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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 16155 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #5010 on: Sep 11th, 2011, 08:22am »

LA Times

Taliban truck bomb explodes outside U.S. base in Afghanistan

A massive Taliban bomb outside an American military base in Afghanistan kills five Afghans and wounds nearly 80 U.S. troops on the eve of 9/11.

By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
7:12 AM PDT, September 11, 2011
Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan

A massive Taliban truck bomb outside an American military base in a restive eastern district injured nearly 80 U.S. troops and killed five Afghans, Western and Afghan officials said Sunday.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place Saturday evening in the Sayedabad district of Wardak province. That is the same district where insurgents last month shot down a U.S. Chinook helicopter, killing 30 American troops, 22 of them elite Navy SEALs from the unit that killed Osama bin Laden in May.

The Chinook crash, which remains under investigation, was the worst single loss of American military lives in the nearly decade-long war.

Although no Americans died in Saturday's bombing, it appeared to be one of the biggest casualty counts in an insurgent strike on a Western military installation. The bombing also carried symbolic weight, coming on the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for the Wardak provincial governor, said the blast devastated the Sayedabad district center, damaging a number of government buildings including a medical facility. Of the five Afghans killed, one was an 8-year-old girl and one an Afghan policeman. Another 17 Afghans were injured, he said.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force, which did not disclose the attack until early Sunday, said in a statement that the outpost's perimeter wall was damaged in the attack, but that "protective barriers…absorbed most of the explosion."

Western military officials said the injuries of most of the 77 troops who were hurt were not life-threatening.

The Taliban said in a statement that a "martyrdom-seeking" attacker blew up a truck packed with explosives just outside the base. The group, which often exaggerates the effectiveness of its attacks, claimed as many as 50 U.S. troops were killed.

Hours after the attack, a solemn ceremony was held at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Sunday morning to remember the victims of Sept. 11. Before an audience of several hundred embassy employees, military officials and Afghan dignitaries, the American flag was lowered to half-mast and a lone bugle sounded "Taps."

U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who flew into New York as the attacks were taking place, said he kept his boarding pass from his flight that day.

"For me, the last ten years have always been about 9/11," he said before the crowd observed a moment of silence. "I'm never going to forget what happened that day, and I will never give up on my commitment to doing everything I can to ensure that 9/11 never happens again."


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghanistan-base-attack-20110912,0,4114949.story

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« Reply #5011 on: Sep 11th, 2011, 11:37am »

"Bigfoot has nothing on the Two Egg Stump Jumper"


Thanks Swamp! And a good morning to you.

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« Reply #5012 on: Sep 11th, 2011, 11:41am »

Hollywood Reporter

Oscar-Winning Actor Cliff Robertson Dies at 88
6:07 PM PDT 9/10/2011
by Duane Byrge



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UPDATED: The "Charly" and "Spider-Man" actor died Saturday, one day after his birthday.

Cliff Robertson, who won a Best Actor Oscar for Charly (1968), and who blew the lid off a check-forging scandal at Columbia Pictures in 1977, has died.

He died of natural causes Saturday, one day after his 88th birthday, at Stony Brook University Medical Center on Long Island, says Evelyn Christel, his personal secretary of 53 years, according to the Associated Press.

Although he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as the mentally-impaired Charly, Robertson’s best-know role was, perhaps, in real-life. He was touted as a “profile in courage” for reporting that Columbia studio head David Begelman had forged his name on a $10,000 check in the late ‘70s. Begelman, who misappropriated more than $60,000 in studio funds, was later convicted in what the press deemed “Hollywoodgate.” Robertson was considered a hero by many for, essentially, putting his career on the line by taking on a powerful studio head. He was outspoken in his criticism of the whole situation, telling the Washington Post, “There’s a small percentage of corrupt people in Hollywood. Only one percent represents the pinnacle of power. They’ve been frightening people for years, and now they’re frightening others into `ipso facto’ blacklisting me… I hear there’s a very powerful person in Hollywood saying I’ll never work again.”

