Stuff & Nonsense
« Thread started on: Jul 9th, 2010, 08:05am »
This is an open thread so jump in any time you all want. There is no theme to this thread. There is only one rule, no fighting or meaness. So I'll start with an article this morning from Lon at Phantoms and Monsters.
Thursday, July 08, 2010 Breaking News: Bigfoot Found in North America? CONFIRMATION! THIS IS A SUMMARY OF UPDATES AND EVENTS RELATED TO THIS CASE:
Craig Woolheater of Cryptomundo is reporting the following:
Overnight AM - Overnight AM producers have been contacted by a man claiming to have found Bigfoot living in his backyard somewhere in North America (Location: Confidential). The evidence is substantial based on eyewitness testimony of a man whose life has been turned upside down by the creatures, a family of four; two adults and two infants, who bed down in his backyard every evening. UFO Magazine & Clearly Skewed Entertainment has dispatched a film crew to the area to document the events as they unfold on camera.
Tonight, Mike (last name withheld), a 70 year old veteran with no interest in the field of Bigfoot research, will join Lan Lamphere and the Overnight AM radio show audience to describe the events of the past few weeks and his encounters with this family of Bigfoot who have taken to living in the forest behind his home appearing every night to bed down in his backyard to escape biting mosquitos.
Lan Lamphere Overnight AM
From Cryptomundo - Listen to the program here. You will need to open the file with one of the followings applications: iTunes, RealPlayer or WinAmp.
I have contacted William Birnes, publisher of UFO Magazine and a facebook fan of Cryptomundo by the way, to see if he can share any additional details regarding this case.
I have only had a chance to listen to the first twenty minutes or so of the program, so I have not listened to “Mike” or any of the investigators who were guests of the show.
What do the readers of Cryptomundo think after listening to the program?
Lan Lamphere said on the show that he had contacted the BFRO and that Darcy Stoffregen of Maple Ridge, British Columbia was investigating.
NOTE: since the time this was posted, a few discrepancies have/are developing. Nancy Birnes of UFO Magazine states...“I don’t know who wrote that at the Overnight AM site, but no film crew has been dispatched. Possibly someone will go there and check it out, but at this point nobody has.” So, we'll see what happens. Frankly, I noticed the original announcement a few days ago but waited to see what was going to develop. I'll attempt to keep this updated. If anyone has further information on this, please feel free to comment or contact me...Lon
UPDATE: 1:30 pm ET - I just listened to the interview...I think there may be something to this. One of the local law enforcement officers had made a report of seeing a 'naked woman covered in hair' eating from dumpster sometime before this sighting was reported to Bill Birnes at 'the History Channel'. My theory that most Sasquatch type creatures are non-terrestrial (alien visitors) may be bolstered by this encounter...namely because this group of creatures seem to be in a small forested area in a urban setting. The group has been dumpster diving behind a nearby restaurant according the witness. I feel that these creatures come from an alternative universe or plane. Like spirits, I think that these entities and others can move across the great divide between our worlds. Yeah, I know it sounds fantastic but I have come to this theory based on my experiences and the thousands of eyewitness encounters by others. BTW, this story is burning through the internet today...Lon
UPDATE: 4:15 pm ET - OK...a reader, Bill Green, talked to the Overnight AM producer by telephone and found out that Lan Lamphere will be presenting further evidence tonight (July 8th - 10pm ET / 9pm CT). I don't know if they're intentionally stringing this out but I'll keep an open mind nonetheless. If you want to listen to the show, go to Overnight AM for the live stream. You will need to setup a free account for access. The location has not be disclosed...but there is some speculation. Like I mentioned earlier, BFRO has been contacted and they are sending a crew there. I really hope they warned the witness to avoid 'our friend Tom' from the 'Georgia Bigfoot Hoax' and other fiascos...Lon
UPDATE: 8:50 pm ET - Well, cryptozoologist Darcy Stoffregen, who was interviewed by Lan Lamphere in reference to this sighting, has posted the following statement on his Facebook profile "Not involved any more. He never called yesterday like he said he would and I just found out why". Stoffregen was suppose to hook up with the witness 'Mr. Mike' I think. Anyway, his message was too vague for me to understand what he meant. BTW, the original radio interview of 'Mr. Mike' was conducted this past Friday...Lon
UPDATE: 10:10 pm ET - Lan Lamphere of Overnight AM is reporting on his live show that there were actually 2 reports of a 'hairy woman' before the original report. Starting the show, Lamphere stated that the Sasquatch report is 'absolutely true'. Seems that the Sasquatch have migrated towards the front of the house and 'Mr. Mike' states he is communicating with them. Also, more Sasquatch have arrived and there are at least 2 infants! A private investigator was hired to perform a background check on 'Mr. Mike'...and he checks out OK. The PI was at the location for 2 hours and confirms that the Sasquatch are REAL (one apparently walked up behind him in the dark and grunted) and there are PHOTOS!
