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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 146509 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #9585 on: Dec 4th, 2013, 09:31am »

Wired

How to Make Star Wars Snowflakes With Paper, Scissors, and the Force

By Angela Watercutter
12.04.13
6:30 AM



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Got some paper, a pair of scissors and a desire to deck the halls with everything from Darth Vader to Tusken Raiders? Then boy, do we have the perfect holiday craft project for you: Make Star Wars snowflakes.

Best remembered as a cherished form of busywork in classrooms before the holidays, paper snowflakes have gotten a George Lucas-worthy overhaul thanks to graphic designer Anthony Herrera. Inspired by some concepts he saw on the blog Matters of Grey, Herrera started designing his own snowflakes a few years ago and just recently released his 2013 collection, which include Han Solo in Carbonite, Slave Leia, AT-ATs, and – naturally – Darth Vader.

“The Star Wars snowflake designs began as just doing designs of characters that me and my daughter wanted to make three years ago,” Herrera told WIRED in an email. “The second year I introduced vehicles, and this year I decided to push further by designing battle scenes.”

With each year, the designs have gotten more intricate and detailed, but the process of creating them as remained the same: sketching figures with a paper and pencil until a symmetrical pattern emerges, then scanning the designs and vectors them into sliceable wedges. The latest batch took him about three weeks to compile and he said he has plenty of ideas for new flakes next year, so no two will ever be the same – in a manner of speaking. Hopefully with Star Wars: Episode VII coming in 2015 he’ll have even more snowflake fodder in the future.

Check out our favorite finished versions of Herrera’s flakes (from both 2013 and previous years) above then download the PDF pattern beneath each and get to crafting. Herrera also has a lot more designs on his site. A warning: Most designs aren’t for the casual flake-maker, so patience you must have. (“I do get a little grief from fans about how difficult some of them can be,” Herrera said.) Also, have an X-Acto knife at the ready, and the Force if you can use it.

gallery after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/12/star-wars-paper-snowflakes/

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« Reply #9586 on: Dec 5th, 2013, 10:16am »

Reuters

Sweden key partner for U.S. spying on Russia: TV

STOCKHOLM
Thu Dec 5, 2013 11:02am EST


Reuters) - Sweden has been a key partner for the United States in spying on Russia, Swedish television reported on Thursday, citing leaked documents from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

Swedish television said it had obtained the documents from Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who brought NSA contractor Edward Snowden's leaks about mass surveillance by the agency to world attention.

Greenwald tweeted on Thursday that the close relationship between the United States and Sweden could not be "overstated" and that this was the first of many revelations to come.

Earlier this year, Snowden leaked details of a global spying program by the NSA, stirring international criticism. The U.S. has said much of the information was a result of cooperation with other intelligence services.

Swedish television cited a document dated April 18 saying Sweden's National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA), which conducts electronic communications surveillance, had helped in providing the United States with information on Russia.

"The FRA provided NSA ... a unique collection on high-priority Russian targets, such as leadership, internal politics," it quoted the document saying.

Sweden's defence minister said on Thursday that it cooperates with some other countries but does not say which.

"It is very important to have a defence intelligence cooperation so that we can keep track of external threats to Swedish interests," Karin Enstrom told Swedish news agency TT.

"That we cooperate is something very natural. We build our security in cooperation with other countries and other organizations."

In a separate document, high level NSA employees were told to "thank Sweden for its continued work on the Russian target, and underscore the primary role that FRA plays as a leading partner to work the Russian target, including Russian leadership … and … counterintelligence."

Snowden is in Russia, where he was granted asylum in August for at least a year.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson and Mia Shanley; Editing by Ralph Boulton and Catherine Evans)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/05/us-sweden-spying-idUSBRE9B40Q320131205

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« Reply #9587 on: Dec 5th, 2013, 10:19am »

Houston Cron.com

Weekend UFO sightings light up Texas skies, websites

By Carol Christian
December 4, 2013
Updated: December 4, 2013 2:04pm

With a Texas congressman looking for signs of life in outer space at a hearing in Washington, D.C., today, it's a good time to review some recent UFO sightings in the Lone Star state.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, in Katy, Galveston and other sites from Port Aransas to El Paso, Texans reported seeing solid orange balls of light, according to Texas UFO Sightings, www.texasufosightings.com.

These recent sightings are a timely backdrop for Wednesday's hearing in Washington on "Astrobiology: Search for biosignatures in our solar system and beyond."

