Board Logo
« Stuff & Nonsense »

Welcome Guest. Please Login or Register.
Dec 15th, 2017, 09:46am


Visit the UFO Casebook Web Site

*Totally FREE 24/7 Access *Your Nickname and Avatar *Private Messages

*Join today and be a part of one of the largest UFO sites on the Net.


« Previous Topic | Next Topic »
Pages: 1 ... 83 84 85 86 87  ...  1070 Notify Send Topic Print
 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 1645 times)
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12250
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1260 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 08:18am »

New York Times

September 22, 2010
Two New Dinosaur Species Are Discovered in Southern UtahBy THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 9:20 p.m. ET

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Scientists said Wednesday they've discovered fossils in the southern Utah desert of two new dinosaur species closely related to the Triceratops, including one with 15 horns on its large head.

The discovery of the new plant-eating species -- including Kosmoceratops richardsoni, considered the most ornate-headed dinosaur known to man -- was reported Wednesday in the online scientific journal PLoS ONE, produced by the Public Library of Science.

The other dinosaur, which has five horns and is the larger of the two, was dubbed Utahceratops gettyi.

''It's not every day that you find two rhino-sized dinosaurs that are different from all the other dinosaurs found in North America,'' said Mark Loewen, a Utah Museum of Natural History paleontologist and an author of the paper published in PLoS ONE.

''You would think that we know everything there is to know about the dinosaurs of western North America, but every year we're finding new things, especially here in Utah,'' he said.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has been a hotbed for dinosaur species discoveries in the past decade, with more than a dozen new species discovered. While it is a rocky, arid place now, millions of years ago it was similar to a swamp.

The Utahceratops has a large horn over the nose and short eye horns that project to the side rather than upward, similar to a bison. Its skull is about 7 feet long, it stood about 6 feet high and was 18 to 22 feet long. It is believed to have weighed about 3 to 4 tons.

The Kosmoceratops has similar facial features at the Utahceratops, but has 10 horns across the rear margin of its bony frill that point downward and outward. It weighed about 2.5 tons and was about 15 feet long.

The horns on both animals range in length from about 6 inches to 1 foot.

Paleontologists say the discovery shows that horned dinosaurs living on the same continent 76 million years ago evolved differently.

Scientists say that other horned dinosaurs lived on the same ancient continent known as Laramidia in what is now Alberta, Canada.

The numerous horns are believed to have been used to attract mates and intimidate sexual competitors, similar to horns on deer.

''The horns really are probably developed at puberty, because most likely these are signals for mate recognition, competition between males, things like that,'' Loewen said. ''They're sexual signals and really that's how we think this group of dinosaurs divided.''

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/09/22/science/AP-US-Dinosaur-Discovery.html?ref=science

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12250
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1261 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 08:21am »

New York Times

September 23, 2010, 5:53 am
Shapeways and Its 3-D Printing Comes To New York
By ASHLEE VANCE

Seattle may have Amazon.com and its books, vacuums, electronics and pet supplies. But Manhattan can now lay claim to an online shopping service that deals in far more bizarre objects.

One of the leading 3-D printing companies is Shapeways, which has just moved its headquarters from The Netherlands to New York. The company brings with it a service that lets people design their own objects, send the design to Shapeways and then receive the printed 3-D object back a few days later in the mail. People using the service print more than 10,000 products each month, ranging from iPad kitchen stands to jewelry and DNA molecule models.

“Our largest market is the United States,” said Peter Weijmarshausen, the chief executive of Shapeways, explaining one motivation for the move. “Americans love technology, and they are fast adopters of new technology.”

In addition, Mr. Weijmarshausen said it made sense to base the company in a city where design, media and technology mix.

Shapeways, which spun out of Royal Philips Electronics, has also secured $5 million in funding from Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures.
The 3-D printing revolution has taken off in recent years, as discussed in a story I wrote earlier this month.

Rather than squirting ink out of a nozzle like a standard paper printer, the 3-D printing machines shoot out layer after layer of plastic and metal.

People in manufacturing fields have used these types of machines for years to create quick prototypes. But the price of the machines has fallen while the quality of the materials has improved, allowing more people and businesses to make use of the technology.

