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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 43093 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2385 on: Dec 28th, 2010, 5:21pm »

Hey Phil!

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"Conformers" on a train

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Okay I'll stop.............

Crystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2386 on: Dec 28th, 2010, 8:15pm »

American Chronicle

UFO acclimation: 'Dark Skies' TV series DVDs released
by Steve Hammons
Tuesday, December 28, 2010 6:05:39 PM

(This article originally appeared on the Joint Recon Study Group site.)


It was a TV series ahead of its time. Consider it advance reconnaissance information.

Airing on Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. in 1996 and 1997 on NBC, "Dark Skies" took viewers inside a secret U.S. government group dealing with UFOs and strange visitors.

Yet, time and certain situations sometimes have a way of circling around in surprising ways.

Nearly 15 years later, the series is now once again in the public consciousness and is reaching a new and expanding audience with the release of "Dark Skies: The Declassified Complete Series" DVD collection.

The show features two twenty-something characters, John Loengard (played by Eric Close) and Kimberly Sayers (Megan Ward), who come to Washington, D.C., from California in 1961.

Loengard is hired as an aide to a California congressman and Sayers lands a job in the office of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

WELCOME TO MAJESTIC-12

When Loengard conducts routine research for the congressman's office on topics like funding of the Air Force's "Project Blue Book" at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and interviews alleged UFO "abductees" Betty and Barney Hill, he comes into unpleasant contact with a covert group that the "Dark Skies" writers (and many others) have called "Majestic-12" or simply "Majestic."

After he is initially intimidated and roughed up by Majestic agents led by Navy officers in plainclothes, Loengard is recruited into the group and transforms from a naïve and optimistic citizen into a hardened, though somewhat frightened, undercover agent who wavers between working for the group and breaking off as a "lone wolf."

However, he is a lone wolf with a beautiful girlfriend (Ward). And although their romance lends warmth and emotional depth to the story, threats to the Kim Sayers character take dark turns.

In some episodes we go back to the alleged 1947 Roswell incident and even to ancient times when North American Indians are visited by "sky people."

The creators and writers of the series, Brent Friedman and Bryce Zabel, have done their research on the many elements of the UFO phenomena and it shows in "Dark Skies."

In fact, Zabel, a former TV journalist at PBS and CNN, recently co-authored a non-fiction book about the inside story on UFOs with historian Richard Dolan titled "A.D. After Disclosure: The People's Guide to Life After Contact."

Public awareness about visitation to Earth of extraterrestrial and/or other intelligent beings is different in 2011 than it was in 1996.

Today, respected scientists openly discuss the possibilities of contact with other intelligent life.

Reputable journalists like Zabel, Leslie Kean and others provide solid information and insight about the situation. Kean's recently-published book "UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record" presents a very credible look at certain important developments.

And, the general public can't help but notice the unusual UFO incidents in recent years such as those in Phoenix (1997), at Chicago's O'Hare airport (2006) and in the Stephenville, Texas, region (2008). All three of these incidents were covered nationally and internationally in the mainstream press.

Are various kinds of visitors in exotic spacecraft trying to tell us they are here?

Are people associated with the U.S. (and international) defense and intelligence communities also providing acclimation to prepare us for this unconventional emerging situation?

How does "Dark Skies" fit in?

OVERT AND COVERT

The series uses a unique blend of history, reasonable speculation about UFOs and creativity to look at important issues and events during the period from 1961 to 1967. Zabel and Friedman present an alternative view of the '60s, merging real people and incidents of that era with possible clandestine scenarios.

They ask us to consider many "what ifs." What if the public story of past events is part of a larger and more complicated picture? "History as we know it is a lie" ... this is the line from the Emmy Award-winning main title opening sequence of "Dark Skies."

We might also ask what the truth is about our current situation with regard to UFOs, unconventional visitors, expanded human consciousness and other edge-science theories and realities.

And, what does the future hold?

By opening our minds to many possibilities, we can probably enhance our psychological, social and cultural readiness to deal with challenging developments.