The hearing is being conducted by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio.

With scientists slated to testify, the committee probably won't be talking about UFO sightings but the Internet is replete with recent reports.

For example, on Nov. 29, a Galveston resident reported seeing an orange and white fuzzy ball-shaped object with flame or a red light in front, according to Texas UFO Sightings.

The ball was traveling about 100 mph, heading south over Galveston. It then turned west, the website states.

A few days prior, 10 to 15 UFOs were seen over Katy, traveling from the northeast and disappearing into the northwest sky.

"Even with binoculars, there was only a solid orange/red light source," the viewer reported to Texas UFO Sightings.

The objects were traveling faster than aircraft in the area and going in the opposite direction from the prevailing approach pattern that evening for George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

On Nov. 26, an El Paso resident reported seeing three bright lights moving very slowly in a triangle shape from the northeast toward the south and then west, the website reports.

The observer watched the lights from about 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. but got cold and went inside.

"I'm not saying it's a UFO, but I sure don't know what it is," the El Paso resident reportedly told the website.

According to the Mutual UFO Network website, www.mufon.com, someone in Webster reported at 8:54 p.m. Nov. 29 a "bright reddish orange object traveling swiftly north-northeast in unison with two smaller white 'lighted' objects ... with absolutely no sounds at all."

At 6:30 p.m. Nov. 28, someone riding in a southbound vehicle on U.S. 59 near the New Caney exit reported seeing a square object just above the tree tops that appeared stationary, according to the Mutual UFO Network website.

"The object had three red lights in a row across the bottom that flashed one after another repeatedly," the viewer reported. "On each of the four corners there were solid white lights."

The driver pulled over to get a better look, but at that point the trees were in the way, according to the report.

Smith's home city apparently sees enough UFO activity to warrant launching a website devoted to the topic, UFOs over San Antonio, www.saufotx.com.

On Aug. 10, a San Antonio resident shot a video of a "fuzzy white object" drifting southwest across the sky at a low altitude, according to the San Antonio site.

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Weekend-UFO-sightings-light-up-Texas-skies-5034945.php

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« Reply #9588 on: Dec 5th, 2013, 2:03pm »


Stunning Bone in Spain Find Upsets established view of Homnids, Lucey the Loossey Goosey , and borrowing a cup of sugar from the neighbor cool
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-sequence-oldest-human-dna-from-fossilised-leg-bone-found-in-spain-8983416.html
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« Reply #9589 on: Dec 6th, 2013, 07:36am »

Good morning Sys cheesy

"Juan-Luis Arsuaga, director of the Centre for Research on Human Evolution and Behaviour in Madrid, said: “The unexpected result points to a complex pattern of evolution in the origin of Neanderthals and modern humans. I hope that further research will help clarify the genetic relationships of the hominins from Sima de los Huesos to Neanderthals and Denisovans.”

Great article, thank you.

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« Reply #9590 on: Dec 6th, 2013, 07:43am »

Telegraph

Kim Jong-un 'preparing to purge aunt'

Reports in South Korea suggest that Kim Kyong-hui could be the next victim of the North Korean leader's purge of the old guard.

By Julian Ryall, Tokyo
8:59AM GMT 06 Dec 2013

The ailing aunt of Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, may be the next senior member of the regime to fall victim to the blood letting that is gripping Pyongyang's "old guard".

Reports in South Korea suggest that Kim is lining up his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong to step into the supporting role that is presently played by Kim Kyong-hui, who is rumoured to be battling cancer, alcoholism and depression linked to the suicide of her daughter in Europe in 2006.

Kim Kyong-hui, 65, is the estranged wife of Jang Song-thaek, who was ousted from his post as the vice chairman of the powerful National Defence Commission earlier this month and has not been seen since.

Two colleagues who were reportedly found guilty of corruption and activities that ran counter to the policies of the Workers' Party of Korea were executed in public.

Kim has replaced many of the senior officials who served his father, Kim Jong-il, with younger henchmen who are loyal to his regime.

"He is trying to bring in a younger generation of decision-makers and has kicked out the older ones, which is causing a lot of problems in the elite in Pyongyang," Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo's Waseda University and an authority on North Korean affairs, told The Telegraph.

"He has been able to do that in the party and the bureaucracy, but he does not have the power to do that with the military," he said.

But replacing Kim Kyong-hui might be taking the cull too far, he added.

