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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 91147 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #315 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 07:26am »

Good morning Phil,
What a cute baby. The dog is cute too!
Crystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #316 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 07:28am »

Phantoms and Monsters

Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Your Take: Government UFO / Alien Disinformation Campaigns

The upcoming release of Mark Pilkington's book Mirage Men: An Adventure into Paranoia, Espionage, Psychological Warfare, and UFOs has stirred up a lot of sentiment and conjecture within the UFO community.

Pilkington attempts to prove that the U.S. government has been conducting top-secret UFO conspiracy campaigns designed not to hide UFOs but publicize the phenomenon which, in turn, fuels and creates UFO and extraterrestrial myths. Strange flying objects, alien abductions, crashed spacecraft, clandestine underground bases, etc....supposedly concocted by the U.S. government and military.

These 'disinformation conspiracy' theories have been around for decades but there has been a recent surge in the discussion, stoked by the numerous blogs and forums only a mouse click away.

So...what are your thoughts on these UFO/alien disinformation conspiracy theories? I'd really like to present your arguments and speculation on this subject. Please forward your response to send us an email. I would appreciate well written detail of your position so it can be published on 'Phantoms and Monsters'.

I plan to periodically ask some of the more intriguing alternative questions to my readers so they can respond, share and learn with others. I am grateful to those who took the time to participate in the 'Interdimensional Sasquatch' dialogue...Lon

Mark Pilkington's blog - Mirage Men: Folklore and Deception

http://naturalplane.blogspot.com/2010/07/your-take-government-ufo-alien.html

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« Reply #317 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 07:31am »

New York Times

July 29, 2010
2nd Sailor’s Body Found in Afghanistan
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 7:36 a.m. ET

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A senior U.S. military official and Afghan officials say the body of a second U.S. sailor who went missing in a dangerous part of eastern Afghanistan has been recovered.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose the information, says the family of Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove -- a 25-year-old from the Seattle area -- has been notified of his death.

Government and police officials in Logar province say villagers found a body, clothed in a uniform, on Wednesday in Baraki Barak district.

Baraki Barak is next door to Charkh district where Newlove and Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin McNeley went missing last Friday.

McNeley's body was recovered in the area on Sunday.
r.i.p.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/07/29/world/AP-AS-Afghanistan.html

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« Reply #318 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 07:42am »

New York Times

July 28, 2010
Marveling at Wonders Out of This World
By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN

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WASHINGTON — When I was very young, I cherished a collection of “space cards” — trading cards that accompanied packs of bubble gum — offering exotic visions that supposedly would soon be within reach: space ships gliding through Saturn’s rings; explorers enduring a Venus dust storm; loopy Technicolor Martians making their first contact with visiting Earthlings.

Some of those half-century-old imaginings may have been outlandish, but the cards left their mark, assisted by decades of science fiction that confidently assumed we were on the brink of an era of pioneering exploration. In a way, we were, though not quite as those cards suggested. But the appetite they whetted remained.

The images on view at a remarkable exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum here could well serve as inspirational space cards for this century. But they possess far greater power than those old naïve fantasies. They are vividly, compellingly real; they astonish and bewilder, luring the viewer into a state of wonder.

In “Beyond: Visions of Our Solar System” 148 photographs of moons and planets show these brave new worlds as extraordinary landscapes of mists, dunes, fissures and rocks. The exhibition has appeared in other, more modest incarnations (including as a traveling show), but this is its most complete form. The filmmaker, writer and photographer Michael Benson deserves much credit for the refinement of these images, but we need no technical understanding of their origins to be struck by what they portray.

The clouds surrounding Venus have disappeared as radar images reveal a terrain of sharp-edged ridges, volcanic craters, petrified lava flows and delicate striations — testimony to a relentlessly active geographical furnace. We see the blue copperish haze of a Martian sunset — not the invention of a painter of a child’s bubble-gum cards but the actual scene from the planet’s surface, a small sun penetrating the atmosphere’s powdery dust.

Saturn is photographed as if by a tourist who can’t get enough shots of the Eiffel Tower, though now the viewer only wishes there were more. It is as if the material world had been left behind for a realm of eerie golden textures, delicately shaded rings and suspended threads of light. Jupiter, in all its immensity, is almost eclipsed by the impression left by its tiny moon Europa, which has a surface like the skin of an aged man’s skull, seeming almost transparent, showing veins beneath thin flesh, its crusts and ridges the relics of ancient forces.

