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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 127002 times)
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« Reply #4410 on: Jun 27th, 2011, 09:15am »

Privately Built SpaceShipTwo Passes Tests With Flying Colors

By Leonard David
Published June 27, 2011
| Space.com

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Bill Deaver/Deaver-Wiggins and Associates
The private space plane SpaceShipTwo lands after a successful glide test June 21 at Mojave Air and Space Port in California.


SpaceShipTwo, a privately built rocket plane designed to take tourists on suborbital flights, continues to chalk up more flight time as it glides through the skies over the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

Another successful glide of the first SpaceShip Two craft, christened VSS Enterprise, took place June 23, marking the 14th glide flight test of the vessel ó an 8-minute, 55-second free fall after midair release from its mothership. The test came a week after VSS Enterprise proved it could be flown on back-to-back days.

The two-pilot SpaceShipTwo is designed to rocket six paying passengers on a suborbital trajectory to space without making a full orbit around the Earth. The ride to the edge of space will come at a per-seat price of $200,000.

Free falling

According to Virgin Galactic, all objectives of the fledgling spacecraft's recent test flights were met.

"Another good flight test for the program, on a beautiful Mojave morning," said George Whitesides, Virgin Galactic's CEO.

SpaceShipTwo testing is headed for a quiet period starting in July, as the Scaled team analyzes the data from the test flight program to date.

Fast turnaround

The test followed another milestone for SpaceShipTwo June 14 and 15: two successful glide flights within 24 hours.

"This was the quickest turnaround time yet between VSS Enterprise solo flights, reinforcing the unique and transformational ability of Virgin Galacticís spaceflight system to undertake daily flights to space," Virgin Galactic said in a statement.

The June 14-15 flights saw early-morning takeoffs for VSS Enterprise in mated configuration with the WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft, followed by high-altitude releases at around 52,000 feet (15,800 meters) and glides back to smooth touchdowns on the Mojave Air and Space Port runway. Both flights were part of a continuing program of envelope expansion, specifically focusing on speed and susceptibility for flutter.

Future flight manifest

On the future flight manifest is a test run using a hybrid motor mounted within SpaceShipTwo. That powerhouse engine is being crafted by Sierra Nevada Corp. Short bursts to ever-longer burns of the motor in-flight are being planned, with the date of the first in-flight firing of the motor still to be determined.

The VSS Enterprise test flight program will continue through 2011.

Commercial operations will be based at Virgin Galacticís future headquarters at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Copyright © 2011 Space.com. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/27/privately-built-spaceshiptwo-keeps-passing-glide-tests-with-flying-colors/#ixzz1QTxnFdHK
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« Reply #4411 on: Jun 28th, 2011, 07:22am »

Good morning Swamprat!

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« Reply #4412 on: Jun 28th, 2011, 07:29am »

LA Times

Supreme Court won't hear looted-art claim against Norton Simon
June 27, 2011 | 3:35 pm

-- Mike Boehm


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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday decided not to take up an appeal from Marei Von Saher, who is trying to wrest a prized, 480-year-old ďAdam and EveĒ diptych by Lucas Cranach the Elder from the Norton Simon Museum, where the paintings have hung since the 1970s.

ďWe will continue to fight Ö until justice is achieved,Ē Von Saher said in a statement issued Monday by her attorney, Lawrence Kaye.

The Connecticut resident had hoped the Supreme Court would clear a procedural roadblock as she tried to prove that the paintings -- looted from her father-in-law, the noted Dutch-Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker, when he fled the Nazi invasion of Holland in 1940 -- should return to his family because they never received proper recompense.

The Norton Simonís position is that ďAdam and EveĒ were included in a settlement the heirs agreed to with the Dutch government in 1952 -- and that Von Saher, who sued in 2007, waited far too long to file a claim, the statute of limitations having long run out.

It's the statute of limitations issue that the Supreme Court declined to hear.