In this sense, the reappearance of "Dark Skies" on the public and media scene may be very helpful and even trigger new creative communication efforts that both entertain and enhance understanding of leading-edge scientific topics.

The collection includes all 18 episodes that aired on NBC including the two-hour pilot. Extra features of the DVD set include the two-hour international pilot shown in Europe.

The 2010 documentary "Signal To Noise: Uncovering Dark Skies" is particularly enlightening, featuring a discussion between the creators Brent Friedman and Bryce Zabel along with views and insight by the show´s main stars Close and Ward. (It is nice to see that Ward is more beautiful now than ever.)

Viewers can also watch the first and last episodes with the option of an audio overlay of interesting and fun commentary among Friedman, Zabel, Close and Ward. Behind-the-scenes stories and incidents about the making of the series are fascinating.

Information about pitching the series to NBC, the original sales presentation, network promos that aired and other background information are also included in the DVD collection.

The "Dark Skies" DVD set can be ordered from Shout Factory! home video company: http://www.shoutfactorystore.com/

A related resource is the website on Zabel's and Dolan's new book at AfterDisclosure.com: http://www.afterdisclosure.com/

NOTE TO READERS: Please visit the Joint Recon Study Group: http://jointreconstudygroup.blogspot.com/
and Transcendent TV & Media: http://tvtranscend.blogspot.com/
sites and have a look around.

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/207977

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2387 on: Dec 28th, 2010, 9:10pm »

on Dec 28th, 2010, 5:21pm, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Hey Phil!

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"Conformers" on a train

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Okay I'll stop.............

Crystal


Hey ...Hey where did you find my marbleshuh? You know how hard it is to make a decision when you've lost themhuh I mean,, dang lady, ...........Wait, them ain't my marbles... them is Seekers..I recognize them thoughts..... All swirly and confuzzzed!!
Sorry Carol,,I couldn't help myself!!

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2388 on: Dec 28th, 2010, 9:22pm »

on Dec 28th, 2010, 8:15pm, WingsofCrystal wrote:
American Chronicle

UFO acclimation: 'Dark Skies' TV series DVDs released
by Steve Hammons
Tuesday, December 28, 2010 6:05:39 PM



Thanks, Crystal! I ordered it today. grin
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2389 on: Dec 28th, 2010, 10:03pm »

on Dec 28th, 2010, 12:32pm, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Looks like the "Conformers" are celebrating the holidays too.


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A "Conformer" conga line


grin

Crystal


That is hilarious!!!! laugh laugh laugh

And thanks for the Ham Biscuits recipe.... grin I copied it into a Word doc and saved it to my "Recipes" folder. smiley

Did you know that American biscuits are called "Scones" over here... smiley In America our biscuits are called "Cookies" or "Crackers".

Have a nice restful sleep...

Luvey
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2390 on: Dec 29th, 2010, 08:37am »

Alright all of you! Hold it down in here! You are having too much fun! grin

Lone! Get your marbles back in your head!

Luvey I'm glad you liked the scone recipe. Paula Deen does have some good recipes. A little on the fattening side but this time of year we can behave badly just a little. I knew the biscuit/cookie thing but didn't know what a scone really was.

Jon you are always ahead of me. One of these days I'll surprise you on something. grin

Good morning. It's a good day to be alive.

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2391 on: Dec 29th, 2010, 08:41am »

New York Times

December 28, 2010
Suspicious Death Ignites Fury in China
By XIYUN YANG and EDWARD WONG

BEIJING — The photograph is so graphic that it appears cartoonish at first glance.

A man lies on a road with his eyes closed, blood streaming from his half-open mouth, his torso completely crushed under the large tire of a red truck. One arm reaches out from beneath the tire. His shoulder is a bloody pile of flesh. His head is no longer attached to the flattened spinal cord.

The man in the photograph, Qian Yunhui, 53, has become the latest Internet sensation in China, as thousands of people viewing the image online since the weekend have accused government officials of gruesomely killing Mr. Qian to silence his six-year campaign to protect fellow villagers in a land dispute. Illegal land seizures by officials are common in China, but the horrific photographs of Mr. Qian’s death on Saturday have ignited widespread fury, forcing local officials to offer explanations in a news conference.

