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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 112930 times)
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« Reply #8670 on: Jun 18th, 2013, 10:09am »






Published on Jun 18, 2013

Coast To Coast AM - June 17 2013 - Bigfoot & Cryptozoology

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« Reply #8671 on: Jun 19th, 2013, 09:03am »

Guardian

Hamid Karzai suspends US-Afghanistan security pact talks

President accuses Washington of 'inconsistent statements and actions' with regard to peace talks with Taliban

by Emma Graham-Harrison in Kabul
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 19 June 2013 07.16 EDT

Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, has suspended talks on a long-term security deal to keep US troops in his country after Nato leaves in 2014, accusing Washington of duplicity in its efforts to start peace talks with the Taliban.

The announcement came the day after the Taliban opened a "political office" in Qatar, saying they wanted to seek a peaceful solution to the war in Afghanistan, and the US announced plans for talks with the insurgent group.

News that American diplomats would sit down with Taliban leaders for the first time since the US helped oust the group from power in 2001 prompted speculation that real progress towards a negotiated end to the war might be in sight.

US officials underlined that they aimed mostly to facilitate talks between Afghans, although they do have issues to tackle directly with the Taliban, including a possible prisoner exchange.

But while the Taliban hinted at meeting US demands of a break with al-Qaida – saying Afghan soil should not be used to harm other countries – there was only the barest of nods to the Afghan government's request that they talk to the current administration and respect the constitution.

Diplomats say Karzai was kept in the loop about plans for the formal opening of a Taliban office in Qatar, but had expected it to be couched differently. After hours of ominous silence, his office issued a terse statement in effect condemning the move.

"In view of the contradiction between acts and the statements made by the United States of America in regard to the peace process, the Afghan government suspended the negotiations, currently under way in Kabul between Afghan and US delegations on the bilateral security agreement," the palace said.

The final straw for Karzai was their display of a white Taliban flag and repeated use of the name "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan", both in their statement and on a printed backdrop used for a televised press conference, according a senior Afghan official.

It was the name the group used when they ruled from Kabul, and together with their official flag gave the group's representatives the air of a government-in-exile as they addressed the media.

The US had pledged the Taliban would only be able to use the office as base for talks, not as a political platform, and Karzai felt the press conference was a clear violation of that promise, an official Afghan source told the Guardian.

The president was also unhappy about the lack of any reference to the country's constitution, which both he and the US say the Taliban must respect.

Instead the statement made more than one reference to the "establishment of an independent Islamic government"; as the group have often denounced Karzai as a puppet, that could be read as a call for a change of leader or change of system.

The decision to suspend talks was made after a meeting on Wednesday morning with his national security team and close aides, a source said.

The Afghan government's anger is a blow to hopes that the country's warring factions could be taking the first real steps towards peace; despite US cash and military might, 12 years of fighting have shown it cannot secure the country alone.

In another reminder of the fragile situation in Afghanistan, the Taliban claimed responsibility on Wednesday for an attack on Bagram air base that killed four American troops.

A Taliban spokesman said insurgents had fired two rockets into the base outside the Afghan capital, Kabul, late on Tuesday. US officials confirmed the base had come under attack by mortar or rocket and four troops had been killed.

Karzai has long been a strong advocate of peace talks and cautiously welcomed the idea of a base in Doha, while pushing hard for any negotiations to move to Afghanistan as fast as possible.

But he has also drawn clear red lines, one of them being that the Taliban office first mooted in 2011 should not be used as a base for fundraising or building diplomatic relationships.

A source at the High Peace Council, a body created by Karzai to lead government negotiation efforts, said it was still planning to send a delegation to Qatar, but it was unclear when; and without the support of the Afghan government there is little hope it can make much progress.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/19/hamid-karzai-suspends-us-afghanistan-talks

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« Reply #8672 on: Jun 19th, 2013, 09:06am »

Scientific American

New Astronauts Face Limited Opportunities for Spaceflight

By Bryan Bumgardner
June 18, 2013

NASA announced on Monday its 2013 class of astronaut candidates, but the current state of the agency’s human spaceflight program makes it hard to get excited about what lies ahead for these remarkable individuals.