Robertson also won an Emmy Award for his performance in The Game on Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, and was nominated for an Emmy for The Two Worlds of Charly Gordon. After performing in Charly Gordon, he bought the rights, and channeled it into an Academy Award-winning performance.

He began his movie career as a contract player at Columbia in the 1950s. Throughout a long acting career, Robertson mixed his acting between movies, TV and the stage, performing mainly as a character actor. “I get bored playing the same type,” he said. Robertson’s most popular performance was as the young John F. Kennedy in PT-109. Kennedy, in fact, had suggested that he be cast to play the part. Robertson also starred as the chief executive of a large U.S. corporation in Brainstorm. He also portrayed Playboy editor/publisher Hugh Hefner in Star 80. More recently, he starred in the Spider-Man films as Uncle Ben Parker.

His other movie credits include: The Naked and the Dead, Gidget, The Interns, The Best Man, Sunday in New York, The Honey Pot, 633 Squadron, The Devil’s Brigade, Too Late the Hero, The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, Underworld U.S.A., Man on a String, Three Days of the Condor, Midway and Shoot. He also brought the radio drama J.W. Coop, a gritty yarn about a rodeo cowboy, and served as producer, director, writer and star of the film version.

Robertson’s TV credits were extensive. He starred in ABC’s The Man Without a Country, Washington: Behind Closed Doors and Two of a Kind. In all, Robertson appeared in more than 100 TV productions, beginning in the days of live TV. He played on such vaunted ‘50s programs as Philco, Goodyear, Studio One and Robert Montgomery Presents.

Clifford Parker Robertson III was born in La Jolla, California on September 9, 1923. Following high school, where he was active in the La Jolla High School Dramatic Club, he wanted to become a flier. Yet, his interests soon gravitated toward acting. He appeared at the Globe Theater in San Diego in 1940, playing in A World Elsewhere. He served during World War II in the Merchant Marine. Following his service, he supported himself with a series of part-time jobs and went back East to study acting. He performed in stock in Westboro, Sturbridge, Lakes Regions and other small towns in New England.

Robertson received his first processional acting job with the Stanley Woolf Players in upstate New York. On Broadway, he appeared in The Wisteria Trees with Helen Hayes, The Lady and the Tiger, Late Love and in Orpheus Descending. He also appeared on Saturday morning TV (Rod Brown and the Rocket Rangers). It was while appearing with Hayes in the New York production of Wisteria Trees that Robertson was spotted by Josh Logan’s wife, who alerted her husband, and who later cast Robertson in Picnic (1956), opposite Kim Novak.

His stately bearing lent well to commercials: He was for years the spokesman for AT&T. Athletic and active, Robertson was a strong tennis player and an avid aviator. He owned several aircrafts, including an original German WWII Messerschmitt 109-E, which he had on display at the Parker/O’Malley Museum in New York. He also competed in numerous air shows and balloon races.

Robertson was married to actress Dina Merrill from 1966 to 1986. Previously, he was married to Cynthia Stone Lemmon. He had one daughter from each marriage.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oscar-winning-actor-cliff-robertson-233773

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« Reply #5013 on: Sep 11th, 2011, 6:58pm »

Telegraph

9/11 anniversary: Muslim protesters burn US flag outside embassy in London

A group of Muslim protesters set fire to an American flag outside the US embassy in London during a minute's silence to mark the moment that the first hijacked airliner hit the World Trade Center 10 years ago.

By Andy Bloxham
2:39PM BST
11 Sep 2011

A number of radical Islamic groups including Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) gathered outside the embassy on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

The group of around 100 men shouted "USA terrorists", brandished anti-American placards and chanted through a loudhailer.

Several members of the Muslim groups made anti-American speeches following the flag burning.

One said: "You will always face suffering, you will always face humiliation, unless you withdraw your troops from Muslim lands."

Another declared that America had been "defeated in Iraq and defeated in Afghanistan".

Members of the group publicly burned a poppy on Armistice Day in a similar stunt.

