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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 127031 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #6645 on: May 8th, 2012, 08:49am »

Wired

Project Moon: One Small Step for a PC, One Giant Leap for Data
By Robert McMillan
May 8, 2012 | 6:30 am
Categories: Software as a Service

From the outside, Virginia Tech’s Math Emporium is distinctly unimpressive. Tucked into a gray shopping center just across the road from the university’s main campus, it’s a computer lab for the school’s 8,000 math students that never closes. But when Wu-chun Feng looks at its 550 Apple computers, he sees a supercomputer that’s begging to be unleashed.

Feng is part of a team of Virgina Tech researchers that is working to turn places like the Math Emporium into a new kind of supercomputer that’s based on the same technology that Google built to power its search engine. They call their project Moon — short for MapReduce On Opportunistic Environments — and according to Feng, they think that they just might have found a way to unleash a massive amount of data analytics power that’s just lying dormant on the millions of desktops running in companies and universities.

Project Moon started five years ago, but just last week, the academic paper that christened it was named one of the most important distributed supercomputing papers in the past two decades. And now, Virginia Tech is looking into the possibility of turning it into the basis of a commercial product. “We’re going through technology transfer and trying to figure out how much more we might need to do to package it if people want to license it or to spin off a company off of it,” says Feng, an associate professor at the university.

The project builds on Hadoop, the open source version of Google’s MapReduce platform, and it’s just one of many efforts to apply the platform to more than just web services. Long used by such companies as Yahoo, Twitter, and Facebook, Hadoop lets you crunch enormous amounts of data across a sea of cheap computers, and some of the biggest names in tech — from IBM to Oracle to EMC — are now hoping to make some money from it.

With Project Moon, Wu-chun Feng and the other researchers designed a way to turn Macs into nodes on a supercomputer, with each machine helping to solve complex data analysis problems whenever it’s not being used. Think of Moon as a kind of Seti@Home project that can do much more complex problem-solving.

One of the great things about Hadoop is that it keeps chugging along even if one of those computers stops working. But the trick for Feng’s team was to make Hadoop work in a place like the Math Emporium, where computers are coming in and out of use all the time.

While researching their original paper, Feng and his fellow researchers set up a prototypical Moon environment, modeled on the Math Emporium, that ran nearly 70 Apple systems. They set up a server that could communicate with the Macs as if they were part of a single, large supercomputer. The hard part is making the computers look like one big machine, rather than a flickering collection of processors that are sometimes available, sometimes not.

But the researchers say they’ve found a way to stitch together a supercomputer out of “a bunch of cycle-stealing jobs,” Feng explains. “Basically, if the cycles are idle, we use them. If somebody gets to the computer terminal and starts working, then we evict ourselves and migrate to other idle resources.”

Now they’re looking at testing it in the Emporium itself, although it’s not clear whether or not that will actually happen, Feng says.

With some more work, the 550 Math Emporium desktops could be transformed into a 6.6 teraflop supercomputer, capable of 6.6 trillion mathematical operations per second, but there may be even more unharnessed computing capacity. Figure out a way to harness their graphics chips — which just happen to be well suited for supercomputer work — and you would have a 264 teraflop system, Feng reckons.

Supercomputer geeks have gone after these spare computing cycles in the past, but they’ve not always been successful. SETI@Home works because it was really easy to break up the space radio telescope data it needs to analyze into discrete chunks of data and scan through them one at a time. But that’s not how most supercomputing problems work.

The computing power is out there. The trick for Feng’s team is to tweak its software so that it can get enough performance out of a network of desktops to do some real computing. That’s a tough management challenge. But if they can pull it off, it could give companies a low-cost way to do supercomputing without having to use services such as Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud. And that would make organizations such as the Math Emporium much more productive.

“They said, ‘Gee if you can make use of these resources, it’s a significant return on investment for us.’ And it would probably be a significant return on investment for any company that has PCs on every single person’s desk,” Feng says. “If you can actually do coordinated cycle stealing this would be a really cool enterprise cloud kind of thing, where you don’t have to go off to the public infrastructure like Amazon.”


http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/05/project_moon/

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« Reply #6646 on: May 8th, 2012, 08:51am »

Washington Post

7 May 2012

Al-Qaeda airline bomb plot disrupted, U.S. says

By Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung

The CIA and overseas intelligence partners disrupted an al-Qaeda plot to blow up civilian aircraft using an advanced explosive device designed by the terrorist network’s affiliate in Yemen, U.S. officials said Monday.

