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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 127787 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #1245 on: Sep 22nd, 2010, 08:34am »

New York Times

September 20, 2010
Racing to Find Aviators Entombed in Ice
By MONIQUE MUGNIER

KOGE BAY, Greenland — It was December 1942 and the height of World War II when she received news of her brother. “Nancy,” her mother said calmly over the phone. “John’s been lost.”

“When I heard those words, my heart just sank,” said Nancy Pritchard Morgan, 87, of Annapolis, Md. Two weeks earlier, on Nov. 29, her brother and two other Coast Guard aviators had been listed as missing after their plane lost radio contact — and presumably crashed — during a storm off the southeast coast of Greenland.

Now, 68 years later, the Coast Guard has commissioned a private recovery team to try to locate, excavate and repatriate the three men entombed in a J2F-4 Grumman Duck biplane in a glacier here. The team set out last month with an arsenal of top-of-the-line technology: ground-penetrating radar, which can detect metallic objects close to the surface; advanced ice-melting equipment, which can pinpoint buried objects as it dissolves the ice around them; and a camera that can take pictures from inside deep hollows of ice.

The team also installed two GPS devices that will track the movement of the glacier in question. The goal is to find the servicemen before their relatives are dead and the ice where they are buried moves out to sea.

“Any branch of service wants to recover their fallen members, if they can,” said John Long, a Coast Guard master chief petty officer and the head of the “Duck Hunt” recovery mission. “It’s the right thing to do,” he said.

The 15-member team, including three from the Coast Guard and a reporter, had expected to spend no more than five days investigating six sites that had been identified as promising. But relentless rain, harsh winds and low visibility kept helicopters grounded, leaving the team stuck on the ice and unable to explore all the sites. Eleven days passed before everyone was able to return to the airport in Kulusuk.

The recovery effort began three years ago, when Chief Long began piecing together historic clues. The original 1943 accident report included a hand-drawn map from Col. Bernt Balchen, the American polar aviator who ran a training base in Greenland during the war. Chief Long determined that the crash had taken place within a three-square-mile area about 2,300 feet above Koge Bay.

In 2008, Mr. Long ordered an aerial survey of the region using Essex ground-penetrating radar, which transmitted electromagnetic waves from a P-3 Orion airplane flying 3,500 feet above the glacier. A large metallic object like the J2F-4 Grumman Duck — which would be a valuable artifact to recover, since only 32 of them were made — would show up as a white blotch. Of the blotches on the Essex map, three coincided with the coordinates on Colonel Balchen’s map, and one had the shape of a biplane.

To move the project forward, the Coast Guard hired a private contractor, Luciano Sapienza, chief executive of North South Polar Recoveries of Jersey City. In 1992, he was part of the expedition that recovered the “Glacier Girl”, a P-38 Lightning airplane downed over Greenland in 1942. He and his team set out for Koge Bay late last month.

Kate McKinley, 34, a geophysicist from Charleston, S.C., was in charge of the hand-held ground-penetrating radar kit. She used a product called the Rough Terrain Antenna from a Swedish company, Mala Geoscience. Holding a data screen in front of her, she anchored the radar to her back and dragged a 12-foot sensor, resembling a gigantic rat tail, along the ice.

With most ground-penetrating radar, “we would have to set up a grid and go from point A to B, physically marking on the ice where we picked up a reading,” Ms. McKinley said. With the Mala, exact coordinates are tracked via GPS. “It is like driving a boat over the surface of the ice with a fish finder,” Ms. McKinley said.

The radar detects anything metallic, as well as bedrock and crevasses, within the first few hundred feet. The readout shows a cross-section of the ground on a black and white screen with hyperbola-shaped anomalies. When Ms. McKinley found an anomaly that looked promising, she marked the spot for drilling. Altogether, she was able to mark 10 spots before the rain made the ice too slushy.

Weegee Smith, 57, a specialist in building custom field instruments, moved in next, operating a powerful ice-melter. The contraption siphoned water from a well Mr. Smith had dug and heated it to 180 degrees. Mr. Smith sprayed the hot water on the target area, digging a shaft 130 feet deep.

Unfortunately, “the ice melted with no resistance the whole way down,” Mr. Smith said. Resistance, he said, would have indicated “that we hit something and it was time to take a look.”

