he had been told: "Do what you think is right. Follow your head."
     
  4. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Benjamin Kiptoo attacked with five kilometres left to lead a Kenyan one-two at the Paris marathon on Sunday.
    Kiptoo clocked two hours, six minutes, 31 seconds to beat compatriot Bernard Kipyego by 45 seconds, with Ethiopian Eshetu Wendimu coming home third 1.02 seconds off the pace.
    Kenya and Ethiopia occupied the first nine places. France's Abdelatif Meftah was 10th.
     
  5. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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  6. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Ed Whitlock Sets 80-Plus World Record
    Whitlock made history with his record-setting exploits in his 70s. Now the Canadian has the 80-plus marathon world record of 3:25:43 after thoroughly crushing the existing standard of 3:39:18 in Rotterdam. Whitlock's wife Brenda observed "clever old soul isn’t he considering he had been very sick for a week before he left with a seriously bad cold (the first he had for about 10 years) so I personally wasn’t confident he would even finish. So I was relieved to see that he tottered through it.
     
  7. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    Candlestick Park, which is visible on the drive from SFO to the city, was the venue of the last scheduled concert of the Beatles.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. ananda

    ananda Professional

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    ^ Wow, i didn't see this when i was in SFO ten years back. Is it new ?
     
  9. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Yup, brand new. The Beatles played there last year.
     
  10. ananda

    ananda Professional

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    Who did they play ? The Bryan Bros ?
    And who won? Or did no one win ?
     
  11. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Beatles played the Stones in the best of 5 sets. Harrison, Lennon, and Brian Jones retired early, so it's hard to say who won.
     
  12. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Hall of Fame

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    I think the Stones might've won 'cause I heard Lennon wailing "I'm a Loser" while Jagger was singin' "It's All Over Now"
     
  13. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    In Chuck Sheens eyes Keith Richards is still winning.
     
  14. PCXL-Fan

    PCXL-Fan Hall of Fame

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  15. bezs

    bezs Legend

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    End-of-season party is pain in the rear

    There was a painful conclusion to an end-of-season party when a Welsh Non-League footballer suffered severe injuries after a pool cue was rammed up his backside.


    An as yet unnamed 37-year-old midfielder for Tenby AFC, who play in the Pembrokeshire 1st Division, is still in hospital five days after the incident. A source, believed to be a team-mate, told the Mirror: "It was a bit of horseplay that went ­ seriously wrong. We'd all had a few drinks when one of the lads did a moonie. A player picked up a pool cue and it all went wrong from there."

    Another Tenby team-mate, 29, was arrested, but later released without charge by police.


    :lol:
     
  16. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    Well, isn't that what Danes eat all the time?
     
  17. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    Yes, when I am in Denmark, I see Danes eating smørrebrød and telling jokes about Sweden all the time. Remember, Rock, this is the "Useless information thread."

    USELESS INFORMATION:

    While Swedes like to tell jokes about Norwegians, Danes like to tell jokes about Swedes.
     
  18. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    Game Theory

    Game Theory
    By BRUCE WEBER
    Published: January 27, 2011

    Defense doesn’t win championships. Teamwork isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Momentum is a myth. And the Chicago Cubs aren’t cursed; they just stink.

    The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won

    By Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim

    Conventional wisdom, sports division, takes a beating in “Scorecasting,” a book aimed at unsettling serious fans with essays that debunk ingrained strategy (punting on fourth down is largely a waste); malign the approach of champion athletes (Tiger Woods is foolishly less aggressive when he’s putting for birdie than for par); and offer a number of otherwise eye-opening assertions (officials in all sports are biased). For their arguments, the authors, Tobias J. Moskowitz, a behavioral economist at the University of Chicago, and L. Jon Wertheim, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, have whipped up a recipe that includes statistical analysis, psychological theory, creative sociology and a brash confidence in circumstantial evidence.
    If that sounds a little familiar, well, they owe a debt to Malcolm Gladwell and the “Freakonomics” boys.

    In any case, the results are alternately irritating, vexing, provocative and entertaining — and convincing more often than not. Indeed, for most readers the fun will involve sputtering “But, but, but . . .” and mustering counterarguments.