To mark the announcement, NASA hosted a Google Hangout on Air with several administrators and former astronauts.

After sifting through more than 6,300 applications—the second-highest amount ever received—NASA chose four men and four women, and will train them “for missions to low Earth orbit, an asteroid and Mars,” according to a NASA press release.

NASA’s human spaceflight program has gone through some recent downsizing. After peaking at about 150 astronauts a decade ago, NASA now keeps between 45 and 55 on the roster, as recommended by the National Research Council.

Since the retirement of the last of the agency’s space shuttles in 2011, NASA has depended on Russian Soyuz space capsules to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station, the only human outpost in the solar system. NASA recently signed a deal to reserve rides to space on Russian spacecraft through 2017 at a cost of $424 million: six seats at $70.7 million apiece.

Furthermore, budget reworks have affected NASA’s spacefaring ambitions. The fiscal year 2014 budget stays relatively steady but moves some resources into unmanned missions: the MAVEN Mars atmospheric mission in 2014, another Mars rover in 2020 and a ambitious mission to snare an asteroid and park it in lunar orbit for study.

To carry astronauts into orbit and beyond, NASA a crewed vehicle in the works: the Orion capsule, along with the Space Launch System heavy-lift boosters to carry it and cargo into space—but neither are expected to be fully operational until after 2017. The four-seat Orion capsule is designed to “carry the crew to distant planetary bodies,” but with only nine cubic meters of habitable space, it’s hard to envision Orion going to Mars anytime soon. The SLS is a replacement for the shuttle program, with expanded payload options, but its first test flight is set for 2017. It’s also based on the Constellation Project, which was so far behind schedule Pres. Barack Obama scrapped it.

Interestingly enough, NASA now encourages the development of private, commercial spaceflight systems. Companies such SpaceX and Virgin Galactic have made progress in space exploration, and unmanned SpaceX missions have even resupplied the ISS for NASA. Still, these companies hardly have the track record that NASA does when it comes to human spaceflight. On the other side of the world China just successfully sent its fifth manned mission into space, and Russia recently announced a revamped $50-billion space program budget.

During the Google Hangout, prerecorded interviews of the candidates were shown. Naturally, their excitement eclipsed their dwindling opportunities for spaceflight—but some of their words were particularly poignant.

“From my perspective, exploration is the foundation of the human spirit,” said Josh Cassada, a physicist who is part of the 2013 class. “I think if society isn’t exploring, we’re just kind of sustaining.”

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2013/06/18/new-astronauts-face-limited-opportunities-for-spaceflight/

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« Reply #8673 on: Jun 19th, 2013, 09:17am »







Published on Jun 18, 2013

New UFO sighting,caught on CCTV camera the saucer shaped shadow can be seen moving extremely fast from the left to the right hand side of the screen.Slowed down and still shots taken to make it easier to see.caught on tape in Manchester England in March uploaded for the first time 18,June,2013


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« Reply #8674 on: Jun 19th, 2013, 09:21am »

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Fights L.A. Bike Lane: 'It Just Ruins the Shoot'

6:00 AM PDT 6/19/2013
by Gary Baum

An industry standoff is brewing over a bright green bike lane in downtown Los Angeles.

The Historic Core neighborhood is one of the most frequently filmed in California, often standing in for New York. But now SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, the MPAA and Teamsters Local 399, which represents location managers, have banded together to exert pressure on City Councilman Jose Huizar to mitigate what they consider a nuisance.

"That green is so visually obtrusive, it just kills the shoot," says location manager Miles Henley, who shot Fox's Touch on Spring Street this year. Adds Veronique Vowell, who worked on ABC's Scandal: "The reflectivity -- it's so fluorescent-y that it bounces up into the lofts and the storefront interiors and the cars driving by."

At the urging of transit advocates, Huizar was expected to present a motion to the City Council on June 14 that would restore the 12-block-long emerald strip, which has faded only 20 months after its implementation. But talks broke down because of the industry's objections to the lane's design.

