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04/29/08 - Gasoline to cost $10 a gallon in US soon?
Translating this price into dollars and cents at the gas pump, one of our forecasters, the chairman of Houston-based Dune Energy, Alan Gaines, sees gas rising to $7-$8 a gallon. The other, a commodities tracker at Weiss Research in Jupiter, Fla., Sean Brodrick, projects a range of $8 to $10 a gallon. While $7-$10 a gallon would be ground-breaking in America, these prices would not be trendsetting internationally. For example, European drivers are already shelling out $9 a gallon (which includes a $2-a-gallon tax). Early last year, with a barrel of oil trading in the low $50s and gasoline nationally selling in a range of $2.30 to $2.50 a gallon, Mr. Gaines - in an impressive display of crystal ball gazing - accurately predicted oil was $100-bound and that gasoline would follow suit by reaching $4 a gallon. His latest prediction of $200 oil is open to question, since it would undoubtedly create considerable global economic distress. Further, just about every energy expert I talk to cautions me to expect a sizable pullback in oil prices, maybe to between $50 and $70 a barrel, especially if there's a global economic slowdown. While Mr. Gaines thinks there could be a temporary decline in the oil price, he's convinced an overall uptrend is unstoppable. In fact, he thinks his $200 forecast could be conservative, and that perhaps $250 could be reached. His reasoning: a combination of shrinking supply and increasing demand, especially from China, India, and America. - Source

04/29/08 - Space war would leave destructive legacy
KeelyNet If war ever breaks out in space it's not the loss of individual satellites that will do the damage, but the debris this produces. It will stay in orbit and go on harming satellites for decades, according to two studies presented at the American Physical Society meeting in St Louis, Missouri, last week. "We have built up such high redundancy to space assets that we're almost invulnerable," says Geoff Forden of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who assessed the risk posed by China to the US. He found that only a few of the US's low-Eart-orbit satellites are over China at any one time, and that higher-orbiting satellites used for GPS, communications and surveillance could only be destroyed by multistage missiles, for which China has only three launch pads. Crucially, any space attack would increase debris, which can have a long-lasting effect on satellites. David Wright of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington DC reports that destruction of one 10-tonne spy satellite in low-Earth orbit "would double or triple the debris" in that zone. Every new collision produces even more debris, triggering a cascade of satellite break-ups with time. - Source

04/29/08 - Simple 'superlens' sharpens focusing power
A simple-to-make "superlens" can focus 10 times more sharply than a conventional lens. It could shrink the size of features on computer chips, or help power gadgets without wires. No matter how powerful a conventional lens, it cannot focus light down to more than about half its wavelength, the "diffraction limit". This limits the amount of data that can be stored on a CD, and the size of features on computer chips. The new lens is a 127-micrometer-thick plate of teflon and ceramic with a copper topping. "The beauty of these is that they're planar," Grbic says, "they're easy to fabricate." The lenses can be made through a single step of photolithography, the process used to etch computer chips. By selectively etching away the copper, Grbic and colleagues created many capacitors sandwiched together. Capacitors are typically used in electronics for storing electric charge for short periods. In the lens, the capacitors instead interact directly with electromagnetic waves like light. This sets up currents in the capacitors that focus the waves passing through the lens into a point 20 times smaller than their wavelength. That is 10 times tighter than a conventional lens can achieve, hampered by the diffraction limit. The team's current prototype works on microwaves, which are easier to focus because they have longer wavelengths than visible light. Simply making capacitors of different sizes would allow the lens to focus other frequencies, including visible and infrared light, says Grbic. - Source

04/29/08 - Sound Waves get your wash clean (Jun, 1951)
KeelyNet Sound Waves get your wash clean, claims Robert Bosch of Stuttgart, Germany. This seven-pound machine works on principle of auto horn. Hooter must sound for five minutes. Cost is $32. / (This looks like something worth digging up and marketing as a cheap, simple clothes washing method. - JWD) - Source

04/29/08 - MIT says it wants a solar 'revolution'
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Tuesday announced a $10 million grant to develop technology to make solar power mainstream. The Chesonis Foundation donated the money for research in three areas: materials to improve conversion of light to electricity; storage; and hydrogen production from solar energy and water. Called the Solar Revolution Project, it will provide funding for 30 five-year fellowships in solar energy. The idea is to pursue "blue sky" research, in an effort to fill the void between corporate-funded applied research and the limited amount of federal money dedicated to basic science research in solar, said Ernest Moniz, the director of the MIT Energy Initiative. Although the power is free, solar electric panels are relatively expensive because of the large up-front cost. Solar power is small fraction of the overall electricity production in the U.S.--just half of one percent in 2007, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Researchers and solar companies are trying to develop large-scale manufacturing technologies and higher solar cell efficiency to bring costs down. "Personally, I believe that terrawatts of solar power by mid century is a very real possibility, even likely," Moniz said. The Chesonis Family Foundation was founded by Arunas Chesonis, an MIT graduate who is CEO of telecom company Paetec Holding. - Source

04/29/08 - Gas study finds nothing illegal in soaring prices
A major investigation into the price of gasoline in Washington state uncovered no illegal activity, and discrepancies were explained by differences in wholesale gas prices, according to a report released Thursday by the state Attorney General's Office. The $161,000 study, by University of Washington economist Keith Leffler, found the range between the highest and lowest wholesale gas price in the state was 3.4 cents per gallon. The new 67-page report found that gas prices have doubled since May 2003, and that gas and crude-oil prices are at an all-time high. It found that from June 2000 to June 2001, retail gasoline prices varied by 11 cents; from February 2007 to September 2007, prices varied by 91 cents. Thursday, according to AAA, the average price of gas in the state was nearly $3.60. It ranged from a high of $3.66 a gallon in Bellingham to a low of $3.54 in Vancouver. - Source

04/29/08 - Astrology Proven Statistically Meaningless
Astrology is a technique by which people predict outcomes and find meaning within their lives by making associations and connections to environmental stimuli - most notably astrological positioning. People practice astrology by constructing detailed natal charts to determine the influencing factors at their birth. From these charts, it should be possible to divine predicted connections between all the events that transpire in a person's life. According to a study released by London based researchers, astrology is nothing more than artistic guessing. The study began in 1958 to track the lives of 2000 infants born within minutes of each other. If astrology has merit, the scientists postulated, the lives of each infant ought to bear resemblance to one another. Fifty years later, the research concludes the individual's lives are completely unique and not a single prediction could accurately have forecast any outcome. Adding insult to injury, additional testing showed that given a birth chart and the life history of subjects, professional astrologers could not match the two for any of their subjects with any sort of accuracy better than randomly guessing. Despite studies like these having been conducted before, belief in astrology has skyrocketed. - Source

04/29/08 - Bioheat Gaining Support in the Northeast United States
While conservation is an option for some, many people aren't willing to sacrifice comfort to save money. Bioheat systems may provide some relief. Bioheat systems come in many forms. They can be as simple as replacing traditional heating oil with a blend of biodiesel or bio-oil, or as complicated has having a pellet boiler installed that can take care or central heat and hot water. "In terms of bioheating, things are really expanding. There's more stoves and furnaces being sold and more schools are being powered with pellets and wood chips," Perchlik said. "We're definitely getting more requests from consumers. There's more fuel dealers carrying [bioheating products] and the state is requiring it for all new bids for projects that will be funded entirely with state money." Much of the growth in Vermont has been in pellet and other biomass markets. Currently, 30 Vermont schools are heated or powered with pellet and wood chip boilers. Renewable Energy Vermont is also looking into other feedstocks including soy beans, sunflowers, algae and hemp, but Perchlik says those sources are still in the very early stages of development. According to the National Biodiesel Board the current cost of bioheating fuels depends on the exact blend used. Fuel containing 2% biodiesel can cost around US $0.03 - $0.05 per gallon more than generic home heating oil. Bioheating fuel with 20% biodiesel may cost US $0.20 - $0.30 more per gallon. In the Northeast the cost today for one gallon of heating oil is approximately US $3.71. - Source

04/29/08 - Cross-eyes now Cured by Pictures (Feb, 1933)
KeelyNet Curing cross-eyes is play for youthful patients at a New York eye clinic, opened recently. A child places a pair of attractive picture slides in an instrument resembling an old-fashioned stereoscope and manipulates the device to make the pictures fuse together. Thus he tries to trap a lion in a cage or catch a butterfly in a net. Through corrective exercises of this sort, a cure is often effected without recourse to a surgical operation, which hitherto was nearly always considered necessary. / (Reminds me of Dr. Bates claims that proper eye exercises could cure eye problems. - JWD) - Source

04/29/08 - CrossLoop Tech Help - April 2008 - Week 4
There’s a new community of more than 7,000 helpers gathered on a web site called CrossLoop. Anyone who thinks they know their stuff can list Tech Support Kenny themselves. Some charge a dollar a minute and others offer help for free. You have to be willing to provide remote access to your computer to get this kind of Internet help. If you think there’s something wrong as you watch someone doing searches on your screen, you can disconnect at any time. YouTubeThe helpers on CrossLoop are rated by people who have used their expertise. You start out by downloading some software from CrossLoop.com. Then if you want help, click the “share” tab. That generates a number that you need to give to the helper. If you want to be a helper, you click an “access” tab and type in the code provided by the person seeking help. This feature can be extremely useful for people who do not want to become general helpers available to the whole world, but are simply willing to help a friend or relative with a computer problem. The site already has more than 600,000 users in over 190 countries and lots of people are using it. CrossLoop has advantages over other tech support services we have tried, such as YourTechOnline and PlumChoice. Those services are fine but they tend to focus on the most common kinds of problems, such as spyware, viruses, setting up networks, speeding up a slow computer, etc. CrossLoop has such a diversity of knowledgeable people that they can help with unusual problems, such as mechanical drafting or high-end photo editing. We think this is an optimum use of the power of the worldwide web: no matter what the problem, someone out there probably knows the answer. - Source

04/29/08 - India Launches 10 Satellites At Once
"India sets a world record after launching 10 satellites in one go using its workhorse, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). All the satellites were put into their respective orbits successfully. It was the core-alone version of the launch vehicle weighing 230 tonnes with a payload of 824 kg in total. Two of the satellites were Indian satellites while the rest were from different countries. By this launch, the ISRO has proven its credibility and it is going to boost India's image in the attractive multi-billion commercial market of satellite launches. This was the 12th successful launch of the PSLV." - Source

04/29/08 - Researchers Create “Green Gasoline” Ethanol Killer From Biomass
Researchers have made a breakthrough in the development of "green gasoline," a liquid identical to standard gasoline in energy contant yet created from sustainable biomass sources like switchgrass and poplar trees. The discovery could transform the renewable fuel economy by eliminating the need to grow corn for ethanol and rescue America from importing expensive and dwindling foreign oil supplies. For their new approach, the UMass researchers rapidly heated cellulose in the presence of solid catalysts, materials that speed up reactions without sacrificing themselves in the process. They then rapidly cooled the products to create a liquid that contains many of the compounds found in gasoline. The entire process was completed in under two minutes using relatively moderate amounts of heat. The compounds that formed in that single step, like naphthalene and toluene, make up one fourth of the suite of chemicals found in gasoline. The liquid can be further treated to form the remaining fuel components or can be used "as is" for a high octane gasoline blend. "Green gasoline is an attractive alternative to bioethanol since it can be used in existing engines and does not incur the 30 percent gas mileage penalty of ethanol-based flex fuel," said John Regalbuto, who directs the Catalysis and Biocatalysis Program at NSF and supported this research. "In theory it requires much less energy to make than ethanol, giving it a smaller carbon footprint and making it cheaper to produce," Regalbuto said. "Making it from cellulose sources such as switchgrass or poplar trees grown as energy crops, or forest or agricultural residues such as wood chips or corn stover, solves the lifecycle greenhouse gas problem that has recently surfaced with corn ethanol and soy biodiesel." - Source

04/29/08 - Peak Water: Aquifers and Rivers Are Running Dry
KeelyNet Water has been a serious issue in the developing world for so long that dire reports of shortages in Cairo or Karachi barely register. But the scarcity of freshwater is no longer a problem restricted to poor countries. Shortages are reaching crisis proportions in even the most highly developed regions, and they're quickly becoming commonplace in our own backyard, from the bleached-white bathtub ring around the Southwest's half-empty Lake Mead to the parched state of Georgia, where the governor prays for rain. Crops are collapsing, groundwater is disappearing, rivers are failing to reach the sea. Call it peak water, the point at which the renewable supply is forever outstripped by unquenchable demand. This is not to say the world is running out of water. The same amount exists on Earth today as millions of years ago - roughly 360 quintillion gallons. It evaporates, coalesces in clouds, falls as rain, seeps into the earth, and emerges in springs to feed rivers and lakes, an endless hydrologic cycle ordained by immutable laws of chemistry. But 97 percent of it is in the oceans, where it's useless unless the salt can be removed - a process that consumes enormous quantities of energy. Water fit for drinking, irrigation, husbandry, and other human uses can't always be found where people need it, and it's heavy and expensive to transport. Like oil, water is not equitably distributed or respectful of political boundaries; about 50 percent of the world's freshwater lies in a half-dozen lucky countries. - Source

04/29/08 - Tiny Magnets Injected to Kill Cancer
Patients could soon be treated by tiny magnets injected into the body and activated by remote control. The robotic particles will target diseased cells and destroy them using heat, leaving healthy cells unharmed. "If we can get these particles to migrate to cancer cells, we can apply the light therapy and kill only the cancer cells, leaving the healthy cells unharmed. This would be a big improvement on the aggressive chemotherapies and radiotherapies we currently have to deal with." - Source

04/29/08 - Smarter ladies have worse sex
KeelyNet BRAINY babes find it harder to have an orgasm - because they are too busy thinking, a study claims. The German survey found that the more educated a woman was, the less likely it was that she would be satisfied by sex. In the study 62 per cent of women who had completed their education said they often had problems achieving orgasm. Only 38 per cent of women with a lower educational qualification said they had such problems. The study conducted by a German lifestyle website surveyed over 2,000 women between the ages of 18 and 49. - Source

04/29/08 - Religion a Figment of Human Imagination
Humans alone practice religion because they're the only creatures to have evolved imagination. That's the argument of anthropologist Maurice Bloch of the London School of Economics. Bloch challenges the popular notion that religion evolved and spread because it promoted social bonding, as has been argued by some anthropologists. Instead, he argues that first, we had to evolve the necessary brain architecture to imagine things and beings that don't physically exist, and the possibility that people somehow live on after they've died. Once we'd done that, we had access to a form of social interaction unavailable to any other creatures on the planet. - Source

04/26/08 - Halfmachine.dk and their "singing plant"
KeelyNet "The Singing Plant is an installation that lets the audience interact with a natural plant. "When the plant is touched it gives feedback in the forms of sounds and light. The more people touch it, the more enegetically it responds. The sound gains volume and the light in the room grows from dim to bright. "People's reactions become part of the installation. We have seen people pity the plant. We have seen people caress it. And we have seen people dance enthusiastically around it. "The purpose is not to provide answers, but to question established preceptions of the relationship between man, machine and nature. "The exhibition went well in the Botanical Garden about 11,000 people came by and saw our installations. We made a video you can see it here..." / (This is an application based on the decades long research efforts of Cleve Backster into 'primary perception'. - JWD) - Source

04/26/08 - The Technics of Decentralization
Believe it or not, the following article by Peter van Dresser was originally published-exactly as you see it here-in the June 1938 issue of Free America. Not a word has been changed. The piece stands as dramatic proof that-37 years ago-Mr. van Dresser was accurately predicting today's energy crunch, and outlining possible solutions that most people still haven't considered. / ...since the invention of the steam engine the amount of mechanical power available to man has increased at an unprecedented rate, until the present estimated horsepower of civilization is at least a billion and a half. The United States has such a liberal share of this flow of engine-generated horsepower that for each man, woman or child in the country there is available energy equivalent to the combined strength of fifty slaves or more. It is this enormous increase in power which is held, more than any other single factor, to have made possible modern civilization with its equally enormous increase in productivity. To a considerable extent this is true. Any economic program-such as that of the distributist-decentralist-which calls for an adaptation of the methods of modem technology must take into account the problem of the source, generation, distribution and use of the inanimate power which makes possible this technology. - Source

04/26/08 - Russian scientist create 10-hour laptop battery
‘We begin to develop and organize production of an autonomous source of current for laptops. The given battery should operate for ten hours under 20W load. That is a real scientific and market breakthrough based on domestic developments’, - said Mr. Trusov at the Second International Hydrogen Forum that opened in Moscow the other day. The new battery has been developed on the basis of the so called fuel cells, which differ from ordinary batteries by substances for electrochemical reactions to come from outside. Such a battery life is unlimited (it works till it is provided with a substance for reaction, i.e. methanol, or hydrogen) and it needs no reloading like accumulators. One of the most important constituents of fuel cells is a porous membrane with a catalyst, which participates in the fuel decomposition reaction and electric current production. The narrower the membrane pores, the larger the contacting area with the catalyst, the smaller the element might be. The New block membrane has been developed by the Russian scientists using the so called gradient porous matrix nanostructures. Mr. Trusov believes the battery for a modern laptop should weigh no more than 100-150 grams. A thin multi-layer nanostructure used in the Russian scientists’ invention resolves the issue of high energy concentration density per unit volume. The specific power is 180 MW per square centimeter. Moreover, developers have done their utmost to make the battery harmless for users. - Source

04/26/08 - Power Generation and its Impact on Metals
The New York Times today, April 23, 2008, has a story about the massive increase in the number of coal fired power plants now under construction, or to soon be under construction, in Europe. The story says, “European countries are expected to put into operation about fifty coal-fired plants over the next five years…” The story is deceptively titled “Europe Turns Back to Coal, Raising Climate Fears.” I say that the title is deceptive, because it shamelessly says, “In the United States, fewer new coal plants are likely [in the next five years] to begin operations…” and then goes on to define “fewer” as less than 91! The world’s current installed capacity to generate electricity makes possible not only electric lights, motors, refrigerators, stoves, electronics, and so forth but is the only way we can economically produce, each year, hundreds of millions of tons of steel, 50 million tonnes of aluminium, 15 million tonnes copper, 250 tonnes of gallium, 225 tonnes of platinum, 125 tonnes of rhenium, 30 tonnes of rhodium, all of the ferroalloys and most of the minor metals. Think what you are giving up in your daily life if you agree that no more electricity generating capacity should be built until some political or emotional agenda or fantasy technology breakthrough is achieved. - Source

04/26/08 - Israeli invention could pave way for hydrogen cars
KeelyNet Moshe Stern, head of C.En (Clean Energy), said his company's scientists have developed a revolutionary breakthrough that will enable automobile manufacturers to produce -- and sell -- cars that use hydrogen power. While producing the hydrogen is easy enough, getting the fuel into the car and storing it in a fuel tank are some of the biggest obstacles for the technology. This, industry experts say, has traditionally been the deal-breaker for increased hydrogen use. Most hydrogen vehicles on the road use a liquid form of the material, which requires a super strong and super heavy storage tank. Liquid hydrogen is unstable and needs to be insulated from the excess shocks of bumps and potholes that are a part of everyday driving, so the tanks themselves are large and heavy, and hold about five gallons of fuel -- enough for barely 160 miles of driving. Then there's the issue of integrating the fuel into internal combustion vehicles that, for better or worse, are unlikely to be phased out anytime soon -- as well as the question of where drivers are supposed to fill up, because hydrogen stations are rare. All these are legitimate concerns that have kept hydrogen development restricted more or less to the laboratory, Stern said, and all concerns that are addressed and solved with C.En's hydrogen storage and supply solution. The difference? C.En's tank uses hydrogen gas collected from the environment (i.e., not produced from fossil fuels) and enclosed in a thin but leak-proof glass container. The best part: Drivers will be able to buy "gas" at automotive or discount stores, fueling up approximately every 370 miles. Stern said they can build a 16-gallon tank that weighs no more than 100 pounds,unlike tanks currently used for liquid hydrogen that weigh several hundred pounds. - Source

04/26/08 - Time to Invest in Food?
KeelyNet I don't want to alarm anybody, but maybe it's time for Americans to start stockpiling food... Reality: Food prices are already rising here much faster than the returns you are likely to get from keeping your money in a bank or money-market fund. And there are very good reasons to believe prices on the shelves are about to start rising a lot faster... Stocking up on food may not replace your long-term investments, but it may make a sensible home for some of your shorter-term cash. Do the math. If you keep your standby cash in a money-market fund you'll be lucky to get a 2.5% interest rate. Even the best one-year certificate of deposit you can find is only going to pay you about 4.1%, according to Bankrate.com. And those yields are before tax. Meanwhile the most recent government data shows food inflation for the average American household is now running at 4.5% a year. - Source