    For example, in a chapter titled “The Myth of the Hot Hand,” the authors declare that in sports, momentum, a k a “Old Mo,” doesn’t really exist, that no matter how many home runs a slugger belts in a week, no matter how many games in a row a team wins, the likelihood of success in the next at-bat or the next game is no different than it is when no hot streak exists. Statistics prove this is so; the numbers say that a streak of any sort is simply an expected variation in an extended, observable pattern of events, the way a coin is likely to come up heads 10 times in a row at some point if you toss it 10,000 times.

    For this reason and a few others, the authors say, the basketball strategy of passing to a shooter on a hot streak is more often than not a loser. They argue interestingly (and sensibly) that one thing that happens to shooters on a streak is that they succumb to hubris and begin taking more difficult shots. Fair enough. Still, even if a streak is not a predictor of future success, does that mean that no momentum existed while the streak was going on? That for a period of time whose length was unforeseeable, a player saw the basket with enhanced clarity or a team played with special cohesion and confidence? Doesn’t that constitute momentum? And for coaches, who are supposed to be experienced observers of their players, isn’t it a reasonable gamble to play a hunch from time to time and feed the hot hand?

    Some of the subjects taken up in “Scorecasting” are less worthwhile than others. That a blocked shot in basketball that goes out of bounds is less valuable to the team on defense than a blocked shot that lands in the hands of a teammate strikes me as self-evident. And that defense wins championships, or that, in any sport, defense is more important than offense, is the sort of nonsensical tenet that doesn’t need disproving any more than, say, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” The authors spend several pages disproving it nonetheless. Anyway, the issue was better and more succinctly settled in a quip often (though perhaps not accurately) attributed to Casey Stengel: “Good pitching will always stop good hitting — and vice versa.”

    The authors are at their most titillating — and, unfortunately, their most smug — when they’re playing shrink, attributing quite a number of statistically quantifiable sports phenomena to certain psychological concepts.

    One says that humans are more likely to judge an act of commission — for instance, a referee’s calling a penalty — to be intrusive or consequential than they are an act of restraint. So even though the ref who doesn’t throw a flag can be just as wrong as the ref who does, and even though his nonact can put an equivalent skew on the game, we judge him — and he judges himself — less harshly. This so-called omission bias is borne out statistically in several sports, the authors demonstrate, citing umpires who call fewer strikes when the hitter already has two and basketball referees who call fewer loose-ball fouls on star players than on nonstars.

    The authors also place great stock in what psychologists call risk aversion, or loss aversion, which states that humans are motivated more forcefully by a fear of losing than by a desire for winning. When a coach always employs well-worn strategies on the field; when an owner declines to hire a successful but unconventional coach; when a golfer takes a firmer stroke on a par putt to fight off a bogey than he does on a birdie putt because he is still safely under par, he is being risk averse, often to his detriment.

    Statistics (and one brave high school coach in Arkansas) show, for example, that over the long haul, punting on fourth down is a fool’s errand; as for golf, a putt is a stroke, no matter what the circumstances.
    By far the most startling and resonant chapters in the book deal with the authors’ search for the reasons behind home-field advantage, which the numbers prove exists across all sports. Using clever techniques to isolate elements of the game that can be accurately measured, they manage to dismiss some conventional explanations — that players respond to the cheers and jeers of the crowd, for one.

    In the end, they determine, stunningly, that home-field advantage in virtually all sports is largely due to the bias of officials toward the home team. Soccer referees call more penalties against the visitors and allow more injury time when the home team is behind. In baseball, though the authors are a little naïve about the art of calling balls and strikes (no one, not even the players, wants or expects the umpires to call a strict rule-book strike), their numbers are, well, striking: fewer called strikes, especially in crucial situations, against the home team. In basketball, the authors write, “the chance of a visiting player getting called for traveling is 15 percent higher than it is for a home-team player.”

    The authors attribute this not to a widespread conspiracy but to a common psychological trope: people want to be liked and to be confirmed in their judgments. Maybe so. I do wish the authors had been less rhetorically presumptuous in attributing behavioral predilections to groups of people and even individuals on circumstantial grounds. Most of their conclusions are, after all, subject to debate.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/books/review/Weber-t.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all


    Bruce Weber, a reporter at The Times, is the author of “As They See ’Em: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of Umpires.”
     
  19. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Jimmy Connors has been in 31 Slam semifinals, 4 more than Federer.

    Jimmy Connors has been in 41 Slam QFs, 10 more than Federer.

    However, Jimmy has been in 15 finals, and won 8.
     
