06/30/07 - Cooking with gas made from food waste
The photo shows the biogas plant at the Panavila Muslim Working Women's Hostel, Trivandrum. A project to turn waste food into cooking gas has picked up £30,000 in an international competition to find the best sustainable energy schemes. The project in India collected the prize in one of the five international categories of the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy.
06/30/07 - Home Hydrogen Generator
A British company is developing a low-cost home electrolyzer for the production of hydrogen to refuel a converted dual-fuel vehicle that uses both low-pressure hydrogen and gasoline for fuels. The ITM Power electrolyzer uses a 10 kW electrolyzer operating at 75 bar pressure. ITM Power modified a gasoline engine Ford Focus to a dual-fuel vehicle, and has fueled the converted car with the output of the electrolyzer.
06/30/07 - Low-energy light bulbs 'can trigger epilepsy'
Energy-saving light bulbs can trigger epilepsy-like symptoms in sufferers of the condition, it has been revealed. The bulbs - soon to be compulsory in homes - have caused dizziness, lightheadedness and other symptoms experienced in the early stages of a fit. Epilepsy affects up to half a million, including 23,000 whose fits are brought on by flickering lights. It is unclear how the bulbs are triggering the symptoms. Though they do flicker, the rate is different to that usually associated with seizures. The answer may lie in the way the light is generated, with light produced by low-energy bulbs having a different wavelength pattern.
06/30/07 - Diet pill that will leave you as stuffed as spaghetti
An as yet unnamed tiny pill that swells to the size of a tennis ball in the stomach is being touted as a cure for obesity. The pill contains an absorbent substance which expands by more than 1,000 times when combined with water - making dieters feel full. Its creators, who discovered the absorbent ingredient while testing materials for nappy linings, liken the sensation to "eating a nice plate of spaghetti". Experts remain unconvinced, however, warning that the pill - which also contains the indigestible fibre cellulose - could delay the emptying of the stomach and damage its lining. Any slow-down in the progress of food through the gut also increases the risk of stomach and bowel cancers. Experts predict that 12.6 million Britons will be classed as obese by 2010.
06/30/07 - Without Heat, Much of N. America Would be Underwater
A University of Utah study shows how various regions of North America are kept afloat by heat within Earth’s rocky crust, and how much of the continent would sink beneath sea level if not for heat that makes rock buoyant. New York City would sit 1,427 feet underwater and Los Angeles would rest 3,756 feet beneath the Pacific.
06/30/07 - Nuclear rockets could cut cost of Moon base
Nuclear-powered rockets could save NASA billions of dollars in launch costs for its planned return to the Moon, a top nuclear scientist says. He argues that the higher efficiency of nuclear propulsion would reduce the number of launches needed to build a lunar base. The higher efficiency of such an engine means almost 29 tonnes of cargo could be delivered to the Moon in a single Ares V launch, compared to 21 tonnes with the non-nuclear version. This would allow a 250-tonne lunar base to be constructed with only nine rather than 12 Ares V launches, Howe says. NASA has not said how much each launch would cost, but Howe estimates it at $1.5 billion each. At this price, three fewer launches would save $4.5 billion. Previous work, including a NASA study, have suggested that it would cost only $2.5 to $3 billion to develop the nuclear rocket technology, so even with development costs, the nuclear option could still save NASA billions, Howe says. Once the technology is developed, it could also be used for missions to Mars and beyond, he says. Robert Singleterry says as for crew safety, natural radiation from speeding space particles called cosmic rays presents a much bigger hazard than radioactivity from a well-shielded nuclear rocket. "The radiation they get [from cosmic rays] just from being outside the Earth's magnetic field overwhelms what they would get from the rocket."
06/30/07 - How to add Chroma key (green screen effects) to a movie for FREE!
Wanna make a movie like the pros? Using green screen editing? It's all free (besides the actual green screen itself) with this awsome program. Debug Mode's WAX is a video/picture/music editor. It hase a drag and drop time line like in Windows Movie maker, so you can add pictures and music to your video.
06/30/07 - Will Science Render Men Unnecessary?
Scientists announced they had made artificial sperm from human bone marrow. If a woman chose to do so, speculated tabloid journalists, she could make sperm from her own bone marrow, fertilize another woman’s egg - and voila! “Men could be completely sidelined,” according to Britain’s Daily Mail. Stock, author of the book “Redesigning Humans,” believes there were so many stories recently because such experiments are as much symbol as science. “The importance is just the idea of two women having a child, one creating sperm and other having an oocyte [egg]. Well, what does that say about marriage laws? About whether men are needed? There are all sorts of ways that play into our psyche, who and what we are, what relationships are all about, the limits of the technological vision of ourselves.”
06/30/07 - Obese People Being Refused Life Insurance
A growing number of people with common medical conditions are being refused life cover, as soaring obesity levels hit insurers. In recent years, insurers have been forced to pay out growing sums on protection policies -- which include level term and whole-of-life cover as well as critical illness insurance -- according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). They paid out 4.2 billion pounds in 2005 -- up 11 percent on 2004 and 24 percent on 2001, an ABI spokesman said. Moonesinghe said that a higher number of claims forced insurers to raise premiums, making them less competitiveness. "The way (for insurers) to keep premiums low is to pay fewer claims -- and that means excluding those people who are likely to make claims," he added. There are currently 2.1 million people with diabetes in Britain and a further 750,000 who have it but are yet to be diagnosed, according to Diabetes UK. The vast majority -- 85-95 percent -- of sufferers have type 2 diabetes, which results from a lack of or resistance to insulin and, in most cases, is linked to being overweight. Only a handful of insurers -- including Friends Provident, Royal Liver, Scottish Equitable and Legal & General -- are now generally willing to insure diabetics, according to the Insurance Helpline, which helped to develop the first British life insurance contract for people with HIV last year. Getting cover is, however, subject to a string of other factors, such as type of diabetes, height, weight, family history and whether or not the applicant smokes. Diabetics able to find an insurer can expect to pay inflated premiums.
06/30/07 - 700 MW of Electricity to Come from Landfill Gas
LFGTE projects are especially valuable to utilities because they provide dependable baseload power. A typical facility will run about 95 percent of the time, making it a good fit with intermittent renewables such as wind and solar. Landfill gas, produced when microorganisms break down organic material in the landfill, is comprised of approximately 50-60 percent methane and 40-50 percent carbon dioxide. At most landfills in the U.S., these greenhouse gases are simply burned off, or “flared.” Waste Management sites that have LFGTE facilities will collect the methane and use it to fuel onsite engines or turbines, generating electricity to power surrounding homes and neighborhoods while creating a new revenue stream for the landfills. By building LFGTE facilities, Waste Management reduces greenhouse gases by offsetting the use of fossil fuel at the utility power plants.
06/30/07 - Turn a C battery into a D with quarters
You need a D battery but all you've got laying around are C cells. Since C and D batteries are both 1.5 volts (they differ only in size and energy storage), you can build a makeshift D to C "adaptor" with a few regular, conductive, George Washington quarters.
06/30/07 - Russia Claims Large Chunk of North Pole
"Russia has laid claim to over one million square kilometers of the Artic. This announcement comes on the return of a scientific expedition into the region which found that the Lomonosov Ridge connects to Russia. The area is supposed to have a reserve of 10 billion tons of natural gas and oil. 'A BBC map shows Russia's proposal; this set of maps from The New York Times illustrates the area at stake and different ways it might be divided ... The Russians have tried to advance their claim before, and were turned away by the United Nations in 2001. The new geological data is evidently meant to improve the odds for a second try. '"
06/30/07 - Genotropin- a miracle medicine that makes dwarves grow tall
The human growth hormone Genotropin (www.genotropin.com) is used to treat children and adults who for one reason or another do not produce the hormone themselves. Without the treatment, a child could only grow to 125-140 centimeters while after treatment, the person can grow as tall as 180 cm. For adult patients who lacks growth hormone the treatment gives a possibility to come back to a normal active life.
06/30/07 - Video - Steppenwolf's Prescient Monster
At the time of this song, I don't recall our world being near as bad as now.
06/30/07 - 100 Portable Apps for your USB Stick (for Mac and Win)
This stuff can be installed on any portable drive, i.e. USB thumbdrive, PDA or an iPod. You can use them at work, school, or any other place where you can plugin your device. Check them out, you can either scroll-down for relevant category, i.e office software, email tools, messengers, games, etc. or get a ‘all-in-one’ package (all essential tools) . While there are more apps for windows users, I tried to include a mac version for each essential tool. All free. Enjoy!
06/30/07 - Video - Cyclone Rare Earth Engine
Permanent Magnets used by an Australian company to create a 300 HP engine that creates perpetual energy. www.cycclone.com
06/30/07 - PUSH the Future - US no longer top dog in the world
The PUSH Conference brings together voices from economics, social policy, technology, demography, art, and design to construct a window on the future of work, business, and society. Ronald Reagan’s secretary of commerce. Clyde Prestowitz advises Presidents and CEOs alike on the state of the world, "All of our lives, the U.S. has been the most powerful country. Oil has been priced in dollars. Water has been readily, cheaply available. Energy, pretty much the same thing. We take that for granted; we assume that's the way life is going to be. But study the life of a corporation, or a country, and you find that changes take place. Sometimes they're gradual, sometimes big. We as a world have come to a moment of big change. The U.S. has been the only country in the world that can run large trade deficit for a long time. But now, other countries have big dollar reserves. As that happens, there are concerns about the ability of the U.S. to pay; fear has begun to creep into global financial markets that the dollar isn’t as solid as we’ve all thought."
06/27/07 - Not sure yet why KeelyNet was down Wednesday but it's up now, though email remains down.
It's probably due to the DELUGE Dallas and Texas in general has suffered. Dallas is where Dan York's server is where he kindly hosts KeelyNet so he must be fighting alligators. / Dallas is looking a lot like Seattle these days. Drenching rains pounded the city and north-central Texas again on Wednesday, forcing the precautionary evacuation of thousands of residents from several communities to the west of Fort Worth that were threatened with possible flooding. A prolonged drought has been washed away in north Texas. Dams that were low just a couple of months ago are now brimming with water, and rivers are roiling. An official at the local office of the National Weather Service said this has been the second wettest June since records began in 1899 in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with over 10.5 inches of rain. That is about an inch short of the previous record set in 1928.
06/27/07 - $10.00 FLV Audio Extractor
I like to save FLV youtube.com music video files and want the music separate as an MP3. At first, I played the FLV file and twinned the audio with an audio capture program, but it was tedious AND the files sounded terrible, no matter how I adjusted it. A search found this excellent cheap program that does batch processing. So I batch processed ALL my FLV files and now have an excellent assortment of new music. / Freez Flv to Mp3 Converter is a a tool to convert Flash FLV files to Mp3 files so that they can be played in Windows Media Player. You can set the output mp3 audio's bitrate, frequency, channels, or simply set the values same as Flv's audio stream. With just a few clicks, you can convert batches of Flv files to Mp3 files with high speed. The simple and friendly interface make the program very easy to use.
06/27/07 - British steam car aims for landspeed record
(Once, an elderly friend told me the top speed for a Stanley Steamer had never been truly tested because of chassis vibration and control issues in early models, so this article is of interest. - JWD) A British steam car is in the final stages of preparation for an attempt on the land speed record, or at least the steam-powered version of it. In the early days of motoring, steam cars outpowered their petrol and electric-driven cousins. A Stanley Steamer was the world's fastest vehicle in 1906 with a top speed of 127 miles per hour. It kept the record until November 1909 when it was beaten by 3.5 miles per hour by a 21 litre petrol-driven Mercedes-Benz. The British Steam Car Challenge is ready to go, except the steam boilers are producing too much power. The car is aiming to produce more than 300 brake horsepower, which will allow it to reach 200 miles per hour. It uses four boilers powered by liquid petroleum gas. The car is built on a tubular steel frame with carbon composite front panels. In order to stop it uses disc brakes on all four wheels... and a parachute.
06/27/07 - NASA to unleash 'mind meld' intelligent machines
According to the NASA's chillingly frank press release, the aim is to "to develop a machine-to-machine (M2M) intelligence system that would be tailored to space missions" and which would "enable machines to make intelligent choices, execute self-guided adjustments, and communicate with one another, all without human intervention, in a way that they presently cannot". Here's the money shot - check the last sentence: As envisioned, an M2M intelligence system will work with a broad spectrum of machines, from wireless tools and sensors to robots, spacecraft, and computer grid systems. The goal is nothing short of machine self-dependency. "Our technology interconnects all machines and provides an intelligent way for them to communicate and exchange information much more efficiently than before." Machines in an M2Mi environment interoperate seamlessly, because each is augmented with knowledge of its own behavior and can communicate with all others. Information, communication and intelligence enables global system awareness and adaptive control. To process huge data volumes over large distances, transform data into information, and derive actionable intelligence, m2mi leverages a meta-data-driven architecture (MDDA). Drone trawlers are used to proactively scan both the semantic web and traditional protocols to interact with machines and applications. When new intelligence is to be deployed (new devices, change of applications or behavior), the drone trawler spawns and manages the life cycle of multiple task agents.
06/27/07 - Age Progression
Upload a photo, and they'll make the person look older: Phojoe Forensic Art. Through Forensic Compositing we can do Age Progression/Regression to help investigators solve crimes and find missing people. This service is also available for the general public. Ever wonder what your child will look like in 10 years? Have you lost a Loved one and are wondering what they would look like now...We Can Show You! We can also combine 2 peoples features to predict what their children will look like. Anything is possible.
06/27/07 - Democrats plan to cut Cheney out of executive funding bill
Following Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that his office is not a part of the executive branch of the US government, Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) plans to introduce an amendment to the the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill to cut funding for Cheney's office.
06/27/07 - $12-$17,000 Smart Car in 2008
The base pure model comes standard with convenience features such as a 5-speed automated manual transmission with manual or automatic mode, central remote locking system, 2-spoke leather steering wheel, radio-ready console, and more. Air conditioning, power windows and alloy wheels are optional. The top speed of the smart fortwo is approximately 90 mph. The vehicle is designed to achieve 40 plus mpg under normal driving conditions and current standards. smart is a member of the Mercedes Car Group. smart vehicles are sold in 36 countries throughout the world. Over 750,000 fortwo vehicles have been sold since its introduction. When the United States starts selling the smart fortwo it will become the 37th country.
06/27/07 - Hypnotist Spammer Exchange
If you have a couple of minutes, click the link and read this fascinating exchange between a spammer and a blogger. "I recently posted about a spam email I received from a hypnotist named Wendi: Spam From Wendi. The email came from an internet marketing company called Constant Contact. Last night, Wendi noticed the post and posted a few comments..."
06/27/07 - Ear Excerise Gymnasium to restore Hearing - May 1933
An ear gymnasium, devised by a Michigan inventor, is said to aid those of defective hearing by exercising the nerve centers of the ear. Special earphones are slipped over the patient’s head and at the tone frequencies at which hearing is defective, a series of tone exercises is given at a volume great enough to be heard by the patient. Over a period of time, this is said to improve the hearing.
06/27/07 - New Tech for More Energy-Efficient Ethanol Production
The researchers' invention, called a spiral-wound liquid membrane module, potentially could replace the widely-used process of distilling ethanol from fermentation broths. The module offers ethanol producers the important advantage of combining two separation processes, extraction and membrane permeation, in one piece of equipment. With further research and development, the module would require less energy than distillation. In brief, the fermentation broth--typically containing about 5% to 12% ethanol--would travel through a sandwich-like configuration of membranes and mesh sheets, called spacers, that keep the membranes separate from each other. One membrane has a solvent in its pores that extracts the ethanol from the broth. A second membrane, with the help of a vacuum, pulls the ethanol out of the solvent. The ethanol and water vapor that results then is condensed into an ethanol-rich liquid in other equipment. The scientists have applied for a patent. They now plan to build and fine-tune a prototype, then turn it over to a membrane manufacturer for further development before commercialization.
06/27/07 - Ten Predictions Regarding Global Warming That Came True
Ten predictions made by climate scientists that have come true (or are becoming true). 1) That the Earth would warm as more CO2 was put into the atmosphere (Svante Arrhenius in 1893) 2) That we'd begin to see noticable changes to Earth's climate by around 2000 (some IPCC scientists ). 3) That sea-level would start rising 4) That Earth's Ice would start melting rapidly (James Hanson) 5) that hurricanes would increase in intensity (this one goes back to Alfred Russel Wallace in 1900) 6) That species would start going extinct as a result of climate change. 7) That Australia would start drying out (Hadley Centre scientists) 8) That tropical diseases would increase 9) That food crops would be adversely affected 10) That the CO2 would begin to acidify the ocean
06/27/07 - Insulin pill could mean no more Injections
An oral dose of an insulin pill, taken twice daily before breakfast and the evening meal, controlled glucose levels successfully in the patients treated. Oral insulin has long been the Holy Grail for diabetics researchers as a replacement for daily injections, particularly for young diabetic children who often have problems with needles. However, until now one of the main obstacles to this has been that insulin is a protein which can be digested just like other proteins in the food. The stomach is a very acidic environment and proteins are quickly 'denatured', which would make the insulin ineffective. The presence of food also influence absorption and make a dose less predictable. This is why oral insulin has never been successful. The Diabetology company claims to have achieved success by enclosing the insulin in a capsule that resists stomach acids and passes intact into the small intestine, according to the Times.
06/27/07 - Space Diving
Sixty miles up, you float easily in the cabin of a small rocket, admiring the stars above, the Earth far, far below. Suddenly, alarms sound. Space debris has pierced the ship, and it begins to break apart. In seconds, the air is gone. It’s utterly silent. Pain gathers in your face. Your tongue and eyes seem to be boiling. The captain rushes over and flips down your visor, and you feel better. Then he screams “Go!” over the radio, and pushes you toward the door. There’s nothing for it now: You don’t want to die. You close your eyes and leap, tumbling into the abyss. The curved horizon spins wildly. You let out a scream of terror as it rushes up toward you, and then you black out. Minutes later, a sudden jerk wakes you. This must be death, you think-your flesh meeting Earth at horrible speeds. But it’s the tug of your chute deploying at 3,000 feet. You realize you’re going to be all right. You glide in, touch down, and collapse in convulsions, traumatized. Through your tears you see your friends nearby, similarly undone but alive. You spot smoke on the horizon where, a mile away, your ship returned to the ground in an angry hail of twisted metal. For sport or safety, hurtling to Earth from space without the protective shroud of a heavily engineered space vehicle seems like sheer lunacy-a hellish descent punctuated by intense heat and terminal, well . . . splatter. But believe it or not, the physics actually works out. With a heat-resistant space suit and the right kind of chutes, such a daredevil plunge should indeed be possible. And with the right people involved, it edges into the realm of the probable.
06/27/07 - 1200 Frequency Microwave turns plastic to oil
Global Resource Corporation (GRC), uses a finely tuned microwave and a mix of materials that were made from oil which can be reduced back to oil and combustible gas (and a few leftovers). Key to GRC’s process is a machine that uses 1200 different frequencies within the microwave range, which act on specific hydrocarbon materials. As the material is zapped at the appropriate wavelength, part of the hydrocarbons that make up the plastic and rubber in the material are broken down into diesel oil and combustible gas. GRC's machine is called the Hawk-10. Its smaller incarnations look just like an industrial microwave with bits of machinery attached to it. Larger versions resemble a concrete mixer. "Anything that has a hydrocarbon base will be affected by our process," says Jerry Meddick, director of business development at GRC, based in New Jersey. "We release those hydrocarbon molecules from the material and it then becomes gas and oil." Whatever does not have a hydrocarbon base is left behind, minus any water it contained as this gets evaporated in the microwave.
06/27/07 - Artificial Intelligence Is Lost in the Woods
(And this guy is supposed to be a 'professor'? - JWD) A conscious mind will never be built out of software, argues a Yale University professor. Artificial intelligence has been obsessed with several questions from the start: Can we build a mind out of software? If not, why not? If so, what kind of mind are we talking about? A conscious mind? Or an unconscious intelligence that seems to think but experiences nothing and has no inner mental life? Software today can cope with only a smattering of the information-processing problems that our minds handle routinely--when we recognize faces or pick elements out of large groups based on visual cues, use common sense, understand the nuances of natural language, or recognize what makes a musical cadence final or a joke funny or one movie better than another. AI offers to figure out how thought works and to make that knowledge available to software designers. The current debate centers on what I'll call a "simulated conscious mind" versus a "simulated unconscious intelligence." We hope to learn whether computers make it possible to achieve one, both, or neither. I believe it is hugely unlikely, though not impossible, that a conscious mind will ever be built out of software. Even if it could be, the result (I will argue) would be fairly useless in itself. But an unconscious simulated intelligence certainly could be built out of software--and might be useful. Unfortunately, AI, cognitive science, and philosophy of mind are nowhere near knowing how to build one. They are missing the most important fact about thought: the "cognitive continuum" that connects the seemingly unconnected puzzle pieces of thinking (for example analytical thought, common sense, analogical thought, free association, creativity, hallucination). The cognitive continuum explains how all these reflect different values of one quantity or parameter that I will call "mental focus" or "concentration"--which changes over the course of a day and a lifetime.
06/27/07 - Overprotecting our Kids
When you were a kid, did you run around the neighborhood, play in the woods, and have fun down by the creek? Would you let your own kids do the same thing now? Even though, statistically speaking, kids are much safer now than ever before, parents are increasingly protective, to the point of keeping their kids from having some great experiences. Food for thought.
06/27/07 - Cuba is exporting some of the best healthcare in the world
(This was of interest because an elderly friend here thought he might need new kidneys and wanted it done overseas. I found Apollo Hospital in India would install new kidneys for less than $8,000. Fortunately, the cyst my friend had was easily removed with no complications. While researching it, there seem to be many people who choose other countries for their major health care needs, for lower cost and excellent service. - JWD) Cubans say they offer health care to the world's poor because they have big hearts. But what do they get in return? They live longer than almost anyone in Latin America. Far fewer babies die. Almost everyone has been vaccinated, and such scourges of the poor as parasites, TB, malaria, even HIV/AIDS are rare or non-existent. Anyone can see a doctor, at low cost, right in the neighborhood. The Cuban health care system is producing a population that is as healthy as those of the world's wealthiest countries at a fraction of the cost. And now Cuba has begun exporting its system to under-served communities around the world -- including the United States.
06/27/07 - More Evidence the 'war' is about Oil and GREED
Cheney Energy Task Force Docs Feature Maps of Iraqi oilfield - This report was released by Judicial Watch in 2003, but has very significant relevence with the current Cheney scrutiny. Mind you, these maps were used BEFORE the invasion began. ...documents turned over by the Commerce Department, under court order as a result of Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as 2 charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts."
06/27/07 - A Depressing Dynamic - Bootstrapping other countries backfires
Today, there's an interesting case emerging as we look at the possibility that the very prospect that we think will avoid a Depression - namely prosperity and a rollicking good time in financial instruments - will likely cause the very thing we fear most. I told you a week or two back about Dallas area petro-geologist Jeffrey Brown's fear: That as we send more and more money to oil exporting countries, such as places in the Middle East and Russia, the prosperity that oil brings causes a massive increase in these country's internal demand, which, in turn, leaves less for export to us - and oh, by-the-by, at a higher price due to supply and demand. (via urbansurvival.com)
06/27/07 - Video - Welcome to Hell
Funny skit featuring Rowan Atkinson as the Devil.
06/27/07 - Electric Bath Fights Disease - June 1932
SOME London hospitals are now equipped with the latest in scientific methods of combatting disease, the electro-therapeutic bath. The diseased patient sits comfortably, as the photo below shows, with his hands and feet in small tubs. The artificial fever is produced in the body by the passage of an electric current which combats the disease germs and hastens recovery. The electric current is run into the solution in the tubs through electrodes. The intensity of the current can be altered by rheostats on the control board shown in lower left corner of the photo. / Another tie-in to the Dotto Ring, iontophoresis, the claims of Lee Crocks Aura Cleanser and the Mexistim.
06/27/07 - Can Shots Safely 'Melt Away Fat'?
Marketed as a safer and less invasive alternative to liposuction, proponents say lipo-dissolve is useful for treating small "problem areas" such as love handles, bra fat and a softening jaw line. A growing number of doctors, nurses and even spa personnel are offering the procedure known in medical circles as injection lipolysis -- and more colloquially as the "flab jab." But critics, among them officials of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery...say there is no convincing evidence that lipo-dissolve is effective -- or safe -- and they warn patients to stay away from fat-loss shots...
06/25/07 - Desalination 'not the solution'
Turning salt water into drinking water is not a solution to tackle global water scarcity, the WWF has said. A report by the environmental group said a growth in the energy intensive technology would increase emissions and damage coastal and river habitats. More attention should instead be paid to conserving supplies, it suggested. "Desalinating the sea is an expensive, energy intensive and greenhouse gas emitting way to get water," said Jamie Pittock, director of WWF's global freshwater programme. "It may have a place in the world's future freshwater supplies but regions still have cheaper, better and complementary ways to supply water that are less risky to the environment." The report called for greater emphasis on managing existing supplies before the go-ahead was given to major water projects. It added that new desalination plants, which were primarily located in coastal areas, should also be subject to tighter impact assessments to minimise damage to the marine environment. Advances in technology meant that it was also possible to develop alternative "manufactured water" systems, such as treating waste water, the authors wrote. "The basic problem is that by taking sea water and producing fresh water, you are going to get a stream of fresh water, which is what you want, but you also produce a concentrated salt stream," Professor Bowen explained. "You have to be very careful what you do with that concentrated stream and where you put it back into the environment.
06/25/07 - Inventor claims Copper Mask for health benefits
Up first from New York is Carlo Giansanti, 71, retired and a grandfather, born in Italy. In the past recaps, I have chosen not to repeat the ages of the contestants, but since age and occupation can sometimes be relevant to the audition and the information is given in writing on the screen, I have decided to go ahead and include the information in the recaps. Carlo has invested $10,000 in a copper mask invention. The idea is not to eat copper for health benefits, but to breathe copper. He claims that he is in much better health than a few years ago and that he no longer needs to wear glasses. Trying to keep an open mind, this idea may not be a crazy at it seems, but I need actual proof like research and a little science behind it before I can take it seriously. Even something like that it has been used for centuries would help, although at that point it might no longer be an invention. He gets all no's from the judges. / Related Nose Mask Healing claim - Come to find out there is a fungous, bacteria and a mold that is resistive to antibiotics (coming from the chem. trails). It has been found that copper ions coming off the mask kills all three. The fungous, bacteria and mold infect the lungs and mucous glands causing protein chains to grow in the mucous sticking to the walls of the lungs, with sugar part of the food it uses to grow rapidly. This is not a cure but a remedy and possibly a preventive measure when the chem. trails are being sprayed. This is how I think it works; The Nose Mask is constructed in such a manor that it has super conducting current but no amps or voltage. When a slight voltage is added to the Mask, the voltage is amplified forty times. So when it comes in contact with the skin the slight voltage from the body powers up the mask with a sizeable super conducting energy that is not harmful to the body but helpful. This energy might aid in producing ionized oxygen. It is already known that when copper is exposed to water it will oxidize, the moisture comes from your breath when it comes in contact with the copper. As you breathe in, the ionized oxygen is ripped off the copper pulling a copper ion with it. / Health Benefits of Copper - What can foods high in copper do for you? * Help your body utilize iron * Reduce tissue damage caused by free radicals * Maintain the health of your bones and connective tissues * Help your body produce the pigment called melanin * Keep your thyroid gland functioning normally * Preserve the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects your nerves. What events can indicate a need for more high-copper foods? * Iron deficiency anemia * Blood vessels that rupture easily * Bone and joint problems * Elevated LDL cholesterol and reduced HDL cholesterol levels * Frequent infections * Loss of hair or skin color * Fatigue and weakness * Difficulty breathing and irregular heart beat * Skin sores. Excellent food sources of copper include calf's liver, crimini mushrooms, turnip greens and blackstrap molasses.
06/25/07 - DNA marking system for Personal Security
A creative range of ‘DNA alarms’ has won a British inventor a Science & Technology prize at The European Women Inventors and Innovators Awards. Liz Williams from Denbighshire took home the prize for the best entry in the Science & Technology category at the ceremony in Berlin last weekend. Williams said that she was encouraged to develop a personal safety alarm that could offer a better deterrent against attacks after the tragic murders of young schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. The Linkz DNA range is now being marketed under a different name by RedWeb Security as ‘the world’s first intelligent forensic trace alarm’. It uses unique biosynthetic DNA, registered to each individual premises or person, to mark intruders clothing and skin to provide forensic and visual proof of their presence at the crime scene. This technology is said to be highly regarded by law enforcement agencies, who refer to it as prima facie (first instance) evidence. Indeed, the Redweb range of DNA dyes has been classified as ‘Secured by Design’ by the ACPO’s Crime Prevention Initiative. / A month or two ago, I posted a news article about a 1920s or so invention that used a breakable dye containing rod so women could 'stain' any attacker for easy identification. Looks like someone is renewing an old idea. - JWD
06/25/07 - Ionic liquid offers greener recycling of plastics
Chemists Akio Kamimura and Shigehiro Yamamoto at Yamaguchi University in Ube, Japan, have shown in laboratory experiments that liquid salts or "ionic liquids" can dissolve nylon back into its basic chemical units. Ionic liquids are closely identified with the 'green chemistry' movement because they rarely evaporate, so cannot be inhaled and do not form smog. Like all salts, they are made up of positive and negative ions. But unlike most salts they have unwieldy ions that refuse to stack neatly into crystals like table salt, and instead exist as a disorganised liquid. The researchers mixed different ionic liquids together with a catalyst and with nylon samples, and heated them. They found one that - when heated to 300°C - converted 86% of the nylon back into the compound caprolactam from which it is made. The heating seems to make it easier for the catalyst to split the long polymer chains of nylon into its constituents. The experiments were performed in everyday laboratory glassware, without increased pressure, or very high heat. The researchers say this "will open a new field in ionic liquid chemistry as well as plastic recycling".
06/25/07 - Create a back-up copy of your immune system
Imagine having a spare copy of your immune system on ice, ready to replace your existing one should you fall victim to AIDS, an autoimmune disease, or have to undergo extensive chemotherapy for cancer. An Anglo-American company called Lifeforce has received permission from the US Food and Drug Administration to do just that. The firm collects 480-millilitre samples of blood from healthy individuals, extracts the white blood cells and stores them as an insurance policy against future disease. The service comes at a price, though: around $800 for taking the initial sample then $25 per month for storing the cells at -196 °C. "That sample would have the complete repertoire of all your white blood cells," says Del DelaRonde, co-founder of Lifeforce in Newport, UK. By taking some of the stored cells and exposing them to natural growth factors such as interleukin-2, whole new armies of white blood cells could be grown in the lab and reinfused into the patient. Many people with cancer undergo similar "adoptive" therapies using immune cells extracted before they have chemo- or radiotherapy, which can destroy immune cells. But there is a risk that the cells won't work optimally because of previous cancer damage, DelaRonde says. "Instead, we can send them their 'pristine' system from 25 years ago."