04/26/08 - How to Find Hidden Money
There's almost $33 billion in unclaimed money from old payroll checks, utility refunds, trust distributions, stocks, banking or checking accounts, certificates of deposit and the contents of safe deposit boxes, according to estimates by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. To find your hidden money, go to http://www.missingmoney.com/, an official database for the NAUPA that has records from most state unclaimed property programs. You can also link to your individual state unclaimed property program. - Source

04/26/08 - Free FengShui Advice
KeelyNet Hi, there're ten rules for Indoor FengShui! 1. Two gates don't face to face. 2. Gate and road don't face to face. 3. Gate and telegraph pole don't face to face. 4. Gate and stairway don't face to face. 5. Gate/door and washroom don't face to face. 6. Bed and washroom don't face to face. 7. Bed and mirror don't face to face. 8. Bed and door don't face to face. 9. Electric appliances don't on the head of bed. 10. Wall clock don't above the head of bed. FengShui is an ancient Chinese practice believed to utilize the Laws of astronomy and geography, to power people by receiving positive Qi. Indoor FengShui could: 1. Improve health. 2. More good luck, less bad luck. 3. Increase fortune, power career. (via j-walkblog.com) - Source

04/26/08 - GPS Tracker Defense
KeelyNet The GPS Tracker Defense will disable any GPS tracking device within range. It does this by disabling any GPS gadget's ability to connect with satellites -- INCLUDING YOUR OWN! Its limited, 16-foot range guarantees that trackers will be safe, while your own GPS is disabled. The GPS Tracker Defense has the exact same effect as simply turning off your GPS. (via therawfeed.com) - Source

04/26/08 - Solar Powered Microbes Manufacture Biofuels
"The new cyanobacteria produce a relatively pure, gel-like form of cellulose that can be broken down easily into glucose. 'The problem with cellulose harvested from plants is that it's difficult to break down because it's highly crystalline and mixed with lignins [for structure] and other compounds,' Nobles says. He was surprised to discover that the cyanobacteria also secrete large amounts of glucose or sucrose, sugars that can be directly harvested from the organisms." - Source

04/26/08 - HOWTO kill/block an RFID
KeelyNet The easiest way to kill an RFID, and be sure that it is dead, is to throw it in the microwave for 5 seconds. Doing this will literally melt the chip and antenna making it impossible for the chip to ever be read again. Unfortunately this method has a certain fire risk associated with it. Killing an RFID chip this way will also leave visible evidence that it has been tampered with, making it an unsuitable method for killing the RFID tag in passports. Doing this to a credit card will probably also screw with the magnetic strip on the back making it un-swipeable. The second, slightly more convert and less damaging, way to kill an RFID tag is by piercing the chip with a knife or other sharp object. This can only be done if you know exactly where the chip is located within the tag. This method also leaves visible evidence of intentional damage done to the chip, so it is unsuitable for passports. The third method is cutting the antenna very close to the chip. By doing this the chip will have no way of receiving electricity, or transmitting its signal back to the reader. This technique also leaves minimal signs of damage, so it would probably not be a good idea to use this on a passport. The last (and most covert) method for destroying a RFID tag is to hit it with a hammer. Just pick up any ordinary hammer and give the chip a few swift hard whacks. This will destroy the chip, and leave no evidence that the tag has been tampered with. This method is suitable for destroying the tags in passports, because there will be no proof that you intentionally destroyed the chip. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

04/26/08 - Trees in Your Tank?
Another team of researchers has announced another technique for producing biofuel from cellulose. This bunch is also promising $1/gallon production, if they can get the efficiency up. With the price of fuel so high, one would think they wouldn't need to boost efficiency too much for the process to be profitable. This is, what, the second or third announcement of this sort we've seen in the past year? It may be a tough target, but if enough guns are shooting it's bound to get hit eventually. Anything that gets us closer to putting Achmed and his merry band of jihadists closer to a bread line is fine by me. - Source

04/26/08 - Health Benefits?
Whole yak penis or sheep testicles on a bed of curry, anyone? A Beijing restaurant serves painstakingly decorated gourmet dishes for the fearless. They're supposed to increase male potency, but women should try a bite, too: Eating penis is good for the skin, apparently. "For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has used animal penises to cure kidney and erection problems," she says. But for their medicinal effect to work, the dishes have to be consumed regularly. "But if you want something that works faster, we have a wine that contains extracts of heart, penis, and blood from a deer," she explains. "That has an effect within 30 minutes." This potency cocktail has been said to be better than Viagra, and it has no side effects. - Source

04/26/08 - Meyers Motors
Myers Motors drives right over four of the biggest problems in transportation today: Global Warming, Oil Addiction, Congestion, and Energy Efficiency. Global Warming Gasoline and diesel powered motor vehicles generate almost 25% of the pollutants responsible for climate change. But driving a Myers Motors' NmG means that you can reduce the amount of CO2 and greenhouse gases you emit by more than 70% per mile that you drive, and that's if you recharge on the power grid. The news gets better when you pair your NmG with a home-based renewable energy system because then you can enjoy driving without any emissions contributing to our environmental problems. Oil Addiction The U.S. imports more than 60% of its oil and most of that goes to transportation. This adds close to 30% to our national trade deficit and could leave us vulnerable since much of the oil is abundant in areas that are politically unstable. NmG stands for No more Gas because it zips along at 75 mph on electricity. Congestion The NmG is just the right size for the daily commuting needs of the 91 million Americans who go to work or school alone in vehicles designed to carry four to eight passengers. It nimbly fits into very tight parking spaces and you can drive in the carpool lane without the hassel of picking up the rest of the carpool. Energy Efficiency Waste is no longer socially acceptable. The NmG offers you a smarter choice to reach your daily destination. - Source

04/26/08 - Citing environmental worries, Gov. rejects Bear Lake hydroelectric plan
The Hook Canyon hydroelectric dam proposed for the east side of Bear Lake between North Eden and South Eden appears dead in the water. The action likely ends a Logan hydroelectric engineering firm's efforts to gain Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval for pumping about 21,000 acre-feet of water out of Bear Lake to generate power for sale during peak-demand hours. Symbiotics LLC, in arguing for the project, pointed to hydroelectricity's renewable energy potential and claimed the project could meet about 85 percent of Utah's current peak energy demands if used in concert with conservation efforts. But others argued the project actually would have resulted in a net loss of electricity because it would take more energy to pump the water to the storage reservoir than the falling water could produce. - Source

04/26/08 - Bugs Use Plants as Telephones
Scientists have discovered the insects below and above use plants like a chemical telephone. The organic chat is a friendly one: Leaf-munching insects above ground prefer plants unoccupied by root-eaters. When a subterranean insect takes up residence below a plant, it settles in to feast on the plant's roots. In order to alert leaf-eating insects of the "no vacancy," the underground insect sends a chemical warning signal through the plant leaves, so the leafeaters are alerted that the plant is occupied. Recent studies have revealed different types of aboveground insects develop slowly if they feed on plants that harbor subterranean residents and vice versa. So the green phone lines keep insects from unintentionally competing for the same plant. - Source

04/26/08 - 'Water wars' with U.S. in our future: experts
Parched U.S. states could start "water wars" in the years ahead and fight for access to Great Lakes resources as they become more desperate to meet growing needs, Canadian and American experts said yesterday at a water conference. "We will, in fact, get into major water wars," Clark said. "You will see water wars coming in every way, shape or form. In the U.S., there are some leading politicians who have said the Great Lakes do, in fact, belong (to everyone) and all water should be nationalized -- and this certainly is a concern." - Source

04/23/08 - Fire From the Dragon Harnesses Truck Energy
KeelyNet A long line of trucks snakes its way to the San Francisco Bay, where two cargo ships wait to be loaded. One truck rumbles at about 15 miles per hour over a group of narrow plates embedded in the asphalt, and a moment later, a solar-powered shed beside the road begins to groan and rattle ominously. As the trucks power at low speeds across the plates, they compress a tank of hydraulic fluid under the road, which in turn creates a series of pumping actions that turns a generator to produce electricity. By June, Kenney projects the apparatus, which he dubbed the “Dragon Power Station,” will be producing 5,000 to 7,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each day-enough to power up to 1,750 homes. The energy produced will be sold to SSA, the Oakland terminal operator that hosts the Dragon, at a discounted rate. The electricity the machine generates will cover only 5 percent of the operator’s energy needs, but represents huge savings for the company-and a chance to jump on the green bandwagon. An estimated 2,500 trucks pass through SSA’s Oakland facility every day, filling the air with carcinogenic diesel fumes and soot, which can cause asthma and other respiratory ailments in port workers and local residents. - Source

04/23/08 - Million Dollar Meat
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is offering a million-dollar prize for the “first person to come up with a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat at competitive prices by 2012.” “In vitro” and “test-tube grown” are not ideas one usually associates with meat. The meat-substitute niche is currently occupied largely by soy in all its miraculous if slightly disappointing forms. There is every reason to change the way meat is produced, to make it more ethical, more humane. But the result of the technology that PETA hopes to reward could be the end of domesticated farm animals. This has often seemed as if it were the logical conclusion of some radical animal-rights activists: better for animals not to exist at all if there is a chance that they would suffer. - Source

04/23/08 - Scientists Figure Out How To Grow Plants In Moondust
KeelyNet If we’re ever going to colonize the moon in any serious way, we’re going to need to terraform it. That is, we’re going to need to figure out how to grow plants up there to provide oxygen. In a big of great news on that front, it looks like scientists have figured out how to grow plants in the moon dust that covers the surface of our favorite satellite. All that they needed to do was add a special bacteria to the moon dust, one that helped transfer nutrients from the moondust to the flowers. - Source

04/23/08 - When Will Solar Achieve Grid Parity? We're Already There!
I always chuckle when I read an article in the popular press - or a comment on this site - stating something like "Solar is too expensive and will never be a significant source of electric power." Invariably, these articles or comments are never documented to explain how the author reached this faulty opinion. I believe that I will prove in this article that UNSUBSIDIZED solar is ALREADY at grid parity today against UNSUBSIDIZED "conventional" power sources. The word "parity" implies "equality," and therefore, the only fair comparison is one where ALL costs are taken into account. - Source

04/23/08 - Advances In Jacks
KeelyNet Lift your vehicle in 30 seconds without straining with an awkward, unstable jack. Simply fit the Air Jack's hose over your exhaust, position the airbag under the vehicle, and turn on your engine. The exhaust inflates the bag, lifting the vehicle to 17". A one-way valve keeps the bag inflated after the engine has been turned off. The durable Air Jack was originally designed for rugged off-road use and works in mud, snow, and uneven ground where a regular jack cannot. Has no negative effects on the engine. - Source

04/23/08 - Debut Records Video from Webcams or Your Screen
Windows only: Freeware application Debut records video from any source-like your computer's webcam or your desktop-to a number of popular file formats. Once you've recorded a video, Debut makes it easy to automatically share the results over the internet via email or by uploading them to an FTP server. I'm still a big fan of previously mentioned Jing for quickly recording and sharing screencasts, but Debut's added webcam abilities add a useful new element, and it's got an impressive toolbox of features to boot. Debut is lightweight freeware, Windows only. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

04/23/08 - Raised on welfare, the 'Why Bother?' generation
A "why bother?" economy has been created in Britain which has left thousands with no motivation to work, a report published today concludes. The findings by the public services think tank Reform suggest that increased welfare dependency has made it more difficult for those on the lowest incomes to do better. An education system with a "dismal record" of educating the poorest, and a complex welfare system, have together created a far more divided society than other European countries, it finds. Means-tested benefits and higher taxes have reduced the incentives available to those on low incomes to better themselves, Reform says. - Source

04/23/08 - Cellphone Missing Dot kills 2 people, puts 3 in Jail
KeelyNet The life of 20-year-old Emine, and her 24-year-old husband Ramazan Çalçoban was pretty much the normal life of any couple in a separation process. After deciding to split up, the two kept having bitter arguments over the cellphone, sending text messages to each other until one day Ramazan wrote "you change the topic every time you run out of arguments." The surreal mistake happened because Ramazan's sent a message and Emine's cellphone didn't have an specific character from the Turkish alphabet: the letter "i" or closed i. While "i" is available in all phones in Turkey-where this happened-the closed i apparently doesn't exist in most of the terminals in that country. The use of "i" resulted in an SMS with a completely twisted meaning: instead of writing the word "sikisinca" it looked like he wrote "sikisince." Ramazan wanted to write "You change the topic every time you run out of arguments" (sounds familiar enough) but what Emine read was, "You change the topic every time they are f**king you". Emine then showed the message to her father, who-enraged-called Ramazan, accusing him of treating his daughter as a prostitute. Ramazan went to the family's home to apologize, only to be greeted by the father, Emine, two sisters and a lot of very sharp knives... - Source

04/23/08 - 'Eating Local' Has Little Effect on Warming
Being a "locavore" and eating foods grown near where you live may not help the environment as much as you might think, according a new study. "In terms of the average American diet, 'food miles' are not so important as what you're eating," said study leader Christopher Weber of Carnegie Mellon University. - Source

04/23/08 - Despite Climate Worry, Europe Turns to Coal
KeelyNet Over the next five years, Italy will increase its reliance on coal to 33 percent from 14 percent. Power generated by Enel from coal will rise to 50 percent. And Italy is not alone in its return to coal. Driven by rising demand, record high oil and natural gas prices, concerns over energy security and an aversion to nuclear energy, European countries are slated to put into operation about 50 coal-fired plants over the next five years, plants that will be in use for the next five decades. - Source

04/23/08 - Will the Earth fry future moon astronauts?
Researchers working for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission have discovered that the Earth’s magnetic tail could be harmful to future astronauts. The moon stays inside Earth’s ‘magnetotail’ for six days every month - during full moon. This can have consequences ranging from lunar ‘dust storms’ to strong electrostatic discharges, according to one researcher quoted by NASA in ‘The Moon and the Magnetotail.’ So far, this is pure speculation: no man has been on the moon when the magnetotail hits. As added the same scientist, ‘Apollo astronauts never landed on a full moon and they never experienced the magnetotail.’ - Source

04/23/08 - Chemotherapy Causes Delayed Severe Neural Damage
Cancer treatment with chemotherapeutic agents is often associated with delayed adverse neurological consequences - an occurrence often referred to as "chemobrain" - that may compromise the quality of life of a proportion of cancer survivors.Little is known about the side-effects of chemotherapy on the CNS, despite their obvious clinical importance. "Multiple clinical reports have identified neurotoxicity as a complication of treatment regimens in which chemotherapeutic agents such as 5-fluorouracil are components," says Noble. "As treatments with chemotherapeutic agents will clearly remain the standard of care for cancer patients for many years to come, the need to better understand such damage is great." - Source

04/23/08 - Masturbation 'cuts cancer risk'
KeelyNet They say cancer-causing chemicals could build up in the prostate if men do not ejaculate regularly. And they say sexual intercourse may not have the same protective effect because of the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, which could increase men's cancer risk. Australian researchers questioned over 1,000 men who had developed prostate cancer and 1,250 who had not about their sexual habits. They found those who had ejaculated the most between the ages of 20 and 50 were the least likely to develop the cancer. - Source

04/23/08 - Ocean Waves Pounding Harder
The pounding of storm waves on any shore creates vibrations in the Earth that can be heard by seismometers and translated into storm power. The archived seismological data now show that this wave energy has been getting stronger for decades, matching what's predicted to happen as the world's oceans and air heat up. An analysis of decades of digital seismic data at 22 seismic stations worldwide shows that the power of most powerful storm waves is on the rise in every case. For decades the seismic signals from ocean waves was considered mere noise to seismologists. But then researchers like Aster's colleagues Peter Bromirski and Dan McNamara started mining that noise for information. "We've got a really remarkable record in the seismological community," said Aster. - Source

04/23/08 - 'Outlook worse' for scalp cancer
KeelyNet An analysis of 50,000 cases of melanoma found people with these cancers were nearly twice as likely to die as those with the disease on arms or legs. Scalp and neck cancers were often found later but there seemed to be something inherently virulent about them, the Archives of Dermatology study found. Survival rates from skin cancer are nonetheless relatively high. The five-year survival rate for patients with scalp or neck cancer was 83%, compared with 92% for those with melanomas on the face and ears and on the extremities - the arms, legs, hands and feet. - Source

04/23/08 - How Valid Are T.V. Weather Forecasts?
A seven-month study of weather forecasting at Kansas City television stations was conducted over 220 days, from April 22 to November 21, 2007. The seven-day forecasts for both high temperature and P.O.P. (probability of precipitation) for each station’s 10 p.m. telecast and from the N.O.A.A. Web site were recorded. For stations that did not offer a P.O.P. in the form of percent likelihood, the best impression of percent likelihood that could be inferred from the meteorologists’ words and graphics were used. The results of Kansas City’s high temperature and rainfall as reported at the K.C.I. airport weather station - which are the data that become the official record for weather at Kansas City - were also recorded. Those results were then compared to the high temperature and P.O.P. predictions to determine forecasting accuracy for each source for each of the seven days predicted. The results were quite enlightening, as were some of the comments of the local meteorologists and their station managers. Here a few of the quotes we received: “We have no idea what’s going to happen [in the weather] beyond three days out.” - Source

04/21/08 - Leaf Log using composted leaves as biofuel
A business has struck green gold, turning composted leaves into 'logs' of biofuel that can provide green energy. The Leaf Log, as the invention is known, is the brainchild of Peter Morrison, who as chief executive of BioFuels International has already developed several of his green ideas into moneyspinners. The Leaf Log is made from 70 per cent fallen leaves compressed into a 1.2kg cylinder, which can burn for two hours. And, unlike other fuel products, the Leaf Log leaves behind just a tiny amount of ash, which itself can be composted. - Source

04/21/08 - Checking false claims to scientific discoveries
For Nigerians living with the HIV/AIDS virus nothing could have been more soothing than the news, in 2000, of a scientific breakthrough that suggested an eventual cure for the pandemic. With thousands dying daily, the claim by Dr Jeremiah Abalaka, an Abuja-based medical doctor, was seen as a ray of hope for the already hopeless and hapless victims. But that hope was not to last as the authorities rejected the said discovery when Abalaka refused to submit his claims for scientific verification. The team from the Federal Ministry of Health that sought to investigate Abalaka’s claims concluded that his discovery was premised on “other means rather than scientifically acceptable methods”. But hardly had the euphoria on Abalaka’s claim died out than another Nigerian scientist came up with yet another claim to a similar discovery. This time, it was Dr Jacob Abdullahi, an Abuja-based laboratory technologist who also claimed to have discovered another cure for the HIV/AIDS infection. Before peers, scientific societies and the general public could come to terms with the purported claim, a lot of people infected with the virus had surrendered themselves to be used as guinea pigs to prove the efficacy of Abdullahi’s drug. / Owing to the freedom enjoyed by Nigerian scientists claiming to have the cure for all kinds of ailments, scientists from other countries with stringent laws where such practices would have been rejected as unethical, have found a haven in Nigeria. Such people have continued to exploit the gullible members of the public. Another celebrated case was Dr Ezekiel Izuogu’s well-publicised claim to achieving a breakthrough in “Emagnetodynamics” in 2007. zuogu, who announced his discovery at a news conference, declared that his finding had proved the age-long Physics law of energy conservation wrong. At that briefing, he called on the federal government to patronise his discovery as it was capable of solving Nigeria’s energy crisis. Izuogu said that the discovery had disproved the law of conservation of energy with the invention of a self-sustaining “New Machine”. The law of conservation of energy, a very crucial law of Physics and Engineering, stipulates that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Izuogu said that the New Machine would be drawing its energy from permanent magnets to function. ‘This will prove the all important law of conservation wrong,” he claimed. He explained that the invention built on the principles of “Emagnetodynamics” was premised on the foundation that permanent magnets may contain intrinsic atomic energy which can be tapped for man’s use.” While scientists continue to verify Izuogu’s claims, analysts have faulted the idea of first announcing scientific discoveries to the media. They say that there are acceptable procedures which discoveries, inventions and innovations must pass through to gain societal recognition. - Source

