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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 3269 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5640 on: Dec 1st, 2011, 2:02pm »

He is cute isn't he Phil. grin

Crystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5641 on: Dec 1st, 2011, 3:32pm »

.






Uploaded by woweewooza on Dec 1, 2011

True Story.

Category:
Education

~

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5642 on: Dec 1st, 2011, 7:33pm »

on Dec 1st, 2011, 12:46pm, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Hi Luvey! cheesy

Crystal


Hi Crystal honey.... grin
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5643 on: Dec 1st, 2011, 8:01pm »

on Dec 1st, 2011, 7:33pm, Luvey wrote:
Hi Crystal honey.... grin


cheesy
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5644 on: Dec 1st, 2011, 8:06pm »

on Dec 1st, 2011, 12:50pm, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Yahoo News

Digging into China’s nuclear tunnels

By William Wan
The Washington Post
Wed, Nov 30, 2011


The Chinese have called it their “Underground Great Wall” — a vast network of tunnels designed to hide their country’s increasingly sophisticated missile and nuclear arsenal...


Wow - this is a powerful story!

The three biggest things that caught my attention:
  1. Who among us hasn't suspected China was doing and will continue to do anything necessary to build their arsenal?
  2. Isn't it wondrous how those who have an agenda (non-proliferation) pooh-pooh the report immediately because its implications may harm their position?
  3. How incredible is it that those students persevered and used such ingenuity to gather the information they did?

All quite amazing! Thanks for posting this.
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5645 on: Dec 1st, 2011, 8:30pm »

on Dec 1st, 2011, 8:06pm, SimpleSeeker wrote:
Wow - this is a powerful story!

The three biggest things that caught my attention:
  1. Who among us hasn't suspected China was doing and will continue to do anything necessary to build their arsenal?
  2. Isn't it wondrous how those who have an agenda (non-proliferation) pooh-pooh the report immediately because its implications may harm their position?
  3. How incredible is it that those students persevered and used such ingenuity to gather the information they did?

All quite amazing! Thanks for posting this.


Hi SimpleSeeker,

I was watching the news on TV this morning and they had a story about this. So I went looking for it on the internet.

And good on those students!

Crystal
« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2011, 9:06pm by WingsofCrystal » User IP Logged

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« Reply #5646 on: Dec 1st, 2011, 9:09pm »

MSNBC Nashville TN

WSMV-TV
updated 12/1/2011 6:46:01 AM ET

A man who claims to have been abducted by alien beings will be among the speakers Saturday in Murfreesboro, Tenn., at an annual conference sponsored by the Tennessee chapter of the Mutual Unidentified Flying Objects Network.

Thomas Reed and his family have experienced multigenerational contact with such aliens since the 1950s, according to a news release from the network.

The release said the conference will include people with stories of UFO sightings and extraterrestrial encounters.

According to the network, Tennessee has had more than the usual number of sightings this year, including more than 20 in September alone.

The conference is at the Baymont Inn from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45505998/ns/local_news-nashville_tn/t/ufo-conference-saturday-murfreesboro/

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« Reply #5647 on: Dec 2nd, 2011, 08:04am »

New York Times

December 2, 2011
U.N. Says Action Needed to Prevent Civil War in Syria
By NADA BAKRI

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The United Nations high commissioner for human rights on Friday called for international intervention to protect Syrian civilians from the government’s crackdown amid warnings that the country is headed toward civil war.

The commissioner, Navi Pillay, estimated that more than 4,000 people, including 307 children, have been killed in the nearly nine months since the uprising erupted against the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Ms. Pillay, who has emerged as a forceful voice on Syria, estimated that at least 14,000 people have been detained.

"The Syrian authorities’ continual ruthless repression, if not stopped now, can drive the country into a full-fledged civil war,” Ms, Pillay told a special emergency session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. “In light of the manifest failure of the Syrian authorities to protect their citizens, the international community needs to take urgent and effective measures to protect the Syrian people."

"All acts of murder, torture and other forms of violence must be immediately stopped," she added.

Ms. Pillay also warned of the danger posed by increasingly bold attacks by army defectors against security forces loyal to the government. In the latest such attack, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition group in exile, said Friday that a group of defectors known as the Free Syrian Army killed at least eight people in a strike on a building for intelligence forces in the northwestern province of Idlib, near Turkey.

