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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 45222 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #225 on: Jul 23rd, 2010, 08:44am »

Play Doh video to celebrate 50 years






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« Reply #226 on: Jul 23rd, 2010, 09:07am »

The Independent

With a wife like this, Japan's PM doesn't need enemies

By David McNeill in Tokyo

As leader of the world's second largest economy, Naoto Kan may be one of the most powerful men on the planet, but his wife, for one, is not in the least impressed.

Japan's new Prime Minister is a poor speaker, a bad cook and can't dress for toffee, according to Nobuko Kan, his wife of 40 years. Worse for the ailing country, he simply isn't a leader.

"He's more of a No 2 or a No 3 person rather than being at the top," says Mrs Kan in a new book called Now You Are Prime Minister, How On Earth Is Japan Going to Change?

"Even as a family member, I could not give him even a passing grade for his delivery of a policy speech, or for the question-and-answer sessions after he became Prime Minister," she added.

Published this week, commentators are divided on whether the book will hurt or boost Mr Kan's political career, which stumbled this month after his party took a pasting in national elections. The 63-year-old Prime Minister told the press this week he is "too scared" to read it.

His straight-talking wife, 64, has rarely fitted the stereotype of the demure Japanese wife. A formidable campaign speaker in her own right, she has been by Mr Kan's side since he was a left-wing citizens' activist in the early 1970s. She is widely credited with being the driving force behind the incident that established Mr Kan's political reputation, when he confronted health minister bureaucrats in the 1990s over their cover up of HIV-tainted blood products.

The marriage almost hit the rocks about a decade ago when a tabloid magazine alleged that Mr Kan had spent a night in a hotel with a TV presenter. "My wife told me I was an idiot," he said afterwards.

Mr Kan, who calls his wife "my most powerful supporter and most critical voter", says the book is partly a record of the political discussions the pair have at home.

She recounts that the Prime Minister "said the other day that 'markets are like a selfish woman'. He may have learned this from his relationships with me," she went on. "They are difficult to handle because they will just snub you if you do something to please them."

Written before he became leader last month, the book also reveals that Mr Kan had no great ambitions for the job and was catapulted into office by the resignation of Yukio Hatoyama.

Mr Hatoyama's wife also made headlines when she told a startled Japan that her soul had taken a ride on a UFO with aliens and travelled to Venus. Miyuki Hatoyama also said she had met Tom Cruise in a previous life – when he was Japanese.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/with-a-wife-like-this-japans-pm-doesnt-need-enemies-2033402.html

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #227 on: Jul 23rd, 2010, 09:53am »

Morning all! Just wanted to check in; on the road for a few days. This weekend in Baton Rouge; hope to get out Monday before the storms hit!

Swamp
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WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #228 on: Jul 23rd, 2010, 10:56am »

on Jul 23rd, 2010, 09:53am, Swamprat wrote:
Morning all! Just wanted to check in; on the road for a few days. This weekend in Baton Rouge; hope to get out Monday before the storms hit!

Swamp


Howdy Swamp!

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Crystal
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« Reply #229 on: Jul 23rd, 2010, 12:38pm »

on Jul 23rd, 2010, 09:53am, Swamprat wrote:
Morning all! Just wanted to check in; on the road for a few days. This weekend in Baton Rouge; hope to get out Monday before the storms hit!

Swamp

Enjoy yourself there, SR and be back well. smiley

And hello Crystal! cheesy
« Last Edit: Jul 23rd, 2010, 12:39pm by philliman » User IP Logged

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« Reply #230 on: Jul 23rd, 2010, 12:48pm »

on Jul 23rd, 2010, 08:12am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Telegraph

'Darth Raider': NY police hunt armed robber 'dressed as Star Wars character'
An armed robber is being hunted by police after dressing as the Star Wars movie character Darth Vader during a bizarre raid on a New York bank in broad daylight. ...

