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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 79982 times)
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« Reply #8775 on: Jul 6th, 2013, 09:23am »






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« Reply #8776 on: Jul 7th, 2013, 08:50am »

Associated Press

Russia official: Venezuela last chance for Snowden

By LYNN BERRY
July 7 9:39 AM EDT

MOSCOW (AP) — An influential Russian parliament member who often speaks for the Kremlin encouraged NSA leaker Edward Snowden on Sunday to accept Venezuela's offer of asylum.

Alexei Pushkov, who heads the international affairs committee in Russia's parliament, posted a message on Twitter saying: "Venezuela is waiting for an answer from Snowden. This, perhaps, is his last chance to receive political asylum."

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said Saturday that his country has not yet been in contact with Snowden, who Russian officials say has been stuck in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport since arriving on a flight from Hong Kong two weeks ago. He has been unable to travel further because the United States annulled his passport.

Jaua said he expects to consult with Russian officials on Monday about Snowden's situation.

Pushkov's comments appeared to indicate that the Kremlin is now anxious to be rid of the former National Security Agency systems analyst, whom the U.S. wants returned to face espionage charges.

There has been no response from the Kremlin or Russian Foreign Ministry to the asylum offer made by Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in the early hours of Saturday, Moscow time.

For Snowden to leave for South America, he would need for Venezuela to issue him travel documents and he would need to find a way to get there. The only direct commercial flight from Moscow goes to Havana, Cuba, and Snowden had booked a seat on this flight the day after arriving from Hong Kong, but failed to show up.

The Moscow-Havana flight goes over Europe and the United States, which could cause complications. Some European countries refused to allow Bolivian President Evo Morales to fly through their airspace on his way home from Moscow last week because of suspicions that Snowden was onboard his plane.

Pushkov joked that if Snowden does not find shelter in Venezuela, "he will have to stay and marry Anna Chapman," the redheaded Russian spy who was among 10 sleeper agents deported from the United States in 2010. The 31-year-old Chapman proposed to Snowden, who just turned 30, on Twitter last week.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/russia-official-venezuela-last-chance-snowden

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« Reply #8777 on: Jul 7th, 2013, 08:54am »

Washington Post

Renewed clashes feared amid dispute over Egyptian prime minister

By Michael Birnbaum and William Booth
Sunday, July 7, 4:40 AM

CAIRO — A dispute over who would become Egypt’s interim prime minister continued Sunday, with sharp divisions opening about the proper scope of religion in the country’s politics among the mixed coalition of activists and politicians who banded together against their Islamist government last week.

With both defenders and opponents of ex-president Mohamed Morsi calling their supporters to the streets of Egypt on Sunday, there were fears of renewed clashes between sides in a repeat of Friday, when at least 36 people died.

Egyptian state media on Saturday reported — and later rolled back the announcement — that Mohamed ElBaradei, a former chief of the U.N. nuclear agency, had been appointed Egypt’s interim prime minister. The reversal came after Islamists who joined in the coalition againstMorsi threatened to withdraw their support if ElBaradei were installed.

“Indications are directed at a certain name, but talks are still ongoing,” said Ahmed el-Moslemany, a spokesman for interim President Adly Mansour, speaking late Saturday at a news conference that had been billed as an announcement of a new prime minister.

The unusual back-and-forth suggested that ElBaradei — a divisive figure in Egypt who is seen as a staunch secularist by groups who want a greater role for religion in politics — may have proved too controversial a choice as prime minister. A top aide to ElBaradei had also portrayed the appointment as a done deal Saturday.

But as reports of ElBaradei’s selection filtered out, leaders of the ultraconservative Salafist Nour party threatened to withdraw from the broad coalition of groups backing a path toward elections.

“The nomination of ElBaradei violates the road map that the political and national powers had agreed on with General Abdel Fatah al-Sissi,” Ahmed Khalil, the Nour party’s deputy leader, told the state-run al-Ahram newspaper.

Many Islamists view ElBaradei as uninterested in giving them a say in Egypt’s affairs.

“Baradei in a way is kind of the ultimate liberal,” said Shadi Hamid, an Egypt expert at the Brookings Doha Center. “He has a very antagonistic relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is why it doesn’t bode well for Brotherhood reintegration” if he were to come to power.

Just as the democratically elected Morsi experienced a remarkable fall from grace this week, ElBaradei’s unelected rise to the position of prime minister would have marked a remarkable turnaround for a politician who has struggled to find popular support outside Egypt’s urban, educated classes, in a country where roughly half the population lives on less than $2 a day.

Before the announcement of ElBaradei was reversed, state television broadcast images of him meeting with Mansour at the presidential palace. It was the first time Mansour had worked from the palace since he took office Thursday, hours after Wednesday evening’s coup. Mansour also met with representatives from the Nour party and the Tamarod group that organized the protests last weekend that brought millions of people into the streets against Morsi’s rule.

Even before Egypt’s 2011 revolution, ElBaradei — the 2005 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize — had been a harsh critic of former president Hosni Mubarak, who had led the country for three decades.

But ElBaradei’s long career outside Egypt, first as a diplomat with Egypt’s Foreign Ministry and then at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, led critics in Egypt to say he was more recognizable abroad than at home. He was director general of the nuclear watchdog from 1997 until 2009. Upon returning to Egypt, he spoke out against Mubarak and worked with others, including the then-banned Muslim Brotherhood, to campaign against the leader.

