Board Logo
« Stuff & Nonsense »

Welcome Guest. Please Login or Register.
May 24th, 2017, 8:19pm


Visit the UFO Casebook Web Site

*Totally FREE 24/7 Access *Your Nickname and Avatar *Private Messages

*Join today and be a part of one of the largest UFO sites on the Net.


« Previous Topic | Next Topic »
Pages: 1 ... 178 179 180 181 182  ...  1070 Notify Send Topic Print
 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 44952 times)
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11629
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2685 on: Jan 25th, 2011, 08:55am »

Telegraph

Crematorium heats swimming pool

A cash-strapped council has revealed plans to heat a swimming pool using furnaces at a nearby crematorium.

User Image
The entrance to the swimming pool at the Abbey Stadium in Redditch
Photo: CATERS



8:48AM GMT 25 Jan 2011

Town hall chiefs want to use excess heat generated by the incinerator to warm the water for swimmers - and save £14,500-a-year on heating bills.

If approved, Redditch Borough Council will be the first authority in the country to use a crematorium to heat a swimming pool.

The council has outlined plans to heat Abbey Stadium Sports Centre from the cremators at neighbouring Borough Of Redditch Cemeteries & Crematorium.

Currently, heat from the incinerators - which reach 800 degrees C (1,472F) - is lost into the atmosphere.

Council chiefs say it will save cash and is a greener way of powering the leisure centre.

But local people have expressed concerns at the proposals, branding them "eerie".

Simon Thomas, of Thomas Brothers Funeral Directors, said: "I don't know how comfortable people would feel about the swimming pool being heated due to the death of a loved one, I think it's a bit strange and eerie.

"I'm not comfortable with it at all and I think trying to save money due to the death of someone's family member or friend is a bit sick.

"I think it will cause uproar and may even put people off using the facilities which would lose the council money.

"It just doesn't feel right."

But council leader Carole Gandy yesterday (Mon) defended the plans, saying it would be save money and energy "in the long-term".

She said: "I'd much rather use the energy rather than just see it going out of the chimney and heating the sky.

"It will make absolutely no difference to the people who are using the crematorium for services.

"I do recognise some people might not like it, but if they don't they don't have to use our crematorium.

"I wouldn't want them to do that but they have to make that choice.

"It's only a proposal at the moment but personally I'm supportive of it because I think it will save the authority money and, in the long-term, save energy which is what we're all being told we should do."

Gordon Hull, from the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, said: "From an environmental view it makes sense that you don't need a separate boiler because of how much waste heat is created from the process."

A public meeting to discuss the plans will be held on Thursday before the matter is discussed at the council's executive committee next Tuesday (Feb 1).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8279648/Crematorium-heats-swimming-pool.html

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11629
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2686 on: Jan 25th, 2011, 09:00am »

Wired

Jan. 25, 1921: Robots First Czech In
By Tony Long
January 25, 2011 | 7:00 am
Categories: 20th century, Culture, Tech Gone Bad


User Image
Photo: A scene from R.U.R. features three robots.


1921: A play about robots premieres at the National Theater in Prague, the capital of what was then Czechoslovakia.

R.U.R, (which stands for Rossum’s Universal Robots) by Karel Capek, marks the first use of the word “robot” to describe an artificial person. Capek invented the term, basing it on the Czech word for “forced labor.” (Robot entered the English language in 1923.)

The robots in Capek’s play are not mechanical men made of metal. Instead they are molded out of a chemical batter, and they look exactly like humans.

In the course of just 15 years, the price of a robot has dropped from $10,000 to $150. In today’s money, that’s $128,000 down to $1,900.

Each robot “can do the work of two-and-a-half human laborers,” so that humans might be free to have “no other task, no other work, no other cares” than perfecting themselves.

However, the robots come to realize that even though they have “no passion, no history, no soul,” they are stronger and smarter than humans. They kill every human but one.

The play explores themes that would later become staples of robot science fiction, including freedom, love and destruction. Although many of Capek’s other works were more famous during his lifetime, today he is best known for RUR.

The first recorded human death by robot occurred Jan. 25, 1979: the 58th anniversary of the play’s premiere.

