Board Logo
« Stuff & Nonsense »

Welcome Guest. Please Login or Register.
Nov 22nd, 2017, 6:11pm


Visit the UFO Casebook Web Site

*Totally FREE 24/7 Access *Your Nickname and Avatar *Private Messages

*Join today and be a part of one of the largest UFO sites on the Net.


« Previous Topic | Next Topic »
Pages: 1 ... 477 478 479 480 481  ...  1070 Notify Send Topic Print
 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 14672 times)
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12179
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7170 on: Aug 12th, 2012, 09:02am »

Wired

Visual Effects Pioneer Carlo Rambaldi, the ‘Father of E.T.,’ Dies at 86
By Geeta Dayal
August 10, 2012 | 5:20 pm
Categories: animation, Art, Design and Fashion, movies







Carlo Rambaldi, the visual effects master best known for his pioneering work on E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and Alien, died Friday in his native Italy at the age of 86.

Rambaldi specialized in building one-of-a-kind analog animatronic creatures, in the days before digital special effects became ubiquitous. His work garnered Oscars for visual effects for Alien (1979) and E.T. (1982).

He spent several months building the squat alien with the extended neck and the glowing fingertip. “I finished E.T. exactly two days before we started shooting,” Rambaldi says via a translator in the video interview above. “In that case, you can imagine my responsibility in case it didn’t work very well.”

The gentle animatronic alien that Rambaldi created seemed so hyper-realistic in its features and emotional response that it could make children — and even grown adults — cry. But Rambaldi said E.T. only made him cry when the prop didn’t work properly.

“All of us who marveled and wondered at his craft and artistry are deeply saddened by the news of his passing,” said E.T. director Steven Spielberg in a statement to the Associated Press.

Rambaldi also worked on visual effects for King Kong (1976), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Dune (1984) and dozens of other major movies over the course of his storied career.

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/08/carlo-rimbaldi-obit/

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12179
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7171 on: Aug 12th, 2012, 09:07am »

on Aug 12th, 2012, 08:58am, LoneGunMan wrote:
Crystal,
Is there any wonder as to why so many come back with PTSD?

Our government would not back them up. Even their immediate superiors in many cases would not back them up. The politically correct morons in our State Dept and the media would surely cry for these soldiers heads on a platter for making their lives hard and interrupting their partying!

Never mind shoot the lawyers...shoot the media and drown the State Dept in their champagne! grin

Lone



The way we treat our veterans is appalling. I am ashamed of our politicians over many things but this is one big sin they should hang their heads over. But they don't and won't. "Party on! The chumps keep voting us back in office!"

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12179
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7172 on: Aug 12th, 2012, 09:10am »







Published on Aug 11, 2012 by BeePeeOilDisaster

This camera is recording numerous interesting objects, in one there is a large object on the horizon and minutes later the object is gone!

Category:
Science & Technology

~

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12179
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7173 on: Aug 12th, 2012, 09:16am »






Published on May 29, 2012 by grabagething

~

Crystal

User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12179
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7174 on: Aug 12th, 2012, 09:48am »

Kent Online

Taxi journey that put cabbie Danny Kemp's spy book on filmmaker’s radar

by Julia Roberts

From Met police officer to black cab driver to pub landlord, Danny Kemp is perhaps one man who thought he had seen it all.

But the 62-year-old grandfather, from Wilmington, is about to see his first published novel take to the movie screen - all thanks to a chance meeting with a passenger in his cab.

Danny first took up writing after a car accident left him unable to work for more than three years.

His first attempt - called Look Both Ways and Then Look Behind - never made it to the book shelves, but he persevered with his writing to create The Desolate Garden.

It has been described as a spy murder-mystery and compared in reviews to classics such as The 39 Steps and North By Northwest.


User Image


But it was a brief encounter with a film producer in London that has led to Danny’s new venture.

“I picked him up in the street and took him to Victoria Station,” explained Danny.

“We got chatting about the book and he said he liked the brief outline and would be in touch. I didn’t think he ever would, but he read reviews on Amazon and a synopsis of the book on my website.

“He said he was interested in purchasing the rights and I have now signed an arrangement. Filming should start about this time next year in the UK and United Arab Emirates.”

Danny, who lives with wife Patsy, said he will leave the casting up to the movie-makers, although his step-daughter and granddaughter “would love a part”.

Asked how his family have reacted to his achievement, Danny said: “They find it weird, to be honest. People know me as the jokey London cab driver and now my story is going to be made into a film.

“I just hope what I’ve done will inspire others. If I can do it at 62 then anyone can. I didn’t even like writing at school.”

Although Danny concentrates on writing fiction, his own life story itself could make an exciting thriller. Having joined the police after leaving school, he then learned “The Knowledge” to become a licensed black cab driver.

