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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 16151 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7035 on: Jul 20th, 2012, 09:41am »

on Jul 16th, 2012, 4:39pm, CA519705950 wrote:
Good to see you're still going strong, WingsofCrystal cheesy!


I am so sorry I missed this until Phil said hello to you. Must be getting loopier. grin

Welcome back is right!!! Howdy!

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« Reply #7036 on: Jul 20th, 2012, 09:46am »

Seattle Times

Originally published July 20, 2012 at 3:36 AM
Page modified July 20, 2012 at 7:20 AM

Police: 12 dead in Colorado theater shooting

A gunman in a gas mask barged into a crowded Denver-area theater during a midnight premiere of the Batman movie on Friday, hurled a gas canister and then opened fire, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.

By THOMAS PEIPERT
Associated Press

AURORA, Colo. —

A gunman in a gas mask barged into a crowded Denver-area theater during a midnight premiere of the Batman movie on Friday, hurled a gas canister and then opened fire, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.

When the gas began to spread, some moviegoers thought it was a stunt that was part of the "The Dark Knight Rises," one of the most highly anticipated films of the summer. Then they saw a silhouette of a person in the smoke near the screen, first pointing a gun at the crowd and shooting.

"There were bullet (casings) just falling on my head. They were burning my forehead," Jennifer Seeger said, adding that the gunman, dressed like a SWAT team member, fired steadily except when he stopped to reload.

"Every few seconds it was just: Boom, boom, boom," she said. "He would reload and shoot and anyone who would try to leave would just get killed."

The suspect was taken into custody and identified by federal law enforcement officials as 24-year-old James Holmes. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Authorities did not release a motive. The FBI said there was no indication that the shooting is tied to any terrorist groups.

Victims are being treated for chemical exposure apparently related to canisters thrown by the gunman. Some of those injured are children, including a 3-month-old infant who was shot.

Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania on ABC's "Good Morning America" said he didn't know yet if all the injuries were gunshot wounds. He said some might have been caused by other things such as shrapnel.

The movie opened across the world Friday, with midnight showings in the U.S. The shooting prompted officials to cancel the Paris premiere, with workers pulling down the red carpet display at a theater on the famed Champs-Elysees Avenue.

President Barack Obama said he was saddened by the "horrific and tragic shooting," pledging that his administration was "committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded."

It was the worst mass shooting in Colorado since the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999. Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at the school in the Denver suburb of Littleton, about 15 miles west of Aurora, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves.

Friday's attack began shortly after midnight at the multiplex theater at a mall in Aurora, the state's third-largest city.

The film has several scenes of public mayhem - a hallmark of superhero movies. In one scene, the main villain Bane leads an attack on the stock exchange and, in another, leads a shooting and bombing rampage on a packed football stadium.

It was the final installment of the "Dark Knight" trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale as Batman. The series has a darker tone than previous Batman incarnations. It is the follow-up to "The Dark Knight," which won Heath Ledger a posthumous Oscar for his searing portrayal of The Joker.

The gunman released a gas that smelled like pepper spray from a green canister with a tag on it, Seeger said.

"I thought it was showmanship. I didn't think it was real," she said.

Seeger said she was in the second row, about four feet from the gunman, when he pointed a gun at her face. At first, "I was just a deer in headlights. I didn't know what to do," she said. Then she ducked to the ground as the gunman shot people seated behind her.

She said she began crawling toward an exit when she saw a girl about 14 years old "lying lifeless on the stairs." She saw a man with a bullet wound in his back and tried to check his pulse, but "I had to go. I was going to get shot."

Then the man began firing, starting with a shot toward the ceiling.

Witness Shayla Roeder said she saw a young teenage girl on the ground bleeding outside the theater. "She just had this horrible look in her eyes .... We made eye contact and I could tell she was not all right," Roeder said.

Police, ambulances and emergency crews swarmed on the scene after frantic calls started flooding the 911 switchboard, officials said. Officers came running in and telling people to leave the theater, Salina Jordan told the Denver Post. She said some police were carrying and dragging bodies.

Hayden Miller told KUSA-TV that he heard several shots. "Like little explosions going on and shortly after that we heard people screaming," he told the station. Hayden said at first he thought it was part of a louder movie next door. But then he saw "people hunched over leaving theater."

Officers later found the gunman near a car behind the theater.

