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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 126579 times)
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« Reply #2340 on: Dec 25th, 2010, 9:18pm »

Quite a scare on the sixth anniversary of disaster! Fortunately, it was not a repeat!

YAHOONews

7.3 quake triggers Pacific tsunami on disaster anniversary


by Talek Harris Talek Harris – Sat Dec 25, 2:53 pm ET

SYDNEY (AFP) – A powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the western Pacific nation of Vanuatu on Sunday, triggering a small tsunami exactly six years after giant waves killed 220,000 people around the Indian Ocean.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the shallow quake generated a tsunami, but it cancelled a regional warning after the wave measured only 15 centimetres (six inches) higher than normal in Vanuatu.

"Sea level readings confirm that a tsunami was generated," the centre said in its bulletin.

"This tsunami may have been destructive along coastlines of the region near the earthquake epicentre," it said, but cancelled the warning when no destructive wave hit.

The quake struck at 12:16 am on Sunday (1316 GMT Saturday), and the initial tsunami warning covered Vanuatu, Fiji and the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia. There were no reports of damage or casualties.

Jackie Philip, a member of staff at the Melanesian Port Vila Hotel in the Vanuatu capital, said the hotel was busy with late-night Christmas revellers when the quake struck.

"Some of us, we ran outside and stood and watched the sea for a few minutes but nothing happened. There is no damage and no injuries," he said, adding that no tsunami warning had been given on local radio.

A receptionist at Port Vila's Grand Hotel called it a "small" earthquake, adding that calls to the meteorological office went unanswered. Staff at the nearby Island Magic Hotel also said there had been no local tsunami warning.

"We haven't had any notification of a tsunami," a worker told AFP. "We definitely felt the earthquake but we are notified if there's actually a tsunami."

Meteorological and disaster management officials were not available for comment when contacted by AFP.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was just 12.3 kilometres (7.6 miles) deep, and its epicentre was 145 kilometres (90 miles) west of Isangel, on the island of Tanna -- home to an active volcano -- in the Vanuatu archipelago.

The USGS revised its initial readings for the magnitude and distances involved, after first recording the quake at 7.6.

At least a dozen aftershocks of magnitude 5.0 or greater hit the area in the hours after the main tremor, according to USGS.

Vanuatu, which lies between Fiji and Australia and north of New Zealand, is part of the "Pacific Ring of Fire" -- an ocean-wide area alive with seismic and volcanic activity caused by the grinding of enormous tectonic plates.

Sunday's quake came on the sixth anniversary of one of the worst natural disasters of modern times, when a huge tsunami triggered by an undersea quake off Indonesia killed more than 220,000 people around the Indian Ocean.

After the disaster, which came with little or no warning for millions of coastal residents, regional governments deployed a string of monitoring buoys in the Indian and Pacific Oceans to keep track of any abnormal waves.
In August, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake off Vanuatu generated a small tsunami and sent thousands of frightened people running for the hills.

In September last year, Samoa in the Pacific suffered its worst natural disaster when three rapid-fire quakes of up to 8.1 magnitude unleashed waves as high as 15 metres (50 feet) that flattened villages and tourist resorts.

The seismic catastrophe claimed 143 lives in Samoa, 34 in the US-administered territory of American Samoa and another nine in Tonga.

Vanuatu lies between Australia and Fiji and has a population of 220,000 scattered across several islands including Tanna, south of Port Vila, where the fiery Yasur volcano is a major tourist draw.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101225/wl_afp/vanuatuquake
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« Reply #2341 on: Dec 25th, 2010, 9:34pm »

Merry Christmas Swamp!


"SYDNEY (AFP) – A powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the western Pacific nation of Vanuatu on Sunday, triggering a small tsunami exactly six years after giant waves killed 220,000 people around the Indian Ocean.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the shallow quake generated a tsunami, but it cancelled a regional warning after the wave measured only 15 centimetres (six inches) higher than normal in Vanuatu."


I remember that awful tsunami. Thank the Lord it didn't happen again.

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« Reply #2342 on: Dec 26th, 2010, 08:06am »

New York Times

December 25, 2010
Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir
By ROBERT PEAR

WASHINGTON — When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.

Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.