By Mary Beth Sheridan and Jerry Markon Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, July 9, 2010; 8:16 AM
Two airplanes -- one carrying 10 Russian agents deported from the U.S., the other transporting four Russians jailed for improper contacts with the West -- landed at Vienna's international airport early Friday as part of a rapidly arranged spy swap that stirred memories of Cold War intrigues, news services reported.
After a brief time on the ground, the planes reportedly took off again, according to television accounts and news agencies, apparently to deliver those on board to their respective destinations.
The 10 accused spies who were expelled from the U.S. are headed to Russia, according to an agreement negotiated between Moscow and Washington, while the four who had been jailed in Russia are being sent to the West.
The 10 U.S.-based agents pleaded guilty in a Manhattan courtroom Thursday to acting as unregistered foreign agents for Russia, a charge well short of espionage. They had endured only a few days of jail time since their arrests in the United States last month; in prior cases, spies spent years behind bars before being exchanged.
U.S. officials said there was no point in holding the agents, since authorities had monitored their activities for years and had unraveled their network. Obama administration officials said they had been eager to win the release of the four Russians, some of whom have spent long stretches in prison and are in poor health.
The deal was expected to remove an irritant from the U.S.-Russia relationship, which has improved markedly under the Obama administration. But one senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, acknowledged that "vestiges of an old Russia" are evident in the spying case. "Frankly, that's why we were as aggressive in rolling up this operation as we were," the official said.
President Obama has not spoken to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about the spy swap but has been "fully briefed and engaged in the matter," the administration official said. "It did come to the [U.S.] president for his authorization. And he gave it."
Another senior U.S. official said the timing of the spies' arrests, just days after the two presidents happily munched cheeseburgers during a visit to Washington by Medvedev, was coincidental. It was driven "by our knowledge that one individual intended to depart the United States" imminently, the official said.
The U.S. government declined to name the four Russians being released from custody. But a Kremlin statement identified them as Alexander Zaporozhsky, Sergei Skripal and Gennady Vasilenko, all former intelligence officers; and Igor Sutyagin, a nuclear expert at a think tank.
Unlike the 10 "sleeper" agents arrested in the U.S., three of the four had long histories with the KGB, Russia's intelligence service. All had served years in Russian prisons.
The 10 U.S.-based spies walked into Courtroom 26a in Manhattan's federal courthouse in groups of five Thursday afternoon, some wearing beige-and-blue prison jumpsuits and others sporting T-shirts and jeans. One by one, they entered their pleas. The courtroom was silent as the judge asked the defendants to reveal their identities.
The man known as "Richard Murphy" hesitated, apparently unsure which name to use. "Your true identity," said Judge Kimba Wood. Then "Murphy" gave his name: Vladimir Guryev.
Peruvian-born Vicky Pelaez, a naturalized U.S. citizen and the only non-Russian among the agents, burst into tears as she spotted a loved one among the onlookers. Anna Chapman, the Russian diplomat's daughter whose photos have become an Internet sensation, played with her red hair, attempting to tie it back.
The hearing brought an abrupt conclusion to one of the more unusual spy cases in U.S. history. The 10 agents -- and a suspect still at large after disappearing in Cyprus -- were "sleepers" whose job was to blend in at high-powered institutions such as Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government or in Manhattan financial circles, officials said.
Their mission was to gather information and identify potential future government employees who could be helpful, officials said.
Tales emerged of their seemingly ordinary lives in the suburbs, where they raised children together, even though the four couples were not really married, U.S. officials said. The agents passed on information to a shadowy Russian intelligence apparatus known as "Moscow Center," using invisible ink and sophisticated computer networks.
