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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 92037 times)
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1005 on: Sep 6th, 2010, 07:46am »

on Sep 6th, 2010, 07:16am, Luvey wrote:
Wow!! Philliman, what a magnificent photo.... It was so uplifting to see.

Good morning Crystal grin

Pen


Good evening Pen,

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« Reply #1006 on: Sep 6th, 2010, 07:50am »

New York Times

September 5, 2010
Housing Woes Bring New Cry: Let Market Fall
By DAVID STREITFELD

The unexpectedly deep plunge in home sales this summer is likely to force the Obama administration to choose between future homeowners and current ones, a predicament officials had been eager to avoid.

Over the last 18 months, the administration has rolled out just about every program it could think of to prop up the ailing housing market, using tax credits, mortgage modification programs, low interest rates, government-backed loans and other assistance intended to keep values up and delinquent borrowers out of foreclosure. The goal was to stabilize the market until a resurgent economy created new households that demanded places to live.

As the economy again sputters and potential buyers flee — July housing sales sank 26 percent from July 2009 — there is a growing sense of exhaustion with government intervention. Some economists and analysts are now urging a dose of shock therapy that would greatly shift the benefits to future homeowners: Let the housing market crash.

When prices are lower, these experts argue, buyers will pour in, creating the elusive stability the government has spent billions upon billions trying to achieve.

“Housing needs to go back to reasonable levels,” said Anthony B. Sanders, a professor of real estate finance at George Mason University. “If we keep trying to stimulate the market, that’s the definition of insanity.”

The further the market descends, however, the more miserable one group — important both politically and economically — will be: the tens of millions of homeowners who have already seen their home values drop an average of 30 percent.

The poorer these owners feel, the less likely they will indulge in the sort of consumer spending the economy needs to recover. If they see an identical house down the street going for half what they owe, the temptation to default might be irresistible. That could make the market’s current malaise seem minor.

Caught in the middle is an administration that gambled on a recovery that is not happening.

“The administration made a bet that a rising economy would solve the housing problem and now they are out of chips,” said Howard Glaser, a former Clinton administration housing official with close ties to policy makers in the administration. “They are deeply worried and don’t really know what to do.”

That was clear last week, when the secretary of housing and urban development, Shaun Donovan, appeared to side with current homeowners, telling CNN the administration would “go everywhere we can” to make sure the slumping market recovers.

Mr. Donovan even opened the door to another housing tax credit like the one that expired last spring, which paid first-time buyers as much as $8,000 and buyers who were moving up $6,500. The cost to taxpayers was in the neighborhood of $30 billion, much of which went to people who would have bought anyway.

Administration press officers quickly backpedaled from Mr. Donovan’s comment, saying a revived credit was either highly unlikely or flat-out impossible. Mr. Donovan declined to be interviewed for this article. In a statement, a White House spokeswoman responded to questions about possible new stimulus measures by pointing to those already in the works.

“In the weeks ahead, we will focus on successfully getting off the ground programs we have recently announced,” the spokeswoman, Amy Brundage, said.

Among those initiatives are $3 billion to keep the unemployed from losing their homes and a refinancing program that will try to cut the mortgage balances of owners who owe more than their property is worth. A previous program with similar goals had limited success.

If last year’s tax credit was supposed to be a bridge over a rough patch, it ended with a glimpse of the abyss. The average home now takes more than a year to sell. Add in the homes that are foreclosed but not yet for sale and the total is greater still.

Builders are in even worse shape. Sales of new homes are lower than in the depths of the recession of the early 1980s, when mortgage rates were double what they are now, unemployment was pervasive and the gloom was at least as thick.

The deteriorating circumstances have given a new voice to the “do nothing” chorus, whose members think the era of trying to buy stability while hoping the market will catch fire — called “extend and pretend” or “delay and pray” — has run its course.

“We have had enough artificial support and need to let the free market do its thing,” said the housing analyst Ivy Zelman.

Michael L. Moskowitz, president of Equity Now, a direct mortgage lender that operates in New York and seven other states, also advocates letting the market fall. “Prices are still artificially high,” he said. “The government is discriminating against the renters who are able to buy at $200,000 but can’t at $250,000.”