President Obama was made aware of the threat in April, U.S. officials said, and the plot was stopped before any aircraft or passengers could be put in danger. Obama “was assured that the device did not pose a threat to the public,” said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council.

U.S. officials said the FBI is examining the device — modeled on the “underwear bomb” used in an attempt to bring down a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day 2009 — to determine whether airport security systems would have detected it.

U.S. officials said the CIA and other agencies tracked the plot for about a month before moving to seize the device in recent days in the Middle East outside Yemen, where the bomb was built.

Officials said that the bomb or its components were in transit when intercepted, but that the device was not seized at an airport and that al-Qaeda had yet to target a specific flight, let alone take steps to smuggle the explosive onboard.

U.S. officials declined to provide key details about the plot, citing concern about protecting sensitive intelligence sources and operations. Officials would not say whether a suspect had been caught or specify where the device was seized.

The timing of the alleged terrorist plot coincides with a major escalation of the clandestine U.S. drone campaign in Yemen. U.S. officials said the explosive appears to have been assembled by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, a Yemen-based affiliate that has been linked to high-profile attacks against the United States.

“AQAP is the responsible group here,” said a senior U.S. official who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to share sensitive intelligence. “We believe AQAP produced the device, and we believe it was intended to be used by a suicide bomber on an aircraft.”

In addition to the 2009 airliner bombing plot, AQAP has been tied to an unsuccessful 2010 attempt to mail parcels packed with explosives to addresses in Chicago and a 2009 attack in Saudi Arabia in which a suicide bomber was killed during a gruesome attempt to assassinate the kingdom’s top counterterrorism official, Mohammed bin Nayef.

Bomb ‘difficult to detect’

U.S. officials said the new device was designed to overcome technical problems and detection schemes that had thwarted previous AQAP plans. The bomb was built with a more advanced detonator than the one that fizzled during the foiled Christmas Day attack, in which the would-be bomber, Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was subdued by other passengers alarmed by plumes of smoke rising from his seat.

The new device was also devoid of metal or telltale components, meaning that it might have been difficult for any but the most sophisticated airport security systems to detect.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, described the device as “a specific type of bomb that is of new design and very difficult to detect by magnetometer.”

In a written statement, she said, “It was similar to what . . . Abdulmutallab wore in his underwear.”

That device and others are thought to be the work of Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, an accomplished AQAP-affiliated bombmaker who remains at large.

Bin Laden anniversary

The disclosure of the plot, first reported by the Associated Press, comes less than a week after the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden and amid recent efforts by the Obama administration to make its counterterrorism accomplishments a central issue in the presidential campaign.

White House officials previously said they were unaware of any terrorism plots tied to the one-year mark of bin Laden’s death. Despite Monday’s disclosure, a senior administration official said those assertions were accurate.

“We had no specific, credible information about active terrorist plots timed to coincide with the bin Laden anniversary and reiterate that this device never represented a threat to the public,” the senior official said.

Nevertheless, the detection of the alleged al-Qaeda plan appears to have set a series of counterterrorism operations in motion.

Last month, Obama approved a significant escalation of the drone campaign in Yemen, allowing the CIA and the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command to begin firing at targets engaged in activity deemed suspicious, even when the identities of those who could be killed is unknown.

Fahd al-Quso, a senior AQAP operative reportedly killed in the latest drone strike, was said to have succeeded the U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki as AQAP’s head of external planning. Awlaki was killed in a CIA drone attack last year.

Quso was tied to the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen that killed 17 American sailors. U.S. officials said he was likely to have been involved in any plot to strike the United States. Officials declined to say whether he was targeted based on intelligence gathered when the bomb was intercepted.

AQAP threat ‘growing’

CIA analysts have warned administration officials in recent months that AQAP’s ability to seize large chunks of territory in Yemen over the past year has made it more dangerous to the United States and its Western allies.

“It is our assessment that the threat from AQAP is growing due to the territorial gains,” the senior U.S. official said, adding that its territorial expansion has “allowed the group to establish additional training camps.”

