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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 47101 times)
Swamprat
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5055 on: Sep 16th, 2011, 6:13pm »

Thorium lasers: The thoroughly plausible idea for nuclear cars

August 29th, 2011
By Steven Ashley

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Cadillac’s World Thorium Fuel Concept. Courtesy Cadillac

Some proposed technological innovations seem so far out that they are easy to reject out of hand. But sometimes, a new idea has a kernel of plausibility. Such is the case with a new project to develop a thorium laser power generation system that its creator says could provide electricity for the grid, stand-alone power applications and even cars.

Charles Stevens, an inventor and entrepreneur, recently revealed that his Massachusetts-based R&D firm, Laser Power Systems (LPS), is working on a turbine/electric generator system that is powered by “an accelerator-driven thorium-based laser.” The thorium laser does not produce a beam of coherent light like conventional lasers, but instead merely heats up and gives off energy.

Thorium, a silvery-white metal, is a mildly radioactive element (with an atomic weight of 90) that is as abundant as lead. It is present in large quantities in India and is a much-touted stand in for uranium in nuclear reactors because its fission is not self-sustaining, a type of reaction called “sub-critical.”

The idea has energized the small but active thorium community, which holds that it is the answer to our clean energy needs because it could, effectively, power a car forever. The new technology “would be totally emissions-free,” Stevens said, “with no need for recharging.”

Laser Heating

The LPS power plant, for all its whiz-bang properties, isn’t a complete departure from traditional power generation: the thorium is lased and the resulting heat flashes a fluid and creates pressurized steam inside a closed-loop system. The steam then drives a turbine that turns an electric generator.

A 250-kilowatt unit (equivalent to about 335 horsepower) weighing about 500 pounds would be small and light enough to put under the hood of a car, Stevens claims. And because a gram of thorium has the equivalent potential energy content of 7,500 gallons of gasoline, LPS calculates that using just 8 grams of thorium in the unit could power an average car for 5,000 hours, or about 300,000 miles of normal driving.

Stevens isn’t the only one who believes thorium could power cars. In 2009 Cadillac introduced a thorium-powered concept car at the Chicago Auto Show. Designed by Lorus Kulesus, the sleek World Thorium Fuel Concept did not contain a working thorium-fueled nuclear-fission reactor that could generate the electricity to power it. But somebody at General Motors thought the idea to be sufficiently interesting to build a vehicle to show it off.

Thorium as a Power Source

Researchers in Russia, India and more recently, in China and North America, have studied using thorium as fuel for nuclear reactors, partly because it is more difficult to use in atomic weapons than uranium or plutonium. In addition, only a thin layer of aluminum foil is needed to shield people from the weakly emitting metal.

Although prototype thorium-fueled nuclear reactors have been developed, the technology has never been adopted for commercial use because the nuclear powers opted after the Second World War to focus on uranium-based atomic energy. (Incidentally, the major powers chose to focus on Uranium reactors precisely because it could be weaponized, Stevens has said).

Thorium-Based Laser

Stevens’ innovation is to use thorium to make a laser, not a nuclear power reactor.

Indeed, the use of radioactive materials in lasers is not unheard of either. After all, when Bell Labs researchers demonstrated the second laser ever in 1960, they used a flashlamp (a very bright light) to excite a crystal of uranium-doped calcium fluoride to lase in the infrared light spectrum. Because of the need for a cryogenic (ultralow-temperature) system to cool the hot laser-gain medium during operation, however, uranium lasers never found much practical use.

The key twist to Stevens’ thorium-laser power concept is that it would use a radioactive element-based laser to produce heat, not a beam of coherent light.

Remaining Technical Hurdles

Stevens says that developing a compact turbine and generator set is proving to be more difficult than making the thorium laser itself. “We can build the laser, but the biggest problem has turned out to be integrating it efficiently with the turbine and generator,” he notes. LPS’ thorium laser itself is simply an adaptation of the MaxFeLaser, a design Stevens built in1985.

