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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 47693 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #4200 on: Jun 7th, 2011, 07:19am »

Deadline Hollywood

Soft Tracking Be Damned! Studio Saving JJ Abrams' 'Super 8' Plot Secrets Until Friday
By MIKE FLEMING
Monday June 6, 2011 @ 10:28pm EDT
Tags: JJ Abrams, Steven Spielberg, Super 8

When JJ Abrams conceived Super 8, his intention was to replicate those Steven Spielberg films of the 70s and 80s, where he discovered the magic in a movie theater and not by watching every reveal in a commercial. When Spielberg directed or produced films like Jaws, E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Poltergeist and Gremlins, finally seeing the creature was half the fun, and they were always kept secret until opening day.

Abrams and Paramount's decision to embrace that retro marketing strategy on Super 8 has the movie marketing crowd buzzing. Even though an initial strong statement was made with a Super Bowl ad that showed a train crash and some creature pulverizing a steel train door, Paramount and Abrams have focused on character and given up little in the creature department in commercials that followed. Days from its Friday opening, rivals say that tracking numbers are soft and would be considerably stronger among young moviegoers had Abrams and the studio given up a glimpse of the creature and playing up that plot line. Rivals say that there is nervousness at Paramount because the studio has gone so far in embracing Abrams’ now famous desire for utmost secrecy. This is a bold gamble Paramount is taking, at a time when the mission of studio marketers is to deliver the highest possible opening weekend, no matter how many plot highlights and spoilers are sacrificed in TV spots. Several marketing experts I checked were buzzing with the assertion that Par’s decision to protect the purity of the movie-going experience could put the film in an opening weekend hole it will be hard pressed to recover from. They say the conservative campaign has left Super 8 lagging in key tracking categories behind Green Lantern and Cars 2, films that open in subsequent weeks.

Abrams and Spielberg took the stage during the Viacom-owned MTV Movie Awards to introduce a clip Sunday night, and while they introduced a new spot that conveys more menace than earlier trailers, they did not give away a glimpse of the creature. And the trailer people were talking about today was the new Twilight Saga spot. Here is that presentation:

Video after the jump
http://www.deadline.com/2011/06/soft-tracking-be-damned-paramount-saving-jj-abrams-super-8-plot-secrets-until-friday/

Philosophically, Abrams is right. How frustrating is it to show up to a comedy or drama and discover that the best lines or visuals were spoiled by being repeated ad nauseum in trailers? Still, is it worth protecting those secrets at the price of leaving potential audiences indifferent and looking at other summer fare that puts all the bells and whistles in TV spots?

Insiders at Paramount tell me a different story. They say they’ve got a $50 million budget (word on the street is it cost a lot more) quality film that is being marketed "more for playability than a giant opening weekend." According to this insider, if Super 8 opens at $25 million or better, it could be one of the more profitable films of the summer. If they hit their modest target with the help of word of mouth from audiences appreciative of seeing a crowd-pleasing movie with real surprises, then Paramount has a shot at replicating Universal’s recent run with Bridesmaids. Like Super 8, that was a modest budget film with little star power and subpar tracking that outperformed its tracking by grossing a surprising $26 million opening weekend. It’s on course to gross $150 million. While Paramount has different ambitions for its other summer fare like Thor and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, studio brass will be high-fiving each other if Super 8 performs at that level. The studio is encouraged by tracking that indicates Super 8 has caught the attention of audiences in their 30s and 40s who grew up with those Spielberg movies, and females who have responded to the emotional storyline that has been played up early in the campaign.

Despite the widespread speculation, Paramount insiders said the marketing strategy on Super 8 isn't the result of arm-twisting by Abrams, whom the studio hopes will direct the next Star Trek. An agreement was reached on the campaign back when Abrams first set up the movie. Even though Paramount had revealed more of the creature than Abrams wanted on the Bad Robot-produced Cloverfield and that helped turn the film into a hit, Abrams wanted to do Super 8 his way and made a modest deal for the privilege. Paramount went along. I'm told there will be no desperation reveal of the creature or major plot points before Friday's opening to spike the tracking numbers. We'll know soon whether Abrams’ retro marketing strategy pays off, but right now there are plenty of skeptics.

