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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 149661 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #2985 on: Feb 18th, 2011, 09:25am »

Hollywood Reporter

Kiefer Sutherland Circling Return to TV in Fox Pilot
12:53 AM 2/18/2011
by Kimberly Nordyke


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The former "24" star is in preliminary talks for "Touch," from "Heroes" creator Tim Kring.

Kiefer Sutherland, who starred for eight seasons on Fox's 24, might be reuniting with the network.

The actor is in preliminary talks to play the lead role in Touch, a drama pilot from Heroes creator Tim Kring, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

The project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Chernin Entertainment, centers on a father who discovers that his mute, autistic son can actually predict events before they happen. Sutherland would play the father.

Touch, developed as a spec script, marks Kring's first pilot script since Heroes, which debuted on NBC in 2006. He is executive producing with Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope.

Sutherland is still in early negotiations and a deal could fall through due to his schedule. He is starring in the Broadway revival of That Championship Season, which began previews last week.

Sutherland, the rare proven TV star, is one of the most in-demand actors for pilots since 24 ended its run. He played CTU agent Jack Bauer on 24 -- also from 20th TV -- from 2001-10 and earned an Emmy for the role in 2006.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kiefer-sutherland-circling-return-tv-101239

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« Reply #2986 on: Feb 18th, 2011, 12:34pm »

Washington Post

Christian J. Lambertsen, OSS officer who created early scuba device, dies at 93

By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 18, 2011; 11:08 AM


Christian J. Lambertsen, who as a medical student in 1939 invented a revolutionary underwater breathing system used by the military in World War II and who later helped coin the popular acronym to describe his device and others like it - scuba - died of renal failure Feb. 11 at his home in Newtown Square, Pa. He was 93.

Dr. Lambertsen, who had a second home on Maryland's Eastern Shore, was a longtime professor at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He was an expert on respiratory physiology and diving-related ailments.

His 1939 invention, the Lambertsen Amphibious Respirator Unit, or LARU, is considered a forerunner of the scuba technology used today.

In 1952, Dr. Lambertsen and a colleague wrote a paper for the National Academy of Sciences describing his "Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus," which they shortened to scuba.

Before World War II, military divers wore clunky metal helmets that pumped breathable air through hoses tethered to boats on the water's surface.

Dr. Lambertsen's LARU let divers swim freely and stealthily. It used pure oxygen and was a closed system. Equipped with a carbon dioxide filter, it enabled the diver to re-breathe the air he exhaled while underwater, which made the system bubbleless.

After the Navy rejected his device at first, Dr. Lambertsen demonstrated the LARU in the swimming pool of the Shoreham Hotel in Washington in 1942 to the Office of Strategic Services, the World War II predecessor of the CIA.

Not only was the OSS impressed with the invention, the nascent spy agency saw great potential in the young medical student, who was also an experienced diver.

After he graduated from medical school in 1943, Dr. Lambertsen joined the Army Medical Corps and was recruited to the OSS.

He helped train members of a newly formed OSS maritime unit in the use of his underwater breathing system in the pool at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

One of the men Dr. Lambertsen trained was able to swim more than a mile underwater in the Potomac River and remain submerged for 48 minutes.

Dr. Lambertsen's device was further tested in Operation Cincinnati, in which OSS swimmers clandestinely infiltrated the heavy defenses of the U.S. Navy harbor at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and blew up an old barge.


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Dr. Christian J. Lambertsen served in the OSS during World War II.
(Courtesy Of "National Navy Seal Museum")



The mission was a resounding success, a top-secret government report later concluded, because "Navy sound detection gear did not reveal the presence of underwater swimmers."

Dr. Lambertsen was deployed during World War II to Burma, where he worked with OSS units on underwater infiltration and espionage missions. Maj. Gen. William J. Donovan, the leader of the OSS, awarded him the Legion of Merit.

After the OSS was disbanded in 1945, Dr. Lambertsen arranged to demonstrate LARUs to the different military branches.

In 1948, he began training the Navy's elite underwater demolition teams, the precursor of the Navy SEALs, to use the system.

During one training exercise near St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Dr. Lambertsen and another swimmer made the first exit and re-entry from a submarine.

In the 1950s and 1960s, collaborating with the J.H. Emerson Co., Dr. Lambertsen developed an advanced version of his underwater breathing system. It was used by Navy special operations units until the 1980s.