American officials have estimated that the number of defectors reached 10,000 soldiers over the summer, while human rights activists in Syria and elsewhere have put the number in the low thousands. Syria has banned most foreign journalists from covering the conflict, making it difficult to confirm reports independently.

The emergency session of the rights council, the third held on Syria since April, was called by the European Union, with support from the United States and Arab countries. In August, Ms. Pillay called for the United Nations Security Council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court for committing crimes against humanity.

"The need for international accountability has even greater urgency today," she said on Friday.

The European Union imposed a series of sanctions Thursday against Syrian officials and companies, including oil companies and media firms that European officials say provide sensitive equipment to a research center that supports the crackdown on protesters.

Friday’s rights council session followed a report issued Monday by an independent commission sponsored by the United Nations that found that Syrian military and security forces had committed crimes against humanity, including killings, torture and rape of adults and children. The committee, which was not allowed to enter Syria, based its investigation on interviews with 223 victims, witnesses and deserters from the army.

"The extreme suffering of the population inside and outside Syria must be addressed as a matter of urgency,” Paulo Pinheiro, a Brazilian human rights expert who led the commission, told the emergency session. “Victims expect nothing less from the United Nations and its member states.”

Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui, reacted angrily to Ms. Pillay’s comments, saying that the crisis in Syria can only be solved internally.

"The Syrian problem is one that can be resolved only by Syrians," Mr. Hamoui said during the session. "The solution cannot come from the corridors of the international community. It is only resolutions trying to put more oil on the fire."

Following the talks, the European Union drafted a resolution condemning the continued violence but did not ask the Security Council, which can refer countries to the International Criminal Court, to take any action against Syria. The resolution also called for sending the report to Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general.

Ms. Pillay’s comments came as protesters across Syria took to the streets after noon prayers on Friday in demonstrations labeled “a buffer zone is our demand.” Syria has witnessed growing calls from both the opposition inside the country and abroad for international intervention against the leadership of Mr. Assad.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/03/world/middleeast/un-says-action-needed-to-prevent-civil-war-in-syria.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #5648 on: Dec 2nd, 2011, 08:10am »

Guardian

Putin support dives as more Russians grow uneasy about leader's return.
Corruption, falling living standards and fear of a 'dictatorship' is sapping support for leader's United Russia party

Miriam Elder in Yaroslavl
guardian.co.uk
Thursday 1 December 2011 12.53 EST

In a shoddy classroom at the main university in Yaroslavl, a town of snow-covered churches 150 miles north of Moscow, a group of students are discussing Sunday's parliamentary vote.

In previous elections Vladimir Putin's United Russia party entered the race assured of gaining high levels of support. Such an outcome can no longer be guaranteed in a country becoming increasingly dissatisfied with one-party rule.

Katya, 19, says she wants "more of a choice". Matvei says United Russia, which was created 10 years ago to support Putin, is not playing fair. Alina bemoans that "we haven't seen democracy yet".

Whenever the students' comments become too negative, they are quickly silenced – not by their professor, but a thuggish man in an Adidas tracksuit. Kirill is the class's representative from Molodaya Gvardiya (Young Guard), United Russia's militant youth wing.

Every university and factory has their party representative, men and women of unwavering faith in Putin. In the runup to the election , it is they who are trawling cities and villages across Russia, pressuring voters in an attempt to ward off the disastrous showing that pollsters predict.

"The 90s were terrifying – there was crime everywhere, not even the quietest street was safe," Kirill pronounces, as several students indicate they won't cast their vote for the ruling party. "Now things are changing, we have stability."

That is the line promoted by Putin, most recently at a party congress last week when the prime minister formally accepted United Russia's nomination to run in the 4 March presidential election. Most Russians have accepted his victory as a foregone conclusion, assuming he will return for two more six-year terms, which would put him in the Kremlin until 2024. In his 12 years as the most powerful man in Russia, Putin has clamped down on, or co-opted, all opposition, allowing no alternative to his leadership to emerge.

It is Sunday's vote, for representatives to the Duma, or lower house of parliament, that will test Putin's course.

"United Russia is the system – it's hard to even call it a party," said Tatyana Borodina, the regional representative for Golos, Russia's only independent election monitor. "We're voting, in principle, for or against the system."