That alliance withered after the 2011 revolution. On Thursday, ElBaradei told CNN he believes Egypt needs a more inclusive government than the one that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood had created during their 368 days in power. He said Egypt had risked a “civil war” before the military stepped in to push Morsi out of office.

Although ElBaradei said he wanted a role for members of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as ultraconservative Salafist Muslim groups, he has also defended the shutdown of Islamist television networks, which has deprived Morsi supporters of a platform to broadcast their views domestically in the days since the coup.

More than a dozen top Muslim Brotherhood officials and a lawyer who represents the group remained in detention Saturday, said Heba Morayef, an Egypt researcher for Human Rights Watch.

With Morsi supporters holding firm to demands for his return to the presidency, the discussions over new political leadership took place Saturday as supporters and opponents of the ousted president took stock after a brutal night of clashes. Near Cairo University, a site of conflict between Morsi supporters and security forces in recent days, an encamped group of Morsi backers was reinforcing barricades and preparing for more conflict. At least one man in the crowd fired a gun in the air.

“Everything since Sissi announced the detention of Morsi and the suspension of the constitution has been illegal,” said Medhat Ahmed, a lawyer who had at his feet a plastic bag filled with rocks. “The appointment of this prime minister is illegal and illegitimate in our eyes.”

In Washington, the White House issued a statement Saturday saying that President Obama had convened a meeting of the National Security Council to review the situation in Egypt and that the president “condemned the ongoing violence.” The statement also rejected what it said were claims that the United States is seeking to dictate the course of Egypt’s transition, saying, “The future path of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people.”

Later, Secretary of State John F. Kerry urged a peaceful resolution in Egypt. “At this sensitive moment, we call on all Egyptian leaders to condemn the use of force and prevent further violence among their supporters, and we urge all those demonstrating to do so peacefully,” Kerry said in a statement.

Early Sunday, a remotely detonated bomb forced the shutdown of a natural gas pipeline in Egypt’s restive Sinai peninsula, Egyptian state media reported. It was the 14th attack on pipelines since the February 2011 downfall of Mubarak. The perpetrators were not immediately clear.

Also Sunday, 12 anti-Muslim Brotherhood activists who had been charged with inciting violence in front of the Islamist group’s headquarters in March were acquitted. The activists had said the charges were politically motivated, and some of them had said they were not even present at the headquarters at the time of the March incident.

On Saturday, a Coptic Christian priest was fatally shot in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, a local police commander said. Attackers on motorbikes shot the priest, Mena Aboud, in his car in al-Arish, near the border with the Gaza Strip, the commander said. It was not immediately clear whether the killing was connected with Morsi’s ouster.

Abigail Hauslohner, Lara El Gibaly and Amro Hassan contributed to this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/renewed-clashes-feared-amid-dispute-over-egyptian-prime-minister/2013/07/07/cb9e965e-e6f8-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html

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« Reply #8778 on: Jul 7th, 2013, 08:58am »

Science Daily

How the Brain Creates the 'Buzz' That Helps Ideas Spread

July 5, 2013

How do ideas spread? What messages will go viral on social media, and can this be predicted?



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Brain regions TPJ and DMPFC. Psychologists report for the first time that the temporoparietal junction
(TPJ) and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) brain regions are associated with the successful spread of ideas,
often called 'buzz.'
(Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - Los Angeles)




UCLA psychologists have taken a significant step toward answering these questions, identifying for the first time the brain regions associated with the successful spread of ideas, often called "buzz."

The research has a broad range of implications, the study authors say, and could lead to more effective public health campaigns, more persuasive advertisements and better ways for teachers to communicate with students.

"Our study suggests that people are regularly attuned to how the things they're seeing will be useful and interesting, not just to themselves but to other people," said the study's senior author, Matthew Lieberman, a UCLA professor of psychology and of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and author of the forthcoming book "Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect." "We always seem to be on the lookout for who else will find this helpful, amusing or interesting, and our brain data are showing evidence of that. At the first encounter with information, people are already using the brain network involved in thinking about how this can be interesting to other people. We're wired to want to share information with other people. I think that is a profound statement about the social nature of our minds."

The study findings are published in the online edition of the journal Psychological Science, with print publication to follow later this summer.

"Before this study, we didn't know what brain regions were associated with ideas that become contagious, and we didn't know what regions were associated with being an effective communicator of ideas," said lead author Emily Falk, who conducted the research as a UCLA doctoral student in Lieberman's lab and is currently a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. "Now we have mapped the brain regions associated with ideas that are likely to be contagious and are associated with being a good 'idea salesperson.' In the future, we would like to be able to use these brain maps to forecast what ideas are likely to be successful and who is likely to be effective at spreading them."

In the first part of the study, 19 UCLA students (average age 21), underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans at UCLA's Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center as they saw and heard information about 24 potential television pilot ideas. Among the fictitious pilots -- which were presented by a separate group of students -- were a show about former beauty-queen mothers who want their daughters to follow in their footsteps; a Spanish soap opera about a young woman and her relationships; a reality show in which contestants travel to countries with harsh environments; a program about teenage vampires and werewolves; and a show about best friends and rivals in a crime family.

