Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Friday, 7 September 2012

Remotely Controlled Cockroaches: New Search-and-Rescue Tool -

Remotely Controlled Cockroaches: New Search-and-Rescue Tool - 

Researchers have developed a technique that uses an electronic interface to remotely control, or steer, cockroaches; remotely controlling cockroaches would allow first responders to create a mobile web of smart sensors that uses cockroaches to collect and transmit information, such as finding survivors in a building that has been destroyed by an earthquake

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique that uses an electronic interface to remotely control, or steer, cockroaches.

“Our aim was to determine whether we could create a wireless biological interface with cockroaches, which are robust and able to infiltrate small spaces,” says Alper Bozkurt, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper on the work.

“Ultimately, we think this will allow us to create a mobile web of smart sensors that uses cockroaches to collect and transmit information, such as finding survivors in a building that’s been destroyed by an earthquake.

“Building small-scale robots that can perform in such uncertain, dynamic conditions is enormously difficult,” Bozkurt says. “We decided to use biobotic cockroaches in place of robots, as designing robots at that scale is very challenging and cockroaches are experts at performing in such a hostile environment.”


Tourists paying to help fight Detroit's fires - Now you can pay to become a Detroit firefighter for a day. Seriously. -

Tourists paying to help fight Detroit's fires - Now you can pay to become a Detroit firefighter for a day.  Seriously. - 

Are you a firefighter from a sleepy corner of this planet?  Don't feel much like a man because you don't get much action?  Don't worry because you can now pay to become a Detroit firefighter for a day.  Seriously.

Now don't get all hot and bothered.  It's just in the planning stages.

Let me explain.  Since Mayor Bing gutted the fire service, the department has been forced to close down rigs and layoff men.  What to do?  Here's a firecracker of an idea.  Because Detroit for years has been a magnet for firefighter tourists riding along on the rigs, Commissioner Don Austin, according to his "ride-along training program" memo, is thinking, hey, why not put them to work and charge them for the privilege.

Think about it, you don't even have to pay their benefits, and what a great experience it will be for that guy from podunk.  You can fight fires.  It's really busy.  You can help pull hose.  You get to save babies.  You might even get to have breakfast with a confessed murderer waiting at the fire house for the cops to come and arrest him.

Of course, no tour would be complete without coming to the fire truck graveyard.

Sound great, but some people aren't so sure.

"What about when the roof falls on the guy that's out helping.  Who's going to take care of his liability part?" one firefighter said.

"That's not the answer, no.  We need firefighters, our laid off guys back.  That's what we need," said Darnell McLaurin with DFAA Local 344.

How does one of the laid off guys feel about being replaced by tourists?

"Tourists?  Wow.  Do they know what to do?" said Sam Shack.

We caught up with Fire Commissioner Don Austin at the fire truck repair shop.  He told us he would call us back.

Well, the commissioner never did get back with us, but Mayor Bing's people did by text message saying that was just an internal memo and there's nothing to discuss publicly.  Nothing.

But I can't blame the fire commissioner because after all those cutbacks, the only thing he does have in abundance is fire, and why not profit off it.
Fox 2 News Headlines

Texas to Open Highway With 85 MPH Speed Limit - 41-mile toll road between Austin and San Antonio -

Texas to Open Highway With 85 MPH Speed Limit - 41-mile toll road between Austin and San Antonio - 

Texas will soon open a stretch of highway with the highest speed limit in the country, giving eager drivers a chance to rip through a trip between two of the state's largest metropolitan areas.

The Texas Transportation Commission has approved a speed limit of 85 mph for a 41-mile toll road several miles east of the increasingly crowded Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio.

"I would love it," Austin resident Alan Guckian said. "Sometimes it's fun to just open it up."

But while some drivers will want to test their horsepower and radar detectors, others are asking if safety is taking a backseat.

"The research is clear that when speed limits go up, fatalities go up," said Russ Rader, a spokesman for the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. He said higher speed limits get people to their destinations faster, "but the trade-off is more crashes and more highway deaths."

A 2009 report in the American Journal of Public Health studied traffic fatalities in the U.S. from 1995 to 2005 and found that more than 12,500 deaths were attributable to increases in speed limits on all kinds of roads.

The study also said that rural highways showed a 9.1 percent increase in fatalities on roads where speed limits were raised, but did not cite specific numbers in those instances.