  20. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I've often thought this myself. Got any more on this specific issue?

    Book sounds interesting.
     
  21. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/060926
    A year ago at the Hall of Fame reception in Canton, Ohio I found myself sitting between Bill Walsh and Don Shula. I posed this question: In a day when the Bears line up five-wide and Texas Tech passes 60 times a game, are there any fundamental innovations that have not been tried? Walsh supposed someone might try using trick formations for an entire game. Shula twinkled his eyes and said: "Someday there will be a coach who doesn't punt."

    Think about all those punts on fourth-and-1, fourth-and-2, fourth-and-3. The average NFL offensive play gains about five yards. Yet game in, game out, coaches boom the punt away on short yardage, handing the most precious article in football -- possession of the ball -- to the other side. Nearly three-quarters of fourth-and-1 attempts succeed, while around one-third of possessions result in scores. Think about those fractions. Go for it four times on fourth-and-1 -- odds are you will keep the ball three times, and three kept possessions each with a one-third chance of a score results in your team scoring once more than it otherwise would have. Punt the ball on all four fourth-and-1s, and you've given the opponents three additional possessions. (It would have gotten one possession anyway when you missed one of your fourth-and-1s.) Those three extra possessions, divided by the one-third chance to score, give the opponent an extra score.

    Bottom line? If you face fourth-and-1 four times and punt all four times, your opponent will score once more than it otherwise would have. If you go for it all four times, you will score once more than you otherwise would have. (These are simplified probabilities that do not take into account that the one-score-in-three figure assumes most teams voluntarily end drives by punting on short yardage; subtract those punts, and a possession becomes more valuable because a score is more likely to result.) Few teams face fourth-and-1 four times in a game, but the numbers for fourth-and-2 and fourth-and-3 work out about the same, and most teams do face fourth-and-short several times per game. Probabilities suggest a team that rarely punts will increase its scoring while decreasing its opponents' point totals.

    Think I'm crazy? Let's turn to this 2005 paper by David Romer, a professor of economics at the University of California at Berkeley. Romer's work got attention from the sports media because he contends teams facing fourth-and-goal should almost always try for the touchdown. I'm not so sure, and will address that in a later column. (Short version of my counterargument: Field goals are nothing to sneeze at.) But there is gold, absolute gold, in the overlooked later pages of Romer's study. His numbers say that anytime the situation is fourth-and-4 or less, teams should not punt. Romer thinks teams should try for the first down on any fourth-and-4 or less even when in their own territory. After all, the average play gains almost five yards. On average you will retain possession, and the pluses of that exceeded the minuses of the inevitable failed fourth-down try.
    http://www.econ.berkeley.edu/users/dromer/papers/PAPER_NFL_JULY05_FORWEB_CORRECTED.pdf

    http://www.npr.org/2011/01/29/133280133/scorecasting-the-new-freakonomics-of-sports
    Another time the conventional wisdom doesn't quite pan out on the football field is when teams automatically punt the ball on fourth down, unless they're in a desperate end-of-game drive. Moskowitz says that according to the statistics, teams should run a play even in a situation like fourth-and-eight, as long as they're past the 50-yard line.

    "People sort of view [a field goal] as, well, that's a sure three points," Moskowitz says. "Field goals aren't a sure thing, but the success of field goals is pretty high. But the success rate of gaining a couple of yards on fourth down is actually just as high if not higher on a lot of plays. And to keep that drive going and to potentially get seven points turns out to overweigh a lot of situations."
     
  22. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    The Boeing 787

    http://www.independent.co.uk/travel...-could-change-air-travel-forever-2026950.html
    That many of these features are possible is due to the Dreamliner's light composite frame. Other advances in technology mean that the plane can sense turbulence in advance and adjust itself accordingly, while the pressure in the cabin is set to an altitude that research shows makes people feel less dehydrated and jet lagged than before.

    The man responsible for some of this "wellbeing" research is aviation physiologist and sleep expert Dr Guy Meadows, who – when he's not working with Boeing on the Dreamliner project – runs the London Insomnia Centre. Meadows, who looks not unlike a young Tony Blair and can be just as convincing, is a mountain climber who has extensively studied the effect lack of oxygen and extremes of environment have on the human body.