The students exposed to these TV pilot ideas were asked to envision themselves as television studio interns who would decide whether or not they would recommend each idea to their "producers." These students made videotaped assessments of each pilot.

Another group of 79 UCLA undergraduates (average age 21) was asked to act as the "producers." These students watched the interns' videos assessments of the pilots and then made their own ratings about the pilot ideas based on those assessments.

Lieberman and Falk wanted to learn which brain regions were activated when the interns were first exposed to information they would later pass on to others.

"We're constantly being exposed to information on Facebook, Twitter and so on," said Lieberman. "Some of it we pass on, and a lot of it we don't. Is there something that happens in the moment we first see it -- maybe before we even realize we might pass it on -- that is different for those things that we will pass on successfully versus those that we won't?"

It turns out, there is. The psychologists found that the interns who were especially good at persuading the producers showed significantly more activation in a brain region known as the temporoparietal junction, or TPJ, at the time they were first exposed to the pilot ideas they would later recommend. They had more activation in this region than the interns who were less persuasive and more activation than they themselves had when exposed to pilot ideas they didn't like. The psychologists call this the "salesperson effect."

"It was the only region in the brain that showed this effect," Lieberman said. One might have thought brain regions associated with memory would show more activation, but that was not the case, he said.

"We wanted to explore what differentiates ideas that bomb from ideas that go viral," Falk said. "We found that increased activity in the TPJ was associated with an increased ability to convince others to get on board with their favorite ideas. Nobody had looked before at which brain regions are associated with the successful spread of ideas. You might expect people to be most enthusiastic and opinionated about ideas that they themselves are excited about, but our research suggests that's not the whole story. Thinking about what appeals to others may be even more important."

The TPJ, located on the outer surface of the brain, is part of what is known as the brain's "mentalizing network," which is involved in thinking about what other people think and feel. The network also includes the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, located in the middle of the brain.

"When we read fiction or watch a movie, we're entering the minds of the characters -- that's mentalizing," Lieberman said. "As soon as you hear a good joke, you think, 'Who can I tell this to and who can't I tell?' Making this judgment will activate these two brain regions. If we're playing poker and I'm trying to figure out if you're bluffing, that's going to invoke this network. And when I see someone on Capitol Hill testifying and I'm thinking whether they are lying or telling the truth, that's going to invoke these two brain regions.

"Good ideas turn on the mentalizing system," he said. "They make us want to tell other people."

The interns who showed more activity in their mentalizing system when they saw the pilots they intended to recommend were then more successful in convincing the producers to also recommend those pilots, the psychologists found.

"As I'm looking at an idea, I might be thinking about what other people are likely to value, and that might make me a better idea salesperson later," Falk said.

By further studying the neural activity in these brain regions to see what information and ideas activate these regions more, psychologists potentially could predict which advertisements are most likely to spread and go viral and which will be most effective, Lieberman and Falk said.

Such knowledge could also benefit public health campaigns aimed at everything from reducing risky behaviors among teenagers to combating cancer, smoking and obesity.

"The explosion of new communication technologies, combined with novel analytic tools, promises to dramatically expand our understanding of how ideas spread," Falk said. "We're laying basic science foundations to addressimportant public health questions that are difficult to answer otherwise -- about what makes campaigns successful and how we can improve their impact."

As we may like particular radio DJs who play music we enjoy, the Internet has led us to act as "information DJs" who share things that we think will be of interest to people in our networks, Lieberman said.

"What is new about our study is the finding that the mentalizing network is involved when I read something and decide who else might be interested in it," he said. "This is similar to what an advertiser has to do. It's not enough to have a product that people should like."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130705212232.htm

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« Reply #8779 on: Jul 7th, 2013, 09:01am »






Published on Jul 6, 2013

Source: http://www.katu.com/news/local/What-w...
On July 4, 2013, many people in Portland, Oregon witnessed strange white lights hovering in a perfect triangle formation.
These "orb triangle" UFO sightings are occurring all over the world.


Category:
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« Reply #8780 on: Jul 8th, 2013, 09:21am »

Associated Press

Secret move keeps bin Laden records in the shadows

By RICHARD LARDNER
July 8 4:07 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. special operations commander, Adm. William McRaven, ordered military files about the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout to be purged from Defense Department computers and sent to the CIA, where they could be more easily shielded from ever being made public.

The secret move, described briefly in a draft report by the Pentagon's inspector general, set off no alarms within the Obama administration even though it appears to have sidestepped federal rules and perhaps also the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

An acknowledgement by Adm. William McRaven of his actions was quietly removed from the final version of an inspector general's report published weeks ago. A spokesman for the admiral declined to comment. The CIA, noting that the bin Laden mission was overseen by then-CIA Director Leon Panetta before he became defense secretary, said that the SEALs were effectively assigned to work temporarily for the CIA, which has presidential authority to conduct covert operations.

"Documents related to the raid were handled in a manner consistent with the fact that the operation was conducted under the direction of the CIA director," agency spokesman Preston Golson said in an emailed statement. "Records of a CIA operation such as the (bin Laden) raid, which were created during the conduct of the operation by persons acting under the authority of the CIA Director, are CIA records."

Golson said it is "absolutely false" that records were moved to the CIA to avoid the legal requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.

The records transfer was part of an effort by McRaven to protect the names of the personnel involved in the raid, according to the inspector general's draft report.