Research shows support for that system is steadily dropping. Pollster VTsIOM found 41% of voters intended to vote for United Russia - well below the 64% it won in the last round of elections in 2007. An internal party poll, leaked to the respected online news portal Gazeta.ru in October, found United Russia expected to get just 29% in Moscow and 31% in St Petersburg.

"The situation in society is really changing. The apathy that existed four years ago isn't there anymore," said Yaroslav Yudin, one of three deputies in Yaroslavl's 36-member parliament who does not belong to United Russia.

Last month, public discontent spilled over for the first time when Putin was booed during an appearance at a martial arts fight, an event described by analysts as a watershed moment in his rule.

Declining living standards and rampant corruption have played their share, but according to Yudin, the turning point was Putin's announcement in September that he planned to return to the presidency, with Dmitry Medvedev, the current president, taking his role as prime minister.

"With the Putin-Medvedev switch, the people were told: 'Ok boys, Daddy's coming back,'" he said. "Many didn't expect that Putin could be a dictator like [Soviet premier Leonid] Brezhnev who planned to die in the Kremlin, but now it turns out that it might be true."

Faced with a potentially unprecedented show of discontent, critics claim the Kremlin has gathered all its resources to restrict opposition, falsify support and threaten punishment if United Russia doesn't give a good showing in Sunday's vote.

On Wednesday, the governor of the Siberian region of Omsk said during a televised interview that "big industry will leave the region" if residents failed to vote for "the right party". He wasn't the first to employ such scare tactics: in late October, the mayor of the Urals city of Izhevsk was caught on video telling veterans that their government allowances would be raised if United Russia received a high percentage of the vote. The mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, has sent postage-free letters urging city residents to vote for the party, a violation of electoral rules. All around Russia, members of the Communist and Just Russia parties have come forward with complaints that their newspapers have been confiscated and their electoral propaganda posters destroyed.

Golos, the election monitor, has come under pressure from prosecutors and parliamentary deputies, who have demanded its closure on the eve of the vote. The Moscow police warned on Thursday that it would break up any demonstrations on Sunday. Opposition groups have promised to protest against the vote.

Pro-Kremlin youth groups are part of the strategy. Nashi has promised to bus in 30,000 activists to Moscow to counter any opposition.

At Yaroslavl State University, only three of 22 students admit they will vote against United Russia in the Sunday vote while Kirill, the pro-Putin activist, is present. Asked once he leaves the room, every single student raises their hand.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/01/putin-support-russian-unease

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« Reply #5649 on: Dec 2nd, 2011, 08:16am »

Wired

Dec. 2, 1982: Barney Clark Takes One for the Team
By Tony Long
December 2, 2009 | 12:00 am
Categories: 20th century, Health and Medicine, Inventions

1982: A Seattle dentist named Barney Clark becomes the first human recipient of a permanent artificial heart. He survives the heart, and the accompanying media circus, for 112 days.

Clark, 61, was the ideal candidate, suffering from congestive heart failure so debilitating that he had trouble walking from his bedroom to the bathroom. Doctors determined that he was too sick to be eligible for a heart transplant, leaving the implant of an artificial heart his only option.

Clark’s predicament coincided with the FDA approving a new artificial heart for human implantation, a device known as the Jarvik 7. It was named for one of its key developers, Dr. Robert Jarvik, who had been building and refining artificial hearts since his student days under artificial-organ pioneer Dr. Willem Kolff at the University of Utah.



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Artificial-heart recipient Barney Clark smiles at his surgeon,
Dr. William DeVries, in Salt Lake City on the day after the historic implantation.
Associated Press



The Jarvik 7 was state-of-the-art for its time, and was the first one designed for permanent use. It employed a heart-shaped pump that was implanted into the patient. An external pneumatic compressor, connected to the pump by tubes running through the chest wall, regulated blood flow.

The major problem with these devices — apart from the fact that the washing-machine–sized air compressor left the patient virtually immobilized — was the threat of infection and associated pulmonary problems. This had proven to be the Achilles’ heel of every previous artificial heart used on both human and animal subjects. And so it would be in Barney Clark’s case.

Clark understood going in that his chance of long-term survival was virtually nil, but agreed to undergo the surgery in the interest of advancing science. The implant was performed at the University of Utah by Dr. William DeVries, and the Jarvik 7 functioned as expected.

