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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 112973 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1890 on: Nov 16th, 2010, 4:32pm »

American Chronicle

Disclosure, ´breakthrough event´ could change humanity, Earth
by Steve Hammons
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
2:28:52 pm

A significant development or event that has constructive effects on the human race is sometimes the topic of theories and hopes.

Some viewpoints propose that this will be the result of tipping points of various kinds related to human progress and improved human consciousness.

In the new NBC TV show "The Event," we don't really know what it will be.

That program seems to dovetail with the idea of "UFO disclosure" – that extraterrestrial, inter-dimensional, time-traveling or some other kinds of intelligent beings will make more open contact with humanity, or there will be some public acknowledgment of this situation.

Other views hold that a breakthrough event would be of a more grassroots kind of development. It would not necessarily come from an external source, but would be related to that which is inside human beings or inside our natural environment in some way.

This type of tipping point could involve a more cohesive human consciousness. In such a scenario, ideas like teamwork, fellowship and cooperation would become a more significant characteristic of human thought and feelings. Maybe we just reach more of a consensus on general current events and issues.

We might discover interesting elements of consciousness within our biological beings – in our physical bodies and DNA.

Yet, we could even look deeper. Some ideas about the quantum realities beneath (or above) how our world appears to us on the surface seem to indicate that the nature of Nature holds the promise of transcending certain current limitations. A situation like this could open up different dimensions for us.

EMBRACING CHANGE

There could be many kinds of scenarios that could develop or emerge. Several of them could be, and probably are, related in various ways and could happen together or be linked in some manner.

In the spirit of readiness and preparedness, it could be useful to consider how certain unique or surprising situations might play out.

How would the news media and other communications platforms handle it? Would public safety officials such as peace officers and firefighters be involved? Are special rapid response teams positioned to assist?

And, what would it feel like if a sudden change, positive though it might be, gave us a little jolt?

Happiness, joy, relief, peace of mind, a certain familiarity, increased faith, a heartwarming sensation and other related feelings and physical effects could all be related to a constructive development or scenario that some people envision, or even pray for.

Change can be good and can also create disorientation, uncertainty and anxiety. Even when we suspect that certain changes are needed in our lives or in society, sometimes we still cling to a familiar way things are.

In the case of a helpful breakthrough event, tipping point or paradigm shift, it might also be constructive to focus on those personal and cultural touchstones and basics that keep us grounded and rooted.

If some researchers are correct, the human mind, heart and spirit will all be involved in a breakthrough event along with other elements that we might not be able to fully predict or understand at this time.

We may need to "go with the flow" as an act of faith to a certain degree, while also being more intelligent and taking a good, hard look at what might be going on.

FIELD OF LIGHT

In my second novel, "Light's Hand," published in late 2001, I wrote about a possible emerging development that could serve as an example of such a breakthrough event.

That book was a sequel to my first novel, "Mission Into Light," published in early 2001. Both books focused on the discreet research activities of a San Diego-based, U.S. joint-service team of ten women and men, military officers from the various service branches as well as intelligence community personnel and the main character, a civilian.

Throughout the two-book story, the members of the "Joint Reconnaissance Study Group (JRSG)" conduct various kinds of research into unconventional topics and areas of interest. They attempt to compile and cross-reference connections and common denominators among some of these research areas.

From their office in San Diego, they travel throughout the southwest, looking into certain mysteries. During their activities and operations, they get increasing indications that a breakthrough event of some kind might or will happen.

Then, on an average morning, when some of them are at their home base and some are in Flagstaff, Arizona, their commanding officer is driving to the office in San Diego and a brief segment of the radio news catches his attention.

"And now, your up-to-date news. In Phoenix, Arizona, public safety officials are baffled by an unexplained area of light near the foothills north of the city. Police and fire officials say the unusual field of light was first spotted by a highway patrol officer in the early morning hours. The strange glow seems to be stable, though some of the hundreds of bystanders told reporters that this field of light is getting larger, hour by hour."

What the C.O. of the Joint Recon Study Group didn't know at the time was that when he hears this news on his car radio, dozens of firefighters and peace officers have already responded to the scene of this strange field of light in north Phoenix.

The Arizona Highway Patrol officer first saw the light before dawn thought it was a small fire. On closer inspection, he realized it was something unusual, and called for backup from other officers and firefighters. A fire department hazardous materials (HazMat) team was also dispatched.

While the JRSG quickly mobilized helicopters in San Diego and Flagstaff to fly them to the site in Phoenix, local news choppers were also now circling overhead of the field of light. People driving to work on the nearby freeway were stopped alongside the road watching all the activity.

The firefighters and peace officers close to it noted that the field of light seemed to subtly illuminate the surroundings in ways that were different from normal light. Things seemed to have an inner glow.

And it got more interesting. Something occurs that clearly indicates the field is part of some kind of boundary between our world and another dimension we often believe in, but are not quite sure about.

When the choppers carrying the JRSG teams arrive on scene, they land near the desert hills where the field of light continues to gradually expand. They flash IDs and tell officers that they are a federal rapid response team and need to get up to speed about what has been going on.