"We've proposed reducing the overall paint by 50 percent and using a forest green color option, which is the same color used by New York City," says Huizar spokesman Rick Coca.

Meanwhile, civic cycling lobbyists are just as frustrated. "They're being very heavy-handed," says Eric Bruins of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. "There's a safety issue: The bright shade maximizes safety."

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hollywood-fights-la-bike-lane-570520

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« Reply #8675 on: Jun 19th, 2013, 10:27am »

Re 8679 above.

... moving extremely fast from the left to the right ..

It travels from right to left on my monitor.

Is this close to the airport ? Also, it's a bit suspicious that the vehicle is parked up on a double yellow line while this happened. Maybe getting a bit of background footage ?

HAL
« Last Edit: Jun 19th, 2013, 10:29am by HAL9000 » User IP Logged

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« Reply #8676 on: Jun 20th, 2013, 09:45am »

Kansas caves could save humanity

BILL DRAPER
Associated Press
Thursday, June 20, 2013

ATCHISON, Kan. - After most of the world's population is wiped off the map by a wayward meteorite or hail of nuclear missiles, the survival of the human race might just depend on a few thousand people huddled in recreational vehicles deep in the bowels of an eastern Kansas mine.

That's the vision of a California man who is creating what he calls the world's largest private underground survivor shelter, using a complex of limestone caves dug more than 100 years ago beneath gently rolling hills overlooking the Missouri River.

"I do believe I am on a mission and doing a spiritual thing," said Robert Vicino, who has purchased a large portion of the former U.S. Army storage facility on the southeast edge of Atchison, about 50 miles northwest of Kansas City, Mo. "We will certainly be part of the genesis."

Before it comes time to ride out Armageddon or a deadly global pandemic, though, Vicino says the Vivos Survival Shelter and Resort will be a fun place for members to take vacations and learn assorted survival skills to prepare them for whatever world-changing catastrophe awaits.

Jacque Pregont, president of the Atchison Chamber of Commerce, said some people think the shelter plan sounds creepy or that Vicino has "lost his mind," while others are excited because they will finally get a chance to tour the property.

Atchison is known as the birthplace of Amelia Earhart and one of the most haunted towns in Kansas, Pregont said, so the survival shelter is likely to add to the town's tourism draw.
"It's quirky, and quirky gets attention," she said.

Recent Hollywood movies have done big business exploring themes about the human race, either through climate shifts, meteor impacts or zombie invasions. And the National Geographic Channel show, "Doomsday Preppers," documents the efforts of Americans who are preparing for the end of the world with elaborate shelters and plenty of freeze-dried rations.

The Kansas caverns are 100 feet to 150 feet below the surface and have a constant natural temperature in the low 70s. They are supported by thick limestone pillars six times stronger than concrete and will have blast doors built to withstand a one-megaton nuclear explosion as close as 10 miles away, Vicino said.
Other than being surrounded by more than a mile and a half of 6-foot-high chain-link fence topped with sharp rows of barbed wire, the land above ground isn't distinguishable from expanses of hills and trees that surround it. The proposed shelter's entrances — nondescript concrete loading docks tucked discretely into the wooded hillside — are easily defensible against any potential intruders provided there's not a full-scale military attack, Vicino said.

The Army used the caverns — created by limestone mining operations that started in the late 1880s — for decades as a storage facility before putting them up for auction last year. The winning bid in December was $1.7 million, but financing fell through and the site was put up for sale again.

Springfield, Mo., investor Coby Cullins submitted his winning $510,000 bid for the property in early April, and he immediately started looking for ways to use it. One of his ideas was to lease the land to a company that builds survival bunkers.

Vicino, whose company is based in Del Mar, Calif., said he received an email from Cullins and flew to Kansas two days later to check out the property. Vicino agreed to purchase 75 percent of the complex, rather than lease it, while Cullins retained the rest and is marketing it to local businesses.