04/21/08 - Standing tall and saving green
KeelyNet The SunSail project is scheduled to be completed in two or three years (pending approval from the Haifa Municipality) and will consist of 11 apartments. The building is designed with a curved façade almost entirely covered with solar panels, which will provide up to 40 percent of the residents' electricity. A passive ventilation system will allow breezes to flow in during the warmer months, possibly minimizing the need for energy-guzzling air conditioning. While the building technically has space for a twelfth apartment on the ground floor, Cory opted to leave that space open, leading out into a garden behind the building. The idea is that the garden will grow partway into the building, minimizing the building's ecological "footprint." Water, always a major issue in Israel, is another central element of the design. Rainwater collectors on the roof and basement will take advantage of precipitation, while wastewater from baths and sinks will be purified in the building's own water purification system. Cory is working on other projects, as well. One of his latest ventures, which he's working on with a friend from the aerospace faculty of the Technion, is the concept of solar balloons - balloons that are coated with photovoltaic cells. Such cells are notorious for taking up space on the ground; Cory's idea is to float them in the air instead, leaving the ground free. One application for such an invention would be to provide energy in places that don't have room for solar cells. Solar balloons adjacent to a power station for electric cars would enable the vehicles to be powered with solar energy, Cory suggests. Buildings would be able to derive much of their electricity from solar energy, he adds, since there would be almost unlimited space for many photovoltaic cells. While Cory is excited about the balloon project, he cautions that it is still in its very early stages of development and that there are still risks involved. "We have to solve the problem of wind, [and see if] the balloon is strong enough, and we have to devise the right shape for the balloons, so they'll be less resistant to changes in the wind." - Source

04/21/08 - Sea levels 'will rise 1.5 metres by 2100'
Melting glaciers, disappearing ice sheets and warming water could lift sea levels by as much as 1.5 metres by the end of this century, displacing tens of millions of people. That's the conclusion of a new prediction of sea level rises that for the first time takes into account ice dynamics. The researchers said the IPCC had not accounted for ice dynamics - the more rapid movement of ice sheets due to melt water which could markedly speed up their disappearance and boost sea levels. - Source

04/21/08 - New, Ozone-safe Refrigerant
Richard Maruya said his HCR188c hydrocarbon blend is designed to replace current refrigerants in air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers that contribute "greenhouse" gases to the atmosphere, and use less electricity in the bargain. Maruya said independent testing has shown the amount of HCR188c needed is so small - about half a shot glass full for a home refrigerator and two for a car's air-conditioning system - that there is little fire threat. Maruya, 59, is pushing HCR188c as a replacement for HFC-based refrigerants, which in turn were developed as a replacement for ozone-eating chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs. HFCs are not ozone-depleting, but are a powerful global warming gas when released into the atmosphere. Davies called HFCs "a perfect greenhouse gas" because of their durability and heat-trapping properties. Hydrocarbons, like those in Maruya's blend, have zero ozone-depletion potential and very low global warming potential. "At first I was just fooling around. ... It wasn't easy. It took me a while to figure this out," Maruya said. What he hit upon was a blend of eight hydrocarbons that produce a refrigerant "where you use less, much less, and the flammability level is much lower," he said. When he developed his mixture to the point where he needed only a third of the usual amount of refrigerant required for cooling, Maruya decided to take his invention to the next level by hiring a professional "blender" in California to achieve a more precise mix. With tweaking, the result was a 25 percent "charge," meaning an HFC-based refrigerant could be replaced with only a quarter of the usual amount using Maruya's HCR188c. After filing an EPA application, he submitted his hydrocarbon blend to the international testing firm Intertek, bringing even more good news. Among the test findings were that use of the smaller amounts of HCR188c in a refrigerator led to energy savings of 5 percent to 10 percent. Intertek scientists initially were "shocked" by the results, Maruya said, but now use one of the HCR188c test appliances as their employee fridge. - Source

04/21/08 - Law targeting patent 'trolls' looks set to fail
A bill going through the US Senate that would have slashed the damages inventors receive when patents are infringed. The US Patent Reform Bill, backed by Microsoft, Apple and Intel, aims to reduce incentives for patent "trolls", who file patents without any intention of developing them. It sets damages in proportion to the contribution an invention makes to a product, rather than the full value of the product. Inventors say the bill would encourage infringement. On 10 April, a Senate Judiciary Committee failed to reach a consensus on the bill, which has already been passed by the House, leaving little time for a vote before attention shifts to the congressional elections in November. - Source

04/21/08 - Fatal Diseases Attack Our Planet
International think-tank claims that fatal diseases rapidly spread across the world. Last 50 years showed quadrupling of fatal diseases; moreover, 60% of dangerous viruses, infecting humans, have animal origin. American scientists analyzed 335 diseases, which appeared between 1940 and 2004, and compared results with population density and biological variability of wildlife on our planet. New infections are serious hazard for developing countries, while population of developed countries suffers from pathogenic viruses, resistant to antibiotics, and new diseases, caused by chemically treated food products. - Source

04/21/08 - New Gold Extraction Technique Developed
KeelyNet Researchers from Siberian branch of Russian Academy of Sciences developed an original technique for extracting gold and silver from multi-component solutions. This technology avoids cyanide, a toxic reagent, which is widely used for extracting gold from ores and recoverable materials. Suggested alternative is much less toxic thiocyanate. Cyanide enters lakes and rivers, causing massive deaths of plants and animals. - Source

04/21/08 - Women Give Up Passwords for Chocolate
Women are four times more likely than men to give you their passwords in exchange for chocolate, according to a "study" by Infosecurity Europe conducted on the streets of London. Nearly half -- 45 percent -- of women targeted were willing to give up their passwords to strangers in exchange for a BAR OF CHOCOLATE. - Source

04/21/08 - Lack of bridges, roads holds Russia back
The van moves only a few feet every 15 seconds. Gear teeth sound as if they're being ground into bumps. With every lurch forward, passengers inside tighten their grips on seat cushions, an armrest, a spare tire, anything bolted down and within reach. The Russian-made UAZ 412 lists like an ocean-bound dinghy as its traverses the frozen Mezen River, rumbling over shards of ice and foot-deep slush warmed by the morning sun. Here, just 48 miles below the Arctic Circle, the anxious souls who routinely make this harrowing, 45-minute crossing are hardly the thrill-seeking type. They're everyday Russians, making the trip to Kamenka the only way they can — across a river without a bridge but still covered with ice thick enough to cross by vehicle. Having no bridge has meant bankruptcy for the town's major employer, a sawmill. Virtually no one in town works. - Source

04/21/08 - How the rich starved the world
The irony is extraordinary. At a time when world leaders are expressing grave concern about diminishing food stocks and a coming global food crisis, our government brings into force measures to increase the use of biofuels - a policy that will further increase food prices, and further worsen the plight of the world's poor. What biofuels do is undeniable: they take food out of the mouths of starving people and divert them to be burned as fuel in the car engines of the world's rich consumers. This is, in the words of the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler, nothing less than a "crime against humanity". It is a crime the UK government seems determined to play its part in abetting. The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), introduced on 15 April, mandates petrol retailers to mix 2.5 per cent biofuels into fuel sold to motorists. This will rise to 5.75 per cent by 2010, in line with European Union policy. The message could not have been clearer if the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, had personally put a torch to a pyre of corn and rice in Parliament Square: even as you take to the streets to protest your empty bellies and hungry children, we will burn your food in our cars. The UK is not uniquely implicated in this scandal: the EU, the United States, India, Brazil and China all have targets to increase biofuels use. But a look at the raw data confirms today's dire situation. According to the World Bank, global maize production increased by 51 million tonnes between 2004 and 2007. During that time, biofuels use in the US alone (mostly ethanol) rose by 50 million tonnes, soaking up almost the entire global increase. - Source

04/21/08 - 25 leading-edge IT research projects
While universities don't tend to shout as loudly about their latest tech innovations as do Google, Cisco and other big vendors, their results are no less impressive in what they could mean for faster, more secure and more useful networking. Here's a roundup, in no particular order, of some of the most amazing and colorful projects in the works. - Source

04/19/08 - Man’s life threatened; Cure for AIDS in his hands
A Yemeni cleric claiming to cure HIV/AIDS patients claims to have been threatened with assassination if he reveals the secrets of his “invention.” The cleric said that if he dies, a good group of friends whom he trusts will continue to rescue the world from this fatal disease. “Even if I get assassinated, the secrets will be with the group,” Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zandani told a gathering of doctors, journalists and followers about curing through the words of Allah and the Prophet Mohammed. He said it would be a very profitable idea if a company started to manufacture his invention, and expressed fears and concerns about making his medicine known and available to the world. “A patient will take about one or two years until he is cured and maybe after this, I may be told that it’s not mine, but rather someone else’s,” he said, expressing his unwillingness to apply for a patent for trust reasons. Although he stressed that his invention is “a drug, not a prayer”, he said that non-Muslim professors and researchers in the west would appreciate his medicine only if they understand the Prophet Mohammed’s hadiths (oral traditions of the Prophet). He said he started his research in Mecca about 20 years ago but he started his experiments only five years ago in scientific laboratories in Egypt, Jordan, and in what he called “reference laboratories” in Germany. A total of 23 AIDS patients were allegedly recovered from a group of 38 patients who came to him for treatment. A total of 10 people recovered during six-month treatments from the first group which included 13 patients. A total of 13 were recovered also during six months of the second group which included 25 patients, Sheikh al-Zandani said. - Source

04/19/08 - A new Invention: Earth resistance solution, Benz Fill
A Cameroonian Electro-mechanical engineer, Dr. Benz Enow Bate, has invented an earth resistance solution capable of considerably improving the protection of electrical installations. The earth resistance-reducing paste has been named Benz Fill, after its inventor. Benz Fill reduces the earth’s resistance to less than 0.5ohms, a value believed to be very appropriate for conducting excess or faulty current into the soil. This technology, the inventor says, shall greatly reduced electricity related fire hazards. The earth’s resistance is reduced by injecting Benz Fill into the soil surrounding an earth electrode. Dr. Benz's solution has been described as a breakthrough. If the procedure is vulgarised technicians shall abandon the traditional charcoal and salt mixture. A practise which Dr.Benz Enow says has its limitations because the corrosive characteristic of salt always ended up rusting the earth cables, and destroyed the earthing mechanism. His new solution is not easily washable and will not corrode metals but ensures that the earth is not resistant to faulty or excess current. - Source

04/19/08 - Solar Windows Could Slash Energy Loss from Buildings
A team of academics at Queensland University of Technology has teamed up with Dyesol to develop transparent dye-infused solar cells that would significantly reduce building energy costs, and could even allow windows to generate surplus energy to be either stored or sold. Dyesol’s solar cells use innovative technology called "artificial photosynthesis," where a dye works in much the same way as chlorophyll to absorb light and produce electricity. Panels are made up of “an electrolyte, a layer of titania (a pigment used in white paints and toothpaste), and ruthenium dye sandwiched between glass. Light striking the dye excites electrons, which are absorbed by the titania to become an electric current.” Since they don’t require expensive raw materials, and require less energy, dye solar cells are much cheaper to manufacture than silicon cells. Dyesol says the panels will be available over the next two years. - Source

04/19/08 - PayPal considers blocking browsers
Most controversial is the idea of blocking "unsafe" browsers, or browsers that do not currently include antiphishing tools. PayPal says it would first notify users when they log in if they are using an unsafe browser. Later, PayPal would simply block the use of the browser entirely. PayPal is interested in enforcing new Extended Verification SSL certificates used by Internet Explorer 7 and the upcoming Mozilla Firefox 3. EV SSL highlights the address bar in green when the site has been certified. Other browsers, such as Apple Safari and Opera, do not currently include these protections. Browsers not on the desktop could also be barred. - Source

04/19/08 - Water Is the Next Oil
Biofuels are enormous consumers of water, says Jim Matheson, a general partner at Flagship Ventures, a venture capital firm in Cambridge, MA. And water is not always abundant where it's most needed. "So, increasingly you're going to see water as a scarce resource. I think it's going to drive not just economics but also a lot of geopolitical dynamics. So, we're trying to find technologies that can allow us to plug into this enormous value chain." He's interested, for example, in membranes and other water-treatment technologies that will allow biofuel-makers and others to reuse water. But he says there's a big challenge to making these new technologies successful. There has to be a way to scale them up to bring down costs. "The problem is that water is like the Internet. People love it and they use it all the time, but they don't want to pay for it," he says. "So the question is, how do you come up with a business model that actually works?" One option, he says, is to develop technologies that can both clean up wastewater and extract energy from the waste, effectively adding value to the water. - Source

04/19/08 - Collecting the DNA of Everyone
The government plans to begin collecting DNA samples from anyone arrested by a federal law enforcement agency in a move intended to prevent violent crime but which also is raising concerns about the privacy of innocent people. Expanding the DNA database, known as CODIS, raises civil liberties questions about the potential for misuse of such personal information, such as family ties and genetic conditions. Ablin said the DNA collection would be subject to the same privacy laws applied to current DNA sampling. That means none of it would be used for identifying genetic traits, diseases or disorders. - Source

04/19/08 - Brainwave-Reading Headphones
KeelyNet A lightweight battery-free headset can continuously monitor human brainwaves, and is powered by body heat and sunlight. The portable electroencephalogram (EEG) device resembles a set of headphones. It could provide wireless monitoring of patients at risk of seizures, have cars or other machinery respond to stressed users, or provide new ways to interact with computer games. It generates some power using thermoelectric materials which turn heat gradients into electrical energy, using the difference between a warm human head and the cooler surrounding air. The new headset can generate at least 1 milliWatt of power in most circumstances. That is more than the 0.8mW needed to detect electrical activity observed in the brain, and transmit it over wifi to a computer. “If your body can provide the basic power, then there are a myriad number of devices, ranging from brain stimulation to glucose monitoring systems, that become much more practical for long term, continuous use,” DiMartino says. - Source

04/19/08 - Lockheed Martin Tests New Spacecraft Prototype
Lockheed Martin is using Spaceport America to test a new prototype spacecraft. The prototype is only about one-fifth the size of the projected production model which promises to deliver satellites into orbit at a cheaper cost. "It looks a bit like the space shuttle and would fly to space and return the same way. But even the big version would not carry people, just satellites. The goal is to get to orbit faster and cheaper thanks to an automated reusable spacecraft run by its own computers and just a handful of people for a launch crew." - Source

04/19/08 - HotKeyBind Sets Keyboard Shortcuts for Any Windows Task
Windows only: Free, open source application HotKeyBind creates keyboard shortcuts for common Windows actions, from launching applications and opening files to searching the web and shutting down your computer. HotKeyBind is even useful for Windows actions that already have shortcuts of their own or can be assigned shortcuts, because HotKeyBind provides a universal interface for creating and managing all your custom keyboard shortcuts and existing Windows shortcuts across your system. HotKeyBind is impressively robust on features, including text-replacement. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

04/19/08 - Big Oil seems slick as U.S. turns to diesel cars
It's high time for the big oil companies to explain one of life's great mysteries; exactly how they fix the price of fuel at the filling station. The public has heard all sorts of explanations -- market forces, regional instability, refinery issues and so on -- but the logic behind the ups and downs (mostly ups) of gas prices is about as transparent as an IRS tax form. This topic is a burning concern not just because of costlier gasoline, which is, of course, a major drag on the U.S. economy and which affects all of our lives. It is also pertinent when it comes to diesel fuel, which, for no apparent reason, recently leapt up in price, well above the level of gasoline. Perversely, this has occurred just as consumer interest in fuel-efficient diesel vehicles is on the rise and as several major automakers are launching a new wave of advanced, clean diesel models. - Source

04/19/08 - 10 Common Travel Scams
I thought I had advanced street smarts when coming to South America, but then I got pick pocketed on my third day. Here’s a list of popular scams I’ve learned about... Even if you know every travel scam, you will still be defenseless against a mugger with a knife or gun, or someone who randomly karate kicks you in the head. This usually happens at night where you are not carrying things like passport, jewelry, credit cards, or your Canon digital SLR camera. It’s best to give up the goods when attacked unless you have a weapon of your own and want to battle. - Source

04/19/08 - Why Things Cost $19.95
One of Alfred Hitchcock’s most enduring bits of cinematic comedy is the auction scene in the espionage thriller North by Northwest. Cary Grant plays Roger Thornhill, a businessman who has been mistaken for a CIA agent by the ruthless Phillip Vandamm. At a critical juncture, Thornhill is cornered by his enemies inside a Chicago auction house, and the only way he can escape is by drawing attention to himself. When the bidding on an antique reaches $2,250, Thornhill yells out, “Fifteen hundred!” When the auctioneer gently chides him, he loudly changes his bid: “Twelve hundred!” When the bidding on a Louis XIV chaise longue reaches $1,200, Thornhill blurts outs, “Thirteen dollars!” The genteel crowd is outraged, but Thornhill gets precisely what he wants: the auctioneer summons the police, who “escort” him past Vandamm’s henchmen to safety. Clever thinking and good comedy. It is funny for a lot of reasons, and one is that Thornhill violates every psychological “rule” for how we negotiate price and value with one another. So much of life involves “auctions,” whether it is buying a used car or making health care choices or even choosing a mate. But, unlike Roger Thornhill, most of us are motivated by the desire for a fair deal, and we employ some sophisticated cognitive tools to weigh offers, fashion responses, and so forth-all the to-and-fro in getting to an agreement. But how does life’s dickering play out in the brain? And is it a trustworthy tool for getting what we want? Psychologists have been studying cognitive bartering for some time, and several basics are well established. For example, an opening “bid” of any sort is usually perceived as a mental anchor, a starting point for the psychological jockeying to follow. If we perceive an opening bid as fundamentally inaccurate or unfair, we reject it by countering with something in another ballpark altogether. But what about less dramatic counter offers? What makes us settle on a response? - Source

04/19/08 - Analog to Digital TV Patent Troll Ambush
A small Pennsylvania company's patent lawsuits could hamstring the government's $1.5 billion effort to make the transition to digital television easier on consumers' wallets. Rembrandt Inc. owns a patent on technology that it says is part of the digital television broadcasting standard used by the TV networks. Rembrandt is suing 14 companies, including Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal, CBS Corp. and News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting for patent infringement and wants millions of dollars in royalties. Rembrandt says on its Web site that it "identifies and acquires patents that hold great market potential" and "pursues and secures revenue from these innovations as established by the U.S. Constitution." Rembrandt acquired the patent in question in 2004 from Paradyne Corp., a spinoff from AT&T Inc., which developed the technology and obtained the patent in the 1990s. To its critics, Rembrandt is a "patent troll," a term for companies that purchase patents from inventors and then seek to enforce them in court. "They make money from litigation, not innovation," Balto said. Balto and Richard Wolfram, an antitrust attorney based in New York who also helped prepare the AAI's petition, have previously worked for some of the companies sued by Rembrandt. By getting the patent after it became part of a technology standard and then demanding exorbitant fees, Rembrandt is illegally abusing its monopoly, the AAI said. The FTC has cracked down on similar practices, what lawyers call "patent ambushes." In January, it blocked Negotiated Data Solutions LLC, based in Chicago, from seeking higher royalties on patents related to the ethernet computer networking technology. And last year, the commission required Rambus Inc. to license certain memory chip technologies to other companies and set maximum royalty rates. That case is on appeal. - Source

04/19/08 - Cars Deserve Only Half the Blame for CO2
It's not surprising that the home counties of Houston, Los Angeles and Chicago (in that order) produce the greatest amount of carbon dioxide in the U.S. But a new study from Purdue University, which essentially creates an inventory of carbon-dioxide, has some surprises. Among the top-20 cities that emit CO2, would you have guessed that San Juan, N.M., Camden, ALA.., Titus, TX. or Valparaiso, IND. would be on the list? If the study is to be believed, industry shares a larger amount of the blame for carbon emissions than is commonly accepted. As global warming increases and emissions become more politicized, the blame game between the auto industry and everything else with a smokestack will only increase. - Source

04/19/08 - Electrocuting Astronauts
At full moon, our favorite satellite is whipped by Earth's magnetotail, causing lunar dust storms and discharges of static electricity. This new finding, announced this week by NASA, is important to future lunar explorers: Astronauts may find themselves "crackling with electricity like a sock pulled out of a hot dryer," according to an agency statement. At full moon, the moon passes through a huge "plasma sheet" - hot charged particles trapped in the tail. The lightest and most mobile of these particles, electrons, pepper the moon's surface and give the moon a negative charge, the researchers explained. On the moon's dayside this effect is counteracted somewhat by sunlight: Photons knock electrons back off the surface, lessening the negative charge. But on the night side, electrons accumulate and the charge can climb to thousands of volts. - Source

04/17/08 - Laser Used to Trigger Lightning in a Thunderstorm
KeelyNet A team of European scientists has deliberately triggered electrical activity in thunderclouds for the first time by aiming high-power pulses of laser light into a thunderstorm. At the top of South Baldy Peak in New Mexico during two passing thunderstorms, the researchers used laser pulses to create plasma filaments that could conduct electricity. No air-to-ground lightning was triggered because the filaments were too short-lived, but the laser pulses generated discharges in the thunderclouds themselves up to several meters long. - Source