A small decline in home prices might not make too much of a difference to a slack economy. But an unchecked drop of 10 percent or more might prove entirely discouraging to the millions of owners just hanging on, especially those who bought in the last few years under the impression that a turnaround had already begun.

The government is on the hook for many of these mortgages, another reason policy makers have been aggressively seeking stability. What helped support the market last year could now cause it to crumble.

Since 2006, the Federal Housing Administration has insured millions of low down payment loans. During the first two years, officials concede, the credit quality of the borrowers was too low.

With little at stake and a queasy economy, buyers bailed: nearly 12 percent were delinquent after a year. Last fall, F.H.A. cash reserves fell below the Congressionally mandated minimum, and the agency had to shore up its finances.

Government-backed loans in 2009 went to buyers with higher credit scores. Yet the percentage of first-year defaults was still 5 percent, according to data from the research firm CoreLogic.

“These are at-risk buyers,” said Sam Khater, a CoreLogic economist. “They have very little equity, and that’s the largest predictor of default.”

This is the risk policy makers face. “If home prices begin to fall again with any serious velocity, borrowers may stay away in such numbers that the market never recovers,” said Mr. Glaser, a consultant whose clients include the National Association of Realtors.

Those sorts of worries have a few people from the world of finance suggesting that the administration should do much more, not less.

more after the jump
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/06/business/economy/06housing.html?ref=business

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1007 on: Sep 6th, 2010, 07:59am »

This was posted last January. Filmed in Edinburgh





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« Reply #1008 on: Sep 6th, 2010, 08:08am »

Urlesque

It's not every day I get to ask questions of an Emmy winner, so I'm excited that the folks behind Star Wars Uncut agreed to do an interview with Urlesque. In case you're not familiar, Star Wars Uncut is a crowdsourced video project where individual directors recreate Star Wars in 15 second chunks, and the whole thing can be combined every which-way into a totally new take on the original film.



The concept is cool, and the execution is even cooler, which is why Star Wars Uncut just won an Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media and got covered in the NY Times. You can watch the hundreds of individual clips -- animated, live action, Lego and more -- online for free, and a fully-edited and soundtracked official version is coming out soon.

One of the primary brains behind the project, Casey Pugh, answered our burning questions about Uncut.
Do you have a favorite Star Wars Uncut clip or clips? Who are your favorite directors on the site?
There are so many amazing contributions to the project. There are over 900 submissions! If I had to choose I would have to say Malcolm Sutherland would be my favorite director. He made three amazingly well illustrated and animated scenes. Not only are they visually amazing and have a creative interpretation of the original SW scene, but he also did all the sound design for each of his scenes.

What's your favorite scene from the original movie?
Unfortunately, this is an impossible question to answer. Every scene is nostalgic and memorable to me.

Do you think this project would have worked as well with another movie? What other Uncut projects are in the works?
There are plenty of other films the Uncut idea could work for, but Star Wars is the most globally well-known movie to date, in my opinion. It's the Michael Jackson of movies. I haven't officially started another Uncut film, but I do have a couple personal favorites, besides Empire Strikes Back, that I think would be amazing to recreate; Back to the Future and Total Recall!

How long did it take to cut up the movie and get the site up and running so people could submit?
After figuring out all the logistics on how the site would work, I was able to get the site up and running in a little over a week. Of course, I had to constantly make fixes and enhancements over time to make sure everything was in working order.

How does a live screening of Star Wars Uncut work?
We aren't officially screening Star Wars Uncut, yet. When we do, we will be using a fully produced version of Star Wars Uncut that has been edited together by Aaron Valdez and sound design and mixing by Bryan Pugh. It truly makes the disjointed 15 second scenes as cohesive as possible and amazing to watch. To really bring home the Star Wars experience, Bryan mixed in the original John Williams score on top.

more after the jump
http://www.urlesque.com/2010/09/01/star-wars-uncut-casey-pugh-interview/

http://www.starwarsuncut.com/

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1009 on: Sep 6th, 2010, 3:58pm »

Long Island Press.com

William Shatner: William Shatner Believes in Aliens


By Jaclyn Gallucci on September 6th, 2010

Aliens? Yes, please! William Shatner aka Captain Kirk of Star Trek says of course aliens exist. There is “no doubt.”
But while the 79-year-old actor says there has to be some kind of life out there in the universe he wonders why no extra-terrestrials have gone public here on Earth yet.

