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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 70436 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #2865 on: Feb 8th, 2011, 5:38pm »

Wired Danger Room

Kremlin Chops Top Terror-Hunters
By Adam Rawnsley
February 8, 2011 | 5:17 pm
Categories: Russia


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photo Pravda


Here in the U.S., top security officials get to keep their jobs, even after terrorists sneak onto airplanes and fly them into skyscrapers. In Russia, they’re not so forgiving. After last month’s deadly bombing at the Moscow airport, the Kremlin is responding with two simple words: you’re fired.

Two officials from Russia’s domestic security outfit, the Federal Security Service (FSB), were fired today. The deputy chief of the anti-terrorism bureau and the chief of the economic security were kicked to the curb for their failure to prevent the airport bombing, which killed 36 — and marked the second major terrorist incident in Moscow in less than a year. In March, Islamist suicide bombers from the North Caucus region killed 40 on Moscow’s subway system.

Russian approaches to terrorism from the Caucasus have varied over the years from harsh crackdowns to softer attempts at addressing so-called “root causes.” President Dmitry Medvedev’s plan to develop the North Caucasus by turning it into a ski resort now seems unlikely, to say the least. With few new options, the Russian government has opted to respond to the public anger with largely symbolic dismissals of relatively low-level officials.

This isn’t the first time the FSB has been (very publicly) blamed for security lapses. Late last year, the domestic spook agency caught the rap for missing a set of mysterious — and likely fictional — colonels said to be responsible for betraying Russia’s sleeper network in the United States.

But it’s not just the intel community that’s been in the crosshairs over the airport attack. Russian police and transport officials have also been booted for their apparent security lapses. Shortly after the airport attack, President Dmitry Medvedev cited “systemic shortcomings” in security, claiming that authorities should have picked up on the plot since “Moving such an amount of explosives requires real effort.” Medvedev subsequently fired four police officials.

And not to be outdone by the Robin to his Batman, today Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin canned Gennady Kurzenkovas, head of Russia’s Transport Inspection service, “at his own request.”

Whether Russia is able to move beyond the political theater and settle on an effective strategy, though, remains to be seen. In the meantime, Dokka Abu Usman, the leader of a Caucus-based Islamist terrorist group based in the Northern Caucasus has claimed responsibility for the airport blast, pledging that such “special operations” will continue.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/02/kremlin-chops-top-terror-hunters/

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« Reply #2866 on: Feb 8th, 2011, 7:29pm »

Phantoms and Monsters

Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Insectoid Abduction: The North Canol Road Incident


The following case was investigated by Martin Jasek who lived in Edmonton, Alberta. Jasek attended the University of Alberta where he obtained his Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering in 1986 and his Masters degree in Water Resources Engineering in 1992. In 1993 he moved to Whitehorse, Yukon Territories to work for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Water Resources Division. In 1995 he started to develop an interest in Ufology. In 1996 he started collaboration with his neighbor Lorraine Bretlyn who had a lifelong interest in the subject. In the Spring of 1997 he teamed up with UFO*BC and become their Yukon Representative.

The Abduction on the North Canol Road

By Martin Jasek, M.Sc., P. Eng.

I first met Kevin on July 8, 2000 while attending a UFO conference in St. Paul, Alberta. I had just finished a presentation on Yukon UFO sightings when he approached me. He was very quiet and reserved and basically told me that he used to live in Ross River, Yukon and had heard and seen strange things up there. He proceeded to write down his contact information for me as the hustle and bustle of the conference prevented a personal conversation. The next day, as the conference was drawing to a close, Kevin approached me again. He said he was leaving now as he had a fairly lengthy drive home. But before he left, he wanted to show me something so that I would know what he was talking about when we later talked on the phone. He then showed me the palms of his hands. Wow, what he showed me certainly peaked my interest and he briefly stated some of the background. I'll leave it to the reader to read through "Kevin's Account" as not to take away from the incredible experience.