    "What interested me most about this project," he says, "is that flying is a constant challenge between the performance of the plane and the wellbeing of the people in it. If you pressurise a cabin to 8,000ft, it is the point at which people start to experience headaches, light-headedness and dizziness. The Dreamliner is pressurised to 6,000ft, which gives everyone eight per cent more oxygen. The reason that's important is that, to give one example, if you drink a bottle of water, you might notice after landing that the empty bottle has inflated. That's because it's what we call a closed cavity and your body has loads of them: lungs, sinuses and so on. The material the Dreamliner is built with has enabled us to reduce many of the stresses – feeling unwell, poor air quality, the noise, the lack of natural light – involved in flying; all the things that make you leave the plane feeling worse than you did when you got on."

    [​IMG]
     
  23. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/04/27/scitech/main20057992.shtml

     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  24. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    ^ Maybe Nadal's topspin shots will seed the next universe. :D
     
  25. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110502/ap_on_sc/us_sci_nutcracker_man
    Wonder what PCXL-Fan has to say about this ? I thought we did not have the ability to process chlorophyll. Have we lost it ?
     
  26. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Life Saving rafts created by fire ants

    [​IMG]
    It's the ultimate vehicle for an emergency flood escape. It can assemble itself in about 100 seconds, and keep thousands to millions of passengers safe and afloat for days, even weeks.
    Floating clusters of fire ants are a feat of natural engineering, and some researchers wanted to know just how these ants create such safe, long-lasting rafts out of themselves. The result means they can survive floods in their native South American habitats as well as migrate long distances. [Image of fire-ant raft]
    http://www.livescience.com/13867-raft-fire-ants-buoyancy-flood-water-repellant-floatation.html
     
  27. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Almost 50 million years ago, ants the size of hummingbirds roamed what is now Wyoming, a new fossil discovery reveals. These giant bugs may have crossed an Arctic land bridge between Europe and North America during a particularly warm period in Earth's history.
    At about 2 inches (5 cm) long, the specimen is a "monstrously big ant," said Bruce Archibald, a paleoentomologist at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia who reported the discovery today (May 3) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Though fossils of loose giant ant wings have been found before in the United States, this is the first known full-body specimen.
    http://www.livescience.com/14008-giant-ant-fossil.html
     
  28. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Thank you. Very interesting. I feel vindicated. I obviously missed my calling as a pro football coach.
     
  29. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Robots evolve altruism

    Computer simulations of tiny robots with rudimentary nervous systems show that, over hundreds of generations, these virtual machines evolve altruistic behaviors. They begin to share small disks — a stand-in for food — with each other so that their comrades' traits are passed on to the next generation. Experts say the study sheds light on why various animals — from bees to humans — help each other out, even when it hurts their own chances to reproduce."

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/05/even-robots-can-be-heroes.html?ref=hp
     
  30. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    If Taylor Dent would've been fast on his feet he would be Taylor Swift.
     
  31. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Wait, I thought it was the opposite -- hummingbirds the size of ants. Can you check your source?
     
  32. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    Chinese use honeytraps to spy on French companies, intelligence report claims

    The use of honeytraps to extort information and the placement of spying interns are among the techniques employed by Chinese spies in their industrial espionage operations, according to leaked French intelligence files.

    By Henry Samuel, Paris 5:35PM GMT 01 Feb 2011

    Among the cases cited by the intelligence reports, is the predicament of a top researcher in a major French pharmaceutical company wined and dined by a Chinese girl who he ended up sleeping with.

    "When he was shown the recorded film of the previous night in his hotel room ... he proved highly co-operative," said an economic intelligence official.

    In another case, an unnamed French company realised too late that a sample of its patented liquid had left the building after the visit of a Chinese delegation. It turned out one of the visitors had dipped his tie into the liquid to take home a sample in order to copy it.

    French companies should do more to protect themselves from prying eyes among the 30,000 Chinese students who conduct internships in France, warned experts.

    Among the most frequent techniques cited by French intelligence was the so-called "lamprey technique", which usually takes the form of an international tender for business.

    "The aim of the project is to attract responses from developed countries," notes the report. When Western companies vie to respond, they are cajoled and "told to improve their technical offering".

    "Each (company) tries to outdo the other, once, twice, several times until the Chinese consider they've had enough." Once key information has been gathered, the competing bidders are summarily informed that the project has been shelved and the information used by the Chinese to develop its own products.