“There is no doubt that there is life out there,” Shatner tells teh Montreal Gazette. “The mathematics of it lead you to that absolute conclusion. In my mind, there is no doubt that the universe teems – teems! – with life in all its forms. But why they would come visit here and not let themselves be known to everybody is beyond my sense of logic.”

Shatner is currently starring in a new television series called “William Shatner’s Weird or What?” It’s a show that investigates aliens, of course, and strange UFO sightings and abductions.

“Why would you fly the years or millenniums (it would take) to (get here)?” Shatner continues. “Why wouldn’t they just land and say, ‘Here we are, we’re tired, got any ice cream?”.

http://www.longislandpress.com/2010/09/06/william-shatner-william-shatner-believes-in-aliens/
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« Reply #1010 on: Sep 6th, 2010, 4:24pm »

on Sep 6th, 2010, 3:58pm, Swamprat wrote:
Long Island Press.com

William Shatner: William Shatner Believes in Aliens


By Jaclyn Gallucci on September 6th, 2010

Aliens? Yes, please! William Shatner aka Captain Kirk of Star Trek says of course aliens exist. There is “no doubt.”
But while the 79-year-old actor says there has to be some kind of life out there in the universe he wonders why no extra-terrestrials have gone public here on Earth yet.

“There is no doubt that there is life out there,” Shatner tells teh Montreal Gazette. “The mathematics of it lead you to that absolute conclusion. In my mind, there is no doubt that the universe teems – teems! – with life in all its forms. But why they would come visit here and not let themselves be known to everybody is beyond my sense of logic.”

Shatner is currently starring in a new television series called “William Shatner’s Weird or What?” It’s a show that investigates aliens, of course, and strange UFO sightings and abductions.

“Why would you fly the years or millenniums (it would take) to (get here)?” Shatner continues. “Why wouldn’t they just land and say, ‘Here we are, we’re tired, got any ice cream?”.

http://www.longislandpress.com/2010/09/06/william-shatner-william-shatner-believes-in-aliens/


William Shatner is a hoot! Thanks Swamprat. I didn't know he was doing an alien show.
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« Reply #1011 on: Sep 6th, 2010, 7:12pm »

I love Seattleites grin

SEATTLE, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- An electronic roadside information sign in Seattle was hacked to display the message "eat my shorts," authorities said.

"For us in Seattle, it's very rare," Rick Sheridan of the Seattle Department of Transportation said. "All the devices are locked with either a key lock or padlock so they're physically secured."

It's unclear when the sign was hacked but a crew member from the SDOT re-coded the sign Sunday, removing the temporary source of amusement for West Seattle residents, KCPQ-TV, Tacoma, Wash., reported Monday.

"I just thought it was absurd," Geoffrey Garza said. "What was funny about it is, at first I was like, of course that's what it should say, than I was like wait, that traffic sign just told me to 'eat my shorts' and I just loved it, it's very comical."

http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2010/09/06/Electronic-sign-hacked-gives-rude-message/UPI-44941283814907/

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« Reply #1012 on: Sep 7th, 2010, 08:36am »

New York Times

September 7, 2010
Strikers in Paris and London Snarl Travel
By DAVID JOLLY

PARIS — The French government was bracing on Tuesday for a major strike and protests against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to raise the retirement age to 62 from 60. Also, a subway strike in London led the government to make available additional boats and buses and to encourage commuters to cycle to work.

Subway, suburban rail and bus traffic in Paris was sharply curtailed, though LCI television reported that subway disruptions were not as bad as expected. With many teachers striking across the country, parents of small children had no choice but to stay home.

The RER B rail link to Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports was effectively halted. And because some air traffic controllers were on strike, the French civil aviation authority limited the number of flights landing and taking off. Air France-KLM said it expected to maintain all of its long-haul flights and 90 percent of short- and medium-haul flights from Charles de Gaulle, and 50 percent of its short- and medium-haul flights from Paris-Orly.

