Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5730 on: Dec 14th, 2011, 1:45pm »
Uploaded by secrets380 on Dec 13, 2011
Russian protesters film UFO over Moscow
Category: Science & Technology
author is an idiot. there's more clear footage of it and it's not a UFO. it's identified. here's the video of it. /watch?v=soVdX2J77R8&feature=related stop spreading disinfo
by ExtraTerrestrials 16 hours ago
A simple google search for the term "Moscow Protestor UFO" will make this UFO an IFO. It's a hexacopter belonging to a Russian Journalist blog. Nothing unidentified about it, nothing extraterestrial. Do research for crying out loud before posting something like this.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5731 on: Dec 15th, 2011, 08:49am »
New York Times
December 14, 2011 Somalia’s Insurgents Embrace Twitter as a Weapon By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN
NAIROBI, Kenya — Think of it as the Battle of the Tweets.
Somalia’s powerful Islamist insurgents, the Shabab, best known for chopping off hands and starving their own people, just opened a Twitter account, and in the past week they have been writing up a storm, bragging about recent attacks and taunting their enemies.
“Your inexperienced boys flee from confrontation & flinch in the face of death,” the Shabab wrote in a post to the Kenyan Army.
It is an odd, almost downright hypocritical move from brutal militants in one of world’s most broken-down countries, where millions of people do not have enough food to eat, let alone a laptop. The Shabab have vehemently rejected Western practices — banning Western music, movies, haircuts and bras, and even blocking Western aid for famine victims, all in the name of their brand of puritanical Islam — only to embrace Twitter, one of the icons of a modern, networked society.
On top of that, the Shabab clearly have their hands full right now, facing thousands of African Union peacekeepers, the Kenyan military, the Ethiopian military and the occasional American drone strike all at the same time.
But terrorism experts say that Twitter terrorism is part of an emerging trend and that several other Qaeda franchises — a few years ago the Shabab pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda — are increasingly using social media like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter. The Qaeda branch in Yemen has proved especially adept at disseminating teachings and commentary through several different social media networks.
“Social media has helped terrorist groups recruit individuals, fund-raise and distribute propaganda more efficiently than they have in the past,” said Seth G. Jones, a political scientist at the RAND Corporation.
For the Shabab, this often translates into pithy postings, like “Europe was in darkness when Islam made advances in physics, Maths, astronomy, architecture, etc. before passing on the torch,” and sarcastic jabs at the Kenyan Army. Kenya’s military spokesman, Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir, is also a loquacious writer of posts, and the result is nothing short of a full-on Twitter war.
After Major Chirchir wrote that the Shabab might be transporting weapons on donkeys and that “any large concentration and movement of loaded donkeys will be considered as Al Shabaab activity,” the Shabab responded: “Like bombing donkeys, you mean! Your eccentric battle strategy has got animal rights groups quite concerned, Major.”
Major Chirchir fired back, “Life has better to offer than stonning innocent girl,” a reference to the Shabab’s penchant for harsh Islamic punishments like stoning.
The Shabab have teased Major Chirchir for his spelling mistakes and have tossed around some SAT-quality words.
“Stop prevaricating & say what you really think, Major!” the Shabab wrote. “Sure your comments will invite derision but try to muster (or feign) courage at least.”
Few Somalia hands are surprised by all this. The Shabab may be bloodthirsty, and in the areas they control — and they still control many — they have yanked out gold teeth, beheaded shopkeepers, sawed off arms and stoned adulterers. Yet, at the same time, they have shown their technical skills, making powerful suicide bombs and roadside explosives. They also have a geeky side, showcasing their work through slick propaganda videos, Web sites and digital chat rooms.
Beyond that — and quite frightening to many American officials — is the fact that educated Westerners are clearly working for the Shabab. Several Somali-Americans have killed themselves as suicide bombers, and even non-Somali Westerners, including one man from Alabama, are serving as battlefield commanders.
Of course, it is impossible to know who exactly is operating the Twitter account, HSMPress, which refers to the Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahedeen, or Movement of Holy Warrior Youth, the Shabab’s full name. But African Union and Western officials have said the account is legitimate, and HSMPress recently used Twitter to publish the identification cards of several missing African Union peacekeepers, presumably killed in battle. On Wednesday, the African Union confirmed that the cards were authentic.