On the third day of drilling, he did feel some resistance, so it was time to bring in the subsurface camera. Designed by Alberto Behar, 42, an electrical engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the camera has a fish-eye lens surrounded by 27 LEDs that could illuminate the shaft Mr. Smith had made and transmit real-time images. Any indication of the J2F-4’s metal, oil or paint chips would prompt Mr. Smith to drill more holes.

While all this was going on, two other teams set out to find the other candidate sites on the glacier, carefully navigating sinkholes, snow bridges and eight-foot crevasses. They marked the secondary locations and installed two permanent GPS units, which track the movement and speed of the glacier.

“One of the biggest challenges to this mission was not knowing how fast the glacier is moving or in which direction,” Dr. Behar said. His GPS units send signals via satellite every four hours to a remote receiver in Los Angeles. Eventually, the data will give Mr. Sapienza’s team a better idea of how far the plane may have traveled since the crash.

After four days of drilling in freezing rain and wind, the scientists saw no indication at the primary site that the anomalies detected by radar were anything but large crevasses. Effectively, the team was able to rule out this location and focus on other sites.

Time is running out for the Coast Guard, which has already spent $579,000 on the Grumman Duck recovery effort, including $314,000 for the recent trip. With warmer temperatures, scientists say, the glacier and plane are advancing more quickly toward the ocean than previously estimated.

“This is the warmest summer Greenland has seen in 150 years,” Ms. McKinley said.

Mr. Sapienza said: “We are disappointed we couldn’t do more, but we learned a great deal and the Coast Guard is on track for the next steps. These men made the ultimate sacrifice, and it’s our duty to bring them home.”

Mrs. Morgan took the news in stride as the team headed home. She has fond memories of her older brother, who introduced her to the man who became her husband. “It’s wonderful to know that John hasn’t been forgotten,” she said. “We can’t give up — not yet.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/science/21greenland.html?ref=science

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« Reply #1246 on: Sep 22nd, 2010, 08:40am »

KIRO News Seattle

Emotional Reunion: JBLM Troops Return Home

Images: SLIDESHOW: Emotional Reunion At JBLM
Posted: 5:33 am PDT September 22, 2010
Updated: 5:48 am PDT September 22, 2010

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Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. -- It was an emotional reunion Wednesday morning at Joint Base Lewis McChord, where 150 soldiers returned home after serving in Afghanistan.

Families greeted the troops around 2:50 a.m. at Soldiers Field House. The soldiers from the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment spent nearly a year in Afghanistan.

While in Afghanistan the unit helped with security - controlling detainees and clearing roads of homemade bombs.

About 100 other soldiers in the group who deployed to Afghanistan last October are expected home in the coming weeks.

Spokeswoman Catherine Caruso says about 600 JBLM soldiers in eight units remain in Afghanistan.

photos after the jump
http://www.kirotv.com/news/25113127/detail.html

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« Reply #1247 on: Sep 22nd, 2010, 08:45am »

Guardian

Obama presidency 'hobbled by discord' according to book
Extracts from Obama's Wars portray president anxious to pull US troops out of Afghanistan and at odds with senior advisers

Julian Borger guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 22 September 2010 12.46 BST

The Obama presidency is hobbled by discord and mutual contempt among its senior policy-makers and top generals according to a new book which is likely to damage the administration in November's congressional elections and undermine its efforts in Afghanistan.

The book, Obama's Wars, by the veteran investigative journalist Bob Woodward, is out on Monday, but extracts published overnight by the Washington Post and the New York Times make it clear that it will hurt the administration in the runup to mid-term elections, in which Democrats are already struggling and in which they are expected to lose control of the House of Representatives.

The book also portrays a president anxious to pull US troops out of Afghanistan as soon as possible, and at odds with his military commanders and some senior advisers, who openly question whether his strategy will work. It is likely to be read as evidence that the attempt to divide the Taliban is having more success dividing Washington.

Woodward appears to have had access to secret memos and accounts of sensitive discussions within the administration as it tried to decide on its Afghanistan strategy a year ago. It is already known that the generals asked for more troops than the 30,000 finally agreed by Obama, and that vice-president Joe Biden argued for a more limited war effort aimed principally at targeting al-Qaida. Woodward reveals that Obama resolved the dispute by designing his blueprint, a six-page document which he presented to his White House staff on 29 November. It approved the extra troops but laid down sharp restrictions on what the military could and could not do in Afghanistan.