However, a small opposing group of Muslims - some of whom had travelled hundreds of miles to rebut the extremists - staged a counter-demonstration nearby, holding up placards reading "Muslims Against Extremism" and "If You Want Sharia, Move To Saudi".

Abdul Sallam, 41, who was waving a sign that read "Keep The Silence", travelled down to London from his home in Glasgow to show the strength of his feelings.

He said: "I'm a Muslim. What they're doing is bringing shame on all Muslims. This is not part of the teachings of Islam.

"Islam teaches you that when you see anything bad or evil, you should speak out against it.

"If the moderate Muslims all came out and spoke out, that would defeat them.

"I am proud to be British. I love my country. All these people are doing is breaking Britain apart."

One of the Grosvenor Square memorial service attendees, who did not want to be named, said the protesters should be stopped from standing just across the road from the embassy and using a loud megaphone.

The man, whose cousin died in the terror attacks, said: "They shouldn't be allowed to do it. It's very disrespectful. It's too loud."

He added: "They can say what they want but not with the loudspeaker."

Earlier a group of right-wing English Defence League protesters, who had gathered in response to the demonstration, were ordered to move on to accommodate the MAC supporters.

The 60-strong group of EDL supporters briefly scuffled with police as they were forced away from their original location to a different part of Grosvenor Square.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/september-11-attacks/8755834/911-anniversary-Muslim-protesters-burn-US-flag-outside-embassy-in-London.html

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« Reply #5014 on: Sep 12th, 2011, 08:47am »

New York Times

September 11, 2011
Secret Bid to Arm Qaddafi Sheds Light on Tensions in China Government
By MICHAEL WINES

BEIJING — At a United Nations conference in Indonesia this summer, an official of the agency that oversees China’s weapons industry ticked off the hurdles that any proposal to sell Chinese weapons abroad must clear. Among them: arms sales must not alter another nation’s internal security. They must not violate United Nations arms embargoes. And they must win government approval.

“If you want to export a product, you should get permission,” said the official, Wang Feng. “You want to talk to some other country, you ship to the country, you should get permission.”

That was on June 11, or roughly a month before three of China’s biggest state-owned arms companies secretly offered to sell Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s army $200 million in weapons to put down the rebellion. The offer, discovered by a Canadian journalist in documents tossed into a Tripoli trash heap, flouted a United Nations embargo on weapons sales to the Qaddafi government — an embargo that China itself had voted for in February.

The government, at Foreign Ministry briefings last week, has said that it gave no permission for the deals to proceed.

China’s leaders have never liked international sanctions, calling them interference in other nations’ affairs. But the disclosure of the Libyan negotiations underscores a divide many analysts say has long existed between the Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry — which both have a say in approving arms sales.

Some believe that big state-run weapons companies, with their close ties to the military, easily make end runs around the diplomats in the Foreign Ministry, which negotiates China’s position on international sanctions.

“It’s possible, and has been the case in the past, that Chinese arms companies push their own agenda,” Mathieu Duchatel, a senior researcher in Beijing with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said in an interview. “There are informal relationships between the different actors, and the logical decision-making process can be bypassed in certain cases.”

The military alliance may gain an added edge when the diplomats are themselves embattled. Since the rebels mounted their revolt last February, China’s policy toward Libya has been up for grabs, with the government apparently torn between economic interest in Colonel Qaddafi’s continued rule and a desire to be on the winning side should his opponents take control.

During much of this debate, supporters of Colonel Qaddafi seem to have had the upper hand. Alone among major powers, China has yet to recognize the rebels’ Transitional National Council, which took effective control of Libya after Colonel Qaddafi’s ouster.

Whether these calculations figured in the arms negotiations is hard to say, in part because the government insists that the arms being negotiated — antitank missiles, rocket launchers and portable rockets capable of bringing down aircraft, among others — were never delivered. Technically, at least, Chinese arms vendors are not required to seek permission before talking about deals with foreign customers.

On the other hand, some of the companies involved in negotiations with Colonel Qaddafi’s government have a track record of skirting sanctions, American officials say. The United States has repeatedly cited two of the firms, the China North Industries Corporation and the China National Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation, for selling missile technology and other equipment to Iran that it says violate international sanctions.