The complex consists of two fully lighted, temperature-controlled mines with concrete floors. The east cave, which Cullins owns, encompasses about 15 acres and contains offices, vaults, restrooms and other developed work spaces. The much larger west cave, which covers about 45 acres, is mostly undeveloped and will be converted into the Vivos facility.

The shelter will have enough space for more than 1,000 RVs and up to about 5,000 people. Members will be charged $1,000 for every lineal foot of their RV to purchase their space, plus $1,500 per person for food. That means a person who plans to park a 30-foot vehicle in the shelter with four people inside will pay $30,000 for the space and $6,000 for food.

Actual sales won't begin until a "critical mass" of reservations are received and processed, Vicino said, which hasn't happened yet at the Kansas shelter.

Vivos also owns a shelter in Indiana with room for 80 people to live comfortably for up to a year. There, members pay $50,000 per adult and $35,000 per child, so a family with two adults and two children would have to come up with $170,000 to be part of the post-apocalyptic generation.

Purchasers will required to pay for the full balance before taking possession of their shelter space, though the company has offered limited financing in the past with a sizable down payment.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20130620/WIRE/130629992/2416/NEWS?p=1&tc=pg
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« Reply #8677 on: Jun 20th, 2013, 11:08am »

on Jun 19th, 2013, 10:27am, HAL9000 wrote:
Re 8679 above.

... moving extremely fast from the left to the right ..

It travels from right to left on my monitor.

Is this close to the airport ? Also, it's a bit suspicious that the vehicle is parked up on a double yellow line while this happened. Maybe getting a bit of background footage ?

HAL


Good morning HAL cheesy

You very well might be right re: background footage?

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« Reply #8678 on: Jun 20th, 2013, 11:09am »

"Kansas caves could save humanity

BILL DRAPER
Associated Press
Thursday, June 20, 2013

ATCHISON, Kan. - After most of the world's population is wiped off the map by a wayward meteorite or hail of nuclear missiles, the survival of the human race might just depend on a few thousand people huddled in recreational vehicles deep in the bowels of an eastern Kansas mine.

That's the vision of a California man who is creating what he calls the world's largest private underground survivor shelter, using a complex of limestone caves dug more than 100 years ago beneath gently rolling hills overlooking the Missouri River."


Good morning Swamprat cheesy

Guess that leaves me out, LOL!

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« Reply #8679 on: Jun 20th, 2013, 11:11am »

Reuters

New Palestinian prime minister offers resignation

By Noah Browning
RAMALLAH, West Bank
Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:33am EDT

(Reuters) - Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has offered his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas just two weeks after taking office, an official in his press office told Reuters on Thursday.

It was not immediately clear whether Abbas would accept the resignation by Hamdallah, an academic and political independent whose cabinet convened for the first time last week.

The official told Reuters Hamdallah made the abrupt, unexpected move because of a "dispute over his powers".

A note on Hamdallah's Facebook page said his decision came after "outside interferences in his powers and duties".

His cabinet consists overwhelmingly of members of the Fatah faction led by Abbas and political commentators had immediately questioned how much leeway he would have to maneuver.

Hamdallah's predecessor, American-educated economist Salam Fayyad, resigned in April after six years in power defined by tough economic challenges and rivalries with Fatah politicians eager to control the levers of power.

Abbas chose Hamdallah while considering that Western countries who help keep the struggling West Bank government afloat with aid money were keen to see clean hands at the helm.

Corruption allegations have dogged Fatah and Palestinian government officials for years, and a successor who would meet donors' expectations would be difficult to find.

AWKWARD TIMING

The timing is especially awkward, coming a week before Abbas is set to meet United States Secretary of State John Kerry as part of an American bid to revive stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Foreign dignitaries had been streaming into Ramallah, the Palestinians' de facto capital in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to meet the newly-minted prime minister and to back the peace drive.

In a meeting on Wednesday, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told Hamdallah: "It has been my privilege to work with your predecessor and I am very much looking forward to working with you and as I said, I wish you every success."

Since a brief civil war in 2007 between the Western-backed secular Fatah party and the Islamist group Hamas, Palestinians have had no functioning parliament or national elections.

