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03/30/08 - California cuts future quotas for clean-air cars by 75%
California's influential Air Resources Board on Thursday cut by 70 percent the number of electric cars and other zero-emission vehicles automakers will be required to sell in coming years, in a strong signal that technology has lagged hopes in the largest U.S. auto market. - Source

03/30/08 - US vs Europe car efficiencies
In 2004 domestic cars had a better average gas mileage than foreign cars, or that over the past four years, foreign cars have gained 12% in gas mileage while American cars have eked out a measly 3% gain. - Source

03/30/08 - Electroshocking plants brings chemical rewards
KeelyNet The roots of garden pea plants were exposed to low-level electric current and subsequently produced 13 times more pisatin, an antifungal chemical, than plants that were not exposed to electricity. To shock the plants, Cuello applied a 30 to 100 milliamp current to the growth-medium of plants grown hydroponically, or, in the case of barrel medic, to the solution surrounding the cell cultures. Other compounds that have been tested to stress plant cells include heavy metals, chemicals such as methyl jasmonate and sodium acetate, and the cell walls of microorganisms. But these methods have drawbacks: introduced metals and chemical compounds can taint desired plant chemicals and microbe preparation and introduction can be costly and time consuming. "I thought about electricity because you can optimise the magnitude and exposure time of the current," says Cuello, adding that the current he and colleagues used wouldn't be enough to electrocute a human and doesn't burn the plant's cells. "You just introduce two electrodes and you can turn it on and off, it's that convenient," he says. - Source

03/30/08 - Run Old-School DOS Games with DOSBox
Windows/Mac/Linux (All platforms): Do you harbor nostalgia-tinged memories of autoexec.bat files? Does the phrase "Soundblaster-compatible" mean anything to you? Dig out those floppies and try out DOSBox, a free, open-source DOS emulator for all platforms. The app supports at least 3,000 games, and likely many more, as it can recreate most graphics and sound setups, and lets you set your own processor speed to prevent the warp-speed effect games often suffer on modern systems. DOSBox is a free download for Window, Mac, Linux, and other platforms. (via - Source

03/30/08 - Future Days may have 25 hours due to Earth’s decelerating rotation

Days are gradually growing longer. To the layman this means that in the northern hemisphere days are longer in summer than they are in winter. But geoscientists interpret this phrase as follows: they found that days grow longer not only in spring time. The reason for that is the Moon, first and foremost. Its gravity creates permanent waves in oceans and in Earth’s depths. Thus our planet seems to waver, the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung wrote. Earth resembles a rotating figure skater. To slow rotations down, a figure skater stretches his or her arms out. That is why in the far future there will be 25 hours in a day. A British astronomer managed to prove that Earth’s rotation has been slowing down since 700 B.C. When prehistoric proto-animals inhabited Earth 530 million years ago, there were 21 hours in a day. For dinosaurs who lived 100 million years ago days alternated each other every 23 hours. About 530 million years ago Earth rotated on its axis faster than it does today, but it rotated about the sun at a steady speed. At that time the year had the same amount of hours as it has today, but there were 420 days in it. / (A Martian day is almost 25 hours long (24 hours plus 39.5 minutes) and after all, that's where we came from... So will this change gravitation and the 'flow' of time on Earth? - JWD) - Source

03/30/08 - Farm Lobby Beats Back
With grain prices soaring, farm income at record highs and the federal budget deficit widening, the subsidies and handouts given to American farmers would seem vulnerable to a serious pruning. But it appears that farmers, at least so far, have succeeded in stopping the strongest effort in years to shrink the government safety net that doles out billions of dollars to them each year. At some point, you have to step back and ask, 'Does this make sense for the American taxpayer?'" says Rep. Ron Kind. The Democrat from Wisconsin sponsored a measure that would have slashed about $10 billion over five years in subsidies -- and saw it get crushed on the House floor. Stories like this showcase the sheer lunacy of our political system - you don't know whether to laugh or cry at the inaneness. A sensible system would have some levers in place - i.e. when crop prices hit so and so level, we know times are tight and the subsidies would hit; but when crop prices rise above so and so level, they go away. But that would be common sense which we have no place for in legislation. And don't forget our tariffs on foreign sugar ethanol - can't have any of that seeping into the system. If most of this money went to the every man small farmer, that would be one thing but all the pieces I have read on the subject show that 90% of the benefits accrue to ...whom else... the corporate (largest 10%) farmer. - Source