After the conference I returned to my home in Whitehorse and Kevin returned to his life in a small Alberta town. It was fortunate that with my work I was able to travel to many parts of the Yukon and at my earliest opportunity (Sept 12, 2000), I traveled up the North Canol Road. Prior to the trip, Kevin provided a detailed description of the location where his experience took place and narrowed it down to a 6 km stretch of road, west of a vacant RCMP trailer. I took photographs of five locations along this stretch that would potentially match Kevin's description. There was one location in particular that matched every detail very well. I mailed all sets of five location photos to him and he quickly replied that one location, the same one that I favoured, was the correct one. There "is no doubt in his mind" he replied. He added information to the photos such as the trajectory of the UFO, the location where the aliens stood, etc. The graphics depicting what Kevin witnessed are of the actual locations. We hope that these along with the artwork add to the realism of Kevin's account.

drawings and more after the jump
http://naturalplane.blogspot.com/2011/02/insectoid-abduction-north-canol-road.html

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« Reply #2867 on: Feb 9th, 2011, 08:23am »

New York Times

February 9, 2011
Prosecutors Seek Immediate Trial in Berlusconi Sex Case
By RACHEL DONADIO

ROME — A defiant Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Wednesday that he would continue to govern Italy even as Milan prosecutors filed a request to try him on criminal charges related to prostitution and abuse of office.

Prosecutor Edmondo Bruti Liberati announced Wednesday that his office had enough evidence to ask a judge to waive preliminary hearings and call for an immediate trial of Mr. Berlusconi on charges that he paid for sex with a 17 year old and abused his office by calling the police to intervene on her behalf after she was detained for petty theft in May.

Mr. Berlusconi has denied wrongdoing. At a news conference on Wednesday to present an economic plan to revive Italy’s stagnant growth, he accused prosecutors of having “subversive aims” and vowed to fight the charges.

“I’m sorry that these things have offended the dignity of our country, have slung mud on our country and on our government and on me personally, internationally,” Mr. Berlusconi said, referring to the prosecutors.

They assert that Mr. Berlusconi paid for sex with Karima el-Mahroug, a Moroccan-born nightclub dancer nicknamed Ruby Heart-Stealer, before she turned 18, and that he called police to help release her from custody after she was detained for theft in Milan in May.

On Wednesday, Mr. Berlusconi said he had called police to intervene on Ms. Mahroug’s behalf because he had been told that she was the niece of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. “I intervened as prime minister because I was concerned that there might be an international diplomatic incident,” Mr. Berlusconi said, adding that he “always” helped “people in difficulty.”

Ms. Mahroug has said that she did not have sex with the prime minister but that he did pay her 7,000 euros, or about $9,500, the first time she attended a party at his villa outside Milan last spring. Paying for sex with a minor under 18 is illegal in Italy.

Although the scandal has been raging in the Italian news media for weeks and unsettling a growing number of Italians, it has not translated into political defeat for the prime minister, who holds a narrow majority in Parliament. The center-left opposition is weak, and Mr. Berlusconi’s center-right coalition has shown no clear intention of replacing him.

Yet the political climate remains uncertain, and no one has ruled out early elections. “Every day the risk of a short circuit gets closer,” the political columnist Stefano Folli wrote in the financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore on Wednesday.

In the past, Mr. Berlusconi has emerged largely unscathed from a dizzying number of trials. He has railed for decades against prosecutors and used his private television and media empire to help shape Italian public opinion. Most Italians have little faith in their justice system.

“I think Berlusconi is in a position to move beyond the Ruby scandal media-wise, but I’m not sure if he can move beyond it in the courts,” said Italo Bocchino, a leader of Future and Liberty, a faction that broke away from Mr. Berlusconi’s center-right coalition last year but largely supported him in an important confidence vote in December.

Last week, the government passed a contentious tax-restructuring measure championed by the Northern League, the most powerful party in the center-right coalition, which had said it would bring down the government if the effort failed.

But the president of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, subsequently disputed the plan on technical grounds and said he would not approve the current version. He is expected to meet with the leader of the Northern League later on Wednesday.

Besides the so-called Rubygate scandal, Mr. Berlusconi faces other legal hurdles. Last month, Italy’s Constitutional Court partially lifted his immunity, a ruling that reactivated three other trials against him, including one in which his former tax lawyer, David Mills, was convicted of taking a bribe in exchange for false testimony.

Last year, a court threw out the case against Mr. Mills, saying the statute of limitations had run out. But on Tuesday, prosecutors said they would reopen the trial with Mr. Berlusconi as a defendant.