Stevens said his company has fabricated a modified Tesla turbine (no relation to the car company) to convert steam pressure into rotary motion. Unlike more familiar turbine types, a Tesla turbine is a bladeless centripetal-flow unit with a set of smooth disks that are placed in motion by directing moving gas, via nozzles, at the edges of the disks. The viscous (boundary-layer) drag on the disk surfaces that is produced by the gas flow causes them to rotate.

Further, after having found no off-the-shelf high-speed generators that fit his special application, his team has had to design a custom unit to efficiently produce electricity for his one-of-a-kind power plant.

Whether authorities will allow thorium-powered cars to roam the streets is another question. Stevens has not set a date for a prototype version (Ed. a prior version of this story incorrectly stated he had).

Steven Ashley is a contributing editor at Scientific American magazine, where he writes and edits articles on general science and technology topics. Ashley’s work has been published in Popular Science, MIT’s Technology Review and Physics Today, among others.

http://www.txchnologist.com/2011/the-thorium-laser-the-completely-plausible-idea-for-nuclear-cars
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« Reply #5056 on: Sep 17th, 2011, 08:55am »

"Thorium lasers: The thoroughly plausible idea for nuclear cars"

That is one crazy looking car! "I'm Batman!"

Good morning Swamprat.

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« Reply #5057 on: Sep 17th, 2011, 08:58am »

New York Times

September 16, 2011
Libya Counts More Martyrs Than Bodies
By ROD NORDLAND
TRIPOLI, Libya — Where are all the dead?

Officially, according to Libya’s new leaders, their martyrs in the struggle against the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi should number 30,000 to 50,000, not even counting their enemies who have fallen.

Yet in the country’s morgues, the war dead registered from both sides in each area so far are mostly in the hundreds, not the thousands. And those who are still missing total as few as 1,000, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Those figures may be incomplete, but even if the missing number proves to be three times as high, and all are dead, the toll would be far short of official casualty totals.

On Friday, anti-Qaddafi fighters attacked the two remaining strongholds of the loyalist forces, in the seaside city of Surt and the desert town of Bani Walid. Although both assaults were repulsed by determined resistance from the pro-Qaddafi forces, there can be little doubt that the war is in its final phases. And as it winds down, the question of how many died is taking on greater significance.

The death toll from the Libyan uprising is unarguably horrendous, even if it does not fit neatly into the former rebels’ narrative of a David-and-Goliath struggle against a bloodthirsty regime that slaughtered tens of thousands of the helpless and the innocent. It has also become a politically delicate issue, with some new government officials refusing to release hard statistics on casualties and human rights groups cautious about taking a definitive position.

The new authorities say the confirmed death toll will rise with the discovery of mass graves where the Qaddafi government hid its victims, both during its final months and as it collapsed and fled Tripoli and other population centers.

Mass graves of recent vintage have indeed been found — 13 of them confirmed by the Red Cross, or “about 20” found by the government, according to the Transitional National Council’s humanitarian coordinator, Muattez Aneizi. More are being found “nearly every day,” Mr. Aneizi said.

“Mass” is slightly misleading, however, because the largest actual grave site found so far, in the Nafusah Mountains of western Libya, had 34 bodies. In many of the others, the victims numbered only in the single digits. Many are not even graves, but rather containers or buildings where people were executed and their bodies left to rot.

The Red Cross counted only 125 dead from the 13 sites it confirmed, with 53 of those found in a hangar near Tripoli’s airport. While the rebels may not have died in the numbers their side has claimed, there is no doubt that many were killed, often horribly, after having been taken prisoner. As the Qaddafi government collapsed and its die-hards fled from Tripoli and other strongholds, such war crimes happened in many well-documented cases. They just did not happen in many thousands of cases, judging from the available evidence.

