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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 91146 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #810 on: Aug 23rd, 2010, 2:17pm »

Hi Phil!
Yea, that darn cow was chasing me around. Even attacked when I had my back to her!
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #811 on: Aug 23rd, 2010, 2:20pm »

i once told my oldest kid, that cows were aliens put on this planet to spy on us. i told her that they mooed at each other so they could communicate and tell friend from enemy. So now everytime she see's a cow she mooo's at it and says im a friend!
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #812 on: Aug 23rd, 2010, 5:09pm »

on Aug 23rd, 2010, 2:20pm, jwalker28 wrote:
i once told my oldest kid, that cows were aliens put on this planet to spy on us. i told her that they mooed at each other so they could communicate and tell friend from enemy. So now everytime she see's a cow she mooo's at it and says im a friend!


Your daughter sounds like a sweetheart! cheesy
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #813 on: Aug 23rd, 2010, 5:33pm »

on Aug 23rd, 2010, 5:09pm, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Your daughter sounds like a sweetheart! cheesy


she really is and incredibly funny
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #814 on: Aug 23rd, 2010, 5:58pm »

Phantoms and Monsters

Monday, August 23, 2010
Legendary Humanoids: Mono Grande, Large Monkey of South America

Some mythical creatures have their origin in tradition and tales from the distant past. However, each culture is associated with a multitude of interesting and odd creatures, many of these beings are humanoids. One of these legendary humanoids is the Mono Grande.

The Mono Grande (Spanish for "Large Monkey"), a large monkey-like creature, has been occasionally reported in South America. The first formal record of the creature called "marimondas" or "maribundas" comes from 1533, when Pedro Cieza de León reported sightings from natives and from one Spanish settler. In his writings, Sir Walter Raleigh referred to reports of large monkey-like creatures in South America. He did not witness a creature himself, but deemed them credible, noting the ubiquity and consistency of reports. German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, who travelled in South America during early 19th century collected stories from Orinoco about furry human-like creatures called Salvaje ("Wild"), that according to Humboldt were rumored to capture women, build huts and to occasionally eat human flesh.

In 1860, Philip Gosse in his book The Romance of Natural History stated that a "large anthropoid ape, not yet recognized by zoologists," probably existed in the forests of South America. More accounts of the animal came to light in 1876, when explorer Charles Barrington Brown wrote of a creature called the Didi. This creature, according to Brown, was a wild man which lived in the forests of British Guiana. He stated that on several occasions he had heard its cries, and on others he had seen footprints identified as coming from the creature.

The best evidence (and most controversial) for the existence of an anthropoid ape in South America's jungles came later, when Swiss geologist Francois de Loys led an expedition to the borders of Colombia and Venezuela and set up camp near the Tarra River. Two creatures emerged from the forest and moved towards the campsite. De Loys noted that they were a male and a female and about five feet in height. He recounts how the creatures broke off branches of trees and waved them at the party. During this assault, de Loys said, the creatures began to howl and screech, and eventually they threw their own dung at the expedition. The party opened fire, and the female was killed. The male retreated into the forest.

The men, realizing that their kill was something out of the ordinary, sat its body on a crate, propping its head up with a stick. De Loys recorded that the creature was skinned, and its skull and jawbone preserved. Perhaps conveniently, these remains of the creature were lost. Nearly a decade passed before the image was made public.

De Loys' friend George Montandon took great interest in the photograph and published it in 1929, dubbing the creature Ameranthropoides loysi. On June 15, in the Illustrated London News, de Loys told the story of what had happened. Almost immediately, de Loys and Montandon came under attack from the scientific community. Many debunkers of the de Loys photo, foremost among them Sir Arthur Keith, proclaimed that the alleged "anthropoid" was actually a normal spider monkey, its tail concealed behind the crate on which its body sat. Furthermore, said Keith, there was nothing in the photo that was a clear measure of the animal's size.

more after the jump
http://naturalplane.blogspot.com/2010/08/legendary-humanoids-mono-grande-large.html

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #815 on: Aug 23rd, 2010, 6:35pm »



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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #816 on: Aug 23rd, 2010, 11:33pm »

Oh Wow! that Wisteria is so beautiful.... I saw a private garden in London that had done the same thing at its entrance.... It looked so pretty.
Thanks for posting it Crys smiley
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #817 on: Aug 24th, 2010, 02:09am »

Hi Crys

I have been reading in your thread about the Wikileaks founder, and saw this on the news today.

Australian intel warned WikiLeaks

Australian intelligence services had warned WikiLeaks of "dirty tricks" before Swedish authorities issued a short-lived arrest warrant for founder Julian Assange over a rape claim, he says.

"We were warned on the 11th (of August) by Australian intelligence that we should expect this sort of thing," Assange said on Monday in a telephone interview with broadcaster Al-Jazeera from a secret location in Sweden.