In 2009, Dr. Lambertsen received the distinguished service award from the OSS Society, which honors the old intelligence service.

Presenting the award, Adm. Eric Olson, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, said Dr. Lambertsen and his LARU enabled the OSS to conduct "previously impossible missions."

Christian James Lambertsen was born May 15, 1917, in Westfield, N.J. He graduated in 1938 from New Jersey's Rutgers University.

He conducted his first experiments on underwater breathing systems during vacations to the Jersey shore, using contraptions rigged with hoses and a bicycle pump.

His prototypes evolved during medical school, and he made a major breakthrough by adding carbon dioxide filters from anesthesia equipment.

In 1943, Jacques Cousteau and another French diver invented an improved scuba system called the "Aqua-Lung," which let swimmers dive deeper and stay underwater longer.

Dr. Lambertsen joined the medical faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946 and became a professor of pharmacology in 1952.

His wife, Naomi Hill Lambertsen, died in 1985.

Survivors include four sons, Christian J. Lambertsen Jr. of Chapel Hill, N.C., David Lambertsen and Richard Lambertsen, both of Easton, Md., and Bradley Lambertsen of Wallingford, Pa.; and six grandchildren.

In his later years, Dr. Lambertsen enjoyed spending time at his waterfront home in Bozman, Md., where he raised cattle, kept honeybees and grew tomatoes, apples and pears.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/18/AR2011021802873.html?hpid=moreheadlines

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« Last Edit: Feb 18th, 2011, 12:37pm by WingsofCrystal » User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
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« Reply #2987 on: Feb 18th, 2011, 2:57pm »

Squirrel gets a full meal out of a trash can:
http://www.kentucky.com/2011/02/17/1639630/hungry-squirrel-raids-trash-can.html
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« Reply #2988 on: Feb 18th, 2011, 3:01pm »

Sounds like a tongue in cheek docu. Thanks to Norio Hayakawa for finding this:

'Gawd Bless America': UFOs? Psychics? Documentary Debunks the Paranormal

$100,000 is hardly chump change. But 70-year-old Leroy Tessina, a former delivery man, estimates that's the amount of money he's spent on psychics, UFO paraphernalia and other paranormal pursuits over the past few decades. He nearly lost his house in the process.

Among his purchases: several trips to UFO-friendly Roswell, N.M., countless books on extraterrestrials, nearly a decade's worth of sessions with a personal psychic and even a special helmet that supposedly prevents aliens from reading his mind.

But Tessina, a Los Angeles man, said he's a believer no more.

After a mind-bending, life-changing journey with independent filmmaker Blake Freeman, Tessina said he's "reformed" and won't pay peddlers of the paranormal any longer.

"I was into sci-fi as a child and young man and I guess it just evolved from that. I let it rule my life," he said. "Blake told me, 'You screwed up for a while, but now let's go see if we can straighten you out.'

"He showed me the error of my ways, so to speak."

In 2008, the thirtysomething Freeman and the then-sixtysomething Tessina went off on a cross-country adventure to interview so-called experts on alien abductions, ghost hunting, crop circles, psychic healing and more ? all in an effort to expose the truth behind their wild, other-worldly claims.

Documentary in the Same Vein as 'Borat,' 'Religulous'

The result is "Gawd Bless America," a documentary opening in theaters March 4, that blends "Borat"-like antics with "Religulous"-like irreverence to reach, Freeman said, something "real."

...


Read more here:
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/ufos-psychics-gawd-bless-america-documentary-debunks-paranormal/story?id=12942641
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..you talkin' to me...YOU TALKIN' TO ME..??!


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« Reply #2989 on: Feb 18th, 2011, 3:08pm »

on Feb 18th, 2011, 2:57pm, philliman wrote:
Squirrel gets a full meal out of a trash can:
http://www.kentucky.com/2011/02/17/1639630/hungry-squirrel-raids-trash-can.html


I'm still laughing, philliman!! What a cheeky, lovely and so resourceful little feller we have here! Making sure there was a bun to go with that french fry, so this squirrel is on the opposite diet to mine.

Thanks for linking cheesy .