"This needs to be a plan about how we're going to hand it off and get out of Afghanistan," Obama is reported to have said. "Everything we're doing has to be focused on how we're going to get to the point where we can reduce our footprint. It's in our national security interest. There cannot be any wiggle room."

He is also quoted as telling the defence secretary, Robert Gates, and the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, in late October last year: "I'm not doing 10 years … I'm not doing long-term nation-building. I am not spending a trillion dollars."

The book reveals that senior officials harboured doubts over whether the "hybrid" plan would work. Biden warned that escalation would mean "we're locked into Vietnam". Lieutenant General Douglas Lute, the president's Afghanistan adviser, is described as believing that the strategy review carried out by the administration did not "add up" to the decision ultimately made. Richard Holbrooke, the president's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, is quoted as saying that the strategy "can't work".

Among the other revelations made by Obama's Wars:

• US intelligence reported to the White House that the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, was suffering from manic depression, and was taking medication.

• Obama believes that the US can "absorb" another terrorist attack. He told Woodward: "We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever … we absorbed it and we are stronger".

• The CIA has set up a 3,000-man Afghan paramilitary unit, known as the Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams, used for covert cross-border operations against al-Qaida and Taliban havens.

more after the jump
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/22/obama-presidency-hobbled-discord-book

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« Reply #1248 on: Sep 22nd, 2010, 08:49am »

Telegraph. You gotta watch those Aussie's! grin

Australian teenager created Twitter worm 'to see if it could be done'
An Australian schoolboy has emerged as the creator of a computer worm that affected thousands of Twitter users and crippled the microblogging site for several hours earlier this week.

By Bonnie Malkin in Sydney
Published: 11:56AM BST 22 Sep 2010

Pearce Delphin, 17, said that he exposed a security flaw in the site, which allowed hackers to send unsuspecting Twitter users to Japanese porn sites, simply "to see if it could be done".

The worm affected several high-profile Twitter users, including Sarah Brown, the wife of Gordon Brown, and Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary.

Delphin, who lives with his parents in suburban Melbourne, sparked the hacking frenzy after he tweeted a piece of "mouseover" JavaScript code, which brings up a pop-up window when the user hovers their cursor over the message.

The idea was adopted by hackers who tweaked the code to redirect users to pornographic sites and create "worm" tweets that replicated every time they were read.

"I did it merely to see if it could be done ... that JavaScript really could be executed within a tweet," Delphin said.

"At the time of posting the tweet, I had no idea it was going to take off how it did. I just hadn't even considered it."

The teenager, who was traced after the Netcraft security website linked the malicious code back to him, said he got the idea from another user who employed a similar code to make his tweets rainbow-coloured.

Delphin, or @zzap as he is known on Twitter, told The Age website that he had no regrets over exposing the flaw, saying that it was Twitter's responsibility to keep the site secure.

"Twitter probably could have handled it better," he said.

"Luckily when this vulnerability first got out, it was apparently the middle of the night in North America."

He added that he was surprised how quickly the code had spread around the world.

Twitter has apologised to its members for the "mouseover bug" and has promised that the flaw has been fixed.

The company has indicated that it will not press charges against Delphin and has also declined to suspend his Twitter account, which has gained at least 130 new followers since the story of his role in the drama broke.

Last night a post from his feed read: "Is this the point where I mention I need a job? I'm just a poor boy, no body loves me ... except for the media."

In his Twitter biography, Delphin, who is in his final year of secondary school, describes himself as "An almost legal teen (XVII), social media whore & politics lover. Good at being angry on Twitter. Also good at drinking vodka. & looking hot."

Melbourne police have said that they are not investigating the incident.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/8017972/Australian-teenager-created-Twitter-worm-to-see-if-it-could-be-done.html

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« Reply #1249 on: Sep 22nd, 2010, 08:54am »

Wired Danger Room


Doc of the Day: Feds’ Guide To Snitching on Your Terrorist Neighbor
By Spencer Ackerman September 22, 2010 | 7:00 am | Categories: Info War

That dude next door, man — I used to think he was an OK guy, but now all the bags of fertilizer from Home Depot piled up in his garage are starting to worry me. And what’s with that beard? He’s not a — you don’t think –

For today’s Doc of the Day, here’s a handy pamphlet prepared by federal law enforcement to help you navigate the uncertainties of an age of homegrown terrorism, helpfully illustrated with pictures of New Mexico-born extremist preacher Anwar al-Awlaki and New York food-cart guy/sleeper agent Najibullah Zazi.