The final version of the health care legislation, signed into law by President Obama in March, authorized Medicare coverage of yearly physical examinations, or wellness visits. The new rule says Medicare will cover “voluntary advance care planning,” to discuss end-of-life treatment, as part of the annual visit.

Under the rule, doctors can provide information to patients on how to prepare an “advance directive,” stating how aggressively they wish to be treated if they are so sick that they cannot make health care decisions for themselves.

While the new law does not mention advance care planning, the Obama administration has been able to achieve its policy goal through the regulation-writing process, a strategy that could become more prevalent in the next two years as the president deals with a strengthened Republican opposition in Congress.

In this case, the administration said research had shown the value of end-of-life planning.

“Advance care planning improves end-of-life care and patient and family satisfaction and reduces stress, anxiety and depression in surviving relatives,” the administration said in the preamble to the Medicare regulation, quoting research published this year in the British Medical Journal.

The administration also cited research by Dr. Stacy M. Fischer, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, who found that “end-of-life discussions between doctor and patient help ensure that one gets the care one wants.” In this sense, Dr. Fischer said, such consultations “protect patient autonomy.”

Opponents said the Obama administration was bringing back a procedure that could be used to justify the premature withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from people with severe illnesses and disabilities.

Section 1233 of the bill passed by the House in November 2009 — but not included in the final legislation — allowed Medicare to pay for consultations about advance care planning every five years. In contrast, the new rule allows annual discussions as part of the wellness visit.

Elizabeth D. Wickham, executive director of LifeTree, which describes itself as “a pro-life Christian educational ministry,” said she was concerned that end-of-life counseling would encourage patients to forgo or curtail care, thus hastening death.

“The infamous Section 1233 is still alive and kicking,” Ms. Wickham said. “Patients will lose the ability to control treatments at the end of life.”

Several Democratic members of Congress, led by Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, had urged the administration to cover end-of-life planning as a service offered under the Medicare wellness benefit. A national organization of hospice care providers made the same recommendation.

Mr. Blumenauer, the author of the original end-of-life proposal, praised the rule as “a step in the right direction.”

“It will give people more control over the care they receive,” Mr. Blumenauer said in an interview. “It means that doctors and patients can have these conversations in the normal course of business, as part of our health care routine, not as something put off until we are forced to do it.”

After learning of the administration’s decision, Mr. Blumenauer’s office celebrated “a quiet victory,” but urged supporters not to crow about it.

“While we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops because we aren’t out of the woods yet,” Mr. Blumenauer’s office said in an e-mail in early November to people working with him on the issue. “This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”

Moreover, the e-mail said: “We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are ‘supporters’ — e-mails can too easily be forwarded.”

The e-mail continued: “Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”

In the interview, Mr. Blumenauer said, “Lies can go viral if people use them for political purposes.”

The proposal for Medicare coverage of advance care planning was omitted from the final health care bill because of the uproar over unsubstantiated claims that it would encourage euthanasia.

Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate, and Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader, led the criticism in the summer of 2009. Ms. Palin said “Obama’s death panel” would decide who was worthy of health care. Mr. Boehner, who is in line to become speaker, said, “This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia.” Forced onto the defensive, Mr. Obama said that nothing in the bill would “pull the plug on grandma.”

A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that the idea of death panels persists. In the September poll, 30 percent of Americans 65 and older said the new health care law allowed a government panel to make decisions about end-of-life care for people on Medicare. The law has no such provision.

The new policy is included in a huge Medicare regulation setting payment rates for thousands of services including arthroscopy, mastectomy and X-rays.

The rule was issued by Dr. Donald M. Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a longtime advocate for better end-of-life care.

“Using unwanted procedures in terminal illness is a form of assault,” Dr. Berwick has said. “In economic terms, it is waste. Several techniques, including advance directives and involvement of patients and families in decision-making, have been shown to reduce inappropriate care at the end of life, leading to both lower cost and more humane care.”

Ellen B. Griffith, a spokeswoman for the Medicare agency, said, “The final health care reform law has no provision for voluntary advance care planning.” But Ms. Griffith added, under the new rule, such planning “may be included as an element in both the first and subsequent annual wellness visits, providing an opportunity to periodically review and update the beneficiary’s wishes and preferences for his or her medical care.”

Mr. Blumenauer and Mr. Rockefeller said that advance directives would help doctors and nurses provide care in keeping with patients’ wishes.

