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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 43281 times)
HAL9000
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5535 on: Nov 18th, 2011, 3:14pm »

I retract my earlier conclusion, based on a cursory look at the image, that the 'grid' thingy in China is a doctored image.

If I were Japanese I would commit ritual suicide for such a gross error. fortunately I'm not, so I'll compromise and get an attractive matronly woman to spank me.

Or maybe I'll just forget about it.

HAL smiley
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5536 on: Nov 18th, 2011, 6:35pm »

Hal, I think you should go for the spanking......

Just make sure you emphasize the "attractive" and not the "matronly"...... laugh
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5537 on: Nov 18th, 2011, 6:36pm »

Neutrino experiment repeat at Cern finds same result

18 November 2011
By Jason Palmer

The team which found that neutrinos may travel faster than light has carried out an improved version of their experiment - and confirmed the result.

If confirmed by other experiments, the find could undermine one of the basic principles of modern physics.

Critics of the first report in September had said that the long bunches of neutrinos (tiny particles) used could introduce an error into the test.
The new work used much shorter bunches.

It has been posted to the Arxiv repository and submitted to the Journal of High Energy Physics, but has not yet been reviewed by the scientific community.

The experiments have been carried out by the Opera collaboration - short for Oscillation Project with Emulsion (T)racking Apparatus.

It hinges on sending bunches of neutrinos created at the Cern facility (actually produced as decays within a long bunch of protons produced at Cern) through 730km (454 miles) of rock to a giant detector at the INFN-Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy.

The initial series of experiments, comprising 15,000 separate measurements spread out over three years, found that the neutrinos arrived 60 billionths of a second faster than light would have, travelling unimpeded over the same distance.

The idea that nothing can exceed the speed of light in a vacuum forms a cornerstone in physics - first laid out by James Clerk Maxwell and later incorporated into Albert Einstein's theory of special relativity.

Timing is everything

Initial analysis of the work by the wider scientific community argued that the relatively long-lasting bunches of neutrinos could introduce a significant error into the measurement.

Those bunches lasted 10 millionths of a second - 160 times longer than the discrepancy the team initially reported in the neutrinos' travel time.
To address that, scientists at Cern adjusted the way in which the proton beams were produced, resulting in bunches just three billionths of a second long.

When the Opera team ran the improved experiment 20 times, they found almost exactly the same result.

The first announcement of evidently faster-than-light neutrinos caused a stir worldwide; the Opera collaboration is very aware of its implications if eventually proved correct.

The error in the length of the bunches, however, is just the largest among several potential sources of uncertainty in the measurement, which must all now be addressed in turn; these mostly centre on the precise departure and arrival times of the bunches.

"So far no arguments have been put forward that rule out our effect," Dr Ereditato said.

Next year, teams working on two other experiments at Gran Sasso experiments - Borexino and Icarus - will begin independent cross-checks of Opera's results.

The US Minos experiment and Japan's T2K experiment will also test the observations. It is likely to be several months before they report back.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15791236

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5538 on: Nov 18th, 2011, 8:57pm »

on Nov 18th, 2011, 3:14pm, HAL9000 wrote:
I retract my earlier conclusion, based on a cursory look at the image, that the 'grid' thingy in China is a doctored image.

If I were Japanese I would commit ritual suicide for such a gross error. fortunately I'm not, so I'll compromise and get an attractive matronly woman to spank me.

Or maybe I'll just forget about it.

HAL smiley


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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5539 on: Nov 18th, 2011, 8:58pm »

on Nov 18th, 2011, 6:35pm, Swamprat wrote:
Hal, I think you should go for the spanking......

Just make sure you emphasize the "attractive" and not the "matronly"...... laugh



Are you thinking about Mariah Carey again? wink
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5540 on: Nov 18th, 2011, 9:10pm »

What do you mean "again"?? ALWAYS!! grin
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HAL9000
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5541 on: Nov 19th, 2011, 05:49am »

Swamprat,

Ok, spanking it is.

HAL wink
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5542 on: Nov 19th, 2011, 12:53pm »

Swamp, you and HAL are both looney! wink I'm so glad!

I'm taking a snow day even though we don't have snow. Sometimes the news just gives me a headache. So I'm making soup and watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel.
Alan screamed and ran upstairs. grin
Smart man.
See you all tomorrow. Have a good Saturday.