Even with the open minds they have developed during months of research into unconventional phenomena, the JRSG are truly amazed by what they are told by officers and what appears to be going on.

As the day progresses, more understanding is gained about the situation and eventually police allow the public to get closer to the continually expanding light field.

There is now a new normal, and the surprise of this breakthrough event has passed, now replaced with a new hope about our future.

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/199391

Crystal
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« Last Edit: Nov 16th, 2010, 4:40pm by WingsofCrystal » User IP Logged

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« Reply #1891 on: Nov 17th, 2010, 09:06am »

New York Times

November 16, 2010
NATO Is Razing Booby-Trapped Afghan Homes
By TAIMOOR SHAH and ROD NORDLAND

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — In the newly won districts around this southern city, American forces are encountering empty homes and farm buildings left so heavily booby-trapped by Taliban insurgents that the Americans have been systematically destroying hundreds of them, according to local Afghan authorities.

The campaign, a major departure from NATO practice in past military operations, is intended to reduce civilian and military casualties by removing the threat of booby traps and denying Taliban insurgents hiding places and fighting positions, American military officials said.

While it has widespread support among Afghan officials and even some residents, and has been accompanied by an equally determined effort to hand out cash compensation to homeowners, other local people have complained that the demolitions have gone far beyond what is necessary.

It would also seem to run counter to Gen. David H. Petraeus’s counterinsurgency strategy, which calls for respecting property as well as lives, and to run up against recent calls by President Hamid Karzai for foreign forces to lower their profile and avoid tactics that alienate Afghan civilians. There have been no reports of civilians casualties from the demolitions.

General Petraeus, the NATO commander in Afghanistan, has recently pointed to progress in routing the Taliban in Kandahar, thanks to 30,000 additional troops, although the insurgents have countered that they have simply gone into hiding to wait out the American push.

What they have left behind are vacant houses and farm buildings so heavily rigged that soldiers have started referring to them as house-borne improvised explosive devices.

In recent weeks, using armored bulldozers, high explosives, missiles and even airstrikes, American troops have taken to destroying hundreds of them, by a conservative estimate, with some estimates running into the thousands.

“We don’t know the accurate number of homes destroyed, but it’s huge,” said Zalmai Ayubi, the spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor, Tooryalai Wesa, and who with the governor visited on Oct. 21. “It’s the insurgents and the enemy of the country that are to blame for this destruction, because they have planted mines in civilian houses and main roads everywhere.”

Lt. Col. Webster Wright, the spokesman for NATO forces in Kandahar, said he did not know how many homes had been destroyed in the campaign, but put the number of deliberate demolitions since September at 174, including homes and other structures.

The number seemed well below the destruction indicated by the accounts of local officials.

In the most fiercely contested areas, especially in Zhare District, but also in parts of neighboring Panjwai and Arghandab Districts, American troops have been routinely destroying almost every unoccupied home or unused farm building in areas where they are operating.

In Arghandab District, for instance, every one of the 40 homes in the village of Khosrow was flattened by a salvo of 25 missiles, according to the district governor, Shah Muhammed Ahmadi, who estimated that 120 to 130 houses had been demolished in his district. “There was no other way; we knew people wanted us to get rid of all these deadly I.E.D.’s,” he said, referring to improvised explosive devices, the military’s term for homemade bombs.

“In some villages where only a few houses were contaminated by bombs, we called the owners and got their agreement to destroy them,” Mr. Ahmadi said. “In some villages like Khosrow that were completely empty and full of I.E.D.’s, we destroyed them without agreement because it was hard to find the people.

“And not just Khosrow, but many villages,” he said, listing a half-dozen others. “We had to destroy them to make them safe.”

Military units in the field have been seen keeping meticulous records, recording not only every house they blow up, but also every grape-drying shed, retaining wall, tree and vine, and entering that data into computerized systems.

“I don’t know exactly how many people have received compensation yet, but there are hundreds of people waiting to claim for their losses and many who already have put in claims,” said Karim Jan, the governor of Zhare District, where the destruction of homes has been most extensive. In neighboring Panjwai District, Gov. Baran Khaksar said 60 families had been compensated for destruction of their homes or other property.

Responding to questions about whether house demolitions contradicted counterinsurgency strategy, Col. Hans E. Bush, a press aide speaking on behalf of General Petraeus, said the steps had been taken to safeguard the local residents.

“The buildings in question posed a threat to everyone in the area since they were rigged with explosives and booby-trapped in a way to prevent E.O.D. personnel from rendering them safe,” he said referring to the American Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams.

American troops are using an impressive array of tools not only to demolish homes, but also to eliminate tree lines where insurgents could hide, blow up outbuildings, flatten agricultural walls, and carve new “military roads,” because existing ones are so heavily mined, according to journalists embedded in the area recently.

One of the most fearsome tools is the Miclic, the M58 Mine-Clearing Line Charge, a chain of explosives tied to a rocket, which upon impact destroys everything in a swath 30 feet wide and 325 feet long. The Himars missile system, a pod of 13-foot rockets carrying 200-pound warheads, has also been used frequently for demolition work.

Often, new military roads go right through farms and compounds, cutting a route that will keep soldiers safe from roadside bombs. In Zhare District alone, the 101st Airborne’s Second Brigade has lost 30 soldiers since last June, mostly to such bombs.