06/25/07 - Energy from Balloons
A new way to produce electricity using helium balloons coated with solar cells has been devised by researchers at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. Gurfil and doctoral student Yossi Corrie developed a technique of using helium-filled balloons coated with solar energy cells to provide electricity. The same cable that brings the helium to the balloon will also carry the electricity to the ground. The Technion researchers estimate that each home or apartment would need only two balloons. If they were mass produced, their cost could be reduced below the estimated $700 per square meter of today's solar cells. The pair filed a patent application for their invention and hope the technology will compete with existing power producers. Coated helium balloons could be used, at first, to supply electricity to ships and homes in jungles, deserts and other isolated spots off electricity grids. Beyond that, Gurfil and Corrie hope that homes in cities around the world will get their electricity from such balloons.
06/25/07 - Simple Spark
The Simple Spark Catalog is the place to find all of the really cool web applications...that will become an integral part of your life online. Not only does the Simple Spark Catalog have a comprehensive listing of really cool apps that gets larger every day, but we also give you the tools to organize and share all these apps with your friends. Our catalog is a marketplace where both established companies and independent developers come to strut their stuff... Over 3000 apps in categories of Media, Living, Office, Organization, Travel, Marketplace and Finance.
06/25/07 - Thinking to change Channels
THE ultimate couch potato's dream could soon be a reality, with the development of a TV that changes channels when you think about it. Japanese electronics giant Hitachi is working on a "brain-machine interface" that analyses slight changes in the brain's blood flow and translates brain motion into electric signals. It was linked to a train set, which reporters were able to make stop and go simply by thinking about it. Scientists said the technology could have huge implications for medical research, but Hitachi's scientists are more interested in using it to develop a TV remote controller that lets users switch channels by thought.
06/25/07 - HIV Infection Theory Challenged
A longstanding theory of how HIV slowly depletes the body's capacity to fight infection is wrong, scientists say. HIV attacks human immune cells, called T helper cells. Loss of these cells is gradual, often taking many years. It was thought infected cells produced more HIV particles and that this caused the body to activate more T cells which in turn were infected and died. Imperial College London modelling suggests that, if that was true, cells would die out in months not years.
06/25/07 - Table Top USP Lasers Slice, Dice, and So Much More
"A company in Petaluma, California has developed highly programmable ultrashort pulse (USP) desktop lasers. The same devices used in hospitals could also be used to turn any metal surface black by simply changing the software. From the article: 'The technology once filled a large room at DARPA until Raydiance scientists made it into a compact, tabletop unit. Schuler (The CEO) said he hopes it will replace just about any cutting device you can think of, from a big metal saw to a precise surgical blade ... Now that it's a little bigger than a breadbox, researchers want to use them to kill tumors, identify friend or foe during combat, and even remove tattoos.' Femtosecond lasers for eye surgery have been around for years now, but these new lasers are far smaller and promise to have much greater versatility."
06/25/07 - Alternatives to clunky Microsoft Word
We don’t need distractions and we don’t need a bloated, expensive word processor with way too many features and way too slow a load time. What we need is a minimalist, distraction-free word processor - and being the cheapskates that we are, we want it free. Luckily, there are a number of great alternatives. I personally use several of these, depending on where I am and what I need to do (Google Docs, AbiWord, and DarkRoom are my poisons of choice), and I’ve used all the others, and I can attest that they are speedy and very productive. They do what you need to do - just write - and they do it well. (via lifehacker.com)
06/25/07 - Video - Rubber Girl - Time Displacement
Interesting and very cool video technique that uses time-delay to make bodies warp and twist. / Comments - That technique is called slit scan. It was popular in the 60's and 70's. I was inspired to google slit scanning and came up with this: someone de-slit scanned the 2001 images. This is the artwork (he infers) that was used in the movie. Kinda neat. / The technique used in this case is called Time Displacement which is a cool After Effects effect that uses colors and grayscale gradients to play different parts of a video timeline in a single frame. (via boingboing.net)
06/25/07 - CIA to Air Decades of Its Dirty Laundry
The CIA will declassify hundreds of pages of long-secret records detailing some of the intelligence agency's worst illegal abuses -- the so-called "family jewels" documenting a quarter-century of overseas assassination attempts, domestic spying, kidnapping and infiltration of leftist groups from the 1950s to the 1970s, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said yesterday. The documents, to be publicly released next week, also include accounts of break-ins and theft, the agency's opening of private mail to and from China and the Soviet Union, wiretaps and surveillance of journalists, and a series of "unwitting" tests on U.S. civilians, including the use of drugs.
06/25/07 - Pain Measuring Probe
(Thanks to Bob Paddock for the headsup on this. Years ago, I saw a demonstraton of a microwave horn device that measured pain so this is an interesting development. - JWD) The Pain Measurement apparatus aims to help physicians prescribe pain relief medication to patients suffering from varying degrees of pain. The apparatus determines the amount of cooling required for pain disappearance and relates it directly to the severity of the pain. The Method: For measuring the severity of pain, the operator selects a suitable tip or probe attached at the end of the apparatus and applies the probe over the area where the patient is experiencing pain. The probe is equipped with a heat transfer surface which is in direct contact with the area of skin that is in pain. Then, the temperature at the probe is gradually lowered and the patient is instructed to indicate immediately when pain relief is obtained. The temperature drop is obtained through a liquid refrigerant which expands and evaporates over the surface taking away the heat from the body. The instrument is then held at that temperature and skin surface temperature is measured. The difference in temperature and the time taken to provide relief is graphed and the slope of the line constitutes the degree of pain. The Pain Measurement is unique in that it: 1. Measures the degree of pain(Dols)in quantitative terms 2. Divides the severity of pain into precise grades, using the Pain Measurement Chart and suggest proper types of analgesics and narcotics 3. Detects when pain is not felt but imagined or faked, if no relief is encountered by adequate cooling of painful area (Include any tests done/examples of case studies) With its ability to measure and quantify degree of pain prior to any medicinal prescription, the apparatus can prove to be useful at: • Hospitals and medical clinics • Medical Research Centres • Medical equipment manufacturers
06/25/07 - Dismal World
Count your blessings. This site is about a world in which human beings suffer due to social, political or economic reasons. About a world of diseases, gang fights, uprisings, sanctions, wars, protests, poverty, activists, coups, hunger, and other sorts of daily affairs.
06/25/07 - Rejoice!
New Book - "The Sinners Guide to the Evangelical Right" / Comments - "A handbook for coping with bible thumpers.... When considering the power and influence evangelical Christians wield in this country, you have to laugh to keep from crying. Robert Lanham... understands this well and offers much needed, totally biased comic relief." - Village Voice / "This book is hilarious... [Lanham] didn't skimp on his research. The book provides a telling overview of the religious right's leadership, the beliefs they espouse, and just how incredibly absurd and hypocritical they are." - The Campaign to Defend the Constitution / Editor's Pick: "From the author of The Hipster Handbook comes this irreverent navigation of all things Evangelical. Learn enough slang to fit in at a church picnic or why SpongeBob SquarePants is an agent of the Devil" - Chicago Sun-Times
06/25/07 - Questions your Pastor will Hate
* "Who was Cain afraid would kill him when God put him out of the Garden for killing Abel? There were mom, dad, bro and himself on the whole planet at the time." Answer...He must have known his sisters were going to have kids with dad, no not that. He was speculating. Cain wasn't thinking very clearly that day. / * "Why does the Apostle Paul, who writes most of the New Testament, NEVER quote Jesus, tell a story of his life or death, discuss a miracle or teaching?" / * "Isn't it strange the man who writes most of the New Testament and tells us all how to live, think and believe about Jesus, never met him, while the Twelve who did, vanish into thin air and write nothing?"
06/25/07 - Comment about Cordarone
I was visiting an elderly couple today and we were talking about various medical things. The man is 90 years old and sharp as a tack. His 88 year old wife told me about 5 years ago he had a very weak heart and low oxygen intake to give him breathing problems to the point he often needed an oxygen bottle as an assist. She said a French doctor checked her husband out and prescribed pills called 'Cordarone' / Amiodarone / Pacerone. Within days after beginning this medication, his breathing improved and he no longer needed the oxygen bottle nor did he have any breathing problems. In addition, his heart strengthened and healed to the point he no longer takes any heart medication. They both swear by these pills. Note: This is simply an anecdote, consult your doctor if you have health problems. / It is used in the treatment of a wide range of cardiac tachyarrhythmias, including both ventricular and supraventricular (atrial) arrhythmias. Widely used throughout Europe as an anti-anginal medication. The FDA was reluctant to officially approve the use of amiodarone, since initial reports had shown increased incidence of serious pulmonary side-effects of the drug. In the mid 1980s, the European pharmaceutical companies began putting pressure on the FDA to approve amiodarone by threatening to cut the supply to American physicians if it were not approved. In December of 1985, amiodarone was approved by the FDA for the treatment of arrhythmias. The only absolute contraindications to the administration of amiodarone is allergic reaction (ie: anaphylaxis) to the compound.
06/23/07 - Radical Engines, Quirky Designs Refuel Quest for Car of Future
Where will the car of the future come from? Detroit, which fumbled the electric automobile and let Japan grab the lead in hybrids? A team of researchers at MIT's Media Lab, meanwhile, hopes to use the same approach to reduce congestion in today's crowded cities. They're experimenting with small electric motors located in the wheels of the CityCar, a tiny, nimble and practically silent vehicle with wheels that turn 360 degrees, enabling it to slip neatly into tight urban parking spaces. Designed to stack like supermarket carts when not in use, the cars could be parked strategically in front of subway stations and office buildings, where people could grab one as needed for short-term, one-way rentals, says Ryan Chin, one of the MIT researchers. Others are looking to revolutionize the automobile's engine, not replace it. The radical new design of the Scuderi power plant splits the cylinders of an internal-combustion engine in two, compressing air in one chamber, then shooting it into a combustion chamber where it's mixed with gas and ignited. The Massachusetts startup's design allows recovered braking energy to be stored as compressed air. It also creates a highly efficient combustion environment, promising to double gas mileage while drastically reducing tailpipe emissions. Colorado-based Sturman Industries is working on another type of under-the-hood innovation. Run by former NASA engineer Eddie Sturman, who designed an electronic valve for Apollo spacecraft in the '60s, the company uses digital valves to control the flow of air and fuel to internal-combustion engines, eliminating the need for camshafts. Then there's the new "external combustion" engine being developed by Ethos Environmental, a publicly traded San Diego company that makes fuel additives. The engine, says Ethos CEO Enrique De Vilmorin, runs on energy derived from an expanding gas similar to Freon. The gas is heated outside the engine, and only has to be warmed to about 100 degrees. Any one of a number of fuels could work, including coal pulverized to a fine powder that looks like the toner used in laser printers. "Desulfurized powdered coal is nontoxic and much safer than a liquid fuel like gasoline," says De Vilmorin, "and you don't need a gas station. You could pick up a bag at Wal-Mart, and 75 pounds would get you across the country." Listening to De Vilmorin describe the engine sounds like a pitch for snake oil: Based on the company's early tests, he says, an engine the size of two basketballs could propel a full-size car down the road with only a fraction of the emissions of today's internal-combustion engines. But De Vilmorin has a boatload of patents on the technology, and is in discussions with a San Diego landfill operator for a pilot project to use the engine to generate electricity from the methane gas produced by garbage. Payback time on that project, according to De Vilmorin: two years or less.
06/23/07 - White Roofs mitigate CO2 buildup faster than Solar Cells
We are often slaves to preconceived notions such as "complex problems require complex solutions." Take the surprising trade-offs between even the most technologically advanced solar panel and plain white paint. Which product would make you a better environmental citizen? Our sun illuminates the earth with a steady 1,350 watts per square meter. Some of this energy is absorbed by the atmosphere, some is reflected back into space, and some makes it to the earth's surface, where it might be absorbed or reflected as well. Countering this reflective system are greenhouse gases like CO and methane. These now retain an additional 2 watts per square meter of solar energy over and above retention levels in preindustrial times. Such gases are disproportionately effective at capturing heat despite what actually remains a relatively small atmospheric concentration of 380 parts per million of CO. That minute increase in retained heat is fairly inconsequential if you are baking cookies in an oven. But for the earth as a whole, it's of critical importance, as the resulting extra few degrees is sufficient to melt the polar ice caps. On average, a panel that's 1 square meter in size will receive 300 watts of sunlight over a 24-hour period. In turning that sunlight into electricity, about 80% of that energy is lost due to the inefficient conversion process. Here's the rub. If, instead of a black solar panel absorbing light and producing electricity, you simply painted that square meter white, it would reflect back into outer space perhaps 50 of the 300 watts incident from the sun. So it would take about 25 days for the solar panel to catch up with the more efficient reflection of sunlight that the white-painted panel would provide in a single day. This seems counterintuitive, of course, as solar panels are net-positive in reducing global warming. And, in many cases, you could install the black solar panel on an existing black building roof, so you wouldn't be "adding" yet another black, heat-absorbing surface [another "albedo-decreaser"] to the earth. Except for the small issue of money. A 20%-efficient, 1-square-meter solar panel costs about $1,000. For $1,000, you can buy 40 cans of good quality white paint. Each can covers 2,000 square meters with a nice bright reflecting film. So for the same $1,000 investment you could buy one square meter of photovoltaic cells, or cover 2,000 square meters with white paint. It would take more than 2,000 times 25 days, or about a century, for the CO mitigation from $1,000 of solar panels to catch up with the albedo increase of a large painted roof!
06/23/07 - Highway Windpower
Arizona student Joe who posted this amazing idea on his Archinect school blog for a highway wind turbine would harvest the wind created by fast-moving automobiles to send power back into the grid. If feasible, this wind turbine project could be easily retrofitted to transform most of the world’s highways into endless power sources. Imagine highways being known for their power generation instead of their traffic!
06/23/07 - Converting CO2 to Energy
Clifford Kubiak and Aaron Sathrum from the University of San Diego have devised a way to use solar energy to obtain both fuel and electricity from CO2, and have a working prototype to prove it. The prototype works by turning the solar energy into electrical energy. The energy created is used to activate two layers of catalysts which then convert the CO2 into Oxygen and Carbon Monoxide, that while highly toxic on its own, is actually a fairly useful and very sought after chemical that is commonly used in the production of products such as laundry detergents and more importantly methanol, which can be used as a fuel. The technique itself is not new; there are plenty of scientific papers that speak about similar proposals. The aim of this particular prototype is to get it to a stage that allows for this to work purely by solar, something which the current prototype does not do.
06/23/07 - Three Laptop Tricks For Better Presentations
The audience fights narcolepsy as they're gently lolled into a passive PowerPoint stupor. The slides themselves are random, artless, complex and -- worst of all -- numerous, and make a long series of points mainly irrelevant to the audience. The presentation exceeds its time, despite the fact that he glanced at his watch several times during the talk. Sound familiar? This account describes 90% of the PowerPoint presentations I've witnessed, and I've seen thousands. If you don't want to be that guy, I think I can help. (via lifehacker.com)
06/23/07 - Ethos Fuel Additive to clean the air and environment
Cleaner air will be due in large part to a local manufacturer of a fuel additive that reduces exhaust emissions 30 to 40 percent or more. The additive is an ester-based product dubbed Ethos Fuel Reformulator and is produced by Ethos Environmental Inc. in South San Diego. "The air quality regulations there are comparative to the 1950s here, so we are a solution for them," said Ethos President Enrique De Vilmorin. "If you take 15 percent off the emission rolls in any city, you're going to make a difference." And with the price of gas at record levels in this country, Americans can also benefit from using the product, its proponents say. In some cars, the addition of Ethos FR has improved gas mileage 50 percent or more, but the company's official line calls for a 7 to 19 percent improvement, depending on a number of factors, De Vilmorin said. He stresses that a person's driving habits have a huge effect on gas mileage, so someone who drives with a lead foot on the accelerator is not going to see the improvement that someone driving more conservatively will. But it's the reduced emissions he really wants to talk about, not improved mileage. "That's really the only fair way to do a test, because there are a lot of variables that affect gas mileage," he said. However, because reduced emissions means that more of the fuel is converted into energy rather than going out the exhaust pipe, that also translates to reduced fuel consumption and improved gas mileage. It pays for itself not only in lower fuel costs, he said, but because it will extend the life of the engine, and it will increase the likelihood of a vehicle passing the state-mandated smog test. The product works because it is a super lubricator, explains Jerry Schnitzius, the general manager of Pacific Waste Services, the San Diego division of Allied Waste Industries, the second-largest trash collection company in the nation. For three years, Allied has been adding Ethos FR to its truck fuel, reducing exhaust emissions, fuel consumption and maintenance costs. The product is also added to the power steering and transmission fluids. "We're absolutely sold on it," Schnitzius said. "It reduced emissions from our trucks by 65 percent. The ester-based Ethos FR removes carbon deposits and cleans and lubricates an engine's internal parts without using petroleum-derived solvents. An ester is a tiny molecule that is smaller than a hydrocarbon, so it penetrates hydrocarbon residue and breaks it up, sending it out the exhaust pipe. "It's a cleaning process; it gets between the carbon and the metal and the carbon falls away," De Vilmorin, adding that it's good for environment because 99.999 percent of the product is consumed during engine combustion. Esters occur in nature, and the primary one used by Ethos Environmental originated in palm oil, although the company develops its esters synthetically. "Otherwise, we'd have to cut down all the palm production in Central and South America," he chuckled. Ethos FR is offered sale to the public on the Ethos website for $19.95 a pint, but the company is not actively promoting it. The ratio is 1 to 1280, or one ounce per 10 gallons of fuel. (1 pint [US, liquid] = 16 ounce [US, liquid])
06/23/07 - Video - Singing Tesla Coil
This is a solid-state Tesla coil. The primary runs at its resonant frequency in the 41 KHz range, and is modulated from the control unit in order to generate the tones you hear. What's not immediately obvious in this video is how loud this is. Many people were covering their ears, dogs were barking. In the sections where the crowd is cheering and the coils is starting and stopping, you can hear the the crowd is drowned out by the coil when it's firing. (via boingboing.net)
06/23/07 - The Privacy of Email
"A U.S. appeals court in Ohio has ruled that e-mail messages stored on Internet servers are protected by the Constitution as are telephone conversations and that a federal law permitting warrantless secret searches of e-mail violates the Fourth Amendment. 'The Stored Communications Act is very important,' former federal prosecutor and counter-terrorism specialist Andrew McCarthy told United Press International. But the future of the law now hangs in the balance."
06/23/07 - Gas at $6 per gallon? Get ready
A bill being debated in the Senate this week is described by some of its supporters as “far from perfect” but “a good start.” A good start, yes, to higher gas and food prices, to new taxes and to forcing consumers to pay for high-cost “renewable” energy sources - solar and wind, for example - that are to energy independence what bicycle trails are to traffic-congestion relief. The Senate bill, grandiosely and falsely dubbed the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007, should come with a section prohibiting price gouging - by Congress. The legislation “could result in significantly higher prices for gasoline consumers,” according to Heritage Foundation researchers. “A review of S. 1419, including the just-completed section on tax changes, reveals that the bill could increase the price of regular unleaded gasoline from $3.14 per gallon (the early May national average) to $6.40 in 2016 - a 104 percent increase,” write Heritage Foundation researchers William W. Beach and Shanea Watkins. “Gas consumers can expect to pay between $3.16 and $3.79 a gallon for gas in 2008 after adding in the estimated impact of the Senate energy bill. By 2016, all states can expect gas prices in excess of $6. As a result of S. 1419, consumers would spend an average of $1445 more per year on gasoline in 2016 than in 2008,” they write.
06/23/07 - What is Popfly?
Popfly is the fun, easy way to build and share mashups, gadgets, Web pages, and applications. Popfly consists of two parts: -- Popfly Creator is a set of online visual tools for building Web pages and mashups. -- Popfly Space is an online community of creators where you can host, share, rate, comment and even remix creations from other Popfly users... What’s Microsoft’s motivation for releasing Popfly? Popfly is another piece in our company-wide outreach in helping non-professional developers build everything from Xbox games to Robotics to custom Web applications using Windows Home Server. Popfly becomes the online home for building and sharing all types of non-professional projects, from static Web pages to mashups, to game mods. Is Popfly free? -- Yes, Popfly is free, but some 3rd party blocks services may require a subscription fee...
06/23/07 - Edible Estates, transform your lawn
From Salinas, Kansas to the pages of the New York Times, Edible Estates, has had a big year. The combination of increased awareness around resource conservation, rising concern over food safety, and the gourmet cachet of a homegrown vegetable has gotten more people than ever interested in trading a water-hogging lawn for a productive garden. The first Edible Estates front yard makeover took place in Kansas, followed by one in Los Angeles. Now founder/designer Fritz Haeg has plans to take it to the East Coast with a New York lawn; but he hasn’t yet found the perfect site! Do you have a lawn you want to transform within a short distance of New York City? Do you know someone else who does?
06/23/07 - Video - How to maintain classroom discipline
Pretty good video for teachers to hone their craft and earn the respect, admiration and cooperation of their students.
06/23/07 - Prayer Circles in the Playground
Imagine yourself back in the third grade. It is recess, and you are with your classmates on the playground. There is a teacher in the vicinity, but the supervision is fairly minimal. Suddenly, a group of 6 or more children approach you and say something along the lines of, "Have you been saved?" You are not sure what to make of the question, so other questions about your religious beliefs and experiences follow. Without understanding the consequences, you tell them that you and your family are atheists, Jews, Catholics, Buddhists, non-fundamentalist Protestants, etc. The children start calling you names and hurling insults at you. If you happen to be Jewish, you will hear things that would make neo-Nazi's proud. You are a sinner. You are going to burn in a lake of fire. You will rot in hell. They form a circle around you, holding hands to make sure you can't easily escape. They tell you that the only way you can save yourself is to accept Jee-zuhs. They begin praying around you loudly to "save your soul."
06/23/07 - The Henoch Prophecy (with regard to the USA)
In addition to producing the clearest photos, films and video of UFOs ever taken, as well as other physical evidence, for the past 48 years Meier has published the most specific, prophetically accurate, scientific and world-event-related information of any known source. Before you consider the prophetic information below, please note that from his 251st Contact on February 3, 1995, Meier published advance warning of the US attack on Iraq, the increase in Islamic terrorism to follow, the appearance of SARS, the spread of "mad cow disease", the renewed public concern over chemical warfare, and the near accident at the nuclear power plant near Lyon, France (which occurred in August 2003). All of this information and more from the 251st Contact was also published in Guido Moosbrugger's book, And Yet They Fly!, in September 2001-well before any of the foretold events occurred. / The USA will set out against the Eastern countries ahead of all other financial states and simultaneously she will have to defend herself against the Eastern intruders. In all, America will play the most decisive role, when in the guise to strive for peace and to fight against terrorism she invades many countries of the Earth, bombs and destroys everything and brings thousandfold deaths to the populations. The military politics of the USA will likewise know no limits, as neither will their economic and other political institutions which will be focused on building and operating a world police force, as it is the case already for a long time [sic]. But that will not be enough, and, in the guise of a so-called peaceful globalisation, American politics will aspire to gain absolute control of the world concerning supremacy in economy. And this will point towards the possibility that a Third World War could develop from it, if human beings as a whole will not finally reflect upon reason, become reasonable and undertake the necessary steps against the insane machinations of their governments and military powers as well as their secret services, and call a halt to the power of the irresponsible who have forsaken their responsibility in all areas. If this does not happen, many small and great nations will lose their independence and their cultural identity and will be beaten down, because the USA will gain predominance over them and with evil force bring them down under her rule. At first, many countries will howl with the wolves of the US, partially due to fear of American aggressions and sanctions, as will be the case with many, many irresponsible [ones] in Switzerland and Germany but also of other countries. In part, others will join in because they will be forced somehow to do so or will be misled by irresponsible promoters of American propaganda. Finally, many Asian, African and European states will rise up against the American hegemony, once they recognise that the United States of America is only taking advantage of them for purposes of war, conquest and exploitation. In this way, many countries will become puppet states of America before reason and realisation will emerge in the responsible ones of governments and in many of the population, resulting in a turning away from the USA. However, the great war will hardly be avoidable because the human beings of Earth will probably not accept the directions towards the better, therewith towards true love, true freedom and real peace, striving instead only towards wealth, pleasure and riches and for all manner of material values and unrestricted power. Thus, huge and deadly formations of tanks will roll across the countries while fighter planes and rockets sweep through the air and bring death, ruin, destruction and annihilation to countries and people.
06/23/07 - Blameless?
The United States Flag Code says; (a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property. / Public Law 829 (77th Congress) Sec. 4(a) :
"The flag should never be displayed with the union down SAVE AS A SIGNAL OF DIRE DISTRESS." The flying of your Flag upside-down represents that you see "This Country IS In Crisis". This flag shall remain tattered and upside down as a sign of Constitutional distress! / This page lists the 35 U.S. backed coups in the past 55 years is here: US backed Coups. And this page lists the 158 U.S. interventions in the past 56 years: US 'Interventions'. The main page for this information can be found here: Why would anyone want to attack the good old USA?.
06/21/07 - Vertical farming in the big Apple
Scientists at Columbia University are proposing their vision of the future as one in which the skyline of New York and other cities include a new kind of skyscaper: the "vertical farm". The idea is simple enough. Imagine a 30-storey building with glass walls, topped off with a huge solar panel. On each floor there would be giant planting beds, indoor fields in effect. There would be a sophisticated irrigation system. And so crops of all kinds and small livestock could all be grown in a controlled environment in the most urban of settings. That means there would be no shipping costs, and no pollution caused by moving produce around the country.
06/21/07 - Superbug zapper recreates 'fresh air' indoors
A device that mimics the naturally disinfecting quality of fresh air could be used to purge hospital wards of superbugs, its makers claim. The Air Disinfector, launched in London, UK, on 19 June pumps a continual stream of reactive hydrogen radicals into the atmosphere, killing microbes within minutes. Outdoors, microbes are killed by hydroxyl radicals, highly reactive agents constantly produced through natural reactions between airborne ozone and organic scented chemicals from plants such as pine trees. Macdonald, Elwood and collaborators say they have recreated this effect using a customised device the size of a flower vase that constantly generates the radicals. To do this, it draws in oxygen and exposes it to electric currents to produce a cold plasma rich in ozone. The hydroxyl radicals are generated by constantly reacting the ozone with pre-loaded supplies of scented chemicals, called terpenes, in cartridges that need renewing each month. The ozone and terpenes are retained within the device and not released into the room. Bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile - two of the most notorious hospital-acquired superbugs - were undetectable within as little as an hour of the device being switched on, Macdonald says. "In earlier experiments, in which we flooded rooms with more than a billion bacteria, levels were effectively down to zero within an hour," he adds. Although hydroxyl radicals are lethal to microbes - disrupting their ability to absorb nutrients - they appear harmless to humans. The device is now on sale in the UK and is also being tried in wards at three hospitals. There are also plans to launch it in the US, where it is being tested at 17 veterans’ hospitals.
06/21/07 - Fruit could make 'powerful fuel'
The sugar found in fruit such as apples and oranges can be converted into a new type of low carbon fuel for cars, US scientists have said. The fuel, made from fructose, contains far more energy than ethanol, the scientists write in the journal Nature. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison say that a simple sugar called fructose can be converted into a fuel that has many advantages over ethanol. It is called dimethylfuran - it can store 40% more energy than ethanol, does not evaporate as easily and is less volatile. The scientists say that fructose can be obtained directly from fruits and plants or made from glucose. Setting up new production facilities is estimated to be ten times higher than for current biofuel refineries.
06/21/07 - From Leftovers to Energy
Scientists develop microbes that convert food scraps into energy. Giant vats filled with hungry microbes. The bugs are devouring cafeteria leftovers and lawn clippings and converting them into biogas--mostly methane and hydrogen--that can be burned to generate electricity or compressed into liquid to power specialized vehicles. Similar bioreactors, known as anaerobic digesters, are commonly used at wastewater treatment plants. Zhang's bioreactor, however, is different because it's designed to work on solids, such as food and yard waste. It works 30 to 50 percent faster than conventional systems and presents a promising new way to cut back on landfill waste, producing clean burning gas in the process. (Natural gas, which is primarily made up of methane, releases fewer toxic compounds into the air than gasoline or diesel fuels.) An industrial-sized demonstration unit has been running at UC Davis since last October, converting eight tons of restaurant waste, cafeteria scraps, and lawn clippings into 300,000 to 600,000 liters of biogas a day--enough to power approximately 80 homes. (In Davis, the gas is used for electricity and powers the nearby wastewater treatment plant.)
06/21/07 - Maize of Deception
Ethanol Fuels Are Not Necessarily The Universal Cure. As the Bush administration continues to push its alternative fuels agenda, it has become increasingly evident that corn-based ethanol could be as much the global villain as a boon to society. Instead of improving the environment and moderating oil prices, corn-based ethanol could result in mass deforestation, strained land and water resources, increased food prices, augmented poverty and swarms of farmers uprooted from their land. While the negative effects of corn-based biofuels are obvious, Washington continues to emphasize their importance, while increasing the size and number of subventions to the ethanol industry. This is being done despite the adverse ramifications that its cultivation is having on the sites where it already is being produced, with the situation likely to further deteriorate in the near future. As a result of the Washington-backed initiatives, an enormous volume of corn is being consumed for ethanol production. Consequently, the decreasing availability of it as a food crop and for livestock has contributed to the rise of corn futures from $2.80 to $4.38 a bushel. This recent price hike occurred over the course of several months and is said to be the sharpest increase in the past ten years. Thus, fewer low income consumers are able to purchase corn-based products, which is a very serious detriment to countries where corn is a staple of a population’s diet. Mexico already has been significantly affected by the rising costs of corn. Because 107 million Mexicans rely on corn as their main source of sustenance, its soaring price increase has sent shockwaves throughout the country’s corn-related industries. The price of tortillas in Mexico has risen by 100%, resulting in mass protests by tens of thousands of enraged consumers last January. Recently inaugurated Mexican President Felipe Calderon stated that the price increase of corn is unjustifiable and “threatens the economy and millions of families.”
06/21/07 - Bones Could Allow Data Swaps
The Rice team decided to investigate using sound instead of radio waves. Bone is known to be a great conductor of sound, but so far it has only been used to transmit analogue signals in applications such as checking how bone is healing after a fracture, and in hearing aids that transmit sound from outside the skull to the auditory nerve. To see if bone could transmit digital signals over longer distances - to a headset, say, from a sensor worn on the wrist - the team applied a small vibrator to various parts of the body. When they then measured the acoustic signals received elsewhere on the body, they found that a "frequency shift keyed" (FSK) signal gave the best distinction between 0s and 1s. In FSK signalling a 0 is represented by one frequency and a 1 by a different one. They then measured how well bone conducted these signals when they were generated in places on the body where devices are normally worn: the wrist for watches, the lower back for cellphones worn on a belt, and behind the ear for headsets. They found the skeleton conducted even low-power vibrations from one location to another with surprisingly few errors. "This is quite amazing because all the links involved multiple bones and many joints," Zhong told a conference on body networks in Florence, Italy, this week. The researchers suggest applications such as a vibrator in a wrist receiver/transmitter that could tell an implant placed near a bone to release a drug dose, with the implant then sending back data from its sensors. Similarly, tooth clacks or finger clicks could be interpreted by a receiver to activate, say, functions in a phone.