His journey later saw him running three pubs near Maidstone and in the mid-1980s he was arrested for attempted murder after an altercation with customers he had barred from one of the pubs.

The charge was later reduced to malicious damage and Danny was given an absolute discharge by magistrates.

Despite his varied life, Danny doesn’t plan to write an autobiography.

“I’m not being modest, but I don’t think anyone would be interested in my life,” he said.

The Desolate Garden was launched in March and can be found in independent book shops as well as branches of Waterstone’s, including Bluewater.

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentonline/news/2012/may/5/cab_driver.aspx

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12179
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7175 on: Aug 13th, 2012, 10:04am »

Reuters

Frustrated Hamas seeks light at end of Egyptian tunnel

By Nidal al-Mughrabi
Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:39am EDT

GAZA (Reuters) - The Islamist group Hamas, stunned by Egypt's closure of its border with Gaza, said on Monday the new Islamist leadership in Cairo was imposing the same pain on the Palestinian enclave as ousted former president, Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt pulled the shutters down on the Rafah passenger terminal a week ago after unidentified militants shot dead 16 Egyptian police near the Gaza border before launching an attack on neighboring Israel that was swiftly smothered.

Hamas denied speculation that some of the assailants had crossed from Gaza and has accused Egypt, led since June by an Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi, of imposing collective punishment on the impoverished Palestinians.

"We suffered from the unjust regime of Mubarak that participated in the (Israeli) blockade of Gaza. Why should we suffer now in the era of Egypt's revolution and democracy?" said Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hammad.

"The Egyptian leadership is requested to order the reopening of the Rafah crossing to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians wanting to travel, students, patients, residents in third countries and pilgrims," he added in a statement.

Israel has for years refused exit visas for all but a tiny minority in Gaza, making Rafah the sole window on the world for almost all of the enclave's 1.7 million Palestinians, with some 800 people a day using the terminal to reach Egypt.

Since the closure, thousands have been stranded, although Cairo did order a brief opening on Friday to allow Palestinians trapped in Egypt to return home.

Egypt said on Monday it would open the crossing temporarily yet again, but just for three days, mainly to permit travel for humanitarian cases such as Palestinians seeking medical care abroad, and students, a Hamas official said.

"If Palestine was not a top priority for you, you should change direction," Hammad said in an unusually sharp rebuke.

Hamas believed Mursi would usher in a new period of harmony between Gaza and Cairo, but that has yet to materialize because of strategic considerations involving Egypt's 1979 peace treaty with Israel and related military aid from the United States.

TUNNEL CLASHES

Immediately after the Sinai killings, Hamas ordered the closure of around 1,000 smuggling tunnels along its border with Egypt to prevent possible infiltration by attackers.

Several tunnels have remained operational bringing food, fuel and construction materials into Gaza, but Hamas has said it would be willing to see all the underground passages closed if Egypt agreed to defy Israel and let goods flow through Rafah.

Israel maintains a strict control of all imports into Gaza to prevent arms reaching Hamas, which refuses to recognize the Jewish state's right to exist. Mubarak, deeply suspicious of the Islamists, was happy to support the Gaza blockade.

In a call underscoring deep fissures within Palestinian society, Hamas's political foes have urged Egypt to destroy all the tunnels and starve the Islamist group of the multi-million dollar duties it imposes on smuggled produce.

"These tunnels, which solidified the division of Palestine in Gaza, have for some time been a threat to Egypt's national security and the unity of the Palestinian people," said Tayeb Abdel-Rahim, a top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas governs only in the nearby West Bank after Hamas defeated his forces in Gaza in a brief civil war in 2007.

"Illegal smuggling comes at the expense of the legitimate interests of our nation and its citizens," he added. His comments were denounced by Hamas, which called the tunnels a "lifeline" for Gaza's people.

(Editing by Crispian Balmer and Jon Hemming)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/13/us-palestinians-egypt-crossing-idUSBRE87C0IC20120813

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12179
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7176 on: Aug 13th, 2012, 10:10am »

FOX news


UFO spotted over Antarctica?
Published August 13, 2012







A video taken of the Antarctic research station Neumayer-Station III appears to show what some are calling a UFO over the South Pole.

The video posted to YouTube seems to show a round, blurry object floating above the station on Aug. 10. Speculation has run rampant, with conspiracy theorists and UFO buffs swapping explanations ranging from government collaboration with aliens to a top-secret test of some new cutting-edge secret weapon.

While a definitive explanation has not been found, several elements suggest a prosaic answer. The supposed UFO appears more or less directly over the research station; it also appears to be nearly perfectly round and about the right size for a balloon. Neumayer-Station III, a scientific research station, carries out tests and experiments in a wide variety of areas, including geophysics, meteorology and atmospheric chemistry. Weather balloons are used extensively to study and sample the atmosphere at different times and altitudes above Antarctica.