Be on the lookout, warn the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counterterrorism Center, for such “indicators of possible terrorist activity” as “behavior that could indicate participation in surveillance of potential targets”; “travel or interest in traveling overseas to attend violent extremist institutions or paramilitary camps”; or checking out “Websites and reading materials that advocate violence and then initiating action in support of this activity.” See something? Say something!

The pamphlet is sure to take its lumps from certain corners for not mentioning the word “Islam” anywhere. (Not that such criticism is necessarily legitimate.) But perhaps more problematic is that these crack sleuthing tips are geared toward ferreting out the terrorist community’s most blithering, Clouseau-esque idiots.

Of course, this all comes with a big caveat: “There may be a legitimate reason why some of the indicators described in this document are present,” the pamphlet warns, “it is up to you to determine when that is not the case.” Because you and your neighbors are trained counterterrorism professionals. Maybe hold off before calling the FBI on your neighbor.


http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/09/doc-of-the-day-feds-guide-to-snitching-on-your-terrorist-neighbor/

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« Reply #1250 on: Sep 22nd, 2010, 08:58am »

Wired

Sept. 22, 1791: Faraday Enters a World He Will Change
By Randy Alfred September 22, 2010 | 7:00 am | Categories: 18th century, Discoveries, Physics

1791: Michael Faraday is born. In his 76 years on the planet, the chemist-physicist will make fundamental contributions to our understanding of electricity and magnetism, advise governments and establish lasting institutions of scientific education.

Faraday came from a working-class family and had to go to work after rudimentary schooling in reading, writing and arithmetic. But genius won out.

Faraday became a bookbinder’s apprentice in his teens and continued his education by reading the books he was binding. An article on electricity in the Encyclopedia Britannica inspired him to buy some equipment and conduct experiments himself.

Faraday joined London’s City Philosophical Society in 1810 to hear the lectures there and participate in scientific discussions. Then, in 1812, a client of the bookbindery gave the earnest young man tickets to hear a series of lectures by pioneering chemist Humphry Davy at the Royal Institution.

Thirsty for knowledge, Faraday took copious notes. He organized them, added illustrations and bound them into a book. Faraday secured an interview with Davy, presented him with the bound copy and asked to be hired as a lab assistant.

Davy was impressed but had nothing open at the moment. True to his word, however, he did hire Faraday the next year … at about $10 a week (the rough equivalent of $140 in today’s money).

A few years later, Davy asked his assistant to follow up on the work of Danish scientist Hans Christian Oersted, who had just discovered that an electrical current would deflect the needle of a magnetic compass. Faraday theorized that magnets created force fields, and he designed an experiment that significantly one-upped Oersted in 1821.

Faraday suspended a wire above a magnet. When he passed a current through the wire (whose bottom end hung in a dish of conductive mercury), the wire rotated around the magnet, following lines of magnetic force. It was a prototype for the electric motor, using electricity to create motion. It just needed to be scaled up.

The discovery was a sensation — perhaps a little too much of one. Davy, a scientific rock star of his day, was envious. He accused Faraday of stealing the idea from him and tried to block the young man’s election to the Royal Society. Davy backed off but never withdrew the charges. Faraday became a Fellow of the Royal Society and lab director at the Royal Institution in 1825.

Faraday decided to tread gingerly and shied away from electrical experimentation. He worked instead on analytical chemistry and the compression of gases, discovering benzene in 1825.

Davy died in 1829, perhaps from the after-effects of his frequent inhalation of nitrous oxide and other gases, including carbon monoxide. That gave Faraday free rein to resume his work on electricity.

He discovered electromagnetic induction in 1831. Reversing his effect of using a magnet and electricity to create motion, he used a magnet and motion to generate electricity. No messy, voltaic cells needed, it was the progenitor of steam, hydro and diesel generators.