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2011/01/0125robot-cometh-capek-rur-debut/

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11629
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2687 on: Jan 25th, 2011, 09:05am »

Reuters

Hezbollah-backed Mikati named Lebanon prime minister

By Mariam Karouny
BEIRUT | Tue Jan 25, 2011
9:38am EST

Hundreds of angry protesters burned tires and blocked roads across Lebanon on Tuesday after Iranian-backed Hezbollah secured the appointment of its candidate to lead the next government.

The nomination of Najib Mikati as prime minister, endorsed by President Michel Suleiman, is seen a victory for Hezbollah, which secured the parliamentary votes needed to wrest control of the Lebanese government.

Hezbollah's control over the government for the first time will sound alarm bells in Washington and Israel and raise concerns in moderate Sunni Arab states.

The protesters turned out in many cities in support of Mikati's defeated rival Saad al-Hariri, a Sunni Muslim whose government was ousted this month by Shi'ite Hezbollah and its allies in a dispute over the investigation of his father's assassination in 2005.

The protests were part of a "day of anger" called by loyalists of Hariri, who is backed by Saudi Arabia and Washington, to protest against Hezbollah, funded and supported by Tehran.

Mikati, a telecoms tycoon who has portrayed himself as a consensus candidate, said he would start talks to form a government on Thursday and appealed to all Lebanese factions to overcome their differences.

"All Lebanese leaders should cooperate together to face the current challenges," he said from the presidential palace after he accepted his nomination by President Michel Suleiman.

"I reiterate my position ... that my hand is extended to all factions to take part and end division...through dialogue."

The biggest protest took place in the northern city of Tripoli where medical sources said 20 people were treated for injuries and protesters set fire to a satellite truck used by the Arab television channel Al Jazeera.

Hariri appealed for calm, saying he rejected demonstrations of violence. "You are angry but you are responsible people. I understand your feelings," Hariri told supporters in a televised speech. "This anger should not lead us to what disagrees with our values ... our belief that democracy is our refuge."

"Sunni blood is boiling" chanted protesters in Tripoli, urging Mikati, a Sunni Muslim, to withdraw his nomination and waving flags of Hariri's Future Movement which says it will not serve in any government dominated by the militant Shi'ite group.

Mikati secured the crucial backing of Walid Jumblatt and six of the influential local leader's supporters on Monday, giving him a majority of support among parliament's 128 members.

PROTESTS CONTINUE

In Beirut, protesters blocked a road with burning tires and overturned garbage containers. A security source said shots were fired in the air and the army intervened, but no one was hurt.

Lebanon's power-sharing political system calls for the post of prime minister to be held by a Sunni, and Hariri supporters said any figure who accepted the nomination from the Shi'ite group to form a new government would be considered a traitor.

Hezbollah and its allies walked out of Hariri's unity government on January 12 in a dispute over still confidential indictments by a U.N.-backed tribunal which is investigating the 2005 killing of statesman Rafik al-Hariri, the premier's father.

Politicians allied to Hezbollah have said the first priority of their new government would be to cut links with the tribunal, which is expected to accuse Hezbollah members of involvement in the 2005 killing. Hezbollah denies any role.

Hariri supporter Mustafa Alloush told the crowd in Tripoli on Tuesday that the overthrow of the government two weeks ago was part of an Iranian takeover. "It's an attempt to bring Lebanon into the Persian sphere. We will not accept that, and we will be on alert for them," he said.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has defended the movement's decision to bring down Hariri's government after he rejected demands to cut Lebanon's links to the tribunal, saying Hezbollah ministers and their allies acted peacefully and within the constitution.

The demonstrators in Tripoli said investigation into Rafik al-Hariri's killing could not be blocked. One poster read: "Tripoli will not accept the overthrow of the international tribunal."

(Additional reporting by Dominic Evans and Nazih Siddiq; Editing by Samia Nakhoul)

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70N33820110125

Crystal

User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11629
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2688 on: Jan 25th, 2011, 09:13am »

Defense News

Hold Off on EFV, House Leaders Ask
By CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS
Published: 24 Jan 2011 18:15

The new Republican leaders of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) have asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates not to take action to halt work on the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) before Congress gets a chance to review the idea.