There has been no explanation of the basis for either the council’s tally of 30,000 to 50,000 dead, or the number preferred by the new government’s minister of health, Naji Barakat, a more modest 25,000 to 30,000.

At the Ministry of Health, Mohammed al-Ghazwi, who leads a newly formed Committee on the Dead, charged with confirming death tolls from the conflict, was reluctant to give any numbers out. “Every day we find another grave, so I can’t give you a specific number,” Mr. Ghazwi said. “But it’s about twenty-five to thirty thousand, like the minister of health said.”

Asked how many of those were based on documented cases of dead found so far, he said they were many fewer, but he could not give a number. “It’s very hard to tell the real number because during the Qaddafi time they hid all of them,” Mr. Ghazwi said.

In Tripoli, there are two morgues, but most victims who die violent deaths are taken to one of them, at Tripoli Central Hospital. There, according to Ali al-Kerdasi, a member of the hospital’s media committee, the dead since Aug. 25 totaled 700. Mr. Kerdasi said 600 people had been reported missing by relatives who came to the hospital to try to find them; 113 pictures of missing people are posted on the hospital’s emergency ward walls.

The figure of 700 dead may not have included all of those who died in the first days of the final battle for the city, from Aug. 20, when the main hospitals were in the hands of government forces for the first few days, and relatives may have buried some of the dead without taking them to the morgue as required by law.

At the site of the other morgue, at Tripoli Medical Center, Dr. Hossam Algedar, head of the center’s missing persons team, said he was not allowed to release information on the numbers of dead and missing. On the walls of that hospital, fliers show at least 127 missing people.

Bodies of people who have not yet been identified are shown, with their photos, on the team’s Facebook page; they total 52. Dr. Algedar said that was only a partial list.

Dr. Algedar does not hesitate to confirm the widely quoted figure of dead and missing. “Thirty to fifty thousand is a credible number,” he said. “The destination of the missing is a mystery.”

His view is shared by Dr. Othman el-Zentani, a forensic pathologist who has been put in charge of the National Council of the Missing, joining various ministries and international agencies like the Red Cross in an effort to rationalize the lists of missing.

The group has yet to have its first full meeting, but Dr. Zentani confidently predicted that the dead or missing might surpass 20,000. “Why not?” he said. “It’s a seven-month-long struggle, everywhere by all kinds of weapons, so I don’t doubt that.”

Everyone agrees that the toll, whatever it may be, would have been much higher if Colonel Qaddafi’s forces had held out in Tripoli for as long as people had feared. Instead, most victims there died from Aug. 20 to Aug. 26. “Tripoli has fallen in a few days; it was not a Beirut or a Gaza,” said Carole Pittet of the Red Cross.

The estimate of 1,000 missing by the Red Cross includes many migrant workers, Ms. Pittet said, and was gathered by field offices in Tripoli; Misurata, scene of the worst fighting; and Benghazi, where the revolution began.

Even in Benghazi, where fighting raged for weeks before NATO intervened to turn the tide against loyalists, casualties may not have been much higher than in Tripoli. According to Omar Babdous, head of tracing for the Red Crescent Society’s Benghazi office, 850 people were confirmed killed during the fighting in Benghazi and the area around it, while 1,350 are listed as missing.

In Misurata, a much smaller city than either Tripoli or Benghazi, the death toll was worse than anywhere else in Libya. Misurata’s authorities have identified 1,083 dead on all sides, according to Abu Bakr Triebe, the head of the Misurata Medical Bureau, with 2,000 believed missing.

The missing totals in those three largest places add up to far more (exceeding 3,500) than the Red Cross figure for the whole country, even though Red Cross teams were gathering data in those cities as well. But with no centralized system of reconciling missing reports, it is not possible to know how much duplication there is or how many initially were reported missing but then found. And many Libyans may just have not reported missing people to the Red Cross.