Faraday plumbed the mysteries of electrochemistry in the 1830s, coining such words as electrode and ion, and establishing the laws of electrolysis.

But wait, there’s more.

In 1845, he suspended a heavy piece of glass between the poles of an electromagnet, watching the glass twist into alignment with the magnetic field. Other materials produced the same result, which Faraday named diamagnetism, the propensity of a nonmagnetic substance to create an opposing field in the presence of externally applied magnetism.

He also discovered the magneto-optical effect, also called the Faraday effect, that very same year: A magnetic field can rotate polarized light.

All this work — integrating magnetism, electricity, chemistry and light — eventuated in Faraday firmly establishing the field theory of electromagnetism, a foundation of modern physics.

Remembering his own education through public lectures, Faraday founded the Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures on scientific topics. They’ve gone on since 1825, interrupted only during World War II. They’ve been on television since 1966 and are now supplemented by interactive online features.

Faraday also served as a science adviser to British governments for more than three decades. He worked fervently for the electrification of lighthouses.

Faraday died in 1867. His name is honored in the scientific world not only by the Faraday effect and the Faraday cage apparatus, but by two electrical units of measure and a physical constant. The farad is the humongous unit of capacitance, equal to one coulomb per volt. Because the unit is so huge, you usually see capacitance measured in micro-, nano- or picofarads.

The faraday is a unit of electric charge that can electrolytically deposit one mole of an element or univalent ion. It’s equal to Avogadro’s number multiplied by the charge of a single electron, or approximately 96.4853 kilocoulombs or 26.8015 ampere hours, and is also known as Faraday’s constant.

Source: Royal Institution, others

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2010/09/0922michael-faraday-born/

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« Reply #1251 on: Sep 22nd, 2010, 09:08am »

Wired


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Justin Halpern struck gold by quoting his foul-mouthed father’s observations on Twitter. After @shitmydadsays took off, Halpern turned the Twitter phenomenon into a New York Times best-seller, Sh*t My Dad Says.

Next comes $#*! My Dad Says, the new sitcom he’s producing that stars William Shatner as the proverbial shit-talking Dad. In a Wired.com exclusive, Halpern describes what it’s like working with the Star Trek legend on the show.

By Justin Halpern, guest blogger

LOS ANGELES — I was sitting in my office on the Warner Bros. lot, writing/watching a video someone sent me of a bear racing a monkey on a bicycle, when one of the producers of the show walked in.

“William Shatner just did an impression of you, onstage during rehearsal,” she said. “It was kind of nasal-y and high-pitched,” she added. “So … pretty accurate.”

The last year of my life has been one unbelievable turn of events after another. I went from living at home and writing for Maxim.com, to publishing a book, to writing and producing a television show.

I am, as my father likes to say, “the luckiest of assholes.”

But nothing cemented how ridiculously fortunate I am better than hearing that William Shatner did an impression of me. At any given moment, it’s safe to say that somewhere in the world a stand-up comedian is doing an impression of him.

Shatner has four shows currently on the air and yet he talks about each one with the excitement of an 8-year-old raving to his older brother that the smelly kid in class peed himself that day at school.

His enthusiasm is infectious. It’s a joy to watch him put his spin on a line we’ve written. It’s as if the line enters Shatner, and Shatner’s brain and the line flirt for a few moments before his brain grabs the line and begins to make sweet love to it.

Shortly after, the line has been impregnated. It has a short gestation period until he speaks the line aloud and the live studio audience witnesses the miracle that is the child of the written line and Shatner’s brain, covered in amniotic fluid and waiting to be loved … and applauded.

My father came to the taping of the second episode of the show, and afterward, I asked him what he thought.

“You know,” he said, “I didn’t know what to make of the Shatner beforehand, but f**k me, guy can act.”

“Do you want to talk to him?” I asked.

“No. But make sure he’s happy. Your future depends on it. Don’t forget that shit.”

- – -

$#*! My Dad Says debuts Thursday at 8:30 p.m./7:30 p.m. Central on CBS.

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/09/william-shatner-says/

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« Reply #1252 on: Sep 22nd, 2010, 4:28pm »

Phantoms and Monsters

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Historical Tales of Talking Poltergeists

A reader recently sent me an inquiry about poltergeists and if these entities had an ability to talk or communicate with a voice. There were a few modern reports, but I wasn't sure if these were exaggerations produced by the witnesses. So I decided to look over some of the prominent historical cases and post a few that exhibit authenticity even though the commentary may be a bit folksy.