The Twitter account is linked to an e-mail account operated by the Shabab “Press Office” that routinely provides detailed — though slanted — information about the continuing combat between the Shabab and the African Union peacekeepers. Sometimes, the Shabab’s information is more truthful than the African Union’s, as was the case during an intense recent battle in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, in which the Shabab claimed to have killed scores of peacekeepers, while the African Union initially said it had lost only 10. African Union officials later conceded that the Shabab had been correct.
The man behind the e-mails and possibly the Twitter posts calls himself Sheik Yoonis, which is probably a nom de guerre. He has responded to written questions from The New York Times and during a few rare telephone interviews spoke with a clipped British accent.
The Shabab news releases are written in colloquial, often clever, English, like this warning to peacekeepers from Burundi: “You now have a choice to make. Either you call for the immediate withdrawal of your troops from our country or you shall receive the bodies of your remaining sons delivered to you in bags. Think long. Think hard.”
Afyare Elmi, a Somali political scientist teaching at Qatar University, said the Shabab had a more coherent communication strategy than the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, a weak and fractured entity that controls very little territory and often contradicts itself in public statements. He added that the carefully composed e-mails and the Twitter account, which began Dec. 7, were part of a reinvigorated Shabab effort to burnish their public image.
Shabab fighters recently held a quiz show for children. (The prizes were grenades and an AK-47.) In October, Shabab leaders invited a masked Qaeda emissary to hand out dates and sacks of rice to famine victims. And just this week the Shabab announced the opening of a new “War Statistics Office,” clearly an attempt to convey a modicum of professionalism.
But few Somalis are fooled. The Shabab’s policies are imperiling what matters most — survival. Last month, with a famine still stalking parts of southern Somalia, the Shabab shut down 16 more aid groups, which many aid officials said was a surefire way to slowly kill thousands. Ever since the famine swept across southern Somalia this summer, the Shabab have been blocking food deliveries, diverting river water from starving farmers to their friends and even forcibly warehousing sick people in their own displaced persons camps.
Tens of thousands have already starved, and many Somalis are now cheering on the Kenyan and Ethiopian troops, traditionally mistrusted as meddling outsiders, who recently invaded Somalia to push the Shabab out of border areas.
On the streets of Mogadishu, a shot-up city that has been suspended in 20 years of civil war and anarchy, few people have ever heard of Twitter.
“Is Twitter some sort of artillery that the Shabab is going to fire?” asked Muktar Abdi, a taxi driver. He said he had heard something like that on the radio.
It is clear that the Shabab, by posting comments in English, are trying to appeal to people outside Somalia. And it may be working.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Shabab Twitter account had 3,186 followers. And true to their guerrilla spirit, the Shabab follow no one.
Mohammed Ibrahim contributed reporting from Mogadishu, Somalia.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5732 on: Dec 15th, 2011, 08:54am »
High-Altitude Nuclear Explosions Dangerous, but not for Reasons Gingrich Cites By Michael Moyer December 14, 2011
Newt Gingrich has been warning the nation of the danger of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP)—a burst of radiation created by a high-altitude nuclear explosion. This pulse would take down electrical systems over hundreds or thousands of miles, the argument goes, knocking the U.S. back to the 19th Century. “In theory, a relatively small device over Omaha would knock out about half the electricity generated in the United States,” he was quoted as saying by the New York Times. In Gingrich’s view, the threat of an EMP attack justifies actions such as pre-emptive strikes on the missile instillations of nations such as Iran and North Korea.
The threat of an EMP attack is real—assuming, of course, that a nation or organization develops not only nuclear weapons but intercontinental ballistic missiles and the will to deploy them. Yet the primary target of an EMP wouldn’t be ground-based power systems. It would be satellites.
In the June 2004 issue of Scientific American, the national security journalist Daniel G. Dupont wrote “Nuclear Explosions in Orbit” [subscription required], a story that details the sequence of events that would follow a nuclear detonation just above the atmosphere.
The initial blast of high-energy gamma rays would strike air molecules and create a shower of high-energy electrons, he writes. These electrons, once they reached ground, would indeed disrupt sensitive electronic equipment. But only that equipment within direct line-of-sight of the blast—taking out a city, perhaps, not a continent.