But secretly moving the records allowed the Pentagon to tell The Associated Press that it couldn't find any documents inside the Defense Department that AP had requested more than two years ago, and would represent a new strategy for the U.S. government to shield even its most sensitive activities from public scrutiny.

"Welcome to the shell game in place of open government," said Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, a private research institute at George Washington University. "Guess which shell the records are under. If you guess the right shell, we might show them to you. It's ridiculous."

McRaven's directive sent the only copies of the military's records about its daring raid to the CIA, which has special authority to prevent the release of "operational files" in ways that can't effectively be challenged in federal court. The Defense Department can prevent the release of its own military files, citing risks to national security, but that can be contested in court and a judge can compel it to turn over non-sensitive portions of records.

Transferring government records from one executive agency to another must be approved in writing by the National Archives and Records Administration, under the Code of Federal Regulations. There are limited circumstances when prior approval is not required, such as when the records are moved between two components of the same executive department. The CIA and Special Operations Command are not part of the same department.

The Archives was not aware of any request from the U.S. Special Operations Command to transfer its records to the CIA, spokeswoman Miriam Kleiman said. She said it was the Archives' understanding that the military records belonged to the CIA, so transferring them wouldn't have required permission under U.S. rules.

Other rules from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff dictate that records about military operations and planning are to be considered permanent and after 25 years, following a declassification review, transferred to the National Archives.

Also, the Federal Records Act would not permit agencies "to purge records just on a whim," said Dan Metcalfe, who oversaw the U.S. government's compliance with the Freedom of Information Act as former director of the Justice Department's Office of Information and Privacy. "I don't think there's an exception allowing an agency to say, 'Well, we didn't destroy it. We just deleted it here after transmitting it over there.' High-level officials ought to know better."

It was not immediately clear exactly which Defense Department records were purged and transferred, when it happened or under what authority, if any, they were sent to the CIA. No government agencies the AP contacted would discuss details of the transfer.

The AP asked for files about the mission in more than 20 separate requests, mostly submitted in May 2011 — several were sent a day after President Barack Obama announced that the world's most wanted terrorist had been killed in a firefight. Obama has pledged to make his administration the most transparent in U.S. history.

McRaven's unusual order would have remained secret had it not been mentioned in a single sentence on the final page in the inspector general's draft report that examined whether the Obama administration gave special access to Hollywood executives planning a film, "Zero Dark Thirty," about the raid. The draft report was obtained and posted online last month by the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit watchdog group in Washington.

McRaven described steps he took to protect the identities of the SEALs after the raid, directing that their names and photographs not be released.

"This effort included purging the combatant command's systems of all records related to the operation and providing these records to another government agency," according to the draft report. The sentence was dropped from the report's final version.

Current and former Defense Department officials knowledgeable about McRaven's directive and the inspector general's report told AP the description of the order in the draft report is accurate. The reference to "another government agency" was code for the CIA, they said. These individuals spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter by name.

The Defense Department told the AP in March 2012 it could not locate any photographs or video taken during the raid or showing bin Laden's body. It also said it could not find any images of bin Laden's body on the USS Carl Vinson, the aircraft carrier from which he was buried at sea. The Pentagon also said it could not find any death certificate, autopsy report or results of DNA identification tests for bin Laden, or any pre-raid materials discussing how the government planned to dispose of bin Laden's body if he were killed. It said it searched files at the Pentagon, Special Operations Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla., and the Navy command in San Diego that controls the Carl Vinson.

The Pentagon also refused to confirm or deny the existence of helicopter maintenance logs and reports about the performance of military gear used in the raid. One of the stealth helicopters that carried the SEALs in Pakistan crashed during the mission and its wreckage was left behind.

Associated Press writer Kimberly Dozier contributed to this report.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/secret-move-keeps-bin-laden-records-shadows-0

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« Reply #8781 on: Jul 8th, 2013, 09:23am »

Science News

New in Brief: Distant radio-wave pulses spotted

Signals could help astronomers understand universe's mass

By Jessica Shugart

It may have taken billions of years for them to get here from deep space, but four recently detected radio signals disappeared only milliseconds after arriving at Earth. The fleeting signals, only the second detection ever of radio bursts emanating from beyond the Milky Way, could help scientists understand the vast unexplored areas that separate galaxies.

Picked up by an international team of astronomers at the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia, the powerful radio pulses emanate from sources 5 billion to nearly 11 billion light years away, the researchers report in the July 5 Science. The nature of these sources remains a mystery, says Benjamin Stapper of the University of Manchester in England, but “clearly they’re very energetic events, probably cataclysmic.”

One-time radio pulses have been hard to detect because today’s telescopes capture radio waves from such a small fraction of the sky, and the instruments lack the ultrafast time resolution required to pinpoint the short-lived bursts. The four new blips may add weight to the only other extragalactic radio burst ever witnessed, reported seven years ago by Duncan Lorimer and his team at West Virginia University in Morgantown. “We only had one burst,” Lorimer says. “So always in the back of our minds, we wondered whether it was some weird artifact.”

Now Lorimer is convinced that extragalactic radio bursts are a bona fide phenomenon. Stapper’s team estimates that 10,000 occur every day. Radio wave bursts get scattered by electrons floating in interstellar space, so Stapper envisions using them as tools to measure the mass of those electrons between galaxies.

