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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 92027 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #4155 on: Jun 3rd, 2011, 07:36am »

on Jun 2nd, 2011, 9:01pm, Swamprat wrote:
Il Silenzio

To all military friends and others who appreciate the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces.

Here is Taps played as it was first written. Many of you may never have heard it played in its entirety. The original version was called Last Post, and was written by Daniel Butterfield in 1801. It was rather lengthy and formal, as you will hear in this clip, so in 1862 it was shortened to 24 notes and re-named Taps.

Melissa Venema, age 13, is the trumpet soloist. She is playing this rendition on a trumpet whereby the original was played on a bugle.

The conductor of the orchestra is Andre Rieu from Holland.

The young lady, her trumpet and her rendition of TAPS is a fitting tribute for those who offered their lives for our country.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4l3Rgq-L1M





Thank you Swamprat.

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« Reply #4156 on: Jun 3rd, 2011, 07:38am »

New York Times

June 2, 2011
House Sets Votes on Two Resolutions Critical of U.S. Role in Libyan Conflict
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER and CHARLIE SAVAGE

WASHINGTON — The House will vote Friday on two measures that are strongly critical of President Obama’s decision to maintain an American role in NATO operations in Libya, reflecting increasing disenchantment among elements of both parties about the United States’ involvement in the conflict.

The decision to put the resolutions to a vote came after Republican leaders earlier this week postponed consideration of one of them, which would direct the president to end American’s military involvement in the operations. It was sponsored by Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, the Ohio Democrat who is one of the most liberal members of the House.

The leadership feared that the Kucinich measure would pass with backing from an unlikely coalition of liberals and conservatives, a step they contended would send the wrong message to allies engaged in other conflicts with the United States.

On Thursday, Speaker John A. Boehner took the unusual step of presenting his own resolution to his caucus to be voted on by the full House on Friday, along with the Kucinich measure.

If either or both were to pass, it would represent the most assertive stance by Congress to date on the Libya conflict and highlight the chronic tensions between the executive and legislative branches over the president’s ability to wage war without Congress’s express approval.

The United States is currently providing NATO with intelligence, logistical support and armed drones in what is largely a bombing campaign against Libyan government forces.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates was in Singapore on Thursday, where the Pentagon press secretary, Geoff Morrell, expressed concerns over the prospect of Congress voting against American support for the operations in Libya.

“It sends an unhelpful message of disunity and uncertainty to our troops, our allies and, most importantly, the Qaddafi regime,” Mr. Morrell said. He also warned that the Kucinich measure could harm American relations with NATO allies contributing troops to Afghanistan.

Mr. Boehner’s resolution notes that Mr. Obama has not obtained Congressional authorization for the air offensive in Libya. It demands that the administration provide, within 14 days, detailed information about the nature, cost and objectives of the American contribution to the NATO operation, as well as an explanation for why the White House did not come to Congress for permission.

Last month, Mr. Obama sent a letter to Congress emphasizing that the United States had turned control of the operation over to NATO and that it was primarily providing support to allies. The letter also said the administration supported the idea of lawmakers expressing their support for the operation, but it did not concede that such authorization was legally necessary.

Early in the conflict, the administration said it was within Mr. Obama’s power to initiate American participation in the hostilities without Congress because the combat was of limited scope and duration.

But the War Powers Resolution says that presidents must terminate hostilities after 60 days if they have not been authorized by Congress. That deadline passed on May 20, and the administration has not explained why it thinks it was lawful for the operation to continue.

Congressional opposition to American involvement in Libya sits at center of several otherwise unconnected points of view: the antiwar leanings of the left, the strong dislike of the president by many Republicans, fiscal concerns among Tea Party-backed lawmakers who are increasingly worried about the costs of military conflicts, and a broad feeling on Capitol Hill that the powers of Congress were usurped by the president’s decision not to seek explicit authorization to continue American involvement.

Last week, the House approved an amendment to a military authorization bill that would prevent the deployment of American ground troops to Libya.