“Early advance care planning is important because a person’s ability to make decisions may diminish over time, and he or she may suddenly lose the capability to participate in health care decisions,” the lawmakers said in a letter to Dr. Berwick in August.

In a recent study of 3,700 people near the end of life, Dr. Maria J. Silveira of the University of Michigan found that many had “treatable, life-threatening conditions” but lacked decision-making capacity in their final days. With the new Medicare coverage, doctors can learn a patient’s wishes before a crisis occurs.

For example, Dr. Silveira said, she might ask a person with heart disease, “If you have another heart attack and your heart stops beating, would you want us to try to restart it?” A patient dying of emphysema might be asked, “Do you want to go on a breathing machine for the rest of your life?” And, she said, a patient with incurable cancer might be asked, “When the time comes, do you want us to use technology to try and delay your death?”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/us/politics/26death.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #2343 on: Dec 26th, 2010, 08:12am »

Wired Danger Room

Killer Drones Converge on California, Ready to Take Off
By David Axe
December 21, 2010 | 11:00 am
Categories: Drones


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Five years ago, the Pentagon was on cusp of an air-combat revolution. For a few brief, heady months in late 2005, it looked like the U.S. military might soon launch full-scale development of a new class of fast, lethal Unmanned Aerial Vehicles eventually capable of replacing all kinds of fighter jets, from the older F-15s, F-16s and F-18s to the latest F-22s.

But the revolution fizzled when the Air Force abandoned its share of the so-called Joint Unmanned Combat Air System effort. Manned jets continued to dominate, culminating in today’s mammoth, $300-billion F-35 program.

The embers of upheaval kept burning, almost invisibly. The technology from the 2005 effort survived in various forms, slowly maturing amid a growing demand for combat UAVs. Today, no fewer than three separate killer drone designs — two of them direct descendants of the original J-UCAS demonstrators — have converged on two airfields in California for flight tests.

The revolution flared up again without many people noticing. While the F-35 still gobbles up the bulk of the Pentagon’s fighter funding, jet-powered killer drones are back — and revolution is once again a real prospect.

High-endurance armed drones such as the General Atomics Predator have been a fixture of U.S. military operations since the mid-1990s air war over the Balkans. Besides being cheaper to buy and operate, robot aircraft carry fuel in place of a pilot and so can stay in the air longer.

Plus, if they crash or get shot down, nobody gets hurt. That means the military can assign drones to what a robot-industry insider from Boeing called the “worst down-and-dirty missions that even the nuttiest pilot wouldn’t want to do.”

But today’s drones are “fair-weather” killers, too slow to survive the sophisticated air defenses of, say, China or Iran. To bring the advantages of robot aircraft to high-intensity warfare, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency along with the Air Force and Navy sponsored J-UCAS starting in 2003. Boeing’s X-45 (pictured) competed with the Northrop Grumman-built X-47 to “demonstrate the technical feasibility, military utility and operational value for a networked system of high performance, weaponized unmanned air vehicles,” according to Darpa.

By 2005, the J-UCAS program had sent its prototypes on mock bombing runs and proved the drones could develop their own tactics on the fly. The “Common Operating System” meant to control the speedy, lethal bots was particularly promising, and with it J-UCAS even threatened to upstage the $300-billion F-35 manned-fighter program. The new drones were “on the cusp of making history in the aviation world,” said the insider.

Then in 2006, the axe fell. The Air Force withdrew from the program. Officially, the Air Force wanted to shift its focus and cash to the new, manned (and ultimately short-lived) “2018 bomber.”

There were concerns that algorithms might not be trustworthy to make combat decisions, quite yet. Unofficially, the move away from J-UCAS might have reflected concerns among the Air Force’s top brass that the new killer drone could hasten the demise of the traditional fighter pilot.

In any event, without the Air Force J-UCAS collapsed. The Navy continued funding the X-47 for a modest series of tests. The original X-45 ended up an exhibit in the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, never to fly again.

Or so observers believed. In fact, Boeing had secretly continued work on a new version of the X-45, apparently believing the Air Force would come back around to the idea of fighter-style killer drones. Meanwhile, a high-profile think piece co-written by future Navy undersecretary Bob Work (.pdf) helped persuade the Navy to raise its expectations for the X-47. Sensing a new momentum for armed UAVs, General Atomics spent its own money to develop a bigger, jet-powered cousin of the Predator called the Avenger.