"We specifically request that no 'stop work' orders be issued until our committee has the opportunity to fully examine all of the efficiencies you have proposed," wrote committee chairman Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., in a Jan. 24 letter to Gates.


User Image
photo: Military-Today.com

The letter was also signed by the chairmen of the committee's six permanent subcommittees and its oversight subcommittee.

Gates announced on Jan. 6 he was ending the EFV program, which aims to give provide the Marine Corps with a tracked amphibious vehicle able to travel at least 25 miles at sea at speeds over 30 knots. The move was one of several "efficiencies" Gates presented in an effort to reduce Pentagon spending.

Gates is scheduled to appear before the full HASC on Wednesday to answer questions about his budget-cutting efforts.


http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=5530214&c=AME&s=TOP

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11629
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2689 on: Jan 26th, 2011, 08:50am »

New York Times

After Day of Protests, Egypt Bans New Rallies

User Image
Riot police officers rushed to confront protesters on Tuesday in Cairo
Scott Nelson for The New York Times



January 26 2011
By KAREEM FAHIM and MONA EL-NAGGAR

CAIRO —A day after tens of thousands of people marched in opposition to the nearly 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian authorities on Wednesday outlawed any new gatherings, saying protesters faced “immediate” arrest.

The government made the announcement as protesters using social networking sites urged a second day of street demonstrations. The ban showed the extent to which the government had been rattled by the scale of the unusually large demonstrations.

“No provocative movements or protest gatherings or organizing marches or demonstrations will be allowed,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The protests, running into the early hours of Wednesday and seemingly energized by the toppling of the authoritarian government in Tunisia, began small but grew all day on Tuesday, with protesters occupying one of Cairo’s central squares. Security forces, normally quick to crack down on public dissent, were slow to suppress the demonstrations, allowing them to swell.

But early Wednesday morning, police firing rubber bullets and tear gas grenades succeeded in driving groups of demonstrators from the square as a sit-in grew into a confrontation involving thousands of people.

Plainclothes officers beat several demonstrators and protesters set fire to a police car.

Despite the protesters’ call for a second day of demonstrations, Tahrir Square in central Cairo was clogged with normal traffic at midday, watched by dozens of security officers in armored personnel carriers.

Elsewhere in the city, the authorities seemed prepared for fresh protests and troop carriers were stationed in front of government buildings and in working-class neighborhoods.

On Tuesday, protests also flared in Alexandria, Suez and other cities. There were reports of at least four deaths, including three protesters, and many injuries around the country.

On Wednesday, smaller demonstrations were reported in Cairo and elsewhere. At Cairo’s press and lawyer’s syndicate buildings, more than 100 protesters chanted slogans at hundreds of security officers. “You’re protecting thieves,” they said.

According to The Associated Press, riot police with batons attacked about 100 protesters in the southern city of Assyut, arresting nearly half of them.

Nadeem Mansour, a human rights advocate at the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, said the center had received reports that hundreds of protesters had been arrested in Tuesday’s demonstrations, most of them at night when police clashed with demonstrators.

Photographers in Alexandria caught people tearing up a large portrait of Mr. Mubarak. An Internet video of demonstrations in Mahalla el-Kubra showed the same, while a crowd snapped cellphone photos and cheered. The acts — rare, and bold here — underscored the anger coursing through the protests and the challenge they might pose to the aging and ailing Egyptian leader.

Several observers said the protests represented the largest display of popular dissatisfaction in recent memory, perhaps since 1977, when people across Egypt violently protested the elimination of subsidies for food and other basic goods.

It was not clear whether the size and intensity of the demonstrations — which seemed to shock even the protesters — would or could be sustained.

The government quickly placed blame for the protests on Egypt’s largest opposition movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is tolerated but officially banned. In a statement, the Interior Ministry said the protests were the work of “instigators” led by the Muslim Brotherhood, while the movement declared that it had little to do with them.

The reality that emerged from interviews with protesters — many of whom said they were independents — was more complicated and reflected one of the government’s deepest fears: that opposition to Mr. Mubarak’s rule spreads across ideological lines and includes average people angered by corruption and economic hardship as well as secular and Islamist opponents. That broad support could make it harder for the government to co-opt or crush those demanding change.