Some images — umbilical coils of roiling fire from the surface of the Sun or Martian dunes with dark spots marking the melting of carbon-dioxide frost — almost appear to be abstractions, bearing little resemblance to anything familiar. As for Earth seen from space, even that sight is presented anew, the planet outlined by a glowing crescent of reflected sunlight hitting clouds above the South Pacific.

These photographs offer an implicit chastisement to the wild pop sci-fi imaginings of the past, but they are also fulfillments of the same urge to know what lies beyond our gravity-bound grasp. They are records of unusual ventures, magnificently achieved: they were taken by unmanned space probes and beamed back to Earth. These contraptions may not carry human life, but they are instruments of the extended human will and imagination.

We have sent these probing eyes catapulting in long orbits, sweeping past planets and their moons (as with the Galileo or Cassini missions), or (as with the Mars rovers) stubbornly exploring the planetary surface, or (as with Voyager 2) ultimately veering outward in silent millennial journeys through deep space. Arthur C. Clarke, after looking at some of these photographs, wrote in a foreword to Mr. Benson’s 2003 book (“Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes,” Abrams), “These images serve as a spectacular reaffirmation that we are privileged to live in the greatest age of exploration the world has ever known.”

But this is a strange kind of exploration because so little of it reveals any human presence. These images have not only been captured by robotic probes, they also show (unlike those early sci-fi pictures) barren worlds. We are looking at fearsomely beautiful realms that seem to preclude life and disdain the human. Whatever their character — ranging from the swirling random currents of Jupiter’s atmosphere to the draftsmanlike elegance of Uranus surrounded by a scarcely visible halo of slight rings — the harsh majesty seems to leave no room for a living presence.

Yet these are photographs. They present themselves to us as records of the real. They show us landscapes that the human eye might conceivably see. But we know too that they depict something we might never see. And some landscapes (like the surfaces of the Sun) we could never see. This mixture of the real and the imagined, along with these works’ humanly inspired inhuman origins, conspire to create a strange photographic universe in which the human is everywhere implicated but nowhere sensed.

Though these pictures were captured without human intervention, almost none would look the way they do without elaborate human tinkering. Though they are photographs, they are not snapshots. Most at this exhibition would not exist without Mr. Benson’s aesthetic labors; they are, in part, his creation.

Here is where this record becomes even more knotty. We have all, by now, seen the astonishing photographs from the Hubble Telescope with their vibrant portrayals of colliding galaxies and giant star clusters. You see similar moving images on planetarium domes: full-color displays of exploding crimson or yellow accompanied by sub-wooferish whooshes of sound.

Well, the colors are as phony as the sound. The Hubble pictures are all in black and white; colors are imposed to approximate hues suggested by frequency data. These tints are often exaggerated for dramatic effect or to create contrast. Even the image creators acknowledge they may not resemble what an eye in galactic space might see. Many are colorized far more radically than any 1930s movie.

Mr. Benson is more rigorous because he takes the human eye as a guide; he wants to show us what the eye would see if only it could. He immersed himself in the raw photo Web databases of NASA and the European Space Agency and then got to work, selecting, cropping, matching, shifting. He explains his approach in his book “Beyond” and on his Web site, but this should be demonstrated in the exhibition in far more detail; we really don’t know how much was done to each image.

Black-and-white moon pictures from lunar orbiters of 1966 and ’67, for example, originated on 70-millimeter film that was developed aboard the craft itself, then scanned and transmitted to Earth. What came back were not stunning vistas but scans of film strips. Fragmentary images had to be matched, gaps filled in, contrast adjusted. Many later pictures are also created out of mosaics: one view of Jupiter and Europa from 1979 was put together out of 60 pieces.

Color was also an issue, as with the Hubble. “Almost all of these photographs,” Mr. Benson writes, “required substantial amounts of digital processing. Many had never been rendered into color before, or if they had they’d long since vanished.” In general, whether a spacecraft used video technology or digital sensors, three successive shots were taken in black and white, each using a different frequency filter, so color information might later be deduced.

But because the camera might be whipping by a planet at 35,000 miles per hour, these three raw images might not perfectly match. So Mr. Benson and his colleague, a planetary scientist and imagery expert, Paul Geissler, transformed them so they could be superimposed and used to create color pictures. In some cases color information was unavailable and had to be inferred from another mission’s shots of the same landscape. The show’s panoramic glimpse of a Martian dust storm, Mr. Benson explained in an e-mail message, took him months of work, drawing on about 100 images.

It is amazing that this process is as invisible as it seems here, and the results encourage trust in Mr. Benson’s and Mr. Geissler’s judgments. “The solar system is already spectacular enough,” Mr. Benson writes, “without pumping artificial colors into it.”