Most highways in the U.S. top out at 75 mph, and there are no longer any roads in the U.S. with no speed limit. Some highways in rural West Texas and Utah have 80 mph speed limits.

The Texas Legislature last year approved 85 mph limits for some new stretches of road. The strip of toll road running from Austin to Seguin, about 35 miles northeast of San Antonio, will be the first to allow that speed when it opens in November.

The Texas Transportation Commission, which is appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, approved the 85 mph speed limit at a public meeting on Aug. 30.


Researchers Warn Contact Lens Wearers Of Parasite That Gnaws Through Eyeballs... -

Researchers Warn Contact Lens Wearers Of Parasite That Gnaws Through Eyeballs... - 

Screen grab of an eye affected by the acanthamoeba parasite. (Credit: alancarlsonmd.com)

Researchers are warning about a dangerous parasite found in dust, as well as sea, pool and tap water, that could cause blindness to contact lens users.

The acanthamoeba parasite has the potential to gnaw through the eyeball of an exposed contact lens wearer, which results in blindness, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The Centers for Disease Control refers to the ocular infection as “acanthamoeba keratitis” on its official website.

“[The parasite] is a microscopic, free-living [amoeba], or amoeba … that can cause rare, but severe infections of the eye, skin, and central nervous system,” the site states. “The [amoeba] is found worldwide in the environment in water and soil … [and] can be spread to the eyes through contact lens use, cuts, or skin wounds or by being inhaled into the lungs.”

Symptoms reportedly include itchy, watery eyes, sensitivity to light, swelling in the upper eyelid, blurred vision, and extreme pain. Additionally, the damage to a sufferer’s vision could become permanent within a week of infection, optician Graeme Stevenson told the Daily Mail.

“Generally it leaves you with scarring. Your cornea is your window on life and if the infection penetrates in towards the third layer you are left with scarring, with a kind of frosty windscreen,” he explained to the Daily Mail, adding that approximately 75 reported infections per year could be prevented by patients following instructions from their doctors.

Stevenson added, “Usually a lot of it is non-compliance. It’s patients rinsing their case out in tap water or rinsing their lenses out in tap water. Potentially something as simple as swimming or showering while wearing their lenses increases the risk significantly.”

Regular lens care and cleaning is recommended for those wishing to avoid infection. Treatment options reportedly include eye drops every 20 minutes, day and night, or time in the hospital.


Bubble tea ‘pearls’ found to have PCB's -

Bubble tea ‘pearls’ found to have PCB's - 

Researchers in Germany are raising alarm bells about a popular drink.

Bubble tea, the sweet tea-based drink with tapioca pearls or “bubbles” mixed in, is found at tea shops around Toronto.

Researchers detected PCBs in samples of pearls taken from a store in a national chain in Germany, Manfred Möller of the Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine told the German newspaper Rheinische Post. Möller analyzes samples of dangerous additives in food.

German officials are investigating whether bubble tea violates the country’s food safety laws, the newspaper reported.

The manager of the store told Rheinische Post they buy the pearls from Taiwan. There’s no indication the same pearls are used in bubble tea sold in Toronto.

PCBs, short for polychlorinated biphenyls, are 209 similar chemicals once widely used in substances like ink and paint until they were banned in the 1970s.

Most people are exposed to low levels of PCBs because they’re found in many foods, Health Canada says. The chemicals don’t break down easily and can accumulate in the body over time.

High exposure to PCBs can put someone at a higher risk of getting cancer, particularly liver or kidney cancer, Health Canada says.

In August, Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment issueda warning about bubble tea.

It says the pearls, which have “a soft, rubbery consistency,” could become lodged in a child’s respiratory tract if sucked up through a straw.

The warning recommends businesses selling bubble tea make “a clear reference to this health risk.”


