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‘The fighting was intense’: witness tells of two-day attempt to kill Isis leader



Airstrikes continue across Baghouz as the US-led coalition attempts to oust the last Isis fighters from the town.

Fresh details have emerged of the coup attempt against Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, with witnesses claiming foreign members of the terror group lost a two-day battle with his bodyguards before being rounded up and executed.

A witness who spoke to the Guardian after being smuggled from the last hamlet in eastern Syria held by Isis, said the clash took place in al Keshma, a village next to Baghouz in September, three months earlier than regional intelligence officials believed it had taken place.

“I saw him with my own eyes,” said Jumah Hamdi Hamdan, 53. “He was in Keshma and in September the Khawarij (infidels) tried to capture him. “The fighting was very intense, they had tunnels between houses. They were mainly Tunisians and there were many people killed.”

Hamdan said Baghdadi then moved to Baghouz, from where he fled to the desert in early January. This account was supported by senior regional officials, who say he probably remains there, as the remnants of the so-called caliphate he built disintegrates nearby.

A senior military official from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurdish-led force battling Isis, said other members of Isis’ foreign region had joined the fight, including Algerians and Moroccans. “It was a really tough clash and they excommunicated the losers,” said an SDF commander at the Baghouz frontline, who uses the nom de guerre Adnan Afrini. “It started in mid-September and it was a very serious attempt to kill or capture him. We don’t think he is in the town now.”

Hamdan said Baghdadi and his guard force had been in the area for almost six months before fleeing. “He tried to keep a low profile and didn’t travel through town with them but we all knew where they were. He used an old red Opal car.”

Isis has placed a bounty on the head of the main plotter, Abu Muath al-Jazairi, who is believed to be a veteran foreign fighter.

BAGOUZ, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 09: Civilians who have fled fighting in Bagouz board trucks after being screened by members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) at a makeshift screening point in the desert on February 9, 2019 in Bagouz, Syria. After weeks of fighting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the start of a final operation to oust ISIS from Bagouz the last village held by the extremist group. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

BAGOUZ, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 09: Civilians who have fled fighting in Bagouz board trucks after being screened by members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) at a makeshift screening point in the desert on February 9, 2019 in Bagouz, Syria. After weeks of fighting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the start of a final operation to oust ISIS from Bagouz the last village held by the extremist group. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Nemsha, along with much of Baghouz, stands in ruin as Kurdish forces and special forces from Britain, France and the US tighten the net on the last pocket the group holds – a small strip of land along the Euphrates river.

Kurdish forces on the Baghouz frontline estimate the area is defended by about 400 hardcore Isis members, who do not intend to surrender. The SDF said it had captured 41 positions held by Isis.

Isis leaders are believed to be holding western hostages who were captured by the organisation over the past five years and whom they intend to use as bargaining chips. British journalist John Cantlie is believed to be among them and Baghouz residents who have fled the town suggested caves on the outskirts were being used to hide him and other captives.

President Donald Trump speaks at the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS meeting at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

PRESS President Donald Trump speaks at the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS meeting at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Mortars fired by western special forces rained down on the holdouts through much of Sunday. Fighter jets soared above, leaving circular white streams that marked their orbits. The planes occasionally droped powerful bombs that created huge plumes of smoke. Surveillance drones moved slowly beneath the jets. Aram Kochar, a Kurdish military official said Isis fighters were wary of the drones and were rarely seen on the streets, apart from at dusk or under cloud cover.

“They’re very committed and they don’t plan on leaving,” the official said from the rooftop of a forward base, about 700 metres from the nearest Isis position. “We took two houses yesterday and they took them back from us at night.”

On Saturday night, Kurdish forces launched the final phase of the operation to take Baghouz – a move that will allow them to lay claim to ousting Isis from all the Syrian lands it had held since capturing a swathe of the country in early 2013. During the peak of its powers, Isis had made the nearby border with Iraq redundant and controlled an area of land from eastern Aleppo to Mosul – roughly the size of Wales.

BAGOUZ, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 09: Civilians who have fled fighting in Bagouz wait to board trucks after being screened by members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) at a makeshift screening point in the desert on February 9, 2019 in Bagouz, Syria. After weeks of fighting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the start of a final operation to oust ISIS from Bagouz the last village held by the extremist group. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

 Images BAGOUZ, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 09: Civilians who have fled fighting in Bagouz wait to board trucks after being screened by members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) at a makeshift screening point in the desert on February 9, 2019 in Bagouz, Syria. After weeks of fighting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the start of a final operation to oust ISIS from Bagouz the last village held by the extremist group. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

As its losses pile up, the group faces a return to the ways of its forerunners, a low-level insurgency that terrorised Iraqi towns and cities, in particular. On Friday night, up to 10 Isis fighters on motorbikes attempted to storm a US military base near the al-Omar oilfield, 60km (37 miles) from the frontline. The attack was heralded earlier on Friday when a motorbike detonated on a bridge near the base.