U.S. officials did not say whether the seizure of the latest bomb had triggered specific security precautions. The FBI said in a statement that the device was “seized abroad” but that the bureau “has possession of [it] and is conducting technical and forensics analysis.”


Staff writer Sari Horwitz and staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-disrupts-airline-bomb-plot/2012/05/07/gIQA9qE08T_story.html?hpid=z1

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« Reply #6647 on: May 8th, 2012, 08:57am »

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Published on May 7, 2012 by movieclipsTRAILERS

Kazakhstan, 1729:

The Dzungars, a ferocious Mongol tribe, has swept across the steppes. Kazakh sultans have left their people to fend for themselves. Driven by revenge and his love for Zere, young Sartai assembles a detachment of teenage Kazakh warriors called 'myn bala', 'a thousand boys' in Kazakh.

Even as he fights the emotional turmoil experienced by every teenager in the world, he leads his troops into a historical battle against the Dzungars, freeing his country after decades of terror.

Category:
Film & Animation

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« Reply #6648 on: May 8th, 2012, 4:52pm »

New Car Runs on Compressed Air

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Will it be the next big thing?
Tata Motors of India thinks so.
What will the Oil Companies do to stop it?


It is an auto engine that runs on air. That's right; air not gas or diesel or electric but just the air around us. Take a look.

Tata Motors of India has scheduled the Air Car to hit Indian streets by August 2012

The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy N. For Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air to push its engine's pistons and make the car go.

The Air Car, called the "Mini CAT" could cost around 365,757 rupees in India or $8,177 US.

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The Mini CAT which is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis, a body of fiberglass that is glued not welded and powered by compressed air. A Microprocessor is used to control all electrical functions of the car. One tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, turn signals and every other electrical device on the car. Which are not many.

The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0-15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.

There are no keys, just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket. According to the designers, it costs less than 50 rupees (approx. $1.12 US) per 100 KM, that's about a tenth the cost of a car running on gas. It's mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car, a factor which makes it a perfect choice for city motorists. The car has a top speed of 105 KM per hour or 60 mph and would have a range of around 300 km or 185 miles between refuels. Refilling the car will take place at adapted gas stations with special air compressors. A fill up will only take two to three minutes and costs approximately 100 rupees and the car will be ready to go another 300 kilometers.

This car can also be filled at home with it's on board compressor. It will take 3-4 hours to refill the tank, but it can be done while you sleep.

Because there is no combustion engine, changing the 1 liter of vegetable oil is only necessary every 50,000 KM or 30,000 miles. Due to its simplicity, there is very little maintenance to be done on this car.

This Air Car almost sounds too good to be true. We'll see in August. 2012.

**************************************************************

The above article was e-mailed to me with no source given. I suspect it is a bit premature. Here is what Tata's website has to say:

Released on 07 May, 2012

MDI's air engine technology tested on Tata Motors vehicles
In January 2007, Tata Motors and Motor Development International (Luxembourg) signed a licence agreement that enables Tata Motors to produce and sell compressed air cars using MDI technology in India.

The agreement covered two phases of activity encompassing the technology transfer and proof of the technical concept in the first phase, and in the second phase completing detailed development of the compressed air engine into specific vehicle and stationary applications.

The first phase of this programme - proof of the technical concept in Tata Motors vehicles - has now been successfully completed with the compressed air engine concept having been demonstrated in two Tata Motors vehicles.

In the second phase of the development, the two companies are working together to complete detailed development of the technology and required technical processes to industrialise a market ready product application over the coming years.

« Last Edit: May 8th, 2012, 5:04pm by Swamprat » User IP Logged

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« Reply #6649 on: May 9th, 2012, 01:32am »

Hi Swamprat

Here are another two new inventions for cars..... I want one... doesn't matter which. lol laugh

Volkswagen showcases zero-emission hover car

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8464757

Car turns into gyrocopter

http://video.au.msn.com/watch/video/9raw-car-turns-into-gyrocopter/xa3cfsy

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« Reply #6650 on: May 9th, 2012, 08:44am »

Good morning Luvey and Swamprat cheesy

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« Reply #6651 on: May 9th, 2012, 08:49am »

Reuters

Would-be suicide bomber was U.S. informant

By Mark Hosenball and Tabassum Zakaria
Wed May 9, 2012 4:17am EDT

WASHINGTON - The would-be suicide bomber in a plot by al Qaeda's Yemeni affiliate was planted in the group by an allied intelligence agency or turned into an informant early in the conspiracy, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

The CIA and its foreign partners tracked the plot for several weeks and then managed to get the informant to deliver the bomb outside Yemen, possibly to Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, sources said.