A California state law adopted in 2002 threw out the statute of limitations for claims seeking to recover artworks looted during the Holocaust, if they were held by museums or dealers in the state. The law would have cleared the way for Von Saher to bring evidence that the Dutch government's 1966 sale of the paintings to an heir of Russian nobles and his 1971 sale of ďAdam and EveĒ to museum founder Norton Simon were both illegal.

But the trial judge in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles ruled that the California law was an unconstitutional intrusion on the federal governmentís authority to set foreign policy and war policy, and he was upheld in 2009 by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The 9th Circuitís finding ďveered into dangerous new territory,Ē according to a brief that then-Attorney General Jerry Brown filed last year with the U.S. Supreme Court, supporting Von Saherís request that it take up her case. But the U.S. Solicitor Generalís office, which represents the federal government before the Supreme Court, disagreed in a brief filed last month, arguing that the 9th Circuitís ruling was constitutionally correct and there was no reason for the court to review it.

Kaye said Monday that he has filed a motion asking the 9th Circuit judges to revisit their decision in light of developments in a parallel case concerning a similar state law that waives the statute of limitations for legal claims stemming from the Armenian genocide.

After declaring that law unconstitutional for the same reasons it had cited in Von Saherís case, the 9th Circuit reversed itself in December, ruling that federal law did not prohibit California from passing laws relating to the Armenian genocide, and that there was in fact no conflict with federal foreign policy prerogatives.

Despite their ruling against Von Saher on constitutional grounds, the 9th Circuit judges reversed the trial judge's outright dismissal of her claim -- which means her case remains alive. They found that ďit is not clear that the statute of limitations has expired,Ē and that the issue needed to be explored further before the original trial judge. Since then, another state law has gone into effect, extending the statute of limitations from three years to six for claims to recover significant artworks and scientific and cultural artifacts that belong to California museums and dealers, but are alleged to have been stolen between 1910 and 2010.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2011/06/supreme-court-holocaust-norton-simon.html

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« Reply #4413 on: Jun 28th, 2011, 07:34am »

Telegraph

We 'will encounter aliens within 20 years'

Russian scientists expect humanity to encounter alien civilisations within the next two decades, a top Russian astronomer has predicted.

10:59AM BST 28 Jun 2011

"The genesis of life is as inevitable as the formation of atoms ... Life exists on other planets and we will find it within 20 years," Andrei Finkelstein, director of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Applied Astronomy Institute, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

Speaking at an international forum dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial life, Mr Finkelstein said 10 per cent of the known planets circling suns in the galaxy resemble Earth.

If water can be found there, then so can life, he said, adding that aliens would most likely resemble humans with two arms, two legs and a head.

"They may have different colour skin, but even we have that," he said.

Mr Finkelstein's institute runs a programme launched in the 1960s at the height of the Cold War space race to watch for and beam out radio signals to outer space.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/ufo/8602343/We-will-encounter-aliens-within-20-years.html

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« Reply #4414 on: Jun 28th, 2011, 07:38am »

Wired

June 28, 2005: Itís an Office Tower, Yet So Much More Than That
By Tony Long
June 28, 2011 | 7:00 am
Categories: 21st Century, Engineering, Politics


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Photo: Architect David Childs puts his hand behind a design model for the Freedom Tower. This perspective looks from across the Hudson River.
(Gregory Bull/AP)



2005: The design for Freedom Tower, meant to replace the World Trade Center towers destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, is formally introduced.

The tower will rise 1,776 feet above Lower Manhattan, replacing 2.6 million of the 15 million square feet of office space lost when the twin towers and a nearby building collapsed. Three other new towers will accompany it in the rebuilt WTC.

But Freedom Tower, designed by architects Daniel Libeskind and David Childs, is about much more than creating new office space. Its design is symbolic (as well as tremendously reinforced). The stainless-steel-and-titanium-clad base of the building reflects on the past and is surrounded by a memorial to the victims of 9/11. Freedom Tower itself recalls the classic design of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings in midtown and, like those, is topped by a spire.

