Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5970 on: Jan 15th, 2012, 5:30pm »
Uploaded by ufohunter16903 on Jan 14, 2012
**Note from me: It should also be considered that reports of UFO sightings being on the rise are on the rise (and perhaps not the actual sightings themselves). Some of the reports being given to MUFON or NUFORC *might* be false reports, to hype up the year 2012. I know of at least one false report already, which I posted in a previous upload: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vEUrArVAkU ********************************************************************** "LAKE MARY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) says more than 1,000 new reports of UFO sightings have been received since October 25, 2011. A large number of reports have flooded in just this year, with increased sightings in 36 of the 50 states. Over a hundred sightings were logged by NUFORC on New Year's Eve with 13 sightings reported in Florida. On December 11, 2011 in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, three people see an estimated 8 orange objects pass from south to north in the night sky, covering approximately 60 degrees of arc in an estimated five minutes. Two more lights appeared shortly after the first group had disappeared, and followed approximately the same path as the first group had followed."
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5971 on: Jan 16th, 2012, 07:39am »
U.S., Israel postpone military exercise amid tension with Iran January 15, 2012 | 12:46 pm
REPORTING FROM JERUSALEM -- The United States and Israel agreed to postpone a large joint military exercise from this spring to late in the year to avoid aggravating an already tense regional situation driven by conflicts with Iran, Israeli media reported Sunday.
The drill, slated for May and named "Austere Challenge," was announced in November by Andrew Shapiro, U.S. assistant secretary of State for politics-military affairs, at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The exercise as originally planned would include more than 5,000 U.S. and Israeli forces and, among other things, simulate Israel's ballistic missile defense. It would be the "largest and most significant joint exercise in the allies' history," Shapiro had said.
The drill was announced shortly after American military officials reportedly expressed concern that Israel was preparing an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities and would not warn them in advance. Although American and U.S. officials are in close contact on defense matters, especially regarding Iran's disputed nuclear program, Jerusalem and Washington are at odds over how aggressively to approach with the issue.
U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is scheduled to arrive in Israel this week for talks with his Israeli counterpart, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz. Dempsey may also meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Talk of a military strike against Iran to stop its nuclear program continues to buzz, adding to tensions surrounding recent developments that include the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist last week in Tehran. Iranian officials, who maintain that their nuclear research is intended for peaceful purposes, accused Israel and the U.S. of responsibility for the attack. Both denied involvement.
Two months after an International Atomic Energy Agency report said there was credible evidence that Iran might be attempting to develop nuclear weapons, Israel says economic sanctions are beginning to impact Iran but need to be tightened considerably if diplomacy is going to stop Tehran's efforts. In an interview with an Australian newspaper, Netanyahu said international pressure, combined with the threat of a military strike, was working and the Iranian economy was "beginning to show signs of stress."
His deputy, former chief of staff Moshe Yaalon, told Israel radio Sunday that the international community must force Iran to "face the dilemma of choosing between its nuclear program or its regime as soon as possible," adding tougher sanctions were necessary to isolate the regime.
"The military option must come last," said Yaalon, who added that "Israel must be prepared to defend itself."
Yaalon expressed disappointment that sanctions have not been expanded to Iran's central bank and its oil exports, attributing Washington's stance to a reluctance "to drive up oil prices in an election year."
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his deputy Danny Ayalon were headed to Poland and Britain, respectively, for talks on precisely this, according to Israeli radio Sunday.
"Coordinated and smart moves will make it possible to stop Iran's nuclear program by economic and diplomatic means too," Ayalon said, adding that "international sanctions have not been exhausted and this is currently at the center of discussions."
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5972 on: Jan 16th, 2012, 07:44am »
Report: Joint Chiefs chairman to visit Israel By Meghashyam Mali 01/15/12 03:47 PM ET
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey will visit Israel next week.
The Israeli Defense Ministry confirmed the planned Thursday visit according to a report from the Associated Press.
While Dempsey's agenda was not disclosed, his visit comes amid growing tensions as the U.S., Israel and European allies seek to dissuade Iran from continuing with its nuclear enrichment program.