A large anti-Berlusconi demonstration was held in Milan last weekend and others are planned Sunday in cities throughout Italy.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/10/world/europe/10italy.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #2868 on: Feb 9th, 2011, 08:29am »

New York Times

Protest in Egypt Takes a Turn as Workers Go on Strike
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Published: February 9, 2011

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Ben Curtis/Associated Press
Striking museum workers outside the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo on Wednesday.



CAIRO — Protesters demanding the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak appeared on Wednesday to have recaptured the initiative in their battle with his government, demonstrating a new ability to mobilize thousands to take over Cairo’s streets beyond their headquarters at Tahrir Square and to spark labor unrest.

The pressure on Mr. Mubarak intensified after the largest crowd of protesters in two weeks flooded Cairo’s streets on Tuesday and the United States delivered its most specific demands yet, urging swift steps toward democracy. Some of the protesters had been inspired by an emotional interview with an online political organizer on Egypt’s most popular talk show.

At dawn on Wednesday, hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators remained camped out at Parliament, where they had marched for the first time on Tuesday. On the 16th day of the uprising, there were reports of thousands demonstrating in several other cities around the country while protesters began to gather again in Tahrir Square.

By midday, hundreds of workers from the Health Ministry, adjacent to Parliament and several hundred yards from Tahrir Square, also took to the streets in a protest whose exact focus was not immediately clear, Interior Ministry officials said.

Violent clashes between opponents and supporters of President Mubarak led to more than 70 injuries in recent days, the state-owned newspaper Al Ahram reported, while government officials said the protests had spread to the previously quiet southern region of Upper Egypt. On Tuesday, the officials said, thousands protested in the city of Wadi El Jedid. One person died and 61 were injured, including seven from gunfire by the authorities, the officials said. Television images also showed crowds gathering in Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city.

Increasingly, the political clamor for Mr. Mubarak’s ouster seemed to be complemented by strikes and stoppages among workers in Cairo and elsewhere.

In the most potentially significant action, about 6,000 workers at five service companies owned by the Suez Canal Authority — a major component of the Egyptian economy — began a sit-in on Tuesday night. There was no immediate suggestion of disruptions to shipping in the canal, a vital international waterway leading from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

More than 2,000 textile workers and others in Suez demonstrated as well, Al Ahram reported, while in Luxor thousands hurt by the collapse of the tourist industry marched to demand government benefits. There was no immediate independent corroboration of the reports. Al Ahram’s coverage was a departure from its usual practice of avoiding reporting that might embarrass the government.

At one factory in the textile town of Mahalla, more than striking 1,500 workers blocked roads, continuing a long-running dispute with the owner. And more than 2,000 workers from the Sigma pharmaceutical company in the city of Quesna went on strike while some 5,000 unemployed youth stormed a government building in Aswan, demanding the dismissal of the governor.

For many foreign visitors to Egypt, Aswan is known as a starting point or destination for luxury cruises to and from Luxor on the Nile River.

In Cairo, sanitation workers demonstrated around their headquarters in Dokki.

In the lobby of Al Ahram — the flagship government newspaper and a cornerstone of the Egyptian establishment — journalists on Wednesday were in open revolt against the newspaper’s management and editorial policies.

Some called their protest a microcosm of the Egyptian uprising, with young journalists leading demands for better working conditions and less biased coverage. “We want a voice,” said Sara Ramadan, 23, a sports reporter.

The turmoil at the newspaper has already changed editorial content, with the English-language online edition openly criticizing what it called “the warped and falsified coverage by state media” of the protests in Tahrir Square and elsewhere.

Several of the dozens of protesters occupying the lobby on Wednesday said the editor of the English-language division heads to the square to join the protests every night, joined by many of the staff.

The scattered protests and labor unrest seemed symptomatic of an emerging trend for some Egyptians to air an array of grievances, some related to the protests and some of an older origin.

In Port Said on the Suez Canal, about 300 slum dwellers set fire to some parts of the local government’s administration building and torched several motorcycles, protesting a lack of state-financed housing, Reuters reported. Police did not interfere, and the protesters set up tents in the city’s central Martyrs’ Square, similar to those in Tahrir Square.

On Tuesday, in a war of attrition with protesters for public opinion, Egyptian officials sought once more to declare the revolt a thing of the past.

Vice President Omar Suleiman, who is leading an American-endorsed “orderly transition” toward elections in September, said Mr. Mubarak had appointed a committee of judges and legal scholars to propose constitutional amendments.