It is the latest in a string of cases in which anger against the government has been fanned by the lightning-fast spread of information online. In late October, the son of a deputy police chief in central China drunkenly drove his car into two college students, killing one and injuring another. His parting phrase as he drove away from the scene of the crime — “Sue me if you dare, my father is Li Gang!” — has since become a byword for official corruption and nepotism.

Officials in the city of Yueqing in Zhejiang Province, which supervises Mr. Qian’s home village, insist that the photographs show nothing more than an unfortunate traffic accident. They made their case in a hastily arranged news conference on Monday afternoon, as the images of Mr. Qian’s death continued proliferating on the Internet. Mr. Qian’s family, some Chinese reporters and residents of Zhaiqiao Village cite the photographs as proof of foul play and a sloppy cover-up.

It is unclear who took the photographs, but they first appeared Sunday afternoon on Tianya, a popular online forum for discussing Chinese social issues.

Within 36 hours, the initial post attracted nearly 20,000 comments. It has since been deleted. Tianya and two other Web sites that reported on the case together got 400,000 hits, according to Xinhua, the state news agency. The Chinese government goes to great lengths to block servers here from accessing information it deems harmful to political stability, but censors have apparently failed to keep up with the proliferation of blog posts related to Mr. Qian. Once the information had spread, higher authorities apparently found it necessary to show the public they were looking into the matter — officials from the nearby city of Wenzhou ordered police officers from there to go to Yueqing to assist the investigation, Xinhua reported.

Chinese Internet users were drawn not only to the gruesome images, but also to the fact that the land dispute involving Mr. Qian is a common narrative in China.

In 2004, the city government approved construction of a power plant in Zhaiqiao Village. The company building the plant got virtually all the arable land in the village, and the 4,000 or so villagers received no compensation, according to a blog post on Tianya that was written four months ago under Mr. Qian’s name. At the time, Mr. Qian and other villagers went to government offices to protest the land grab, and riot police officers beat more than 130 people and arrested 72, the post said.

Mr. Qian, the former Communist Party representative in the village, traveled to Beijing to file a petition with the central authorities. In the news conference on Monday, city officials said that Mr. Qian had been arrested, found guilty of criminal conduct and imprisoned at least twice. Mr. Qian continued his crusade after recently being released from prison. Before his death, he was the overwhelming favorite of the villagers in a coming election for village chief, according to local media reports.

Around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Mr. Qian received a call on his cellphone and walked out as he was talking, according to a report by Chinese Business News that cited Mr. Qian’s wife, Wang Zhaoyan.

An hour later, he was run over by the red truck, his body crushed beneath the left front tire. The driver, Fei Liangyu, has been detained, according to a statement on the Yueqing city government Web site.

Chinese news reports said another villager, Qian Chengwei, told people that he had watched as the victim was held down in the road by several men wearing security uniforms. One of the men waved his hand, and a truck then drove slowly over Mr. Qian, the reports said. Villagers arriving at the scene were immediately suspicious. They refused to allow the police to remove Mr. Qian’s body, and a scuffle ensued.

The witness and the victim’s family members were detained, according to Southern Daily, a newspaper based in Guangdong Province. Government officials told the newspaper that the witness was a drug user.

Local news organizations reported Tuesday that Mr. Qian’s family members have been released. Phone calls to Mr. Qian’s home were not answered.

Internet users and Chinese reporters have continued to question the explanation by city officials, pointing to discrepancies revealed by the photos. Why does the front of the truck show little sign of impact or blood? Why, if Mr. Qian had been accidentally hit while walking upright, is his body lying completely perpendicular to the truck’s tire? Why was a brand-new security camera at the intersection where Mr. Qian killed not working on Saturday? Who called Mr. Qian on that fateful morning?