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« Reply #2990 on: Feb 18th, 2011, 4:43pm »

on Feb 18th, 2011, 2:57pm, philliman wrote:
Squirrel gets a full meal out of a trash can:
http://www.kentucky.com/2011/02/17/1639630/hungry-squirrel-raids-trash-can.html



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I love this guy.
Crystal
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« Reply #2991 on: Feb 18th, 2011, 4:45pm »


http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/ufos-psychics-gawd-bless-america-documentary-debunks-paranormal/story?id=12942641


Thanks Phil. Great find.
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« Reply #2992 on: Feb 19th, 2011, 07:59am »

New York Times

February 18, 2011
U.S. Offered Rosy View Before Bahrain Crackdown
By MARK LANDLER

WASHINGTON — At a town-hall-style meeting in Bahrain two months ago, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton got a pointed question from a member of Bahrain’s Parliament: was the United States letting Bahrain, a Persian Gulf ally, off the hook for a string of arrests of lawyers and human rights activists?

The moderator rebuked the questioner for “hijacking the mike,” but Mrs. Clinton replied anyway. “I see the glass as half full,” she said, pointing to Bahrain’s recent elections. “I think the changes that are happening in Bahrain are much greater than what I see in many other countries in the region and beyond.”

When it came to Bahrain, Mrs. Clinton was not the only American diplomat who tended to see the glass as half full. Her rosy assessment, which seems incongruous in light of the army’s bloody crackdown on protesters, illustrates how the United States government has overlooked recent complaints about human rights abuses in a kingdom that is an economic and military hub in the Persian Gulf.

And it leaves the White House once again scrambling to deal with an Arab ally facing a tide of popular discontent. In this case, its calculations are complicated by signs that Bahrain is being pressed by its neighbor Saudi Arabia, the most strategically important country in the region.

In cables made public by WikiLeaks, the Bush and Obama administrations repeatedly characterized Bahrain as more open and reform-minded than its neighbors, and pushed back when human rights groups criticized the government.

In a January 2010 cable, the American Embassy in Bahrain criticized the human rights group Freedom House for downgrading Bahrain’s rating from “partly free” to “not free” in its global survey of political rights and civil liberties. The cable asserted that Freedom House had been successfully lobbied by a radical Shiite movement, known as Haq, which rejects the government’s reform efforts.

Another cable passed along doubts about a Human Rights Watch report that said the police were using torture in interrogations — saying it relied heavily on allegations made by members of the same group — though the embassy did urge the Bahraini authorities to undertake a “timely and credible” investigation.

“The embassy was feeding this happy talk for years,” said Tom Malinowski, Washington director for Human Rights Watch. “Bahrain was moving on a genuine reform path for several years, but it did a significant U-turn in the last year, and I think the U.S. government was well behind the curve.”

A senior administration official said Mrs. Clinton was not offering a definitive judgment of Bahrain’s record, but praising it for legislative elections a few weeks earlier, which the government, by all accounts, had handled in a free and fair manner. Elections, Mrs. Clinton noted, are only one element of a democratic system. And she addressed, albeit perfunctorily, the arrests of human rights advocates.

“People are arrested and people should have due process, and there should be the rule of law, and people should have good defense counsel,” Mrs. Clinton said. “We believe in all of that, and we say all of that.”

Still, the chummy tone of her visit, and those of other American officials, has magnified the shock and dismay of American officials over the violence. They are struggling to understand how King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, a monarch described in the cables as “personable and engaging,” could have resorted to the kinds of brutal measures that Egypt’s government shunned.

On Friday, President Obama condemned the violence in Bahrain, as well as in Yemen and Libya, where security forces also clashed with protesters. Saying that he was “deeply concerned,” he urged “the governments of Bahrain, Libya and Yemen to show restraint in responding to peaceful protests, and to respect the rights of their people.”

Administration officials said it was not entirely clear, amid the chaos in Bahrain, who was giving orders. The royal family has various factions, suggesting, they said, that hard-liners, rather than the king, could have told the soldiers to open fire. The king said Friday that he had put his son, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, in charge of a dialogue with protesters.

The prince, a 1992 graduate of American University in Washington, is described in a 2009 cable as “very Western in his approach.” He “is closely identified with the reformist camp within the ruling family — particularly with respect to economic and labor reforms designed to combat corruption.”