The SNCF rail network said travelers could expect 40 percent of TGV fast trains to run, and 80 percent of Thalys trains to Belgium and the Netherlands would not be affected, new agencies reported. Eurostar trains to Britain are expected to run normally.

In London, two unions began a 24-hour job action during the evening rush Monday. Workers there oppose a plan by the Underground operator, Transport for London, to lay off 800 employees.

Mr. Sarkozy, who has been weakened in the polls by a scandal involving his labor minister, Éric Woerth, has vowed to push through with an overhaul of the national pension plan. The government argues that people must work longer if the system is to remain solvent. But many French people fear that a move to raise the minimum retirement age will be but the first step in a series of moves to whittle away at their cherished entitlements.

Union leaders were hoping for a turnout of two million or more demonstrators. Bernard Thibault, secretary general of the CGT labor union, told Europe 1 radio that the mobilization of demonstrators Tuesday would be the largest “in several years.”

On Sunday, Claude Guéant, Mr. Sarkozy’s chief of staff, said “some compromises” were possible, but that ultimately reform was necessary and the overhaul would go through largely as planned. France has hung on to a top AAA credit rating throughout the financial crisis, but some economists warn that the pressure of an aging population will make that difficult to maintain without reform.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/world/europe/08france.html?_r=1&ref=world

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« Reply #1013 on: Sep 7th, 2010, 08:42am »

Guardian

Church's plans to burn Qur'an will endanger troops, US commander warns
General David Petraeus says move by US evangelical group to burn Islam's holy book would threaten Americans worldwide

Associated Press
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 7 September 2010 12.37 BST

The leading US and Nato commander in Afghanistan today said threats by a US church to burn copies of the Qur'an could endanger troops in Afghanistan and Americans worldwide.

General David Petraeus's warning followed a protest by hundreds of Afghans yesterday over plans by the Florida-based Dove World Outreach Centre - an evangelical Christian church espousing anti-Islamic philosophy - to burn copies of the Qur'an on church grounds to mark the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Several hundred Afghans rallied outside a Kabul mosque, burning American flags and an effigy of Dove World's pastor and chanting: "Death to America." Members of the crowd briefly pelted a passing US military convoy with stones, but were ordered to stop by protest organisers.

Two days earlier, thousands of Indonesian Muslims rallied outside the US embassy in Jakarta and in five other cities to protest against the church's plans.

"Images of the burning of a Qur'an would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan, and around the world, to inflame public opinion and incite violence," Petraeus said.

"I am very concerned by the potential repercussions. Even the rumour that it might take place has sparked demonstrations such as the one that took place in Kabul. Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult."

Muslims consider the Qur'an to be the word of God and insist it be treated with the utmost respect, along with any printed material containing its verses or the name of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad. Any intentional damage or show of disrespect to the Qur'an is deeply offensive.

In 2005, 15 people died and scores were wounded in riots in Afghanistan sparked by a story in Newsweek magazine which alleged that interrogators at Guantánamo Bay placed copies of the Qur'an in bathrooms and The US embassy in Kabul issued a statement condemning the church's plans, saying Washington was "deeply concerned about deliberate attempts to offend members of religious or ethnic groups".

Dove World Outreach Centre, which made headlines last year after distributing T-shirts that said "Islam is of the Devil" has been denied a permit to set a bonfire but has vowed to proceed with the burning.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/07/us-church-quran-plan-endanger-troops

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« Reply #1014 on: Sep 7th, 2010, 08:47am »

Guardian

Julia Gillard to lead Australian minority government
Support of two independent MPs gives Labor party a majority of one seat over Liberal-led opposition coalition
Alison Rourke in Sydney
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 7 September 2010 11.36 BST

Julia Gillard will lead Australia's first minority government in nearly 70 years after she won the support of two independent MPs today, making her the country's first elected female prime minister.

Seventeen days after inconclusive elections failed to return a clear winner, Gillard's Labor party will have a majority of just one. The result came after two of three wavering rural independent MPs backed her, while the third threw his weight behind the opposition coalition, led by the Liberal party. In a day of high drama and tension, the final decisions of the three MPs gave Gillard the required majority of 76 seats to 74.