Abbas exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank while Hamas, which won 2006 legislative polls, has its own administration and prime minister in the Gaza Strip.

Attempts to cement a unity pact between the two parties have failed to take hold and ordinary Palestinians, enduring mounting living costs and unemployment, have grown disenchanted with bickering politicians.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement: "Hamdallah's resignation indicates that unilateral steps remain weak, are useless and do not resolve the internal Palestinian problem ... The solution is not in having many governments. It is in the implementing the reconciliation agreement."

(Additional reporting by Hamoudeh Hassan, Ali Sawafta and Nidal al-Mughrabi; editing by Andrew Roche)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/20/us-palestinians-resignation-idUSBRE95J0MI20130620

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« Reply #8680 on: Jun 20th, 2013, 11:18am »

NewJersey.com

Daughter of ex-Yankees manager Joe Torre catches falling baby in Brooklyn

By Charles Curtis
20 June 2013


Cristina Torre, the 44-year-old daughter of former Yankees manager Joe Torre, is being called a hero today after her actions on Wednesday saved a one-year-old boy.

According to Vera Chinese and Joe Kemp of The Daily News, Torre was in Bay Ridge when she saw one-year-old Dillin Miller was "dangling from the awning of a frozen yogurt shop."

Torre tried to get Miller not to move, but he fell. She made the catch and later noted the coincidence that her father was a catcher in his major league career. "I get my good hand-eye coordination from him," she told the paper. Joe Torre also commented about his daughter's actions: "You're happy to hear that your child is doing well. When you realize that she has helped somebody else do well, that puts the cherry on top."

CNN's Chris Boyette and Leigh Remizowski later reported Millin was taken to Lutheran Medical Center and "was in stable condition." And just how did Millin get on to the awning in the first place? "The boy crawled through the window of a second-story apartment after pushing aside a piece of cardboard that blocked an opening beside the apartment's air conditioning unit. He then climbed onto the fire escape and fell onto the awning," Boyette and Remizowski wrote.

His parents were charged with endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment.

http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2013/06/daughter_of_ex-yankees_manager_joe_torre_catches_falling_baby_in_brooklyn.html?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=br_yankees&utm_source=twitter.com

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« Reply #8681 on: Jun 20th, 2013, 11:27am »






Published on Jun 20, 2013

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« Reply #8682 on: Jun 20th, 2013, 11:36am »






Published on Mar 12, 2013

The Navajo Indian reservation is home to many strange creatures. One creature called The Howler, is a mysterious creature believed to have killed dogs and livestock. Elders in the community call these predators Skinwalkers, while others call it the Navajo version of Bigfoot. The reservation even has a special law enforcement agency that only responds to paranormal reports such as ghosts, witchcraft, UFOs and even Bigfoot. With the recent photo that surfaced a few days ago, you can bet this group of elite paranormal officers are already on the case.

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« Reply #8683 on: Jun 21st, 2013, 08:26am »

Defense News

British MoD Shut UFO Desk After Finding No Threat

Jun. 21, 2013 - 09:24AM
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON — Britain’s defence ministry shut down its UFO unit four years ago after concluding that extra-terrestrials likely did not exist, and in any case did not pose a threat, previously secret files released Friday showed.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) closed its hotline in 2009 despite a trebling of reported sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) that year, many of them near national landmarks.

In a briefing for then-Defence Minister Bob Ainsworth, civil servant Carl Mantell said the UFO desk was using increasing amounts of staff time but had “no valuable defense output.”

He wrote in a memo that in more than 50 years, “no UFO sighting reported to (MoD) has ever revealed anything to suggest an extra-terrestrial presence or military threat to the UK.”

It added: “The level of resources diverted to this task is increasing in response to a recent upsurge in reported sightings, diverting staff from more valuable defence-related activities.”

The National Archives files reveal details of sightings recorded in the two years before the UFO desk was disbanded, including those around the Houses of Parliament and Stonehenge.

