Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12165 on: Jan 26th, 2015, 08:53am »
January 21, 2015
NASA, Microsoft Collaboration Will Allow Scientists to ‘Work on Mars’
New NASA software called OnSight will use holographic computing to overlay visual information and data from the agency's Mars Curiosity Rover into the user's field of view. Holographic computing blends a view of the physical world with computer-generated imagery to create a hybrid of real and virtual. Image Credit: NASA
NASA and Microsoft have teamed up to develop software called OnSight, a new technology that will enable scientists to work virtually on Mars using wearable technology called Microsoft HoloLens.
Developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, OnSight will give scientists a means to plan and, along with the Mars Curiosity rover, conduct science operations on the Red Planet.
“OnSight gives our rover scientists the ability to walk around and explore Mars right from their offices,” said Dave Lavery, program executive for the Mars Science Laboratory mission at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “It fundamentally changes our perception of Mars, and how we understand the Mars environment surrounding the rover.”
OnSight will use real rover data and extend the Curiosity mission’s existing planning tools by creating a 3-D simulation of the Martian environment where scientists around the world can meet. Program scientists will be able to examine the rover’s worksite from a first-person perspective, plan new activities and preview the results of their work firsthand.
“We believe OnSight will enhance the ways in which we explore Mars and share that journey of exploration with the world,” said Jeff Norris, JPL’s OnSight project manager.
Until now, rover operations required scientists to examine Mars imagery on a computer screen, and make inferences about what they are seeing. But images, even 3-D stereo views, lack a natural sense of depth that human vision employs to understand spatial relationships.
The OnSight system uses holographic computing to overlay visual information and rover data into the user's field of view. Holographic computing blends a view of the physical world with computer-generated imagery to create a hybrid of real and virtual.
To view this holographic realm, members of the Curiosity mission team don a Microsoft HoloLens device, which surrounds them with images from the rover's Martian field site. They then can stroll around the rocky surface or crouch down to examine rocky outcrops from different angles. The tool provides access to scientists and engineers looking to interact with Mars in a more natural, human way.
"Previously, our Mars explorers have been stuck on one side of a computer screen. This tool gives them the ability to explore the rover's surroundings much as an Earth geologist would do field work here on our planet," said Norris.
The OnSight tool also will be useful for planning rover operations. For example, scientists can program activities for many of the rover's science instruments by looking at a target and using gestures to select menu commands.
The joint effort to develop OnSight with Microsoft grew from an ongoing partnership to investigate advances in human-robot interaction. The JPL team responsible for OnSight specializes in systems to control robots and spacecraft. The tool will assist researchers in better understanding the environment and workspace of robotic spacecraft -- something that can be quite challenging with their traditional suite of tools.
JPL plans to begin testing OnSight in Curiosity mission operations later this year. Future applications may include Mars 2020 rover mission operations, and other applications in support of NASA's journey to Mars.
JPL manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, and built the project's Curiosity rover.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12166 on: Jan 27th, 2015, 10:05am »
GOOD MORNING UFOCASEBOOKERS
Female Terrorists Finding Their Place in Islamic Militants' Ranks
Los Angeles Times Jan 27, 2015 by Molly Hennessy-Fiske
From bikini-clad beachgoer to veiled jihadist fugitive, the partner of Paris gunman Amedy Coulibaly underwent a startling metamorphosis that illuminates the dangerous potential behind militant groups' efforts to increase their recruiting of female terrorists.
Although French police initially questioned Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, five years ago, they acknowledge that she was subsequently able to make hundreds of phone calls and arrange meetings for Coulibaly through the wives of fellow assailants. She is then believed to have fled to Turkey just before the rash of killings in Paris this month, and is believed to have crossed into Syria.
"Hayat's case is just the latest example of how governments overlook and understate women's involvement in terrorist groups," said Jayne Huckerby, an associate professor at Duke University law school who studies the groups and advises governments in counter-terrorism strategies.
Female terrorists have a long history of exploiting gender stereotypes to avoid detection, and though counter-terrorism measures have become more effective, experts said the Paris attacks show that more needs to be done to curb the growing number of women like Boumeddiene joining militants in Syria.
Women account for about 10% of those joining Islamic State from Europe and about 20% of those joining from France, Huckerby said.
"What's very striking is that she's not an exception; she's an example of a trend," Huckerby said of Boumeddiene. "There tends to be an assumption with women that they're doing it under influence, they're being forced or tricked. But I think there's a more complicated story here, feelings of alienation."
A childhood friend of Boumeddiene, speaking on condition of anonymity to the newspaper Le Parisien, described her as "impulsive," emotionally fragile, childlike, quick to cry, with little self-confidence, prone to sending religious text messages and venting about her growing sense of alienation as a Muslim.