Before the surgery, Clark told doctors he didn’t expect to survive more than a few days with his new heart, and no one seemed inclined to argue with him. But a few days turned into a few weeks and then a few months. Clark was still alive, but he was miserable: constantly plagued by infections, drifting into and out of consciousness, at several points asking to be allowed to die. He also suffered from chronic clotting, which led to a series of strokes.

All the principals involved agreed beforehand that there would be no individual talking to the media, that all information would be sent out through the university’s press office. Despite the moderate approach, reporters swiftly glommed onto the story, and Barney Clark’s saga became international news. Doctors were dunned for continual progress reports, while reporters turned Clark and his “stoic” wife into folk heroes.

The intense coverage also touched off a renewed debate about the ethics of using artificial organs in hopeless situations. Bioethics was a new field then, but there were plenty of critics who felt the Jarvik 7 was not ready for human implantation, and that the process for approving it had been flawed.

This was all beyond Clark, though, who died March 23, 1983. He had survived for 112 days.

The second patient to receive a Jarvik 7, an Indiana man named Bill Schroeder, lived 620 days. Unlike Clark, Schroeder initially responded well to the surgery, so much so that he was able to take a phone call from President Ronald Reagan and ride in a parade down the main street of his hometown.

But soon enough the complications caught up with him, too, and he died. So there was progress, but it wasn’t really success.

To this day, no artificial heart has proved effective as a permanent replacement for nature’s own. They’re used only as stopgaps for patients waiting for a human donor and whose own hearts are so damaged that less-invasive devices, like portable pumps, can’t help them.

Artificial-heart research, however, goes on.

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2009/12/dayintech_1202jarvikheart/

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« Reply #5650 on: Dec 2nd, 2011, 11:59am »

Hollywood Reporter

Magic Johnson to Bid to Buy Los Angeles Dodgers
9:37 AM PST 12/2/2011
by Daniel Miller, Matthew Belloni

Magic Johnson, businessman Mark Walter and former baseball executive Stan Kasten will submit a bid to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The alignment of the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar with Walter, the CEO of New York and Chicago-based financial firm Guggenheim Partners, and Kasten, former president of the Washington Nationals, pairs a prominent local figure with an out-of-town investor with deep pockets and another with serious baseball savvy. Many observers believe such a grouping is needed in the aftermath of Frank McCourt’s rocky tenure as owner of the storied franchise.

Johnson's ownership of the Dodgers would be historic: No Major League Baseball team has ever been owned by a black person. It would be fitting for the Dodgers organization to be the first to achieve that milestone -- the franchise was the first in Major League Baseball to integrate when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. Kasten would serve as team president if the Johnson/Walter/Kasten bid is successful.

"Stan Kasten is my man," Johnson told Los Angeles Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke on Friday. "He's a winner, he's built two incredible organizations, and he's well respected. That is what was important to me. I had to get with a winner, a guy who understands baseball inside and out."

Blackstone Advisory Partners, the investment bank that is handling the sale of the bankrupt team for the beleaguered McCourt, is expected to send potential buyers information on the team later this month. The Dodgers could fetch more than $1 billion. A first round of bidding is slated for January.

In October 2010, Johnson sold his minority ownership stake in the Lakers in a move widely believed to be a harbinger of his investment in another sports franchise. Since then, there has been speculation that Johnson would make a play for the Dodgers. He also is part of the Anschutz Entertainment Group-headed consortium working to bring an NFL franchise to the company’s planned Farmers Field in downtown L.A. He told ESPN.com in September that he would be a part of the ownership group that will solicit a team to play at the stadium.

Prior to his tenure running the Nationals, Kasten was also president of the Atlanta Braves. During his 16-year stint with the Braves, the team won five National League pennants and the 1995 World Series. He ran the Nationals for almost five full seasons and stepped down at the end of the 2010 season.

A handful of other high-profile businessmen and Los Angeles figures have expressed interest in the Dodgers. ESPN reported Nov. 30 that one prospective ownership group fronted by former sports agent and Chicago White Sox executive Dennis Gilbert also would include Larry King. Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres and Magnolia Pictures, also has shown interest. In April, THR rounded up several potential entertainment business players that sources said could make a run at the team, including Mandalay Entertainment Group CEO Peter Guber, Miramax Films co-owner Thomas Barrack and Cuban.