Read the full article at: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/7949842/australian-intel-warned-wikileaks
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #818 on: Aug 24th, 2010, 06:53am »

Interesting. Thanks for sharing, Pen. Now it's obvious that it could be only a smear campaign and is just meant to lower his credibility.

@jwalker
You're daughter is really special! smiley

@Crystal
Gorgeous picture! Thanks. smiley

BTW where is Seeker? Haven't seen her posting lately.
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #819 on: Aug 24th, 2010, 08:38am »

Good evening Pen, Good morning Phil,
That wisteria just knocked me out. Glad you liked it.
And thank you for that WikiLeaks link. The thing that makes me the angriest about our military is that we are using up our soldiers and then don't show them the respect and care that they deserve. They aren't Tonka toys.

Hey Phil,
I don't know why Seeker hasn't been by. Hope it wasn't something I said. tongue

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« Reply #820 on: Aug 24th, 2010, 08:42am »

New York Times I want one!

August 24, 2010
Driverless Vehicles Go Manual in Moscow
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 9:24 a.m. ET

MILAN (AP) -- A pair of fender-benders, two technology-loving hitchhikers and 22 hours blocked at the Russian border. That's the balance sheet so far for a team of driverless vehicles on a 13,000-kilometer (8000-mile) roadtrip from Europe to China.

A group of Italian engineers from the University of Parma's Vislab are testing sensory technology that allow unmanned vehicles to avoid obstacles on the longest-ever roadtrip of driverless technology.

One month into the three-month journey, most errors have been human, and minor.

In Moscow, the automatic driving mechanism had to be turned off. The traffic patterns were just too chaotic.

The team departed Italy last month and is expected in Shanghai on Oct. 18 for a final demonstration at the World Expo.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/08/24/business/AP-EU-Italy-Driverless-Odyssey.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #821 on: Aug 24th, 2010, 08:47am »

New York Times

August 23, 2010
Plotting Doubted in WikiLeaks Case
By JOHN F. BURNS

STOCKHOLM — Although Swedish prosecutors have yet to complete their review of sexual abuse accusations that two Stockholm women made last week against Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks Web site, those who say they have detailed knowledge of the case discount conspiracy theories linking it to efforts to discredit WikiLeaks.

Mr. Assange had suggested over the weekend that the tortured sequence of events at the Stockholm prosecutor’s office had been prompted by the Pentagon as part of what he called a program of “dirty tricks to ruin us.” The prosecutors had issued a warrant for Mr. Assange’s arrest on suspicion of rape on Friday night, which was followed within 24 hours by the cancellation of the warrant and a formal retraction of the implication that a rape had occurred.

But the conspiratorial view has found no backing from the prosecutor’s office, where the senior prosecutor in charge of the case, Eva Finne, said Monday that nothing she knew of the case suggested that there had been any outside involvement in the events that led the two women to make their accusations against Mr. Assange.

“I have no indication at all in that direction,” Ms. Finne said in a telephone interview in which she confirmed that a lesser charge mentioned in the original prosecutor’s statement — molestation of the two women — remained under investigation.

She said she hoped to decide by the end of the week whether to proceed with a molestation charge against Mr. Assange, which carries a maximum penalty under Swedish law of a year in prison.

The developments over the weekend set off a new flurry of the interest that has focused on WikiLeaks and its founder after the organization posted 77,000 secret Pentagon documents on the Afghan war on the Internet in late July.

The Defense Department’s general counsel, Jeh Charles Johnson, said last week that WikiLeaks had acted illegally in obtaining the secret documents and thousands of others that it has not yet posted on the Web, and Justice Department lawyers have been exploring the possibility of criminal charges against WikiLeaks and Mr. Assange.

Mr. Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, left Britain for Sweden this month as the long-distance confrontation with United States authorities intensified, saying he intended to establish a more secure base for himself and WikiLeaks under the wide protections afforded to whistle-blowers by Swedish law. The organization already had a strong base of support here, and it uses Sweden as a base for some of the multiple Web servers it uses to store and disseminate its caches of secret documents.

Mr. Assange and one of the two women, an activist in her early30s who is associated with a group that works with WikiLeaks in Sweden, did not respond to requests for interviews on Sunday and Monday. Efforts to contact the second woman, an artist who is in her mid-20s, were also unsuccessful.

Around the time the rape accusation was made, Mr. Assange traveled to northern Sweden, where he remains, according to an account he gave on Sunday to the Stockholm newspaper Aftonbladet. The newspaper announced recently that it planned to establish a formal relationship with Mr. Assange as a contributing columnist, an arrangement that friends said would enable him to acquire a work permit to stay in Sweden.

In the interview, he declined to answer questions about his relationships with the two women.