03/30/08 - Regular-looking people need not apply
KeelyNet Would you attend a casting call looking for "inbred types"? What if a film asked for "deformed" or "unusual" people? Does that describe you? Would you still show up if you read that "regular-looking" people need not apply? On Feb. 26, Pittsburgh-based casting director Donna Belajac was fired from the production of Shelter, a supernatural horror thriller starring Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, after her casting call for background actors was deemed offensive by the film's producers and others. The casting notice, published in a news release and posted on Donna Belajac Casting's website, asked for "men and women of all races, 18 or older...including an albino-like girl and deformed people -- to depict West Virginia mountain people." The notice sought "unusual body shapes, even physical abnormalities as long as there is normal mobility.... 'Regular-looking' children should not attend this open call." - Source

03/30/08 - Mounting evidence shows red wine antioxidant kills cancer
Rochester researchers showed for the first time that a natural antioxidant found in grape skins and red wine can help destroy pancreatic cancer cells by reaching to the cell's core energy source, or mitochondria, and crippling its function. The study is published in the March edition of the journal, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. The study also showed that when the pancreatic cancer cells were doubly assaulted -- pre-treated with the antioxidant, resveratrol, and irradiated -- the combination induced a type of cell death called apoptosis, an important goal of cancer therapy. - Source

03/30/08 - The Bum Bot
KeelyNet Hollywood might have had RoboCop, but the real world now has a robot more attuned to the prosaic realities of the street. The Bum Bot. That is what Rufus Terrill calls the rolling, remote-controlled invention he uses to flush out the prostitutes and pushers who gather near his Atlanta bar, which is two blocks from the city's largest and most controversial homeless shelter. The Bum Bot, like the homeless people it polices, is a creature of hand-me-downs. The wheels are from one of those scooters for the elderly; the PA system is a walkie-talkie wired to a home-alarm speaker. The rotating turret is an old Cajun meat smoker. The cylindrical smoker gives the Bum Bot its R2D2-ish profile. But its black armor - made of exercise mats - and the stenciled letters spelling out SECURITY lend it a menacing air. Using a twin-joystick remote, Terrill usually sends his robot up the street to the parking lot of a day care center, where a sketchy, drug-dealing crowd congregates after dark. The police sometimes round them up, Terrill says, but soon, it seems, they are back on the street. So Terrill speaks to them through the Bum Bot, transmitting his voice via walkie-talkie: Move along, he tells the loiterers, or get wet. Sometimes he tells them he is capturing them on video - the Bum Bot's camera feeds into a big-screen television back at his pub, giving patrons a hyperlocal dose of reality TV. The street people tend to run away. "It scares the bejesus out of 'em," Terrill said, smiling. - Source

03/30/08 - Hackers Assault Epilepsy Patients via Computer
Internet griefers descended on an epilepsy support message board last weekend and used JavaScript code and flashing computer animation to trigger migraine headaches and seizures in some users. The nonprofit Epilepsy Foundation, which runs the forum, briefly closed the site Sunday to purge the offending messages and to boost security. "We are seeing people affected," says Ken Lowenberg, senior director of web and print publishing at the Epilepsy Foundation. "It's fortunately only a handful. It's possible that people are just not reporting yet -- people affected by it may not be coming back to the forum so fast." The incident, possibly the first computer attack to inflict physical harm on the victims, began Saturday, March 22, when attackers used a script to post hundreds of messages embedded with flashing animated gifs. - Source

03/30/08 - Moon offered as final resting place
KeelyNet THE moon could become a final resting place for some people, thanks to a commercial service that hopes to send human ashes to the lunar surface on robotic landers. Celestis inc, a company that pioneered the sending of cremated remains into suborbital space on rockets, said it would start a service to the surface of the moon that could begin as early as next year. The cost starts at $US10,000 ($10,100) for a small quantity of ashes from one person. "For many people, it would be a romantic notion to look up into the sky and see the moon and know that your mom or dad or loved one is up there memorialized." In the past 11 years, Celestis Inc, a unit of Houston-based Space Services Incorporated, has sent the ashes of hundreds of people from 14 nations into space, including US astronaut Gordon Cooper and Star Trek actor James Doohan, who played chief engineer Scotty in the popular TV series. - Source

03/30/08 - Firing photons makes advance in space communication
For the first time, physicists have been able to identify individual returning photons after firing and reflecting them off of a space satellite in orbit almost 1,500 kilometres above the earth. The experiment has proven the possibility of constructing a quantum channel between Space and Earth. Until now, quantum-encrypted communication has only been proven possible at distances up to about 150 kilometres, either down optical fibres or via telescopes. When sent down optical fibres, photons are dissipated due to scattering and adsorption and, when using telescopes, photons are subject to interfering atmospheric conditions. - Source

03/30/08 - Piracy funding Terror
KeelyNet Attorney General Michael Mukasey warned Friday that the huge profits generated from piracy and counterfeiting are increasingly flowing into the coffers of terrorist groups. Mukasey said the economy and national security of the United States are increasingly threatened by violations involving copyrighted software code, patented inventions and trademarked properties. Terror groups are taking their cues from organized crime and increasingly funding their operations from counterfeiting and piracy, he said. - Source

