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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 70622 times)
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« Reply #8475 on: May 14th, 2013, 09:19am »

Reuters

Associated Press says U.S. government seized journalists' phone records

By Tabassum Zakaria and Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON | Tue May 14, 2013 7:30am EDT

(Reuters) - The Associated Press said on Monday the U.S. government secretly seized telephone records of AP offices and reporters for a two-month period in 2012, describing the acts as a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into news-gathering operations.

AP Chief Executive Gary Pruitt, in a letter posted on the agency's website, said the AP was informed last Friday that the Justice Department gathered records for more than 20 phone lines assigned to the news agency and its reporters.

"There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters," Pruitt said in the letter addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder.

An AP story on the records seizure said the government would not say why it sought them.

But it noted that U.S. officials have previously said the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Columbia was conducting a criminal investigation into information contained in a May 7, 2012, AP story about a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped an al Qaeda plot to detonate a bomb on an airplane headed for the United States.

Five reporters and an editor involved in that story were among those whose phone numbers were obtained by the government, the AP said.

The disclosure threatened to set off a confrontation between free press advocates and the Obama administration, which has aggressively pursued national security leaks.

"It's alarming given the scale of it," said David Schulz, an attorney with Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz who is representing the AP. "This is a massive intrusion into the news gathering operation of one of the largest news organizations in the U.S. People should be concerned."

The U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Columbia, which notified the AP of the seizure, issued a statement on Monday saying it was "careful and deliberative" when dealing with issues around freedom of the press.

"We take seriously our obligations to follow all applicable laws, federal regulations, and Department of Justice policies when issuing subpoenas for phone records of media organizations," the office said.

A Justice Department spokesman referred inquiries to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The White House was not involved in the decision to seize the AP records, Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

"Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP," Carney said. "We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department."

The seized phone records were for April and May of 2012, and AP bureaus in New York, Hartford and Washington were among those affected, as well as an AP phone at the U.S. House of Representatives press gallery, the AP said.

AP journalists' home and cell phone records were seized by the Justice Department, Pruitt said in his letter to Holder.

The reporters who were targeted included Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman and Eileen Sullivan, who were also part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for revealing secret New York Police Department intelligence operations targeting Muslim communities.

The AP said it had delayed reporting the Yemen plot story at the request of government officials and disclosed it after officials said it no longer endangered national security.

CIA Director John Brennan in testimony in February said the FBI had questioned him but he denied being the AP's source.

Reuters reported that on May 7, 2012, Brennan, then Obama's top White House counterterrorism adviser, held a small, private teleconference to brief former counter-terrorism advisers who are frequent commentators on television news shows and told them that the plot was never a threat to U.S. public safety because Washington had "inside control" over it.

The original AP story made no mention of an undercover informant or "control" over the operation by the United States or its allies.

'POINTED QUESTIONS'

The AP is assessing options for legal action in response to the government's actions, said Schulz, the attorney.

The Justice Department has issued rules that apply to subpoenas seeking phone records for news organizations. The subpoenas must be approved by the attorney general, drawn as narrowly as possible and used only when other attempts to get the information have failed.

The department is also required to notify the organization and seek to negotiate an agreement before issuing those subpoenas, as long as "such negotiations would not pose a substantial threat to the investigation at issue. Pruitt said that the AP was not notified in advance.

The AP may have little recourse to fight the subpoenas in court, since they were served not on the news organization but, presumably, on phone companies, legal experts said.

David Anderson, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin and an expert in media law, said there is no prohibition against seeking phone records to pursue potential leaks.

"There's nothing unusual about that, except that it's a news organization," said Anderson, who noted that the subpoenas could have a "terrible effect" by discouraging sources from talking to reporters.

Laura Murphy, director of the Washington legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that the incident was part of a pattern by the Obama administration in going after whistleblowers and leaked information.

"The Obama administration has been one of the most aggressive administrations in history when it comes to going after whistleblowers, and we find their conduct highly disturbing, and this is part of a pattern," she said in a phone interview.

Among at least a half-dozen prosecutions by the Obama White House - more than all other previous presidents combined, according to tallies by multiple news organizations - the Justice Department charged former National Security Agency official Thomas Drake under the Espionage Act with mishandling classified information.

On the eve of his trial, the government dropped the charges in exchange for Drake pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge.

Republican Representative Robert Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that the panel intends to ask Holder "pointed questions" about the issue when he testifies on Wednesday at a previously scheduled general oversight hearing.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, a Republican who has been criticizing the Obama administration on several fronts, including over last year's attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, faulted the administration for the Justice Department action.

