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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 91101 times)
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9180 on: Sep 26th, 2013, 09:12am »

Wired

Building the Unbuildable: What Happens When We’re the Ones Flying UFOs?

By Angela Watercutter
09.26.13
6:30 AM



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By definition, UFOs should not be built.

In order to have an “unidentified flying object,” the origins of said object must be unknown. And yet, technically, we know how to identify UFOs – or at least as pop culture has imagined them. They are flying saucers covered with lights that float through the air like spinning plates. Or something. Some people spend their lives looking for one, others fear what would happen if they were abducted by one.

Yet, artist Peter Coffin has built one.

“The question I get excited about is ‘Well, why did you make the UFO in the first place? Isn’t a UFO something that people don’t make? Isn’t it supposed to be an alien thing?’” Coffin told WIRED. “Does it make it more real or less real at that point because it’s man-made?”

Coffin didn’t build his UFO because he’s particularly interested in alien spacecraft. Instead, his flying saucer, which flew over Station to Station‘s Barstow event Tuesday, is meant to be thought-provoking – to make people contemplate why we look to the skies hoping to see UFOs, even if we’d be horrified to actually see one. (You know, because it could mean an invasion.)

Think about it. Some folks, like the team at the SETI Institute, scan the heavens actively seeking out life elsewhere in the universe. Other people would spot a flying saucer and immediately feel terrified by whatever life forms might be inside. Hollywood does the same thing: sometimes intergalactic visitors are E.T., cute and cuddly and obsessed with Reese’s Pieces, while others are predatory monsters looking to drain Earth of its resources or enslave its people.

The goal of Coffin’s UFO is to evoke these very disparate reactions. After being fascinated by what UFOs seem to represent in our culture as a kid growing up in the 1980s, the artist began digging into how humans deal with UFOs psychologically. That interest continued into adulthood when he discovered that analytical psychologist Carl Jung had actually wrote on the subject called, Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies. In the book, Jung didn’t concern himself with whether or not UFOs were real, but rather why anyone would think they might be.

“In the threatening situation of the world today, when people are beginning to see that everything is at stake, the projection-creating fantasy soars beyond the realm of earthly organizations and powers into the heavens, into interstellar space, where the rulers of human fate, the gods, once had their abode in the planets,” Jung wrote. “Even people who would never have thought that a religious problem could be a serious matter that concerned them personally are beginning to ask themselves fundamental questions.”

Coffin hopes those fundamental questions are also asked by those who view his UFO, even if they know it’s part of an art project. In Barstow, it was hard to tell exactly what members of the audience contemplated when they saw the UFO, though many at least turned their smartphones away from an ongoing Beck performance to capture an image of Coffin’s creation. (Beck himself even tweaked his song “Where It’s At” in the vessel’s honor, saying he had “two turntables and a UFO.”)

During previous UFO flights, like when Coffin took it to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2010, folks treated its presence as a reason to party. But during another flight over the Baltic Sea in 2008, Coffin worked with a group of sociologists to get reactions from people who saw it — some who knew the flying saucer was part of an art experiment, and some who didn’t.

“The discussions were really interesting,” said Coffin. “It was an opportunity, especially for the folks who did know about it in advance, to speak about things that I think are hard for people to speak about – that is, their own beliefs about reality or their own beliefs about their own spiritual beliefs … Artists in a significant way have felt responsible to make visible the invisible – images of religious figures, or art that was inspired by new science before new science could answer some of the questions about what reality is really like.”

Walking onto the build site for the UFO before the test run in Barstow – which was actually conducted in a nearby cemetery – Coffin smiled like a kid when he saw his creation again. “It’s going to be great to see this thing fly.” Folks from Cinimod Studio and Prolyte Group, which helped Coffin design and build the contraption, scurried around affixing lights and GoPro cameras to the 1,800-pound aluminum structure and securing its on-board computer. They make it look easy, but Cinimod Studio founder Dominic Harris noted there wasn’t much prior art for something like this. “This was massively over-engineered,” he said. “You kind of have to write your own brief.”