Sidney Kwiram, a representative of Human Rights Watch who has been in Libya for much of the conflict, said it was too early for any conclusions about the toll of missing and dead. Some of the missing may still be held by pro-Qaddafi forces inside Surt, where there is a military police detention center. Many rebels were buried by relatives and friends to avoid risking dangerous contact with the authorities. “In Tripoli, people even stopped taking their loved ones to the hospitals out of fear,” Ms. Kwiram said.

Much of the official death toll is based on the theory that there were 30,000 prisoners before the fall of the Qaddafi government, when prisons were all opened, and only 9,000 were found alive. The problem is, no one actually knows how many prisoners there were, and no one actually counted how many were released.

“The numbers you’re hearing in the press, they’re just basically guesses,” said Stefan Schmitt, a forensic anthropologist with Physicians for Human Rights, who was in Libya recently to advise the authorities on how to handle mass graves. “It’s too early to really know.”

Kareem Fahim contributed reporting from outside Bani Walid, Libya.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/17/world/africa/skirmishes-flare-around-qaddafi-strongholds.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #5058 on: Sep 17th, 2011, 08:59am »

back in a bit
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« Reply #5059 on: Sep 17th, 2011, 10:20am »

Mystery of English-Speaking Boy Who Lived in German Forest for 5 Years

Published September 16, 2011

BERLIN -- Police in Berlin were investigating Friday after an English-speaking teenager walked out of a forest, claiming to have lived in the wild for five years with his father, The Local reported.

Officers launched an appeal for information about the boy -- who is aged between 16 and 18 -- following his arrival in Berlin on Sept. 5.

The boy, who said his name was Ray, told authorities that he went into the wild with his father, Ryan, after the death of his mother. They lived in a forest near Berlin and slept in a tent or huts they found in the wild.

Two weeks ago, Ray said, his father died and he buried him in a shallow grave which he covered in stones. He then began to walk north and after two weeks reached Berlin.

The boy speaks English fluently but has little facility with German.

"We have sent appeals for help to all European countries via Interpol. The boy speaks English and a little German but we really have no idea where he comes from," Berlin police spokesman Michael Maass told The Local.

"His father had told him to look at his compass and go north, if anything should happen. And this is apparently what he did, walking for two weeks before reaching Berlin. We have no evidence to contradict what he has told our colleagues ... although we are still investigating, and very much want to find out who he is," he added.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/09/16/mystery-english-speaking-boy-who-lived-in-german-forest-for-5-years/#ixzz1YDm60q6r
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5060 on: Sep 17th, 2011, 12:32pm »

on Sep 17th, 2011, 10:20am, Swamprat wrote:
Mystery of English-Speaking Boy Who Lived in German Forest for 5 Years

Published September 16, 2011

BERLIN -- Police in Berlin were investigating Friday after an English-speaking teenager walked out of a forest, claiming to have lived in the wild for five years with his father, The Local reported.

Officers launched an appeal for information about the boy -- who is aged between 16 and 18 -- following his arrival in Berlin on Sept. 5.

The boy, who said his name was Ray, told authorities that he went into the wild with his father, Ryan, after the death of his mother. They lived in a forest near Berlin and slept in a tent or huts they found in the wild.

Two weeks ago, Ray said, his father died and he buried him in a shallow grave which he covered in stones. He then began to walk north and after two weeks reached Berlin.

The boy speaks English fluently but has little facility with German.

"We have sent appeals for help to all European countries via Interpol. The boy speaks English and a little German but we really have no idea where he comes from," Berlin police spokesman Michael Maass told The Local.

"His father had told him to look at his compass and go north, if anything should happen. And this is apparently what he did, walking for two weeks before reaching Berlin. We have no evidence to contradict what he has told our colleagues ... although we are still investigating, and very much want to find out who he is," he added.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/09/16/mystery-english-speaking-boy-who-lived-in-german-forest-for-5-years/#ixzz1YDm60q6r


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« Reply #5061 on: Sep 17th, 2011, 12:41pm »

Smithsonian Science

Invisible world “spotted” tugging on visible planet by Kepler spacecraft
Posted on 09 September 2011

astrophysics

Usually, running five minutes late is a bad thing since you might lose your
dinner reservation or miss out on tickets to the latest show. But when a
planet runs five minutes late, astronomers get excited because it suggests
that another world is nearby.