"Coming within a week of revelations that the White House lied to the American people about the Benghazi attacks and the IRS targeted conservative Americans for their political beliefs, Americans should take notice that top Obama Administration officials increasingly see themselves as above the law and emboldened by the belief that they don't have to answer to anyone," Issa said in a statement.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, said he was "very troubled" by the allegations and wants to hear the government's explanation.

"The burden is always on the government when they go after private information - especially information regarding the press or its confidential sources. I want to know more about this case, but on the face of it, I am concerned that the government may not have met that burden," he said in a statement.

(Additional reporting By David Ingram, Jennifer Saba, Joseph Ax, Ben Berkowitz and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Warren Strobel and Paul Simao)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/14/us-usa-justice-ap-idUSBRE94C0ZW20130514

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« Reply #8476 on: May 14th, 2013, 09:22am »

Scientific American

Why Rituals Work

There are real benefits to rituals, religious or otherwise

By Francesca Gino and Michael I. Norton

Think about the last time you were about to interview for a job, speak in front of an audience, or go on a first date. To quell your nerves, chances are you spent time preparing – reading up on the company, reviewing your slides, practicing your charming patter. People facing situations that induce anxiety typically take comfort in engaging in preparatory activities, inducing a feeling of being back in control and reducing uncertainty.

While a little extra preparation seems perfectly reasonable, people also engage in seemingly less logical behaviors in such situations. Here’s one person’s description from our research:

I pound my feet strongly on the ground several times, I take several deep breaths, and I "shake" my body to remove any negative energies. I do this often before going to work, going into meetings, and at the front door before entering my house after a long day.

While we wonder what this person’s co-workers and neighbors think of their shaky acquaintance, such rituals – the symbolic behaviors we perform before, during, and after meaningful event – are surprisingly ubiquitous, across culture and time. Rituals take an extraordinary array of shapes and forms. At times performed in communal or religious settings, at times performed in solitude; at times involving fixed, repeated sequences of actions, at other times not. People engage in rituals with the intention of achieving a wide set of desired outcomes, from reducing their anxiety to boosting their confidence, alleviating their grief to performing well in a competition – or even making it rain.

Recent research suggests that rituals may be more rational than they appear. Why? Because even simple rituals can be extremely effective. Rituals performed after experiencing losses – from loved ones to lotteries – do alleviate grief, and rituals performed before high-pressure tasks – like singing in public – do in fact reduce anxiety and increase people’s confidence. What’s more, rituals appear to benefit even people who claim not to believe that rituals work. While anthropologists have documented rituals across cultures, this earlier research has been primarily observational. Recently, a series of investigations by psychologists have revealed intriguing new results demonstrating that rituals can have a causal impact on people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Basketball superstar Michael Jordan wore his North Carolina shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls shorts in every game; Curtis Martin of the New York Jets reads Psalm 91 before every game. And Wade Boggs, former third baseman for the Boston Red Sox, woke up at the same time each day, ate chicken before each game, took exactly 117 ground balls in practice, took batting practice at 5:17, and ran sprints at 7:17. (Boggs also wrote the Hebrew word Chai (“living”) in the dirt before each at bat. Boggs was not Jewish.) Do rituals like these actually improve performance? In one recent experiment, people received either a “lucky golf ball” or an ordinary golf ball, and then performed a golf task; in another, people performed a motor dexterity task and were either asked to simply start the game or heard the researcher say “I’ll cross fingers for you” before starting the game. The superstitious rituals enhanced people’s confidence in their abilities, motivated greater effort – and improved subsequent performance. These findings are consistent with research in sport psychology demonstrating the performance benefits of pre-performance routines, from improving attention and execution to increasing emotional stability and confidence.

more after the jump:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-rituals-work

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« Reply #8477 on: May 14th, 2013, 09:25am »

International Business Times

May 14, 2013 1:56 PM IST

UFO Sighting: Mysterious Light Emitting Objects Spotted Flying Over Christchurch

Sightings of several flying mysterious objects, believed to be Unidentified flying objects (UFO), were reported in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Sunday.

According to UFO Sightings Daily, a couple claimed they saw twelve UFOs moving in a slow pace and lighting up the night sky with an orange glow.

"One witness said that she and her husband noticed mysterious lights in the night skies of Bryndwr at approximately 8'oclock. She detailed that they were leaving their property at around 8'oclock on Aorangi Road when her husband looked for traffic to south direction. He witnessed approximately 12 lights moving at the same speed. At first, her husband thought they were fireworks but changed his mind when they remained bright orange in colour and moving in formation," the daily reported.

The couple stopped their car and stepped out to get a clear view of the objects. They noticed that one of the objects, which were moving slowly in two groups, trailed behind the rest and started moving at a considerable high speed.

