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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 45185 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #6255 on: Feb 27th, 2012, 08:49am »

Der Spiegel

02/27/2012 12:47 PM
Europe Plays Down Crisis
Leaders Buy Time at G-20 Summit in Mexico
An Analysis by Sven Böll in Mexico City

At this weekend's meeting of finance ministers and central bankers of the world's 20 most important economies, the Europeans sought to convey the message that everything is under control in the euro crisis. If so, the rest of the world is asking, why don't they do more to help themselves?

It was another busy weekend for Wolfgang Schäuble. On Friday, the German finance minister had just finished informing the German parliament's budget committee about the new rescue package for Greece when it was time to leave for Mexico City, where the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors met over the weekend. At around noon on Sunday local time, well before the end of the conference, it was already time for Schäuble to head back to Berlin. After all, he has another important appointment in the German capital on Monday afternoon: The German parliament, the Bundestag, is voting on the second Greek bailout package.

Schäuble spent about as much time in the air this weekend as he did on the ground in Mexico. But in Mexico City, the indefatigable finance minister seemed in a good mood, even wired. Between countless other appointments, Schäuble managed to fit in an appearance at the local chamber of commerce and industry, where he was supposed to talk about the state of the world -- including, naturally, the situation in Europe.

In his introduction, the German ambassador tried to strike a humorous note. He apologized that the wine being served with dinner didn't come from Schäuble's home region of Baden in southwestern Germany. The finance minister gave a weary smile as he delivered his droll response: "If the wine here is not from my region, that is not my problem, but yours." After all, he said, he himself would soon be able to drink wine from Baden again.

'The Euro Crisis for Non-Europeans'

Schäuble's speech to the more than 100 German and Mexican businesspeople in the audience could have borne the title "The Euro Crisis for Non-Europeans." He emphasized how much the members of the monetary union had achieved over the past few months, mentioning budget-consolidation efforts, structural reforms in labor markets and the adoption of the fiscal pact which will make it easier to punish deficit offenders. He also said that a solution had been found for the time being for the "special and unique case" of Greece.

Schäuble's central message was that Europe has put its house in order. It was a message that, in his opinion, justified jetting halfway around the world and back in a weekend. After all, the main target group was his counterparts from the G-20 states. The Group of 20, made up of the 20 most important economies, represents 90 percent of global economic output, 80 percent of international trade and two-thirds of the world's population. It's an audience that Schäuble would very much like to convince.

At the Mexico meeting, there was much talk of Europe's comeback. It came, however, mainly from the Europeans themselves. The representatives from Brussels, Berlin and Paris patted themselves on the back at length, adding that it was high time that people shifted their attention to problems in other parts of the world.

They took pleasure in pointing out that budget deficits in Japan and the United States have recently been over twice as high as in the euro zone. Schäuble also took pains to mention that, at their meeting in 2010, the G-20 countries pledged to halve their budget deficits by 2013. It is not necessary to keep setting new targets, he said dryly -- one could also simply try achieving the goals that have already been set. "Italy has been much more successful in consolidating its budget than the US," commented one member of the German delegation with a mocking smile.

'It's Important To Give Europe's Leaders Credit'

With their strategy of assertively talking up their achievements, such as they are, Schäuble and his European counterparts seem to have impressed their global partners. Even the notoriously skeptical US treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, appears to have been appeased. "It's important to give Europe's leaders credit in terms of a more credible response over the last four months," Geithner said in Mexico City on Saturday. Even if Geithner put the emphasis on "the last four months," Europeans will be pleased to have received some praise, however faint, from Washington. It marks a change from the constant exhortations to "do more."

As successful as the Europeans' constant back-patting may be, there is still a major disconnect. On the one hand, the euro-zone member states are hinting that this may be the beginning of the end of the euro crisis. But on the other, they also want the rest of the world to continue pumping hundreds of millions of dollars towards addressing the problem. Even after this weekend's summit, one of the greatest points of strife within the G-20 states remains if and how the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be provided with more resources -- not exclusively, but largely to provide aid for crisis-stricken southern European countries in the worst-case scenario.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde wants to outfit the monetary fund with an additional $600 billion (€450 billion), with $200 billion of that money coming from Europe. But the largest amount would come from non-European industrialized nations and emerging economies in Asia and Latin America. The US has already stated that it does not plan to make additional funds available.

