Board Logo
« Stuff & Nonsense »

Welcome Guest. Please Login or Register.
Jun 28th, 2017, 2:17pm


Visit the UFO Casebook Web Site

*Totally FREE 24/7 Access *Your Nickname and Avatar *Private Messages

*Join today and be a part of one of the largest UFO sites on the Net.


« Previous Topic | Next Topic »
Pages: 1 ... 613 614 615 616 617  ...  1070 Notify Send Topic Print
 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 80199 times)
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11735
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9210 on: Oct 2nd, 2013, 4:20pm »

Wired

How a Purse Snatching Led to the Legal Justification for NSA Domestic Spying

By David Kravets
10.02.13

It began as an ordinary purse snatching. On an early Baltimore morning in 1976, a local street thug crouched alongside his green Monte Carlo, pretending to change a flat, biding his time. Finally, a young woman passed by walking alone to her suburban home. Smith wrenched her handbag from her grasp, jumped into his car and tore off down the street before the young victim could glimpse his license plate.

The perp, Michael Lee Smith, was apprehended weeks later, thanks in part to the police department’s use of a machine known as a “pen register” to track the threatening phone calls the assailant had started making to his victim. The court wrangling that followed, however, would continue for three years, and eventually land on the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1979 the court upheld Smith’s conviction, and his 10-year prison term.

Almost 35 years later, the court’s decision — in a case involving the recording of a single individual’s phone records — turns out to be the basis for a legal rationale justifying governmental spying on virtually all Americans. Smith v. Maryland, as the case is titled, set the binding precedent for what we now call metadata surveillance. That, in turn, has recently been revealed to be the keystone of the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of U.S. telephone data, in which the government chronicles every phone call originating or terminating in the United States, all in the name of the war on terror.

“When they started quoting Smith in the NSA investigation and inquiry, I was flabbergasted,” says James Gitomer, who was one of Smith’s two lawyers at the Supreme Court. ”I don’t think this case should be used as the foundation to justify the NSA. It doesn’t apply.”

To understand how a purse snatching led to the NSA’s controversial program, you have to look at Smith’s behavior after he made off with his victim’s bag. Smith became obsessed with the woman he mugged, and began terrorizing her with threatening phone calls after the robbery.

The victim called the police, and told them she’d spotted the purse-snatcher’s car driving past her residence. A beat cop started patrolling the area. According to court records, that cop happened to be in the vicinity of the victim’s residence when Smith himself accidentally locked his keys in his car. He sought the assistance of the officer to help him unlock the door of the Monte Carlo.

The officer “took the license number of the vehicle, learned that it was registered to … Smith, and so notified other investigating police officers,” according to records. (http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2013/10/SUPC-USSC1978-5374-04-i1-40.pdf)

That’s where things got interesting from a legal point of view. Using a subpoena issued by the prosecutor, and not a probable-cause warrant signed by a judge, the authorities demanded that the local phone company begin making a record of every phone call originating from Smith’s home phone.

Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company did so using the state of the art in telephonic surveillance at the time: a device known as a pen register.

The pen register was first described in Samuel Morse’s 1840 telegraph patent. It’s a fully automatic Morse Code receiver that used a pen to mark dots and dashes on a spool of paper tape, in theory replacing human operators at the receiving end of a telegram. In practice, the mechanical technology proved too slow to keep up with an adept telegraph operator.

But the pen register enjoyed a second life as a phone-spying device. Attached to a phone line, it would mark a single dash for each pulse from a rotary spin dial, producing an accurate record of every phone number dialed. Later models moved past paper tape to print out the actual digits with time and date stamps. By the 1970s, they could even handle Touch Tones.

The pen register was attached to Smith’s line at the phone company central office for two days, and it showed him dialing the victim’s number, providing all the evidence police needed for an arrest.

The woman identified Smith in a lineup. He was convicted of robbery and related charges.

In his appeals, Smith argued that the Fourth Amendment — which grants people the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” — applied to the telephone numbers he dialed. The government, he argued, can’t start recording that information without a warrant issued by a judge on the same “probable cause” standard used to get a search warrant.