Last week, Gen. Dempsey said the Pentagon had examined options for taking out Iranian nuclear sites.
Iran insists that its program is intended for peaceful purposes however the U.S. believes Iran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.
Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital waterway for oil shipments, after the U.S. passed sanctions against Iran's central bank and began efforts to persuade European Union countries to pass an oil embargo.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta though warned Iranian officials through secret channels that closing the strait would be a "red line" for the U.S. and would prompt an American military response according to a report in the New York Times.
Tensions escalated again last week when Amir Hekmati, an Iranian-American was sentenced to death on Monday over charges he was spying for the CIA.
On Wednesday, an Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated. Iran's leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the U.S. and Israel of carrying out the act, however U.S. officials have denied involvement.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5973 on: Jan 16th, 2012, 07:54am »
Cruise disaster: ship slipping into the sea
Costa Concordia, the stricken cruise liner, is slipping from the rock shelf into the sea, triggering a warning from Italian environment minister that an ecological disaster could follow its sinking.
By Nick Squires 1:25PM GMT 16 Jan 2012
Rescue operations on the capsised Italian liner were suspended indefinitely on Monday after the giant ship slipped on its rocky resting place, a firefighters' spokesman said.
"There was a slippage of nine centimetres vertically and 1.5 centimetres horizontally. We evacuated immediately. This is something we have been worried about," spokesman Luca Cari said.
"It has been our nightmare," Corrado Clini said. "The vessel has reservoirs full of fuel, it is a heavy diesel which could sink down to the seabed, that would be a disaster."
The chairman and CEO of Costa Cruises on Monday blamed "human error" by the captain of the capsized cruise ship that ran aground off Italy's west coast for the accident.
"The company will be close to the captain and will provide him with all the necessary assistance, but we need to acknowledge the facts and we cannot deny human error," Pier Luigi Foschi told reporters at a press conference in Genoa.
Costa Crociere had earlier said "preliminary indications" suggested Captain Francesco Schettino may have been guilty of "significant human error" which resulted in the Costa Concordia running aground, sparking a frantic evacuation operation.
The ship's Italian owner, a subsidiary of Carnival Cruise lines, said: "We are working with investigators to find out precisely what went wrong aboard the Costa Concordia.
"While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary indications are that there may have been significant human error on the part of the ship's Master, Captain Francesco Schettino, which resulted in these grave consequences.
"The route of the vessel appears to have been too close to the shore, and the captain's judgment in handling the emergency appears to have not followed standard Costa procedures."
Italian prosecutors claim Captain Francesco Schettino, 52, had approached the island's coastline in a "carelessly clumsy manner" in the moments before a catastrophic collision with an underwater rock formation that caused the ship to list violently and eventually capsize.
With the weather deteriorating and the sea becoming choppier, the 1,000 ft long vessel is beginning to shift its position, raising fears that it could slide deeper into the sea and rupture its fuel tanks.
The ship came to rest on its side in about 15m/45ft of water just outside Giglio’s tiny harbour after smashing into a rocky shoal on Friday night and tearing a huge gash in its hull.
“It is definitely moving,” an international salvage expert, who asked not to be named, told The Daily Telegraph.
“We think the hull has been pierced by a couple of pinnacles of rock but if it starts moving around a lot, it could break free, and that would be a big problem.” The Italian fire service, which is spearheading search and rescue operations, also confirmed that the ship is shifting as a result of the worsening weather off the coast of Tuscany.
The death toll from Friday night's disaster, one of the worst in the cruise industry's recent history, rose to six today after rescuers discovered three more victims, including the bodies of two elderly men wearing life vests inside the vessel. A further 15 people remained missing.
The ship approached the port from the south but sailed too close to the coastline and struck a rocky reef, known to locals as "Le Scole", a few hundred yards out. Islanders said they had never seen the ship try to pass so close before. Ships usually pass by up to five miles away.
A 160ft gash was torn in the £370 million ship's hull, causing it to take on large quantities of water in minutes and list violently. The 4,200 passengers and crew were told to abandon ship.