These days, people can have their favorite World of Warcraft characters printed out and sent to them, create replacement parts for their antique cars or have custom made lamp shades.

About half of Shapeways’ customers come to the site to buy presents like 3-D puzzles and jewelry they could not find anywhere else, Mr. Weijmarshausen said. Other customers tweak a set of design templates to put their own takes on some cuff links or napkin rings, while other concoct their own creations from scratch with software like Google SketchUp.

“We have just seen the start of this,” Mr. Weijmarshausen said. “I think people will begin to look at different aspects of product development where they put something out in the market and then get feedback instantly and incorporate that right away into a new design. Products can become much more sophisticated much faster.”

Mr. Weijmarshausen added that the 3-D printing machines should soon be able to combine different materials like plastic, metal and glass, opening up opportunities for revolutionary objects.

“You’ll be able to make things that were previously impossible,” he said, adding that the one-off aspect of 3-D objects provides a nice change for a culture “addicted to mass manufacturing.”

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/23/shapeways-and-its-3-d-printing-comes-to-new-york/?ref=technology

Crystal
« Last Edit: Sep 23rd, 2010, 08:21am by WingsofCrystal » User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12250
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1262 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 08:24am »

New York Times

September 23, 2010, 6:36 am
Blockbuster Files for Bankruptcy
8:08 a.m. | Updated

Blockbuster, the video rental chain, on Thursday filed for Chapter 11, hoping to slash its hefty debt load and retrench in the face of competition from rivals providing online and mail-based services.

Blockbuster has reached an agreement with its senior bondholders to cut its debt by roughly 90 percent, to about $100 million, by exchanging bonds for equity in the reorganized retailer.

The company’s Chapter 11 petition in federal bankruptcy court lists $1.02 billion in assets and $1.46 billion in debt.

The company plans to whittle its store count down as it seeks to better compete against Redbox, which operates movie-rental kiosks in stores, and Netflix, which mails movies to subscribers and also provides digital streaming. It is also struggling against the likes of Apple, which also rents out movies via its iTunes service.

During the Chapter 11 process, Blockbuster will continue to operate as normal.

Bondholders will provide Blockbuster with a $125 million debtor-in-possession loan to keep it operating through the bankruptcy process.

“After a careful and thorough analysis, we determined that the process announced today provides the optimal path for recapitalizing our balance sheet and positioning Blockbuster for the future as we continue to transform our business model to meet the evolving preferences of our customers,” Jim Keyes, Blockbuster’s chief executive, said in a statement.

The company has hired Rothschild, the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges and the consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal as advisers.

http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/23/blockbuster-files-for-bankruptcy/?ref=business

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12250
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1263 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 08:27am »


User Image

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
Luvey
UFO Casebook Staff

member is offline

Avatar




PM


Posts: 840
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1264 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 09:31am »

on Sep 23rd, 2010, 08:27am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
User Image

Crystal


Good morning Crystal.... that was the kind of day we had today... a beautiful sunny day... not hot, not cold, just peerrrffecctt. smiley Hope you have a day like that too.

Pen
User IP Logged

~ "When you master your mind, you master your life." ~

~ In every action there is an equal and opposite reaction ~
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12250
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1265 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 10:35am »

on Sep 23rd, 2010, 09:31am, Luvey wrote:
Good morning Crystal.... that was the kind of day we had today... a beautiful sunny day... not hot, not cold, just peerrrffecctt. smiley Hope you have a day like that too.

Pen


Hi Pen!
We get rain in the morning here that usually turns to sun. But we're out in the Puget Sound so it's always a mystery what it will do.

This weekend is supposed to be beautiful. I don't ever mind the rain though after living in Phoenix during a 13 year drought. We moved here and the drought broke. Typical! grin

User Image
Mt. Baker and the North Sound
source unknown


Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12250
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1266 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 12:10pm »






Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
philliman
Gold Member
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




Homepage PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 1298
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1267 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 12:52pm »

on Sep 23rd, 2010, 10:35am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Hi Pen!
We get rain in the morning here that usually turns to sun. But we're out in the Puget Sound so it's always a mystery what it will do.