Stephen Sachs, Maryland’s attorney general at the time, argued the other side before the Supreme Court. Citing an earlier case involving a Georgia bootlegger undone by his bank records, Sachs insisted that Americans have no legitimate expectation of privacy in information they transmit to a business — in this case the phone company.

On June 20, 1979, the high court issued its 5-3 opinion in Smith v. Maryland, ruling against Smith.

Writing for the majority, Justice Harry Blackmun:

First, we doubt that people in general entertain any actual expectation of privacy in the numbers they dial. All telephone users realize that they must ‘convey’ phone numbers to the telephone company, since it is through telephone company switching equipment that their calls are completed. All subscribers realize, moreover, that the phone company has facilities for making permanent records of the numbers they dial, for they see a list of their long-distance (toll) calls on their monthly bills. In fact, pen registers and similar devices are routinely used by telephone companies ‘for the purposes of checking billing operations, detecting fraud, and preventing violations of law.’

And thus, a digit-collection device attached to a lone purse snatcher’s telephone set the legal precedent used, three decades later, to justify the bulk collection of the same information on every single American.


more after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/10/nsa-smith-purse-snatching/

Crystal




User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11735
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9211 on: Oct 3rd, 2013, 07:12am »

Reuters

Putin, Obama may discuss Syria next week in Bali: Kremlin

MOSCOW | Thu Oct 3, 2013 6:27am EDT

(Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama may discuss the Syria crisis on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit next week in Bali, a Kremlin aide said on Thursday.

"It would be rather logical to meet (Obama) in Bali, taking into account the work on the Syrian issue," Putin's top foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters.

He said U.S. and Russian officials were discussing arrangements for a possible meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. Putin is expected to leave Moscow for the Indonesian island of Bali on Sunday.

Russia, which is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main ally, and the United States have long been at odds over the conflict in Syria.

But the two countries, which are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, agreed last month on a plan for the Syrian government to hand over its chemical weapons and are trying to arrange an international peace conference.

Obama and Putin also discussed Syria briefly during a summit of the Group of 20 developed and developing nations in the Russian city of St. Petersburg on Sept 5-6.

Relations between Washington and Moscow are strained by a number of issues, including Putin's record on human rights and democracy.

Obama pulled out of a U.S.-Russia summit in September after Moscow granted temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, the former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of government surveillance programmes and is wanted by the United States.

(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/03/us-syria-crisis-putin-obama-idUSBRE99207320131003

Crystal

User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11735
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9212 on: Oct 3rd, 2013, 07:15am »

Associated Press

Overflowing tank cause of new leak at Fukushima

By MARI YAMAGUCHI
— Oct. 3 7:45 AM EDT

TOKYO (AP) — Another day, another radioactive-water spill. The operator of the meltdown-plagued Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant says at least 430 liters (110 gallons) spilled when workers overfilled a storage tank without a gauge that could have warned them of the danger.

The amount is tiny compared to the untold thousands of tons of radioactive water that have leaked, much of it into the Pacific Ocean, since a massive earthquake and tsunami wrecked the plant in 2011. But the error is one of many the operator has committed as it struggles to manage a seemingly endless, tainted flow.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday workers detected the water spilling from the top of one large tank when they were patrolling the site the night before. The tank is one of about 1,000 erected on the grounds around the plant to hold water used to cool the melted nuclear fuel in the broken reactors.

TEPCO said the water then spilled out of a concrete barrier surrounding the tank and believed that most of it reached the sea via a ditch next to the river. The company later said, however, radiation levels in sea water samples taken just off the plant's coast remained below detectable levels.

The new leak is sure to add to public concern and criticism of TEPCO and the government for their handling of the nuclear crisis. In August, the utility reported a 300-ton leak from another storage tank, one of a string of leaks in recent months.

That came after the utility and the government acknowledged that contaminated groundwater was seeping into ocean at a rate of 300 tons a day for some time.

TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono told an urgent news conference Thursday that the overflow occurred at a 450-ton tank without a water gauge and standing on an unlevel ground, slightly tilting toward the sea. The tank was already nearly full, but workers pumped in more contaminated water into it to maximize capacity as the plant was facing a serious storage crunch. Recent rainstorms that flooded tank yards and the subsequent need to pump up and store contaminated rainwater also added to the shortage, he said.