In the summer of 2009, the Air Force published a “road map” showing how robots might replace nearly every kind of manned aircraft in today’s arsenal. Just a few months later, the air branch lifted the (patchy) veil of secrecy surrounding its fighter-like MQ-170 spy drone, built by Lockheed Martin.

The stage has been set for an unofficial revival of J-UCAS. There are no official requirements for a new fighter drone — yet. But the Pentagon is obviously very, very interested.

As is often the case, the drama is taking place in California. Northrop’s X-47 is at the Navy’s China Lake base in the Mojave Desert, running ground tests prior to a planned first flight “before the end of the year.”

Not to be outdone by its former J-UCAS rival, Boeing two weeks ago bolted the new-and-improved X-45 to the back of a 747 for a ride from St. Louis to the Golden State’s Edwards Air Force Base, where the bot will have its first flight early next year. General Atomics beat both of the bigger companies into the air: The Avenger has racked up scores of test flights at Edwards since 2009.

Years ago, one analyst called J-UCAS “the worst-funded good idea in decades.” There’s still not a lot of government money behind the current revival: The Navy has allocated around a billion dollars for X-47 tests. The X-45 and the Avenger are both company-funded efforts.

But the idea is as good as ever. And with the impending first flights of the X-45 and X-47, killer drones are about to get a second shot at transforming aerial warfare.

Danger Room will be there, every step of the way.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/12/killer-drones-converge-on-california-ready-to-take-off/

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« Reply #2344 on: Dec 26th, 2010, 08:20am »

Reuters

26 December 2010

(Reuters) - Defense ministers from South Korea and China will hold talks in Beijing in February amid growing regional tension sparked by North Korea's nuclear programmes and hostile acts, South Korea's defense ministry said on Sunday.

"South Korea's Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and his Chinese counterpart Liang Guanglie plan to meet in Beijing in February. Details of the meeting agenda have not been discussed yet," a spokesperson for South Korea's ministry said.

Tensions have risen to their highest in decades on the divided Korean peninsula after the North bombarded a South Korean island last month, and revealed major advances in its nuclear programme.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in November appointed Kim as new defense minister after Kim's predecessor resigned after criticism of what was perceived as a weak response to aggression from the North, including a submarine attack in March and the shelling of Yeonpyeong island last month.

North Korea on Thursday threatened a nuclear "sacred war" and South Korea vowed a "merciless counterattack" against any fresh provocations as both sides sharpened their rhetoric after military exercises in the South.

Pyongyang has offered to re-admit U.N. inspectors concerned about its nuclear weapons programme, prompting speculation that six-party talks including the North may resume, and the worst of the most recent crisis may be over.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6BP05120101226

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« Reply #2345 on: Dec 26th, 2010, 08:23am »

LA Times

East Coast braces for major blizzard

Airlines ground hundreds of flights along the Northeast corridor as forecasts call for a foot or more of snow in N.Y. and Boston. Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina declare states of emergency.
From the Associated Press

4:42 AM PST, December 26, 2010

WASHINGTON

A band of frigid weather snaking its way up the East Coast Sunday threatened to bring blizzards and a foot of snow to New York City and New England, while several states to the South made emergency declarations as the storm caused crashes on slick roads.

Airlines grounded hundreds of flights Sunday along the Northeast corridor in anticipation of the storm, affecting major airports including New York's JFK and Newark. Airlines said more cancellations were likely as the storm progressed. Travel misery began a day earlier in parts of the South, where a rare white Christmas came with reports of dozens of car crashes.

In Washington transportation officials pre-treated roads and readied 200 salt trucks, plows and other pieces of equipment to fight the 6 inches or more expected to fall in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The Northeast is expected to get the brunt of the storm. Forecasters issued a blizzard warning for New York City for Sunday and Monday, with a forecast of 11 to 16 inches of snow and strong winds that will reduce visibility to near zero at times. A blizzard warning was also in effect for Rhode Island and most of eastern Massachusetts including Boston, with forecasters predicting 15 to 20 inches of snow from noon Sunday to 6 p.m. A blizzard warning is issued when snow is accompanied by sustained winds or gusts over 35 mph.