“There is a question of how far we stretch our troops,” said Representative Tim Scott of South Carolina, a freshman Republican. “Also, what is the reason that we are there? I don’t think the answer to either of those questions is clear here.”

Mr. Kucinich’s resolution, citing the War Powers Resolution, directs the president to remove American armed forces from Libya 15 days after the date of adoption. It could conceivably find more support among Republicans than Democrats, some of whom will find themselves squeamish about rebuking a Democratic president. But the Republican leadership opposes the Kucinich measure.

It “would undermine our troops in harm’s way and undercut our allies who have stood by us in Afghanistan and other areas abroad,” Mr. Boehner said in a statement. “Regardless of how we got here, we cannot suddenly turn our backs on our troops and our NATO partners who have stuck by us for the last 10 years.”

The Democratic leadership suggested that it would not back either resolution. “The resolutions by Speaker Boehner and Congressman Kucinich, as currently drafted, do not advance our efforts in the region and send the wrong message to our NATO partners,” said Representative Nancy Pelosi in a statement.

Several Republicans leaving a meeting with Mr. Boehner Thursday said that they would have to consider both measures.

“As a 22-year combat veteran, I would be happy to stand beside Dennis Kucinich on this,” said Representative Allen B. West of Florida, a Republican freshman.

In that, Mr. West joins an unlikely alliance with Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York. “The president had no authority to go into Libya,” Mr. Nadler said. “There was no threat to the United States, and I think the action was illegal and wrong as a matter of constitutional law.”

Mr. Boehner’s measure is an appealing alternative to some members. “I think the president, if he’d come here to make the case, probably would have had widespread support,” said Representative Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois. However, Mr. Kinzinger said he did not support removing American forces from the operation in Libya and supported the overall mission as vital to American interests.

Even if passed by the House and the Senate, it is unclear how much impact either measure would have. A 1983 Supreme Court ruling raised doubts about the constitutionality of any attempt by Congress to direct the executive branch to do something using a resolution that the president has no chance to veto.

However, such a resolution could increase political pressure on the White House and set the stage for a later effort to cut off funds for further operations in Libya in a budget bill.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/03/us/politics/03policy.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #4157 on: Jun 3rd, 2011, 07:43am »

Guardian

New strain of MRSA superbug may have spread from cattle to humans.
Newly discovered MRSA strain found in cattle on 3% of dairy farms in the UK and caused 12 infections in people last year.

by Ian Sample, science correspondent
The Guardian, Friday 3 June 2011

Scientists in the UK have discovered a new strain of MRSA that appears to spread to humans from cattle and can cause life-threatening illness.

The drug-resistant strain was identified in cows' milk during a study of the udder infection mastitis in dairy herds. It is the first time any form of the MRSA – or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – has been found on British farms.

The new strain of the "superbug" has caused a small number of serious blood infections and more minor conditions in people, but health officials have downplayed the risk to the general population because standard tests in UK hospitals should detect the organism.

It is not known how the patients became infected with the new strain, but a likely route would be through contact with infected cattle or people who work with the animals.

Dr Mark Holmes, a veterinary scientist who led the study at the University of Cambridge, said milk from infected cows was safe to drink because the bug, along with other bacteria, was killed by pasteurisation. More than 99% of milk consumed in the UK is pasteurised. The bug was unlikely to survive in unpasteurised cheese, Holmes added.

But the presence of MRSA in the national herd will put farm workers at risk of becoming carriers of the infection and spreading it to the wider community. Early tests suggest the strain has spread to nearly 3% of dairy farms in the UK. A more extensive survey of British farms will begin this summer.

Roughly a third of the human population already carries S. aureus in their noses or on their skin, with around 1% of this being the drug-resistant form MRSA. The bug does not usually cause problems unless it infects broken skin.

The discovery of the new strain has led to calls for a rethink of how antibiotics are used on farms. The drugs are given to treat mastitis and other infections in cattle, but overuse encourages resistant bacterial strains to emerge.

The Cambridge group stumbled on the new strain of MRSA while testing milk from a farm in southwest England in 2007. Further work established that the strain existed at dairy farms across the UK. The same strain was later found among samples of S. aureus taken from people in Scotland, England, Ireland, Denmark and Germany. The oldest came from a Danish patient in 1975, implying the strain has gone unnoticed for at least 35 years.

