Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3120 on: Feb 28th, 2011, 1:13pm »
Thanks for these articles.
re: Soldiers, you have to have some sense. Why send money to someone you don't know? There are so many good groups that are legitimate that help soldiers and their families. Geez! Guess they are using their brains to hold up their ears and nothing else.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3121 on: Feb 28th, 2011, 2:44pm »
Yes, exactly, Chrystal. You got to wonder why people still fall for that trick.
I know what this man is talking about:
Open-Minded Man Grimly Realizes How Much Life He's Wasted Listening To Bullshit
CLEVELAND—During an unexpected moment of clarity Tuesday, open-minded man Blake Richman was suddenly struck by the grim realization that he's squandered a significant portion of his life listening to everyone's bullshit, the 38-year-old told reporters.
A visibly stunned and solemn Richman, who until this point regarded his willingness to hear out the opinions of others as a worthwhile quality, estimated that he's wasted nearly three and a half years of his existence being open to people's half-formed thoughts, asinine suggestions, and pointless, dumbfuck stories.
"Jesus Christ," said Richman, taking in the overwhelming volume of useless crap he's actively listened to over the years. "My whole life I've made a concerted effort to give people a fair shake and understand different points of view because I felt that everyone had something valuable to offer, but it turns out most of what they had to offer was complete bullshit."
"Seriously," Richman added, "what have I gained from treating everyone's opinion with respect? Nothing. Absolutely nothing."
According to Richman, it was just now hitting him how many hours of his life he's pissed away listening intently to nonsense about celebrity couples, how good or bad certain pens are, and why a particular sports team might have a chance this year. The husband and father of two said that every time he's felt at all put out or bored by a bullshit conversation—especially a speculative one about how bad allergy season was going to be—he should have just turned around, walked away, and gone rafting or repelling or done any of the millions of other things he's always wanted to do but never thought he had time for.
At various points throughout the day, Richman could be heard muttering to himself that he couldn't believe he was almost 40 years old.
"Twenty minutes here, 10 minutes there. It all starts to add up," said Richman, who sat down and figured out that between stupid discussions about favorite baby names and reviews of restaurants in cities he'll never visit, he'd wasted 390 hours of his life. "And you know what the worst part is? It's my fault. Here I thought being considerate to others by always listening patiently to what they had to say was the right thing to do. Well, fuck me, right?"
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3124 on: Mar 1st, 2011, 08:33am »
New York Times
March 1, 2011 Qaddafi Makes Little Headway in Assault on Libyan Rebels By KAREEM FAHIM and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
BENGHAZI, Libya — Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces appeared to make little headway in a concerted assault on rebels in several cities around the country and in a sustained attack early Tuesday morning in the western city of Zawiyah.
With escalating hostilities bringing Libya closer to civil war, rebels appeared to hold the city after a night of fighting, fending off tanks and artillery vehicles, special forces and regular army troops, and, rebels said, fighter jets.
Rebel leaders in Libya said the latest attacks by Colonel Qaddafi’s supporters smacked of desperation, and the ease with which the assault Zawiyah, a city with important oil resources just 30 miles from the capital, was repelled raised questions about the ability of the government to muster a serious challenge to the rebels’ growing power.
At the same time, Colonel Qaddafi faced a growing international campaign to force him from power, as the Obama administration announced it had seized $30 billion in Libyan assets and the European Union adopted an arms embargo and other sanctions.
As the Pentagon began repositioning Navy warships to support a possible humanitarian or military intervention, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton bluntly told the Libyan leader on Monday to surrender power “now, without further violence or delay.”
The attacks by the colonel’s troops on an oil refinery in central Libya and on cities on either side of the country unsettled rebel leaders — who have maintained that they are close to liberating the country — and showed that despite defections by the military, the government may still possess powerful assets, including fighter pilots willing to bomb Libyan cities.
But as Western powers debate the possible imposition of a so-called no-fly zone — similar to those enforced in Iraq during the rule of Saddam Hussein — Russia ruled out the idea on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported from Geneva, quoting Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov as saying the proposal was “superfluous.”
In an interview on Monday with ABC News, Colonel Qaddafi said he was fighting against “terrorists,” and he accused the West of seeking to “occupy Libya.” He gave no hint of surrender. “My people love me,” he said. “They would die for me.”
Those unyielding words, and the colonel’s military attacks were met with both nerves and defiance by rebel military leaders as the two sides seemed to steel themselves for a long battle along shifting and ever more violent front lines.