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has spotted a planet that alternately runs late and
early in its orbit because a second, “invisible” world is tugging on it.
This is the first definite detection of a previously unknown planet using
this method. No other technique could have found the unseen companion.

“This invisible planet makes itself known by its influence on the planet we
can see,” said astronomer Sarah Ballard of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center
for Astrophysics (CfA). Ballard is lead author on the study, which has been
accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.

“It’s like having someone play a prank on you by ringing your doorbell and
running away. You know someone was there, even if you don’t see them when
you get outside,” she added.

Both the seen and unseen worlds orbit the Sun-like star Kepler-19, which is
located 650 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. The
12th-magnitude star is well placed for viewing by backyard telescopes on
September evenings.

Kepler locates planets by looking for a star that dims slightly as a planet
transits the star, passing across the star’s face from our point of view.
Transits give one crucial piece of information – the planet’s physical size.
The greater the dip in light, the larger the planet relative to its star.
However, the planet and star must line up exactly for us to see a transit.

The first planet, Kepler-19b, transits its star every 9 days and 7 hours. It
orbits the star at a distance of 8.4 million miles, where it is heated to a
temperature of about 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Kepler-19b has a diameter of
18,000 miles, making it slightly more than twice the size of Earth. It may
resemble a “mini-Neptune,” however its mass and composition remain unknown.

If Kepler-19b were alone, each transit would follow the next like clockwork.
Instead, the transits come up to five minutes early or five minutes late.
Such transit timing variations show that another world’s gravity is pulling
on Kepler-19b, alternately speeding it up or slowing it down.

“This method holds great promise for finding planets that can’t be found
otherwise,” stated Harvard astronomer and co-author David Charbonneau.

The Kepler spacecraft will continue to monitor Kepler-19 throughout its
mission. Those additional data will help nail down the orbit of Kepler-19c.
Future ground-based instruments like HARPS-North will attempt to measure the
mass of Kepler-19c. Only then will we have a clue to the nature of this
invisible world.

http://smithsonianscience.org/2011/09/invisible-world-seen-tugging-on-visible-planet-by-kepler-spacecraft/

http://twitter.com/#!/NASAKepler

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« Reply #5062 on: Sep 17th, 2011, 12:47pm »

Hollywood Reporter

Eleanor Mondale, Daughter of Former Vice President Walter Mondale, Dies
10:39 AM PDT 9/17/2011 by THR staff

The entertainment reporter, who worked for E! and CBS, and gossip magnet died at her home in Minnesota on Saturday.

Eleanor Mondale, the daughter of former vice president Walter Mondale, has died, the Associated Press reports. She was 51.

Mondale was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2005 after suffering two seizures during a camping trip. The entertainment reporter announced in March 2009 that her brain cancer had returned and had surgery to remove the tumor in August of that year. A posting on Mondale's CaringBridge had deemed the surgery a success.

Mondale was the middle of three children from Walter and Joan Mondale. She played a pivotal role in her father's unsuccessful campaign to take over President Ronald Reagan's seat in 1984 and in the 2002 campaign, when Mondale took the slot of Sen. Paul Wellstone, who had died in a plane crash prior to the election.

She also appeared in small parts on the television series Three's Company and Dynasty. She worked for E! Entertainment, ESPN, CBS' This Morning, the Minneapolis radio station WLOL-FM and WCCO-TV, before co-hosting a weekday morning show with Susie Jones on WCCO-AM.