U.S. intelligence officials wanted to keep a lid on details of how the plot was uncovered to make sure the informant and the family was safe. Sources said the informant was believed to be connected to a foreign intelligence agency allied with the CIA.

The New York Times reported the would-be suicide bomber was an intelligence agent for Saudi Arabia who volunteered for the mission to detonate the bomb aboard a U.S.-bound airliner.

The plot was publicly revealed on Monday.

U.S. and allied intelligence agencies in the last 10 days seized an explosive device that was an improved version of the "underwear bomb" in a failed Christmas Day 2009 airline bombing attempt over Detroit, American officials said

The plot to introduce the bomb aboard an aircraft was the work of Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, considered the group's most dangerous offshoot, U.S. officials said.

The latest device appeared to be similar to the work of fugitive Saudi militant Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who U.S. sources believe is a bomb-maker working with AQAP. The FBI was studying the device to help prevent any future bombing attempts.

"The FBI has possession of the device and is analyzing it, which is a considerable intelligence benefit," said Senator Susan Collins, senior Republican on the Homeland Security Committee.

The Transportation Security Administration "also will be able to examine the device to test whether or not it would have been detected, and make adjustments to improve the chances that similar devices would be detected," she said in an email.

NON-METALLIC DETECTION

U.S. security measures could detect a non-metallic bomb like the one in the latest plot, but technology such as body scanners is not deployed at all U.S. airports, Obama administration officials said.

There was no immediate sign the administration was ordering changes in aviation security procedures. The plot never came close to fruition and no aircraft was in danger, officials said.

The Department of Homeland Security emphasized the importance of security measures to air carriers and foreign government partners in guidance that reiterated and updated existing security guidelines and encouraged continued vigilance, a DHS official said.

Security steps taken since the failed 2009 attempt, in which a similar device was carried onto a plane by Nigerian militant, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, "would have been able to prevent this device from bringing down an airplane," the official said.

Senator Saxby Chambliss, the senior Republican on the intelligence committee, said the plot was a reminder of how committed AQAP was to attacking Americans. "Once again we've seen they think we are vulnerable through the airways. That's why we give such emphasis to the screening process," he said.

Other U.S. officials said airport metal detectors probably would have trouble spotting a device that had no metal parts.

But airport body scanners, which use light doses of radiation to scan through a passenger's clothes, ought to be able to detect "anomalies" which could then be further examined in a hands-on, pat down search, they said.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, about 700 full-body scanners have been deployed at more than 180 airports in the United States since 2007. However, there are about 450 airports that have federal security, according to the TSA.

"Air travel is safer today than it has been since the September 11 attacks," said Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman, citing improved screening technologies like full-body scanners, checkpoints and dogs.

Security at international airports, which varies widely from country to country, is an additional concern for U.S. authorities.

An American official said in the past, militant groups in the Middle East had succeeded in obtaining western counter-terrorism technology, including airport screening devices. Militants then used the equipment to test designs of potential bombs to see whether the equipment detected them.

Sheldon Jacobson, a University of Illinois professor and expert in aviation security, said airline security should not change in response to the recent plot.

"The most important lesson to be learned from this finding is that intelligence information is what prevented this incident from escalating into an actual event," he said.

"More intrusive, indiscriminate airport screening is the worst possible response, and will ultimately make the entire air system less secure for all."


(Additional reporting by Karen Jacobs, Susan Heavey, Vicki Allen and Donna Smith; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Christopher Wilson)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/09/us-usa-security-plot-idUSBRE84807W20120509

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« Reply #6652 on: May 9th, 2012, 09:03am »

Telegraph

Hotel installs bicycle-powered television

An eco-friendly b&b in the New Forest has unveiled its newest energy-saving initiative – a bicycle-powered television.

3:04PM BST 08 May 2012

Guests in the “Standing Hat” room at Cottage Lodge in the village of Brockenhurst, can now keep fit, watch their favourite programmes, and do their bit for the environment using the novel device.