The daughter of Kim Il-sung, the revered founder of the nation, Kim Kyong-hui has long been considered untouchable by any of the various factions in Pyongyang and her replacement - either as part of the ongoing purge or due to ill-health - could trigger a renewed power struggle.

"If she disappeared or died, the regime would be badly shaken," said Professor Shigemura. "It might even be difficult for it to survive."

Meanwhile, Jang Song-thaek's nephew has arrived back in North Korea from his post as ambassador to Malaysia. Jang Yong-chol, his wife and two 20-something sons were sighted boarding an Air Koryo flight bound for Pyongyang in the Chinese city of Shenyang.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/10499642/Kim-Jong-un-preparing-to-purge-aunt.html

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« Reply #9591 on: Dec 6th, 2013, 07:48am »

SBWire.com

UFOs Visit Central Park NYC for the Holidays

It seems that New York is the best place to be on earth for the Holidays and it seems that the UFOs couldn't agree more!

New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/05/2013 -- Looking for some out of this world excitement for the holiday season? Then New York's own Ghost Doctors may just have you ticket for an extraterrestrial engagement right smack in the center of NYC's Central Park.

This holiday season Pete and Stew Kandel (known as Dr. Pete and Dr. Stew) paranormal investigators and licensed NYC tour guides aka the “Ghost Doctors” will be taking groups of UFO enthusiasts out on voyages through New York's Central Park as they unravel the mysteries behind flying saucers, ancient astronauts, and all things UFOish in their newest non terrestrial tour entitled “The UFO Phenomena Tour.”

For thousands of years UFOs have intrigued mankind... from strange unexplained lights and crafts in the skies to stories about beings beyond our understanding -- the mystery of this phenomena seems to be just as baffling then as it is today,” says Dr. Stew.

And it's only appropriate that the UFO phenomena tour is taking one of the world greatest mysteries and bringing it down to one of world's most famous parks -– Central Park -- as it explores this timeless enigma. Furthermore aided by the use of audio visual technology the Ghost Doctors have created a multisensory experience of sight and sound in order to shed some light on the subject.

“When you show people stock footage, original audio and photos as well as declassified government and military documents, it just adds to the excitement and especially the reality that something unexplainable is going on,” says Dr. Stew.

Unique to the UFO Phenomena Tour is that their groups of accompanying UFO thrill seekers are actually walked through the mechanics of an actual UFO investigation. They'll be exposed to a whole battery of electronic UFO investigational equipment -- from night vision equipment to Geiger counters to even microwave and electromagnetic field detectors. All the while traversing Central Park as they weave some of its most iconic landmarks into the mystery.

“There have been numerous reports of UFOs appearing over bodies of water and what better place than New York Central Park's own Jackie O's Reservoir to set the backdrop for a watery UFO encounter,” says Dr. Pete. “In fact, over the years there have been sightings of UFOs over Manhattan and in particular Central Park, so this amazing park is definitely the place to be this holiday season for one heck of UFO adventure.”

To find out more about the UFO Phenomena Tour -- go to -- http://ghostdoctors.com/nycufo.html

http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/ufos-visit-central-park-nyc-for-the-holidays-403029.htm

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« Reply #9592 on: Dec 6th, 2013, 08:13am »

Guardian

Tolkien gesture – scientist maps climate of Lord of the Rings

Mount Doom is like LA and the Shire like Lincolnshire, so says a climate model based on author's famously detailed maps.

Climate sceptics regularly work themselves into a lather dismissing mainstream climate science as fantasy – but for once they have a point.

A researcher at Bristol University has trained his powerful supercomputer not at predicting the earth's future climate, but on the fictional world of Middle Earth – the backdrop for JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

To reproduce Middle Earth's climate, Dr Dan Lunt, an expert on past climate change, traced one of Tolkein's famously detailed maps, and then effectively "scanned" that into the university's supercomputer. "For a model to work, all you need is a map of where continents are, and how high the mountains are," Lunt says. The machines at the Advanced Computing Research Centre then crunched the weather patterns of Rohan, Mirkwood, and the rest of Tolkien's world for about six days, or roughly 70 years in the model.

According to Lunt's analysis, the climate around Mount Doom (where Frodo and his band aim to take the evil ring of power to be destroyed) is like LA – hot, with the volcanic ash creating a similar effect to LA's infamous smog. Meanwhile the Shire, Bilbo Baggins' peaceful neighbourhood, is most similar to Lincolnshire or Leicestershire in the UK.