The antigovernment protesters, who started their uprising with peaceful sit-ins but have increasingly turned to arms to counter Colonel Qaddafi’s brutal paramilitary forces, have promised a large military response that has yet to come. At the same time, government forces have been unable to reverse the costly loss of territory to a popular revolt that has brought together lawyers, young people and tribal leaders.
Across the region, the tumult that has already toppled two leaders and threatened one autocrat after another continued unabated on Monday. In Yemen, protests drove President Ali Abdullah Saleh to make a bid for a unity government, but the political opposition quickly refused and protesters returned to the streets on Tuesday.
An opposition leader, Mohamed al-Sabry, said in a statement that the president’s proposal was a “desperate attempt” to counter Tuesday’s protests.
The enduring impact of the region’s turmoil was evident in Cairo, where Egypt postponed the reopening of its stock exchange again on Tuesday until Sunday. The exchange has been closed for over a month, after antigovernment protests in late January shook investor confidence and drove the value of the country’s benchmark index down 17% in two trading days. In Bahrain on Tuesday, protesters marched down King Faisal Highway in the capital, Manama. In Oman, whose first major protests were reported over the weekend, demonstrations continued on Tuesday, a day after violent clashes with the security forces in the port city of Sohar, and the unrest spread for the first time to the capital, Muscat.
The political landscape continued to shift in Tunisia, where the interim government on Tuesday granted the main Islamist group, Ennahda, permission to form a political party, Reuters reported, two days after the resignation of Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, a close ally of the ousted president. The Islamic group had been banned under former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s two-decade rule. In a further sign of turbulence, one of the most prominent opposition leaders, Ahmed Nejib Chebbi, who founded the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, said he was quitting the interim government, news reports said.
Libya itself seemed to be brewing a major humanitarian crisis as tens of thousands of mostly impoverished contract workers tried desperately to flee to its neighbors, Tunisia to the west and Egypt to the east. The United Nations refugee agency called the situation a humanitarian emergency as workers hauling suitcases stood in long lines to leave Libya, many of them uncertain how they would finally get home.
The country they left behind faced similar uncertainty, as warplanes took to the sky for the first time in 10 days, according to military officials allied with the rebels. In a direct challenge to claims by those officials, who have asserted that Libyan Air Force pilots were no longer taking orders from Colonel Qaddafi, two Libyan Air Force jets conducted bombing raids on Monday, according to witnesses and two military officers in Benghazi allied with the antigovernment protesters.
Col. Hamed Bilkhair said that the jets, two MIG-23s that took off from an air base near Colonel Qaddafi’s hometown in the city of Surt, struck three targets, but were deterred by rebel antiaircraft fire from striking a fourth at an air base in Benghazi. The jets — a bomber and an escort plane — attacked three other locations, south of Benghazi, and on the outskirts of the eastern city of Ajdabiya.
Colonel Bilkhair said that a weapons depot was struck, but that the other strikes — including one on a water pipeline — were “ineffective.” It was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties, and the airstrikes could not be independently verified.
The colonel said that government special forces took control of the oil refinery at Ras Lanuf on Monday, though he and other rebel leaders played down the significance of the assault, saying the refinery was only lightly guarded. “It was only briefly occupied,” by the rebels, Colonel Bilkhair said. “They occupied it for four days, and they had no weapons.”
The colonel, speaking in an interview on Monday evening, said government troops were in the midst of shelling Misurata, a breakaway city 130 miles east of the capital.
In Zawiyah, residents said they rebuffed a series of attacks on Monday and into Tuesday morning, suffering no casualties but killing about 10 soldiers and capturing about a dozen others. A government spokesman confirmed the death toll.
“It is perfect news,” said A. K. Nasrat, 51, an engineer who is among the rebels, before adding, “There is no way they are going to take this city out of our hands unless we all die first.”
The first attack took place shortly after midnight, when some pro-Qaddafi soldiers in pickup trucks tried to pass through the city’s eastern gate, Mr. Nasrat said. But they were spotted by rebel sentries who defeated them with help from army and police defectors defending the town. Four soldiers were killed and several captured, with some of the captives readily surrendering their arms and switching sides, he said
Then, in the early evening, several witnesses said, the Qaddafi forces — believed to be led by his son Khamis’s private militia — attacked from both the east and the west. Three pickup trucks tried to enter the narrow city gates from the west, but a rebel-held artillery unit struck one, blowing it up and overturning a second truck, Mr. Nasrat said. Six more pickup trucks tried to breach the eastern gate, he said, but after an exchange of fire the rebels captured two of the trucks and several of the soldiers.