Are You Better Off? 40 Statistics That Will Absolutely Shock You -

Are You Better Off? 40 Statistics That Will Absolutely Shock You - 

Are you better off today than you were four years ago?  This is a question that comes up nearly every election.  This year the Romney campaign has even created a Twitter hashtag for it:#AreYouBetterOff.  The Democrats are making lots of speeches claiming that we are better off, and the Republicans are making lots of speeches claiming that we are not.  So are most Americans actually better off than they were four years ago?  Of course not.  One recent poll found that only 20 percent of Americans believe that they are better off financially than they were four years ago.  But the same thing was true four years ago as well.  Our economy has been in decline and the middle class has been shrinking for a very long time.  The Democrats want to put all of the blame on the Republicans for this, and the Republicans want to put all of the blame on the Democrats for this.  A recent CNN headline defiantly declared the following: “Decline of middle class not Obama’s fault“, and this is the kind of thing we are going to hear day after day until the election in November.  But obviously something has gone fundamentally wrong with our economy.  So who should we blame?

Sadly, you hear very little on the mainstream news networks or the talk radio shows about the institution that has the most power over our economy.  The Federal Reserve has far more power over our financial system than anyone else does, but the media and both political parties tell us that the Federal Reserve is “above politics” and that their “independence” must never be questioned.

Unfortunately, most Americans have gone along with that.

But the truth is that the debt-based financial system that the Federal Reserve is at the core of is absolutely central to our economic problems.  If you do not understand this, please see this article: “10 Things That Every American Should Know About The Federal Reserve“.

The Federal Reserve has done more to mess up our economy than anyone else has.

So shouldn’t they be held accountable?

That is a very good question.

Have you ever wondered why financial markets move so dramatically whenever Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gives a speech?

The same thing does not happen when Barack Obama gives a speech.

That is because the financial markets know who holds the real power in our financial system.

But during this election season the American people are told to put all of their attention on the “red team” and the “blue team”.  We are told that the two major political parties are philosophical opposites and that they want to take the United States is two completely different directions.

The “true believers” on the blue team are completely and totally convinced that Barack Obama will be able to rescue the economy and save America.

The “true believers” on the red team are completely and totally convinced that Mitt Romney will be able to rescue the economy and save America.

Once upon a time I was one of those political activists.  I was fully convinced that America could be turned around if we could just get enough Republicans into office.

But then I noticed that nothing really seemed to change no matter who was in power.  I became disillusioned as I realized that Republicans were doing things pretty much the exact same way that Democrats were doing them when they got into power.

Yes, there are some minor differences between the two parties on taxes and regulations.

If we elect one guy over the other our economy might decline at a slightly different pace.

But in the end both political parties are taking us to the exact same place.

Down the toilet.

I wish that wasn’t true.

But we need to be honest with ourselves….

-Both parties fully support the Federal Reserve.

-Both parties supported the nomination of Ben Bernanke to a second term as the head of the Federal Reserve.

-Both parties endlessly push the job-killing “free trade” agenda of the global elite.

-Both parties see nothing wrong with running absolutely enormous trade deficits with the rest of the world.

-Both parties supported TARP.

-Both parties supported the “economic stimulus” packages.

-Both parties supported the auto industry bailouts.

-Both parties have run up massive amounts of federal debt when in power.

-Both parties have greatly expanded the size of the federal government when in power.

-Both parties are full of control freaks and both parties have added more layers of ridiculous regulations to our already overburdened society when in power.

-Neither party supports getting rid of the income tax or the IRS.

-Neither party has any intention of doing anything to prevent the coming derivatives crisis that could bring down the entire global financial system.

-Both parties are absolutely showered with cash from the big Wall Street banks.

-Both parties think that the TSA is doing a great job.

-Both parties supported the NDAA and the renewal of the Patriot Act.

-Both parties have greatly expanded the unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens by government agencies.

-Both parties are extremely soft on illegal immigration.

-Both parties have treated military veterans horribly.

-Both parties are absolutely packed with corrupt politicians that are living the high life at your expense.

-Neither party plans to balance the federal budget in 2013 if their candidate wins the election.

-Neither party has a plan that will fix our deeply broken health care system.

-Neither party has any plans to shut down the Federal Reserve.  In fact, both parties see absolutely nothing wrong with our current system.

Of course this list could go on indefinitely, but hopefully you get the point.

But I can understand those that are deeply frustrated with Barack Obama and that desperately want to avoid another four years of his policies.

I also believe that Barack Obama has been the worst president in U.S. history and that he and his entire cabinet should immediately resign in disgrace.

However, the Republican party foolishly chose to nominate the Republican candidate that was most like Barack Obama to run against him.

That was an enormous mistake.