06/21/07 - Valuing the Lives of Hypermilers
Hypermilers are people who attempt to increase the gas mileage of their cars by driving really, really closely behind large trucks to cut down on the mileage-robbing wind resistance of highway speed driving - a practice known in racing circles as drafting. Fans of the Discovery Channel's MythBusters series will recognize drafting as the myth taken on by the show's build team, who provided the empirical data for the increases in gas mileage that come from trailing a semi-truck at distances from a slightly too close 100 feet to an entirely too close 10 feet. [Not to mention to an insanely too close 2 feet separation!] Use the form to calculate the value of your life versus gas savings.
06/21/07 - $300 to save 25% on Electric Bills?
(Thanks for David Smith for the headsup on this. - JWD) The Power-Save reduces the amount of power drawn from the utility by storing (in its capacitors) otherwise lost electricity (watts) caused by the inductive motors in your home. (Some examples of inductive motors are Air Conditioning units, refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, dishwashers, pool pumps, vacuum cleaners, furnace blower motors, fans etc.) The technology applied by the Power-Save 1200™ Unit supplies that stored electricity back to your inductive loads, thus causing you to decrease your demand from the utility. If you decrease your demand from the utility, your meter slows down, and you use less electricity. The thought is, you’ve already paid for that electricity, why pay for it and waste it when you can pay for it, store it, and reuse it again. This whole process is called power factor optimization. Power factor is the percentage of electricity that’s delivered to your house and used effectively, compared to what is wasted. For example, a 1.0 power factor means that all the electricity that’s being delivered to your home is being used effectively for its purpose. However, most homes in America today have a .77 power factor or less. This means that 77% of the electricity that is coming thru your meter at your home or business is being used effectively, the other 23% is being wasted by your inductive load. With a low power factor, the utility has to deliver more electricity to do the same work. However, the Power-Save unit increases that power factor in most cases to .97 or .98, thus increasing the effective use of your electricity and lowering your usage.
06/21/07 - Companies create plant-based liquid that replaces oil in plastic
The nation's top energy official hailed on Friday the innovation behind a new $100 million bioengineering plant that produces a plant-based liquid that can replace oil as a raw material in plastic. The plant is expected to make 100 million pounds of propanediol, a clear liquid related to the propylene glycol used in nontoxic antifreeze. DuPont and Tate & Lyle say their product, which they call Bio-PDO, will find new uses because it helps fabrics take dyes more brilliantly, carpets become naturally stain-resistant, face creams be gentler to the skin and airplane deicers biodegrade.
''It is the most significant invention since nylon,'' DuPont Chairman and CEO Charles ''Chad'' Holliday Jr. said in an interview with The Associated Press. The Wilmington, Del.-based company invented nylon in 1935. The Loudon plant, about 35 miles south of Knoxville, uses corn sugar or glucose from an adjoining Tate & Lyle ethanol plant. An E. coli bacteria modified by DuPont scientists breaks down the glucose through a fermentation process much like making beer. The result is a clear liquid compound that might be used in a quickly growing range of products, including fabrics, cosmetics, liquid detergents, boat hulls, ski boots and runway deicers.
06/21/07 - Dirty diapers to Clean Energy
Joseph Longo, founder and CEO of Startech Environmental Corporation, developed from his own sweat, tears, and blood (and some money in research grants) a machine that transforms the most disgusting forms of waste (think dirty diapers) to clean energy. Longo’s invention, the Plasma Converter, is a $250 million machine that effectively eliminates 2,000 tons of garbage daily. That’s the equivalent to the daily output of a city with a million people. Although some people may balk at the hefty price tag, the Plasma Converter could pay for itself in 10 years and shed landfill tipping fees. The Plasma Converter is self-sustaining and utilizes plasma gasification to destroy waste and produce syngas, a substance that can be produced into eco-friendly fuels. As an added bonus, the gasification process is circular meaning that waste enters the machine’s reactor and outputs syngas, which is used to produce electricity for itself. No smoke, acid rain, or oil slumming on the surface of our oceans.
06/21/07 - Cookware Revolution
Inventor John Repetti was watching the barbeque and realized that the grill with the top down kept heat in and saved energy. "I thought it was too bad that we didn't have something like that for the stovetop," he said. "Then I thought maybe you could put a cone on top of the pot to keep the heat in. But that wouldn't work because the heat would slip away any time you lifted it off to stir or check on the contents. Then I thought, what if you put something on the side?" He imagined a kind of metal skirt with the bottom open to be fit around the belly of the pot, capturing all the heat that is lost along the sides of a pot while being heated on the stove. "Three times more of the pot is heated than without it," he said. This invention, he believes, could be used on nearly any kind of pot, and if used widely, could result in significant savings in energy. The skirt is portable, so it can be used almost anywhere. Repetti said the skirt could be made in various sizes to accommodate large venues, such as cruise ships or even military mess halls, or smaller versions for use in ordinary homes.
06/21/07 - Android Double
In June 2006 at the ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories in Keihanna, Japan, reporters and scientists gathered for the unveiling of a major new project by Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro. Once everyone had arrived, an assistant pulled back a curtain to reveal…another Dr. Ishiguro? Certainly the second figure had a very strong resemblance to Dr. Ishiguro, wearing the same glasses and dressed in the same clothing. Seated in a chair, the duplicate was rocking one foot back and forth, blinking and adjusting itself. It looked around and then, in ordinary Japanese, introduced itself; it was named Geminoid HI-1. For the reporters, up to that point virtually the only clue that Geminoid was an android had come from knowing that Ishiguro is a prominent roboticist. Ishiguro's creation is more a puppet than an android, strictly speaking; Ishiguro speaks and acts through it via the Internet. As well as transmitting his voice, a motion-capture system allows Ishiguro to project the movements of his mouth and upper body onto Geminoid. The android itself is built of silicone and steel, and based on casts taken from Ishiguro's body. Regular, small actions such as blinking are controlled by autonomous programs.
06/21/07 - $1 a Minute Live computer help - 24 hours a day
YourTechOnline.com provides online computer help 24/7. Our technical support staff can fix computer problems, kill viruses, speed up your computer, remove spyware, and eliminate computer crashes. Computer repair has never been easier or quicker. Just sit back, watch and learn as we fix computer problems right in front of your eyes. Pop ups, Homepage Hijackers, Spyware, Rootkits, Viruses, Slow Computers, Email, Networking - we fix it all. Online computer support is available for all makes of PCs and all versions of Windows operating systems.
06/21/07 - Ever Present Video
Camera-wearing freaks: Sure, the Justin.tv lifestream network now hosts streams from a dozen cameras, most attached to or pointing at one exhibitionist asshat (me, for example). But the real freaks to worry about are the camera-phone carriers that rapper Mike Skinner lamented in his latest album ("How the hell am I supposed to be able to do a line in front of complete strangers when I know they've all got cameras?"). Still-shot cameras are already standard-issue on phones, and mid-range phones now come with video cameras. Every digital camera takes thirty-second videos, and proper camcorders are pocket-sized and under 500 bucks. So if you don't want to end up on YouTube where a million children and losers will say "omg that was gay," just don't do anything stupid for the rest of your life, mmkay?
06/21/07 - TUT to speed up your Computer
If your computer is getting slower, one of the things that helps is to shut down programs running in the background. We use TUT, ("The Ultimate Troubleshooter") to check up on those. This costs $29, from AnswersThatWork.com. In a recent check, Bob found 46 programs running the background of his Windows XP computer. He stopped the five worst offenders (the ones using the most memory and processor time), which still left 41. That seems like a ton, but actually it's pretty normal. The TUT program informs you about whether a program running in the background is part of normal operations or not; these are color-coded with "safe" and "not safe" readings.
06/21/07 - Bush Faithfully Follows The Henoch Prophecies Script To Destruction
Since 2002, the Henoch Prophecies have been disseminated in English, and, according to Meier and FIGU, they have not escaped the notice of parties at the highest levels of the U.S. government and military intelligence. Perhaps then, President Bush’s closest advisors should inform him that the purpose of these prophecies is for us to avoid the devastation otherwise foretold for our country, not to do everything possible to bring it about. Unfortunately, and contrary to their intended purpose, instead of heeding the clear and dire warnings contained within them, the president must be viewing the prophecies as a script to be fulfilled. Even leaving the prophecies out of the equation for the moment, through either ignorance or willful defiance of the laws of cause and effect, the president effectively condemns this country and the rest of the world to unimaginable destruction. For while most Americans are probably unaware of the more than 200 unprovoked acts of aggression committed in their name over the past 60 years, the country cannot and will not escape the “law of the pendulum”, especially when instead of attempting to dramatically change the dead end course it only compounds its culpability with further aggression.
06/21/07 - CCW Hair whorl direction for Gays?
(I just don't get this, that parts of the body would indicate sexual preference. It's been disproven that hand and foot size relate to penis size, but the bigger the nose... - JWD) There are now a range of established findings that suggest that gay men are likely to have a number of physical traits not shared by straight men (the findings on gay women are a lot less clear-cut it seems). For example, a 2004 study [pdf] found that gay men were much more likely to have a counter-clockwise hair whorl (as pictured) than straight men. Other studies have found differences in finger lengths, size of structures in the hypothalamus (a deep brain area), and on a number of psychological abilities like mental shape rotation and navigation to name but a few. Some researchers believe that the same biological conditions that increase the chances of homosexuality, also increase the chances of some of these body, brain and mind differences. / Statistically, for instance, gay men and lesbians have about a 50 percent greater chance of being left-handed or ambidextrous than straight men or women. The relative lengths of fingers offer another hint: The index fingers of most straight men are shorter than their ring fingers, while for most women they are closer in length, or even reversed in ratio. But some researchers have noted that gay men are likely to have finger-length ratios more in line with those of straight women, and a study of self-described “butch” lesbians showed significantly masculinized ratios.
06/21/07 - Video - DIY Ping Pong Ball Gun in 30 Seconds
06/19/07 - New Engine Could Double Efficiency, Massively Bump Power
Imagine a four-liter normally aspirated V8 that makes 1,000 horsepower and gets good mileage? According to the Italian NEVIS (New Exhaust Valve & Intake System) Engine Company LTD., this sort of engine will soon be a reality. Complete with innovations such as donut-shaped pistons, the ability to run on any fuel you like (gasoline, diesel, bio, meth, hydrogen) and the Trekkie sounding Bortone Cycle, NEVIS's product should extend the life of the ICE for many decades to come. The killer app is the already mentioned Bortone Cycle that allows a power stroke for every 120 degrees of crankshaft rotation. Which means that for every power stroke your dirty old four-stroke pulls off, the NEVIS engine is performing six. Which we must say is pretty intriguing. Especially the part about the variable compression ratio going as high as 38:1.
06/19/07 - Solar Coolant power system
(The diagram is an example using air instead of the coolant used by the students. - JWD) MIT students used a sheet of metal and car parts to invent a tool that generates electricity, heats water and cools food. The idea behind Promethean Power came from Matthew Orosz, a former peace corps volunteer in Africa, who wanted to provide electric power, refrigeration and hot water to poorer nations. He and fellow graduate students designed mirrors to focus sunlight onto tubes filled with coolant. The hot coolant then turns to pressurized vapor, which turns a turbine to make electricity. The leftover heat can be used to warm a tank of water and to run a refrigerator or an air conditioner using a gas-absorption process that chills liquid ammonia by first heating it. The invention relies on car components so that the system does not require pumps and coolant condensers that are hard to obtain and maintain in poor countries. As well as electricity to run lights, the chemical refrigerator could be used to preserve food and the leftover heat would deliver hot water.
06/19/07 - Precise Identity of Mysterious Dark Matter Revealed
Jerome Drexler's new book discloses the precise identity of the mysterious dark matter of the universe and its surprising and significant roles and functions in creating spiral galaxies and their dark matter halos, the stars, starburst galaxies, synchrotron radiation, and the mysterious ultra-high-energy cosmic ray protons that bombard the Earth every day. Dark-matter cosmology theory is employed to solve over 15 cosmic mysteries. Although astronomers, astrophysicists, and cosmologists have assumed for the past 20 years that the dark matter of the universe is cold, passive, and absolutely dark it actually may be hot, active, and emit EUV or UV light or even soft X-rays. Dark matter is a very active and dynamic medium. Dark-matter cosmology appears to be linked to over a dozen important cosmic phenomomena. Relativistic-proton dark matter satisfies the three basic requirements of a dark matter candidate. Do such protons have sufficient mass? Yes, relativistic protons can have enormous mass. Have they ever been detected? Yes, relativistic protons bombard the Earth every day and are called cosmic rays. Don't relativistic protons move too fast to form small galaxies? The protons can form small galaxies after the protons are slowed down by muon-producing collisions or synchrotron radiation losses and after the protons combine with the electrons created by the muon decay, thereby forming hydrogen. Since protons are electrically charged particles, they would be constrained by the galactic and extragalactic magnetic fields into curved trajectories forming dark matter halos around galaxies, dark matter curved streams within galaxy clusters and also would be concentrated in long large curved filaments of dark matter. All three of these dark matter configurations have been detected by astronomers.
06/19/07 - 12mpg to 70mpg with 'Fuel Blender' invention
"I remembered that my father had made a carburetor that would pre-stage the fuel by converting it into a gas before it went into the in-take manifold," Talbert said. By modifying the "fuel blender" device his father once worked on, he is achieving his goal of beating the pump. Talbert figures he's getting about 49 miles per gallon, which covers more than 900 miles of driving and would be considered good with one of today's tiny hybrid cars. But Talbert isn't driving a hybrid; his car is a 1981 Oldsmobile Delta 88, with a gas-guzzling 350 V8 engine. Talbert bought the Olds for $500 specifically for his project. "I've always preferred big cars," Talbert said. He filled the car's 20-gallon tank in November of 2006 and didn't fill up again until March of 2007. He was living in his hometown of Abilene at the time. To fashion the modification, he relied on things he had learned from his dad, and also from Tom Ogle, a Texas inventor who obtained a patent for the device in 1977. When George Talbert began experimenting in the 1970s, he used a metal tube, similar to a diving snorkel, and mounted it on a 1969 Lincoln Continental. The device reportedly increased fuel efficiency from 12 mpg to about 70 mph. Talbert was five years old at the time. "I remember my father couldn't get the hood down, so he left it off because of that little snorkel sticking up," said Talbert, 39, who lives in Manhattan. Talbert began his experimentation by reverse engineering the "fuel blender." He knew that fuel, like a wood log in a fire, must go through four known states of matter to complete the cycle. Wood will reach its flashpoint, and then the outgases will combine with oxygen, leaving oxidized ashes behind as the process is finished. Fuel must also reach a particular temperature in order to begin the reaction. When fuel is in a vapor state the process requires less energy and heat to conclude. This process is process is called gasoline vaporization. Talbert said the key to getting the "fuel blender" to work this time was going with smaller rubber tubing than what had been used by his predecessors. He used tubing measuring 1/8th of an inch in diameter as opposed to 2 inches in diameter. He explained that with a larger line, only the high octane portion of the fuel was being vaporized. "There is a separate little can under the hood, and fuel is pumped from the gasoline tank into the can and then the can becomes the fuel reserve," Talbert said. "Because the can is small and the line in it is small, then it completely vaporizes whatever is in that can. Talbert admits that while his Olds Delta 88 gets great gas mileage, it is hard to drive. It is also slow to accelerate, taking about two minutes to get up to 55 mph. / Fuel Saving eBook - you can buy this $16.95 eBook which has 14 ways to save on fuel costs and includes details on how to install a simple device very similar to what is in this article. It does not require modifying the engine.
06/19/07 - Oxygen keeps organic food cool
Scientists in Israel have found a way to use oxygen to store organic fruit and veg for longer, according to a report in the journal Chemistry and Industry. Edna Pesis and her team at the Volcani Center, Israel, have devised a cheap technique to keep apples in cold storage for longer. A week long pre-treatment with low levels of oxygen at 20ºC was shown to prevent chilling injuries associated with prolonged cold storage. Pesis said that 90% of apples treated with oxygen were saved from chilling injuries after eight months of cold storage. With organic fruit and veg, chilling injuries result in big losses when conventional methods of refrigeration are used to preserve it. Although many organic farms have good refrigeration units, there are very expensive and used only for brief storage before collection, which is a high price to pay to ensure a whole crop is not rejected by a retailer because it is dehydrated.
06/19/07 - Gas Prices to Stay High as Refinery Expansions Not Needed
A push from Congress and the White House for huge increases in biofuels, such as ethanol, is prompting the oil industry to scale back its plans for refinery expansions. That could keep gasoline prices high, possibly for years to come. Oil industry executives no longer believe there will be the demand for gasoline over the next decade to warrant the billions of dollars in refinery expansions -- as much as 10 percent increase in new refining capacity -- they anticipated as recently as a year ago. Biofuels such as ethanol and efforts to get automakers to build more fuel-efficient cars and SUVs have been portrayed as key to countering high gasoline prices, but they are likely to do little to curb costs at the pump today, or in the years ahead as refiners reduce gasoline production. "The fact is that Americans are paying more at the pump because we do not have the domestic capacity to refine the fuels consumers demand," Inhofe complained as he tried unsuccessfully to get into the bill a proposal to ease permitting and environmental rules for refineries. This spring, refiners, hampered by outages, could not keep up with demand and imports were down because of greater fuel demand in Europe and elsewhere. Despite stable -- even sometimes declining -- oil prices, gasoline prices soared to record levels and remain well above $3 a gallon. Consumer advocates maintain the oil industry likes it that way. "By creating a situation of extremely tight supply, the oil companies gain control over price at the wholesale level," said Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America. He argued that a wave of mergers in recent years created a refining industry that "has no interest in creating spare (refining) capacity."
06/19/07 - Charred farm waste could gobble up carbon
Burning agricultural waste without oxygen could provide a way to lock up massive amounts of greenhouse gas, stimulate plant growth and produce renewable energy all at the same time, a new Australian trial suggests. Recent glasshouse trials found soils mixed with the charred waste, called agrichar or biochar, were more attractive to worms and helpful microbes. Soils also needed less fertiliser and in some cases had a better capacity to hold water, the researchers say. "When applied at 10 tonnes per hectare, the biomass of wheat was tripled and soybeans was more than doubled," says Dr Lukas Van Zwieten from the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) at Wollongbar.
06/19/07 - Voting machine rom swapped in 60 seconds
It's been a while since we had a voting machine hack, but this video that [Marcel van der Peijl] sent in not only reminds me of Real Genius, but makes a great point. Maybe one of these voting machine companies will wake up, bring some decent designs to a hacking con and get things right. These guys popped apart a machine and fully swapped the roms in 60 seconds. How's that for stealing a vote?
06/19/07 - Youtube Remixer
YouTube releases a video editing tool which remixes your 'tube clips using a Flash-based in-browser application. Drag and drop your clips to a timeline (much like iMovie) and add music, effects, graphics, captions and borders. The remixer is throwing a couple of "still working out the kinks" hiccups here and there this morning, but it's still a fun and easy way to splice, slice and dice your clips together.
06/19/07 - AT&T quietly offers $10 DSL plan
Without any sort of fanfare, AT&T Inc. has started offering a broadband Internet service for $10 a month, cheaper than any advertised plan. The DSL...plan introduced Saturday is part of the concessions made by AT&T to the Federal Communications Commission to get its $86 billion acquisition of BellSouth Corp. approved last December. The $10 offer is available to customers in the 22-state AT&T service region, which includes former BellSouth areas, who have never had AT&T or BellSouth broadband, spokesman Michael Coe confirmed Monday. Local phone service and a one-year contract are required. The modem is free.
The plan was not mentioned in a Friday news release about AT&T's DSL plans, and is slightly hidden on the AT&T Web site. A page describing DSL options doesn't mention it, but clicking a link for "Term contract plans" reveals it. It's also presented to customers who go into the application process, Coe said...
06/19/07 - Extend your life through Kissing
Dentist Yosuke Sakamoto in his book “Kisu no Kagaku (The Science of Kissing)” says that men who get a kiss every morning on their way to work outlive those men who don’t kiss by an average of five years. This data - added to the results of another survey that showed men who felt loved by their wives were less likely to develop angina than men who don’t feel the same way - means there’s plenty to be said for the value of kissing. To take advantage of the effectiveness of kissing, don’t wait till tomorrow. Why not start making the kiss a part of your daily lifestyle straight away with all sorts of kisses, from the soft and gentle to the rough and passionate? William Cane, a longtime expert on kissing, gave five steps on how to become a better kisser in his book, “The Art of Kissing.” Here’s a paraphrase of Cane’s advice: Step 1 - Get gentler: Relax the lips and facial muscles.
Step 2 - (Especially for men) Brush your teeth: If you’re worried about bad breath it’s not the time to be kissing. Step 3 - Understand the difference between kissing and being kissed. Step 4 - Lend an ear to your partner’s kiss. Breathe deeply, relax and try and imagine how your partner feels. Step 5 - Kiss like you’re a member of a gang. Kisses given with imagination can be fun. Sometimes be a master and slave, other times be Antony and Cleopatra.
06/19/07 - Ravenous Pleistocene Clams
(Thanks to BuddyRay for sharing this. - JWD) The story behind this letter (on the linked site) is that there is this guy in Newport, Vermont named Scott Williams who digs things out of his back yard and sends the stuff he finds to the Smithsonian Institute, labeling them with scientific names, insisting that they are actual archaeological finds. This guy really exists and does this in his spare time! Anyway...here's the actual response from the Smithsonian Institution. Bear this in mind next time you think you are challenged in your duty to respond to a difficult situation in writing.
06/19/07 - Electric Car Cost Per Mile
Hybrids with extra battery packs, known as “strong hybrids,” and their counterparts, hybrids that you can plug in to recharge, appropriately known as “plug-in hybrids,” are moving out of the hands of tinkerers and into the mainstream. Cars powered by electricity from the power grid can get over 100 miles to the gallon. This is somewhat misleading - because cars powered from the grid, to the extent they’re using grid electricity stored on-board, are not getting miles per gallon, they’re getting miles per kilowatt-hour. First of all, assume a gas powered car gets 30 MPG, and gas costs $3.00. This means a gas car costs $.10 per mile to drive. Next assume a gasoline powered car has an engine that converts the energy in gasoline into mechanical energy at an efficiency of 25%. This is typical; the rest of the energy is lost in extraneous motion, friction and heat. This means that if a gasoline engine were 100% efficient, that same car could go 120 miles on a gallon instead of only 30 miles per gallon. Here’s where it gets interesting. A battery will recharge and discharge kilowatt-hours from the power grid at an efficiency of 90%. An electric motor will convert electricity into mechanical energy at an efficiency that is also about 90% (the larger the engine the better the efficiency). This means a battery powered electric car will convert kilowatt-hours from the power grid into mechanical energy at an efficiency of over 80% (90% times 90%). For this reason, a battery powered car can take that same one gallon of gasoline, using the equivalent amount in kilowatt-hours, and go 96 miles, more than three times what a gasoline powered car can do.
06/19/07 - Precedent? Judge ruled in 2005 videotaping cops OK
Court concluded officers had 'no justification' for arresting man. An 18-year-old from Pennsylvania who has been accused of felony wiretapping for videotaping a police officer handing out a traffic ticket may get some help from precedent in that state, created by a federal judge who found that such arrests violated the constitutional rights of the citizen involved. The new case arose just days ago, when Brian D. Kelly was arrested, held in jail for 26 hours and released after his mother raised his $2,500 bond on the value of her home, all for running a video camera while a police officer in Carlisle was handing out a traffic ticket. Prosecutors cited a state law that technically bans the intentional recording of any oral conversation without permission. But another Pennsylvania case, decided in 2005 by U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III, finished with three officers being ordered to pay a plaintiff a total judgment of $41,000. Why? They arrested a man videotaping officers doing truck inspections. "Don't police videotape you from their car without consent? I think they should be required to obtain consent for dashboard cameras," added TheSabre. "In the era of Rodney King and such we should have the right to video them, after all they video us … with the dashcam," suggested cd3. Reports show Kelly was riding in a pickup that was stopped for alleged traffic violations. Kelly's camera was in his lap, running, and he aimed it at the officer. Police said they ordered him to turn it off and confiscated it, filing the felony after checking with a prosecutor.
06/19/07 - Sex With Minors OK in Japan to rebuild population
In over 80 countries in the world the age of consent for sex is 16. For Japan, it is only 13. 13 year old girls can consent to having sex!! A popular TV program about a 14-year-old mother’ is seen to glorify teen motherhood and adding to the idiocy. Some are even praising the children for helping out in Japan’s declining population rate.
06/17/07 - Kedron Corporation Discovers a New Energy Source
(Caveat - I spent about 20 minutes looking for a patent application, whether granted or applied for and found nothing. At this point, I wouldn't take this guy's claims too seriously until more information comes in. It has that marketing hype odor in the press release but presents an interesting theory based on the shearing of magnetic polarity force differences which might yet prove out. - JWD) A new extremely inexpensive, pollution-free source of electricity has been discovered and is now being considered by major international corporations. This new technology produces electricity without chemical reactions, combustion or pollution. Mechanical energy generated by the powerful magnetic forces of neodymium magnets (manufactured by Hitachi Corporation) turns electric generators producing electricity. A volume of neodymium magnets less than the size of a car battery can generate (for decades) more than enough electricity to supply an average household and an amount equivalent to thousands of gallons of gasoline a year. ( via zpenergy.com ) / "With minor modifications, our gas engine cars can be made to burn hydrogen produced affordably by the inexpensive electricity," says Kozeka. According to Kozeka, "We wait with great excitement and hope that this new technology, aptly referred to as 'The Eden Project' will rapidly achieve its claim and make vast improvements in the quality of life worldwide." / The Eden Project Abstract - It has been discovered recently that two permanent magnets of a particular shape can be pulled apart along a prescribed path that requires less work compared to the amount of work produced when the magnets come together along a different path. This is possible because permanent magnets have at least one North and one South Pole which gives polarity to their magnetic fields making the fields and the force in the field unevenly distributed. In an uneven field of magnetic force, it is not difficult to imagine different paths having different forces and thereby generating different amounts of work. The paths that must be followed came as a surprise and were not intuitive. For example, it has been discovered that two cube-shaped neodymium magnets (measuring .75”, 43 pound pull-force, Grade N38, 1.8 ounces) are capable of generating 7.46 inch-pounds (work) when they pull themselves together “sideways” in the horizontal plane. It takes only 6.56 inch-pounds to pull the magnets apart along a vertical path that is perpendicular to the path they followed when they came together. This leaves a .90 inch-pound net-yield of mechanical energy (work) which can be used for example to turn an electric generator. While this may seem like a small amount of energy, remember the magnets that generated this yield are extremely small and are not the most powerful grade magnets available. A total volume of neodymium magnets less than the size of a car battery can generate 6.75 horsepower or 5.03 KWH or an amount of energy equivalent to the energy yield of 4,598 gallons of gasoline burned in a combustion engine every year. The discovery presented here concerns the harvesting of mechanical energy from magnetic force generated by electrons. The (rotational) spin of the electron is believed to be the (primary) source of the magnetic force and electron spin is considered to be “intrinsic”. If exploited, the value of this discovery is staggering. Electricity would be generated very inexpensively and without pollutants. Inexpensive electricity can be used to distill ocean water into pure water for drinking and farming providing food and water to poor countries throughout the world. Wealthy countries such as the United States could end their reliance on petroleum as a primary fuel and end the huge amounts of pollution generated.
06/17/07 - Trucker's invention no idle toy
Robert Jordan, 51, of Juneau, has patented a battery system to run a truck's electronic equipment so idling isn't necessary. He's started a business called Idle Free Systems and negotiated agreements with Mack Trucks and Chiquita Brands to use his system.
With three employees, Jordan moved this month into manufacturing space in Watertown. He said he hopes to sell about 200 units this year at $6,000 each, which would mean first-year revenue of $1.2 million. Other truck auxiliary power unit systems save energy by using fuel-burning generators to run the cab air conditioning, heat, television and other equipment instead of idling the larger truck engine. "When you don't idle your engine, it does what it's designed to do," Jordan said, and the engine doesn't wear out as quickly. His system borrows power from the truck engine and refrigeration units to charge the batteries so a generator isn't necessary. The heart of the system is a small electrical box Jordan built that manages power from a refrigeration unit, truck engine and batteries. Jordan said four fully charged batteries, in addition to two engine batteries, can run a cab air conditioner all night. He also can hook up the system to a halogen heater.
06/17/07 - Higher initial cost of alternative energy pays off later
Public interest considerations may require our acceptance and immediate use of what may initially seem to be a more expensive choice. To demonstrate this contingency, let us assume that we have invented cars/houses that automatically convert the heat of the sun into reusable energy and store it for switch-on use, but that its use requires greater expense than the one incurred by the use of oil. It is clear, however, that paying the initial and more expensive initial price for the use of this invention will be better for us in the long run.
06/17/07 - The Future of Mobility is here
The T3 costs just 10 cents per day to run, charges from a wall outlet, has a top speed of 25 mph and depending on how much you spend on batteries, will have a range of between 15 miles and 75 miles. With a cost of US$6188 plus US$1800 for the long-range batteries, we see a huge market for these machines in everything from paper delivery to security - most significantly it rapidly improves response times because it is potentially so fast from point A to point B where cars can’t go - shopping malls, in lifts, down corridors, pedestrian environments, beaches, parks, historical sites. And as far as personal mobility goes, it’s reportedly very easy to drive and could enhance mobility for our aging population. It looks like a bunch of fun too.
06/17/07 - Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years
Researchers (Hayes, Bloom) have shown it takes about ten years to develop expertise in any of a wide variety of areas, including chess playing, music composition, painting, piano playing, swimming, tennis, and research in neuropsychology and topology.
06/17/07 - Hacker Fun - $30 CatCam
(This cheapie little setup has unlimited uses for fun and monitoring, not just for cats. - JWD) According to London's Daily Mail, Jürgen Perthold, originally from Germany but who now lives in America, attached the lightweight camera to the collar of his tomcat, Mr. Lee. "I wanted to find out what he gets up to, where he spends his days," Perthold was quoted as saying. "He goes out the whole day, sometimes he returns hungry sometimes not, sometimes with traces of fights, sometimes he also stays out all night. It gave me the idea to equip the cat with a camera." The camera takes one photo a minute for 48 hours and has revealed that the chubby tabby has shown a love interest in a local feline, although another cat also appears to be in contention. The camera weighs only 2.5 ounces including batteries and Perthold said Mr. Lee doesn't mind wearing it. He wrote his own software to control the camera and perfected the design. He is now selling his invention for $30 on his Web site.
