Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2535 on: Jan 11th, 2011, 06:09am »
You think it’s bad now Luvey. This is just the beginning. It all kicked off at Christmas around the world and this month it will deteriorate more , mainly the Asian coast line and America .as I said before its not the end its just one big bumpy ride. We are only just starting to feel the influence of what’s to come from the deep recesses of our universe. Not only will we have to contend with such as the magnetic pole shift that’s affecting all planets including the sun but we will have the flexing of the earth to contend with. Yip the plates are gona move and when they do all hell will break loose.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2537 on: Jan 11th, 2011, 08:17am »
New York Times
January 11, 2011 Brisbane Areas Told to Evacuate as River Swells By MERAIAH FOLEY
SYDNEY, Australia — Australian officials urged thousands of people to flee to higher ground on Tuesday in Australia’s third-largest city, Brisbane, as floodwaters that killed at least 10 people rushed toward the coastal capital of 2 million people.
Cars jammed the streets in Brisbane’s low-lying central business district, with residents scrambling to secure their possessions and move to safe areas as the swollen Brisbane River began bursting its banks.
The city’s mayor, Campbell Newman, warned that at least 6,500 homes could be flooded by Thursday, when the river is expected to peak at about 20 feet above its usual level, the biggest flood in 35 years.
“We are facing one of our toughest ever tests,” Anna Bligh, the Queensland premier, told reporters in Brisbane. “We do have a very serious natural disaster on our doorstep and we will all have to work together.”
Five children were among the 10 killed late Monday as the deluge tore through Toowoomba and other parts of the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane, upending cars and ripping buildings from their foundations.
Some 78 people were still missing late Tuesday, and police warned that they had “very grave fears” for 18 of those missing. At least 20 people have been killed in the floodwaters that have swept vast areas of Australia’s northeastern Queensland state.
Emergency crews worked frantically to rescue hundreds of people left stranded by the raging floodwaters — described by some locals as an “inland tsunami” — that Toowoomba and several smaller towns.
Around 300 people were plucked from the disaster zone by helicopter on Tuesday after the tiny hamlet of Forest Hill was cut off by the torrent, Ms. Bligh said. Some 78 people were still missing late Tuesday, and Queensland police warned that the death toll was likely to rise as emergency crews continued to sift through the wreckage.
“The circumstances in Queensland continue to be very dire indeed,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard told reporters in Canberra. “The nation does need to brace itself for the fact that the death toll as a result of yesterday’s flash flooding is likely to rise.”
Torrential rains and flooding has affected parts of waterlogged Queensland since late December. Officials at Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology have warned that the region’s soil has lost its capacity to absorb more water after more than two weeks of severely wet weather that has flooded an area roughly equal to France and Germany.
After enduring a decade of one of the worst droughts in Australian history, Queensland residents are now facing billions of dollars in costs from the floods, which began in late November and have since razed hundreds of homes and businesses, and brought the region’s lucrative coal and farming industries to a virtual standstill.
Brisbane’s main reservoir, which was created to protect the city from flooding after the last devastating flood in 1974, was overflowing, adding thousands of gallons to the region’s swollen river systems, according to Mr. Newman.
“The situation has obviously demonstrably deteriorated,” Mr. Newman told a meeting of disaster management officials in Brisbane, according to local news reports. “Today is very significant, tomorrow is bad, and Thursday is going to be devastating for the residents and businesses affected.”
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2538 on: Jan 11th, 2011, 08:19am »
New York Times
January 11, 2011 Gates Warns of North Korea Missile Threat to U.S. By ELISABETH BUMILLER and MICHAEL WINES
BEIJING — In a major new assessment of North Korea, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said on Tuesday that the country is becoming a direct threat to the United States and was within five years of developing a missile with the potential of hitting Alaska or the West Coast.
Mr. Gates said that although he expected North Korea’s ability to be limited, he anticipated the country would still develop within that time frame a small number of intercontinental ballistic missiles that could at least potentially deliver nuclear warheads. “I don’t think it’s an immediate threat, but on the other hand I don’t think it’s a five-year threat,’” Mr. Gates said.