The couple, who did not wish to be named, shot a video of the spectacle and noticed that the orange glow around the objects turned into grey circular shapes as they passed overhead.

Another witness from Bishopdale also claimed to have seen the mysterious objects moving in groups. Katie Ferguson took notice when her flatmate saw 12 objects moving in a steady pace over the skies.

"Katie went out to look for the lights and she saw six hovering lights in orange colour and in similar place. She said that the lights were in two groups, three lights in each group. Few seconds later, the two groups distanced themselves and moved at fast rate. They disappeared over the clouds. Katie and her flatmate were left standing in their position for two minutes wondering of what they had just witnessed," reported UFO Sightings Daily.

Regarding its authenticity, a description given below the video said that the mysterious light emitting objects were not UFOs but "wish laterns" which were released during a birthday celebration for a cancer sufferer in Christchurch.

(Click here to watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=a1JGh6T2iCU)

However, another witness Nathan Hanna said he could not figure out what the objects actually are but was sure they were not lanterns. He said one of them seemed to move in an opposite direction at a certain point.

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/articles/467426/20130514/ufo-sightings-mysterious-objects-spotted-photo-video.htm

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« Reply #8478 on: May 14th, 2013, 1:49pm »

Man Who Fled Zombies in Stolen Big Rig Pleads Guilty to Felonies

A Tennessee man who stole a big-rig truck in California, caused several accidents from swerving and speeding, and told investigators he was fleeing zombies has pleaded guilty to several felonies.

U-T San Diego reported Jerimiah Hartline pleaded guilty Monday to assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run causing death or injury, and vehicle theft. He could get five years in prison, according to the Associated Press.

The California Highway Patrol says Hartline stowed away in the truck in Tennessee and stole it when the driver got out at roadside scales near Temecula, Calif.

The CHP says after Hartline caused several crashes, the big-rig overturned on Interstate 15 and spilled its load of strawberries, all because he said there were zombies.

Seven people were injured.

CHP investigators say Hartline told them he had to speed and swerve because he was fleeing from zombies.

Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/newswidget/man-who-fled-zombies/2013/05/14/id/504326?promo_code=1302E-1&utm_source=1302Ewctv_tv&utm_medium=nmwidget&utm_campaign=widgetphase1#ixzz2TIAOXyRC
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« Reply #8479 on: May 15th, 2013, 09:07am »

on May 14th, 2013, 1:49pm, Swamprat wrote:
Man Who Fled Zombies in Stolen Big Rig Pleads Guilty to Felonies

A Tennessee man who stole a big-rig truck in California, caused several accidents from swerving and speeding, and told investigators he was fleeing zombies has pleaded guilty to several felonies.

U-T San Diego reported Jerimiah Hartline pleaded guilty Monday to assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run causing death or injury, and vehicle theft. He could get five years in prison, according to the Associated Press.

The California Highway Patrol says Hartline stowed away in the truck in Tennessee and stole it when the driver got out at roadside scales near Temecula, Calif.

The CHP says after Hartline caused several crashes, the big-rig overturned on Interstate 15 and spilled its load of strawberries, all because he said there were zombies.

Seven people were injured.

CHP investigators say Hartline told them he had to speed and swerve because he was fleeing from zombies.

Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/newswidget/man-who-fled-zombies/2013/05/14/id/504326?promo_code=1302E-1&utm_source=1302Ewctv_tv&utm_medium=nmwidget&utm_campaign=widgetphase1#ixzz2TIAOXyRC




Wackadoodle!

Good morning Swamprat cheesy

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« Reply #8480 on: May 15th, 2013, 09:10am »

Defense News

Germany axes Euro Hawk drone program

May. 14, 2013 - 01:00PM
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BERLIN — Germany has canceled a planned “Euro Hawk” drone program over fears that European authorities will not certify them, a defense ministry source said Tuesday after reported European safety concerns.

Germany had “no hope” of seeing the unmanned aircraft, part of a program that would have cost more than €1 billion (US $1.3 billion), approved for use, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The European Aviation Safety Agency has said it would certify the drones only to fly over unpopulated areas because of a lack of an anti-collision system to protect airliners, according to German press reports.

“The equipment is not ready for approval without immense expenditure,” the source added.

Germany has already spent €508 million on a Euro Hawk prototype and was due to fork out a further €500 million on four more models.

The Euro Hawk is a version of the American Global Hawk produced by Northrop Grumman and remodeled by the European defense and aerospace company EADS.

Berlin has also already spent €40 million on modernizing the northern Jagel air base where the reconnaissance drones would have been based.

Northrop Grumman also did not want to provide technical documents necessary for the certification process, German press reports said.