The emerging economies have so far fussed over the increase, pointing out that Europe is much richer than them and needs to start by doing more to help itself. They have argued that one should only talk about increasing the IMF's resources after the European countries have done more to increase their contribution to the euro bailout fund.

Is Berlin Reconsidering?

And despite his praise of Europe, US Treasury Minister Geithner once again called on the Europeans to increase their contributions to the rescue fund. "There is broad agreement that the IMF cannot substitute for the absence of a stronger European firewall and that the IMF cannot move forward without more clarity on Europe's own plans," he said. Geithner's comments were largely directed at Berlin, which has so far refused to increase the size of the euro backstop fund.

Slowly, though, it appears that the German government is also starting to reconsider its strict "no" to an expansion of the firewall. Over the weekend, German news agency DPA cited government sources indicating Berlin is considering increasing the size of the future bailout fund from the planned €500 billion to as much as €750 billion, by combining leftover funds from the current European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) with those of the permanent European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which is scheduled to go into operation on July 1.

In Mexico, Schäuble made no efforts to deny the reports. He noted that European leaders had agreed to review the development of the EFSF and ESM in March and to reach a decision by March 31.

So far, Schäuble and the government in Berlin have resisted calls to expand the firewall. And prior to the summit in Mexico City, the finance minister said the answer to those demands was a "clear no".

'The Mother of All Firewalls'

Berlin is increasingly isolated on the issue. Over the weekend, Angel Gurria, the head of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, told bankers he believed a financial stability fund would need to be equipped with at least $1.5 trillion, almost three times what the EU and IMF have so far pledged. "We still have to build the mother of all firewalls," he said. "The more credible it is and the bigger it is, the less likelihood we will have to use it."

For now, it appears that finding a solution to the problem has been delayed. "Because the situation has quieted down, there is no pressure for a decision," one negotiator said. In the end, most of what was discussed in Mexico City was non-binding. It appears unlikely that any firm decisions over an increase to the IMF's resources will be made before the fund's spring meeting in April, even if Schäuble has pledged otherwise. Jens Weidmann, the head of the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank, admitted that decisions on the issue had been deferred.

In these times, though, two months is an eternity. That's something the Europeans know all too well. Too often, they have falsely believed that the worst had already passed. And it is quite possible that in the future Wolfgang Schäuble will still need to swiftly jump in here or there and save the world again.


http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,817818,00.html

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« Reply #6256 on: Feb 27th, 2012, 08:54am »

Hollywood Reporter

Oscars 2012: 'The Artist,' 'Hugo' Top Academy Awards
10:16 PM PST 2/26/2012
by Gregg Kilday

Both films won five awards at the 84th Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal.

Capping a night that was all about celebrating the past, The Artist was named best picture at the 84th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday. The first silent movie in 83 years to claim top honors, it pays tribute to old Hollywood, and Hollywood returned the compliment by handing it four other trophies, including those for best director to Michel Hazanavicius and best actor to Jean Dujardin.

The other newly Oscar-ed actors included Meryl Streep, whose 17th nomination, for The Iron Lady, turned into the third Academy Award of her career; Octavia Spencer, from The Help, who delivered an emotional acceptance speech; and Christopher Plummer, who at 82 became the oldest winner of an acting Oscar for his supporting performance in Beginners.

It was a night that certainly celebrated the sounds of silents as Martin Scorsese's Hugo, which recounts the career of French film pioneer Georges Melies, captured five prizes of the 11 for which it was nominated, tying with Artist for the year's biggest haul.

It also was another good showing from The Weinstein Co., which released last year's Oscar winner The King's Speech and this year led other U.S. distributors by handling three films -- Artist, Lady and the documentary Undefeated -- that amassed eight Oscars. Paramount Pictures was next with six from Hugo and Rango.