Afrini said Isis knew guerrilla warfare well and that combatting the group when its members slipped back into their communities would pose a significant challenge. “That will require an intelligence war at the local level,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy.”

Groups of people, believed to be the last to leave Baghouz, sat on a grass ridge just outside the town on Sunday, where new arrivals have been processed every day over the past three weeks. Bombs thudded into the nearby town as a chill wind buffeted black-clad women and children milling slowly near military trucks that had staged for the fight.

Abandoned motorbikes, tattered clothes and razors littered an approach road. Inside Baghouz, bombed-out oil tankers lay scattered among rows of shattered houses. “This might take a week or so,” said Kochar. “Maybe more.”

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Innovation

Trump már megint „szopatja” a világot

Miközben az EU 2021-től betiltja az egyszer használatos tányérokat, evőeszközöket, szívószálakat, fülpiszkálókat, léggömb pálcikákat(L), addig az Egyesült Államokban az elnök kampányweboldalán… :

Vegyetek Trump nevével lézer gravírozott ’újrahasznosítható’ szívószálat. 10 db - 15 $ (4 400 Ft)
„Mert a liberális papír szívószál nem működik”.
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Ráadásul ugyanolyan egyedi piros árnyalatú, mint a „Make America Great Again” baseball sapka. Zseniális. Legalábbis a kampányfőnök és a dollármilliókat érő stáb tudása, amit meg tud fizetni, és mögötte van. Utolsó nagy bőr lehúzás. Vagy inkább bőr „hátrahúzás”, amilyen vagánysággal, reálisan kezelnek, egy egyébként luxusproblémát. Az nem nyeli le, aki nem érti, hanem inkább kiköpködi…
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Riporter:
„Támogatja a műanyag szívószálak betiltását?”
Trump:
„Úgy hiszem, vannak nagyobb problémáink is, mint a műanyag szívószálak. Aránytalanul nagy fókuszt kapnak a kicsi szívószálak, gondoljunk csak a többi egyszer használatos jóval nagyobb műanyagokra , mint a poharak tányérok és csomagolóanyagok. De ez egy érdekes kérdés”


És veszik mint a cukrot.
Elvileg előttünk járnak minden téren…
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Nézzük inkább egy picit tudományosabb szemmel.

Mit tudott/tud adni nekünk egy szívószál?

 Kr.e. 3000 évvel a sumeroknak azt, hogy arany szipkájukkal erjesztett italuk szilárd fázisú fölét és üledékét elkerülve tudták vele szürcsölgetni sörüket. Aztán majd 5000 évvel később, az első szabadalmaztató (Marvin Stone) egyenes papír szívókája, az italjába hűsítőként tett menta levél darabok szájba jutása ellen tett szolgálatot. 1930-as évek végén Joseph B. Friedman által feltalált hajlíthatott verziónak köszönhetően a kórházakban fekvők úgy tudták inni folyadékjukat, hogy félreöntötték volna azt. (Flex-Straw) Az ötlet akkor jött, amikor látta pultnál ülő kislányát, Judithot, hogy küzködve tudja csak használni egyenes papír szipkáját. Fogott egy új szívószálat, beledugott egy fém csavart, majd annak menetei szerint körbetekerte fogselyemmel. A csavar eltávolítása után hullámok képződtek a papíron. Így a pohár szélén a papír szívószál kényelmesen el tudott hajolni. Habár az eredeti koncepció kislánya megfigyeléséből származott, úgy gondolta terméke célpiaca a korházak lesznek. Most már tudjuk, hogy univerzális eszköz és bárki számára könnyen használható, így a hajlítható szívószál megszületésének történetét a „Design for all” elv korai példájaként emlegetjük.
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Nade élvezeti eszköz?!
 Úgy ám. A szívás hatására kialakult relatív nyomáskülömbség miatt a nyelvünk hegyétől a tövéig, filmszerűen a szájpadlásnak préselve végig tudjuk juttatni a limonádét, így az ízt szinte mindenhol szép lassan engedjük végig futni. A gourmet-ek így csinálják. De az esetükben is ugyanannak a legelemibb táplálkozási reflex nem tudatosított felidézéséről van szó, melynek köszönhetően újszülött korunkban életben tudtunk  maradni. Ez pedig a szopási reflex, és ha jól megragadjuk azt a poharat,  akkor rá tudjuk erőltetni a kapaszkodás ősi reflexét is. A kettő együtt  a nevezetes Babkin reflex. Ezen reflexek persze egy felnőttben szupresszálódtak, olyannyira, hogy nem feltétlen módon jelennek meg, viszont ha csináljuk, vagy csináltatják velünk, akkor az elégedettség és jutalom érzet leképződik, ott ahol annak le kell.
(Meg kell említenem azt a tagadhatatlan tényt, miszerint a szívás időtartama alatt a szívószál csökkenti a fogszuvasodás lehetőségét. Feltéve, ha savas kémhatású folyadékot iszunk sok-sok cukorral)