The overall effect, however, can only be described as defiant and forward looking. Not only will Freedom Tower soar 400 feet higher than the twin towers, but the entire building will be illuminated at night. Libeskind described this effect as ďa beacon in the downtown skyline, gesturing now toward the glowing torch of Lady Liberty.Ē

An observation deck will be open to the public near the 1,362-foot top of the main structure (below the spire), at the level of the top of the original south tower.

Condť Nast, publisher of Wired.com and Wired magazine, announced May 17, 2011, that it is moving its global headquarters to the Freedom Tower, aka 1 World Trade Center, starting in 2014.

If Freedom Tower were to open today, it would be the second tallest office building in the world, trailing only the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. No building, however, is likely to eclipse Freedom Tower as a symbol ó or a memorial.

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2011/06/0628ground-zero-freedom-tower-design/

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« Reply #4415 on: Jun 28th, 2011, 07:40am »

Defense News

Sweeping Reforms Proposed at U.K. MoD
By ANDREW CHUTER
Published: 27 Jun 2011 16:11

LONDON - Service chiefs are going to be given control of their own budgets and a new Joint Forces Command is to be formed as part of a series of radical changes to the way the British Ministry of Defence is managed and run, if proposals in a report presented June 27 in Parliament are adopted.

The report, put together by a team of senior private-sector executives led by former defense procurement chief Lord Levene, has come up with 53 recommendations aimed at improving the way the MoD is run and managed.

The review was established by Defence Secretary Liam Fox in 2010.

During a speech at the Reform think tank in London just hours before the proposals were unveiled in Parliament, Fox described the recommendations as transformation on a scale not seen for a generation. Fox said he agrees with most of the recommendations, although he hasn't yet detailed the proposals he won't try to implement.

In his speech, Fox heavily criticized the current high-level structure of the MoD, accusing the Defence Board of being "bloated ... without ministerial membership, allowing strategic decisions to drift and unable to reconcile ambition with resources."

Earlier in the speech, Fox described the MoD as having "overly bureaucratic management structures, dominated by committees leading to indecisiveness and a lack of responsibility."

Levene's committee identified a handful of recommendations it said were not new and had troubled similar reviews going back 100 years.

Key recommendations include:

Ā° The three service chiefs should be given control of their own budgets, covering items like equipment, training and manpower, giving them the freedom to flex where they spend money. Their role in departmental strategy and resource allocation should be reduced. The post of four-star commander in chief should be removed.

Ā° Service chiefs should be removed from the Defence Board. Instead, the secretary of state will join a much smaller board on which the military is only represented by the chief of the Defence Staff. Its role should be providing strategic direction to the department and holding it to account.

Ā° A four-star-led Joint Forces Command should be created to strengthen the focus on joint enablers and on joint warfare development and other issues. The Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) should become part of the command and a number of other unidentified military organizations should come under its control. PJHQ should become responsible for all military operations. The proposals say the MoD should review whether joint or potentially joint capabilities and functions could be rationalized.

Ā° Senior military and civilian personnel should stay in posts for up to four to five years.

Ā° The MoD's head office in central London should be more strategic in its role and much reduced in size. This applies to the top level management positions as well as other positions, according to the report.

Ā° Defense ministers shouldn't be immune from the cuts either. The report states the number and responsibilities of ministers should be reviewed.

Ā° Financial and performance management throughout the MoD should be strengthened to ensure plans are affordable and personnel accountable.

Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy said the opposition Labour Party broadly welcomes the proposed changes.

Analysts here said the issue now for the government is to get the recommendations implemented.

Britain's civil service has a track record of suffocating defense change initiatives attempted by governments. These defense reform proposals are the first of a series of wide-ranging changes planned by the Conservative-led coalition government aimed at improving the accountability and efficiency of Britain's cash-strapped defense department.

The driver for the Levene review lays in efforts to fix Britain's over-extended defense program.

The Conservatives, upon entering office in May 2010, said the MoD had 38 billion pounds ($60.6 billion) in unfunded liabilities over the next 10 years. The government since then also has ordered an 8 percent cut in defense budgets to help Britain repair its government finances.