John Arnason, in his "Icelandic Folklore and Fairy Tales", gives an account of "The Devil at Hjalta-stad" as written by the Sheriff Hans Wium in a letter to Bishop Haldorr Brynjolfsson in the autumn of 1750.

"The sheriff writes: “The Devil at Hjalta-stad was outspoken enough this past winter, although no one saw him. I, along with others, had the dishonour to hear him talking for nearly two days, during which he addressed myself and the minister, Sir Grim, with words the like of which ‘eye hath not seen nor ear heard.’ As soon as we reached the front of the house there was heard in the door an iron voice saying: ‘So Hans from Eyrar is come now, and wishes to talk with me, the ------ idiot.’ Compared with other names that he gave me this might be considered as flattering. When I inquired who it was that addressed me with such words, he answered in a fierce voice, ‘I was called Lucifer at first, but now I am called Devil and Enemy.’ He threw at us both stones and pieces of wood, as well as other things, and broke two windows in the minister’s room. He spoke so close to us that he seemed to be just at our side. There was an old woman there of the name of Opia, whom he called his wife, and a ‘heavenly blessed soul,’ and asked Sir Grim to marry them, with various remarks of this kind, which I will not recount."

“I have little liking to write about his ongoings, which were all disgraceful and shameful, in accordance with the nature of the actor. He repeated the ‘Pater Noster’ three times, answered questions from the Catechism and the Bible, said that the devils held service in hell, and told what texts and psalms they had for various occasions. He asked us to give him some of the food we had, and a drink of tea, etc. I asked the fellow whether God was good. He said, ‘Yes.’ Whether he was truthful. He answered, ‘Not one of his words can be doubted.’ Sir Grim asked him whether the devil was good-looking. He answered: ‘He is far better-looking than you, you ------ ugly snout!’ I asked him whether the devils agreed well with each other. He answered in a kind of sobbing voice: ‘It is painful to know that they never have peace.’ I bade him say something to me in German, and said to him Lass uns Teusc redre (sic), but he answered as if he had misunderstood me."

“When we went to bed in the evening he shouted fiercely in the middle of the floor, ‘On this night I shall snatch you off to hell, and you shall not rise up out of bed as you lay down.’ During the evening he wished the minister’s wife good-night. The minister and I continued to talk with him during the night; among other things we asked him what kind of weather it was outside. He answered: ‘It is cold, with a north wind.’ We asked if he was cold. He answered: ‘I think I am both hot and cold.’ I asked him loud he could shout. He said, ‘So loud that the roof would go off the house, and you all would fall into a dead faint.’ I told him to try it. He answered: ‘Do you think I am come to amuse you, you ------ idiot?’ I asked him to show us a little specimen. He said he would do so, and gave three shouts, the last of which was so fearful that I have never heard anything worse, and doubt whether I ever shall. Towards daybreak, after he had parted from us with the usual compliments, we fell asleep."

“Next morning he came in again, and began to waken up people; he named each one by name, not forgetting to add some nickname, and asking whether so-and-so was awake. When he saw they were all awake, he said he was going to play with the door now, and with that he threw the door off its hinges with a sudden jerk, and sent it far in upon the floor. The strangest thing was that when he threw anything it went down at once, and then went back to its place again, so it was evident that he either went inside it or moved about with it."

“The previous evening he challenged me twice to come out into the darkness to him, and this is an angry voice, saying that he would tear me limb from limb. I went out and told him to come on, but nothing happened. When I went back to my place and asked him why he had not fulfilled his promise, he said, ‘I had no orders for it from my master.’ He asked us whether we had ever heard the like before, and when we said ‘Yes,’ he answered, ‘That is not true: the like has never been heard at any time.’ He had sung ‘The memory of Jesus’ after I arrived there, and talked frequently while the word of God was being read. He said that he did not mind this, but that he did not like the ‘Cross-school Psalms,’ and said it must have been a great idiot who composed them. This enemy came like a devil, departed as such, and behaved himself as such while he was present, nor would it befit any one but the devil to declare all that he said. At the same time it must be added that I am not quite convinced that it was a spirit, but my opinions on this I cannot give here for lack of time.”