Activists at the organization Afghanistan Rights Monitor have been critical of the campaign. “These are all mud houses, quite humble houses,” said Akmal Dawi, of the group, “so they are just taking the easiest way and saying, ‘We will destroy them and then help them rebuild, give them a couple hundred dollars and show we are on their side.’ ”

However, with winter approaching and the fight continuing, owners are not likely to begin rebuilding anytime soon. “It’s not enough,” Mr. Dawi said. “People will not be satisfied with that.”

The number of refugees from the districts around Kandahar is difficult to determine, because most of them stay with relatives or friends in the city, but local officials estimate that nearly 1,000 families have fled Zhare and Arghandab in the past month alone. Many others left before military operations stepped up, fleeing Taliban domination in the area.

Abdul Rahim Khan, 50, a tribal elder from Spirwan in Panjwai District, claimed that in many cases the American troops had been destroying empty homes, even when there were not any explosives inside. However, military officers pointed out, searching empty homes was often too dangerous.

“People are not happy with the compensation,” said a tribal elder in Zhare, who said he was afraid to give his name for publication. “Compensation is just kicking dirt in our eyes.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/17/world/asia/17afghan.html?ref=world

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« Reply #1892 on: Nov 17th, 2010, 09:08am »

New York Times

November 17, 2010
Britain Signals Intention to Help Ireland in Debt Crisis
By JAMES KANTER and STEVEN ERLANGER

BRUSSELS — The British government signaled Wednesday that it could offer direct financial assistance to Ireland, even though Britain is outside the euro zone, as prospects grew for an international rescue package to avert another European debt crisis.

The British offer came after finance ministers from the 16 countries using the euro decided to “intensify” talks with Ireland on possible aid to shore up the country’s troubled economy and banking sector.

A team of experts from the European Union and International Monetary Fund was to arrive in Dublin on Thursday to begin what was expected to be several days of meetings with government officials.

The Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen again insisted that there was no application for a bailout, but told parliament in Dublin that discussions would take place “based on the facts.”

Dublin has insisted it is not looking for a bailout and has sufficient cash on hand to last until next spring. But the uncertainty about its long-term finances has pushed up borrowing costs for Ireland as well as similarly-strapped Portugal and Spain, raising pressure for bold measures to stem the contagion.

At their meeting Tuesday night, the euro zone ministers also signaled continuing concerns about efforts to rein in the budget deficit in Greece, where the debt crisis originated early this year.

Joining the group on Wednesday, George Osborne, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, noted that British banks are the most heavily exposed to the Irish financial sector, and that it was in “Britain’s national interest that the Irish economy is successful and we have a stable banking system.”

“Britain stands ready to support Ireland in the steps that it needs to take to bring about that stability,” Mr. Osborne told reporters going into the meeting.

The very public struggle and ensuing market unease highlighted how the bloc has again found itself confronting a crisis of confidence in the euro and, ultimately, in its ability to manage its economic problems — and in a timely fashion.

“The negotiations have been problematic because at the core there is a conflict of interest,” Ken Wattret, an economist with BNP Paribas, said on Wednesday. The E.U. wanted “to stop contagion spreading by pushing Ireland” to accept a bailout with the involvement of the International Monetary Fund, Mr. Wattret said. But the Irish government was proving “unwilling to give up control of its economic policy,” he said.

Analysts in Dublin suggested that the government would put off announcing its four-year budget plan until next week while the E.U.-I.M.F. mission looks it over. Afterward, a package aimed at bolstering the banking system could come as early as next week. Although it would have to be delivered through the government, Irish officials could still argue that they were not being bailed out, but cooperating with the rest of the E.U. to help ease euro-zone anxieties.

Mr. Cowen stuck to that line under harsh questioning in parliament on Wednesday, saying Ireland was working with its European partners on issues that were affecting the euro area and Ireland.

But Olli Rehn, the European Union’s economic commissioner, noted earlier that the problems of the banks and the government “are connected,” since the government guaranteed the bank liabilities two years ago.

Another struggle is still underway in relation to Greece’s bailout this spring from the E.U. and I.M.F., worth €110 billion, or about $150 billion.

On Wednesday, the Austrian Finance Minister Josef Pröll said Athens had not fulfilled all the requirements of its bailout related to cutting the budget deficit. He said the E.U. would thus delay the payout of the December installment until January.

However, the European Commission and the Greek government denied there would be any delay in the third tranche, saying it had always been anticipated that the payment would be “concluded at the beginning of January.”

The premium investors charge for holding Irish debt remained sky high on Wednesday in an early indication that financial markets were unimpressed by Ireland’s decision to reject immediate E.U. financial assistance. Meanwhile the costs of insuring against default by Ireland jumped, while those for Spain and Portugal also rose in a sign of the contagion that E.U. leaders fear most.

Portugal paid a sharply higher interest rate amid lower demand in a €750 million sale of 12-month bills Wednesday, The Associated Press reported from Lisbon. The government debt agency said the average interest rate was 4.81 percent, up from 3.26 percent for the same bills two weeks ago.