More fearsome would be the effects of radiation on orbiting satellites. After the initial nanoseconds-long blast of gamma rays, a nuclear bomb releases about 70 percent of its total energy in the form of x-rays. Dupont writes:
“Soft,” or low-energy, x-rays produced by a HANE would not penetrate deeply into any spacecraft they encountered. Instead they would generate extreme heat at the outer surfaces, which itself could harm the sophisticated electronics inside. Soft x-rays would also degrade solar cells, impairing a satellite’s ability to generate power, as well as damaging sensor or telescope apertures. When high-energy x-rays strike a satellite or other system components, however, they create strong internal electron fluxes that produce strong currents and high voltages that can fry sensitive electronic circuitry.
He quotes K. Dennis Papadopoulos, a plasma physicist at the University of Maryland who studies the effects of high-altitude nuclear explosions for the U.S. government, who concludes that “a 10-kiloton nuclear device set off at the right height would lead to the loss of 90 percent of all low-earth-orbit satellites within a month.” The exception would be U.S. military satellites, many of which have been hardened against exactly this kind of threat.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5733 on: Dec 15th, 2011, 08:59am »
Just in time for the holidays, the folks at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, give us a glimpse of a heavenly angel—not literally one of the seraphim, of course, but an astronomical delight nonetheless. The two-lobed star-forming region, dubbed Sharpless 2-106, is located in an isolated part of our Milky Way galaxy nearly 2000 light-years from Earth. The bluish "wings" are lobes of super-hot gas illuminated by a monster star—dozens of times the mass of our sun—forming in the center of the still-expanding nebula. A dark ring of dust and gas circling the star (dark bands, center), material that may one day coalesce into a planetary system, acts like a belt, cinching the nebula into an hourglass shape. Observations of the nebula at purely infrared wavelengths reveal more than 600 brown dwarfs, so-called "failed stars" that each gives off more heat than it receives but lacks enough mass to ignite and produce nuclear fusion on its own.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5736 on: Dec 16th, 2011, 09:30am »
New York Times
December 16, 2011 Japan’s Prime Minister Declares Fukushima Plant Stable By HIROKO TABUCHI
TOKYO — Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan has declared an end to the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, saying technicians have regained control of reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
“Today, we have reached a great milestone,” Mr. Noda said in a televised address to the nation. “The reactors are stable, which should resolve one big cause of concern for us all.”
The declaration — which comes nine months after a calamitous earthquake and tsunami destroyed the seaside plant, triggering a huge radiation leak — could set the stage for the return of some evacuees to affected areas.
The government will now focus on removing the fuel stored at the site, opening up the ravaged reactors themselves and eventually dismantling the plant, a process that is expected to take at least four decades, Mr. Noda said.
But for many of the people of Fukushima, the crisis is far from over. More than 160,000 people remain displaced, and even as the government lifts evacuation orders for some communities, many are refusing to return home.
“This does not ring true for us at all,” said Hirofumi Onuma, 52, deputy principal of a high school in Minamisoma, which was evacuated after the disaster. After a desperate clean-up effort, the school was declared safe and reopened at the end of October. Still, only 350 of 705 students have returned.
“The plant is like a black box, and we don’t know what is really happening,” Mr. Onuma said. “I feel no relief.”
The nuclear crisis led to soul searching in a nation already worn down by two lost decades of economic growth, a rapidly aging and now shrinking population, and political catharsis.
Blame for the accident has been laid on a confluence of many factors: a once-in-a-millennium tsunami, a site vulnerable to seismic disasters, a response that fell short and cozy ties between nuclear operators and those tasked to oversee them.
Many experts still doubt the government’s assertion that the plant is now in a stable state and worry that officials are declaring victory only to quell public anger over the accident.
The announcement on Friday of the equivalent of a “cold shutdown,” a technical term that means a reactor’s cooling system operates below 200 degrees Fahrenheit, assumes that the reactors are intact, said Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at the Research Reactor Institute at Kyoto University and a prominent nuclear critic.
The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, has acknowledged that the uranium fuel in three reactors has likely melted through their containments. Some experts, including Mr. Koide, suspect the fuel could be threatening groundwater.
Experts have also expressed concern over signs of sporadic “recriticality” of the fuel, a phenomenon in which nuclear fission resumes in melted nuclear fuel lying on the floor of a storage pool or reactor core. Tokyo Electric, however, has said any fission is not likely to be self-sustaining. The plant continues to leak radiation. And water used to cool the reactors is still building up at the plant, forcing officials to consider releasing contaminated water into the ocean.