“I don’t want to drag anybody’s private life into the dirt without first understanding the whole situation clearly,” he said. “Why are they going to the police? What’s behind it? What I can say is that I have never, in Sweden or any other country, had sex with someone in a way that did not build on total consent from both sides.”

He contended in the interview, as he has in Twitter feeds and e-mails, that the accusations of sexual impropriety involved “dirty tricks.”

“I don’t know what’s behind this,” he said. “But we have been warned that the Pentagon, for example, is thinking of deploying dirty tricks to ruin us. And I have also been warned about sex traps.”

He added that he thought WikiLeaks had suffered “major damage” from the allegations. “There have been headlines all across the world that I am suspected of rape,” he said. “They do not disappear. And I know from experience that WikiLeaks’ enemies continue to trumpet things even after they have been retracted.”

But one of Mr. Assange’s close friends in Sweden, who said he had discussed the case in detail with Mr. Assange and one of the women, said he was “absolutely sure” that what was involved were personal animosities and grievances that flowed out of brief relationships Mr. Assange had with the women.

The man, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the issues, said that the volatile mix that led to the two women’s seeking criminal charges against Mr. Assange involved his celebrity in Sweden and the ill feelings that erupted when the two women discovered they had been competing for his attentions.

“This wasn’t anything to do with the Pentagon,” he said. “It was just a personal matter between three people that got out of hand.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/24/world/europe/24wikileaks.html?ref=world

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« Reply #822 on: Aug 24th, 2010, 08:49am »

New York Times

August 23, 2010
Desert Dwellers on a Fast-Food Diet
By SHEILA PRAKASH

Elizabeth Demaray, an artist based in Brooklyn, is at the counter at a McDonald’s in Midtown Manhattan. She is ordering up a storm. Cheeseburger. Apple dippers. Chicken nuggets. French fries. Baked apple pie. A strawberry shake.

The shake is unavailable. “Then make it a strawberry smoothie — in your largest size.”

Whether the red harvester ant Pogonomyrmex badius will enjoy this food is the subject of her current exhibition — “Corpor Esurit, or we all deserve a break today” — at Exit Art on Tenth Avenue and 36th Street through Wednesday. For one month, the ants, which usually thrive on seeds, are being fed a steady diet of McDonald’s Happy Meals. They even get the toys.

The ants are housed in a roughly 6-by-10-foot plexiglass farm that is packed with Perlite pebbles and sealed with clear packing tape and nylon panty hose —“for gnat abatement,” Ms. Demaray said. The food is placed in a numbered grid on the floor of the feeding area. Ms. Demaray worked hand in hand with Dr. Christine Johnson, a scientific assistant at the American Museum of Natural History who specializes in ant research.

This gallery offering may appeal to followers of the art world. Ms. Demaray’s goal is to stage a commentary on the effects of the American diet on the creatures that depend on us for food. But scientists bring a different lens.

“My first response as a scientist would be bafflement as to why Pogonomyrmex was chosen,” Dr. Colin S. Brent, a research entomologist with the federal Department of Agriculture, wrote in an e-mail. “They might enjoy the sesame seeds on the buns, but that would be about it.” Ants of the genus Pogonomyrmex are desert seed harvesters known for their deep nests and toxic venom, not the kind of ants that intrude on a picnic.

Dr. Michael S. Engel, a paleontologist and entomologist at the University of Kansas and a co-author, with David Grimaldi, of the sweeping book “Evolution of the Insects,” said the exhibit sounded fascinating but added, “If I had to toss in a particular group of ants into an enclosure to see how well they were going to thrive off of junk food, I’d throw in generalist carnivores and omnivores like army ants.”

Pogonomyrmex, or “Pogos,” as they are affectionately known in the trade, are more selective eaters. Though mostly granivores, Pogonomyrmex badius workers will sometimes patrol for dead insects and termites to bring to the colony after a desert rain.

At the gallery last week, many of the ants were dead. A few looked disoriented. This exhibit lacks a queen and brood, so the workers are leading a life devoid of its fundamental purpose.

Bert Hölldobler, an Arizona State University professor who won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize with E. O. Wilson for their definitive book, “The Ants,” said by e-mail, “I have been asked repeatedly to help artists to fill their creations with ants. Some of the proposals were quite mind-boggling.” He added, “When we keep them in the laboratory, we pay very close attention to simulate their ecological requirements as closely as we can.”

A whitewashed art gallery is a far cry from the ants’ ecological niche, but the craterlike nests in the tank have small, circular entrances that are particular to Pogonomyrmex badius. And while there is little foraging activity, the ants seem to be eking out an existence on apple slices and, apparently, the chicken nuggets — which on inspection seem to be totally excavated of meat.

photos after the jump
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/24/science/24ants.html?ref=science

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« Reply #823 on: Aug 24th, 2010, 08:56am »

Telegraph

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Chinese drivers stuck in the longest traffic jam
Authorities in China are racing to unscramble the world's longest traffic, a 60-mile tailback stretching from the capital Beijing to the northern province of Inner Mongolia.