Asked about the future of the spies' American-born offspring, officials said that was up to their parents, indicating the children were likely to accompany them to Russia.
The agents are far different from other notable U.S. spies for the Soviet Union, such as Robert P. Hanssen and Aldrich H. Ames, who did major damage to national security. In contrast, the agents had been ordered not to seek classified data, and it remains unclear if they did any harm to the U.S. government.
U.S. law enforcement officials praised what they said was a successful outcome.
"This was an extraordinary case, developed through years of work by investigators, intelligence lawyers, and prosecutors, and the agreement we reached today provides a successful resolution for the United States and its interests," Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said.
Still, some analysts questioned the rapid release of the sleeper agents.
"One thing that makes it harder to recruit people for work like this is the prospect you're going to be in a world of hurt if you get caught. If the worst you have to worry about is the American government's catch-and-release policy, what kind of deterrent is that?" said Stephen Sestanovich, a Russia expert who has worked for both Republican and Democratic administrations.
John L. Martin, who supervised dozens of espionage cases during a 26-year career at the Justice Department, said earlier spy exchanges took years to work out. The speed at which the latest one occurred was "absolutely unprecedented," he said.
Indeed, the swap could feed Republican criticism that the Obama administration is too accommodating toward Russia.
Obama administration officials said the deal illustrated the good working relationship between the former Cold War enemies. After initially denying that the agents worked for Moscow, the Russian government did an about-face and was willing to deal, U.S. officials said.
"We drove the terms of this arrangement, which was based on national security as well as humanitarian grounds," said one of the U.S. officials.
The quick agreement suggested both Washington and Moscow wanted to move beyond the scandal, which occurred as the Senate is weighing a new bilateral nuclear arms-control accord.
BP prepares to change well's cap, then start plugging it
By Marc Kaufman and Joel Achenbach Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, July 9, 2010; A01
In the race to control and kill the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico before a tropical storm halts operations, BP is gambling that it can perform several complex technical maneuvers simultaneously.
The company plans to change caps on the gusher, a tricky task that could greatly improve the ability to capture the oil or perhaps even shut down the well -- but that would permit oil to flow unabated during the switch. The company had planned to change the cap only after first connecting the well to a new ship at the site, the Helix Producer, which can siphon up to 25,000 barrels of oil a day. But with a window of calm weather forecast for the next week or so, BP has accelerated its plans, administration officials said Thursday.
This burst of activity comes as a relief well is nearing the blown-out borehole. BP and administration officials say that if the weather holds and all the technology works as planned, they could begin the process of permanently plugging the well within two weeks.
With so much about to happen at the blowout site, the Obama administration on Thursday gave BP officials 24 hours to provide a detailed description of what they will do in the weeks ahead and how they will do it. In a letter to BP, National Incident Commander Thad Allen also asked for a series of backup plans to be put into effect if events took unpredicted turns.
"They have said to our people this is how they'd like to proceed. We have questions about that, so we're asking a series of questions, making sure that everything has been carefully thought through before we move into agreeing to sort of a simultaneous process," said a senior administration official.
On another front, the administration was dealt a setback when an appeals court rejected its request to reinstate its moratorium on deep-water drilling.
With the break in the weather, BP and the administration appeared to be projecting conflicting views on how quickly the leak might finally be killed.
In interviews on Wednesday, BP's managing director, Bob Dudley, raised the possibility of success before the end of July. "In a perfect world with no interruptions, it's possible to be ready to stop the well between July 20 and July 27," Dudley told the Wall Street Journal. But he also said that perfect case was "unlikely" because of the threat of hurricanes.
On Thursday, Allen pointedly stuck to the official government estimate that the leak will be plugged by mid-August. If the effort succeeded earlier, Allen said, "we'd all jump for joy."
He cautioned, however, that the oil could be flowing up several different pathways inside the 10-inch steel casing, which has a seven-inch pipe inside it. It is unknown whether the oil and gas are flowing inside those structures, in the space between them or both.
Consequently, the relief well will succeed only when its drill penetrates the right layer or layers. "We can't bet on getting it the first time," he said.