The room also features low-energy lighting, solar panels and a wood-burning stove to produce hot water, and a low-flow toilet and shower to reduce water use. The publicity also boasts that environmentally-friends paints and low-impact building materials were used throughout, while the room’s bed, bedside table, dressing table, wardrobe and mirror were crafted by a local tree surgeon from a single beech tree which fell in the village.

Christina Simons, the hotel’s owner, has spent nearly eight years turning it into a green retreat, but explained how the 360-year-old property has recycling in its heritage.

“The building dates back to 1650, and was actually constructed from a reclaimed ship,” she said.

“I focused on three things when constructing the room: reducing waste, minimising pollution and using resources with the lowest impact possible.

“I also wanted to show that being green can also be exciting and fun, and guests love cycling on the bike.”

The hotel has won several prizes for its eco-friendly initiatives, including awards from Visit Britain and the AA.

A stay in the Standing Hat costs from £129, including breakfast. Call 01590 622 296 or visit www.cottagelodge.co.uk.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/9252360/Hotel-installs-bicycle-powered-television.html

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« Reply #6653 on: May 9th, 2012, 09:06am »

Science Daily

Why Wiggling in High Heels Could Help Improve Prosthetic Limbs and Robots
ScienceDaily (May 8, 2012)

People walking normally, or tottering in high heels, and ostriches strutting -- they all exert the same forces on the ground despite their very differently shaped feet, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The finding suggests that prosthetic lower limbs and robots' legs could be made more efficient by making them less human-like and more like the prosthetics used by 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius.

Walking involves a repeated process referred to by scientists as 'crash, vault, push' -- landing ('crashing') on the heel, vaulting over the stationary leg and then pushing off with the toes. This is the most economical way of walking and, as research published May 8 in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface shows, the force exerted on the ground is the same for people walking normally or in high heels and for ostriches.

Dr Tatjana Hubel from the Royal Veterinary College explains: "Despite vastly differing arrangements of joints and hip wiggles, humans walking normally, women in extremely high heels and ostriches all produce strikingly similar forces when walking. This is the most mechanically economical way of walking.

"We do everything we can to make the forces follow the same pattern, which is why -- for example -- women wiggle their bottoms when they are in high heels. The question for us is, why is the human foot shaped the way that it is and not, say, like an ostrich's?"

When scientists model how the leg moves, they tend to simplify the movement and view the leg as a stick with a block on top (the body), which moves in an inverted pendulum motion. In this simplified model, the shape of the human foot does not make sense.

In reality, however, the human leg is more complicated than this; it contains muscles that probably evolved out of a tension between being optimised for walking and being more efficient at running. Because humans are intelligent and can plan and use tools, being able to move quickly to catch prey or evade a predator is not essential.

The shape of the human foot means that when the foot is flat on the ground, all the force goes through the ankles, allowing the muscles to support the weight of the body while being largely unloaded during the 'vault' stage. When muscles bear a load, they get tired easily, even if they are doing no work. For example, if we hold our arms outstretched, after a few minutes they will grow tired; by comparison, a JCB digger can extend its arm indefinitely.

The researchers believe this finding might have implications for the design of better prosthetic limbs for above-knee amputees and for the legs of humanoid robots. These might be improved by bearing more resemblance to an ostrich leg than that of a human.

Dr Jim Usherwood, a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at the Royal Veterinary College, explains: "If you want to make a good prosthetic foot but don't care what it looks like, you should put the motor -- in this case, the ankle -- as far up the leg as possible, where it can provide the power without making the feet heavy and hard to swing backwards and forwards. There's no point in putting the motor at the end of the foot, where it makes the leg more difficult to swing forwards -- important in both walking and running.

"Some clever prosthetics copy the ankle and are very human-like, which is fine for prosthetics to replace the foot, but for above-knee amputees, a typical prosthetic leg that is very human-like is heavy and hard to move around. It's much better to have an ostrich foot at the end of a very lightweight leg."