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/351422/description/New_in_Brief_Distant_radio-wave_pulses_spotted

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« Reply #8782 on: Jul 8th, 2013, 09:30am »

New York Times

Spitzer Rejoins Politics, Asking for Forgiveness

By MICHAEL BARBARO and DAVID W. CHEN
Published: July 7, 2013

Eliot Spitzer who resigned as governor of New York five years ago amid a prostitution scandal, is re-entering political life, with a run for the citywide office of comptroller and a wager that voters are ready to look past his previous misconduct.

In a telephone interview on Sunday night, Mr. Spitzer, 54, sounding restless after an unwelcome hiatus from government, said he had re-envisioned the often-overlooked office and yearned to resurrect the kind of aggressive role he played as New York State’s attorney general. He said that after consulting with his family and taking the temperature of the city’s electorate, he believed New Yorkers would be open to his candidacy. “I’m hopeful there will be forgiveness, I am asking for it,” he said.

His re-emergence comes in an era when politicians — like Representative Mark Sanford of South Carolina and the New York mayoral contender Anthony D. Weiner — have shown that public disapproval, especially over sexual misconduct, can be fleeting, and that voters seem receptive to those who seek forgiveness and redemption.

His decision startled the city’s political establishment, which is already unsettled by the rapid rise of Mr. Weiner, who also plunged into a campaign without party elders’ blessing.

Mr. Spitzer batted away a question about whether the reception enjoyed by Mr. Weiner, who is running neck and neck with the front-runner Christine C. Quinn, factored into his decision, but said he was approached regularly by New Yorkers who say they would support him if he ran for office again.

“It happens all the time,” he said. “People who walk with me on the street say, ‘People really do want you to get back in.’ ”

Mr. Spitzer, who built a national reputation as a zealous watchdog of Wall Street while attorney general, imagines transforming the comptroller’s office into a robust agency that would not merely monitor and account for city spending, as it does now, but also conduct regular inquiries into the effectiveness of government policies in areas like high school graduation rates.

Such a reading of the office, which would significantly expand its scope, could put Mr. Spitzer, a Democrat, into conflict with the city’s next mayor, much as his tenure as attorney general put him at odds with federal regulators of Wall Street.

“The metaphor is what I did with the attorney general’s office,” he said. “It is ripe for greater and more exciting use of the office’s jurisdiction.”

Since Mr. Spitzer’s resignation as governor, public surveys have shown little appetite for his run to elective office. So instead, he has worked as a television commentator on CNN, Current TV and NY1. None of them seemed to satisfy his thirst for political combat. Asked if he missed the frenetic pace and power that comes with a public platform, Mr. Spitzer responded readily, “Yes.”

The son of a wealthy real estate developer, Mr. Spitzer said he would pay for the campaign himself, forgoing the city’s public financing system. The race is expected to cost several million dollars.

Mr. Spitzer has little time to waste: To make the primary ballot in September, candidates for citywide office — mayor, comptroller and public advocate — must collect at least 3,750 signatures from registered voters from their political party by Thursday.

With Mr. Spitzer’s name recognition and three million Democrats in the city, this should not be a difficult task, but he plans to flood the streets and supermarkets with some 100 signature gatherers starting on Monday.

“I am going to be on the street corners,” he said. “We will be out across the city.”

Mr. Spitzer’s entry promises to shake up a comptroller’s contest that had been viewed as an all-but-certain victory for Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president who has been embraced by the city’s unions and Democratic establishment. The office of Mr. Stringer, an amiable former lawmaker who was previously squeezed out of the mayor’s race, released a statement on Sunday night after being caught unaware by Mr. Spitzer’s news.

“Scott Stringer has a proven record of results and integrity and entered this race to help New York’s middle class regain its footing,” Sascha Owen, Mr. Stringer’s campaign manager, said in the statement. “By contrast, Eliot Spitzer is going to spurn the campaign finance program to try and buy personal redemption with his family fortune.”

Other Democrats will most likely suggest that Mr. Spitzer simply wants a new pulpit for his considerable ego and lacks the even temper needed to govern in a fractious city.

Mr. Spitzer, who was once viewed as having a chance to become the first Jewish president, resigned as governor in March 2008, after The New York Times reported he had patronized a high-end prostitution ring called Emperors Club V.I.P.

He said he had recently been reflecting on his work fighting Wall Street abuses, and writing an e-book about his experience as attorney general, which he said would be something of a template for his vision of comptroller.

A Marist College poll taken nine months ago suggested few wanted Mr. Spitzer back: Asked if they wanted him to run for mayor, 30 percent of city voters said yes and 57 percent said no. It is not clear whether they would be more accepting of a run for a less prominent office. Mr. Sanford, for example, sought a House seat rather than statewide office when he returned to politics.

Mr. Spitzer said he had not conducted any polling before deciding to run based on his gut reading of ordinary New Yorkers. He described an encounter on Sunday afternoon, when he was sitting on a park bench after a run near his Upper East Side home. He said he was approached by a woman, who began talking to him about her own experience aiding the homeless.

“I appreciate what you did when you were in office,” he said she told him. “Nobody is perfect; I hope you run again.”