Briefing cables prepared for visiting American dignitaries typically laud King Hamad’s reform program, which he began soon after succeeding his father in 1999. He restored Parliament, banned since 1975; allowed exiles to return; and abolished the much-feared state security courts. When Freedom House dropped Bahrain from “partly free” to “not free” in its 2010 survey, a cable, signed by Ambassador J. Adam Ereli, offered a spirited defense of the government.

“Gerrymandered districts notwithstanding, Bahrain’s citizens enjoy the right to vote for their national and municipal legislators every four years,” it said. “Political societies and N.G.O.’s are active to an extent almost unheard of in the gulf, even in Kuwait, which Freedom House designated as ‘partly free.’ ”

One area where the embassy has not tried to defend Bahrain is Internet freedom. In a 2009 cable, diplomats said the government had blocked various Web sites — primarily those offering pornography and online gambling — but also political sites run by extremist Sunni and Shiite parties.

“For the moment,” said the cable, Bahrain “seems serious about cutting off access to the affected Web sites. However, it appeared to lose interest in a similar campaign in June 2008, and may do so again.”

In January 2010, a State Department technology expert, Alec J. Ross, met Bahrain’s minister of cabinet affairs to push Mrs. Clinton’s message of Internet freedom. Local human rights groups, meeting with embassy officials, urged them to lean on American companies to stop selling Bahrain’s government technology that blocks Internet access.

The drive to cut off Shiite Web sites attests to King Hamad’s fear that outside forces, like Iran or the militant group Hezbollah, would ally with Shiites inside the kingdom to destabilize it.

In a 2008 cable that gives a glimpse of Bahrain’s sensitivities, the embassy reported that despite the government’s “periodic claims that there are Hezbollah-or Iranian-connected sleeper cells with Bahrain, they have never offered hard evidence of such a presence, and our reporting has been unable to substantiate it.”

Andrew W. Lehren contributed reporting from New York.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/world/middleeast/19diplomacy.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #2993 on: Feb 19th, 2011, 08:05am »

The Hill

House OKs amendment to block Joint Forces Command closure

By John T. Bennett
02/18/11 07:59 PM ET

The House on Friday approved an amendment aimed at blocking the Pentagon from shuttering U.S. Joint Forces Command.

The amendment, offered by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), would prohibit the Defense Department from spending funds in a 2011 defense appropriations measure the House is considering to close the Norfolk, Va.-based command.

Pentagon officials want to close Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) as part of their broader internal cost-cutting effort that produced over $150 billion in savings.

Virginia lawmakers and others in Congress say the closure would eliminate crucial functions, like doctrine development and joint training. Defense officials say essential functions and offices will be maintained and shifted to other Defense Department entities.

The amendment, which passed by voice vote, "does not prevent the closure of JFCOM but delays it until Congress can hold hearings on the future of jointness under the realigned command structure," according to a Forbes statement released late Friday.

“None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to take any action to effect or implement the disestablishment, closure, or realignment of the United States Joint Forces Command," states the amendment.


http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/145231-house-oks-amendment-to-block-joint-forces-command-closure

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« Reply #2994 on: Feb 19th, 2011, 08:15am »

Wired

Moon Race Brings 29 Teams to the Starting Line
By Dave Mosher
February 18, 2011 | 3:30 pm
Categories: Space

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Illustration of the Rocket City Space Pioneers’ lunar lander and rover combination.


When a couple dozen companies sign contracts containing the words “moon” and “landing,” it’s a good indication that private lunar exploration is heating up.

The X Prize Foundation on Thursday announced that 29 teams had signed contracts making them the official Google Lunar X Prize competitors, contending for more than $30 million in prizes. The competitors, headquartered in 17 different countries, have been crafting promising business plans and rolling out prototypes. One team, Astrobotic Technology, has even arranged its rocket ride to the moon already.

“We could be intimidated by that development, but it’s good for everyone who’s serious about going to the moon,” said Michael Joyce, president of team Next Giant Leap. “It shows this industry has moved beyond being an idea, that it is really going to happen.”

To claim the first-place prize of $20 million before 2015 (it drops to $5 million after that), a team must land a robot on the moon, move it at least 500 meters and beam back high-definition imagery. Additional $2 million bonuses are available for robots that can survive one bitterly cold two-week lunar night or travel 5 kilometers, among other challenges.

Google and the X Prize Foundation jointly announced the competition in September 2007, but the duo has worked with dozens of teams for years to finalize fair rules that foster progress instead of stunts.