Mr. Gates made his comments during a visit to Beijing on the same day that China, in a show of force for the United States, conducted the first test flight of its new stealth fighter jet. The 15-minute flight occurred just hours before Mr. Gates met with President Hu Jintao to talk about improving relations between the Chinese and American militaries and ways to reduce tensions during a nascent arms buildup between the two countries.
In a development that stunned Mr. Gates and his entourage, a senior American defense official said that Mr. Hu and all other Chinese civilian officials in the meeting were unaware of the test flight when Mr. Gates raised it with the Chinese president. News of the flight of the radar-evading plane, the J-20, had been prominently posted on unofficial Chinese military Web sites a few hours before the meeting, raising serious concerns among the Americans that China’s political leadership had lost some control over the country’s military.
On North Korea, Mr. Gates’ new assessment is a significant shift for the Obama administration, which until now has viewed Pyongyang as a proliferation threat, fearing that it might sell its existing missiles and nuclear devices to other countries, like Iran. But Mr. Gates changed that emphasis, which is likely to fuel a movement to expand a military base at Fort Greely, Alaska, armed with interceptor missiles designed to stop a North Korean missile before it hits the United States.
Implicit in Mr. Gates' five year assessment was the possibility that the North could soon solve one of its biggest technological hurdles: manufacturing a warhead small enough to fit atop a missile.
Exploding a nuclear device underground, which North Korea did in 2006 and again in 2009, is comparatively simple. Manufacturing a warhead that is light, small and reliable is a far more complex art.
It is unclear whether the North obtained designs for a warhead from an outside country - especially Pakistan, which sold it uranium enrichment equipment. Designing such a warhead from scratch is difficult, as Iran has learned.
On the Chinese stealth jet fighter flight, Mr. Gates said he directly asked Mr. Hu why it was conducted during his trip to Beijing. Mr. Hu replied, Mr. Gates said, that it “had absolutely nothing to do with my visit.’’ Asked if he truly believed that, Mr. Gates said yes, but acknowledged he had questions about whether the Chinese military was acting independently of the political leadership. “I’ve had concerns about this over time,’’ Mr. Gates said.
A Hong Kong-based expert on the Chinese military, Andrei Chang, said in a telephone interview that the Chinese stealth fighter flew for about 15 minutes over an airfield in the southwestern city of Chengdu. Photos of the jet in flight were also posted on unofficial Chinese military Web sites and on a computer bulletin board run by Global Times, a state-run newspaper known for its hawkish positions.
The Chinese first rolled out the plane last week, in what was regarded as a tough-minded welcome to Mr. Gates, who reacted by dousing the spectacle. In comments to reporters on his plane en route to Beijing he questioned “just how stealthy” the Chinese fighter jet is.
The test flight apparently had been scheduled for last Thursday, when a large crowd of officials at the Chengdu airfield of the city’s Aviation Design Institute, but was unexpectedly abandoned after the plane began taxiing down the runway, Mr. Chang said last week. The reason for the apparent cancellation was not clear. Bad weather appeared to have delayed test flights until Tuesday’s takeoff.
Mr. Gates met with Mr. Hu as a precursor to the Chinese leader’s talks with President Obama at the White House next week, which Chinese officials are described as eager to make a success.
As China’s increasingly assertive and rapidly modernizing military challenges the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, Pentagon officials have repeatedly pushed the Chinese military to be more open about its intent and its weapons. Chinese military experts noted that in terms of transparency, at least the J-20 test flight was held in the open.
David E. Sanger contributed reporting from Beijing.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2539 on: Jan 11th, 2011, 08:22am »
New generation of unmanned spy planes is being tested
Three drones being flown in the coming weeks are speedier, stealthier and higher-flying.