Franco Verusio, the procurator of Grosseto who is leading the investigation, said: "Schettino approached the island of Giglio in a carelessly clumsy manner. The ship hit a reef which embedded itself in the left flank, the ship listed and took on lots of water in the space of two or three minutes. Captain Schettino was in command at that point. "He was the one who ordered that course to be taken, at least according to what we have discovered. There was someone in particular that wanted to be signalled from the ship."
Mr Schettino, who is being questioned on suspicion of multiple manslaughter, claimed yesterday that the reef had not appeared on the nautical charts and had not been picked up by the ship's navigation systems. "We should have had deep water beneath us," he said. "We were about 300 metres [1,000ft] from the rocks more or less."
Prosecutors also accused Mr Schettino of abandoning his ship "well before" the last of his passengers, a criminal offence that can carry a sentence of up to 12 years in jail. The captain denied this, insisting he was the last to leave.
The Concordia capsized after the captain tried to turn around and head into the island’s port in an apparent attempt to make it easier to evacuate.
Survivors, including 23 British passengers and 12 British crew members, claimed the evacuation effort was “chaos”. Mr Schettino’s lawyer, Bruno Leporatti, said his client’s manoeuvre had saved the lives of “several hundred people”. The rescue of the Korean honeymoon couple and Mr Giampetroni, who had a broken leg, gave hope to divers searching thousands of cabins for the missing. The ship’s “black box” navigation system is being examined — with officials saying that the vessel was up to four miles off course.
Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and chief executive of Costa Crociere, will today face the media for the first time at two press conferences in Genoa, as Italian prosecutors continue to question Capt Schettino in custody.
He is reportedly being held on suspicion of multiple manslaughter and abandoning ship.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5974 on: Jan 16th, 2012, 08:06am »
Mathematicians Reveal Serial Killer's Pattern of Murder
A simple mathematical model of the brain explains the pattern of murders by a serial killer, say researchers
On 20 November 1990, Andrei Chikatilo was arrested in Rostov, a Russian state bordering the Ukraine. After nine days in custody, Chikatilo confessed to the murder of 36 girls, boys and women over a 12 year period. He later confessed to a further 20 murders, making him one of the most prolific serial killers in modern history.
Today, Mikhail Simkin and Vwani Roychowdhury at the University of California, Los Angeles, release a mathematical analysis of Chikatilo's pattern of behaviour. They say the behaviour is well characterised by a power law and that this is exactly what would be expected if Chikatilo's behaviour is caused by a certain pattern of neuronal firing in the brain.
Their thinking is based on the fundamental behaviour of neurons. When a neuron fires, it cannot fire again until it has recharged, a time known as the refractory period.
Each neuron is connected to thousands of others. Some of these will also be ready to fire and so can be triggered by the first neuron. These in turn will be connected to more neurons and so on. So it's easy to see how a chain reaction of firings can sweep through the brain if conditions are ripe.
But this by itself cannot explain a serial killer's behaviour. "We cannot expect that the killer commits murder right at the moment when neural excitation reaches a certain threshold. He needs time to plan and prepare his crime," say Simkin and Roychowdhury.
Instead, they suggest that a serial killer only commits murder after the threshold has been exceeded for a certain period of time.
They also assume that the murder has a sedative effect on the killer, causing the neuronal activity to drop below the threshold.
Simkin and Roychowdhury used their model to simulate the pattern of firing in a brain to see how often it surpasses a given threshold long enough for a murder to take place.
In the model, they used a 2 millisecond period as the fundamental time step, that's about the time between firings in a real neuron. And they simulated some 100 billion time steps, equivalent to 12 years or so, that's about the period that Chikatilo was active.
The results are remarkably similar to the distribution of Chikatilo's real murders and Simkin and Roychowdhury speculate that it would be relatively straightforward to introduce a realistic correction factor that would make the fit closer.
They say: "One could enhance the model by introducing a murder success rate. That is with certain probability everything goes well for the killer and he is able to commit the murder as he planned. If not, he repeats his attempt the next day. And so on."
This model leads to an interesting insight into the nature of serial killing. It suggests that the likelihood of another killing is much higher soon after a murder than it is after a long period has passed.
That's a well known property of power law distributions that holds true for all kinds of phenomenon. A large earthquake, for example, is more likely soon after another large earthquake.