The report states that its recommendations were designed to "help prevent the Department from getting into such a poor financial position in the future."

The next few months should see a raft of proposals and reviews by the MoD looking at the size and shape of key elements of the British armed forces.

A three-month review of capabilities and budgets following the strategic defense and security review is due to be complete in the next few days. That could lead to new program and capability cuts as the MoD struggles to make the huge savings required to balance its books.

Acquisition process change, a Royal Air Force basing review, the future structure of the reserves and a new defense industrial policy are all expected between now and the autumn.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=6937046&c=EUR&s=TOP

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« Reply #4416 on: Jun 28th, 2011, 07:43am »

Reuters

China premier's call for reform draws accolades and barbs

By Chris Buckley
BEIJING | Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:28am EDT

A vain "screen idol" or a prophet of Chinese political change?

In the wake of China's crackdown on dissent, Premier Wen Jiabao has again promised China's citizens democracy and human rights. The response from seasoned observers in Beijing on Thursday ranged from catcalls to applause.

None, however, saw any prospect of the ruling Communist Party reining in its own vast powers before a big political shake-up next year.

As Wen prepares to retire from late 2012, he has made a habit of calling much more forthrightly for political reform than his more cautious comrades in the Communist Party elite.

Wen's latest call, made in London, stood out all the more after months of arrests and detentions of Chinese dissidents, human rights lawyers and long-time protesters that flew in the face of his mild message.

"Without democracy, there is no socialism. Without freedom, there is no real democracy," Wen told an audience at the Royal Society during his visit to Britain.

China is troubled by corruption, inequality and other social ills, said Wen, offering political reform as an antidote.

"The best way to resolve these problems is to firmly advance political structural reform and build socialist democracy under the rule of law," he said.

For skeptics, Wen's hazy words are a pre-retirement vanity project, burnishing his own reputation without venturing to achieve real change.

"This was screen idol Wen staging a performance in London," Chen Yongmiao, a Beijing-based lawyer and commentator, told Reuters, using a put-down (yingdi) often used by Chinese people to poke fun at the premier's heart-on-his-sleeve public manner.

Sympathetic observers said Wen is defending a liberalizing agenda that is beleaguered now but could gain ground after late 2012, when he and President Hu Jintao step down and make way for new leaders who could loosen the hardline policies of recent years.

Both sides voiced their views on Chinese Internet sites and micro-blogging services as reports of Wen's speech spread.

"He may be speaking from the heart, but it doesn't mean anything," said Chen.

"The title of his speech was 'The Path to China's Future', and so are these things he talks about -- democracy, rights -- a hundred years in the future, or five hundred years? These days, there's a lot of pent-up social tension in China, and society might not be willing to wait as long as he thinks," he said.

However, another Beijing-based lawyer and liberal commentator, Qiu Feng, said the criticism was unfair.

"I think he should be applauded. The Chinese political scene is very delicate right now. Different people want to take China in different directions, and Wen is the one (leader) who points in the direction I think we should take," said Qiu, whose real name is Yao Zhongqiu.

"Yes, this is rhetoric. But politics is to a large extent rhetoric, using words to spell out a goal and create consensus around it," said Qiu. "That's what he's doing."

But Qiu and other well-placed supporters said there was no prospect of a significant relaxation before late 2012, when a Communist Party congress will anoint a new leadership.

Even after the congress, political relaxation was by no means a given, they said.

"Wen Jiabao knows he leaves after the Congress, and he has only his rhetoric as a way to set the direction for after then," said Qiu.

NOT SO FAST

Especially since China's 1989 armed crackdown that extinguished pro-democracy protests, Beijing has reviled any notion that it should embrace Western-style democracy.

In recent months, China's leaders have revived that message, fearing that anti-authoritarian uprisings across the Arab world could inspire challenges to their own one-party rule. China's says its own definition of human rights gives priority to basic needs, such as enough food, housing and health care.

Wen has a milder demeanor than other Party leaders, but he has defended the crackdown, and his broad notions of political reform amount to an effort to rejig, but not replace, Communist Party dominance. In London, he also chided Western "finger-pointing" over China's restrictions on human rights.