The Shire's climate is also similar to that of Dunedin in New Zealand, he found, suggesting the director of the blockbuster Lord of the Rings trilogy Peter Jackson chose the wrong locations for filming. "They made a mistake by filming in the north island – they should've filmed in the south island," says Lunt.

Writing under the pen name of Radagast the Brown in a mock paper on the work, Lunt also suggests that:

• Ships sailing for the Undying Lands in the west set off from the Grey Havens due to the prevailing winds in that region.

• Much of Middle Earth would have been covered in dense forest if the landscape had not been altered by dragons, orcs, wizards etc.

• Mordor had an inhospitable climate, even ignoring the effects of Sauron – hot and dry with little vegetation.

But there's a serious point to the exercise, says Lunt,:

"The serious side is that the climate models I used, and those [other models] out there, are actually based on our fundamental understanding of science, of fluid mechanics, fluid motion, the science of convection in clouds, radiation from the sun, and the science of biology. And because of that, they're not just tuned for the modern earth, they can simulate any climate."

Climate models are used to predict what might happen to future temperatures as we pump out carbon dioxide via our factories, cars and power plants, leaving greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at what the UN climate science panel said in September were "unprecedented" levels. The Bristol team fed into that IPCC report with models that largely match previous climate records, a match that "give us confidence in the [projections for] future", says Lunt.

Lunt admits to being a bit of a Lord of the Rings fan. "I read them a few times as a child," he says, before pausing. "And a few times as an adult, I must confess." His attention to detail is certainly precious: there are even translations of his paper for Dwarvish and Elvish readers.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2013/dec/06/jrr-tolkien-climate-lord-of-the-rings?CMP=twt_fd

Crystal

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« Reply #9593 on: Dec 6th, 2013, 2:48pm »

Crystal,

Have you seen the Korean film 'I'm a cyborg, but that's ok'.

well worth a watch.

HAL smiley
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« Reply #9594 on: Dec 6th, 2013, 6:23pm »

on Dec 6th, 2013, 2:48pm, HAL9000 wrote:
Crystal,

Have you seen the Korean film 'I'm a cyborg, but that's ok'.

well worth a watch.

HAL smiley



Hey HAL cheesy

Thank you, I'll be sure to watch it.

Crystal


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« Reply #9595 on: Dec 7th, 2013, 10:00am »






~

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« Reply #9596 on: Dec 7th, 2013, 10:03am »



Please be an angel



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GREAT SPIRITS ALWAYS ENCOUNTER THE MOST VIOLENT OPPOSITION FROM MEDIOCRE MINDS E=MC2


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« Reply #9597 on: Dec 7th, 2013, 10:08am »

CRYSTAL,

GOOD MORNING...INDEED...DECEMBER 7TH 1941...AN INFAMOUS DAY WHICH SHOULD HAVE 60 SECONDS OF SILENT MEDITATION FOR THOSE LOST...
CRYSTAL...AN ANGEL.FOR THE ANGELS cool

SHALOM...Z
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« Reply #9598 on: Dec 7th, 2013, 6:51pm »

on Dec 7th, 2013, 10:08am, ZETAR wrote:
CRYSTAL,

GOOD MORNING...INDEED...DECEMBER 7TH 1941...AN INFAMOUS DAY WHICH SHOULD HAVE 60 SECONDS OF SILENT MEDITATION FOR THOSE LOST...
CRYSTAL...AN ANGEL.FOR THE ANGELS cool

SHALOM...Z



HI Z,

IT MUST HAVE BEEN SO AWFUL. BURN VICTIMS, THE WHOLE PLACE GOING UP. THEY SHOULD BE REMEMBERED.

THE MILITARY IS A HARD LIFE, MOVING AROUND, DEPLOYING AND BEING AWAY FROM YOUR HOME AND FAMILY. THE LEAST WE CAN DO IS GIVE THEM A PRAYER AND A NOD ONCE IN AWHILE.

CRYSTAL

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« Reply #9599 on: Dec 7th, 2013, 9:05pm »

CRYSTAL,

NO QUESTION...THOSE THAT FOUGHT TO FOUND THIS COUNTRY...THOSE THAT CONTINUED TO DEFEND THIS SHINING HOUSE ON A HILL...IN FACT DESERVE A PRAYER...A NOD...AND A SALUTE...FOR THEIR ACTIONS...

SHALOM...Z
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