For the last two and a half weeks the country has been hanging on to every word of the independents, who have become known as the "three amigos". A press conference had been scheduled for 3pm for their decision to be made public but Bob Katter, the MP from north Queensland, broke off a meeting with the other two MPs an hour early to announce he was backing the opposition coalition. Confusingly Katter then said he was not in fact backing either party but was showing his support for the people of north Queensland. "I went for my tribe, my homeland," he said.

Speculation mounted as to whether Katter had broken ranks with the others because they had decided to back Labor. At 3pm, one of the remaining MPs arrived at the press conference but had to then wait for his colleague to arrive. It was not until 26 minutes into the press conference that the second MP, Rob Oakeshott, revealed he would back Labor in what he described as a "line-ball decision". "This couldn't get any closer," he said.

Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, who are both from regional New South Wales, have consistently said stability and longevity of government were paramount in their decision. They said they backed Gillard because they thought Labor had the most to lose if the government turned out to be short lived. They felt that Labor would be more likely to lose an early election if the government fell so it would do everything in its power to keep it afloat.

"The consideration was: who's likely to work harder to make the parliament work, to make the nation work?" said Oakeshott, who described the dillemma of choosing between the Labor and Liberal parties as "wicked". Windsor went further, revealing that he had not even told his wife who he would support.

An obviously relieved Gillard said Labor would deliver stable government.

"We will govern in the best interests of the Australian people and I know that if we fail in this solemn responsibility, we will be judged harshly when we next face the Australian people at the next election."

Her sweetener to the rural independents was a A$9.9bn (£5.9bn) package, which will include a regional focus on health and education.

"We will make sure regional Australia gets its fair share," she said.

Oakeshott and Windsor acknowledged this was an important part of their negotiations, and cited Labor's policy on broadband and climate change as crucial in their decision. The latter is likely to put them at odds with many in their mainly conservative electorates who are against putting a price on carbon emissions.

With this in mind Windsor took the offensive, saying he thought the climate change debate needed to be revisited.

"I see enormous opportunities where others [in rural Australia] fear the whole climate change debate," he said.

The defeated opposition leader, Tony Abbott, said the result was disappointing.

"For our country's sake I hope that the Labor party can provide a better government than it has over the last three years. For the country's sake I hope the Labor party can rediscover its soul that has been so lacking," he said.

His coalition partner, the National party, traditionally supported by rural voters, went further, saying the outcome was a lost opportunity for a regional Australia. The leader, Warren Truss, said he was worried about the upper house of parliament being controlled by Labor and the "extreme Greens".

Today's result is a narrow escape for Labor. Less than three months ago the party ditched its leader Kevin Rudd in favour of Gillard after his popularity had decreased dramatically. She received an almost immediate bounce in opinion polls, but a shaky election campaign dogged by leaks against her, party infighting and the presence of Rudd made the contest too close to call. No first-term government had been thrown out of office for 80 years.

But this won't be an easy parliament for Labor. As well as relying on Windsor and Oakeshott, Labor also counts a Greens MP and an independent from Tasmania among their 76 seats. All of the independents have reserved the right to consider legislation on its merits.

video after the jump
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/07/julia-gillard-australian-minority-government

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« Reply #1015 on: Sep 7th, 2010, 08:54am »

New York Times

September 7, 2010
Colorado Wildfire Destroys Homes
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 8:48 a.m. ET

DENVER (AP) -- A wind-whipped wildfire sent flames roaring through a rugged canyon in the Colorado foothills, forcing hundreds of people to flee and destroying dozens of homes -- some that belonged to the firefighters themselves, authorities said early Tuesday.

Firefighters were waiting until sunrise to count the exact number of houses that have burned, said Brett Haberstick of the Sunshine Fire Protection District.

The blaze broke out Monday morning in Four Mile Canyon northwest of Boulder and rapidly spread across 5 1/2 square miles or 3,500 acres. Erratic 45-mph gusts sometimes sent the fire in two directions at once.

