Thursday, November 30, 2006

Chilean boy born with fetus in his stomach

SANTIAGO, Chile - A boy has been born in Chile with a fetus in his stomach in what doctors said was a rare case of "fetus in fetu" in which one twin becomes trapped inside another during pregnancy and continues to grow inside it.

Doctors carried out a scan on the boy's mother shortly before she gave birth on Nov. 15 in the southern city of Temuco and noticed the 4-inch-long fetus inside the boy's abdomen.

It had limbs and a partially developed spinal cord but no head and stood no chance of survival, doctors said. After the birth, doctors operated and removed the fetus from the boy's stomach. The boy, who has not been named, was recovering at Temuco's Hernan Henriquez hospital.

"It's very rare," said Maria Angelica Belmar, head of the hospital's neonatal wing, speaking of fetus in fetu cases.

"It occurs in only one in every 500,000 live births," she told Reuters, adding that the number of cases recorded worldwide was fewer than 90. - msnbc

It is difficult for some people to live a normal life without a head.

Professor Devises New Form of Solar Cell

A University of Idaho professor is devising a new form of solar cell she says could lead to a breakthrough that would make solar energy commercially feasible. Chemist Pam Shapiro, her graduate students and her colleagues at the university are working on creating better materials and combining them in new ways that could more than double the efficiency of present solar cells. If successful, she said the new technology could help the U.S. break its oil dependency.

"People are trying to make solar cells that are more efficient," Shapiro told The Lewiston Tribune. "But it's so much cheaper to use fossil fuels, despite all the obvious advantages of solar cell technology."

So far, Shapiro's team has created a compound called a "quantum dot" that is made of elements that include copper, indium and selenium. Shapiro said that the quantum dots would be embedded between layers of a solar cell and would absorb energy that is otherwise wasted due to overheating.

"These solar cells based on quantum dots aim to make better use of that excess energy," Shapiro said.

She said her team has created the quantum dots, but that a working prototype is years away and completion will likely require the combined skills and knowledge of her colleagues at the school. - physorg

The “Deadlies”: Atomic Automobile

ford_nucleon.jpgIn our competition to find "Deadlies" -- technology which may be feasible but still looks like a really bad idea -- there have been plenty of atomic nominations. In the 50's and 60's there were plans for nuclear powered ships, trains, aircraft, missiles and spaceships which have attracted nominations for the "Deadlies." But nobody has mentioned the Atomic Automobile yet.

These days we're a bit wary about nuclear power, but back in it's heyday it was selling like (radioactive) hot cakes. Nuclear power was the future, it was cleaner than fossil fuels, endlessly abundant and so inexpensive that Lewis Strauss, Chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, forecast that: "It is not too much to expect that our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter."

... So when the Atomic Age really got under way in 1958 it was no surprise when the Ford Nucleon concept car was rolled out. This had the pasenger compartment placed well forward to keep away from the nuclear plant at the back. The company suggested that the Nucleon would travel 5,000 miles before needing to have the atomic core replaced at a charging station, the future equivalent of a gas station. Unsurprisingly enough, the car never went beyond concept stage. - deftech

Early sketch of Stonehenge found

hengedrawing372.jpgThey got the date wrong by some 3,000 years, but the oldest detailed drawing of Stonehenge, apparently based on first hand observation, has turned up in a 15th century manuscript.The little sketch is a bird's eye view of the stones, and shows the great trilithons, the biggest stones in the monument, each made of two pillars capped with a third stone lintel, which stand in a horseshoe in the centre of the circle. Only three are now standing, but the drawing, found in Douai, northern France, suggests that in the 15th century four of the original five survived.

In the Scala Mundi, the Chronicle of the World, Merlin is given credit for building Stonehenge between 480 and 486, when the Latin text says he "not by force, but by art, brought and erected the giant's ring from Ireland". Modern science suggests that the stones went up from 2,500 BC, with the bluestone outer circle somehow transported from west Wales, and the double decker bus-size sarsen stones dragged 30 miles across Salisbury plain. - guarduk


One of a Kind. Originally used on Miami Vice and Nash Bridges TV shows. Purchased by the American Institute of Parapsychology for investigations of allegedly haunted locations! - ebay 0553_12.JPG

Long Lost Star Catalog Found in Plain Sight

mystmon_starcat_01.jpgThe long lost star catalog of Hipparchus has been under our noses ? or, more accurately, slightly above them ? for more than 1,800 years.

Sitting atop the broad shoulders of a seven-foot statue known as the Farnese Atlas is a sky globe depicting the nighttime sky. Scientists have been able to match the constellations shown on the globe with descriptions from Hipparchus?s only surviving work, Commentaries, and have concluded that this is a marble copy of his star catalog.

Hipparchus, who was Greek, was one of the greatest of the ancient astronomers and did his most important work between 140-125 BC. He calculated the length of the year to within six and a half minutes, developed a scale to rate the brightness of stars, was the first to record a nova, theorized on the motions of the Sun and Moon, provided high quality planetary observations and created the first ever catalog of 1,000 stars.

Scientists Levitate Small Animals

Scientists have now levitated small live animals using sounds that are, well, uplifting.

061129_levitate_ladybug_01.jpg 061129_levitate_beetle_01.jpg In the past, researchers at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi'an, China, used ultrasound fields to successfully levitate globs of the heaviest solid and liquid?iridium and mercury, respectively. The aim of their work is to learn how to manufacture everything from pharmaceuticals to alloys without the aid of containers. At times compounds are too corrosive for containers to hold, or they react with containers in other undesirable ways.

"An interesting question is, 'What will happen if a living animal is put into the acoustic field?' Will it also be stably levitated?" researcher Wenjun Xie, a materials physicist at Northwestern Polytechnical University, told LiveScience.

Xie and his colleagues employed an ultrasound emitter and reflector that generated a sound pressure field between them. The emitter produced roughly 20-millimeter-wavelength sounds, meaning it could in theory levitate objects half that wavelength or less.

After the investigators got the ultrasound field going, they used tweezers to carefully place animals between the emitter and reflector. The scientists found they could float ants, beetles, spiders, ladybugs, bees, tadpoles and fish up to a little more than a third of an inch long in midair. When they levitated the fish and tadpole, the researchers added water to the ultrasound field every minute via syringe.


UFO Nut Sells Spy Poison Online

Polonium-210, which experts say is many times more deadly than cyanide, can be bought legally through United Nuclear Scientific Supplies, a mail-order company that sells through the Web, based in Sandia Park, N.M. Chemcial companies sell the Polonium-210 legally for industrial use, such as removing static electricity from machinery. United Nuclear claims that it's "currently the only legal Alpha source available without a license."

ff_192_chem1_f.jpgThe type of Polonium-210 sold emits alpha radiation, which can't penetrate the skin, but is deadly if swallowed, depending on the amount ingested. The Polonium available on United Nuclear's site can be purchased without a license because the level of radioactivity, 0.1 microcurie, does not pose a danger, a spokesman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

"At that level, it's exempt from licenses," NRC spokesman David McIntyre said. "At any exempt quantity, it's not considered a health hazard."

Such small amounts of Polonium could be used to calibrate devices used to detect radiation, McIntyre said. If used for that purpose, the material would remain in its sealed container, and never actually handled.

United Nuclear is run by Bob Lazar, who, some 20 years ago, claimed to have worked on alien spaceships on a secret military base in Nevada...

In April, United Nuclear was ordered by the Department of Justice to stop selling chemicals that it claimed could be used to make explosives, the Albuquerque Journal reported. At the time, Lazar said he was fighting the legal challenge.