“You are going to want to have local representation because you didn’t have it last time and it’s a model that works,” said Jeff Marks, managing director of Premier Partnerships, a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment business development firm. “The community is really demanding that.”

But, because of the Dodgers’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the team will be sold through a bankruptcy court auction and will ultimately go to the highest bidder. “It is going to come down to money,” Marks said. McCourt filed for bankruptcy in June in an effort to prevent Major League Baseball commissioner Bug Selig from seizing the team. While Marks expects that MLB will have a say in which ownership group prevails, he cautioned that the inclusion of a token local figure in an ownership group may not be enough to “get it done.”

Walter's Guggenheim Partners, which would not be involved in the ownership group, is an owner of New York-based Prometheus Global Media, the parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/magic-johnson-los-angeles-dodgers-bid-268746

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« Reply #5651 on: Dec 2nd, 2011, 12:05pm »

LA Times

Police are all ears when it comes to sound cannons

Law enforcement agencies are adding sound cannons — officially known as Long Range Acoustical Devices — to their arsenals of nonlethal weapons.

By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
December 2, 2011

Sound has long been used as a weapon. The Germans put sirens on Stuka dive bombers in World War II to amplify the terror to unlucky souls below. Jamaican maroons — fugitive slaves — used the abeng horn to unnerve British colonial soldiers.

The U.S. Army blasted rock music to torment former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. And according to the Bible, Joshua brought down the walls of Jericho by having his priests blow rams' horns.

Now, the power of loud noise is being harnessed by police departments.

A device known as the sound cannon is joining Tasers, rubber bullets and pepper spray in law enforcement's expanding arsenal of nonlethal weapons.

It's officially called the Long Range Acoustical Device, or LRAD, and it has two primary uses. One is as a high-tech megaphone that generates a beam of sound that can cut through the din of a noisy protest far better than conventional public-address systems.

It also functions as a tactical weapon — projecting a high-pitch chirping sound that makes people cover their ears and run away. And with a maximum volume of 149 decibels, the LRAD can get about as loud as a jetliner on takeoff.

Pittsburgh police used LRADs mounted on an armored vehicle to break up demonstrations jamming the city's downtown during the G20 international economic conference in 2009. More recently, New York police officers used small, hand-held LRADs to bark orders as they ousted the Occupy Wall Street protest from Zuccotti Park.

The Los Angeles Police Department has an undisclosed number of LRADs, but they are larger devices fixed to vehicles, which they say might have been helpful in breaking up the Occupy Los Angeles encampment at City Hall this week. Police did not have hand-held units.

LAPD Cmdr. Bob Green said orders to disperse made with bullhorns went largely unheard because of the din of crowd chants and helicopters hovering overhead. The police had to use pickup trucks with massive speakers to get the orders across.

"It's frustrating when you're not heard in those situations because ultimately it's all about communications," Green said. "Bad things happen when the batons are out and the adrenaline is flowing. So, if there's something better out there to get the message across, let's have it."

The device was developed for the Pentagon by San Diego military contractor LRAD Corp. after the Sept. 11 terror attacks as a sonic weapon to help control unruly crowds, foil hijackers and keep other potential threats at bay.

The Pentagon and law enforcement agencies are among the biggest customers, but there are civilian uses as well.

LRAD sells sound cannons to yacht owners as a means of keeping pirates from boarding. In 2005, an LRAD sound cannon staved off an attack by pirates on a five-star German-built cruise ship, called Seabourn Spirit, off the coast of Somalia.

The company also markets versions of the device for wind farms and aircraft owners, to scare off birds. There are six models, from one resembling a small stereo speaker to another as large as a home satellite dish. They are priced from $5,000 to $100,000.

There are a few competitors in the acoustic device market, among them HPV Technologies Inc. of Irvine and Ultra Electronics USSI of Columbia City, Ind.

"Interest in our technology has never been stronger," said Scott Stuckey, vice president for business development at LRAD. "It offers a safe solution for potentially dangerous situations."

Unlike a traditional loudspeaker, the device directs a loud beam of sound across a room like a spotlight — hence the name, sound cannon.

Although it may be nonlethal, critics say that it could damage hearing or cause psychological harm.