This weekend is supposed to be beautiful. I don't ever mind the rain though after living in Phoenix during a 13 year drought. We moved here and the drought broke. Typical! grin

User Image
Mt. Baker and the North Sound
source unknown


Crystal

I've already said it and say it again, you live in a beautiful area.
User IP Logged

Stellar Thoughts
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12250
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1268 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 2:50pm »

I just received Nick Redfern's book "Final Events". When I read the blurb on it I immediately thought of Michael S. Heiser's "The Facade". Redfern discusses it in one chapter. After I finish Redfern's I probably won't sleep for a week. Good book so far. I'm glad I'm a fast reader.
Crystal

I would highly recommend "The Facade"
http://www.michaelsheiser.com/
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12250
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1269 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 2:55pm »

Hi Phil!

User Image

I'm very lucky to be able to live here.
Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12250
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1270 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 5:56pm »

Today must be book day............


Jeremiah Workman, Iraq War Vet, Has Written Searing Combat-PTSD Memoir
By Charlene Rubush, September 17, 2010 1:29 pm

There are now so many wonderful books being written by our returning soldiers. I’ve decided to share this book review I wrote (which is posted on amazon.com) after reading Jeremiah Workman’s searing memoir. I often wonder where such author’s gain the strength and insight to be able to revisit their trauma and share it with the reading public. I’m just glad that they do.

Shadow of the Sword: A Marine’s Journey of War, Heroism,and Redemption by Jeremiah Workman and John Buhning

——Intimate, Courageous Look into the Hell of War, Its Aftermath and Learning to Live with PTSD

Jeremiah Workman is not only one admirable Marine, but he’s also a tremendous human being. He has written an absolutely awesome book. Not only is the writing crisp and unflinching, the story behind it is riveting and gut-wrenching. What we ask of our soldiers!

I found this book to be among the very best that show the mental and emotional devastation that enduring fierce combat brings upon a soldier. Workman describes the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that he now lives with, (for those of us who remember vinyl records) as like a groove in a record which gets stuck, and plays the same note over and over again. Once the groove is there, it cannot be removed.

Workman shows the reader, in gory detail, what his life as a Marine has been like, from training at Parris Island, to his mind-blowing tour in Iraq, especially the battle in Fallujah that claimed so many of his buddies, and left him with severe survivor guilt. He shows us what it was like for him, as he became a drill instructor back again at Parris Island, and his PTSD shifted into high gear.

I learned so many things from reading this book. Like what the life of a drill instructor is like, and the fact that they have one of the highest divorce rates in the Marine Corps. And that the VA had only planned for 8,000 cases of PTSD, and there will be well over more than 700,000 thousand cases of it by the time the war ends.

Only now we’re also sending more troops to Afghanistan. There is truly no end in sight. What a wave of anguish is washing over our country. And yet denial continues. It continues in the American public.

And for so many reasons, it continues in our soldiers themselves, until the pain grows so severe, the problem can no longer be denied. Even then, not all of those needing help seek it from the VA. And who pays the price along with our soldiers? It’s the spouses, children and other family members.

This book has astounded me with its brutal candor. What guts this American hero and recipient of the Navy Cross, displays as he bares his soul to us. Parts of this book made me weep. I will never forget this young American soldier, or the price he and his family have paid for our freedom. May he and his loved ones, somehow find the peace they have truly earned.

Workman tells us that by joining the Vets for Freedom Heroes tour in 2008 and speaking about his experiences, he has started the healing process. In sharing, he continues to serve our country, holding up a mirror to us.

Every American should read this book, so that each citizen will be more understanding and compassionate toward our returning combat veterans. And also understand that we owe them and must provide, all the help they need. And that we will begin to truly realize that the aftereffects of war can be just as consequential, as the initial battles.

I applaud Jeremiah Workman and his family for all they have given up for us, and for the fact that he is determined to make the most of his life, in spite of PTSD. I wish them all the best.