According to a report in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, the bug appears to be on the rise, with the number of human cases in England and Scotland increasing from one in 2002 to nine in 2009 and 12 last year. "Whether we are looking at the beginning of a small peak, or a curve that will continue to rise, we don't know, but it does appear to be rising at the moment," Holmes said.

While the new strain can be detected by standard hospital tests in Britain, it is not picked up by the "gold standard" test used to confirm borderline cases of MRSA, because it has a different genetic make-up to the normal strain. One concern is that hospitals on the continent, which rely only on the latter test, will fail to detect the strain.

A spokesman for Dairy UK said the industry group had met with Holmes and was working with the university to expand its research.

"In the extremely rare cases where infection has occurred, this has been through physical contact, either cattle to cattle or cattle to people, and through cuts or open wounds and not through consumption of milk. The scrupulous hygiene practised by Britain's dairy farmers minimises risks of transmission," a spokesman for Dairy UK said.

Helen Browning, director of the organic food trade group the Soil Association, said the finding highlighted the need to minimise antibiotic use on farms.

"In the relentless drive for increased per animal productivity, and under acute price pressure, dairy systems are becoming ever more antibiotic dependent. We need to get farmers off this treadmill, even if that means that milk has to cost a few pennies more. That would be a very small price to pay for maintaining the efficacy of these life-saving drugs," she said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/jun/03/new-strain-mrsa-cattle-humans

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« Reply #4158 on: Jun 3rd, 2011, 07:46am »

LA Times

Yemen's chaos is good news for Al Qaeda

With Yemeni forces diverted to protect President Ali Abdullah Saleh's beleaguered regime, U.S. spying and special military operations have suffered. As result, Al Qaeda has had more opportunities to recruit and plot attacks.

By Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times
June 3, 2011
Reporting from Washington

The escalating violence in Yemen is hampering critical U.S. counter-terrorism operations and has given Al Qaeda's most active affiliate increased opportunities for recruitment and plotting, current and former U.S. officials warn.

Yemeni forces trained by the U.S. to help hunt Islamic militants have been diverted to protect the beleaguered regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, making it more difficult to support American spying and special military operations. At the same time, the U.S. has been forced to evacuate nonessential personnel from its embassy in the capital, Sana.

"The trends are strongly negative," Edmund Hull, U.S. ambassador to Yemen from 2001 to 2004, said Thursday. "The government is in chaos and Al Qaeda's operating space has expanded."

Yemen is the first nation caught up in this year's series of peaceful and violent uprisings across the Middle East where Al Qaeda appears to be gaining from the turmoil, experts said.

The rising chaos in Yemen after nearly four months of mostly peaceful street protests has become a growing worry for Washington. President Obama's top counter-terrorism advisor, John Brennan, is visiting the region this week to get a handle on what the White House called "the deteriorating situation in Yemen."

Saleh has reneged on deals brokered by regional leaders and U.S. Ambassador Gerald M. Feierstein to secure a peaceful end to the Yemeni president's nearly 33 years in power, a tenure marked by a separatist rebellion in the south, a Shiite Muslim insurgency in the north and the emergence of an Al Qaeda faction with global reach.

On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney again called on Saleh "to begin the process of transferring power immediately. We continue to call on his government to cease and desist from using violence against peaceful protesters. And we remain very concerned about what's happening there."

Reports that Al Qaeda fighters have seized cities in recent days are "overblown," U.S. officials said. Militants who have captured the southern port of Zinjibar are more likely local Islamists, said Leslie Campbell, Middle East director for the National Democratic Institute, a nonpartisan U.S. organization that works to support political and civic groups in Yemen.

But in the destitute, desolate land that was the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda doesn't need to hold territory to plan attacks, analysts say.

"It's the classic safe haven objective," said Hull, "trying to re-create a situation similar to what they had in Afghanistan."