Reminds me of this case:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,250152,00.html wink
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« Reply #231 on: Jul 23rd, 2010, 1:28pm »

on Jul 23rd, 2010, 12:48pm, philliman wrote:
Reminds me of this case:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,250152,00.html wink


Chewy goes postal! Thanks Phil. grin
Crystal
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« Reply #232 on: Jul 23rd, 2010, 1:29pm »

Phantoms and Monsters Wiki

Welcome to the Phantoms and Monsters Wiki
A NETWORK FOR PARANORMAL INVESTIGATORS, ENTHUSIASTS AND THOSE SEEKING THE TRUTH


http://phantomsandmonsters.wetpaint.com/

Crystal
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« Reply #233 on: Jul 23rd, 2010, 7:50pm »

I was looking at a site that had photos of aliens. I could swear that the alien pictured below is an Italian case from the 1990's. I thought there were four photos in the report. I can't find the book that details these sightings. It's here somewhere. tongue He lived in a small Italian village with his Mom. They heard the alien crying or moaning. This experience lasted about a week. So does anyone know the story behind this photo?

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This is what was listed next to the photo on the website:

begin quote -
This scary looking alien body was found in a cave in Brazil. It is interesting that its skull is shaped a bit differently than how we would normally think an alien would work. However, what it shows is that aliens come in as many different varieties as humans. Surely, there isn't just one planet the aliens are coming from so it makes sense that they wouldn't all look exactly the same. Personally, we think that makes the whole business of watching aliens all the more interesting and alien pictures more interesting too. - end quote

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WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #234 on: Jul 23rd, 2010, 9:33pm »



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« Reply #235 on: Jul 24th, 2010, 06:35am »

Wow! What a beautiful picture!

on Jul 23rd, 2010, 7:50pm, WingsofCrystal wrote:
I was looking at a site that had photos of aliens. I could swear that the alien pictured below is an Italian case from the 1990's. I thought there were four photos in the report. I can't find the book that details these sightings. It's here somewhere. tongue He lived in a small Italian village with his Mom. They heard the alien crying or moaning. This experience lasted about a week. So does anyone know the story behind this photo?

I'm also pretty sure about that this was a case in italy about an alleged alien who allegedly crashed there early in the 90s. Many people are of the opinion that this would be nothing but a dummy since all those pictures seem to show it sitting in the same position.
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« Reply #236 on: Jul 24th, 2010, 08:00am »

on Jul 24th, 2010, 06:35am, philliman wrote:
Wow! What a beautiful picture!


I'm also pretty sure about that this was a case in italy about an alleged alien who allegedly crashed there early in the 90s. Many people are of the opinion that this would be nothing but a dummy since all those pictures seem to show it sitting in the same position.


Yea! Thanks Phil, I'm not losing my mind, yet! grin
I thought the two white tubes on the front of him were a nice touch.
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« Reply #237 on: Jul 24th, 2010, 08:02am »

Washington Post

5 US troops die in blasts in southern Afghanistan

By ROBERT H. REID
The Associated Press
Saturday, July 24, 2010; 7:30 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Five American troops died Saturday in bombings in southern Afghanistan where international forces are stepping up the fight against the Taliban, officials said.

Four of the victims died in a single blast, NATO said in a statement without specifying nationalities nor providing further details. A fifth service member was killed in a separate attack in the south, NATO said.

U.S. officials confirmed all five were Americans. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity under rules regarding casualty identification.

The latest deaths bring to 75 the number of international troops killed in Afghanistan this month, including 56 Americans.

The U.S.-led force is ramping up operations against the Taliban in their southern strongholds, hoping to enable the Afghan government to expand its control in the volatile region.

Rising casualty tolls, however, are eroding support for the war even as President Barack Obama has send thousands of reinforcements to try to turn back the Taliban.

On Tuesday, an international conference in Kabul endorsed President Hamid Karzai's plan for Afghan security forces to assume responsibility for protecting the country by the end of 2014. Obama has pledged to begin removing U.S. troops starting in July 2011, although he has linked the drawdown to security conditions on the ground.

In the eastern province of Khost, a candidate in upcoming parliamentary elections died late Friday of wounds suffered when a bomb exploded earlier in the day in a mosque in the Mando Zayi district, according to local health director Dr. Amir Pacha.