On the site, United Nuclear says it will not sell anything illegal, including explosives or the materials to make explosives. "Because our products can be potentially hazardous in the wrong hands, we will occasionally terminate and refund orders, if we feel you are a juvenile posing as an adult, inexperienced with the materials ordered, or using our products to make any sort of explosive device," the company says.

Wired ran a story about Lazar and other science salesmen a few months back. Somehow, the Area 51 stuff never made it into the piece.

UPDATE 11:50 AM: Be sure to check out Arms Control Wonk's take on the polonium poison mystery.

UPDATE 1:55 PM: "Authorities grounded three British Airways jetliners in London and Moscow on Wednesday and drew up plans to contact thousands of airplane passengers as they broadened their investigation into the radiation poisoning death of a former Russian spy," the AP says. "Two planes at London's Heathrow Airport tested positive for traces of radiation, a third plane has been taken out of service in Moscow awaiting examination."

"The radioactive material that killed a former Russian spy in Britain can be bought on the Internet for $69," Information Week is reporting. - detch

Mysteries of computer from 65BC are solved

Mechanism hailed as more valuable than Mona Lisa, Device with gear wheels tracked sun and moon

A 2,000-year-old mechanical computer salvaged from a Roman shipwreck has astounded scientists who have finally unravelled the secrets of how the sophisticated device works.

antikythera2_372x192.jpgThe machine was lost among cargo in 65BC when the ship carrying it sank in 42m of water off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera. By chance, in 1900, a sponge diver called Elias Stadiatos discovered the wreck and recovered statues and other artifacts from the site.

The machine first came to light when an archaeologist working on the recovered objects noticed that a lump of rock had a gear wheel embedded in it. Closer inspection of material brought up from the stricken ship subsequently revealed 80 pieces of gear wheels, dials, clock-like hands and a wooden and bronze casing bearing ancient Greek inscriptions.

Since its discovery, scientists have been trying to reconstruct the device, which is now known to be an astronomical calendar capable of tracking with remarkable precision the position of the sun, several heavenly bodies and the phases of the moon. Experts believe it to be the earliest-known device to use gear wheels and by far the most sophisticated object to be found from the ancient and medieval periods. 150px-nama_machine_danticythere_7.jpg

150px-nama_machine_danticythere_5.jpgUsing modern computer x-ray tomography and high resolution surface scanning, a team led by Mike Edmunds and Tony Freeth at Cardiff University peered inside fragments of the crust-encased mechanism and read the faintest inscriptions that once covered the outer casing of the machine. Detailed imaging of the mechanism suggests it dates back to 150-100 BC and had 37 gear wheels enabling it to follow the movements of the moon and the sun through the zodiac, predict eclipses and even recreate the irregular orbit of the moon. The motion, known as the first lunar anomaly, was developed by the astronomer Hipparcus of Rhodes in the 2nd century BC, and he may have been consulted in the machine's construction, the scientists speculate.

Remarkably, scans showed the device uses a differential gear, which was previously believed to have been invented in the 16th century. The level of miniaturisation and complexity of its parts is comparable to that of 18th century clocks.

Some researchers believe the machine, known as the Antikythera Mechanism, may have been among other treasure looted from Rhodes that was en route to Rome for a celebration staged by Julius Caesar.

One of the remaining mysteries is why the Greek technology invented for the machine seemed to disappear. No other civilisation is believed to have created anything as complex for another 1,000 years. One explanation could be that bronze was often recycled in the period the device was made, so many artefacts from that time have long ago been melted down and erased from the archaelogical record. The fateful sinking of the ship carrying the Antikythera Mechanism may have inadvertently preserved it. "This device is extraordinary, the only thing of its kind," said Professor Edmunds. "The astronomy is exactly right ... in terms of historic and scarcity value, I have to regard this mechanism as being more valuable than the Mona Lisa." The research, which appears in the journal Nature today, was carried out with scientists at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens where the mechanism is held and the universities of Athens and Thessaloniki. - guarduk

Score one for we ancient advanced civilizations believers. What does it mean to say the astronomy is exactly right? Does the accuracy of this device show knowledge of the planets which we think was not available at that time?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

U.S. Will Pay $2 Million to Lawyer Wrongly Jailed

The federal government agreed to pay $2 million Wednesday to an Oregon lawyer wrongly jailed in connection with the 2004 terrorist bombings in Madrid, and it issued a formal apology to him and his family. ...30settle.jpgThe unusual settlement caps a two-and-a-half-year ordeal that saw the lawyer, Brandon Mayfield, go from being a suspected terrorist operative to a symbol, in the eyes of his supporters, of government overzealousness in the war on terrorism.

?The United States of America apologizes to Mr. Brandon Mayfield and his family for the suffering caused? by his mistaken arrest, the government?s apology began. It added that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which erroneously linked him to the Madrid bombs through a fingerprinting mistake, had taken steps ?to ensure that what happened to Mr. Mayfield and the Mayfield family does not happen again.?

At an emotional news conference in Portland announcing the settlement, Mr. Mayfield said he and his wife, an Egyptian immigrant, and their three children still suffered from the scars left by the government?s surveillance of him and his jailing for two weeks in May 2004.

?The horrific pain, torture and humiliation that this has caused myself and my family is hard to put into words,? said Mr. Mayfield, an American-born convert to Islam and a former lieutenant in the Army.

?The days, weeks and months following my arrest,? he said, ?were some of the darkest we have had to endure. I personally was subject to lockdown, strip searches, sleep deprivation, unsanitary living conditions, shackles and chains, threats, physical pain and humiliation.? - nytimes

Does he get two full weeks to chain up and beat the living crap out of the people who were involved in wrongly abusing him? That would be nice in addition to the money. In the big picture, something is broken. Bush has inserted a terror virus into our justice system. It is a loophole, a back door which allows those in power to jail forever and torture anyone. Yet now, with the Democrats in power in congress, we see a little justice for one person. By the way, these are $2 million of your tax dollars being paid out to one person due to Government incompetence which led to his false imprisonment and physical abuse.

Spy case focus turns to mysterious Italian

THE focus of the inquiry into the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko shifted towards his Italian contact today, amid suggestions that he may have had a hand in his poisoning.

Mario Scaramella was under police guard in a safe house after returning to London from Rome for tests to determine whether he was contaminated by the same radioactive polonium 210 that was found in Litvinenko's body.

324941-profesor-mario-scaramella.jpgThe Italian academic met Litvinenko at a central London sushi bar on November 1. Litvinenko fell ill soon afterwards and died on November 23 and, according to one of his friends, believed Scaramella may have been responsible.

"When I talked to Alexander around 12 November about who poisoned him, we were talking only about the Italian guy Mario," Yuri Felshtinsky, co-author of Litvinenko's book Blowing Up Russia: The Terror From Within told The Sun newspaper.

"He was sure at this time it was Mario. He was telling me that he was in a scheme," the newspaper quoted him as saying. Mr Scaramella has denied any involvement in the poisoning and said the meeting was to discuss an alleged Russian secret services "hit list" on which both their names featured. - more

If Professor Mario did it, the irony is interesting: A guy who has you on his hit list asks to meet you to discuss the fact that you are on a hit list. Then he poisons you to death. Deception sucks. Sometimes it even kills.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Lightning Strikes Rare White Buffalo

Lightning on Sunday night struck and killed two buffalo cows and three buffalo calves, including a white buffalo-Miracle's Second Chance-on the Heider farm south of Janesville, Dave Heider said this morning.