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terrorist network's Yemeni branch, has emerged since 2008 as the most significant threat with attempts to stage attacks on American soil, overshadowing branches in Pakistan and elsewhere, U.S. intelligence officials have said.

On Christmas Day 2009, for example, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian, attempted to detonate explosives in his underwear aboard a Northwest Airlines jet over Detroit. The Yemeni group later said it was responsible for the bungled bombing, describing it as revenge for U.S. support for a Yemeni military offensive against Al Qaeda.

The Al Qaeda affiliate also claimed responsibility in October after U.S. and allied intelligence services, acting on a tip, helped find mail bombs that were disguised as ink toner cartridges aboard FedEx and UPS cargo planes headed from Yemen to the United States.

Last month, less than a week after Navy SEALs killed Bin Laden in Pakistan, U.S. forces in Yemen fired a missile from a drone aircraft that targeted, but failed to kill, one of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's most influential leaders, American-born cleric Anwar Awlaki.

The U.S. government forged its close partnership with Saleh's authoritarian regime after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, chiefly to gain support for counter-terrorism operations in a strategically important nation that borders critical waterways and the key oil-producing state of Saudi Arabia.

Over the years, U.S. special operations troops have been deployed to Yemen in growing numbers to train Saleh's security forces and to help hunt Al Qaeda militants. The CIA also has built close ties to the country's intelligence service, known as the Political Security Organization, or PSO, officials say.

But according to U.S. Embassy cables recently released by the website WikiLeaks, the PSO has been infiltrated by Al Qaeda supporters and sympathizers over the last decade. U.S. officials have also warned that Yemeni security forces have repeatedly orchestrated terrorist attacks within Yemen in order to manipulate domestic and foreign perceptions about Islamist dangers.

In a country riven by tribal rivalries, Saleh's regime has been buffeted by months of protests and high-level defections by army commanders and other senior officials. The last two weeks of violence between government troops and armed tribesmen and other factions represents a sharp expansion of the conflict, and threatens to push the impoverished nation into civil war.

"The state's authority is starting to melt away, and it's those undergoverned spaces that Al Qaeda is going to seek out to plot, plan, train and mount operations," said Christopher Boucek, a Yemen expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a nonprofit think tank based in Washington.

The unrest hurts U.S. counter-terrorism efforts because it limits cooperation from Yemeni government officials, said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University. A U.S. counter-terrorism official said those efforts are continuing.

"The fact that the Yemenis are distracted by internal unrest doesn't help," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss sensitive intelligence matters. "But it doesn't mean that joint counter-terrorism cooperation with Yemeni authorities has stopped entirely."

About 250 to 300 people are believed to be members of Al Qaeda in Yemen, said Barbara Bodine, the U.S. ambassador to Yemen from 1997 to 2001. For religious and tribal reasons, Yemen is not as hospitable an environment for Al Qaeda as the Pashtun areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, she said.

Nevertheless, the U.S. has made little headway in finding the group's leaders.

Al Qaeda bomb maker Ibrahim Hassan Asiri, for example, whose fingerprints reportedly were found on the explosive devices used in the Christmas Day 2009 "underwear bomb" and the 2010 parcel bombs, remains at large.

Hull, the former ambassador and author of "High-Value Target: Countering Al Qaeda in Yemen," said Al Qaeda may find fertile ground for growth if Yemen slips further into civil warfare.

"I have not seen Al Qaeda in Yemen have as a strategy taking and formally controlling specific areas," he said. "Rather, what I would expect is that they would just take advantage of the lack of government presence and authority and chaos and operating space so that they can carry out their objectives against us."

U.S. options for reversing the situation in Yemen are limited, analysts said. A campaign of drone airstrikes, like the covert CIA war against militants in northwestern Pakistan, is not feasible because U.S. intelligence does not have the network of informants needed to pinpoint targets and support the attacks, analysts say.

"What you need to do is get beyond this impasse and get to a post-Saleh era in Yemen," Hull said. "I hope it happens sooner [rather] than later because time is not an ally here. The longer it takes to do that, the more ungoverned space Al Qaeda will have occupied."