04/17/08 - Using Viruses to Kill Bacteria
Scientists in Scotland have come up with an alternative to antibiotics, which may effectively stop bacteria in its tracks. Janice Spencer and a team of researchers at the University of Strathclyde are developing nylon sutures coated with bacteriophages--viruses, found naturally in water, that eat bacteria while leaving human cells intact. New research by the Scottish team found that phage-coated sutures effectively stemmed infection in live rats. The team chemically bound bacteriophages to microscopic polymer beads by first breaking the surface of the polymer. Then the researchers added a linker molecule to the polymer's surface, which in turn binds to bacteriophages and keeps them from falling apart. To test the virus's virulence, the team first made small incisions in live rats, then infected them with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), one of the most resistant strains of bacteria found in hospitals. Half of the rats were stitched up with sutures that were coated with polymer-bound bacteriophages. The other rats were closed up with untreated sutures. Spencer and her colleagues found that the wounds dressed with the treated sutures appeared to have no infection, while those stitched with regular sutures became inflamed, with large sores and "abundant pus." - Source

04/17/08 - Audi Snook, The One-Wheeled Car With A Brain
KeelyNet Here comes the one-wheeled Audi Snook. Maybe this auto-stabilized monowheel design concept isn't such a bad idea, though, because it won German student Tilmann Schlootz a Michelin Challenge Design Award 2008 at this year's Detroit Auto Show. How the heck does this lightbulb-shaped vehicle with a trackball wheel underneath stay upright? "Agility through instability, controlled by artificial intelligence, that is my formal issue," answers designer Schlootz. Looks like a carnival ride to us. Let's hope that artificial intelligence does the driving, too. / (Reminds me of the Jetsons 'Uniblab' robot. - JWD) - Source

04/17/08 - New Ways to Store Solar Energy for Nighttime and Cloudy Days
The difficulty is that electricity is hard to store. Batteries are not up to efficiently storing energy on a large scale. A different approach being tried by the solar power industry could eliminate the problem. The idea is to capture the sun’s heat. Heat, unlike electric current, is something that industry knows how to store cost-effectively. For example, a coffee thermos and a laptop computer’s battery store about the same amount of energy, said John S. O’Donnell, executive vice president of a company in the solar thermal business, Ausra. The thermos costs about $5 and the laptop battery $150, he said, and “that’s why solar thermal is going to be the dominant form.” Solar thermal systems are built to gather heat from the sun, boil water into steam, spin a turbine and make power, as existing solar thermal power plants do - but not immediately. The heat would be stored for hours or even days, like water behind a dam. “You take the energy the sun is putting into the earth that day, store it and capture it, put it into the reservoir, and use it on demand,” said Terry Murphy, president and chief executive of SolarReserve, a company backed in part by United Technologies, the Hartford conglomerate. Power plants are typically designed with a heat production system matched to their electric generators. Mr. Murphy sees no reason why his should. His design is for a power tower that can supply 540 megawatts of heat. At the high temperatures it could achieve, that would produce 250 megawatts of electricity, enough to run a fair-size city. It might make more sense to produce a smaller quantity and run well into the evening or around the clock or for several days when it is cloudy, he said. - Source

04/17/08 - World doomed to hunger and wars
KeelyNet UN experts warn: long-standing conflicts set off by higher food prices are in store for the world. “Imminent wars will break out due to worsening living conditions in poor countries,” Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food said. Within the past two months prices on rice increased by 52 percent, while grain prices soared by 84 percent. As a result, several countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America were hit by mass riots and revolts of the hungry. - Source

04/17/08 - Heating Plug-in Hybrids
One of the leading candidates for an alternative heating/cooling system is based on thermoelectrics, semiconductor devices that can provide either heat or cooling, depending on the direction the electric current is flowing. Major automakers, such as GM and Ford, are now developing systems based on existing thermoelectric semiconductors, and experimental materials that use nanotechnology promise to make such systems even more appealing. The first plug-in hybrids--cars that can be recharged by plugging them into an electrical socket, but have small gasoline engines to extend their range--will make use of electric heaters. Plug-in hybrids, which run mostly or entirely on electricity for local driving, don't generate such quantities of waste heat. So, heat has to be generated using power from the battery, draining thousands of watts that could otherwise have been used to propel the vehicles. When they start appearing from major automakers near the end of 2010, they'll cost thousands more than conventional cars, so automakers are looking for ways to make them less expensive to broaden their appeal. One way to do so is to find more-efficient systems of heating and cooling, which make it possible to use smaller, less expensive batteries. As a result, thermoelectric systems could start appearing in cars in 2012. - Source

04/17/08 - End of the Internet's Tax-Free Ride?
"Two bills are pending in Congress that would allow tax collectors to target out-of-state Internet and mail-order retailers, and their supporters are optimistic about their political prospects... Meanwhile, pro-tax states are trying their own ways to circumvent a long-standing rule saying a retailer must have physical presence before it can be forced to collect taxes. One effort came from New York state, where legislators recently approved a measure requiring Amazon and other online retailers (that lack a physical presence in the state) to collect sales tax on New Yorkers' purchases... This is not exactly a new debate... But now, with a Democratic Congress and a potentially Democratic administration next year, the arguments may gain more political traction." - Source

04/17/08 - Build a Responsible Budget with the 60% Solution
Despite the content of his site, financial blogger J.D. Roth isn't a budgeter-opting instead to follow what he calls a "spending plan." But in the wake of some financial changes, he's decided it's time to build his first budget. His choice and suggestion for anyone looking to set up their first real budget is called the 60% solution, which allocates the lion's share of your gross monthly income to committed expenses (like rent and car insurance), then divvies up the remaining 40% equally to retirement, irregular expenses, long-term savings, and "fun money." The 60% solution, as Roth points out, is intended for recent college grads, but it should also work well as a starting point if you're on your first budget. If you've already got a tried-and-true budgeting plan, share what works for you in the comments. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

04/17/08 - Why the US is collapsing (worth the read!)
This is the leader of the Swedish Pirate Party explaining how the US went bankrupt in 1971, and has been covering it up through an accelerating whack-a-mole borrowing frenzy that is bursting right now. It has been paying rapidly growing VISA bills using MasterCard and vice versa for 37 years. The creditors are catching up, and the US is about to go extinct as a superpower. Become irrelevant. It is not yet on its death bed, it is still walking, breathing and capable of entertaining a conversation in public. But there are ominous bloodstains on its hands used to cover the painful coughing. - Source

04/17/08 - The technology that will save humanity
KeelyNet One of oldest forms of energy used by humans -- sunlight concentrated by mirrors -- is poised to make an astonishing comeback. I believe it will be the most important form of carbon-free power in the 21st century. That's because it's the only form of clean electricity that can meet all the demanding requirements of this century. Certainly we will need many different technologies to stop global warming. They include electric cars and plug-in hybrids, wind turbines and solar photovoltaics, which use sunlight to make electricity from solid-state materials like silicon semiconductors. Yet after speaking with energy experts and seeing countless presentations on all forms of clean power, I believe the one technology closest to being a silver bullet for global warming is the other solar power: solar thermal electric, which concentrates the sun's rays to heat a fluid that drives an electric generator. - Source

04/17/08 - Ten Facts Credit Card Companies Don’t Want You to Know
The idea of a credit card is a peculiar notion that has only come about in the last fifty years. Instead of paying for purchases with wealth that we already have, we are now borrowing money for every day purchases, even things as quick trip to McDonalds or a bottle of pop from a vending machine. Debt has become a societal norm and it’s here to stay. There’s nothing inherently wrong with debt, however when debt is misused, it can become a major financial nightmare. Credit cards are one of the most abused and misused financial products on the market. Here are ten facts that the credit card companies would prefer that you didn’t know. - Source

04/17/08 - Top 5 Viable New Cancer Treatments
When 60 Minutes called Kanzius RF therapy, which uses gold nanoparticles and radio waves, one of the most promising breakthroughs in cancer research, I raised my eyebrows and started compiling a list of other treatments that seem even more viable... - Source

04/17/08 - Truckers Protest, the Resistance Begins
KeelyNet Until the beginning of this month, Americans seemed to have nothing to say about their ongoing economic ruin except, "Hit me! Please, hit me again!" You can take my house, but let me mow the lawn for you one more time before you repossess. Take my job and I'll just slink off somewhere out of sight. Oh, and take my health insurance too; I can always fall back on Advil. Then, on April 1, in a wave of defiance, truck drivers began taking the strongest form of action they can take - inaction. Faced with $4/gallon diesel fuel, they slowed down, shut down and started honking. On the New Jersey Turnpike, a convoy of trucks stretching "as far as the eye can see," according to a turnpike spokesman, drove at a glacial 20 mph. Outside of Chicago, they slowed and drove three abreast, blocking traffic and taking arrests. They jammed into Harrisburg PA; they slowed down the Port of Tampa where 50 rigs sat idle in protest. Near Buffalo, one driver told the press he was taking the week off "to pray for the economy." The truckers who organized the protests - by CB radio and Internet - have a specific goal: reducing the price of diesel fuel. They are owner-operators, meaning they are also business people, and they can't break even with current fuel costs. They want the government to release its fuel reserves. They want an investigation into oil company profits and government subsidies of the oil companies. Of the drivers I talked to, all were acutely aware that the government had found, in the course of a weekend, $30 billion to bail out Bear Stearns, while their own businesses are in a tailspin. Suppose homeowners were to start making their foreclosures into public events-inviting the neighbors and the press, at least getting someone to camcord the children sitting disconsolately on the steps and the furniture spread out on the lawn. Maybe, for a nice dramatic touch, have the neighbors shower the bankers, when they arrive, with dollar bills and loose change, since those bankers never can seem to get enough. See The American Driver for more info. - (Thanks to Bill Ward for the headsup on this. - JWD) - Source

04/17/08 - Ethanol-laced gasoline's effect on fiberglass fuel tanks
Bob Adriance, technical director for the Boat Owners Assn. of the United States, said ethanol’s dangers were widely known these days among the group's 650,000 members. But skippers in California and New York, the first states to adopt ethanol-blended gasoline, had to figure it out themselves. "They really got hammered because they didn't know anything. They just suddenly had filters being clogged, and then, some people not only had to replace their fiberglass tanks, they also had to replace engines," Adriance said. "It can cost tens of thousands of dollars -- more than the boat's worth in many cases." Adriance said they also were the first to suffer from ethanol's other effects, including its tendency to scour a fuel tank of gums, resins and debris, carrying the gunk into fuel filters. Ethanol also attracts water, and over time, water-laden ethanol can separate from the rest of the gasoline, wreaking havoc with the engine. Those problems require boaters to make adjustments, but they are manageable, said Adriance, who also edits Seaworthy, a publication by sister organization BoatUS Marine Insurance. He said newer boats had ethanol-tolerant fiberglass tanks and other components, but older boats with certain types of fiberglass tanks, rubber seals, hoses and gaskets and the like could be severely damaged by ethanol-laced fuel. California's Air Resources Board, the agency that shepherded the switch from MTBE to ethanol as a fuel additive, was surprised to hear that boats had been damaged by the state's 5.7% ethanol fuel blend, which is well below the 10% blends common elsewhere in the country. - Source

04/17/08 - New BMW internal combustion engine cleans air
KeelyNet BMW has unveiled a new internal combustion engine design that not only produces near zero emissions, but also absorbs and burns ambient air pollutants. Based on the original BMW Hydrogen 7 bi-fuel version (petrol and hydrogen), the new mono-fuel vehicle’s internal combustion engine is optimized to run solely on hydrogen and delivers the same performance, comfort, and safety as a regular production BMW 7 Series plus better mileage than its predecessor. Since the consumed hydrogen has no carbon, the engine itself would produce no CO2, hydrocarbons, or other pollutants. However, the existing pollutants in the surrounding air are consumed by the engine as well as small amounts of lubricating oil. After the burn process there are virtually zero exhaust emissions. In fact, according to BMW the exhaust coming out of the tailpipe was actually cleaner than the ambient air going in. BMW claims hydrogen is the most logical energy carrier of the future for three reasons. First, it has no carbon and therefore hydrogen combustion generates no CO2, hydrocarbons and other pollutants. Second, it can be produced using renewable, clean technologies like solar, wind, geothermal, and bio-processes. And lastly, it can be produced in stable areas of the globe as necessary for energy security. - Source

04/17/08 - Piped Broadband
Super-fast broadband could be delivered via the underground pipes of the UK's water and electricity companies, regulator Ofcom has said. In France, for example, there are already three operators providing superfast broadband to homes at speeds of between 50 and 100 megabits per second. One of these offers an IPTV service and Voice-over IP telephone line alongside its fibre service, for 29.99 euros per month. A survey conducted in France has revealed that over half of existing telecoms infrastructure could be suitable for fibre deployment. Using existing infrastructure means fibre can be rolled out at a fraction of the costs involved if roads had to be dug up. In the UK, several companies have been offering super-fast broadband to businesses via the sewers. - Source

04/15/08 - The Thermal Equalizer
KeelyNet Ray Avedon invented the device out of necessity. No matter how high the thermostats were set in his factory, the warm air would quickly rise to the 30-foot ceilings, and the workers down below would be cold. “I knew I wanted an invisible column, an invisible duct” to keep the warm air moving down, he said. Out of much trial and error came the Thermal Equalizer. His company has sold about 12,000 of the Thermal Equalizers so far, Avedon said, and continually improving the product has helped his current units be about 11 times more energy efficient than the prototype he started with. The cylindrical unit typically hangs from the ceiling and collects the rising warm air. It sends this air back down to the floor in a straight, round column. When the air hits the floor, it disperses the cold air and pushes it upward, creating a cyclical effect that keeps the air at an even temperature throughout the room. The concept is based on destratification, Avedon said. Instead of having layers of different temperatures in a room, his invention creates an environment where it’s just as warm at the ceiling level as it is on the floor. It works better than a ceiling fan, Avedon said, because a fan simply moves the air near the ceiling around and uses much more energy. The average Thermal Equalizer, Avedon said, uses the energy equivalent of a 35-watt light bulb. The Thermal Equalizer comes in a variety of sizes, including some powerful enough to work in airplane hangars. Costs of the units range from $400 to $2,500 each, depending on size and configuration. Because the unit keeps air at a uniform temperature, it saves users money because their furnaces will have to run less often. Todd Isaacson, owner of Express Employment Professionals in Longmont, said he bought two units two years ago and uses them in areas with 9- to 12-foot ceiling heights. “I definitely saved 20 percent (on my heating bill), and I have to say it’s because of them,” Isaacson said. “I was surprised at the savings, to be honest with you, because I had been in that space five years.” - Source

04/15/08 - Compressed Air Power Generator Invention
KeelyNet A Ghanaian, Mr Freddie Green, has invented a power-generating equipment that produces electricity using compressed air. He explained that his device could generate energy at a cheaper cost to meet domestic energy requirements such as energy source for cooking and lighting and powering air conditioners and computers.. He said his system was also capable of powering cars, boats and light aircraft, thereby eliminating the use of burning fuel. "With the conventional electric cars, batteries must be recharged at approximately 25 to 30 miles while this system does not need any battery recharging," he explained. According to Mr Green, his invention unlike wind power did not require the mounting of series of high poles with propellers on a vast land to generate power, adding that the compressed air energy was environmentally friendly and would help address the issue of the emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. He said although he invented the compressed air energy generating system in 1994, he had been working on it since and finally produced the prototype in November, last year. Mr Green presently has two companies, Green Inventions and Green Innovations, for the invention and marketing of his products. One of his inventions, Plug Rack, is presently commercially produced and sold in South Africa under licence. - Source

04/15/08 - Russia To Build an Orbital Construction Plant
"Russia plans to build an orbital plant for the production of spacecraft (link to sketchy Google translation of the Russian original) that are too big to build planetside, or are just too bulky to fire into orbit once built. Presumably these are the ships we would fly to the Moon and Mars. Plans seem to be rather sparse at the moment, with the tentative construction date set for 2020, after the ISS is scheduled for decommissioning." - Source

04/15/08 - Funika announces over-unity invention, Hybrid Heating Material
KeelyNet Turkey based Funika Technology has made the laboratory test results of their over-unity invention available online. Funika's claims do not end with high energy output of over 150% efficiency. Appearantly, another characteristic of their newly invented material is its capability of absorbing various forms of radiation at much better rates than lead panels of comparable thickness. The company has already signed a licensing agreement with Germany's Energie Team regarding the heating technology. Original report on energy output, along with less than perfect summarized English translations are available at the following addresses. Unfortunately, the lab report on radiation absorption has not been translated into English yet. / A Denizli based company FUNIKA Teknoloji A.S. has invented a hybrid heating material called HIM to generate high heating energy using with low electricity. This new material is a chemical compound of many organic and inorganic materials so that it substitutes resistance wires used to convert electricity to heating energy to heat air, water or oil. It can be used in many areas such as; - heating homes and offices, - heating air, water or oil, - in electrical appliances using resistance wires, bars or plates, - to generate steam etc... The official report has been given by Energy Dept. of Mugla University on 20th Feb. 2008 stating that coefficient of performance (COP) of HIM is 2.25 times more than standart resistance wires. (via zpenergy.com) - Source

04/15/08 - Solar Powered Trash Compactor
KeelyNet Just in time for the town's Earth Day celebration April 19, the public works department has installed two $4,000 solar-powered trash compactors on Main Street and at the Beaver Pond recreation complex. The "BigBelly" cordless trash compactors can hold up to 200 gallons of garbage - up to six times the typical load, said Denise Zambrowski, Environmental Affairs Coordinator for the Department of Public Works. "It's really a neat invention. Using solar energy, it will help us maintain a neat (town), just controlling litter and trash in our parks, in our ball fields. The solar-powered trash compactor resembles a mailbox, with a side "door" vs. an open top, in which trash is deposited, which prevents animals from getting inside, she said. As the garbage rises to a certain height, a mechanized arm compacts the trash and resets, Zambrowski said. Once the trash reaches a set level of compaction, a red indicator light shows the barrel is full and locks the door shut, preventing overflow, she said. The indicator light also turns yellow to warn the barrel is reaching capacity. Solar energy provides the energy needed to operate the battery that powers the compaction system, Zambrowski said. A solar panel atop the receptacle charges the battery, which should last about 20 years, she said. "They're very neat looking - clean and bright and big," said Susan Speers, of the Metacomet Land Trust. - Source

04/15/08 - Xynergy Corporation Moves Closer to Unveiling "Model T" Hydrogen Generator
Xynergy Corporation, the upstart alternative energy company making noise with its bold announcements of its new invention, has predicted its hydrogen generator will become the "Model T" of all alternative energy generators. "We know what we have, and soon, so will the rest of the world," says interim CEO Joseph Emas. "We predict it will be superior to the model we originally anticipated, more dependable, less expensive, more accessible and easier to retrofit. We believe it will set the standard for alternative energy generators, just like the Model T Ford did in the advent of auto making. Although we cannot guarantee our success in the marketplace or acceptance by the public of this means of alternative energy, we believe that in an era of skyrocketing energy prices, and possible recession, our energy generator will help in almost every application requiring fossil fuel, saving consumers substantial money, all while emitting pure oxygen into the atmosphere." / (I am wary of this company as per their history of releases from 2002 with no products that I can find. Caveat Emptor! - JWD) - Source

04/15/08 - Download YouTube Videos in Higher-Quality MP4 Format
YouTube recently started offering video playback in higher-resolution, better-sounding formats like MP4, and that bump in quality can now be downloaded for desktop use as well. The Google Operating System points out two easy methods for grabbing files: A bookmarklet that adds a "Download as MP4" link to video pages when clicked, and a Greasemonkey script that automatically creates the link. Both require that you right-click and assign the to-be-downloaded file the ".mp4" extension, and both may violate YouTube's terms of use, but, as blog author Ionut points out, the same files are available in your browser cache after watching. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

04/15/08 - New record at Shell Eco-marathon: 2,843 mpg
KeelyNet Mater Dei High School team poses with their #22 car, right, which is the grand prize winner, registering 2,843.4 miles per gallon at the 2008 Shell Eco-marathon Americas Saturday, April 12, 2008 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The team's combustion-engine prototype vehicle achieved an astonishing 2,843.4 miles per gallon, equivalent to 1,208.6 kilometers per liter. Despite wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour and various teams' mechanical issues, competition was steep this year with three teams breaking the 2007 mileage record set by Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. - Source