While Coffin is happy to explain the intent of his UFO, he’s a bit cagey when it comes to discussing how he built it — or how it flies. “My dad growing up was a magician and he would always say, ‘A good magician never reveals his tricks,’ I’m not into keeping things secret, but I want the emphasis to be something else.” He will say, however, that he designed it to look like the UFOs in sci-fi movies and novels, that it’s 30 feet in diameter, and that one of its many lighting features actually comes in the form of police lights. But how did it get to Barstow in the first place? Coffin dodges again.

“I think it’s fun for people to wonder about how it got there. As a joke we’ve always told people that it flew there and it’s meeting us there,” he said.

Ultimately, even though it’s not a photograph, or a painting, or a sculpture, or even one of the many yurts around the Station to Station stops, Coffin said his UFO fits in with universal purpose of art. And much like cubist artists were inspired by the new technologies and scientific discoveries happening in their time, he hopes his work can be reflective of discoveries science has yet to make – if they are indeed out there.

photo gallery after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/09/sts-peter-coffin-ufo/#slideid-249261

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« Reply #9181 on: Sep 26th, 2013, 09:19am »

Telegraph

America’s Cup: how the yachts go faster than the wind

The victory by Sir Ben Ainslie and his Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup is being ranked as one of the most astonishing comebacks of all time. The Telegraph’s science correspondent Richard Gray examines the technology that allows the boats to travel at up to three times the speed of the wind.

26 September 2013

First awarded in 1851, the America’s Cup is the biggest prize in sailing and over the years, the competition has been at the cutting edge of sailing technology.

In 1983 Australians used a winged keel to end the domination of American sailors to win the prize. The keel allowed the boat Australia II to be as light and as stable as possible while still having a large sail.

Since this moment, technological advances have been at the heart of the America's Cup, with teams using cutting edge materials and innovative designs to get an edge.

Multihull boats such as catamarans and trimarans were among those innovations that have transformed the America's Cup racing and pushed back the boundaries of what is possible.

This year, two new classes of boat were announced in the America's Cup – the AC72 and a scaled-down version, the AC45, which was used for the preliminary training and racing.

These catamarans use innovative wing sail designs and hydrofoils that were initially expected to achieve speeds of up to 1.6 times the speed of the wind when sailing downwind.

However, the yachts have achieved almost 2.79 times the wind speed and reached speeds of up to 47 knots, or 55 miles per hour.

How is it possible to sail faster than the wind?

At first glance this appears to defy logic – how can a yacht travel faster than the wind that is propelling it? However, the boats in the America's Cup use rigid wing sails rather than traditional cloth and mast mail sails.

These fixed wings use the same principals of lift force that enables aircraft to fly to drive the boat forward.

The speed produced also lifts the catamarans out of the water. When combined with reduced drag through the water, the catamarans essentially fly above the surface of the water.

What is a wing sail?

The AC72 catamarans have rigid sails that are the same size as the wing from a Jumbo Jet Boeing 747 passenger airliner.

Measuring 2,800 square feet, these enormous sails catch huge amounts of wind. They are also shaped just like an aircraft wing, with a wide, rigid front edge and a thin trailing edge.

In the same way as an aircraft wing, the sails take advantage of the Bernoulli principle, which a difference in pressure on either side of the sail will create lift, or in this case forward motion through the water.

On these boats the wing sail is built in two separate elements, producing an asymmetric wing where the curved surface over which the air flows can be altered by changing the angle between these elements.

The wing sail works because the air on the rear, or leeward, side of the sail travels faster than the air on the front, or windward, side.

This difference in air speed creates low pressure on the leeward side of the sail and high pressure on the windward side, essentially lifting the sail forward just like an aircraft wing generates upward lift.

By adjusting the angle between the two elements of the wing, the sailors on board can control the amount of "forward lift" they get from the sail. The more the flaps bend, the more power is generated.

However, if the sailors bend the wings too much, then they can lose control or the sail will stall.

What are the wings made of?