“There is absolutely no cold shutdown,” Mr. Koide said. “It is a term that has been trotted out to give the impression we are reaching some sort of closure.”
“We still face a long battle of epic proportions, and by the time it is really over, most of us will be long dead,” he added.
But Goshi Hosono, minister of state for nuclear power policy, said that recovery work at the plant had progressed enough that any further debacles could be averted.
“We may still face various troubles, but the plant is now stable enough to overcome them,” he said.
The unfolding destruction at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, 160 miles north of Tokyo, has become etched in Japan’s psyche.
The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan’s northeastern coast knocked out vital cooling systems at the site, causing the cores of three reactors and the spent fuel at a fourth to overheat. Hydrogen explosions eventually blew the tops off three reactor buildings.
Mr. Noda paid tribute to what he called the heroic effort of workers who risked their lives to bring the plant under control.
“I speak for the nation in giving thanks for the heroic and self-sacrificing acts that saved Japan from this nuclear disaster,” he said.
The severity of the disaster has led to movement against nuclear power in Japan. On Sept. 19, an estimated 60,000 people marched in central Tokyo to urge the Japanese government to abandon nuclear power, and smaller protests have followed.
Only eight of the nation’s 54 reactors are operating, as local communities resist the restarting of reactors closed for maintenance or inspection since the March disaster. Mr. Noda has pushed for a swift restart of reactors that pass government-mandated stress tests, however. The government has also moved toward restarting exports of nuclear technology.
Then there is the aftermath. Mr. Noda said that a cleanup of radiation, protecting public health and compensating victims of the nuclear disaster were now the government’s priorities. He said he would set aside more than 1 trillion yen — nearly $13 billion — to pay to decontaminate areas of eastern Japan.
The government, however, has acknowledged that some land may not be habitable for decades.
Safeguarding Japan’s food supply also poses a challenge. Radioactive cesium, which could increase the risk of cancer, has been detected in a wide range of produce including beef, tea leaves, mushrooms, baby milk and rice, the nation’s staple.
“Not all of our battles are over,” Mr. Noda said, “but we will fight to the end.”
“It is a challenge for Japan, a challenge for humanity,” he said.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5737 on: Dec 16th, 2011, 09:33am »
Britain to add troops to Summer Olympic Games security plan
As many as 13,500 British troops will help secure the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, a military presence larger than Britain's deployment in Afghanistan.
By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times 6:21 PM PST, December 15, 2011 Reporting from London
Britain will assign as many as 13,500 troops to help secure next year's Summer Olympics on home soil, a military presence larger than the country's deployment in Afghanistan.
The troops are to provide backup for police and to help protect venues before and during the two-week global sporting event in July in London, which Defense Secretary Philip Hammond on Thursday called "the biggest security challenge this country has faced for decades."
The military contingent will be part of a massive security detail that has ballooned in cost from about $440 million to nearly $863 million. That has led to warnings that taxpayers could shell out more than the $14.5 billion budgeted as the government's contribution to hosting the Summer Games, at a time when residents are steeling themselves for drastic cuts in social spending.
But there may be little choice with the Olympics just seven months away.
Word leaked out last month that an official review of security arrangements had scoffed at the Olympic organizing committee's original plan to hire 10,000 private guards as wildly inadequate. At least twice that many would be necessary to supplement police in patrolling the athletes' village, conducting bag checks and implementing other security measures at competition venues spread across London.
Moreover, U.S. officials were said by the Guardian newspaper to be so unhappy about the British arrangements that they were preparing to send 1,000 security personnel, including 500 FBI agents, to London to help keep American athletes and diplomats safe during the Games.
Britain's Ministry of Defense said Thursday that as many as 7,500 troops will be assigned to sporting venues to assist in establishing "airport-style" security. An additional 5,000 service personnel will back up London's Metropolitan Police Service, also known as Scotland Yard, particularly in the event of a civil emergency. The remaining 1,000 troops will provide logistical support.
Bomb-disposal units, military dogs, helicopters and fighter jets are to be made available, and the British battleship Ocean, the biggest in the Royal Navy's fleet, will be moored in the Thames at Greenwich, in South London.
"It's a significant commitment," Hammond told reporters. The troops "will add resilience and robustness to what will be a civilian-led operation."