Interestingly, Simkin and Roychowdhury's work bares much similarity to other recent work suggesting that the distribution of epileptic fits also follows a power law. The reasoning here is the same too--that patterns of neuronal firing can spread through the brain, like an avalanche, causing a fit in the process.
This suggests an obvious avenue for future research in working out whether other forms of extreme behaviour, and indeed ordinary behaviour, follow the same pattern. Perhaps these guys and others are already working on the data.
Chikatilo was eventually convicted of 52 murders and executed by a gunshot to head in 1994.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5975 on: Jan 17th, 2012, 08:37am »
Independent panel to probe Japan nuclear disaster January 17, 2012 | 4:00 am by John M. Glionna
REPORTING FROM SEOUL -- A private-sector panel of scientists has been appointed by the Japanese government to conduct an independent investigation into the causes and aftermath of the last year's nuclear disaster at the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant.
The formation of the board, made up of critics of nuclear power, is an unlikely step by a central government whose policies, critics say, have often been guided by the quiet but powerful hand of the nation's nuclear industry.
In selecting panel members, Japanese lawmakers ruled out anyone with previous experience in the nuclear power industry and looked for candidates with no ties with the government or the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co.
"We will get to the bottom of the case and compile a proposal for the future as we strive to live up to the people's expectations," panel Chairman Kiyoshi Kurokawa told a news conference Monday. "We will seek how we can be different from the government panel."
Following their first open meeting, panel members reiterated that they would probe deeper into the country's worst-ever nuclear disaster than the investigation conducted last year by the government and plant operators.
Some questions before the board are whether the damage to the coastal plant 220 miles north of Tokyo was caused by a tsunami that struck the nation's northeastern coast on March 11 or by the powerful magnitude 9.0 earthquake that triggered the wall of water.
The disaster caused meltdowns at several reactors in the 1970s-era plant, which subsequently belched radioactivity into the atmosphere, causing the evacuation of 80,000 people and concerns about radioactive food supplies coming out of areas affected by the crisis.
Kurokawa, a medical doctor and a former president of the Science Council of Japan, has previously questioned Japan's nuclear policy and the seismic risks to the country's 54 reactors.
Other members of the panel include Nobel laureate Koichi Tanaka and experts on nuclear reactors, earthquakes and radiation treatment, as well as a former prosecutor and a representative from areas affected by the crisis.
Kurokawa reported on his blog that he and nine other panel members visited the stricken nuclear power plant within days after their appointment in December, donning hazmat suits for a close inspection of the damage at the reactors.
"The operation of this committee is by itself a huge challenge to all of us," he wrote. "At any rate, we are now at the start of a very challenging year."
In a first for Japan, the private-sector panel has the ability to subpoena witnesses and documents. The committee is scheduled to submit its findings to lawmakers this summer.
The committee has yet to decide whether to summon former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and other officials for a report on their handling of the initial crisis. Kan resigned in August amid criticism of his handling of the disaster.
Kurokawa said one goal of the investigation was to "earn trust for Japan as a state" by sharing results of the probe with other nations.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5976 on: Jan 17th, 2012, 08:40am »
Italian coastguard heard pleading with liner captain
By Antonio Denti and Gavin Jones GIGLIO, Italy | Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:33am EST
GIGLIO, Italy (Reuters) - Italian coastguards pleaded angrily with the captain of a stricken super-liner to return to his ship, according to recordings released on Tuesday, as divers found five more bodies in the half-submerged wreck of the Costa Concordia.
Taking the known death toll to 11, that left 24 people, including a number of German tourists, unaccounted for four days after the giant cruiser carrying 4,200 passengers and crew was ripped open by rocks off a Tuscan island.
Captain Francesco Schettino is in jail, blamed by his employer for risking thousands of lives and half a billion dollars of ship in a reckless display of bravado.
On Tuesday, rescuers used explosives to blast through the watery maze of luxury cabins, bars and spas, fast losing hope of finding anyone alive. Before the five bodies were found, those missing were 14 German, five Italian, four French and two American passengers and four crew from Italy, Peru, India and Hungary.