"It was a different world when Spielberg held everything secret, and Abrams isn't Spielberg, at least not yet," said one marketing expert. "Young moviegoers now have shorter attention spans, they want to know what they're getting right away, or they will find any one of 40 other things they can do with their time and money. If Super 8 doesn't open strong, next week will be even tougher because awareness on Green Lantern is tracking through the roof and both films need the young male audience to succeed."

http://www.deadline.com/2011/06/soft-tracking-be-damned-paramount-saving-jj-abrams-super-8-plot-secrets-until-friday/

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« Reply #4201 on: Jun 7th, 2011, 10:01am »

This sighting occurred just down the road from me..... shocked


UFO Casebook
Triangular-shaped UFO Observed Hovering over East Side of Tallahassee, Florida


Published: 4:48 PM 6/3/2011
Florida - 05-25-11

On May 25th, 2011, I was delivering newspapers in Tallahassee, Florida. I was travelling eastbound on Old St. Augustine Road, about 3 miles east of Capital Circle SE, when, about 5:20 am, I turned left (north) onto Grassroots Road to routinely deliver a paper to a residence.

I observed what I first thought was an airplane, and wondered what an airplane would be doing so low and back in those woods. I immediately realized this wasn’t a conventional aircraft, and since I am a small statured female and was alone, I became very frightened and thought of turning around and fleeing the area.

The craft was hovering, nose in an upward direction, not straight up, but in such a manner that I could plainly see the belly of the craft, but not the top side of it.

The craft made no noise at all. It is difficult for me to relate the size, but possibly the size of a relatively small passenger jetliner. I would say it was a triangular shape with the wings forming a rounded, curved "boomerang" shape. In other words, the craft was not a sharply shaped triangle. It had red and blue lights on the wing surface, as I recall, one at the front, one on each side about half way back, and one on each wing tip.

The belly of the craft which I could clearly see, had about five lights, three in a row, front to rear, with two on each side and below the three in a row, and out toward each wing tip. It was lit up so as to be clearly visible, but not in a glowing sense that it would light up the area around it. The belly had several grooves running in orderly rows, front to rear. I believe the color was gray like a Navy ship.

Read more: http://www.ufocasebook.com/2011/tallahassee052511.html
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« Reply #4202 on: Jun 7th, 2011, 11:50am »

on Jun 7th, 2011, 10:01am, Swamprat wrote:
This sighting occurred just down the road from me..... shocked


UFO Casebook
Triangular-shaped UFO Observed Hovering over East Side of Tallahassee, Florida


Published: 4:48 PM 6/3/2011
Florida - 05-25-11

On May 25th, 2011, I was delivering newspapers in Tallahassee, Florida. I was travelling eastbound on Old St. Augustine Road, about 3 miles east of Capital Circle SE, when, about 5:20 am, I turned left (north) onto Grassroots Road to routinely deliver a paper to a residence.

I observed what I first thought was an airplane, and wondered what an airplane would be doing so low and back in those woods. I immediately realized this wasn’t a conventional aircraft, and since I am a small statured female and was alone, I became very frightened and thought of turning around and fleeing the area.

The craft was hovering, nose in an upward direction, not straight up, but in such a manner that I could plainly see the belly of the craft, but not the top side of it.

The craft made no noise at all. It is difficult for me to relate the size, but possibly the size of a relatively small passenger jetliner. I would say it was a triangular shape with the wings forming a rounded, curved "boomerang" shape. In other words, the craft was not a sharply shaped triangle. It had red and blue lights on the wing surface, as I recall, one at the front, one on each side about half way back, and one on each wing tip.