“We want to encourage a financially sustainable era of lunar exploration. The Apollo program and Soviet programs were fantastically inspiring, but they stopped just as they really started to scratch the surface,” said planetary scientist William Pomerantz, a senior director at the X Prize Foundation. “Flags and footprints aren’t sustainable. We want the teams to trigger business much larger in value than our prize.”

Most of that value may rest in raw, untapped resources. Recent moon-surveying missions have revealed methane, ammonia and water — useful ingredients for moon bases and rockets — are hiding on the surface. A rare isotope of helium may also be abundant, and it could fuel pollution-free (although still-theoretical) fusion reactors.

Lunar science could also get a boost from more frequent visits, as multibillion-dollar moon missions launched every decade or so by the government are too infrequent and too risky to encourage much growth in the field.

“Doctoral students who want to do lunar science shouldn’t have to gamble their Ph.D.s on one launch,” Pomerantz said. “If lunar shots can go every six months or so, we’ll see a much higher volume of scientific results as well as scientists.”

To find out who is leading the race to seed such developments, technology security consultant Michael Doornbos has spent years interviewing the competitors and tracking their progress. The result of his work is a scorecard that ranks teams based on criteria such as funding, industry connections and progress.

“No one had any way to tell where we were at in the competition, making it almost impossible to be a fan or, especially, a super fan like me. So I decided to make a visual representation,” Doornbos said. “I’m not a space industry expert, but I do talk to them to keep it updated. And a lot of people tell me they see great value in it because I’m an outsider.”

Four teams now lead Doornbos’ scorecard: Astrobotic Technology at the front, followed by Next Giant Leap, then Rocket City Space Pioneers and Part-Time Scientists tied for third place.

David Gump, president of Astrobotic, said the scorecard is helpful, but that it may be impossible to know who is actually out in front.

“Many teams are playing their hands very close to the vest,” Gump told Wired.com. “They’re not saying much.”

Whoever is leading the competition, there’s a slim chance it may not matter. Organizers of the prize aren’t happy about the prospect — they may lose rights to video and images from the first privatized lunar landing — but they may get their wish of a burgeoning moon-based industry without awarding a dollar.

Over the years, teams have made business plans with revenues projected to exceed the prize’s one-team maximum of $24 million after just one successful launch. And as the start-up lunar businesses work multimillion-dollar deals with third parties, concerns about GLXP’s contractual language have cropped up.

One clause that ruffled teams’ feathers states that GLXP will get intellectual property rights related to multimedia. Pomerantz explained it’s there to allow his organization to document and share the story of the competition with the world for free.

“We’re an educational non-profit organization. We’re here to inspire the next generation, and it’s why we’re supported by our donors and sponsors,” Pomerantz said. “On the same token, we’re not here to interfere with anyone’s ability to do business. We want to be the initial push that gets the teams over that first bump.”

Still, some teams are working big deals with cable TV providers to license content to their networks.

“They have 3-D channels on their systems, and they need something to fill them,” Gump said. “A documentary about a 3-D-seeing lunar robot would work quite well.”

Given the prestige — and cash — to be bestowed upon the winner, Pomerantz said it’s an unlikely hypothetical that anyone will withdraw, especially because such wrinkles have been ironed out, he said. If a team wants to withdraw from the competition, however, it can rip up the GLXP contract as late as 6 months before a moonshot.

Still, propulsion engineer Tim Pickens, who leads the Rocket City Space Pioneers team, says the prize isn’t the greatest of his concerns.

“If you need the prize to make your team’s business work, you’re hosed,” said Pickens, who helped build SpaceShipOne and win the Ansari X PRIZE in 2004 — a win that spawned Virgin Galactic and a nearly $1 billion private industry in suborbital flights.

“The prize money is an awesome consolation and a great way to recoup development costs, but it isn’t going to cover your mission costs,” Pickens said. “There are much, much less risky ways to make money. For the value of the prize versus the risk, you might as well be doing something else.”


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Locations of the GLXP’s 29 teams. Dark green shows where teams are headquartered, and light green shows countries where team members are from.
(Courtesy of Google Lunar X Prize.)



http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/02/lunar-x-prize-teams/

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« Reply #2995 on: Feb 19th, 2011, 08:22am »

Reuters

Pirates grab four American sailors off Oman
MOGADISHU | Sat Feb 19, 2011
5:23am EST


MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A yacht with four Americans on board is believed to have been hijacked in the Arabian Sea, the U.S. embassy in Nairobi said on Saturday.