Like Cherif and Said Kouachi, the brothers who carried out the attack against the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo, Boumeddiene spent for years was a ward of the state. One of seven children born in Paris to Algerian parents, she was placed in foster care at 12 after her mother died and her father remarried.
Expelled from foster homes for assaulting social workers, she moved in with a friend in the suburbs, the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche reported, but failed to finish high school.
She met Coulibaly in 2007, soon after he finished serving time for armed robbery at Fleury-Merogis Prison, a breeding ground for extremists, where he converted to Islam and met Cherif Kouachi.
Police monitoring Coulibaly may have assumed that Boumeddiene would have a "taming effect" on him, but more often such couples do the opposite, radicalizing each other, said Erin Marie Saltman, an expert on the role of women in extremism at the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue.
The couple did not initially act like extremists, vacationing in Malaysia and the Dominican Republic, where Boumeddiene wore a bikini and posed for photos in the arms of her shirtless boyfriend.
They married in 2009 in a religious ceremony not recognized by the French government, French police union spokesman Christophe Crepin said. Boumeddiene worked as a cashier at a butcher shop but was fired when she started wearing a veil, according to Le Journal du Dimanche.
She and Coulibaly began visiting a Muslim extremist in central France, according to Le Parisien. While there in 2010, she posed for photos that were a far cry from her glamour shots on the beach. Wearing a veil, she aimed a crossbow at the camera in a menacing pose.
When counter-terrorism investigators brought her in for questioning later that year, Boumeddiene spoke of "innocents killed by the Americans," but insisted that Coulibaly was not a fanatic, telling police, "Amedy isn't really very religious. He likes having fun," according to the French newspaper Le Monde.
Crepin said investigators didn't have enough to charge or monitor Boumeddiene, since she denied having knowledge of criminal activity.
"Until we had proof to the contrary, we had to accept that she felt that way," he said.
Three years later, Coulibaly was convicted of aiding a terrorist's foiled prison break and sentenced to five years in prison. No charges were filed against Boumeddiene, who became friends with Cherif Kouachi's wife, trading more than 500 cellphone calls with her last year, said Crepin.
"They used the women, it's clear," Crepin said of the attackers.
At the same time, he said, it's hard to believe that Kouachi's wife and Boumeddiene were unaware of the men's plans.
"When there's 500 calls going back and forth, they clearly had an idea of what was going on," Crepin said. "We were dealing with people who knew they were being watched and knew how to avoid it. The women were not ignorant."
Still, there may be a difference between Boumeddiene and the other attackers' wives who were probably "being used to keep the veil of a normal life" so their husbands could avoid detection, Saltman said.
"Boumeddiene was obviously very active, wanting to train, wanting to be a part of the violent nature of the jihadist ideology," she said.
It's not clear whether Coulibaly coordinated his attack on a kosher market, where he killed four shoppers and took others hostage, with the Kouachis' assault on Charlie Hebdo. The three men died within minutes of one another in simultaneous raids on the market and on a printing plant where the Kouachis were hiding.
It also appears that they may have had different loyalties: Coulibaly appeared in a video swearing allegiance to Islamic State, while Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the Kouachis' attack. Both groups have carved out roles for women, in subordinate, rather than leadership, positions.
"There is hardly any terrorist group at the moment that does not include women in some capacity," said Mia Bloom, a professor of security studies at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
Women in Al Qaeda have historically played a supportive role, but they have also increasingly become suicide bombers in the Middle East for Al Qaeda affiliates, Bloom said.
In online posts, some female Islamic State volunteers have expressed a willingness to fight, Saltman said. "Many of them would be willing to participate in violence. But once they reach Islamic State territory, they take on a much more passive role" as wives, mothers and recruiters.
Samia Maktouf, a Paris lawyer who represents the worried families of other female Muslim extremists in France, faulted the government for not tracking and arresting Boumeddiene.
"They were aware of the dangerousness of this girl. She was in the hands of the police in 2010. Why didn't they stop her or put her under surveillance? My answer is they were not aware of her Muslim fundamentalism," Maktouf said.
French legislators are considering whether to change laws that may have prevented police from monitoring Boumeddiene and other members of the suspects' entourage.
"It was too difficult to monitor the women before. Now, maybe we will be able," Crepin said.
But it will take more than stepped-up surveillance to stop women like Boumeddiene, experts said.
One Tunisian Muslim mother who asked not to be identified told Maktouf that her daughter became engaged to an extremist in Syria over the Internet.
The mother did the only thing she could think of: She took two days off work to try to reason with her daughter, who has two master's degrees, arguing that she would be unable to use her education. The daughter initially agreed to call off the engagement, but the following day she disappeared.
She sent a text message. "I have to go. I'm sorry. Be happy for me."
Before passing new laws to stop women like her and Boumeddiene, police should cultivate ties to French Muslim families, Maktouf said.
"We should use what we have," she said. "The best tool is human."