Schettino is accused of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck by sailing too close to shore and abandoning ship before all his panicking passengers and frantic crew managed to scramble off.
Newspaper Corriere della Sera released what it said was a recording of ship-to-shore radio communications in which the enraged coastguards repeatedly order him back on board.
"Listen Schettino, perhaps you have saved yourself from the sea, but I will make you look very bad. I will make you pay for this. Dammit, go back on board!" one coastguard says.
Officials did not confirm the tape's origins but Corriere has good sources. Other shouts heard in the background added authenticity. Schettino's lawyer said he would not comment.
The owners of the 114,500-tonne vessel - by some measures the biggest passenger ship ever wrecked - accused their captain of causing the disaster by sharply deviating from the charted course. Investigators say he was within 150 meters of the shore.
He has denied the charges and was questioned by magistrates on Tuesday morning.
Aside from direct losses for Miami-based Carnival Corp, which controls the ship's operator Costa Cruises, bad publicity generated by images of the liner lying on its side in shallow water risks hurting the global market for luxury cruising and the credibility of claims for high-tech safety measures.
Three controlled blasts were detonated early on Tuesday morning to allow firefighters and scuba divers to enter inaccessible parts of the ship.
"Now we will have better access to the gathering points on the ship, where it seems there might be more chance of finding someone, dead or alive," said firefighters' spokesman Luca Cari.
"They will take micro-cameras in there, and we will be simultaneously looking at the few remaining dry areas and also the wet areas," he said. The weather improved slightly from Monday but seas were still choppy.
GIANT PLEASURE PALACE
The giant liner, a floating pleasure palace of bars, spas, giant state rooms and tennis courts slid a little on Monday, threatening to plunge 2,300 tonnes of fuel below the Mediterranean waters of the surrounding marine nature reserve.
This forced a brief suspension of rescue efforts, which were also halted during the night.
Hopes of finding more survivors are fast fading, more than three days after the 290-metre long ship rolled on its side with a long gash in its hull. The four missing crew are from Italy, Peru, India and Hungary. More than 1,000 employees on board included many catering staff and entertainers as well as seamen.
Most of the passengers and crew survived despite hours of chaos and confusion after the collision. The alarm was raised not by an SOS from the ship but mobile phone calls from passengers on board to Italian police on the mainland.
Video taken from a rescue helicopter in the early hours of Saturday, using a night vision camera, showed an extraordinary scene of dozens of passengers being gingerly lowered on ropes down the upturned hull of the ship into rescue boats.
The wreck, with a long gash below the waterline, looms over the normally tranquil island of Giglio.
The ship foundered after striking a rock just as dinner was being served on Friday night. The owners have said the captain swung inshore to "make a bow" to the islanders, who included a retired Italian admiral.
Senior firefighter Luciano Roncalli told Reuters that all the unsubmerged areas of the liner had been searched.
Environment Minister Corrado Clini said he would declare a state of emergency because of the risk that the ship's fuel would leak into the pristine Tuscan Archipelago National Park. No fuel spillage has been detected so far, he said.
Clini said on Tuesday morning that he had given the salvage company until Wednesday to come up with a plan to remove the fuel and 10 days with a plan to remove the ship.
SKIPPER DENIES CHARGES
"You don't have to be a Nobel prize winner to understand that a ship of that size should stay far from the coast," Clini said on television on Tuesday morning.
Schettino's lawyer issued a statement saying the skipper was "broken up, troubled and saddened by the loss of life." But he believed he had saved many lives by carrying out a difficult emergency maneuver with anchors after the accident, which turned the ship closer to the shore.
The father of the ship's head waiter told Reuters that his son had telephoned him before the accident to say the crew would salute him by blowing the ship's whistle as they passed close by Giglio, where both the waiter, Antonello Tievoli, and his 82-year-old father Giuseppe live.
Costa Cruises chief executive Pier Luigi Foschi on Monday blamed errors by Schettino for the disaster. He told a news conference the company would provide its captain with any assistance he required. "But we need to acknowledge the facts and we cannot deny human error," he added.
Foschi said company vessels were forbidden to come closer than 500 meters to the Giglio coast.