"A gas mask, rifle, handgun (and) at least one additional weapon (were) found inside," Aurora police Chief Dan Oates said, adding that there was no evidence of any other attackers. The suspect spoke of "possible explosives in his residence. We are dealing with that potential threat," Oates said.

A large truck lettered "bomb squad" arrived near an Aurora apartment complex where the suspect is believed to have lived, about four miles from the theater. Dozens of police squad cars, vans and other vehicles were already at the scene, along with black-clad officers carrying automatic weapons.

Police evacuated residents of the building. Oates did not say whether any explosives had been found. He said police also checked for explosives in the parking lot and at the Century 16 theater and secured those areas.

At least 24 people were being treated at Denver area hospitals.

"Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time," the studio said.

The youngest victim reported was a 6-year-old being treated at Children's Hospital Colorado, where a total of six victims were taken. Their condition wasn't known. Two people in critical condition were rushed to nearby Swedish Medical Center, a spokeswoman said.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2018729399_apuscoloradoshooting.html

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7037 on: Jul 20th, 2012, 09:49am »

Reuters

Exclusive: New York police link nine 2012 plots to Iran, proxies

By Mark Hosenball

LONDON | Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:27am EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - New York police believe Iranian Revolutionary Guards or their proxies have been involved so far this year in nine plots against Israeli or Jewish targets around the world, according to restricted police documents obtained by Reuters.

Reports prepared this week by intelligence analysts for the New York Police Department (NYPD) say three plots were foiled in January, three in February and another three since late June. Iran has repeatedly denied supporting militant attacks abroad.

The documents, labeled "Law Enforcement Sensitive," said that this week's suicide bomb attack in Bulgaria was the second plot to be unmasked there this year.

The reports detail two plots in Bangkok and one each in New Delhi, Tbilisi, Baku, Mombasa and Cyprus. Each plot was attributed to Iran or its Lebanese Hezbollah militant allies, said the reports, which were produced following the bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria of a bus carrying Israeli tourists.

Iran on Thursday dismissed "unfounded statements" by Israel linking Tehran to the Burgas blast, saying they were politically motivated accusations which underscored the weakness of the accusers.

Wednesday's bombing in the Black Sea city is listed in a document headed "Suspected Iranian and/or Hezbollah-linked Plots Against Israeli or Jewish Targets: 2012 Chronology", the latest of the nine 2012 plots linked to the Islamic Republic or its proxies.

U.S. officials say they increasingly concur with Israeli assessments that Iran and its proxies organized the killing of seven Israeli tourists in Burgas by a suicide bomber after they boarded an airport bus.

One U.S. official said Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shi'ite Muslim militia, had in the past carried out suicide bombings.

Hezbollah says that while it carried out suicide bombings against Israeli army posts in south Lebanon when it was occupied, until 2000, it has never staged attacks outside Lebanon.

The U.S. official noted that the Burgas bombing occurred on the 18th anniversary of the bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, which Argentina linked to Iran.

The official said the Bulgaria attack appeared relatively sophisticated as it suggested those behind it had gathered intelligence on possible targets in advance.

MORE PLOTS, SOPHISTICATION VARIES

A second U.S. official said U.S. federal authorities' tally of alleged Iran-linked plots in 2012 largely paralleled the NYPD list.

Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said in the past year there had been "20 Iranian attempts at terrorist attacks abroad, in which there was direct involvement of five Iranians, two Hezbollah operatives".

After the Bulgaria bus bombing, a senior U.S. law enforcement official said New York police had increased their counter-terrorism focus on Jewish neighborhoods and institutions, over concerns of Iranian attacks on U.S. soil should U.S. or Israeli tensions with Iran escalate.

In a two-page paper summarizing its assessment of the alleged pattern of Iranian-related plots this year, NYPD analysts said that through its own Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah, Iran had "sharply increased its operational tempo and its willingness to conduct terrorist attacks targeting Israeli interests and the International Jewish community worldwide".

But the paper noted that many of this year's plots lacked the sophistication and precision that characterized earlier plots linked to Iran.

Some bombs used in the recent plots shared certain features such as the use of military grade plastic explosives and magnets to attach the device to metal targets. While some had been detonated by remote control, others had relied on the "crude but effective tactic of pulling the pin on a hand grenade."

The summary said the plotters had on occasion used local criminal elements, citing a plot in Baku where Iranian Revolutionary Guards agents provided weapons, equipment and selected the target for attack by Azeri criminals.

"This is an extremely dangerous combination," the report concluded, adding that the geographic spread of the attacks and the willingness to go with less sophisticated plots "may add to the danger rather than lessen it."