“A few years ago, there were other people petitioning with my dad,” one family member, Qian Shuangping, told China Business Daily. “Some of them were bought off. Some of them got scared. We said: ‘Just take some money and forget it. What if something happens to you?’ My father wouldn’t listen to us.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/29/world/asia/29china.html?ref=world

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« Reply #2392 on: Dec 29th, 2010, 08:43am »

New York Times

December 28, 2010
Fire Leaves Eight Dead at Warehouse in Louisiana
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The deadliest fire in decades here killed eight homeless people early Tuesday as they were burning debris in an abandoned warehouse to stay warm, the authorities said.

Firefighters said they could not determine the sex or approximate ages of those who died because their bodies were so badly burned.

A 23-year-old man who escaped the building said he had not been able to return to help his friends because of the smoke, said Thomas Butler, a Red Cross volunteer.

The Orleans Parish coroner’s office said it was uncertain when the victims would be identified.

A group of young people sitting nearby on the steps of an abandoned house said the dead were three women and five men.

One woman in the group, Rachel Park, 27, of California, said the victims never thought of themselves as homeless. “They were all accomplished musicians or artists — jolly, happy people,” she said.

Ms. Park knew the victims by only their first names and said their ages ranged from 19 to 30.

The temperature early Tuesday was just below freezing, which is unusual for New Orleans. The warehouse is in a blighted neighborhood that was left even more so after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

The fire was reported just before 2 a.m., and fire trucks arrived within five minutes to find the building engulfed in flames, said Greg Davis, a Fire Department spokesman. Some of the victims may have been unconscious from carbon monoxide.

Capt. Edwin Holmes, another Fire Department spokesman, said the fire was among the deadliest in modern history in the city, and the worst since 32 people died in a blaze at a French Quarter lounge in 1973.

Homelessness in the city has worsened since Hurricane Katrina. Linda Gonzales of the New Orleans Mission estimated that as many as 3,000 people could be on the streets on any given night.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/29/us/29orleans.html?ref=us

Crystal

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2393 on: Dec 29th, 2010, 08:56am »

Telegraph

Northern Ireland water shortage 'could become major health emergency'

Northern Ireland's escalating drinking water crisis is in danger of developing into a major health emergency, doctors have warned.


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8:16AM GMT 29 Dec 2010

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses are still without supplies as engineers struggle to plug burst pipes. Some families have not had fresh running water for eight days.

Scotland has offered to supply bottled water in a bid to ease the emergency.

Northern Ireland Water (NIW), the company at the centre of the crisis, said it was unable to say when supplies would be fully restored.

Northern Ireland Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy is having talks with officials later today to consider ongoing operations and the sort of swift action needed to deal with the situation.

More bottled water was due to be distributed in various parts of Belfast, one of the areas hardest hit. Arrangements were also being made to have tankers strategically placed across the province to help families, many of whom have been unable to use toilet facilities since before Christmas.

Leisure centres in the city as well as others in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, Antrim, Cookstown, Co Tyrone, and Newry, Co Down, were among those which opened to provide washing and showering facilities.

NIW today faced more widespread public anger over the company's lack of contingency plans and its abysmal failure to provide adequate and up-to-date information.

But with the onset of a winter vomiting bug, some doctors warned the crisis could quickly develop into a major health issue, especially among the elderly.

Dr Peter Maguire, a GP in Newry, said: ''This is really now a public health emergency.

''Northern Ireland Water has been shambolic in their response.

''People with young families have not been able to flush toilets and wash themselves, never mind get access to drinking water.

''It's just not good enough. What's happening is really not acceptable.''

Liam Mulholland, of Northern Ireland Water, admitted the situation would continue for at least a few more days.

He said he could understand people's anger and frustration, adding that the value of water was only realised when it was not available.

One of the biggest problems was the number of vacant properties with leaks that have yet to be traced and repaired, he said, which was an immense drain on the system. More than 500 bursts have been fixed during the month.

Mr Mulholland went on: "Having clean drinking water is a very important aspect of life and we are trying to get that system back up and working as fast as we can.

"The sooner we don't have customers going to stand pipes or alternative water supplies the better.