One UFO buff admitted that most of the evidence suggested it was indeed a balloon, except for one mysterious fact: "none could explain why the object appeared in just a few frames." It's true that the object appears in only a few frames of the footage. However this becomes much less mysterious when you realize that the original video has been sped up. That's what happens in time-lapse photography: objects that are not stationary for long periods of time (people, vehicles, animals, clouds, etc.) only appear in a few frames — depending of course on the frame rate of the video and how fast they move. There's nothing mysterious about it.

If it were a balloon that had been put aloft for hours, it would have been visible for a longer duration than seen in the video. On the other hand, not all experiments using balloons necessarily last for hours; some may only take a few minutes. It's also possible that someone at the station was merely conducting a routine equipment test in preparation for an upcoming experiment or sampling: The balloon went up, everything worked perfectly, so it came back down.

Though the "Neumayer UFO" is being discussed on various UFO and conspiracy theory websites, there's a glaring contradiction in suggesting it's evidence of extraterrestrials. If it is indeed a spacecraft instead of a balloon or some other mundane object, why would the government — which is routinely accused of going to extraordinary lengths to cover up all evidence of aliens — intentionally release the video to the public?

Unlike an Air Force base where people live and work nearby and can usually photograph or videotape what's in the skies above at will, Neumayer-Station III in Antarctica is essentially inaccessible to the public — except in limited ways such as a Web cam that the government has exclusive access and control over. Did this somehow get past the global UFO censors?

Conspiracy-minded people will always search for, and often find, anomalies, things that they don't understand or believe to be odd or unusual for some reason. For some people any ambiguous light or object in the sky they don't recognize can be turned into a possible UFO sighting.

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/08/13/ufo-spotted-over-antarctica/

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12179
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7177 on: Aug 13th, 2012, 10:12am »

Science Daily

New Bacteria-Resistant Materials Discovered
ScienceDaily (Aug. 13, 2012)

Using state-of-the-art technology, scientists at The University of Nottingham have discovered a new class of polymers that are resistant to bacterial attachment. These new materials could lead to a significant reduction in hospital infections and medical device failures.

Medical device associated infections can lead to systemic infections or device failure, costing the NHS £1bn a year. Affecting many commonly used devices including urinary and venous catheters -- bacteria form communities known as biofilms. This 'strength in numbers approach' protects them against the bodies' natural defences and antibiotics.

Experts in the Schools of Pharmacy and Molecular Medical Sciences, have shown that when the new materials are applied to the surface of medical devices they repel bacteria and prevent them forming biofilms.

The research was led by Professor Morgan Alexander, and Professor Martyn Davies in the School of Pharmacy and Professor Paul Williams in the School of Molecular Medical Sciences.

The novel materials had to be found using a new technique

Researchers believed there were new materials that could resist bacteria better but they had to find them. This meant screening thousands of different chemistries and testing their reaction to bacteria -- a challenge which was beyond conventional materials development or any of our current understanding of the interaction of micro-organisms with surfaces.

The discovery has been made with the help of experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) -- who initially developed the process by which thousands of unique polymers can now be screened simultaneously.

Professor Alexander said: "This is a major scientific breakthrough -- we have discovered a new group of structurally related materials that dramatically reduce the attachment of pathogenic bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli). We could not have found these materials using the current understanding of bacteria-surface interactions. The technology developed with the help of MIT means that hundreds of materials could be screened simultaneously to reveal new structure-property relationships. In total thousands of materials were investigated using this high throughput materials discovery approach leading to the identification of novel materials resisting bacterial attachment. This could not have been achieved using conventional techniques."

These new materials prevent infection by stopping biofilm formation at the earliest possible stage -- when the bacteria first attempt to attach themselves to the device. In the laboratory experts were able to reduce the numbers of bacteria by up to 96.7per cent -- compared with a commercially available silver containing catheter -- and were effective at resisting bacterial attachment in a mouse implant infection model. By preventing bacterial attachment the body's own immune system can kill the bacteria before they have time to generate biofilms.

Ted Bianco, Director of Technology Transfer at the Wellcome Trust, said: "Infections caused by microbial biofilms binding to the surface of implants often cannot be treated with conventional antibiotics. This makes them a significant challenge in patient care, particularly for those with inserted medical devices like catheters, heart valves and prosthetic joints. The discovery of these new polymers is a great example of how advances in materials science are being exploited in our efforts to improve the performance of critical medical components. Just as materials science gave us the non-stick saucepan, so we look forward to the day of the 'non-stick' medical device."

Bacterial attachment and subsequent biofilm formation are key challenges to the performance of medical devices. This is early stage research but the initial results are very promising. The next stage of this research will be to develop the manufacture of these coatings to enable the performance of these materials to be assessed clinically and the inventors are in early stage discussions with a number of medical device companies.