Allen said the relief-well drill will be in place to penetrate the leaking borehole in seven to 10 days -- a time frame more precise than any given before. The process of filling the hole with mud and then plugging it with concrete will take seven to 10 more days and, he said, might have to be done a number of times, depending on where in the well the oil and gas are flowing.
With so many imponderables, he said, predicting a July finish seemed overly optimistic.
Nonetheless, the administration is as eager as BP to take advantage of the predicted week to 10 days of good weather. The wild card in the picture has always been hurricanes. The new, tighter-fitting cap would be connected to a floating riser pipe that would, in turn, be connected to surface ships with flexible hoses. That would enable the ships to detach quickly in advance of a storm, then reconnect quickly upon their return.
With the Helix Producer connected to the current cap, the surface vessels would have the capacity to capture up to 53,000 barrels of oil a day from the well. With the new firmer cap in place and yet another surface ship collecting oil, the overall capacity would increase to 80,000 barrels a day, higher than any official estimate for the flow rate of the well.
The relief well is currently moving almost parallel to the blown-out Macondo well, just 12 feet away laterally, and with only about 200 feet to go before it reaches the interception target.
The blown-out well will be intercepted at a point where there is both casing and interior pipe. Oil and gas may be surging between the original wall of the hole and the outside of the steel casing -- a space that was cemented before the well erupted on April 20. Or the flow could be taking place in the annulus, as the space between the casing and the pipe is known. Or it could be within the pipe itself -- or some combination of all that.
Allen also addressed sometimes-frustrating efforts to clean the waters using skimming boats, including a large vessel called A Whale sent from Taiwan. Allen said the big boat was designed to collect greater concentrations of oil than those that are being found in much of the gulf but that the Coast Guard had agreed to test it for another week.
He said the administration has been active for weeks in organizing a volunteer effort but added: "I think everybody would agree there's not enough skimming operations." An enormous flotilla of private boats has been assembled to clean the waters, but it has been difficult to match the vessels with appropriate jobs.
"One of the analogies I've made is to the militia at Concord before the Revolution. Everybody showed up for the fight: Some had muskets, and some had a hatchet," Allen said.
July 8, 2010 Loophole May Have Aided Theft of Classified Data By THOM SHANKER
WASHINGTON — The soldier accused of downloading a huge trove of secret data from military computers in Iraq appears to have exploited a loophole in Defense Department security to copy thousands of files onto compact discs over a six-month period. In at least one instance, according to those familiar with the inquiry, the soldier smuggled highly classified data out of his intelligence unit on a disc disguised as a music CD by Lady Gaga.
Criminal charges were filed this week against the soldier, Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, 22, who was accused of downloading more than 150,000 diplomatic cables, as well as secret videos and a PowerPoint presentation. Since his arrest in May, with initial accounts blaming him for leaking video of a deadly American helicopter attack in Baghdad in 2007, officials have sought to determine how he could have removed voluminous amounts of secret data without being caught.
A Defense Department directive from November 2008 prohibits the use of small thumb drives or larger external memory devices on any of the estimated seven million computers operated by the Pentagon and armed services. The order was issued to forestall the accidental infection of national security computer networks by viruses — and the intentional removal of classified information.
Defense Department computers have their portals disabled to prevent the use of external memory devices that are ubiquitous in homes, offices and schools, officials said. A recent amendment to the order allows the rare use of thumb drives, but only with official approval as required by a current mission.
But the Pentagon directive and the amendment did not ban the use of compact-disc devices, which are built into many computers and therefore not included in the prohibition against the use of external memory devices.
According to Pentagon officials and one former hacker who has communicated with Private Manning, he appears to have taken compact discs that can accept text, video and other data files into an intelligence center in the desert of eastern Iraq to copy and remove the classified information.
He was able to avoid detection not because he kept a poker face, they said, but apparently because he hummed and lip-synched to Lady Gaga songs to make it appear that he was using the classified computer’s CD player to listen to music.
Adrian Lamo, a well-known former hacker, had traded electronic messages in which Private Manning described his unhappiness with the Army — and, Mr. Lamo said, his activities downloading classified data.
Mr. Lamo said Private Manning described how he had used compact discs capable of storing data, but tucked inside recognizable music CD cases, “to bring the data out of the secure room.”
“He indicated he disguised one as a Lady Gaga CD,” Mr. Lamo said Thursday in a telephone interview. “He said he lip-synched to blend in.”