The leading edge of the wing is made from carbon fibre and forms a rigid structure a little like a mast. At the rear of the wing, there are soft trailing edges while the rest is made from a thin, lightweight composite shell.

The two elements of the wing are fixed close together to ensure there is as small a gap between them as possible. If the gap is too big, air can leak between them, creating drag.

The teams have worked closely with the aerospace industry to develop their wings, creating small tweaks and alterations in the curve to maximise lift while giving the crews as much control as possible.

How are the wings controlled?

A series of lines and ropes are attached to the wings to allow the crew to alter the angle of the camber, while the flaps are controlled using hydraulic cables.

The crew also carry wireless electronic devices that provide them with updates from sensors carried on the wings to help them keep them in optimal shape.

more after the jump:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/sailing/10335496/Americas-Cup-how-the-yachts-go-faster-than-the-wind.html

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« Reply #9182 on: Sep 26th, 2013, 09:22am »

Science News

Scented naps can dissipate fears

People unlearned an odor's unpleasant accompaniment when they smelled it in their sleep

By Laura Sanders
Web edition: September 22, 2013

A nap can ease the burden of a painful memory. While fast asleep, people learned that a previously scary situation was no longer threatening, scientists report September 22 in Nature Neuroscience.

The results are the latest to show that sleep is a special state in which many sorts of learning can happen. And the particular sort of learning in the new study blunted a fear memory, a goal of treatments for disorders such as phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It’s a remarkable finding,” says sleep neuroscientist Edward Pace-Schott of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Katherina Hauner and Jay Gottfried of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and their colleagues first taught 15 (awake) volunteers to fear the combination of a face and odor. Participants saw a picture of a certain man’s face and at the same time smelled a distinctive scent, such as lemon. This face-odor combo was paired with a nasty shock, so that the volunteers quickly learned to expect something bad when they saw that particular face and smelled the associated odor.

Then the volunteers tucked in for a nap in the laboratory. When the participants hit the deepest stage of sleep, called slow-wave sleep, Hauner and her colleagues redelivered the smell that had earlier come with a shock.

During the nap, some participants had learned that the smell was safe. The volunteers sweated less (a measure of fear) when the face-odor combination appeared after the nap, the scientists found. When the odor wasn’t presented during sleep, volunteers’ responses to the associated face were unchanged.

Upon awakening, volunteers also underwent scans that revealed changes in brain activity that accompanied this relearning. Odor exposure while sleeping seemed to cause neural changes in the hippocampus, a memory center, and the amygdala, which is linked to emotions.

This relearning process is similar to exposure therapy, Hauser says. In that type of therapy, a person with arachnophobia, for instance, confronts spiders over and over again until new memories of safety override the previous memory of fear. Exposure therapy is often very difficult for people, says neuroscientist Asya Rolls of Technion--Israel Institute of Technology. A treatment that could happen entirely during sleep, while the patient has no conscious knowledge of it, might be easier on people, she says. “These are very promising findings,” she says, “and I am excited to see how the field develops.”

Hauner says that it’s too soon to say whether the technique might help patients. Scientists need to test whether the fear memory could be weakened even more with longer sleep times and whether the benefits last, she says.

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/353458/description/Scented_naps_can_dissipate_fears

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« Reply #9183 on: Sep 26th, 2013, 09:29am »

Washington Times

State Department security still lacking a year after Benghazi: OIG report

By Stephen Dinan and Guy Taylor
The Washington Times
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A year after the Benghazi terrorist attacks, the State Department still doesn’t have a good handle on managing security risks at foreign diplomatic missions, the department’s internal auditor concludes in a report released Wednesday.

A “special review” conducted by the State Department’s office of inspector general chastises the department for lacking a systematic approach to boosting security personnel beyond the assistance provided by host nations at 27 high-risk posts, and points to holes in the department’s ability to weigh the balance between security and the need to be involved in certain volatile corners of the world.

“The State Department has neither a conceptual framework nor a process for risk management,” the OIG concludes. “There is no one person or office specifically tasked to oversee the assessment of risk in critical, high-threat locals.”