As much as 18 inches could fall on the New Jersey shore with wind gusts over 40 mph. A blizzard warning was also in effect for Rhode Island and most of eastern Massachusetts including Boston, with forecasters predicting 15 to 20 inches of snow from noon Sunday to 6 p.m. Monday.

Baltimore and Washington were expected to get 6 inches or more of snow, with surrounding areas forecast to have as many as 9, the weather service said.

By early Sunday, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina declared states of emergency.

"Winds with gusts up to 45 miles per hour will cause blowing snow and that's going to cause the worst of it," Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell told The Weather Channel Saturday night. "We're urging extreme caution in travel. Try to get home early and if you don't have to travel don't go."

Major airlines were canceling flights in the storm's path Sunday. Continental Airlines canceled 250 departures from Newark Liberty International Airport outside New York City. United Airlines canceled dozens of Sunday departures from Newark, Philadelphia, New York's LaGuardia and JFK, Boston and other airports. AirTran and Southwest Airlines also canceled flights, mostly in or out of Washington Dulles, Baltimore and Newark.

Most carriers were waiving fees for one-time changes in affected areas and urging passengers to make changes through their websites.

The monster storm is the result of a low pressure system that will intensify off the North Carolina coast on Sunday morning and strengthen into a major storm as it moves northeast, according to the National Weather Service.

Delaware and Philadelphia braced for up to a foot of snow predicted to fall from Sunday into Monday and authorities urged people to avoid traveling if possible.

Early Sunday, winter storm warnings stretched from Georgia to New England.

The white Christmas in the South was one for the record books. Columbia, S.C., had its first significant Christmas snow since weather records were first kept in 1887. Atlanta had just over an inch of snow -- the first measurable accumulation on Christmas Day since the 1880s.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol said late Saturday that most of the roads in and around Asheville were either covered or partially covered with snow and ice. Emergency management spokeswoman Julia Jarema said troopers in the two dozen westernmost counties answered 350 calls in 18 hours Saturday. Most were wrecks.

Lance Cpl. Bill Rhyne, a spokesman for the South Carolina Highway Patrol, said late Saturday that snow was starting to cover roads but that there were fewer accidents than there would be on a normal night.

"Everybody's at home," he said. "It's Christmas. They're heeding the warnings and staying off the roads."

Still, transportation officials in the state had deployed more than 200 plows, salt trucks and other equipment.

In Nashville, some travelers who expected a smooth trip on Christmas got a rude surprise.

"We were hoping this was going to be a good day to travel," said Heather Bansmer, 36, of Bellingham, Wash.

She and her husband, Shawn Breeding, 40, had planned to return home on separate flights after a visit to Breeding's family in Bowling Green, Ky. But Breeding's flight through Atlanta got canceled.

The couple was expecting to spend much of Christmas Day in separate airports.

"A white Christmas is not so welcome," Breeding said, as the couple stood in the lobby of the Nashville airport with their luggage in a cart.

In Pensacola, Fla., Jena Passut faced a quandary. The 36-year-old magazine writer drove with her husband and two kids from Fairfax, Va., to visit relatives. On Saturday afternoon she worried about how to get back home amid the snow.

"Should we leave on Christmas night? My kids are normally good travelers, but if it's going to take us twice as long, it's going to be hell," she said. "I like a white Christmas as much as anyone, but I don't want to drive in it."

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-naw-winter-storm-20101227,0,5894957.story

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« Reply #2346 on: Dec 26th, 2010, 08:26am »

Science Daily

Preplay: How Past Experiences Subconsciously Influence Behavior

ScienceDaily (Dec. 24, 2010) —

Researchers at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory report for the first time how animals' knowledge obtained through past experiences can subconsciously influence their behavior in new situations.

The work, which sheds light on how our past experiences inform our future choices, will be reported on Dec. 22 in an advance online publication of Nature.

Previous work has shown that when a mouse explores a new space, neurons in its hippocampus, the center of learning and memory, fire sequentially like gunpowder igniting a makeshift fuse. Individual neurons called place cells fire in a specific pattern that mirrors the animal's movement through space. By looking at the time-specific patterns and sequences recorded from the firing cells, researchers can tell which part of the maze the animal was running at the time.