“The big, grand ideological narratives were not seen today,” said Amr Hamzawy, research director of the Carnegie Middle East Center. “This was not about ‘Islam is the solution’ or anything else.”

Instead, the protests seemed to reflect a spreading unease with Mr. Mubarak on issues from extension of an emergency law that allows arrests without charge, to his presiding over a stagnant bureaucracy that citizens say is incapable of handling even basic responsibilities.

Their size seemed to represent a breakthrough for opposition groups harassed by the government as they struggle to break Mr. Mubarak’s monopoly on political life.

Scores of demonstrators and more than a dozen soldiers were injured in the Cairo clashes, which lasted hours and included bouts of rock-throwing by both protesters and the police.

There were mixed signals about how the authorities planned to handle the unrest.

Several times Tuesday afternoon, cellphone networks appeared to be blocked or otherwise unavailable for people calling from Tahrir — or Liberation — Square. Many people had trouble getting access to Twitter, the social networking tool that helped spread news of the protests. Twitter confirmed that its site had been blocked in Egypt, Reuters reported.

In the days leading up to the protests, more than 90,000 people signed up on a Facebook page for the “Day of Revolution,” organized by opposition and pro-democracy groups to be held on Police Day, a national holiday. The organizers framed the protest as a stand against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment. The Muslim Brotherhood said it would not officially participate, though some members were among the protesters in Cairo.

But many people said they did not belong to any particular group and were attending their first demonstration. They included Ramy Rafat, 25, who said he lived in El-Marg, an impoverished neighborhood in north Cairo. Mr. Rafat, who has a master’s degree in petroleum geology and is unemployed, said he learned about the protest on a Facebook page for Khaled Said, 28. Mr. Said’s family says police officers fatally beat him last year.

“There are a lot of things wrong with this country,” Mr. Rafat said. “The president has been here for 30 years. Why?”

Aya Sayed Khalil, 23, brought her sister, her mother and her father to the protest. “I told them the revolution was coming,” she said. Asked about their political affiliation, Ms. Khalil’s mother, Mona, said, “We’re just Egyptians.”

The marchers came from all social classes and included young men recording tense moments on cellphone cameras, and middle-age women carrying flags of the Wafd party, one of Egypt’s opposition groups. A doctor, Wesam Abdulaziz, 29, said she had traveled two hours to join the protest. She had been to one demonstration before, concerning the treatment of Mr. Said.

“I came to change the government,” she said. “I came to change the entire regime.”


Liam Stack and Dawlat Magdy contributed reporting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/27/world/middleeast/27egypt.html?_r=1&hp

Crystal




User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11629
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2690 on: Jan 26th, 2011, 08:53am »

New York Times

January 26, 2011
Russia Approves Arms Treaty
By ANDREW E. KRAMER

MOSCOW — The upper chamber of the Russian Parliament gave final approval to the New Start nuclear arms control treaty on Wednesday, a key foreign policy goal of the Obama administration.

“The arms race is a thing of the past,” the chairman of the international affairs committee in the Russian senate, Mikhail Margelov, told Radio Russia on Monday. “The disarmament race is taking its place.”

The treaty, the first major revamping of nuclear disarmament deals since the late cold war era, sets new limits for strategic nuclear warheads and delivery systems, the doomsday weapons of a nuclear exchange. The pact requires the United States and Russia to reduce their nuclear arsenals to levels slightly lower than today’s — down to 1,550 warheads each, from between 1,700 and 2,200 now — within seven years of ratification, and to immediately renew mutual inspections.

Initially seen as a jumping off point for more ambitious reductions in nuclear weapons held by both countries, the treaty proved far harder to ratify in the United States than expected. It was approved late last month, after a bruising Senate fight.

The Russian process — in a Parliament dominated by pro-Kremlin parties — went more smoothly, and usually hard-line figures here were making celebratory comments earlier this week.

Duma members had voted 350 to 56 for the treaty on Tuesday, far surpassing the 226 votes needed for ratification. Only the Communist and Liberal Democratic parties voted against the treaty.