Crews managed to save the historic town of Gold Hill, including an old West grocery store and structures once used for stagecoach stops. But firefighters in the area had to relocate their engines and equipment several times to avoid the flames.

''The fire moved too quickly and was much more active than anticipated,'' Haberstick said.

Despite the fire's destructive advance, no injuries have been reported, although some residents told of narrow escapes.

''I just drove through a wall of flames,'' Tom Neur told KDVR-TV. ''The bumper is melted off in the front of the van.''

Neur's wife, Anna, left earlier, and the couple reunited at temporary shelter. They said their house was destroyed.

''I don't care about the house,'' Anna Neur told her husband. ''I'm just glad you're OK.''

Fire managers said 1,000 homes had to be evacuated from the canyon and surrounding areas. Four belonging to firefighters were destroyed. Those firefighters were allowed to leave to attend to their families and personal affairs, said Laura McConnell, a spokeswoman for the fire management team.

More than 100 firefighters were on the scene on Monday, and the winds quieted enough by late afternoon to allow three tankers to drop more than 40,000 gallons of fire retardant along the leading edge of the fire.

The winds pushed the fire through three canyons where pine trees have been left prone to fire by disease, drought and beetles that burrow under the bark of pine trees, fire managers said. Such beetles have killed more than 3.5 million acres of trees in Colorado and southeastern Wyoming.

''We haven't had any rain there for almost a month. Maybe more than a month,'' said Craig Douglas, who lives north of the fire and received a knock on the door from a sheriff's deputy at about 8 p.m. on Monday. ''The humidity the last couple of days has been in the single digits, so it was a fire waiting to happen.''

The cause of the fire was unknown, and officials said it was too early to say how much, if any, of it was contained.

''It's very rocky, hilly, mountainous terrain,'' said Boulder County sheriff's Cmdr. Rick Brough.

Video from KUSA-TV showed at least one home engulfed in flames.

''There is ash falling from the sky,'' David Jones told The Denver Post from his home in Gold Hill, where about 250 people live. ''We're getting out of here.''

Officials said one fire vehicle was destroyed by the blaze.

Some ground crews remained at the fire through the night. At least four more aerial tankers were requested to join the fight Tuesday morning.

More than a half-dozen dirt roads that thread the narrow canyons were closed.

A billowing, white plume of heavy smoke was visible for miles before sunset. County health officials advised residents to stay indoors if the smoky air became irritating.

The Boulder County alert system malfunctioned for about two hours Monday afternoon, leaving authorities unable to send automatic calls telling residents to evacuate. Officials said it began working again later.

The Red Cross set up an overnight evacuation center at the Coors Events Center on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder. Douglas and about a dozen others were there early Tuesday.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/09/07/us/AP-US-Colorado-Wildfires.html?src=twt&twt=nytimes

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« Reply #1016 on: Sep 7th, 2010, 08:59am »

Telegraph

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Teenager sets new world record for wakeboarding across English Channel
A British public schoolboy is set to enter the Guinness Book of World Records after becoming the first person to “wakeboard” across the English Channel.

By Andrew Hough
Published: 7:30AM BST 07 Sep 2010

Edward Bosson, 17, successfully completed the gruelling 21 mile trek between England and France on his board on Sunday.

The Radley College student, who is currently studying for his A-levels, achieved the feat from Dover to Cap Gris-Nez in just over two hours.

Despite falling off his craft 14 times, he is set to now enter the Guinness Book of World Records for his achievement.

While others have successfully water skied across the Channel Edward, originally from Beaconsfield, Bucks, said the world record organisation told him no one had achieved it in this form.

If proven, he will officially enter the books under the title “the fastest crossing of the English Channel on a wakeboard”.

The teenager, who wants to study natural sciences at Cambridge, also raised more than £1000 for the Hope and Homes for Children charity.

“I thought it would be a very good thing to do, it was a challenge and I got to raise money for charity,” said the teenager, who is also a cox for the Great Britain junior men’s rowing team and has wakeboarded for about four years.

“When we got about a mile off shore it became quite rough and choppy and I fell off about 14 times. Every time you fall off it makes it harder as you become tired.