I pray that his story goes a long way in eradicating the shame that stills accompanies those afflicted with PTSD, especially our soldiers. He has shone a hopeful light on this deadly serious subject. Very, very, highly recommended reading!!

http://www.jeremiahworkman.com.



http://winoverptsd.com/wp/tag/iraq-war-veteran/
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12250
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1271 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 6:04pm »


Please be an angel

User Image

www.soldiersangels.org
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12250
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1272 on: Sep 24th, 2010, 08:49am »

New York Times

September 23, 2010
Moscow Mayor Pokes Kremlin. (Cue Hornets)
By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ

MOSCOW — Of all the high priests of Russian officialdom, few have become more deeply entrenched in power than Moscow’s mayor, Yuri M. Luzhkov.

He has ruled this city often like a fief for nearly two decades, transforming it from a Soviet wreck into a shimmering metropolis. Barrel-chested and bald, with a proletarian’s peaked cap, he has seemingly been above reproach for years, despite numerous allegations of corruption even as his wife, a real estate developer, has become Russia’s richest woman.

But a slight jab at President, Dmitri A. Medvedev could now bring the mayor’s once inviolable authority to ruin. In a recent article, Mr. Luzhkov appeared to criticize the president for indecisiveness, while seeming to call for his predecessor, Vladimir V. Putin, now prime minister, to return to the presidency.

The article touched off the biggest political quarrel Russia has seen in nearly a decade, raising new speculation about the relationship between Russia’s two leaders. It has also prompted an all-out attack by the Kremlin-controlled news media against the mayor, which many analysts here say could presage the end of his 18-year reign.

“He intended to try to push a wedge between Medvedev and Putin,” said Gleb O. Pavlovsky, a political consultant who advises the Kremlin. “This is already an intolerable situation for the federal center, so I think Luzhkov will have to leave.”

It is an unexpected battle in a country that has long appeared drained of public political life, pitting Russia’s young president — an avid blogger with a fondness for gadgets — against a man who has been a part of the political elite of Moscow since it was still the capital of the Soviet Union.

The fight has at turns resembled an old-time Politburo power struggle and an election for student government. This week, Russian political pundits scrambled over the news that Mr. Medvedev, 45, had snubbed Mr. Luzhkov, offering no public congratulations to the mayor on the occasion of his 74th birthday.

It could have been the latest sign that the mayor was on his way out. But who knows? Mr. Putin praised him in a birthday telegram as a “competent and experienced professional.”

This is Russian politics, a game of interpreting winks and gestures, of listening for murmurs in the dark corridors of power. It is an art that today differs little from the days when Kremlinologists guessed the fortune or failure of a Soviet leader by his place at the May Day parade.

What is more or less certain is that Mr. Medvedev wants Mr. Luzhkov gone. When asked about the mayor in a closed meeting with Russian newspaper editors this summer, Mr. Medvedev shocked attendees by referring to the mayor with a vulgarism, a person at the meeting said.

Since becoming president in 2008, Mr. Medvedev has eliminated most of the old regional bosses, usually by offering them other jobs or retirement deals, but Mr. Luzhkov is different.

“Here, we do not fire anyone, we simply buy them off,” said Georgi A. Satarov, the president of the Indem Foundation, a policy research group focusing on corruption. “But it is hard to buy off Luzhkov because he is very expensive.”

Whatever has gone on behind closed doors over the past few weeks, if there was an attempt to make Mr. Luzhkov walk away quietly, experts say, it seems to have failed.

In Mr. Luzhkov’s article, published in the official newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta, the mayor criticized Mr. Medvedev’s rare decision to bow to public pressure to halt construction of a highway between Moscow and St. Petersburg, suggesting that such hesitation to press ahead with development projects undermined trust in the government. He called for the return of “true meaning and authority to the Russian government.”

The response was swift and brutal. Days after the article was published, the government-owned NTV television station broadcast “The Cap Affair,” named for the mayor’s trademark peaked hat.

The film, crudely produced and set to ominous-sounding music, was extraordinary by the typically bland standards of official television here, raising uncomfortable questions about Moscow’s crumbling transportation infrastructure and the astounding wealth of Mr. Luzhkov’s billionaire wife, Yelena Baturina.

It also criticized Mr. Luzhkov for taking a vacation in Austria this summer as Muscovites choked on noxious fumes from peat bog fires during a record heat wave, and said the mayor, an avid beekeeper, returned to Moscow only to save his hives.