(Additional reporting by Dan Williams in Jerusalem; Editing by Jon Boyle and Mark Heinrich)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/20/us-iran-hezbollah-plots-idUSBRE86J0SW20120720

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7038 on: Jul 20th, 2012, 09:56am »

Wired

Unlock Your Inner Rain Man by Electrically Zapping Your Brain
By Tanya Lewis
July 20, 2012 | 6:30 am
Categories: Brains and Behavior


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Imagine a creativity cap. A device that would free you, if only momentarily, from your mindsets, from your prejudices, from the mental blocks to creativity.

These words are emblazoned on the website Creativitycap.com, and they represent the vision of neuroscientist Allan Snyder. Snyder believes we all possess untapped powers of cognition, normally seen only in rare individuals called savants, and accessing them might take just a few jolts of electricity to the brain.

It sounds like a Michael Crichton plot, but Snyder, who directs the Centre for the Mind at the University of Sydney, Australia, says he wouldn’t be surprised to see a prototype of the creativity cap within a couple of years. His research suggests that brain stimulation improves people’s ability to solve difficult problems. But Snyder’s interpretation of his findings remains controversial, and the science of using brain stimulation to boost thinking is still in its early stages.

“I think it’s a bit of a minefield,” said psychologist Robyn Young of Flinders University in Australia, who has tried to replicate Snyder’s early experiments. “I’m not really sure whether the technology is developed that can turn it into a more accurate science.”

Snyder has long been fascinated by savants — people with a developmental brain disorder (often autism) or brain injury who display prowess in a particular area, such as mathematics, art or music, which far exceeds the norm. Kim Peek, who provided the inspiration for Dustin Hoffman’s character in the movie “Rain Man,” was a savant who could memorize entire books after a single reading, or instantly calculate what day of the week any calendar date fell on. But he had a severe mental disability that prevented him from performing simple actions such as buttoning his shirt.

Wisconsin psychologist and savant expert Darold Treffert describes a skill like Kim’s as an “island of genius that stands in stark contrast to the overall handicap.”

Other savants acquire their abilities after a severe brain injury or illness. Alonzo Clemons suffered a head injury as a toddler that left him mentally disabled, but endowed him with the ability to accurately sculpt beautiful clay animals after only briefly glimpsing them. And patients with frontotemporal dementia have been known to suddenly display artistic and musical abilities, like the successful businessman who developed dementia and started doing award-winning painting.

But not all savant abilities come with a trade-off, says Treffert. Sometimes it’s possible for otherwise normal people to have savant skills.

Snyder hypothesizes that all people possess savant-like abilities in a dormant form, but that savants have “privileged access” to less-processed, lower-level information. In a normal brain, top-down controls suppress the barrage of raw data our brains take in, enabling us to focus on the big picture.

“We all have that information,” Snyder said, “but our brains are deliberately wired not to see it.”

Using brain stimulation, he thinks it’s possible to temporarily remove that mental suppression and unlock the savant inside each of us. In their latest study, published in April in Neuroscience Letters, Snyder and graduate student Richard Chi tested people’s performance on a geometric puzzle called the nine dots problem (right).

The goal is to connect all nine dots using just four straight lines, without lifting your pen up or retracing a line. It’s a classic problem that researchers have been giving people for a century, but in the majority of experiments, no participants are able to solve it, even with plenty of time and many attempts. (If you have tried and failed, here’s the solution.)

Snyder and Chi had their subjects attempt to solve the problem while wearing an electrode cap. After a few minutes without brain stimulation, half of the subjects received stimulation while the other half received no stimulation. Here’s the interesting part: Whereas none of the subjects solved the problem before brain stimulation, more than 40 percent of subjects in the stimulation group solved the problem after being zapped. Talk about being struck by inspiration.

In case you’re imagining some kind of Frankensteinian setup for electrifying people’s brains, it’s nothing like that. The technique, called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), involves applying a weak electrical current to the scalp through a pair of electrodes on sponges. It’s a widely used technique that is considered safe, with minor side effects. Other researchers have shown cognitive improvements using the same method applied to other brain areas, but Snyder and Chi are the first to use stimulation to mimic savant brain physiology.