However, the OIG also shot down claims made over the past year by prominent Republicans who have argued that the Obama administration-appointed panel that investigated the September 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, was tainted by political tampering and failed to hold anyone sufficiently accountable for security failures surrounding the incident.

Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed when armed Islamist terrorists stormed a shoddily protected diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.

Perhaps the loudest critic has been Rep. Darrell E. Issa, a California Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who has claimed that last year’s Accountability Review Board investigation — a process mandated by federal law whenever an attack occurs on a U.S. diplomatic post overseas — fell far short of uncovering the truth of what was behind the security failures in Benghazi.

While the Obama administration had appointed longtime diplomat Thomas R. Pickering and retired Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to oversee the ARB investigation, Mr. Issa has claimed that the “ARB was not fully independent.”

“The panel did not exhaustively examine failures and it has led to an unacceptable lack of accountability,” Mr. Issa said in a statement earlier this month.

The OIG findings rebut the assertion, concluding instead that the “Accountability Review Board process operates as intended — independently and without bias — to identify vulnerabilities in the Department of State’s security programs.”

The State Department was quick to seize upon the finding.

“This independent report underscores that the partisan and political assault on the ARB must end,” department spokesman Alec Gerlach said in an email to The Washington Times. “The IG looked at all 12 ARBs conducted between 1998 and 2012 and determined that the ARB process occurs ‘independently and without bias.’”

“Chairman Issa might want to read the report before he again slanders the independence and integrity of Admiral Mullen and Ambassador Pickering,” Mr. Gerlach said. “The IG also found that our response to the Benghazi ARB ‘establishes a model for how the Department should handle future ARB recommendations,’ noting that the level of attention of [Secretary of State John F. Kerry and former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton] reflected their personal concern.”

Indeed, the OIG report gave the ARB process itself a stamp of approval, saying it is able to operate free of bias and political pressure. But it found mixed results with regard to the State Department’s implementation of the recommendations made by the ARB.

For instance, one of the ARB’s key findings had called for boosting U.S. assets at high-risk posts where the host countries are incapable or unwilling to protect U.S. missions.

“The department’s actions to date do not comply with this recommendation,” Wednesday’s OIG report says, concluding that while State Department standards reflect the quality of construction of posts, they don’t address “minimum security standards for occupancy or address requirements beyond construction standards.”

Still, the OIG report specifically credited Mrs. Clinton for taking a direct role in making sure the Benghazi ARB recommendations were implemented, and said Mr. Kerry is following through.

“The Benghazi ARB recommendations, when implemented, should significantly improve the department’s ability to provide better security for U.S. diplomatic missions and employees,” the report said.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/25/state-department-security-still-lacking-year-after/?page=1

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« Reply #9184 on: Sep 26th, 2013, 12:38pm »






The Legged Squad Support System (LS3) is a rough-terrain robot developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA and the US Marine Corps. It is designed to carry 400 lbs of payload and travel 20 miles without refueling. LS3 has sensors that let it follow a human leader while avoiding obstacles in the terrain.

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« Reply #9185 on: Sep 26th, 2013, 2:49pm »

Doctors Grow Nose on Man's Forehead

CBS News Copy
Sep 26, 2013

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A Chinese man whose nose was severely disfigured following a car accident will soon get a replacement -- in the form of a nose that has been growing on his forehead.
A video from Chinese television station CCTV shows doctors checking the nose's progress on the forehead of a 22-year-old man named Xiaolian at a hospital in Fuzhou located in the Fujian province, Reuters reports.

The man reportedly only got basic medical care after he was involved in a car accident last year. He developed an infection that corroded the cartilage in his nose, which made reconstruction surgery impossible.

That's when they decided to grow a new one. Doctors placed a tissue expander into the man's forehead that stretched out his skin, fashioning it into the shape of a nose. They then took cartilage from his rib and placed it in his forehead, allowing the skin to grow over the cartilage scaffolding.