04/15/08 - Learning From a Native Speaker, Without Leaving Home
THE best way to learn a foreign language may be to surround yourself with native speakers. But if you can’t manage a trip abroad the Internet and a broadband computer connection may do the job, too, bringing native speakers within electronic reach for hours of practice. Members chat online by typing messages, by talking or, if they have a Webcam, by video, in exchanges with others who want to tutor or be tutored. English speakers learning Spanish, for example, can write or speak descriptions of a vacation and receive feedback on their grammar and choice of idioms from native Spanish speakers on the network. A Spanish speaker, in turn, may seek advice from the English speaker about English assignments. LiveMocha introduced its Web site in late September 2007, said Shirish Nadkarni, chief executive of the company, which is based in Bellevue, Wash. Since then, he said, about 200,000 users from more than 200 countries have joined. - Source

04/15/08 - Satellite IDs Ships That Cut Cables
KeelyNet "Undersea telecom cable operator Reliance Globalcom was able to use satellite images to identify two ships that dropped anchor in the wrong place, damaging submarine cables and knocking Middle East nations offline in early February. The company used satellite images to study the movements of the two ships, and shared the information with officials in Dubai, who impounded the two vessels. The NANOG list has a discussion of where Reliance might have obtained satellite images to provide that level of detail. Google News links more coverage of the developments." - Source

04/15/08 - Exercise 'may make tumours grow faster'
The study, which looked at prostate tumours in mice, showed that cancerous cells multiplied twice as quickly when the animals were active. Scientists from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, believe that exercise might increase the blood flow to tumours, assisting their growth. Half of the 50 mice in the trial were placed in cages with exercise wheels on which they ran more than half a mile each day. All were fed the same diet. Dr Lee Jones, of Duke University, said: "We found that among the mice that had the opportunity to voluntarily exercise, tumours grew approximately twice as fast as they did among the mice that did not have the opportunity to exercise." The scientists have cautioned that the results of the study may not be replicated in humans, and point out that heightened blood-flow can also be used to carry anti-cancer medicines into a tumour more effectively. - Source

04/15/08 - Brain Scanners Can See Your Decisions Before You Make Them
You may think you decided to read this story -- but in fact, your brain made the decision long before you knew about it. In a study published Sunday in Nature Neuroscience, researchers using brain scanners could predict people's decisions seven seconds before the test subjects were even aware of making them. The decision studied -- whether to hit a button with one's left or right hand -- may not be representative of complicated choices that are more integrally tied to our sense of self-direction. Regardless, the findings raise profound questions about the nature of self and autonomy: How free is our will? Is conscious choice just an illusion? "Your decisions are strongly prepared by brain activity. By the time consciousness kicks in, most of the work has already been done," said study co-author John-Dylan Haynes, a Max Planck Institute neuroscientist. - Source

04/15/08 - Sales of bottled water fall 9 per cent after environmental backlash
Bottled water sales fall 10 percent over environmental backlash, realization you're paying $3 a bottle for filtered city tap water. UK sales of bottled water had been growing at more than 6 per cent annually for more than a decade, reaching 2 billion bottles a year. One reason for its success is that many claim not to like the taste of what comes out of the tap. In some parts of the country there is a chlorine taint. However, blind taste tests by Decanter magazine put London tap water ahead of many brands transported at a premium price from as far away as Fiji. Fashionable labels such as Evian, Perrier and Volvic have recently faced a combined onslaught from Government ministers, consumer groups and green campaigners. A 500ml bottle of Evian typically costs 42p in a supermarket, or 84p a litre. That is 840 times the price of tap water, which comes in at 0.1p a litre. Among the environmental costs of bottled water are the energy needed for production, transport and disposal of the bottles. Compared with tap water, it generates more than 5,000 times the amount of carbon emissions per litre. The Consumer Council for Water's chairman, Dame Yve Buckland, said: "The bottled water industry spends millions investing in their brands and that's what people are paying for when they pick up a bottle of water. "There is no health advantage in drinking bottled water instead of water from the tap." - Source

04/15/08 - Soaring cost of food will cause 'starvation and unrest'
The world's poorest countries face starvation and civil unrest if global food prices keep rising, the head of the International Monetary Fund has said. Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in Washington that "hundreds of thousands of people will be starving''. "Children will be suffering from malnutrition, with consequences for all their lives,'' he said. He predicted that increasing food prices would push up the cost of imports for poor countries, leading to trade imbalances that might also affect developed nations. In Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, 20,000 workers rioted over high food prices and low wages on Saturday. There have also been protests in neighbouring India. Some experts, including Prof John Beddington, the British government's chief scientific adviser, and Mr Zoellick, have identified the growth of bio-fuels as a major cause of higher food prices. Several major agricultural nations, such as the United States, have used subsidised crops such as soya bean, sugar cane and corn for ethanol production, reducing the amount of crops available for food and pushing up prices. "It is very hard to imagine how we can see the world growing enough crops to produce renewable energy and at the same time meet the enormous demand for food,'' Prof Beddington said last week. - Source

04/13/08 - Hybrid Generator Uses 75% Water and Only 25% Gas
Xynergy Corporation, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: XYNG) announced today it has developed a working generator that utilizes 75% water, and just 25% gas, thereby reducing the fossil fuel requirements of many engines. Company management believes this new technology will be able to retrofit a multitude of gas engines, including engines for the boating and automotive industry, as well as generators used to power business and households. By creating power supply with just a quarter of the gas used in typical engines, management anticipates that the end user will see a decrease in 75% of its fueling costs. The Company has not yet determined the retail price of the unit. It does expect to have several models available for a variety of uses and power requirements. The Company expects to announce the date in which it will demonstrate the generator to select investors and media in the coming days, and will video record the generator in action, working in several applications. The video will be streamed on its website for the public to witness. - Source

04/13/08 - 5% Efficient Solar Paint for Large Area Power Generation
KeelyNet A team from Swansea in the UK have found a way of creating solar "panel" paint. A by-product of their research into degrading paint on steel surfaces, their invention is applied in layers to steel cladding, and converts a gentle 5% of inbound solar energy to electricity. Sounds like not much, until you multiply it up over the surface area of a building. It seems like a great eco-friendly idea, especially when you consider project leader Dave Worsley's figures: if just one manufacturer made all their steel cladding energy-producing, it would have the same generator capacity as 50 wind farms. Admittedly it's more "paint your warehouse" than "paint your home", since few of us have steel walls or roofs on our abode, but it's still pretty nifty. The technology in the Swansea Solar Paint project is apparently easily scalable, so it may only be a matter of time until it's being cranked out by the square yard... - Source

04/13/08 - Your Aging Rate is Written in Your Bones
According to lead researcher Leonid Kalichman of Boston University, “Christened the osseographic score, this new marker can be used by doctors as a scientific tool for predicting a person’s general functioning and lifespan. “If a doctor can determine that a person is aging biologically faster than he or she should, measures such as vitamin supplements and exercise can help slow down the process. “While different biomarkers such as grey hair, wrinkles or elasticity of the skin can help us estimate a person’s biological age, these features are hard to quantify. But with the new OSS biomarker, and treatment at a younger age, at age 90 people can function as though they are 30,” says Kalichman. He predicts that biological aging will be an increasingly hot topic of study in the coming years, especially in the western world where people are living longer than ever before. In their study, the researchers investigated the bones of about 400 Russian families - 787 men, 18 to 89 years old, and 723 women, 18 to 90 years old. The results indicated that men and women inherit different aging patterns. In men, the genes expressed are more likely to influence how quickly they will age. For women, the genes are more likely to represent at what age visible changes in the bone will begin to appear, the Science Daily reported. - Source

04/13/08 - Radio Interviews with Adam Trombly
KeelyNet “Adam continued his research into new energy technologies with colleague David Farnsworth. In June, 1989, in New York City, Trombly and Farnsworth physically demonstrated a small solid state electrical transformer that measurably showed an efficiency of 54:1. Adam then walked down the street to the United Nations to give an address. From the point of view of one who witnessed this event firsthand, I can't believe the entire world didn't change as a result. One of the reasons I asked Adam if I could write this piece is because it is now ten* years later and the American people, in particular, have still not gotten the message that there is an entirely new and benign option to the current death spiral of humanity. As the result of ignoring the opportunity that was presented on that day in 1989, the world still suffers under the tyranny of fossil fuels and a global power structure which seems bent on the eradication of all species.” Adam: I received a gag order in 1983 about two weeks after one of my main mentor’s, R. Buckminster Fuller died. So I received a gag order saying that I couldn’t talk about or disclose any aspect of my first invention which the government had nothing to do with, financing and it wasn’t made under government contract. - Source

04/13/08 - Self-Publishing 5 books for $79 - April 2008, Week 2
There’s a brand new web site, WWAOW.com, that will publish your book in either hard cover or paperback without your having to pay a special fee or sign wwaowa contract. You just have to agree to buy the first five copies for $79. Additional books cost much less per copy as the number goes up. Authors earn royalties for any sales beyond the first five copies, with the percentage going up to 20 percent, depending on the number sold. This is just one of a number of “print on demand” services available on the web. A point in this site’s favor is that it is operated by Peleman Industries, a publisher that has been in business for 69 years. - Source

04/13/08 - Rules of Thumb website
Thousand of user-submitted rules of thumb. DIRECTION CONVEYS TIME AND EMOTION In advertising, art and photography, the direction the subject is looking or the flow of the composition can affect the tone of the image. Left is the past, right is the future, up is positive, down is negative. For example: a subject looking up and to the right is looking positively into the future. Submitted by: Jeremy Reid, Graphic Designer, Belleville, Ontario, Canada / MAXIMUM VALUE OF A SERVICE The value of any service is highest *before* the service has been rendered. / FINDING SMALL THINGS ON THE FLOOR To find something very small that you have dropped on the floor, lay a flashlight on the floor and rotate it. A small object looks a lot bigger when it has a shadow too. / WALKING WITH SMALL CHILDREN When walking with small children who are falling behind, the slower you walk, the slower they will walk, until they stop. If you maintain your pace, they will keep up with you, albeit somewhat behind. - Source

04/13/08 - Families throw away around one third of all the food they buy
KeelyNet In total, 6.7million tons of food that was once perfectly good to eat is dumped, 40 per cent of it fruit and vegetables. The amount of money spent on this uneaten food adds up to £3billion a year. Now Government waste experts are advising shoppers to keep fresh produce in the fridge, rather than the fruit bowl or larder, to extend its life. They surveyed some 2,100 householders, going through their bins to discover exactly what families are throwing out. Sales of fruit and vegetables have risen in recent years, not least because of the Government's advice to eat five portions a day. The mountain of tempting produce carted away from the big stores has been boosted by promotions such as "two-for-one" deals. Unfortunately, however, millions of Britons fail to eat much of the produce they buy before it goes off. - Source

04/13/08 - Britain and Electricity
There is a looming electricity crisis that is about to overtake the United States. While our demand for electricity continues to increase due to construction, computers (data centers take up a significant portion of electricity demand), and potentially even electric cars, essentially no new “base load” supply of electrical generation is being added to the market. We do get the occasional wind farm or solar or geothermal source of energy, and a bit of conservation is on the rise, but these tiny dents in supply and demand, respectively, don’t even begin to cover growth much less the fact that many electricity plants are aging and will face retirement in the future. Due to the long lead times involved with getting a new plant on line (at LEAST 5-10 years in the case of large base load coal or nuclear plants, best case), our problem is that we aren’t doing anything NOW to head off the crisis LATER, when we won’t have any options at all. - Source

04/13/08 - Mysterious Sound Waves Can Destroy Rockets
"Scientists believe that powerful and unstable sound waves, created by energy supplied by the combustion process, were the cause of rocket failures in several US and Russian rockets. They have also observed these mysterious oscillations in other propulsion and power-generating systems such as missiles and gas turbines. Now, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a liquid rocket engine simulator and imaging techniques to help demystify the cause of these explosive sound waves and bring scientists a little closer to being able to understand and prevent them. The team was able to clearly demonstrate that the phenomenon manifests itself in the form of spinning acoustic waves that gain destructive power as they rotate around the rocket's combustion chamber at a rate of 5,000 revolutions per second. Researchers developed a low-pressure combustor to simulate larger rocket engines then used a very-high-speed camera with fiber optic probes to observe the formation and behavior of excited spinning sound waves within the engine. 'This is a very troublesome phenomenon in rockets,' said Professor Ben Zinn. 'These spinning acoustic oscillations destroy engines without anyone fully understanding how these waves are formed. Visualizing this phenomenon brings us a step closer to understanding it.'" - Source

04/13/08 - More light than heat: Gov't meddling harms solar power
It used to be an axiom that solar power grew steadily cheaper as time passed. Solar panels were once too expensive to install on anything but satellites. But as the technology improved, they became cost-effective, first in isolated spots such as weather stations and oilrigs, and later on lonely farms and houses far from the grid. By 2004, solar panels were coming very close to generating power at the sorts of prices regular grid-connected customers pay in places where electricity is expensive, such as Japan. Enthusiasts confidently predicted that solar cells would soon supplant grimy old power plants, and spare the world the tiresome chore of digging for coal, uranium and natural gas. Fans of solar power were so sure of themselves they came up with their own version of Moore’s law for the sun’s power, rather than that of computer chips. Every time the volume of solar cells produced around the world doubled, they predicted, the price per watt would fall by 20%. After all, it had done so reliably for the previous 40 years. But in 2004, everything changed. - Source

04/13/08 - Cleaning 'improves mental health'
KeelyNet Working up a sweat while performing household chores may not just improve the cleanliness of your home, but your mental health too, a survey suggests. Just 20 minutes of sustained exercise a week - from cleaning to jogging - can impact upon depression, the British Journal of Sports Medicine study found. - Source

04/13/08 - Aerobic fitness could delay aging by up to 12 years
Maintaining aerobic fitness through middle age and beyond can delay biological ageing by up to 12 years and prolong independence during old age, concludes an analysis published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. - Source

04/13/08 - How Hunger Could Topple Regimes
The idea of the starving masses driven by their desperation to take to the streets and overthrow the ancien regime has seemed impossibly quaint since capitalism triumphed so decisively in the Cold War. Since then, the spectacle of hunger sparking revolutionary violence has been the stuff of Broadway musicals rather than the real world of politics. And yet, the headlines of the past month suggest that skyrocketing food prices are threatening the stability of a growing number of governments around the world. Ironically, it may be the very success of capitalism in transforming regions previously restrained by various forms of socialism that has helped create the new crisis. - Source

04/13/08 - RFID reader can now identify velocity, position of tags
RFID-manufacturer Alien Technology announced this week it has created new software for its tag readers. The software provides information on the velocity and position of tags, and can thereby distinguish between adjacent tagged objects such as luggage. The new software will be able to discriminate between different bags, and provide such information as where the bag is going and whether a certain piece of luggage is supposed to be searched by Customs. Alien's new software, a free update available for the models ALR-9900, ALR-9800, and ALR-8800, also has a flexible reader distance, ranging from just millimeters to 100 feet. "As you drive on the road every day, you see a license plate on every car. But you can't know the info tied to that plate unless you call up a register," he said. The register in the case of RFID technology is a database often tied to a business, such as a retailer for example, and not publicly available. All the information a random reader can tell you is whether there are RFID tags in the vicinity. The information stored in the tags, however, is concealed, according to the company. - Source

04/11/08 - Sorry for the Downtime
Haven't yet heard why KeelyNet was down 04/10/08 but it was back up when I checked at 7:30PM. As usual with the net, if it doesn't work, wait a few hours or maybe a day and it will probably be back up. / Update, turns out downtime was due to a big electrical storm in the Dallas area.

04/11/08 - High hope for electric cars, but also a price
KeelyNet Project Better Place is teaming up with Renault-Nissan in a scheme designed to drive electric vehicles from the fringe category and into the mainstream of personal transportation. Although electric cars have been around for almost as long as their conventional gas and diesel-powered cousins, they have been held back by limited performance and range and high costs. Project Better Place has no world-beating technology to change the performance equation. What it has is enough startup capital -- $200 million committed so far -- and a marketing idea to offer not just an electric car, but a system to make it work. PBP will be adding infrastructure in the form of electrical outlets at tens of thousands of existing parking spots. For drivers who need more juice in a hurry, it will offer drive-through service stations where the batteries can be swapped. As with cellphones, which are often given away with long-term service plans, the new cars will be sold for a low initial cost. Drivers will sign up for service plans based on mileage driven and the batteries will remain the property of PBP. On-board computers will monitor the state of the batteries and show the location of the nearest charging station. The prototypes showed off earlier this year by Renault look just like any other modern European design. They are expected to provide a 100 to 160-kilometre range on a full charge, more than enough for most commuters, and performance similar to that of a 1.6-litre gasoline engine. Project Better Place hopes to sell 10,000 to 20,000 electric cars a year in Israel by 2011 and similar numbers in a partnership with DONG Energy in Denmark. Israel is motivated by a desire to limit its need for imported oil. Electric cars may be zero emission while driving, but they are not zero impact. A large-scale switch from gas to electricity would require new sources of power for the provincial grid. - Source

04/11/08 - Limited nuclear war would damage ozone layer
Apart from the human devastation, a small-scale nuclear war between India and Pakistan would destroy much of the ozone layer, leaving the DNA of humans and other organisms at risk of damage from the Sun's rays, say researchers. Mills and colleagues found that a regional nuclear war in South Asia would deplete up to 40% of the ozone layer in the mid latitudes and up to 70% in the high northern latitudes. "The models show this magnitude of ozone loss would persist for five years, and we would see substantial losses continuing for at least another five years," says Mills. The effect is far greater than was calculated in the 1980s in a study that modelled the effect of global nuclear war. Mills says old models did not take into account the impact of columns of soot that would rise up to 80 kilometres into the atmosphere. Up to 5 million metric tons of soot would be spewed out by fires on the ground, says the team. Once in the upper stratosphere, it would absorb energy from the sun, heating the surrounding gases and catalysing the breakdown of ozone by nitrogen oxides. - Source

04/11/08 - Producing mountains of waste
KeelyNet ‘ALL OF what we produce is going to be waste," says Claude Ouimet. He waves his hand around the brand new seminar room, studded with audio-visual devices. "This beautiful room, all this equipment, it’s all going to be waste. It’s just a matter of time." The Eco-Efficiency Centre’s director, Ray Côté, handed me a graph showing that of the raw materials and energy that go into U.S. manufacturing, only seven per cent is transformed into products. The other 93 per cent becomes waste - slag heaps, emissions, heat, by-products. And of the seven per cent that reaches the market, 80 per cent is discarded after a single use. Think of packaging, motor oil, tissue paper, garbage bags. The result: 99 per cent of the raw materials and energy that we took from the Earth to make industrial products has become waste within six weeks of sale. Ninety-nine per cent! Nature, by contrast, wastes nothing. Nature is cyclical, fluid and creative. One organism’s wastes are another’s nutrients. The fallen tree shelters the mouse and feeds the fungus. Substances and energies interweave, separate and re-join, looping together like the circles that represent the Olympic Games. We have to green our minds, change the way we view the world, and accept responsibility for our life decisions. More and more, our lives need to mimic natural cycles. If everything we produce is going to be waste, we have to ensure that it’s useful waste, waste that nourishes life. - Source

04/11/08 - Real-World Solutions to Foreign Oil Dependence
Necessity is the mother of invention-and for Iceland, it certainly is a motivating factor. The island nation has no coal, no petroleum reserves, and no trees (the Vikings used up all the timber centuries ago-quite the environmental faux pas of their own). Rather than freeze in the dark, Icelanders decided to innovate. President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson described his nation’s situation this way: “We have this eternal machine in this country created by the Almighty consisting of the fire below under the ground and the glaciers and the water that comes from the sky, and it goes on and on, year after year, century after century, creating this fascinating source of energy.” So Iceland set out on an ambitious and risky program to develop its existing resources. Rather than import every joule of their energy, Icelanders drilled wells to tap hot underground water and built a grid of pipes throughout the entire city of Reykjavík to circulate the water to heat the city’s homes and offices. Soon, Icelanders were also using their volcanoes and many rivers to generate copious amounts of geothermal and hydroelectric energy. Iceland no longer imports any coal or oil for heat, and energy from Iceland’s hot rocks warms 95 percent of Iceland’s homes. Seventy percent of the island’s energy is renewable, and geothermal heat costs five times less than heat generated from oil. But Iceland isn’t stopping there. The modern Vikings want to do away with gasoline and diesel reliance as well. For that, they are turning to hydrogen. - Source