Heider discovered the five dead buffalo when he went to check on the animals this morning before going to work. ... White buffalo are extremely rare and are said to fulfill a Native American legend foretelling peace. - more

Report: 11 EU Countries Knew of Secret CIA Prisons

01810103_100.jpg Germany and 10 other states knew about secret CIA prisons in Europe, and obstructed investigations into the case, the European Parliament said in a report.There were 11 European countries knew about secret US jails for terror suspects and obstructed the investigation into the transport and illegal detention of prisoners within Europe, European Parliament committee said in a draft report on Tuesday. ... The draft, which was based on classified documents and secret informants, noted at least at least 1,245 suspicious flights through European air space or stopovers at European airports that took place at the request of the CIA.

The report was the result of an investigation by a special committee of the European Parliament into "extraordinary rendition" -- the US practice of transporting terrorist suspects to third countries for questioning. ...

02026018_100.jpgMeanwhile, a US appeals court in the state of Virginia has agreed to hear the case of German-Lebanese citizen Khaled el-Masri against ex-CIA chief George Tenet. El-Masri accused the CIA of taking prison in Afghanistan, where he was allegedly beaten, in a case of mistaken identity.El-Masri is seeking damages of at least 75,000 dollars on allegations of unlawful capture, imprisonment, torture and other human rights violations. A decision is expected next week, a spokesman for the Richmond court said. - more

If you have nothing to hide, you shouldn't mind a little torture to prove you are innocent, right? How many tortured people are represented by those 1200+ flights?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hey People.

I'm taking a bit of a break from updating this site due to the heavy but fun work I'm doing on the upcoming Burlesque show. Stay tuned. More stuff soon! - Xeno

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Embeded Audio Test

Yes! I finally got Firefox 2.0 to pay attention to the autoplay=false tag by changing FALSE to 0 in the code. What this means is you can load this page without hearing the audio until you press PLAY. (PS. Try the Media Player Connectivity plug in for Firefox.) IE 7 also works as expected if you allow the Windows Media player Active X control to load.

Embed test:

[wma width="320" height="50"][/wma]

Russia sends missiles to Iran

torm1.jpgRussia has begun delivery of Tor-M1 air defense missile systems to Iran, a Defense Ministry official said Friday, confirming that Moscow would proceed with arms deals with Tehran in spite of U.S. criticism. ...
Ministry officials have previously said Moscow would supply 29 of the sophisticated missile systems to Iran under a $700 million (565 million euros) contract, according to Russian media reports.

The United States called on all countries last spring to stop all arms exports to Iran, as well as ending all nuclear cooperation with it to put pressure on Tehran to halt uranium enrichment activities. - cnn

Iraq conflict passes WWII

THEY were America's days of infamy, 60 years apart - Pearl Harbour and 240px-london_anti-war_protest_banners.jpgSeptember 11. The first led the US into World War II, a conflict it endured for 1348 days; the second was followed by a war that from tomorrow will have lasted even longer.

America's involvement in Iraq will reach that milestone at a time when the clamour for withdrawal has never been louder, and the possibility of achieving it has never seemed so difficult. The decisive end of World War II in 1945 delivers no lessons that could be applied to a very different war in a very different era.

If anything, things seem to be getting worse, the options less appealing. Baghdad is reeling from the deadliest assault on Iraqi civilians since the start of the US invasion in March 2003. At least 200 people died and more than 250 were injured after six car bombs, mortar attacks and missiles battered the Shiite Muslim slum of Sadr City.

Plumes of black smoke and anguished screams rose above a chaotic landscape of flames and charred cars, witnesses said. - more

Why do you think we all marched in protest on Feb 15, 2003? We told you this would happen, but Bush and the rest of you flag-waving yahoos didn't listen. You called your smart liberal democrat friends unpatriotic. You ignored democratic senator's warnings. You thought war was cool. You were misled into seeking revenge on a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. So, here we are. Innocent people burned alive, torture, rape, murder. Horrible. The invasion of Iraq officially began March 20, 2003. Here are some comments from October 2002:
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE): I have not been very enamored with the way half this administration has gone about this effort without thoroughly going into what happens the day after Saddam is down. ? The president said that, ?What could be worse than Saddam?? Well, what could be worse than Saddam would be a major civil war in the region. [CNN Larry King Live, 10/9/02]

Biden is smart and well informed. Read what he is saying now about Iraq. Others Bush ignored:
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV): What plans do we have to prevent Iraq from breaking up and descending into civil war? [Congressional Record, S10006-10007, 10/7/02]

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD): The end of Saddam Hussein could mean the start of a civil war. [Congressional Record, S10078, 10/8/02] - thinkprog

"... an occupation force's spokesman, a certain Dan Senor... warned of civil war in Iraq at an Anglo-American press-conference in 2003." - news

JANUARY 22, 2004: CIA officers warn of civil war. CIA officers in Iraq are warning that the country may be on a path to civil war, current and former U.S. officials said Wednesday, starkly contradicting the upbeat assessment that President Bush gave in his State of the Union address. [Knight-Ridder, 1/22/04]

See the timeline.

Saying ‘no’ to Gandalf cost Sir Sean up to ?225 million

25seab.jpgSEAN Connery turned down the largest paycheck in cinema history when he refused an offer to play Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it has emerged.

If the actor had put on the long white beard and clasped the wizard's staff as the hero of Middle Earth he would have earned as much as ?225 million.

Peter Jackson, the director of the fantasy trilogy, has revealed that New Line Cinema, the production company behind the films, offered the Scottish actor between 10 and 15 per cent of worldwide box office takings to secure his participation.

Too bad. Sir Sean would have made a great wizard. But his choice is obvious because it doesn't fit his other characters. I mean, Gandalf never gets the girl, does he?

Cartoonist storms Herald building with fake gun, is captured

An editorial cartoonist seemingly armed with a submachine gun surrendered to a SWAT squad Friday after a three-hour standoff in the newsroom of El Nuevo Herald, The Miami Herald Media Company's Spanish-language newspaper.

No one was injured -- and the gun turned out to be fake. Cartoonist Jos? Varela, 50, was charged with aggravated assault. Clad in camouflage, and carrying a toy submachine gun and a hunting knife, he had stormed the sixth-floor newsroom, then barricaded himself in the office of El Nuevo Herald Executive Editor Humberto Castell?. Until he surrendered, everyone thought the gun was real. - pbp

"I'm here to unmask the true conflicts in the newspaper," he said. - ctrib

Unmask? Looks more like you are creating conflicts, Jose. Unmasking is done with cartoons every day. Toy machine-gun-building-storming is more of a ticket to police assisted suicide. Anyway, this happened Friday, the day after a real hostage situation which ended badly in another city:
A slain woman's relatives were upset Friday by the way police handled a 23-hour Thanksgiving Day standoff in her apartment building that ended with a gunman killing the 22-year-old and himself. ... Chicago ... South Shore apartment where Lance Johnson, 21, took Tasha Cooks, 22, hostage and then shot her and himself. - sea

Sneak peek at Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


Friday, November 24, 2006

Unusual Doe With Antlers Shot ( Alien Animal Experiments? )

10371619_320x240.jpgA Missouri hunter shoots a 28-point deer that just happens to be a doe.

"This doe jumped the fence, and I knew it didn't look exactly right," Becker said. "I thought about not shooting it, but then thought, 'We don't need it in the gene pool.'"