Pirate gangs plaguing the shipping lanes through the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean typically target large merchant ships, with oil tankers the prize catch, but the snatching of foreigners can also yield high ransoms.

"Preliminary reports indicate that a U.S.-flagged vessel tentatively named as the Quest has been hijacked in the Arabian Sea. There were four U.S. citizens on board," an embassy spokesman said.

All relevant U.S. government agencies were monitoring the situation, he added.

Earlier, a regional maritime expert said the 58-foot S/V Quest had been hijacked 240 miles off Oman on Friday afternoon as it sailed from India to Salalah in Oman.

Ecoterra, an advocacy group monitoring piracy in the Indian Ocean, said the 58-foot yacht was owned by Jean and Scott Adam. It was not immediately clear if the couple were on the yacht at the time of the attack.

The couple began a round-the-world trip in 2004, according to their website.

East Africa maritime expert Andrew Mwangura said the ship was now heading toward Somalia, on the Horn of Africa.

Somalia has been mired in violence and awash with weapons since the overthrow of a dictator in 1991, and the lack of effective government has allowed piracy to flourish.

Pirate gangs in the Indian Ocean are making tens of millions of dollars in ransoms, and international navies have struggled to contain the problem owing to the vast distances involved.

Pirates in southern Somalia are still holding two South Africans seized from their yacht late last year. In November, another gang released the British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler after holding them captive for more than 14 months.

One French hostage was killed and four were freed in April 2009 when French forces attacked a yacht that had been seized by Somali pirates.

(Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/19/us-somalia-piracy-americans-idUSTRE71I0TR20110219

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« Reply #2996 on: Feb 19th, 2011, 08:47am »

Wired Danger Room

Unexpectedly, Navy's Superlaser Blasts Away a Record
By Spencer Ackerman
February 18, 2011 | 3:36 pm
Categories: Lasers and Ray Guns

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Carlos Hernandez, head of injector- and electronic-gun systems for the free-electron laser, stands beside his model injector.



NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia

Walking into a control station at Jefferson Labs, Quentin Saulter started horsing around with his colleague, Carlos Hernandez. Saulter had spent the morning showing two reporters his baby: the laboratory version of the Navy's death ray of the future, known as the free-electron laser, or FEL. He asked Hernandez, the head of injector- and electron-gun systems for the project, to power a mock-up electron gun the pressure-pumping heart of this energy weapon to 500 kilovolts. No one has ever cranked the gun that high before.

Smiling through his glasses and goatee, Hernandez motioned for Saulter to click and drag a line on his computer terminal up to the 500-kV mark. He had actually been running the electron injector at that kilovoltage for the past eight hours. It's a goal that eluded him for six years.

Saulter, the program manager for the free-electron laser, was momentarily stunned. Then he realized what just happened. "This is very significant," he says, still a bit shocked. "Now, the Navy can speed up the transition of FEL-weapons-system technology from a Virginia lab to the high seas."

Translated from the Nerd: Thanks to Hernandez, the Navy will now have a more powerful death ray aboard a future ship sooner than expected, in order to burn incoming missiles out of the sky or zap through an enemy vessel's hull.

"Five hundred [kilovolts] has been the project goal for a long time," says George Neil, the FEL associate director at Jefferson Labs, whose Rav 4 license plate reads LASRMAN. "The injector area is one of the critical areas" of the whole project.

The free-electron laser is one of the Navy's highest-priority weapons programs, and it's not hard to see why. "We're fast approaching the limits of our ability to hit maneuvering pieces of metal in the sky with other maneuvering pieces of metal," says Rear Adm. Nevin Carr, the Navy's chief of research. The next level: "fighting at the speed of light and hypersonics" that is, the free-electron laser and the Navy's Mach-8 electromagnetic rail gun.

Say goodbye to an adversary's antiship missiles, and prepare to fire bullets from 200 miles away, far from shoreline defenses. No wonder the Navy asked Congress to double its budget for directed-energy weapons this week to $60 million, most of which will go to the free-electron laser.