Between 2000 and 2007, the MoD received an average of 150 reports a year, but 520 sightings were recorded in the 11 months to November 2009, according to a briefing in the files.

Officials said one possible reason for the surge could have been the trend for releasing Chinese lanterns, which appear like floating lights in the sky.

Many sightings were made in the summer months by people out walking their dogs, having barbecues and, in one case, relaxing in a hot tub.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130621/DEFREG01/306210010/British-MoD-Shut-UFO-Desk-After-Finding-No-Threat

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« Reply #8684 on: Jun 21st, 2013, 10:24am »

Guardian

Kip Thorne: physicist studying time travel tapped for Hollywood film

Film will splash one of Thorne's big ideas – traversable wormholes through space and time – across popular culture

by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles
guardian.co.uk, Friday 21 June 2013 11.01 EDT


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If you could pass through a wormhole and fast-forward to November 2014, odds are many people will be talking about Kip Thorne and the possibility of time travel.

Hollywood's publicity machine will be in overdrive promoting a blockbuster film, Interstellar, which draws on research by the theoretical physicist.

Christopher Nolan, who directed the Dark Knight trilogy, has assembled Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine to star in what has been billed as "a heroic voyage to the farthest borders of our scientific understanding".

The real star, however, will be Thorne and his planet-sized brain. The 73-year-old scientist is already revered among peers for advancing some of Albert Einstein's most intriguing theories about relativity and gravity fields. The film will splash one of Thorne's big ideas – traversable wormholes through space and time – across popular culture.

"Closed timelike curve is the jargon for time travel. It means you go out, come back and meet yourself in the past," he said in an interview this week, seated in a sun-dappled courtyard at the California Institute of Technology. "Whether you can go back in time is held in the grip of the law of quantum gravity. We are several decades away from a definitive understanding, 20 or 30 years, but it could be sooner than that."

The jury, in other words, is still out on time travel. Serious science used to shun the topic as a realm for cranks and pulp fiction but Thorne, holder of multiple awards and honorary degrees, and adviser to Nasa and Congress as a member of the National Academy of Sciences' space science board, has made it respectable.

In 1988 he published a paper titled Wormholes, time machines and the weak energy condition, with two students, Michael Morris and Ulvi Yurtsever. In 1994 he published a book, Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy, which was translated into six languages. On the heels of Thorne's big-screen debut next year will be the centenary of the 1915 general theory of relativity, which Einstein elaborated while teaching at Caltech in the early 1930s.

Thorne, who helps run the university's Einstein Papers Project, said the great man's insights were stimulating recent, potentially revolutionary advances in quantum physics. "How the universe was born will be definitively answered by these new laws. What goes on in the core of a black hole will be definitively answered. All the big mysteries of physics and cosmology are likely to be answered by those laws."

It is rumoured that Interstellar, a project Nolan inherited from Steven Spielberg, will feature a character based on Thorne, a colourful figure who wears jeans, Birkenstocks, Hawaiian shirts and a battered cowboy hat. He regularly makes scientific wagers with Stephen Hawking, a close friend, and invariably wins. (Hawking's penalties have included forking out for a subscription to Penthouse magazine).

Thorne's foray into Hollywood – just 15 miles away but a different galaxy from the lawns and libraries of his Pasadena campus – comes amid an exciting, turbulent period for astrophysics and science in general. Nasa's Mars rover and private space missions have rekindled interest in the final frontier at the same time the US radical right has challenged mainstream scientists over evolution and climate change.

Thorne praised Elon Musk's Space X for being cheaper and nimbler than government programmes and gave qualified backing for manned missions. "Sending people into space is very important culturally. That's really the justification. You cannot rationally justify it on the basis of the science and technology we get out of it."

Manned missions diverted resources from more scientifically rewarding, automated exploration. Even so, in centuries to come humans would and should spread beyond our solar system, he said. "There always is a very small but real danger of a catastrophic event on Earth … from gigantic asteroids or unexpected biological development. The human race has a yearning to explore. That's part of our biological and psychological makeup."