The committee put Egypt “on the path of peaceful and orderly transition of power,” Mr. Suleiman said on state television.

All the members, however, are considered Mubarak loyalists. Although broadly committed to a transition, the Obama administration was trying to influence many of the details. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. called Mr. Suleiman to ask him to lift the 30-year emergency law that the government has used to suppress and imprison opposition leaders, to stop imprisoning protesters and journalists, and to invite demonstrators to help develop a specific timetable for opening up the political process. He also asked Mr. Suleiman to open talks on Egypt’s political future to a wider range of opposition members.

Mr. Suleiman has said only that Egypt will remove the emergency law when the situation justifies its repeal, and the harassment and arrest of journalists and human rights activists has continued even in the last few days.

Mr. Suleiman warned the protesters, most of whom are opposed to any negotiations while Mr. Mubarak is in power, that the only alternative to talks is a “a coup.”

“And we want to avoid that — meaning uncalculated and hasty steps that produce more irrationality,” he said, according to the official news agency.

“There will be no ending of the regime, nor a coup, because that means chaos,” Mr. Suleiman said. And he warned the protesters not to attempt more civil disobedience, calling it “extremely dangerous.” He added, “We absolutely do not tolerate it.”

On Tuesday , young organizers guiding the movement from a tent city inside Tahrir Square, or Liberation Square, showed the discipline and stamina that they say will help them outlast Mr. Mubarak and Mr. Suleiman, even if their revolt devolves into a war of attrition.

Many in the crowd, for example, said they had turned out because organizers had spread the word over loudspeakers and online media for demonstrators to concentrate their efforts on just Tuesdays and Fridays, enabling their supporters to rest in between. And while Mr. Mubarak remains in office, they say, there is no turning back.

The independent group Human Rights Watch said that it had confirmed more than 300 fatalities during the protests by visiting hospitals in a few Egyptian cities. “The government wanted to say that life was returning to normal,” said Mahmoud Mustafa, a 25-year-old protester standing in front of Parliament. “We’re saying it’s not.”

Many in the crowd said that they were newly inspired by the interview on Monday night with Wael Ghonim, a Google executive, who had been the anonymous administrator of a Facebook group that enlisted tens of thousands to oppose the Mubarak government by publicizing a young Egyptian’s beating death at the hands of its reviled police force.

In a tearful conversation, Mr. Ghonim told the story of his “kidnapping,” secret imprisonment in blindfolded isolation for 12 days and determination to overturn Egypt’s authoritarian government. And on Tuesday, both Mr. Ghonim and the host, Mona el-Shazly, came to Tahrir Square to cheer on the revolt.

Some protesters said they saw the broadcast as a potential turning point in a propaganda war that has so far gone badly against them, with the state-run television network and newspapers portraying the crowds in Tahrir Square as a dwindling band of obstructionists doing the bidding of foreign interests.

Organizers had hinted in recent days that they intended to expand out of the square to keep the pressure on the government. Then, around 3 p.m., a bearded man with a bullhorn led a procession around the tanks guarding the square and down several blocks to the Parliament. Many of the protesters still wore bandages on their heads from a 12-hour war of rocks and stones against Mubarak loyalists a few days before.

“Parliament is a great pressure point,” said Ahmed el-Droubi, a biologist. “What we need to do is unite this protest and Tahrir, and that is just the first step. Then we will expand further until Mr. Mubarak gets the point.”

more after the jump
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/10/world/middleeast/10egypt.html?ref=world

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« Reply #2869 on: Feb 9th, 2011, 08:36am »

Telegraph

Finns to revive beer from 19th century shipwreck

Finnish scientists are analysing a golden, cloudy beverage found
in a 19th century shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea,
hoping new beers can be modelled on an ancient brew.

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The beer in question is one of the world's oldest preserved beers, and VTT is to study
the contents of the bottle to determine what kind of a recipe was used in the brewing
Photo: AP



12:40AM GMT 09 Feb 2011

The VTT Technical Research Center of Finland said on Tuesday that through chemical analysis it aims to determine the ingredients and possibly the recipe used in brewing what it called "one of the world's oldest preserved beers."

VTT scientist Arvi Vilpola said he had "the honourable task" of being the one on the research team to sample the brew.