One example of this kind of prosthetic already in use is the blades used by Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius -- the 'Blade Runner'. These blades are light, springy and without a heel, similar to an ostrich's legs, which are optimised for running from predators rather than for walking.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120508220116.htm

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« Reply #6654 on: May 9th, 2012, 09:13am »

Oscar Pistorius


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Born: 22 November 1986
Place of Birth: Johannesburg, South Africa
Hometown: Pretoria, South Africa
Amputation Level: Bi-lateral, below the knee

Main Events: 100m, 200m, 400m

Competitive Class: T43/T44
T43: Double below knee amputees and other athletes with impairments that are equivalent to a double below knee amputation
T44: Single below knee amputees and other athletes with impairments that are equivalent to single below knee amputee

Personal Bests:
100m: 10.91 seconds (South Africa, April 2007)
200m: 21.41 seconds (South Africa, March 2010)
400m: 45.07 seconds (Italy, July 2011)
Sponsors: Nike, BT, Oakley, Thierry Mugler

Biography

Early years...

Oscar Pistorius was born on 22 November 1986 without the fibula, the long, slender bone running along the outside of the leg from below the knee joint and down to the ankle, in each of his legs.

His parents, Henk and Sheila, consulted with some of the leading doctors in the world before making the heart-wrenching decision to have his legs amputated below the knee by South African orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gerry Versveld.

His parents were advised by doctors that having the amputation done before Oscar had learnt to walk would be less traumatic for him and would greatly improve his chances of mobility in later life. Six months later he received his first pair of prosthetic legs and within days he had mastered them.

Supported and encouraged by his sports-mad family, Oscar lived an active life which led to him becoming a keen sportsman during his school years. Whatever the sport, Oscar played it, with his main focus being waterpolo and rugby in secondary school. He also played cricket, tennis, took part in triathlons and Olympic club wrestling and was an enthusiastic boxer.

In June 2003, he shattered his knee playing rugby for Pretoria Boys High School and feared that his sporting career was over at the age of 16. On the advice of Dr Versveld, Oscar took up track running to aid his rehabilitation and began training under the guidance of coach Ampie Louw at the Sports Science Institute at the University of Pretoria.

Proud Paralympian

After a few months in the gym, Oscar took part in his first track session on New Year's Day, 2004.
Three weeks later he entered a school 100 metres race on the prompting of one of his teachers and won in a time of 11.72 seconds. After the race his father looked up how Oscar's time compared to the best in the world and Henk discovered that his 17-year-old son's time was faster than the existing Paralympic world record of 12.20s.

In June 2004, he was given his first pair of Össur manufactured Flex-Foot Cheetahs and eight months after first stepping onto the track, the South African created a sensation in the athletics world by winning the T44 200m gold medal at the Athens Paralympics, breaking the world record with a time of 21.97s. He also returned home with a bronze medal in the 100m and overnight was propelled onto front and back pages around the world.

http://www.oscarpistorius.com/

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« Reply #6655 on: May 9th, 2012, 09:33am »

Good morning lovely lady smiley

on May 9th, 2012, 08:44am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Good morning Luvey and Swamprat cheesy

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #6656 on: May 9th, 2012, 1:21pm »

on May 8th, 2012, 4:52pm, Swamprat wrote:
New Car Runs on Compressed Air

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Will it be the next big thing?
Tata Motors of India thinks so.
What will the Oil Companies do to stop it?


It is an auto engine that runs on air. That's right; air not gas or diesel or electric but just the air around us. Take a look.

Tata Motors of India has scheduled the Air Car to hit Indian streets by August 2012

The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy N. For Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air to push its engine's pistons and make the car go.

The Air Car, called the "Mini CAT" could cost around 365,757 rupees in India or $8,177 US.

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The Mini CAT which is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis, a body of fiberglass that is glued not welded and powered by compressed air. A Microprocessor is used to control all electrical functions of the car. One tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, turn signals and every other electrical device on the car. Which are not many.

The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0-15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.

There are no keys, just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket. According to the designers, it costs less than 50 rupees (approx. $1.12 US) per 100 KM, that's about a tenth the cost of a car running on gas. It's mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car, a factor which makes it a perfect choice for city motorists. The car has a top speed of 105 KM per hour or 60 mph and would have a range of around 300 km or 185 miles between refuels. Refilling the car will take place at adapted gas stations with special air compressors. A fill up will only take two to three minutes and costs approximately 100 rupees and the car will be ready to go another 300 kilometers.