With Ireland not facing the same immediate funding difficulties that forced Greece to accept an I.M.F. program in the spring, the government in Dublin probably may be able to afford to let the situation rumble on for a while longer — with potentially adverse consequences for the entire eurozone.

Brian Lenihan the Irish finance minister, said in Brussels late on Tuesday that assistance for Ireland was not inevitable. “I would not agree with that analysis,” he said. “What we are talking about is market risks and the way you address those risks.”

“I am not going to put a timeline on this,” Mr. Lenihan added, referring to the intensified discussions, “but this is urgent.”

Brian Lucey, a professor of finance at Trinity College Dublin and a former economist for the Irish central bank, said that the distinction between the government and the banks was politically useful for Mr. Cowen, who is struggling to hold on to a fragile majority in parliament.

“It’s right to say that it’s not a state bailout but a bank bailout, but they’re the same,” he said in an interview. “We’re not in a position to dictate. The banks are in deep, deep trouble, and we can’t pull them out ourselves.”

Mr. Lucey said that Mr. Cowen was correct “in playing coy and cautious until absolutely certain what the situation is and what’s on the table, to get the strongest deal he can.” But “pride cometh before a fall,” Mr. Lucey said. “We’re in serious danger of falling off a cliff.”

Irish pride is an important factor, given how long the country and its currency were tied to Britain and the pound. While both countries joined the European Union only in 1973, Ireland embraced the euro, which Britain has not, as an important sign of its independence and economic sovereignty.

Any rescue plan will come with conditions negotiated by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, as was the case in Greece.

Germany in particular is pushing Ireland to raise its corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent, one of the lowest in the euro zone, to reduce its deficits. But Dublin is resisting this sort of intrusion in its affairs, Mr. Lucey said. A tax rate that Germany and other European nations see as unfair competition is viewed in Dublin as a critical element in its economic success, past and future.

A significant part of the pressure has also come quietly from the European Central Bank, which has been buying sovereign bonds and supporting the banks with billions in liquidity. The bank would prefer that the governments take on the burden through the funds they set up this year.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/18/business/global/18euro.html?ref=world

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« Reply #1893 on: Nov 17th, 2010, 09:15am »

Telegraph

MP 'death list' blog: man charged with soliciting murder
A 23-year-old man has been charged with soliciting murder and other terrorism offences in relation to a blog listing MPs who voted for the Iraq war.
9:11AM GMT 17 Nov 2010


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Revolutionmuslim.com is known to have radicalised Roshonara Choudhry, who stabbed Stephen Timms



Bilal Zaheer Ahmad, of Dunstall, Wolverhampton, was arrested last Wednesday in connection with the website which influenced a student who tried to kill MP Stephen Timms.

He will appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court in central London this morning.

Ahmad was charged with soliciting murder, West Midlands Police said.

He was also charged with three counts of possessing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The hit list of MPs who voted for the Iraq war was removed from the extremist website revolutionmuslim.com after the Home Office urged the US to act against it.

The post hailed the student who tried to kill Labour's Stephen Timms as a "heroine".

The site was among those cited as an influence by Roshonara Choudhry, 21, who was jailed for life earlier this month for stabbing East Ham MP Mr Timms twice in the stomach at his surgery.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/8139392/MP-death-list-blog-man-charged-with-soliciting-murder.html

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« Reply #1894 on: Nov 17th, 2010, 09:20am »

Wired

Darpa: Now We Know Why Our Mach-20 Ship Crashed
By David Axe
November 16, 2010 | 4:57 pm |
Categories: DarpaWatch

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It took six months, but the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency finally has a handle on what caused its hypersonic weapon prototype to “terminate” itself over the Pacific Ocean back in April. The findings have paved the way for a fresh round of tests for the Mach-20 flier, potentially leading to a new class of superfast weapons.

The Hypersonic Test Vehicle 2 — a 12-foot, 2,000-pound wedge packing a three-stage Minotaur booster — launched without incident from California on April 22. It climbed to the edge of space for a planned 30-minute, 4,000-mile jaunt toward Kwajalein in the middle of the Pacific.

But nine minutes into the flight, controllers on the ground lost contact with the HTV-2. The culprit, according to Darpa’s Engineering Review Board? “Higher-than-predicted yaw, which coupled into roll, thus exceeding the available control capability at the time of the anomaly.”

In other words, the HTV wobbled too much. Rather than risking an out-of-control flight, the bot self-destructed. On the bright side, according to a chipper Darpa release, the failed test “demonstrated successfully the first-ever use of an autonomous flight-termination system.”

Lockheed built two HTV-2 test vehicles, but Darpa held off on further flights until engineers could say for sure what killed the first HTV. Now the agency is ready to try again, with a few tweaks. “Engineers will adjust the vehicle’s center of gravity, decrease the angle of attack flown, and use the on-board reaction-control system to augment the vehicle flaps when HTV-2 flies next summer.”

Time was, Pentagon planners anticipated adapting HTV into a weapon capable of striking any target in the world within minutes of launch from a base in the United States. With that ambition running afoul of (very sensible) diplomatic concerns, planners instead envisioned using hypersonic technology in a new, superfast bomber.