"We could have, and should have, prevented the overflow," he said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said efforts to stop leaks were still insufficient, but defended TEPCO for detecting the problem more quickly than the last time.

TEPCO said the tank and four others in the same area were already filled up to 98 percent of its designed capacity, as in many other tanks elsewhere on the plant.

Tetsuro Tsutsui, an engineer and expert of industrial tanks, said the latest problem was emblematic of how TEPCO runs the precarious plant. He said it was "unthinkable" to fill tanks up to the top, or build them on a tilted ground without building a level foundation.

"That's only common sense," Tsutsui, also a member of a citizens group of experts proposing safety measures for the plant. "But that seems to be the routine at the Fukushima Dai-ichi. I must say these are not accidents. There must be a systematic problem in the way things are run over there."

Experts have faulted TEPCO for sloppiness in its handling not only of the water management but also in other daily operations. A list of mishaps just over the past few weeks:

—On Oct. 2, some 4 tons of contaminated rainwater leaked when workers pumped it into a wrong tank that was also nearly full, causing most of it seeping into the ground.

—On Sept. 27, a water treatment machine failed hours after resuming a test-run following months-long repairs, clogged up by a piece of rubber lining that got mistakenly left inside the unit. The rubber fragment has since been removed, with the unit back in operation.

—On Sept. 19, a fire-fighting water pipe got damaged during debris removal operation, with 300 liters of water spurting out of it.

Experts have faulted TEPCO for sloppiness in its handling of the water management, including insufficient tank inspection records, lack of water gauges, as well as connecting hoses lying directly on the grass-covered ground. Until recently, only one worker was assigned to 500 tanks in a two-hour patrol.

In recent meetings, regulators criticized TEPCO for even lacking basic skills to properly measure radioactivity in contaminated areas, and taking too long to find causes in case of problems. They also have criticized the one-foot (30-centimeter) high protective barriers around the tanks as being too low.

So far, the leaks have occurred in easy-to-assemble rubber-seamed tanks that TEPCO had built quickly to accommodate swelling amounts of contaminated water, and the plant has promised to replace them with more durable welded tanks, which take more time and cost more to build. TEPCO has been criticized for building shoddy tanks to cut cost.

"As far as TEPCO people on our contaminated water and sea monitoring panels are concerned, they seem to lack even the most basic knowledge about radiation," said a Nuclear Regulation Authority commissioner Kayoko Nakamura, a radiologist.

"I really think they should acquire adequate expertise and commitment needed for the job," she said.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/new-leak-japan-nuke-plant-due-tank-overflow

Crystal

User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11735
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9213 on: Oct 3rd, 2013, 07:18am »

Examiner.com

New England UFO conference town has historical ties to major cases

October 1, 2013

The first New England UFO Conference will be set in Leominster, MA, on October 26, 2013, according to organizer Steve Firmani, with some very famous background ties.

The town is known as the birthplace of UFO abductee Betty Andreasson - from the Betty and Barney Hill case that took place in rural New Hampshire in September 1961. And this is the hometown of former Air Force Security Officer Steve LaPlume who was involved in the now-famous Rendlesham Forest Incident in late December of 1980 - now well detailed in the book, Left At East Gate.

Speakers that day at Leominster City Hall will be internationally known authors/lecturers Stanton T. Friedman, Kathleen Marden and Peter Robbins. Also featured is the chief photo/video analyst Marc D'Antonio from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), Scientist Robert L. Schroeder, author of Solving the UFO Enigma, How Modern Physics is Revealing the Technology of UFOs.

In addition attendees will be treated, “or tricked” to a Halloween Fair which will include Halloween and UFO vendors, Ghost Hunting teams from throughout New England and a UFO movie venue hosted by CBS Radio personalities father and son team Paul and Ben Eno of the “Behind the Paranormal” radio show. Paul and Ben will be broadcasting and interviewing visitors throughout the day.

The evening program will feature lectures by local investigator and former MUFON Director for New England Steve Firmani who will speak on UFOs in New England. Peter Robbins will present Miscellaneous UFO Notes. They will also present the New England premier of the documentary, “The Hidden Hand” by doc-ufologist/producer James Carman.