But Premier Wen, who survived the ouster of his reformist boss Zhao Ziyang in 1989, has stood out as the one senior official who has repeatedly urged reforms to give citizens more say, even if he has not spelled out what changes he favors.

He is now in the final stretch of his time in office, and he lacks a factional following in the elite that could give his calls a wider currency. As his power leaks away, Wen will have little more than his words to advance his legacy.

"I think the voices calling for faster political reform will grow louder and more urgent, and Premier Wen is heeding those calls," said Du Daozheng, a veteran Party official and former head of China's press control apparatus who has published articles urging support for Wen's calls for political reform.

"But he also has his conservative critics," Du, who is in his late 80s, said in a telephone interview.

"The views inside the Party are not a single, undivided piece of iron and Wen Jiabao represents forces who favor gradual but practical reform."

(Reporting by Chris Buckley; editing by Brian Rhoads)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/28/us-china-politics-wen-idUSTRE75R0PZ20110628

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« Reply #4417 on: Jun 28th, 2011, 09:00am »

Blaze Sparking Fires in Mountains Above Los Alamos Lab

Published June 28, 2011
| Associated Press

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. -- Firefighters worked through the night and into Tuesday hoping to put out spot fires erupting ahead of a wildfire in the mountains above the northern New Mexico town that is home to a government nuclear laboratory.
"That's the biggest threat we have right now to homes in the community," Deputy Los Alamos County Fire Chief Mike Thompson said late Monday of the fires that left hillsides above the town of Los Alamos glowing.

A crew that had been working at the Arizona wildfires took over efforts at the New Mexico fire Monday, about 18 hours after the blaze started. It has quickly grown to 44,000 acres -- or 68 square miles -- and ignited a spot fire on lab property.

Another firefighting team was expected to arrive Tuesday because of the potential for the blaze to more than double in size.

The wildfire has destroyed 30 structures south and west of Los Alamos. It forced the closure of the lab and, for many, stirred memories of a devastating blaze in May 2000 that destroyed hundreds of homes and buildings in town.

Laboratory officials said the wildfire sparked a spot fire on its property that was soon contained Monday, and no contamination was released. They also assured that radioactive materials stored in spots on the sprawling lab were safe.

Flames were just across the road from the southern edge of the famed lab, where scientists developed the first atomic bomb during World War II. The facility cut natural gas to some areas overnight as a precaution.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/28/thousands-evacuated-as-growing-blaze-nears-nuke-lab/
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« Reply #4418 on: Jun 28th, 2011, 09:08am »

These people seem to be overlooking the little detail that we were not totally BURIED under mountains of debt when Pres. Kennedy kicked Apollo into high gear.....


To Save the Economy, Look to the Heavens? Gov't-Funded Science Initiatives Eyed for Job Growth

By Doug McKelway
Published June 27, 2011
| FoxNews.com

Is a big government spending program with a commitment of money and resources on the scale of NASA's Apollo moon program, a way to rescue the U.S. economy?

Americans hearken back to Apollo as a period of national pride and resolve, and a willingness to spend freely in pursuit of a lofty goal. But if the Apollo program went down in history as one of the greatest achievements of mankind, the road to the moon landing holds lessons about the advantages and disadvantages of other long-term government spending programs.

Apollo was the origin of many technologies that found their way into the common household. Perhaps chief among them was the integrated circuit. Its development for the space program, led indirectly 20 years later to the proliferation of the home computer, and in part to the tech revolution, and led again to what scientists today call "Moore's Law, " which holds that the number of transistors on any one integrated circuit is being halved in size every two years. In other words, cell phones, computers, and all kinds of communications devices are getting progressively smaller, yet more powerful.