"This may go on for another short period but we are doing our best to keep it as short as possible to get those reservoir levels up and provide water to our customers."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/8229699/Northern-Ireland-water-shortage-could-become-major-health-emergency.html

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« Reply #2394 on: Dec 29th, 2010, 09:00am »

Wired

Breaking GSM With a $15 Phone … Plus Smarts
By John Borland
December 28, 2010 | 1:25 pm
Categories: Chaos Computer Club, privacy

BERLIN —

Whatever assurances have been given about the security of GSM cellphone calls, forget about them now.

Speaking at the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) Congress here Tuesday, a pair of researchers demonstrated a start-to-finish means of eavesdropping on encrypted GSM cellphone calls and text messages, using only four sub-$15 telephones as network “sniffers,” a laptop computer and a variety of open source software.

While such capabilities have long been available to law enforcement with the resources to buy a powerful network-sniffing device for more than $50,000 (remember The Wire?), the pieced-together hack takes advantage of security flaws and shortcuts in the GSM network operators’ technology and operations to put the power within the reach of almost any motivated tech-savvy programmer.

“GSM is insecure, the more so as more is known about GSM,” said Security Research Labs researcher Karsten Nohl. “It’s pretty much like computers on the net in the 1990s, when people didn’t understand security well.”

Several of the individual pieces of this GSM hack have been displayed before. The ability to decrypt GSM’s 64-bit A5/1 encryption was demonstrated last year at this same event, for instance. However, network operators then responded that the difficulty of finding a specific phone, and of picking the correct encrypted radio signal out of the air, made the theoretical decryption danger minimal at best.

Naturally this sounded like a challenge.

Working the audience through each step of the process, Nohl and OsmocomBB project programmer Sylvain Munaut demonstrated how the way in which GSM networks exchange subscriber location data, in order to correctly route phone calls and SMSs, allows anyone to determine a subscriber’s current location with a simple internet query, to the level of city or general rural area.

Once a phone is narrowed down to a specific city, a potential attacker can drive through the area, sending the target phone “silent” or “broken” SMS messages that do not show up on the phone. By sniffing to each bay station’s traffic, listening for the delivery of the message and the response of the target phone at the correct time, the location of the target phone can be more precisely identified.

To create a network sniffer, the researchers replaced the firmware of a simple Motorola GSM phone with their own alternative, which allowed them to retain the raw data received from the cell network, and examine more of the cellphone network space than a single phone ordinarily monitors. Upgrading the USB connection allowed this information to be sent in real time to a computer.

By sniffing the network while sending a target phone an SMS, they were able to determine precisely which random network ID number belonged to the target. This gave them the ability to identify which of the myriad streams of information they wanted to record from the network.

All that was left was decrypting the information. Not a trivial problem, but made possible by the way operator networks exchange system information with their phones.

As part of this background communication, GSM networks send out strings of identifying information, as well as essentially empty “Are you there?” messages. Empty space in these messages is filled with buffer bytes. Although a new GSM standard was put in place several years ago to turn these buffers into random bytes, they in fact remain largely identical today, under a much older standard.

This allows the researchers to predict with a high degree of probability the plain-text content of these encrypted system messages. This, combined with a two-terabyte table of precomputed encryption keys (a so-called rainbow table), allows a cracking program to discover the secret key to the session’s encryption in about 20 seconds.

This is particularly useful, the researchers said, because many if not most GSM operators reuse these session keys for several successive communications, allowing a key extracted from a test SMS to be used again to record the next telephone call.

“There is one key used for communication between the operators and the SIM card that is very well protected, because that protects their monetary interest,” Nohl said. “The other key is less well protected, because it only protects your private data.”

The researchers demonstrated this process, using their software to sniff the headers being used by a phone, extract and crack a session-encryption key, and then use this to decrypt and record a live GSM call between two phones in no more than a few minutes.