"All donations and proceeds will go towards the event costs, the One Fund Boston and the Columbia Hotel Fire Fund and funding of future events in our city," Firmani said. "As a former speaker and organizer for the Exeter, New Hampshire UFO Festival the past three years, I have experienced the impact that such an event can have on a local community. Over these years, the Exeter UFO Festival has attracted hundreds of visitors to their community each year from all over the country on festival weekend. We hope to help our charities, especially after the November, 2012 Columbia Hotel block fire that displaced city residents and destroyed several businesses.

For ticket prices and more information, visit http://neufoconference.vpweb.com/

http://www.examiner.com/article/new-england-ufo-conference-town-has-historical-ties-to-major-cases

Crystal

edit to add link



« Last Edit: Oct 3rd, 2013, 07:19am by WingsofCrystal » User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
Swamprat
Gold Member
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 3863
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9214 on: Oct 3rd, 2013, 07:19am »

Crystal you're up early this morning! cheesy
User IP Logged

"Let's see what's over there."
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11735
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9215 on: Oct 3rd, 2013, 07:23am »

Wired

Spraying Bugs on Mars (1964)

By David S. F. Portree
10.02.13
2:16 PM

Launch of Mariner III, the first of two identical spacecraft NASA planned to dispatch to Mars in November 1964, was only 12 days away when Norman Haynes and Harold Gordon of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, completed a brief internal memorandum titled “A Study of the Probability of Depositing Viable Organisms on Mars During the Mariner 1964 Mission.” It was among the first U.S. documents to look at the practicalities of what would later come to be called “planetary protection.”

A few weeks prior to the Haynes and Gordon memorandum, the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) of the International Council of Scientific Unions had called upon the United States and the Soviet Union to reduce the probability of accidental impact on Mars by unsterilized flyby or orbiter spacecraft to three chances in 100,000. NASA policy in 1964 allowed one chance in 10,000 of accidental impact.

Haynes and Gordon looked at the Mariner Mars 1964 mission profile, which included up to three propulsive maneuvers (injection onto an Earth-Mars transfer trajectory followed by one or two course-correction burns), then computed the probability that these maneuvers might cause Mariner III or Mariner IV to collide with Mars. They determined that the probability of impact was six chances in 100,000, and maintained that this could not be reduced in time for the twin Mariner launches.

They then computed the probability that terrestrial microbes expelled through course-correction motor firings, spacecraft outgassing, and attitude control jet operation might fall on Mars. Their memo discounted the first two sources because they would expel microbes early in the mission when Mariner III and Mariner IV were far from Mars. Because of this, solar ultraviolet radiation would kill most expelled microbes long before they could reach the planet. The course-correction motor’s hot exhaust would kill almost all microorganisms it expelled and would push any survivors away from Mars. In addition, a high surface-to-mass ratio meant that microbes would be highly susceptible to the minute pressure exerted by sunlight, so would be pushed far from the planet.

The third source, attitude-control jets, was more worrisome, Haynes and Gordon judged, because they might operate while the twin Mariners were near Mars. The nitrogen gas expelled from the jets would be filtered but not sterilized before it was put on board the spacecraft, so it might include up to one million microbes. Haynes and Gordon noted that the twin Mariner Mars 1964 spacecraft would each carry four small solar vanes to take advantage of solar radiation pressure, thus trimming nitrogen use. Even so, they placed the probability that a microbe from the jets would reach Mars as high as one chance in 1000.

Mariner III lifted off from Launch Complex 13 at Cape Kennedy, Florida, on 5 November 1964, atop an Atlas-Agena D rocket. The streamlined launch shroud covering the spacecraft failed to separate after Mariner III reached space, preventing its solar arrays from deploying. Controllers lost radio contact with the spacecraft on 6 November as its batteries ran out. An investigation revealed that the shroud’s fiberglass inner layer had probably separated from its metal outer layer and become tangled on the spacecraft. Mariner III was not on course for Mars when it failed, so it did not strike the planet.