...The doe Howard Becker of Sarcoxie, Mo., shot is a unique animal in many ways. Antlers are normally only found on bucks. Also, the antlers were low-hanging, which is rare. And the antlers seemed to have developed randomly, rather than branching off another main antler. - kcra


Soon afterwards, the hunter's rectum was removed with a nutrino laser by aliens and he was left to bleed to death in a field. The Grey Alien who picked him had coincidentally also genetically engineered the horns on the doe as a prank. The Grey projected telepathically to his companion on the dark side of the moon: "6 billion humans. We didn't need this one in the gene pool."

Dog Headed People

180px-saint_christopher_cynocephalus.gifThe condition of cynocephaly, having the head of a dog ? or of a jackal? is familiar to anyone who has looked at Egyptian inscriptions. Cynocephalus is a Greek word, literally meaning "dog-head", for a sacred Egyptian baboon with the face of a dog. (The binomial name for the Yellow Baboon is Papio cynocephalus, while Cynocephalus has also been adopted as the genus name for an Asian arboreal gliding mammal also known as a Colugo.)

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, which has not downgraded Saint Christopher, certain icons covertly identify him with the head of a dog. The background to the dog-headed Christopher myth is laid in the reign of the Emperor Diocletian, when a man named Reprebus Rebrebus or Reprobus (the "scoundrel") was captured in combat against tribes to the west of Egypt in Cyrenaica, and was assigned to the numerus Marmaritarum or "Unit of the Marmaritae", which suggests an otherwise-unidentified "Marmaritae" perhaps the same as the Marmaricae berber tribe of Cyrenaica. He was reported to be of enormous size, with the head of a dog instead of a man, apparently characteristic of the Marmaritae.

More on this topic at cryptomundo.

Satellite Spots ‘Glowing’ Ocean

water200.jpgFor hundreds of years, ship captains in the Indian Ocean have been writing of nighttime voyages through eerie stretches of water -- areas where the surface of the ocean glowed so brightly that sailors could read books on deck at midnight. These milky waters were said to cover thousands of square miles.

Marine biologists used to ignore these kinds of reports. Now they don't. A group of satellite photos has changed their minds. - npr

Putin accused from deathbed

A former Russian spy who died in an apparent poisoning signed a statement on his deathbed blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin and labeling him "as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed."spy.jpgThe British government said Alexander Litvinenko's death was linked to a radioactive substance, polonium-210, in his body. Home Secretary John Reid, the country's top law-and-order official, said experts had been called in to search for "residual radioactive material" at a number of locations.

Litvinenko's statement, read to reporters outside the hospital where the former spy died, accused the Russian leader of having "no respect for life, liberty or any civilized value."

Litvinenko's friend and spokesman Alex Goldfarb said the former spy had dictated the statement before he lost consciousness Tuesday, and signed it in the presence of his wife, Marina.

Putin's government strongly denied involvement. ... "It's so silly and unbelievable that it's not worth comment," said Peskov in Helsinki, Finland, where Putin is at a summit with European Union leaders. ... Doctors said the cause of his illness remained a mystery, discounting an earlier theory that the 43-year-old father of three had been poisoned with the toxic metal thallium or a radioactive substance.

... Friend Andrei Nekrasov, who spoke to Litvinenko just before he lost consciousness, said he had accused Russian intelligence services of poisoning him. Friends said Litvinenko had been on a quest to uncover corruption in Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSB, and unmask the killers of another trenchant critic of the Putin government, journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

"He was completely convinced it was the FSB. There was no doubt in his mind who it was," Nekrasov told Associated Press. He said Litvinenko had told him: "The bastards got me, but they won't get everybody." Litvinenko told police that he believed he had been poisoned November 1, while investigating the slaying of Politkovskaya.

His hair fell out, his throat became swollen and his immune and nervous systems were severely damaged. - standard

See also: TimesUK
Scotland Yard confirmed that traces of the element, an extremely rare chemical that is relatively harmless unless ingested, inhaled or otherwise introduced to the bloodstream, had been found at Litvinenko's home in Muswell Hill, North London, and at the sushi bar in Piccadilly and the Millenium Mayfair hotel in Grosvenor Square, where the former spy held two meetings hours before falling ill. ... The identity of the poison dramatically catalysed the investigation into Litvinenko's death. Chemists said that a fatal dose of polonium could only be produced artificially, by a particle accelerator or nuclear reactor.

"This is not some random killing. This is not a tool chosen by a group of amateurs. These people had some serious resources behind them," Dr Andrea Sella, a lecturer in chemistry at University College London, told Reuters.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Fangs don’t feign

01fossils21.jpgDiscovered a century ago this coming December, Hawver Cave's mysteries are being unlocked again.

Gene Lorance, a state Department of Parks environmental resource specialist, has been overseeing a project for the past 1? years that is shedding renewed light on a cave that yielded a treasure trove of prehistoric animal bones from 1906 to 1910 but has been out of the public eye since then.

In recent weeks, the Parks Department has moved to install gates on the entranceways to limestone-mining tunnels leading to the storied cave. Lorance said that those gates could eventually swing open to the public for tours, with an electric train taking passengers into its darkened reaches. - abj

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Private: Les Slip De Vol - Rehearsal from Nov 18 & 19

Hey All,

Here is some "making of" footage from the Burleque show in Old Sacramento (Sacramento, CA) I'm working on right now. What a crazy bunch! Will it all come together in time: dancing, music, costumes, lights? At this point I don't know, but we are having a blast anyway. This is only part of the cast and most of the stuff you'll see is not in the show. It is just preparation, character development and us goofing off.


UPDATE: Hmmm. I guess not. YouTube rejected my video because it was too long. Crud. Okay, I'll try to edit it down and post again, but probably not until next week. It was only about 20 MB and they allow videos up to 100MB so I don't see why they care how long it is. Dumb rule. I've applied for a Director account which has no length limit. They want to know where I live under penalty of perjury. Screw that. I live on Earth. Come find me if you want. You are not invited to my house, so my street address is none of your damn business, YouTube. I used my real street address for my real PO Box. We'll see if they approve my director account or not. It should be a crime (stalking) for someone to demand your street address unless they are invited to your house.

Scientists Revise Map of Human Genome

Scientists have revised the map of the human genome, saying human beings are genetically more complex than previously thought. The discovery has surprised experts who say it is likely to transform medical research. VOA's Jessica Berman reports.

0890-3670-050314-14-1-1.jpgIn 2000, the Human Genome Project unveiled a road map of the six billion chemical bases, or alphabet molecules, that make up the body's genetic structure called DNA.

The DNA encodes for 30,000 genes or proteins which are responsible for every physical characteristic in the body, including eye and hair color. At the time, scientists said all humans could be 99.9 percent genetically identical.

But as they peered more deeply into the DNA of unrelated individuals, researchers made a startling discovery - large segments of their DNA, from thousands to millions of units, varied greatly, a phenomenon called copy number variations, or CNVs.

The discovery means that the genes of any given individual are at least 10 to 12 percent different from those of another human. "This was really quite startling and shocking," said Stephen Scherer. "So, it adds a whole new type of variation for us to consider in disease mapping studies."

Each person inherits 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent, which means that genes usually come in pairs. But not always, according to Scherer.

"What we found in this study of 270 individuals worldwide is that up to 10 percent of the genes are actually present varying from the general two that we usually see," he said. "So, in some cases there's one. In some cases there's three. In some cases there's five. In some cases, there's actually none."