The documentary was followed by programs on other government channels, which accused Mr. Luzhkov of, among other things, complicity in the evictions of Muscovites from their homes to make way for his wife’s development projects.

The accusations are nothing new. For years, opposition groups have made the same claims — and have faced lawsuits and even brief prison sentences for doing so.

Mr. Luzhkov, who left for Austria once again this week, has vowed to file lawsuits against the government channels responsible for the recent documentaries and has refused to respond to allegations made in them.

“To make justifications is the wrong way to defend yourself in Russia,” he told REN-TV television, a quasi-independent channel, last week. “If a person starts to justify himself it appears that he is nevertheless guilty.”

Guilty or not, few here believe that corruption or other misdeeds prompted the recent attacks. None of the documentaries mention that Mr. Luzhkov is a leading member of Mr. Putin’s party or that the mayor serves at the pleasure of the president, who has the power to appoint and remove regional leaders at will.

“In a democratic country there would just be elections,” said Viktor A. Shenderovich, a satirical political writer, who has criticized the mayor for years. “But all this is happening not in a democratic country, but in Byzantium. Luzhkov is being removed not because he stole or was corrupt, but because he has gotten caught between two clans.”

Ms. Baturina, the mayor’s wife, explained the campaign against her husband as part of a conflict about whether Mr. Medvedev or Mr. Putin would run for president in elections scheduled for 2012.

“As the elections approach, there are people in the presidential administration who are afraid that the mayor will support not President Medvedev, but Prime Minister Putin,” she said in an interview with the Russian news magazine, The New Times, published this week.

There is little evidence to suggest any conflict between Russia’s two leaders, and both have consistently brushed aside questions about their plans for 2012.

Even the conflict over the mayor has elicited nary a public word from the nation’s top two leaders. Mr. Medvedev has only hinted at his displeasure with Mr. Luzhkov, leaving anonymous Kremlin sources to whisper confirmation of the mayor’s impending demise in the ears of reporters.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/world/europe/24moscow.html?_r=1&ref=world

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12250
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1273 on: Sep 24th, 2010, 08:52am »

New York Times

September 23, 2010
Snickers Greet Premiere of Afghan Film
By ROD NORDLAND

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghans proved a tough audience for the world premiere of “The Black Tulip” at the Ariana Cinema on Thursday afternoon (an evening showing was deemed too dangerous). It was meant to be a serious film about Afghanistan, by an Afghan-born director, set in present-day Kabul and even filmed on location here, but many of the Afghans who saw it said they did not recognize the society they knew.

The movie tells the story of an Afghan woman who starts a family-run Bohemian cafe in Kabul, where they serve wine in teapots and have poetry readings, which angers the Taliban. They soon begin kidnapping and assassinating the woman’s family members.

Some of the film’s most dramatic moments involved things never before seen on Afghan screens — let alone on Afghan streets — like public kissing, touching between members of the opposite sex and women swearing. The reaction of the audience ranged from titters through snickers to peals of laughter, which can also be a way of expressing embarrassment. The audience did at least stay until the end, although many people engaged in loud cellphone conversations throughout.

Afterward, Shaheen Darai, an Afghan media company employee, challenged a scene showing high-ranking coalition officers, an American colonel and some NATO colleagues hanging out in the cafe along with assorted Taliban desperadoes.

“The filmmakers were not very familiar with Afghanistan, or its culture and tradition,” he said. “None of that would ever happen here.” Neither Taliban nor uniformed coalition soldiers are ever seen in Kabul cafes, let alone drink alcohol in them.

Amin Mokhtar, an employee of the Afghan Film Organization, balked at a funeral scene, in which mourners threw handfuls of earth into the graves, not an Afghan practice, he said.

“The director and workers grew up in America and don’t know much about Afghan culture, that is the point,” Mr. Mokhtar said.

The director was Sonia Nassery Cole, 45, who fled Afghanistan as a teenager after the Soviet invasion in 1979, and now is based in Los Angeles, where she runs a charity, the Afghanistan World Foundation. Its Web site lists projects including “The Black Tulip” and Ms. Cole’s other directorial credit, “The Breadwinner,” a 2007 documentary short film also set in Afghanistan.