As he weighed whether to run for office this year, he said, he talked in depth with his wife and daughters, who he indicated signed off on the decision. His three daughters, who were young when he entered public life, are now adults, ranging in age from 19 to 23.

“They are mature, they are grown up,” he said. He added: “They have lived through a lot.”

One group that is unlikely to celebrate Mr. Spitzer’s entry into the field: Wall Street, where firms endured costly and creative litigation at his hands throughout the early 2000s. The investment firms have regular business with the city comptroller, through the office’s oversight of pension funds. Mr. Spitzer wants to bring more shareholder activism to the pension funds.

“I have always enjoyed chatting with the leadership of Wall Street,” Mr. Spitzer said. “We haven’t always agreed.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/nyregion/spitzer-seeks-ballot-for-city-comptrollers-race.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&hp

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8783 on: Jul 8th, 2013, 09:36am »







Published on Jul 7, 2013


Saw this tonight over ohio. Any ideas what it could be? Mind blown!


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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8784 on: Jul 8th, 2013, 11:22am »

THAT IS PRETTY COOL AND AN EXCELLENT CATCH...
WRIGHT PATTERSON IS ONE HOUR AND SIX MINUTES AWAY FROM COLUMBUS,OHIO...WHO KNOWS WHAT MAY BE AVAILABLE AT THAT FACILITY MUCH LESS WITH ANYTHING IN THEIR ARSENAL/RESEARCH/BACK ENGINEERED,...
I WISH THERE WAS MORE FOOTAGE BUT CAN THINK OF QUITE A FEW TIMES ONE WISHES THEY HAD JUST A CAMERA...
SKEPTICISM/CONSERVATIVE CONCLUSION... IS A VIRTUE WHEREBY ALL TERRESTRIAL AERIAL PHENOMENA MUST BE CONSIDERED AND EXCLUDED...THAT MOST OF THE "PUBLIC" WOULD KNOW...THEN THERE'S THAT GREY AREA OF WHAT WE THINK WE KNOW...TERRESTRIALLY...BUT DON'T...AS WE ARE NOT IN THAT INTELLIGENCE/R&D LOOP...THEN THERE'S THAT PERCENTAGE OF PHENOMENA THAT PUTS ONE ON A JOURNEY LIKE... J.A.HYNEK... WHOM WAS PART OF THE DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN BUT FINALLY RATIONALIZED...THERE WAS/IS...THAT/THIS... FIVE PERCENT WHICH COMPELLED HIM TO SEARCH FURTHER...
CERTAINLY TAKES A SPECIAL PERSON(WHOM CLEARLY WAS A SKEPTIC) TO BE PART OF THE SYSTEM THEN ...GO AGAINST THE GRAIN SO-TO-SPEAK... AS THOSE PEOPLE ARE FULLY..."SELF ACTUALIZED"...

SHALOM...ZETAR
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8785 on: Jul 9th, 2013, 10:02am »

on Jul 8th, 2013, 11:22am, ZETAR wrote:
THAT IS PRETTY COOL AND AN EXCELLENT CATCH...
WRIGHT PATTERSON IS ONE HOUR AND SIX MINUTES AWAY FROM COLUMBUS,OHIO...WHO KNOWS WHAT MAY BE AVAILABLE AT THAT FACILITY MUCH LESS WITH ANYTHING IN THEIR ARSENAL/RESEARCH/BACK ENGINEERED,...
I WISH THERE WAS MORE FOOTAGE BUT CAN THINK OF QUITE A FEW TIMES ONE WISHES THEY HAD JUST A CAMERA...
SKEPTICISM/CONSERVATIVE CONCLUSION... IS A VIRTUE WHEREBY ALL TERRESTRIAL AERIAL PHENOMENA MUST BE CONSIDERED AND EXCLUDED...THAT MOST OF THE "PUBLIC" WOULD KNOW...THEN THERE'S THAT GREY AREA OF WHAT WE THINK WE KNOW...TERRESTRIALLY...BUT DON'T...AS WE ARE NOT IN THAT INTELLIGENCE/R&D LOOP...THEN THERE'S THAT PERCENTAGE OF PHENOMENA THAT PUTS ONE ON A JOURNEY LIKE... J.A.HYNEK... WHOM WAS PART OF THE DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN BUT FINALLY RATIONALIZED...THERE WAS/IS...THAT/THIS... FIVE PERCENT WHICH COMPELLED HIM TO SEARCH FURTHER...
CERTAINLY TAKES A SPECIAL PERSON(WHOM CLEARLY WAS A SKEPTIC) TO BE PART OF THE SYSTEM THEN ...GO AGAINST THE GRAIN SO-TO-SPEAK... AS THOSE PEOPLE ARE FULLY..."SELF ACTUALIZED"...

SHALOM...ZETAR


Good morning Zetar cheesy

Some said in the comment section that it was Chinese lanterns but I'm not sure. It reminded me so much of the Phoenix Lights.

And it does take a special person to risk the ridicule and meaness that goes with that to go ahead and challenge the official stand on our "visitors" and black projects.

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« Reply #8786 on: Jul 9th, 2013, 10:07am »

Wired

Portraits of Water-Walkers Bring the Magic — Without the Photoshop

By Jakob Schiller
07.09.13
6:30 AM



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The rice field workers



Old women, rock stars and waiters can all walk on water in Lucia Herrero’s photo series Species. It’s not a Photoshop trick, but an elaborate portrait setup where she has her subjects stand on submerged fruit crates. All the photos were taken on Spain’s largest lake, located in the Albufera Natural Park.