Engineers quickly replaced Mariner IV’s launch shroud with one lacking the troublesome fiberglass layer. The spacecraft lifted off from Launch Complex 12 on 28 November and performed a course-correction maneuver on 5 December, after which it was on course for its Mars flyby. After a largely uneventful flight, Mariner IV flew past Mars on 15 July 1965, at a distance of about 9850 kilometers. The spacecraft captured 21 images of the planet’s surprisingly cold, cratered surface, and its radio refraction experiment indicated an atmospheric pressure roughly 10 times less than predicted, or only about 1% as great as Earth’s.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/10/spraying-bugs-on-mars-1964/

Crystal

User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11735
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9216 on: Oct 3rd, 2013, 07:24am »

on Oct 3rd, 2013, 07:19am, Swamprat wrote:
Crystal you're up early this morning! cheesy


Good morning Swamprat cheesy

A little dog of mine was hungry so she woke me up!


User Image
Bitsie, the culprit

They have me wrapped around their little paws. rolleyes

Crystal



« Last Edit: Oct 3rd, 2013, 07:36am by WingsofCrystal » User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
Swamprat
Gold Member
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 3863
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9217 on: Oct 3rd, 2013, 07:51am »

Believe me. I know all about SPOILED DOGS!! grin


Scientists find early facial features on ancient fish

Traci Watson, Special for USA TODAY
September 25, 2013

Scientists have found the most primitive creature to have a face like humans, and there's definitely something fishy about it.

This first face belongs to the newfound species Entelognathus primordialis, "primordial complete-jaw," an armored fish that plied the seas nearly 420 million years ago. Related fish from that period had simple jaws made mostly of cartilage. But Entelognathus had a complex jaw, knit together from many bony plates like those found in the jaws of humans and dogs and thousands of other living animals with backbones. That strangely modern jaw — stuck on an otherwise primitive body — gives it what could be called the earliest known modern face.

"This is like finding the nose of a space shuttle in a hay wagon from the Middle Ages," paleontologist Xiaobo Yu of Kean University in New Jersey, one of the researchers responsible for the new find, says via e-mail. The new fish is also contributing to a major upheaval in scientists' understanding of the base of the family tree that spawned rattlesnakes and guppies and penguins and, eventually, Homo sapiens.

The first Entelognathus fossil was unearthed in China in 2010, but it was not until scientists had chipped away at the specimen in the lab that they realized they were onto something very weird. Their new fish looked like a placoderm, an ancient swimmer girded in homegrown armor made of bony plates. The fish, described in this week's issue of Nature, had small, almost immobile eyes and a flat forehead. And then there was its lower face: a jigsaw puzzle of interlocking bones a lot like humans. It's a homely ancient fish with a supermodel's bone structure.

The find is "a little bombshell," says University of Chicago paleontologist Michael Coates. "It's important … because it's unexpected. It does present something we had no hint of before."
Next Yu and his colleagues turned to a computer program to draw a new family tree for the jawed vertebrates, animals with both jaws and backbones. Early in its history, this group included only fish. But from these humble beginnings arose two important branches of animals. One group was the sharks and rays, whose skeletons are built mostly of cartilage. The second was the bony fishes and their descendants, including amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Somewhere back in deep history, there lived a fishy creature that was the patriarch of both the shark family and the bony-fish family. Scientists would dearly like to know the identity of this common ancestor, which would tell us about where we came from, and for decades it was thought to resemble a modern shark. But the new family tree crafted by Yu and his colleagues suggests this common ancestor actually looked more like a bony fish, perhaps even something like Entelognathus itself.

Scientists say the new fish shows that the fossil record still harbors surprises that will rock researchers' understanding of our origins.

"There are probably still more animals like Entelognathus waiting to be found, that offer a slight or more dramatic variation on the same theme," says paleontologist Martin Brazeau of Imperial College London. "It's an exciting prospect."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/25/first-face-like-humans-primitive-fish/2864401/
« Last Edit: Oct 3rd, 2013, 07:51am by Swamprat » User IP Logged

"Let's see what's over there."
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11735
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9218 on: Oct 4th, 2013, 09:19am »

Good morning Swamprat cheesy

Crystal




User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11735
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9219 on: Oct 4th, 2013, 09:24am »

Associated Press

APNewsBreak: 'Hobbit' trilogy costs $561M so far

By NICK PERRY
— Oct. 4 9:54 AM EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Making the movie trilogy "The Hobbit" has cost more than half a billion dollars so far, double the amount spent on the three movies in the "The Lord of the Rings" series.