Chinese officials have argued that the Americans rely on incorrect information or too-sweeping definitions of prohibited weapons components.

More broadly, China’s record on enforcing international sanctions remains weak, many experts say. For example, the latest United Nations report on the enforcement of sanctions against North Korea, issued in May, faults China for failing to intercept suspected shipments of ballistic-missile items on North Korean cargo planes that land there en route to Iran. After vigorous protests by the Chinese, the report identified China only as “a neighboring third country.”

Chinese companies were major suppliers in the past decade of small arms and ammunition to Sudan, where they fueled the conflict in Darfur despite a United Nations prohibition. Similar charges have been leveled in wars in Congo and other African nations. Chinese officials say they have no control over arms once they reach their destination.

In theory, the violations should never occur to begin with. A government agency issues arms-export licenses in consultation with China’s Defense Ministry and its Foreign Affairs Ministry. The Defense Ministry is supposed to advise whether a weapon or technology is suited to sell to others. The Foreign Affairs Ministry advises whether they should be sold at all.

But in the Chinese government, as in Chinese life, personal relationships carry huge weight. And it is widely believed by outside experts that the fraternal ties between arms makers and the military, which owned many of them before weapons-making was hived off in the 1990s, overwhelm the diplomats’ say in the process. “The state-owned enterprises have a lot more leeway with regard to whom they can trade with,” said Stephanie Lieggi, a senior researcher and an expert on China’s arms industry at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California.

That may be especially true with the trade in conventional weapons, which has taken a back seat among arms-control advocates to restraining the traffic in nuclear weapons components and their missile delivery systems.

China’s policy toward Libya was in flux in July, when China North, China Precision Machinery and a third company, the China Xinxing Import and Export Corporation, began brokering weapons deals in Beijing meetings with Colonel Qaddafi’s representatives. Joining an international outcry, China had supported an arms embargo against the Qaddafi government that won unanimous United Nations support last February. But the Chinese abstained from a subsequent resolution that essentially approved military support for the Libyan rebels. And not without reason: China had relied on the Qaddafi government for 3 percent of its oil needs and had extensive business interests in Libya. China also had long supplied Libya’s military with weaponry.

The arms-sales proposals drawn up in July, in meetings between Chinese company officials and Libyan military attachés, were notable on several accounts, scholars and experts say.

One was the sheer size of the $200 million order. “Usually, arms companies don’t have that in stock,” said Tai Ming Cheung, a senior researcher at the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California, San Diego. “The only organization that would have such large stockpiles would be the Chinese military.”

Another was the suggestion by the Chinese arms brokers, outlined in the trash-heap documents, that Libya conceal its purchases by funneling them through Algeria and South Africa, two governments sympathetic to Colonel Qaddafi. That not only would have made the weapons deliveries harder to detect, one Beijing researcher noted, it would also have provided a fig leaf for Chinese government concerns that the sales would violate a United Nations embargo.

But the government has said it knew nothing of the sales pitch. And so there is no evidence that the arms companies’ proposals to sidestep the embargo were known to higher-ups, much less carried out. “China has a prior record of nonimplementation of U.N. sanctions resolutions, so this is not too surprising,” said an expert at one Beijing research organization who refused to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. “It just doesn’t like to get caught.”

Li Bibo contributed research.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/12/world/asia/12china.html?_r=1&ref=world

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« Reply #5015 on: Sep 12th, 2011, 1:12pm »

Geeky Gadgets

Coca Cola Space Invader Edition
By Roland Hutchinson
Monday 12th September 2011 2:36 pm
in Design, Gaming, Geeky


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Designer Erin McGuire thinks that Coca Cola should be making some cool video game themed versions of their popular coke drinks, and has decided to put together these cool Coca Cola Space Invader editions of the original Coca Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero.

Similar to Space Invaders art, these pixel creatures are invading the human world. They have taken over the walls of Paris, Amsterdam, New York, LA, and now they are targeting Coca-Cola cans across the world, turning everything in their path to pixels.