The opening here was financed in part by the American Embassy, which provided money for the film crew to travel to the premiere, according to a spokeswoman for the embassy, Caitlin Hayden. The film had advance screenings at the headquarters of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, and at the embassy, where its strongly anti-Taliban and pro-coalition theme played well.

The political message also resonated with most of the Afghans in the audience, who praised the film’s anti-Taliban sentiments, while recoiling at its depiction of social relationships.

“This was wrong, this was not good,” said Hamid Mohammed, a tailor. He was shocked at something he said he had never seen in his life, a young man kissing a woman full on the face mask of her head-to-toe, baby blue burqa. (Burqas have a mesh grill over the eyes, but no mouth opening.) He guffawed at the recollection, then apologized for the outburst.

The film is likely to end up as Afghanistan’s entry in the foreign language category at the Oscars, according to Latif Ahmadi, head of the Afghan Film Organization, because, “It’s the only film produced in Afghanistan this year.”

Ms. Cole has drawn some criticism in artistic and political circles here for her assertion that she took over the lead in the movie only at the last minute, when the Taliban cut the feet off her pick for that role, whom she named as Zarifa Jahon.

“I think that’s just propaganda for the film,” Mr. Ahmadi said. Many others in the film industry here said they had never heard of that actress or such an episode.

Ms. Cole, interviewed as she left the theater on Thursday after introducing the movie (she did not stay for the showing), said the story was true. She said that the woman she knew as Zarifa had acted in Pakistan but was not well known in Afghanistan. Ms. Cole discovered her in a hotel lobby in Kabul in 2008, she said.

Just before production began on “The Black Tulip” in August 2009, the actress disappeared, Ms. Cole said. “Finally, she called me and she said, ‘You’ll never guess what happened. The Taliban chopped my feet off.’ ” Ms. Cole said the Taliban were angry about a Pakistani film the actress had appeared in.

Ms. Cole said she did not actually see the actress after the amputations, however, because the woman begged her to leave her alone for her own safety.

Not all of the Afghans felt embarrassed by “The Black Tulip.” “It was perfect,” said Idris Ludin, a dentist. “If you have to see one film about Afghanistan, see this.”

Asked what other films about Afghanistan he had seen, he thought for a moment and then laughed. “None.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/world/asia/24tulip.html?ref=world

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12250
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1274 on: Sep 24th, 2010, 08:58am »

Wired Danger Room


Army Reveals Afghan Biometric ID Plan; Millions Scanned, Carded by May
By Noah Shachtman September 24, 2010 | 12:03 am | Categories: Af/Pak


In Afghanistan, local and NATO forces are amassing biometric dossiers on hundreds of thousands of cops, crooks, soldiers, insurgents and ordinary citizens. And now, with NATO’s backing, the Kabul government is putting together a plan to issue biometrically backed identification cards to 1.65 million Afghans by next May.

The idea is to hinder militant movement around the country, and to keep Taliban infiltrators out of the army, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan commander Lt. Gen. William Caldwell tells Danger Room. “The system allows the Afghans to thoroughly screen applicants and recruits for any potential negative past history or criminal linkages, while at the same time it provides an additional measure of security at checkpoints and major facilities to prevent possible entrance and access by malign actors in Afghanistan,” Caldwell e-mails.

It’s a high-tech upgrade to a classic counterinsurgency move — simultaneously taking a census of the population, culling security forces of double agents and cutting off guerrilla routes. (Plus, bombs and weapons can be swabbed for fingerprints to build files on insurgent suspects.) Gen. David Petraeus, now commander of the Afghan war effort, relied heavily on biometrics during his time in command of U.S. forces in Iraq.

Twenty to 25 Afghans a week are currently caught in the biometric sweep, military officials estimate. That number could grow significantly in the months to come. The “population registration division” of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior is “embarking on a program to develop, print and distribute biometrically enabled national ID cards,” e-mails Col. Craig Osbourne, the director of NATO’s Task Force Biometrics.

President Hamid Karzai has yet to sign on. But the “Afghan Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has already secured a $122 million contract for the database development and printing of cards in support of that plan,” Osbourne adds.