Schettino denies being too close to the coast and says the rock he hit was not marked on charts.
The ship is resting in about 20 meters (60 feet) of water but could go down by as much as 130 meters if it shifts free from the rocks.
(Additional reporting by Silvia Ognibene, Silvia Aloisi and Kate Hudson, Writing by Barry Moody and Philip Pullella; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5977 on: Jan 17th, 2012, 08:44am »
Kim Jong-un's brother says North Korea heading for collapse
The eldest brother of North Korea's new leader says reforms needed to avert the collapse of the country's economy will lead to the end of its Stalinist regime, according to a book to be published this week.
10:32AM GMT 17 Jan 2012
Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of Kim Jong-un who took control of the hermit state on the death of their father last month, says the military has become so powerful it will step in and take over.
The comments come in a book by Yoji Gomi, a Japanese journalist who says he built a relationship with Jong-nam after the pair met in Beijing in 2004.
"North Korea is very unstable," Jong-nam told Gomi, who interviewed him at length in the Chinese territory of Macau last year.
"My father governed the country with the backing of the military, but the power of the military has become too strong," he said in Korean. "If the succession ends in failure, the military will wield the real power for sure."
Gomi said Jong-nam may still take the reins of power in the secretive state with the backing of Beijing, which frets that a collapse in the regime could send millions of starving North Koreans over its border and create nuclear havoc on the peninsula.
"He has been protected by the Chinese side," said Gomi, a senior staff writer at the Tokyo Shimbun who was previously based in Beijing and in Seoul.
"If the Jong-un regime collapses, (China) appears to be planning to send him to Pyongyang and make him become the next leader," he said.
Gomi said he had decided to go ahead with publishing the book despite requests from Jong-nam for a delay.
"My father Kim Jong-il and Me" will be published in Japan by Bungeishunju on Friday.
In the book, based on email exchanges and interviews, Jong-nam says North Korea's troubled state-managed economy presented the regime with a dilemma.
"It is obvious that (the) economy will collapse without reforms, but the reforms will lead to a crisis of the collapse of the regime," Jong-nam said in the interview carried out before the death of his father Kim Jong-il on December 17.
He also claimed that his inexperienced brother Jong-un was likely to be merely a symbol used by ruling elites to maintain their grip on power.
"Anyone with normal thinking would find it difficult to tolerate three generations of hereditary succession," he said an email, which Gomi says was sent on January 3.
"I question how a young heir with two years (of training as a successor) would be able to inherit ... absolute power," he said.
"It is likely that the existing power elites will succeed my father by keeping the young successor as a symbol."
Jong-nam has lived in virtual exile in China for many years after falling out of favour with his father, who in turn inherited the rule of the impoverished country from his own father.
Two years ago and with his health rapidly deteriorating, Kim Jong-il moved Jong-un – believed to be in his late 20s – into the position of designated successor, giving him military posts and raising his profile.
Jong-nam did not directly respond to questions over whether he attended the elaborate funeral and memorial ceremony for his father, but Japanese media have said he visited Pyongyang after learning about his father's death.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5978 on: Jan 17th, 2012, 08:51am »
FDA bans some – but not all – farmyard antibiotics 17 January 2012
PREVENTION is not always better than cure. The US Food and Drug Administration has finally moved to restrict the farmyard use of antibiotics to prevent livestock illness over concerns that they may generate antibiotic-resistant superbugs. But the announcement covers such a small subset of drugs that campaigners fear the superbug threat will remain.
The FDA's apparently encouraging announcement last week will lead to severe restrictions on the farmyard use of cephalosporin antibiotics. But campaigners claim that these antibiotics account for only 0.2 per cent of antibiotic use on farms, and have accused the FDA of quietly withdrawing proposals dating from 1977 to tackle the wider use of tetracycline and penicillin antibiotics.
"Numerous organisations have recognised that use of antibiotics in agriculture poses risks to human health," says Avinash Kar, a San Francisco-based lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council, which initiated legal action last year to try to force the FDA to phase out the growth promoters. Europe did so a decade ago. "The cephalosporin announcement is a small step in the right direction, but it's very far from the finishing line."