The surreal effect is something Herrero, a Spanish photographer, calls “Antropología Fantástica,” or fantastical anthropology. By exaggerating fantastical elements in her photos, she hopes to cut through today’s visual clutter and get to a deeper truth about people.

“For me it’s a way to give more reality to the real,” she says. “We are tired of seeing the real. Photography has developed so far that we don’t get surprised by anything anymore. You have to serve the dish in a different way so you can taste the same ingredients.”

Like her earlier photo series called Tribes (also covered by Wired), the light in Species is an important part of the Antropología Fantástica. Herrero always shoots into the sun and then lights the subjects with a 1000 watt flash because it takes a “banal situation and [elevates] it to a state of exception.” It makes the pictures stand out in a fantastical way.

The photo series is called Species because Herrero’s subjects are all locals to the lake in the photos. They are the human species of that area. Several restaurants in the area are known for their paella, so she photographed local waiters. The lake attracts a lot of waterfowl so she photographed duck hunters. There’s a portrait of a woman in a traditional dress who was the local beauty queen from one of the nearby towns. Even the metal band are all locals.

Along with the portraits Herrero also took several behind-the-scenes photos, which she says are just as important since she views her portraits as performances. She wanted people to understand what it took to make pictures out in the middle of a lake.

Most of her subjects just waded through the shallow water and then climbed on the crates when they were in place. If the crates weren’t tall enough she’d add pieces of wood for the subject to stand on. For the older women, she built an entire path of boards out to the portrait spot so they didn’t get too wet or stuck in the mud. Not many people took convincing.

“They were all immediately up for it,” she says.

gallery after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2013/07/cataloging-a-diversity-of-human-species-in-one-rural-area-of-spain/#slideid-22141

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« Reply #8787 on: Jul 9th, 2013, 10:10am »

Reuters

Residents of Quebec town allowed to go home after train disaster

By Richard Valdmanis and Julie Gordon

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec
Tue Jul 9, 2013 10:58am EDT

(Reuters) - Authorities in the severely damaged Quebec town of Lac-Megantic said some residents could start returning home on Tuesday, three days after a runaway train derailed and exploded, killing up to 50 people.

"I have excellent news to announce this morning," Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche told reporters as she announced that around 1,200 of the 2,000 people who were evacuated due to the disaster could go home. The town has 6,000 people.

The mayor said 50 factories and businesses in the blast zone would remain shut.

With the fires out and authorities able to get to the epicenter of the blasts, the death toll is expected to climb.

For the families of the dead and missing - around 50 people altogether - the recovery efforts will start to bring some closure, though it may take weeks or even months before all are identified.

"They know their loved ones were there, on the site. Most of them are now waiting for confirmation - because that makes it official," said Steve Lemay, the parish priest of Lac-Megantic, who has been meeting with affected families. "It's clear that they are not waiting for the missing to return."

Quebec police said late on Monday they had recovered 13 bodies from the blackened rubble of what was once the historic downtown strip in the town, about 160 miles east of Montreal and near the border with Maine and Vermont.

The coroner's office asked relatives of the missing to bring in brushes, combs and razors so specialists could extract DNA samples from strands of hair.

Police moved a large truck in front of the disaster area on Tuesday to block television cameras from filming the grisly images of the recovery effort.

Canadian transport officials investigating the derailment were due to give a briefing at 10:15 a.m. EDT (1415 GMT).

BALL OF FIRE

The train was parked in nearby Nantes on Friday night when one of its engines, which had been left running to ensure the air brakes had enough pressure, caught fire. Local firemen turned off the engine, put out the fire and went home.

The train then started moving by itself and blew up in Lac-Megantic at 1 a.m. on Saturday. The ensuing fire engulfed nearby buildings.

Train operator Montreal, Maine & Atlantic says shutting off the engine caused the brakes to lose pressure, sending the train into the town.

Industry experts said engineers were also supposed to set enough of the train's handbrakes to ensure it could not move. No one from the train operator was immediately available to comment on how many handbrakes had been set.

"I'm not going to take full responsibility until such time as we compete an investigation. I don't think that's unreasonable ... we have to know what really happened, not just speculate," Robert Grindrod, president of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, told public broadcaster Radio-Canada on Monday night.

"It might be nice in the news to have a quick answer but it's more important to have the correct answer because that's the only way you can prevent something like this from happening again," he said.

By Monday evening, the emergency crews had finally reached the Musi-Cafe, a downtown bar near the epicenter of the blast. A band was performing that night and the building was packed with people, eyewitnesses told Reuters.

"I don't know how many friends I lost that night," said Jean-Sebastien Jacques, 24, who was walking toward the Musi-Cafe at the time of the accident. "We have looked at the shelter and around town, but that bar was full when the train hit."

Jacques played Reuters a dramatic video he shot on his cellphone right after the crash, which showed a ball of fire engulfing buildings and then another explosion that made him turn and run so quickly his shoes came off.

"The heat was unbearable," he said. "It was like holding your hand over a flame, but it was my entire back."