Mondale was also the topic of much gossip. Her affair with rocker Warren Zevon is featured in the biography, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon, which was published after his death in 2007 by Zevon's ex-wife. It was reported that Monica Lewinsky expressed dislike for Mondale and three other women because of how much attention President Clinton gave them.

Mondale was married three times (Keith Van Horne, Greg Thunder and Chan Poling of The Suburbs). Mondale and Poling married shortly after she was diagnosed with cancer in 2005.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/eleanor-mondale-daughter-vice-president-236738

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« Reply #5063 on: Sep 17th, 2011, 12:54pm »

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Halloween is coming soon! grin




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We're a bit on the fence when it comes to animal costuming. Sometimes, it looks utterly ridiculous and you can practically hear the dog begging for his dignity back. Then there's Harley, our office dog, who totally rocks the pink skull & crossbones hoodie and knows she looks fabulous. (You should see her strut around!) But when we put her in a bright pink dog Snuggie, you should have seen her sad little face. It was tragic.

Should you be a fan of dressing up your dog, we offer you these three fine choices from the Star Wars universe. Doggie Darth is perfect for your evil pooch: you know, the one that only poops in the corner when you're NOT looking. Leia is a fine choice for your little furry princess. And for the dog who is wise beyond his years and full of goodness and light, Yoda is an obvious match. What dog wouldn't want to be a Jedi master? Each costume contains a headpiece, jumpsuit, and attached human arms. If you have wee geeks, you need to check out our Little Star Wars costumes for the best Halloween bit ever.

Product Specifications

•Star Wars costumes for dogs: Yoda, Leia, or Darth Vader
•Headpiece and jumpsuit with attached arms and accessories
•Sizes:
•Small: 11" neck-to-tail, 14" chest
•Medium: 15" neck-to-tail, 17" chest
•Large: 22" neck-to-tail, 20" chest
•X-Large: 28" neck-to-tail, 24" chest
•Go with the chest size if numbers do not match up nicely
•Our office dog, Harley is XL in the chest but M-L in length (aka busty lady!)
•Care: Hand wash in cold water, no bleach, dry flat.
•Keep away from fire (generally not a problem unless you run some sort of dog circus act, in which case Lucas called, he wants his kickback).

http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/pets/dbbd/#tabs

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« Reply #5064 on: Sep 17th, 2011, 12:58pm »

MSNBC

So what's up with the big increase in UFO reports?
Cause of rise in summer sightings unknown, but it may be just more people are outside.

By Benjamin Radford
updated 9/16/2011 6:04:40 PM ET

According to an organization that tracks UFO reports, this summer has been an especially busy period for UFO sightings. The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) noted that sightings increased over the past six weeks, with some states more than doubling their normal numbers.

Are we on the cusp of an alien invasion? Or maybe people just have more time on their hands to spot — and report — strange things in the sky?

MUFON International Director Clifford Clift told Life's Little Mysteries that he's not sure what to make of the data at this point. It could be the start of something big, or it could merely be a computer glitch that accidentally counted some reports twice. Another possibility is that we're simply in the midst of a "UFO flap," one of many periodic increases in sightings over the years.

There are several reasons UFOs might appear in flaps, or clusters. One is that objects in the sky are usually seen by many people, especially when they appear over urban areas. UFOs typically don't hover close to Earth or in someone's back yard; instead, they are often sighted high in the sky — just far enough away so that we can't see details or get sharp photos.

Thus, whatever a particular UFO really is — a plane, a comet, an extraterrestrial spacecraft or something else — that one object or strange light in the sky could trigger hundreds, or even thousands, of reports. And even reports of the same object will probably differ depending on the reporter's perspective.

So if there were hundreds of UFO reports in a state during a given period, it's important to know how those reports were categorized because it might mean hundreds of different UFOs were sighted by single individuals, or that one UFO was sighted by hundreds of people.