There was a decidedly retro feel to the Oscar show itself: After a false start -- Brett Ratner resigned in November as producer of the show after a series of sexist and homophobic comments -- this year's Academy Awards were entrusted to producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer, who called upon reliable show business veterans to make it all comfortable and familiar rather than edgy. Billy Crystal, hosting his ninth Oscars and first since 2004, opened with one of his trademark song parodies of the year's nominated movies. The acrobats and aerialists of Cirque du Soleil, who performed at the Oscars 10 years ago, staged a return engagement. And John Myhre, an Oscar winner for Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha, provided the stage design that recalled great movie theaters of the past.

As if acknowledging Oscar's advancing age, Crystal made a running joke about the demographically challenged Academy, noting at one point that with very senior nominees like Plummer and Max von Sydow, "we're going to slam the 78-to-84 group."

As the Artist crew -- including their canine mascot Uggie -- took the stage to celebrate their best picture win, producer Thomas Langmann paid tribute to his father, the late producer and director Claude Berri, who won an Oscar in 1966 for a short film Le Poulet and then went on to a distinguished career in France. Langmann said that though he often had wondered whether he'd ever work with celebrated directors like his father had, "Tonight, I know I do." He then summoned Hazanavicius to say a few words, and after expressing thanks to his children and wife -- the movie's co-star Berenice Bejo ("You inspired the movie, and you are the soul of the movie!") -- the director effusively thanked the late, great writer-director Billy Wilder, the American filmmaker who won Oscars for The Apartment, Sunset Blvd. and The Lost Weekend.

Moments earlier, Dujardin, who beat out such all-Americans as George Clooney and Brad Pitt by playing a silent-era movie star whose career is challenged by the advent of the talkies, exclaimed, "I love your country." In his case, though, he singled out a different personal inspiration in silent movie star Douglas Fairbanks.

On her way to the stage to accept the best actress award for portraying Margaret Thatcher in Iron Lady, Streep paused for a quick embrace of Viola Davis of The Help, whom handicappers had positioned as her main rival this awards season. Reversing the usual order of thank-yous, she first mentioned husband Don Gummer, saying, "Everything I value most in our lives you've given me." She then had warm words for her makeup artist of 37 years, J. Roy Helland, who has been with her since her last Oscar for Sophie's Choice and who won an Oscar of his own for Iron Lady. Saying that she didn't expect to be onstage accepting an Oscar ever again -- though that's by no means a sure thing -- Streep said to the audience, "I look out here and I see my life before my eyes."

Spencer, who began awards season as a character actress accustomed to disappearing into bit roles, completed her transformation into a popular personality as she was hailed as best supporting actress for her turn as a rebellious maid in The Help. The fifth African-American actress to win in the category, she was greeted with the first standing ovation of the night as she made her way to the podium, where she was visibly overcome. Although she had a quip at the ready -- she thanked the Academy "for putting me with the hottest guy in the room" (likely a reference to presenter Christian Bale) as she clutched her Oscar -- she was quickly moved to tears as she spoke of her various families in Alabama, Los Angeles and among those who had fought to bring The Help to the screen.

Plummer, who has had plenty of time to perfect his acceptance-speech skills on this year's awards circuit, became the best supporting actor victor for his performance as a widower who acknowledges his homosexuality late in life in Beginners. At 82, he is the oldest recipient of an acting Oscar, moving ahead of Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy) and George Burns (The Sunshine Boys). Plummer did have a new line prepared. Holding his Oscar aloft, he said: "“You’re only two years older than me, darling. Where have you been all my life?" After thanking his collaborators, he addressed his final words to "my long-suffering wife Elaine, who deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for coming to my rescue every day of my life."

Welcomed into a pantheon of top directors, Artist's Hazanavicius initially appeared to be at a loss for words -- either English or French -- during his first visit to the podium. "I forgot my speech," he admitted, but quickly rallied to say, "I am the happiest director in the world right now."

The Descendants, a portrait of a family facing crises on several fronts, earned writer-director Alexander Payne his second Oscar, having won in the same category for 2004's Sideways. He shared the award with the writing team of Nat Faxon & Jim Rash for their adaptation of Kaui Hart Hemmings' novel. Pointing out that his mother in the audience, Payne related that after watching Javier Bardem dedicate an Oscar to his mother, she had asked that her own son do the same, which he proceeded to do, adding, "Thanks for letting me skip nursery school so we could go to the movies."