In 2011, one year later than planned, the prototype Euro Hawk arrived at the Manching base near Munich in southern Germany.

Germany is in talks with Israel on buying Heron TP drones but German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere has indicated that any purchase would not take place ahead of Sept. 22 elections, according to news weekly Der Spiegel.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130514/DEFREG01/305140015/Germany-axes-Euro-Hawk-drone-program

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« Reply #8481 on: May 15th, 2013, 09:16am »

Telegraph

'Minority Report' policing comes to the UK

A police force has become the first to adopt “Minority Report” style crime fighting by using technology to predict where offences take place.

By Tom Whitehead, Security Editor
2:30PM BST 15 May 2013

Kent Police is using computer software to analyse historic offending and criminal behaviour to try and pinpoint where crimes will happen next.

It is an echo of the Tom Cruise science fiction film Minority Report in which "pre-crime" units use psychics to predict future criminals and arrest them before they have even offended.

Kent Police insisted their software only tries to spot crime hot spots and does not assess potential criminals.

However, the programme has now been rolled out across the force after a trial in the north of the country helped cut crime.

Police chiefs used the “PredPol” technology to help target areas to patrol and deter potential offenders.

Similar systems in parts of America have helped cut crime by 17 per cent and Kent police has worked closely with officers from Los Angeles.

The programme, which uses similar technology to that which predicts earthquakes, examines historic crime data and human behaviour analysis, to judge where an offence is most likely to take place.

Officers receive updates from the system twice a day and then decide where to patrol.

Kent Chief Constable Ian Learmonth said last year: “`Predictive Policing helps address the root causes of crime and anti-social behaviour rather than looking solely at the symptoms and will be used a tactical option as part of the force's current policing model.

“Predictive policing is the best example of old fashioned policing but using 21st century technology.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10059121/Minority-Report-policing-comes-to-the-UK.html

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« Reply #8482 on: May 15th, 2013, 09:18am »

NASA.gov

John Yembrick/Jason Townsend
Headquarters, Washington

202-358-1584/202-358-0359

john.yembrick@nasa.gov / jason.c.townsend@nasa.gov

May 14, 2013 RELEASE :

13-139 NASA's Google+ Hangout Connects Space Station, "Star Trek Into Darkness" Crews

WASHINGTON -- The director, a writer and some actors in the film "Star Trek Into Darkness" will join NASA as it hosts a Google+ Hangout from noon to 12:45 p.m. EDT, May 16, about how work aboard the International Space Station is turning science fiction into reality.

Google+ Hangouts allow as many as 10 people or groups to chat face-to-face, while thousands more can tune in to watch the conversation live on Google+ or YouTube.

The hangout also will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency's website.

Participating in the hangout will be NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, who currently is living and working aboard the space station; astronauts Michael Fincke and Kjell Lindgren at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston; director J.J. Abrams, screenwriter and producer Damon Lindelof; and stars of the film, Chris Pine, Alice Eve and John Cho. The participants will ask questions of each other and take questions from the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City (home of the space shuttle Enterprise), the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, and social media followers.

Cassidy will provide insights about life aboard the station. Crews conduct a variety of science experiments and perform station maintenance during their six-month stay on the outpost. Their life in weightlessness requires different approaches to everyday activities such as eating, sleeping and exercising.

NASA's social media followers may submit video questions prior to the hangout. Several video questions will be selected and answered by astronauts and the movie cast. Unique and original questions are more likely to be selected.

The deadline to submit video questions is 3 a.m. Wednesday, May 15. To be considered, video clips must be no longer than 30 seconds and uploaded to YouTube and tagged with #askNASA. Submitters should introduce themselves and mention their location before asking their question.

NASA also will take questions submitted leading up to and during the event by fans on YouTube, Google+, Twitter and Facebook using #askNASA. On the morning of the event, NASA will open a thread on its Facebook page where questions may be posted.

The hangout may be viewed live on NASA's Google+ page, the NASA Television YouTube channel, or NASA TV. To join the hangout, and for updates and opportunities to participate in upcoming hangouts, visit the NASA's Google+ page at:


http://www.google.com/+NASA


For information about connecting and collaborating with NASA, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/connect


For NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information, visit:



http://www.nasa.gov/ntv


In 2005, Fincke made a guest appearance on the series finale of the television series "Star Trek: Enterprise." For more information, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/vision/space/features/Astros_on_StarTrek.html


For more information on Cassidy, Fincke and Lindgren, visit:


http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/cassidy-cj.html



http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/fincke.html




http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/lindgren-kn.html


For information about the space station, research in low-Earth orbit, NASA's commercial space programs and the future of American spaceflight, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/exploration


- end -

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/may/HQ_13-139_ISS-Star_Trek_Google_Hangout.html

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« Reply #8483 on: May 15th, 2013, 09:20am »

Science Daily

Fossil Saved from Mule Track Revolutionizes Understanding of Ancient Dolphin-Like Marine Reptile

May 14, 2013 — An international team of scientists have revealed a new species of ichthyosaur (a dolphin-like marine reptile from the age of dinosaurs) from Iraq, which revolutionises our understanding of the evolution and extinction of these ancient marine reptiles.