It won't be until the 2020s, Carr estimates, that a free-electron laser will be mounted on a ship. (Same goes for the rail gun.) Right now, the free-electron laser produces a 14-kilowatt beam. It needs to get to 100 kilowatts to be viable to defend a ship, the Navy thinks. But what happened at Jefferson Labs Friday shrinks the time necessary to get to 100 kilowatts and expands the lethality of the laser. Here's why.

All lasers start off as atoms that get agitated into becoming photons, light that's focused through some kind of medium, like chemicals or crystals, into a beam operating on a particular wavelength. But the free-electron laser is unique: It doesn't use a medium, just supercharged electrons run through a racetrack of superconductors and magnets - an accelerator, to be technical - until it produces a beam that can operate on multiple wavelengths.

That means the beam from the free-electron laser won't lose potency as it runs through all the crud in ocean air, because its operators will be able to adjust its wavelengths to compensate. And if you want to make it more powerful, all you need to do is add electrons.

But to add electrons, you need to inject pressure into your power source, so the electrons shake out and run through the racetrack. That's done through a gun called an injector. In the basement of a building in Jefferson Labs, a 240-foot racetrack uses a 300-kilovolt injector to pressurize the electrons out of 200 kilowatts of power and send them shooting through the accelerator.

Currently, the free-electron laser project produces the most-powerful beam in the world, able to cut through 20 feet of steel per second. If it gets up to its ultimate goal, of generating a megawatt's worth of laser power, it'll be able to burn through 2,000 feet of steel per second. Just add electrons.

And that's why Hernandez's achievement is so important. He shrugs, concealing his pride. A powerful accelerator at Cornell University is "stuck at 250" kilovolts, he grins. And he's on a roll. Hernandez's team fired up the injector in December with enough pressure to prove the FEL will ultimately reach megawatt class. Steel: Beware.


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Magnet¡¯s eye view of the free-electron laser at Jefferson Labs. (Both photos by Spencer Ackerman/Wired.com)


"It definitely shortens our time frame for getting to 100 kilowatts," Saulter says, and it produces a "more powerful light beam." But he won't speculate on how much sooner this means the laser can get into the fleet. In any case, the Navy doesn't yet have the systems to divert the amount of power from its ships' generators necessary to operate the laser, but anticipates it will by the 2020s.

There are still a lot of obstacles to getting the free-electron laser onto a ship. The 240-foot racetrack that Neil built at Jefferson Labs - a scale model of one that's underground here, seven-eighths-of-a-mile long - is way too big. Boeing has a contract to build an initial workable prototype by 2012, but by 2015 the racetrack has to be much, much smaller: 50 feet by 20 feet by 10 feet. And as the model shrinks, it's got to get more efficient in harvesting photons from electrons.

But that starts by getting more electrons out of the power source.The better the injector is at that, the more powerful a beam results, even presuming that the engineers can't keep finding efficient ways of getting their photons. Walking into a conference room, Saulter is still stunned. He figured he'd just wind Hernandez up by putting the project's ultimate goal in his colleague's face. "I had no idea he'd get up to that today."

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/02/unexpectedly-navys-superlaser-blasts-away-a-record/

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« Last Edit: Feb 19th, 2011, 08:51am by WingsofCrystal » User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
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« Reply #2997 on: Feb 19th, 2011, 09:30am »

Facebook & Google are CIA Fronts

In the case of both Google and Facebook, three talented students in their 20's came out of obscurity to establish multi-billion dollar enterprises. Do you suppose they had some help?



BY SANDEEP PARWAGA
(FOR HENRYMAKOW.COM)


There used to be a saying: ''No one makes a name for himself without giving something up''

As a youngster, I was awed by people who ''made it to the top'' by creating and innovating corporations, technologies, or simply establishing themselves through sports, music, entertainment, etc. thus becoming millionaires.

Now as I have grown older, I realize how illusory this paradigm really is. I came to the conclusion that if you want to reach the ''top',' you have to give up your soul.

Take Mark Zuckerberg for example. He is one of the most ''successful entrepreneurs'' in the last decade. Having made a fortune through his Facebook empire, he reaches more than 500 million people worldwide. It seems like a fairytale. A student creates a new interface to connect the people throughout the world. Well, it sounds great doesn't it? It would, if we were true.

Here is a good video that demonstrates that Facebook was indirectly funded by the CIA with the goal of learning and storing everything there is to know about you. Why? To monitor and ultimately control.