The original screenplay award was reserved for Woody Allen for his time-traveling romantic fantasy Midnight in Paris. Although the awards-show-phobic Allen wasn't present to accept, the Oscar marked the prolific writer-director's first since his original screenplay nod for 1986's Hannah and Her Sisters.

A Separation, the account of a divorcing couple, became the first Iranian entry to win the Oscar for best foreign-language film. Its writer-director Ashgar Farhadi used the opportunity to salute his country, which he said "has become hidden under the heavy dust of politics," and his countrymen, "a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment."

The award for best documentary went to Undefeated, directed by Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin, who shared the award with producer Richard Middlemas. The film follows a Memphis high school football team during the course of a winning season which it entered as decided underdogs only to emerge victorious after a series of character-building crises.

Live-action director Gore Verbinski, making his first foray into animation, won the award for best animated feature for Rango, an anthropomorphic spoof of Western movies. Recalling that he'd been asked while the movie was in production, whether it was a movie for kids, he said, "I don't know, but it was certainly created by a bunch of grown-ups acting like children."

Two wins for Hugo kicked off the evening. Scorsese's 3D film earned the awards for cinematography, which went to Robert Richardson, and art direction, shared by production designer Dante Ferretti and set decorator Francesca Lo Schiavo.

Robertson won the same award for JFK and The Aviator and expressed his surprise and delight "that somebody put cinematography up first," while Ferretti and Lo Schiavo have both earned Oscars for The Aviator and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. All three paid tribute to Scorsese, with Lo Schiavo also offering a shout-out "to Italy!"

And the Hugo bandwagon kept on rolling through the technical awards. It captured the statuettes for sound editing (Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty) and sound mixing (Tom Fleischman and John Midgley).

The period movie, set in a Parisian train station where the sights include a runaway locomotive, also took the prize for best visual effects. Rob Legato, a previous winner for Titanic, shared that trophy with Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann and Alex Henning. "It's awesome to win," Legato observed. "It's really under-rated."

more after the jump
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oscars-the-artist-hugo-academy-awards-295194

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« Reply #6257 on: Feb 27th, 2012, 09:52am »

Phys.org

Record-speed wireless data bridge demonstrated: Takes high-speed communications the 'last mile'
10:50, Physics/Optics & Photonics

A team of researchers in Germany has created a new way to overcome many of the issues associated with bringing high-speed digital communications across challenging terrain and into remote areas, commonly referred to as the "last mile" problem. The researchers developed a record-speed wireless data bridge that transmits digital information much faster than today's state-of-the-art systems.

These unprecedented speeds, up to 20 billion bits of data per second, were achieved by using higher frequencies than those typically used in mobile communications—the wireless bridge operates at 200 gigahertz (GHz) (two orders of magnitude greater than cell phone frequencies).

The team will present their research at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC), taking place March 4-8 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

"An inexpensive, flexible, and easy-to-implement solution to the 'last mile' problem is the use of wireless technology," explains Swen Koenig, a researcher at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology's (KIT) Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics, who will present the findings at OFC/NFOEC. "Instead of investing in the cost of digging trenches in the ground and deploying ducts for the fibers, data is transmitted via the air—over a high-speed wireless link."

In this type of setup, the optical fiber infrastructure is used up to its ending point and then connected to a wireless gateway. This gateway converts the optical data to electrical millimeter-wave signals that feed an antenna. The transmitting antenna "illuminates" a corresponding receiving antenna. At the receiving point, the electrical signal is directed toward its final destination, either using another wireless channel in a relay technique via copper wire or a coaxial (TV) cable or with an optical fiber. Wireless links also serve as a bridging element in fiber optic networks, if obstacles and difficult-to-access terrain such as lakes, valleys, or construction sites are in its pathway.

"The challenge in integrating a wireless link into a fiber optic environment is to ensure that the wireless link supports data rates comparable to those of the optical link—ideally about 100 gigabits per second (Gbit/s)—and that it's transparent to the data," notes Igmar Kallfass, a researcher and the project's leader at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF, as well as a professor at KIT. "Besides optoelectronic conversion, no further processing must be involved before the signals reach the antenna. This also holds for the receiving part in a reversed sequence."