“So about 12 or 14 soldiers were hostages,” he said, “and 8 of them turned over their arms and joined the people. They are on our side now.”
For days, military leaders in Benghazi have said they are preparing to assemble a force of thousands to conduct a final assault on Tripoli; some of the officials have even promised to send planes to bomb Colonel Qaddafi’s fortified compound, Bab al-Aziziya.
But there are few signs that a plan has materialized, though military leaders maintain they are simply waiting for the right time. A fighter pilot sympathetic to the antigovernment protesters, Mohammed Miftah Dinali, expressed some frustration that he had not yet been called on to aid the rebel effort.
“My friends and I are willing to go and do an airstrike on Qaddafi’s compound,” he said. “I cannot just sit and watch this happen.”
Inside Tripoli on Monday, hundreds of protesters joined a demonstration in the working class suburb of Tajoura after a funeral for a neighbor killed by security forces during clashes over the weekend. But a heavy contingent of security forces guarding the neighborhood fired into the air and, some witnesses said, filled the streets with tear gas to disperse the crowd without new fatalities.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3125 on: Mar 1st, 2011, 08:43am »
'Middle Eastern' sex discrimination princess wins secrecy in bodyguard lawsuit
A princess belonging to a Middle Eastern royal family has taken legal action to prevent her being named in a “salacious” sexual misconduct case.
By Victoria Ward, and Andrew Hough 6:00AM GMT 01 Mar 2011
Her former bodyguard claims that he lived in constant fear of sexual harassment during his seven years employed by the princess and her husband, a high-profile businessman
He alleges that the husband showed him homosexual pornography and that excessive alcohol and drugs were consumed in the household.
The close protection officer, who can only be referred to as "B", is suing the princess, who cannot be named for legal reasons, for alleged breach of contract, sex discrimination and unfair dismissal.
The claims will be the subject of a full hearing in June. On Monday, her lawyers argued successfully that reporting restrictions should be applied to the case.
Akhlaq Choudhury, representing the princess, told the Central London Employment Tribunal that publication of the princess's name in connection with the allegations would breach her right to a private life under Article Eight of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case might even make it necessary for her to leave her conservative homeland, he claimed.
“There is risk that the respondent might be affected in giving her evidence and may not attend — that is how fearful she is — and if she does not attend she would not get a fair trial and that is not in the interest of justice,” said Mr Choudhury.
The protection officer, who was paid £100,000 a year, worked with the princess, who is aged in her 30s and only be known as Person A, and her husband from 2003 until 2010.
The couple lived in Britain for several years. Mr Choudhury said the bodyguard had been “invited into the private life” of the royal family in a “confidential relationship”.
He added: “The claimant says he was sexually harassed and, as a consequence, he sought to share a room with other members of staff on trips to protect himself.”
Referring to the bodyguard’s statement, he went on: “The claimant alleges he was forced to witness the respondent’s husband’s website access where it is said he was accessing websites to do with homosexuality.”
The tribunal heard that the man expected former colleagues to come forward who would allege that they too were subjected to “conduct which amounted to sexual harassment.”
Legal teams for the bodyguard and the media argued against imposing reporting restrictions.
Gary Self, for the bodyguard, told the hearing that in her statement the princess, who was not present in court, claimed she needed protection because she was a "Muslim woman".
"She said 'I am very rich and important and my husband is also rich and important and therefore there is another reason why it (the ruling) should not apply to me," Mr Self told the hearing.
He said the princess claimed it would be used against her for "political reasons to undermine members of her family in high government positions".
The Princess claimed it would be too "unpalatable" to face court for the trial in the abscence of reporting restrictions.
She also argued if the "false" allegations were made public she would face physical violence, kidnap or honour killing as well as being forced out of her country.
"Threats being made to third parties is part of her modus operandi in respect of this case," he claimed.
"Those who cross her are threatened and matters are dealt with in an inappropriate fashion and these are concerns he has now he has had the temerity to bring a claim against her."
Making a restrictive reporting order, the employment judge Jeremy Burns said the fact that the case involved allegations of a sexual nature against a Muslim woman from a conservative Middle Eastern country outweighed the need for open justice.