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5543 on: Nov 19th, 2011, 1:49pm »

Fair enough. Enjoy "Lucky Christmas"! cheesy
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5544 on: Nov 20th, 2011, 07:52am »

on Nov 19th, 2011, 1:49pm, Swamprat wrote:
Fair enough. Enjoy "Lucky Christmas"! cheesy


Good morning Swamprat. cheesy

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« Reply #5545 on: Nov 20th, 2011, 07:57am »

New York Times

20 November 2011
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and LIAM STACK

CAIRO — A police action to roust a few hundred protesters out of Tahrir Square on Saturday instead drew thousands of people from across Egyptian society into the streets, where the violence continued on Sunday. The confrontations were the most violent manifestation so far of growing anger at the military-led interim government.

In a battle reminiscent of the clashes that led to the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak nine months ago, a mass of protesters converged on Tahrir Square, fled before an onslaught of riot police officers firing tear gas and rubber bullets, and then surged back to retake and hold the square through the early hours of Sunday.

State media reported Saturday night that more than 700 people had been injured, including 40 riot police, and at least one civilian died of a gunshot wound. Protesters operated a makeshift field hospital in small mosque near the square, where doctors said Sunday morning that they had treated at least 400 people for serious injuries and hundreds more who suffered from tear gas. The smell of gas was still heavy around the square.

The clashes continued Sunday through midday as a crowd of perhaps a few hundred who stayed in the square through the night swelled back to thousands. Though demonstrators occupied the square unmolested, a battalion of young men that filled a city block was charging against a wall of police, who fired tear gas to defend the headquarters of the interior ministry. Witnesses said the battle had pushed back and forth through the night.

“I saw the revolution being slain so I had to come,” said Ahmed Hamza, 41, a lawyer, watching the fray. Like many in the square, he vowed to stay until the ruling military council committed to a swift exit from power but also said he feared the generals welcomed the chaos as pretext to cancel elections. “Today there will be violence,” he predicted, awaiting new moves to clear the square.

At least three prominent political candidates suspended their parliamentary campaigns to focus on the crisis.

In a television interview late Saturday night, General Mohsen Fungary, a spokesman for the ruling military council, promised a formal response the next day. He blamed demonstrators for igniting the violence, suggested protestors were “enemies” of Egypt, and he hinted that unnamed satellite news channels—presumably Al Jazeera—had played a role. “The youth are blinded to the reality of the situation,” he said.

Coming a day after a huge Islamist demonstration and just more than a week before the first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections, the outpouring of anger was the strongest rebuke yet with the military’s attempts to grant itself permanent governmental powers. And it was a reuniting of Islamist and liberal protest movements that had drifted apart since the early days of the uprising.

This time, instead of chanting for the fall of Mr. Mubarak, the demonstrators were chanting for the fall of the ruling military council that initially presented itself as the revolution’s savior.

“The generals said to us, ‘We are your partners,’ and we believed them,” said Tarek Saaed, 55, a construction safety supervisor who used a cane to walk among the boisterous crowds in the square. “Then the next day we find out they are partners with Mubarak,” he added, calling the day a turning point for Egypt.

The crowd only grew as state news media reported that the military said it would step back from a blueprint it had laid out this month for a lasting political role under the new constitution. Many of the protesters, and some outside observers, argued that the confrontation marked a significant setback to the military.

“The military council now feels that the political street will not accept that the military is going to hold the power for a long time,” argued Mahmoud Shokry, a former Egyptian ambassador and veteran political insider. “I think the military is going to reconsider the situation once more.”

After pledging to turn over power to civilians by September, the military has postponed the handover until after the ratification of a constitution and election of a president, sometime in 2013 or later. Then this month the military-led government put in writing a set of ground rules for a next constitution that would have given the military authority to intervene in civilian politics while protecting it from civilian oversight — setting off a firestorm.

“An extremely big mistake,” Mr. Shokry said.

Opposition to those guidelines brought the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group, back to the streets in force Friday as part of a rally tens of thousands of Islamists and a smaller contingent of liberals calling for an end to military rule.

In response, the military-led interim government announced Saturday morning that its constitutional guidelines would no longer be binding, only advisory. The government also revised the rules to say that the only role of the armed forces was protecting the country and “preserving its unity,” rather than the broader writ to guard Egypt’s “constitutional legitimacy.” Many, especially Islamists, believed the phrase had granted the authority to intervene at will in the civilian government.