Economist Martin Bailey, the former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors to former President Bill Clinton, now at the liberal Brookings Institution, sees Moore's Law as at potential genesis of the next technological revolution and economic boom.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/06/27/to-save-economy-look-to-heavens-govt-funded-science-initiatives-eyed-for-job/#ixzz1QZmX5BrR
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« Reply #4419 on: Jun 28th, 2011, 12:45pm »

on Jun 28th, 2011, 09:08am, Swamprat wrote:
These people seem to be overlooking the little detail that we were not totally BURIED under mountains of debt when Pres. Kennedy kicked Apollo into high gear.....


To Save the Economy, Look to the Heavens? Gov't-Funded Science Initiatives Eyed for Job Growth

By Doug McKelway
Published June 27, 2011
| FoxNews.com

Is a big government spending program with a commitment of money and resources on the scale of NASA's Apollo moon program, a way to rescue the U.S. economy?

Americans hearken back to Apollo as a period of national pride and resolve, and a willingness to spend freely in pursuit of a lofty goal. But if the Apollo program went down in history as one of the greatest achievements of mankind, the road to the moon landing holds lessons about the advantages and disadvantages of other long-term government spending programs.

Apollo was the origin of many technologies that found their way into the common household. Perhaps chief among them was the integrated circuit. Its development for the space program, led indirectly 20 years later to the proliferation of the home computer, and in part to the tech revolution, and led again to what scientists today call "Moore's Law, " which holds that the number of transistors on any one integrated circuit is being halved in size every two years. In other words, cell phones, computers, and all kinds of communications devices are getting progressively smaller, yet more powerful.

Economist Martin Bailey, the former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors to former President Bill Clinton, now at the liberal Brookings Institution, sees Moore's Law as at potential genesis of the next technological revolution and economic boom.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/06/27/to-save-economy-look-to-heavens-govt-funded-science-initiatives-eyed-for-job/#ixzz1QZmX5BrR



MOUNTAINS and MOUNTAINS of debt!

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« Reply #4420 on: Jun 28th, 2011, 5:02pm »

Forget the Backpack, Jetpacks Come to Key West

Published June 28, 2011
| Associated Press

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Jetpack Adventures charges $249 for the 1.5-hour experience, which includes half an hour in flight.

KEY WEST, Fla. Ė Visitors to the Florida Keys can now pretend to be, and actually fly like, James Bond, thanks to a new watersport.

Participants strap on a flight pack that looks like the one actor Sean Connery wore in "Thunderball." A 30-foot hose tethers the apparatus to a tiny boat with a pump that uses seawater as propellant.

During training, a certified instructor operates the vehicle via remote control. Once they get the hang of things, participants can control their direction and altitude.

Erik Adams, manager of the Key West-based Jetpack Adventures, says the Florida Keys is the first region in the United States to offer the experience. Another operator in nearby Marathon begins business next month.

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2011/06/28/forget-backpack-jetpacks-come-to-key-west/#ixzz1QaXFkObs
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« Reply #4421 on: Jun 29th, 2011, 07:34am »

Good morning Swamprat,

I can see where those jetpacks would be popular!

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« Reply #4422 on: Jun 29th, 2011, 07:39am »

Washington Post

Posted at 07:30 AM ET, 06/29/2011
Comic book version of bin Laden raid to be released
By Jason Ukman

Death of Osama bin Laden book? Check.

Death of Osama bin Laden T-shirt? Check.

Death of Osama bin Laden graphic novel? Check, check, check.

Yes, thatís right, because these things have a certain way of taking on a life of their own, a California comic book publisher is releasing a graphic novel about the raid that killed bin Laden, animating the lives of SEAL Team 6 and the others who had a hand in the operation in Abbottabad.

ďCode Word: GeronimoĒ was written by retired Marine Capt. Dale Dye, an author and longtime consultant on military films including ďPlatoonĒ and ďSaving Private Ryan,Ē and his wife, Julia, who conducted the research for the book.

Itís a tricky feat, given that much about the raid remains shrouded in secrecy. To accomplish it, the Dyes say they scoured media reports and other public descriptions of the operation, while Capt. Dye interviewed some he knew in the special operations community.