But, mirroring the process that occurred earlier in the United States Senate, the Russians intend to append a nonbinding statement of interpretation that will formalize what amounts to an agreement to disagree on the American missile defense program, which Russia opposes.

The treaty’s preamble notes a connection between offensive and defense strategic weapons that the United States has interpreted to mean that the treaty does not impose limits on missile-defense systems. The Russians are expected to say, in commentary to be released after ratification, that it does.

“They are welcome to interpret any language of the treaty as they want, but that interpretation is not legally binding on the United States,” Micah Zenko, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said in a telephone interview.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/27/world/europe/27start.html?ref=world

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11629
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2691 on: Jan 26th, 2011, 09:02am »

Wired

Jan. 26, 1983: Spreadsheet as Easy as 1-2-3
By Dylan Tweney
January 26, 2011 | 7:00 am
Categories: 20th century, Business and Industry, Computers and IT



User Image
Image: Lotus 1-2-3 may look primitive today, but the breakthrough software gave the world a new way of doing business.
Screenshot: IBM



1983: Lotus begins selling its spreadsheet application for Microsoft DOS, called 1-2-3.

1-2-3 was not the first spreadsheet application — it was preceded by VisiCalc. But 1-2-3 quickly became the most popular, helping to boost sales of IBM PCs and PC clones, all of which ran DOS, and facilitating the rapid rise of Microsoft’s operating system.

VisiCalc was the first killer application for the Apple II computer. It, too, was not only a hit for its maker, Software Arts, but also helped propel Apple to the big time. Software Arts later released versions for the Atari 8-bit computer, the Commodore PET, the TRS-80 and the IBM PC.

But those versions came too late to unseat 1-2-3, whose built-in charting and graphing capabilities, plus its support for macros, helped it in short order to begin outselling VisiCalc. Lotus Development Corp. sold $53 million worth of the software in the company’s first year of existence, and 1-2-3 quickly came to dominate the business software market in the mid and late 1980s.

Spreadsheet software, which seems commonplace and rather boring today, was a major breakthrough for personal computing. Sure, it made it easy to keep track of columns of numbers, such as sales receipts, paychecks, expenses or even athletic records.

But the real power of the spreadsheet was the ability it gave business people to run quick and easy “what-if” calculations. What if we lowered the price of our widgets by $10? What if mortgage rates drop to 5 percent and we refinance? What if we laid off 5,000 workers and shuttered our Kalamazoo plant, then outsourced manufacturing to a Chinese company for less than half the price?

Technology pundit John C. Dvorak has lamented the effects of the “what-if society,” saying that corporate executives have become slavish devotees of spreadsheet scenarios, failing to make decisions based on what customers actually want. But there’s no doubt that the spreadsheet has given companies, both large and small, a far better picture of their bottom lines. For better or worse, that power has transformed American business and the economy.

1-2-3’s reign lasted nearly five years, dwindling only when the company failed to make the transition from DOS to the increasingly Windows-centric world of the late 1980s and early 1990s. By comparison, Microsoft Excel was much easier to learn than the forbiddingly austere, black-and-green text screen of Lotus’ product, and by 1989 Excel had started to outsell 1-2-3.

But something was lost in the switch to graphical user interfaces. While easier to learn, power users lamented the slowness of Excel, which requires you to use a mouse for nearly every action. By contrast, skilled users of 1-2-3 could accomplish complicated computing and formatting tasks nearly instantaneously, with a few quick keystrokes — keystrokes that often became second nature as they disappeared from conscious thought into muscle memory.

Lotus founder Mitch Kapor left the company he created in the 1980s and went on to co-found the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1990. He was founding chairman of the Mozilla Foundation in 2003 and served on its board until recently. His company, Lotus, went on to create another incredibly successful business application, Lotus Notes, which is still used by many companies today. Since 1995, Lotus has been a division of IBM.

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2011/01/0126lotus-1-2-3/

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11629
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2692 on: Jan 26th, 2011, 09:04am »

Be back in a bit...................