The four pages of official charges against Private Manning accuse him of downloading and removing the classified data from last November to May. The charges say he also loaded unauthorized software onto a computer linked to the military’s classified computer network, called the SIPR-Net. The charges do not explain the significance of that action, nor how it might have aided his alleged effort to download classified files.
In downloading more than 150,000 diplomatic cables, the charges state, Private Manning did “intentionally exceed his authorized access on” the SIPR-Net. This statement appears to be at least a partial explanation of how a soldier assigned to an Army brigade outpost in eastern Iraq was able to gain access to classified diplomatic cables on a variety of unrelated subjects.
At a Pentagon news conference on Thursday, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said they would reserve judgment on whether to order a sweeping review of security measures until it was determined whether the actions of which Private Manning is accused represent a broader problem.
“What this illustrates is the incredible amount of trust we place in even our most junior men and women in uniform,” Mr. Gates said. “We have over two million men and women in uniform, and I believe we should always err on the side of trusting them because virtually all of them — not 100 percent, but nearly 100 percent — give us reasons every single day to continue trusting them."
July 9, 2010 China Renews Google’s License By DAVID BARBOZA
SHANGHAI — The Internet giant Google said Friday that the Beijing government had renewed its license to operate a Web site in mainland China, ending months of tension after the company stopped censoring search results here and pulled some operations out of the country.
Google made the announcement early Friday morning in California in a blog posting by its chief legal officer, David Drummond.
“We are very pleased that the government has renewed our I.C.P. license,” Mr. Drummond wrote referring to an Internet content provider license. “And we look forward to continuing to provide Web search and local products to our users in China.”
If the license had not been renewed, Google would have effectively been forced to shut down its Web site, google.cn, in China. With the renewal, Google can continue offering limited services in China and direct users to the company’s uncensored Hong Kong-based Chinese language search engine, google.com.hk. Hong Kong, a former British colony that is now a special administrative region of China, is governed separately from the mainland.
Under the current setup in mainland China, people can conduct a Google search and see the results, but often they cannot open the links.
Google announced in January that it had suffered China-based cyber attacks on its databases and the e-mail accounts of some users. The company also said it would stop censoring search results, which it had agreed to do when it first began to operate in China several years ago. The Chinese government insists that its citizens’ access to the Internet be stripped of offensive and some politically sensitive material.
In March, Google closed its Internet search service in China and began directing users to the uncensored Hong Kong site.
Many analysts were stunned by the moves and questioned whether Google was acting prudently in risking its spot in the world’s largest Internet market.
Just a few weeks ago, however, Google signaled a softer approach to Beijing by saying that it had stopped automatically sending users in mainland China to its Hong Kong site. The company said it had created a Web page that offered users in mainland China the choice of what to do, rather than automatically directing them to its Hong Kong site.
The move, though seemingly insignificant, seemed to comply better with Beijing’s strict regulations.
But the license renewal is a sign that Google, while uncomfortable with operating in China and censoring its search results on Beijing’s behalf, is determined to keep a foot in China, which now has more Internet users than the United States.
“This approach ensures we stay true to our commitment not to censor our results on google.cn and gives users access to all of our services from one page, Mr. Drummond wrote at the time.
Renewal is required annually for Google’s license, which officially expires in 2012.
July 9, 2010 U.S. Prisoner in N. Korea Tries Suicide By CHOE SANG-HUN
SEOUL, South Korea — An American sentenced to eight years in a labor camp in North Korea has been hospitalized after trying to kill himself, the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency reported on Friday.
The attempt by the American, Aijalon Mahli Gomes, 30, from Boston, was “driven by his strong guilty conscience” and “his frustration with the U.S. government’s failure to free him,” the news agency said.
The Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, which has had consular access to Mr. Gomes on behalf of Washington, was aware of his condition, the agency said. The United States and North Korea do not have diplomatic relations.
In April, North Korea sentenced Mr. Gomes to eight years of hard labor and fined him the equivalent of $700,000 for entering the country illegally and for “hostile acts.”
North Korea recently threatened to increase punishment for Mr. Gomes under the country’s “wartime law,” saying worsening tensions with the United States had created a warlike situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Norfolk earliest known settlement in northern Europe Ancient Britons lived alongside mammoths and sabre-tooth cats in East Anglia up to 950,000 years ago, according to archaeological discoveries that show this country may have been inhabited 250,000 years earlier than previously thought.