The results of the £1.3m four year research project supported by a Translation Award from the Wellcome Trust, have been published on August 12, 2012, in the academic journal Nature Biotechnology.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813074017.htm

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12179
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7178 on: Aug 13th, 2012, 10:17am »

Wired

Hidden History: America’s Secret Drone War in Africa
By David Axe
August 13, 2012 | 6:30 am
Categories: Drones

More secret bases. More and better unmanned warplanes. More frequent and deadly robotic attacks. Some five years after a U.S. Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle flew the type’s first mission over lawless Somalia, the shadowy American-led drone campaign in the Horn of Africa is targeting Islamic militants more ruthlessly than ever.

Thanks to media accounts, indirect official statements, fragmentary crash reports and one complaint by a U.N. monitoring group, we can finally begin to define — however vaguely — the scope and scale of the secret African drone war.

The details that follow are in part conjecture, albeit informed conjecture. They outline of just one of America’s ongoing shadow wars — and one possible model for the future U.S. way of war. Along with the counterterrorism campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen and the Philippines, the Somalia drone war demonstrates how high-tech U.S. forces can inflict major damage on America’s enemies at relatively low cost … and without most U.S. citizens having any idea it’s even happening.

Since 2007, Predator drones and the larger, more powerful Reapers — reinforced by Ravens and Scan Eagle UAVs and Fire Scout robot helicopters plus a small number of huge, high-flying Global Hawks — have hunted Somali jihadists on scores of occasions. It’s part of a broader campaign of jet bombing runs, naval gun bombardment, cruise-missile attacks, raids by Special Operations Forces and assistance to regional armies such as Uganda’s.

In all, air raids by manned and unmanned U.S. aircraft have killed at least 112 Somali militants, according to a count by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Fifty-seven innocent civilians also died in the raids, the nonprofit Bureau found. The dead jihadists have included several senior members of al-Qaeda or the affiliated al-Shabaab extremist group. In January, a drone launched three Hellfire missiles at a convoy near Mogadishu and killed Bilaal al-Barjawi, the mastermind of the 2010 bombing in Kampala, Uganda, that claimed the lives of 74 soccer fans.

In an escalating secret war, drones are doing an ever-greater proportion of the American fighting.

photos and more after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/08/somalia-drones/all/

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
Swamprat
Gold Member
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 4239
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7179 on: Aug 13th, 2012, 9:45pm »

Received this via e-mail. Not sure how current it is. A prayer wouldn't hurt.

Semper fi


Prayer Request:
We are asking everyone to say a prayer for "Darkhorse" 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and their families. They are fighting it out in Afghanistan & they have lost 12 marines in 4 days. IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE the message spread if more people could pass it on. Nothing has been in the media about these guys because no one seems to care.
They are:
Justin Allen, 23; Brett Linley, 29; Matthew Weikert, 29; Justus Bartett, 27; Dave Santos, 21; Chase Stanley, 21; Jesse Reed, 26; Matthew Johnson, 21; Zachary Fisher, 24; Brandon King, 23; Christopher Goeke, 23; Sheldon Tate, 27. All are Marines that gave their lives for YOU this week. PLEASE HONOR THEM.

Thanks and may God bless our military.
User IP Logged

"Let's see what's over there."
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12179
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7180 on: Aug 14th, 2012, 11:14am »

on Aug 13th, 2012, 9:45pm, Swamprat wrote:
Received this via e-mail. Not sure how current it is. A prayer wouldn't hurt.

Semper fi


Prayer Request:
We are asking everyone to say a prayer for "Darkhorse" 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and their families. They are fighting it out in Afghanistan & they have lost 12 marines in 4 days. IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE the message spread if more people could pass it on. Nothing has been in the media about these guys because no one seems to care.
They are:
Justin Allen, 23; Brett Linley, 29; Matthew Weikert, 29; Justus Bartett, 27; Dave Santos, 21; Chase Stanley, 21; Jesse Reed, 26; Matthew Johnson, 21; Zachary Fisher, 24; Brandon King, 23; Christopher Goeke, 23; Sheldon Tate, 27. All are Marines that gave their lives for YOU this week. PLEASE HONOR THEM.

Thanks and may God bless our military.


Good morning Swamp. I will put them on my prayer list. Prayers are always good for our troops. Thank you for posting this.

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12179
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7181 on: Aug 14th, 2012, 11:17am »

Reuters

Iran finds more bodies after quake, public criticism

By Marcus George
Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:21am EDT

DUBAI (Reuters) - Rescue workers in Iran on Tuesday recovered more bodies three days after two powerful earthquakes struck the northwest of the country, killing more than 300 people, but officials played down reports that casualty numbers may still sharply rise.

The quakes, with magnitudes of 6.4 and 6.3, struck East Azerbaijan province on Saturday afternoon, flattening villages and injuring thousands of people around the towns of Ahar, Varzaghan, and Harees, near the provincial capital Tabriz.