"It was a little sour and you could taste the saltiness of it slightly," Vilpola said.

Divers stumbled across the five beer bottles while salvaging champagne from the wreck near Finland's Aland Islands last July. The schooner is believed to be from the early 19th century.

Researchers are keen to find out what kind of yeast was used because "the role of yeast in beer brewing was not yet fully understood in the early 1800s," said VTT spokeswoman Annika Wilhelmson.

Also, scientists are unsure whether yeast can survive two centuries in the cold seabed at a depth of 160 feet (50 meters).

"We have seen yeast cells in it under the microscope ... but we don't know whether they are live yeast cells. It's like digging up a graveyard and hoping that you'll find somebody there," said John Londesborough, a scientist from the research team. "We've found some bodies in pretty good condition."

The wreck and its finds belong to the semiautonomous islands, situated between Finland and Sweden, which hopes to be able to develop a new beer if scientists are successful.

"It would good to get the ingredients so that breweries could re-brew a new product from it," said Rainer Jusslin, a member of the provincial Aland government.

Divers recovered 168 bottles of champagne from the wreck – of the brands Veuve Clicquot and the now defunct Juglar.

At a tasting in November, Veuve Clicquot confirmed that experts "were able to identify with absolute certainty" that at least three of the recovered bottles were Veuve Clicquot.

Aland officials said the champagne will be sold at an auction where it could fetch more than $70,000 apiece.

The VVT team said it expects to publish its findings in May.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8312492/Finns-to-revive-beer-from-19th-century-shipwreck.html

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« Reply #2870 on: Feb 9th, 2011, 08:43am »

Wired Threat Level

House Fails to Extend Patriot Act Spy Powers
By David Kravets
February 8, 2011 | 7:21 pm
Categories: Sunshine and Secrecy, Surveillance

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Illustration: American Civil Liberties Union


The House failed to extend three key expiring provisions of the Patriot Act on Tuesday, elements granting the government broad and nearly unchecked surveillance power on its own public.

The act was hastily adopted six weeks after the 2001 terror attacks. Three measures of the act are set to expire at month’s end, and the House’s lack of a two-thirds vote on Tuesday failed to move the sunsetting deadline to Dec. 8, as proposed. The vote was 277-148.

The failure of the bill, sponsored by Rep. James F. Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wisconsin), for the time being is likely to give airtime to competing measures in the Senate that would place limited checks on the act’s broad surveillance powers. The White House, meanwhile, said it wanted the expiring measures extended through 2013.

The three expiring Patriot Act provisions are:

• The “roving wiretap” provision allows the FBI to obtain wiretaps from a secret intelligence court, known as the FISA court, without identifying what method of communication is to be tapped.

• The “lone wolf” measure allows FISA court warrants for the electronic monitoring of a person for whatever reason — even without showing that the suspect is an agent of a foreign power or a terrorist. The government has said it has never invoked that provision, but the Obama administration said it wanted to retain the authority to do so.

• The “business records” provision allows FISA court warrants for any type of record, from banking to library to medical, without the government having to declare that the information sought is connected to a terrorism or espionage investigation.

The same provisions were set to sunset in December of 2009. Congress extended the deadline until the end of February 2010 in a bid to work out compromise legislation. When that failed, lawmakers punted for a year, declaring that those measures would expire at the end of this month unless new action was taken.

“The entire justification of the last Patriot Act extension for a year was that there was no time before the deadline to consider the range of proposals. The excuse was we would have this full year to consider. And then Congress did nothing,” said Kevin Bankston, a privacy attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/02/patriot-act-notextended/

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« Reply #2871 on: Feb 9th, 2011, 08:47am »

Hey, Crystal! Check out who AJ has on this week! wink


http://ufocasebook.conforums.com/index.cgi?board=interviews&action=display&num=1286328614&start=0#1297262713
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« Reply #2872 on: Feb 9th, 2011, 08:50am »

Wired

Feb. 9, 1969: Behemoth Aloft
By Tony Long
February 9, 2010 | 12:00 am
Categories: 20th century, Transportation

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Photo courtesy Arpingstone


1969: Boeing successfully tests its new 747 jumbo jet.