This car can also be filled at home with it's on board compressor. It will take 3-4 hours to refill the tank, but it can be done while you sleep.

Because there is no combustion engine, changing the 1 liter of vegetable oil is only necessary every 50,000 KM or 30,000 miles. Due to its simplicity, there is very little maintenance to be done on this car.

This Air Car almost sounds too good to be true. We'll see in August. 2012.

**************************************************************

The above article was e-mailed to me with no source given. I suspect it is a bit premature. Here is what Tata's website has to say:

Released on 07 May, 2012

MDI's air engine technology tested on Tata Motors vehicles
In January 2007, Tata Motors and Motor Development International (Luxembourg) signed a licence agreement that enables Tata Motors to produce and sell compressed air cars using MDI technology in India.

The agreement covered two phases of activity encompassing the technology transfer and proof of the technical concept in the first phase, and in the second phase completing detailed development of the compressed air engine into specific vehicle and stationary applications.

The first phase of this programme - proof of the technical concept in Tata Motors vehicles - has now been successfully completed with the compressed air engine concept having been demonstrated in two Tata Motors vehicles.

In the second phase of the development, the two companies are working together to complete detailed development of the technology and required technical processes to industrialise a market ready product application over the coming years.




One word

thermodynamics
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #6657 on: May 9th, 2012, 4:43pm »

Semper fi



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"Let's see what's over there."
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #6658 on: May 10th, 2012, 08:39am »

Washington Post

Twin bombings kill at least 55 in Syrian capital
By Liz Sly
Updated: Thursday, May 10, 5:52 AM

BEIRUT — Two explosions ripped through a southern Damascus neighborhood on Thursday, Syrian state media reported, killing at least 55 people and wounding more than 170 in the deadliest bombing attack yet in the capital.

The twin blasts occurred on a busy highway shortly before 8 a.m. and appeared to have targeted the widely feared Palestine Branch of the Syrian security services. The agency’s headquarters were damaged, along with dozens of surrounding buildings. State television broadcast pictures of mangled bodies, burning cars and a big crater in the road caused by one of the rush-hour blasts.

There have been several bombings in Damascus in recent months, some of them suicide attacks, raising fears that an al-Qaeda-style group may have established a presence in the capital as Syria’s uprising drags on.

Thursdays explosions, however, were the first time that an attack has taken place on a weekday, when people were headed to work. The death toll was the highest reported in any single attack. An Associated Press correspondent at the scene quoted residents as saying the two blasts occurred in quick succession, a small one followed by a bigger one, matching a pattern established in many bombings in Iraq that have be attributed to al-Qaeda.

In videos posted on jihadi Web sites, a previously unknown group calling itself the al-Nusra Front has claimed responsibility for most of the earlier bombings in Damascus and also several in the city of Aleppo.

The Free Syrian Army, which loosely represents the ad hoc rebel movement that is battling the government in many parts of the country, issued a statement on Thursday denying responsibility for that day’s bombings and accusing the regime of carrying them out.

The Syrian government, in turn, blamed unnamed “terrorists.”

The head of the newly established U.N. observer mission in Syria, Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, visited the site of the explosions and called on both parties to the conflict to halt the bloodshed.

“It is not going to solve any problems,” the Associated Press quoted Mood as saying. “It is only going to create more suffering for women and children.”

The attack came a day after a small explosion targeted a Syrian military convoy that was escorting Mood on an inspection visit to southern Syria. Eight soldiers were injured in that blast.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/twin-bombings-kill-at-least-40-in-damascus/2012/05/10/gIQA5TWJFU_story.html

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« Reply #6659 on: May 10th, 2012, 08:48am »

Wired

Action Heroes Owe Everything to Stunt Pioneer Yakima Canutt
By Lee Simmons
May 10, 2012 | 6:30 am
Categories: movies


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Remember the desert chase in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Indy leaps from a galloping horse onto a Nazi truck? And how he gets knocked over the hood, drags along underneath, and swings up onto the back? Awesome! And poignant. Turns out those stunts were done in homage to an old cowboy who was fixin’ to ride off into the sunset. Fella by the name of Yakima Canutt.