If the allegations were made public before the case it would almost certainly deter her from giving evidence and “pressure” her family to settle out of court, even if the allegations were baseless.
This was due to her being a Muslim woman living in a “conservative” Middle Eastern country with sexual allegations hanging over her.
He said that if the allegations were made public it would almost certainly deter her from giving evidence and “pressure” her family to settle out of court even if the allegations were found to be baseless.
He added that their children would likely be subjected to “ridicule” and “scorn”.
He conceeded that such cases would normally be skewed in favour of an “open press” but the sexual allegations weighed against that.
“The claimant claims sexual harrasment and unfair constructive dismissal. They are wide ranging allegations of drunkeness, drug taking, and sexually promiscuous behaviour against the repsondent,” the judge told the hearing.
“Against her husband he alleges he is a watcher of gay porn websites.
“Some, but not all, of the pleadings have been withdrawn but the allegations of sexual harrasment throughout remains.”
He added: “Preventing a respondent from being deterred from attending a trial is a legitimate objective.
“In these particular circumstances given the high degree of sensitivity and vulnerability faced by a muslim woman living in (a Middle Eastern country), a full RRO is in my view necessary for the adminstration of justice.
“If the claims are unfounded she is more likely to come to London to have the case tried. These allegations are of a sexual nature and are mixed up with allegations of wider misconduct.”
Attempts by the Royal family to have the case moved to later in the year due to their children’s commitments were dismissed by the judge.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3126 on: Mar 1st, 2011, 08:51am »
Wired Danger Room
Dating Site is the new Hotspot for Libyan protest By Adrian Covert, Gizmodo.com March 1, 2011 | 10:03 am Categories: Info War
On a Muslim dating site called Mawada: http://en.mawada.net/ there’s a man with a profile titled “Where Is Miriam?” He will frequently receive messages from other Muslim women which read something along the lines of “may your day be filled with Jasmine.” He’s also quite popular with the ladies, amassing over 171,000 admirers. But neither “Where Is Miriam,” nor his admirers are interested in love. They’re interested in toppling the Libyan regime led by Muammar Gaddafi.
According to ABC News, the dating site had been used over the past couple of weeks as a clandestine location to exchange information and words of encouragement regarding the citizen uprisings in Libya. Many of the 171,000 admirers who follow “Where Is Miriam?” (aka Libyan opposition leader Omar Shibliy Mahmoudi) on Mawada aren’t even women. But because the dating site forbids contact between men, male dissidents had to forge female identities such as “Girl of the Desert” and “Sweet Butterfly.”
Messages posted to Mahmoudi’s page, like the one above, were essentially written in code to further conceal their actions (the Jasmine mention is referring to the Jasmine revolution.) When referring to liberty, users would often use the word love, and when they wanted to meet up, they would express a desire to call one another. Using these methods, they were not only able to contact Mahmoudi, but each other as well, helping to spur on the Libyan revolt. [ABC News via Discover]
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3127 on: Mar 1st, 2011, 10:39am »
Chilean Miners Sign With WME for Film, TV, More 10:15 AM 3/1/2011 by Daniel Miller
Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images
The agency will represent the official life rights of the 33 men rescued in October after 69 days of being stuck inside a caved-in copper and gold mine.
The Chilean miners who captivated the world’s attention last year have found the their Hollywood home, signing with WME. Now, the process of selling the miners as a package deal begins.
WME will represent the official life rights of the 33 miners, who were rescued in October after a 69-day plight inside a caved-in copper and gold mine in Copiapó, Chile. The deal comes after lawyers for the miners visited Los Angeles earlier this year to meet with agents and shop the harrowing story.
The Hollywood Reporter has previously reported that the miners’ lawyers were planning to create a corporation that would collectively own book and movie rights to each miner’s story, positioning the group to potentially sell the whole package to a single media company for a lump sum. It’s an uncommon setup for the most unique of stories.
The rescue, which cost a reported $20 million, was carried out over less than 24 hours, starting Oct. 12 and concluding the next day. Most of the miners emerged from 2,000 feet below the earth’s surface in good health, with all expected to fully recover from their injuries and ailments.
The miners, who were rescued in front of worldwide news cameras, made a pact that they would not reveal what transpired during their time in the mine. THR has reported that under the terms of their agreement with each other, the miners are free to make public appearances -- as they have been doing -- and to be paid to give talks. But they are not to discuss what happened inside the mine, nor can they enter into side deals to profit from their personal stories.