By Matthew Moore Published: 8:00PM BST 07 Jul 2010
Dozens of flint tools unearthed on the Norfolk coast have revealed that early humans who first evolved in Africa braved bitter conditions to settle in Britain.
The find at Happisburgh, around 20 miles from Norwich, marks the earliest known human settlement in northern Europe.
The Happisburgh humans, who researchers believe were from the now-extinct Homo antecessor species, are thought to have hunted for food in rich estuaries of the ancient River Thames, which then flowed into the North Sea in what is now Norfolk.
After travelling across the land bridge which linked Britain to the rest of Europe, the humans are believed to have settled on the edges of the boreal forests that covered much of the country.
Fossil remains found near the 78 flint artefacts – including many sharpened "flakes" – indicate that the humans shared the land with an array of exotic mammals, including rhinos, hyaenas, and mammoths.
Sabre-tooth cats would have been among their most feared predators.
While they have yet to unearth human fossils, researchers from the Natural History Museum, British Museum and the University of London are convinced that their five year dig into sand on the shore of Happisburgh has provided convincing evidence that humans lived on the site in the Early Pleistocene era.
Tests on the sediments in which the artefacts were buried found that they were laid down during a period when the planet's magnetic field was reversed. The last time the poles switched in this way was 780,000 years ago.
Analysis of fossils found at the site – including a long-extinct mammoth species – and climate records indicate that the humans must have been present between 850,000 and 950,000 years ago.
Professor Chris Stringer from the Natural History Museum said that the discovery was remarkable because it showed that ancient humans were better adapted to surviving colder conditions than previously thought.
Winters would have been around 3C colder than Britain today – roughly equivalent to modern conditions in southern Scandinavia – meaning that the humans were almost certainly advanced enough to wear rudimentary clothing, build shelter and make fire, according to the researchers.
“These finds are by far the earliest known evidence of humans in Britain," Prof Stringer said. "They have significant implications for our understanding of early human behaviour, adaptations and survival."
Evidence uncovered at a dig site in Pakefield, Suffolk in 2005 indicated that humans had managed to reach Britain about 700,000 years ago. Before then, it was thought that these shores were still unoccupied 500,000 years ago.
The latest find suggests that Britain has been subject to at least nine distinct human colonisations in history.
Simon Parfitt of University College London, who was also involved in the research, said: "The picture we are getting here is of humans coming into Britain regularly and then dying out, and the land having to be repopulated again by another group of people. It was too cold for them to survive in the long term."
Prof Stringer said that finding a human bone would be the "holy grail" of the excavation, which is part of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project. A report is published in this week's edition of Nature, the science journal.
Homo antecessor is the most likely candidate for "Happisburgh Man", as they were the only human species known to live in Europe at this time. Little is known about their physiology or habits, but fossil remains discovered in Spain indicate they had lower foreheads, stronger brows and bigger teeth than modern humans.
The mammalian fucose mutarotase enzyme is known to be involved in incorporating the sugar fucose into protein. Female mice that lack the fucose mutarotase (FucM) gene refuse to let males mount them, and will attempt copulation with other female mice. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Genetics created the FucM mouse mutants in order to investigate the role of this enzyme in vivo.
Chankyu Park worked with a team of researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and intriguingly gained some insight into the neurological basis of sexual preference. He said, "The FucM knockout mice displayed drastically reduced sexual receptivity, although pregnancy after forced mating attempts by normal sexually experienced males showed that the animals were fertile. The FucM knock-out mice have reduced levels of alpha-fetoprotein, a protein thought to be involved in development of parts of the brain responsible for reproductive behavior."
The mutant female mice were healthy, and behaved normally towards young mice. When approached by male mice, however, they would not adopt the sexually receptive 'lordosis' position. Furthermore, they lost interest in investigating male urine, unlike normal females, and would attempt to mount other females.
'Inception' is no dream for marketers Unusual summer bow for such a cerebral pic By Carl DiOrio
July 8, 2010, 11:00 PM ET
Consumers may wish more original films were wedged into the usual summer mix of remakes and sequels, but marketing executives know enough to be careful what they wish for.