The belly of the craft which I could clearly see, had about five lights, three in a row, front to rear, with two on each side and below the three in a row, and out toward each wing tip. It was lit up so as to be clearly visible, but not in a glowing sense that it would light up the area around it. The belly had several grooves running in orderly rows, front to rear. I believe the color was gray like a Navy ship.

Read more: http://www.ufocasebook.com/2011/tallahassee052511.html


Good morning Swamprat,

This will certainly make you watch the skies a lot closer!

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« Reply #4203 on: Jun 7th, 2011, 12:38pm »

RIP, Shrek!

NZ Mourns Death of Shrek the Famously Shaggy Sheep
Published June 07, 2011
Associated Press

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In this April 28, 2004 file, Shrek the 9-year-old merino wether is photographed before he has his fleece shorn at the Golden Gate Lodge in Cromwell, New Zealand.


New Zealanders were mourning the loss of the country's most famous sheep Tuesday, a shaggy national icon named Shrek who was renowned for avoiding being shorn for years.

Shrek captured the public's imagination in 2004 after he evaded the annual shearing roundups for the previous seven years by hiding in caves on his farm on the South Island. When finally found, he was clad in an astonishing 60 pounds (27 kilograms) of wool.

That's about five times a typically annual shearing from Shrek's breed, the Merino sheep prized for some of the softest wool.

In a country where sheep outnumber people by nearly 10 to one, Shrek's story of stubbornness and guile appealed to many. After his capture, Shrek was shorn on live TV in a broadcast that was picked up around the world. His story inspired three books.

Until becoming sick three weeks ago, Shrek toured the country, commanding $16,000 for appearances and getting the star treatment wherever he went. In one appearance, Shrek was shorn atop a large iceberg that was floating near the South Island coast.

Shrek was one of about 17,000 sheep on the the 27,000-acre (11,000-hectare) Bendigo farm in the small town of Tarras. Perriam believes Shrek was able to survive the winters and avoid detection by moving about a series of sheltered caves and by munching on small native shrubs.

After Shrek became a star, Perriam gave him his own barn and showroom. Shrek even had a personal caregiver look after him when he became sick, before the sheep was euthanized Monday at age 17.

Perriam said that as well as laying claim to being New Zealand's woolliest sheep, Shrek may also have been its oldest. Most sheep live for no more than six years before being slaughtered.

Since Shrek's death, tributes have been pouring in online, including on the Facebook page "R.I.P Shrek the Sheep."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/06/07/nz-mourns-death-shrek-famously-shaggy-sheep/#ixzz1ObzthE00
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« Reply #4204 on: Jun 7th, 2011, 4:19pm »

Ouch! That was one UGLY sheep.
Thanks Swamp. grin
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« Reply #4205 on: Jun 7th, 2011, 4:36pm »

Pop Sci

Video: This Morning There Was a Massive Solar Explosion

By Clay Dillow
Posted 06.07.2011 at 5:33 pm


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photo NASA


Regular readers know that PopSci can’t get enough of huge explosions on the surface of the sun. That puts us in a pretty good place right now, considering the current solar cycle is moving into a period of increased explosive activity. For those who might not understand why we love solar explosions, this video of this morning’s massive solar flare and ensuing solar prominence should reveal all.

“I’ve never seen material released like this before, such a huge amount that falls back down in such a spectacular way,” says Goddard Spaceflight Center’s Dr. C. Alex Young in the first video below, in which he does a thorough job of explaining exactly what you’re looking at. “It looks like someone just kicked a giant clod of dirt into the air and it fell back down.”

Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomy figures that--and he’s just eyeballing/ballparking this thing here--that something like a billion tons of material was thrust away from the sun before collapsing magnificently back to the surface. This wasn’t the most colossal flare we’ve ever witnessed, or even the most powerful one we’ve seen this year (it ranked as an M2.5, or medium-sized flare, in terms of energy). But the view, courtesy of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, is spectacular.









http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-06/video-mornings-massive-solar-explosion?cmp=tw

See also:
http://www.youtube.com/user/thesuntoday#p/u/10/Q_3u_0NN7OM

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« Reply #4206 on: Jun 7th, 2011, 7:32pm »

National Anthem Banned at Mennonite College's Sporting Events, Sparking Outcry

By Todd Starnes
Published June 07, 2011
FoxNews.com

Goshen College, a Mennonite school in Indiana, has become a target of public outrage over its decision to ban the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at sporting events because it conflicts with the school's core values.

“We recognize that some people may not be satisfied with this decision, but we believe it is the right one for Goshen College,” Ricky Stiffney, chairman of the college’s board of directors, said in a written statement. “The board has a diversity of views on this issue as reflected through the process of considering the anthem.”

According to an online fact sheet on the issue, the college noted: “Historically, playing the national anthem has not been among Goshen College’s practices because of our Christ-centered core value of compassionate peacemaking seeming to be in conflict with the anthem’s militaristic language.”

The Mennonite Church is historically a peace church but does not have an official position on playing the national anthem.
“It’s obviously about a battle,” Goshen College art professor John Blosser told Fox News Radio. “It’s rather violent. It’s about using violence to conquer and that would be something that many people here would have problems with.”

Last year, the college decided to allow the playing of an instrumental version of the song at sporting events – but ultimately school officials decided to outright ban the national anthem.

The decision was overwhelmingly supported by students, but not by community residents.

Goshen City Councilman Harland Lantz told Fox News Radio that the decision is “anti-American.”
“It really hurts,” he said. “(The national anthem) is the American way.”

“Instead of living here in Goshen, they should go down and live in Cuba or Iran,” he said. “Then have them come back and see if their attitude has changed.”

Donald Riegsecker, another city councilman, also disagreed with the college's decision.

“People are disappointed,” he said. “I’m starting to wonder if it’s not more about politics than theology.”

“It seems like students have been taught since high school more liberal views than conservative views,” he said. “By the time they hit college, they’re thinking more liberal and by the time they get out of college they’re really liberal. That’s the way the professors tend to lead them.”

Riegsecker said he wished “teachers would just teach and professors would just teach and let kids make their decisions on their own as to what their politics are and what they believe.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/07/national-anthem-banned-at-mennonite-colleges-sporting-events-sparking-outcry/#ixzz1OdaSnGto
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« Reply #4207 on: Jun 7th, 2011, 7:50pm »

Those crazy Mennonites.... rolleyes
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« Reply #4208 on: Jun 7th, 2011, 7:52pm »

Endeavour


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The International Space Station and the Docked Space Shuttle Endeavour

ISS027-E-036816 (23 May 2011) --- This image of the International Space Station and the docked space shuttle Endeavour, flying at an altitude of approximately 220 miles, was taken by Expedition 27 crew member Paolo Nespoli from the Soyuz TMA-20 following its undocking on May 23, 2011 (USA time). The pictures taken by Nespoli are the first taken of a shuttle docked to the International Space Station from the perspective of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Onboard the Soyuz were Russian cosmonaut and Expedition 27 commander Dmitry Kondratyev; Nespoli, a European Space Agency astronaut; and NASA astronaut Cady Coleman.


more after the jump
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/multimedia/e27depart.html

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« Reply #4209 on: Jun 8th, 2011, 07:28am »

New York Times

June 8, 2011
Iran Said to Plan Nuclear Fuel Production Increase
By DAVID JOLLY

Iran aims to sharply increase its production of nuclear fuel this year and move some uranium enrichment to a site that had been secret until 2009, news agencies reported Wednesday, citing state media.

The Iranian government plans to triple its output of enriched uranium and will transfer some production from its Natanz site to the newer Fordow site, the head of Iran’s atomic energy agency, Fereydoon Abbasi, told Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting after a cabinet meeting in Tehran. Iran only acknowledged he existence of the Fordow site, built underground in a mountain near the holy city of Qom, in September 2009, after Western spy agencies learned of its location.