There was also, as he put it, some SWAG -- ďscientific wild-ass guesses.Ē

A general description of the roles played by President Obama and CIA Director Leon Panetta is enough to invent some dialogue. And a general understanding of Black Hawks is enough to speculate that the one that went down in Abbottabad was bearing too much weight.

(ďWith the Hawks carrying all this sound-suppression gear and extra fairings, itís tight as a popcorn fart,Ē the fictional mission commander for the aviation unit worries ominously in one scene.)

In an interview, Dye said he and his wife got to thinking about doing a comic book about the bin Laden raid almost immediately after it happened. They had already done books, music videos, video games about the military. Why not a comic book?

The point, Dye said, is to ďcelebrate what happened, especially among youngsters.Ē

ďThe people who pulled this off are calm, solid professionals, not a bunch of Ö assassins,Ē he said. ďI want very much for people who read this to understand that weíre still a nation that can produce those people Ė patriots like that who are willing to lay it on the line at every turn.Ē

Julia Dye said she wanted the killing of bin Laden to be remembered as ďsomething we all did togetherĒ and likened the graphic novel to ďa souvenir programĒ

Alrighty then.

ďCode Word: GeronimoĒ comes out in September.

You can read more about it here: http://www.idwpublishing.com/news/article/1839/

You can see some samples from a draft of the book here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/nation/bin-laden-comic/index.html

Full color apparently on the way.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/checkpoint-washington/post/comic-book-version-of-bin-laden-raid-to-be-released/2011/06/28/AGMnK4pH_blog.html

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« Reply #4423 on: Jun 29th, 2011, 07:47am »

LA Times

Paris Fashion Week: Thom Browne's flapper and fringe festival

26 June 2011

Thom Browne showed his spring and summer 2012 menswear collection in the intimate venue of the famed Maxim's restaurant on Rue Royale, and it kicked off with the clink of Champagne glasses and to the strains of "Willkommen" from Kander and Ebb's "Cabaret."

What followed after that was Browne's usual curio cabinet of tailored pieces, garments that often seem designed more to showcase his skills than to be worn out in the real world -- such as the fringed lampshade bucket hat worn by the first model down the runway, and cape shoulders as square and angular as a chair back.

Based in a color palette of black and gray with his traditional red-white-and-blue accents, the collection of suits, jackets, capes, shirt dresses and shorts was heavy on the stripes and nearly as heavy on the fringe, which seemed to dangle from every garment edge imaginable -- jacket shoulder pads, trousers, the hems of jackets and shirts, the aforementioned lampshade hats, and at least two full-on dresses -- one knee-length number in alternating blue and white striped tiers of flapper fringe, and a tiered flapper fringe dress in black, (worn over a white dinner jacket) and fringe-edged scarves so long they dragged on the ground.


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The multitude of stripes, the fringe and the bare arms (many looks -- even the suits -- had dispensed with arms altogether, and either hung like capes or more closely resembled vests), helped elongate the silhouette, as did the strands of pearls that hung loosely from neck to knees, and the black socks held up by garters of red-white-and-blue grosgrain.

What the full-on flapper regalia stole focus from, however, was the fact that Thom Browne's man-boy silhouette is continuing its evolution. The models that sauntered and glowered their way through the dining room looked more "Matrix" than Maxim's, and even without the padded jackets and vests, clearly had stronger shoulders and more muscular arms than many of the models that have walked his shows in the past.

It's a welcome change.

-- Adam Tschorn, reporting from Paris

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/alltherage/2011/06/paris-fashion-week-thom-browne-ss12.html

~

I'm guessing the guy ate peyote buttons then designed his collection.

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« Reply #4424 on: Jun 29th, 2011, 07:52am »

Wired Danger Room

Veterans Die Facing Mountains of Red Tape
By Lena Groeger
June 29, 2011 | 7:00 am
Categories: Iraq

When Clay Hunt returned home to Texas after two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, the struggle didnít end. Tormented by flashbacks and post-traumatic stress, he sought medical help from the Department of Veteran Affairs Ė but faced a pile of paperwork. While waiting for help, he turned his energy towards helping his fellow veterans, raising money for the wounded and appearing in public service announcements for veterans struggling, like him, with the psychological trauma of war.