As commercial air travel boomed in the 1960s, the need for a plane capable of handling more passengers than Boeing’s reliable old warhorse, the 707, became obvious. But the technology of jet-engine design was changing rapidly, too, and the feeling was that any new aircraft built using existing subsonic engines would soon be made obsolete by planes capable of supersonic flight.

So the 747 was designed to be easily convertible to hauling cargo, which Boeing believed would ensure its long-term sustainability.

Configured for commercial passenger service, the original 747-100 could carry more than twice as many passengers as the 707, between 366 and 452. It was propelled by four Pratt & Whitney high-bypass turbofan jets and designed with a number of redundancies and backup systems to ensure maximum safety of the aircraft. The first 747 entered commercial service with Pan American Airways in 1970.

In the end, commercial supersonic flight proved a bust, for various financial, environmental and technical reasons. The 747, meanwhile, expected to be obsolete after 400 were built, surpassed 1,000 aircraft in 1993 and, with several series modifications, remains in production to this day.

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2010/02/0209boeing-747-flies/

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« Reply #2873 on: Feb 9th, 2011, 08:54am »

on Feb 9th, 2011, 08:47am, Swamprat wrote:
Hey, Crystal! Check out who AJ has on this week! wink


http://ufocasebook.conforums.com/index.cgi?board=interviews&action=display&num=1286328614&start=0#1297262713


Hey Swamp!

Oh boy! MUFON. That should be very interesting.

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« Reply #2874 on: Feb 9th, 2011, 11:00am »

Keyhole Publishing

by Rich Dolan
"First Contact"
New TV Show?!!

Those of you who know me well are aware that I don't like to "jump-the-gun" when announcing information to you.

However, with the launch of the First Contact TV fan page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/First-Contact-TV/360893055076?ref=ts#/pages/First-Contact-TV/360893055076?ref=ts

and Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/firstcontacttv
along with rumors already making the rounds, well, I think it's time to tell you that -- yes -- I am involved in a television project. The fact is, we are seriously involved in talking with various networks about carrying us. I know for certain that it is generating a great deal of interest.

The interest expressed by all of you since we first rolled out information less than two weeks ago, and the support we have received from a quick-growing fan list has been extraordinary. I promise to keep all of you posted on our progress. Our goal now is to get that greenlight, and get back on the road in search of the truth! Thanks for extending your wishes for our success. I speak for the entire First Contact team when I say it means a lot knowing you are behind us!

About the Show

The show has evolved greatly over the past several months to become what it is today. First Contact is the creation of John D'Auria, a Philadelphia-based film producer, who wanted to develop a series that would delve into mysteries concerning the UFO phenomenon in a serious, intelligent, relevant, and entertaining manner. Having produced for Discovery Communications, John knew the key to achieving this would be in finding the right personalities, with the right chemistry to bring the material to the screen. Putting together the right team, then, was at the top of the list. The four team members onboard for this journey are myself (team leader), Jaime Windon (photojournalist), Mike "Lucky" Lukowiak (paranormal investigator), and Rob Simone (UFO investigator).

Those of you who were fans of my previous show, Sci Fi Investigates, will find the show to be familiar in structure. What I find unique about First Contact is the chemistry of the team members. Our rapport is excellent, and everyone has something important to contribute. Moreover, I intend to make sure that our investigations are genuine -- not just TV productions that look like investigations.

Having had prior experience at this, I can tell you it is inherently difficult to do genuine investigations on a regular basis for TV. In addition to interviewing people and gathering all sorts of information, you have to be mindful of production schedules, costs, and a thousand unexpected events that inevitably pop up. However it is not impossible. I am determined to make sure that First Contact succeeds in generating fresh material, investigated in a sophisticated, genuine and engaging manner. Every member of our team feels the same way.

During October 2009, John D’Auria and crew followed Jaime, Lucky, and me as we traveled to Washington, D.C. to investigate fascinating UFO cases from 1952 and 2002, as well as some interesting photographs taken by a Washington D.C. photographer. We then drove up to Montauk, Long Island, to meet with Rob Simone. In Montauk, the four of us looked into reports of UFOs, and investigated rumors surrounding the abandoned Camp Hero military base. I must admit that I was skeptical going into Montauk. In UFO lore, the area is known for "The Montauk Project," and the controversial claim of secret government projects involving time travel. What we did find, I must say, was the area is indeed a very strange place. I want to go back there and continue what we started.