User Image


Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11629
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2693 on: Jan 26th, 2011, 11:26am »

Reuters

Algeria steps up grain imports, eyes Tunisia "virus"
By Lamine Chikhi and Valerie Parent
ALGIERS/PARIS | Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:40am EST

(Reuters) - Algeria confirmed it bought almost a million tons of wheat on Wednesday and ordered an urgent speeding up of grain imports, a move seen heading off unrest over food prices as protests swept north Africa.

The energy exporting nation has scrambled to buy grain during a tumultuous month in the region which has seen Tunisia's President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali exile himself to Saudi Arabia and rare protests break out at home and in Egypt.

A rise in food prices in Tunisia, high unemployment and a widening gap between rich and poor combined to help spark deadly riots which brought down the ruling regime.

State grain buyer OAIC on Wednesday confirmed it bought 800,000 tons of wheat, bringing its bread wheat purchases since the start of January to at least 1.75 million tons. Over the past five weeks the north African state has in addition bought at least 800,000 tons durum wheat, used to make pasta.

Agriculture minister Rachid Benaissa was quoted by Algeria's official APS news agency as saying its wheat purchases were not exceptional but a measure to build up stocks.

International grain markets, however, reacted to the Algerian news by pushing higher with U.S. wheat up more than 1 percent to its highest since August 2008 and European wheat futures at new highs, anticipating higher demand from key importers nervous about food security amid civil unrest.

Chicago Board of Trade wheat for March delivery was up 1.3 percent at $8.40 a bushel at 1450 GMT. European benchmark prices in Paris touched new highs, with Paris March wheat up 3.75 euros or 1.4 percent at 266.25 euros a ton.

Concerns that other regimes in north Africa and the Middle East may suffer a Tunisia "contagion" have helped send wheat prices spiking to multi-year highs on international markets. "It looks like Algeria is coming into the market to prevent the 'Tunisia virus' spreading," one German trader said. "Keeping food prices down is one way of keeping your people happy."

The United Nations Food Agency said on Wednesday that new price shocks have raised serious concerns about implications for food markets in vulnerable countries with prices close to levels that triggered food riots in 2007/08.

DAYS OF RIOTING

Rising food prices sparked days of rioting in several Algerian towns including the capital earlier this month. Two people died and hundreds were injured during clashes between rioters and police, officials said.

To calm the situation, Algeria has decided to cut the cost of some foodstuffs and to increase by 18 percent the amount of soft wheat it supplies to the local market each month. Other countries in the region have this month either relaxed food taxes or duties on food imports or cut prices of staple foods.

In remarks attributed to Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia a government source stressed the urgency of the grain import program and emphasized the move was firmly aimed at ensuring food security.

"I want you urgently to order the OAIC (state grain agency) to speed up the pace of imports of soft wheat and durum wheat," the source quoted Ouyahia as saying in the instruction issued earlier in January, which was circulated to officials.

"The government expects the imports to guarantee all the needs of the people for this commodity."

Analysts were quick to make the link to food security at a time when wheat supply has tightened after weather related problems, including last year's drought in the Black Sea and flooding damage in Australia which has hit crop quality.

"All these countries are scared stiff, especially when you see what is happening in Egypt," French analyst Michel Portier from Agritel said, noting that he expected Cairo to tender to buy more wheat soon.

EGYPT

Regional neighbor Egypt, grappling with unprecedented protests against President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule, on Wednesday said it had six months of wheat supply and that its buying program was normal.

Nomani Nomani, vice chairman of the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), told Reuters: "Further contracts will just be to secure strategic supplies."

Saudi Arabia, which on Monday expressed concern that a global rise in food prices could drive up inflation, earlier this month said it hoped to double wheat reserves to a year's worth within three years.

Talk circulated in European grain markets on Wednesday that the Gulf kingdom could be looking to tender for as much as 500,000 tons of wheat soon.

"There is still wheat around even though prices are high," the German trader said, stressing that oil rich countries were well placed to meet rising prices. (Writing by Christian Lowe and Keiron Henderson; additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg, and Sybille De La Hamaide in Paris; Editing by Nigel Hunt and Veronica Brown)

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70P3PY20110126

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11629
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2694 on: Jan 26th, 2011, 11:30am »

LA Times

Afghan parliament sworn in despite President Hamid Karzai's opposition.