There are also psychological and social explanations. Sightings are often fueled by the mass media; people read about mysterious things or see TV shows about them, and interest or concern about them spreads from person to person. It's not that anyone is hoaxing or making up sightings: Research has shown that if you tell people what to look for (a phenomenon called "priming"), people will often see what they are looking for — whether those things exist or not.

As Clift noted, "It's likely that the media and (alien-themed) movies that are coming out, like 'Apollo 18 ' and 'Paul,' are piquing people's interest in UFOs." People hear about UFOs, and for a while they tend to look at the sky more often, wondering if they might have their own sighting. And precisely because people are spending more time looking at the sky, they will for the first time notice (normal) lights and objects that have always been there.

So it may not be that UFOs are actually appearing more often, but instead we're noticing them more. An identical process can be found in the medical field, where an increase in reports of a disease may not represent an increase in the actual number of cases, but instead reflects more public awareness of the disease or better screening techniques. In other words, scientists know that just because more people report a phenomenon does not necessarily mean the phenomenon is occurring more often.

Why might UFOs be seen more often in the summer months? One possibility is that people spend more time outdoors; we spend warm nights outside at parties and barbecues, thus we have more opportunity to notice things in the sky than in the winter when we're inside watching television. That said, Clift pointed out that his organization doesn't normally see such dramatic seasonal increases in reports.

Whether the increase in sightings is rooted in reality, a computer glitch or psychological and social influences remains to be seen. One thing is certain: This is not the first time that UFO reports have increased, and it won't be the last.

Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and author of Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries. His website is www.BenjaminRadford.com.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44555210/ns/technology_and_science-science/

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5065 on: Sep 17th, 2011, 5:25pm »

In the beginning he does say "Meemaw" (8 seconds in) grin
I started looking for Sheldon or Wil Wheaton.

Crystal






Uploaded by 3rdID8487 on Sep 17, 2011

Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer is inducted into the Hall of Heroes in the Pentagon for his valor in the Afghanistan War
and his being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama on Sept. 15th, 2011.

Category:
News & Politics

~

edit to correct spelling of Wil Wheaton
« Last Edit: Sep 17th, 2011, 5:34pm by WingsofCrystal » User IP Logged

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« Reply #5066 on: Sep 17th, 2011, 9:16pm »

Geocaching

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

At its simplest level, geocaching requires these 8 steps:

1.Register for a free Basic Membership.

2.Visit the "Hide & Seek a Cache" page.

3.Enter your postal code and click "search."

4.Choose any geocache from the list and click on its name.

5.Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS Device.

6.Use your GPS device to assist you in finding the hidden geocache.

7.Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location.

8.Share your geocaching stories and photos online.

There are many other levels to the game. Keep reading the guide to learn more: http://www.geocaching.com/guide/default.aspx

http://www.geocaching.com/default.aspx

http://twitter.com/#!/GoGeocaching

http://www.youtube.com/user/GoGeocaching

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« Reply #5067 on: Sep 18th, 2011, 09:01am »

New York Times

September 17, 2011
Two Arrests in Finland Are Linked to Terrorism
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — The authorities in Finland have arrested a man and a woman on suspicion of financing and recruiting terrorists. The detentions are the first terrorism-linked arrests in Finland, intelligence officials said.

The two who were arrested have foreign backgrounds, the authorities said Saturday, and their plans were not aimed at Finland.

Detective Inspector Kaj-Erik Bjorkvist of the National Bureau of Investigation declined to further identify the suspects or provide details about the case, except to say that the activities they are suspected of being involved with were related to terrorist groups “far away” from Finland.

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service said it began operations in 2009 that led to the arrests on Sept. 7. Officers confiscated “data and other material” in searches of homes at several locations in the Helsinki metropolitan area after the arrests, Detective Inspector Bjorkvist said.

The interior minister, Paivi Rasanen, Finland’s top police official, said Finns should not be frightened by the episode.

“Finns really don’t have to be concerned,” Ms. Rasanen told Finnish TV4. “They don’t have to worry or to fear.”