But of course he is still creating many of these photographs out of data that would be far less impressive in its raw form. So these works are as much a record of Mr. Benson’s explorations as the spacecraft’s. And the care in which they are made ensures that however inhospitable to human visitation these worlds may seem, the pictures are a reminder of the crucial presence of human passion and perception.

At a time when American plans for human space travel seem to be at a standstill and NASA’s mission confused, these haunting images captured by robotic probes paradoxically suggest that this won’t truly be a great age of exploration until, despite harshness, costs and challenges, we again see the importance of human experience in space.

“Beyond: Visions of Our Solar System” is on view through May 2 at the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington; nasm.si.edu.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/arts/design/29museum.html?hp

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #319 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 07:46am »

on Jul 29th, 2010, 07:31am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
New York Times

July 29, 2010
2nd Sailor’s Body Found in Afghanistan
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 7:36 a.m. ET

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A senior U.S. military official and Afghan officials say the body of a second U.S. sailor who went missing in a dangerous part of eastern Afghanistan has been recovered.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose the information, says the family of Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove -- a 25-year-old from the Seattle area -- has been notified of his death.

Government and police officials in Logar province say villagers found a body, clothed in a uniform, on Wednesday in Baraki Barak district.

Baraki Barak is next door to Charkh district where Newlove and Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin McNeley went missing last Friday.

McNeley's body was recovered in the area on Sunday.
r.i.p.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/07/29/world/AP-AS-Afghanistan.html

Crystal

Yeah, just read it. My condolences to his family. sad
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« Reply #320 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 07:49am »

Telegraph

Giant asteroid 'heading for Earth in 2182'
A giant asteroid called 1999 RQ36 may crash into Earth on September 24 2182, scientists believe.

By Alastair Jamieson
Published: 12:52PM BST 29 Jul 2010

A team of experts, including some working for NASA, believes the 612-yards-wide object has a one-in-a-thousand chance of an impact 172 years from now.

The odds of a crash are considerably shorter than those given for the asteroid Apophis, which has a 1 in 250,000 chance of striking Earth in 2036.

A report in the solar system journal, Icarus, said the odds of an earlier impact were more remote but increased by 2080 when its orbit will bring it swinging back towards Earth.

Maria Eugenia Sansaturio from the Universidad de Valladolid in Spain, who co-led the research, told Universe Today that knowledge of the risk posed by the asteroid "may help design in advance mechanisms aimed at deviating the asteroid's path."

It was first discovered in 1999 and is more than twice the size of Apophis. If it were to hit it is likely to cause widespread devastation and possible mass extinction.

Sansaturio added: "The consequence … is not just the likelihood of a comparatively large impact, but also that a realistic deflection procedure, or path deviation could only be made before the impact in 2080, and more easily, before 2060.2

Previous asteroid impacts are thought to have created massive craters and tsunamis and have even been blamed for the extinction of the dinosaurs

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/7916088/Giant-asteroid-heading-for-Earth-in-2182.html

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« Reply #321 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 07:55am »

on Jul 29th, 2010, 07:46am, philliman wrote:
Yeah, just read it. My condolences to his family. sad


Good morning again you!
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« Reply #322 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 07:58am »

News 24

Iceman mummy's DNA mapped
2010-07-27 21:50
Peter Mayer

Bolzano - Scientists said on Tuesday they had decoded the genome of a mummified Stone Age hunter found in the Italian Alps in 1991 - an achievement that could boost genetic medicine studies, including those on hereditary diseases.

"We now have access to the complete genetic profile of this world famous mummy. As a result the path is clear for an imminent solution to many of the puzzles surrounding the Iceman," the Bolzano-based European Academy (Eurac) said in a statement.

Nicknamed Oetzi, the 5 000-year-old mummy is housed in the South Tyrol Archaeology Museum in Bolzano. He is believed to have died aged 46 after being shot with an arrow.

Scientists from Eurac, the University of Tbingen and experts in bioinformatics at Heidelberg, Germany, used the latest technologies to study Oetzi's DNA - a process that began with the extraction of a bone sample from the pelvis of the ice mummy.

"It was a sensationally fast result," Albert Zink, head of Eurac's Institute for Mummies and the Iceman, told the German Press Agency. The process had been completed in two to three months when in the past "years" were required for such genome studies, Zink said.

The scientists now aim to process the "enormous quantity" of bio-data which has become available to them.