The findings, published in Nature, are part of the international HapMap project to identify and catalog similarities and differences among human beings of different racial and ethnic groups. Investigators sampled the DNA of people in Africa, Asia and Europe. - voanews

Huh? How do you get five of one gene if you only get one copy from your mother and one from your father? Ah, here is a clue:
"Ectopic recombination between locally repeated DNA sequences is of fundamental importance in the evolution of gene families, generating copy-number variation in human DNA and often leadingto pathological rearrangements. Despite its importance, little is known about the dynamics and processes of these unequal crossovers and the degree to which meiotic recombination plays a role in instability" - pnas

So what is Ectopic recombination?
"Ectopic recombination refers to when recombination occurs out of register to produce deletions, duplications and other rearrangements. This occurs because there are many identical or very similar stretches of DNA sequence in chromosomes. " - ergito

So, very similar patterns in DNA can cause confusion, perhaps when egg and sperm cells are formed during meiosis and/or during fertilization when the DNA from egg and sperm combine. Interestingly "Mechanisms that prevent ectopic recombination seem also to exist in mammals." The natural random mixing of genes that does happen causes extra copies of some genes and increases the genetic variation between individual humans.

Team finds more traces of lost Amazon civilization

civilization1.jpgA well-known Japanese archaeologist said Tuesday a team he is leading has found further evidence of a little-known ancient civilization in the Bolivian Amazon. Katsuyoshi Sanematsu, a professor of anthropology at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, completed an excavation in August of a massive man-made mound, or "loma," in Bolivia's northeastern Beni state.

Such mounds mark settlements of the Mojos civilization, which is thought to have flourished in the Amazon region for thousands of years before the arrival of the Spanish.

... The four-week excavation confirmed that the mound, called Loma Chocolatalito, is full of pottery and animal bones. "There were over 10,000 fragments of pottery unearthed from the top 100-cm layer of just one of the units," he said, referring to a sectional cut from the loma. "Also we discovered numerous animal bones, some of which had been worked and painted. All this suggests that this place was densely populated in ancient times."

Among the most interesting objects are a fish hook made of animal bone and a pottery fragment with a carved design that Sanematsu believes may be a map. - japantimes

PhD from Princeton: Google Go Should Nuclear.

See more about Boron Hydrogen fusion. This guy really knows his stuff. This talk summarizes 18 billion dollars of research. Google should fund his new direction in fusion research.

Amateur Nuclear Fusion - Fusion is Easy!

highenergy002.jpgFusion is the act of joining two light atomic nuclei. This will yield excess energy in the form of radiation and high speed particles. This is the process believed to power the Sun which gives this planet warmth and life. ... The only easy fusion reaction suitable for amateur study is that involving deuterium-deuterium or "d-d" fusion. ... The process is easier than you might imagine!

The fusor III setup of Richard Hull is shown in the above photo. It is the result of 3 years of work with the IECF (Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Fusion) concept. The Fusor was the brainchild of Philo T. Farnsworth, the
inventor of electronic television. The device is best described as a spherical geometry, electrostatically focused, deuteron accelerator-collider.

It might appear that nuclear fusion is very difficult for the amateur physics experimenter to consider, but it is actually relatively easy to achieve. Costs can be controlled by working in stages and acquiring parts used or surplus. Skills are the key factor. The experimenter should have some basic skill sets including welding,
machining, vacuum technology, gas handling, electronics, and nuclear instrumentation. Naturally, knowledge
regarding the safety aspects of such an effort is essential! Among the more common concerns are the work
with the explosive hydrogen gas, deuterium. High voltage hazards abound as over 20,000 volts is needed to accelerate the deuterons. Radiation in the form of X-rays and neutrons must be dealt with as well. - more

TEEN GOES NUCLEAR: He creates fusion in his Oakland Township home

This seems to be legit, although I was unable to verify that he was a runner up in the Siemens competition. You can read about Philo Taylor Farnsworth on and the wiki article on him includes info on his fusor which injects "high temperature" ions directly into a reaction chamber.? "On November 9, 2006, Robert W. Bussard gave a speech at Google with more details on his team's results."? As far as I know, no one has created a fusion reaction yet which produces more energy than it takes to sustain. That's the holy grail of alternative energy.
In fact, on, the Stoney Creek [Thiago Olson] senior is ranked as the 18th amateur in the world to create nuclear fusion. So, how does he do it? Pointing to the steel chamber where all the magic happens, Thiago said on Friday that this piece of the puzzle serves as a vacuum. The air is sucked out and into a filter.thiagoolson.jpegThen, deuterium gas -- a form of hydrogen -- is injected into the vacuum. About 40,000 volts of electricity are charged into the chamber from a piece of equipment taken from an old mammogram machine. As the machine runs, the atoms in the chamber are attracted to the center and soon -- ta da -- nuclear fusion. Thiago said when that happens, a small intense ball of energy forms. He first achieved fusion in September and has been perfecting the machine he built in his parents' garage ever since.

This year, Thiago was a semifinalist for the Siemens Foundation's National Research Competition. He plans to enter the Science and Engineering Fair of Metropolitan Detroit, which is in March, in hopes of qualifying to be in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in New Mexico in May.

... Thiago's mom, Natalice Olson, initially was leery of the project, even though the only real danger from the fusion machine is the high voltage and small amount of X-rays emitted through a glass window in the vacuum chamber -- through which Olson videotapes the fusion in action.. But, she wasn't really surprised, since he was always coming up with lofty ideas.

"Originally, he wanted to build a hyperbaric chamber," she said, adding that she promptly said no. But, when he came asking about the nuclear fusion machine, she relented. "I think it was pretty brave that he could think that he was capable to do something so amazing," she said.

Thiago's dad, Mark Olson, helped with some of the construction and electrical work. To get all of the necessary parts, Thiago scoured the Internet, buying items on eBay and using his age to persuade manufacturers to give him discounts. The design of the model came from his own ideas and some suggestions from other science-lovers he met online.

Someday, he hopes to work for the federal government -- just like his grandfather, Clarence Olson, who designed tanks for the Department of Defense after World War II. Thiago, who is modest and humble about his accomplishment, said he knew from an early age what he would do for a living. " - freep

Britain plans Iraq pull out

margbeckett2211_228x172.jpgForeign Secretary Margaret Beckett this afternoon surprised MPs by signalling the countdown to a withdrawal from Iraq.She told the Commons that Basra, where the bulk of the UK's 7,200 personnel are stationed, could be handed over from British military control to Iraqi forces as early as next spring. ... Political control in the city was handed over to the Iraqi authorities in June last year but it has continued to suffer spiralling violence. New figures show the Iraqi death toll hit a record monthly high in October, with more than 3,700 people deaths.- slhisotindon

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hitachi: Commercial Mind-Machine Interface by 2011

Hitachi's new neuroimaging technique allows its operator to switch a train set on and off by thought alone, and the Japanese company aims to commercialize it within five years.

etg7000_1.jpgMind-machine interfacing isn't unheard of: just weeks ago, a young patient was given a chance to play Space Invaders through the power of thought. And this all comes hot on the heels of a revolution in microsurgery, allowing artificial limbs to be wired to the brain by reusing existing nerves.