Now it’s clear the Pentagon wants a less-ambitious bomber similar to models already in service. So instead, HTV-2 and its ilk are likely to lead to a new generation of missiles that can be carried by today’s manned planes.

But first, HTV needs to fly a full test circuit without wobbling — and self-terminating.

Photo: Air Force

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/11/darpa-now-we-know-why-our-mach-20-ship-crashed/

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« Reply #1895 on: Nov 17th, 2010, 09:23am »

Wired

Lockheed Turns Jack Daniel’s Jet Into Flying Spy
By Spencer Ackerman
November 16, 2010 | 3:00 pm |
Categories: Spies, Secrecy and Surveillance

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In a previous life, this Gulfstream jet ferried top liquor-company executives to corporate meetings in boozy style. Now it’s retrofitted to hunt insurgents. The wet bar, alas, is no longer included.

In late 2008, Lockheed Martin paid $18 million to equip a Gulfstream III with an array of sensors and cameras, making it able to shoot video of suspicious activities below and beam it rapidly to a ground station for analysis and early-warning.

Since Lockheed’s Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory — as the plane is now known — completed its first flight in 2009, a number of other commercial aircraft have received similar intel-heavy upgrades. Beechcraft passenger planes are now full-motion-video-capturing machines flying above Afghanistan. Like the Lockheed plane, the revamped Beechcrafts have four computer terminals for intelligence experts to capture sound and imagery on board.

But few can beat the Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory’s history as a party jet. Jack Daniel’s execs used to fly in it, and before they did, a “semi-pro hockey team” used it to get around. “We took a private executive jet with a wet bar and made it into an operational [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] platform,” Lockheed strategic programs manager Charles Gulledge told National Defense magazine during the plane’s recent stop in the United Kingdom. “Now we know what it takes.”

Lockheed’s still looking for an American buyer for the plane. (The Finns are paying $100 million to turn one of their Air Force’s EADS planes into a similar flying intelligence station.) Whether the U.S. military will opt to purchase it is uncertain. As the Washington Times reported last week, some senior commanders have recently complained that they’re capturing more footage of insurgents than analysts can possibly interpret. Maybe it’s time to reinstall the wetbar.

Photo: Lockheed Martin

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/11/lockheed-turns-jack-daniels-jet-into-flying-spy/

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« Reply #1896 on: Nov 17th, 2010, 4:38pm »

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/11/17/breakthrough-mysterious-antimatter-created-captured/

Fox News

Breakthrough! Scientists Create and Capture Antimatter


Published November 17, 2010

LiveScience

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A strong magnet was critical to trapping antihydrogen atoms by using their small magnetic moments. This simplified version shows how the north and south poles of strategically arranged magnets can immobilize neutral antimatterthat has a magnetic moment equivalent to a tiny bar magnet.

Scientists working on the big bang machine in Geneva have done the seemingly impossible: create, capture and release antimatter.

The development could help researchers devise laboratory experiments to learn more about this strange substance, which mostly disappeared from the universe shortly after the Big Bang around 14 billion years ago.

Trapping any form of antimatter is difficult, because as soon as it meets normal matter -- the stuff Earth and everything on it is made out of -- the two annihilate each other in powerful explosions.

In a new study, physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva were able to create 38 antihydrogen atoms and preserve each for more than one-tenth of a second. The project was part of the ALPHA (Antihydrogen Laser PHysics Apparatus) experiment, an international collaboration that includes physicists from the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

The antihydrogen atoms are composed of a positron (an antimatter electron) orbiting an antiproton nucleus.

"We are getting close to the point at which we can do some classes of experiments on the properties of antihydrogen," said Joel Fajans, a University of California, Berkeley professor of physics, and LBNL faculty scientist. "Since no one has been able to make these types of measurements on antimatter atoms at all, it's a good start."

Antimatter, first predicted by physicist Paul Dirac in 1931, has the opposite charge of normal matter and annihilates completely in a flash of energy upon interaction with normal matter. Antimatter is produced during high-energy particle interactions on Earth and in some decays of radioactive elements.

In 1955, University of California, Berkeley physicists Emilio Segre and Owen Chamberlain created antiprotons in the Bevatron accelerator at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (now called Lawrence Berkeley), confirming their existence and earning the scientists the 1959 Nobel Prize in physics.

To create antihydrogen and keep it from immediately annihilating, the ALPHA team cooled antiprotons and compressed them into a matchstick-size cloud. Then the researchers nudged this cloud of cold, compressed antiprotons so it overlapped with a like-size positron cloud, where the two particles mated to form antihydrogen.

All this happened inside a magnetic bottle that traps the antihydrogen atoms. The magnetic trap is a specially configured magnetic field that uses an unusual and expensive superconducting magnet to prevent the antimatter particles from running into the edges of the bottle – which is made of normal matter and would annihilate with the antimatter on contact.

"For the moment, we keep antihydrogen atoms around for at least 172 milliseconds – about a sixth of a second – long enough to make sure we have trapped them," said Jonathan Wurtele, a University of California, Berkeley professor of physics and LBNL faculty scientist.

The team's results will be published online Nov. 17 in the journal Nature.