A rescue team using sniffer dogs had pulled out the body of a young woman in the village of Sorkhgav, Fars news agency reported on Tuesday, and was close to finding others.

Another report, by Iran's Labour news agency, said hundreds of villages had suffered severe damage, raising fears that the number of dead could mount sharply as rescuers reach previously inaccessible areas.

However, officials dismissed the idea that the number of fatalities could rise significantly, saying the eventual figure may in fact be lower than current estimates.

"Many figures are based on speculation and have not been documented," Behram Samadi Rad, a provincial coroner, said. "We cannot give a precise figure for the number of dead but we believe it will be under 300."

State TV said two people had been found alive under the rubble in a village near the city of Varzaghan on Tuesday.

"They are both in good condition," the report said.

In Tehran, Karaj and Qom, thousands visited clinics late into the night to donate blood, Press TV reported, including Iran's Olympic gold medal-winning weight lifter, Behdad Salimi.

"I truly feel terrible for the people of East Azerbaijan. I want to do what I can to help them. The most important thing is to donate blood because of the shortage," he said.

PUBLIC CRITICISM

The Iranian Red Crescent Society said it has provided temporary shelter to around 50,000 people and that the priority was to prevent the spread of illness.

State television has shown extensive footage of airdrops and of officials handing out food rations and tents, after the media was accused of ignoring the national disaster and continuing to broadcast normal schedules.

After visiting the afflicted area on Monday, Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi announced emergency funds for the relief effort and appeared to indicate the government had not reacted quickly enough.

"In these conditions, any criticism the people have of us is acceptable and we must all work as hard as possible for their sake," Mehr news agency reported him as saying.

Twenty battalions of the armed forces have been deployed to tend to the wounded, distribute relief items and provide heavy machinery to move rubble, Mehr reported.

Iran's government has come under criticism for its response to two earthquakes. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's trip to Saudi Arabia exposed him to accusations that he was not showing sufficient empathy with the victims.

Meanwhile, a quake with a magnitude of 5.3 on Tuesday and more than 20 minor aftershocks added to the suffering of many who have lost their homes and loved ones and are now living in makeshift camps.

According to the ISNA news agency, up to 70 percent of residences in Iran are not strong enough to withstand moderate earthquakes, let alone those with a magnitude of 6.0 or more.

"In most towns and villages, if an earthquake struck, between 60 and 70 percent of residential buildings would collapse," said Baitullah Setarian, a housing expert.

(Additional reporting by Zahra Hosseinian and Stephanie Nebehay, Editing by Andrew Osborn)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/14/us-iran-quake-idUSBRE87D0C120120814

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12179
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7182 on: Aug 14th, 2012, 11:19am »

Washington Post

Jordan squeezed as Syrian conflict rages next door

By Karin Brulliard and Joby Warrick
Updated: Tuesday, August 14, 7:42 AM

MAFRAQ, Jordan — Hundreds of Syrian refugees slip across the border near here each night with little more than harrowing tales and occasionally grave wounds. For this landlocked and resource-poor kingdom, the newcomers are fueling new economic burdens and worries that the war next door might spread beyond its own frontiers.

Throughout much of the conflict in Syria, Jordan has hewed toward neutrality to avoid antagonizing a powerful neighbor that has long been an important trading partner and transit route for Jordanian goods. But the accelerating refugee flow and protracted war have complicated that stance, and the kingdom is raising alarm about the potential for regional instability and increasingly siding with the Syrian regime’s opponents.

Jordan opened its first formal camp for Syrian refugees two weeks ago, after more than 140,000 Syrians fleeing the conflict had already entered. The kingdom is pleading for international aid as rows of tents mushroom on a sun-baked expanse of tawny sand near this northern city.

Not far away, at a site closed to reporters, a separate camp houses deserters from Syrian security forces. Fifty miles south in the capital of Amman, Jordan is sheltering the recently defected former Syrian prime minister — one of the starkest signs yet of Jordan’s shifting stance toward a regime with which it has maintained diplomatic relations.

The defector, Riyad Hijab, told a news conference in Amman on Tuesday that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is “collapsing” and that rebels are gaining ground.

Jordan’s public embrace of refugees and defectors is potentially risky for a nation that is a relative oasis of stability in a volatile region, a trait that has made it a magnet for waves of refugees from previous wars. Jordanian officials and analysts say there is rising concern about Syrian retaliation or pursuit of opposition activists inside Jordan. Officials here are also worried about internal tensions as Jordan seeks to appease a low-level protest movement calling for democratic reforms.