The results, produced by a collaboration of researchers from universities and museums in Belgium and the UK and published today (May 15) in Biology Letters, contradict previous theories that suggest the ichthyosaurs of the Cretaceous period (the span of time between 145 and 66 million years ago) were the last survivors of a group on the decline.

Ichthyosaurs are marine reptiles known from hundreds of fossils from the time of the dinosaurs. "They ranged in size from less than one to over 20 metres in length. All gave birth to live young at sea, and some were fast-swimming, deep-diving animals with enormous eyeballs and a so-called warm-blooded physiology," says lead author Dr Valentin Fischer of the University of Liege in Belgium.

Until recently, it was thought that ichthyosaurs declined gradually in diversity through multiple extinction events during the Jurassic period. These successive events were thought to have killed off all ichthyosaurs except those strongly adapted for fast-swimming life in the open ocean. Due to this pattern, it has been assumed that ichthyosaurs were constantly and rapidly evolving to be ever-faster open-water swimmers; seemingly, there was no 'stasis' in their long evolutionary history.

However, an entirely new ichthyosaur from the Kurdistan region of Iraq substantially alters this view of the group. The specimen concerned was found during the 1950s by British petroleum geologists. "The fossil -- a well-preserved partial skeleton that consists of much of the front half of the animal -- wasn't exactly being treated with the respect it deserves. Preserved within a large, flat slab of rock, it was being used as a stepping stone on a mule track," says co-author Darren Naish of the University of Southampton. "Luckily, the geologists realized its potential importance and took it back to the UK, where it remains today," adds Dr Naish, who is based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

Study of the specimen began during the 1970s with ichthyosaur expert Robert Appleby, then of University College, Cardiff. "Robert Appleby recognised that the specimen was significant, but unfortunately died before resolving the precise age of the fossil, which he realised was critical," says Jeff Liston of National Museums Scotland and manager of the research project. "So continuation of the study fell to a new generation of researchers."

In the new study (which properly includes Appleby as an author), researchers name it Malawania anachronus, which means 'out of time swimmer'. Despite being Cretaceous in age, Malawania represents the last-known member of a kind of ichthyosaur long believed to have gone extinct during the Early Jurassic, more than 66 million years earlier. Remarkably, this kind of archaic ichthyosaur appears characterised by an evolutionary stasis: they seem not to have changed much between the Early Jurassic and the Cretaceous, a very rare feat in the evolution of marine reptiles.

"Malawania's discovery is similar to that of the coelacanth in the 1930s: it represents an animal that seems 'out of time' for its age. This 'living fossil' of its time demonstrates the existence of a lineage that we had never even imagined. Maybe the existence of such Jurassic-style ichthyosaurs in the Cretaceous has been missed because they always lived in the Middle-East, a region that has previously yielded only a single, very fragmentary ichthyosaur fossil," adds Dr Fischer.

Thanks to both their study of microscopic spores and pollen preserved on the same slab as Malawania, and to their several analyses of the ichthyosaur family tree, Fischer and his colleagues retraced the evolutionary history of Cretaceous ichthyosaurs. In fact, the team was able to show that numerous ichthyosaur groups that appeared during the Triassic and Jurassic ichthyosaur survived into the Cretaceous. It means that the supposed end of Jurassic extinction event did not ever occur for ichthyosaurs, a fact that makes their fossil record quite different from that of other marine reptile groups.

When viewed together with the discovery of another ichthyosaur by the same team in 2012 and named Acamptonectes densus, the discovery of Malawania constitutes a 'revolution' in how we imagine ichthyosaur evolution and extinction. It now seems that ichthyosaurs were still important and diverse during the early part of the Cretaceous. The final extinction of the ichthyosaurs -- an event that occurred about 95 million years ago (long before the major meteorite-driven extinction event that ended the Cretaceous) -- is now even more confusing than previously assumed.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514213154.htm

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« Reply #8484 on: May 15th, 2013, 09:24am »

Metro UK

MoD launches appeal after two men pictured walking with ‘unexploded bombs’ on their shoulders

Wednesday 15 May 2013 11:17 am

The Ministry of Defence has launched an urgent appeal to find two men photographed walking nonchalantly in Dorset with two ‘unexploded bombs’ on their shoulders.