06/17/07 - Bringing light to the night
Since August 2005, when visits to an Eritrean village prompted him to research global access to artificial light, Mark Bent, 49, a former foreign service officer and Houston oilman, has spent $250, 000 to develop and manufacture a solar-powered flashlight. His invention gives up to seven hours of light on a daily solar recharge and can last nearly three years between replacements of three AA batteries costing 80 cents. Over the last year, he said, he and corporate benefactors like ExxonMobil have donated 10, 500 flashlights to U.N. refugee camps and African aid charities. "I find it hard sometimes to explain the scope of the problems in these camps with no light, " Bent said. "If you're an environmentalist, you think about it in terms of discarded batteries and coal and wood burning and kerosene smoke; if you're a feminist, you think of it in terms of security for women and preventing sexual abuse and violence; if you're an educator, you think about it in terms of helping children and adults study at night."
06/17/07 - Fuel Cell Wheelchair
The MIO features a fuel cell that uses methanol as a fuel source to generate hydrogen and therefore electricity. The tank holds 4 litres and that’s sufficient to provide MIO with a range of approximately 25 miles. There’s also an LCD display showing fuel level and power sources. Therefore, unlike wheelchairs that rely solely on mains charging of the battery, it addresses users’ fears of being stranded at some distance from their home. A large capacity Li-ion secondary battery acts as a store for the electricity generated and a back up source of power. The modern design features armrests that double up as safety barriers, ergonomic handlebars that require minimal effort even on full lock, and a seat that features a mesh-type fabric for good aeration and improved springing. Compact dimensions - 1200 mm long, 650 mm wide and 1000 mm tall - also mean it’s nimble in the crowded urban environment.
06/17/07 - Super strong Silk Body Armor
Dragline silk from black widows is regarded as superior to that from other spiders because of its strength and extensibility, which enable the silk to absorb enormous amounts of energy. The silk's properties have interested the military, medical and sporting worlds, who are keen to explore the possibility of copying the structure of the silk for lightweight body armour, medical devices and athletic attire. There are currently no products on the market based on the dragline silk of spiders. "There's nothing quite as good yet as natural dragline silk, but we should get a lot closer now that we have the full genetic recipe," Hayashi said. Now the genetic blueprint of the silk has been identified it may be possible to synthetically produce the proteins by inserting the genetic sequences into host organisms such as bacteria, plants or animals, she said. The next challenge would be attempting to spin the proteins into silk fibres that have the same properties as spider spun silk.
06/17/07 - Advances in Hydrogen fuel cell Sealing Technology
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) have attracted major interest from research and development communities as an alternative source of power, with commercial trials already under way. In these fuel cells electricity is generated via electro-chemical reactions using hydrogen based gas and oxygen as a fuel and oxidant, respectively. Sealing these units is a critical technical issue that needs further work before they can be put into widespread commercial use. In particular the system chosen must exhibit good gas tightness, adhesion with adjoining components (electrolyte and connector), chemical compatibility, matching coefficient of thermal expansion and electrical insulation. In general glass-ceramic composite materials sealed better than ceramic adhesives. Their sealing properties were also found to be superior after being subjected to thermal cycling. The most promising sealing material was a 80/20 Pyrex glass/YSZ composite material which recorded a leakage rate as low as 2.41 x 10 -4 cm 3/min cm.
06/17/07 - University Aims to Create Hybrid Cars
University of Toledo is trying to ease environmental concerns and energy costs by creating an alternative-energy vehicle. The group is trying to add a fuel cell and a hydrogen tank to an electric car used by UT Motor Vehicle Operations, he said. “We are going to take the electricity produced by the solar panels on campus to power a device called an electrolyzer that takes water and breaks it into hydrogen and stores it,“ Stuart said. The hydrogen will be transferred to the vehicle and run the fuelcell to produce more electricity for the battery, according to Stuart. It is an alternative energy demonstration project, Fuelcellsworks.com said. "We use the sun to create electricity that drives the electrolyzer and creates hydrogen that can be stored on the vehicle,“ he said.
Martin Abraham, dean of the UT College of Graduate Studies and professor of chemical and environmental engineering, is also working on this project. “The basic essence of the project is to put in a hydrogen fueling station and operate two vehicles off of a fuelcell/electric combination,“ Abraham said. The group will install a fuelcell into a university cart for use by the MVO on campus, according to Abraham. He also hopes the other vehicle will be used for tourist activities in the area. Wise said UT owns 165 vehicles and spends an estimated $300,000 annually on maintenance and an estimated $170,000 on fuel for vehicles and equipment such as lawnmowers, tractors, and snow removal equipment. The university doesn’t own any hybrid gas/electric vehicles such as the Toyota Prius, the most popular hybrid model that has an EPA rating of 55 miles per gallon and a sticker price of $22,175, according to the Toyota Web site.
UT does own vehicles that use alternative fuel sources other than gasoline, though, Wise said.
“Bio-diesel is 20 percent renewable resources,“ he said. “The buses and most of our lawnmowers and tractors run on it.“ Wise said the university is required to buy flex fuel vehicles, which can use gas or ethanol. As for hybrid vehicles, Wise said they would like to buy them, but the cost is too high. “We are a university and we want to do the right thing for the environment,“ he said. “It’s something we should lead the city in doing, but our hands our tied because we have to be fiscally responsible.“ Wise said converting one bus to a hybrid would add $100,000 to the cost of the vehicle. He is hoping that electric/hydrogen technology will help UT move toward new and effective ways to save money and help the environment. “The first step is to demonstrate the feasibility of this new technology, so we can understand how much it costs to convert the vehicle and to operate it,“ Abraham said. He added that UT will work on this project over the summer and hopefully do the demonstration of the electric/hydrogen vehicle in the fall.
06/17/07 - The Avian Factor: 195 Turbines, 125 Fatalities
Oregon-based PPM Energy and Texas-based Horizon Wind Energy have released the first in a series of reports analyzing post-construction avian and bat mortality at their Maple Ridge Wind Farm, located 75 miles northeast of Syracuse, New York. The "Annual Report for the Maple Ridge Wind Power Project, Post-construction Bird and Bat Fatality Study-2006" concluded that bird and bat fatalities found at the 231-megawatt wind farm were within the range of fatalities found during late summer and fall migration at turbines in the United States. The wind farm itself consists of 195 wind turbines and three permanent meteorology towers on the Tug Hill Plateau of Lewis County, just west of Lowville, New York. During this first year of what will be an ongoing four-year study, carcass surveys were conducted at 50 out of 120 operational turbine sites. Because the project itself was not operational until mid-2006, the report did not cover portions of the spring bird migration, and thus definitive estimates of bird mortality are not yet available. A total of 125 avian incidents were recorded by searchers during standardized surveys, representing 30 species. However, the bird carcasses that were found during the study included no species listed in state or federal endangered species lists, and only one raptor-an American kestrel.
06/17/07 - Cow bling stops them straying
(Man, do rural communities need this! Especially in Mexico where terrible accidents are caused usually at night by loose cows or horses wandering on the highways. This would be neat to hack with the CatCam! - JWD) A 'necklace' that zaps cattle when they've strayed too far may mean cows can be kept in paddocks without fences, Australian researchers say. Dr Andrew Fisher and colleagues at the CSIRO Food Futures Flagship based their prototype 'virtual fencing system' on global positioning satellite (GPS) technology. Each cow wears a collar around its neck, equipped with a GPS receiver that monitors its movement and position. When the cow moves close to a boundary line, a speaker on the collar emits a low computer-generated sound like a hum. "The collar knows where the cow is and knows the cow's behaviour, based on frequent GPS checking," Fisher says. If the animal stops or turns around, the sound stops. But if it keeps walking beyond where it's supposed to be, the collar delivers a small electric shock. "The shock is actually quite minimal," Fisher says. The collar delivers a jolt of about 250 milliwatts, which is not much more than the kind of charge you might get from static electricity, he says. Studies on cattle wearing the collars have shown that their stress levels after being shocked are no higher than when they've been subjected to normal handling techniques, he says. Despite the gentleness of the shock, the scientists have found that the cows learn within an hour or so that they need to stop when they hear the collar's hum. "The sound in itself tells the animal where it is and what it needs to do to stop the sound," Fisher says. The CSIRO researchers hope their system will become a commercial reality within the next 5-10 years.
06/17/07 - Fears over Lipostabil: the latest fat loss miracle drug
(Jerry Draughon told me about this miracle fat loss injection which might be of interest. - JWD) "I had supper last night with a nurse from the US. She was telling me about some sort of fat injection method that removes fat from your body. It burns it off or melts it and you piss it away! This is amazing. I went online and found that it has been used in Europe for some time. It is called Lipostabil and also Leptin. It also comes in pills too!" - Lipostabil, also known as the Flab Jab, is currently yet to receive a licence for cosmetic purposes in the UK due to a lack of clinical testing and concerns over its safety. Lipostabil is licensed in Germany as a treatment for fat embolisms, where blood vessels become blocked by fat particles. However, it has been discovered that when injected directly into problem areas, such as a double chin or fat behind the knees, fat can be broken down and lost in those specific places. However, the Flab Jab has already been banned in Brazil, the country where its usage as a cosmetic treatment was pioneered, due to links to skin infection and nerve damage. In fact, Lipostabil’s manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis has warned that the drug is not designed to be administered subcutaneously, under the skin, and is not safe to be used for cosmetic purposes. / Burn Fat Away With An Injection? - Lipostabil is an injectionable form of the nutritional supplement Lecithin. The substance is widely used in Europe and South America where doctors say it may literally melt fat away. "Most of my colleagues - primarily in South America and Europe - find or believe that it accelerates lypolysis, which is the breakdown of fat," says Dr. White. Unlike Lipostabil there is the ability to contour or shape the area where fat is being removed. But with Lipostabil, the situation is quite different. "You are injecting a substance and it's going to go where it wants. You may be breaking up areas unevenly and then what do you do?" says dermatologist Dr. Howard Sobel. Despite it's unproven track record in the United States, Koons insists Lipostabil worked for her. Dr. Marshall explains on The Saturday Early Show that doctors typically recommend between three and five sessions. Those sessions can run anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500, depending on the part of your body that gets the injections. The stomach is more expensive than the arms. / Lipodissolve - An incredible new discovery to get rid of unsightly, bulging bags under the eyes - without resorting to the surgeon's knife - has taken America by storm. The method is equally successful for the reduction of double chins and the removal of localised, stubborn fat on the waistline, hips, thighs, knees and abdomen. Lipodissolve (lipostabil) , a treatment pioneered by doctors in South America, is based on a substance made up of Soya oil and originally developed to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. In medicine it is used to fight fat globules without any adverse side effects even at as high a dose as 80ml per session. At a lower dosage, minute drops of Phosphatidylcholine - which has fat dissolving properties - are injected into the lower eyelid area, where it acts to disperse accumulated fat deposits. The result is a significant reduction of the bulge after 2 to 4 treatments. Higher dosages are used to disperse body fat pads. Clinical trials were carried out over two years on this simple non-surgical procedure, and after successfully completing the required criteria, they were submitted for publication to the Medical Journal USA in 2001. 2000 cases have already been treated in South America without any single adverse effect. Hailed as one of the most exciting new treatments for years, Lipodissolve does away with the traditional fat vacuum method altogether. Instead, it claims to dispose of those unwanted inches by injecting a drug called lipostabil into the offending bulge. It breaks down the walls of the fatty cells and the waste is then flushed out when you go to the loo.
06/17/07 - Video - What we have Sacrificed - Bill Maher 03-16-2007 6 of 6
Liberals must stop saying President Bush hasn't asked Americans to sacrifice for the 'war on terror.' On the contrary, he has asked us to sacrifice our Civil Rights. When it comes to sacrifice, you have given up a lot. Faith in your governments honesty, the goodwill of people overseas and 6/10ths of the Bill of Rights which include; Search and seizure, warrants, self-incrimination, trial by jury, cruel and unusual punishment. Here is what we have left, handguns, religion and they can't make you quarter a British soldier.
06/17/07 - Circumcision removes the most Sensitive parts
Researchers prodding dozens of male penises with a fine-tipped tool have found that the five areas most receptive to fine-touch are routinely removed by the surgery. The finding, announced today, was detailed in the April issue of the British Journal of Urology (BJU) International. Circumcision surgery involves the removal of the skin that covers the tip of the penis, called the foreskin. Infant male circumcision is the most common medical procedure in the United States, with an estimated 60 percent of male newborns undergoing the surgery. Morris Sorrells of National Organization of Circumcision Information Resources Center and colleagues created a “penile sensitivity map” by measuring the sensitivity of 19 locations on the penises of 159 male volunteers. Of the participants, 91 were circumcised as infants and none had histories of penile or sexual dysfunction. For circumcised penises, the most sensitive region was the circumcision scar on the underside of the penis, the researchers found. For uncircumcised penises, the areas most receptive to pressure were five regions normally removed during circumcision-all of which were more sensitive than the most sensitive part of the circumcised penis. Circumcision is a procedure practiced in several countries for medical as well as cultural reasons. Most scientists agree that the surgery confers some protection against infection and the risk of contracting sexual diseases. Recent studies have also shown that circumcision can lower the risks of HIV infection by as much as 60 percent in sex between males and females. But Robert Van Howe, a study team member at Michigan State University, thinks such claims are somewhat overblown. “The [health benefits] that have been consistently shown are very small, and there are less aggressive, less invasive, less expensive ways of dealing with the problems [circumcision] is supposed to address,” Van Howe told LiveScience. Other practices, such as choosing sexual partners wisely and using condoms consistently, are far more effective in protecting against diseases, he added. / Dawkins on the Religious source of this practice - The issue here is surely a very simple one. No one has the right to mutilate another human being, especially an infant. That this mutilation is condoned by the state because it is done in the name of religion is an outrage. / A local prominent rabbi essentially suggested that the Jewish practice of circumcision was part of the sacred bond that Jews have with God (or words to that effect). What he didn't address, of course, is the fact that if God really wanted males to be without foreskins, he would have created them that way in the first place! The whole idea is wrong, purely for reasons of appeasing some non-existent deity. It should never be entertained unless there is a bonafide medical reason for taking such a drastic step.
06/17/07 - Alive In Mexico
Alive in Mexico was formed to counter the sound-bite driven, “Live From” news model. Through the work of a team of Americans and Mexican correspondents on the ground, Alive in Mexico shows the country through the voices of Mexicans. Alive in Mexico brings testimonies from individuals, footage of daily life in Mexico, and short news segments from Mexico to you.
06/15/07 - Save money on fuel with Alaskan invention
Over the past few years lots of gadgets have hit the market that inventors claim will conserve fuel and lower emissions. Gregory Monette's hydro cell emissions reducer uses the electrolysis process to break down distilled water into a component of atomic hydrogen and atomic oxygen and those gases rise out of unit into the air intake of any diesel engine. The highly combustible gases in the combustion chamber causes the diesel molecule to burn more completely in the combustion process, thereby deriving more energy out of your fuel. That translates into a reduction in fuel consumption and a reduction in emissions. "With this system, by injecting hydrogen into it, it will reduce emissions out of the exhaust so we get the (nitrous oxide) down, which are good. On the other hand it improves efficiency of the engine, so we're getting up to a 10 percent efficiency improvement of fuel consumption on engine itself," Noonan said. "The diesel oil is always black. This is 6,000 miles on this engine and this is the oil and it's not black and you can fell the lubricity," Peace said. Cleaner oil adds to the longevity of your engine. All from a process that starts with water and ends with water to get more out of your car or truck on the road or more fuel efficiency out in the Bush in a state that has more generators than all Lower 48 states combined. Monette said those numbers add up. "On diesel generators that run 8,760 hours a year, if you just reduce a gallon an hour, that's a $50,000 cost out in the Bush and our units only cost $4-6,000. So they pay for themselves in a two month period," Monette. Monette also said this is the only emissions device that increases engine power instead of decreasing it. Tests show fuel consumption reduced by an average of 2 to 4 percent, sometimes going up to six percent. The cost for car units is from $500 to $1,000.
06/15/07 - BioServer lets plants call for water
Corn and potato crops may soon provide information to farmers about when they need water and how much should be delivered, thanks to a University of Colorado at Boulder invention optioned to AgriHouse Inc., a Berthoud, Colo., high-tech company. The technology includes a tiny sensor that can be clipped to plant leaves charting their thickness, a key measure of water deficiency and accompanying stress. Data from the leaves could be sent wirelessly over the Internet to computers linked to irrigation equipment, ensuring timely watering, cutting down on excessive water and energy use and potentially saving farmers in Colorado millions of dollars per year, he said. existing technology like soil moisture sensors used to assess a crop's water needs do not always provide an accurate picture of existing plant and field conditions. "What we are developing is a non-intrusive device that gently rests on the plants and lets them interface with the digital world," he said. "Basically, this is a device that will allow plants to talk to humans and communicate their needs, like when to water and apply fertilizer." Less than one-tenth the size of a postage stamp, the sensor consists of an integrated-circuit chip that clips to individual plant leaves and collects and stores information, said Seelig. When the leaves lose enough water to contract to a critical width, the sensor can wirelessly signal computers. The computers, for example, could instruct individual pivot irrigation systems used widely on Colorado's eastern plains to dispense set amounts of water to particular crops, automatically turning the motors that drive them on-and-off and conserving water and energy in the process, he said.
06/15/07 - Would Liquid Coal Lead To Energy Independence Or Global Warming?
Liquid coal could potentially replace foreign oil with a domestic vehicle fuel, but coal is among the most carbon-heavy fuels around, so without technology to strip carbon prior to burning, it would unleash additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama recently changed his position on liquid coal, and its use gets to the heart of an emerging debate over the goal of energy independence. / Comment - Carbon sequestration/recapture and nuclear power lie at the heart of the best plans for liquid coal refineries. If that happens, the co2 problem goes away. We only have around 30 years left on conventional oil and there will be 9 billion mouths to feed. We need to be open to ALL options if we expect human life on this planet to continue.
06/15/07 - Flavored Water Straight From the Tap
Proctor and Gamble now offers flavor cartridges to its "Pur Water Filtration System", so that your tap water can have fruit flavors. The Pur Water Filtration System is just one of those water filters that fits on to your water faucet. The new flavor cartridges plugs into the water filter. When you turn on the water, you can press a button to add flavoring to the water. Flavor cartridges come in Strawberry, Peach, and Raspberry, and provide up to 75 glasses worth of flavoring. The flavoring contains no sugar, no fat, and no carbs.
06/15/07 - How Evaporation Steals Heat
EVERY time a liquid evaporates into a gas, it snatches a definite amount of heat from its container and surrounding air, cooling both below their original temperatures. This law of physical chemistry has long been useful to the human race as a means of cooling foods or drinks. Primitive man found that water placed in unglazed earthenware vessels would seep through the pores, evaporate, and cool the water remaining inside. Campers and country dwellers still cool water in this way. Today, all our mechanical refrigerators, electric and gas alike, harness the cooling effect of evaporation. Alternately compressed into a liquid and allowed to expand into a gas, the refrigerant absorbs heat during each evaporation cycle. (Several simple experiments are posted on the page. - JWD)
06/15/07 - Too big a Boost?
A 29-year old man looking to get a bit of a lift from the energy drink called Boost allegedly got more than what he bargained for. New York City native Christopher Woods purchased the nutrition drink at his local pharmacy, drank it, and woke up the next morning "with an erection that would not subside". Plagued with this peculiar problem, he underwent surgery that day and had a blood shunt implanted to alleviate his over-engorged penis. Days later he visited the hospital again because of a penile artery embolism. Woods has now filed a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company Novartis, which makes the drink. Is it possible that this "great tasting, high calorie, nutritionally complete oral supplement" bears the blame for his condition? After suffering the days-long erection he's now reportedly partially impotent.
06/15/07 - 100-meter-rise Maps for "An End to Global Warming"
Click on the link to see detail maps for your area.
06/15/07 - After Global Warming
The maps were derived from the GTOPO30 dataset, a 30 arc-second resolution digital map of global topography. Border data came from the NIMA Vector Map Level 0. The maps show the affected areas if sea levels were to rise by 1, 3, 10, 30, and 100 meters. They include a global map, and more detailed maps of Europe and the east coast of North America. They also highlight several major cities that would be flooded, or at least severely affected, by these changes. (I should point out that I am not a climatologist/geologist/oceanographer/etc; the exact effects of the sea level rise would of course be more complex, but these maps give an idea of the scale and regions likely to be affected by the given changes.)
06/15/07 - New Super Efficient Clothes Dryer
It was during hurricane season in 2004 that appliance repairman Michael Brown noticed a dramatic jump in his electric bill. It didn't take him long to figure out that his clothes dryer was to blame. It was all that sweaty laundry. But what started as a reality check on his utility bill quickly turned into a eureka moment that could soon make this 47-year-old father of four from humble origins a wealthy man. In the latest tests, Brown says, his invention dries clothes 41 percent faster than existing dryers, and uses 53 percent less energy. He thinks it will be the first dryer to receive an Energy Star rating from the Department of Energy. Brown's process works by passing air over a heat-transfer liquid, called Paratherm, a specialty thermal oil which, when it heats up, has a capacity to stay hot longer than the metal heating element found in conventional dryers. Brown points out that his dryer is also much safer as it uses a noncombustible heating system. "The hydronic system will not ignite dust or lint because we are using a liquid source of heat, " he said.
06/15/07 - New Spin Dryers Cut Clothes Drying Costs
The Laundry Alternative has come out with a new 3200 rpm spin dryer which is over 100 times more energy efficient than a conventional tumble clothes dryer. It can remove as much water from the clothes in only 2-3 minutes as a conventional dryer does in 30. At only 300 watts, it uses less than 1/10th of the electricity a conventional dryer does on a per minute basis.
06/15/07 - New Instant Heat Plastic Water Heater
Howard Harris invented an energy-efficient electric water heater known as the HH20. The water heater is the first plastic water heater, weighing only 58 pounds, and uses thermo-conductive technology to instantly heat water. Harris experimented until he developed a product that combined both the instant-on and the proven water storage technologies for heating water. The thermo-conductive water heater consists of a plastic tank of pre-heated water, in which a corrugated inside and finned outside copper coil is submerged. Tne end of the coil is connected to the cold water supply. The other end is connected to the hot water outlet. Water enters the thermo-conductive coil as cold and is heated as it circulates through the coil and exits as hot water. This process allows you to heat only the water you use. According to tests by the Department of Energy, the water heater will heat 10 gallons of incoming 58° cold water to 129° hot water temperature per kilowatt of energy consumed at a rate of 48 to 55 gallons per hour. With 30 percent of electric bills consumed by heating water, the consumer could expect to see a 10 to 15 percent reduction in their electric bill. The HH20 can save you 50¢ to $1 per day, amounting to hundreds of dollars per year.
06/15/07 - Captain Nemo and the air collecting Scuba Pack
Israeli inventor, Alon Bodner, turned to fish for inspiration. Fish do not perform chemical separation of oxygen from water. Instead they use the dissolved air that exists in the water in order to breathe. In the ocean, the wind, waves and under water currents help spread small amounts of air inside the water. Studies have shown that at a depth of 200 metres below the sea surface, there is still about 1.5 per cent of dissolved air. Though it does not sound like much, it is enough to allow fish to breathe. Bodner's invention, based on an idea he conceived in 2000 and developed into a laboratory model in 2005 and a real prototype constructed in March 2007, will use these relatively small amounts of air to supply oxygen to scuba divers. The system developed by him uses a well-known physical law called Henry's Law, which describes gas absorption in liquids. This law states that the amount of gas that can be dissolved in a liquid body is proportional to the pressure on the liquid body. The law works both ways; lowering the pressure will release gas out of the water. In Bodner's invention, this is done by a centrifuge which rotates rapidly creating low pressure in a chamber containing sea water. The system is powered by rechargeable batteries. Calculations have shown that a one kilo Lithium battery can provide a diver with about an hour of diving time. The prototype weighs 15kgs, which is much less than a conventional scuba tank and was found to successfully separate air from water. Elaborating on the principle on which the invention is based, Bodner says that in the open system, a diver can consume about 25 litres of air per minute at the surface. Assuming that there is about 2 per cent of dissolved air in the water at that level, the calculations show that the water flow requirement is 1,250 litres per minute. For moderate effort, humans consume about 25 litres-per-minute (LPM) of air at atmospheric pressure. The air in the atmosphere contains about 21 per cent oxygen, but we use only about 4 per cent with every breath. So, the air we exhale contains about 17 per cent oxygen and 4 per cent carbon dioxide. In other words we consume about 4 per cent of 25 LPM, which is 1 LPM of oxygen. Assuming that there is half per cent of dissolved oxygen in the water, the resulting water flow requirement is only 200 litres per minute, enabling the design of a compact machine.
06/15/07 - The Right Direction?
A recent poll (PDF) found that only 19% of the population believes the U.S. is currently headed in the right direction. About 68% think the country is headed in the wrong direction. The study contained data for this survey item dating back to October, 2000. So I made a chart. The "right direction" line pretty much mirrors Bush's approval ratings. Note the emotion-driven peak following 9/11. (via jwalkblog.com)
06/15/07 - New Way to Stop Protesters
Opponents of President Vladimir Putin had hoped to rally on the porch of the Culture Palace but city authorities closed the building, took away the porch's steps and spread dung around it, said Yelena Vasilyeva, local leader of the United Civil Front opposition movement. "The stench was so strong you couldn't breathe, so only the most tenacious stayed," she said. Dung was spread around a landmark building to fertilise the land, said a police spokesman in Murmansk, a city not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland. Around 150 people braved the smell and carried on with the protest shouting "We need a different Russia" and "Out with Putin", Vasilyeva said.
06/15/07 - Wind Talker
Hooking onto the top of your tent, or sat on a tripod next to it, the Mobile Wind Charger lets you harness mother nature’s most powerful gusts to charge your phone in the middle of nowhere! The turbine weighs just 150 grams, so it’s small enough to fit in a bag alongside your loo roll, wellies and sun cream, and even stores wind-won energy in its own battery while you’re away from the tent, ready to juice up your blower on your return.
06/15/07 - Mexico builds her own “Statue of Liberty - Feb, 1936
Larger than the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor is a massive monument recently erected on an island in Lake Patzcuaro, State of Michoacan, Mexico. The upheld right arm is reminiscent of the American Goddess of Liberty, but the striking, angular lines of the Mexican statue are more modernistic in style. The monument is a memorial to Jose Maria Morelos, a leader in the war by which Mexico won her independence from Spain.
06/15/07 - Filter pledges crisp photos in low light
A year from now, capturing a crisp, clear image of a candlelit birthday party could be a piece of cake - even with a camera phone. Eastman Kodak Co. said Thursday it has developed a color-filter technology that at least doubles the sensitivity to light of the image sensor in every digital camera, enabling shutterbugs to take better pictures in poor light. "Low light can mean trying to get a good image indoors of your kid blowing out the birthday candles. It can mean you want to take a photograph on a street corner in Paris at midnight," said Chris McNiffe, general manager of the photography company's image sensor business. "We're talking about a 2-to-4-times improvement in (light) sensitivity."
06/13/07 - Sky's the limit for kite power
Inventor wants to use wind to run irrigation pumps. Robert Creighton's WindLift business is aiming to harness wind power to run irrigation pumps in developing countries. Creighton's concept is to take advantage of the power of the wind as it tugs on a kite attached to a high-strength line. The tension created by the wind pulling the kite away is strong enough to operate a mechanical piston pump, he said. About 7% of energy use worldwide is for irrigation, and the kite-powered pumps can help farmers who face higher costs because of soaring oil prices in recent years, Creighton said. The prototype involves a kite, a swing set, a hockey stick, some sheet metal and a series of pulleys. His next design will be more simplified and sophisticated, he says. "I don't think people make the connection between rising energy costs and why that shows up in the rising price of food," he said. The aim is to market low-cost kits that charitable foundations would provide to poor farmers in India, China or other developing nations. Those foundations already are spending millions on systems to help farmers in developing countries. The Case Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development have promoted one alternative, called a PlayPump, which uses a playground-style roundabout that relies on human power - kids spinning around on the small merry-go-round - to make an irrigation pump work. Research by Creighton and his partners found the wind-powered system is much more powerful than the merry-go-round system and could be a cost-effective replacement for diesel and electric pumps. As wind gusts blew up to 45 mph Thursday morning, Creighton put a prototype of his system to the test. The initial prototype was cobbled together quickly and on the cheap - involving a kite, a swing set from his mother's yard in Minnesota, a hockey stick, some sheet metal and a series of pulleys. This is no ordinary string attaching the kite to the contraption. The 1/8 -inch line, invented within the last decade, is extra strong. And kite technology has come a long way as the popularity of the sport of kiteboarding has soared, he said. To demonstrate the system's power, Creighton attaches four 40-pound bags of salt. His main concern: whether his swing set will remain standing in the force of such strong winds on a day that would later see tornadoes across the state. To make the system lift 160 pounds of salt, Creighton wields his hockey stick like a sailboat rudder and guides the kite back and forth. Curious workers at a research park look on. After several tries, Creighton's system briefly lifts the four salt bags 3 feet in the air before the kite swoops to the ground. The WindLift system is designed to generate enough power to run a pump under limited wind speeds. A second prototype, designed with the aid of an engineering firm, will operate better, he said, thanks to reduced friction and a much larger kite that won't be rattled by gusts. An Italian firm plans to make electricity from kites on a large scale in a project dubbed KiteGen. In Germany, a company called SkySails is piloting a system using kites to move cargo ships across the water. Using a kite to move across the water was something that young Ben Franklin did as a kid. Tying a kite to his toe, he lay still in a pond and found himself pulled across the water.
06/13/07 - Nigerian Claim of self-running Motor
A leading Nigerian inventor, Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu has successfully designed what looks like the electric motor that runs without gas. In a statement, Dr. Izuogu said the electric motor was built on the application of two laws of Emagnetodynamics. "Hitherto, the conventional electric motor has been built on one engineering theory. Force is exerted on a current carrying conductor in a magnetic field, "he explained. Izuogu, however, clarified that he had not built the electric motor yet "because of magnetic screening constraints which have to be overcome. But the design is as good, a perfect proof of the theory as any engineering design would be, all things being equal." He further explained "the author's designs have such great details that anyone skilled in physics and engineering can go ahead and build the physical model for himself." The Imo State born engineer said two laws of Emagne to dynamics he used stated that "a suspended composite magnetic pole will rotate in a certain direction, if placed in the vicinity of an array of like poles of magnets" while the second law said that "the direction of rotation is that of the composite similar to the array. The Emagnetodynmics machine also attracts two versions: non-self sustaining and self-sustaining machine. In the non-self sustaining machine, like the conventional electric motor, it runs off mains electric source or battery while the self-sustaining machine uses energy tapped from its feedback generator to run itself. "It boils down to explaining the Atomic energy stored in permanent magnets, a phenomenon hitherto unknown to science," said Izuegu adding "the effects of a machine that runs without currency are enormous and have great implications of man."