Hunt took his own life on March 31, 2011. His disability checks arrived five weeks later.

Tragically, Clayís story is not unique. Every day, 18 veterans of the nationís armed forces become casualties by their own hands. One thousand more attempt to take their own lives every month. The numbers are as grim for active duty and reserve soldiers: The Army just reported 27 suspected suicides for the month of May, higher than any other month this year.

ďThose numbers are just the tip of the iceberg,Ē Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, tells Danger Room. ďThis is a problem thatís clearly out of control.Ē

As Obama promises a drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq is coming to a close, the number of soldiers returning home is only rising. But after fighting for their country, these veterans are forced to fight a health care system that is not sufficiently able to help them. Last month the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals berated the Department of Veteran Affairs for delays in treating veterans who have the combat-related mental injuries that put them at an increased risk of suicide.

ďThe VAís unchecked incompetence has gone on long enough; no more veterans should be compelled to agonize or perish while the government fails to perform its obligations,Ē the judges wrote in the majority ruling.

But it may be years before the situation improves. As of 2010, the VA had a backlog of over 1 million benefits claims. Veterans can wait a year or more for disability checks, and weeks for mental health referrals. The problem is only getting worse, with the influx of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. Meanwhile, the rate of suicide for veterans is three times higher than the general public, according to a 2006 study.

ďWeíre almost 10 years into the war, the backlog has gone up, and it doesnít look like things are getting better,Ē Rieckhoff says.

While the number of stories like Clay Huntís are on the rise, the concern over veteran suicides is not new. Over seven years ago, the Bush administration commissioned the VA to overhaul its mental health system. The ďMental Health Strategic PlanĒ that followed promised all sorts of improvements: better screening for at-risk veterans, more urgent health care, less waiting time for treatments and benefits claims. But a 2007 report (.pdf) by the Office of the Inspector General concluded that much of that plan had not been implemented. It found that almost two-thirds of the Veterans Health Administration facilities lacked a suicide prevention strategy to target returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and 70 percent didnít have a system to track veterans who showed risk factors for suicide.

Since then, the VA has made continued efforts to strengthen its suicide prevention program. The Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255) was opened in 2007 to provide telephone access to trained counselors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

ďThe hotline has grown tremendously over the last four years, to about 500 calls a day,Ē says Janet Kemp, the national director of the VAís suicide prevention program. In April, the hotline fielded more than 14,000 calls, the most ever for a single month. Kemp credits the hotline with saving over thousands of lives, but admits that the VA could do better.

ďPeople do wait too long to get the services they need,Ē says Kemp. ďHopefully weíre putting those into place.Ē

The hotline guarantees medical attention to anyone in a crisis situation, but not every case appears to be an immediate crisis. For thousands of veterans at risk of suicide, theirs is a much slower, but no less urgent, predicament. Risk factors for suicide are complex, but psychological illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are clear culprits. One study found that the risk of suicide doubles for men with psychological conditions. For women, the risk is five times as high.

Unfortunately, these are exactly the mental disorders that President Obama has called the ďsignature wounds of todayís wars.Ē An unprecedented number of veterans are being diagnosed with PTSD, and the increased use of explosives by hostile forces in Afghanistan and Iraq raises the risk for traumatic brain injury. Currently an estimated 20 percent of soldiers with combat-related injuries also have traumatic brain injury (compared to 12-14 percent of Vietnam War veterans), which can lead to further mental health problems, and even suicide.

The psychological toll of war, a flood of returning troops and an overburdened VA healthcare system has proven to be a deadly combination. There are some options for veterans Ė the IAVA has put into place an online community for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, to ease the transition back to civilian life. Itís not enough.

ďI donít think weíve seen a sustained national effort around suicide, period,Ē said Rieckhoff. ďThis needs national attention, and there needs to be a demand for services. We need help.Ē

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/06/veterans-die-red-tape/

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