The men were snapped at a location between Worbarrow Bay and Tyneham by a woman, who has not been named, who said she feared for the safety of her daughter.

‘I thought they were carrying rugs, but as they walked past, I saw they were enormous shells,’ she told the Dorset Echo.

‘I was really scared. As they were walking past, my little girl was alongside them.

‘They could have gone on the Sandbanks Ferry or on the motorway. I just think they’re idiots.’

It is not yet certain whether the 120-millimetre tank shells were live bombs, with the MOD adding it was hard to discern from the photo.

‘I was with somebody who used to be in the Army and he said that because their ends were intact, they were unexploded,’ the woman who took the photo added.

The Army uses the area for ammunition training.

http://metro.co.uk/2013/05/15/mod-launch-appeal-after-two-men-filmed-with-unexploded-bombs-on-shoulders-3759875/

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« Reply #8485 on: May 16th, 2013, 08:06am »

Reuters

Analysis: As scandals mount, White House springs into damage control

By John Whitesides

WASHINGTON
Wed May 15, 2013 10:17pm EDT

(Reuters) - With no sign of an end to three mushrooming scandals, the White House acknowledged the rising political dangers on Wednesday by launching a concerted effort at damage control.

In a whirlwind few hours, the administration moved forcefully to counter criticism of its handling of the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya, the seizure of reporters' phone records in a Justice Department leak investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

In the most aggressive response, President Barack Obama ousted the acting IRS commissioner on Wednesday evening.

It was the sort of concerted response that Obama's political allies had been waiting for, but Republicans' skeptical reaction shows that Obama has a long way to go to dig his way out of the scandals and build goodwill as he tries to salvage his second-term legislative agenda.

"This was a belated acknowledgment that Obama is in trouble," said Jack Pitney, a politics professor at Claremont McKenna College in California. "The question is whether it was too little, too late."

After a largely scandal-free first term, the administration had been slow to respond decisively to the growing criticism - mostly from Republican foes but in some cases from Democrats - in the three controversies.

Days of deflecting blame by administration officials had sparked criticism of Obama's willingness to accept responsibility. During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday afternoon with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Republicans repeatedly attacked the administration for not being forthright on the emerging scandals.

"I believe there has been a pattern by this administration in not taking responsibility for failures, avoiding blame, pointing the fingers in somebody else's direction," said U.S. Representative Steve Chabot, a Republican from Ohio.

But Obama, known for his deliberative style and an aversion to overreacting, decided on Wednesday it was time to fight back.

Appearing at the White House, he said the administration had forced the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller and he strongly condemned the agency's apparent targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny. He promised to cooperate with Congress in an investigation.

Obama's appearance came shortly after the White House released a series of emails detailing discussions about the now famous "talking points" memos that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice used when discussing the September 11, 2012, attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi.

'POLITICAL DAMAGE CONTROL'

Those emails had been the focus of Republican criticism that the Obama administration had not been forthright about the nature of the attack on a diplomatic compound by Islamic militants.

Hoping to defuse criticism about the secret seizure of phone records from Associated Press journalists, the administration sought to revive a 2009 media shield bill sponsored by Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York.

The bill would give federal protection to reporters who decline to reveal their confidential sources, but would also allow national security needs to outweigh those journalists' rights.

Nobody expected the White House response to put an end to the controversies, but it showed the administration was finally willing to openly confront the potential political fallout.

"They clearly have realized it's time to mount political damage control," said Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at the University of Texas.

"You can't just stay quiet and take it, although it does fit Obama's personal style of not foaming at the mouth every time something goes wrong, which is actually something people seem to like about him," he said.

Pitney said the Obama administration appeared to be caught off-guard by the scandals, which have not taken the classic form of a public official caught with his hand in the fiscal till.

"They perhaps didn't anticipate that scandal can take many forms," he said. "They obviously did not see this coming and they weren't prepared for this kind of controversy."

Republicans plan to press congressional investigations of all three incidents in a growing political assault that could still overwhelm Obama's effort to work with his political rivals on immigration reform and looming budget negotiations.

With congressional elections approaching in 2014, any longstanding political damage also could hurt Democrats' efforts to maintain control of the Senate and retake the majority in the House.

But without additional evidence of wrongdoing that traces directly to the White House, Buchanan said, the three scandals may not resonate widely with voters over the long term.

"I don't think they are in trouble except in D.C.," he said. "There might be something there but in the absence of a smoking gun it will blow over."