While we intend to focus mostly on the UFO phenomenon, we have a team well equipped to study other elements of the paranormal. Lucky -- along with being an excellent photo analyst -- is an experienced ghost hunter and cryptozoologist. Both he and Jaime have excellent technical skills which I’ve already found invaluable in performing photo and video analysis in the field. Rob Simone has a long history of dealing with unexplained phenomenon and leading edge, alternative concepts through his radio show and his own field investigations -- experience that gives him unique access to many interesting leads for future investigation.

Other key people involved in the show are Scott White (FX Specialist), David J. Bonner (Coordinating Producer, Field Ops), Bob Terrio (Second Unit Director), and "RV Bob," (our driver and italian chef).

Our show will never shy away from investigating a truly interesting claim of phenomenon. In 15 years of studying the UFO mystery, I have found that this world is a far, far stranger place than I had ever imagined. My hope is that Jaime, Lucky, Rob, and I will be looking into many of them for all of you.

Once again, I want to thank you all for your support and interest in First Contact. We hope to pass news of our progress on to you very soon. Meanwhile, I encourage you to become a fan of the show on our Facebook page, and visit us on Youtube. Help us make this show a reality!

Rich Dolan

http://keyholepublishing.com/First_Contact.html

Crystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2875 on: Feb 9th, 2011, 1:47pm »

on Feb 9th, 2011, 08:47am, Swamprat wrote:
Hey, Crystal! Check out who AJ has on this week! wink


http://ufocasebook.conforums.com/index.cgi?board=interviews&action=display&num=1286328614&start=0#1297262713

There's a lot of hubbub currently going on. Somehow felt a bit sorry for Clifford Clift. He recently sounded so exhausted and stressed on the Jerry Pippin Show. Don't know how this will end. Guess it's just another meltdown they've experiencing. It certainly doesn't really help the organization's reputation.
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2876 on: Feb 9th, 2011, 2:46pm »

on Feb 9th, 2011, 1:47pm, philliman wrote:
There's a lot of hubbub currently going on. Somehow felt a bit sorry for Clifford Clift. He recently sounded so exhausted and stressed on the Jerry Pippin Show. Don't know how this will end. Guess it's just another meltdown they've experiencing. It certainly doesn't really help the organization's reputation.


Hey Phil,

It has to be painful for the people that have worked for years trying to do decent investigations. Then to have this s**tstorm would be very discouraging.

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2877 on: Feb 9th, 2011, 3:20pm »

io9.com

February Books To Look Out For: Hackers, Guns-for-Hire, and Supernatural Cops
by Charlie Jane Anders

What's new for February? Cherie Priest tries her hand at bad-ass bloodsuckers. There's also paranormal police, feminist hackers, and an ARG that sparks a revolution that may overturn a whole government.


Midnight Riot, Ben Aaronovitch (Del Rey)

This urban fantasy from Doctor Who alum Aaronovitch introduces Peter Grant, aspiring detective inspector of London's Metropolitan Police. His odds don't look too good, though, because his supervisor is in the process of assigning him to the most boring unit imaginable. But Peter has an ace in the hole: It turns out he can speak to the recently dead, an invaluable asset to the supernatural wing of the force. Detective Chief Inspector—and wizard—Thomas Nightingale takes notice and snags Grant as an apprentice to help deal with London's paranormal crimes. A crisis promptly erupts.


Bloodshot, Cherie Priest (Del Rey)

Cherie Priest leaves behind the steampunk Wild West for modern-day vampires with her latest release, Bloodshot. She introduces Raylene Pendle, AKA Chesire Red, daring extralegal acquirer of things, former flapper, and under-the-radar vampire. She takes a job tracking down some sensitive government info for a fellow vampire who's been wronged by Uncle Sam and stumbles onto some serious military sketchiness.


God's War, Kameron Hurley (Night Shade Books)

Nyx is bounty hunter on a far-future planet (settled long ago by Muslims spacefarers and running on insect-based tech) wracked with a war that's raged for ages with no end in sight, fought by magicians and assassins and guns for hire. But she's also a former government assassin, and her old bosses want her to track down a powerful off-world technology that could end the fighting.