    A prime example of this technique was recent a multi-billion pound tender to build China's high-speed train, with France's TGV being a bidder. As part of the process, the French embassy in Beijing organised a six-month training course for Chinese engineers. A few months after the course, China brought out its own high-speed train remarkably similar to the TGV and Germany's ICE train.

    Another technique is the "mushroom factory", in which French industries create a joint venture with a local Chinese firm and transfer part of their technology. Soon afterwards, the French "discover that local rivals have emerged ... offer identical products and are run by the Chinese head of the company that initiated the joint venture." Danone, the French dairy and drinks group allegedly fell foul of this technique when it teamed up with the Chinese drinks giant, Wahaha.

    A third technique is to turn the tables on a foreign firm by accusing it of counterfeiting. Schneider Electric was taken to court over a 5mm hook in its fuse box, which it patented in 1996. Nonplussed, its Chinese rival Chint started building the same hook, took Schneider to court in China for copying its design and Schneider was ordered to pay a 330 million yuan fine.

    The revelations on Chinese spying techniques came as Renault, the French carmaker is embroiled in a massive espionage scandal involving three top executives over allegations they were paid to hand over car secrets to a Chinese firm. French intelligence officials were reportedly furious the part state-owned company had not asked for its help.

    France is drawing up a guide of good practice for French entrepreneurs. One of the rules is never hold meetings with Chinese delegations in rooms where sensitive briefings take place: they could subsequently be bugged.

    "Espionage or information gathering is not a risk that French executives take seriously," said Christian Harbulot, head of the School of Economic Warfare in Paris. "They are thus very vulnerable."
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...nch-companies-intelligence-report-claims.html
     
  33. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    Russian 'honeytrap': Secrets, lies, sex and spies

    Beautiful woman 'chances' upon lonely diplomat. History is replete with the pillow talk of compromise

    By David Randall

    Sunday, 12 July 2009

    So, Natasha Petrova, what exactly did you – a svelte, 22-year-old Russian woman with the hair and face of a goddess – see in this paunchy Western diplomat with a wandering eye and security clearance?

    It's a rhetorical question about fiendish eastern European honeytraps that rather springs to mind after news of the out-of-office hours activities of James Hudson, very recently late of Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service, came to light. For those of you with a habit of not reading newspaper stories illustrated with grainy video stills of Russian prostitutes, he is the deputy consul general at Britain's outpost in Ekaterinburg who was filmed while communing (or "cavorting" as more colourful accounts had it) with two local hookers. The footage came to light, Mr Hudson resigned, and publicity-shy patrons of the establishment in question have no doubt taken their custom elsewhere.

    The episode was widely interpreted as a possible "honeytrap", but our experiences east of Helsinki make us sceptical. So numerous are brothels in Russia these days, it is most unlikely that Vladimir Putin's little friends in intelligence are wiring them all up. Nor that Mr Hudson was deliberately targeted. Far more feasible is that the brothel routinely had cameras running for security and blackmail purposes, and they saw a chance to embarrass one of our men in Ekaterinburg.

    Real honeytraps were – are – rather more planned. The bait had either been trained in all her various arts by men and women who had made a great study of these things – not least the kind of running-to-seed dupe who would fall for the fluttering lashes of some doe-eyed Slavic beauty. Or they were women who had begun a relationship with someone at a foreign embassy and who could be persuaded or threatened into putting her bedwork to state use. The plight of this genre was perfectly captured some time ago by the legendary Daily Mirror headline: "Dirty Hari was a Mata to the cause".

    Perhaps the most famous Cold War case was in 1987 when a pair of marines, doing service as guards at the US embassy in Moscow, had their heads, and loyalties, turned by two enthusiastic local playmates.

    The romance between Clayton Lonetree and Violetta Seina began with a "chance" meeting on the Metro, and, in the fullness of time, Sgt Lonetree was introduced to Violetta's "Uncle Sasha", who demanded something in return for the honour of his "niece".

    The upshot of this – and the samplings of local ladies by other marines – was the lads assisting the Russkies to plant listening devices, breach all the embassy's coded traffic, and identify all American intelligence's Soviet contacts.