Born on a ranch in the Snake River Hills of Washington, Canutt was a rodeo champ turned silent-movie star in the 1920s. Unfortunately, when he opened his mouth he sounded like a real cowboy–or “a hillbilly in a well,” as he himself lamented. With the advent of talkies in the late ’20s, his days as a leading man were over.

Like any smart worker made redundant by new technology, Canutt did a personal skills inventory. He decided that what he could offer–and what Hollywood needed–was to bring more “excitement and thrills” to the silver screen. “I realized that so much more could be done,” he recalled in his autobiography. He envisioned a whole new job description “in the action end of the motion picture industry.”

In other words, he would become something unheard of at the time: a professional, full-time “stuntman.”

The timing was perfect. It was the golden age of Westerns, and Canutt soon established himself as the guy in Hollywood for jaw-dropping action. The flying leap from horseback emulated in Raiders? That was vintage Canutt as a marauding Apache in Stagecoach. (And when the Ringo Kid shoots the Apache and jumps onto the runaway team, leaping from horse to horse? Canutt again, changing costumes to play both sides of the fight.) The under-the-vehicle stunt was a signature move, done with a backflip for good measure in Zorro’s Fighting Legion. (See a clip below.)

Impressive stuff? Just ask Terry Leonard, the legendary stuntman who doubled Harrison Ford in Raiders. Leonard had already tried to duplicate the under-the-wagon trick in 1981′s The Legend of the Lone Ranger–and had gotten run over. Then, on the set of Raiders, as he was about to jump onto that Nazi truck, the horse panicked and threw him in front of the rear wheels. He managed to roll out of the way, but at the time, Leonard says, all he could think was, “Son of a bitch, here we go again.”

Making a Science of It

In the 1930s, Canutt doubled all the big action stars of his day–Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power, Roy Rogers. He was Clark Gable driving a wagon through the flames in Gone With the Wind. But above all, in dozens of films, he was John Wayne–and vice versa: The Duke credited Canutt as the model for his own onscreen cowboy persona, hip-shot walk, drawling speech, and all. Rarely one to gush, Wayne once said of his lifelong pal, “Yakima Canutt is the most magnificent man I ever met.”

Canutt didn’t just perform the stunts–or “gags,” as he called them–he dreamed them up, figured out how to film them, and invented the rigging and techniques that made them possible. Having earned his spurs in the wild frontier days of filmmaking, when people died doing stunts that didn’t even look like much, Canutt made movie action both safer and more spectacular. “He was the first to make a science of it,” says Vic Armstrong, the guy who did the tricky stuff for Harrison Ford in the later Indiana Jones films (leaping from a horse onto a Nazi tank in The Last Crusade). “Yakima Canutt was the daddy of us all–the greatest there’s ever been.”

Of course, to modern eyes those early Westerns can look campy. Real cowboys don’t get on a horse by leapfrogging from behind (the “crupper mount” that Canutt introduced and which became a much-parodied cliché of the genre). But it was an era that had little need for realism in film. His exuberant stunts–like driving a wagon off a cliff into a lake to escape the bad guys–set the mold not only for today’s gritty, revisionist Westerns but also for our over-the-top, laugh-out-loud action movies.

Behind the Camera

Tough hombre that he was, by the early 1940s injuries had taken their toll. Doubling Clark Gable in Boom Town, Canutt had a horse fall backwards on top of him, forcing the saddle horn through his abdomen and severing his intestines. In 1943, a mountainside leap from the saddle went awry when his horse swerved away from the safety net. He snapped both legs at the ankles.

Enough was enough. Moving behind the camera, Canutt went on to establish himself as a top stunt coordinator and second-unit director, handling the action scenes in epics like Ivanhoe, Spartacus, El Cid, and Where Eagles Dare. He staged the spectacular chariot race in Ben-Hur–with son Joe Canutt doubling Charlton Heston–and the goofy ostrich race in Swiss Family Robinson. When he finally retired in 1976, Yakima Canutt was on his fourth career, any one of which would have been more than enough for most of us. But when he won his lifetime Oscar in 1966, it was, in the words of the Academy, simply for “creating the profession of stuntman as it exists today.”

So next time you’re enjoying a thrilling action scene–like, say, in Cowboys & Aliens, when the hero leaps from a horse onto an alien spacecraft–tip your hat to the old cowboy who made it all possible.






http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/05/pl_prototype_canutt/

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