By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times January 11, 2011
An experimental spy plane with a wingspan almost the size of a Boeing 747's took to the skies over the Mojave Desert last week in a secret test flight that may herald a new era in modern warfare with robotic planes flying higher, faster and with more firepower.
The massive Global Observer built by AeroVironment Inc. of Monrovia is capable of flying for days at a stratosphere-skimming 65,000 feet, out of range of most antiaircraft missiles. The plane is built to survey 280,000 square miles — an area larger than Afghanistan — at a single glance. That would give the Pentagon an "unblinking eye" over the war zone and offer a cheaper and more effective alternative to spy satellites watching from outer space.
The estimated $30-million robotic aircraft is one of three revolutionary drones being tested in coming weeks at Edwards Air Force Base.
Another is the bat-winged X-47B drone built by Northrop Grumman Corp., which could carry laser-guided bombs and be launched from an aircraft carrier. The third is Boeing Co.'s Phantom Ray drone that could slip behind enemy lines to knock out radar installations, clearing the way for fighters and bombers.
These aircraft would represent a major technological advance over the Predator and Reaper drones that the Obama administration has deployed as a central element of the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan. Unlike most of the current fleet of more than 7,000 drones, the new remotely piloted planes will have jet engines and the ability to evade enemy radar.
"We are looking at the next generation of unmanned systems," said Phil Finnegan, an aerospace expert with Teal Group, a research firm. "As the U.S. looks at potential future conflicts, there needs to be more capable systems."
Finnegan pointed out that propeller-driven Predator and Reaper drones are not fast or stealthy enough to thread through antiaircraft missile batteries. Boeing's Phantom Ray and Northrop's X-47B, by comparison, "can enter contested air space, attack the enemy, and leave without detection on a radar screen," he said.
The Global Observer that was tested last week is designed for reconnaissance and would not carry weapons. But it would greatly extend the surveillance capabilities of drones.
Current spy planes can stay airborne for only about 30 hours. The Global Observer is designed to beat that mark several times over, flying up to a week at a time, and company officials say it may be ready to go into service by year's end.
The drone is designed to do the work that so far has been done by satellites, including relaying communications between military units and spotting missiles as they are launched.
On Thursday, the Global Observer performed its first test demonstrating its ability to use liquid hydrogen as fuel. The drone circled above Edwards at about 3,000 feet above ground level in a four-hour test, according to AeroVironment executives, who plan to announce the achievement Tuesday.
"This is a paradigm shift from capabilities that have come before," said AeroVironment Chairman and Chief Executive Timothy E. Conver. "It's so radically different that it's hard for people to wrap their minds around it."
AeroVironment was founded in 1971 and has built several lightweight aircraft over the years. It is now the largest provider to the U.S. military of small, hand-launched drones that soldiers use to see over hills or around other obstructions.
The Global Observer was built under a Pentagon demonstration program by 150 engineers and technicians at a company production facility in Simi Valley.
If AeroVironment lands a big production contract, it would be a major boost for Southern California's drone industry. That industry employs an estimated 10,000 people, fueled by at least $20 billion in Pentagon spending since 2001, with additional billions from the CIA and Congress.
The Pentagon has increasingly focused on drones because they reduce the risk of American casualties and because they can be operated for a fraction of the cost of piloted aircraft.
That has been a benefit to Southern California's aerospace industry, which has a hand in most of the drones being developed.
Century City-based Northrop is building the X-47B drone at Plant 42 in Palmdale under a $635.8-million contract awarded by the Navy in 2007.
Currently, combat drones are controlled remotely by a human pilot. With the X-47B, which resembles a miniature version of the B-2 stealth bomber, a human pilot designs a flight path and sends it on its way; a computer program would guide it from a ship to target and back.
"The X-47B represents game-changing technology that will allow American forces to project combat power from longer distances without putting humans in harm's way," said Paul Meyer, general manager of Northrop's Advanced Programs & Technology division.
Boeing's Phantom Ray is being built in St. Louis with engineering support from its Phantom Works facilities in Huntington Beach. The company does not have a contract; it is developing the drone at its own expense.