Very cool, we tend to agree with Erin, and think Coca Cola should make some of these fun Space Invader themed versions.

more after the jump
http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/coca-cola-space-invader-edition-12-09-2011/

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« Reply #5016 on: Sep 12th, 2011, 1:15pm »

Wired

Sept. 12, 1958: Kilby Chips In, Integrates Circuit
By Randy Alfred
September 12, 2011 | 6:30 am
Categories: 20th century, Business and Industry, Computers and IT

1958: New hire Jack Kilby shows his Texas Instruments colleagues a little something he’s built. A very little something: a working integrated circuit on a piece of semiconductor material. The world will soon change.

Electronics had relied on vacuum tubes for half a century before Bell Labs invented the transistor in 1947. Transistors were tinier, more reliable, longer-lasting, cooler and more energy-efficient. But connecting hundreds or thousands of them in a complex circuit required wire and solder. That cost money, took time and created thousands of ways for the circuit to fail.

Texas Instruments, or TI to insiders, was working on the U.S. Army Signal Corps’ Micro-Module program when Kilby joined the firm in 1958. Micro-Modules proposed to make all components the same size, so they could be snapped together to create circuits without wire or solder. Most of the company’s employees went on a two-week vacation in July, but Kilby hadn’t earned any vacation time yet.

He used his solitude to good effect.

“Further thought led me to the conclusion that semiconductors were all that were really required,” Kilby later wrote. “[R]esistors and capacitors [passive devices], in particular, could be made from the same material as the active devices [transistors]. I also realized that, since all of the components could be made of a single material, they could also be made in situ interconnected to form a complete circuit.”


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Kilby constructed a prototype of the integrated circuit by September. It was a sliver (a chip, you might say) of germanium with wires sticking out, glued to a glass slide about the size of a thumbnail.

The stakes were high for the new guy. Among those assembled for the Sept. 12 demonstration were then-chairman Mark Shepherd and other execs.

Kilby connected his device to an oscilloscope and threw the switch. There on the screen, a continuous sine curve pulsed, and a new era began.

As recounted many times in This Day in Tech and elsewhere, there’s often an unheralded precursor or prior claim. In Kilby’s case, that would be British radar scientist Geoffrey W.A. Dummer, who presented the concept of a miniaturized, integrated circuit at a 1952 electronics symposium in Washington, D.C.

He wanted to put an entire circuit on a piece of silicon just half-an-inch square. But his prototype failed, the Ministry of Defense was unimpressed, and the idea died on the organizational vine.

And as is often the case — again, oft recounted here — scientific and technological advances frequently occur with nearly simultaneous independent discovery or invention. In this case that would be Fairchild Semiconductor engineer Robert Noyce, who was working on an integrated circuit using silicon instead of germanium.

Kilby and TI were first to file for a patent for “miniaturized electronic circuits” in February of 1959. Noyce and Fairchild filed their application for a silicon-based integrated circuit six weeks later in April. It was granted in 1961, and TI didn’t get its patent until 1964.

Fairchild and TI engaged in a lengthy legal battle before agreeing to cross-license their technologies. Noyce’s silicon chip eventually triumphed over Kilby’s germanium. Noyce went on to co-found Intel with Gordon Moore.

Kilby went on to share the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics. The Nobel website acknowledges that “Kilby and Noyce are considered to be co-inventors of the integrated circuit.” However, Noyce died in 1990, and Nobel rules prohibit granting the prize posthumously. Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, germanium to silicon.

Kilby died in 2005 in a world where microchips permeate every aspect of our daily life, from the inner space of our bodies to the outer space of the cosmos, at home, at play and on the job, in our cars, in our ears … indispensable.

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2011/09/0912kilby-demos-integrated-circuit/

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« Reply #5017 on: Sep 12th, 2011, 3:36pm »

Did they or didn’t theyhuh


Tallahassee Democrat

Sex on an airliner on 9/11: Talk about bad timing


9/12/2011 8:48 AM EDT

So did you hear the one about the people on the Denver-to-Detroit Frontier Airlines flight on Saturday? They were spending an extraordinarily long time in the bathroom. Together. ABC News cited law enforcement sources to say they were “making out.”