That's similar to how Johns Hopkins Medicine doctors gave a woman a new ear in 2012 following an aggressive bout of skin cancer. Doctors took rib cartilage from 42-year-old Sherrie Walter last year and placed it under her forearm for four months while it got nourished by neighboring blood cells and grew skin. Doctors hope the ear will last for decades.

Xiaolian's surgeons said that the new nose is in good shape after nine months of growing on his forehead, and the transplant could be performed soon, local media reported.

http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/Doctors-Grow-Nose-on-Mans-Forehead-225356622.html
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« Reply #9186 on: Sep 26th, 2013, 7:37pm »

on Sep 26th, 2013, 2:49pm, Swamprat wrote:
Doctors Grow Nose on Man's Forehead

CBS News Copy
Sep 26, 2013

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A Chinese man whose nose was severely disfigured following a car accident will soon get a replacement -- in the form of a nose that has been growing on his forehead....

http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/Doctors-Grow-Nose-on-Mans-Forehead-225356622.html



shocked shocked shocked

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« Reply #9187 on: Sep 27th, 2013, 09:34am »

Associated Press

FHA to draw $1.7b from Treasury to cover losses

By ANDREW MIGA
— Sep. 27 10:15 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal housing agency says it needs a $1.7 billion bailout from the Treasury to cover projected losses in a mortgage programs for seniors.

At issue are reverse mortgage programs, which allow seniors to borrow against their homes for everyday living expenses.

Carol Galante is Federal Housing Administration Commissioner. Galante wrote Congress Friday that her agency will withdraw the money from the Treasury before the fiscal year ends Monday. Congressional approval is not required.

The agency insures mortgages for millions of homeowners. It's struggling with $5 billion in losses on its reverse mortgage program.

The FHA suffered big losses when many borrowers 62 or older took large payments up front and later ran into financial problems, often due to falling home values during the financial crisis.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/fha-draw-17b-treasury-cover-losses

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« Reply #9188 on: Sep 27th, 2013, 09:42am »

Boston.com

UFO in Augusta turns out to be restaurant light

Kennebec Journal
September 27, 2013

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Several Augusta residents called police and the local newspaper to report a UFO hovering over the capital city this week.

But there were no little green men invading. Just chimichangas and fajitas.

Deputy Police Chief Jared Mills tells the Kennebec Journal (http://bit.ly/1bL5EOh) the source of the UFO rumor turned out to be a spotlight being used by Margaritas Mexican Restaurant to celebrate its reopening on Wednesday night.

Manager Rob Michaud says the restaurant recently completed renovations and was shut down for about two weeks.

Mills says police asked the restaurant to shut off the light because of the concerns.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/maine/2013/09/27/ufo-augusta-turns-out-restaurant-light/SW0z6fdnc5eZj1mMmEpeOJ/story.html

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« Reply #9189 on: Sep 27th, 2013, 09:49am »

Japan Times

Tepco asks to restart two Niigata reactors

Request for safety checks follows months of negotiations

Kyodo
27 September 2013

Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Friday filed for safety assessments of reactors 6 and 7 at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant in Niigata Prefecture, joining other utilities seeking to reactivate their atomic power stations.

Tepco spent more than two months seeking local approval to apply for the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s safety inspections, reflecting the sensitivity of reactor restarts by the utility responsible for the crippled Fukushima No. 1 complex. Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida on Thursday gave the green light to the utility’s plan to approach the NRA.

Economic and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari on Friday welcomed Tepco’s move, saying that “it is a good thing for nuclear power safety, for the stable supply of electricity and for the local economy (of the two host towns).”

After submitting the application, Tepco Managing Executive Officer Takafumi Anegawa told reporters the company will at the same time make “all-out efforts” to allay public concerns over the toxic water reaching the Pacific from Fukushima No. 1.

The move brings to 14 the number of reactors for which NRA safety checks are being sought. To go online, reactors must be inspected by the nuclear watchdog to determine if they satisfy the new safety requirements it adopted in July.