In the current work, research scientist George Dragoi and Susumu Tonegawa, Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience and director of the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics, found that some of the sequences of place cells in mice' brains that fired during a novel spatial experience such as running a new maze had already occurred while the animals rested before the experience.

"These findings explain at the neuronal circuit level the phenomenon through which prior knowledge influences our decisions when we encounter a new situation," Dragoi said. "This explains in part why different individuals form different representations and respond differently when faced with the same situation."

When a mouse pauses and rests while running a maze, it mentally replays its experience. Its neurons fire in the same pattern of activity that occurred while it was running. Unlike this version of mental replay, the phenomenon found by the MIT researchers is called preplay. It occurred before the animal even started the new maze.

"These results suggest that internal neuronal dynamics during resting organize cells within the hippocampus into time-based sequences that help encode a related experience occurring in the future," Tonegawa said.

"Previous work largely ignored internal neuronal activities representing prior knowledge that occurred before a new event, space or situation. Our work shows that an individual's access to prior knowledge can help predict a response to a new but similar experience," he said.

Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222131123.htm

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« Reply #2347 on: Dec 26th, 2010, 11:58am »

grin


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Vladimir Putin 2010


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« Reply #2348 on: Dec 26th, 2010, 4:32pm »




description with video:

FOLLOW THE SILVER OBJECT TO THE LEFT OF THE SCREEN. NASA CUTS IT OFF AS IT NEARS THE ISS. THANK YOU NASA

~

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« Reply #2349 on: Dec 26th, 2010, 7:04pm »

I was watching "Starman" for the umpteenth time today.


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"Starman" 1984 starring Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen.

For the first time I noticed in the last scene when Jenny (Karen Allen) looks up at the UFO as Jeff Bridges leaves there is the reflection of a triangle ufo in her eyes.


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Example above but without the red light in the middle.

Interesting touch that I never noticed before.

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« Reply #2350 on: Dec 26th, 2010, 8:49pm »

Starman has always been one of my favorites!

Hey, I see Cohen over at All News Web is still at it! You gotta hand it to him, he's hanging in there!! tongue

ALL NEWS WEB

Barack Obama to make UFO announcement in coming weeks


Michael Cohen m.cohen@allnewsweb.com

All News Web has received information from government insiders close to the US President that Barack Obama has been given the go ahead to make an important 'off the cuff' announcement regarding UFO visits and US contact with aliens.

Allegedly DARPA has given this move the green light. The comments by the President will be made within the next month.

Our sources claim this will not be outright admittance of UFO visits and contact with aliens, however the comments will come as close to admittance as any President has to date and will be made in the context of a speech on an entirely different matter.

From what we understand The President will concede that there is 'some evidence' to suggest aliens might have attempted to contact Earthlings.

All of this is said to be part of a warm up program leading to eventual outright admittance of knowledge of UFO and alien visitation by major world governments within three years.

http://www.allnewsweb.com/page1199999462.php
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« Reply #2351 on: Dec 26th, 2010, 9:05pm »

on Dec 26th, 2010, 8:49pm, Swamprat wrote:
Starman has always been one of my favorites!

Hey, I see Cohen over at All News Web is still at it! You gotta hand it to him, he's hanging in there!! tongue

ALL NEWS WEB

Barack Obama to make UFO announcement in coming weeks


Michael Cohen m.cohen@allnewsweb.com

All News Web has received information from government insiders close to the US President that Barack Obama has been given the go ahead to make an important 'off the cuff' announcement regarding UFO visits and US contact with aliens.

Allegedly DARPA has given this move the green light. The comments by the President will be made within the next month.

Our sources claim this will not be outright admittance of UFO visits and contact with aliens, however the comments will come as close to admittance as any President has to date and will be made in the context of a speech on an entirely different matter.

From what we understand The President will concede that there is 'some evidence' to suggest aliens might have attempted to contact Earthlings.

All of this is said to be part of a warm up program leading to eventual outright admittance of knowledge of UFO and alien visitation by major world governments within three years.

http://www.allnewsweb.com/page1199999462.php


Hey Swamp! cheesy

Another "Starman" fan! I love that movie. Bridges, Allen and Charles Martin Smith did a wonderful job.