In addition, it emerged last month that the military will deploy surface-to-air missiles to maintain an "air exclusion zone" over the Olympic venues.
The anticipated cost of the 2012 Summer Games has been a subject of controversy since London won the hosting rights in 2005. Critics said the Olympics would increase local taxes for residents and saddle the city with a number of abandoned stadiums, but supporters call it a good investment that will help revitalize neglected parts of East London.
No one foresaw the global recession that hit a few years later or the sweeping austerity plan approved last year by the new Conservative-led government. Olympic organizers say they are now pinching their pennies as best they can.
"We will be living hand-to-mouth between now and the Olympic Games," Sebastian Coe, the gold medal-winning runner who heads the organizing committee, said this month. "These are the hard months that everybody was predicting six years ago.
"We've raised record sums of money in the most toxic of environments that any Games [have] actually been delivered in. We continue to do that. But this will be tough."
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5738 on: Dec 16th, 2011, 09:39am »
Wired Danger Room
Space Planes, Psyops, Secret Prisons: 9 Secret Military Programs You Shouldn’t Know By Katie Drummond December 16, 2011 | 6:30 am Categories: Spies, Secrecy and Surveillance
Photo: Department of Defense
Make no mistake: The Pentagon's got plenty of secrets you probably don't even want to know about. But there are at least a handful they likely wish had stayed a bit more covert.
Some of 'em have been talked about for years -- and new intel is still creeping out. Old documents from the CIA's MK-ULTRA program, which plied unwitting participants with mind-altering drugs, have been released as recently as last year. And the Pentagon Papers, officially declassified just this past summer, reveal disturbing details about U.S. activities during in the Vietnam War.
Try as they might, it seems top brass just can't keep every classified program entirely under wraps. And in this Internet era, it's arguable that we know more than ever about their covert activities. A combination of insider leaks, sly reporting and grainy photographs -- all distributed online -- have shed plenty of light on some of the military's biggest secrets. From stealth helicopters to undisclosed prisons, check out nine recent Pentagon programs you never should have been privy to.
The Navy's Souped-Up Sub
It's the most covert submarine in the American arsenal. Since the sub's 2004 launch, experts have speculated that USS Jimmy Carter was designed with classified spy missions in mind. Allegedly, the sub is able to slip into enemy ports undetected and even tap into the underwater fiber-optics of foes to listen in on undersea chatter. USS Jimmy Carter may have done just that last year, when it was quietly deployed to spy on North Korea -- one of the only known missions the sub has ever taken.
What else can USS Jimmy Carter, one of the Navy's three Seawolf-class Submarines, accomplish? Nobody's quite sure, because Navy officials haven't commented on exactly what kinds of tech the seafarer is equipped with. But the Jimmy Carter does boast unprecedented hull space, to store unmanned aerial and undersea vehicles for whatever deadly missions our former president's namesake needs to embark on.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5740 on: Dec 16th, 2011, 09:51am »
'UFO' towed through US town panics locals 15:30 AEST Fri Dec 16 2011
Residents of a small town in the US could not believe their eyes when they saw a huge mysterious craft shaped life a flying saucer on the back of a truck driving through town.
Worried residents called the local newspaper to report a UFO after they saw the 10m-wide craft, covered in a large white tarp, being driven down US 77 in Cowley County in Kansas on Monday, local TV station ABC7 reports.
"People were calling in saying, 'Oh they think they found a flying saucer. It looks like a flying saucer to us and we don't know for sure what it is'," said Donetta Godsey from the Winfield Daily Courier.
The transport company even called the town sheriff to make sure officers were on hand to ensure the craft made it through safely.
Police helped manoeuvre the craft for nearly an hour, removing signs from a roundabout because the truck had to drive over the middle.
Deputy sheriff Bill Mueller finally explained the top secret object, saying it was an experimental aircraft from weapons company Northrop Grumman, possibly a new unmanned drone, that was being transported to Maryland.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5744 on: Dec 16th, 2011, 1:46pm »
Uploaded by Skyywatcher88 on Dec 16, 2011
COMET LOVEJOY SURVIVES: Incredibly, sungrazing Comet Lovejoy appears to have survived its close encounter with the sun. Lovejoy flew only 140,000 km over the stellar surface during the early hours of Dec. 16th. Updated!