06/13/07 - Quality designs with renewal in mind
More than a million South Africans have safe drinking water thanks to Playpumps - a simple invention that uses the energy generated by children playing on a roundabout to pump groundwater from boreholes. Made from easily available windmill components and a zero-energy water pump, some 700 villages have had Playpumps installed since 1997. Unlike traditional hand pumps that produce just 150 litres of water an hour to ground level, where it cannot be stored hygienically, Playpumps can pump 1,400 litres of water an hour into a hygienic overhead storage tank. They are one of a series of inspiring case studies featured in Design and Landscape for People: New Approaches to Renewal, published this month, which looks at how architects, designers, artists and entrepreneurs can make a real difference to people's quality of life. Schemes range from the simple - a mobile farm that tours the vacant lots of Chicago turning them over to vegetable growing and creating jobs - to the hugely ambitious and long term, such as the creation of an army of children trained in scientific skills to monitor air quality, trees and green spaces in India. From a list of more than 150 projects across the world, Musgrave and her co-author, curator Clare Cumberlidge, narrowed the case studies down to the 23 they felt others could extract ideas from.
06/13/07 - Liquid Lens can magnify at the flick of a switch
The first liquid camera lens with no moving parts, and that can switch between two levels of magnification, has been designed by a German research team. Liquid lenses bend light using the curved boundary between watery and oily liquids. When the two liquids are held in the right container, the boundary between them can be made to curve in a way that focuses light simply by applying a voltage. Liquid lenses have attracted much attention because they are potentially smaller than conventional optics and cheaper to build. Samsung has already built them into some cellphones. But the greatest savings in size and cost can be made with zoom lenses. Altering the focusing power of a set of liquid lenses should provide the same effect as changing the distance between solid, fixed-focus lenses in a traditional zoom lens. But changing a zoom lens’s magnification also affects its focus, and causes problems such as pincushion distortion and chromatic aberration. Conventional zooms often require 20 or more lenses - many that move - to preserve image quality across the whole range of magnification, but nobody has come up with a liquid lens design that can do that. The design consists of four liquid lenses and three fixed plastic lenses. When the four liquid lenses are at their most curved, the optics offer a magnification of 2.5 times. When all four lenses are at their flattest there is no magnification. The complete length of the system from outer lens to image sensor is 29mm, but it should be possible to reduce that, says Schreiber.
06/13/07 - Slimmer PowerPoint files
We reduced a 21 megabyte PowerPoint presentation on travel to Guatemala to 1 megabyte by using a Windows utility called PPTminimizer. That's a 96 percent reduction. The presentation looks exactly the same as the original and can be sent through the Internet as a regular e-mail file. When we tried it with a presentation that included video and sound, the reduction was 84 percent. Unlike other utility programs that drastically reduce file size, there is no compression involved with PPTminimizer. What it does is "optimize" the presentation. That means it does not have to be decompressed or "opened" when it reaches its Internet destination, but can be played immediately just as it arrives. Since PPTminimizer also works with PowerPoint Show files, the recipient does not have to have PowerPoint on his machine to view the presentation. If you use Microsoft Outlook as your e-mail program, PPTminimizer can automatically optimize all your PowerPoint files each time you attach one to an e-mail, if you wish, or ask you each time if you would like to optimize the file. You don't have to install PPTminimizer to use it; you can run it from a disk, which is handy if you're off somewhere using another computer. The cost is $30 from PPTminimizer.com or you can use a free trial version.
06/13/07 - Can Statistics Predict the Outcome of a War?
"A University of Georgia scientist has developed a statistical system that can, she claims, predict the outcome of wars with an accuracy of 80 percent. Her approach, applied retrospectively, says the US chance of victory in the first Gulf War was 93%, while the poor Soviets only had a 7% chance in Afghanistan (if only they'd known; failure maybe triggered the collapse of the USSR). As for the current Iraq conflict: the US started off with a 70% chance of a successful regime change, which was duly achieved - but extending the mission past this to support a weak government has dropped the probability of ultimate success to 26%. Full elaboration of the forecasting methodology is laid out in a new paper (subscription required - link goes to the abstract). Some details can be gleaned from her 2006 draft (PDF)."
06/13/07 - Small public donations support Time Travel Research
Professor John Cramer had an article about his ideas in the newspaper and more than $35,000 from donors nationwide began to stream in. Unlike Stephen Hawking and almost every other physicist, Cramer doesn't believe that time can only move forward. He thinks that's how quantum entanglement, in which the quantum states of two objects can be linked no matter the distance between them, is possible. According to Cramer, "It could involve signaling, or communication, in reverse time." From The Seattle Post-Intelligencer: He has proposed a relatively simple bench-top experiment using lasers, prisms, splitters, fiber-optic cables and other gizmos to first see if he can detect "non-local" signaling between entangled photons. He hopes to get it going in July. If this succeeds, he hopes to get support from "traditional funding sources" to really scale up and test for photons communicating in reverse time... "I'm not crazy," he confirmed. "I don't know if this experiment will work, but I can't see why it won't. People are skeptical about this, but I think we can learn something, even if it fails..." ...When word of his funding plight went out across the Internet a few months ago after a Seattle P-I article, people...began contacting the UW to see if they could lend some support. "Heck, if it works we can go back in time and get our money back," laughed John Crow, a (donor of $3000) who splits his time between his gas-and-oil business in Shreveport and a home in Port Angeles.
06/13/07 - Wiretaping charges for recording a traffic stop
18 year old arrested on wiretapping charges for recording a friend's traffic stop. - [Brian D.] Kelly said his friend was cited for speeding and because his truck's bumper was too low. He said he held the camera in plain view and turned it on when the officer yelled at his pal. After about 20 minutes, the officer cited the driver on the traffic charges and told the men they were being recorded by a camera in his cruiser, Kelly said. "He said, 'Young man, turn off your ... camera,'" Kelly said. "I turned it off and handed it to him. ... Six or seven more cops pulled up, and they arrested me."
06/13/07 - Energy bill includes $10 million prize for a bright idea
If you are smart enough to invent a bright, highly energy-efficient, solid-state "light package" to replace the 60-watt bulb, you might qualify for a $10 million federal prize. A similar invention to replace halogen bulbs could carry a $5 million award.
06/13/07 - Beware the Dangers of Oxygen
(This relates to a recent discovery about reviving 'dead' heart attack patients by the use of slowly perfused oxygen back into the system. - JWD) There's a caustic substance common to our environment whose very presence turns iron into brittle rust, dramatically increases the risk of fire and explosion, and sometimes destroys the cells of the very organisms that depend on it for survival. This substance that makes up 21% of our atmosphere is Diatomic oxygen (O2), more widely know as just oxygen. Of course, oxygen has its good points. Besides being necessary for respiration and the reliable combustion engine, it can be liquefied and used as rocket fuel. Oxygen is also widely used in the world of medicine as a means to imbue the body with a greater amount of the needed gas. But recent studies indicate that administering oxygen might be doing less good than hoped - and in fact be causing harm. No one is immune to the dangers of oxygen, but the people who might most suffer the ill effects are infants newly introduced to breathing, and those who are clinically dead...
06/13/07 - Churches take Note! - Paris finds God!
(This was just TOO SILLY to not post, geez, what these people won't do or say for publicity and to fan their ego! But there is that great joke about finding Jesus in jail, every 3rd inmate is named Jesus! - JWD) The world received proof yesterday that prison does indeed work. In an interview from the Los Angeles jail where she is serving a sentence for driving while banned, celebrity inmate Paris Hilton claimed a remarkable transformation in her character. She said she was no longer superficial, had found God, wanted to work with sick children and had not looked in a mirror since entering prison. Speaking to the veteran television anchorwoman Barbara Walters by phone, Hilton revealed herself to be an acute critic of her former persona. "I'm not the same person I was," she said. "I used to act dumb. It was an act. I am 26 years old, and that act is no longer cute. It is not who I am, nor do I want to be that person for the young girls who looked up to me.
06/13/07 - Self-healing Polymer capillary system
US researchers have taken a leaf out of nature's book to develop a polymer-based system that can heal itself when it becomes damaged. The material relies on an underlying network of vessels - similar to blood capillaries - that carry a healing agent to areas on the material's surface that become damaged. Unlike previous self-healing systems that relied on capsules of agent buried in the polymer and which became depleted after one use, the new system can respond to damage at the same point many times over.
06/13/07 - Liquid Bullets - The Military's Next-Gen Water Gun
The next terrorist threat may come from the deep. In recent years, several homeland security alerts have focused on the danger of scuba-equipped terrorists targeting docked Navy vessels or ocean-side nuclear plants. Now the U.S. military is quietly developing a new generation of underwater weaponry capable of warding off undersea trespassers with liquid bullets. Normal guns will work underwater, but the drag slows bullets right down. "I have tried it myself in our pool," says Scott Greenbaum, a Certified Glock Armourer and webmaster at GlockFAQ.com. "The bullets only traveled about 15 feet." In addition to the drag, firing underwater is hazardous: Some types of ammunition can burst the gun, and the shockwave from the muzzle blast can cause permanent hearing damage. The Glock 17 is one of the few weapons that can be customized to fire underwater, with the aid of maritime spring cups, which stop water from impeding the firing pin. But the amphibious glock is designed to be carried, not used, under water. "I've never heard of anyone actually shooting a shark, or fish, or person, or anything," says Greenbaum. So in 1970 the U.S. Navy introduced a special weapon for the job: a chunky six-shooter called the Underwater Defense Gun, or UDG. Instead of firing bullets, the UDG "fired a stiletto-type dart that could provide range, accuracy and lethality underwater," says Tom Hawkins of the nonprofit Naval Special Warfare Foundation. To reduce shockwaves, a pusher piston sealed the barrel after firing. Each barrel could only fire once, hence the need for six separate barrels and the weapon's chubby profile. The effective range was about 30 feet. As a bonus, the subsonic projectile and sealed firing system made the gun virtually silent above water. another approach surfaced in the privately developed Gyrojet pistol, a James Bond weapon that fired miniature rockets (Bond even uses one in You Only Live Twice). Unlike bullets, rockets accelerate after firing and experience less drag. But the Navy found the underwater rockets inaccurate, only hitting a human-sized target half the time at 30 feet. It was not adopted. Steve Ritter, a weapons designer and Gyrojet expert, believes the testing was unfair. "Accuracy was an issue, but it appears that most of this problem was an ammunition quality-control problem." Meanwhile, on the other side of the Iron Curtain, Russian engineer Ivan Kasyanov of the Klimov Institute had found a revolutionary solution to the problem: a projectile which he called a “flying nail.” It had twice the range of the U.S. equivalent, its secret being a blunt tip instead of a stiletto-point. Underwater, a blunt projectile forces the water away on either side of it. At a high enough velocity, this causes such low pressures that a cavity forms. This cavitation decreases the drag on the rest of the projectile. Supercavitation, in which the entire projectile apart from the tip is enclosed by the cavity, hit the headlines in the '90s with the advent of the Russian 200-mph Shkval rocket torpedo. But the smaller projectile had already been around for years. The SPP-1 flying-nail pistol came into service in 1971. It is more compact than the Underwater Defense Gun and half the weight, and even now is standard issue for Russian combat divers, including a section of the Presidential Security Service that patrols the flooded sewers connecting the Kremlin to the Moskva River. An even more formidable flying-nail weapon followed in 1975, called the APS or Special Underwater Assault rifle. "The APS is a lot like a Kalashnikov actually," says Russian defense analyst Viktor Litovkin. "It has a rate of 500 rounds per minute." The APS has an underwater range of a hundred feet, the practical limit of visibility in good conditions.
06/13/07 - The ocean is the Army's trash can
It is no secret that the U.S. military has used the ocean as trashcan for munitions in the past. Peter discussed at the Old DSN how federal lawmakers were pressing the US Army to reveal everything it knows about a massive international program to dump chemical weapons off homeland and foreign shores. "The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste - either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels." Hundreds of dolphins washed ashore in Virginia and New Jersey shorelines in 1987 with burns similar to mustard gas exposure. One marine-mammal specialist suspects Army-dumped chemical weapons killed them.
06/13/07 - Honey Remedy could Save Limbs
A treatment used by ancient Sumerian physicians, touted in the Talmud and praised by Hippocrates: honey. Eddy dressed the wounds in honey-soaked gauze. In just two weeks, her patient's ulcers started to heal. Pink flesh replaced black. A year later, he could walk again. "I've used honey in a dozen cases since then," said Eddy. "I've yet to have one that didn't improve." Eddy is one of many doctors to recently rediscover honey as medicine. Abandoned with the advent of antibiotics in the 1940s and subsequently disregarded as folk quackery, a growing set of clinical literature and dozens of glowing anecdotes now recommend it. Most tantalizingly, honey seems capable of combating the growing scourge of drug-resistant wound infections, including group A streptococcus -- the infamous flesh-eating bug -- and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, which in its most severe forms also destroys flesh. These have become alarmingly more common in recent years, with MRSA alone now responsible for half of all skin infections treated in U.S. emergency rooms. So-called superbugs cause thousands of deaths and disfigurements every year, and public health officials are alarmed. Though the practice is uncommon in the United States, honey is successfully used elsewhere on wounds and burns that are unresponsive to other treatments. Some of the most promising results come from Germany's Bonn University Children's Hospital, where doctors have used honey to treat wounds in 50 children whose normal healing processes were weakened by chemotherapy. Honey, formed when bees swallow, digest and regurgitate nectar, contains approximately 600 compounds, depending on the type of flower and bee. Leptospermum honeys are renowned for their efficacy and dominate the commercial market, though scientists aren't totally sure why they work. "All honey is antibacterial, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide," said Peter Molan, director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. "But we still haven't managed to identify the active components. All we know is (the honey) works on an extremely broad spectrum." Attempts in the lab to induce a bacterial resistance to honey have failed, Molan and Simon said. Honey's complex attack, they said, might make adaptation impossible. Two dozen German hospitals are experimenting with medical honeys, which are also used in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. In the United States, however, honey as an antibiotic is nearly unknown. American doctors remain skeptical because studies on honey come from abroad and some are imperfectly designed, Molan said. In a review published this year, Molan collected positive results from more than 20 studies involving 2,000 people. Supported by extensive animal research, he said, the evidence should sway the medical community -- especially when faced by drug-resistant bacteria. "In some, antibiotics won't work at all," he said. "People are dying from these infections."
06/13/07 - Video - Astounding Amateur Opera
You have to watch this incredible guy. He even gets commendations from Simon Cowell. Once in a while something comes along that gives you goose pimples - that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. This is a very new video, from someone whom I am sure will be a HUGE STAR. Paul Potts is this guys name - and a whole bundle of Real Talent - something that frankly we don’t find enough of at VIP GLAMOUR. This is raw, PURE, beautiful talent that makes you think beautiful thoughts and makes you happy to be alive and to witness it. Add to that the fact the guy is so modest. Paul Potts sings Nessun dorma on UK talent show "Britain's got Talent" featuring Simon Cowell as a judge. / Video - Bocelli sings Nessum Dorma - compare this highly orchestrated version and Bocelli's wonderful voice with the amateur, future star Paul Potts.
06/11/07 - Using Centrifugal Force to Generate Electricity
A local man has invented a machine that could convert centrifugal force into useful energy. Richard Foore of Gurley Drive exhibited his invention at INPEX, America's Largest Invention Trade Show, at the Monroeville Expo Mart this week. According to Foore, "The Centrifugal Machine" would provide an alternative to current methods of generating energy. The Centrifugal Machine may be produced to any size and could be used for a wide variety of different energy applications. The prototype of the invention, according to Foore, is 3 feet wide and 2-1/2 feet high. The Centrifugal Machine's working parts include a wheel, steel gears and weights and it also incorporates a generator, power pack and power storage center. He said by spinning the weights around the wheel, the device creates force that can be stored and used as power. Foore said he built the machine out of parts from exercise equipment. He also said that he came up with the idea years ago as a response to 1970s energy crisis. "The machine could be built bigger to generate electricity to supply a source of energy. This machine don't smoke and it don't drink, which makes it unique."
06/11/07 - Plant-based product may substitute for oil
The nation's top energy official Friday hailed the innovation behind a new $100 million bioengineering plant that produces a plant-based liquid that can replace oil as a raw material in plastic.The Loudon plant, a joint venture of DuPont and multinational agri-processor Tate & Lyle, is churning out a product derived from corn that the companies say can directly replace and improve upon petroleum-based ingredients in everything from carpets to clothes to cosmetics, saving energy and using renewable resources at the same time. The plant is expected to make 100 million pounds of propanediol, a clear liquid related to the propylene glycol used in non-toxic antifreeze. The plant may not reach full capacity for another year, but it already has shipped 85 rail cars since November. DuPont and Tate & Lyle say their product, which they call Bio-PDO, will find new uses because it helps fabrics take dyes more brilliantly, carpets become naturally stain resistant, face creams be gentler to the skin, and airplane deicers biodegrade. "It is the most significant invention since nylon," DuPont Chairman and CEO Charles "Chad" Holliday Jr. said in an interview with the Associated Press. The Wilmington, Del. company invented nylon in 1935. The Loudon plant, about 35 miles south of Knoxville, Tenn., uses corn sugar or glucose from an adjoining Tate & Lyle ethanol plant. An E. coli bacteria modified by DuPont scientists breaks down the glucose through a fermentation process much like making beer. The result is a clear liquid compound that might be used in a quickly growing range of products, including fabrics, cosmetics, liquid detergents, boat hulls, ski boots and runway deicers.
06/11/07 - Super-Size Mice-Fast Food Hurts Rodents
In the documentary 'SuperSize Me' the initially trim and healthy Morgan Spurlock paid a big personal price to make this riveting picture: He gained about a pound a day, and in just 3 weeks exhibited symptoms of fatty liver disease, a condition that can ultimately kill. At the start of the film, doctors had given Spurlock-and his liver-a clean bill of health. Brent Tetri, a gastroenterologist and liver specialist at St. Louis University, undertook a 16-week study of such diets in mice and, on May 22, unveiled his findings at Digestive Disease Week 2007, a research conference, in Washington, D.C. Those data indicate that when offered the rodent equivalent of McDonald's fast food, mice fare at least as poorly as people do. Fat accumulations nearly doubled the size of the animals' livers. And within just 2 weeks of beginning their new diets, mice on the fast-food-like fare exhibited signs of incipient diabetes. "It was a surprise to see how soon this developed-and very disturbing," Tetri says. He emphasizes that all animals were free to eat or drink until sated, much as people do in real life. While mice getting a standard rodent diet stayed trim, those offered high-fat chow and a sweetened beverage voluntarily "over-ate to the point of getting sick." Moreover, the pattern of fat accumulation in their livers was similar to what occurs in children with fatty liver disease. Animals on the fast-food diet were offered water sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup in an amount designed to daily deliver about 6 grams of sugar per kilogram of bodyweight. "It's the equivalent of a person drinking about eight cans of soda a day," Tetri says, "which, in talking to my patients, I've found is not all that unusual." Finally, sedentary lifestyle aggravates an individual's risk of developing fatty liver disease, so Tetri's team discouraged its fast-food diners from pumping iron by removing a wire rack from near the top of their plastic cages. "Those racks act like a jungle gym," he says. Removing them "is like putting a TV with a remote in the cage." The animals may run a little, he says, but mostly "they just sit around with nothing to do." The most obvious change in animals on the fast-food diet was weight gain, which emerged within the first week of the study. By the trial's halfway point, the fast-food group weighed an average of 25 percent more than did mice eating normal chow. Also within a week of the trial's launching, mice on the fast-food diet exhibited "early evidence of glucose intolerance"-an inability of their bodies to appropriately shepherd sugar from blood into hungry cells. It's the first sign of what's known as insulin resistance, a harbinger of type-2 diabetes. Five weeks later, this condition had worsened dramatically, to the point where fasting blood-sugar concentrations were 22 percent higher for the fast-food group compared to mice on a standard diet.
06/11/07 - Students invent Alcohol Powder
Dutch students have developed powdered alcohol which they say can be sold legally to minors. The latest innovation in inebriation, called Booz2Go, is available in 20-gramme packets that cost 1-1.5 euros ($1.35-$2). Top it up with water and you have a bubbly, lime-colored and -flavored drink with just 3 percent alcohol content. / "Because the alcohol is not in liquid form, we can sell it to people below 16," said project member Martyn van Nierop. The legal age for drinking alcohol and smoking is 16 in the Netherlands. In Germany, alcopops -- sweet drinks containing alcohol and in powder form -- caused quite a stir when launched on to the market. Alcohol powder, classified as a flavoring, was sold in the United States three years ago. The students said companies interested in making the product commercially could avoid taxes because the alcohol was in powder form.
06/11/07 - Massive Amounts of Power free from Space
The need for a huge new supply of electricity over the next 50-100 years is blindingly obvious. The alternatives are either a drastic collapse of living standards in the developed world-and no doubt elsewhere as well-or a radical reduction in the number of humans on this Earth. Probably both. Professor Nocera makes it clear that neither conservation nor wind, nuclear, hydro, or biomass energy sources are going to be able, even when taken together, to fill the demand for energy that any reasonable standard of living will require. China and India alone will need more energy than is produced today by the entire planet. According to one estimate, large-scale solar electricity production could begin on the Moon within 20 years at a per kilowatt price of 10 to 15 percent premium over current rates. Solar power from both the Moon and from satellites would provide energy for operations in space and could be beamed down to Earth using either lasers or microwaves. The great advantage of beamed power is that it does not have to be transmitted across the giant transcontinental grids as it done today. Multiple solar power satellites, along with a large set of arrays on the Moon, would be the basis of a system that would be far more robust and reliable than our current one, which suffers from occasional blackouts such as the one suffered along the US East Coast in August 2003. Most important of all is that fact that these systems can be built in space with little or no direct input from Earth. Once the basic machinery needed to manufacture the lunar arrays and to launch the solar power satellites is up and running on the Moon, the costs to build and operate each new facility will go down incrementally. Unlike on Earth, each new satellite will not need an environmental impact statement or other complex and expensive legal processes. New ones can be put into service as fast as they can be built, and this alone may make the far more feasible a solution to the Earth’s energy problems than anything that can be done on the surface.
06/11/07 - Recycling Braking Energy
Two British motor technology companies have struck a deal aimed at cutting the carbon dioxide emissions of Formula One racing cars by recycling energy used during braking to help boost acceleration when overtaking. Torotrak, which develops automotive technologies, reached a licensing agreement with vehicle transmissions firm Xtrac to develop a system to capture power as a car slows down and release the energy later for overtaking and cornering.
06/11/07 - How Spontaneous Human Combustion Works
In December 1966, the body of 92-year-old Dr. J. Irving Bentley was discovered in his Pennsylvania home by a meter reader. Actually, only part of Dr. Bentley's leg and slippered foot were found. The rest of his body had been burned to ashes. A hole in the bathroom floor was the only evidence of the fire that had killed him; the rest of the house remained perfectly intact. How could a man catch fire -- with no apparent source of a spark or flame -- and then burn so completely without igniting anything around him? Can humans spontaneously burst into flames? A lot of people think spontaneous human combustion is a real occurrence, but most scientists aren't convinced. Hundreds of spontaneous human combustion accounts since that time have followed a similar pattern: The victim is almost completely consumed, usually inside his or her home. Coroners at the scene have sometimes noted a sweet, smoky smell in the room where the incident occurred. What makes the charred bodies in the photos of spontaneous human combustion so peculiar is that the extremities often remain intact. Although the torso and head are charred beyond recognition, the hands, feet, and/or part of the legs may be unburned. Also, the room around the person shows little or no signs of a fire, aside from a greasy residue that is sometimes left on furniture and walls. In rare cases, the internal organs of a victim remain untouched while the outside of the body is charred. Not all spontaneous human combustion victims simply burst into flames. Some develop strange burns on their body which have no obvious source, or emanate smoke from their body when no fire is present. And not every person who has caught fire has died -- a small percentage of people have actually survived. Today, there are several theories. One of the most popular proposes that the fire is sparked when methane (a flammable gas produced when plants decompose) builds up in the intestines and is ignited by enzymes (proteins in the body that act as catalysts to induce and speed up chemical reactions). Yet most victims of spontaneous human combustion suffer greater damage to the outside of their body than to their internal organs, which seems to go against this theory. Other theories speculate that the fire begins as a result of a buildup of static electricity inside the body or from an external geomagnetic force exerted on the body. A self-proclaimed expert on spontaneous human combustion, Larry Arnold, has suggested that the phenomenon is the work of a new subatomic particle called a pyroton, which he says interacts with cells to create a mini-explosion. But no scientific evidence proves the existence of this particle. A possible explanation is the wick effect, which proposes that the body, when lit by a cigarette, smoldering ember or other heat source, acts much like an inside-out candle. A candle is composed of a wick on the inside surrounded by a wax made of flammable fatty acids. The wax ignites the wick and keeps it burning. In the human body, the body fat acts as the flammable substance, and the victim's clothing or hair acts as the wick. As the fat melts from the heat, it soaks into the clothing and acts as a wax-like substance to keep the wick burning slowly. Scientists say this is why victims' bodies are destroyed yet their surroundings are barely burned. / Another viewpoing and this D2O as key to Aging.
06/11/07 - Can an Electric Hat Fight Tumors?
For years, electric fields were rumored to cause cancer. Now there's reason to believe they might fight it--and in some cases even destroy it. Researchers have used low-intensity, intermediate-frequency electric fields to combat an aggressive brain cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The strategy pinpoints tumors without invasive brain surgery and has more than doubled survival time in preliminary studies. The new approach exploits a cog in the cell-division pathway. When cells divide, a molecular motor called the microtubule spindle helps segregate chromosomes into the resulting daughter cells. Resembling a set of strings, the spindle is made of electrically polar macromolecules that are sensitive to electric fields. Previous work has shown that if a 200-kHz field is applied to these macromolecules, the spindle can't form properly. As a result, cells stop dividing and eventually die. NovoCure Limited, a biotech company located in Haifa, Israel, and other institutes in Israel and Europe began a clinical trial with 10 GBM patients who had not been helped by standard therapies. They gave each patient a lightweight, battery-operated device, called the NovoTTF-100A, which generates 200-kHz fields. (Power lines, for comparison, generate fields of about 60 Hz.) Then the doctors glued four sets of insulated electrodes on the scalp so as to focus the field on the tumor. Patients wore the device on their heads 24 hours a day for 18 months or until the disease worsened. In eight cases, the electric fields increased life expectancy. / Could there be a connection to the claims of Lee Crock and the effects some report using the MexiStim Polarity Cycler?
06/11/07 - Super Grub Disc for Boot problems
Super Grub Disk is a bootable cdrom, usb or floppy specially designed for the restore of boot. * GNU/Linux is installed in your pc, you reinstall Windows and GNU/Linux no longer boots as Grub menu no longer appears on boot. You can restore Grub on your MBR automatically. * You have Windows installed in a second hard disk and it does not want to boot. If you swap it from Super Grub Disk you will be able to boot it. * You can not boot Windows because your MBR is corrupt or Grub installation is not well done or whatever. With Super Grub Disk you will be able to boot the partition where Windows reside. * No Active Partition Found message appears. With Super Grub Disk you can activate partitions.
06/10/07 - Silent Ion Electric Personal Flying device
(Another perfect example of how the patent office will patent anything...this is purely THEORETICAL AND HASN'T BEEN BUILT! Yet they get a patent quoting experiments done by others. REQUIRE WORKING MODELS and cut all the bogus claims! - JWD) This has to be one of the most 'futuristic' developments we've seen in some time; a new U.S. patent has been awarded to a company that has plans for a safe, silent personal flight device using electromagnetic ion propulsion as its primary thrust generator and drawing its power wirelessly from earthbound inductive green power broadcast stations. The basic principle behind ion propulsion is to positively charge a fluid and then electromagnetically propel it to create thrust. It's a very efficient technique that NASA have been using to propel long-distance, unmanned space vehicles. While the amount of thrust it produces is quite small, it can be sustained over a long-term trip to provide a very effective cumulative acceleration that eventually far outweighs the much more powerful but fuel-hungry chemical rockets used for take-offs. The PFS patent adds a few key elements to this well-established technology; most importantly a new design for the capacitative thrust plates that emit and receive the electrical charges, and a system that pre-conditions the air between and around the plates to maximize thrust. The company also plan to remove the heavy power pack from the vehicle and "broadcast" pulses of DC power to the vehicle from ground stations based on theories from Nikola Tesla, the famous inventor and physicist responsible for the AC power system in the early 20th century. PFS claim their ion-propulsion personal flight vehicles will be safer than helicopters or rockets, with their massive moving parts and explosive gases respectively. Ion propulsion, however, carries its own set of risks - particularly an elevated risk of throat and lung cancer if an individual is to breathe in too much ionized air - although this can be mitigated through a number of techniques. The end result appears to offer a safe, silent personal flight system that runs primarily on ground-based green power, and the fact that this new patent overwrote existing NASA patents in the field shows that the PFS solution is viewed as a serious innovation with real-world potential. / Patent 7,182,295 - Personal flight vehicle and system - Abstract - Various methods, apparatuses, and systems in which an electric-energy lifting panel levitates a user secured to the electric-energy lifting panel. The electric-energy lifting panel includes a first capacitive plate and a second capacitive plate having different geometric dimensions to generate a net-directional force. An ion conditioner ion enhances air around the first capacitive plate and the second capacitive plate. / "In prior experiments tests for propulsion were performed at high voltages of 300 kV and even Megavolts. Typically, between capacitive plates two opposite plates are being charged from zero to high voltage. Electrons leave the metal surface on the negative plate and are accelerated towards the positive plate. As the electron accelerates its speed increases steadily to very high values. In an embodiment, the emitter wire layers 1362, 1364, 1366 and ion plate arrays 1350, 1351, 1352 act as these capacitive plates. In an embodiment the Biefeld Brown effect may cause the effective electron mass to act as a real heavier mass. Applying Newton's laws may result in erroneous calculations because the Biefeld Brown effect deals with relativistic speeds within lifters. The higher the applied voltage to the capacitive components, the higher the input energy E=Vq, the less accurate may be calculations based upon Newton's theories."
06/10/07 - Video - "Reverse Progress in Iraq" - the Daily Show
Hilarious skit about the war and seeking someone to blame, retroactively at that.
06/10/07 - Beer Bottle Solar Powered Heater
A Chinese farmer has made his own solar-powered water heater out of beer bottles and hosepipes. Ma’s invention features 66 beer bottles attached to a board. The bottles are connected to each other so that water flows through them. Sunlight heats the water as is passes slowly through the bottles before flowing into the bathroom as hot water, reports China Economy Network. Ma says it provides enough hot water for all three members of his family to have a shower every day. And more than 10 families in the village have already followed suit and installed their own versions of Ma’s invention.
06/10/07 - Mini heat harvesters could be new energy source
New ways of turning heat into sound waves - and then into electricity - may be the next step toward a practical new source of alternative energy. Most engines are large or inefficient, though, making them undesirable for interfacing with computers or other small applications. To improve their prospects, Orest Symko and his team built smaller engines ranging from 11 to 18 centimeters long. At 40% efficient, the engines rival gasoline and diesel engines at energy conversion. The Utah researchers have also built the smallest known acoustic heat engines, which at 1.8 millimeters long could produce 1 Watt of electricity per cubic centimeter when clustered together. Symko speculates that the clusters could be used as the 'cells' in a new type of solar panel. He plans to test the devices within a year to produce electricity from waste heat at a military radar facility.