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-yemen-intel-20110603,0,5999516.story

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« Reply #4159 on: Jun 3rd, 2011, 07:52am »

Wired Danger Room

Drug War Means Boom Times for Armored Car Maker
By Robert Beckhusen
June 3, 2011 | 7:00 am
Categories: Crime and Homeland Security


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SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A 10-minute drive away from the Alamo, small teams on the factory floor of Texas Armoring Corporation work deliberately, turning everyday civilian vehicles into armored workhorses for the world's governments and business executives. The company is growing rapidly, and one reason is Mexico's drug war.

An adjacent building under construction will double available manufacturing space. TAC's workforce grew 30 percent last year to about 40 employees. That's enough to produce around 80 cars per year. Reality television networks have been calling, attracted to the company's tattooed workers, youngish executives and at-risk clientele.

Displayed inside the building's lobby are spiked road tacks that can be dropped out of rear compartments, armor components dented by rounds fired from AK-47 assault rifles, and a black SUV driver's side door with 2-inch thick bulletproof glass chewed up by ballistic impacts. Next, is a tire with a section cut out of it, showing hardened run-flat inserts underneath the rubber.

The armoring process is fairly straight-forward. A vehicle is sawed down to its frame with cutting torches. The frame is then wrapped in a combination of Kevlar, steel and polyethylene composite plates (industry term: "Spectra Shield") before the original fabrics and interior panels are restored. Eventually, at a price of around $80,000 or more — not including cost of the vehicle, and without options like smoke shields and digital video recorder systems — a client should be protected from rounds sized up to 7.62 millimeters.

Company president Trent Kimball boasts about his clients — heads of state, governments, multinational corporations and business executives — in a general way. But he won't name any; these guys like their privacy. International sales must clear U.S. Department of Commerce export controls, which are supposed to keep known drug traffickers and terrorist organizations from buying the armored rides.

Kimball says he's confident the company has never inadvertently sold to a drug lord. Traffickers avoid companies based in the United States, he said, opting instead for in-house armorers. In fact, Mexico's own armored-car industry is now worth $80 million a year and is growing at a brisk 10 percent. Mexican cartels have even begun building their own tanks.

Armoring is happening across the board, and Kimball says his clients — 20 percent either live or work in Mexico — are reacting to a sharp increase in crime and the threat of kidnapping.

An alarming surge in the practice over the past decade has surfaced in Latin America, the long-running leader in kidnapping. In Mexico, a record number of kidnappings happened last year. The country is now the riskiest country in Latin America for kidnapping and world leader in "express kidnapping" – quick, violent attacks that can last just a few hours and involve victims selected seemingly at random.

Kimball admits some of his clients may be a bit too paranoid. But others have to be, he says. Recently, a client in the Mexican city of Monterrey was nearly killed in an attack. The car saved his life. "Monterrey is a hotbed. There are very wealthy people who live in Monterrey," Kimball says. "It's an industrial city, so one of our clients …" he pauses. "We don’t know what the intentions of the people who attacked his vehicle were, but they did."

The spread of crime has spurred a partial restructuring away from high-end luxury vehicles to more compact and mid-sized, low-profile models. In Mexico's northern badlands and border cities, violence is now so widespread residents have depopulated city districts and abandoned entire towns to drug gangs. SUVs and trucks, particularly luxurious and heavy-duty versions, are favored by gangsters and have become frequent targets for carjackings.

An inspection of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security last year raised concerns about attacks in Colombia on conspicuous "embassy-owned, white Chevrolet Suburban armored vehicles." Clearly American, the vehicles made tempting prey.

In February, Zetas gunmen ambushed an SUV containing two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on a highway between San Luis Potosí and Matamoros. One agent was killed and the other wounded. The Zetas cell leader was later arrested and claimed the agents were mistaken for rival gang members.

In Juárez two weeks ago, three people traveling in a Hummer H3 with New Mexico plates were killed.

"We are definitely seeing a shift," Kimball said. "Not necessarily by politicians or State Department employees, but our clients — which are usually normal businessmen — understand if you drive a long Mercedes-Benz, you make yourself a target."