Copyright © 2010 LiveScience.com. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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« Reply #1897 on: Nov 17th, 2010, 6:14pm »

Oh goodie.........................
Another way they can blow us all to hell......................
Thanks Swampy! grin
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« Reply #1898 on: Nov 17th, 2010, 7:06pm »

Deadline Hollywood

Timur Bekmambetov Finds New Director For 'Apollo 18' Liftoff
By MIKE FLEMING |
Wednesday November 17, 2010
@ 5:16pm EST

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Right before the liftoff of Apollo 18, Spanish filmmaker Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego has stepped into direct the Timur Bekmambetov-produced film which The Weinstein Company won in a bidding battle during AFM. Trevor Caewood was originally attached to direct the film, which was scripted by Brian Miller. Lopez-Gallego had an existing relationship with Dimension's Bob Weinstein from when that label released his film King of the Hill. The production is on a very tight leash, since the film has been dated for a March 4, 2011 release date. Caewood was going to use his vfx company for the visual effects, but it became clear that because his company is busy on other projects, adding Apollo 18 would make it difficult to make the date. Bekmambetov will instead take the vfx in-house through his Moscow-based facility, Bazelevs, where the Apollo 18 work will be completed in time for its March release date before the studio focuses on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which Bekmambetov is directing for Fox. Deadline was first to reveal that TWC was acquiring Apollo 18, a documentary-style feature that is based on "found footage" from Apollo 18's undocumented and covert mission to the moon, which revealed evidence of an alien life form.

http://www.deadline.com/2010/11/timur-bekmambetov-finds-new-director-for-apollo-18-liftoff/

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« Reply #1899 on: Nov 17th, 2010, 7:11pm »




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« Reply #1900 on: Nov 18th, 2010, 07:48am »

New York Times

November 18, 2010
Ireland Central Banker Expects ‘Substantial’ Bailout
By DAVID JOLLY and BETTINA WASSENER

PARIS — Stocks rose Thursday in Asia and Europe and the euro strengthened as expectations grew that Ireland would receive billions of euros from international lenders to rescue its ailing banks.

U.S. equity futures also rose, suggesting Wall Street would open with a smart bounce after a relatively flat trading day Wednesday.

Although the Irish government has insisted a bailout is “not inevitable,” a team from the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank were to begin talks Thursday in Dublin on the country’s tottering finances.

Patrick Honohan, the Irish central bank governor, told the state broadcaster RTE that he expected the talks would lead to a loan.

“We’re talking about a very substantial loan for sure,” one that would be “in the tens of billions” of euros, he said, becoming the first Irish official to make such a statement publicly.

Ireland has moved more aggressively than many countries to address problems brought on by the financial crisis, but investors have been losing confidence in its banks in recent months, and a Greek-style rescue now appears imminent. On Wednesday, the British government signaled that it could offer Ireland direct financial aid as well.

Ireland has resisted asking for help, however, because of a reluctance to accept the strings attached to any bailout.

In afternoon trading, the Euro Stoxx 50 index, a barometer of euro zone blue chips, was up 1.6 percent, while the FTSE 100 index in London rose 1.5 percent. The CAC 40 in Paris rose 1.7 percent, and the DAX in Frankfurt gained 1.4 percent.

Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures rose 1.1 percent, suggesting Wall Street would bounce smartly at the opening bell. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.1 percent, while the S&P 500 index was essentially unchanged.

The Tokyo benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average led gains among major markets, rising 2.1 percent. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rose 1.8 percent, and in Shanghai the composite index added 0.9 percent. The Sydney market gauge S&P/ASX 200 index added 0.3 percent.

“There is confidence that the right mechanisms are in place,” Andrew Bell, chief executive of Witan Investment Trust, told Reuters. “There isn’t the same fear that there was in May and June that Europe might collapse in a heap because of debt problems at the same time that the world economy slips into a double-dip recession.”

Global stocks, as measured by the MSCI World index, lost ground on the seven consecutive trading days through Wednesday, when they managed a modest bounce.

The yield on the Irish 10-year government bond fell 12 basis points, to 7.8 percent, as its price rose. The yield on Greek 10-year bonds fell 3 basis points.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies. The euro rose to $1.3651 from $1.3529 late Wednesday in New York, while the British pound rose to $1.6006 from $1.5908. The dollar rose to 83.33 yen from 83.18 yen, but fell to 0.9862 Swiss francs from 0.9914 francs.

In addition to worries about Ireland and the future of the euro, investors have fretted about the possibility that the Beijing authorities might raise interest rates take other firm measures to cool China’s red-hot growth and the inflationary pressures that have accompanied it.

The Shanghai composite was the main victim of these fears, losing nearly 10 percent in the space of a week, though other markets in the region, too, were dragged along as investors worried about what slower expansion in the region’s main growth engine would mean for other economies.

On Wednesday, Beijing announced its intention to limit price increases for certain foodstuffs and cotton — plans that, though controversial in the eyes of some economists, eased market fears that the authorities might stage more broad-based measures.