Such research could yield information on whether Oetzi's descendants are still around today and if so, where they may be found.

It could also show up possible genetic mutations between modern humans and those who lived in ancient times, as well as information on common modern-day genetic diseases and other prevalent illnesses such as diabetes or cancer, Eurac said.

http://www.news24.com/SciTech/News/Iceman-mummys-DNA-mapped-20100727

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« Reply #323 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 08:03am »

Express United Kingdom

ALIENS: The truth is out there
Thursday July 29,2010
By Simon Edge

ONE night in October 1957, working after dark to avoid the heat of the sun, a 23-year-old Brazilian called Antonio Villas Boas was ploughing a field on the banks of the Rio Grande. Suddenly an egg-shaped object surrounded by purple lights landed in front of him.

He tried to run but a short, strong creature dressed in strange clothing grabbed him. Three taller beings then emerged and carried him back to the craft, pushing him up a ladder and through a hatch. They wore striped overalls and cloth helmets which extended twice the height of a human head. Silver tubes ran from their ­helmets to their overalls.

The farmer was stripped by his ­captors, wiped with some kind of fluid and put in a small chamber. He was then joined by a beautiful, naked woman – humanoid but with unusually pointed features – who proceeded to seduce him. When it was over, she smiled and pointed at her stomach and then to the sky, leading the ­Brazilian to conclude she was going to have their child. He was allowed to dress and was escorted out of the craft, which shot away into the air. He staggered home and vomited.

Being kidnapped by sex-starved aliens in an unidentified flying object may sound like a fantasy but author Mark Pilkington believes it. Not that he thinks Villas Boas was really abducted to populate a distant ­galaxy; but he does think it’s a sincere description of what the farmer saw.

“Certain UFO sightings throughout the history of the subject were demonstrations or tests to see how people would respond to them,” he says. “I don’t have solid evidence that’s what happened in the Villas Boas story but it can be read as some kind of experiment or operation disguised as a UFO kidnapping. What he describes sounds very like a helicopter and humans in funny costumes. The CIA was ­certainly involved in Brazil at the time and my guess would be they were testing out some new incapacitant as a potential battlefield drug.”

In his new book Mirage Men – ­subtitled A Journey In Disinformation, Paranoia And UFOs – Pilkington outlines a remarkable theory. Conspiracy theorists are right, he says, to suspect an elaborate deception by the US government relating to UFOs. But the conspiracy is not to hide the fact that extra-­terrestrials have landed, as most “ufologists” believe. Rather, he says the CIA and another US agency called the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) are responsible for spreading those very conspiracy theories.

In other words, the US government wants a network of paranoid sky-gazers to believe it has spent decades covering up evidence of flying saucers, alien abduction and intergalactic contact.

He traces this campaign back to an article in Life, then America’s most popular magazine, in April 1952. It was entitled Have We Visitors From Space? “The Air Force,” it began, “is now ready to concede that many saucer and fireball sightings still defy explanation; here Life offers some scientific ­evidence that there is a real case for interplanetary saucers.”

Written after its two authors spent a year in consultation with the Air Force, the article nailed its colours to the ET mast – and was followed by a massive surge in UFO sightings.

The idea, Pilkington suggests, was to direct public opinion towards an extra-­terrestrial interpretation of any unusual goings-on that might occur in the night skies. Better that than for intelligence to leak of the new ­generation of Cold War ­military aircraft they were testing – some of which may well have been disc-shaped.

One victim of the deception, which Pilkington says has gone on for decades, was Paul Bennewitz, an engineer who lived near an Air Force base in New Mexico. In 1979 he began filming strange lights in the sky and recording radio transmissions that he thought were associated with them. Already prone to believe in UFOs, he contacted the base to say it was being targeted by extra-terrestrials.

“The Air Force could easily have brushed him off,” ­Pilkington writes. Instead, he says, it encouraged Bennewitz in his delusions. For the next few years AFOSI passed him faked government UFO documents, gave him a computer that appeared to be receiving transmissions from malevolent aliens and created a fake UFO base in a remote part of the state. The campaign eventually pushed him into ­madness.

“Within the UFO community it is assumed that the CIA, the National Security Agency and others are tools in the cover-up of the truth,” Pilkington says. “But the Bennewitz affair, which is well documented, suggests that the opposite might be the case and that these agencies were responsible for much of the UFO mythology.”