Let there be no mistake: most of TAC's business is in SUVs and luxury cars. On the floor of the company's factory, however, at least one small sedan could be seen nearly finished with Mexican license plates attached. Other low-profile models could be seen lined up elsewhere. The company has also recently armored relatively low-cost Nissan Maximas, Toyota Camrys and Chevrolet TrailBlazers. Kimball said he recently shipped three unassuming Mitsubishi Monteros.

"2008 models, not new ones," he said. "That's a smart guy."

Above:

The Bulletproofing Factory

Vehicles are armored at Texas Armoring Corporation in San Antonio, Texas. The company now bulletproofs about 80 vehicles a year and is doubling its manufacturing space.

gallery after the jump
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/06/drug-war-armored-cars/

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« Reply #4160 on: Jun 3rd, 2011, 08:02am »

Deadline Hollywood

Site Claims To Have Hacked Sony Pictures
By THE DEADLINE TEAM
Thursday June 2, 2011 @ 2:55pm PDT

Lulz Security, the website that recently hacked into PBS.com to protest a Frontline documentary on WikiLeaks, says it has now hacked into Sony Pictures' website, gaining access to account information and passwords to show how vulnerable the data is. From LulzSec's website:

We recently broke into SonyPictures.com and compromised over 1,000,000 users' personal information, including passwords, email addresses, home addresses, dates of birth, and all Sony opt-in data associated with their accounts. Among other things, we also compromised all admin details of Sony Pictures (including passwords) along with 75,000 "music codes" and 3.5 million "music coupons".

What's worse is that every bit of data we took wasn't encrypted. Sony stored over 1,000,000 passwords of its customers in plaintext, which means it's just a matter of taking it. This is disgraceful and insecure: they were asking for it.

If true (LulzSec says in its release "we invite anyone with the balls to check for themselves that what we say is true"), this is the latest hacking problem for Sony, which is still recovering from massive breaches to its PlayStation Network and Qriocity VOD service after a cyber-attack in April, for which Sony chief Howard Stringer belatedly apologized, adding to the PR nightmare.

http://www.deadline.com/2011/06/site-claims-to-have-hacked-sony-pictures/

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« Reply #4161 on: Jun 3rd, 2011, 11:01am »

Saturn from Cassini

Chris Abbas professes to being a bit of a space nut, and his appreciation for extraterrestrial exploration is evident in this video about NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn.

Comprised of images and video from the orbiter, Abbas created this hauntingly beautiful short film which certainly instills a sense of wonder.


http://www.universetoday.com/86221/cassini-at-saturn-the-movie/
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« Reply #4162 on: Jun 3rd, 2011, 12:10pm »

on Jun 3rd, 2011, 11:01am, Swamprat wrote:
Saturn from Cassini

Chris Abbas professes to being a bit of a space nut, and his appreciation for extraterrestrial exploration is evident in this video about NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn.

Comprised of images and video from the orbiter, Abbas created this hauntingly beautiful short film which certainly instills a sense of wonder.


http://www.universetoday.com/86221/cassini-at-saturn-the-movie/


Stunning! Thanks Swamp.

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« Reply #4163 on: Jun 3rd, 2011, 12:13pm »

Hollywood Reporter

‘Gunsmoke’ Star James Arness Dies at 88
1:02 PM 6/3/2011
by THR Staff


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James Arness in "Gunsmoke"


The towering actor, who passed away Friday, was best known for playing Marshal Matt Dillon on the small screen for 20 years.

James Arness, the 6' 7" actor best known for playing Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke for 20 years, has died.

He was 88.

Arness passed away Friday, the Los Angeles Times reports, without mentioning the cause of death.

Arness's death comes a year after his brother, Mission Impossible actor Peter Graves, died of a heart attack at age 83.

Arness was born May 26, 1923, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, starting out as a radio announcer in Minnesota in 1945.

He eventually moved to Los Angeles, where he landed his big break in 1947, starring opposite Loretta Young in the film The Farmer's Daughter.