06/10/07 - Time to Fuse Humans and Mice into "Humice"?
Researchers in Japan have converted mouse skin cells into stem cells. It may be time for us to become more like our little friends. Researchers at Kyoto University have added four crucial genes to mouse skin cells in order to manipulate them into pluripotent stems cells. These genes trick the cell into thinking it's like an embryonic stem cell, which is capable of turning into any cell in the body. The breakthrough could make it easier to grow replacement parts for organs such as the heart and liver. That is, of course, if you are a mouse. Researchers are confident that the process will work in humans. If true, the technique would offer a simple solution to the controversial procedure of harvesting pluripotent stem cells from human embryos--which are then, to the horror of some people, discarded. But making the jump from mouse to man remains a problem. To start, the process only works if the mice are interbred--a no-no with people.
06/10/07 - Why Music is getting Louder
"Artists and record bosses believe that the best album is the loudest one. Sound levels are being artificially enhanced so that the music punches through when it competes against background noise in pubs or cars. 'Geoff Emerick, engineer on the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album, said: "A lot of what is released today is basically a scrunched-up mess. Whole layers of sound are missing. It is because record companies don't trust the listener to decide themselves if they want to turn the volume up." Downloading has exacerbated the effect. Songs are compressed once again into digital files before being sold on iTunes and similar sites. The reduction in quality is so marked that EMI has introduced higher-quality digital tracks, albeit at a premium price, in response to consumer demand.'"
06/10/07 - Blowing Green Smoke
I'm fond of saying that if America could harness the power it wastes blowing smoke up its own butt, we could magically escape our energy-and-climate-change predicament. I say this repeatedly to counter the increasing volume of lies we tell ourselves in order to maintain the illusion that we can continue living the way we do. Like so many other commentators suffering from cranial-rectosis, Friedman believes that we can keep on running our Happy Motoring utopia if we just switch fuels. "People change when they have to - not when we tell them - and falling oil prices make them have to. That is why if we are looking for a Plan B for Iraq - a way of pressing for political reform in the Middle East without going to war again - there is no better tool than bringing down the price of oil." This is a fascinating statement. It's predicated on the idea that the US can achieve "energy independence," which is itself predicated on the further idea that we can accomplish this by switching out gasoline for ethanol. This is such an elementary error in thinking that it would be funny if it wasn't the lead story in the flagship of the mainstream media. As a Pennsylvania farmer put it to me in February: "It looks like we're going to burn up the last remaining six inches of Midwest topsoil in our gas-tanks." Friedman's statement also ignores the facts that running cars on ethanol would make no material difference in the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, or that ethanol is 20 percent less efficient than gasoline, meaning we would have to produce and use that much more of the stuff just to stay where we are. Where climate change is concerned, this is a variation of the "Red Queen syndrome" (from Alice in Wonderland) in which one has to run faster and faster to stay in place. It also fails to take into account the tragic ramifications of setting up competition between food for humans and crops for motor fuels just at the point when a growing scarcity of oil-and-gas-based soil "inputs" (as well increasing climate problems in the grain belt) will drastically lower American crop yields. The symptoms of this unintended consequence have already begun to present themselves - for instance, January's food riots in Mexico, which resulted from Mexican corn being sold to American ethanol distillers rather than Mexican cornmeal millers, who couldn't match their bids.
06/10/07 - US loath to give up gas guzzlers
It is no secret that American drivers are fond of their gas guzzlers. But it may prove tougher than anyone thought to persuade them to switch to greener vehicles. Even with new laws and funding to help educate the public on the merits of alternative fuels and build fuel stations it could still take 20 years before half of the US fleet is converted. "Even the current hybrid cars will take a while, maybe 15 to 20 years, before they make any significant impact on fuel consumption," says Struben.
06/09/07 - Biological RAM? - Data stored in Live Neurons
"Israeli researchers have created artificial memories for the first time - in a tangle of neurons growing in the lab. Using a specific chemical they could add to the pattern of impulses in a network of the nerve cells. 'Many believe that complex patterns of neuronal firing are templates for memory, which the brain uses when storing information. Imprinting such "memories" on artificial neural networks provides a potential way to develop cyborg chips, says Ben-Jacob. These would be useful for monitoring biological systems like the brain and blood since, being human, they would respond to the same chemicals.' The new pattern lasted two days - good enough for biological RAM?"
06/09/07 - Soccer IceCream - $29.95
(This is a neat summer thing to do using basic science. - JWD) Made of durable, yet lightweight polycarbonate, and looking much like a round, blue soccer ball, The Play & Freeze Ice Cream Maker is the first and only ice cream maker in which fun is the main ingredient. Many consumers still prefer home made to store-bought, because making ice cream at home can be a fun family activity.Unfortunately, today’s technically-advanced, automatic, electric ice cream makers require some advance planning, since many of the special cylinders used to hold the ingredients must be stored in the freezer for several hours, or even overnight, before using them. And once you’ve added the ingredients, all you do is turn on the machine and wait…hardly a fun, family activity. Now, with the revolutionary Play & Freeze Ice Cream Maker from Industrial Revolution, America’s favorite treat is as fun to make as it is to eat. you can make ice cream just about anywhere, since with Play & Freeze you don’t need electricity. What you do need, however, are a few friends or family members, a back yard or indoor play area, the right ingredients, a little playful energy plus a cup of imagination. Gather the children and other family members together and get ready to have a ball! Remove the lid from the ice end of the ball and fill the Play & Freeze with as much ice as possible. Then add 8 tablespoons of rock salt and close the lid securely. Mix up the ice cream ingredients into a container, remove the lid from the ice cream end, pour in your mix and replace the cylinder lid. Simply hand the Play & Freeze to someone in the group and tell them to shake it and then pass it or roll it to one another for approximately 15 - 20 minutes (the ice cream mixture should also be stirred after 10 minutes to ensure even consistency). While shakin’, rattlin’ and rollin’, kids and adults can sing songs, tell jokes or play imaginative games until the ice cream is ready for serving.
06/09/07 - A word of Caution about RE-using Used Media
A teacher in Virginia accidentally exposed a room full of fourth-graders to explicit pornographic images that appeared on an educational videotape that had never been played before. / I work for an educational publisher and we had this happen with one of our video titles a few years back. Fortunately we caught it before it shipped. Based on what the (very apologetic) firm responsible told us, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often. They explained that a lot of their revenue, and the revenue for many video duplication outfits, comes from the porn industry. (They may have been something of a bottom feeder, though, as I doubt this is true industry-wide.) Duplicators reuse tapes to save money, and though they are supposed to erase these tapes instead of just recording over them, that obviously doesn't always happen. Needless to say, we found another company to dupe our videos.
The switch to DVDs might have taken care of this. A lot of schools still use VHS, though, and given their lack of funding may continue to do so for a long time. So if you're a teacher using VHS, or anyone with cheap VHS tapes, you might fast forward past the credits and see what you can find.
06/09/07 - Solution to the Housing Shortage
An eight-foot aluminium box is being touted as the solution to the housing shortage. But what's it like to sleep, eat, wash and entertain in one? The sleek lines on the outside of my cube house are repeated within. It has a futuristic, ordered look about it, tastefully done in shades of calming grey. The front door leads straight into a combined shower/toilet cubicle which poses a few interesting logistical questions, but ultimately can save time (although I end up brushing my teeth in the kitchen sink, unwilling to perform this ablution in such close proximity to the privy). Three steps takes me from the front door to the back of the house, where the kitchen is compact and very usable. Just don't try and fit too many items into the tiny fridge. The rest of the house is a geometric labyrinth of drawers, shelves and folding panels which turn into bed frames and seats, and which all disappear under the floor or into the wall, giving more storage options. There's a nifty dining table which pulls out from under some drawers: very clever but I'm not sure I'd want to manoeuvre it in and out every day. The bed pulls down from the wall into a comfortable sleeping area that's not at all cramped. At £50,000 (fully installed and functioning), it could be a starter home for someone struggling with today's house prices, but a better option might be a crash-pad for someone who works five days a week in one location and goes home at the weekend.
06/09/07 - Cannabis-linked hospital admissions rise
Mental health hospital admissions due to cannabis have risen by 85 per cent over the last ten years. Statistics obtained by shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley revealed there had been a 63 per cent increase over the last five years. He obtained the figures from Health Minister Rosie Winterton in a written Commons answer.
06/09/07 - City fights illegal gig posters with CANCELLED stickers
The city council of Glasgow is fighting illegal handbills with science: they're paying city workers to go around and stick "cancelled" stickers on all the illegal gig posters put up around town. Staff who patrol the city every working day spotting new posters and marking them are now a central part of the council's £100,000 a year war on flyposting. And other workers have been issued with "cancelled" stickers which make it clear the ad has been banned by the council. And they have already had an impact on some rogue promoters who have been inundated with complaints from music fans. People who have bought tickets to some of this summers big gigs have complained, thinking that an event, rather than the advert, had been cancelled.
06/09/07 - Video - Ron Paul Interview & Platform Details (6 parts)
Excellent overview. Big government is destroying the US and our rights. Time for drastic change, restoring the Constitution and our personal rights and liberties. Mind our business, take care of our own.
06/09/07 - Video - Ron Paul on the Daily Show 06/04/07
He Stood Up For What He Believes. Ron Paul Champion of the Constitution. Protect and preserve our National Sovereignty. / Last Best hope for the Republic - One Texas country doctor has offered a cure. An end to the Iraq war. An end to the department of homeland security. An end to warrentless searches and wiretapping. An end to the drug war. An end to government controlling the people. A return to government by and for the people. A return to The Constitution as the supreme law of the land. A return to open and honest government. The return of our soldiers in Iraq. The return of the promise that was The Untied States. A return to our greatness. Only one presidential candidate delivers this platform. Only one candidate has the reputation for having always supported these positions no matter the circumstances. Only one candidate can deliver this nation from the scourge of corporatism, that it now suffers from. Only one candidate can turn us back from the road to hell we now find ourselves. America is being given one last chance to turn back from the brink of madness we have approached. One last chance to recapture our democracy and smash the stranglehold of fear, lies, and opportunism that has gripped her. It Ends with Ron Paul.
It begins with you.
06/08/07 - Video - Claims up to 10 times more out Aussie Free Energy Device
(This interesting information courteously shared by Esa Ruoho, thanks! - JWD) Retired Australian inventor Chas Campbell has designed and tested a self-running overunity generator. In this video, he claims he can produce as much as 10 times more energy out as the machine needs to operate. The machine consists of a series of weighted wheels of various size which are all driven by an 800Watt electric motor which in turn drives a 3,500Watt alternator. From this, the machine produces enough energy to drive a 2,500Watts circular saw, a drill, a variety of lights and a fan. Mr. Campbell says, "I can make one of these machines that will produce up to 1,000KVA, which is 1MW of electricity and probably use 50HP to do it." (50HP X 760 = 38,000Watts). The inventor has presented his idea for use by governments and companies who have all turned him down claiming it won't work as he claims. / Related references and claims; Bedini Gravity Field Generator, The Wilson Machine and 05/08/07 - Jesse Mcqueen patent #7095126.
06/08/07 - MIT Wirelessly Powers a Lightbulb
"According to the Boston Globe, MIT Researchers have powered a light bulb remotely. The successful experiment lit a 60-watt light bulb from a power source two meters away, with no physical connection between the power source and the light bulb. Details about WiTricity, or wireless electricity, are scheduled to be reported today in Science Express, the advance online publication of the journal Science, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said. 'The team from MIT is not the first group to suggest wireless energy transfer. Nineteenth-century physicist and engineer Nikola Tesla experimented with long-range wireless energy transfer, but his most ambitious attempt - the 29m high aerial known as Wardenclyffe Tower, in New York - failed when he ran out of money. Others have worked on highly directional mechanisms of energy transfer such as lasers. However, unlike the MIT work, these require an uninterrupted line of sight, and are therefore not good for powering objects around the home.'" / The experimental setup consisted of two 60cm (2ft) diameter copper coils, a transmitter attached to a power source and a receiver placed 2m (7ft) away and attached to a light bulb. With the power switched on at the transmitter, the bulb would light up despite there being no physical connection between the two. Measurements showed that the setup could transfer energy with 40% efficiently across the gap. The bulb was even made to glow when obstructions such as wood metal, electronic devices were placed between the two coils. Instead of using acoustic resonance, WiTricity exploits the resonance of very low frequency electromagnetic waves. In the experiment both coils were made to resonate at 10Mhz, allowing them to couple and for "tails" of energy to flow between them. "With each cycle arriving, more pressure, or voltage in electrical terms, builds up in this coil," explained Professor Pendry.
Over a number of cycles the voltage gathered until there was enough pressure, or energy, at the surface to flow into the light bulb.
06/08/07 - 15 things we wish someone would invent
We asked each person to name the one device they wish somebody would invent. The results range from the highly imaginative to the mundanely useful. One executive wished for a "fountain of youth" pill, while another wished for a simple, cheap means of water desalination, a technology that could transform the lives of millions of the world's poor. At the top of the "daily frustrations" wish list was a mobile phone that works everywhere - from mountaintops to subways, from California to the Kalahari. Call it the MagicFone. Many executives also wished for a do-it-all device that would reduce gadget overload. Each wanted a slightly different combo - say, a telephone/music player/electronic wallet or, more imaginatively, a telephone/music player/GPS/speedometer - but you get the idea: Everyone wants an electronic Swiss Army knife. Gadget fatigue popped up in other ways too: Some execs wanted a single remote for all of their home entertainment devices, while others wanted a power source that would work with all of their portable electronics. If we must lug our mobile phones, computers, BlackBerrys and iPods around the world, then please, could someone find a way to cut back on the number of chargers we need? On the home front, a house-cleaning robot is much desired, as is a searching contraption that would find lost keys and books - sort of like Google, but for the physical world. Our favorite wished-for items, though, were those that were imaginative, useful and a good distance beyond the state of current technology - but with that ring of plausibility that characterizes the best science fiction. Among these, we include the "bubble," a clear spherical shield that travels with you, blocking out unwanted dirt and noise. Another favorite: computer chips that plug directly into your brain.
06/08/07 - Video - This should scare the crap out of you!
The part of this video that I found so disturbing is from about 7:30 to the end. It is George Carlin commenting on how Bush believes we are on the verge of Armageddon and he is in a position to make it happen. And so will push and push against all resistance until he helps bring it about. His comments are right on target.
06/08/07 - Biodiesel-Powerboat Forced to Abandon World Record Attempt
"We gave it our best shot." These were the words of Skipper Pete Bethune last week after the announcement was made that the crew of the biodiesel-powerboat, Earthrace, had been forced to abandon its attempt at breaking the world record of circumnavigating the globe. Currently docked in Malaga, Spain, the Earthrace vessel and crew began the record attempt on April 7 from San Diego, California, and had to finish in San Diego on or before 21 June to break the record of 75 days-set by the British boat Cable & Wireless in 1998. After a tragic collision with a Guatemalan fishing boat in March that resulted in the loss of one fisherman and left the boat in need of repair, Earthrace once again encountered difficulties during its crossing of the Mediterranean Sea. During this crossing the boat encountered a vicious storm on route from Port Said, Egypt, to Malaga, Spain. This was the third severe weather system that Earthrace had endured in three weeks, the other two being a monsoon off the southern coast of India and 50 knot head winds encountered traveling up the Red Sea. It appears these severe conditions, collectively, had taken their toll on the Earthrace boat. Prior to arriving in Malaga, the crew noticed the boat was taking on water in the forward section of the main hull. Upon investigation, a 2m crack was found in the floor of the hull. While in Malaga the crew made an initial repair, and it was thought to be sufficient to finish the race; however, shortly after the boat left for the Canary Islands the crew concluded that the repair would not hold and so the decision was made to return to Malaga to undergo more substantive repairs. Taking into account the time that it would take to properly repair the hull, the decision was made to abandon the race since Earthrace would no longer be able to break the record.
06/08/07 - American 'justice' at work
(Rich and famous are clearly above the law. - JWD) The judge said she'd get no breaks. The sheriff said she'd do her time. Even Paris Hilton said she was ready to face her sentence. But on Thursday, three days into a 23-day jail stint, Hilton was fitted with an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet and released to the comforts of her 2,700-square-foot Hollywood Hills home due to a mysterious and unspecified medical condition. Did fame afford her special treatment? The claims of a medical problem rang false to Cron and others, who said inmates with health or psychological issues can be treated in the jail infirmary. "If psychological problems were good reason to have people released, half the population of the prisons would be out," said Levine. Rene Seidel of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services said he had "never heard of" an inmate being released from jail for a medical condition. Inmates with a cold are sent to a jail clinic, he said, and the seriously ill go to the jail ward of the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Cron said that whether or not Hilton was treated fairly, the outcome doesn't reflect well on the criminal justice system. "I'm proud of the system and this makes the system look cheap," Cron said. "It makes it look like she's a celebrity and she got a sweetheart deal. It will further the perception that celebrities are treated differently."
06/08/07 - E. coli Thrives in Beach Sands
The perils of a day at the beach aren't always as easy to see as riptides, broken shells and jellyfish - the sand at the shore may harbor E. coli and other potentially dangerous disease-causing bacteria, a recent study showed. E. coli is one of the main species of bacteria that live in the lower intestines of mammals, including humans - one person excretes billions of them in a day. Pathogenic strains of E. coli can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
06/08/07 - Dirty snow warms Arctic more than greenhouse gases: study
Filthy flakes can account for at least one third of the Arctic warming currently blamed on greenhouse gases, scientists at the University of California in Irvine, Calif., reported Wednesday in a study in the scientific publication Journal of Geophysical Research. Soot from vehicles, smokestacks and forest fires enters the atmosphere and falls to the ground in the form of dirty snow, which is darker than snow devoid of soot particles, the scientists said. Dark surfaces absorb sunlight and therefore heat, while bright surfaces reflect it away. "When we inject dirty particles into the atmosphere and they fall onto snow, the net effect is we warm the polar latitudes," study co-author Charlie Zender said in a written statement. "Dark soot can heat up quickly. It's like placing tiny toaster ovens into the snow pack." Zender and his team found that dirty snow has warmed the planet as much as 0.15 C in the last 200 years, during which the overall temperature rise has been 0.8 degrees. The snow accounts for about 19 per cent of the increase, according to the researchers. Over the same period, the Arctic's temperature has increased by about 1.6 degrees, with dirty snow accounting for as much as 1.5 degrees or 94 per cent of the change, they said. One way to help reduce the prevalence of dirty snow would be to switch to cleaner-burning fuels to reduce the amount of soot in the atmosphere. That would have a much faster effect on reducing global warming than cutting greenhouse gases because carbon dioxide lingers in the atmosphere for a century, Zender said.
06/08/07 - Neuroscience of déjà vu
Researchers believe that a set of neurons called place cells fire to provide a sort of blueprint for any new space we encounter. The next time we see the space, those same neurons fire. Thus we know when we've been somewhere before and don't have to relearn our way around familiar turf. But if we enter a space very similar to one we have seen before, a new but overlapping set of neurons creates the blueprint. When there is enough overlap between the two sets, we experience an eerie feeling of déjà vu--a French phrase that literally means, "already seen."
06/08/07 - Divx Pro Free Download
For a limited time only...the Divx Pro bundle is available free for the downloading.
The bundle includes the Divx Pro Codec 6.6.1, Divx Content Uploader, Divx Converter 6.2.1 6.(MPEG2/DVD), Divx Player 6.4.3, and Divx Web Player. (windows only)
06/07/07 - Fat? Blame the Microwave
Since the device became common in our kitchens in the mid-1980s, the rate of obesity has increased by nearly one per cent a year. Now, two decades later, a quarter of all adults in Britain are classed as clinically obese, said Professor Jane Wardle, who led the research. Prof Wardle, a child obesity expert, stressed that microwave meals are not unhealthy. The problem arises because of the quantity we now eat and the ease with which we can do it. She explained: “People can just pop their meal in and it is ready in a short time. This results in us eating more regularly. “The microwave has taken us into a world now where we want food instantly.” She added: “Most obese people don’t over-eat by a lot. But an energy excess of only 70 calories a day - no more than a ginger biscuit - adds up to 70lb of extra weight in 10 years. “That’s enough to turn a slim 25-year-old person into an obese 35-year-old.” Microwaves were introduced in the mid-1970s, but cheaper and more reliable models saw an explosion in sales in the 1980s. Now more than 55million people in Britain have access to a microwave. Prof Wardle will challenge other theories in today’s debate. Some experts lay the blame on another invention - television. Others say the problem started at the end of the Second World War because of a shift from manual labour. In 2003, an estimated 4.3million British men were obese. This is likely to rise to 6.6million in 2010.
06/07/07 - Can't Die? May As Well Work
It is damned difficult to die these days. Sure, you can throw yourself in front of a 16-wheeler, but that's messy and not terribly satisfying, much less economical for those left behind. The fact is that our children - and mine range in age from eight to 38 - have a fairly good chance of living to age 90 or 100, what with cures being found for many maladies and the ability to switch out body organs as if they were automobile radiator hoses. While it is becoming more difficult to die, it is also becoming more difficult to survive professionally. A person over 60 is a target for redundancy. The 30 year-old in the cubical around the corner is eyeing your spacious corner office with a view. The youngster on your heels is not necessarily smarter and certainly less experienced than you, the older worker. However, he is perceived to have more energy, more drive, and the ability to adapt better to new technologies in the information age. While this perception might or might not be true, it is reality. We live in reality. But you can't retire. You still have a hefty mortgage, first and second family responsibilities, and alimony payments that would feed a medium-sized village in Botswana. Plus, the latest actuarial charts suggest that you have a better-than-even chance of living another 20 years. What to do? I wrote an entire book about it called "The Portfolio Bubble: Surviving Professionally at 60". However, this column is about the social phenomenon - the increasing trend of older workers, and not necessarily a how-to guide. Retirement is an invention of the late 19th century. Its use is a sliver in the time compendium. It is one star that has burned brightly for 150 years - give or take a few - and is losing its luster. Other social factors are fast making it an antique concept. We should not, in any way, punish individuals for wanting not to retire by restricting what rewards they have worked long and hard to obtain; and, in most cases, have actually purchased through their taxes. Companies should be encouraged to take a second look at older workers; and, in fact, age discrimination laws should be strengthened to make it extremely difficult for a qualified worker to be sacked merely because he is older and is more expensive.
06/07/07 - Do NOT Install the New Firefox -- Read This
Firefox has long been a better browser than Internet Explorer, not because of any profound features or UI elements, but because of the little things: location of the "Home" button, that sort of thing. This morning, I installed the new Firefox 18.104.22.168, and boy was that a mistake. One "small thing" Firefox had over IE was the fact that the "close box" -- the button for closing a tab -- was way over on the right, whereas IE's was annoyingly placed on each tab. With previous versions of Firefox, you could just position your mouse pointer on the close box and close large numbers of tabs by simply clicking. Now, with the new version, you've got to slowly hunt and peck your way to closing Tabs -- just like IE. Another hideous annoyance: Rather than shrinking tabs infinitely, Firefox will only shrink them so far before totally hiding peripheral tabs. For me, they've just made Firefox unusable. I don't have time for slow, cumbersome tab UI functionality. Is Firefox to become like AOL Instant Messenger, where each new version takes you away from the things you liked about it in the first place? What do YOU think of the new Firefox?
06/07/07 - Iranian Minister Touts Temporary Marriage
Within Shia Islam there is a culturally taboo but legitimate practice called temporary marriage or sigheh. Though rejected by Sunni Muslims, this doctrine allows for two people to become married for a set length of time, during which time sexual relations become morally permissible. This marriage is being touted by Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi as a way to meet the needs of young people looking for sex. This proposition has brought on much criticism from female activists and, of course, re-inflames the dispute between Sunni and Shia versions of Islamic jurisprudence. Because the marriage may go on for as long or as short (e.g. a few hours) as the couple would like and involves an exchange of money or "bride price," some Sunni scholars say it is merely prostitution. Although Sunni and Shia camps agree that temporary marriage was once acceptable, the Sunni insist that Mohammed later banned it, while the Shia say he did not.
06/07/07 - How to Delete an Undeletable File
Have you ever run into a situation where you wanted to delete a file, but Windows simply wouldn’t allow you to do it? The main reason behind this is that the explorer.exe process locks files that are in use, effectively preventing you from deleting them. Usually, these files should not be touched, but sometimes, situations arise when you really need to get rid of some troublesome ones. / Solution #3: Use unlocker - Unlocker is a very useful freeware that will allow you to unlock any files that are currently in use by Windows. You’ll know if this is happening if you are getting any of these messages when trying to delete a file: * Cannot delete file: Access is denied * There has been a sharing violation * The source or destination file may be in use * The file is in use by another program or user * Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use / Unlocker will make things right again for you. You’ll notice that right after installing the software, a new option named “unlocker” will appear when right clicking any files or folders in Windows Explorer. To unlock a locked file, just right click it, select unlocker, and the unlocker software will start. Then, click “unlock all” and close the software. Now that your file is unlocked, just delete it in Windows Explorer, as you always do. This is much simpler than solution #1 or #2, isn’t it? (via lifehacker.com)
06/07/07 - After Ubuntu, Windows Looks Increasingly Bad
"Sys-Con has a look at some advantages of using Ubuntu over Windows. 'My recent switch to a single-boot Ubuntu setup on my Thinkpad T60 simply floors me on a regular basis. Most recently it's had to do with the experience of maintaining the software. Fresh from a very long Windows 2000 experience and a four-month Windows XP experience along with a long-time Linux sys admin role puts me in a great position to assess Ubuntu. Three prior attempts over the years at using Linux as my daily desktop OS had me primed for failure. Well, Ubuntu takes Linux where I've long hoped it would go - easy to use, reliable, dependable, great applications too but more on that later. It has some elegance to it - bet you never heard that about a Linux desktop before.'"
06/07/07 - Walking Chair (with cool video)
(Remember Star Wars where one of the traders was riding around in an insect legged walking chair? It's closer than you think. - JWD) The Hubo FX-1 chair bot. It is basically a chair with legs and can carry a human weighing upto 100 kgs. The person sitting can control the robot easily using the built in joystick. Each ankle has a 3-axis force/torque sensor which measures the normal force and 2 moments. Each foot has an inclination sensor which measures the angle of the slope. Also, the rate gyro and the inclination sensor of the body allow the device to stabilize itself. HUBO FX-1 is two meters in height, and weighs 150 kg. It requires external power but in the long term KAIST aims to make it battery powered. Future application include carrying old and disabled persons and moving heavy loads. (via slashdot.org)
06/06/07 - Enhancing Landfill gas quality
United States Patent No. 7,198,023 B1 is for a new Sequential Injection Fuel Lubrication System (SIFL). It was discovered that combustion engines running on raw landfill and natural gas fuels wear out in a very short time span. In fact, we were informed that standard poppet valve engines were only lasting approximately a couple of weeks out in the field when running on natural gaseous fuels. After many scientific studies and tests were conducted at the Coates plant, it was found that the lack of lubrication and the extreme dry heat of these gaseous fuels created the condition that resulted in excessive wear on pistons, piston rings, and cylinder walls of combustion engines. After these scientific studies were completed, Gregory Coates found the solution. He invented a new sequential injection system that injects a minute amount of diesel or bio-diesel or any oil based engine fuel into the engine cylinders along with the gaseous fuel. The new SIFL System is computer controlled and infinitely adjustable. It injects a minute amount of diesel or bio-diesel at precise intervals, which are determined and adjusted to suit the types of gaseous fuels being used. Although only a minute amount is injected into the engine with the gaseous fuels, it is sufficient to lubricate the piston rings and cylinder walls of the combustion engine, thus, preventing damage and excessive wear. This new invention is essential to upgrade the quality of natural and landfill gas to bring them to the level of desirable, viable fuels for all types of internal combustion engine applications including automobiles, etc. Management believes this new innovation will help reduce global warming, reduce harmful emissions, and reduce the USA’s dependency on imported foreign oil.
06/06/07 - Salad dressing saves art
(This microemulsion mix of oil and water with sugar to allow the mix, might have applications for alternative energy, similar to Gunnerman mixing of surfactants with water and gas to provide a combustible fuel. My only concern about this, carmelizing the engine from the sugar. - JWD) A salad dressing-like mixture of water, a bit of oil and a sugar-like molecule can safely clean ancient frescoes, according to new nanotechnology research. The potion has proven particularly effective in cleaning frescoes that had been coated in thick layers of paraloid, an acrylic co-polymer widely used by conservators in the 1960s. While paraloid was intended to offer a protective coating for artworks, it turns out the ageing of the acrylic and reactions with calcium salts beneath the coating become disastrous decades after the treatment. The key compound in creating the microemulsions is a sugar-like molecule that makes it possible to mix water and oil, a process that doesn't occur naturally. The result is the formation of tiny droplets of oil that are roughly 10 nanometres in size. "The droplets feature a very high interfacial area between the oil and the water. This very high surface area is the trick we use to extract polymers from the frescoes," Baglioni says. Using the microemulsions is simple. The researchers protect the painting with thin Japanese paper and pour the microemulsions, in the form of a paste or a gel, onto the wrapped artwork. After 10 minutes to a couple of hours, the paste or gel is removed, and with it, any grime and paraloid.
"It is a cheap, simple and environmentally friendly way to clean masterpieces. Using just 1% of oil, we basically managed to make water a very aggressive cleaning agent," Baglioni says.
06/06/07 - Wind power is coming
As of last December, the world-wide capacity of wind generated electricity reached 74,000 megawatts, four times what it was just six years earlier. Some countries, like Denmark, U.S., India, Spain and Germany have embraced wind technology in a big way (Germany alone has 13,000 wind turbines. Denmark now gets 18 per cent of its power from the wind, and hopes to increase this to 50 per cent within the next 20 years). Thirteen countries now have over 1,000 MW of installed wind-generating capacity. Like hydroelectric power, the cost of wind power is largely the installation costs of the stations. Operating costs are very low, and of course, there is no 'fuel.' Still, wind power ranks among the most expensive power, when the high cost of installation is spread over the useful life of the station. To achieve the lowest cost, wind turbines have to be ideally located. Studies of wind speed patterns are sometimes conducted for over a year (It was recently reported that such a study is being conducted near Dacre). Precise siting is important, because even 30 metres away from the ideal site, output can be cut in half! Offshore turbines are capable of 50 per cent higher energy output than onshore units. Modern wind turbines are huge machines. A typical 1,000 kilowatt machine stands on a tower 50 to 80 metres tall, and has three rotor blades 27 metres long, with a total diameter of 54 metres. The rotors turn a shaft inside the turbine, which is geared up to rotate the turbine generator at approximately 50 times the speed of the rotor blades. Inside, sophisticated wind direction sensors and electric motors turn the rotors into the wind, and mechanical brakes protect the machinery in very high winds. The blades are made of glass-fibre reinforced plastic. The largest wind turbines currently have rotor diameters (swept area) of 80 metres, putting out 2.5 Megawatts of power. Modern stations have expected lifetimes of 25-30 years.