I won't believe this "off the cuff" UFO thing until I hear it. And I don't know if I will believe it then. grin

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2352 on: Dec 26th, 2010, 11:15pm »

Hey its not even april yet, rolleyes too soon for april fools jokes swamp. tongue

Get with the program Obama i belive in ET more than i belive in YOU!
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2353 on: Dec 27th, 2010, 07:37am »

on Dec 26th, 2010, 11:15pm, livewire wrote:
Hey its not even april yet, rolleyes too soon for april fools jokes swamp. tongue

Get with the program Obama i belive in ET more than i belive in YOU!


Good morning Livewire,
ditto!
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« Reply #2354 on: Dec 27th, 2010, 07:40am »

New York Times

Huge Blizzard Snarls Travel and Transit in the Northeast

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A woman walked through the East Village early Monday


December 26, 2010
By ROBERT D. McFADDEN and J. DAVID GOODMAN

The New York region awoke Monday morning under a heavy blanket of snow from a monster blizzard that barreled up the coast on Sunday. Even as the storm moved on from the area, its barrages of wind-driven left airports closed, rail and highway travel in disarray and a dozen states transformed into enchanted and borderless white dreamscapes.

Early morning commuters faced the daunting prospect of cutting fresh tracks in over a foot of snow along roads and sidewalks that looked more at home in Colorado than Midtown Manhattan. While a badly crippled subway system hobbled along, Long Island Rail Road service remained suspended early on Monday, as did New Jersey Transit and some Metro-North Railroad lines.

Airports were closed in New York and New Jersey but expected to open by the late afternoon; Philadelphia and Boston area airports were open, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The storm’s timing was diabolical — too late for a white Christmas, but just in time to disrupt the travel plans of thousands trying to get home after the holiday, to return unwanted gifts or to take advantage of post-holiday bargains at stores. Schools were not in session, but millions of commuters were faced with nightmarish slogs .

By Monday morning at 1 a.m., as much as two feet of snow had fallen across northern New Jersey and Connecticut, with 13 inches covering Central Park, according to the National Weather Service. By sunrise, the storm had largely moved on from New York City, the weather service said, with only an additional inch or two expected in Queens.

Well before the final flake had fallen, forecasters were reaching for superlatives, saying the storm was likely to be one of the biggest blows of the season, with wind gusts up to 55 miles an hour and snow two feet deep in spots.

Blizzard warnings — official forecasts of huge snowfalls with sustained winds of 35 miles an hour — were in effect from the Carolinas to New England. North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey declared states of emergency, and New York, Philadelphia and Boston declared snow emergencies, imposing parking bans on major thoroughfares and urging residents to stay off the roads.

The weather service called it the biggest storm in the region since last February, when record snowfalls paralyzed the mid-Atlantic states but largely spared New York City, and the first blizzard since Feb. 12, 2006, when the 24-hour record for Central Park, 26.9 inches, was set.

By Sunday evening, the storm had already been blamed for at least one death, after a driver slammed into a utility pole in Mount Olive Township, N.J., according to the police there.

The snow began falling in New York late Sunday morning, and by 5 p.m. it had already eclipsed the average of 3.3 inches for the month of December.

Through the afternoon, the storm grew into an adventure. The snow came down in great sweeping curtains, drifting over parked cars and park benches to be sculpted into aerodynamic shapes.

Everywhere, the winds whispered and moaned in their secret Ice Age language. The blizzard spawned lightning flashes and thunder. Yet the sounds of the city were strangely muffled and distant. Sledders, snowboarders, hikers and even a few skiers were soon out, cutting fresh trails along the marbled Hudson or in the wilderness of Central Park.

The surrounding skylines were lost in the whiteout, and the playing fields of the Great Lawn might have been the plains of Nebraska or a steppe.

It was not a bad day to stay at home with the paper and watch the storm through panes etched with frost.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, wearing a bomber jacket and wheezing with a cold at a late-afternoon news conference, called it a dangerous storm that could down trees, disrupt railroad signal systems and pose hazards for drivers and the homeless.

“The latest reports are qualifying this storm as a blizzard, and unfortunately our city is directly in its path,” Mr. Bloomberg said.