Special correspondent Aviva Cashmira in Paris contributed to this report.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12167 on: Jan 27th, 2015, 10:07am »
Published on Jan 27, 2015
I took these photos in Greece, 10-22 January 2015. The last one I was very scared as I was alone. In all photos the objects were moving slowly and after a while they disappeared (lights went off). I have no idea what those could be. If you know please let me know. Thanks.
Scientists unboil an egg, and it may be a big deal
As anyone who has ever cooked an egg knows, egg "whites" are clear until they are cooked. Egg whites are high in protein, and when they cook, the proteins start to unfold, and then fold back up in a tighter, more tangled structure. This is why they go from being clear and mucus-like to white and rubbery.
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and Flinders University in Australia have figured out a process that can pull apart the tangled proteins, allowing them to refold and return to their original structure.
Read MoreApple Watch battery life—2.5 hours?
The team used an egg to demonstrate the process, but scientists use all kinds of proteins in laboratory research that tangle and fold in similar ways during experiments—and they spend a great deal of time trying to untangle them into usable proteins.
Other methods for untangling proteins are already available, but they take days to work. The new method takes minutes, speeding the process up by a factor of thousands, according to the report.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12173 on: Jan 28th, 2015, 10:44am »
GOOD MORNIN' ALL
Easter Island mystery: Why did the native culture die out?
Date: January 27, 2015
Source: University of California - Santa Barbara
Long before the Europeans arrived on Easter Island in 1722, the native Polynesian culture known as Rapa Nui showed signs of demographic decline. However, the catalyst has long been debated in the scientific community. Was environmental degradation the cause, or could a political revolution or an epidemic of disease be to blame?
A new study by a group of international researchers, including UC Santa Barbara's Oliver Chadwick, offers a different explanation and helps to clarify the chronological framework. The investigators expected to find that changes coincided with the arrival of the Europeans, but their work shows instead that the demise of the Rapa Nui culture began prior to that. Their findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"In the current Easter Island debate, one side says the Rapa Nui decimated their environment and killed themselves off," said Chadwick, a professor in UC Santa Barbara's Department of Geography and the Environmental Studies Program. "The other side says it had nothing to do with cultural behavior, that it was the Europeans who brought disease that killed the Rapa Nui. Our results show that there is some of both going on, but the important point is that we show evidence of some communities being abandoned prior to European contact."
Chadwick joined archaeologists Christopher Stevenson of Virginia Commonwealth University, Cedric Puleston of UC Davis and Thegn Ladefoged of the University of Auckland in examining six agriculture sites used by the island's statue-building inhabitants. Their research focused mainly on the three sites for which they had information on climate, soil chemistry and land use trends as determined by an analysis of obsidian spear points.
The team used flakes of obsidian, a natural glass, as a dating tool. Measuring the amount of water that had penetrated the obsidian's surface allowed them to gauge how long it had been exposed and to determine its age.
The study sites reflected the environmental diversity of the 63-square-mile island situated nearly 2,300 miles off the west coast of Chile. The soil nutrient supply on Easter Island is less than that of the younger Hawaiian Islands, which were also settled by the Polynesians around the same time, 1200 A.D.
The first site the researchers analyzed was near the northwest coast. Lying in the rain shadow of a volcano, it had low rainfall and relatively high soil nutrient availability. The second study site, on the interior side of the volcanic mountain, experienced high rainfall but had a low nutrient supply; the third, another near-coastal are in the northeast, was characterized by intermediate amounts of rainfall and relatively high soil nutrients.
"When we evaluate the length of time that the land was used based on the age distribution of each site's obsidian flakes, which we used as an index of human habitation, we find that the very dry area and the very wet area were abandoned before European contact," Chadwick said. "The area that had relatively high nutrients and intermediate rainfall maintained a robust population well after European contact."
These results suggest that the Rapa Nui reacted to regional variations and natural environmental barriers to producing sufficient crops rather than degrading the environment themselves. In the nutrient-rich center where they could produce food well, they were able to maintain a viable culture even under the threat of external factors, including European diseases such as smallpox, syphilis and tuberculosis.
"The pullback from the marginal areas suggests that the Rapa Nui couldn't continue to maintain the food resources necessary to keep the statue builders in business," Chadwick concluded. "So we see the story as one of pushing against constraints and having to pull back rather than one of violent collapse."
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12174 on: Jan 28th, 2015, 10:48am »
posted by Grassman58 Published on Jan 27, 2015
Sharing some of the stories and reports of bigfoot sightings we have been researching at the locations around Stevens County. These reports are from Douglas Falls. We will be posting more reports in the months to follow.
The brains of psychopathic violent criminals have abnormalities in regions related to punishment that are not seen in the brains of violent criminals who are not psychopathic, according to new research using brain scans.