04/11/08 - Plans for Turbine Generators in Mississippi River
A New England startup company wants to harness the mighty river for a secondary purpose - generating electricity. The company, Free Flow Power Corp., is pursuing a $3 billion plan to install thousands of small electric turbines in the river bed, reaching from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico, that would collectively generate 1,600 megawatts of electricity - enough to power 1.5 million homes. Gloucester, Mass.-based Free Flow Power is among a number of developers of so-called hydrokinetic projects, defined as those that produce electricity from river currents or ocean waves and tides - not dams. The turbines, which would be attached to pilings in the river bed, are about 2 feet in diameter and probably would be made of carbon fiber or another lightweight composite material, chief executive Daniel Irvin said. The river’s natural flow would spin the turbines to generate electricity, which would be transmitted to the power grid. Free Flow Power chose the Mississippi River after a nationwide search that included reviewing government data for 80,000 potential sites, looking for minimum average river flows of about 6.5 miles per hour. The sites between St. Louis and New Orleans were among the best they found and also near electricity markets in the Midwest and Southeast, Irvin said. Free Flow Power believes its projects can produce electricity at a price that’s competitive with the output from natural gas-fired plants. “This is not as cheap as conventional hydro,” Irvin said. “But we’re working hard to make it comparable with fossil fuels.” - Source

04/11/08 - Did sound once travel at light speed?
The speed of sound might have been quicker just after the big bang. That's the suggestion of one physicist, who says it could help explain both how galaxies formed and why distant corners of the universe have much in common. One of the things that cosmologists need to explain about the formation of the universe is called the "horizon problem". It runs like this: no matter where you look in the universe, the background temperature is pretty much the same, but not enough time has elapsed since the big bang for radiation to zip across the universe exchanging temperature information. The usual explanation is that there was a period of rapid expansion in the early universe, called inflation, which blew adjacent regions to the opposite sides of today's visible universe. But in the late 1990s, João Magueijo, a cosmologist at Imperial College London, and a few other researchers came up ... - Source

04/11/08 - Movement Sensors a Less Invasive Alternative To CCTV
"Researchers at Mitsubishi say cramming buildings with movement sensors, not cameras, is a safer and less invasive alternative to CCTV. They covered their office building with 215 low-cost sensors to watch over their colleagues and show how it works. A video shows how a user can see people's movements on a map of the building in real time. Data from the sensors is much easier to handle than video footage, and it can easily be searched." - Source

04/11/08 - Fed Policy is 'Outrageous'
By bailing out Wall Street and applying "band-aids" to the economy, the U.S. Federal Reserve may well be causing its own downfall - even as it hastens the demise of the greenback as a viable global currency, investment guru Jim Rogers told Money Morning during an exclusive interview. Because of such strategic missteps, U.S. consumers could be facing a long and painful economic malaise, similar to the "lost decade" of 1990s Japan, or the stagflation-riddled 1970s in the United States, Rogers said. Make no mistake: If that happens, there are two clear culprits - current Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his predecessor, Alan Greenspan. "[Bernanke] and Greenspan together will probably bring [about] the end of the Federal Reserve," Rogers said during the interview in Singapore. "We've had two central banks in America that failed [and] this third central bank will probably fail, too, because of Bernanke and Greenspan. The Federal Reserve [just] put $200 billion more onto its balance sheet of mortgages. Now, I don't know how big they can expand their balance sheet, but if they keep doing it, there's only so much - and they just bought Bear Stearns." - Source

04/11/08 - GPS Trackers Find Novel Applications
"Inexpensive GPS devices like the Zoombak (which costs just $200 plus $10 a month) have becomes so prevalent that some people are using them routinely to keep tabs on their most precious possessions. Kathy Besa has a Zoombak attached to the collar of her 5-year-old beagle, Buddy. If Buddy wanders more than 20 feet from the house, she gets a text message on her phone that says, 'Buddy has left the premises.' The small size made possible by chip advances over the last two or three years is enabling many novel uses of GPS tracking. An art collector in New York uses one when he transports million-dollar pieces, a home builder is putting them on expensive appliances to track them if they disappear from construction sites, a drug company is using them after millions of dollars in inventory turned up missing, and a mobile phone company is hiding them in some cellphone boxes to catch thieves." - Source

04/11/08 - Germophobe Helper
KeelyNet For germ conscious Americans The Handler is the next best thing to wearing surgical gloves in public bathrooms, airports and when you are traveling. It's a keychain sized mechanical device that allows you to open doors, pull levers, operate the paper towel dispenser and push ATM keypads without having to actually touch those things with your bare hands --- avoiding direct contact with germ infested public surfaces. This totally new product is infused with bacteria and virus killing nano-silvers that kill germs on contact, so it is always disinfecting itself. Perfect for the millions of germaphobes who burn through reams of paper towels in order to avoid contact with door handles, the retractable armature never touches you, your clothes or purse and proceeds to kill almost any and all germs after you use it. International travelers will definitely appreciate this totally new approach to reducing their risk to the host country's bacteria and cold and flu viruses. - Source

04/11/08 - Volcker's Demarche
'You don't have to predict it. We're in it." Thus did Paul Volcker respond to a question Tuesday about whether he still predicted a "dollar crisis" in the coming years. We hope current Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is paying attention. Mr. Volcker, a former Fed chief, has a well-earned reputation for straight talk, but there is always strong institutional pressure not to second-guess one's successors at a place like the Federal Reserve. This makes his speech to the Economic Club of New York all the more remarkable for the sharp questions he raised about inflation, Fed independence and moral hazard. On the dollar, Mr. Volcker's blunt talk of crisis is a welcome tonic to the devaluationist consensus that now dominates Washington. The world has been staging a run on the greenback, with damaging results if it continues. Mr. Volcker noted that when "concerns about recession are rife," the central bank will be tempted to "subordinate the fundamental need to maintain a reliable currency" to the impulse to shore up a flagging economy. The danger is that you lose both battles, as the U.S. did in the 1970s, and wind up with stagflation. - Source

04/11/08 - Soot May Play Big Role in Global Warming
Black carbon, the stuff that gives soot its dirty color, could be the second most important contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide and a key to preventing warming, at least in the short-run, a new study suggests. Black carbon is a type of aerosol - a small particle suspended in the atmosphere - that is produced in diesel exhaust and when wood, coal or other types of solid fuel are burned. Like other aerosols, soot particles absorb and scatter the sun's radiation; black carbon is the absorbing component of soot. V. Ramanathan of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California suggests that tackling black carbon emissions might be an effective way to prevent some climate warming in the short term, while ways to battle rising carbon dioxide levels are sorted out. - Source

04/11/08 - Oil Deposit Could Increase US Reserves 10x
Soon to come in an upcoming release will be a report by the US Geological Survey on the Bakken Formation. This is an oil field covering 200,000 square miles and underlying parts of North and South Dakota, Montana, and Saskatchewan. A geologist who began surveying the field, before dying in 2000, believed it may hold as much as 1 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Later estimates have ranged to the hundreds of billions of barrels. Such a reserve would go a long way toward securing US energy independence. - Source

04/09/08 - Uganda: Fuel-Saving Capsule Goes On Sale
IN an effort to reduce the emission of toxic gases into the environment, researchers have come up with an organic capsule that reduces a vehicle's fuel consumption and at the same time conserves the environment. The Mileage per Gallon Capsule (MPG- CAPS) improves mileage, increases engine power and reduces emissions. It has already gone on sale in Uganda. Manufactured by Fuel Freedom International (FFI), a global firm based in Florida, USA, the capsule can be used in both petrol and diesel engine vehicles. "The MPG-CAPS will increase energy efficiency and reduce the motor exhaust emission. It has no effect on the automobile engines," the ministry said. The capsule improves a vehicle's combustion speed by up to four times the original speed, boosts engine performance and lowers the exhaust pipe temperature. It also saves up to 14% of fuel. With this invention motorists will reduce fuel consumption in the midst of the ever-increasing fuel prices on the world market, which translates into high local pump prices. The capsule is dropped in the tank before fuelling and a minimum of 10 litres is required per capsule. - Source / Please be aware of a CAVEAT EMPTOR for this product and claims in this Fuel Ripoff Report and this useful page - "Especially interesting is to view the report FFI sent to the EPA for their registration application. The report makes it clear that the main purpose of the product is to allow pre-1973 engines to use unleaded petrol. Chief among the effects that allow it to do this are protection from valve seat wear and a slight increase in octane rating (about 0.5 points). What is entirely missing from this report, so far as I can tell, is evidence of significant improvements in fuel consumption."

04/09/08 - Portable Parasolar Is An Energy Gatherer
KeelyNet Parasolar, a design concept by Oded Shorer, has an easily carried case that opens up to reveal a cloth canopy with integrated photovoltaic panels. Neat. Holding it steady in its base is a battery that’s charged up by all that solar energy, and you can tap into it via a 12v outlet or two USB ports. And hey, if there’s no sun that day, it looks like it might also function as an umbrella in a pinch. The symbiosis of combining shade and solar energy just makes sense. - Source

04/09/08 - Printable Magnetic Paper
Make your own magnetic decals with our magnetic inkjet printable decal paper. All you have to do is print your image on any inkjet printer. This is a non-adhesive material that uses magnetism to adhere to metal surfaces. Material is approximately 11 mils thick, has a surface magnetism of about 90 gauss with a magnet thickness of about 8 mils. It sticks well to any clean metal surface. You can cut this magnetic decal paper to any size or shape after you run it through your standard desktop inkjet printer. - Source

04/09/08 - HYmini Mini Green Power Station
KeelyNet HYmini has just rolled out a handheld portable electronics charging unit which relies on wind and solar sources to keep its internal battery charged, which can then be dispensed into thirsty 5V appliances such as cell phones, MP3 players, iPods, PDAs, and digital cameras. Retailing for $49.99 a pop, you will now be able to harness both wind and solar energy, whereas most renewable energy sources tend to lean towards the solar segment like the Parasolar. - Source

04/09/08 - US water pipelines are breaking
Two hours north of New York City, a mile-long stream and a marsh the size of a football field have mysteriously formed along a country road. They are such a marvel that people come from miles around to drink the crystal-clear water, believing it is bubbling up from a hidden natural spring. The truth is far less romantic: The water is coming from a cracked 70-year-old tunnel hundreds of feet below ground, scientists say. The tunnel is leaking up to 36 million gallons a day as it carries drinking water from a reservoir to the big city. It is a powerful warning sign of a larger problem around the country: The infrastructure that delivers water to the nation's cities is badly aging and in need of repairs. - Source

04/09/08 - 1.3 Megapixel Spy Camera Sunglasses
KeelyNet These camera sunglasses certainly aren't x-ray specs, but they do capture 1.3 megapixel still images (at a resolution of 1280x1024). The included RF remote-control is ideal for easy, stealth-style photo shooting. High-quality lightweight frame material and UV400 polarized flip-up lens. A polymer li-ion rechargeable battery provides a battery life of up to 9 hours (shooting 1 photo/minute). USB 2.0 interface via a standard Mini USB port for data upload and download & re-charging the battery. The sunglasses also allow you to enjoy your music via MP3 playback. Built-in earbuds provide super convenient listen capability and can be hooked out of the way when not in use. - Source

04/09/08 - $100 Oil = Liquid Coal = ?
The notion of turning coal into liquid fuels on a big scale has simmered for decades, but only the trade sanctions against apartheid in South Africa resulted in anyone reviving the Nazi-era technology - until now. David Adam of The Guardian reported over the weekend on the first international conference on “coal to liquids,” in Paris, at which a host of officials from around the world excitedly described a host of new coal-to-liquids initiatives aimed at securing flows of transportation fuel in a world facing high oil prices for a long time to come. - Source

04/09/08 - Menus that Talk
KeelyNet Menus That Talk is a slim electronic tablet about the size and shape of a DVD case. An array of lighted buttons shows major menu categories like DRINKS, APPETIZERS, SEAFOOD... When a button is pressed, the menu describes what's available in these categories. No habla ingles? No problem: just press the language button for Spanish or other languages. Ready to order? The Service button pages your waiter. For the visually impaired, the buttons are imprinted in Braille. Guests who can't see the button names and don't use Braille can browse the menu simply by tapping buttons to hear categories. Tap again to hear the details. - Source

04/09/08 - The Coming Tax Bomb
By historical standards, federal revenues relative to GDP, at 18.8% last year, are high. In the past 25 years, this level was only exceeded during the five years from 1996 to 2000. Still, we stand on the verge of a very large tax increase, one that will occur unless the next Congress and president agree to rescind it. Letting the Bush tax cuts expire will drive the personal income tax burden up by 25% - to its highest point relative to GDP in history. This would be the largest increase in personal income taxes since World War II. It would be more than twice as large as President Lyndon Johnson's surcharge to finance the war in Vietnam and the war on poverty. It would be more than twice the combined personal income tax increases under Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The increase would push total federal government revenues relative to GDP to 20%. Proponents of bigger government invariably argue that allowing all or some of President Bush's tax cuts to expire is necessary in the near term to balance the federal budget, and necessary in the longer term to finance the retirement and health-care promises made to the baby-boom generation. But a tax increase is neither wise nor necessary. - Source

04/09/08 - Superinsulators promise to transform materials research
An international team of scientists from Argonne, Germany, Russia and Belgium fashioned a thin film of titanium nitride which they then chilled to near absolute zero. When they tried to pass a current through the material, the researchers noticed that its resistance suddenly increased by a factor of 100,000 once the temperature dropped below a certain threshold. The same sudden change also occurred when the researchers decreased the external magnetic field. Like superconductors, which have applications in many different areas of physics, from accelerators to magnetic-levitation (maglev) trains to MRI machines, superinsulators could eventually find their way into a number of products, including circuits, sensors and battery shields. If, for example, a battery is left exposed to the air, the charge will eventually drain from it in a matter of days or weeks because the air is not a perfect insulator, according to Vinokur. "If you pass a current through a superconductor, then it will carry the current forever; conversely, if you have a superinsulator, then it will hold a charge forever," he said. "Titanium nitride films, as well as films prepared from some other materials, can be either superconductors or insulators depending on the thickness of the film," Vinokur said. "If you take the film which is just on the insulating side of the transition and decrease the temperature or magnetic field, then the film all of a sudden becomes a superinsulator." Scientists could eventually form superinsulators that would encapsulate superconducting wires, creating an optimally efficient electrical pathway with almost no energy lost as heat. A miniature version of these superinsulated superconducting wires could find their way into more efficient electrical circuits. (via zpenergy.com) - Source

04/09/08 - Going broke? Blame your primitive brain
KeelyNet Your brain's pleasure center can lead you to financial ruin. Here's how to keep it under control. In a famous experiment in the 1950s, scientists planted electrodes in the brains of rats, enabling them to self-administer pleasurable sensations by pressing a bar. If allowed, the rats would stimulate an area called the nucleus accumbens to the exclusion of all other activities, passing up opportunities to eat, drink or even have sex. They did it until they fell over. Stupid rats, right? But we humans also have a nucleus accumbens, and it can take over our lives, too. If we let it, it can lead us into financial ruin. That's what happened recently to Jerome Kerviel, the junior trader at the French bank Société Général. In December, his risky bets turned a $2 billion profit. "That produced a desire to continue," Kerviel told prosecutors. "There was a snowball effect." What was going on in his mind? And what goes on in yours? Think of the nucleus accumbens as appetite central. It's part of the primitive brain, and it has evolved to light up and get us moving forward at the sight of almost any kind of reward. It doesn't matter whether it's a piece of chocolate cake, a BMW M5 sports car, Scarlett Johansson in a party dress or a stock that gets the kind of hype Enron used to enjoy. All of them produce a surge of the neurotransmitter dopamine, and that makes the nucleus accumbens do the shimmy. So far, so good. The problem, however, is that an activated nucleus accumbens can make boneheaded investments seem brilliant. - Source

04/09/08 - Reality Retirement Planning
* Traditional retirement planning assumes that a household's expenditures will increase a certain amount each year throughout retirement. Yet data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor's Consumer Expenditure Survey show that household expenditures actually decline as retirees age. Consequently, under traditional retirement planning, consumers tend to oversave for retirement, underspend in their early years of retirement, or postpone retirement. * "Reality" retirement planning assumes that a household's real spending will decrease incrementally throughout retirement. The result is that clients can make more realistic retirement saving assumptions and will be able to retire sooner. * The paper analyzes the Consumer Expenditure Survey data to determine whether people are spending less voluntarily as they age or out of financial necessity or generational differences. The conclusion is that reduced spending is voluntary. * Using Monte Carlo simulation, the paper runs hypothetical retirement income projections comparing traditional retirement planning and reality retirement planning. Under the traditional approach, the couple's nest egg would appear to be depleted by age 80. Under the reality approach, the nest egg at age 80 would be over $2 million. * Such dramatic differences not only have implications for retirement planning, but for related issues such as estate, tax, and investment planning. - Source

04/09/08 - Money doesn't grow on trees, but gasoline might
KeelyNet Researchers have made a breakthrough in the development of "green gasoline," a liquid identical to standard gasoline yet created from sustainable biomass sources like switchgrass and poplar trees. "It is likely that the future consumer will not even know that they are putting biofuels into their car," said Huber. "Biofuels in the future will most likely be similar in chemical composition to gasoline and diesel fuel used today. The challenge for chemical engineers is to efficiently produce liquid fuels from biomass while fitting into the existing infrastructure today." For their new approach, the UMass researchers rapidly heated cellulose in the presence of solid catalysts, materials that speed up reactions without sacrificing themselves in the process. They then rapidly cooled the products to create a liquid that contains many of the compounds found in gasoline. The entire process was completed in under two minutes using relatively moderate amounts of heat. The compounds that formed in that single step, like naphthalene and toluene, make up one fourth of the suite of chemicals found in gasoline. The liquid can be further treated to form the remaining fuel components or can be used "as is" for a high octane gasoline blend. Not only is the method a compact way to treat a great deal of biomass in a short time, Regalbuto emphasized that the process, in principle, does not require any external energy. "In fact, from the extra heat that will be released, you can generate electricity in addition to the biofuel," he said. "There will not be just a small carbon footprint for the process; by recovering heat and generating electricity, there won't be any footprint." - Source

04/09/08 - Mud Harnessed to Fight Infections
KeelyNet Arizona scientists report they have found a host of anti-microbial minerals in mud that could be the makings of a new generation of unconventional but effective creams to combat the nastiest germs. Increasingly dangerous antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" -- such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) -- are the primary targets of these new medicinal clay cocktails, the researchers said. "For hundreds of thousands of years, clays have been used for wound-healing and even gastrointestinal problems," noted study co-author Shelley E. Haydel. After categorizing each clay's composition, they then tested for antimicrobial properties against a wide range of different bacteria, including: antibiotic-resistant strains of MRSA; the flesh-eating Mycobacterium ulcerans; and E. coli and salmonella. In the lab, Haydel and her colleagues identified three clays that appeared to kill or substantially reduce growth among all the tested bacteria, including MRSA. "The big deal with MRSA is that it starts out as a topical infection, but once it gets into the bloodstream, you get into a huge problem," Haydel observed. "So, while we're certainly not proposing to inject this directly into the bloodstream, we're hoping to stop that skin-to-blood transition from happening." - Source

04/09/08 - U.S. Will Approve New Nuclear Reactors
One of the U.K.'s top nuclear officials said today that she was told the U.S. will okay plans to build the first nuclear power plants since the accident at Three Mile Island nearly three decades ago. Lady Barbara Thomas Judge, chair of the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority, said that the chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission informed her that the NRC will approve three applications for new nuclear reactors that it's currently considering. "The politics is changing," she added, noting growing enthusiasm for nuclear power as the clean alternative to coal-burning plants. Even some environmentalists have begun to embrace nuclear power, because of its potential to reduce the greenhouse emissions that are blamed for global warming. "Once you build the power plants, it just keeps producing energy," Judge said, noting the potential benefits of electricity generation from nuclear fission. "It is part of what we have to do to deal with energy security and climate change." - Source

04/07/08 - People Powered Machines
KeelyNet Go green with environmentally-friendly appliances and machines. Everything from push-powered lawn-mowers to an in-home composter. The company was spawned from our lifestyle decision to use a nonpolluting, health promoting reel push mower, and our frustration in finding a high quality product that would endure. Our company mission is to raise the awareness of the benefits of reel mowing, using cordless electric gardening tools, enjoying the best utility cart in the world, and the value of composting. We are pleased to bring you the finest we have found. - Source