The candidate, Maulvi Saydullah, was making a speech inside the mosque when the blast went off. His bodyguards and at least 15 other civilians were also hurt, officials said.

Afghanistan is due to hold national parliamentary elections Sept. 18 despite fears that they could provoke a surge in Taliban attacks.

Also Saturday, the Afghan Interior Ministry reported that five Afghan civilians were killed by a bomb in the Chora district of Uruzgan province. A total of seven militants died in clashes with Afghan and international forces since Friday night in the provinces of Khost, Uruzgan and Kunar, the ministry added without giving further details.

Four suspected insurgents were captured in two raids late Friday on Taliban hide-outs in Baghlan province of northern Afghanistan, NATO said.

Elsewhere, NATO said it was looking into conflicting reports of civilian casualties following a battle between international troops and Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan.

In Kandahar, a man named Abdul Ghafaar said he brought seven children to the city's Mirwais hospital after getting caught in crossfire Friday between NATO and Taliban forces in Sangin, a flash-point town in neighboring Helmand province.

Another man, Marjan Agha, said that he also brought injured people from Sangin and that the fight started Friday afternoon after civilians were caught between coalition and insurgent fighters. He said villagers began walking with a white flag toward NATO forces but shots rang out and two people were killed on the spot.

more after the jump
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/24/AR2010072400507.html?hpid=moreheadlines

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« Reply #238 on: Jul 24th, 2010, 08:05am »

New York Times

July 23, 2010
Potential Found in a New Approach to Alzheimer’s
By NICHOLAS WADE

A potentially promising approach to treating Alzheimer’s disease has been developed by researchers studying sirtuin, a protein thought capable of extending lifespan in laboratory animals.

Using mice prone to developing Alzheimer’s, the researchers showed that activating sirtuin suppressed the disease and that destroying sirtuin made it much worse.

The finding was made by Gizem Donmez, Leonard Guarente and colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who say it raises the hope of treating Alzheimer’s, and possibly other neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s, with drugs that activate sirtuin.

Researchers not involved in the study agreed. “We think it is a scientifically compelling story that ties the sirtuins to the biology of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Dennis J. Selkoe, an Alzheimer’s expert at Harvard Medical School. But the therapeutic implications, Dr. Selkoe added, “remain quite up in the air.”

Another expert, Dr. Juan C. Troncoso of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said the finding “opens a very good avenue, but it’s not without a lot of technical challenges.”

Drugs that activate sirtuin already exist, including resveratrol, a minor ingredient of red wine and other foods, and small-molecule chemicals designed to mimic resveratrol. Sirtris, the company that developed the drugs, is testing them against diabetes and other diseases. This generation of drugs does not cross the blood-brain barrier so would not work against Alzheimer’s.

But George P. Vlasuk, Sirtris’s chief executive, said the company had developed other sirtuin-activating chemicals that do reach the brain and are in preclinical trials. “We think it has very significant potential in neurodegenerative diseases,” Dr. Vlasuk said.

Sirtuin has been the subject of intense research in the last few years because it seems to protect the body’s various organs against disease by stepping up maintenance programs. The substance came to light through studies of longevity, particularly the discovery that reduced-calorie diets could lengthen the lifespan of mice by 30 percent. Sirtuin appears to convey much of the beneficial effect of such diets, even though drugs that activate sirtuin have not yet been shown to prolong mice’s lifespan in experiments.

Dr. Guarente, a leading sirtuin researcher, said the protein’s protective power against other diseases made him wonder if it might also help against Alzheimer’s. He obtained mice that tend to develop Alzheimer’s-like symptoms because they are genetically engineered to carry two mutated human genes that cause a buildup of plaque in the brain. The mice were crossed with a strain of mice in which the sirtuin-making gene is particularly active. They were also crossed with a strain in which the sirtuin gene was deleted entirely. Dr. Guarente’s team could thus test the effect of having either more or less sirtuin in the brains of Alzheimer’s-prone mice.

The decline in memory typical of Alzheimer’s “was clearly suppressed” in the Alzheimer’s-prone mice with abundant sirtuin, the M.I.T. group reports in Friday’s issue of Cell, while the mice with Alzheimer’s genes and no sirtuin started to lose memory at a much younger age.