(Editing by Karey Van Hall)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/16/us-usa-obama-scandals-damage-analysis-idUSBRE94F04720130516

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« Reply #8486 on: May 16th, 2013, 08:15am »

MSN


Updated: Wed, 15 May 2013 18:11:03 GMT
By CBC News, cbc.ca

UFO sightings in Canada in 2012 doubled previous record

More Canadians say they are seeing unidentified flying objects than ever before, with 2012 numbers nearly doubling the record number of sightings recorded in previous years.

In 2012, there were 1,981 sightings, nearly doubling the previous annual record of 1,004 sightings recorded in 2008. There were record numbers of UFOs reported in every province last year except for Saskatchewan and P.E.I.

Chris Rutkowski, a civilian science writer who has produced the Canadian UFO survey since 1989, has just finished compiling all of 2012 reports.

“It’s something across the board,” said Rutkowski. “People in Canada were actually looking up into the sky more than in previous years.”

The objects people witness come in a variety of forms — from triangles and balls of fire, to the more traditionally ovoid-shaped flying saucers, hovering in the sky.

Adam Canning, 10, of Lake Charlotte, N.S., is one of the many hundreds of Canadians who are reporting UFOs.

He said the UFO he witnessed with a friend earlier this year looked like an orb.

“I could see it in the distance for about a minute and then like boom, it went really fast,” said Adam, standing on a hill near his house, pointing at the sky.

“I heard this, beep, beep, beep. I knew something was in the sky. I looked up and there was a big thing. Big, round, like a big hotel or something. I looked at my buddy and I’m like, ‘That has to be a UFO.’ There’s normally helicopters flying over our house but that was way bigger than a helicopter, so I knew it wasn’t a helicopter,” he said.

“There was this one little thing sticking out from the front, it looked like a little gun or something, and there were these two things sticking out of the bottom, it looked like legs or something … There were these little round lights, around the whole thing and at the top, there was one big light.”

The majority of 2012’s sightings were gathered by civilian organizations, after various federal agencies decided to give up tracking and investigating UFO reports, according to documents obtained under the Access to Information Act earlier this year. Those organizations then pass their information on to Rutkowski.

He said that may be part of the reason for the more that double the number of reports in 2012.

“It is very easy to report online, anonymously, without any worry about judgment or retribution, so I think it is very likely people will be reporting things more often to civilian organizations,” he said.

Kathleen Canning, Adam’s mother, said she is convinced her son is telling the truth about what he saw that night last January.

“Even before this sighting, I think for us to think we are the only ones in this vast universe is a bit naive, perhaps,” said Canning.

Adam drew a picture of what he saw that evening. Rutkowski said it is one of the rare times a UFO cannot be explained.

“Only about 7.5 per cent of the cases last year ended up being unexplained. Oddly enough, only about 15 per cent were completely explained, so it's really a matter of intense investigation. There's a lot of work that needs to be done before we can put reports like this into bed,” said Rutkowski.

“Since we don’t have the proof or evidence to suggest that aliens are behind the UFO phenomenon, what exactly is driving the UFO phenomenon? Why do people report seeing UFOs? That’s one of the reasons we put together this study is to ask these questions and suggest that maybe there’s some worthwhile information in there that needs rooting out.”

Adam’s sighting will be counted in the 2013 survey, expected to be completed next year.

Some of the most interesting cases from 2012:

- Jan. 1: 9:30 p.m.

Cornwall, P.E.I. — Two witnesses watched a triangular black craft with pink lights on its wingtips pass overhead slowly and silently. When it was directly overhead, the object’s underside looked like a large bright ball of white light. It flew around the town in an arc, reversed course and eventually flew off to the north over the treetops. The sighting lasted about five minutes.

- Feb. 25: 5 p.m.

Elmira, Ont. — Two witnesses saw two dark objects “shaped like guitar picks” moving silently overhead at an estimated 61 metres high, heading east.

more after the jump:
http://news.ca.msn.com/canada/ufo-sightings-in-canada-in-2012-doubled-previous-record-2

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« Reply #8487 on: May 16th, 2013, 08:20am »

Science News

Kepler mission may be over

Multiple failures cripple planet-hunting telescope

By Andrew Grant
Web edition: May 15, 2013

The telescope that has discovered thousands of exotic, quirky worlds — and a few tantalizingly Earthlike ones — orbiting distant stars is no longer capable of finding planets, at least temporarily and probably for good. Officials with NASA’s $600 million Kepler space telescope announced May 15 that an essential piece of hardware on the spacecraft has failed.