The FDA says it revoked the 1977 proposals to focus on voluntary reforms within the industry. "Our action should not be interpreted as a sign that the FDA no longer has safety concerns about the use of medically important antibiotics in [livestock]," said an FDA spokeswoman.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5979 on: Jan 17th, 2012, 10:13am »
Daily Mail online
Close encounters of the Home Counties kind: Two 'alien aircraft' sightings in one week in 'UK's UFO hotspot'
By Charles Walford Last updated at 4:04 PM on 17th January 2012
They hover in close formation against the backdrop of a cloudy Kent sky.
The two mysterious bright lights were photographed on January 7 floating over Chatham. Less than a week later four similar lights were seen over Essex, shining brightly against the dawn.
The remarkable sightings were made just 30 miles apart in an area now dubbed the country's UFO hotspot. The first image was captured by Ernestas Griksas, 21, who was taking a picture of a cherry-picker outside his home in Chatham at around 1pm.
When he looked at the image afterwards he saw the bright disc-shaped objects.
He told the Sun: 'There are two white discs I can't explain. I'm nowhere near a flightpath. One is slightly fainter as if it is further away or going at a different speed.'
The second sighting came last Friday at 7am when car salesman Josh Cummins spotted four bright objects in the sky as he drove to work through Loughton, in Essex.
Mr Cummins, 21, told the newspaper: 'I nearly crashed. I stopped to take this picture with my mobile. It was like the UFOs were surfing the clouds. They were there for 15 seconds then vanished. 'I wasn't a believer in UFOs but this made me think again.'
UFO fanatics will no doubt lay claim to the sightings as evidence to support their theories of alien life.
Expert Nick Pope said: 'Assuming the images are genuine, they're interesting, though the smaller objects weren't seen at the time, which raises the possibility of some glitch with the camera. 'As for the large one, I'm not sure. It might be some sort of atmospheric plasma phenomenon, but it's difficult to say. 'The South-East does seem to be a hotspot at present. I'm not sure why. 'One possibility is that it's a self-fulfilling prophesy, where one media report smokes out more from the same area. 'Another is that it's a consequence of population density as there are more potential witnesses if there's anything odd in the sky.' Both sightings were about 75 miles, as the crow flies, from Rendlesham Forest, in Suffolk, which became known as the UK's Roswell after a group of servicemen went into the forest to investigate some mysterious lights and came out convinced they had seen seen an alien spacecraft. Meanwhile, TV presenter Chris Evans reported an unexplained sighting yesterday.
He tweeted: 'Approx 40 mins ago went out to walk the dog. Something passed overhead - alight, too low for a shooting star and then disappeared. Berkshire.' He added: 'Looked too fast for a Chinese Lantern. Hope it was something exciting.'
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5983 on: Jan 17th, 2012, 7:55pm »
Human Head Found Near Hollywood Sign
By Simone Wilson Jan. 17 2012 at 5:15 PM Categories: Crazytown
No, this is not a bad zombie movie. This is life in Los Angeles, where for whatever sick reason, our true-life slayings are often sicker than our on-screen ones.
A human head was discovered near the Hollywood sign this afternoon.
It was sealed in a bag and sniffed out by a park ranger's canine around 3:45 p.m. on the trail that leads to the sign, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Goes without saying that LAPD homicide detectives quickly got involved...
... and "are treating the case as a possible homicide." Oh, and they're "looking for other body parts in the area," officials tell the Times.
(Seriously? This is almost more unbelievable than that time the B-list actress from "The 50 Foot Woman" was found mummified inside her mansion in the Hills, having lain there dead and forgotten with her heater on for almost a year.)
In the couple hours since the gruesome discovery of the head, the homicide investigation has reportedly spread into surrounding Bronson Canyon Park, and residents are Tweeting about a swarm of helicopters overhead.
Speaking of residents: They were awfully mad at all those tourists tromping through their neighborhood to get an up-close view of the Hollywood sign. Just saying.
We've contacted the LAPD for updates on the investigation. But for the record, the human head (shudder) was discovered right near Camp Hollywoodland, in the 3200 block of Canyon Drive.