In recent months, Jordan’s King Abdullah II has called publicly for Assad to step down, and his government has quietly increased nonlethal assistance to opposition forces. Jordanian officials say a major concern is the possibility that Syria could fracture into tribal or ethnic enclaves. That could tug on the allegiances of tribal groups straddling Syria’s borders with Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. It could also create openings for al-Qaeda or other terrorist organizations to dominate certain areas, they say.

In an interview broadcast last week, Abdullah described such a fracturing as a “worst-case scenario” for Jordan, and he raised the specter of a spread of ethnic fighting across the region, a fear Obama administration officials share.

“That means that everyone starts land-grabbing,” he told CBS News. “If Syria then implodes on itself, that would create problems that would take us decades for us to come back from.”

Jordan is also worried about the fate of Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons. Western diplomats have said that Abdullah was among the earliest backers of the recent creation of detailed contingency plans by the United States and several of its Middle Eastern allies to secure chemical arms with Special Operations troops in the event that militants seize parts of Syria.

“Today the regime has control” of its chemical weapons, Samih al-Maaytah, Jordan’s information minister, said in an interview. “The question is, after the fall, would they hand them to Hezbollah” — the Lebanese Shiite militant group — “or keep them in an Alawite country, or would they become part of the mess?”

The growing tide of Syrian refugees poses the biggest immediate challenge. There have been accounts in Jordan of border violence, and Jordanian officials say Syrian forces in several cases have shot refugees as they crossed into Jordan — including, recently, a 6-year-old boy who later died. Sometimes refugees have been shot when they were well inside Jordanian territory. Abdullah told CBS that Jordanians have occasionally fired back at the Syrians. He did not elaborate.

Jordan has had an open-door policy for Syrian refugees since they began trickling in last year. Between 300 and 1,000 people now cross the border nightly, most with the help of Syrian rebels.

Trade and family ties span the frontier, and the majority have easily found shelter with relatives or friends in Jordanian cities. Syrian activists have mostly praise for Jordanian hospitality.

Until recently, Jordan appeared reluctant to open a refugee camp. But officials and analysts said the swelling population is taxing the country’s already weak supplies of water, fuel and power, as well as its job market. Mounting security concerns require stricter vetting of migrants and their movements, they said.

“Since the beginning, Jordan has taken a humane role toward the refugees,” Maaytah said. “But it has been a burden economically, security-wise and politically.”

All refugees are now bused to the dusty Mafraq site, whose population is approaching 6,000. On a recent day, Andrew Harper, the Jordan representative for the U.N. refugee agency, exhorted a group of Arab diplomats who were touring the site to donate.

“You can see the misery. You can see the needs,” he said.

There is the potential for “a real crisis,” said a U.S. intelligence official who has tracked the refugee flow and who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence reports from the region. “The country is starting to drown in refugees.”

Some analysts said that flow could provide cover for Syrian spies or armed activists, though Maaytah said Jordanian security services are confident they can identify such actors. Omar Abdullah, a Syrian anti-regime activist in Amman, said “smuggling weapons is a red line. They do not allow anyone to cross it.”

But stories about the presence of Syrian regime agents are circulating. In the border city of Ramtha, where cars piled with produce still rumble in each morning from Syria, Jordanian businessman Thaer al-Bashabsheh said he believes he was a target.

His family, wealthy traders who long did business in Syria, funded and operated a prominent, unofficial refugee camp in Ramtha until the official camp opened. Last month, Bashabsheh found a satellite receiver under a family car. A Jordanian bomb squad, he said, determined it was loaded with explosives.

“We have no enemies in Jordan. The only thing we are doing is helping our brothers from Syria. So I am the enemy for Assad,” he said.

At a modest house in Ramtha, a Syrian schoolteacher, his wife and four children are biding their time, surviving on the charity of relatives. Two weeks ago, they escaped intense Syrian shelling in their village near the city of Daraa. Then they fled the refugee camp in Jordan, which they said was too grim.

At least the children can sleep now, said the mother, who asked to be identified by her traditional name, Um Rifaat, to avoid endangering relatives in Syria. But she said her only wish is to spend the upcoming Eid holiday in Syria — a Syria that is no longer led by Assad.

If Syrians stay too long in Jordan, said Um Rifaat, 37, “we will become a burden.”

Warrick reported from Washington.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/jordan-squeezed-as-syrian-conflict-rages-next-door/2012/08/13/4209ca02-e529-11e1-9739-eef99c5fb285_story.html

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12179
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7183 on: Aug 14th, 2012, 11:21am »

Der Spiegel

08/14/2012 03:38 PM

Turkey and the Euro Crisis
EU Membership Losing Its Appeal

By Kristina Karasu in Istanbul

Amid the euro crisis drama, Turkey has seen economic growth as its European neighbors have suffered. As a result, the country has a newfound confidence that makes EU membership seem less important. But the waning aspiration could stall important democratic reforms.