Autism, left frontotemporal dementia, and savantism resulting from brain injury have all been associated with deficits in the left hemisphere of the brain. Though the left brain/right brain skill dichotomy is an oversimplification, they do specialize in function, says Treffert. The left brain, which is dominant in most people, is more heavily involved in language and reason, while the right brain plays a bigger role in visuospatial and artistic ability. Scientists theorize that in savants, limitations in left-brain function allow the right brain to compensate. In Snyder and Chi’s study, they applied stimulation to suppress brain activity in the left anterior temporal lobe while simultaneously exciting activity in the right anterior temporal lobe.

Often, our approach to a problem is shaped by our earlier experiences, making it harder to come up with new solutions. In a previous study, Snyder and Chi tested whether their brain stimulation method could make people more insightful while they performed “matchstick arithmetic,” in which they were given false equations written in Roman numerals with matches and had to make the equation true by moving one match. Solving each matchstick problem required a different strategy, and those who had the stimulation solved them faster, they found.

Snyder’s earlier studies used magnetic, rather than electrical, stimulation to try to elicit savant abilities. One study showed a change in artistic ability, while another found improved numerosity, the ability to precisely estimate a large number of objects without counting them.

But as of yet, not many of Snyder’s studies have been replicated. Australian psychologist Robyn Young did a study in 2004 that examined the effect of magnetic stimulation on savant-type skills such as drawing, memory, mathematics and calendar calculating. In five out of 17 subjects, some improvement was observed, but most of the findings weren’t statistically significant. A follow-up study failed to show any effect of the stimulation.

Young thinks the idea of improving cognition with brain stimulation is plausible, but “there were so many variables involved,” she said, such as where to stimulate and how long the effect lasts, that she dropped the work to pursue other research.

Supposing a creativity cap ever does become available, it raises many questions. Can we truly achieve the mental equivalent of a free lunch, without drawbacks in other areas of thinking? Perhaps the genius effect will subside after repeated use. As with any form of cognitive enhancement, there’s the question of ethics. Finally, as Young put it, “If everyone could play music brilliantly or be brilliant artists, it would minimize diversity.”

Citations: Chi R, Snyder A. Brain stimulation enables the solution of an inherently difficult problem, Neuroscience Letters. 515 (2012) 121–124

Snyder, A. Explaining and inducing savant skills: privileged access to lower level, less-processed information, Trans. R. Soc. B: Biol. Sci. 364 (2009) 1399–1405.

Snyder, A. Explaining and inducing savant skills: privileged access to lower level, less-processed information, Trans. R. Soc. B: Biol. Sci. 364 (2009) 1399–1405.

Treffert DA (2009). The savant syndrome: an extraordinary condition. A synopsis: past, present, future. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 364 (1522): 1351–1357.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/07/unlock-inner-savant/

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7039 on: Jul 20th, 2012, 09:59am »







Published on Jul 19, 2012 by myunhauzen74

Pay attention to the coronal hole of the Sun. It is a giant UFO, and then shows the trajectory of his departure from the coronal hole. Wach in HD! Monitoring of unidentified objects (UFO) near the Sun for July 19, 2012

~

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« Reply #7040 on: Jul 20th, 2012, 11:45am »

A belated birthday present, some color pics of Valiant Thor:
http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?35186-Valiant-Thor-Jill-Donn
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7041 on: Jul 20th, 2012, 7:04pm »

on Jul 20th, 2012, 11:45am, philliman wrote:
A belated birthday present, some color pics of Valiant Thor:
http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?35186-Valiant-Thor-Jill-Donn



cheesy Thanks Phil.


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« Reply #7042 on: Jul 20th, 2012, 7:08pm »

The slaughter in Colorado blew everything else out of my mind. Sorry this is late.


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Neil Armstrong's second and last spaceflight was as mission commander of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission on July 20, 1969. On this mission, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface and spent 2˝ hours exploring while Michael Collins remained in orbit in the Command Module. Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Richard Nixon along with Collins and Aldrin, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.

~


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« Reply #7043 on: Jul 21st, 2012, 09:34am »

Reuters

Italy shipwreck hearing postponed to October 15

By Silvia Ognibene

GROSSETO, Italy | Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:24am EDT

GROSSETO, Italy (Reuters) - Experts investigating the Costa Concordia shipwreck, which killed as many as 32 people, need more time to gather evidence and will present their findings at a pre-trial hearing on October 15, lawyers said on Saturday.

The panel of experts investigating the January 13 cruise line disaster off the Italian coast are expected to complete their work by September.