In another literary work where the sheriff's letter is given with some variations and additions, an attempt is made to explain the story. The phenomena were said to have been caused by a young man who had learned ventriloquism abroad. Even if this art could have been practiced so successfully as to puzzle the sheriff and others, it could hardly have taken the door off its hinges and thrown it into the room.

**********
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« Reply #1253 on: Sep 22nd, 2010, 4:29pm »





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« Reply #1254 on: Sep 22nd, 2010, 4:31pm »






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« Reply #1255 on: Sep 22nd, 2010, 4:33pm »

If this happens it will sure beat the Hump Day blues..... rolleyes




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« Reply #1256 on: Sep 22nd, 2010, 4:35pm »





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« Reply #1257 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 08:09am »

Wired

T-Mobile Claims Right to Censor Text Messages
By David Kravets September 22, 2010 | 6:21 pm | Categories: Censorship, Network Neutrality

T-Mobile told a federal judge Wednesday it may pick and choose which text messages to deliver on its network in a case weighing whether wireless carriers have the same “must carry” obligations as wire-line telephone providers.

The Bellevue, Washington-based wireless service is being sued by a texting service claiming T-Mobile stopped servicing its “short code” clients after it signed up a California medical marijuana dispensary. In a court filing, T-Mobile said it had the right to pre-approve EZ Texting’s clientele, which it said the New York-based texting service failed to submit for approval.

EZ Texting offers a short code service, which works like this: A church could send its schedule to a cell phone user who texted “CHURCH” to 313131. Mobile phone users only receive text messages from EZ Texting’s customers upon request. Each of its clients gets their own special word.

T-Mobile, the company wrote in a filing (.pdf) in New York federal court, “has discretion to require pre-approval for any short-code marketing campaigns run on its network, and to enforce its guidelines by terminating programs for which a content provider failed to obtain the necessary approval.”

Such approval is necessary, T-Mobile added, “to protect the carrier and its customers from potentially illegal, fraudulent, or offensive marketing campaigns conducted on its network.”

It’s the first federal case testing whether wireless providers may block text messages they don’t like.

The legal flap comes as the Federal Communications Commission has been dragging its feet over clarifying the rules for wireless carriers. The FCC was asked in 2007 to announce clear rules whether wireless carriers, unlike their wireline brethren, may ban legal content they do not support. The so-called “network neutrality” issue made huge headlines last month, when Google, along with Verizon, urged Congress not to bind wireless carriers to the same rules as wireline carriers.

EZ Texting claims it will go out of business if a judge does not promptly order T-Mobile to transmit its texts. T-Mobile accounts for 15 percent of the nation’s wireless subscribers.

A similar text-messaging flap occurred in 2007, but ended without litigation, when Verizon reversed itself and allowed an abortion-rights group to send text messages to its supporters.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/09/text-message-censorship/

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« Reply #1258 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 08:12am »

Wired Danger Room

Green Marines Phase Out Fuel, Take Solar Generators to War
By Katie Drummond September 22, 2010 | 9:59 am | Categories: Army and Marines

The greenest Marine company ever is going to war, as they prep to deploy with a new collection of solar-powered equipment that could reduce their fuel consumption in Afghanistan by 30 to 50 percent.

India Company of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, based at Camp Pendleton, California, will be the first to make a concerted eco-push in the war zone. Despite the Pentagon’s ongoing talk of curbing reliance on fossil fuels, significant progress has lagged. Especially in Iraq and Afghanistan: Combat areas were exempt from a recent Pentagon goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent within three years.

The company recently completed about a week of drills relying entirely on solar power, National Defense magazine is reporting. In Afghanistan, officials anticipate that solar panels, along with solar-powered generators and tents, will minimize reliance on batteries and gas.

Combined, the two entail significant logistical challenges, not to mention their environmental and financial toll. A single soldier in Afghanistan uses 22 gallons of fuel a day, and delivering each gallon to the war zone costs between $300 and $400, according to estimates released last year.

“A lot of commanders in the field want to do this for operational benefits,” Christine Parthemore, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, tells Danger Room. “There’s no operational benefit to these huge fuel convoys, and they’re also a significant security risk.”