During his career, Arness befriended John Wayne who was instrumental in helping him score the role of Marshal Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke. (CBS originally wanted Wayne for the part; he declined and suggested Arness.) During his 20 years on the show, he was nominated for three Emmys.

The show, one of the longest running dramatic series ever produced, was cancelled in 1975. Arness made four Gunsmoke movies for TV.

From 1976 through 1979 he starred in the television miniseries How the West Was Won. His last TV series, the police drama Big Jim McLain, aired in the early 1980s.

He is survived by his wife Janet, three sons and three grandchildren.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/gunsmoke-star-james-arness-dies-194732

r.i.p.

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« Reply #4164 on: Jun 3rd, 2011, 2:26pm »

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« Reply #4165 on: Jun 3rd, 2011, 5:50pm »

Danish Team's Homemade Space Capsule Blasts Off

Published June 03, 2011

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Copenhagen Suborbitals
The first ever amateur spacecraft -- designed to carry one tourist briefly into orbit -- was succesfully tested from a submarine in the Baltic Sea Friday, June 3.

A Danish group has a simple mission: launching a human being into space.

And they just took one giant step towards their goal.
Copenhagen Suborbitals, a non-profit space venture founded by Danish inventors Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, successfully launched its handmade space capsule from a boat in the Baltic Sea Friday, June 3.

The rocket soared about 2 miles into the air -- somewhat more sideways than anticipated -- before deploying its parachute and falling back into the water, reported Danish website ING.dk. It suffered minor damage upon landing but was largely recovered.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/03/danish-teams-homemade-space-capsule-blasts-off/#ixzz1OFtDCJtd
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4166 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 07:19am »

on Jun 3rd, 2011, 5:50pm, Swamprat wrote:
Danish Team's Homemade Space Capsule Blasts Off

Published June 03, 2011

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Copenhagen Suborbitals
The first ever amateur spacecraft -- designed to carry one tourist briefly into orbit -- was succesfully tested from a submarine in the Baltic Sea Friday, June 3.

A Danish group has a simple mission: launching a human being into space.

And they just took one giant step towards their goal.
Copenhagen Suborbitals, a non-profit space venture founded by Danish inventors Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, successfully launched its handmade space capsule from a boat in the Baltic Sea Friday, June 3.

The rocket soared about 2 miles into the air -- somewhat more sideways than anticipated -- before deploying its parachute and falling back into the water, reported Danish website ING.dk. It suffered minor damage upon landing but was largely recovered.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/03/danish-teams-homemade-space-capsule-blasts-off/#ixzz1OFtDCJtd


Wow! Go Danes!
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« Reply #4167 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 07:20am »



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« Reply #4168 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 07:25am »

New York Times

June 3, 2011
Selling J. R., Lock, Stock and Swagger
By BROOKS BARNES

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- The smirking “Dallas” oil baron J. R. Ewing always knew how to make an entrance. And Larry Hagman, who brought that infamous TV villain to life, apparently still has the touch.

Mr. Hagman, 79, trotted down Wilshire Boulevard here on Thursday evening, alighting at Julien’s Auctions, across the street from Saks Fifth Avenue. Yes, he was on horseback. Joining him was Linda Gray, 70, who played his vodka-swilling wife, Sue Ellen, on that 1980s-era drama. The pair got a motorcycle escort by the Beverly Hills Police Department.

Odd? A little, perhaps. But Southern California, sophisticated as it may have become, remains show business country — a place where the bizarre is just part of business. Mr. Hagman’s dramatic arrival was part of a preview event for Julien’s Saturday sale of his stash of memorabilia and estate items, many from his days on “Dallas.”

Inside the auction house, potential bidders inspected the goods while eating cubed cheese and scooping guacamole from giant martini glasses. The holy grail, at least for hard-core fans, appeared to be the oil painting of the family patriarch, Jock Ewing, that once hung in the Southfork living room. (Estimated price: $2,000 to $3,000.)

Mr. Hagman, his eyes twinkling, said the horses were his idea. “They came to me in a dream,” he said.

Why is he selling? “There comes a time, even in J. R. Ewing’s life,” he said, “when you have to downsize.” Besides, he added, even with 413 items on the auction block, “I have more left at home than I know what to do with.”

