Wait, wait, don’t tell me

You mean, men robbed banks of $45 million, and not the other way around?

It was a brazen bank heist, but a 21st-century version in which the criminals never wore ski masks, threatened a teller or set foot in a vault.

In two precision operations that involved people in more than two dozen countries acting in close coordination and with surgical precision, thieves stole $45 million from thousands of A.T.M.’s in a matter of hours.

In New York City alone, the thieves responsible for A.T.M. withdrawals struck 2,904 machines over 10 hours starting on Feb. 19, withdrawing $2.4 million.

The operation included sophisticated computer experts operating in the shadowy world of Internet hacking, manipulating financial information with the stroke of a few keys, as well as common street criminals, who used that information to loot the automated teller machines.

The first to be caught was a street crew operating in New York, their pictures captured as, prosecutors said, they traveled the city withdrawing money and stuffing backpacks with cash.

Virtually Speaking Thursday

Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd – 6p PT/9p ET –

Veteran campaign strategist, journalist & author Glenn W. Smith stops by to talk with host Jay Ackroyd about Texas as harbinger for the nation. Follow @GlennWSmith @JayAckroyd

Read Glenn at Progressive Voices & Firedoglake

More at http://virtuallyspeaking.us/virtually-speaking-with-jay-ackroyd/2013/5/7/glenn-smith-virtually-speaking-with-jay-ackroyd

Listen live or later: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/virtuallyspeaking/2013/05/10/glenn-w-smith-virtually-speaking-with-jay-ackroyd

Interesting news

So it can be linked to a disease, not just random effects:

Apparently getting sick while you’re pregnant sucks in even more ways than you realized. Children are more likely to develop bipolar disorder later in life if their mothers caught the flu while pregnant, a new study published yesterday in JAMA Psychiatry suggests. The effect is fairly small, amounting to just a 3% to 4% bump in risk, and most people with bipolar disorder had no history of in utero flu. But it’s an interesting finding because it echoes earlier research linking maternal flu with schizophrenia, the BBC observes.

Solar eclipse tonight

At 8:28 p.m. EST in Taurus.

Big Sky Astrology:

This New Moon/Solar Eclipse is in Taurus, “the money sign.” Since eclipse times are usually pretty frantic and stressful, many of us might be fretting a bit over our bank accounts lately. It’s no fun to feel worried about how you’re going to pay your rent or your car mechanic. So by all means, at this New Moon, do some rituals (I love this one from Dana Gerhardt) and set intentions around attracting more money into your life.

But to focus only on money is to miss the larger point of Taurus, and perhaps of whatever crisis in which you find yourself. And the larger point is the need for self-sufficiency.

Aries represents the challenge of withstanding immediate threat, but Taurus is where we meet the challenges of day-to-day survival. It represents how we put shelter over our heads, food on the stove, clothes on our back. If we don’t have these basic necessities or can’t provide them for ourselves, we’re in a serious crisis of security. Nowhere is this crisis more evident and immediate than in the way we feed ourselves.

Eclipses usually bring about forced change. In Taurus, these changes might have come in the form of reduced income or other resources, including your physical health. If that’s the case for you, you might be in the process of rethinking your relationship to the food you eat, either to save money or to feel better. And learning to do a little bit of cooking or gardening is a great first step.

More here.



This is a riot. I love Pinterest, but I ignore much of what’s on there because there’s an entire faction of Christian fundies and Mormon moms who make me very tense. (They post a lot of inspirational quotes about asking God to make your husband a Godly man, etc.)

I’ve turned a lot of people on to Pinterest, but they’re all sensible types like me who understand that posts about how to throw the ultimate party are for your amusement only. I like to look at the art, the home decor and the funny posts people put up. I dream about one day owning the Greek-island eternity pool that I see on Pinterest —- but I don’t actually expect to get one.

I do love the “how to” section. How to get rust stains off your shower floor! How to clean your oven without harsh chemicals! What’s not to love? (Many of these tips are completely useless. There are many, many blogs that feature Pinterest recipes or tips that didn’t work. (Sometimes the wisdom of the crowd is just the lowest common denominator.)

My friend Maya and I go to thrift stores together and talk about seeing the world “through Pinterest eyes” — which is really just a way of figuring out how to turn trash into treasure. (Or “recycling,” as we used to call it.) But we’re not obsessive at all. It’s just fun.

And I’m actually sad to read that so many women are defining themselves through the site, and holding themselves up to that standard. Really? That’s no different from those women who are so obsessed with Martha Stewart.

Here’s a revolutionary idea: Why not become yourself?

So many women define themselves in relation to someone or something else, and that’s a shame. Because being the authentic you is ultimately the most creative thing you can do.

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