In 1996, ufologist Dennis Balthaser was lured to a meeting with two agents who said they were from AFOSI. Balthaser worked at a Roswell, New Mexico, museum dedicated to the “UFO crash” near that town in the Forties from which alien bodies were allegedly recovered. In a scene that could have been from TV series The X-Files, the agents assured him the Roswell Incident had happened. The aliens were real and had left a homing beacon buried in the desert. The government wanted to tell the world but was trying to work out the best way. In the meantime, museum staff should watch what they said and to whom.

Pilkington says it’s possible Balthaser made it all up or was the victim of an elaborate prank. But he argues the story has the ring of truth, especially after what happened to Bennewitz. In that case, it does seem the US Air Force wanted to promote the Roswell story.

But why would it bother? Unless the agents themselves were living in a fantasy world what possible rationale could they have for such behaviour?

“A useful analogy is to think of the plane-spotters arrested in Greece a few years ago,” says Pilkington. “They posed a threat to the military even though it was not their intention. In the same way, UFO enthusiasts are a pain in the butt to the Air Force. Even if they misinterpret what they see they are still photographing, publishing, describing and sharing information about advanced technologies.

“As a government, you want to keep your skies as an arena where you can do what you like. Since there are some people who are always going to be interested in what’s going on up there, the best thing is to keep them believing what they want to believe. It’s a two-tier approach because if you make sure their beliefs are as ridiculous as possible, the wider public dismisses everything they say.”

Put like that, it’s a credible theory. The problem is that in a world of disinformation it’s impossible to verify anything. Thus in the Seventies and Eighties, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan both spoke publicly about their own UFO sightings. That either means the conspiracy went all the way to the top, and two successive ­presidents were helping perpetuate the myth – or that the deep-stealth plan worked so well that even the presidents fell for it.

The truth, as they used to say in The X-Files, is out there. Whether we can ever establish it is another matter.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/189831/Aliens-are-here

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« Reply #324 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 08:07am »

LA Times

South Korean prime minister offers resignation
The Associated Press

3:55 AM PDT, July 29, 2010

SEOUL

South Korea's prime minister offered to resign Thursday after parliament shot down his efforts to scrap a plan that would relocate several government ministries outside of the capital.

Chung Un-chan, an academic appointed in September, has led the charge to abandon the project, thought up by the previous liberal administration.

President Lee Myung-bak has said the plan to move more than half of the 15 government ministries from Seoul and a nearby city would waste taxpayer money and create inefficiencies.

The National Assembly, however, voted down Lee's push late last month, forcing him to start work on implementing the original plan that proponents say would help foster regional development and resolve Seoul's worsening traffic and housing problems.

Chung's resignation came as a surprise since the ruling Grand National Party won Wednesday's parliamentary by-elections, which were seen as a referendum on public support for Lee. The post of prime minister is largely ceremonial with little decision-making power, but the person holding the position leads the country if the president becomes incapacitated.

Under the relocation plan, Seoul will remain the capital city and retain the presidential Blue House, the Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, among others. But other ministries, including some located in Gwacheon, a city near Seoul, would move to a site about 100 miles to the south.

Chung told a nationally televised news conference he had "a guilty conscience for failing to prevent a waste of national strength and national confusion" that the relocation would cause.

President Lee is likely to accept Chung's resignation, a presidential official said. He asked not to be identified because no official announcement has been made.

But Chung said he would continue his duties as the prime minister until Lee appoints his successor.

Lee has said he would reshuffle his Cabinet after the parliamentary by-elections, but didn't say if he would replace Chung, too.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fgw-korea-resign-20100730,0,1031450.story

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« Reply #325 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 08:11am »


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painting by suzanne frie
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« Reply #326 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 09:02am »

on Jul 26th, 2010, 5:54pm, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Hi Seeker, Welcome cheesy

Coffee at 4:30am
Coffee kicks in at 4:45 am
Hit the computer! Whoopie!
Posts flying everywhere!

Seriously, I like to run through the news in the morning and I post as I find things that might be of interest here. It's an open thread so feel free to post anything you like.
Crystal


Thankee, Wings! Much appreciated grin
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« Reply #327 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 11:55am »

on Jul 29th, 2010, 09:02am, Seeker wrote:
Thankee, Wings! Much appreciated grin


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« Reply #328 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 12:49pm »

on Jul 29th, 2010, 07:55am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Good morning again you!
Crystal

Hello, how are you? smiley

Am just fine and glad to be here! smiley

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« Reply #329 on: Jul 29th, 2010, 1:46pm »

on Jul 29th, 2010, 12:49pm, philliman wrote:
Hello, how are you? smiley

Am just fine and glad to be here! smiley

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What a gorgeous photograph!!
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