The intelligence service said the episode would not heighten the perceived terrorism threat in Finland, which the authorities consider to be low.

On Sept. 10, the Helsinki District Court ruled that the police could detain the suspects for two weeks, Detective Inspector Bjorkvist said. A new custody hearing is expected this month.

Similar arrests have previously been made in Norway and Sweden.

In 2008, the police in Norway and Sweden arrested six men suspected of financing terrorism activities in Somalia, but only one of them, a Somali-born Norwegian, was fined for having broken a United Nations arms embargo of the African country. The other five were released.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/world/europe/finland-makes-its-first-terrorism-linked-arrests.html?_r=1&ref=world

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« Reply #5068 on: Sep 18th, 2011, 09:03am »

Washington Post

Pakistani soldiers battle militants for debris from crashed US drone nabbed by Taliban

By Associated Press, Updated: Sunday, September 18, 4:45 AM

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan — Pakistani soldiers battled Taliban fighters in an attempt to seize precious debris from a suspected U.S. drone that crashed in a rugged tribal area near the Afghan border, Pakistani intelligence officials and militants said Sunday.

The Taliban said they shot down the unmanned aircraft, which crashed Saturday night near Jangara village in the South Waziristan tribal area.

Pakistani intelligence officials said they were not certain whether Taliban fire or technical problems brought down the drone. Drone crashes have happened before in Pakistan, but they are rare.

Pakistan first learned of the crash by intercepting Taliban radio communications, said the intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

The debris was first seized by the Taliban. Several hours later, the Pakistani army sent soldiers in to wrest it out of militant hands, sparking a fight with the Taliban in which three militants were killed, said the officials. Three militants and two soldiers were also wounded in the clash, they said.

The intelligence officials said the troops were successful in seizing the debris, but Pakistani Taliban commander Azmatullah Diwana claimed his fighters repelled the soldiers. The army then sent helicopter gunships into the area where the militants were holding the debris, Diwana told The Associated Press by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Nawab Khan, a government official in South Waziristan, confirmed the drone crash and the subsequent clash between militants and army troops. But he did not know whether the soldiers were successful in seizing the debris.

Neither the Pakistani army nor the U.S. Embassy responded to request for comment.

The U.S. normally does not acknowledge the covert CIA-run drone program in Pakistan, but U.S. officials have said privately that the attacks have killed many high-level militants — most recently, al-Qaida’s second in command, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, and its chief of operations in Pakistan, Abu Hafs al-Shahri.

President Barack Obama has dramatically increased the number of drone attacks against militants in Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal region since taking office in 2009 — partly in response to Pakistan’s failure to target militants who stage attacks against U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials regularly denounce the drone attacks as violations of the country’s sovereignty, but the government is widely believed to have supported the strikes in the past and even allowed the aircraft to take off from bases within Pakistan.

That support has come under strain in recent months, especially in the wake of the U.S. commando raid that killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison town on May 2. The Pakistanis were outraged that the U.S. didn’t tell them about the operation beforehand.

Elsewhere in Pakistan’s tribal region, militants attacked a security checkpoint killing a policeman and two members of an anti-Taliban militia, said Farooq Khan, a local government administrator.

The attack took place late Saturday night in the Aka Khel area of the Khyber tribal region, said Khan. The checkpoint is located on a key route that NATO uses to transport supplies to forces in neighboring Afghanistan. Security forces and local tribesmen fought back against the militants, killing 10 of them, said Khan.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. But the Pakistani Taliban have staged frequent attacks against security forces and tribesmen who have opposed them.

Associated Press writer Riaz Khan contributed to this report from Peshawar, Pakistan.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/pakistani-soldiers-battle-militants-for-debris-from-crashed-us-drone-nabbed-by-taliban/2011/09/18/gIQAXr9zbK_story.html?hpid=z4

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« Reply #5069 on: Sep 18th, 2011, 09:10am »

back in a bit
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