No matter what the talk radio shows are telling you, the truth is that this country will continue on pretty much the same path no matter who wins the election.

I know that statement is going to make a lot of people angry.  But it is the sad reality of what we are facing.

Even if you focus on just the economy, the truth is that Mitt Romney’s “five point plan” is almost exactly the same thing that Barack Obama has been saying.

Many Americans believe that since Mitt Romney made lots of money on Wall Street conducting leveraged buyouts of vulnerable corporations that he understands how to fix our economy.

Sadly, that is not the truth.

I have listened to many Romney speeches about the economy and I keep waiting for some pearls of wisdom, but I have found that he is just as clueless about the economy as our other recent presidents have been.

Look, I know that there are a lot of people out there that have good hearts that want to have someone that they can believe in.

They want to believe that things can get better.

They want to have hope.

And I don’t blame them for that.

I just think that it is time to pull our heads out of the sand and realize that things are not going to be getting any better.

A political savior on a white horse is not going to come riding in to save the day.

So by this point in the article a whole lot of Democrats and a whole lot of Republicans are very upset with me.

But I am not against you.  There is way too much hate in our society today.  Even if we disagree with someone else we can still love them.

I just think that it is very important that we understand that there is not going to be a solution to our problems on the national level and that our economy is headed for collapse no matter who gets elected.

The total amount of debt in the United States has risen from less than 2 trillion dollars to nearly 55 trillion dollars over the past 40 years, and there is nothing that Barack Obama or Mitt Romney can do to prevent the “correction” that is coming.

So are Americans better off than they were four years ago?

Of course not.

But things will soon get a whole lot worse no matter how the election turns out.

The following are 40 statistics that will absolutely shock you….

#1 During the time Barack Obama has been in the White House, median household income has fallen by 7.3 percent.

#2 Back in 2007, 19.2 percent of all American families had a net worth of zero or less than zero.  By 2010, that figure had soared to 32.5 percent.

#3 According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of American families dropped “from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010“.

#4 According to the Pew Research Center, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971.  Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are “middle income”.

#5 Back in 1970, middle income Americans brought home 62 percent of all income in the United States.  In 2010, middle income Americans only brought home 45 percent of all income.

#6 The unemployment rate in the United States has been above 8 percent for 42 straight months.

#7 The percentage of working age Americans with a job has been below 59 percent for 35 months in a row.

#8 In June, the number of Americans added to the food stamp rolls was nearly three times larger than the number of jobs added to the U.S. economy.

#9 Approximately 53 percent of all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed last year.

#10 Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the number of long-term unemployed Americans has risen from 2.7 million to 5.2 million.

#11 Today, the average duration of unemployment in the United States is about three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.

#12 According to a report that has just been released by the National Employment Law Project, 58 percent of the jobs that have been created since the end of the recession have been low paying jobs.

#13 According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, only 24.6 percent of all of the jobs in the United States are “good jobs”.

#14 In 2010, the number of jobs created at new businesses in the United States was less than half of what it was back in the year 2000.

#15 The average pay for self-employed Americans fell by $3,721 between 2006 and 2010.

#16 According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, America has lost an average of 15 manufacturing facilities a day over the last 10 years.  During 2010 it got even worse.  That year, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day shut down in the United States.

#17 At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

#18 While Barack Obama has been president the velocity of money has plunged to a post-World War II low.

#19 According to one recent survey, 85 percent of middle class Americans say that it is harder to maintain a middle class standard of living today compared with 10 years ago.

#20 Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

#21 There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

#22 Over the past decade, health insurance premiums have risen three times faster than wages have in the United States.

#23 Health insurance costs have risen by 23 percent since Barack Obama became president.

#24 As I wrote about yesterday, back in 1980 less than 10 percent of U.S. GDP was spent on health care but now about 18 percent of U.S. GDP goes toward health care.

#25 In a previous article, I noted that 62 percent of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.

#26 Family budgets in America are being stretched to the breaking point.  Today, 77 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.

#27 While Barack Obama has been president, U.S. home values have fallen by another 11 percent.

#28 More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.

#29 The United States was once ranked #1 in the world in GDP per capita.  Today we have slipped to #11.

#30 Since Barack Obama became president, the number of Americans living in poverty has risen by 6.4 million.