Mégis hogyan tud ekkora hangsúlyt kapni egy ilyen kicsike élvezeti, használati tárgy?
 Tételezzük fel egy nagyon is valószínű forgatókönyvet: A zöldek felismerték, hogy a szívószál  egy kíváló kapudrog (gateway drug) lesz egy műanyagmentes utópikus élet víziójához. Magyarul az emberi agy összeköti, szívószál = minden műanyag. Na meg persze a „teknős orrából történő szívószál eltávolítás”-os videó is azért eléggé sokkoló, ahhoz hogy belénk vésődjön örökre.
Azt azért tudatosítsuk, hogyha hihetünk a statisztikáknak - amiket mindig fenntartásokkal kell kezelnünk-, az óceánok, tengerek műanyagszennyezéséhez a szívószálak kevesebb, mint 0,5 %-kal járulnak hozzá... Mindezt összegezve, ha már van egy közutálatnak örvendő valami, az már egy lehetséges irány.

Hogy kell az egészséges felnőtt embernek a szívószál?
Trump-os nem, de amúgy meg hogyne kellene, legalábbis nekem, de csak a mojito-hoz(remélem csak ahhoz). De szerintem nektek is. Csak tegyük utána oda, ahova való és ne toljuk túl, mint, ahogy a mojito-zást se.
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Medicine

I Microdosed With LSD For A Month And This Is What It Did To Me



It’s day 30 of my LSD microdosing experiment, and although I don’t feel anything unusual rippling through my consciousness, my cognitive tests are showing that something is definitely up: According to my mood scores, I’ve become deliriously happy, and a fantasia of fictitious fauna has begun to leak from some exotic region of my psyche.


Admittedly, this homespun research project carries none of the credibility of a lab-based clinical trial, and nothing but a good old splotch on a brain scan will provide any real clarity as to what effect microdosing has on cognition. But as that sort of data is yet to be collected, I decided to spend a month scientifically measuring the psychological outcomes of taking tiny doses of LSD.


Why Am I Microdosing?


Microdosing involves consuming miniscule quantities of psychedelic substances in order to grease the wheels of cognition without producing a mind-altering trip. The practice has become popular among Silicon Valley professionals looking to boost their creativity, and gained further attention thanks to Ayelet Waldman’s book entitled A Really Good Day, in which she recounts how regular microdoses of LSD helped her to overcome depression.


However, these and other anecdotal reports remain the only evidence we have for the efficacy of microdosing, which is why I’ve been using a battery of cognitive tasks to assess my mood and creativity levels while microdosing with LSD.



Microdosing is said to help people enter "flow states", whereby complex problems become easier to solve. Pixabay


Dosage


Paul Austin is the founder of The Third Wave, an online educational resource that has become a hub for people with an interest in microdosing. He told IFLScience that “people who microdose tend to fall into one of two camps,” and that the dosage they use often depends on which of these they belong to.


“The first group are those who are microdosing because of a deficit, meaning they feel something is lacking and they want to microdose just to get back to normal. These may be people with depression, addictions, post-traumatic stress disorder or social anxiety.”


According to Austin, people who microdose for this reason often – but not always – go for a dose that is “a little bit more than sub-perceptible, so they get this slight feeling of glow.” In other words, getting just a tiny bit high on a regular basis seems to be effective at treating depression – as testified to by Waldman in her book.


The second group are those who are already at baseline but microdose in order to enhance their creativity and productivity by entering “flow states”.


“A state of flow is like being in the zone,” says Austin. “It’s when you’re engaged in something that is fairly difficult, and really complex things become easier to solve.”


“People are noticing that when they take sub-perceptible doses, that that’s helping them get in this zone at certain tasks like writing or solving a problem.” This means that in order to achieve peak performance it’s best to take a dose so small that you feel literally nothing; if you’re tripping even a tiny bit, you’ve had too much.


Personally, I’m more interested in boosting creativity than treating an emotional disorder, so I decided to go sub-perceptible, and took 10 micrograms of LSD every third day for 30 days.


What Was It Like?


Despite the recent avalanche of media articles raving about how microdosing is helping to create a preposterously productive and cataclysmically creative workforce, I can't say either I or my employer received much noticeable benefit in that regard. I didn't develop an equanimous appreciation for the more boring aspects of my job, nor did I make a particularly outstanding contribution to the success of the organization during my microdosing month. All in all, my experience of reality was pretty much the same as every other month I've spent on this planet, although the results of my cognitive tests paint a rather different picture.