06/06/07 - 45-minute operation to restore sight to millions
A revolutionary technique being developed by British scientists could cure blindness in millions of people around the world. The first 45-minute operations could take place within five years and could be as commonplace as cataract surgery in a decade. The pioneering stem cell surgery tackles age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness in the elderly. There are about 300,000 sufferers in this country and the number is expected to treble in the next 25 years to around one million as the population ages. AMD, which affects a quarter of over-60s in the UK and more than half of over-75s to some degree, occurs in two forms. While the "wet" form can be combated with drugs, there is no treatment for the "dry" form which accounts for 90 per cent of cases. The treatment centres on human embryonic stem cells grown in a laboratory. These are "blank" cells with the power to turn into different cell types and are used to create small patches identical to the cells damaged in the eyes of AMD sufferers. Packaged into a syringe, the patch is injected into the back of the eye where it replaces damaged cells and restores sight. The patient, who would have to take drugs to stop the cells from being rejected by the body, could go home the same day. After two to three weeks, vision should start to improve.
06/06/07 - Embedded nanowires could control tissue growth
Living cells cannot easily be connected to nanowires. In the past, researchers have had to physically push nanowires or carbon nanotubes into the cells, which can damage or kill them. However, Peidong Yang of the University of California at Berkeley and a team of researchers found that when cells in a solution settle onto an array of silicon nanowires, they gradually incorporate the wires into the cells without any resistance. Importantly, the team didn’t use just any old cells - they used embryonic stem cells from a mouse that had begun differentiating into cardiac muscle. Stem cells are especially intolerant of being disturbed, but the researchers managed to grow the mouse cells for over a month with the wires inside. They even watched as the mass of cells beat like a heart. The key to the process working, Yang suspects, is that the silicon wires form a coating of silicon dioxide when exposed to air. "The oxide is very compatible with the cell membranes, which wraps around the wires", then assimilates the wire into the cell, he says. Still, similar tests using human kidney cells showed that they only survived for long periods - up to a week - when wires were between 30 and 90 nanometers in diameter. The cells died off within a day when diameter was increased to 400 nm. With the wires safely embedded, the next step will be to zap the cells with a current to see how they respond. Yang believes that by varying power levels he can make the cells differentiate into various tissues such as neurons, muscles, or glands like the pancreas. "It is our hope that this will be our way of communicating with the cells," he says. "We’d like to explore this new version of the nano-electrode and see if we can guide how stem cells differentiate." If the technique works, it would represent a new way of manipulating stem cells to form tissues. Current methods rely chiefly on providing cells with chemical cues on how they should differentiate.
06/06/07 - Trickle down Nuclear Waste
The aim of the demo-part of a controversial $405-million government project called the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP)-is to transform nuclear leftovers into fuel for a new breed of reactors. The new reactor/fuel combo, GNEP officials say, could produce up to 100 times as much energy as conventional reactors and could generate 40 percent less waste. Another central GNEP objective is to deal with the nation's growing nuclear-waste problem: The country's 103 nuclear reactors produce 2,200 tons of radioactive waste annually, and there's no good place to put it. Even if no new reactors are built, at current rates, the U.S. will have produced more than 94,600 tons of spent nuclear fuel by 2050, and the repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, America's lone long-term solution to radioactive-waste storage, will stow just 77,000 tons when it's slated to open in 2020. Yet not everyone thinks GNEP's strategy for recycling waste is the solution. Ivan Oelrich of the Federation of American Scientists, for example, says that the new type of recycled fuel would contain as much as 90 percent plutonium, making it a much more attractive target to a bomb-building terrorist. Spent fuel from traditional reactors, by comparison, contains only 1 percent plutonium. GNEP officials reject this criticism. The new recycling process, they argue, will not isolate pure plutonium, making it more difficult to convert the leftovers into a bomb. Specifically, the process calls for dissolving spent fuel in nitric acid to chemically extract the nastiest 1 percent-the highly radioactive elements plutonium, neptunium, americium and curium, also known as actinides-as well as depleted uranium. (The remaining waste is stored in traditional casks.) The uranium is then re-enriched, recombined with the actinides, and compressed into fuel pellets for state-of-the-art reactors. In this scheme, waste is used repeatedly, transforming it into less harmful elements with each cycle.
06/06/07 - Feds Wants Cell Phones to Detect Chemical, Radioactive Material
American cell phones can already check e-mail, surf the Internet and store music, but they could have a new set of features in coming years: the Department of Homeland Security wants them to sense biological, chemical and radioactive material. Putting hazardous material sensors in commercial cell phones has been discussed in scientific circles for years, according to researchers in the field. Cell phone sensors would continually test the air for harmful compounds and digitally relay any information to a central monitoring system if they find anything amiss. “It’s a great way to get millions of detectors out there,” McGinnis said. Like the built-in GPS function many cell phones now offer, customers would have the option of turning the sensors off, McGinnis said. S&T spokesman Christopher Kelly said the theoretical system’s strength would lie in the sheer number of sensors. The cell phone sensors might be less sophisticated than highly advanced ones some developers are fitting into hand-held models, but they would make up for it in what Kelly called “ubiquitous detection.” If just one went off, it could be ruled a false positive, he said. But if several detected a harmful compound, emergency workers would know there was a problem, triangulate the phones’ location react to the situation. “Cell phones that are now made have GPS technology,” Kelly said. “And, if you have a cell phone equipped with that, it can transmit the time and place of an event.” The proposal has a working name, “Cell-All,” but is far from a contract phase at this point.
06/06/07 - Cyclone forces Oman to evacuate 7,000
(Could this be weather control as suspected to have been used in Katrina? If so, why? To further escalate oil prices maybe? - JWD) A powerful cyclone approaching the oil-rich Persian Gulf area forced the evacuation Monday of nearly 7,000 people from an Omani island, a government official said. Cyclone Gonu, with winds of 160 miles per hour and gusts of 195 miles per hour, was headed northwest through the Indian Ocean toward Oman's east coast, said Weather Underground meteorologist Tim Roche. Oil prices edged upward, though the cyclone was not necessarily the reason, said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. Oman's oil reserves and production are small compared to some of its Middle Eastern neighbors. "I don't know if you can really attribute any of the gain to the cyclone," he said. The government in neighboring Saudi Arabia issued a statement reassuring its people and the oil markets that it would not be seriously affected by the storm. Even with the weaker wind speeds, Gonu would be the strongest cyclone to hit the Arabian Peninsula since record keeping started in 1945, Roche said.
06/06/07 - Memory causes pain, drug controls it
U.S. medical scientists believe they have discovered why people often suffer from life-altering chronic pain long after an injury has healed. Northwestern University Professor Vania Apkarian said the key source of chronic pain appears to be an old memory trace that essentially gets stuck in the brain's prefrontal cortex -- the site of emotion and learning -- where the brain seems to remember the injury as if it were fresh and can't forget it.
06/06/07 - Stop Price Gouging
We're hoping to get 750,000 signatures before the Senate vote to stop gas price gouging. 561,959 Stop Price Gouging - Gasoline prices are predicted to be even higher than last summer, even though Big Oil just announced record profits. The House passed a bill right before Memorial Day, but it was weakened at the last minute by the oil companies to make it hard to enforce. Enough is enough! The Senate is voting on a bill in a couple of weeks to make gasoline price gouging a federal crime, and we need them to make it strong!Can you sign the petition and pass it on? A compiled petition with your individual comment will be presented to your Senators and Representative.
06/06/07 - The corporate takeover of U.S. intelligence
More than five years into the global "war on terror," spying has become one of the fastest-growing private industries in the United States. The federal government relies more than ever on outsourcing for some of its most sensitive work, though it has kept details about its use of private contractors a closely guarded secret. Intelligence experts, and even the government itself, have warned of a critical lack of oversight for the booming intelligence business. On May 14, at an industry conference in Colorado sponsored by the Defense Intelligence Agency, the U.S. government revealed for the first time how much of its classified intelligence budget is spent on private contracts: a whopping 70 percent. Based on this year’s estimated budget of at least $48 billion, that would come to at least $34 billion in contracts.
06/06/07 - 'Exercise after eating' diet tip
Exercising after meals can help promote weight loss by boosting hormones that suppress appetite, say UK scientists. Thanks to these hormones, active people feel less hungry immediately after exercise, and this carries through to their next meal, experiments suggest.
06/05/07 - Turning Heat Into Sound Into Electricity
(Photo - Heat can be converted into sound by using a blowtorch to heat a metallic screen inside a plastic tube, which then produces a loud tone, similar to when air is blown into a flute.) - "Science Daily is reporting on work by physicists at the University of Utah who have developed small devices that turn heat into sound and then into electricity. 'We are converting waste heat to electricity in an efficient, simple way by using sound [...] It is a new source of renewable energy from waste heat.' They report that technology holds promise for changing waste heat into electricity, harnessing solar energy and cooling computers and radars." / Using sound to convert heat into electricity has two key steps. Symko and colleagues developed various new heat engines (technically called "thermoacoustic prime movers") to accomplish the first step: convert heat into sound. Then they convert the sound into electricity using existing technology: "piezoelectric" devices that are squeezed in response to pressure, including sound waves, and change that pressure into electrical current. "Piezo" means pressure or squeezing. Most of the heat-to-electricity acoustic devices built in Symko's laboratory are housed in cylinder-shaped "resonators" that fit in the palm of your hand. Each cylinder, or resonator, contains a "stack" of material with a large surface area -- such as metal or plastic plates, or fibers made of glass, cotton or steel wool -- placed between a cold heat exchanger and a hot heat exchanger. When heat is applied -- with matches, a blowtorch or a heating element -- the heat builds to a threshold. Then the hot, moving air produces sound at a single frequency, similar to air blown into a flute. "You have heat, which is so disorderly and chaotic, and all of a sudden you have sound coming out at one frequency," Symko says. Then the sound waves squeeze the piezoelectric device, producing an electrical voltage. Symko says it's similar to what happens if you hit a nerve in your elbow, producing a painful electrical nerve impulse. Longer resonator cylinders produce lower tones, while shorter tubes produce higher-pitched tones. Devices that convert heat to sound and then to electricity lack moving parts, so such devices will require little maintenance and last a long time. They do not need to be built as precisely as, say, pistons in an engine, which loses efficiency as the pistons wear. Symko says the devices won't create noise pollution. First, as smaller devices are developed, they will convert heat to ultrasonic frequencies people cannot hear. Second, sound volume goes down as it is converted to electricity. Finally, "it's easy to contain the noise by putting a sound absorber around the device," he says.
06/05/07 - Cheap, Interactive Paper
Boring billboards can be turned into interactive displays by using conductive inks to print touch sensors and speakers onto paper, say Swedish researchers. The billboards are made almost entirely from paper materials, making them cheap to assemble, and easy to recycle, says Gulliksson. "We've used the roll-to-roll methods used by industry to process paper materials." To make the paper surfaces interactive, the team screen prints patterns using conductive inks containing particles of silver that overlap, allowing a current to flow. The interactive billboard is made in layers with a 3 centimetres thick back layer of Wellboard - a kind of extra-strong cardboard - forming the base. A sheet of paper screen-printed with conductive ink is placed on the base, with a second sheet carrying the billboard's design placed on top. The middle conductive layer is connected to a power supply and simple microelectronics that play, pause and rewind sounds when the correct sensors are triggered. Touch sensors are made using a fine pattern of conductive lines in which the current flow is altered when a hand touches it. Laptop computer touchpads use the same principal. Speakers are made by printing electromagnets out of conductive ink and stretching the paper over a cavity like a speaker cone behind the billboard. The electromagnets vibrate in response to a current, creating a sound. Packaging next? "The result looks and feels like paper but has electronic, interactive features," says Gulliksson. Changing a display is as simple as removing the two outer paper layers, and adding new ones that also connect to the power supply and electronics.
06/05/07 - New Fuel Cell Twice As Efficient As Generators
"A new kind of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell has been developed that can consume any kind of fuel, from hydrogen to bio-diesel; it is over two times more efficient than traditional generators. Acumentrics is attempting to market the technology to off-grid applications (like National Parks) and also for home use as personal Combined Heat and Power plants that are extremely efficient (half as carbon-intensive as grid power.)"
06/05/07 - An Apple Peel a Day Might Keep Cancer at Bay
Cornell researchers have identified a dozen compounds in apple peel that either inhibit or kill cancer cells in laboratory cultures. Three of the compounds have not previously been described in the literature. "We found that several compounds have potent anti-proliferative activities against human liver, colon and breast cancer cells and may be partially responsible for the anti-cancer activities of whole apples," says Rui Hai Liu, Cornell associate professor of food science. In previous Cornell studies, apples had been found not only to fight cancer cells in the laboratory but also to reduce the number and size of mammary tumors in rats. The Cornell researchers now think that the triterpenoids may be doing much of the anti-cancer work. With co-author Xiangjiu He, a Cornell postdoctoral researcher, Liu analyzed the peel from 230 pounds of red delicious apples from the Cornell Orchard and isolated their individual compounds. After identifying the structures of the promising compounds in the peel, the researchers tested the pure compounds against cancer cell growth in the laboratory. In the past, Liu has also identified compounds called phytochemicals -- mainly flavonoids and phenolic acids -- in apples and other foods that appear to be have anti-cancer properties as well, including inhibiting tumor growth in human breast cancer cells.
06/05/07 - The Utility Fox is Guarding the Solar Henhouse
"All the best forms of corruption are legal!" Credit the late newspaper columnist Molly Ivins for that humorously skeptical remark. It neatly sums up what's happening now to the California Solar Initiative (CSI). The CSI, begun in January, was widely touted as a more than two billion dollar program that would pump up solar energy production statewide, and foster new solar-related businesses. But so far, it has instead turned into a bureaucratic/ utility company squeeze play that is sapping the financial strength of smaller solar companies. And it's all going on under the media's radar screen. There used to be a simple, one page rebate application form. Now the state and the utilities want much more information about a proposed system's solar savings, or "proof of performance." The utilities say the longer application and additional information is important. They say they're worried that an unscrupulous installer will commit fraud, by over-promising how much a system will produce, thereby qualifying for a larger rebate. But many installers say they already back their installations with warranties and guarantees. If there's a problem, they'll fix it. They're begging the State's Public Utilities Commission to streamline the process. Until it does, many installers say they're shying away from installing systems on homes, instead concentrating on commercial installations. An installer asked... "How many applications for new solar home installations have you received? "More than one-thousand" said the earnest young PG&E representative. "How many have been deemed "completed?" This was a good question, because unless a new system is deemed "completed" the homeowner cannot turn it on. That means the installer must wait for his check. The young PG&E representative answered honestly, if undiplomatically: "None"... he said.
"None?" we asked. "None was the reply.
06/05/07 - Organize your family's essential information in case of an emergency
(This is something everyone needs to do and keep updated, very useful tips and info. - JWD) My mom had a minor stroke last week and was unable to speak. (She's fine now, thank God.) But when it happened, we had no idea where her "stuff" was - her insurance info, her bank accounts, even the location of the keys to her house was a mystery. Ultimately, we were able to get everything pulled together, but it was a waste of precious time that we could've spent on other, more important things. If there's ever a time when you don't want to be caught unorganized, it's in the middle of a health crisis. You need certain documents on hand and ready to go when you're in situations like these. Today I'll show you how I've gotten my procrastinating booty in gear (finally) and made my very own essential information kit. (via lifehacker.com)
06/05/07 - Internet tax Imminent?
"Proposals to tax the Internet are gaining steam as state legislators see a giant pot of money just waiting to be dipped into. "At the moment, states and municipalities are frequently barred by federal law from collecting both access and sales taxes. But they're hoping that their new lobbying effort, coordinated by groups including the National Governors Association, will pay off by permitting them to collect billions of dollars in new revenue by next year.""
06/05/07 - Business card that sprouts
Dip this business card in water to activate a miniature garden. The result was a business card that worked like a miniature house-plant, growing alfalfa or cress when dipped in water - a business card for 'another bloomin' designer'. The logo was also cut into a 'seed stencil' that allowed the logo to be grown on either earth or lawn; on uncut grass, the message would remain hidden until the area was mown.
06/05/07 - The Truth about Diesel
The good news is that diesel-powered engines are more efficient than their petrol cousins and therefore emit less CO2 - the major contributor to global warming. The bad news is that emissions from diesel engines are harmful to your health. That includes the latest generation of so-called "clean" diesels. The Federal Government's Green Vehicle Guide, which ranks vehicles on their greenhouse gas and air pollution performance, doesn't have a single diesel vehicle in its top 50 list of low polluters. Just one makes the top 150 and there are only five in the top 200 vehicles.
06/04/07 - Virus-killing water speeds wound healing
Researchers in California have developed a type of water which can speed up the healing of wounds by killing harmful bugs. The "super-oxidised" water contains reactive molecules which selectively kill free-floating viruses, fungi and bacteria while encouraging body cells to repair faster. In one study, patients treated with the water plus an antibiotic healed, on average, in 43 days, according to New Scientist magazine. By comparison, those receiving standard treatment took 55 days to heal. The product, called Microcyn, is now undergoing patient trials in the UK and other EU countries, as well as in the US. Tracey Kelly, care adviser at Diabetes UK, said: "The healing of wounds is a major problem for people with diabetes who do not have good blood glucose control or have circulatory problems. With 15% of foot ulcers resulting in lower limb amputation, Diabetes UK would welcome any safe, effective treatment." Cheryl Bongiovanni, director of wound care at Lake District hospital in Lakeview, Oregon, has used Microcyn on some 1,000 diabetic patients with leg and foot wounds in the past 18 months. "When you spray it on, you see the treated tissue 'pink up' and go beefy, because the oxygen supply has resumed," she told New Scientist. Microcyn contains electrically charged molecules which rapidly pierce the cell walls of free-living microbes and kill them. Human cells are spared because they are tightly bound together.
06/04/07 - Universal blood is created from other types
Researchers have perfected an inexpensive and efficient way to convert types A, B and AB blood into type O, the universal-donor blood that can be given to anyone - an achievement that promises to make transfusions safer and to relieve shortages of type O blood. The team reported Sunday in the journal Nature Biotechnology that it isolated bacterial enzymes that safely remove from red blood cells the sugar molecules that provoke an immune reaction in the recipient. Previous studies of type O blood produced from type B by a different method have shown it to be both safe and effective, and the researchers are now conducting clinical trials with the new product. Mismatching of blood causes at least half of all transfusion-related deaths. And the need for precisely matched blood is behind the costly and inefficient process of shuttling blood units back and forth between regional blood banks and hospitals to match daily requirements. If a person receives mismatched blood, the antibodies attack red blood cells, producing a potentially fatal breakdown of the cells. In the 1980s, researchers isolated an enzyme from coffee beans that could convert type B to type O. Clinical trials of the enzyme-produced blood showed it behaved no differently from normal blood in hospitalized patients. The team initially isolated blood from healthy individuals, converted the red cells to type O and injected them back into the donors, said Olsson. After that study showed no problems, they began a larger clinical trial using donor blood. Olsson said there had been no adverse reactions to the product; he would not comment further on the results. Clibourn said he expected results from the trial to be available later this year. If the trials are successful, ZymeQuest will manufacture a system that can be used by blood banks and hospitals to convert donor blood into type O as necessary.
06/04/07 - Full shaft telescoping Neuroshock Defense Rod
Fred Pearson’s electrified telescoping Neuroscrambler can drop a person to the fetal position from three feet away. The problem with most such devices is that you have to be in contact with your attacker to use them, notes Sid Heal, the commander and technology-procurement specialist at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "I don't know a single police officer who has purchased [a stun gun] for his wife or daughters." Despite the fact that Pearson, a 51-year-old drywall contractor, had never invented anything, he knew he could solve this problem. He took apart his son's toy, wound fiberglass tape around the shaft, lined it with wire, and augmented the electronics. Two weeks later, the three-milliamp, 50,000-volt Neuroscrambler was done. Press a button, and the entire shaft becomes electrically charged, making it virtually impossible to disarm the operator. "You can't take what you can't touch," Pearson says. Like other stun devices, the stick works by delivering a high-voltage, low-amperage electrical charge that overrides messages from the brain to the muscles, leaving the victim unable to control that part of his body. But, unlike any other weapon, it can also act like a Taser, the weapon most often used by police. A Taser delivers higher voltages and, by making contact in two points, contracts muscles throughout the body, causing the subject to collapse.
06/04/07 - Scientist Concerned About Cigarette Radiation
If nothing else, this should worry smokers: the radiation dose from radium and polonium found naturally in tobacco can be a thousand times more than that from the caesium-137 taken up by the leaves from the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Constantin Papastefanou from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece measured radioactivity in tobacco leaves from across the country and calculated the average radiation dose that would be received by people smoking 30 cigarettes a day. He found that the dose from natural radionuclides was 251 microsieverts a year, compared with 0.199 from Chernobyl fallout in the leaves (Radiation Protection Dosimetry, vol 123, p 68). Though the radiation dose from smoking was only 10 per cent of the average dose anyone receives from all natural sources, Papastefanou argues that it is an increased risk. "Many scientists believe that cancer deaths among smokers are due to the radioactive content of tobacco leaves and not to nicotine and tar," he says. (via impactlab.com)
06/04/07 - Walnuts the next Viagra?
The Malaysian government has just approved a magic boner pill derived from walnuts. It takes an hour to work, and gives you wood for four hours. Prof Kim said the active ingredient was arginine, an amino acid that is absorbed into the body and converted into nitric oxide. “This enlarges blood vessels and enhances blood flow to the penis,” he said, adding that the walnuts were sourced from China because they were cheaper there. As to how he ventured into exploring walnuts to treat erectile dysfunction, he said it all began with something he read. “I read articles about Romans and French having eaten walnuts for this purpose. I thought if it had been documented that long ago, then there surely has to be something there,” he said. (via boingboing.net)
06/04/07 - British Civil Liberties Film Released
An anonymous reader sends us to a BBC article about a British film likely to attract the attention of civil liberties supporters. The film, Taking Liberties , is a documentary about eroding civil liberties in present-day Britain. It will be showing in cinemas in major cities across the UK starting next weekend. From the article: "Director Chris Atkins wants Taking Liberties to shake the British public out of their apathy over what he sees as the dangerous erosion of traditional rights and freedoms. 'This film uses shock tactics. We needed to be unashamedly populist... Once you give up traditional liberties such as free speech and the right to protest you are not going to easily get them back,' says Atkins." (via slashdot.org)
06/04/07 - Pebble-Bed Nuclear Plants for Developing Nations
In October 2006, leading electricity companies from around the world issued a report titled “Powering a Sustainable Future“. They urged governments to start favoring low-carbon sources of electricity like nuclear, solar and wind power. The members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have already stated their desire to maintain nuclear power as an energy option for the future. This articles focuses on the special type of nuclear reactor known as the Pebble-Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR). To my mind this is more suitable for developing nations. Types of Reactors - In 1956 the world’s first industrial nuclear power plant was constructed at Colder Hall, in the United Kingdom, that used Gas-cooled Reactors to generate 180 megawatts. The advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGR) was the next version of the Gas-cooled Reactors. Boiling water reactor (BWR) is a simple design that helped to achieve the economic breakthrough in electricity generation in the United States of America. The most common reactor model in operation is Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR). The second most prevalent type is Boiling Water Reactor (BWR). The next reactor type is the Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor .The Graphite Moderated Boiling Reactor is a Russian product that in 1986 faced an accident. Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) is another type of modern reactor that gained the attention of the developing nations such as China and South Africa, Allafrica.com said.
Splitting Atoms - Everything around us is made up of atoms. An atom is extremely small and about hundredth of a millionth of a centimeter. Each atom has at its centre a nucleus consisting of protons and neutrons. Electrons orbit the nucleus. Nuclear power is the energy that can be found in the core (nucleus) of an atom. There is a huge energy in the atom that binds all its particles together. By releasing those binding energies of the atoms, nuclear reactors make power. Nuclear reactors split atoms to release those binding energies. This splitting process is known as nuclear fission. The fuel widely used by nuclear reactors to split atoms (nuclear fission) is uranium. Pebble-Bed - A nuclear reactor is a machine that produces heat in a controlled manner. Its heat makes steam and the steam turns blades of the turbine of the generator to produce electricity. And, here we are discussing the Pebble Bed Modular Reactors (PBMRs), which are becoming popular in the nuclear power industry. Three decades ago, the PBMR was built at Julich Nuclear Research Centre in Germany. But, only recently, it re-emerged as a promising energy outfit. What makes the PMBR technology so special is its safety features that prevent reactors from melting down or exploding like Three-Mile or Chernobyl nuclear plants. The nuclear fuel (uranium) in its spheres cannot become too hot to melt the casing and escape. Other types of reactors use water as a coolant (water contains flammable oxygen). But, PMBR is cooled by helium. China, South Africa - China heavily relies on eco-unfriendly and unsustainable energy sources--fossil oil and coal. Now using nuclear energy China intends to increase power output from 8 700 to 36 000 megawatts. Therefore, it is planning to produce small commercial Pebble Bed plants (195 megawatts). As a bold step, researchers at the Tsinghua University in collaboration with the Massichte Institute of Technology (USA) is developing an advanced model of Pebble Bed Reactor that is more suitable for developing countries where more villages and small and medium industrial sites are situated in remote areas. South Africa is the only well established nuclear power in Africa. It has two nuclear reactors at Koeberg nuclear complex. They produce 6% (1 800 megawatts) of the country’s electricity and sell about 200 megawatts to Namibia. Now South Africa has begun to build a 165 megawatt Pebble Bed Modular Reactor at Koeberg.
06/04/07 - Norwegian Invents Steam Powered Cell Phone
(Just testing.... - JWD) University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway, 6/3/07: Professor Lars Bjørnsen of the Department of Physics and Technology at this university has unveiled his unusual new portable cell phone. Bjørnsen says his phone marries modern technology with energy sources from the past. "Ja, I haf designed my telefon to run off coal, stove vood, vood chips, sheep manure, and vads of paper if need be." said Professor Bjørnsen. "This means a person can take my telefon to vilderness and not vorry about plugging into a power source, ja?" The thirty-one pound unit utilizes a small boiler with a firebox which will accept fuel objects up to 4" in diameter and 10" long. A four pound charge of dry wood allows the user to make or receive a call up to five minutes long. Using coal, the performance is somewhat better. The telephone may also be used to make coffee, tea or to roast sausages in a pinch, providing for multiple uses for the technology. "Ve are still vorking on vay to receive calls ven steam is not yet up." said Professor Bjørnsen. "Dat is pesky problem vich ve haf yet to solve." The telephone comes complete with a backpack carrying case which also has room for a package of lutefisk and a brick of gjetøst, the preferred Norwegian goat cheese. "Ja, dat vas a very desirable addition to telefon." said Bjørnsen. "My vife insisted on dat vun."
06/04/07 - Vermont Secession Arguments
Disillusioned by what they call an empire about to fall, a small cadre of writers and academics is plotting political strategy and planting the seeds of separatism. They've published a "Green Mountain Manifesto" subtitled "Why and How Tiny Vermont Might Help Save America From Itself by Seceding from the Union." They hope to put the question before citizens at Town Meeting Day next March, eventually persuading the state Legislature to declare independence, returning Vermont to the status it held from 1777 to 1791. "The argument for secession is that the U.S. has become an empire that is essentially ungovernable -- it's too big, it's too corrupt and it no longer serves the needs of its citizens," said Rob Williams, editor of Vermont Commons, a quarterly newspaper dedicated to secession. "Congress and the executive branch are being run by the multinationals. We have electoral fraud, rampant corporate corruption, a culture of militarism and war. If you care about democracy and self-governance and any kind of representative system, the only constitutional way to preserve what's left of the Republic is to peaceably take apart the empire." While neither the Vermont Constitution nor the U.S. Constitution forbids secession per se, few think it's viable. / Is Secession 'Legal'? - Many think the Civil War was fought over slavery. This is not the case.
True, there were many factors leading up to it, slavery being one, but at the heart of the matter was the question “Do states have a right to secede?” Jefferson and Madison wrote “The Kentucky and Virginia Resolves” which proposed that America was a Union of States. Didn’t, after all, the State delegations vote to ratify the Constitution, and not individual citizens? It’s “obvious” then that the nation is only a loose “friendship” between states. If one state wishes to dissolve its friendship with the others, it as a Sovereign State has the right to do so, just as one country may cancel an alliance with another. /
The Undeniable Legality of Secession - Our Declaration of Independence states this fact clearly: ...That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness...
06/04/07 - Use of Merlindown software claims lost ship discovery
A British archaeologist claims to have found an Australian warship that disappeared in 1941 with all 645 of her crew. Tim Akers says that HMAS Sydney lies two miles (3.2km) beneath the Indian Ocean, and that he pinpointed the ship’s location from the comfort of his home in Wetherby, Yorkshire. Mr Akers found the ship, and other lost hulks like it, using a computer program that analyses aerial and satellite photographs, using infra-red, ultraviolet and X-ray. “Light passes through matter,” he said. “So long as you have an optimum-quality photograph, you can use my program to analyse what lies beneath.” He said that his program, Merlindown, could peer 75m into the earth and 16,000 metres beneath the seas. To find Sydney, he bought high-quality satellite images for a strip of ocean 100 miles long and ten miles wide, covering the region where the ship was thought to have fought her last battle with a German raider. “I found at least 31 vessels,” he said. / Comments; This is nonsense: I work in the earth observation satellite industry and there are no ultraviolet or x-ray sensors on earth observation satellites (for obvious reasons - the earth does not emit x-rays, and UV is absorbed by the atmosphere.). Optical sensors can see at most a few metres into clear water. At infrared wavelengths water is black and opaque. "Light passes through matter"? Doesn't The Times have a science correspondent? - Grant Thompson, Rome, / Unfortunately the ocean isn't 16,000 metres deep. Also, light doesn't go through matter in many cases. In particular, UV and x-ray don't penetrate the atmosphere, never mind water or solid ground. Infrared is absorbed in water even before red light and anyone who scuba dives knows how quickly red light disappears with depth. - Robb, Calgary, Canada
06/03/07 - Discovery - Quantum Oscillations in Superconductors
Physicist Louis Taillefer's excitement for making an internationally important scientific discovery from Sherbrooke is comparable to that of a kid on Christmas morning. But instead of finding presents under the tree, Taillefer's excitement comes from finding "quantum oscillations" in superconductors. "It's going to transform our lives. It's going to cause a major technological transformation," he said, his eyes widening at the possibilities. It's the most important discovery of his career. Superconductors can conduct electricity without any resistance, so no energy is ever lost. The problem is these materials only function at unimaginably low temperatures. Two decades ago, materials were discovered that could super conduct at much higher temperatures: minus-109 degrees Celsius. "This is probably not room temperature anywhere on Earth, but from our perspective, it's not that far from room temperature," Taillefer said. "These oscillations are literally wiggles in the resistance - they are the voice of the electrons in the most pristine, direct way." In other words, it is now possible to know how superconductors operate at the microscopic level. "We now have a clear track to follow to develop a complete understanding of the materials," Taillefer said. Today, superconductors are used most commonly in magnetic resonance imaging, more commonly known as MRIs. It could be that "MRIs would shrink from the size of a garden shed to the size of a laptop," he said. The mere possibilities of where this technology could lead is causing researchers to jump on board. "Now there's a tidal wave. We are trying to stay ahead of it. But we are a small boat, here in Sherbrooke." He said three essential ingredients separated his team from all others. "We had the best crystals in the world," Taillefer said, explaining that observing the oscillations was directly based on the quality of the oxide crystals used. (Taillefer and his team have been collaborating with the University of British Columbia, which has been perfecting these crystals for 20 years.) The second necessary ingredient is a huge magnetic field. "You need a magnetic field of the order of a million times the Earth's magnetic field." There is no lab with this capability in Canada, so Taillefer and his team had to travel. Those two technical aspects were mixed with a third ingredient: intuition. Taillefer and his team had a hunch about a specific oxygen concentration in the superconductor, and they focused all their attention on this one spot. "We persisted in that direction, while others went away to look somewhere else." There was one more thing: an accident. "The guys broke off a wire, and they had only one wire left," Taillefer said. They had been using two wires parallel to each other, but with only one wire left, "they did a diagonal contact, and they saw the oscillations." And so on "the 27th of February, my three students called me [from France] and said 'Louis, look at your screen'. And I saw these beautiful oscillations. That was a real eureka moment!" / Little-Parks effect - Little-Parks oscillation provides a direct proof of the quantum behavior of electrons in a superconductor. In their experiments (1962), William A. Little and Roland D. Parks demonstrated that the electrons, which form a quantum-coherent condensate in superconducting metals, such as tin or lead, exhibit a sensitivity to the vector-potential, and not only to the magnetic field as non-quantum charged particles. Little-Parks oscillation occurs in hollow superconducting cylinders, pierced by a magnetic field. The critical temperature and thus the electrical resistance oscillate periodically as the magnetic field is gradually increased. The period is defined as the superconducting magnetic flux quantum h/2e divided by the area of the cross-section of the cylinder. Thus one period of oscillation corresponds to an increase of the magnetic flux through the cylinder by one flux quantum h/2e. Based on quantum theory one expects that the LP oscillation of the critical temperature should occur even if the magnetic field is completely confined inside the cylinder, without entering into the superconducting walls of the cylinder. This prediction has never been tested experimentally.