The camp is run by the City of L.A., and is "designed to provide girls in the Los Angeles area with camping and recreational programs close to the City in a mountain atmosphere."
The year 2012, so far, could not get any weirder for L.A. crime.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5984 on: Jan 18th, 2012, 08:14am »
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 7:45 p.m.
A $6 fire kept lost hiker going during Mount Rainier ordeal
A 66-year-old snowshoer who was lost in a blizzard for two days on Mount Rainier said he stayed alive by digging out a snow tunnel and burning his paper money for warmth.
By Jennifer Sullivan Seattle Times staff reporter
Stranded amid freezing temperatures in near-whiteout conditions on Mount Rainier, Yong Chun Kim held his trusty yellow lighter and wondered how much warmth $6 could buy.
Kim felt guilty as he watched a $1 bill quickly go up in flames. Despite the dangerous conditions he found himself in, Kim worried he was breaking the law by burning money and feared he would get in trouble for setting a fire inside the national park.
The brief warmth convinced him he should light his only other piece of paper, a $5 bill.
Kim would ultimately set fire to anything else he could spare — an extra pair of socks, bandages, a nylon scarf and a toothbrush — before he was rescued Monday at an elevation of about 6,400 feet after spending two nights on the frigid mountain with only what he had packed for a day hike.
On Tuesday, Kim, 66, recounted his efforts to stay warm and calm after he became separated from a snowshoeing group on Sunday on a hike above Paradise at Mount Rainier National Park.
Kim was leading 16 members of a hiking and climbing club from Tacoma back down the mountain through a spell of nasty weather when he fell about 150 feet. Using his walkie-talkie, he told the group members he was OK and told them to keep moving back to the parking lot. He knew they would seek help.
For more than two days, the Tacoma man walked in circles in search of the way back to safety. He huddled in tree wells, sang "Amazing Grace" in Korean, ducked into a snow cave and slept a few fleeting minutes at a time. He dreamed of his wife, Sue, and relaxing in a hot sauna.
Though Kim was lost, took two steep falls and chipped a tooth, he never feared death.
" 'I don't want to die,' I say. 'I don't want to die,' " Kim said during an interview at his home. "I prayed to God for my wife not to worry for me."
Kim, a U.S. citizen for 30 years, said he's faced worse threats — cancer, being shot at while serving with the South Korean military during the Vietnam War and falling 25 feet from a telephone pole while working for a phone company.
Lost in the powder snow and pounding flurries on Saturday, Kim took some relief in a cave near a boulder and ate rice and Korean food he packed. He only hunkered down for a short time because he knew that he had to keep his body temperature up by moving.
"I didn't know what was west, what was east, what was north, because I couldn't see," Kim said.
Kim ducked into a tree well at nightfall, but not for long because he was determined to keep moving. Soon, he fell again, this time into a deep snowbank where he frantically dug his way to safety.
He lost his walkie-talkie, a glove and a ski pole after the tumble.
Kim said that he ducked into another tree well on Saturday, this time eating a candy bar.
Kim spent much of Sunday slipping and sliding as he tried to climb back up the mountain, toward the trail he was on before he fell. He gritted his teeth while trying to climb to safety, chipping one of them.
When rescuers found Kim around 2 p.m. Monday, nearly two days and 3 ½ hours after he became separated from his hiking group, he was exhausted but not surprised to see them. One rescuer handed him a candy bar and some water, which somewhat rejuvenated him. He was able, with some assistance, to hike back down.
Malcom An, Kim's son, said that when his family received word that his father had been found alive, a cheer went out among family, friends and church members.
"He's a survivor," An said. "He's made of steel. He's 66 years old; he just beat cancer. He's old now, and he knew just what to do."
While An is impressed by his father's resilience, he shakes his head at his father's plans to return to the mountain soon. Kim has long gone hiking at Mount Rainier every Saturday morning and firmly believes that the mountain air is the reason he is cancer-free.
"Maybe a week off, then I'll go again," Kim said Tuesday. "It's better than golf; that's too much stress. Hiking isn't as much money, just lunch and $10 in gas."
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report, which includes information from The Associated Press.