Deep State, Walter Jon Williams (Orbit)

The last couple of weeks have made Walter Jon Williams's sequel to This Is Not A Game eerily prescient. He brings back Dagmar Shaw, who's in near-future Turkey, running a massive alternate reality game and staying out of trouble with the heavy-handed authorities. Then a friend approaches her with a new project—an ARG meant to start a revolution. Read Wiliams' essay about the book here: http://io9.com/#!5751156/how-my-new-science-fiction-novel-predicted-the-egyptian-uprising


Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages, Tom Holt (Orbit)

There's another trippy, madcap Tom Holt adventure hitting the shelves this month. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages follows poor Polly Mayer, who might or might not be going crazy. Things like her coffee and her dry cleaner are vanishing into thin air. Maybe someone's gaslighting her, or maybe there's some sort of interdimensional craziness going on, involving a hyper-intelligent pig and a magic ring.


The World House, Guy Adams (Angry Robot)

Got a taste for weirdness? Guy Adams offers up a strange house full of secrets, rooms containing forests and animals and objects come to life.


more after the jump
http://io9.com/#!5756262

Crystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2878 on: Feb 9th, 2011, 6:36pm »

The Hill

Napolitano warns lawmakers of threat from homegrown radicalization, terrorism
By Jordy Yager
02/09/11 07:00 PM ET

Homeland security and counter-terrorism officials warned lawmakers Wednesday that the nation is increasingly threatened by foreign terrorists who seek to recruit U.S. citizens.

The largest threat to the U.S. is no longer Osama Bin Laden, according to the director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCIC), Michael Leiter, but is now Anwar Al-Awlaki, the head of the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula group based out of Yemen.

The increased threat that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula poses revolves heavily around its ability to attract and reach U.S.-natives who want to be trained in terrorism techniques, and who could fall beneath the radar of intelligence circles more easily.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told members at the hearing that domestic terrorism and homegrown radicalization is a very large focus of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Leiter said Al-Awlaki has become the most well known English-speaking ideologue and has the largest Internet following among the radicalized population.

“I actually consider Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, with Al-Alwaki as a leader within that organization, probably the most significant risk to the U.S. homeland,” Leiter said during a hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee.

A recent report from the fusion center for the State of New York revealed that 50 out of the 88 people involved in Al Qaeda-related terrorism plots in the U.S. since 9/11 have been U.S. citizens, with a majority of those having been born in the U.S.

To counter this growing threat, Leiter said that the integration of homeland security, intelligence, and law enforcement personnel has improved rapidly. Now, he regularly meets with Napolitano and the directors of the CIA, FBI, and National Intelligence to discuss ways to further integrate their missions.

“And frankly that’s night and day from where we were in 2009,” said Leiter. “So I think there’s always some tension when organizations are trying to do the right thing and someone else disagrees. Not all of that tension is bad. On the terrorism issue, I’ve never seen it better integrated than it is today.”

Napolitano said that the U.S.-Mexico border remains a challenge but that it is safer than it has been in the recent past.

U.S. intelligence and security officials have been monitoring the ties of the major drug cartels operating in Mexico, such the Los Zetas cartel, for possible connections to Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda affiliates. Several members have expressed their concern in recent years that the increasingly emboldened cartels could form a profitable partnership with terrorists to smuggle weapons and equipment into the U.S. through existing drug routes.

“All I will say in an open setting is that we have, for some time, been thinking about what would happen if say Al Qaeda were to unite with the Zetas – one of the drug cartels – and I’ll just leave it at that,” she said.

Napolitano also said that the U.S. is now screening 100 percent of at-risk cargo coming into the country, which it was not doing last year. And though DHS and the private sector have made significant strides in securing the country from a chemical, biological, or radiological attack, she said, there remains much more to be done.

DHS has built four major areas of security, she said in prepared remarks. Those include: the creation of Joint Terrorist Task Forces; the launch of state and major urban area fusion centers staffed with 68 DHS officials throughout the country; the implementation of the nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) initiative, which is expected to reach the entire country by September; and the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign, which promotes awareness of suspicious activity and behavior by citizens, businesses, and local law enforcement.


http://thehill.com/homenews/house/143127-napolitano-warns-lawmakers-of-threat-from-homegrown-radicalization-domestic-terrorism

Crystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2879 on: Feb 9th, 2011, 6:42pm »

"A recent report from the fusion center for the State of New York...."

Sometimes I don't know who creeps me out more lately, the bad guys or the good guys.

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