Mr. Abbasi said the transfer would be carried out under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Control of nuclear material is one of the cornerstones of the agency’s safeguards against the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Abbasi was also quoted by the Fars news agency as saying that Iranian scientists had completed research on a new generation of centrifuges and that the new machines, which are used for uranium enrichment, would be installed “soon.”

An I.A.E.A. official in Vienna said he knew of the reports, but declined to comment.

Iran says its nuclear program is meant only to produce energy, but many Western countries believe the Iranian government is pursuing a weapons program. Uranium can be processed to make fuel for power plants, but it can also be used to make atomic bombs if it is sufficiently enriched.

Separately, The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the United States and its allies have drafted a resolution calling for Syria to be brought before the U.N. Security Council, despite the opposition of China and Russia, over its refusal to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The draft resolution finds Syria in “non-compliance with its obligations” to allow the agency’s inspectors access to its nuclear facilities and criticizes the country’s denial of “repeated requests for access” to information about a facility at Dair Alzour that appears to have been a nuclear reactor capable of producing plutonium, The A.P. reported. The site was destroyed by Israeli warplanes in a 2007 bombing raid.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/world/middleeast/09iran.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #4210 on: Jun 8th, 2011, 07:31am »

Guardian

Fukushima nuclear plant may have suffered 'melt-through', Japan admits

Fuel rods have probably breached containment vessels – a more serious scenario than core meltdown – according to report

By Justin McCurry in Tokyo
guardian.co.uk
Wednesday 8 June 2011 07.39 BST

Molten nuclear fuel in three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is likely to have burned through pressure vessels, not just the cores, Japan has said in a report in which it also acknowledges it was unprepared for an accident of the severity of Fukushima.

It is the first time Japanese authorities have admitted the possibility that the fuel suffered "melt-through" – a more serious scenario than a core meltdown.

The report, which is to be submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said fuel rods in reactors No 1, 2 and 3 had probably not only melted, but also breached their inner containment vessels and accumulated in the outer steel containment vessels.

The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), says it believes the molten fuel is being cooled by water that has built up in the bottom of the three reactor buildings.

The report includes an apology to the international community for the nuclear crisis – the world's worst since Chernobyl in 1986 – and expresses "remorse that this accident has raised concerns around the world about the safety of nuclear power generation".

The prime minister, Naoto Kan, said: "Above all, it is most important to inform the international community with thorough transparency in order for us to regain its confidence in Japan."

The report comes a day after Japan's nuclear safety agency said the amount of radiation that leaked from Fukushima Daiichi in the first week of the accident may have been more than double that initially estimated by Tepco.

The 750-page report, compiled by Japan's emergency nuclear task force, concedes that the country was wrongfooted by the severity of the accident, which occurred after the plant was struck by waves more than 14 metres high following the earthquake on 11 March.

"We are taking very seriously the fact that consistent preparation for severe accidents was insufficient," the report said. "In light of the lessons learned from the accident, Japan has recognised that a fundamental revision of its nuclear safety preparedness and response is inevitable."

The nuclear task force's head, Goshi Hosono, said Tepco had failed to adequately protect plant workers early on in the crisis, and had provided inadequate information about radiation leaks.

About 7,800 workers had been involved in the battle to stabilise the plant as of late May, the report said. While their average exposure dose was well within safe limits, "a certain number" may have been exposed to more than 250 millisieverts per year, the maximum allowable dose under revised government guidelines for Fukushima workers.

The report acknowledged that bureaucratic red tape, and the division of responsibilities across several government agencies, had hampered the response to the accident.

It said the government would separate the country's nuclear safety watchdog from the trade and industry ministry, a recommendation made earlier this month by a team of experts from the IAEA.