That figure includes the major 266 days of filming with actors that was completed last year, although it doesn't include an additional two months or so of "pick-up" shoots done this year. There will likely also be additional post-production costs as the next two movies are completed.

Through March 31, production had cost 676 million New Zealand dollars, or $561 million at current exchange rates, according to financial documents filed Friday in New Zealand, where the movies are being made.

Distributor Warner Bros. and director Peter Jackson may consider it money well spent. To date, only the first movie in the latest trilogy has been released. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" took in just over $1 billion at the box office.

The documents, filed online by New Zealand's Companies Office, provide a rare insight into the exact costs of a blockbuster Hollywood production. Often studios release only rough estimates, if anything.

When making the trilogy, Warner Bros. created a wholly-owned New Zealand company it named "3 Foot 7 Ltd," in reference to the diminutive stature of the movie's hobbits and dwarves. Company documents show that New Zealand taxpayers have so far contributed NZ$98 million to the trilogy through an incentive scheme designed to attract big budget movies to the country. Such schemes are common among U.S. states and foreign countries that compete for movies.

The trilogy also appears to be one of the most expensive movie productions in which two or more movies are shot at the same time.

Both Box Office Mojo and Guinness World Records estimate the most expensive single movie ever made was "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" with an estimated $300 million production tag. That movie, in conjunction with "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" — which was shot at the same time — held the previous record for the most expensive total production, costing an estimated $450 million to $525 million.

According to Box Office Mojo, Jackson's previous trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings," cost a total $281 million to make. The Star Wars prequel trilogy, meanwhile, cost $343 million, according to Box Office Mojo, which tracks movie costs and box office receipts.

In making "The Hobbit," New Zealand director Jackson chose to shoot both in 3D and at 48 frames per second, rather than the standard 24, in the hopes of giving audiences greater picture clarity and a more immersive experience. Both techniques added significant expense. The higher frames per second received mixed reviews, as did the movie itself, which starred Martin Freeman as the title character.

The trilogy is based on J.R.R. Tolkien's novel of the same name and traces the adventures of hobbit Bilbo Baggins as he attempts to help a group of dwarves regain their wealth and stature from the dragon Smaug. "The Hobbit" is the precursor to Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings," which was made into a movie trilogy that was also directed by Jackson.

The second movie in the latest series, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is due out in December while the final movie, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again," is due out in December 2014.

Warner Bros. representatives this week replied to emails sent by The Associated Press but did not immediately provide answers to a series of questions about the "The Hobbit" budget.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/apnewsbreak-hobbit-trilogy-cost-561m-so-far

Crystal

User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11735
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9220 on: Oct 4th, 2013, 09:31am »

Guardian

The Chinese city living in fear of giant killer hornets

Jonathan Kaiman visits Ankang municipality where swarms of highly venomous hornets have killed 41 people in three months

by Jonathan Kaiman in Ankang
Friday 4 October 2013 05.43 EDT

Chen pointed with a shaky hand at the small plot of cabbage, scallions and corn where his friend Yu Yihong was stung to death by giant hornets.

"When he got to the hospital, there were still two hornets in his trousers," says Chen, a local farmer who, like many villagers, declined to give his full name to a foreign journalist. "The hornets' poison was too strong – his liver and kidneys failed, and he couldn't urinate."

Yu, a square-jawed 40-year-old farmer in perfect health, had been harvesting his crops when he stepped on a nest of vespa mandarinia hornets concealed beneath a pile of dry corn husks. The hornets swarmed Yu, stinging him through his long-sleeve shirt and trousers. He ran, but the hornets chased him, stinging his arms and legs, his head and neck.

After Yu succumbed to his wounds and about 50 of his friends and relatives gathered to mourn his passing. Outside the farmer's mountainside home in Yuanba village, they ate preserved eggs, buckwheat noodles and boiled peanuts in silence; one set off a string of fireworks. Yu's wife and two children sat inside weeping.