In another bid to placate the protesters, the revisions also explicitly place the military under civilian government. “Like other state institutions,” the new text declares, the military should “abide by the constitutional and legislative regulations.”

“The president of the republic is the supreme commander of the armed forces and the minister of defense is the general commander of the armed forces,” the revised declaration said.

Still though, the military has not agreed to cede power once a Parliament is elected, or while the constitution is being drafted. Nor has it backed away from its right to set other nominating procedures for the constitutional drafting committee or to impose other rules on the final text.

Later Saturday morning, riot police officers moved into the square to eject a relative handful of protesters who had camped there overnight, including some relatives of those injured in the uprising against Mr. Mubarak and demanding compensation.

News reports of brutality by the riot police, however, brought out hundreds and then thousands of others vowing to defend Tahrir Square, the iconic center of Egyptian revolution and the Arab Spring. “The people want to bring down the field marshal,” they chanted. “Down with military rule!”

Unlike at many of the street protests here, young women in Western as well as Islamic dress and older people joined the throngs of young men, just as they did during the uprising. “We saw that people were being attacked and we came down to help,” said Huda Ouda, a 30-year-old secretary, pulling her red veil across her face as mask against tear gas. “We are completely against the military ruling this country,” she added, accusing the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of “playing a dirty game” by promoting chaos to create a pretext for holding power.

Ahmed Tamer, 37, from the neighborhood of Shubra, said: “The army still has us by the neck and they don’t want to let go.”

Protesters invading the square threw rocks at police vehicles, and by midday had captured a police truck. Rioters danced on the roof and passed out handcuffs, shields and other gear.

Others smashed the sidewalk into rocks to hurl at the police, or threw Molotov cocktails. Vehicles were set ablaze, fires were lit on the sidewalks, and late at night a bank caught fire. Plumes of black smoke from a burning police truck wafted through the white clouds of tear gas that floated along the Nile.

Retreating riot police officers fired nonlethal weapons from their trucks to try to push back the crowd. Clashes broke out throughout downtown Cairo and lasted for hours. An especially pitched battle lasted until well after midnight on the street leading from Tahrir Square to the Interior Ministry, and it was there that a police vehicle charged through the tear gas into a crowd of protesters.

Around 6 p.m. Saturday, the police appeared to have retaken the square. But as the battle continued, the Muslim Brotherhood called on its members to return to the square, as did the liberal April 6 Movement. An organized group of hard-core soccer fans — experienced veterans of clashes with police, and since the revolution a regular element of street protests here — joined as well, and by about 7 p.m. the police had retreated again from the square as battles continued for several hours on the side streets.

Many worried that the strife was a ploy to disrupt the elections, now scheduled to begin Nov. 28. “This is exactly what the army wants,” said Mohamed Suleiman, 22, emerging from a government building to find chaos. “It is all a plan. I am afraid they will see this now and say the elections are impossible.”

The military’s plans for the constitution have been a major subject of debate on television talk shows here since the guidelines first emerged. Many protesters appeared well versed in the principles at stake. And their anger was undiminished by signs Saturday morning that the military-led government was beginning to offer concessions.

“It was our mistake to leave the square and allow the military to take over in the first place,” said Moktar Hussein, a 57-year-old radiologist and supporter of the new Social Democratic Party who was mingling in the liberated square after dark.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/21/world/middleeast/clashes-in-cairo-continue-into-a-second-day.html?_r=1&hp#

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5546 on: Nov 20th, 2011, 08:00am »

LA Times


Rebel grenade strike reported in Syrian capital
November 20, 2011 | 4:23 am

REPORTING FROM BEIRUT -- Rebels reportedly mounted a grenade attack Sunday on a central Damascus building belonging to the ruling Baath party in what would be the most audacious strike to date in the Syrian capital, according to opposition activists and news agency accounts.

There was no confirmation from the Syrian government.

Damascus has been relatively free of violence during the eight months of protests against the rule of President Bashar Assad. Other regions, notably the central cities of Homs and Hama and their suburbs, have been scenes of major fighting and heavy casualties.

But armed insurgents, including defectors from the Syrian military, appear to have stepped up assaults in recent days. Last week, a defector group called the Syrian Free Army took credit for a reported attack on an Air Force intelligence facility outside Damascus. The same defector group said it was behind Sunday’s reported strike.

Many observers, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have voiced fears that Syria was sliding towards civil war.