Effects On Creativity


Austin explains that “[through] the practice of microdosing, you’re re-training or just training your brain to think in different ways over a long period of time.” And while there hasn't yet been any studies conducted into how microdosing alters brain activity, research with larger doses of psychedelics has shown that these substances produce a magnificent proliferation of connectivity throughout the brain, sparking more flexible patterns of cognition that may lead to enhanced creativity.


It is therefore believed that as people microdose over a period of time, their brain becomes increasingly adept at entering flow states, causing creativity levels to rise gradually.


To monitor this, I used the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, and found that although I didn’t feel any more flamboyant as the month went on, my creativity scores did increase. This is particularly apparent in my responses to the Incomplete Figures Task, which involves drawing a complete picture from a random line drawn on a page (in red below) in a set period of time. The score is then calculated based on originality, storytelling, richness of imagery, humor, and a range of other factors.


Depressingly, this miserable potato thing smoking a pipe was all my brain could squeeze out at baseline.


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A week in and my scores were on the rise.



I whipped out my Attenborough on day 10, as the storytelling began to get more articulate.



Day 15 brought a cabaret of questions.



Things took a dark turn towards the end of the month.



And by day 30 my pictures were worth a thousand words.



Effects On Mood


Psychologist James Fadiman is currently in the process of collecting mood and creativity data from hundreds of microdosers around the world. Speaking to IFLScience, he explained that “the most positive responders to microdosing are those with treatment-resistant depression.” 


To measure the effects of microdosing on my mood, I used two standard validated psychological tests – Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Profile of Mood States (POMS). The day before my first microdose, I recorded my baseline levels and scored 5 out of 63 on the BDI. Given that any score below 10 is considered healthy, I didn’t have much room for improvement, and while I can’t say I noticed myself feeling happier as the experiment went on, I was surprised to find that my score dropped to 1 for the entire final week of my microdosing month.


The POMS gives an overall score for mood disturbance, ranging from -32 to 200, as well as a breakdown of certain mood aspects like anger, confusion, fatigue, and vigor. At baseline, my total mood disturbance was a chirpy -5, but by the end of the month, I had become one serene bean, scoring a near perfect -28.


According to my tests, this major increase in chill was largely driven by a surge in vigor, which rose from 20 out of a possible 32 at baseline to 30 at the end of the month.



I didn't notice any changes in my disposition, but my mood scores suggested I was irritatingly happy. Created by Bedneyimages - Freepik.com


So Did It Work?


Although my mood and creativity scores both improved considerably over the course of the month, I can’t say I felt anything happening. According to Fadiman, though, that’s kind of the point of microdosing. “With people who microdose over a period of time we get no classic psychedelic effects, but see changes that are more gradual and seem to last,” he says.


It’s also worth pointing out that my results prove nothing, and that this guerrilla experiment is riddled with limitations that render it pretty useless when considered in isolation. Yet Fadiman insists that he has received huge numbers of reports similar to mine, and suggests that although “conventional science says that anecdotes don’t count, when you have several hundred of them maybe they do.”


Ultimately, it's hard to say how much of an effect microdosing had on me, but the results of my tests certainly seem to corroborate the underlying hypothesis: my scores got higher, even if I didn't.

Original author:

08 Oct 2017, 22:08

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Technology

share „Houston, itt a Nyugalom Bázis. A Sas leszállt.”


Mert minden, ami új, ismeretlen az izgalmas. Vágyunk rá.
Hát így történt.

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1969. július 20. 20:17
„Houston, itt a Nyugalom Bázis. A Sas leszállt.”

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„Varázslatos sivárság.”
Buzz Aldrin

Az emberi faj számára új hely, ahol csak az űrruhában képes az életben maradásra. A ruha egy tökéletes szimbóluma az emberi evolució következő szakaszának, mely már nem a természetes szelekció által vezérelve zajlik, hanem maga az ember találja ki itt a Földön. Sorsszerűen kitalálja magának. Ez tényleg „Homo Deus”. De, ha tényleg így van, akkor realizáljuk, hogy kint bárki lehet abban ruhában, férfi, nő, vagy bármilyen transz-legó, hívő, ateista,  fekete, fehér, rózsaszínű, fiatal, idős, csúnya, szép.  (Egyenlőre mindenkié ugyanúgy néz ki, aztán majd az ember kitalálja, hogy lehet (kell?!) azért ezt is cicomázni, hogy lássuk már mégis ki van benne, de szerencsére az még messze van.
A lényeg, hogy abban a ruhában csak az számít, hogy mit tudsz, mit teszel és mit adsz. Amondó vagyok, húzzuk fel magunka már itt a Földön.

Értsük így:


Kis lépés egy embernek, de hatalmas ugrás az emberiségnek.


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