In the first half, specialist in cyber warfare and technology, Charles R. Smith, joined George Knapp to talk about NSA revelations and their affect on society and the tech industry. "There's panic in the halls of Fort Meade at the moment," as the NSA "would prefer to operate in the darkness...away from the light of the public," he remarked. They're trying to apply damage control to the press, and their political allies, as well as put out disinformation about their capabilities in order to muddle the issue, he continued. Established as a secret military agency by the Truman administration, the NSA performed exemplary espionage during the Cold War, he noted.
Yet now, the NSA has become a "bureaucratic behemoth, almost like a dinosaur or Godzilla that has no brain," he commented, "and it will just continue to lumber on," We need to not only pull in the reins, but to dispose of entire missions the NSA has taken on that border on illegality, he suggested. A number of years ago the NSA tried to get legislative approval to install a "back door chip" in tech equipment, Smith recounted. But when that failed in Congress, they instead covertly managed to spread a wide variety of back doors in both software and hardware, including flaws in encryption they could exploit throughout the entire tech industry, according to documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. More here.
In the latter half, zoologist, media consultant, and science writer, Dr Karl Shuker, discussed bizarre, anomalous creatures of every conceivable (and inconceivable!) kind-- a veritable menagerie of cryptozoological mysteries. One such creature, which he dubbed Trunko, was reportedly a huge tusked animal that had elements of both an elephant and a bear, and was said to battle whales off the coast of South Africa back in the 1920s. He later determined that Trunko was actually a misidentified "globster," the gelatinous sack of a washed ashore dead whale which had connective tissue that looked like long white hair.
Some ancient mythological creatures such as the Kraken, described as a tentacled sea monster as large as an island, were likely based on the giant squid, which wasn't discovered by scientists until the 1800s. Shuker spoke of a mysterious mammal called the sukotyro which was described as having huge tusks emerging from near its eyes. He noted a similarity to a wild pig called the babirusas that was known to live on Java. He also talked about enormous turtles, frogs living in solid rock, gigantic spiders, as well as Bigfoot and Thunderbirds (which he classified into two kinds-- eagle-type birds, and those said to resemble pterodactyls).
George Knapp shares some recent items of interest, including his I-Team report on the efforts to preserve natural darkness, and an article about erasing unwanted memories:
I-Team: The Fight to Save Natural Darkness
Not-So-Total Recall: Selectively Erasing Unwanted Memories
Uri Geller mystified by letterbox on Thames Sonning Bridge
The Final Nail in the Jurassic Park Coffin?
Extreme Life Forms: Life Found in the Sediments of an Antarctic Subglacial Lake
Happy Anniversary Lehman Brothers, and What We Haven't Learned About Wall Street Over the Past Five Years
NSA calls the iPhone using public 'zombies' who pay for their own surveillance
Bumper music from Sunday September 15, 2013