Multi-gigabit wireless transmission demands multi-GHz bandwidths, which are only available at much larger frequencies than mobile communications normally use. Millimeter-wave frequencies—radio frequencies in the range of 30-300 GHz—fulfill this need. By comparison, laser light, as used in optical communications, provides bandwidths of many terahertz (THz).

Indeed, free-space optical point-to-point links that use laser light for data communication between two optical gateways are already commercially available. However, free space optical links don't work or only work with limited quality and stability under adverse atmospheric conditions such as fog, rain, and dust. In contrast, a wireless link at millimeter-wave frequencies remains operational under such conditions.

"For our experiment, we use state-of-the-art electronic up- and down-converter modules developed at the Fraunhofer IAF. Previously, wireless data transmission at frequencies greater than 200 GHz with electronic up- and down-converters was virtually unexplored," Kallfass says.

After the first fiber span, the optical signal is received in the first wireless gateway and converted to an electrical signal. The electronic up-converter module is then used to encode the electrical signal onto a radio frequency carrier of 220 GHz. This modulated carrier then feeds the antenna that radiates the data. The antenna of a second wireless gateway receives the signal.

"In our first indoor experiment, the wireless transmission distance was limited to 50 centimeters, which we've now increased to 20 meters," notes Kallfass. "The second wireless gateway performs the inverse operation of the first gateway by an electronic down-converter module. Eventually, the electrical signal is again encoded onto laser light and transmitted over the second fiber span."

This experiment was carried out within the framework of the MILLILINK project led by the Fraunhofer IAF and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education. Other partners include: KIT, Siemens Corporate Research and Technologies, Kathrein, and Radiometer Physics. The consortium is supported by Deutsche Telekom and Telent.

More information: Koenig's presentation at OFC/NFOEC, titled "High-speed wireless bridge at 220 GHz connecting two fiber-optic links each spanning up to 20 km," will take place Monday, March 5 at 1:30 p.m. in the Los Angeles Convention Center. (http://www.ofcnfoec.org)

Provided by Optical Society of America

http://pda.physorg.com/news/2012-02-record-speed-wireless-bridge-high-speed-mile.html

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« Reply #6258 on: Feb 27th, 2012, 3:38pm »

Don’t ever underestimate it. No matter what your walk in life may be, companionship is priceless.

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« Reply #6259 on: Feb 27th, 2012, 4:21pm »

That photo speaks volumes and breaks your heart a million fold, but would it have the same effect without the dog I doubt it. Both humans and animals are being failed by society and will only get worse until we stop and say enough is enough.
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« Reply #6260 on: Feb 27th, 2012, 8:08pm »

Hey Swamp!

I don't know what we would do without our four footed guardian angels!

Crystal

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« Reply #6261 on: Feb 27th, 2012, 8:10pm »

on Feb 27th, 2012, 4:21pm, hyundisonata wrote:
That photo speaks volumes and breaks your heart a million fold, but would it have the same effect without the dog I doubt it. Both humans and animals are being failed by society and will only get worse until we stop and say enough is enough.


It only seems to be getting worse too. How many have to be out on the street without food or shelter? I keep praying and doing what I can to "pay it forward" so to speak. There are so many good people being hurt.

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« Reply #6262 on: Feb 27th, 2012, 8:14pm »

.





Uploaded by gregpetersonmusic on Oct 23, 2011

Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/gregpetersonmusic
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Buy my self written CD "I'm Not Perfect" at: http://www.amazon.com/Im-Not-Perfect-Bonus-Track/dp/B0062WULPE/ref=sr_shvl_al...
Greg, Greg, Greg, and Greg are letting their lights shine by singing this classic song in barbershop fashion. Hope you enjoy! Please leave a comment, rate, and subscribe. smiley
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« Reply #6263 on: Feb 27th, 2012, 8:25pm »

Some lovely photos of animals:


http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2011/11/08/menagerie-sharon-montrose/


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« Reply #6264 on: Feb 27th, 2012, 8:30pm »

And of course my favorite monkey Crystal


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« Reply #6265 on: Feb 28th, 2012, 08:11am »

LA Times


Gunmen attack bus convoy in Pakistan, kill 16 Shia Muslims

February 28, 2012 | 5:32 am
by Zulfiqar Ali. Ali is a special correspondent based in Peshawar.