The miners emerged from the San José copper-gold mine as instant celebrities. They were feted in their native country and went on a media tour that included stops in New York and Los Angeles in November. Miner Edison Pena Villarroel appeared on Late Show With David Letterman and the group toured Hollywood landmarks and visited Universal Studios.
The agency will represent the miners’ life rights in all areas, including television, film, books, commercials, theater and lectures; the deal includes complete access to the daily journal kept by one of the miners throughout the ordeal.
There has not yet been an authorized account of the miners’ story; however, it is expected that at least a handful of unauthorized accounts of the saga will soon be released. For example, one of the first projects to focus on the rescue, 33 Men, Buried Alive: The Inside Story of the Trapped Chilean Miners, a book by The Guardian contributor Jonathan Franklin, is due for release this year. And The 33 of San Jose, a Spanish film about the miners’ ordeal was rushed into the American Film Market in November in the aftermath of the rescue.
A six or possibly seven-figure book deal for the miners should be a slam-dunk, as would a film project, experts have said.
The miners are also represented in the U.S. by Arent Fox Llp. and in their home country by Chilean law firm Carey y Cía and attorney Remberto Valdés.
The 33 miners include the aforementioned Villarroel, Alex Vega Salazar, Ariel Ticona Yanez, Carlos Andres Bugueno Alfaro, Carlos Mamani Soliz, Carlos Barrios Contreras, Claudio Acuna Cortes, Claudio David Yanez Lagos, Daniel Herrera Campos, Dario Segovia Rojo, Edison Pena Villarroel, Esteban Alfonso Rojas Carrizo, Florencio Antonio Avalos Silva, Franklin Lobos Ramirez, Jorge Hernan Galleguillos Orellana, Jose Henriquez Gonzalez, Jose Ojeda Vidal, Juan Carlos Aguilar Gaete, Juan Andres Illanes Palma, Jimmy Sanchez Lagues, Luis Alberto Urzua Iribarren, Mario Gomez Heredia, Mario Sepulveda Espinace, Omar Alejandro Reygadas Rojas, Osman Isidro Araya Araya, Pablo Amadeos Rojas Villacorta, Pedro Cortez Contreras, Raul Bustos Ibanez, Renan Anselmo Avalos Silva, Richard Villarroel Godoy, Samuel Dionisio Avalos Acuna, Victor Antonio Segovia Rojas, Victor Zamora Bugueno and Yonni Barrios Rojas.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3128 on: Mar 1st, 2011, 10:43am »
Parts of Brain Can Switch Functions: In People Born Blind, Brain Regions That Usually Process Vision Can Tackle Language
ScienceDaily (Mar. 1, 2011)
— When your brain encounters sensory stimuli, such as the scent of your morning coffee or the sound of a honking car, that input gets shuttled to the appropriate brain region for analysis. The coffee aroma goes to the olfactory cortex, while sounds are processed in the auditory cortex.
MRI scan of brain. (Credit: iStockphoto)
That division of labor suggests that the brain's structure follows a predetermined, genetic blueprint. However, evidence is mounting that brain regions can take over functions they were not genetically destined to perform. In a landmark 1996 study of people blinded early in life, neuroscientists showed that the visual cortex could participate in a nonvisual function -- reading Braille.
Now, a study from MIT neuroscientists shows that in individuals born blind, parts of the visual cortex are recruited for language processing. The finding suggests that the visual cortex can dramatically change its function -- from visual processing to language -- and it also appears to overturn the idea that language processing can only occur in highly specialized brain regions that are genetically programmed for language tasks.
"Your brain is not a prepackaged kind of thing. It doesn't develop along a fixed trajectory, rather, it's a self-building toolkit. The building process is profoundly influenced by the experiences you have during your development," says Marina Bedny, an MIT postdoctoral associate in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and lead author of the study, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of Feb. 28.
For more than a century, neuroscientists have known that two specialized brain regions -- called Broca's area and Wernicke's area -- are necessary to produce and understand language, respectively. Those areas are thought to have intrinsic properties, such as specific internal arrangement of cells and connectivity with other brain regions, which make them uniquely suited to process language.