06/03/07 - Curing Brain Cancer With Electric Fields
A device that specifically targets rapidly growing cancer cells with intermediate frequency electrical fields -- called Tumor-Treating Fields (TTFields) -- doubled the survival rates of patients with brain cancer, according to a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal article. Early results of cell culture, animal and early phase human trials showed that compared to historical data, the device more than doubled the median overall survival rates in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and aggressive type of malignant brain tumor. These survival rates observed in the data were compared to historical data. Professor Yoram Palti of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, the leading Israeli biomedical research institution, invented the device and first described it in a journal article in 2004. It uses electrical fields to disrupt tumor growth by interfering with cell division of cancerous cells, causing them to stop proliferating and die off instead of dividing and growing. Healthy brain cells rarely divide and have different electrical properties than cancerous brain cells. This allows the device to target cancer cells without affecting the healthy cells.
06/03/07 - Making water from thin air
Two Israeli architects have devised a low-tech way to turn dew into fresh, usable water. Inspired by the dew-collecting properties of leaves, the invention can extract a minimum of 48 liters of fresh water from the air each day. Depending on the number of collectors used, an unlimited daily supply of water could be produced even in remote and polluted places. The brainchild of Technion Architecture and Building Planning grad students Joseph Cory and Eyal Malka, “WatAir,” is an inverted pyramid array of panels that collects dew from the air and turns it into fresh water in almost any climate. Inspired by the dew-collecting properties of leaves, one 315 sq ft unit can extract a minimum of 48 liters of fresh water from the air each day. Depending on the number of collectors used, an unlimited daily supply of water could be produced even in remote and polluted places. According to Cory, WatAir can be easily incorporated into both rural and urban landscapes because it has a relatively small base. Its vertical and diagonal design utilizes gravity to increase the collection areas. The panels are flexible and easy to collapse when not in use, and provide shelter from rain and heat and play areas for children. “WatAir is a wonderfully simple concept which draws its inspiration from nature,” said competition judge Jo da Silva. “This is a simple and effective idea using tried and tested technology.” (via http://alfin2100.blogspot.com/ )
06/03/07 - Creosote agent slows aging in mice
A synthetic derivative of a pungent desert shrub is now a front- runner in ongoing animal experiments to find out if certain chemicals, known to inhibit inflammation, cancer and other destructive processes, can boost the odds of living longer. Scientists were surprised to find so quickly that one agent showed promise: NDGA, a compound derived from creosote bushes. These common North American desert shrubs have been traditionally used by Native Americans as healing remedies. The preliminary results, to be published in August in the journal Aging Cell, show that male mice fed a normal diet and NDGA so far have survived in significantly greater numbers than mice on a normal diet. Scientists measured the difference at a point called median lifespan, when half the control mice had died of natural causes associated with aging. No significant difference occurred in female mice. The scientists can’t explain why at this point. “We don’t know how NDGA is having its effect on survival in this first analysis,” Miller says. “It may be that the female mice because of their hormonal status have other pathways to death and disability, or need higher or lower levels of NDGA to see an effect.” In six to 10 months, once all the mice in the control group have died, the scientists will get answers to the really burning question: Will the mice fed NDGA, already well past middle age, live past the normal outer limit of old age" The longest that mice of this type usually live is around 1,000 to 1,100 days. “If NDGA turns out to extend maximal lifespan by 20 or 30 percent, people would accept that as an important finding,” Miller says. No one excited by these early results in mice is advised to bulk up on creosote bush leaves as a way to defy old age. “Even if this agent turns out to be good for mice, it won’t be possible to tell without careful studies of humans whether NDGA is beneficial, useless, or harmful to people. Occasionally, something that is harmless in mice turns out to be highly toxic for people,” Miller cautions, adding that the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t evaluate the safety of such herbal remedies.
06/03/07 - Global warming confusing birds and whales
During meetings on climate change among representatives from over 100 countries, specialists said global warming is confusing the biological clocks of birds and whales -- disrupting their migration patterns. Moulay Lahcen El Kabiri, deputy head of the United Nation's Bonn-based Convention on Migratory Species, said that warmer climates are confusing migratory species including bats, dolphins, antelopes and turtles, causing them to end up at the wrong place at the wrong time. Not only are birds and animals mistiming their migrations, El Kabiri said, some of them do not even make the attempt as seasonal changes become less clear. Yet unpredictable or extreme weather, such as heatwaves, droughts or cold snaps, could make them vulnerable. Cranes, for example, are remaining in Germany during the winter rather than flying south to Spain. But, El Kabiri warned, "a harsh winter (in Germany) could decimate the population."
06/03/07 - Do Cycles Rule Your Life?
If science manages to chart the rhythms of the universe, the world may be able to predict its own wars, depressions and epidemics. A group of some 3,000 scientists, delving deep into history, is charting the occurrence of wars, business activities, disease, weather, earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions-even your own emotions. And they have discovered that these things happen over and over again in distinct, rhythmic cycles-cycles which can be projected into the future! Here is what the Foundation for the Study of Cycles, an organization formed in 1940 to carry on intensive research in the field, declares in its official bulletin: “Wherever we have regularity, we are at the heart of predictability. The power to predict accurately is the acid test of the degree of precision reached in any science. Whenever cycles have repeated themselves enough times, and with sufficient regularity so that they cannot reasonably be the result of chance, we cannot ignore the possibility that they may continue.” What have the cycle scientists found out so far? These are just a few of the recent results of their exhaustive labors: As far back as figures are available, the stock market has gone up and down in cycles of about nine years in length. From the year 1400 to the present, international battles have shown a distinct 22-year cycle, an average of 11 years of relative peace followed by 11 years of relative conflict. Churchgoing reaches its high point every nine years. In certain areas of the world, births of new babies are at their peak every 29-1/2 days. Disease recurs at regular intervals-influenza and pneumonia every three years, diphtheria every seven years, measles every two years, whooping cough every 41 months. There are many specific ways in which the cycle scientists envisage the practical adaptations of their work. For instance, long-range weather charts, extending over a much longer period than is now possible, would be drawn up. These could prove to be of immeasurable importance to farmers, fuel companies, clothing manufacturers-in fact, to any individual or industry for whom the vagaries of the weather are of prime importance. Business men, knowing far in advance when recessions will strike, could prepare for them by reducing overhead and inventories, thus preventing the bankruptcies which follow in the wake of unexpected business dips. The tragedies which ensue when earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanoes or forest fires suddenly strike, could be minimized if adequate warning were given to communities. If the abundance of game fluctuates in regular cycles, special conservation methods could be rigidly enforced at the bottom of the curve and more hunting and fishing could be permitted at the crest in order to insure a continued balance. And cycles could help you in your daily life too. If you’re planning a fishing trip, for example, you’d be able to consult.a chart which would tell you just exactly how the catch will be in the spot where you’re heading. You could take special precautions against disease; you could stock your larder with food items which will be in short supply; you could hold off building your house until after building construction hits a peak. Predictions based upon cycles are by no means just a laboratory curiosity.
06/03/07 - DIY PCB Etching - Using inkjet paper in a Laser Printer
Really informative video showing you how to etch your own circuit boards using inkjet paper in a Laser Printer.
06/03/07 - Trip proposed to centre of Earth via Arctic hole
They're looking for a fog-shrouded hole in the Arctic Ocean that leads -- they say -- to the centre of the Earth, where an unknown civilization is lurking inside the hollow core of the planet. This time next year, Kentucky based physicist and futurist Brooks Agnew hopes to board the commercially owned Russian icebreaker Yamal in the port of Murmansk, and to sail into the polar sea just beyond Canada's Arctic islands. "Everest has been climbed a hundred times," Mr. Agnew says. "The Titanic has been scanned from stem to stern. [But] this is the first and only expedition to the North Pole opening ever attempted." Mr. Agnew is the latest in a long line of people to peddle the nutty, yet persistent, theory that humans live on the surface of a hollow planet, in which two undiscovered openings, near the North and South poles, connect the outer Earth with an interior realm. Randy Freeman, a Yellowknife writer commenting in the current issue of Up Here magazine, warns that "besides heaps of throwaway cash, prospective cruisers should bring along enough gullibility to swallow an outlandish theory that, despite centuries of scorn, refuses to die." But Mr. Agnew is unfazed by such criticism, promising a grand polar adventure, no matter what the outcome. If the polar opening isn't there, the voyage "will still make an outstanding documentary," he promises. "But if we do find something, this will be the greatest geological discovery in the history of the world."
06/03/07 - Salva Divinorum under scrutiny
State legislators are rushing to ban or control a hallucinogenic leaf popular among teenagers, but also fascinating to biochemists. Known variously as “Magic Mint,” “Sally D” and salvia divinorum, the sage-like plant has caught on over the past decade, thanks to the potent visions it gives as well as its legal status in many states. It can be bought easily over a host of Web sites. The reason it passes through federal drug laws is also the reason it has become interesting to biochemists, reports GQ’s Christopher Ketcham. LSD and “magic” mushrooms are controlled under a blanket federal ban on any hallucinogen that has an effect on serotonin-a hormone in the brain. Salvia divinorum, alone among hallucinogens, doesn’t. Scientists hadn’t known precisely how salvia divinorum had its effect until 2002, when it was discovered it works by mimicking the actions of a chemical in the body called dynorphin, which means salvia divinorum might be used to “modulate everything from pain response to tissue healing to appetite and mood.” Recent research has suggested dynorphin plays a role in the onset of schizophrenia and dementia. High levels of dynorphins have also been shown to counteract cocaine addiction. Mexico’s Mazatecs have long used the leaf in religious ceremonies but also use it to treat stomach ailments and rheumatism.
06/03/07 - 'My Way' cause of Karaoke Deaths
A jobless man was shot dead by a security guard for singing out of tune in a Philippine karaoke bar, police said Thursday. Romy Baligula, 29, was halfway through his song on Tuesday night in a bar in San Mateo town, east of Manila, when 43-year-old security guard Robilito Ortega yelled that he was out of tune. As Baligula ignored his comments and continued singing, Ortega pulled out his revolver and shot him in the chest. Senior Superintendent Felipe Rojas said Baligula died instantly. Deaths and violence are not uncommon in Philippine karaoke bars. The popular Frank Sinatra song "My Way" has been taken off many karaoke bars in Manila after it was found to be the cause of fights and even deaths when patrons sang out of tune.
06/03/07 - Hugo Chavez Threatens to Shoot YouTube, Destroy the Internet
Venezuelan Presidente Hugo Chavez closed down the broadcast station that had challenged his authority. But the station refuses to stay down! ver at YouTube, El Observador Online is posting videos of its newscasts on a special YouTube channel available to anyone in the world over the internet. So Chavez has succeeded in shutting down the old media that challenged him--the transmitters, the broadcasts--but the content continues being produced and disseminated. The media revolution has only begun to be felt by the dictators of the world. Chavez means to recreate the successes of Mugabe's Zimbabwe and Fidel's Cuba, in his own little dictatorship. But Venezuela was a democracy before Chavez began destroying the rule of law, and many Venezuelans may not wish to join Zimbabweans and Cubans in the 17th century existence they enjoy. The real revolution is what the new technologies are bringing to all of the world. Decentralisation of information, of the means of production, of the means of distribution. The internet is only the beginning, Hugo. You can try to shoot YouTube and destroy the internet--but that would make you a reactionary--a counter-revolutionary. You would be buried and never missed. (via http://alfin2100.blogspot.com/ )
06/02/07 - Australia's Hot Rocks
A proposal to give geothermal energy in Australia a big injection of funds has been welcomed by the sustainable energy industry. The Australian Labor Party (ALP) this week pledged to provide A$50 million to help fund companies to drill for geothermal energy if it is elected this year. "Geothermal energy holds the promise of being a renewable energy source with zero greenhouse gas emissions that can operate 24 hours a day providing critical baseload power for Australian homes and industries," an ALP statement says. Geothermal technology known as 'hot rock technology' involves constantly cycling water through naturally hot rocks 3 kilometres or more underground. The water is heated to around 300ºC, generating steam that is used to drive an electricity turbine. Most agree that it's technically very simple to extract energy from hot rocks. But those exploring its use have been hamstrung by the high cost of drilling the deep wells that are required, including exploratory wells. Some geothermal resources occur in gas fields or mining sites where they can be used to produce zero-emission power to run these operations. Part of the process of extracting heat from the Earth involves using water to fracture the hot rocks before it is allowed to seep through and heat up, says Harries, who has recently published a review on geothermal resources in Australia. He says it is tricky controlling the flow of water so far underground. Another issue is accurately modelling how fast the water is heating up underground so you can work out a sustainable rate of extracting the heat, says Harries. "If you take it out too quickly, you'll cool the rocks down and your geothermal plant will stop being able to operate and you'll have to let it sit for a few years to warm up again," he says. Harries also says the water extracted from deep within the Earth is slightly radioactive and contains contaminants like thorium and uranium and it may need to be treated so it doesn't damage generation equipment.
06/02/07 - Catering to the Obese
At first glance, the catalog's pitch for lawn chairs appears ordinary: A seated man and woman relax near a tree-lined lake shore, enjoying drinks. But look closer. "Supports up to 800 lbs,'' reads the text next to the man's $139.95 lawn chair. Flip deeper into the catalog, and the products get even more specialized, such as a "Big John'' toilet seat with a 1,200-pound capacity - "larger than any other toilet seat in the world'' - priced at $124.95. LivingXL is the new incarnation of www.SuperSizeWorld.com, a Vancouver, Wash.-based online store that Casual Male bought for $400,000 last October. Casual Male Chief Executive David Levin learned about the business while reading an article on obesity last fall during a business trip. The switch to a new name was in keeping with the company's re-branding of its stores last year from the old name Casual Male Big & Tall to Casual Male XL - a move that dropped the word "big'' to eliminate a term often seen as a code word for "fat'' in the euphemism-rich world of retail branding. "We knew from our Casual Male stores that they didn't like 'Big & Tall,''' Levin said, "and they certainly wouldn't like 'SuperSize,' especially with that movie 'Super Size Me''' - a 2004 documentary about an independent filmmaker's experiment eating nothing but food from McDonald's for 30 days. Many heavy people favor shopping from the privacy of their homes over searching store aisles for such hard-to-find items as oversize bath towels and seat-belt extenders to accommodate heavy people buckling up for commercial flights.
"Anyone who sells in the large-size market knows how many customers are traumatized by their size,'' said Bill Mabrey, president of Amplestuff, a Bearsville, N.Y.-based online and mail-order catalog that he describes as "a mom-and-pop store'' with less than $200,000 in sales a year. "Often, people who need this stuff have a sense of hopelessness, and some are even afraid to go out in public because there's no place they can go and sit down in a chair without breaking it,'' he said.
06/02/07 - Switchable hologram promises memory boost
A device that stores holograms using a liquid crystal film controlled electronically has been created by researchers in Singapore. They hope that future versions could be used to store large amounts of digital data in small areas, or to manipulate living cells with light. Holographic memory can store more information than memory technologies like CDs and DVDs because information can be encoded in three dimensions, in the form of light interference. In fact, holographic data disks are already on the market (see Start of the hologram wars), although these can only be written to once. Xiaowei Sun and Liu Yanjun at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, have now taken a step towards creating a rewritable holographic memory device. It consists of a cell - around 7 millimetres square - containing an 8-micron-thick layer of liquid crystal and polymer. In the new device, the single laser records a hologram by altering the alignment of rod-like liquid crystal molecules spread throughout the polymer. A second laser beam can then be used to read the stored image. It is possible to temporarily wipe the recording, by applying a voltage, because the liquid crystal molecules are forced to realign. When the voltage is removed the hologram returns. "The function is like a transistor," Sun told New Scientist, "instead of turning a current on or off, it is switching a holographic image." He adds that it should be possible to integrate the hologram into normal electronic devices.
06/02/07 - Graffiti Report Cards
(What a neat idea..some graffiti is quite good and does beautify an otherwise bland scene...in a way akin to accepting bribes in Mexico..I don't mind making the offer if it saves me a ticket and its not just a ripoff for nothing I did wrong. JWD) It’s a project I started a couple of months ago after seeing my neighborhood (The Mission District of San Francisco) receive an amazing amount of ugly, large, and talentless graffiti. I wanted a way to combat the ugly graffiti while at the same time give praise to the talented graffiti writers who I feel make the streets more beautiful. It occurred to me, that many of our local taggers don’t realize how ugly and talentless their graffiti is, so I wanted to give them some feedback.
06/02/07 - 40% Efficiency Solar Cells Developed
"A story published at Physorg.com discusses recently published research into the fabrication of solar cells that surpass the 40% efficiency milestone. Such devices would be the high water-mark to date, and hint at the possibility of even more effective technology. 'In the design, multijunction cells divide the broad solar spectrum into three smaller sections by using three subcell band gaps. Each of the subcells can capture a different wavelength range of light, enabling each subcell to efficiently convert that light into electricity. With their conversion efficiency measured at 40.7%, the metamorphic multijunction concentrator cells surpass the theoretical limit of 37% of single-junction cells at 1000 suns, due to their multijunction structure.'"
06/02/07 - Blur reflective spray makes you unphotographable
(Looks like we also need this for Google StreetView and to make some kind of electronic masking field for intrusive cameras. - JWD) If this invention becomes a reality, the paparazzi might be out of a job. It's called Blur, the anti-photography spray (that you spray on your face or whatever you want to not photograph). It's a spray full of super-reflective nanoparticles that screw with camera sensors and make wherever it's sprayed a white flash.
06/02/07 - Penis Myths Debunked
(And just what does this have to do with Alternative Science, you ask? Hmm...wait a minute...hmm...I'll think of something, just too interesting to not post. - JWD) When it comes to penises, length matters more to men than to women, according to a new study that reviews more than 60 years of research and debunks numerous sex myths. About 90 percent of women actually prefer a wide penis to a long one, according to two studies included in the review. Eighty-five percent of women reported being satisfied with their partner’s penis size, compared to only 55 percent for men. “The issue of attractiveness to women is complex, but most data suggest that penile size is much lower down the list of priorities for women than such issues as a man’s personality and external grooming,” the researchers write. Drawing upon the results of 12 relevant studies, the review, detailed in the British Journal of Urology (BJU) International, finds that the average erect penis is about 5.5 to 6.2 inches long and about 4.7 to 5.1 inches in circumference. Be wary - The review also supports recent studies that find penis-enlarging vacuum devices, penis extenders and traction devices rarely live up to their promises, but can, in some cases, provide a “psychological uplifting effect.” The authors take a wait-and-see approach to penis-enlargment surgery , which can include everything from partially separating ligaments in the penis so it hangs further from the body to injecting fat into the penis to increase its girth. One of the most extreme procedures involves completely splaying the penis and inserting a piece of cartilage into it before suturing it up again. “While information is starting to emerge on the success of some surgical techniques, this is not backed up by data on patients’ satisfaction with such procedures,” Wylie said.
06/02/07 - Designer vaginas grown in lab
(This is equal time for the penis article above. - JWD) An Italian doctor has reconstructed vaginas for two women born with a rare congenital deformation, using their own cells to build vaginal tissue in the lab for the first time. Professor Cinzia Marchese of University Sapienza in Rome says a 28-year-old woman who underwent the first such operation a year ago now has a healthy vagina. "She has got married and is living a normal life," says Marchese, a professor of clinical pathology and biotechnology whose study is published in the journal Human Reproduction. The second operation was on a 17-year-old girl. The researchers took cells by biopsy from where her vagina should be and say the cells should grow in the lab to provide mucosal tissue, from which to 'build' a new vagina. Mucosal tissue is found inside the vagina, the mouth and elsewhere in the body and has important attributes distinct from ordinary skin. So far, surgeons have been able to correct the condition by reconstructing a vagina out of grafted skin or from intestinal tissue. But the surgery is highly invasive, lengthy and painful. And it takes a long time to grow a normal mucosal wall. Such women, if they have healthy ovaries, have been able to achieve pregnancy by artificial insemination but would then need a surrogate mother to carry the fertilised eggs and give birth. But the Italian researchers take a different approach. "What we do is to take a little biopsy of 0.5 centimetres from the place the vagina should be," Marchese says. The researchers then used an enzyme to break down the tissue and let the immature cells, called stem cells, generate new, mucosal tissue on their own. It takes about 15 days to get a thick enough layer to transplant into the patients, Marchese says. Marchese studied using stem cells to build sheets of skin in vitro to provide skin grafts for burn victims at Harvard Medical School with the technique's pioneer Professor Howard Green.
06/01/07 - Running on Fumes
George Parker has taken the expression "running on fumes" literally, designing a fuel delivery system that runs on fuel vapours instead of liquid fuel, allowing him to claim that his prototype vehicle can achieve an estimated 2.6 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway. Parker's company, Maple Ridge-based Fuelvapor Technologies, has designed a three-wheeled vehicle around a turbocharged 1,500 cc four-cylinder engine that showcases the company's patented fuel vapour technology. His invention raises the air to fuel ratio, which is usually 14.7:1 (14.7 parts of air to one part of gasoline) to 20:1, which helps reduce fuel usage. Parker claims that his invention can produce as much vapour as the engine needs and will eliminate the fuel-injection system found in current vehicles. The Fuelvapour vehicle, called the Ale, does not give up performance to achieve the high fuel economy. The 180 horsepower Honda engine is capable of 0-100 km/h acceleration times in the five-second range with the top end electronically limited to approximately 220 km/h. Parker also says that the vehicle produces 75 per cent less CO2 than a conventional engine and does not need a catalytic converter. The vehicle, which is certified for sale in B.C., can seat two in tandem. The prototype has motorcycle plates on it. Parker expects to deliver the first batch of completed cars sometime in January 2008. The hand-built cars will cost approximately $75,000. Parker suggests that with mass production, the price can drop to between $30,000 to $40,000.
06/01/07 - How to Heal Wounds Faster
A platelet-rich gel derived from one's own blood could speed up the healing of wounds and cuts. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati say that a topical gel derived from a patient's own blood may help prevent infection while speeding up the healing process. The finding could mean that, in the not too distant future, a concentrated "cocktail" of a person's own blood could be used to help dress wounds, particularly in patients with diabetes or other disorders that slow the healing process. Blood's healing effects lie in its platelets--sticky, disc-shaped molecules that naturally flock to the site of a wound, binding to blood-vessel walls to stop bleeding. These platelets are thought to contain elevated levels of growth factors that, when released, initiate a cascade of events that ultimately heal the injury. In the past few years, clinicians have experimented with variations of platelet-derived gel, studying its effects on bone healing, tissue swelling, and bruising. In an experiment published in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, Hom, then at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, and his colleagues studied the effect of platelet-derived gel on eight healthy individuals. Hom obtained blood samples from each subject, making a gel for each individual. After applying a local anesthesia, Hom then made small incisions in the upper thighs of each subject. The wounds on one leg were treated with the individual's blood-derived gel. Hom applied a traditional antibiotic ointment to the wounds on the other leg. Over six months, subjects returned for follow-up studies, at which the researchers took photographs and small biopsies of each wound. Hom and his colleagues found that in fact, the gel-treated wounds healed statistically faster than the controls did. And when Hom compared each subject's gel-platelet counts, he discovered that those individuals with concentrations of platelets six times greater than their normal blood concentrations healed faster. "We found that at six times or greater, it was maybe passing a threshold, signaling to the cells to heal quicker," says Hom.
06/01/07 - As pork prices soar, Chinese put brakes on corn for ethanol
With a famine less than 50 years in its past, China remains sensitive about using food for fuel. Ethanol production has put the Chinese government in an unpleasant bind, as fears rise that the environmentally friendly gasoline additive is also fueling politically dangerous increases in the price of food - particularly pork, a key staple. With the ethanol industry gobbling up a growing share of China's corn harvest, authorities have stomped on the brakes to slow what one official report calls "blind" investment in distilleries. The price of pork has gone up by 29 percent over the past year and the price of live pigs by 71 percent, according to the Agriculture Ministry. In a country where people eat more pork than anywhere else in the world except Germany, that jump in the price of a staple has dominated recent headlines and sparked grumbling. Industry analysts blame the price rises partly on a shortage of pigs in the wake of outbreaks of "blue-ear disease" around China. Though the authorities have publicly admitted to only 300 deaths, they have privately reported 100,000 mortalities to international agencies, and even that figure is not credible, say experts. "Several million pigs may have died, we just don't know," says one international expert familiar with the situation. Chinese farmers raised 465 million pigs last year. At the root of the problem, though, say agriculture analysts, is the rising cost of pig feed, which is comprised mostly of corn. Despite a bumper crop last year, corn prices have risen by nearly 30 percent over the past nine months on the Dalian Commodities Exchange.
06/01/07 - Hybrid Cars Face 'Catch 22' Situation
A U.S. study suggests a hybrid car with the same performance and price as a gasoline vehicle won't sell well -- even if it is three times more fuel efficient. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis found, among other things, until many alternative fuel vehicles are on the road, people won't consider buying one -- so there won't be many on the road, thereby producing a "Catch-22" situation. Fuel suppliers won't build alternate fuel stations until they're certain of future demand; but until the fuel is widely available, consumers won't buy the vehicles. And manufacturers can't make such vehicles cheaper and better until production volume is high; but high-volume production won't happen until such improvements are in place to attract buyers.
06/01/07 - Ancient biofuel
Camelina, if planted on a large scale on marginal farmland from eastern Washington to North Dakota, could provide a significant source of clean energy. "This is the most exciting crop I have seen in my 30 some years in this field," said Steven Guy, a crop-management specialist and professor at the University of Idaho. While early results from test plantings have been encouraging, the only farmers who have shown interest in it are from Montana, where over 50,000 acres of camelina have already been planted. Unlike other potential biofuel feedstocks like canola, camelina can grow in arid conditions, can produce more oil from its seeds for a lower price and doesn't require the excessive use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. "We actually think it might be the next wonder crop," said Tom Todaro, the chief executive of Targeted Growth, a Seattle biotech firm that hopes to produce enough seed to plant 1 million acres by 2009. Camelina seeds also contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to reduce high blood pressure, cholesterol and heart disease. Once the seeds are crushed for their oil, the leftover meal could be used to feed cattle, chicken and fish.
06/01/07 - The Internet troll as the trickster archetype
The troll comes to the door of a new forum and sets down his bag of tricks. If he has a grudge against the people inside discussing and debating their passions with a certain degree of amicability, peacability and decorum, he does not show them. He has the cracked, stoic smile of Robin Goodfellow, a Puck with the simple desire to disrupt peace itself. He loves chaos; his bag is full of golden apples he can lob to set the masses squabbling. He has also many masks, smoke bombs, straw men, cloaks, puppets, matches, ethanol, knives, dust, sand, and magicks of the most arcane sort. He knows what he is about -- causing trouble. Why? This is the troll’s darkest mystery -- if any one knew his secret, he would die. For all trolls, their motive power is this: without contraries, they cannot progress...
06/01/07 - Hollow Earthers' favorite experiment analyzed
In 1901 a mining engineer named J.B. Watson was said to have dropped plumb bobs down two 4250 foot mine shafts spaced 3200 feet apart. His measurements indicated that the plumb lines were farther apart at the bottom than than they were at the top. In other words, they diverged as they descended. Common sense would tell you that the lines would converge as they descended, because the lines should point towards the center of the Earth. For the last century, some people like to point to the Tamarack Mines experiment as proof that the Earth is hollow. Donald E. Simanek, who writes for MAKE magazine about curious physics has an excellent article on his website that recounts the history of the alleged experiment, and examines the different frequently-offered reasons why plumb lines might diverge like this. More Info
06/01/07 - Facial recognition slipped into Google image search
Google upped its stalker factor this week by adding face recognition abilities to its image search. While currently unofficial and unannounced, users can now search for images that only contain faces by appending a query string onto the end of a search URL. For example, a general image search for "Ars Technica" produces a variety of image results, but when appending "&imgtype=face" to the end of the URL, all new results contain photos of people. The hidden feature was discovered by Google Blogoscoped, and there is currently no way to indicate that you only want to search for faces through the image search interface. However, both "&imgtype=face" and "&imgtype=news" trigger different search results than what is presented by default-the latter showing only images that are associated with news stories.
06/01/07 - Video - Spreading Darkness - Unraveling our Constitution
The worst thing that could happen to this country, a massive casualty producing event somewhere in the Western World - it may be in the United States of America. That's when the western world, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we've seen for a couple of hundred years in this grand experiment that we call democracy. Such an attack would cause our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass-casualty producing event. Which, in fact, then begins to potentially unravel the fabric of our Constitution. - General Tommy Franks / And here we are, the fabric being unravelled anyway. Habeus Corpus neutered, the rights of self-defense now as malleable and impermanent as clay. A president stifling all critics by every means available and when he runs out of those by simply lying about what they said or felt. And all this even without the dreaded attack. - Olbermann
$5 Alt Science MP3s to listen while working/driving/jogging
No 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.
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!
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