Others say they were becoming members of that exclusive group known as the Mile-High Club, membership to which involves, I’m told, more than a simple kiss.

They were detained for questioning and eventually released.

It was reported the same thing happened on Saturday on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York, except three people were involved, by and involved I mean really involved.

Not to mention stupid. Maybe it’s just me, but an airline restroom is among the last places I’d think of for a sexual encounter, and you can save your emails detailing the wonders of your personal conquests. If you are riding in an airplane on Sept. 11, don't you naturally just try not to draw attention to yourself?


In both incidents, fighter jets were scrambled – at what cost to taxpayers, I want to know – and escorted the commercial airliners in after their pilots reported concern over the unusual behavior of some passengers.

When it comes to air travel, America has lost its sense of humor. It is one of the ways we’ve changed in the last 10 years. When we have to travel, we take a deep breath and make sure we have on good underwear in case we have to undergo a search.

New Update: FBI claims airline incident never happened

9/12/2011 8:48 AM EDT

So did you hear the one about the people on the Denver-to-Detroit Frontier Airlines flight on Saturday? A lot of people did. In fact, multiple media reports said they were spending an extraordinarily long time in the bathroom. Together. ABC News cited law enforcement sources to say they were “making out.”

But on Monday, FBI Special Agent Sandra Berthold said it just wasn't true.

"At no time were any two people in the bathroom at the same time, and the three individuals who were questioned were totally cooperative with us ... and they were never uncooperative with the flight crew," Berchtold said.


http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=PluckPersona&U=dcfedab969f74106b18fa58194893a0a&plckPersonaPage=BlogViewPost&plckUserId=dcfedab969f74106b18fa58194893a0a&plckPostId=Blog%3adcfedab969f74106b18fa58194893a0aPost%3a67bbd94d-7ef6-45da-b7da-f4769e3de6f7&plckBlogItemsPerPage=5


?

tongue

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« Reply #5018 on: Sep 12th, 2011, 3:48pm »

"Did they or didn’t they


Tallahassee Democrat

Sex on an airliner on 9/11: Talk about bad timing

9/12/2011 8:48 AM EDT

So did you hear the one about the people on the Denver-to-Detroit Frontier Airlines flight on Saturday? They were spending an extraordinarily long time in the bathroom. Together. ABC News cited law enforcement sources to say they were “making out.”


BAD TIMING!
shocked

Hey Swamp!
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« Reply #5019 on: Sep 12th, 2011, 5:29pm »

Poor, poor Spirit! Look out, Opportunity, you'll be next!!

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« Reply #5020 on: Sep 13th, 2011, 08:46am »

on Sep 12th, 2011, 5:29pm, Swamprat wrote:
Poor, poor Spirit! Look out, Opportunity, you'll be next!!

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poor thing! grin

Good morning Swamprat.

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« Reply #5021 on: Sep 13th, 2011, 08:53am »

New York Times

September 13, 2011
Militants Launch Attack on U.S. Embassy in Kabul
By ALISSA J. RUBIN and JACK HEALY

KABUL, Afghanistan — Insurgents launched a complex assault against the American Embassy and the nearby NATO headquarters on Tuesday, pelting the heavily guarded compounds with rockets in an attack that raised new questions about the security of Afghanistan’s capital and the Westerners working there.

At least 10 explosions — apparently from rockets launched by militants — and waves of automatic weapons fire were reported amid the drone of sirens and English-language warnings telling Americans inside the embassy to take cover.

Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said that two attackers had been killed, as had one policeman. At about 4 p.m. local time, three attackers were believed to be still fighting. Kerri Hannan, a spokeswoman for the American Embassy, said that no embassy personnel had been hurt.

It was unclear precisely how many assailants were behind the assault or whether they were attacking from a single or multiple locations. The attackers were holed up on several floors of a tall, partly built concrete building that offered a bird’s-eye view of the secured diplomatic and military compounds about a half mile away. Flashes from gun barrels could be seen as the militants fired from their perch. Afghan security forces returned fire from the ground, sending puffs of concrete dust into the air as bullets slapped the building.