Vespa mandarinia is the world's largest hornet, around the size of a human adult's thumb, yellow and black in colour and highly venomous. Their 6mm-long stingers carry a venom potent enough to dissolve human tissue. Victims may die of kidney failure or anaphylactic shock.

Yu's story is a tragic but increasingly common one in north-west China's Shaanxi province where, over the past three months alone, hornets have killed 41 people and injured a further 1,675. Ankang, a municipality in the province's south, appears to be the epicentre of the scourge. While hornets infest its mountainous rural areas every year – 36 residents were stung to death between 2002 and 2005 – locals and municipal officials say this year is tantamount to an epidemic, the worst they have ever seen.

At least some of the deaths were caused by vespa mandarinia, experts say. The species does not typically attack unless it feels its nest is threatened. But when it does, it can be fierce and fast – the hornets can fly at 25 miles per hour and cover 50 miles in a day. They nest in tree stumps or underground, making nests extremely difficult to detect.

Both locals and experts blame this year's scourge on climate change; the past year has been unusually warm, allowing a high number of hornets to survive the winter. Huang Ronghui, an official at the Ankang Forestry Bureau's pest control department, lists a host of other possibilities: the hornets may have been agitated by a dry spell, while labourers have been moving deeper and deeper into the mountains, disturbing their nests. "Other than this, hornets are attracted to bright colours and the smell of peoples' sweat, alcohol and sweet things," he told state media. "They're sensitive to movement, such as running people or animals."

The region has also been overrun by the Asian hornet vespa velutina, a slightly smaller species which can be equally dangerous. Hundreds, even thousands inhabit their nests, which typically hang from high places. In Chengxing village, a few miles downhill from a winding mountain road from Yu's hometown, 16-year-old Tan Xingjian points at a tree in the distance. Hanging from one thick branch was a pale, basketball-sized bulb, its surface alive with darting black specks. "That's where they live," Tan says. "We don't dare to go near there."

Ankang is on alert, with the local authorities posting warning notices online, on roadside tree trunks and on primary school walls. The crisis has exhausted Gong Zhenghong, the spiky-haired mayor of Hongshan township in rural Ankang. Since September, Gong has spent nearly every night wandering the township exterminating nests with four other cadres. He says there are 248 hornet nests in Hongshan with 175 are close to schools and roads.

Gong and his team survey nests by day; once the sun sets, they dress in homemade anti-hornet suits made of rain jackets and canvass, and burn the nests with spray-can flamethrowers. "They don't fly around at night," he says.

Sometimes, his team begins work in the late evening and doesn't finish until 2am. "We'd normally send the fire squad to do this, but this year there were too many nests." Gong left his office, returned with a black rubbish bag, and pulled out the charred remains of a nest, the blackened tails of bulb-like larvae protruding from its combs.

Two other cities in Shaanxi – Hanzhong and Shangluo – have also been besieged by hornets, though the death tolls have been markedly lower. In southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, a swarm of hornets attacked a primary school in mid-September, injuring 23 children and seven adults. The teacher, Li Zhiqiang, told pupils to hide under their desks and tried to fight the creatures off until he lost consciousness, state media reported.

The hornets seem ubiquitous in Ankang. In Liushui township, a smattering of two-storey concrete homes sandwiched between a lush hillside and a stagnant river, an elderly shopkeeper in a purple blazer says that the hornets have infested a cabbage patch near her home. "The government has been coming down and burning them, but they can't burn them all," she adds, pointing down into the brush. "I'm not willing to go down there."

Mu Conghui, a 55-year-old Ankang villager, was stung 200 times while tending her rice field in late August. "These hornets are terrifying – all at once they flew to my head, and when I stopped, they stung me so much that I couldn't budge," she told state media. "My legs were crawling with hornets. Right now my legs are covered with small sting holes – over the past two months I've received 13 dialysis treatments."

The Ankang government says it has removed 710 hives and sent 7m yuan (£707,000) to help affected areas. "We're doing everything we can, but there's only so much we can do," says Deng Xianghong, the deputy head of the Ankang propaganda department. "God has been unfair to us."