Bettina Wassener reported from Hong Kong.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/business/19markets.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #1901 on: Nov 18th, 2010, 07:52am »

New York Times

November 18, 2010
Parcel on Plane to Germany Raises Alarm
By MICHAEL SLACKMAN and ERIC SCHMITT

With Germans already on alert about what the authorities called a “concrete” terrorist threat to their country, German police Thursday headed to the African nation of Namibia after police there found a suitcase with a fuse, clock and wires in the capital’s airport and inspected the luggage of a plane bound for Munich.

A statement by the Namibia Airports Company said that “a suspicious parcel” had been found in the luggage screening area in the airport at Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, and that as a result a Air Berlin Flight 7377 was delayed and its 296 passengers and 10 crew members sent back to the terminal and asked to identify their luggage. The flight eventually took of with its passengers and crew, but its cargo was left behind, the statement said. The plane arrived in Munich Thursday morning.

The German Federal Criminal Police said that a scan of the suspicious suitcase showed batteries attached by wires to a fuse and a clock. The Associated Press quoted an Air Berlin spokeswoman, Sabine Teller, as saying that no explosives were found in the bag. Thomas de Maizière, Germany’s interior minister, told reporters Thursday that according to preliminary investigations, it appeared likely the bag with the fuse and clock was intended for the Munich flight.

”A lot speaks for the idea that the piece of luggage was supposed to be transported on a plane that was to fly to Munich,” he said in Hamburg, according to Associated Press. He said that the incident proved that “the checks worked” but he declined further comment.

Germany had already dispatched heavily armed police officers and bomb-sniffing dogs on Wednesday to its train stations, airports and key landmarks. In a hastily called news conference in Berlin on Wednesday, Mr. de Maizière, said the government had “concrete indications of a series of attacks planned for the end of November,” and German, Pakistani and American officials offered similar accounts of intelligence that pointed to imminent attacks by terrorists trained in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

The officials said that American military drone strikes in those countries had killed some of the plotters and disrupted the plans, but that others were at large and might still strike.

Concern about the possibility of international flights being targeted by terrorists rose last month when two mail bombs were discovered while being sent on cargo planes from Yemen to the U.S. One of them went through a German airport before being found in Britain.

In Washington, an American counterterrorism official detailed the intelligence behind a warning issued in October to Americans traveling in Europe. He said that about 25 fighters affiliated with Al Qaeda, organized into cells of three to five members, had been planning commando attacks in Britain, France and Germany. Since then, the official said, about 10 of the fighters have been killed or captured, most of them by drone strikes in Pakistan. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because his comments involved security matters.

A Pakistani official, who also spoke on the condition that he remain anonymous, said drone strikes in September and October were believed to have killed European recruits directly involved in various plots, possibly including attacks in Germany and Britain. But he said several such plotters were believed to be alive.

France has been on high alert for several weeks, deploying nearly 5,000 extra members of the military and the police force to patrol sites deemed vulnerable. Five people were arrested in France on terrorism charges last week. Officials said one of them had spent time in Afghanistan and the others had planned to travel to Pakistan. The officials also said one of the suspects had been involved in an assassination plot against the leader of the Great Mosque of Paris.

A high-ranking German intelligence official said reports had been streaming in for months that teams might be heading to Germany for a Mumbai-style attack or other terrorism strikes.

“The situation has developed over the past weeks and months,” the official said, also speaking anonymously. “There were new messages almost every day. The number of messages increased and concentrated on Germany.”

But, he said, the warnings included none of the specifics of the Saudi tip that allowed the authorities in Britain and Dubai to intercept powerful bombs hidden in air cargo shipped from Yemen late last month.

“In essence, the messages are nonspecific, and the sources are difficult to reconstruct,” the official said. “It was a colorful variety of information, and because of this, the impression developed that something is about to happen.”

According to one European intelligence official, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, some attackers might be in place. That official said that “within the last six weeks there had been some Germans arrested in Pakistan” who said as much, though they did not know where or when a strike was planned.

Mr. de Maizière’s declaration on Wednesday that “the security situation in Germany has become more serious,” and the decision to put on a show of force on the streets, represented a significant shift in strategy. Germany had largely restrained from issuing major warnings, saying that such alerts alarmed the public while doing little to protect it — in itself a sort of victory for terrorists.

Mr. de Maizière did not specify the exact nature of the new information, saying only that it had emerged after the interception of the Yemen bombs, one of which had passed through a German airport.

The German intelligence official said the shift was not so much a result of a single tip than of the buildup of reports that indicated German targets were at risk and of increased concerns about cargo security.

Those concerns — underscored in Germany by the discovery of a package bomb from Greece that was found in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mail — are particularly troubling at a time of year when holiday purchases and gifts are flooding shipping agencies.

On Wednesday, Mr. de Maizière insisted that while there was cause for concern there was “no reason to panic.”

“We won’t be intimidated by international terror,” he said, “neither in our way of life, nor our culture or freedom.”

At the busy Friedrichstrasse station in Berlin, where national, regional and commuter train lines intersect, heavily armed officers in dark uniforms patrolled the platforms and entry and exit points during the afternoon rush.

The security staff of Deutsche Bahn, the German federal railways, seemed relaxed about Mr. de Maizière’s new alert, with officers smoking and chatting outside the station, but there was an increased police presence in the streets near Parliament.