REPORTING FROM PESHAWAR -- Gunmen stopped a convoy of buses in northern Pakistan Tuesday, and shot to death 16 passengers, local officials said, in what appeared to be a sectarian strike on the country’s minority Shia community.

The attack occurred in a predominantly Sunni area in the remote region of Kohistan, about 110 miles north of Islamabad. All of the passengers killed were Shia Muslims, said Abdul Sattar Khan, a Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial lawmaker from the Kohistan region.

Earlier reports had the death toll at 18, but officials have now confirmed the total dead as 16. Seven other passengers were injured in the attack.

The bus was heading from the garrison city of Rawalpindi to Gilgit, a rugged area situated on the foothills of the Karakoram Range. Ten gunmen dressed in army uniforms stopped the four-bus convoy and checked the identity cards of passengers, said Azhar Khan, a Kohistan administration official. Shia passengers were singled out and shot to death one by one, Azhar Khan said.

Local officials said the incident appeared to be a sectarian attack.

Sunni extremist organizations have regularly carried out terror attacks on Shia Muslims, which they regard as heretics. One of the deadliest attacks in recent years occurred in September 2010, when a suicide bomber targeted a Shia Muslim rally in the southern city of Quetta, killing 57 people. Roughly 15 percent of Pakistan’s population is Shia Muslim, while the majority is Sunni Muslim.

Local sources, speaking in the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said sectarian clashes between Sunni and Shia Muslims in the Gilgit area broke out a month ago, after Sunnis accused local Shia Muslims of instigating violence against their community.

The Associated Press quoted a spokesman for a faction of the Pakistani Taliban as claiming responsibility for the slayings. The Pakistani Taliban is a Sunni Muslim militant group.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/02/gunmen-kill-16-in-bus-convoy-in-northern-pakistan.html

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« Reply #6266 on: Feb 28th, 2012, 08:13am »

Arctic doomsday vault grows a few seeds bigger

Published February 28, 2012

STOCKHOLM – Chick peas, fava beans and other seeds from a facility in Syria are among the 25,000 new samples being deposited this week in an Arctic seed vault built to protect food crops from wars and natural disasters, officials said Tuesday.

The latest additions mean that the Svalbard Global Seed Vault -- a master backup to the world's other seed banks -- has now secured more than 740,000 samples since it opened in a remote Norwegian archipelago in 2008.

That represents an estimated three-quarters of the biological diversity of the world's major food crops, said Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which maintains the vault with Norway's government and the Nordic Genetic Resources Center.

With the shipment from the Syria-based International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, almost its entire collection is now backed up in Svalbard, Fowler told The Associated Press.
"I think the events unfolding in Syria obviously underline the importance of having safety duplication outside of a country," he said, adding the facility had not been damaged in the military crackdown on an anti-government uprising.

He noted that wars destroyed seed banks in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another one in Egypt was looted during last year's uprising.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault -- sometimes referred to as a doomsday vault -- is designed to withstand global warming, earthquakes and even nuclear strikes.

Samples shipped this year also included wheat from a range of climates and conditions in Armenia and the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan -- the first seeds from the two former Soviet republics.

Wild crops -- ancient relatives of domesticated crops -- are of particular interest because of their resilience to harsh climatic conditions.

"They are very tough -- they have to be to survive," Fowler said. "They have traits such as drought tolerance or ability to withstand pest and disease, which we think will be very valuable in the future in breeding climate-ready varieties."

The U.S. seed bank is the biggest national contributor to the Svalbard vault. This year it is sending 12,801 samples, including amaranth, once a nutritious grain for Aztecs and Incas; and subspecies of barley that took root in the U.S. Pacific Northwest after being imported from Poland in 1938.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/28/arctic-doomsday-vault-grows-few-seeds-bigger/?intcmp=features#ixzz1ngOp28Tk
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« Reply #6267 on: Feb 28th, 2012, 08:15am »

PR.com

UFO/Paranormal Study Group of Greater St. Louis Works with AD Online, LLC for Public Opinion on Paranormal Reality Movie

St. Louis County, MO, February 27, 2012

Paranormal reality movie featuring alleged accounts of Bigfoot, an alien skull, the Chupacabras and a UFO sighting scheduled for public viewing by oldest ufo-paranormal study group in St. Louis.