Newspaper seller Menderes is beaming: "Everything is great!" His newsstand is located at the Kadiköy ferry landing on the Asian side of Istanbul. Business is going well these days -- and not just for Menderes. The Turkish economy is booming, registering the second-fastest growth rate in the world last year at 8.5 percent. The country has a young population and the consumer culture is robust.

Menderes doesn't shy away from making comparisons to Europe when it comes to the economy, either. "There is no crisis in Turkey," he says. "Our Prime Minister (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan is doing a good job!" When asked what he thinks of Turkey's long-standing bid to become a European Union member state, the 30-year-old says he is no longer interested in the subject. "We don't want to be dependent on others," he says. "We are stronger on our own."

Support EU Membership Dwindles

Menderes is far from alone in this thinking. In 2004, shortly before the start of accession talks with Brussels, polls showed that 75 percent of Turks still wanted their country to become a member of the EU. Now that figure has plunged to less than 50 percent. "Public enthusiasm for the EU began to wane years ago," explains Istanbul-based political scientist Cengiz Aktar. "The euro crisis has strengthened that trend."

For years,Turkey had been forced to wait at Europe's gate, but now the country has found a new self-confidence. The government in Ankara has said that EU membership remains a long-term goal, but that it won't come at any price. "We still believe that Turkey should join the European Union," Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said in the fall of 2011, but he added that joining the euro would not be a very attractive option even if, "with its healthy economy and reasonable budget policy, it would certainly be more on the side of Germany than on that of the euro countries" in Southern Europe.

Still, despite its more than respectable growth, Turkey hasn't been entirely unscathed by the euro crisis. At the beginning of 2012, the Turkish economy grew by only 3.2 percent -- a relatively modest figure for an emerging economy. Growth had been hampered by the crisis consuming the EU, Turkey's most important trading partner by far. More than one-third of all Turkish exports go to the EU. And around 80 percent of all the foreign direct investment made in Turkey comes from the EU.

This has all contributed to an oddly ambivalent attitude towards the euro crisis in Turkey. Seemingly boundless pleasure over the country's own strength compared to a weakened Europe is mixed with the knowledge that Turkey is ultimately also economically reliant on the EU.

Looking to New Markets

Within the ranks of Turkey's economic elite, there are few illusions about any sort of independence. Ali Bilaloglu, the CEO of the Dogus Otomotiv, a major automobile importer, describes himself as a "dyed-in-the-wool European." Doing trade with Europe is part of his daily agenda, too. Bilaloglu's some 2,000 employees import car brands like Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche to Turkey.

The company has been indirectly touched by the crisis. Turnover of Turkish products in the EU is falling and that, in turn, is weakening the Turks' purchasing power. "We don't have negative figures, but there is less growth," Bilaloglu says. "If Europe were healthier, then Turkey could grow faster."

But Dogus Otomotiv has also directly felt the pressures of the crisis through a joint venture it created with two other companies. The firms were conceived in 2006 to export Turkish-made trailers and dump trucks to the EU. Nothing ever came of the plan. "The European market collapsed and we had to find alternatives," he says.

Ultimately, executives at Dogus Otomotiv, like many other Turkish firms, sought new markets in Africa and the Middle East instead. But political scientist Aktar notes that "these regions have neither the importance nor the purchasing power of the EU market. They are unstable and unpredictable." He warns that Turks cannot lose sight of Europe economically, but should also stay connected for political and social reasons.

Reforms Stall

Turkey isn't dependent on Europe for economic reasons alone. Many people fear that the country's social and political reforms will only progress if the prospect of EU membership remains in place.

Derya, a 42-year-old elementary school teacher who asked for her last name not be published, says she fully supports EU accession for Turkey. "In Turkey, much still remains to be done when it comes to issues of human rights, standards of living and education," she says. "We can only achieve these reforms with the EU."

In fact, Erdogan's conservative-religious Justice and Development Party (AKP) has used the EU accession process to transform Turkey into a more democratic and just country. But more recently, and particularly after the AKP's recent landslide re-election in June 2011, the desire for reforms has stalled. And even as Prime Minister Erdogan likes to position his country in the Arab world as a role model for Muslim democracy, thousands of Kurds, students and more than 100 journalists are sitting in jail in Turkey based on what are sometimes absurd charges. It's a development political scientist Aktar views with concern. "There's a real tendency among Turkish politicians toward excessive self-confidence," he says. "That's very dangerous."

It is also clear to Aktar as well as entrepreneur Bilaloglu that EU accession shouldn't be an issue that is dependent on everyday politics. "That is a long-term, strategic direction," says Bilaloglu. "Turkey made a clear decision that it wanted to belong to the EU decades ago." The EU would also profit from Turkish membership, he says. It could, for example, help solve the issue of Europe's ageing and shrinking population. He also adds, nevertheless, that the EU needs to move ahead and finally make a decision over whether it is going to accept Turkey. "Because if the EU's problems get more urgent, then Turkey, as a partner that can help solve Europe's problems, may start to make a fuss."