The difference this time is that Hitachi's system doesn't invasively co-opt the nervous sytem, instead using a topographic modelling system to measure blood flow in the brain, translating the images into signals that are sent to the controller. So far, this new technique only allows for simple switching decisions, but Hitachi aims to commercialize it within five years for use by paralyzed patients and those undergoing "cognitive rehabilitation." - link

Humpback whales capable of emanating 622 social sounds

A new study has revealed that humpback whales are capable of emanating as many as 622 social sounds. Scientists believe the whales' broad vocal repertoire enables them to communicate with their fellow whales, like summoning their young or even wooing potential mates by expressing emotions. humpback.jpgRebecca Dunlop, a researcher in the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Queensland, Australia said that while some sounds are brief, some are unpatterned, distinct from lengthier, complex whale songs. She said the study threw new light on the fact that whales convey more meaning through vocalizations than previously thought. "I wouldn't say (whales possess) language, as that's a human term. Whales don't string these sounds together like words and form sentences. It's more like a simple vocabulary," Discovery News quoted Rebecca as saying. For their study, the team used a static hydrophone array - sensitive equipment that detects sound waves - to visually track 60 pods of whales migrating along the east coast of Australia. The waves linked the whale sounds to various activities and contexts. The team identified 622 distinct sounds, which fell into 35 basic types. Rebecca said these included "wops" made by females, "thwops" made by males, "yaps" made when pods split, and high pitched cries that appeared to express anger. In addition to vocalizations, the team also found that whales sent messages through body language - by breaching the surface, slapping water with their tails and blowing underwater bubbles. - more

Edible cotton breakthrough may help feed the world

Cotton that has been genetically engineered so its seed is no longer toxic could provide protein-rich food for poor countries. The researchers say the technology used could make other toxic plants safe to eat.

Cottonseed contains about 22% protein, and the cotton already produced worldwide has enough protein to meet the requirements of 500 million people. But it also contains the toxin gossypol, making it poisonous to animals, including humans.

In people, gossypol lowers blood potassium to dangerous levels, resulting in fatigue and even paralysis. A surprising side effect is that gossypol is an effective male contraceptive, but research on this aspect was abandoned in the late 1990s. Attempts to eliminate gossypol from cotton plants in the 1960s and 1970s failed: insects that had previously been kept at bay by the toxin happily ate the modified plant.

Keerti Rathore of Texas A & M University in the US has managed to remove gossypol from cotton seed without affecting the toxin load in the rest of the plant, meaning the plant will contain edible seed but not be destroyed by crop pests. - more

Couple calls for global orgasm on Dec. 22

The Global Orgasm for Peace was conceived by Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55, whose goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.globalorgasm.jpg "The orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after it," Reffell said Sunday. "Your mind is like a blank. It's like a meditative state....
And mass meditations have been shown to make a change."

The couple are no strangers to sex and social activism. Sheehan brought together nearly 50 women in 2002 who stripped naked and spelled out the word "Peace." The stunt spawned a mini-movement called Baring Witness that led to similar unclothed demonstrations worldwide.

The couple have studied evolutionary psychology and believe war is mainly an outgrowth of men trying to impress potential mates, a case of "my missile is bigger than your missile," as Reffell put it. By promoting what they hope to be a synchronized global orgasm, they hope to have people channel their sexual energy into something more positive.

The couple said interest appears strong, with 26,000 hits a day to their website, "The dream is to have everyone in the world (take part)," Reffell said. "And if that means laying down your gun for a few minutes, then hey, all the better." - cnews

‘Houdini’ prisoner greases his way to daring escape

South African police are searching for a slippery prisoner who escaped from a top security jail after smearing himself in Vaseline and squeezing through a tiny window.

Ananias Mathe was detained last December on more than 50 charges of murder, rape, armed robbery and hijacking. He was kept in isolation in Pretoria's C-Max prison, which houses notorious offenders who are considered escape risks.

Police who caught him last year describe him as "the ultimate criminal" who would stop at nothing to reach his victims.

Their words rang eerily true this weekend, as it emerged that Mr Mathe covered himself in Vaseline, shook off his handcuffs and shackles and squeezed through a bulletproof window measuring just 20cm by 60cm on Saturday night.

"The window (in Mathe's cell) was so small, he could just get his head through. This is the amazing thing." a Correctional Services spokeswoman, Manelisi Wolela, said yesterday. - more

Closure of Mystery Park is no enigma

Bernese Oberland resort of Interlaken, which closed on Sunday, is no enigma but the result of bad decisions, experts say.

sriimg20061024_7191785_0.jpgThey argue that the main reasons for the closure are the static nature of the exhibition, the slow involvement of local tourism and the stock exchange decline between 2001 and 2003.

"Mystery Park needs extraterrestrial saviour" and "Career dreamer Erich von D?niken pulls back" were just two of the sarcastic headlines journalists made in a long series of negative reports.

The criticism stepped up in 2005 and was particularly heavy in the spring of 2006 when the park had to ask for a delay in bankruptcy proceedings and protection from its creditors.

It all began in 1997 with ambitious plans. Best-selling Swiss author Erich von D?niken announced he wanted to open a theme park devoted to unsolved (extra-)terrestrial mysteries on the site of the former local military airport. -? more

Monday, November 20, 2006

Free MP3: I’m Growing Your Clone

Hey people. Here's a gift for you to spread around the virtual world: One free Xenophilia song entitled "I'm Growing Your Clone", remastered from the Brian Wheat studios a few years ago.

U.S. hints at declaring end to Korean War

250px-crossing_the_38th_parallel.jpg Officials from U.S. President George W. Bush on down went out of their way to highlight the incentives they are dangling - from economic cooperation to a formal end to the Korean War - if Pyongyang gives up its nuclear weapons programs.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said on Saturday the list of what the United States might do includes "a declaration of the end of the Korean War and moving forward on economic cooperation, cultural, educational and other ties."

The 1950-1953 Korean War ended with an armistice, rather than a formal peace treaty.

"We want the North Korean leaders to hear that if it gives up its weapons - nuclear weapons ambitions - that we would be willing to enter into security arrangements with the North Koreans as well as move forward new economic incentives for the North Korean people," - herald

Bottled oxygen newest fashion accessory

oxia.jpgTouting such benefits as improved concentration and stopping hangovers, Oxia pure oxygen canisters are becoming a major trend in New York.Containing 40 deep breaths worth of pure oxygen, the canisters are being marketed at New York locales such as the Bergdorf Goodman department store at the introductory cost of $70, said the New York Post.

With refills of oxygen made available at $15 a pop, the Oxia canisters are being oriented toward ordinary people suffering from stress, and travelers beset by jet lag.

"It's what bottled water was 20 years ago," said Oxia co-founder Bryce Margetts. - upi

US had 600 tons of chemical weapon mustard agent in one building

Three workers at Aberdeen Proving Ground were taken for medical observation yesterday after a laboratory vial containing dilute mustard agent broke, officials said. ... The Harford County military base's emergency personnel responded to an accident in a laboratory at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at 11:30 a.m. after a worker handling a small quantity of the blister agent was exposed, said George Mercer, a spokesman for APG. ...


While the gate to the facility was closed for 20 minutes, no chemical agent was released to the environment, Mercer said. The Edgewood Chemical Biological Center is a 1.5 million-square-foot research and engineering facility within APG for chemical and biological defense.