The UFO Study Group of Greater St. Louis announces the free public showing of the 60 minute paranormal reality movie "Walking The Walk With The Paranormal" scheduled for Thursday, March 1, 2012 in the auditorium of the St. Louis County Library Headquarters.

The movie is a compilation of never-before-seen film and video documented experiences involving Bigfoot in St. Louis County, the Starchild Skull, and a UFO caught on tape in Tennessee. They are the personal documentation of the group's president and member of the board, Joe Palermo.

Palermo has been involved in television production since 1981 and has also been a student of the motion picture industry. Palermo believes with the right adjustments “Walking” could be feasible as a theatrical movie release.

In recent years, movies on the paranormal, shot in a way to seem real, have been big box office. “What I’ve gotten on camera is real. It’s the kind of real information that should act as a lightning strike for natural born investigative reporters of either student or professional standing. That’s how I got into all this,” states Palermo.

A dialog has, in fact, been opened by Palermo’s company, AD Online, LLC. with a yet to be disclosed digital movie distributor. “The more I told my contact about what I had in the movie, the more interested he got especially when I told him about myself and some of my footage having appeared on History Channel’s Monsterquest and National Geographic’s Paranatural series,” stated Palermo.

The UFO Study Group of Greater St. Louis hopes the public showing will entertain, educate and inspire more people to get involved with their group. To see this free public showing and give your input, mark your calendar to go to the St. Louis County Public Library Headquarters located at 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd. in Frontenac, Missouri (314-994-3300) in the auditorium at 6:30 PM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

Not affiliated with any national society, The UFO Study Group is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the investigation and reporting of both area and national UFO sightings and peripheral areas of interest.

http://www.pr.com/press-release/393715

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« Reply #6268 on: Feb 28th, 2012, 08:18am »

"Chick peas, fava beans and other seeds from a facility in Syria are among the 25,000 new samples being deposited this week in an Arctic seed vault built to protect food crops from wars and natural disasters, officials said Tuesday."


Good morning Swamprat cheesy

I hate fava beans! But I'm sure it's a good thing that after we are wiped off the face of the earth those fava beans are there to torment the new earthlings. grin

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« Reply #6269 on: Feb 28th, 2012, 08:21am »

Washington Post

Authorities say student brain dead in Ohio shooting that also killed 1, wounded 3

By Associated Press, Published: February 27
Updated: Tuesday, February 28, 6:00 AM

CHARDON, Ohio — A student wounded in an Ohio school shooting has been declared brain dead, authorities said Tuesday, the second reported fatality in an attack that began when a teenager opened fire in the cafeteria at a suburban Cleveland high school a day earlier.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office received the word about Russell King Jr. just before 1 a.m. Tuesday, office administrator Hugh Shannon said in a statement. It was unclear whether King remained on life support; the statement referred to him as both deceased and brain dead.

“The cause and manner of death of this case are under on-going investigation and will be released upon completion,” Shannon said in a statement. A spokeswoman at MetroHealth System said Tuesday morning that no information on his condition was available.

King, 17, was one of five students injured when a suspect identified by a family lawyer as T.J. Lane began shooting at Chardon High School Monday morning. King was studying alternative energy at nearby Auburn Career Center and like the others who were shot was waiting for a bus for his daily 15-minute ride to the center. Student Daniel Parmertor died hours after the shooting.

A student who saw the attack up close said it appeared that the gunman targeted a group of students sitting together and that the one who was killed was gunned down while trying to duck under the cafeteria table.

Lane’s family is mourning “this terrible loss for their community,” attorney Robert Farnacci said in a statement.

FBI officials would not comment on a motive. And Police Chief Tim McKenna said authorities “have a lot of homework to do yet” in their investigation of the shooting, which sent students screaming through the halls at the start of the school day at 1,100-student Chardon High.