Tepco, struggling to meet the massive costs of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, is desperate to reactivate idled atomic units so it can reduce spending on costly fossil fuel imports for thermal power generation.

While it is not clear how long the NRA evaluations will take, it is important for Tepco to show it is at least making progress on improving business conditions so creditors will continue to extend loans.

Under a 10-year restructuring plan authorized by the government last year, Tepco is projected to move back into the black in fiscal 2013 by streamlining operations, hiking electricity rates and restarting reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.

Despite falling significantly behind schedule on firing up the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors, Tepco President Naomi Hirose separately told reporters he has no intention of altering profit target for the fiscal year ending next March.

He meanwhile said Tepco hopes to avoid further price hikes as much as possible.

Hirose also said the utility intends to ask the NRA to conduct safety assessments at more of its power stations. “Of course, we are preparing for that. Once we are ready, we must proceed” with the application, he said.

If reactors 6 and 7 in Niigata are brought back online, Tepco estimates it could manage to cut fuel costs by ¥200 billion to ¥300 billion per year. The two advanced boiling water reactors are the newest of the seven atomic units at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, which, with a combined capacity of 8.2 million kw, is the world’s largest atomic plant.

Under the new NRA rules, reactors must be equipped with filtered venting systems to reduce radiation if gas and steam must be released from containment vessels in an emergency. Izumida, the Niigata governor, on Thursday said the ventilation system should not be used at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa without first securing local approval.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/09/27/national/tepco-asks-nra-to-check-safety-of-two-reactors-at-kashiwazaki-kariwa-nuclear-plant/#.UkWacZDn-1s

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« Reply #9190 on: Sep 27th, 2013, 09:52am »

Blastr.com

Check out the original 1963 blueprints for Doctor Who's 1st TARDIS

by Trent Moore
Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 5:06pm

We still have a little while to wait until Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special, but an awesome artifact has surfaced from the annals of Who-dom to keep us entertained in the meantime.

Former director Waris Hussein has revealed an annotated studio floor plan showing the set design of Doctor Who’s pilot episode from 1963. Included in the documents? The original floor print design for The Doctor’s TARDIS. The Radio Times released the documents, noting the production team was gearing up to shoot the first episode exactly 50 years ago today. These sets were constructed at Lime Grove Studios in London.

As you probably noticed, the floor plan blueprint is extremely detailed with lots of notes — largely due to the fact that many shows at the time were shot “as live,” with a handful of cameras left running while the actors followed the script through the various sets in continuous takes. Here’s how Hussein described the process:


“In those days, we shot continuously on four cameras with very few breaks in the tape. You had to know exactly what you were doing. It was almost mathematical in its strategy.”


Check out the pics below and take a trip back in time to Doctor Who’s first trip into space and time.

gallery after the jump:
http://www.blastr.com/2013-9-26/check-out-original-1963-blueprints-doctor-whos-1st-tardis

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« Reply #9191 on: Sep 27th, 2013, 09:56am »




Please be an angel



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« Reply #9192 on: Sep 28th, 2013, 11:45am »







~

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« Reply #9193 on: Sep 29th, 2013, 10:29am »

Guardian

Silver bullion from sunken WWII ship makes it to the Mint at last

Coins commemorating 1941 sinking of SS Gairsoppa are part of 100-tonne haul recovered from North Atlantic

by Maev Kennedy
Sunday 29 September 2013 11.08 EDT

Commemorative silver coins are being struck from shipwrecked bullion that arrived at the Royal Mint more than 70 years late, after a German torpedo sent the ship carrying it to the bottom of the North Atlantic during the second world war.


The coins, intended for collectors, are made from part of a haul of almost 100 tonnes of silver recovered from a wreck lying three miles down, deeper than the Titanic. The silver is valued at up to £150m, the largest quantity of precious metal ever recovered from such a depth.


The coins show the doomed ship SS Gairsoppa, which sank on 17 February 1941 off the Irish coast after it was hit by a single German torpedo fired by U-boat U-101 weighed down by 7,000 tonnes of cargo including thousands of tons of pig iron.