Earlier this year, APG became the first continental U.S. military site to eliminate its stockpile of chemical weapons, clearing out 600 tons of mustard agent. A building that held containers that once held the agent was demolished this fall. But work involving small amounts of mustard agent continues, typically in small quantities. - balt

Four Were Framed With The FBI’s Help

"... a flurry of gunshots ended Edward "Teddy" Deegan's misspent life more than 40 years ago ...FBI agents had been listening to the murder plot unfold for five months through a microphone hidden in a mob office and through reports from informants. They knew that Vincent "Jimmy" Flemmi and Joseph "The Animal" Barboza, two hoodlums the bureau was recruiting as informants, were behind the conspiracy. Thousands of recently disclosed U.S. Justice Department records show that the FBI, in order to cultivate Flemmi and Barboza as informants, allowed them to frame four innocent men for the Deegan murder." - courant

Public Drawing site:

This is fun. Anyone can create art (or destroy the art of others) at this public drawing web site. (Hint: Be sure to click "DISAGREE" to start, then you have to solve a puzzle to start drawing.) Tricky. ;-) I just ran out of ink. How do you get more? Seems you have to connect from different computers... Hmm...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Stem cells core of more cancers

A spate of new discoveries about the basic biology of cancer is pushing researchers toward an astonishing conclusion: For decades, efforts to cure the disease may have targeted the wrong cells.

stem_2.jpgCurrent therapies treat all cancer cells the same. They're aimed at shrinking tumours on the basis that the various cells within them all have similar powers to spawn new cancers and spread destruction.

But mounting evidence suggests that cancer's real culprits -- the roots of perhaps every tumour -- are actually a small subset of bad seeds known best to the world as stem cells. ...

Dr. Dick, who discovered the first cancer stem cell in 1994 in leukemia, said the new work shows that while current therapies treat colon cancer as a "homogeneous entity, not every colon cancer cell has the ability to keep that tumour going; only one in 60,000."

New research has repeatedly shown that contrary to conventional wisdom, only abnormal stem cells can sprout and sustain tumours by renewing themselves indefinitely. Without signals from cancer stem cells, ordinary tumour cells seem to stop growing.

What's more, some experiments have found these bad seeds to be highly resistant to standard cancer therapies, including radiation, medicine's nuclear weapon.


The findings may explain why cancers come back even after treatments seem to make tumours disappear. Just a small number of mutant stem cells left behind -- invisible to the naked eye or any scan -- may be enough to spark cancer's regrowth.

"Killing 98 per cent of tumour cells on a scan may look good, but that 2 per cent could be enough to grow the cancer back," said Jeremy Rich, a neuro-oncologist and cancer researcher at Duke University in North Carolina. "Maybe one of the reasons we haven't been as good as we thought we could be is because we've been looking at the wrong cells." - globeandmail


Normal Stem Cells vs. Cancer Stem Cells

The stem cells in tumors discovered by researchers at the University of Michigan are not the same type of stem cells being explored as potential therapies to treat degenerative diseases. Both normal embryonic and adult stem cells are being actively studied for their ability to proliferate and replace damaged cells in diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and heart disease.

But stem cells in tumors develop because of mutations that accumulate over years and often decades. The mutations are thought to promote the tumor stem cells' ability to proliferate, eventually leading to cancer. - genomenews

Secret Service agent, others shot in food court gunfight

At least four people were shot at the crowded Annapolis (Maryland) mall last night, including an off-duty Secret Service agent who opened fire on a teen involved in a food court gunfight.

...Authorities kept a man suspected in a triple shooting at a shopping mall under police guard Sunday in a hospital, and said charges were expected.An off-duty U.S. Secret Service agent who tried to break up the melee and returned gunfire also was recovering from a gunshot wound to the leg, officials said. - chron

Iceberg Spotted From New Zealand Shore


An iceberg has been spotted from the New Zealand shore for the first time in 75 years, one of about 100 that have been drifting south of the country. The giant ice chunk was visible Thursday from Dunedin on South Island but has since moved away, driven by winds and ocean currents. The flotilla of icebergs ? some as big as houses ? were first spotted south of New Zealand early this month. - happynews

China admits using organs from executed prisoners

v-remove.jpg? After years of denial, China has acknowledged that many of the human organs used in transplants here are taken from executed prisoners and that many of the recipients are foreigners who pay hefty sums to avoid a long wait.Speaking at a conference of surgeons in the southern city of Guangzhou, Deputy Health Minister Huang Jiefu called for a strict code of conduct and better record-keeping to stem China's thriving illegal organ trade, state media reported.

"Apart from a small portion of traffic victims, most of the organs from cadavers are from executed prisoners," said Huang, reported the English-language China Daily newspaper Thursday. "The current organ donation shortfall can't meet demand." - chron

Don't worry, the photo is fake. It is from Monty Python's "the Meaning of Life". In this scene some door-to-door organ collectors take a living persons liver because he filled out a donor card. One of them then convinces his wife to donate hers as well. Funny stuff, but the fact that China is convicting real people to make money from their organs after they execute these unfortunate souls is beyond repulsive. The rich (people who can afford organs) are buying extended life from cannibalizing the poor. I think the main reason this is happening is that people are like rats. Rats get very nasty when there are too many of them in one small space. Thus it is with China's population. I predict this same thing will happen elsewhere as the human population grows.

Freak Dancing Banned at California High School

"Why do our girls have to have themselves so exposed? Why do they have to have cleavage displayed so overtly and slits high up their thighs and then allow boys to dance right up against them? ? I am not going to allow this to continue to happen. - abc

Torture and war is fine these days, but God forbid young people express their natural biological tendencies. Abc's video with slowmotion goodness is totally exploitation. If you are going to raise a stink, complain about that.

3 Guantanamo detainees released to Albania

Men are last of 38 recently determined to no longer be ?enemy combatants?

gitmo.jpgThree detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorism suspects have been released to Albania, after authorities determined they were no longer "enemy combatants," officials said Friday.

The State Department announced that the Albanian government agreed to accept an Algerian national, an Egyptian national and an ethnic Uzbek who was born in the former Soviet Union. Their names were not released.

"The United States has done the utmost to ensure that these three detainees will be treated humanely upon release," the Pentagon said in a separate announcement of their release. "Our key objective has been to resettle these detainees in an environment that will permit them to rebuild their lives. Albania will provide this opportunity."

...There are still about 430 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the Pentagon said. Some have been held since the detention center opened in January 2002.

According to the Pentagon's count, since 2002 approximately 345 detainees have left Guantanamo for other countries... - msnbc

This pisses me off so much. Our own govt. with this release is admitting that innocent people are being held for years. They are also being tortured. We must Impeach Bush and everyone else responsible and get back to proper American justice: Capture suspected criminals, bring charges, have a speedy trial, present the evidence, sentence them, and carry out the sentence. Release the innocent people right away. Our constitution requires this and there is nothing 'weak on terrorists' about it. This is Guantanamo:

jan11guantanamobayarrivalproc.jpg "When they wanted to take one of us, they would order us to lie on our stomachs on the floor, and then they would tie our hands behind our backs. When it was my turn, two soldiers took me. I was barefoot and they beat me before I met the investigator. They banged my head against the metal building and made me walk on the barbed wire. They raised my hands from behind my back so high that my shoulders were almost dislocated. When I entered the investigation tent, I found that there were two Americans among the investigators, one of whom was white and the other was black. I said to them, "why are you torturing me and you haven't even started questioning me? What do you want from me? Give me a piece of paper and I will sign anything you want". He said to me, "there is no torture here and there are no beatings".

... They went to a detainee and put his head in the toilet. The toilets in Camp Delta are iron, Turkish-style toilets and then they flushed his head down the toilet until he almost died. They went to a detainee and started beating his head against the toilet rim until he lost consciousness and he could not see for more than 10 hours.