04/07/08 - NASA moon, Mars vision not getting funded
The U.S. Government Accountability Office said the Constellation program, scheduled to begin by 2015, is troubled by engineering, funding and mechanical issues. For instance, the program was meant to use heat shielding from the 1960s Apollo program, but experts apparently could not replicate the material. Earlier this week, U.S. space agency officials told Congress that between 5,800 and 7,300 jobs would go over the next three years as the space shuttles are retired, most at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The shuttles are scheduled to be grounded by 2010. The 2009 budget request for the Constellation program is $3 billion, NASA's Richard Gilbrech told the subcommittee hearing. But former astronaut Kathryn Thornton, now a professor at the University of Virginia, said costs linked to retiring the shuttle had not been accounted for in NASA budgets. "Each year since 2004 when the Vision was announced, the NASA budget has fallen short of that required to achieve the mandated exploration goals and milestones," she said in submitted testimony. "In short, there is a mismatch between aspirations and appropriations that no amount of spin can disguise," she added. "Today, the global space economy exceeds more than $220 billion annually, and that figure is growing rapidly each year. - Source

04/07/08 - Coming soon: Superfast Internet
THE internet could soon be made obsolete. The scientists who pioneered it have now built a lightning-fast replacement capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds. At speeds about 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection, “the grid” will be able to send the entire Rolling Stones back catalogue from Britain to Japan in less than two seconds. The internet has evolved by linking together a hotchpotch of cables and routing equipment, much of which was originally designed for telephone calls and therefore lacks the capacity for high-speed data transmission. By contrast, the grid has been built with dedicated fibre optic cables and modern routing centres, meaning there are no outdated components to slow the deluge of data. The 55,000 servers already installed are expected to rise to 200,000 within the next two years. Ian Bird, project leader for Cern’s high-speed computing project, said grid technology could make the internet so fast that people would stop using desktop computers to store information and entrust it all to the internet. “It will lead to what’s known as cloud computing, where people keep all their information online and access it from anywhere,” he said. - Source

04/07/08 - Sweat Ducts May Act As Antenna For Lie Detection
"Researchers have discovered that human skin may contain millions of tiny "antennas" in the form of microscopic sweat ducts that may reveal a person's physical and emotional state. This discovery might eventually result in lie detectors that operate at a distance. In experiments, the team beamed electromagnetic waves with a frequency range of about 100 gigahertz at the hands of test subjects and measured the frequency of the electromagnetic waves reflecting off the subjects' skin. Initially, the experiments were carried out in contact with the subjects' hands, but even at a distance of 22 cm, researchers found a strong correlation between subjects' blood pressure and pulse rate, and the frequency response of their skin." - Source

04/07/08 - VR Study Says 40% of Us Are Paranoid
"UK researchers have recently used virtual reality to check if people had paranoid thoughts when using public transportation. Their VR tube ride experiment revealed that 40% of the participants experienced exaggerated fears about threats from others. Until now, researchers were relying on somewhat unreliable questionnaires to study paranoid thoughts which are often triggered by ambiguous events such as someone laughing behind their back. With the use of VR, psychiatrists and psychologists have a new tool which can reliably recreate social interactions. As the lead researcher said, VR 'is a uniquely powerful method to detect those liable to misinterpret other people.'." - Source

04/07/08 - Meteorites May Have Delivered Seeds of Life on Earth
"At the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, scientists presented evidence today that desert heat, a little water, and meteorite impacts may have been enough to cook up one of the first prerequisites for life The result of that brew could be the dominance of "left-handed" amino acids, the building blocks of life on this planet. Chains of amino acids make up the protein found in people, plants, and all other forms of life on Earth. There are two orientations of amino acids, left and right, which mirror each other in the same way your hands do. These amino acids "seeds" formed in interstellar space, possibly on asteroids as they careened through space. At the outset, they have equal amounts of left and right-handed amino acids. But as these rocks soar past neutron stars, their light rays trigger the selective destruction of one form of amino acid." - Source

04/07/08 - Create Animated GIFs from Video Files
Animated GIF images get a bad rap as throwbacks of the web of yesteryear, but they can also be a neat way to show a quick existing video sequence without having to worry about formatting and compatibility. A Ubuntu enthusiast offers a simple guide to creating slick-looking animations using two free, cross-platform software tools, MPlayer and the GIMP. While the first installation command is for Ubuntu Linux systems only, the other steps should be easy to follow along with in Windows, Mac, or Linux. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

04/07/08 - Energy company promotes ‘clean’ electricity
A new green company is positive there are people in the Rio Grande Valley who will support renewable energy. The Texas-based Green Mountain Energy Company is broadening its sales and marketing efforts to reach and educate Valley residents about pollution-free energy, a company spokeswoman said. In Texas, the public can choose retail electric providers that fit their electricity needs, said Terry Hadley, spokesman for the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Customers in West Texas, where wind farms are located, have already started turning to renewable energy, Hadley said. "Now, there has been a growing interest in using renewable energy in South Texas and the Gulf Coast," Hadley said. "Customers have indicated interest and will pay a premium for it." A premium is set on clean energy because of the work that goes behind generating it from wind and solar power, industry officials say. A soft sale for Green Mountain was launched in 2007. The company has a current cost of 15.2 cents per kWh for a year's worth of service, according to data from the PUC. A customer with an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh over one year can help avoid 1,700 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to more than 2,000 miles not driven by a vehicle in a year, Brauner said. But CPL Retail Energy has a fixed cost of 13.7 cents per kWh for 12 months, while TXU Energy Simple Rate has a fixed cost of 14.6 cents per kWh for 12 months, according to the PUC. "Whether they're paying a little bit more or little bit less, a lot of people see that it's a really easy way to make a difference," Brauner said. - Source

04/07/08 - Indigenous peoples hardest hit by climate change describe impacts
Indigenous peoples have contributed the least to world greenhouse gas emissions and have the smallest ecological footprints on Earth. Yet they suffer the worst impacts not only of climate change, but also from some of the international mitigation measures being taken, according to organizers of a United Nations University co-hosted meeting April 3 in Darwin, Australia. Impacts of climate change on indigenous people worldwide include: * In tropical and sub-tropical areas, an increase in diseases associated with higher temperatures and vector-borne and water-borne diseases like cholera, malaria and dengue fever; * Worsening drought conditions and desertification, leading to more forest fires that disrupt subsistence agriculture, hunting and gathering livelihoods, as well as serious biodiversity loss; * Distinct changes in the seasonal appearance of birds, the blooming of flowers, etc. These now occur earlier or are decoupled from the customary season or weather patterns; * In arid and semi-arid lands: excessive rainfall and prolonged droughts, resulting in dust storms that damage grasslands, seedlings, other crops and livestock; * In the Arctic, stronger waves, thawing permafrost and melting mountain glaciers and sea-ice, bringing coastal and riverbank erosion; * Smaller animal populations and the introduction of new marine species due to changing animal travel and migration routes; * In Boreal Forests, new types of insects and longer-living endemic insects (e.g. spruce beetles) that destroy trees and other vegetation; * In coastal regions and small-island states, erosion, stronger hurricanes and typhoons, leading to the loss of freshwater supplies, land, mangrove forests and dislocation (environmental refugees); * Increasing food insecurity due to declining fish populations and coral bleaching; * Crop damaging pest infestations (e.g. locusts, rats, spruce beetles, etc.), and increasing food costs due to competition with the demand for biofuels; * Extreme and unprecedented cold spells resulting in health problems (e.g. hypothermia, bronchitis, and pneumonia, especially for the old and young). - Source

04/07/08 - Proving an Age-Old Advertising Gimick
Most advertisers have known for a long time that "sex sells" especially when it comes to men; but Brian Knutson, assistant professor of psychology at Stanford University designed a study to prove if the concept really has merit. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of each man's head in the study, he was able to monitor an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens, which from the work of previous research was shown to be active when a participant was about to take a financial risk. Another area of the brain known as the insula was shown to be active when a person was choosing to avoid the risk. The men were shown pictures of three sets of stimuli, positive, negative and neutral. The "positive" picture consisted of erotic photos of a man and woman, the "negative" was of snakes and spiders and the neutral picture showed office supplies. (Just in case someone might have a particular aversion to office supplies, the men were asked to rate the pictures after the experiment.) After viewing each picture, the participants had to quickly decide on a 50-50 gamble in which they had to either bet a dollar or a dime. The results of the study showed, needless to say, that the men tended to bet the dollar more often when the erotic pictures were shown, and their active nucleus accumbens confirmed it. - Source

04/07/08 - Pico Projectors to Magnify Cell-Phone Cinema
KeelyNet "Pico projectors" that are small enough to carry around in a shirt pocket are expected on the market later this year. Eventually, the technology will be tiny enough to be built into phones and portable media players, the companies say. Microvision Inc., a small Redmond, Wash., company, was at the CTIA Wireless industry show this week to demonstrate a prototype of its projector. It's about the size of two full-size iPods, but by the time it goes on sale later this year, it should be about 30 percent smaller, said Russell Hannigan, the company's director of projector product management. In a darkened room, the prototype beamed out surprisingly bright, crisp and large video from a connected iPod Nano: With the projector held 6 feet away from the wall, the image measured 6 feet diagonally and was as sharp as a DVD. On the brightly lit showroom floor, the image was less impressive, but projected on a piece of paper held a foot away, it still made for a nice alternative to the iPod Nano's screen, which is slightly larger than a stamp. The technology differs substantially from standard projectors: Microvision's unit shines red, green and blue lasers on a rapidly moving, 1-millimeter square mirror, which "paints" the picture line by line, so fast that it blends into one image. Hannigan said it's highly energy-efficient and allows the company to dispense with the fans and vents that standard projectors have. The goal for the first projector is a 2.5-hour battery life. Microvision Chief Executive Alexander Tokman expects the projector to sell for $300 to $400 through its partners, of which Motorola Inc. is the only one he was allowed to identify. - Source

04/07/08 - Money can buy you happiness, say researchers
Money might not buy you love, but it now seems that it might be able to buy you happiness. Research by two Wharton economists suggests that richer countries are happier than poorer ones and that as countries get richer their inhabitants become happier. Their finding challenges the conventional wisdom of the past three decades, which held that higher national gross domestic product often did not translate into a greater overall sense of well-being. - Source

04/07/08 - The 5 Most Ridiculous Lies You Were Taught In History Class
KeelyNet High school was hard enough, what with all the video games and boobies to distract us from our homework. What makes it even harder is having to unlearn all of the stuff they taught us in elementary school that turned out to be utter bullshit. To this day you can even hear some adults repeating these "amazing" historical tales... Columbus Discovered the Earth is Round? Einstein Flunked Math? Newton and the Apple? Washington and the Cherry Tree? Benjamin Franklin, the Kite and the Thunderstorm? - Source

04/05/08 - Video - BioLiberty
Veterans work to restore New Orleans by producing biofuels for all types of vehicles. (Thanks to Paul C. for sharing this. - JWD) - Source

04/05/08 - Revolutionary solar technology is set to transform energy generation
KeelyNet The news is that a revolution in solar power technology has begun. The maker of this news is a Silicon Valley company called Nanosolar that has come up a with a way to produce solar panels 100 times thinner and 100 times faster than anything we've seen before. This, in solar technology terms, is like the invention of the integrated circuit, which replaced masses of individual transistors and paved the way for the modern computerized world. This is a revolution as fundamental to power generation as the integrated circuit was to computing, or the assembly line to the making of cars and everything else. Forward-looking communities will be putting their investment money not in coal-fired power plants, but in solar energy companies. - Source

04/05/08 - Where to store wind-powered energy? Under water!
Although it's clean, plentiful and relatively cheap, there is an inherent problem with wind power. It's not always there when you need it, leaving more conventional, more polluting energy resources to take up the slack. The prospects for wind power could be greatly enhanced if cost-effective storage could be implemented. Some, like Minnesota based Xcel Energy, are putting their faith in new battery technology. But a UK professor, Seamus Garvey thinks he might have found another solution -- storing energy in flexible containers on the ocean floor. Professor Garvey's idea of using Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) isn't a new one, but his methods are. In a moment of inspiration, Garvey realized that air could be compressed using a wind turbine or a wave-powered device. "Drawing a mass down within the blade of the piston itself compresses the air," he said. The prospects for his energy storage idea with tidal power are perhaps even better. "With tidal power you can use a hydraulic ram. This can take a large flow of water at a low pressure. Out of that it can then give you a small flow of water at a high pressure." Naturally, storing vast amounts of air requires vast amounts of storage. Professor Garvey envisages a cone-like structure stretching 50 meters wide at the top to around 80 meters across at the base. The bags are made of a combination of plastics. "A polyester reinforcement at the core with probably a polythene layer around that," Garvey said. At a depth of around 600 meters, Professor Garvey calculates that the bags would be able to store 25 megajoules of energy for every meter cubed. The deep water is essential. "Only in deep water, where the pressure is greatest, are the bags a good economic proposition," Garvey explained. - Source

04/05/08 - To cut price, SolarCity leases solar panels
Solar installer SolarCity is doing, in a limited way, what many people contend is the key to wide-scale adoption of solar power: a leasing program. The Foster City, Calif.-based start-up is offering customers in California, Arizona, and Oregon a financing option that allows them to get solar panels with a relatively small up-front down payment and monthly lease fee, SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive said on Monday. Solar panels that generate electricity can cost between $20,000 and $35,000 before tax credits and other clean energy incentives. Those subsidies can bring the cost down significantly, depending on the state or country, but up-front costs remain a significant barrier to adoption. SolarCity's financing plan will allow people to have solar panels installed for $1,000 to $3,000 up front, depending on the size of the system, and a monthly fee. The numbers work out so that most consumers, particularly those who pay large electricity bills, will pay less per month with the arrangement, he said. As energy prices go up over time, their savings can go up. - Source

04/05/08 - Edison's Final Revenge
KeelyNet The system of DC power generation and local distribution that the great inventor championed is set for a comeback. Though far less practical than the AC distribution system that soon supplanted it, Edison's DC system did not die immediately. The power utility that serves Manhattan, Consolidated Edison, continued for decades to offer DC power to those who needed it-say, to operate ancient DC motors in old elevator machine rooms. But Con Ed had been urging such customers to switch to AC and, as of last November, it ceased supplying DC power altogether. So Edison's brainchild, a system of distributing electrical power as DC to equipment located just a short distance away from the generator, is now completely dead-or is it? Batteries are DC devices. And file servers, like the computer that sits on your desk, normally run on AC. So a number of conversions have to take place: from the AC that the grid provides to DC to charge the UPS batteries and then back to AC for the various servers. Actually, the situation is even worse than that, because the output of the kinds of UPS systems found in data centers is typically transformed to a lower voltage before it is sent to the many computers. And within those computers, that AC is converted to DC, and that DC is converted yet again to low-voltage DC, at least once if not twice. So there can easily be five or six power conversions between the grid and the circuitry that's actually doing the computing work. The inefficiencies of each of these conversions are small, but they add up. A recent study of this issue sponsored by the California Energy Commission found that for each watt used to process data, another 0.9 watt was required to support the upstream power conversions. And those losses generate heat, so they exacerbate the problem of trying to keep equipment cool. After much testing and experimentation, Tschudi and his colleagues found the answer: By converting to DC just once, distributing the DC power around a data center and stepping the voltage down as necessary, the overall efficiency could be improved by 5 percent compared with the very best AC equipment available. And compared with more typical equipment found in data centers, the gain was 28 percent. - Source

04/05/08 - Scotland Makes It Rain: $20 Million Prize for Renewable Energy
The goal of the prize, obviously, is to position Scotland at the forefront of renewable energy development. The prize has a clause that the winner must demonstrate his or her technology on-site in order to receive up to $20 Million. In reflecting on his choice to not broaden the reach of the program to other dimensions of renewable energy, Salmond said that he believed a narrow search in an area where Scotland would become the recognized leader would be the most efficient way to move forward, and allow the small nation to harness her “unrivaled” natural resources. - Source

04/05/08 - Cities Profit From Shortening Yellow Lights
KeelyNet Short yellow light times at intersections have been shown to increase the number of traffic violations and accidents. Conversely, increasing the yellow light duration can dramatically reduce red-light violations at an intersection. Some local governments have ignored the safety benefit of increasing the yellow light time and decided to install red-light cameras, shorten the yellow light duration, and collect the profits instead. The cities: * Chattanooga, Tennessee * Dallas, Texas * Springfield, Missouri * Lubbock, Texas * Nashville, Tennessee * Union City, California. - Source

04/05/08 - Trade flows for Bundy 'Mixerator' inventor
MIKE Lewis looks set to clean up on a deal to supply China with the green technology he has developed in Bundaberg. Mr Lewis' company Environmental & Energy Technologies has an in-principle agreement to supply China with the patented plans and training to build its own Mixaerators, the water-cleaning devices produced at Bundaberg Technology Park. MR Lewis said international interest in his products had hotted up since the effectiveness of the technology was proven in a clean-up job at the Binary Industries chemical fire site in Narangba, about 35km north of Brisbane. Queensland Environment Minister Lindy Nelson-Carr estimated the Mixaerator has saved Queensland taxpayers in excess of $15 million. "It wasn't until we did the job that our claims could be proven," he said. Mr Lewis said he was investigating the possibility of floating the international arms of the company on the stock market and setting up divisions overseas. According to Mr Lewis, China was mostly interested in the sewage treatment applications of the technology, in particular its low energy use. "Currently the energy bill associated with sewage treatment (in China) is 70% of total operating costs," he said. "The Mixaerator will dramatically reduce that." According to Mr Lewis, one third of sewage plants in China do not function at all, the next third function sporadically, and the last third are fully operational. The training, technical support, research and development of the Mixaerators will stay in Bundaberg, but all production of the devices will be done in China. Keen to protect his product from cheap knock-offs, Mr Lewis said working with the government on this issue was vital to the agreement. "It is very important to have someone powerful in China to protect our intellectual property," he said. - Source

04/05/08 - Electromagnetic Force Could Keep Satellites Together
KeelyNet Using magnetic forces to hold the elements of a modular spacecraft together without mechanical connection is being studied by Cornell University's College of Engineering. The F6 fractionated satellite programme aims to replace the traditional large monolithic satellite with several small independently launched spacecraft flying in close formation. Cornell is working with flux-pinning superconductors that resist movement within magnetic fields and which could be used to hold spacecraft components in place without mechanical connections. The superconductors can be turned on and off, allowing flux-pinned modules to repositioned or replaced like the "virtual building blocks" of a fractionated satellite, says the university. Cornell is also studying electromagnetic formation flight, which can passively stabilise formations of spacecraft flying in close proximity (less than 1m), while also preventing them from colliding. DARPA plans to fly a fractionated satellite within four years. - Source

04/05/08 - 13 Most Irresponsible Self Defense Gadgets Money Can Buy
We live in dangerous times. Well, not really. Actually, life in the 21st century is safer than ever before. This, however, doesn't stop people from selling and buying overpriced and often useless self-defense products. From the 'no contact electric jacket' to the 'tampon taser', check them out. - Source

04/05/08 - Revo Uninstaller
Revo Uninstaller helps you to uninstall and remove unwanted programs installed on your computer even if you have problems uninstalling and cannot uninstall them from "Windows Add or Remove Programs" control panel applet... With its advanced and fast algorithm, Revo Uninstaller analyzes an application's data before uninstall and scans after you uninstall an application. After the program's regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over on your computer. Even if you have a broken installation, Revo Uninstaller scans for an application's data on your hard disk drives and in the Windows registry and shows all found files, folders and registry keys so you can delete them. With its unique "Hunter mode", Revo Uninstaller offers you some simple, easy to use, but effective and powerful approaches to manage (uninstall, stop, delete, disable from auto starting) and to get information about your installed and/or running programs... Revo Uninstaller is completely free - no cost, no adware, no spyware... - Source

04/05/08 - It pays to follow the money
If you know where to look, you can tap into the same money-making expertise that wealthy families use to manage their millions. Wealthy investors tend to have a very different mindset from ordinary mortals. Where Mr and Mrs Average are looking to get rich quick, their millionaire counterparts are looking to stay rich. Their aim is wealth preservation and if they had a collective motto, it would be: “What we have we hold.” Ordinary investors can learn a lot from the way their well-heeled cousins manage their finances. The emphasis is on slow but steady growth over the long-term and a lordly disdain for chasing short-term performance. One of the keys to achieving wealth preservation is to spread investments across a wide range of assets and to adopt something akin to an absolute return strategy, where the investor aims to make money in both rising and falling markets. - Source

04/05/08 - The Electronic Cigarette
KeelyNet A woman smokes an E-cigarette, an electronic substitute in the form of a rod, slightly longer than a normal cigarette, in Bordeaux, southwestern France, March 25, 2008. A changeable filter contains a liquid with nicotine and propylene glycol. When the user inhales as he would when smoking, air flow is detected by a sensor and a micro-processor activates an atomizer which injects tiny droplets of the liquid into the flowing air, producing a vapour. The E cigarette, which retails for 78 euros, is powered by a rechargeable battery. - Source