There are all kinds of hurdles to the plan, however. At the moment, Afghanistan’s two main biometric databases don’t talk to one another, limiting their effectiveness. The Karzai government has blocked previous efforts to extend the biometric dragnet. And in a country where the rule of law is more of a suggestion, there’s a risk that a storehouse of irises and fingerprints and faces could one day be abused.

Right now, there are two primary biometric projects underway in Afghanistan. One is run by NATO forces, and uses the fingerprint readers, iris scanners and digital cameras of the Biometric Automated Toolset (.ppt) to capture information on detainees and other “persons of interest.” The U.S. military says it has assembled 410,000 of these biometric dossiers in the past year-and-a-half.

The second project, the Afghan Automated Biometric Identification System (AABIS), run by the Afghan government, collects data on Afghan National Army and police recruits. Fingerprints, irises and faces are all scanned into Crossmatch Jump Kits. The kits are periodically brought back to Kabul, where the data is dumped into the AABIS mainframe — and cross-checked with biometric records from the Afghan National Detention Facility, Kabul Central Police Command, Counternarcotics Police of Afghanistan and FBI prison enrollments from Kabul, Herat and Kandahar.

Along with a new battery of drug tests, AABIS “helps create an environment where the Afghans can hold personnel accountable for their actions,” Caldwell e-mails. “This combination of capabilities helps ensure the Afghans are able to continue providing quality recruits, while progressing towards a professionalized force capable of sustaining itself and protecting the people of Afghanistan.”

The problem is, the two systems don’t link up, one American official tells Danger Room. NATO forces could capture an insurgent — and the Afghan database would have no note of it. Which makes it an imperfect screener for militants, at best.

The Afghan system now covers 248,768 people. Hundreds of thousands more will follow them, if a plan by NATO and Afghan officials moves forward. A thousand locals are being recruited to take their countrymen’s fingerprints and scan their irises — and dump them into AABIS as the start of a national ID. The goal is to get 1.65 million enrolled by May 2011.

“This plan was briefed to and endorsed by the Afghan Senior Security Shura last Monday,” Osbourne says. “The population registration division has been producing ID cards for decades, and Afghans recognize and support their efforts for such a system. Coalition forces operating in the battle space will still collect biometric data on detainees and those suspected of insurgent actions or support, but otherwise all collections are voluntary.”

In a sense, the program is a turnaround for the administration of President Karzai. It wasn’t long ago that he shut down a major biometric project in Kandahar.

At the height of the Iraq insurgency, U.S. forces walled off cities like Fallujah. The only way to get in or out was to get an ID card. And the only way to get an ID card was to get an iris scan.

Earlier this summer, Afghan troops under NATO supervision briefly tried a similar approach. The system enrolled 20,000 residents of Kandahar at three checkpoints.

But the program was abruptly pulled when Karzai saw a picture of one of the biometric checkpoints in Newsweek, U.S. military officials tell Danger Room. Karzai declared the scanning to be an infringement of Afghan sovereignty, and put the kibosh on the whole thing.

NATO military officials are working with Afghan ministries to get Karzai to approve a national biometric ID. But if they succeed, it triggers another concern.

In Iraq, there are worries that the kind of information assembled in Fallujah could one day be used to target the government’s political enemies, or help contribute to sectarian conflict.

“This database,” Lt. Col. John Velliquette, an Army biometrics manager in Iraq, tells Danger Room, “becomes is a hit list if it gets in the wrong hands.” A parallel case could be made for Afghanistan.

So far, there’s been no evidence of abuse of the system — in either country. Osbourne says part of that $122 million contract for a national ID “includes provisions for information assurance under the guidance of the U.S. Agency for International Development.” But things in Afghanistan often take unexpected turns, despite the international community’s best efforts to keep them on track.


http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/09/afghan-biometric-dragnet-could-snag-millions/

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
Pages: 1 ... 83 84 85 86 87  ...  1070 Notify Send Topic Print
« Previous Topic | Next Topic »

Become a member of the UFO Casebook Forum today and join our more than 19,000 members.

Visit the UFO Casebook Web Site

Donate $6.99 for 50,000 Ad-Free Pageviews!

| |

This forum powered for FREE by Conforums ©
Sign up for your own Free Message Board today!
Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Conforums Support | Parental Controls