An education official said the suspected shooter is a Lake Academy student, not a student at Chardon High. Brian Bontempo declined to answer any questions about the student. Bontempo is the superintendent of the Lake County Educational Service Center, which operates the academy.

The alternative school in Willoughby serves 7th through 12th grades. Students may have been referred to the school because of academic or behavioral problems.

The FBI said the suspect was arrested near his car a half-mile from Chardon. He was not immediately charged.

Teachers locked down their classrooms as they had been trained to do during drills, and students took cover as they waited for the all-clear in this town of 5,100 people, 30 miles from Cleveland. One teacher was said to have dragged a wounded student into his classroom to protect him. Another chased the gunman out of the building, police said.

Fifteen-year-old Danny Komertz, who witnessed the shooting, said Lane was known as an outcast who had apparently been bullied. But others disputed that.

“Even though he was quiet, he still had friends,” said Tyler Lillash, 16. “He was not bullied.”

Farinacci, representing Lane and his family, told WKYC-TV that Lane “pretty much sticks to himself but does have some friends and has never been in trouble over anything that we know about.”

Long before official word came of the attack, parents learned of the bloodshed from students via text message and cellphone and thronged the streets around the school, anxiously awaiting word on their children.

Two of the wounded were listed in critical condition, and another was in serious condition.

“I looked up and this kid was pointing a gun about 10 feet away from me to a group of four kids sitting at a table,” Komertz said. He said the gunman fired two shots quickly, and students scrambled for safety. One of them was “trying to get underneath the table, trying to hide, protecting his face.”

Slain student Daniel Parmertor was an aspiring computer repairman who was waiting in the cafeteria for the bus for his daily 15-minute ride to a vocational school. His teacher at the Auburn Career School had no idea why Parmertor, “a very good young man, very quiet,” had been targeted, said Auburn superintendent Maggie Lynch.

Officers investigating the shooting blocked off a road in a heavily wooded area several miles from the school. Federal agents patrolled the muddy driveway leading to several spacious homes and ponds, while other officers walked a snowy hillside. A police dog was brought in. It wasn’t clear what they were looking for.

Teacher Joe Ricci had just begun class when he heard shots and slammed the door to his classroom, yelling, “Lockdown!” to students, according to Karli Sensibello, a student whose sister was in Ricci’s classroom.

A few minutes later, Ricci heard a student moaning outside, opened the door and pulled in student Nick Walczak who had been shot several times, Sensibello said in an email. Ricci comforted Walczak and let him use his cellphone to call his girlfriend and parents, Sensibello said. She said her sister was too upset to talk.

Heather Ziska, 17, said she was in the cafeteria when she saw a boy she recognized as a fellow student come into the cafeteria and start shooting. She said she and several others immediately ran outside, while other friends ran into a middle school and others locked themselves in a teachers’ lounge.

“Everybody just started running,” said 17-year-old Megan Hennessy, who was in class when she heard loud noises. “Everyone was running and screaming down the hallway.”

Farinacci said Lane’s family was “devastated” by the shootings and that they offered “their most heartfelt and sincere condolences” to Parmertor’s family and the families of the wounded students.

“This is something that could never have been predicted,” Farinacci told WKYC-TV.

Rebecca Moser, 17, had just settled into her chemistry class when the school went into lockdown. The class of about 25 students ducked behind the lab tables at the back of the classroom, uncertain whether it was a drill.

Text messages started flying inside and outside the school, spreading information about what was happening and what friends and family were hearing outside the building.

“We all have cellphones, so people were constantly giving people updates — about what was going on, who the victims were, how they were doing,” Moser said.

The school had no metal detectors, but current and past students said it had frequent security drills in case of a shooting.

Anxious parents of high school students were told to go to an elementary school to pick up their children.

Joe Bergant, Chardon school superintendent, said school was canceled Tuesday and grief counselors would be available to students and families.

“If you haven’t hugged or kissed your kid in the last couple of days, take that time,” he said.

___

AP writers Dan Sewell in Cincinnati and Julie Carr Smyth and Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus contributed to this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/sheriffs-office-reports-shooting-at-northeastern-ohio-high-school-number-of-victims-unknown/2012/02/27/gIQAx2hidR_story.html?hpid=z3

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