Saturday's pre-trial hearing, which considers evidence ahead of a full trial, was postponed after the experts asked for more time to answer some 50 requests from information by the prosecutors, lawyers said. It was the second hearing since the procedure opened on March 3.

"It was a simple technical delay," said Bruno Leporatti, a lawyer representing the ship's captain Francesco Schettino, who is accused of causing the accident and who faces charges including multiple manslaughter.

Leporatti said the investigators had not been able to gather all the evidence "given the complexity of the questions".

The huge Costa Concordia, with some 4,200 passengers and crew aboard, ran aground and half capsized after a rock tore a hole in its hull when it approached the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio during a cruise of the western Mediterranean.

At least 30 people died during a chaotic nighttime evacuation of the 114,500-tonne ship, and another two bodies have still not been recovered.

Alessandro Lecci, a lawyer representing Giglio, said a delay was preferable to the risk of having incomplete evidence in any subsequent trial. He said the experts' investigation was at an advanced stage.

Prosecutors have accused Schettino of causing the accident by bringing the multi-storey ship too close to the shore and then abandoning ship before the evacuation of passengers and crew was complete.

Eight other officers and executives of the ship's owners Costa Cruises are also under investigation.

Schettino was released from house arrest earlier this month but was not at Saturday's hearing. He has admitted mistakes and apologized for the accident, saying in his first full television interview that he had been distracted when it happened.

(Writing By James Mackenzie; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/21/us-italy-ship-trial-idUSBRE86K0AJ20120721

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7044 on: Jul 21st, 2012, 09:37am »







Published on Jul 20, 2012 by Lou20764

There is something spinning around this object - spins faster as the object increases speed.
Re-post - closer zoom.

Category:
Science & Technology

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« Reply #7045 on: Jul 21st, 2012, 09:39am »

Seattle Times

Originally published Friday, July 20, 2012 at 3:38 AM

Activists report heavy fighting in Syria's Aleppo

Activists and opposition groups say Syrian troops and rebels have clashed for a second day in the northern city of Aleppo.

The Associated Press

BEIRUT —

Activists and opposition groups say Syrian troops and rebels have clashed for a second day in the northern city of Aleppo.

They say the overnight clashes with heavy machine guns were some of the fiercest to date in the heart of Syria's northern commercial hub.

Aleppo has been largely shielded from the violence that has plagued other Syrian cities over the course of the uprising against President Bashar Assad, now in its 17th month.

Aleppo-based activist Mohammad Saeed said dozens of rebels from the Free Syrian Army were now in the city. He said fighting was mostly in the Salaheddine district in the city center.

The Local Coordination Committees activist network and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday's fighting forced many residents to flee to safer areas.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2018729401_apmlsyria.html

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« Reply #7046 on: Jul 21st, 2012, 09:43am »







Uploaded by movieclips on May 27, 2011

Abbott & Costello Frankenstein Movie Clip - watch all clips http://j.mp/Aqbgyl
click to subscribe http://j.mp/sNDUs5

When Wilbur (Lou Costello) answers the phone, he mistakes Larry Talbot's (Lon Chaney Jr.) wolf man transformation for bad manners.

TM & © Universal (2012)
Cast: Lon Chaney Jr., Lou Costello
Director: Charles Barton
MOVIECLIPS YouTube Channel: http://j.mp/vqieFG
Join our Facebook page: http://j.mp/tb8OMH
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Film Description: It seems that Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi), in league with a beautiful but diabolical lady scientist (Lenore Aubert), needs a "simple, pliable" brain with which to reactivate Frankenstein's creature (Glenn Strange). The "ideal" brain belongs to the hapless Lou Costello, whom the lady doctor woos to gain his confidence and lure him to the operating table. Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.), better known as the Wolf Man, arrives on the scene to warn Costello and his pal Bud Abbott of Dracula's nefarious schemes. Throughout the film, the timorous Costello witnesses the nocturnal rituals of Dracula and the Monster, but can't convince the ever-doubting Abbott--until the wild climax in Dracula's castle, where the comedians are pursued by all three of the film's monstrosities. As a bonus, the Invisible Man (voiced by an unbilled Vincent Price) shows up for "all the excitement."

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7047 on: Jul 21st, 2012, 1:23pm »

Love those classic movies!


I guess these guys must be from Uranus or so:

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« Reply #7048 on: Jul 21st, 2012, 6:07pm »

grin grin
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« Reply #7049 on: Jul 22nd, 2012, 09:09am »

grin grin grin

Phil! Too funny.


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