The trade and industry minister, Banri Kaieda, said Japan would share all available data and co-operate with the IAEA. "Our country bears a serious responsibility to provide data to the international community with maximum transparency, and to actively contribute to nuclear safety," he said.

The most urgent problem facing workers at Fukushima Daiichi is how to deal with vast quantities of highly radioactive water that has accumulated in reactor buildings and basements and in ditches.

The estimated 100,000 tonnes of contaminated liquid – runoff from water used to douse overheating reactors – is hampering efforts to repair the plant's cooling systems.

Tepco has said it hopes to have a system in place by the middle of the month to remove radioactive substances from the water, enabling it to be reused to cool reactors.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/08/fukushima-nuclear-plant-melt-through

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« Reply #4211 on: Jun 8th, 2011, 07:38am »

Wired Danger Room

Real-Life Mercenaries to Star in Blackwater, the Videogame
By Owen Good, Kotaku.com
June 7, 2011 | 6:23 pm
Categories: Bizarro





Blackwater Worldwide, the real-life mercenary team linked to the killing of civilians and noncombatants in Iraq during U.S. operations there, will be the subject of a Kinect-supported videogame coming to the Xbox 360 later this year.

Published by 505 Games and titled, simply, Blackwater, the game is being produced in consultation with the private security contractor’s founder, the former Navy SEAL Erik Prince.

A news release called it “an intense, cinematic shooter experience,” set in a fictional North African town, in which players, as Blackwater operatives, battle two warlords’ factions to protect the city.

“This game and its immersive Kinect-based approach will give players the chance to experience what it is like to be on a Blackwater team on a mission without being dropped into a real combat situation,” Prince said in a statement issued by 505. The game was developed in conjunction with former Blackwater members “to ensure accuracy of moves, gestures and gameplay,” the 505 release said. “The game also features a selection of officially-licensed weapons for your soldier to choose from.”

The game may also be played using a standard controller.

Blackwater, renamed to Xe Services LLC, was contracted by the U.S. government to provide training and diplomatic security, most notably in the Middle East, for much of the last decade. Its presence alongside U.S. diplomatic and military personnel came under scrutiny after several incidents resulting in the deaths either of civilians or Blackwater employees themselves.

Its involvement in Iraq became enough of a controversy that the company renamed itself to Xe in the aftermath. Its employees were involved in shootings later found to be unjustified, including one in which 17 Iraqis were slain, prompting the government there to revoke Blackwater’s license to operate in the country. Both the U.S. State Department and the FBI called that incident a reckless use of force that killed innocents, but an FBI investigation could not conclusively prove Blackwater was responsible for all deaths. In another 2006 incident, a Blackwater employee was fired after he, allegedly drunk, shot and killed a security guard of the Iraqi vice president.

Though none of its employees have faced prosecution, Blackwater/Xe has been heavily criticized in Congressional hearings as a cost-ineffective private contractor whose uses of force have embarrassed and compromised U.S. diplomatic interests. Additionally, the leak of diplomatic documents by Wikileaks in October 2010 alleged Blackwater committed serious abuses while in Iraq, including killing civilians. The State Department dropped Blackwater as its main private security contractor in 2009.

Prince, who founded Blackwater in 1997, is no longer involved in Xe’s management or operations.

505 Games is no stranger to controversy; it is publishing Supremacy MMA a fighter/sports hybrid whose stylized violence and gritty, underground presentation of mixed martial arts has drawn criticism from some, saying it presents the sport in a poor light. Mixed martial arts is especially sensitive to depictions of violence and brutality, as they have been the basis for state-level legislation forbidding the sport.

Supremacy MMA also features, for the first time, female combatants in an MMA title, although they may not fight male characters.

Both Blackwater and Supremacy MMA are playable at E3 2011 in Los Angeles this week.


http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/06/real-life-mercenaries-to-star-in-blackwater-the-video-game/

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« Reply #4212 on: Jun 8th, 2011, 07:41am »

Science Daily

New Data Still Have Scientists in Dark Over Dark Matter

ScienceDaily (June 8, 2011)

A dark-matter experiment deep in the Soudan mine of Minnesota now has detected a seasonal signal variation similar to one an Italian experiment has been reporting for more than a decade.