Other functions -- including vision and hearing -- also have distinct processing centers in the sensory cortices. However, there appears to be some flexibility in assigning brain functions. Previous studies in animals (in the laboratory of Mriganka Sur, MIT professor of brain and cognitive sciences) have shown that sensory brain regions can process information from a different sense if input is rewired to them surgically early in life. For example, connecting the eyes to the auditory cortex can provoke that brain region to process images instead of sounds.
Until now, no such evidence existed for flexibility in language processing. Previous studies of congenitally blind people had shown some activity in the left visual cortex of blind subjects during some verbal tasks, such as reading Braille, but no one had shown that this might indicate full-fledged language processing.
Bedny and her colleagues, including senior author Rebecca Saxe, assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences, and Alvaro Pascual-Leone, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, set out to investigate whether visual brain regions in blind people might be involved in more complex language tasks, such as processing sentence structure and analyzing word meanings.
To do that, the researchers scanned blind subjects (using functional magnetic resonance imaging) as they performed a sentence comprehension task. The researchers hypothesized that if the visual cortex was involved in language processing, those brain areas should show the same sensitivity to linguistic information as classic language areas such as Broca's and Wernicke's areas.
They found that was indeed the case -- visual brain regions were sensitive to sentence structure and word meanings in the same way as classic language regions, Bedny says. "The idea that these brain regions could go from vision to language is just crazy," she says. "It suggests that the intrinsic function of a brain area is constrained only loosely, and that experience can have really a big impact on the function of a piece of brain tissue."
Bedny notes that the research does not refute the idea that the human brain needs Broca's and Wernicke's areas for language. "We haven't shown that every possible part of language can be supported by this part of the brain [the visual cortex]. It just suggests that a part of the brain can participate in language processing without having evolved to do so," she says.
One unanswered question is why the visual cortex would be recruited for language processing, when the language processing areas of blind people already function normally. According to Bedny, it may be the result of a natural redistribution of tasks during brain development.
"As these brain functions are getting parceled out, the visual cortex isn't getting its typical function, which is to do vision. And so it enters this competitive game of who's going to do what. The whole developmental dynamic has changed," she says.
This study, combined with other studies of blind people, suggest that different parts of the visual cortex get divvied up for different functions during development, Bedny says. A subset of (left-brain) visual areas appears to be involved in language, including the left primary visual cortex.
It's possible that this redistribution gives blind people an advantage in language processing. The researchers are planning follow-up work in which they will study whether blind people perform better than sighted people in complex language tasks such as parsing complicated sentences or performing language tests while being distracted.
The researchers are also working to pinpoint more precisely the visual cortex's role in language processing, and they are studying blind children to figure out when during development the visual cortex starts processing language.
A soldier with connections to Norwalk was killed in Afghanistan on Monday, the Department of Defense announced.
U.S. Army Pfc. David R. Fahey, Jr., 23, died in Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan during a morning patrol from injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device.
Fahey was raised in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. and graduated from schools there before moving to Norwalk briefly. He was living in Norwalk at the time he enlisted in the Army.
Pfc. David R. Fahey, Jr., 23, of Norwalk, Conn., died Feb. 28, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device. Photo: Contributed Photo / Stamford Advocate
Fahey's 57-year-old uncle, Christopher Fahey of Wilmington, N.C., described his nephew as a gregarious and religious young man who enlisted in the U.S. Army after high school in order to gain training and experience as a police officer. Christopher said his nephew had a job lined up with the New York Police Department after his tour of duty ended.
"He always talked about becoming a policeman," Christopher said.
Fahey was raised by his uncle Tom Fahey after his own father passed away, Christopher said. His brother took custody of Fahey, his younger sister and little brother and cared for them along with his four children. He said Fahey lived in Norwalk with relatives briefly after graduating high school and before enlisting in the military.
"He was friendly," Christopher said from his home Tuesday afternoon. "He has a load of friends. He was well liked."
Christopher said Fahey enlisted for a four-year tour and was due to finish the last few months of service at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Wash. He said the family is devastated by Fahey's death.
"We're all still in shock," Christopher said.
Christopher said his brother told him the Army is sending his nephew's body to the United States and will hold a private ceremony Wednesday morning at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for the aunt and uncle who raised Fahey. Funeral arrangements for friends and relatives are still being arranged, he said.
Fahey was in a military police unit as part of the 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade deployed out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Wash.
He enlisted in the Army on Aug. 31, 2007 in Springfield, Mass. and was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in September 2009 for basic training, according to unit records. Following his training Fahey served 12 months at Camp Walker in Korea.