Case in point: Warner Bros.' soon-to-bow thriller "Inception." Directed by Christopher Nolan, the Leonardo DiCaprio starrer has stimulated prerelease buzz simply on the basis of its A-list creatives.
Which is fortunate, as the pic's cerebral mix of brain-teasing plot points and effects-driven fantasy defies easy characterization in a one-sheet tagline or even a trailer, judging from materials released to date. Its online campaign similarly is based more on tease than glimpses into the narrative.
Studio marketing always aims to raise pic awareness and stoke must-see interest among prospective patrons, goals most easily achieved when moviegoers have a sense of what to expect from a film. With early -- and solidly positive -- reviews of "Inception" trickling out, word has circulated that the movie has something to do with industrial espionage and the invasion of dreams.
Well, that clears things up.
"I have heard everything from 'awesome' to 'a bit confusing' from those who went to the screening," one industryite said after a showing of the film at the recent Cinema Expo confab in Amsterdam.
In other words, the pic seemed to play well with the audience, but even the subsequent word-of-mouth tended to be vague, albeit positive. Even the movie's name fails to conjure anything specific.
"Nobody thinks it's a bad movie," an exec from a rival studio stressed. "The question is whether it's going to be the real breakout picture that everybody seems to think or just the darling of the East and West coasts and miss the rest of the country."
There lies the rub: how to entice Middle America without a lot of complicated explication? It obviously helps that "Inception" was helmed by Batman's favorite director and stars a maturing American heartthrob.
Yeah! It's "Stuff & Nonsense"-time again! Go for it, Crystal!
For all those who are not familiar with it, just check out this thread every day to find everything between news, pictures, videos and other stuff. And if you've found something which could fit in here, then don't hesitate to post it.
And I already got something.
I'd say the future has begun:
Solar plane lands after completing 24-hour flight
PAYERNE, Switzerland – An experimental solar-powered plane completed its first 24-hour test flight successfully Thursday, proving that the aircraft can collect enough energy from the sun during the day to stay aloft all night.
The test brings the Swiss-led project one step closer to its goal of circling the globe using only energy from the sun.
Pilot Andre Borschberg eased the Solar Impulse out of the clear blue morning sky onto the runway at Payerne airfield about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of the Swiss capital Bern at exactly 9 a.m. (0700 GMT; 3 a.m. EDT).
Helpers rushed to stabilize the pioneering plane as it touched down, ensuring that its massive 207-foot (63-meter) wingspan didn't scrape the ground and topple the craft.
"We achieved more than we wanted. Everybody is extremely happy," Borschberg told reporters after landing.
Previous flights included a brief "flea hop" and a longer airborne test earlier this year, but this week's attempt was described as a "milestone" by the team and comes after seven years of planning.
It's so good to see you here! Thanks for the warm welcome and the article. That solar plane looks like a keeper.
Chinese airport closed after fiery UFO is spotted flying over city By Daily Mail Reporter Last updated at 3:20 PM on 9th July 2010
A Chinese airport was closed after this mysterious object was spotted in the sky. Arcing over Zhejiang's provincial capital Hangzhou, the UFO appeared to glow with an eerie white light and left a bright trail in its wake. Xiaoshan Airport was closed after the UFO was detected at around 9 pm and dozens of flights had to be diverted. The strange light appeared to glow as it swept through the night sky, to the alarm of local residents.
Another photo from a different angle shows a wide trail behind the object as it zips through the sky.
Stunned witnesses reported seeing a comet-like fireball in the sky and a number of local residents took photos of the strange ball of light.
A local bus driver, giving his name only as Yu, said he had seen a strange glowing object in the sky late on Wednesday afternoon.
'The thing suddenly ran westwards fast, like it was escaping from something,' he said.
Inbound flights were diverted to nearby airports while outbound flights were delayed for three to four hours. Some Chinese experts claimed that the strange sight was actually debris from a US intercontinental ballistic missile.
Chinese airport closed after fiery UFO is spotted flying over city By Daily Mail Reporter Last updated at 3:20 PM on 9th July 2010
I was reading about the Chinese UFO a little earlier and whilst I suspect it of (more than likely) having an ‘earthly’ explanation I noticed it was accompanied by a couple of stunning images so I’ve took the liberty of posting them below.