Most of the 83 crew members and two gunners died immediately. The impact of the torpedo brought down the foremast, instantly destroying the wireless antennae, so the crew could not even send a distress call. Two of the ship's lifeboats were swamped in the stormy waves, and though the third made it to Cornwall 13 days later, only second officer Richard Ayres survived – the last of his comrades drowned when the boat capsized within sight of the shore.


The wreck is still sitting upright and remarkably well-preserved on the seabed 300 miles off the west coast of Ireland, its cargo hatches open and the gaping hole left by the torpedo clearly visible in its side.


The US salvage firm Odyssey, working under contract to the UK government, recovered the record amounts of silver over the past two summers using remotecontrolled vessels. In 2012, 1,218 ingots weighing 1.4m troy ounces were brought to the surface, and last July a further 1,574 ingots, adding up to 1.8m troy ounces, were recovered.


Under the terms of the contract, Odyssey keeps 80% of the silver, the rest goes to the Treasury, and a small amount is being returned to the Royal Mint for which it was originally intended.


In 1940, the decision was taken to import silver from India when the Mint's supplies were running low during the war. The ingots from Bombay were loaded onto the SS Gairsoppa, a British steam merchant ship, built on Tyeside in 1919. The convoy hit stormy weather. Heavy laden and running short of coal, unable to keep up with the other vessels the Gairsoppa decided to leave the protection of the convoy and head for Galway harbour. A few days later, still hundreds of miles from safety, the ship was spotted by a German aircraft, torpedoed just after midnight and sank within 20 minutes.


Correspondence between the Royal Mint and the Bank of England reveals that there was such concern over the loss of the bullion, valued in 1940 at £600,000, that it was feared the Mint might run out of silver completely and be forced to suspend production of coinage. The price of the new coins has not been disclosed, but coin collectors' websites suggest they are being marketed in boxes of 300 coins for $5,000 (£2,885)).


Some records suggest that more silver may still remain in the ship's hold, but Odyssey has found no trace of it, nor of human remains.


Odyssey was involved in an international legal wrangle last year, when US courts ordered it to return to Spain a spectacular hoard of almost 600,000 gold and silver coins, estimated at up to £308m. The treasure was initially landed at Gibraltar before being flown out to Florida. Odyssey said the coins came from a site codenamed Black Swan and were so scattered no wreck could be identified, but the Spanish insisted they were from a Spanish frigate, the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, sunk by a British squadron off Portugal in 1804.


There has also been controversy over Odyssey's contract to excavate and recover artefacts from HMS Sussex, a British warship sunk in 1694 believed to have been carrying gold. The project has been condemned by some archaeologists including the Council for British Archaeology.


http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/sep/29/silver-bullion-sunken-wwii-ship-royal-mint

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« Reply #9194 on: Sep 29th, 2013, 10:32am »

Associated Press

Another arrest made in deadly Kenyan mall attack

By DAVID RISING
— Sep. 29 11:21 AM EDT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya's security services made another arrest Sunday in connection with the deadly Westgate mall attack, a top official said, but declined to say how authorities believe the person was involved in the siege.

Kenya has have arrested 12 people since the attack but three have been freed, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said during a press conference. He declined to say if any of those arrested had been in the mall during the attack.

Investigators have also identified a car used by the gunmen, from the Somalia-based Islamist group al-Shabab, and found in it "an assortment of illegal weapons," said Lenku.

The four-day siege, which included the collapse of part of the mall, left 67 people dead, according to officials. The Red Cross says 59 people remain missing, though the government puts that number at zero.

Kenyans have become increasingly frustrated over the government's unwillingness to share information about the attack. Almost no details have been released about what happened after the first hours of the siege.

"We ask you to bear with us," he said, of the government's unwillingness to share information.

While the mall was a chaotic scene for many hours after the attack began, with people moving in and out of the upscale shopping center, Lenku insisted no terrorists could have escaped.

"Our forces sealed off every point of exit," he said. "It was completely secured."

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/another-arrest-made-deadly-kenyan-mall-attack

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