Sunday’s strike on the Baath Party building was reported to have occurred hours after the midnight expiration of an Arab League deadline for Syria to comply with a league-brokered peace pact. Violence has continued to rage despite the peace plan, which calls for a withdrawal of government forces and dialogue. The Cairo-based bloc suspended Syria, a founding member, because of its failure to implement the plan.

Reports Sunday indicated that the Arab League had rejected Assad's conditions for a planned league observer mission to Syria. The observer team was a key part of the peace blueprint.

In an interview with Britain’s Sunday Times, Assad seemed to dismiss the Arab League plan as a “pretext” for Western nations “to conduct a military intervention against Syria.” He vowed to press an offensive against “armed terrorist acts,” and insisted he would not “bow down” to pressure. The Obama administration and other Western leaders have urged Assad to resign.

“The only way is to search for the armed people, chase the armed gangs, prevent the entry of arms and weapons from neighboring countries, prevent sabotage and enforce law and order,” Assad told The Sunday Times.

The attack Sunday occurred in the capital’s Mazraa neighborhood, according to the Local Coordinating Committees, an opposition coalition. The group said in a statement that “several” rocket-propelled grenades were shot at the facility.

“People saw smoke coming out of the building,” the group reported.

Fire brigades were headed toward the site and security forces were sealing off the area, the opposition activists said.

There was no word on injuries, but Reuters quoted a witness saying the attack occurred just before dawn, when the building was mostly empty.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2011/11/grenade-attack-reported-in-syrian-capital.html

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« Reply #5547 on: Nov 20th, 2011, 08:04am »

Scientific American

Fifth Giant Planet May Have Dwelled in Our Solar System

The work raises questions about whether super-Earth-size objects existed in the early history of the outer solar system

By Charles Q. Choi | Friday, November 18, 2011

Within our solar system, an extra giant planet, or possibly two, might once have accompanied Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus.

Computer models showing how our solar system formed suggested the planets once gravitationally slung one another across space, only settling into their current orbits over the course of billions of years.

During more than 6,000 simulations of this planetary scattering phase, planetary scientist David Nesvorny at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., found that a solar system that began with four giant planets only had a 2.5 percent chance of leading to the orbits presently seen now. These systems would be too violent in their youth to end up resembling ours, most likely resulting in systems that have less than four giants over time, Nesvorny found.

Instead, a model about 10 times more likely at matching our current solar system began with five giants, including a now lost world comparable in mass to Uranus and Neptune. This extra planet may have been an "ice giant" rich in icy matter just like Uranus and Neptune, Nesvorny explained.

The computer model allowed Nesvorny to create a video of the potential extra planet's departure from our solar system.

When the solar system was about 600 million years old, it underwent a major period of instability that scattered the giant planets and smaller worlds, researchers said. Eventually, gravitational encounters with Jupiter would have flung the mystery world to interstellar space about 4 billion years ago.

As fantastic as these findings might sound, a large number of free-floating worlds have recently been discovered in interstellar space, Nesvorny noted. As such, the ejection of planets from solar systems might be common.

"The work raises interesting questions about the early history of the outer solar system," Nesvorny told SPACE.com. "For example, traditionally, most research was focused on the giant planets, their satellites, Kuiper belt objects, and their interaction — that's what we have in the outer solar system now. But how about Mars to super-Earth-size bodies? Have such objects formed on the outer solar system and were eliminated later? If not, then why?"

"This is just a beginning," Nesvorny said. "It will need quite a lot of work to see if there actually was the fifth planet. I am not fully convinced myself."

Nesvorny's research is detailed online in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=extra-giant-planet-may-have-dwelled

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« Reply #5548 on: Nov 20th, 2011, 08:08am »

Orange County Register

Star Wars comes to Earth in Santa Ana
November 18th, 2011, 3:44 pm
by Pat Brennan, science, environment editor

Take a good look at Yoda. A really good look.

If you go to the new and sprawling Star Wars exhibit at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana — opening Friday and running for five months — you’ll see that it’s really him.

Yoda, in a glass case. The real one. Turns out he’s a puppet; no animatronics, and in the 1970s, not much in the way of CGI.

If you grew up on replays of the Star Wars saga, or received a strong dose from someone close to you, you’ll have a similar sense of cognitive dissonance as you walk through the exhibit.

There’s Princess Leia’s outfit from the first film made. Darth Vader’s costume stands tall, and recognizeable, with convincingly broken-in boots, also from the first movie.