Joshua Paul, a student at Rutgers University who was at the Occupy Wall Street rally, described the sound from the LRAD as "high-pitched and very disabling."

Afterward, he wrote on Twitter: "High pitched noise. Natural reaction: My face scrunched and hands started moving to my ears. Length was around 5 seconds."

Although the New York Police Department denies ever using the LRAD for anything other than a loud speaker, the device is capable of incapacitating people. That was the sales pitch to the Pentagon when San Diego inventor Elwood G. Norris developed the LRAD idea.

Norris said the need for the technology was demonstrated by the 2000 suicide attack on the Navy warship USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors in Yemen. The Cole's crew could not use lethal force against the interlopers because it did not know their intent, but a nonlethal sound cannon could have been deployed.

"If they had the LRAD to keep the terrorists at bay," Stuckey said, "who knows what would have happened?"

What makes the device different from previous sound technology is that the person standing behind or next to the device does not hear the sound as loudly. Conventional speaker systems generate sound that spreads out. On an LRAD, the sound is condensed into a single beam.

"You can direct the beam wherever you want," Stuckey said. "It hits the sweet spot of human hearing. It's similar to having a really bright light in your eyes."

Its debilitating effect can be seen in a YouTube video of a crowd of protesters at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh in 2009. Police rolled through the street in an armored truck with an LRAD device fixed atop like a turret generating a loud sound beam into the crowd.

In an instant, the high-pitched chirping appears to compel nearly every person in the crowd to cover their ears.

In the crowd was Karen Piper, an English professor at the University of Missouri, who says she suffered immediate pain in her ears and became nauseous and dizzy. Piper said she was unable to cover her ears because she was holding bags, her purse and a camera.

"All of a sudden I heard this excruciating high-pitched noise. It was debilitating," she said this week. "I never heard anything like it before."

In a federal lawsuit filed in September against the Pittsburgh Police Department by the American Civil Liberties Union on her behalf, it states that she suffered permanent hearing loss.

LRAD declined to comment on the lawsuit.


http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-sound-cannon-20111202,0,4874892.story

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« Reply #5652 on: Dec 2nd, 2011, 3:39pm »

Wall Street Journal (LiveMint.com)

•Posted: Sat, Dec 3 2011. 1:00 AM IST

Pakistan was consulted before fatal hit, U.S. says
by Julian E. Barnes & Adam Entous

Pakistani officials at a border coordination center gave the go-ahead to American airstrikes that inadvertently killed 24 Pakistan troops, unaware that their own forces were in the area, according to U.S. officials briefed on the preliminary investigation.

U.S. officials, giving their first detailed explanation of the worst friendly-fire incident of the 10-year-old war in Afghanistan, said an Afghan-led assault force that included American commandos were hunting Taliban militants when they came under fire from an encampment along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

The commandos thought they were being fired upon by militants. But the assailants turned out to be Pakistani military personnel who had established a temporary campsite, U.S. officials said.

According to the initial U.S. account from the field, the commandos requested airstrikes against the encampment, prompting the team to contact a joint border-control center to determine whether Pakistani forces were in the area, a U.S. official said.

The border-control center is manned by U.S., Afghan and Pakistani representatives who are supposed to share information and head off conflicts. But the U.S. and Afghan forces conducting the November 26 commando operation hadn’t notified the center in advance that they planned to strike Taliban insurgents near that part of the border, the official said.

When called, the Pakistani representatives at the center said there were no Pakistani military forces in the area identified by the commandos, clearing the way for the Americans to conduct the airstrikes, the U.S. officials said.

Officials in Islamabad couldn’t be reached to comment on the U.S. allegations. Pakistan repeatedly has denied its forces fired on the Americans.
Pakistan doesn’t have veto authority over strikes along the border, U.S. officials said. But the North Atlantic Treaty Organization makes contact with the center to make sure its operations don’t put Pakistani troops or aircraft in the line of fire.

U.S. officials acknowledge there were errors made on both sides in the incident, which occurred in the Mohmand tribal region, a lawless border area that abuts Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province. They have called the Pakistani deaths a terrible accident. “There were lots of mistakes made,” the official said.
“There was not good situational awareness to who was where and who was doing what.”