    The marines were young fools, but the usual honeytrap target was an old fool. Someone like the Japanese diplomat who, in 2005, so fell for the young Chinese karaoke-bar hostess that he was soon irredeemably compromised. Or someone like Jean-Pierre Vettovaglia, the Swiss ambassador to Romania whose pudgy 49-year-old charms were apparently irresistible to Floriana Jucan, a smouldering 20-year-old Bucharest "journalist". The besotted envoy was certainly generous – he bought an apartment as well as the ritual jewellery – but what really captivated her (in reality, an operative for Romanian intelligence) was what the old chap might know. It was the mid-1990s, and the Romanians had a hunch that their late dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, had stashed $200m (£125m) in Swiss banks. If his excellency knew, he never said. But he was calamitously indiscreet. He took his inamorata on holiday, paraded her at official receptions (including some attended by his wife), and even introduced her to his two sons, one of whom was the lady's senior by two years.

    It was only a matter of time before news of his affair reached Switzerland, and this duly happened after the Bucharest tabloids began reporting the liaison. Mr Ambassador was recalled. Miss Jucan, it turned out, was something of an old hand at this game. "He was not the most important person who was my boyfriend," she said.

    As is so often the case, this honey-trap, as so many others, did not deliver the hoped-for intelligence goods. But, on the other hand, if you are in the espionage game, it is so much more fun than invisible ink and dead-letter drops.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...ytrap-secrets-lies-sex-and-spies-1742543.html

    Amateur model known as 'Katya' revealed as Russian honeytrap bait

    Ekaterina Gerasimova has piercing blue eyes, an innocent girl-next-door face, and likes to do a little amateur modelling.

    [​IMG]
    Ekaterina Gerasimova is reputed to be the Kremlin's most effective secret agent

    By Andrew Osborn in Moscow 6:40AM BST 28 Apr 2010

    But if her "victims" are to be believed, she is the Kremlin's most effective secret agent and a latter-day Mata Hari.

    Her mission, it is claimed, is to discredit prominent Kremlin critics by luring them into compromising situations using vintage KGB honey trap techniques.

    Offering her own body, sex, and drugs from cocaine to marijuana as an inducement, "Katya" as she is usually known has tried and often succeeded in bedding at least half a dozen high-profile Kremlin critics.

    The reputational damage she has inflicted has varied from serious to negligible depending on her victim's marital status and response.

    Her latest victim was Viktor Shenderovich, a journalist and the script writer on Russia's now defunct version of the Spitting Image TV satire.

    Mr Shenderovich, who is married and has a daughter, admits that he slept with Ms Gerasimova but claims he was set up by the Kremlin.

    Though he has tried to laugh the incident off, his credibility as an authoritative critic of Vladimir Putin, the prime minister, appears to have been at least partly dented by the sting and his marriage is now reportedly in trouble.

    The editor of Russian Newsweek magazine also fell under Ms Gerasimova's spell and was filmed in his underpants chopping up what looked like cocaine after having sex with her.

    A clutch of anti-Kremlin opposition figures and activists including a man who looked like the leader of the radical National Bolshevik Party have also been caught in flagrante delicto with the twentysomething model.

    But unlike Soviet times when the secret service used compromising material or 'compromat' as it was known to blackmail, Ms Gerasimova's exploits have been widely publicised in grainy and heavily edited videos on the internet.

    The videos are often accompanied by mocking music and subtitles. It has taken a few weeks for her victims to realise that they have all been set up by one and the same girl.

    Yet little is known about Ms Gerasimova beyond that she registered for an online modelling agency that supplied pretty girls for ad campaigns, trade exhibitions and fashion shoots.

    Pictures of her show a brunette posing in her underwear wearing pink nail varnish and a broad smile.

    Nicknamed 'Moo-Moo' after the surname she appears to have given herself on a social networking site, victims say she used different first names, had different cover stories, and was highly persistent in her advances.

    Some of the victims say they knew something was wrong when she suddenly produced drugs or, in one case, asked a young opposition leader to join her and a female friend in experimenting with a large selection of sex toys.

    The politician, Ilya Yashin, said he got up and left at that point after asking her whether they were being filmed.

    Katya herself appears to have disappeared into the ether but at least one other prominent Kremlin critic has already warned that he expects a similar video featuring himself and Katya to hit the internet soon.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...Katya-revealed-as-Russian-honeytrap-bait.html
     
  34. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    ^ Engrossing stuff, Mike !!!

    I've given a link, bro !!
     
  35. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    I am glad you enjoyed the posts, Sentinel.

    Nikolay Davydenko is the Michelangelo of male pattern baldness.
     