“I had no breaks thought. If I had I don’t think I would have been able to do it. I am really happy.”

His 48 year-old parents, Alison, a doctor and Paul, a finance director, said on Monday they were proud of his achievement.

“Like all teenagers he wanted a challenge and he took it on and we are quite chuffed for him,” Mr Bosson told The Daily Telegraph.

“My wife was saying she was concerned for his health but in the end he was able to do it. He was not collapsing on the beach but he was certainly tired. He was also in very good spirits.”

Officials from the records book have said Edward was required to send them a detailed dossier of his achievement including video, pictures, witness statements and timing records.

A spokesman for the records was unavailable for comment.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/7984581/Teenager-sets-new-world-record-for-wakeboarding-across-English-Channel.html

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1017 on: Sep 7th, 2010, 09:11am »

Urlesque

9.07.10 - 8:00AM-
by Emmy Blotnick
A Bunch of Crazy Jack Russell Terrier Videos

The Puppy Bowl is a long way away, but that doesn't mean we can't watch a few videos of Jack Russell terriers being adorable, high-energy nutjobs.

After the break, five videos of rambunctious little dogs that will make you long for the Wishbone DVD box set.

Videos after the jump
http://www.urlesque.com/2010/09/07/crazy-jack-russell-terrier-videos/

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« Reply #1018 on: Sep 7th, 2010, 10:21am »

MSNBC

Skeptic misses point behind UFO book
Solid sightings cited in ‘UFOs’; serious investigation
By Leslie Kean
Special to msnbc.com
updated 2 hours 16 minutes ago


When I wrote my book about officially documented UFO reports, I fully expected the skeptics to react. That’s why I was careful to focus only on the very best evidence from the most credible sources in "UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record." Since 95 percent of all sightings are eventually identified, the book is concerned only with the remaining 5 percent — those UFO events that have been thoroughly investigated, involve multiple witnesses and ample data, but still cannot be explained.

That didn’t stop James Oberg, a space analyst for NBC News, from complaining that the book was based on a “questionable foundation.”

In the biographical note appended to his commentary, he notes that he spent 22 years at NASA’s Mission Control and has written books about space policy and exploration. But he neglects to inform readers of something UFO researchers already know all too well: that he is a founding fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI, formerly CSICOP), a group whose aim is to debunk UFOs and any other unexplained phenomena that challenge our familiar ways of thinking.

For many years, Oberg, while retaining his stance as an objective student of the UFO phenomenon, has been a consistently vocal skeptic. His long list of articles dealing with UFOs date from the 1970s and are posted on his website under the heading "space folklore," which accurately sums up his attitude towards the subject. He may be qualified to serve as an unbiased, expert consultant on Russian or Chinese missile systems, but not on UFOs.

His objection to my many varied cases has to do with his notion that pilots are poor observers. To buttress this idea, he quotes J. Allen Hynek referring to questionable statistics compiled in the 1960s by Project Blue Book. He also cites Russian researchers describing two events in 1982 when pilot sightings were accurately identified as "military balloons" after the fact.

This is not surprising, since the vast majority of sightings can be explained, and this kind of identification is made all the time. However, such solved sightings — whether made by pilots or anyone else — have absolutely nothing to do with the cases presented in my book.

I wonder if Oberg gave "UFOs" a careful read. He spent many paragraphs quoting me concerning a report on aviation cases by French researcher Dominique Weinstein. The problem is, those are not my quotes. The chapter from which he extracted them was written by Jean-Jacques Velasco, head of the French government‘s UFO agency for over 20 years, as is obvious in his byline and narrative about French research.

Story continues after the jump
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38977500/ns/technology_and_science-space/

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1019 on: Sep 7th, 2010, 10:36am »

on Sep 6th, 2010, 07:46am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Good evening Pen,

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Crystal


Good morning Crystal grin

What a lovely flower.... do you know what kind it is. I have never seen a flower like that before.

I was reading the news article about the UFO book, and I thought you know, we only need one UFO sighting to be credible, and the rest are the icing on the cake.

Have a great day... smiley

Pen
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~ In every action there is an equal and opposite reaction ~
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