As the “Dallas” theme song trumpeted, Charlene Tilton, the actress who played J. R.’s ne’er-do-well niece Lucy, stood nearby and lamented her lack of forethought about collectibility. “I didn’t save a damn thing,” she said.

Just then, two not-so-convincing drag queens walked by, sending mouths agape. “You never know who’s going to be a ‘Dallas’ fan,” Ms. Tilton said brightly. As it turns out, the two sometimes do security work for Julien’s (as men) and were thus invited.

But Ms. Tilton’s point was that “Dallas” was not just any show. Broadcast on CBS from 1978 to 1991, the series at times seemed to power the era’s culture, celebrating personal wealth and the shoulder pads that came with it. About 84 million Americans tuned in to find out who shot J. R. in 1980, an audience that remains one of the largest in TV history.

The lasting fan base is one reason that TNT and Warner Brothers are working on a “Dallas” reboot centered on the next generation of the Ewing clan. Mr. Hagman and Ms. Gray both appeared in the recently completed pilot.

“We love the ‘Dallas,’ ” said one Eastern European tourist who came running down the street upon spotting Mr. Hagman (and who insisted she was too busy snapping photos to give her name).

“I Dream of Jeannie,” Mr. Hagman’s 1960s comedy, shows up in the sale: a reproduction of that show’s signature purple bottle, priced at about $1,500. Mr. Hagman’s mother, Mary Martin, is represented with “Peter Pan” ephemera and stage costumes. But many items are furnishings from Mr. Hagman’s homes, like a taxidermy coiled snake, with exposed fangs and rattle, $150.

“This is somebody who has a global fan base,” said Darren Julien, owner of the auction house. “All of these things are very marketable.”

Not everyone was so sure outside Julien’s, which occupies a stately corner near Rodeo Drive. A man in a silver Mercedes stopped and, rolling down his window, inquired about the commotion.

“You mean, people are actually waiting in line to see Larry Hagman? Now I’ve seen everything,” he said before speeding off.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/04/arts/television/larry-hagmans-dallas-memorabilia-on-auction-block.html?_r=1

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4169 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 07:28am »

LA Times

Boeing lays off 100 workers in Huntington Beach due to end of space shuttle program
June 3, 2011 | 12:32 pm

With the nation’s space shuttle program coming to a close, Boeing Co. issued layoff notices Friday to 100 employees in its Space Exploration division at Huntington Beach.

The last workday for the workers is scheduled to be Aug. 5, pending completion of the final shuttle mission. Space shuttle Atlantis is slated to blast off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on July 8.

Boeing handed 60-day advance layoff notices to approximately 510 employees companywide. In addition to the 100 workers in Huntington Beach, about 260 employees in Houston and 150 at Cape Canaveral received pink slips.

The Chicago based-company said some of its workers were put on other programs, such as development work on the International Space Station and on a seven-person space capsule that’s designed to carry astronauts into outer space.

Many of the engineers in Huntington Beach have worked on the shuttle program for their entire careers.

The shuttle program began in 1972 when Rockwell International won a $2.6-billion contract to build the space shuttle Enterprise. Much of the engineering work was done at Rockwell’s sprawling plant in Downey.

At its height, during design and manufacturing of the shuttles, the program had about 12,000 people at the site.

When the shuttle missions began, engineers worked to provide flight support and post-flight analysis.

Rockwell merged with Boeing in 1997. The Downey plant was shuttered two years later, with the remaining workforce moving to Boeing’s complex in Huntington Beach.

Once there, the shuttle team provided engineering and project management leadership for all the hardware modifications and upgrades made on the shuttle fleet through the years.

"Our priority will be to ensure the last space shuttle mission is safe and successfully executed, allowing the space shuttle program to cross the finish line as a winner,” Brewster Shaw, Boeing space exploration vice president and general manager, said in a statement. “We are supporting our employees in their efforts to move to other positions, and we are grateful to them for their dedicated service.”

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/06/boeing-layoffs-space-shuttle.html

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