  36. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    good stuff, especially re the Chinese, love how they just get what they need, and in the end we are fighting over ourselves to give it to them.

    Then wonder how they end up doing it better than us.
     
  37. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I know, but maybe the link people got it backwards?
     
  38. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    Even considering the huge popularity of hockey in Finland, it is surprising how many great goaltenders come from the country relative to the population size.
     
  39. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Ken Rosewall has a stroke watching Nole win :D
    Ok, he's just ill, not a "stroke".

     
  40. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    A massive radio telescope in rural West Virginia has begun listening for signs of alien life on 86 possible Earth-like planets, US astronomers said Friday.

    The giant dish began this week pointing toward each of the 86 planets -- culled from a list of 1,235 possible planets identified by NASA's Kepler space telescope -- and will gather 24 hours of data on each one.
    "It's not absolutely certain that all of these stars have habitable planetary systems, but they're very good places to look for ET," said University of California at Berkeley graduate student Andrew Siemion.
    The mission is part of the SETI project, which stands for Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, launched in the mid 1980s.


    http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-05-astronomers-alien-life-planets.html
     
  41. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    OMG, just OMG !!!!

    Kenyan Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru died late on Sunday after jumping from the first-floor balcony of his home in the Rift Valley, police told Reuters.
    Regional police chief Jaspher Ombati said Wanjiru, 24, appeared to have suffered internal injuries after the fall and was confirmed dead by doctors at a nearby hospital.
    "I can confirm that Wanjiru is dead. It is not yet clear whether it was a suicide or if he jumped out of rage, or what caused him to fall to the ground," Ombati told reporters.
    "He jumped from his first-floor balcony to the ground. He was bleeding from the nose and the mouth, and may have suffered internal injuries," the police chief added.
    Video footage showed police looking at blood stains on the ground below the balcony of Wanjiru's house in Nyahururu, a town in the Rift Valley some 150 km (94 miles) northwest of the capital Nairobi.
    "Wanjiru's death is not only a loss to his family and friends but to Kenya as a whole and the entire world athletics fraternity," Prime Minister Raila Odinga said in a statement.
    "As an athletics nation, we looked forward to a sterling performance in the Olympic Games in London next year. Mr Wanjiru was one of our sure bets for gold in the upcoming contest. His death is therefore a big blow to our dreams," Odinga said.

    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/16052011/2/kenya-olympic-marathon-champion-dies-fall.html
     
  42. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    The first floor? What the....?? I had a read a previous story about this guy jumping to his death, and that story left out the very important detail that he had jumped from the first floor! In my book, that's a guy trying to escape (and justifibly so, under the circumstances), not trying to commit suicide, or jumping in a "rage".
     
  43. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    ^^ First of all, in America the ground floor is referred to as first. The first elsewhere is US's second floor.
    We don't know how high the ground floor itself was, in my flat the first floor balcony is quite high, since each floor has 2 levels.

    Sometimes a house can have a backside that has a pretty steep drop (the land is not even or something like that). But by the circumstances, it seems like he was escaping.

    But he is the current Olympic champ, its really sad.
     
  44. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    You trying to find loopholes and exceptions to my argument? Fine. Then I would suggest to you that some first floors having swimming pools, trampolines, or hay stacks directly below them...
     
  45. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Hall of Fame

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    useless...and shoeless...

    Shoeless Joe Jackson compiled the 3rd highest career batting average of all time (.356) and yet in the 1919 World Series, he batted .375, with 16 put outs, one assist, no errors and he hit THE ONLY HOME RUN in that series....and you're going to tell me that 9/11 was an inside job?

    Please.


    &FTR, I have no idea what the hell I'm trying to say...
     
  46. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor Rookie

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  47. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Read the New York Times story on the marathon jumper today. They, too, neglected to mention that he was on the first floor...
     
  48. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    I just returned from a short trip to NYC and found a dead rat in my suitcase while unpacking. How did this happen? Should I burn my clothes, or will washing my clothes suffice? I felt bad for the rat and buried it in the yard.

    I once stayed in a hotel in Paris where there was a rat in my room. This was surprising, because it was a quality hotel. I knew it was a good hotel because the French government went through the trouble of putting an award on the front of the hotel granting it a star.
    [​IMG]
     
  49. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Here's what I'm hearing: You stole one of our rats.
     
  50. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    mike, i smell a rat in your story ;)
     

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