The new seasonal variation, recorded by the Coherent Germanium Neutrino Technology (CoGeNT) experiment, is exactly what theoreticians had predicted if dark matter turned out to be what physicists call Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs).

"We cannot call this a WIMP signal. It's just what you might expect from it," said Juan Collar, associate professor in physics at the University of Chicago. Collar and John Orrell of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who lead the CoGeNT collaboration, are submitting their results in two papers to Physical Review Letters.

WIMPS might have caused the signal variation, but it also might be a random fluctuation, a false reading sparked by the experimental apparatus itself or even some exotic new phenomenon in atomic physics, Collar said.

Dark matter accounts for nearly 90 percent of all matter in the universe, yet its identity remains one of the biggest mysteries of modern science. Although dark matter is invisible to telescopes, astronomers know it is there from the gravitational influence it exerts over galaxies.

Theorists had predicted that dark matter experiments would detect an annual modulation because of the relative motion of Earth and the sun with respect to the plane of the Milky Way galaxy.

The sun moves in the plane of the galaxy on the outskirts of one of its spiral arms at a speed of 220 kilometers per second (136 miles per second). Earth orbits the sun at 15 kilometers per second (18.5 miles per second). During winter, Earth moves in roughly the opposite direction of the sun's movement through the galaxy, but during summer, their motion becomes nearly aligned in the same direction. This alignment increases Earth's net velocity through a galactic halo of dark matter particles, whose existence scientists have inferred from numerous astronomical observations.

Like a cloud of gnats

WIMPs would be moving in random directions in this halo, at velocities similar to the sun's. "You find yourself in a situation similar to a car moving through a cloud of gnats," Collar explained. "The faster the car goes, the more gnats will hit the front windshield."

CoGeNT seems to have detected an average of one WIMP particle interaction per day throughout its 15 months of operation, with a seasonal variation of approximately 16 percent. Energy measurements are consistent with a WIMP mass of approximately 6 to 10 times the mass of a proton.

These results could be consistent with those of the Italian DArk MAtter (DAMA) experiment, which has detected a seasonal modulation for years. "We are in the very unfortunate situation where you cannot tell if we are barely excluding DAMA or barely in agreement. We have to clarify that," Collar said.

In particle physics, he further cautioned, agreement between two or three experiments doesn't necessarily mean much. The pentaquark is a case in point. Early this century, approximately 10 experiments found hints of evidence for the pentaquark, a particle consisting of five quarks, when no other known particle had more than three. But as time went on, new experiments were unable to see it.

"It's just incredible," said UChicago physics Professor Jonathan Rosner. "People still speculate on whether it's real."

Collar and his colleagues have calculated the probability that their finding is a fluke to be five-tenths of a percent, or 2.8 sigma in particle physics parlance.

"It's not an exact science yet, unfortunately," Collar said. "But with the information we have, the usual set of assumptions that we make about the halo and these particles, their behavior in this halo, things seem to be what you would expect."

Other dark-matter experiments, including Xenon100, have not detected the seasonal signal that CoGeNT and DAMA have reported.

"If you really wanted to see an effect, you could argue that the Xenon100 people don't have the sensitivity to Juan's result," said Rosner, who is not a member of the CoGeNT collaboration. "On the other hand, they've done a number of studies of what their sensitivity is at low energies and they believe they're excluding this result."

Interrupted by fire

CoGeNT operated from December 2009 until interrupted by a fire in the Soudan mine in March 2011. Fifteen months of data collection is a relatively brief period for a dark-matter experiment. In fact, Collar and his colleagues decided to examine the data now only because the fire had stopped the experiment, at least temporarily.