(Editing by Eric Walsh and Paul Simao)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/09/us-train-idUSBRE96505L20130709

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« Reply #8788 on: Jul 9th, 2013, 10:13am »

Reuters

Thousands expected to pay final tribute to fallen Arizona firemen

By Tim Gaynor

PHOENIX | Tue Jul 9, 2013 6:04am EDT

(Reuters) - Thousands of mourners, including firefighters from around the country and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, were expected to converge in central Arizona on Tuesday to pay final tribute to 19 young firemen killed last week in the line of duty.

The fallen members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite firefighting squad from Prescott, Arizona, were overrun by flames on the afternoon of June 30 as they battled a lightning-sparked blaze with hand tools outside the tiny town of Yarnell.

The tragedy marked the greatest loss of life from a U.S. wildfire in 80 years, and the highest number of American firefighters killed in a single incident since the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center in New York.

Precise circumstances of the firefighters' deaths in Arizona remain under investigation.

But authorities have said the 19 specially trained firefighters, most of them in their 20s, apparently became trapped in seconds as a burst of gale-force winds from an approaching thunderstorm drove flames back in their direction.

The team quickly deployed cocoon-like personal protective shelters in a last-ditch effort to take cover, but some of the men never even made it into the foil-coated capsules.

The disaster sent waves of shock and grief through the firefighters' hometown of Prescott, a city of 40,000 people some 60 miles northwest of Phoenix, the state capital.

"Many of the people in this town knew some of those firefighters, or at least knew some of their families," said David Eaker, a spokesman for organizers of Tuesday's memorial service.

The event was scheduled for late morning at an entertainment and sports arena in the adjacent town of Prescott Valley. Organizers set up overflow space outside to handle a crowd expected to exceed the arena's seating capacity of around 6,000.

Biden was slated to lead a group of dignitaries also set to include U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, as well as representatives of fire departments from across the United States. Biden and Brewer will speak at the event.

The sole surviving member of the Granite Mountain team, Brendan McDonough, was scheduled to read an offering titled "The Hot Shot's Prayer." McDonough was acting as a lookout for the crew about a mile away from his colleagues and on higher ground when they were overrun by flames. He escaped unhurt.

While the memorial service is open to the public, individual funerals for the fallen firefighters are to be held privately in coming days, Eaker said.

On Sunday, a solemn procession of 19 white hearses escorted by police on motorcycles brought the remains of the fire crew home to the Prescott area from Phoenix, where autopsies were performed. But the caskets will not be present for Tuesday's service.

The so-called Yarnell Hill fire, one of dozens of wildland blazes that have raged across several western states this summer, charred 8,400 acres of thick, tinder-dry chaparral, oak scrub and grasslands after erupting on June 28. Scores of homes in and around Yarnell were destroyed.

As of Monday, crews had managed to carve containment lines around 90 percent of the smoldering fire's perimeter. Evacuation orders also were lifted for the last of the residents forced from their homes more than a week ago in Yarnell and the nearby town of Peeples Valley.

(Editing by Steve Gorman and Mohammad Zargham)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/09/us-usa-fires-arizona-idUSBRE9680BA20130709



I worked for the Prescott Nat'l Forest Service eons ago. They were the nicest bunch of people you could ever meet. Sad.

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« Reply #8789 on: Jul 9th, 2013, 10:15am »

Science Daily

Matter-Antimatter Asymmetry: Using the Sun to Illuminate a Basic Mystery of Matter

July 8, 2013 — Antimatter has been detected in solar flares via microwave and magnetic-field data, according to a presentation by NJIT Research Professor of Physics Gregory D. Fleishman and two co-researchers at the 44th meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Solar Physics Division. This research sheds light on the puzzling strong asymmetry between matter and antimatter by gathering data on a very large scale using the Sun as a laboratory.

While antiparticles can be created and then detected with costly and complex particle-accelerator experiments, such particles are otherwise very difficult to study. However, Fleishman and the two co-researchers have reported the first remote detection of relativistic antiparticles -- positrons -- produced in nuclear interactions of accelerated ions in solar flares through the analysis of readily available microwave and magnetic-field data obtained from solar-dedicated facilities and spacecraft. That such particles are created in solar flares is not a surprise, but this is the first time their immediate effects have been detected.

The results of this research have far-reaching implications for gaining valuable knowledge through remote detection of relativistic antiparticles at the Sun and, potentially, other astrophysical objects by means of radio-telescope observations. The ability to detect these antiparticles in an astrophysical source promises to enhance our understanding of the basic structure of matter and high-energy processes such as solar flares, which regularly have a widespread and disruptive terrestrial impact, but also offer a natural laboratory to address the most fundamental mysteries of the universe we live in.

Electrons and their antiparticles, positrons, have the same physical behavior except that electrons have a negative charge while positrons, as their name implies, have a positive charge. This charge difference causes positrons to emit the opposite sense of circularly polarized radio emission, which Fleishman and his colleagues used to distinguish them. To do that required knowledge of the magnetic field direction in the solar flare, provided by NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), and radio images at two frequencies from Japan's Nobeyama Radioheliograph. Fleishman and his colleagues found that the radio emission from the flare was polarized in the normal sense (due to more numerous electrons) at the lower frequency (lower energy) where the effect of positrons is expected to be small, but reversed to the opposite sense at the same location, although at the higher frequency (higher energy) where positrons can dominate.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708103436.htm

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