These aircraft may be several years away from service, but defense industry analysts say there is little doubt that they represent the wave of the future.
"We're entering an era that's similar to the jet age for aviation," said defense expert Peter W. Singer, author of "Wired for War," a book about robotic warfare. "These are capabilities that have never been fielded. The tests will point us in the direction of where we head next."
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2541 on: Jan 11th, 2011, 08:36am »
Outsider Artist Paints Alien Interactions By Rachel Somerstein
Ken Grimes, Untitled, We Must Collect, acrylic on masonite, 1993 The text (followed by flying saucers, crop circles, and ancient iconography) in Grimes' We Must Collect refers to what he perceives as meaningful coincidences and mistakes in earthly writings about interstellar communications.
A few years after Ken Grimes had his first psychotic break, he started putting some of his ideas about extraterrestrials on canvas. Two decades later, the schizophrenic artist has seen his work appear in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Outsider Art Fair, and New York’s Ricco/Maresca Gallery. “We get so accustomed to seeing the same thing,” says Leslie Umberger, senior curator at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. But Grimes actually accomplishes “what many artists aspire to: changing the way we see and think.”
So how does Grimes think? For one, he disagrees with ufologists who say aliens “would come to Earth to help us build pyramids or Easter Island.” Alien communication is more subtle than that, he says. That’s why he began looking for evidence of hidden messages in contemporary texts—particularly ones about radio astronomy and the star Epsilon Eridani. He’s hunting for inconsistencies and synchronicities that are too remarkable to result from chance or human fallibility. These strange errors, he reasons, must be a form of communication.
“These are professional writers who have editors and proofreaders,” he says, but who still make patterns of mistakes. “They’re experiencing alien spirituality. It’s right in their face and they can’t even see it.” So Grimes paints them a picture.
Luvey, that is absolutely horrendous! We will keep the Queensland folks in our prayers!
Thanks Swampy... I use to live over there and have friends and family members living over there, so its been quite worrying. So far they are safe, but things can change so rapidly with the waters moving so fast and they are still having torrential rain.
I had tears in my eyes reading the news and watching the videos of the disastrous events unfolding. Whole families are missing and quite a few children have died.
Even the critters help each other in times such as what is happening.... btw the green tree frog is the snakes staple meal. I have seen photos of snakes wrapping themselves around fence posts to get out of the deluge. Its literally of Biblical proportions.
Frog hitches ride with snake to flee floods
Of all the support for the devastating Queensland floods, this has to be the most unusual — a green frog hitching a ride on the back of a brown snake.
Computer technician Armin Gerlach was visiting friends in the flood-hit town of Dalby, located in the state's south-east, last week when he spotted the unlikely pair.
"I felt amazement, I just couldn’t believe it," Mr Gerlach told ninemsn.
Mr Gelach said a friend who had been affected by many floods told him animals often helped each other out during disasters.
"It's quite common when you have animals in floods or fires or disasters, they actually get together and don't do anything," he said.
"[My friend] has seen foxes and rabbits forget their hunting instincts during natural disasters," he said.
Mr Gelach said he and his friends were inspecting flood damage on the property, where waters had risen to about 47cm.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2547 on: Jan 11th, 2011, 5:43pm »
Description with video:
Amazing footage of East Creek near Chalk Drive / Chalk Lane rising and washing away lots of cars during Flash Flood in Toowoomba on Monday 10 January 2011. This is some of the best footage I have seen of the Flood and was taken from the second floor of our office which backs onto Chalk Lane.
It shows just how fast the creek turned into a torrent and quickly flooded Chalk Drive and Chalk Lane.
I also got some video of where the creek crosses Neil Street and some video of the aftermath and the huge amount of cars damaged and piled on top of one another in the Chalk Drive car park.
***** With the incredible exposure that my video is receiving all over the internet and media worldwide I would like to encourage you to donate to the relief appeals.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2549 on: Jan 11th, 2011, 7:02pm »
r.i.p. Thank you.