04/05/08 - New Sci-Fi show done mostly in Green Screen
Titled “Sanctuary,” the new program has the distinct honor of becoming TV’s first series to use live actors in an all-green screen environment. According to MovieWeb, the show plans to use CGI to create 90 percent of its sets, much like last year’s “300” did to fashion the Battle of Thermopylae. The show focuses on a doctor (actress Amanda Tapping) who believes there are mutant creatures among us, but hidden in the shadows. Helping to track these creatures down are her daughter, a tech guy and a profiler who’s trained to find the unusual. - Source

04/05/08 - 10 impossibilities conquered by science
The folks at New Scientst have rounded up 10 things that were once thought scientifically impossible. Some were disproved centuries ago but others have only recently begun to enter the realm of possibility. Among them; warm superconductors, invisibility, force fields and teleportation. - Source

04/03/08 - Media ignore OPEC's control
- Since January 2007, the network news has run 43 stories on oil companies' profits and just three stories on OPEC profits &emdash; a ratio of 14-to-1. - Network reporters have referred to oil companies as "a bunch of thieves ... ripping people off" and asked them to "cut back a bit on your profit." But they have overlooked the openly anti-American hostility of some OPEC nations and have downplayed the cartel's control of world prices. - The networks didn't mention the cartel's history of anti-American antagonism, its current leaders' vocal anti-Americanism, or its member nations' use of profits to fund terrorism. - Source

04/03/08 - Tourist Camp has Concrete 'Tepees' - July 1936
KeelyNet Cleverly constructed to look like a small Indian village, a novel tourist camp near Lawrence, Kans., has concrete shelters closely resembling Indian tepees. Cement stucco, laid over wire mesh on a foundation of three slantingpoles, forms the walls of the odd overnight cabins. Each 'tepee' is equipped with comfortable beds, running hot and cold water, cooking stove, and other conveniences. / (This style might be useful for cheap emergency or even permanent housing. - JWD) - Source

04/03/08 - VCs sitting on giant piles of money that Internet startups don't need
"Right now, honestly? This time sucks for us," says Paul Kedrosky, a partner with Ventures West. "It's a bad time." Savvy VCs are finding ways to compete. One gambit: doling out perks to entrepreneurs. San Francisco-based Founders Fund, started by ex-PayPal CEO Peter Thiel, lets entrepreneurs trade some of their equity for cash, something they usually can't do until their companies are purchased or go public. Other VCs are competing with angels by investing like them - with small amounts and at early stages. In 2007, the average VC-led seed round was less than $1 million. "Half of the deals we do are either seed or A round," says Roger Lee, a general partner at Battery Ventures. "The companies VCs are putting $500,000 into this year we might have been putting $20 million into in 2000." - Source

04/03/08 - Americans prefer energy fix to cancer cure: poll
A nationwide survey of nearly 700 people suggests that Americans would prefer more money be invested in technology to solve the nation's energy ailments than to cure cancer or other diseases. Some 37 percent of respondents to the poll, conducted by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority in Virginia, said they would rank spending to raise energy efficiency and develop alternative fuel technology a top priority for future investment. That compares with 30 percent who ranked more cash for medical breakthroughs as most important. - Source

04/03/08 - Feds Overstate Software Piracy's Link To Terrorism
"Attorney General Michael Mukasey claims that terrorists sell pirated software as a way to finance their operations, without presenting a shred of evidence for his case. He's doing it to push through a controversial piece of intellectual property legislation that would increase IP penalties, increase police power, set up a new agency to investigate IP theft, and more. 'Criminal syndicates, and in some cases even terrorist groups, view IP crime as a lucrative business, and see it as a low-risk way to fund other activities,' Mukasey told a crowd at the Tech Museum of Innovation last week." - Source

04/03/08 - Bush administration: Fourth Amendment doesn't apply to domestic military operations
"Following on from the memo allowing torture overseas, Kurt Opsahl from EFF has spotted a footnoted reference to a memo from the Administration that says 'our Office recently concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations.' So, if you're abroad and deemed an enemy combatant you can be tortured. If you're in the US, and you're caught up in a "military operation", you lose the bill of rights. Where exactly is the constitution supposed to apply?" - Source

04/03/08 - OLPC Donates 8.5+ Gigs of Sound Samples
Over 8.5GB of FREE Samples - Sound Effects, Loops, Grooves, Drums, Voices and Instruments - for The Children of the World. This huge and continuously expanding collection of new and original samples have been donated to Dr. Richard Boulanger @ cSounds.com specifically to support the OLPC developers, students and XO users. They are free and will be available under a CC-BY license for downloading and use in your music and activities. Each of the 6500+ samples is 16-bit, WAV, Mono, normalized to -3dB, and provided at 3 sample rates - 44.1K, 22.5K and 16K. - Source

04/03/08 - Theft From Charities Costing Billions
The volunteer treasurer of the Madison County Humane Society in Indiana was charged this month with using $65,000 of the charity"s money to buy jewelry and makeup. In San Francisco, the chief financial officer of the Music Concourse Community Partnership was fired after he was accused of taking $3.6 million of the organization's money to play the stock market. Nonprofit leaders tend to shrug off such cases as evidence of “just a few bad apples.” But a new report, trying to identify the scope of such thefts for the first time, suggests otherwise. / (Invest in new energy research, see my lab project. - JWD) - Source

04/03/08 - Medication 'worsens Alzheimer's'
Anti-psychotic drugs commonly given to Alzheimer's patients often make their condition worse, a UK study suggests. Neuroleptics provided no benefit for patients with mild behavioural problems, but were associated with a marked deterioration in verbal skills. - Source

04/03/08 - Harmless Fan Has Ribbon Blades - July 1935
KeelyNet SILK ribbons, held in loops, form the blades of a harmless electric fan recently demonstrated at the Industrial Arts Exposition in New York. The ribbons give a standard pitch when rotating and are said to be able to throw a current of air ten feet away. - Source


04/03/08 - Tensions rise as world faces short rations
Food prices are soaring, a wealthier Asia is demanding better food and farmers can't keep up. In short, the world faces a food crisis and in some places it's already boiling over. Around the globe, people are protesting and governments are responding with often counterproductive controls on prices and exports -- a new politics of scarcity in which ensuring food supplies is becoming a major challenge for the 21st century. Plundered by severe weather in producing countries and by a boom in demand from fast-developing nations, the world's wheat stocks are at 30-year lows. Grain prices have been on the rise for five years, ending decades of cheap food. Drought, a declining dollar, a shift of investment money into commodities and use of farm land to grow fuel have all contributed to food woes. But population growth and the growing wealth of China and other emerging countries are likely to be more enduring factors. World population is set to hit 9 billion by 2050, and most of the extra 2.5 billion people will live in the developing world. It is in these countries that the population is demanding dairy and meat, which require more land to produce. "This is an additional setback for the world economy, at a time when we are already going through major turbulence. But the biggest drama is the impact of higher food prices on the poor," Angel Gurria, head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, told Reuters. - Source

04/03/08 - Tooth Regeneration May Replace Drill-and-Fill
The next time your children get cavities, they might get tooth regeneration instead of fillings. That's because materials scientists are beginning to find just the right solutions of chemicals to rebuild decayed teeth, rather than merely patching their holes. Enamel and dentin, the materials that make teeth the strongest pieces of the body, would replace the gold or ceramic fillings that currently return teeth to working order. - Source

04/03/08 - 10 Craziest Scientific Experiments Ever Conducted
Over the years more than a few scientists have strayed from the path of useful research into crazy as a shithouse rat research. Perhaps none strayed further than these... - Source

04/03/08 - Passenger's Car Powers Ferry - July 1934
KeelyNet Power for a new motor ferry, recently tried out on the Amersee River in Bavaria, is supplied by the passenger’s car. Driving onto the open deck of the ferry, the motorist stops with the rear wheels of his car resting upon rollers, similar to those used on most brake-testing machines. The car wheels, driven by the motor, are then used to turn the rollers, which are geared to the paddle wheels on each side of the ferry. Thus the auto's engine propels the one-car boat. - Source

04/03/08 - Hybrid embryos made by UK scientists
The hybrid embryos, which only developed for three days, were created by Dr Lyle Armstrong and colleagues at Newcastle University as part of basic research on cloning and not as part of any attempt to create a hybrid animal, which is not only illegal but thought highly unlikely for technical reasons. A British Council meeting in Israel was told by Dr Armstrong that the hybrids were created by injecting DNA derived from human embryo cells into eggs taken from cows ovaries which have had DNA responsible for their characteristics removed, so called nuclear DNA, and leaving only cow DNA used to power the cells. "We are dealing with a clump of cells which would never go on to develop beyond 14 days," says Prof John Burn, a spokesman for Newcastle University, adding there is no intention to put the hybrids into a surrogate mother. Nor are the hybrids "yet progressing to the state where they are capable of creating stem cells." - Source

04/01/08 - Plants Converted Directly Into Biogasoline, Not Ethanol
KeelyNet A Wisconsin bioscience company and Royal Dutch Shell say they have developed a process to convert plant sugars directly into gasoline and gasoline blend components, rather than ethanol. The patented and trademarked BioForming process pioneered by Virent Energy Systems, Inc. of Madison converts plant sugars into hydrocarbon molecules like those produced at a petroleum refinery. The biomass feedstocks are converted into conventional hydrocarbon fuels and products, including gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. These new "biogasoline" molecules have higher energy content than ethanol or butanol and deliver better fuel efficiency. "They can be blended seamlessly to make conventional gasoline or combined with gasoline containing ethanol," the companies said Wednesday in a statement. The sugars can be sourced from non-food sources like corn stover, switchgrass, wheat straw and sugarcane pulp, in addition to conventional biofuel feedstock like wheat, corn and sugarcane. - Source

04/01/08 - Renewed Oil Exploration Coming Up Short
While more investment dollars have been flowing into oil exploration, less oil has been flowing out of the ground. The zones being accessed by developmental wells are third-tier producers, so the new drilling has failed to offset the depletion of America's aging oil fields. The realization is setting in that the United States has already discovered all the big pools of easy-to-access oil within its borders. The best parts of the turkey have been eaten, and now we're trying to make the leftovers last as long as possible. There may be a few prizes left on the outer continental shelf, but these will be difficult to discover and expensive to exploit. Oil shale, despite all the hype, won?t be the magic bullet. Currently, U.S. oil shale is producing only a few thousand barrels a year from test projects, and ramping up from there faces enormous economic and environmental hurdles. But what about ethanol? E85, a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, might buffer the impact of oil prices a little, no matter where global oil demand takes us. The White House has been a stout supporter of ethanol, mandating that fuel producers supply at least 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel in the year 2022. "The new variable is alternative fuels," Mr. Lazear says. "It will take seven to ten years to know whether it will really pan out." That doesn?t sound particularly upbeat, but it is realistic. Even the current administration realizes that for the foreseeable future, the benefits of ethanol are marginal at best. Ethanol is a long shot, they say, so keep your fingers crossed. - Source

04/01/08 - Invention can bank on power
KeelyNet SCIENTISTS have invented a new environmentally-friendly "electricity bank" that enables people to collect and store surplus energy at night to curb electricity consumption peaks and power shortages. The "bank" is a sodium-sulfur battery jointly produced by the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and local electric power supplier. It is different from ordinary batteries as it has sodium for its negative pole and sulfur at the positive pole. It has a lower manufacturing cost and a service life of 10 years. Researchers said the strength of the single sodium-sulfur battery was 125 watts. It could be charged at night, when power demand was small, to save surplus electricity and could discharge that stored power during day time peaks. Joining 400 such batteries together could make up a 50-kilowatt module, equal to the driving force of eight to nine mopeds, according to Wen Zhaoyin, researcher with the institute's energy material center. He added the battery modules could be joined to become larger power suppliers for enterprises and families. - Source

04/01/08 - Europe-wide radio net in aliens search
Scientists are finalising plans to link radio wave detectors in five countries and create a device sensitive enough to pick up signals from worlds the other side of the galaxy. 'This system works by collecting radio waves over a range of frequencies,' said cosmologist Robert Nichol of Portsmouth University. 'These can then be analysed using arrays of computers which can identify patterns from the data streaming from our detectors. The project - known as Lofar (low frequency array) - was launched in Holland several years ago, but has attracted the attention of other European astronomers. All have agreed to build their own banks of detectors, which can then be linked to those in Holland. Britain is committed to building one set, while requests for money for another three have been put to research councils. - Source

04/01/08 - Death for hire - suicide machine lets you push final button
KeelyNet One press of a button and you can end your life with a swift injection of potassium chloride. If the “Perfusor”, designed to sidestep strict laws banning assisted suicide, goes into production then Germany rather than Switzerland could soon become the destination of choice for those seeking to kill themselves. Some 700 patients, including several terminally ill Britons, have travelled to Zurich where the self-help organisation Dignitas arranges suicide. Assisted suicide has been legal in Switzerland since 1942 providing a doctor has been consulted and the patient is aware of the consequences of his decision. “The machine is simply an option for fatally ill people,” said Dr Kusch, 53, presenting the green machine that looks like a cross between an electric transformer and a paint spraygun. “Nobody is forced to use it but I do believe that it will contribute to a debate that is moving thousands of people.” The machine would be lent or rented so that the patients could insert the needles themselves and then push the button releasing the potassium chloride, used to execute Death Row prisoners in some US states. Supporters say the machine will bring about death in seconds. - Source

04/01/08 - The Clean Energy Scam
The Amazon was the chic eco-cause of the 1990s, revered as an incomparable storehouse of biodiversity. It's been overshadowed lately by global warming, but the Amazon rain forest happens also to be an incomparable storehouse of carbon, the very carbon that heats up the planet when it's released into the atmosphere. Brazil now ranks fourth in the world in carbon emissions, and most of its emissions come from deforestation. Carter is not a man who gets easily spooked--he led a reconnaissance unit in Desert Storm, and I watched him grab a small anaconda with his bare hands in Brazil--but he can sound downright panicky about the future of the forest. "You can't protect it. There's too much money to be made tearing it down," he says. "Out here on the frontier, you really see the market at work." This land rush is being accelerated by an unlikely source: biofuels. An explosion in demand for farm-grown fuels has raised global crop prices to record highs, which is spurring a dramatic expansion of Brazilian agriculture, which is invading the Amazon at an increasingly alarming rate. - Source

04/01/08 - Making Electric Vehicles Practical
KeelyNet A startup called Project Better Place, which had the largest of any venture-funding round in 2007, raising $200 million, recently announced plans to install recharging infrastructure in Israel and Denmark and to sell electric cars using a business model much like that used today with cell phones. The company aims to address two limitations of electric vehicles: their range is considerably less than gasoline-powered cars, and the batteries take hours to recharge from ordinary outlets. To solve the first problem, says CEO and founder Shai Agassi, Project Better Place is installing a vast grid of outlets at parking spaces throughout the country, which will allow drivers to keep batteries topped off during the day. In Israel, the company will install 500,000 outlets--one for every six parking spaces in the country--with a similar number slated for Denmark. To address the time that it takes to recharge batteries, the company has arranged for the automaker Renault to manufacture electric cars with batteries that can easily be swapped out. The cars will have more than a hundred miles of range, which is more than enough for most daily driving. On long trips, once a battery is depleted, a driver will be able to pull into a station where a simple robotic system will remove the depleted battery and install a fully charged one. The process will only take a couple of minutes, Agassi says. The company will build 125 such stations in Israel and slightly more in Denmark. - Source

04/01/08 - Algae Biodiesel
PetroSun intends to begin operations of an algae-to-biodiesel plant beginning on April 1st. The plant is expected to produce upwards of 4.4 million gallons of biodiesel from its algae farms annually, with a yield 30-100 times greater than the soybean-to-fuel-oil process. Unlike soybeans, algae can thrive in a tougher environment and require less acreage to produce the same yield. Calculations show alternative fuels would need to provide 140 billion gallons of biodiesel to displace petroleum, making PetroSun's 4.4 million gallons a mere drop in the bucket. - Source

04/01/08 - Car Thieves Leave Cars, but Take the Catalytic Converters
KeelyNet The catalytic converter is made with trace amounts of platinum, palladium and rhodium, which speed chemical reactions and help clean emissions at very high temperatures. Selling stolen converters to scrap yards or recyclers, a thief can net a couple of hundred dollars apiece. Exactly how much depends on the size of the car and its converter. - Source

04/01/08 - Top 10 Harmless Geek Pranks
For April Fools' Day, when you've got local network access to your coworkers' and family systems, cubicles just crying out to be filled with packing peanuts, and webapps that can do all sorts of things automatically, there's no better time to baffle, confuse, perplex, and just plain mess with your loved ones and associates. Hit the jump for our top 10 favorite harmless geek pranks, just in time to get your prankster pistons firing. - Source

04/01/08 - Controversial Billboard
KeelyNet It looked harmless enough, but the words on a billboard un-nerved so many people that a popular restaurant nearby actually lost business. The billboard was on Colonial Drive near the Old Cheney Highway. Although the popular Straub's Seafood restaurant often advertises on it, this wasn't their billboard. The sign was taken down after Channel 9 started asking questions. The billboard came down around 4:00 Friday afternoon and nearby business owners are relieved. Straub's restaurant can replace the sign with the night's specials. At first glance the sign looked like a children's cartoon, but the message next to the fairy princess stirred emotions. "When you condemn all religions and say they are a fairytale that is wrong," said Rich Stormes, a nearby business owner. - Source

04/01/08 - Researchers Unravel Mystery of Lightning Diversity
"About 90% of lightning occurs inside clouds and is not visible to the casual observer, researchers said. The researchers wondered if lightning that appears within clouds and the lightning that escapes upward or downward shared the same development mechanisms, researchers said. Lightning forms in clouds when different areas of the cloud become either positively or negatively charged. Once the electric field near a charged area exceeds a certain propagation level, lightning occurs. The type of lightning depends on where the charge builds and where the imbalance in charge exists in the clouds. The mechanism behind different types of lightning is what the new model shows, researchers said." - Source

04/01/08 - Diamond-cooled nuclear reactor
KeelyNet Nuclear plants can fail when the heat from the reactor is not removed quickly enough from the core. This can happen in pressurised water nuclear reactors if the water in the cooling system boils, because steam is a much poorer conductor of heat than liquid water. The secondary system is also at risk of boiling. If that happens, heat builds up in the primary cooling system, which can lead to meltdown. Ronald Baney and colleagues at the University of Florida in Gainesville, think they can tackle this problem by turning to diamond - one of the best heat conductors known to science. Their idea is to add diamond nanoparticles to the water of the secondary cooling system to dramatically improve its ability to transfer heat. Baney and colleagues say such nanoparticles are chemically inert and radiation resistant, so are unlikely to clump together in a way that could block the cooling system. However, they don't say how much a diamond-based heat transfer fluid might cost. - Source

04/01/08 - Video - More demands from Islam
An eye-opening video worth watching. (Thanks to Jerry Draughon for the headsup. - JWD) - Source

04/01/08 - National War Tax Resistance
KeelyNet NWTRCC's goal is to maintain and build a national movement of conscientious objectors to military taxes by supporting, coordinating and publicizing the WTR actions of groups and individuals. These actions include: war tax resistance, protest, and refusal; the redirection of military taxes to meet human needs; support of the U.S. Peace Tax Fund Bill; and adjustment of lifestyle to avoid tax liability. WTR actions are undertaken in accordance with each individual's moral, religious or political conscience, and are hoped to contribute toward changing the priorities and policies of the U.S. government. Also includes various links and flyers for dissemination. - Source

$5 Alt Science MP3s to listen while working/driving/jogging
KeelyNetNo time to sit back and watch videos? Here are 15 interesting presentations you can download for just $5 each and listen to while driving, working, jogging, etc. An easy way to learn some fascinating new things that you will find of use. Easy, cheap and simple, better than eBooks or Videos. Roughly 50MB per MP3. - Source

15 New Alternative Science DVDs & 15 MP3s
An assortment of alternative science videos that provide many insights and inside information from various experimenters. Also MP3s extracted from these DVDs that you can listen to while working or driving. Reference links for these lectures and workshops by Bill Beaty of Amateur Science on the Dark Side of Amateur Science, Peter Lindemann on the World of Free Energy, Norman Wootan on the History of the EV Gray motor, Dan Davidson on Shape Power and Gravity Wave Phenomena, Lee Crock on a Method for Stimulating Energy, Doug Konzen on the Konzen Pulse Motor, George Wiseman on the Water Torch and Jerry Decker on Aether, ZPE and Dielectric Nano Arrays. Your purchase of these products helps support KeelyNet, thanks! - Source to Buy

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