By Peter Foster in Beijing
Published: 12:36PM BST 24 Aug 2010

The jam on the main north-south motorway into Beijing has been blamed on a set of roadworks that is intended to alleviate congestion caused by thousands of trucks bring coal and perishable goods into the city.

At its farthest extent trucks joining the back of queue in Inner Mongolia were taking several days to reach their destination, crawling along at about 2mp/d – or miles per day, the measure of speed on the clogged section.

Local newspapers reported that the jam had spawned a thriving local economy with opportunists and some extortionists selling fruit, nuts, water and instant noodles to the marooned truck drivers who passed the time playing endless hands of cards.

One driver, named only as Mr Jia who was delivering 49 tons of coals from Shandong province said he had been stranded in the section near Wulanchabu city in Inner Mongolia for three days.

Fortunately he'd taken the precaution of provisioning himself adequately with bread, drinking water and spicy Sichuan pickles and so had ignored the offerings of peddlers selling a single egg for 2 yuan (20p) and water for 3 yuan (30p) a cup. Cigarettes were trading at GBP5.00 a packet, a premium of five times the shop price.

The Inner Mongolia Morning Post reported several incidents of theft where modern day highwayman extorted money from stranded drivers or siphoned petrol from the tanks of lorries while their drivers slept unawares.

Another driver, a Ms Ding told the paper that motorists were robbed of more than RMB60,000 (GBP6,000) at night while one of the older drivers was stabbed in the arm.

"The sellers come offering to sell water at crazy prices, but if you said 'no' or complained about the price they threaten to break your shields", said another.

China's state media reported that the traffic on the road was "basically returning to normal" but reports were coming in on Tuesday that a parallel road, the N110 highway, was becoming blocked with vehicles diverting off the motorway.

China, which this year overtook the USA as the largest car market in the world, has embarked a huge expansion of its national road system in recent years but soaring traffic periodically overwhelms the grid.

In Beijing, where 7m cars are projected to be on the road by 2015, there are warnings that traffic could slow to 15 miles per hour as the cities roads become overwhelmed by the number of cars.

Already Beijing drivers are restricted from using their cars one day per week – based on the final digit of their number plate. Plans to build an elevated electric bus network running on rails above existing roads are due to be tested later in the year.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/7961325/Chinese-drivers-stuck-in-the-longest-traffic-jam.html

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #824 on: Aug 24th, 2010, 09:00am »

Here's another article on that whopper of a traffic jam.

Wired

9-Day Traffic Jam Stretches 62 Miles
By Chuck Squatriglia August 23, 2010 | 5:01 pm | Categories: Autopia WTF? Dept.

Whatever traffic hell you endured getting to work this morning is nothing compared to what’s happening in Beijing, where a mammoth traffic jam is entering its ninth day with no relief in sight.

Thousands of trucks have jammed National Expressway 110 since Aug. 14, creating a traffic jam stretching 100 kilometers. Authorities attribute the mess to highway construction exacerbated by accidents and breakdowns. Police are trying to keep tempers from flaring in what is the second massive jam to tie up the highway in the past month.

“Insufficient traffic capacity on the National Expressway 110 caused by maintenance construction since August 19 is the major cause of the congestion,” a spokesman for the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau told Beijing’s Global Times on Sunday.

No one expects things to improve until the project wraps up on Sept. 13.

The highway, also known as G110, links Beijing with Yinchuan in Inner Mongolia and is meant primarily for big rigs. It is open to trucks with a cargo capacity of eight tons or more, although the stretch through Beijing has a maximum cargo capacity of four tons. As many as 17,000 trucks use the road around Beijing each day, according to Sky News, and Global Times says the problem has been exacerbated in the past month by “more trucks carrying excessive coal or fruit.”

It doesn’t help that China is the world’s biggest market for new automobiles, having surpassed the United States last year. The Chinese bought 13.5 million new vehicles last year, and some 650,000 hit the road annually in Shanghai alone, according to The Australian. Traffc can be such a nightmare that one recent survey found seven out of 10 drivers have at some point said “screw this” and gone home.

As many as 400 officers are patrolling the mess — presumably on foot — 24/7 and locals are making a quick buck selling food and water to stranded motorists. Drivers have been playing chess or cards, Sky News reports, with some joking “concerts should be held at each congested area every weekend, to alleviate drivers’ homesickness.”

Some drivers have complained of price gouging. One truck driver told Global Times “instant noodles are sold at four times the original price while I wait in the congestion.

“Not only the congestion annoys me, but also those vendors,” he added.

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/08/nine-day-traffic-jam-makes-your-commute-look-rosy/#ixzz0xX1s2CA6

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