Much of this vulnerability could be addressed relatively easily, Nohl said. Operators could make sure that their network routing information was not so simply available through the internet. They could implement the randomization of padding bytes in the system information exchange, making the encryption harder to break. They could certainly avoid recycling encryption keys between successive calls and SMSs.

Nor is it enough to imagine that modern phones, using 3G networks, are shielded from these problems. Many operators reserve much of their 3G bandwidth for internet traffic, while shunting voice and SMS off to the older GSM network.

Nohl elicited a laugh from the audience of hackers when he called the reprogrammed network-sniffing phones “GSM debugging devices.” But he was serious, he said.

“This is all a 20-year-old infrastructure, with lots of private data and not a lot of security,” he said. “We want you to help phones go through the same kind of evolutionary steps that computers did in the 1990s.”

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/12/breaking-gsm-with-a-15-phone-plus-smarts/

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« Reply #2395 on: Dec 29th, 2010, 09:08am »

Wired

Dec. 29, 1766: He Put the Mac in Mackintosh
By Tony Long
December 29, 2009 | 12:00 am
Categories: 18th century, Inventions


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1766: Charles Macintosh, who has no connection whatsoever to the computer of the same name, is born in Glasgow, Scotland. He will be remembered in tech annals as the inventor of rubberized, waterproof clothing. He’s remembered more generally for the raincoat that bears his name.

Macintosh, the son of a well-known dyemaker, developed an early interest in chemistry and science. By age 20 he was already running a plant producing ammonium chloride and Prussian blue dye. Around this time, he introduced some new techniques for dyeing cloth.

In partnership with a certain Charles Tennant, Macintosh developed a dry bleaching powder that proved popular, making a fortune for both men. The powder remained the primary agent for bleaching cloth and paper into the 1920s.

At the same time, though, Macintosh was experimenting with the idea of waterproofing fabric, using waste byproducts from the dye process. One byproduct he worked with was coal tar, which, when distilled, produced naphtha.

Macintosh found that naphtha — a volatile, oily liquid created in the distillation the aforementioned coal tar, as well as petroleum — could be used to waterproof fabrics. In 1823, he patented what was the first truly waterproof fabric, supple enough to be used in clothing. He produced the desired results by joining two sheets of fabric with dissolved India rubber soaked in naphtha.

When this concoction of his was later used to make a flexible, waterproof raincoat, the garment quickly became known as the mackintosh. (The extraneous “k” has never been explained.) The coat came into widespread use, both by the British army and by the general public.

Which is not to say it was all smooth sailing for Macintosh’s process. The fabric was vulnerable to changes in the weather, becoming stiffer in the cold and stickier in the heat. It was not especially good with wool, either, because that fabric’s natural oil caused the rubber cement to deteriorate.

Nevertheless, the waterproofing process was essentially sound and was improved and refined over time. It was considered effective enough to be used in outfitting an Arctic expedition led by 19th-century explorer Sir John Franklin.

Although he enjoyed his greatest success and lasting fame for his waterproofing process, Macintosh was no one-trick pony. In his capacity as a chemist, he helped devise a hot-blast process for producing high-quality cast iron.

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2009/12/1229charles-macintosh-born/

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« Reply #2396 on: Dec 29th, 2010, 12:19pm »



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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2397 on: Dec 29th, 2010, 12:27pm »

on Dec 28th, 2010, 3:35pm, philliman wrote:
In relation to this I find this interview with Kevin Trudeau quite intriguing:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheKateValentineUfoShow/~5/ft6RpOHbJYQ/12-17-10.mp3

Want to point out that I'm not quite sure about most things he says here but was intrigued about what he told about the human evolution. It somehow made sense.

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2398 on: Dec 29th, 2010, 3:38pm »

on Dec 29th, 2010, 08:37am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Jon you are always ahead of me. One of these days I'll surprise you on something. grin



Actually, you did! I thought it was coming out in January. It sort of is, but I guess Shout Factory is selling it direct early. I have you to thank for the heads up.
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2399 on: Dec 29th, 2010, 5:11pm »

Hey Phil!

Thanks for that link. And I like the day at the beach photo! grin

Crystal
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