The inauguration of parliament, pushed by the West, takes place despite Hamid Karzai's move to delay the opening of the session. Critics say he had hoped to alter the outcome of the September vote, widely seen as flawed.

By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
6:30 AM PST, January 26, 2011
Reporting from Kabul


President Hamid Karzai, acting under heavy Western pressure, inaugurated the country's new parliament on Wednesday but made plain his pique over being foiled in his efforts to delay the start of the session.

The swearing-in took place more than four months after a fraud-riddled vote for the lower house of the legislature, with no resolution in sight to conflicting claims over the election's validity. Karzai set up a special court to resolve dozens of disputed races, but that move has been widely criticized as unconstitutional.

The Afghan leader last week tried to put off the inauguration for another month, but lawmakers rebelled and threatened to open the session themselves, even though the country's president is legally obliged to preside over the swearing-in.

Addressing lawmakers after administering the oath of office, Karzai urged them to work together for the good of the country. But he revived the contentious tone of the election by taking a swipe at his Western patrons, who had strongly urged that the new session of parliament begin as scheduled.

"During the election process, we faced serious problems in safeguarding people's votes, in preventing fraud and from the interference of foreigners," the Afghan leader said.

Critics said Karzai wanted to delay the opening session because he hoped to alter the outcome of the Sept. 18 vote, in which some incumbent lawmakers considered allies of the president lost their seats. Now that the parliament has been sworn in, it is unclear whether any lawmakers implicated in vote fraud by the tribunal could be removed.

The parliamentary election was supposed to have been a centerpiece of Western efforts to help bring about better governance in Afghanistan, which is seen as a bulwark against the insurgency. But like the presidential election a year earlier, it triggered a fresh wave of bitterness and cynicism among ordinary Afghans about cronyism and corruption in the government.

Karzai has sought to direct some of that public anger toward the West, contending — as he did in the wake of the presidential election — that foreigners had meddled improperly in the parliamentary vote. The Afghan leader's relations with the Obama administration and other Western governments have been tense and prickly since the August 2009 presidential balloting, in which about one-third of the votes cast for Karzai were thrown out by a U.N.-backed oversight commission.

Although the parliamentary vote was universally acknowledged to have been deeply flawed, Western diplomats and the NATO force praised election officials for managing to carry off the balloting despite violence and intimidation and urged that the new parliament swiftly begin legislative business. The parliament is considered an important check on Karzai's power.

The inauguration defused for the moment the president's standoff with lawmakers. But rulings by the special election tribunal, the timing of which are uncertain, could once again throw the political scene into turmoil. The new lawmakers had tried unsuccessfully to get the president to dissolve the tribunal, whose legality is considered questionable by constitutional experts.

In his speech, Karzai referred to the suffering caused by the nearly decade-long war, which began with the U.S.-led invasion of 2001 that toppled the Taliban movement. "Thousands of people have been killed — women, children, our elders, soldiers," he said.

He was upbeat, however, about prospects that Afghan security forces will be able to take the lead in safeguarding the country by 2014, which could pave the way for the withdrawal of large numbers of foreign troops. The NATO force now numbers about 150,000, two-thirds of them Americans.

The Taliban, in a statement issued shortly after the swearing-in, mocked the event, calling the parliament part of a "puppet regime" and the inauguration a "drama meant to deceive people."


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghanistan-parliament-20110127,0,3404469.story

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
Swamprat
Gold Member
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 3731
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2695 on: Jan 26th, 2011, 3:24pm »

I have no idea what that little blue pill was,,,,,,but, boy! I sure am relaxed!!


User Image
User IP Logged

"Let's see what's over there."
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11629
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2696 on: Jan 26th, 2011, 4:28pm »

Hey Swamp!
Thanks for that photo. Dogs get into the goofiest positions sometimes!
Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11629
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2697 on: Jan 26th, 2011, 4:34pm »

Then there are times when the humans just pick on the poor dog.......... grin

User Image
"Yoda"
mean human photographer unknown



Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11629
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2698 on: Jan 26th, 2011, 9:58pm »






Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11629
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2699 on: Jan 27th, 2011, 08:12am »

New York Times

Storm Shuts City’s Schools and Buses

By ANAHAD O’CONNOR
Published: January 27 2011

User Image
Steve Berman/The New York Times
A limousine, unable to drive uphill going west on 57th Street in Manhattan, was pushed back onto 6th Avenue by passersby.