“I worry about these terror alerts,” said Sabine Krohl, a sales assistant. “It’s all very well shrugging them off by saying it will never happen here in Germany.

“But you just never know,” she added, rushing to catch her commuter train.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/world/asia/19Germany.html?ref=world

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« Reply #1902 on: Nov 18th, 2010, 07:57am »

Telegraph

China 'hijacks' 15 per cent of world's internet traffic
Thursday 18 November 2010
By Heidi Blake 8:08AM GMT


China "hijacked" 15 per cent of the world's internet traffic for 18 minutes earlier this year, including highly sensitive email exchanges between senior US government and military figures, a report to the US Congress said.

A state-owned Chinese telecommunications firm re-routed around 15 per cent of all web traffic through its own servers during a brief period on April 8, the report said.

The incident has raised fears that China may have harvested highly-sensitive information from re-routed emails.

Another theory is that it could be testing a cyberweapon that could disrupt internet traffic from foreign servers.

The traffic included email exchanges from websites of the US Senate and the Department of Defense, along with "many others" including Nasa and the Department of Commerce.

Chinese internet officials have claimed that the re-routing was accidental, but the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission's annual report suggested the hijacking could have been "malicious".

"Evidence related to this incident does not clearly indicate whether it was perpetrated intentionally and, if so, to what ends,” the report said.

“However, computer security researchers have noted that the capability could enable severe malicious activities.”

Larry Wortzel, a member of the commission, said: "We don't know what was done with the data when they got it. When I see things like this happen, I ask, who might be interested with all the communications traffic from the entire Department of Defense and federal government? It's probably not a graduate student at Shanghai University.

"What could you do if you had the stream of email traffic for 18 minutes to and from the US Joint Chiefs of Staff? Most importantly you would get the internet addresses of everybody that communicated."

While sensitive data such as emails are generally encrypted before being transmitted, the Chinese government holds a copy of an encryption master key which could be used it to break into redirected traffic.

Carolyn Bartholomew, vice chairwoman of the commission, said the efforts of Chinese individuals and organisations to penetrate US networks "appear to be more sophisticated than techniques used in the past," raising fears that the Chinese Government is behind the attacks.

"The massive scale and the extensive intelligence and reconnaissance components of recent high profile, China-based computer exploitations suggest that there continues to be some level of state support for these activities," she said.

McAfee, the web security firm, has warned of a rise in political cyber attacks, pointing to China as one of the major actors launching assaults on foreign networks.

US targets include the White House, Department of Homeland Security, US Secret Service and Department of Defense, McAfee said in a report last year.

China's capacity to launch cyber-attacks on US commercial interests was also highlighted this year after Google threatened to completely shutter its operations in the Asian country, saying it became the target of a series of sophisticated cyber-attacks there.

The superpower has come under fierce criticism for its extensive censorship of the web. Wikipedia, the BBC website and a raft of blog spots are among the sites that have been temporarily or permanently blocked by the Government.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/8142267/China-hijacks-15-per-cent-of-worlds-internet-traffic.html

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« Reply #1903 on: Nov 18th, 2010, 08:00am »





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« Reply #1904 on: Nov 18th, 2010, 08:05am »

Wired

570-Megapixel Camera Prepares to Hunt for Dark Energy
By Dave Mosher
November 18, 2010 | 7:00 am |
Categories: Space, Tech

The world’s largest dark energy–hunting device, also one of the biggest, heaviest and highest-resolution cameras in the world, is close to completion.

Construction of the 4-ton Dark Energy Camera is wrapping up next month at Fermilab in Illinois, where it’s being tested on a mock-up telescope mount (above). The Dark Energy Survey hopes to open its $35 million camera for business at its final destination, in the Blanco telescope atop a Chilean mountain, by October 2012.

There, it will scan deep space for signs of dark energy, an invisible force that's pulling galaxies — and perhaps space itself — apart at faster and faster speeds.

“We’re going to survey 300 million galaxies in the southern sky to measure the speed of those galaxies,” said Tom Diehl, a physicist at Fermilab and a camera-construction leader. “We want to make the best description of the universe’s expansion to date.”

The faster an object moves away from the Earth, the more its light shifts toward a red color. Measurements of distant galaxies show all of them are red-shifted and moving away from us and each other.

“What's more, they’re moving away faster and faster, like pennies on the surface of an inflating balloon,” said Josh Frieman, an astrophysicist also working on the Dark Energy Survey effort.

Since the 1990s, astronomers suspected this expansion of space is accelerating because of a strange form of energy, dubbed dark energy because of its baffling nature. The new survey should improve red-shift measurements by about four to five times, Diehl said, helping get to the bottom of the mystery.

“We don’t know why the universe is speeding up, and that’s precisely why we’re doing the Dark Energy Survey,” Frieman said. “We’re trying to pin down the nature of dark energy.”

Since 2008, roughly 120 astronomers, engineers, and physicists have worked on the camera. As its construction comes to a close, we take a look at the Dark Energy Camera’s progress.

Video: Building the Test Mount
Time-lapse footage of the Dark Energy Camera’s test mount being built from January to October 2010. Fermilab

Video after the jump
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/11/dark-energy-survey-camera/

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