Since May 2009, Kepler has been staring at 170,000 stars and looking for tiny shadows cast by planets crossing in front of them. To enable Kepler to make such precise measurements, engineers installed four pointing devices, called reaction wheels, that turn the telescope and keep it dialed in on its stellar targets. One of the wheels stopped working last July, but the telescope requires only three.

On May 14 Kepler scientists learned that the spacecraft had entered safe mode, which occurs when something is awry. When they tried to restore the telescope to normal operations, another reaction wheel failed to activate. That wheel had been behaving erratically for months, so its failure was not a total surprise. “This is something we’ve been anticipating for a while,” said John Grunsfeld, NASA’s associate administrator of the science mission directorate.

For now, Kepler will enter a fuel-saving mode that keeps the spacecraft in constant communication with Earth. Charles Sobeck, Kepler’s deputy project manager, said the mission team will take the next few weeks to put together a plan of action for trying to restore one of the failed reaction wheels. “We’re not ready to call the mission over,” Grunsfeld said. “I wouldn’t call Kepler down and out just yet.”

Unlike NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, which was repaired in space in 1993, Kepler is too far away from Earth for astronauts to visit and fix it. If engineers cannot restore the wheels from the ground, then Kepler officials will determine what kind of science can be done with the telescope’s limited capabilities.

The announcement comes not even a month after Kepler astronomers announced the discovery of the most Earthlike worlds found to date: a pair of rocky planets orbiting the star Kepler-62 that have a good chance for harboring liquid water (SN 5/18/13, p. 5).

While the telescope’s search for planets is over, researchers’ analysis of the data it collected is not. Kepler data has yielded more than 2,700 likely planets and 132 confirmed ones, with more yet to come. In all, Kepler collected almost exactly four years’ worth of data, and the last year or so of that has barely been analyzed. That means there is still a chance that astronomers will find the signal of an Earth-sized planet orbiting at a life-friendly distance from a sunlike star. “I’m optimistic the data we have will allow us to accomplish that,” said William Borucki, Kepler’s principal investigator.

Still, the news comes as a major disappointment to astronomers. The primary goal of the Kepler mission was to determine how common planets similar to Earth are in the galaxy. Even if Kepler’s existing data yields a handful of Earth analogs, that big question may not be answerable.

Further complicating matters is that the brightness of stars naturally fluctuates over time, making the process of picking out planets extra difficult. Last year NASA extended the Kepler mission to 2016 so that researchers could overcome that natural variability and pick out more planets.

Still, Kepler’s original mission was scheduled for four years, and that’s exactly how long it did its job. Early last year, when Kepler was still at full health, Borucki commented on the importance of the mission: “There is no mission that’s comparable,” he said. “Kepler is the greatest mission NASA has ever flown.”


http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/350445/description/Kepler_mission_may_be_over

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« Reply #8488 on: May 16th, 2013, 08:24am »

FOX

'Lost City of Gold' found deep in Honduras rain forest?


By Stephanie Pappas
Published May 15, 2013

New images of a possible lost city hidden by Honduran rain forests show what might be the building foundations and mounds of Ciudad Blanca, a never-confirmed legendary metropolis.

Archaeologists and filmmakers Steven Elkins and Bill Benenson announced last year that they had discovered possible ruins in Honduras' Mosquitia region using lidar, or light detection and ranging. Essentially, slow-flying planes send constant laser pulses toward the ground as they pass over the rain forest, imaging the topography below the thick forest canopy.

What the archaeologists found and what the new images reveal are features that could be ancient ruins, including canals, roads, building foundations and terraced agricultural land. The University of Houston archaeologists who led the expedition will reveal their new images and discuss them Wednesday at the American Geophysical Union Meeting of the Americas in Cancun.

Ciudad Blanca, or "The White City," has been a legend since the days of the conquistadors, who believed the Mosquitia rain forests hid a metropolis full of gold and searched for it in the 1500s. Throughout the 1900s, archaeologists documented mounds and other signs of ancient civilization in the Mosquitias region, but the shining golden city of legend has yet to make an appearance.

Whether or not the lidar-weilding archaeologists have discovered the same city the conquistadors were looking for is up for debate, but the images suggest some signs of an ancient lost civilization.

"We use lidar to pinpoint where human structures are by looking for linear shapes and rectangles," Colorado State University research Stephen Leisz, who uses lidar in Mexico, said in a statement. "Nature doesn't work in straight lines."

The archaeologists plan to get their feet on the ground this year to investigate the mysterious features seen in the new images.


http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/05/15/ruins-lost-city-may-lurk-deep-in-honduras-rain-forest/#ixzz2TSgItQkt

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« Reply #8489 on: May 17th, 2013, 10:26am »






Published on May 16, 2013

ufo sighting in bnagalore india


~

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