Fahey reported to then-Fort Lewis (now known as Joint Base Lewis-McChord following the defense department's base reorganization). In June 2010 his company deployed to Afghanistan.
"On behalf of the entire Joint Base Lewis-McChord community, we extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Pfc. Fahey," the public affairs office at the base said in a statement.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered the state and U.S. flags to fly at half staff in Fahey's honor.
"Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of Pfc. David Fahey," said Malloy in a statement. "Our country lost a brave and dedicated serviceman, and we stand with the men and women who are grieving the loss of Pfc. Fahey, and the families of the other brave soldiers, sailors, and airmen who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Our hearts go out to the soldiers who are working so hard, so far away from home. We wish for your safe and speedy return."
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3131 on: Mar 1st, 2011, 5:55pm »
Russia Sets Arms Export Record of $10B By NABI ABDULLAEV Published: 1 Mar 2011 18:19
MOSCOW - Russia set an arms export sales record in 2010, earning more than $10 billion, Russian officials said.
"We are having another record. The planned target was set at $9.5 billion, and we went beyond $10 billion," Igor Dmitriyev, head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, told the Kommersant newspaper in an interview published Feb. 24.
A spokesman for the Rosoboronexport state arms export agency confirmed these numbers on March 1, saying the agency accounted for about 80 percent of the 2010 arms sales revenue. He refused to disclose other details about sales.
Last year, Rosoboronexport earned $7.4 billion and had an order portfolio of $32 billion.
Dmitriyev said that Russia's foreign arms order portfolio has grown to $48 billion as of early 2011. He added that Russia retains a competitive edge on the international arms market due to relatively cheap prices and "the satisfactory quality level" of its weapons.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3132 on: Mar 1st, 2011, 5:58pm »
Breast milk ice cream banned from London shop
An ice cream parlour in London has been forced to stop selling its "Baby Gaga" flavour, which is made with human breast milk.
11:46PM GMT 01 Mar 2011
Matt O'Connor, the founder and owner of The Icecreamists, where the frozen delicacy was sold, said the ice cream proved to be popular with the customers.
However, Westminster Council officials took away samples for testing and later sent a letter to Mr O'Connor ordering him to stop selling the dish.
Westminster Councillor Brian Connell said: "Following two complaints from members of the public and concerns from the Health Protection Agency and Food Standards Agency, Westminster Council officers visited the premises on Friday (February 25) and removed all ice cream being sold as containing breast milk.
"The business owner has agreed to stop producing and selling the ice cream while it is tested. Selling foodstuffs made from another person's bodily fluids can lead to viruses being passed on and in this case, potentially hepatitis. As the local authority we will support small businesses and applaud innovative ideas wherever possible, but we must protect the health of consumers."
But Mr O'Connor insists the ban is an overreaction, claiming the key novelty ingredient was screened and tested before being used.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3134 on: Mar 1st, 2011, 6:31pm »
Cracked Mayan Code May Point to 8 Tons of Lost Treasure
Published March 01, 2011
| Fox News Latino
It's a treasure hunt even Indiana Jones would be proud of. Buried beneath a lake in Guatamala sits a fortune in lost treasure -- Mayan gold to be precise -- and a group of German archaeologists has just set off to find it. Their only guidance, a freshly decoded ancient book containing a map to the treasure.
It sounds like a movie, but it's very much real, reported FoxNewsLatino. Joachim Rittsteig, an expert in Mayan writing who is heading up the mission to Guatemala's Lake Izabal, the site reported. Rittsteig claims to have cracked the famous Dresden Codex, a pre-Columbian Maya book possibly from the 11th century, and discovered in its pages specific information that leads to a treasure in the lake.
"The Dresden Codex leads to a giant treasure of eight tons of pure gold," said Rittsteig, who has spent more than 40 years studying the document. According to the German newspaper Bild, which is sponsoring the expedition, two reporters from the publication, a photographer, a television camera, and a professional diver will visit Izabal in an attempt to find the gold.
A professor emeritus at Dresden University and author of various publications about the Maya culture, Rittsteig stressed that the information is in the Codex.
"Page 52 talks about the Maya capital of Atlan, which was ruined by an earthquake on October 30th in the year 666 BC," he said. "In this city, they kept 2,156 gold tablets on which the Maya recorded their laws."
Read more about the quest for lost Mayan treasure (really!) at FoxNewsLatino.