The fire did not directly affect the experiment, but the CoGeNT team has not been able to examine the detector because of clean-up efforts. The detector may no longer work, or if it does work, it may now have different properties.

"This effect that we're seeing is touch-and-go. It's something where you have to keep the detector exquisitely stable," Collar said. If a single key characteristic of the detector has changed, such as its electronic noise, "We may be unable to look for this modulation with it from now on."

The putative mass of the WIMP particles that CoGeNT possibly has detected ranges from six to 10 billion electron volts, or approximately seven times the mass of a proton. "To look for WIMPs 10 times heavier is hard enough. If they're this light, it becomes a nightmare," Collar said.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607094515.htm

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« Reply #4213 on: Jun 8th, 2011, 07:46am »

Geeky Gadgets

Facebook Enables Facial Recognition ‘Tag Suggestions’
By Julian Horsey
Wednesday 8th June 2011 1:19 pm
in Technology News

Facebook has today turned on its new facial recognition tagging feature “Tag Suggestions”, which is now enabled by default worldwide. Facebook has been testing its new “Tag Suggestions” feature in the US since last December, and today has rolled out the new feature to the social network’s 600 million users worldwide without notice.

The new feature now means that whenever Facebook offers you the chance to tag groups of your friends within an album, it will now use its facial recognition technology to group similar faces together and automatically suggest friends you should tag them with.

Graham Cluley, of the British internet security firm Sophos expressed a few concerns about the new Facebook facial recognition tagging feature:

“Yet again, it feels like Facebook is eroding the online privacy of its users by stealth,”

If you would rather not have Facebook’s new feature assit you in the tagging process the feature can be disabled by doing the following:

- Go to your privacy settings.
- Click “ Customise settings.”
- Scroll down to “Things others share.”
- Find “Suggest photos of me to friends.”
- Edit accordingly.

http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/facebook-enables-facial-recognition-tag-suggestions-08-06-2011/#more-83435

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« Reply #4214 on: Jun 8th, 2011, 12:16pm »

Mystery of Egyptian Pyramid's Secret Hieroglyphics Solved

Published June 08, 2011
FoxNews.com

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The Djedi Project
These strange, dark hieroglyphs were found on the floor of a hidden chamber in Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza, according to a mathematical analysis of the 4,500-year-old pyramid.


A hidden chamber deep within the Great Pyramid of Giza revealed a stunning secret last month: strange hieroglyphs written in red paint and sealed within the structure for 4,500 years.

And now one researcher may have unlocked that mystery.
"The markings are hieratic numerical signs. They read from right to left, meaning 100, 20, 1. The builders simply recorded the total length of the shaft: 121 cubits," Luca Miatello, an independent researcher who specializes on ancient Egyptian mathematics, told Discovery News.

The markings, red ochre figures painted on the floor of the hidden "Queen's Chamber" deep within the pyramid, corresponds to the length of the shaft leading to them, Miatello said.

But there's nothing "simple" about this discovery, said Shaun Whitehead of the Djedi Project, the archaeology group that found the hidden chamber through a special, shaft-spelunking robot.

"If the figures are numbers and they are the precise measurement of the shaft, then it's amazing," he said. "It would be a huge, rare clue to what the architect was thinking. For example, why take the trouble to precisely measure and record the length if the shaft was only used for a mundane purpose or simply abandoned?”

The shaft, one of four leading deep within the pyramid, were first discovered in 1872.

According to Miatello, who has written about the pyramid's numerical patterns in the journal Ankh, and also more recently in PalArch's Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology, multiples of 7, 9 and 11 cubits occur frequently in the design of the Great Pyramid.

Built for the pharaoh Cheops, also known as Khufu, the Great Pyramid is the largest of a family of three pyramids on the Giza plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo and has long been rumored to have hidden passageways leading to secret chamber

For more on the discovery, see the full story on Discovery News.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/08/mystery-egyptian-pyramids-secret-hieroglyphics-solved/#ixzz1OhmA7naL
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