For now, it seems, Europeans are going to have to start getting used to this new Turkish self-confidence.


http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/turkey-and-the-eu-turks-question-advantages-of-eu-membership-a-849982.html

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 12179
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7184 on: Aug 14th, 2012, 11:29am »

Hollywood Reporter

Judge OKs Trial In Hollywood Cocaine Whistleblower Case

Fired artist Andrew MacDonald says that Ascent Media Group let him go when he complained about a star employee nicknamed "Cokey the Clown."

5:00 AM PDT 8/14/2012
by Eriq Gardner

A nasty trial is set to begin over allegations that a top Hollywood effects artist was fired for complaining about a colleague's cocaine use.

Next month in Los Angeles Superior Court, award-winning visual effects guru Andrew MacDonald will try to make the case that he was wrongfully terminated from Ascent Media Group after blowing the whistle on the drug habits of one of his superiors -- Alex Frisch, best known as the visual effects supervisor on the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

MacDonald alleges that in 2009, he raised concerns about the "open and notorious drug abuse at the office during working hours" of Frisch, and as a result was let go from the company. Now he's suing, and although a judge late last week threw out a couple of his claims, a trial is set to take place in September on MacDonald's key allegation of being fired after speaking up.

Reached for comment, Frisch says the allegations of coke abuse are all a "lie" and that MacDonald's accusations have been "very painful."

In the autumn of 2008, AMG merged the visual post production studio RIOT with Method Studios. MacDonald, who has won prizes for advertising work at the Clio Awards and at Cannes, was creative director at RIOT, while Frisch is said to have been the "face" of Method. Following the merger, Frisch appears to have emerged as top creative dog at the combined studio, named as director of creative visual effects at Method.

MacDonald wasn't happy at the development.

He says that at the time, he had multiple discussions about entering into a written employment contract with Method, and he alleges he came to an oral agreement that would have paid him $250,000 to be executive creative director, 2d, but during contract negotiations with AMG's president, he brought up his concerns about Frisch's alleged drug use and Frisch's ability to head the department.

According to the legal papers, Frisch's drug habits were known by others. At the office, other employees had purportedly nicknamed what was going on in the "Crinkle Club." Reportedly, Frisch was called "Power Donut Man" and "Cokey the Clown, Our Fearless Leader."

MacDonald says at the time he was told not to undermine Frisch as AMG had spent big money on the merger. Asked in March 2009 whether he had any actual proof of the drug use, MacDonald said he "was shocked, and jokingly asked whether [Marcel] Gandola [AMG's vp operations] needed him to video-tape the bathroom in order to prove that his concern was well-founded."

The following morning, MacDonald says he was terminated by AMG's lawyer for having actually videotaped the bathroom. (He says he never did and this was an excuse to let him go.)

MacDonald, now being represented by famed attorney Mark Geragos, says the defendants have "engaged in a cover-up of the illegal acts of Mr. Frisch" and have retaliated against him.

Six months after MacDonald was terminated, Frisch left the company. He's now co-founder of Copa Studios, where he is up for an award at the MTV Music Awards for work with Nicki Minaj. Meanwhile, the MacDonald case has continued.

Last Thursday, LA Superior Court judge Mary H. Strobel denied AMG's motion for a complete win on summary judgment.

In an attempt to escape MacDonald's allegations of wrongful termination in violation of public policy, AMG argued that health and safety laws don't prohibit conduct specific to the employer. The judge, though, pointed to allegations that on one occasion, Frisch was in an agitated state and booted a wastebasket across the room, and on another occasion he acted aggressively at a meeting.

The judge sees a triable issue over whether his termination violated public policy.

The judge also waived away objections of insufficient allegations connecting MacDonald's complaints and his firing. AMG said it had investigated the complaints, that MacDonald wasn't fired until months after his first complaint, that others who had voiced concerns weren't fired, and that MacDonald was offered a substantial contract. But the suspicious timing of the Gandola meeting was enough for the judge to throw it to a jury.

AMG was successful in getting Judge Strobel to throw out claims of wrongful termination based on the whistleblower statute and a claim of breach of oral contract.

Nevertheless, a five-day jury trial is scheduled to begin on September 4.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/cocaine-trial-cokey-clown-andrew-macdonald-361285

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
Pages: 1 ... 477 478 479 480 481  ...  1070 Notify Send Topic Print
« Previous Topic | Next Topic »

Become a member of the UFO Casebook Forum today and join our more than 19,000 members.

Visit the UFO Casebook Web Site

Donate $6.99 for 50,000 Ad-Free Pageviews!

| |

This forum powered for FREE by Conforums ©
Sign up for your own Free Message Board today!
Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Conforums Support | Parental Controls