The mayor said major roads would be cleared by plows overnight, but he urged commuters to take mass transit on Monday. Long Island Rail Road suspended all trains early Monday morning, and would run on a holiday schedule when service resumed. Metro-North said it would operate Monday using a Sunday schedule. New Jersey Transit suspended all bus service into Monday morning. (Read the latest updates on the status of mass transit.)

After problems with high winds on Sunday, Amtrak resumed limited service along its northeast corridor between New York and Boston. Service between Washington and New York was not affected by the storm.

Air travel was virtually impossible. All three major airports were expected to remain closed through the morning and reopen in the afternoon, though not before 4 p.m., according the F.A.A. More than 2,000 flights were canceled on Sunday by major airlines on the Eastern Seaboard, 1,444 of them at Kennedy International and La Guardia Airports in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. Spillback cancellations affected hundreds of other flights from Chicago and Atlanta, and even from London and Paris.

One terminal at Kennedy was transformed into a campsite of refugees. Entire families rested on stacks of luggage, slept on the floor in sleeping bags, watched movies on laptops and ate lunches on suitcases. People streamed to information booths, but it was hopeless: Boards listed nearly all flights as canceled.

On the AirTrain to Kennedy from Jamaica, travelers told their tales of woe and hope. Luciana and Marcelo Dossa were bound for Austin, Tex., after a week’s visit to New York. Their American Airlines flight had been scratched, but they went to the airport on the chance that something else might turn up. “We decided to come anyway because we need to find a way to get home,” Mrs. Dossa said.

Amid the whiteout conditions outside, many homes went dark. Consolidated Edison reported more than 560 power outages in New York City, the vast majority in Queens and not expected to be fixed until Monday evening. Nearly 10,400 customers on Long Island lost service from the Long Island Power Authority, and more than 1,500 people were without power in New Jersey. About 4,900 lost electricity in Connecticut, mostly along the coast.

People who ventured out in cars found major roads plowed but slippery; the police reported many spinouts and minor accidents on Sunday. Many bus carriers canceled service between Washington and Boston, where the New England Aquarium bubble-wrapped its four 5-foot penguin ice sculptures to protect them from the elements.

In Philadelphia, where 20 inches of snow was expected, the National Football League postponed the Eagles-Vikings game from Sunday night to Tuesday night. League officials said the last time a forecast of heavy snow changed a scheduled outdoor game was in 1932, when the league championship game between the Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth Spartans was moved indoors.

The Washington area, which had a series of rare snowstorms last winter, was largely spared by this one, an enclave of serenity in the crocodile-shaped mass that crawled up the Atlantic Coast. The weather service, which had predicted 6 to 10 inches of snow for the capital region, scaled it back at midday to 1 to 2 inches, and Ronald Reagan and Dulles International Airports remained open with normal service.

For retailers, who had enjoyed a big run-up to the holiday, there was a chill in the day-after-Christmas sales, traditionally one of the year’s biggest shopping days. In Brooklyn, the Atlantic Terminal Mall had only a smattering of customers, not the usual day-after frenzy.

Rebecca Godfrey, 28, a manager at Dead Sea Spa skin care kiosk, said that in 40 minutes only three people stopped in, and only one made a purchase. On the same day last year, she said, 40 to 50 visited, and half bought products. “Usually the day after Christmas is like my favorite day to work,” Ms. Godfrey said. “But today I just felt like being home.”

At the Doubletree Hotel in Times Square, three generations of the stranded Braceras family from Miami — 11 members in all — were sprawled in the lobby with suitcases, and dwindling options. They should have been on the ski slopes of Vermont, starting a weeklong vacation. But their connecting flight had been canceled, and hopes for a car service had been dashed.

At least they had a room upstairs. Sue Braceras, the matriarch, presided as her brood talked of an impromptu sightseeing tour, perhaps with stops at Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes, and to the American Girl shop on Fifth Avenue. But it was all doubtful.

“We’re going to have a ball,” Elizabeth Campo, one of the adult daughters, said through gritted teeth as five children scampered among the suitcases. “My husband went to the room already with the baby. He said he’s not leaving the room for two days.”


Reporting was contributed by Al Baker, Judy Battista, Michael M. Grynbaum, Angela Macropoulos, Liz Robbins, Noah Rosenberg and Sarah Wheaton.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/nyregion/28blizzard.html?_r=1&hp

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