#31 The number of Americans on food stamps has grown from about 17 million in the year 2000 to 31.9 millionwhen Barack Obama entered the White House to 46.7 million today.

#32 Approximately one-fourth of all U.S. children are enrolled in the food stamp program at this point.

#33 It is being projected that half of all American children will be on food stamps at least once before they turn 18 years of age.

#34 It is estimated that child homelessness in the United States has risen by 33 percent since 2007.

#35 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, approximately one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.

#36 As I wrote about the other day, it is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

#37 It is being projected that the number of Americans on Medicare will grow from 50.7 million in 2012 to 73.2 million in 2025.

#38 The number of Americans receiving federal housing assistance increased by a whopping 42 percent between 2006 and 2010.

#39 At this point, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.

#40 Amazingly, more than half of all Americans are now at least partially financially dependent on the government.

So are you better off than you used to be or worse off?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….


Elementary school abolishes homework... - Instead, students are asked to read a book for about 30 minutes a night -

Elementary school abolishes homework... - Instead, students are asked to read a book for about 30 minutes a night - 

Gaithersburg Elementary School has abolished homework. Instead, students are being asked to read a book for about 30 minutes a night.

When Stephanie Brant came aboard as principal two years ago, she and her staff conducted a review of homework assignments.

"We really started evaluating the work that we sent students home with," explained Principal Brant. "We started looking, and really, it was a lot of worksheets. And the worksheets didn't match what we were doing instructionally in the classroom. It was just: we were giving students something because we felt we had to give them something."

So, Brant got permission from the school district to implement a radical experiment: the only homework assigned here is reading.

Fifth grader Ann Urrutia got regular homework here as a second-grader; then it went away. We asked her if she misses doing those math problems at home.

"We do [the math problems] in school," she explained. 

Urrutia estimates she reads about 30 minutes a night. 

That's the principal's goal: 30 minutes a night of reading for every student. Parents appear to be generally supportive of the abolition of traditional homework.

"When [my son] comes home, he has relaxing time. And I think kids need that relaxing time," said Luz Gomez, a parent of a third-grader at the school.

Principal Brant believes the generalized order to read something every night is sparking maturation and motivation among many students.

Parent Angela Atherton, who has a third grade daughter at Gaithersburg, said, last year, "She actually came home with a calendar. And so every night she would check off that she had done her reading homework."

In most elementary schools, the class (as a group) goes to the library once a week. Each kid picks out about two books. The kids tend to finish the books in the first night or two, and then the books spend the rest of the week in the child's backpack waiting for the next class trip to the library.

At Gaithersburg Elementary, students are allowed hall passes to go to the library every day, and they wind up reading many more books.

Principal Brant knows this "reading only" homework policy runs a risk, but so far, the standardized test scores remain solid. In the most recent round of Maryland proficiency exams (2010-2011), fifth graders at Gaithersburg Elementary School scored about 72 percent proficiency in math and about 81 percent proficiency in reading.

DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG

Read more: http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/19477877/gaithersburg-elementary-school-abolishes-homework

Why is Putin stockpiling gold? - is buying about half a billion dollars’ worth every month -

Why is Putin stockpiling gold? - is buying about half a billion dollars’ worth every month - 

I can’t imagine it means anything cheerful that Vladimir Putin, the Russian czar, is stockpiling gold as fast as he can get his hands on it.

According to the World Gold Council, Russia has more than doubled its gold reserves in the past five years. Putin has taken advantage of the financial crisis to build the world’s fifth-biggest gold pile in a handful of years, and is buying about half a billion dollars’ worth every month.

It emerged last month that financial gurus George Soros and John Paulson had also increased their bullion exposure, but it’s Putin that’s really caught my eye.

No one else in the world plays global power politics as ruthlessly as Russia’s chilling strongman, the man who effectively stole a Super Bowl ring from Bob Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, when they met in Russia some years ago.

Putin’s moves may matter to your finances, because there are two ways to look at gold.

On the one hand, it’s an investment that by most modern standards seems to make no sense. It generates no cash flow and serves no practical purpose. Warren Buffett has pointed out that we dig it out of one hole in the ground only to stick it in another, and anyone watching this from Mars would be very confused.