January 10, 2011 Richard Winters Dies at 92; Led ‘Band of Brothers’ By DENNIS HEVESI
photo: Sgt Maj Herman W Clemens
Richard Winters, the commanding officer of Easy Company, the Army unit whose gritty combat from the beaches of Normandy to the capture of Hitler’s mountain retreat was recounted in the book and television series “Band of Brothers,” died Jan. 2 in Campbelltown, Pa. He was 92 and lived in Hershey, Pa.
His death was confirmed by Nikki Soliday, executive director of the Hershey-Derry Township Historical Society, which maintains an exhibit of Mr. Winters’s war memorabilia, including the tiny silk map of Normandy sewn into his uniform pants on D-Day and silverware taken from Hitler’s retreat.
Rising from lieutenant to major, Mr. Winters was commander of Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, from D-Day to V-E Day. Dropped behind enemy lines hours before Allied forces landed on Utah Beach at dawn on June 6, 1944, the unit went on to fight in the Battle of the Bulge, through German towns and villages and ended the war by joining in the capture of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden, Germany, near the Austrian border.
Lieutenant Winters became the unit’s commanding officer on D-Day, hours after his superior officer was killed. That day he led 13 of his men in taking out a battery of German gunners that was decimating Allied troops on Utah Beach.
“He was the first one out there, yelling, ‘Follow me!’ ” one of his staff sergeants, William Guarnere, now 88, said Monday. “We knocked out a battery of four guns, 150 millimeters, that was firing on the kids coming on the shore. He got shot in the leg and still kept going.”
“He saved the company a lot of times,” Mr. Guarnere added.
In 1990, Mr. Winters was among D-Day veterans interviewed by the historian Stephen E. Ambrose for a book on the Normandy landings. He suggested that Mr. Ambrose focus on Easy Company, a task made simpler by the facts that its members had regularly held reunions and that many, including Mr. Winters, had kept written records of their war experiences.
“Band of Brothers” — its title taken from an oration in Shakespeare’s “Henry V” before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 — became a best seller in 1992. And in 2001 the 10-part miniseries of the same title, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, was shown on HBO.
Among many other missions, the book and the miniseries tell how Captain Winters climbed to the top of a dike near the village of Zetten, the Netherlands, on Oct. 5, 1944, and spotted hundreds of German soldiers on the other side.
Had the Germans crossed over the dike, they would have posed a serious threat to American forces.
Although his platoon was vastly outnumbered, Captain Winters ordered his troops to open fire. “With 35 men, a platoon of Easy Company routed two German companies of about 300 men,” the book says. “American casualties were one dead, 22 wounded. German casualties were 50 killed, 11 captures, about 100 wounded.”
In March 1945, Captain Winters, who had previously been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, was promoted to major. Two months later, the 101st Airborne Division received orders to capture Berchtesgaden. After setting out from Thalham, Germany, Major Winters’s unit forced its way through streams of surrendering German soldiers and reached Hitler’s retreat on May 5, 1945. Easy Company was there when the war ended three days later.
Richard Winters was born in Ephrata, Pa., to Richard and Edith Winters on Jan. 21, 1918. Dick, as he preferred to be called, enlisted in the Army after graduating from Franklin and Marshall College in 1941.
After the war, he became a supervisor at a plaster mill in New Jersey. In 1951, he and his wife, Ethel, bought a small farm in Fredericksburg, Pa. He later began selling animal feed products to farmers throughout Pennsylvania. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son and a daughter.
Mr. Winters received many other decorations besides the Distinguished Service Cross, including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Yet he played down his combat role.
“The cohesion that existed in the company was hardly the result of my leadership,” he wrote in “Beyond Band of Brothers,” his 2006 memoir. “The company belonged to the men, the officers were merely the caretakers.”
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: January 11, 2011
An earlier version misstated the first name of Mr. Winters's wife. It is Ethel, not Esther.