Again, the people have been totally duped by the Facebook-mania and can only see what they are told to see. As my friends say: ''It is to connect people and share information''. In the wake of the recent crisis in Egypt, we might add that Facebook has become not just a data-mining operation, but also a soft power proxy for crisis-creation.

...

Read the rest here:
http://www.henrymakow.com/social_networking_dupes_the_ma.html


BTW here's an alternative to Google:
http://www.startingpage.com/


Startingpage Protects Your Privacy!

Startingpage offers you Google's Web search results under the trusted privacy protection of Ixquick.com, the world's most private search engine. Startingpage is the only search engine that has been third-party certified not to record your IP address or use tracking cookies.
Your privacy is under attack!

Every time you use a regular search engine, your search data is recorded. Major search engines capture your IP address and use tracking cookies to make a record of your search terms, the time of your visit, and the links you choose - then they store that information in a giant database.

Those searches reveal a shocking amount of personal information about you, such as your interests, family circumstances, political leanings, medical conditions, and more. This information is modern-day gold for marketers, government officials, hackers and criminals - all of whom would love to get their hands on your private search data.

...

Read the rest here:
http://www.startingpage.com/eng/protect-privacy.html
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2998 on: Feb 19th, 2011, 09:32am »

Figured I haven't done that since quite a while:

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« Reply #2999 on: Feb 19th, 2011, 09:35am »

To swamprat:
Enjoy yourself this weekend. I'm sure you will. smiley

What WikiLeaks has told us

« back to Ryan Gallagher on Journalism home

What WikiLeaks has told us

on February 17, 2011 11:11 AM

Since 2006, the whistleblowers' website WikiLeaks has published a mass of information we would otherwise not have known. The leaks have exposed dubious procedures at Guantanamo Bay and detailed meticulously the Iraq War's unprecedented civilian death-toll. They have highlighted the dumping of toxic waste in Africa as well as revealed America's clandestine military actions in Yemen and Pakistan.

The sheer scope and significance of the revelations is shocking. Among them are great abuses of power, corruption, lies and war crimes. Yet there are still some who insist WikiLeaks has "told us nothing new". This collection, sourced from a range of publications across the web, illustrates nothing could be further from the truth. Here, if there is still a grain of doubt in your mind, is just some of what WikiLeaks has told us:

* American planes bombed a village in Southern Yemen in December 2009, killing 14 women and 21 children (see Amnesty)

* The Secretary of State's office encouraged US diplomats at the United Nations to spy on their counterparts by collecting biographic & biometric information (see Wired.com)

* The Obama administration worked with Republicans to protect Bush administration officials facing a criminal investigation into torture (see Mother Jones)

* A US Army helicopter gunned down two Reuters journalists in Baghdad in 2007 (see Reuters)

* US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers (see the Guardian)

* In Iraq there were scores of claims of prison abuse by coalition forces even after the Abu Ghraib scandal (see the Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

* Afghan President Hamid Karzai freed suspected drug dealers because of their political connections (see CBS News)

* Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed support for the concept of “land swaps” (see Yahoo News)

* The United States was secretly given permission from Yemen's president to attack the Al-Qaeda group in his country (see the Guardian)

* Then-Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and his top commanders repeatedly knowingly lied to the American public about rising sectarian violence in Iraq beginning in 2006 (see the Daily Beast)

* The US was shipping arms to Saudi Arabia for use in northern Yemen even as it denied any role in the conflict (see Salon.com)

* Saudi Arabia is one of the largest origin points for funds supporting international terrorism (see the Guardian)

* A storage facility housing Yemen's radioactive material was unsecured for up to a week (see Bloomberg)

* Israel destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, fearing it was built to make a bomb (see the Sunday Times)

* Top officials in several Arab countries have close links with the CIA (see the Peninsula)

* Swiss company Trafigura Beheer BV dumped toxic waste at the Ivorian port of Abidjan, then attempted to silence the press from revealing it by obtaining a gagging order (see WikiLeaks)

* Pakistan's government has allowed members of its spy network to hold strategy sessions on combating American troops with members of the Taliban (see the New York Times)

...

Read more here:
http://frontlineclub.com/blogs/RyanGallagher/2011/02/what-wikileaks-has-told-us.html
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