You can forget claims that it’s “real” money. There’s no such thing. Money is just an accounting device, a way of keeping track of how much each of us produces and consumes. Gold is a shiny and somewhat tacky looking metal that is malleable, durable and heavy. A recent research paper by Duke University’s Campbell Harvey and co-author Claude Erb raised serious questions about most of the arguments in favor of gold as an investment.

But there’s another way to look at gold: As the most liquid reserve in times of turmoil, or worse.

The big story of our era is not that the Spanish government is broke, nor is it that Paul Ryan apparently feels the need to embellish his running record. It’s that the United States, which has dominated the world’s economy for several lifetimes, is in relative decline.

As was first reported here in April of last year, according to International Monetary Fund calculations, the U.S. is on track to lose its status as the world’s biggest economy—when measured in real, purchasing-power terms—to China by 2017.

We will soon be the first people in two hundred years to live in a world not dominated by either Pax Americana or Pax Britannica. This sort of changing of the guard has never been peaceful. The declines of the Spanish, French and British empires were all accompanied by conflict. The decline of British hegemony was a leading cause of the First and Second World Wars.

What will happen as the U.S. loses its pre-eminence?

Maybe this will turn out better than similar episodes in the past. Maybe the Chinese will embrace an open society and the rule of law. If you believe that, there is probably no reason to hold any gold.


Twitter is ruining some Twitter-obsessed celebrities' lives - Low self esteem, rehab, and even suicide attempts -

Twitter is ruining some Twitter-obsessed celebrities' lives - Low self esteem, rehab, and even suicide attempts - 

Twitter is ruining some Twitter-obsessed celebrities' lives. Low self esteem, rehab, and even suicide attempts have been blamed on the access that the social network gives “fans” to stars.
Stars, that is, who are unable to just unsubscribe and turn it off.
Charlotte Dawson, one of the judges on “Australia’s Next Top Model” was reportedly driven to attempt suicide after a relentless series of bullying tweets – including hundred of tweets encouraging Dawson to kill herself.
“Hope this ends the misery,” read Dawson’s last series of tweets on August 29, shortly before she was hospitalized. “You win x.”
After an ugly exchange with two of her Twitter followers who supported her husband's ex-wife Brandi Glanville, country star LeAnn Rimes voluntarily checked herself into an undisclosed facility one day after her 30th birthday to "to learn and develop coping mechanisms." 
"I've been built up and torn down, built up and torn down," Rimes told People magazine. "It's been difficult to tune people out, especially in the last few years." 
'One time, someone tweeted to me, ‘I hope you die of breast cancer like your mother did’
- 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' star Kyle Richards
“I felt bad hearing about LeAnn Rimes – and, of course – I know Brandi,” “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Kyle Richards told FoxNews.com. “So, I’ve been watching this closely. My heart really does go out to LeAnn because I feel bad for anybody who goes through something like that. I know how bad it can make you feel.”
Rimes, who has a habit of posting provocative bikini pictures of herself on Twitter, engaged with an online war with two of her followers, Kimberly Smiley and Lexi Smiley, which exploded when it went offline this past spring.
In March, Rimes had a friend connect her over the phone with the Smileys in an attempt to stop some the negative tweets. Instead, the mother/daughter duo allegedly posted excerpts from the conversation on the Internet. (It is illegal in California for a party to record a phone call without the other person's knowledge.)
On August 30, Rimes sued the Smileys for more than $25,000 in damages for painting her in a "false and negative light” and describing the “Blue” singer as “crazy and delusional.”
Richards, who tweets under the handle @KyleRichards18, said she has also had first-hand experience with Twitter bullies.
“One time, someone tweeted to me, ‘I hope you die of breast cancer like your mother did,’” Richards explained. “And then they started tweeting all of my children, ‘I hope you die of breast cancer like your grandmother did.’ Then, my husband came home and I was sobbing in front of the computer. And he says, ‘You cannot look at this – who cares what these people think.’ I know that logically, but still – it hurts so badly. I was so overwhelmed by thinking that there were people out there who could even talk to someone like that. It was too much for me. When it first started to happen, I would reply (to the bully) and then people would (tweet), ‘Who cares, don’t pay attention to that,’ and logically, I know that, but it’s impossible because you want to shake some sense into these people and say, ‘I’m a human being, too.’”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/09/06/dark-side-twitter-stars-blame-tweets-on-rehab-low-self-esteem-even-attempted/?intcmp=features