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/04/killer-hornets-chinese-city-living-in-fear

Crystal



User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11735
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9221 on: Oct 4th, 2013, 09:36am »

Wired

Watch: The World’s Most Complex Sand Castle Has 260 Million Facets

By Joseph Flaherty
10.04.13
6:30 AM



User Image



Architects Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger are passionate about pushing the limits of 3-D design, and their latest algorithmically generated project, a room called Digital Grotesque, is composed of 260 million surfaces and 30 billion voxels, and takes up 78 gigabytes of hard drive space. Just rendering images of the stunningly detailed, 170-square-foot space took weeks, and when they searched for a 3-D printer that could produce their cavernous creation, none of the popular plastic printers could handle the load.

CAD files in hand, the designer duo set out in search of a machine that could accommodate their architectural ambitions and found a solution in a 3-D printer typically used to manufacture engine blocks. Larger than most cars, Voxeljet’s 3-D printers build models using silica sand and are capable of producing sandy sculptures that weigh up to 12 tons while maintaining a barely perceivable 0.13 millimeter layer thickness. These machines usually fabricate sand molds for investment casting. Their output is seen as a disposable byproduct, but Hansmeyer and Dillenburger coated the gritty components with a strengthening resin and treated them like giant sandstone bricks. “The limiting factor for us was no longer the dimensions of the printable space,” says Hansmeyer, “but the logistics of transporting and assembling the pieces.”

It took a year for the designers to find the right tools and fabricating the building blocks took over a month, but the massive, 9-foot tall, industrial-strength sand castle was assembled in just under a day with the help of a gantry crane and team of volunteers. The physical results are stunning, but for Hansmeyer the design process is equally impressive and was an attempt to visualize the answer to a simple question: “How could an architecture that is entirely designed by algorithms look?” Digital Grotesque looks like something that could have sprung from Antoni Gaudí’s drawing board, but the swirling, baroque shapes of the room are actually the results of a few simple equations, and Hansmeyer believes they “create an architecture that would otherwise be undrawable, or even inconceivable using traditional means.”

Despite its procedural pedigree, Hansmeyer still claims authorship over the design. “The architect is still very much the designer, not the computer,” he says, but the computational approach does change the creator’s role. Software allows for dozens of potential solutions to emerge which can then be fed back into the system to create more potential designs, but leaves the real skill is in editing the results. “The architect becomes the cultivator and moderator of these production processes and forfeits direct control of some attributes to gain control over others.”

Digital Grotesque is an amazing proof of concept, but Hansmeyer has only laid the cornerstone of what could ultimately be a cathedral built to the glory of computational design. “One of the most astonishing things, and something we’re still trying to get our head around, is that it costs the exact same amount to 3-D print a plain box as it does to print the most elaborate form conceivable,” he says. “The costs are the same, and the amount of time required is the same. It is only the outside dimensions that matter, so there is no longer any cost for complexity and no cost for ornament.”

Digital Grosteque pushed the limits of laptops and 3-D printer, but the pair of architects have big plans to 3-D print a house with details as fine as grains of sand. “It will be a house that looks like nothing we can imagine today, and is just within reach!” says Hansmeyer.

photo gallery and video after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/design/2013/10/designers-build-industrial-strength-sand-castle-with-3-d-printer/

Crystal

User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11735
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9222 on: Oct 4th, 2013, 09:40am »




Please be an angel



User Image



http://www.soldiersangels.org/




User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11735
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9223 on: Oct 5th, 2013, 10:22am »







~

Crystal


User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11735
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9224 on: Oct 6th, 2013, 08:37am »

I'm sick tongue

A case of the cruds: headache, chills and nausea.

I'll be back tomorrow to post.

Everyone have a good Sunday.

Crystal


User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
Pages: 1 ... 613 614 615 616 617  ...  1070 Notify Send Topic Print
« Previous Topic | Next Topic »

Become a member of the UFO Casebook Forum today and join our more than 18,000 members.

Visit the UFO Casebook Web Site

Donate $6.99 for 50,000 Ad-Free Pageviews!

| |

This forum powered for FREE by Conforums ©
Sign up for your own Free Message Board today!
Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Conforums Support | Parental Controls