Asked about a one-way trip to Mars, Thorne said, apparently only half-joking, he would accept only after turning 100. "I'd be ready in about 30 years when I figure I have only a few years left. I enjoy life too much."

Thorne grew up in an academic, Mormon family in Utah but is now an atheist. "There are large numbers of my finest colleagues who are quite devout and believe in God, ranging from an abstract humanist God to a very concrete Catholic or Mormon God. There is no fundamental incompatibility between science and religion. I happen to not believe in God."

The soft voice acquired an edge when discussing conservative attacks on evolution and climate science. "It's very worrying for the future of our country. I don't think it's been a major issue for science today but the danger is it will be a major issue for science in the future. To have one political party that's under control of anti-intellectuals who don't accept the fundamental tenets of science is really scary. That's where we are."

Thorne, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, cited the example of Trofim Lysenko who as Stalin's science guru stifled genetic research for ideological reasons.

"Russia basically lost most of its foundation for modern biological science. We could be somewhat like that if the forces that oppose climate science and evolution and scientific laws and efforts were to prevail."

At stake was not just government funding but public education. "We could wind up becoming a backwater in areas of science and technology that are tremendously important to the future. I'm optimistic that won't happen but that's the danger."

A separate threat, he said, was "dysfunctional" science management by Nasa and the Bush and Obama administrations which has let Europe steal a lead on high-energy physics with the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. "Europe forging ahead is somewhat symbolic of the US beginning to cede technological leadership to other countries."

One bright spot in the US, said Thorne, was the Laser Interferometer
Gravitational Wave Observatory (Ligo), an ambitious effort to detect ripples in space and time known as gravitational waves, something Einstein posited back in 1915.

Thorne, along with colleagues Ronald Drever and Rainer Weiss, persuaded the National Science Foundation to spend $365m building a pair of unique observatories in Louisiana and Washington in 2002.

A decade later no gravitational waves have been detected but Caltech's emeritus professor is upbeat, saying newly sensitised detectors should start detecting waves between 2015 and 2017. "It will be a tool to probe aspects of the universe we've never seen. Even if we see only things we expect to see we'll still learn a lot we didn't know before. But every time a new kind of window on the universe has been opened there have been big surprises."

It is little surprise that Hollywood has wooed a scientist with echoes of the Christopher Lloyd character in Back to the Future. Carl Sagan, the cosmologist and writer, asked Thorne's advice on how to transport a character (played by Jodie Foster in the film of his novel Contact) through the universe. The solution was a hypothetical traversable wormhole connecting two periods in time.

Thorne credits Contact and Stanley Kubrick's 2001: Space Odyssey, based on Arthur C Clarke's novel, as good films with strong scientific foundations. "In both cases the original stories were developed by people who understood science and had physics training."

He enjoys romps like Star Trek even when they violate laws of physics. He values them for enthusing audiences about science. "Hollywood has played that role quite well and I'm sure it will continue to do so."

Interstellar, a co-production between Warner Bros and Paramount Pictures, is based on a treatment by Thorne and the producer Lynda Obst which Jonathan Nolan turned into a script for Spielberg. Spielberg remains as a producer but has handed directing reins to Christopher Nolan (brother of Jonathan) who in
addition to the Dark Knight trilogy made the sci-fi thriller Inception.

The story is believed to concern explorers who travel through a wormhole to another dimension. Nolan has veiled the project in secrecy. "I can't talk about Interstellar right now. You'll have to wait till next year," said Thorne, who is an executive producer.

Will there be a character based on him? He smiled. "You shouldn't believe everything you read."

Thorne is married to Carolee Joyce Winstein, a professor of biokinesiology, the study of human movement, and has two adult children from a previous marriage.

He divides his time between the film and academic research, currently focused on the nonlinear dynamics of curved spacetime.

Asked how he stayed so spry, he replied. "By enthusiasm and intense work on my research projects, and my writing and movie projects." He smiled. "And by engaging in lots of great sex."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/jun/21/kip-thorne-time-travel-scientist-film?CMP=twt_fd

Crystal

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