These MRI scans suggest that psychopaths don't grasp punishment the same way as other people, the researchers said. This is likely why psychopaths do not benefit from rehabilitation programs, as other violent criminals often do, the scientists report today (Jan. 28) in the journal Lancet Psychiatry.
However, understanding these neurological underpinnings of psychopathy may improve interventions during childhood, when psychopathic behavior emerges as something distinct from ordinary delinquency, the scientists said.
"Psychopathic offenders are different from regular criminals in many ways," said Dr. Nigel Blackwood of King's College London, a senior author on the paper. "Regular criminals are hyper-responsive to threat, quick-tempered and aggressive, while psychopaths have a very low response to threats, are cold, and their aggressive behavior is premeditated."
In previous research, Blackwood has described psychopaths as "cold-hearted" and other violent offenders as "hot-headed." [Top 10 Controversial Psychiatric Disorders]
To understand this difference, Blackwood and his colleagues conducted MRI scans of the brains of 12 violent criminals with psychopathy, 20 violent criminals with antisocial personality disorder but not psychopathy, and 18 healthy people who were not criminals. The criminals had been convicted of murder, rape, attempted murder or grievous bodily harm in the United Kingdom.
While their brains were being scanned, the participants were asked to play a matching game to assess their ability to change their behavior when confronted with rewards and punishment.
In the group of criminals who were psychopathic, the scientists observed lower volumes of gray matter in brain regions involved in empathy, moral reasoning, and the processing of social emotions such as guilt and embarrassment. They also found abnormalities in white matter fibers leading to the prefrontal cortex, in regions involved in learning from reward and punishment.
The other violent criminals performed similarly to the people who were not criminals in this test, the researchers found.
For any person, deciding on how to behave involves generating a list of possible actions, weighing the negative and positive consequences of each, and, hopefully, choosing the behavior most likely to lead to a positive outcome, explained Sheilagh Hodgins, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal, who co-led the study with Blackwood.
"Offenders with psychopathy may only consider the possible positive consequences and fail to take account of the likely negative consequences," Hodgins said. "Consequently, their behavior often leads to punishment rather than reward as they had expected."
So, approaches to rehabilitation that are based on treating the behavior problems of psychopaths similarly to those of criminals who are not psychopathic are bound to fail, the researchers said.
"Offender rehabilitation focuses on changing behavior, but to succeed it must take account of the personality characteristics of the offenders," Hodgins told Live Science. "Those with psychopathy are less empathetic, more callous, more manipulative, and they commit more violent crimes, some of which are premeditated."
What can be done to help psychopaths control their behavior? The researchers suggest focusing on learning-based interventions during childhood, when there still is the potential to alter brain structure and function.
Hodgins said that researchers are "only beginning to learn about the childhood antecedents of the syndrome of psychopathy," but that her group's study provides a hypothesis on the emergence of psychopathy and how to test for it in children.
There is ongoing research trying to understand how to help children with psychopathic characteristics — that is, being callous, unemotional and prone to disruptive conduct — to become more emotionally responsive, Hodgins said. This may include focusing on reward and using negative reinforcement sparingly when interacting with these children.
"Since most violent crimes are committed by men who display conduct problems from a young age, learning-based interventions that target the specific brain mechanisms underlying this behavior pattern and thereby change the behavior would significantly reduce violent crime," Hodgins said.
But the abnormalities of brain structure and function associated with persistent violent behavior are subtle and complex, Blackwood added. And little is still known about how genes and the environment conspire to create a cold, ruthless killer.
The only information given was posted below the video, sorry I don't have anything else.
Hal she slipped up bro..had to happen sooner or later and Swamp and Zetar are not here to cover for her. Everyone's on top of the Greek situation. The situation is critical. Dont fall for the old I forgot to put quotes on the statement.
This is as the yanks are fond of saying the real slim shady.. Be careful and don't use the usual means to communicate..drink bottled water only.
An Extraction team is on the way.
« Last Edit: Jan 28th, 2015, 8:46pm by Sys_Config »
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12179 on: Jan 29th, 2015, 10:34am »
UFO With Multiple Flashing Lights Sighted Over Rendlesham Forest
28 January 2015
A man, George Taylor, claims he filmed a UFO event over “Britain’s Roswell,” the famous Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk, England, on Sunday, Jan. 25, while walking his dog. The video of the sighting was uploaded to YouTube on Jan. 26, 2015.
The incident is attracting the attention of UFO enthusiasts because Rendlesham Forest has a distinguished history of bizarre UFO sightings.
The 36-second footage shows three flashing balls of light in cloudy skies over Rendlesham Forest. It also shows a helicopter flying close to the lights and apparently chasing them across the sky to determine their source and nature.
Taylor, who said he was surprised because he had never seen “anything odd in all the years” he had lived in Rendlesham, posted the footage to YouTube, asking if anyone could tell what caused the lights.