For at least the fifth time this season, a major snowstorm crawled up the eastern seaboard and swept across the Northeast early Thursday, dumping fresh snow on top of streets already covered in icy slush and disrupting the commutes of millions of people.

The powerful storm, appearing as a giant white smudge over the Northeast on radar maps, arrived in two parts, coating the region with rain and several inches of snow early Wednesday and then dumping up to an additional foot of snow in some places overnight Thursday.

In New York City, the wintry one-two punch caused all non-emergency city government offices to close on Thursday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced through Twitter. The Department of Education said that all public schools across the five boroughs would be closed for the day.

Across the New York region, hundreds of flights were canceled, and the Port Authority later closed Newark, Teterboro, and John F. Kennedy Airports. The Metropolitan Transit Authority suspended all of its bus services across New York City and Long Island early Thursday. The Long Island Rail Road said it would operate a reduced weekday morning schedule, while the Metro-North Railroad said its Harlem and Hudson lines would run on a Saturday schedule. The Nor’easter created a fresh sense of snow fatigue in a region that has been unusually battered by storms. Trying to prevent a repeat of the problems associated with a late December blizzard, when streets went unplowed for days, New York City sent out more than 2,000 salt spreaders, snow plows and other vehicles to clear the streets.

Even before the storm started walloping the region overnight, the National Weather Service had estimated that more than 37 inches of snow — almost double the winter average — had fallen in Central Park this winter. The overnight storms broke January snowfall records for Central Park, Newark, LaGuardia Airport, Bridgeport and Islip, the Weather Service said Thursday morning.

Heavy overnight snowfalls included Central Park with 15 inches; East Rutherford, N.J., with 15.5 inches; and West Norwalk, Conn., with 17 inches, the Weather Service said.

On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Bloomberg declared a weather emergency. The weather declaration wasn’t the only one that warned of another midwinter mess. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning through 6 a.m. Thursday for the city, Long Island and parts of northeastern New Jersey. The Weather Service also issued a coastal flood advisory through 5 a.m., warning residents along the coasts in parts of Connecticut, New Jersey and Long Island that streets and roadways could experience minor flooding.

New Jersey Transit said early Thursday that it had suspended its service systemwide except for selected routes to and from Atlantic City. Amtrak, meanwhile, said it would try to maintain normal service between Boston and New York but warned customers to expect delays.

The snow hit some regions harder than others. In Washington, D.C., downed power lines left hundreds of thousands of customers without power on Wednesday, and officials were warning residents to keep their cars off the snow-slicked roads. The weather even played havoc with President Barack Obama’s schedule: After returning to Washington from a quick trip to Wisconsin on Wednesday, Mr. Obama’s motorcade spent an hour in rush hour traffic. He was supposed to return to the White House by helicopter, the Associated Press reported, but Marine one was grounded because of the weather.

Back in New York, Mr. Bloomberg’s weather-emergency declaration — which is not the same as a snow emergency — meant that alternate-side parking and parking-meter payments were being suspended immediately. So were garbage pickups, at least “until further notice,” according to the declaration.

The storm posed another challenge for the mayor, who came under withering criticism for the city’s handling of a blizzard that paralyzed much of the city after Christmas, with streets left uncleared of snow for days.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: January 27, 2011
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Port Authority had closed La Guardia airport early on Thursday morning. It was Teterboro Airport that was closed, not La Guardia.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/nyregion/28snow.html?_r=1&hp

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
Pages: 1 ... 178 179 180 181 182  ...  1070 Notify Send Topic Print
« Previous Topic | Next Topic »

Become a member of the UFO Casebook Forum today and join our more than 18,000 members.

Visit the UFO Casebook Web Site

Donate $6.99 for 50,000 Ad-Free Pageviews!

| |

This forum powered for FREE by Conforums ©
Sign up for your own Free Message Board today!
Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Conforums Support | Parental Controls