“We don’t know how many suicide bombers are in the building,” said Col. Abdul Zahir, of the criminal investigative division of the Kabul police. “They’re shooting at the embassy. We’re still in fighting position. We can’t say anything.”

Two explosions were also reported near the Afghan Parliament, but it was unclear whether militants were specifically trying to attack the government building or other targets.

The embassy assault, which began around 1:15 p.m., was the latest in a string of attacks that have chipped away at a tenuous sense of security in the capital. In August, militants killed eight people in an attack on a British cultural center, and in June, nine suicide bombers breached layers of security to attack the hillside Intercontinental Hotel.

By 3:10 p.m., two Blackhawk helicopters circled the building, but did not immediately open fire.

The streets surrounding the site of the attack, normally choked with the traffic of minibuses, bicycles and Toyotas, were deserted on Monday afternoon of all but security forces and people racing for cover.

“We don’t know what’s happening,” one Afghan soldier said. “Everywhere you can hear shooting.”

Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message, saying the Taliban had set out to attack the embassy, a NATO base and Afghan government buildings. His claim could not be immediately confirmed.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force confirmed there were continuing attacks against the embassy and ISAF headquarters, and said in a Twitter message there were “forces responding quickly,” but provided no other details. The attack came less than two months after Afghan forces assumed formal responsibility for security in the capital, one of several corners of the country where security was officially handed over in July.

Sharifullah Sahak and Ray Rivera contributed reporting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/world/asia/14afghanistan.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #5022 on: Sep 13th, 2011, 08:55am »

back in a bit
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« Reply #5023 on: Sep 13th, 2011, 11:59am »

Oregon Live

UFO abduction figure dies at 80 in Mississippi

Sept. 13, 2011, 9:30 a.m. PDT
Associated Press

GAUTIER, Miss. (AP) — Charles E. Hickson Sr. spent nearly 40 years living with something most other people couldn't even imagine.

On Oct. 11, 1973, Hickson and Calvin Parker were fishing on the Pascagoula River. What seemed to be the beginning of a peaceful night turned to chaos when the pair suddenly found themselves in a close encounter with an alien craft and its occupants.

Hickson, then 42, and Parker, then 19, did not want their abduction publicized, but a reported leak to the newspaper made publicity inevitable.

Hickson died Friday in Ocean Springs, officials with O'Bryant-O'Keefe Funeral Home in Gautier said Tuesday. Hickson was 80.

After reporting the abduction, Hickson and Parker both passed lie detector tests and were even questioned under hypnosis. Investigators are on record saying the pair's story never wavered.

http://www.oregonlive.com/newsflash/index.ssf/story/ufo-abduction-figure-dies-at-80-in/65fa2e86a4904a2b80cefd1e9c64a874

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« Reply #5024 on: Sep 13th, 2011, 12:03pm »

UPI odd news

Jet-powered school bus reaches 320 mph
Published: Sept. 13, 2011 at 4:00 AM

LINCOLN, Neb., Sept. 13 (UPI) -- The creator of a jet-powered school bus with a 42,000-horsepower engine says he has reached a top speed of 320 mph during test runs in Nebraska.

Paul Stender, a native of Big Bend, Wis., said he and his team created the jet-powered bus in Lincoln, Neb., by taking an F4 engine and building the school bus around it, CBS News reported Monday.

Stender said he was clocked at 320 mph during a recent run.

"When you do a full throttle run, you hit full throttle and then the afterburner," he said. "It sets you back in the seat with a couple G's and you just launch, and before you know it you're up to 300 miles per hour. It's really a neat feeling," he said.

Stender said he went with the school bus design to help interest children when he and his team talk about their work at schools.

"Plus we got three seats in there so we can give rides, too," he said.

Video after the jump
http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2011/09/13/Jet-powered-school-bus-reaches-320-mph/UPI-71901315900800/

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