The model used for the Millennium Falcon is there, and the one for the giant, wedge-shaped ship that pursued it, and shot lasers at it.

Close up, they look oddly small, plastic and painted. And yet, they’re unmistakeably the real thing, the originals.

The exhibit, “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination,” http://www.discoverycube.org/star-wars/
is made up almost entirely of genuine artifacts from all six Star Wars films — the first three made, numbered four, five and six, and the second three, numbered one, two and three.

That was a recurring point of confusion that didn’t seem to interrupt the excitement of the first guests walking through the exhibit hall Thursday night.


http://sciencedude.ocregister.com/2011/11/18/star-wars-comes-to-earth-in-santa-ana/159993/

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« Reply #5549 on: Nov 20th, 2011, 08:12am »

Seattle Times

State now can track kids from kindergarten to college

Washington state education officials know a lot more about your kids than they ever knew about you. They can now track a child from kindergarten through college enrollment and soon will be able to tell you everything about every child who has gone to school in Washington from preschool through their first job.

By DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP
The Associated Press
19 November 2011

Washington state education officials know a lot more about your kids than they ever knew about you.

They can now track a child from kindergarten through college enrollment and soon will be able to tell you everything about every kid who has gone to school in Washington from preschool through their first job.

Everything includes every school they attended, every achievement test they passed or failed, their ethnic identity, whether they qualified for free lunch, what college they chose, if they had to take remedial courses, when they started college, and more.

Of course this information is anonymous to outside viewers, including researchers and the public, but it gives local school officials a lot to comb through to find ways to improve their preparation of students for college and the world.

For example, Seattle Public Schools can see in a new report from the Education Research & Data Center (ERDC) that about 73 percent of the class of 2009 enrolled in college after high school, and that the schools most likely to get students from Seattle were the University of Washington, the local community colleges and Western Washington University. The district also sent three graduates to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, two to Harvard and three to New York University.

The report also shows that about 22 percent of the Seattle graduates who went to college had to take remedial math classes — pre-college math — when they got there. About half that many had to take pre-college courses in English.

Statewide, about 63 percent of all 2009 high-school graduates enrolled in college. About a quarter of those 39,537 young people needed to take remedial courses in math, and 13 percent weren't ready for college English.

Seattle Public Schools has been paying a national organization for nearly the same information the state can now provide for free, so as the state analysis reaches the level of detail the district needs, it will likely save the district money, said Mark Teoh, executive director of research, evaluation, assessment and development.

But more importantly, Teoh said, the state is offering this information to parents, giving them another tool for understanding school districts and high schools.

"I want to applaud the fact that ERDC is putting this information out there," he said.

Brian Vance, principal of Seattle's Roosevelt High School, said the college tracking information helps his staff assess if they are making progress in improving student readiness for college.

"This is a good way to verify the numbers and get some confirmation that we're on track," he said. Until a few years ago, the district was relying entirely on self-reporting by students to keep track of who goes to college.

Vance likes the way the state data list all the individual colleges his students are going to, compared to a national site, College Tracking Data Services, which reports enrollment numbers.

But he would like to see more detailed data, including college numbers by ethnicity, which the state said will be added soon.

"There's work to be done in getting more students of color into college. That's been a focus for us," Vance said.

The national college-tracking site also includes data on how many high-school graduates make it to the second year of college, which, Vance said, is as important as college acceptance.

State officials hope to use the information they are gathering about college enrollment to help others better prepare for college and succeed once they get there, and they expect to expand their reports in the near future.

"The silver bullet is to pay attention to people all the way through," said David Prince, director of research and analysis for the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges.

The state's new and improved data center meshes well with efforts in Washington's K-12 and college systems to help young people understand what they need to do to prepare for college-level math, for example, Prince said.

Universities expect students to know more math than they are required to master for a Washington high-school diploma, but some students who thought they were ready for college don't find this out until they apply or enroll, Prince said.

If the state can close that information gap, while continuing to raise its math standards, fewer high-school graduates will need to take pre-college math when they begin higher education.

The high school to college report is the first example of what the state's new joined student data system can do, said Katie Weaver-Randall of the Education Research Data Center, which is housed in the state Office of Financial Management.

Eventually, the state will follow up on nongraduates and track the path of high-school grads who do not go on to college. Another report in the works will focus on college graduates to see if they got jobs after leaving school.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016806921_trackingkids20m.html

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