...I would thus like to point out that NOT all of the soldiers in Guant?namo tortured and oppressed us. There were some soldiers who treated us humanely, some of them would cry because of what was happening to us and were embarrassed by the style of management at the camp and even by the American government, their lack of justice and oppression of us. " - truthout

The Homeland Security Discount Vacation

76.jpgStarting Jan. 8, U.S. citizens returning from the Caribbean must have a passport to reenter the country. Because about 75% of Americans don't have a valid passport, resorts and businesses across the Caribbean are concerned that potential visitors will decide to skip the hassle and $97-per-person expense of obtaining one. Though some islands have long required passports, most have allowed visits with just a driver's license and birth certificate.

The Department of Homeland Security says it is working on a plan to assist Americans whose trip to the Caribbean straddles the Jan. 8 changeover date, and who can't get back to the U.S. because they're not carrying a passport. -yahoonews?

Friday, November 17, 2006

HOA Rule Forbids Couple To Smoke In Their Own Home

10340131_240x180.jpgA? judge has upheld a homeowners association's order barring a couple from smoking in the town house they own.Colleen and Rodger Sauve, both smokers, filed a lawsuit in March after their condominium association amended its bylaws last December to prohibit smoking."We argued that the HOA was not being reasonable in restricting smoking in our own unit, nowhere on the premises, not in the parking lot or on our patio," Colleen Sauve said.

The Heritage Hills #1 Condominium Owners Association was responding to complaints from the Sauves' neighbors who said cigarette smoke was seeping into their units, representing a nuisance to others in the building.

In a Nov. 7 ruling, Jefferson County District Judge Lily Oeffler ruled the association can keep the couple from smoking in their own home.Oeffler stated "smoke and/or smoke smell" is not contained to one area and that smoke smell "constitutes a nuisance." She noted that under condo declarations, nuisances are not allowed.The couple now has to light up on the street in front of their condominium building. - denver

Israel developing anti-militant “bionic hornet”

hornet.jpegIsrael is using nanotechnology to try to create a robot no bigger than a hornet that would be able to chase, photograph and kill its targets, an Israeli newspaper reported on Friday.The flying robot, nicknamed the "bionic hornet", would be able to navigate its way down narrow alleyways to target otherwise unreachable enemies such as rocket launchers, the daily Yedioth Ahronoth said.

It is one of several weapons being developed by scientists to combat militants, it said. Others include super gloves that would give the user the strength of a "bionic man" and miniature sensors to detect suicide bombers. -scots

‘Grape guy’ catches 116 grapes in mouth

spalding.jpegSYDNEY, Australia (AP) - An American man caught 116 tossed grapes in his mouth in three minutes in what he hopes will become a new Guinness World Record, his publicity team said Thursday.

Steve "the Grape Guy" Spalding, 44, of Dallas, Texas also set a personal record for endurance grape catching, using his mouth to catch 1,203 grapes thrown from a distance of 4.5 metres over half an hour, according to publicist Deanna Brown. No Guinness World Records officials were present at Spalding's grape-gobbling attempt, carried out Thursday in Australia overlooking Sydney's iconic Opera House.

But Brown said observers had filmed Spalding's attempt and would be submitting forms to Guinness officials in the hopes of creating a new record for speed grape-catching - the most grapes caught in the mouth over three minutes.

No current speed grape catching record exists, she said.

Guinness World Records has no offices in Australia, and the organization could not immediately be reached for comment.

Voodoo practitioner tries to jinx Bush

A renowned black magic practitioner performed a voodoo ritual Thursday to jinx President George W. Bush and his entourage while he was on a brief visit to Indonesia.voodoo.jpegKi Gendeng Pamungkas slit the throat of a goat, a small snake and stabbed a black crow in the chest, stirred their blood with spice and broccoli before drank the "potion" and smeared some on his face.

"I don't hate Americans, but I don't like Bush," said Pamungkas, who believed the ritual would succeed as, "the devil is with me today."

He said the jinx would sent spirits to posses Secret Service personnel guarding Bush and left them in a trance, leading them into falsely thinking the President was under attack, thus eventually causing chaos in Bogor Presidential Palace, where the American leader was scheduled to meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday.

Indonesia the world's most populous Muslim country, however many still practicing animist rituals, including black magic, that predate Islam's arrival in the archipelago. - yahoo

Dude, the US Secret Service has an anti-Voodoo Beer program with protection levels that extend out beyond this planet.

Warm weather wrecks bears’ winter slumber

Insomniac bears are roaming the forests of southwestern Siberia scaring local people as the weather stays too warm for the animals to fall into their usual winter slumber.2006_11_15t100106_450x365_us_russia_bears1.jpgThe furry mammals escape harsh winters by going to sleep in October-November for around six months, but in the snowless Kemerovo region where the weather is unseasonably warm, bears have no desire yet to hibernate.

"Due to weather conditions, bears didn't go into the winter sleep in time," said Tatiana Maslova, chief expert at a regional environmental agency in the city of Kemerovo, about 3,500 km (2,190 miles) southeast of Moscow.

"Our teams are making sure there is no damage to farming and to local residents," she told Reuters on Wednesday, adding that every patch of land is watched by a specially assigned inspector.

To survive the prolonged winter rest, bears have to put on extra body fat -- up to 180 kg (396 pounds) -- and so spend the preceding months devouring as much food as they can find. - yahoo

Apparent Voice Of Dead Woman Heard On Audiotape

"A strange voice captured on audiotape during an investigation of a home in Sanford, Fla., is believed to be that of an elderly woman who died years ago, according to a Local 6 News report." - local6

In other news, humming birds are believed to be angels. ;-)

Wanted: man to land on killer asteroid and gently nudge it from path to Earth

bw2.jpgIt is the stuff of nightmares and, until now, Hollywood thrillers. A huge asteroid is on a catastrophic collision course with Earth and mankind is poised to go the way of the dinosaurs.To save the day, Nasa now plans to go where only Bruce Willis has gone before. The US space agency is drawing up plans to land an astronaut on an asteroid hurtling through space at more than 30,000 mph. It wants to know whether humans could master techniques needed to deflect such a doomsday object when it is eventually identified. The proposals are at an early stage, and a spacecraft needed just to send an astronaut that far into space exists only on the drawing board, but they are deadly serious. A smallish asteroid called Apophis has already been identified as a possible threat to Earth in 2036. ... A 1bn tonne asteroid just 1km across striking the Earth at a 45 degree angle could generate the equivalent of a 50,000 megatonne thermonuclear explosion. Attempting to break it up with an atomic warhead might only generate thousands of smaller objects on a similar course, which could have time to reform. Scientists agree the best approach, given enough warning, would be to gently nudge the object into a safer orbit. ... Matt Genge, a space researcher at Imperial College, London, has calculated that something with the mass, acceleration and thrust of a small car could push an asteroid weighing a billion tonnes out of the path of Earth in just 75 days.

The Earth has a long history of asteroid strikes. Thirty five million years ago, a 5km-wide asteroid ploughed into what is now Chesapeake Bay, in the US, leaving an 80km crater. In 1908, an asteroid devastated swaths of Siberia when it exploded mid-air with the force of 1,000 Hiroshimas. The theory that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a huge asteroid striking Mexico 65m years ago is controversial since scientists uncovered rocks from the crater predating the extinction of the dinosaurs by 300,000 years.

...A near miss, when asteroid QW7 came within 4m km of Earth in September 2000, led Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik to declare: "It's not a case of if we will be hit, it is a question of when. Each of us is 750 times more likely to be killed by an asteroid than to win this weekend's lottery." - guarduk