To prevent conflicts, officials working in the border-control center need to know whether NATO forces are planning operations in the border area. That allows the Pakistanis to notify its forces that the U.S. and Afghan forces would be operating there.
But U.S. officials have in the past expressed reservations about notifying the Pakistanis about operations, concerned the missions’ details could leak out.

The U.S. officials cautioned the latest account is based mainly on interviews with members of the commando team and could change as more information is gathered.
A formal report on the incident is due to be completed by U.S. military investigators by December 23. Officials said that investigation could incorporate overhead imagery and information collected from the aircraft that struck the Pakistani position.

“Our view on this will not be complete until we’ve completed the investigation,” a senior official said.
The incident resulted in another major setback to U.S.-Pakistan relations. In response, Pakistan has pulled out of an international conference on the Afghan war in Bonn, Germany, next week. Islamabad also has closed border crossings used by the U.S. and its NATO allies to bring in supplies for troops in neighboring Afghanistan.
Pakistani officials said earlier this week the attack on their base, known as Volcano, began just after midnight. About 50 minutes after the air assault began, Pakistani officials reached the NATO command in Afghanistan and told officials to call off the strikes, they said.

In addition to the strike on the border base, Pakistani officials said reinforcements trying to aid the stricken base also were hit by the airstrikes.
Pakistani military personnel in a second base began firing at the American helicopters. According to the Pakistani account, the helicopters flew off, then returned and struck the second post.

A senior Pakistani military officer said it was impossible for the U.S. not to know it was firing at Pakistani military bases.
U.S. officials countered that the Pakistani positions were more like makeshift campsites than established military bases. A U.S. official said that because the Taliban and Pakistani military use some of the same weaponry, it was difficult to tell who was firing at the assault force.
“There was absolutely no malicious, deliberate attack on the Pakistani military posts,” a U.S. defense official said.

Other American officials said the Pakistani military should have known from the presence of helicopters used to ferry in the combined U.S.-Afghan commando force that Americans were in the area.
“If you hear American helicopters why would you lob mortars and machine gun fire at them? The Pakistanis can say we thought it was insurgents, except for the fact that the Taliban doesn’t have helicopters,” said the U.S. official.

The White House has decided, at least for now, against having President Barack Obama issue a video message offering condolences for the Pakistani deaths, officials said. The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan and other State Department officials had recommended such a video message to try to ease tensions between Washington and Islamabad over the incident.

But other officials argued that it was premature for Mr. Obama to intervene so publicly given continued uncertainty about what exactly transpired.
Republican candidates for the White House often accuse Mr. Obama of being too quick to apologize for U.S. actions.
“There was, obviously, no apology, and there was an expression of condolences,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, noting that the investigation into the incident was ”at the early stages.”

—Tom Wright in New Delhi contributed to this article.

http://www.livemint.com/2011/12/02215729/Pakistan-was-consulted-before.html?atype=tp

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« Reply #5653 on: Dec 2nd, 2011, 9:31pm »

Saturday, December 10th





Uploaded by ScienceAtNASA on Dec 1, 2011

Visit http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/02dec_lunareclipse/ for the full story.

On Dec 10th, sky watchers in the western United States will witness a total lunar eclipse swollen to super-sized proportions by the Moon illusion.

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« Reply #5654 on: Dec 3rd, 2011, 11:56am »

Japanese and Russian Scientists May Be Able to Clone Mammoth

Published December 03, 2011

YAKUTSK, Russia – Japanese and Russian scientists might be able to clone a mammoth after confirming the presence of well-preserved bone marrow in a mammoth thighbone found in Siberian permafrost, Kyodo News reported.

The scientists from the Sakha Republic's mammoth museum and Kinki University's graduate school will begin research next year to regenerate the huge mammal, which became extinct about 10,000 years ago.

They will transplant nuclei from the bone marrow cells into elephant egg cells whose nuclei were removed through a type of cloning. The process can create an embryo that can be planted into an elephant womb for birth.

For scientists involved in the research since the late 1990s, finding nuclei with undamaged mammoth genes has been a challenge, AFP reported.

But the discovery in August of the well-preserved thighbone in Siberia increased the chances of a successful cloning.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/12/03/japanese-and-russian-scientists-may-be-able-to-clone-mammoth/?test=latestnews#ixzz1fUZdChe7
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