The team found the sirtuin protected the mice’s brains two ways. First, it activated a system called the notch pathway, which protects brain cells against stress. Second, it enhanced an enzyme whose activity avoids the buildup of the plaque characteristic of Alzheimer’s and particularly of a toxic component called A-beta peptide.

Reducing the amount of A-beta peptide is helpful only in Alzheimer’s but turning on the notch pathway could provide general protection for the brain. Activating sirtuin, the M.I.T. researchers conclude, “is a viable strategy to combat Alzheimer’s disease and perhaps other neurodegenerative diseases.”

Dr. Guarente said he was looking into whether extra sirtuin had an effect in mice made vulnerable to Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.

Activating the notch pathway with sirtuins “opens a lot of options,” Dr. Troncoso said. “If we can activate the same gene we may provide a tonic for nerve cells under stress, and that may be of use in other diseases such as Huntington’s and Parkinson’s in which the nerve cells degenerate,” he said.

Sirtuin research is a highly active field but one whose ultimate benefit remains to be seen. The sirtuins seem to be powerful players in maintaining the body’s health, but many aspects of their behavior are still unclear.

Also unclear is whether sirtuin’s protective effects can be elicited by drugs instead of by the usual natural stresses, like lack of nourishment. There are continuing disputes as to whether resveratrol activates sirtuin directly or indirectly. Much may depend on a Phase 2 clinical trial of resveratrol with Type 2 diabetes. The results of the trial should be known later in the year, Dr. Vlasuk said in an interview last month.

more after the jump
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/24/health/research/24alzheimers.html?_r=1&hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1279976633-0PqCM4P/54TxIC2duDd9Ag

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« Reply #239 on: Jul 24th, 2010, 08:13am »

Wired

Air Force Wants Drones to Sense Other Planes’ ‘Intent’
By Spencer Ackerman July 23, 2010 | 9:40 am | Categories: Drones

Unmanned aircraft, for all their utility, are fairly simple beasts. They’re good at taking direction, but they’re not so good at processing information on their own. Now the Air Force figures it’s time for drones to get a lot smarter, especially as they take off or land.

As anyone who’s ever flown knows, the runway is a crowded place. Planes on the runway queue up to get airborne. Planes in the air have to coordinate with Air Traffic Control for the order in which they can safely land, taking precautions not to get in anyone’s way until it’s their turn. There’s a fair amount of information to rapidly process in order to avoid collisions and other accidents. Pilots can handle that information load. Drones can’t. Yet. It’s one of the big reasons why the Federal Aviation Administration has been so reluctant to allow unmanned aircraft to fly over the U.S. Even robotic flights over relatively unpopulated areas along the southern border have been canceled when there’s the most routine technical hiccups.

On Tuesday, the Air Force Research Laboratory at Ohio’s Wright-Patterson Air Force Base said it’ll soon solicit engineers to design an algorithm to allow drones to “integrate seamlessly” with piloted planes for takeoff and landing. In the algorithm-driven future that the labs want to build, drones will be equipped a database of terminal procedures; link up with Air Traffic Control; and “recognize the intent of other aircraft.”

For instance: aircraft landing on parallel runways can appear to be on a collision course before they turn and land. Right now, a drone would simply perceive that a plane’s trajectory is going to remain unchanged, making it a threat for collision. But a capable algorithm would let the drone process Air Traffic Control information like basic airfield maps to know that there’s no actual danger from the oncoming piloted plane.

“The developed algorithm(s), optimally, would require no more a priori information than a human pilot,” the labs instruct. “Intent analysis should be accurate, reliable and real-time, enabling quick and appropriate decisions that are necessary in this time critical environment.”

There’s a clear commercial application here. As we mentioned on Wednesday, FedEx is starting to think about an airfleet of linked-up drones that can fly in formation at the direction of a piloted aircraft. Building algorithms that can let drones process complex information in congested airspace sounds like a useful step toward that futuristic cargo fleet.

Read More http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/07/air-force-wants-drones-to-sense-other-planes-intent/#ixzz0ubZp1aRa

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