Other services are reportedly looking to mimic the initiatives, which also include training troops how to use the devices. That’s one fundamental that, combined with easy-to-use solar-power equipment, might make a major impact in how quickly the gear becomes a mainstay.

Take the ground-renewable expeditionary-energy system, or Greens, for example. Each of the solar-powered devices can generate 300 watts of power, making them a viable alternative to fuel-based generators. The Marines will deploy with seven Greens systems, and because they can be set up and recharged easily, officials anticipate a seamless transition.

“It reduces the requirements on the Marines,” Maj. Patrick Reynolds, an officer with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, tells National Defense. “They don’t have to be checking fuel levels and turning generators on and off.”

But for all their forward thinking, the company’s yet to solve some major dilemmas. Even after testing a handful of water-purification devices, they didn’t find one fit to deploy, which means continued reliance on bottled-water deliveries. For every fuel truck, the Marines rely on around seven water trucks. Not to mention that — thanks to the power of the sun — troops are stuck drinking warmed-over aqua.

And a community’s water supply can be a sensitive issue, Parthemore points out. “It gets a lot more touchy when these are resources within a region that you’re looking to tap into,” she says. “Water can become very political.”

India Company’s deployment will no doubt yield valuable data to help other services introduce green technology overseas. Assuming, that is, they come away ready to learn from the initiative’s successes, or failures.

“I hope they’re asking ‘what next,’ because there might be operational benefits we’ve never dreamed of, or some of the projects might not work quite as they’d hoped,” Parthemore says. “Whatever their 2.0 ends up being, there are going to be important lessons in this for the Defense Department as a whole.”

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/09/green-marines-phase-out-fuel-take-solar-generators-to-war

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« Reply #1259 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 08:15am »

Telegraph

China 'places unofficial ban' on key metals exports to Japan
China has been reported to have placed an unofficial ban on the export of rare earth metals to Japan as a damaging dispute between the countries deepens. The metals are essential for a host of hi-tech items from iPods to wind turbines and hybrid cars.

By Peter Foster in Beijing and Julian Ryall in Tokyo
Published: 12:58PM BST 23 Sep 2010

The New York Times, citing industry sources, said that China had placed an "administrative halt" on the export of the metals, just as the two countries are locked in a dispute over the detention of a Chinese trawler captain. The captain was arrested by Japanese coastguard officials in disputed waters off Taiwan just over two weeks ago.

But there was confusion on Thursday as to whether the ban alleged by industry insiders was directly related to the fishing boat incident, or the result of export restrictions that were imposed earlier this year.

China's Ministry of Commerce denied the report unequivocally. "China has not issued any measures intended to restrict rare earth exports to Japan. There is no foundation for that," said a ministry spokesman, "I don't know how the New York Times came up with this, but it's not true. There are no such measures."

However Dudley Kingsnorth, executive director of the rare earth consulting company Industrial Minerals Company of Australia, who was quoted in the New York Times, said associates in the industry had said an effective ban was in force. "I was told it was an 'unofficial ban,'" Mr Kingsnorth also told the Associated Press, "[China] requested major companies to withhold major exports to Japan."

In Tokyo, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the government had received no official confirmation from Beijing that a ban had been imposed on exports of rare earth materials to Japan.

"We have seen these reports but have not been able to confirm whether they are accurate," said Hidenobu Sobashima, a ministry official.

China, which controls 97 per cent of the global production of rare earth metals, has imposed tough export restrictions this year, raising objections from Japan, the US and the European Union. Japanese officials urged China last month to ease the export controls which China says are necessary to preserve supplies and enforce strict environmental controls.

Prices of some metals are now up to four times cheaper to source inside China, which some analysts say is part of a strategy in Beijing to force companies to consider relocating production to facilities inside China.

"Chinese economic sanctions would hurt Japan badly," said Professor Jeff Kingston, director of Asian studies at Temple University in Tokyo. "Controlling the global supply enables China to benefit from the surging market in products that use rare earth metals, especially green technology products ... at the moment [China] has the world – and especially Japan – over a barrel."

Additional reporting by Danielle Demetriou in Tokyo and Bonnie Malkin in Sydney

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/8020298/China-places-unofficial-ban-on-key-metals-exports-to-Japan.html

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