03/30/08 - Trash Today, Ethanol Tomorrow
University of Maryland research that started with bacteria from the Chesapeake Bay has led to a process that may be able to convert large volumes of all kinds of plant products, from leftover brewer's mash to paper trash, into ethanol and other biofuel alternatives to gasoline. The Zymetis process can make ethanol and other biofuels from many different types of cellulosic sources including plants and plant waste. Cellulosic biofuels can be made from non-grain plant sources such as waste paper, brewing byproducts, leftover agriculture products, including straw, corncobs and husks, and energy crops such as switchgrass. When fully operational, the Zymetis process has the potential to lead to the production of 75 billion gallons a year of carbon-neutral ethanol. The secret to the Zymetis process is a Chesapeake Bay marsh grass bacterium. Hutcheson found that the bacterium has an enzyme that could quickly break down plant materials into sugar, which can then be converted to biofuel. - Source

03/28/08 - Lloyd's cool water-saving invention runs hot
KeelyNet A DARLING Downs resident has invented a valve that stops the average household losing 16,000 litres (4,227 gallons) of water down the drain. Lloyd Linson-Smith's Enviro Save device diverts and saves cold water that flows from domestic taps before hot water arrives. The $198 valve can be fitted to plumbing systems in new homes or retro fitted to older style houses for $475. Inventor Linson-Smith says, "I came up with the idea of a brass valve that is installed in the hot water pipeline just before the kitchen sink." "The cold water ahead of the arrival of the hot water is identified by a thermal element and bypasses the sink. "The tap handle is the trigger for a process where potable cold water is returned to tanks." Retro fitting was more expensive because it also required a tank and a pressure-reducing valve to save the cold water, which was fed back into the distribution system. But Mr Linson-Smith said: "When a three-person house can save 40 litres a day or 16,000 litres a year it does not take long to get the investment back. / Check out the Enviro Save website where you can buy your own. - Source

03/28/08 - Suzuki set to be first with production fuel cell motorcycle
KeelyNet Suzuki and British firm Intelligent Energy have announced an extension of their agreement to develop hydrogen fuel-cell motorcycles with the intention of creating a production-ready hydrogen-powered bike in the near future. The colaboration between the two firms bore fruit last autumn with the showing of the Suzuki Crosscage motorcycle, a hydrogen fuel-cell powered concept bike with similar performance to a 125cc machine. Hydrogen power means the only emission from the Crosscage is pure water. - Source

03/28/08 - Bulging Dementia
KeelyNet Bad news for those with bulging bellies: fat that builds up around the waist during middle age may cause dementia decades later, say researchers who examined the health records of thousands of senior citizens... Incidence of dementia increased steadily with the amount of belly fat, such that the 20% with the most belly fat were over two and half times more likely to develop dementia that those carrying the least. Levels of total fat also seemed to increase dementia risk, but not by the same magnitude. - Source

03/28/08 - The Web's best free stuff
We surfed, clicked, and installed to find sparkling free gems capable of planning your time, keeping you in touch, and tuning and securing your PC, not to mention glitzing up your desktop, helping you stay productive, and entertaining you with music, videos, photos, and games. We paid special attention to programs and services you may not have heard of before. We also singled out two free offerings--one download and one online service --as the best of the bunch. - Source

03/28/08 - Japanese Gravestones Let the Living 'Call' the Dead
KeelyNet A Japanese gravestone maker called Ishinokoe (Voice of the Stone) plans to sell GRAVESTONES WITH BARCODES embedded in them. Anyone with the right kind of cell phone can simply scan or snap a picture of the stone, and get information on the departed. The barcodes will be QR codes, otherwise known as "matrix codes" or two-dimensional bar codes. - Source

03/28/08 - Large Hadron Collider Sparks 'Doomsday' Lawsuit
"In what can only be considered a bizarre court case, a former nuclear safety officer and others are suing the U.S. Department of Energy, Fermilab, the National Science Foundation and CERN to stop the use of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) until its safety is reassessed. The plaintiffs cite three possible 'doomsday' scenarios which might occur if the LHC becomes operational: the creation of microscopic black holes which would grow and swallow matter, the creation of strangelets which, if they touch other matter, would convert that matter into strangelets or the creation of magnetic monopoles which could start a chain reaction and convert atoms to other forms of matter. CERN will hold a public open house meeting on April 6 with word having been spread to some researchers to be prepared to answer questions on microscopic black holes and strangelets if asked." - Source

03/28/08 - PedalPub
It's the size of a minivan and weighs more than a ton (empty). Maximum speed: 6 mph. It's also passenger-powered. The PedalPub carries 16 passengers, plus the driver. There are 5 pedaling seats, on each side, plus one non-pedaling seat over the rear wheels. There is also a bench in the back of the PedalPub that seats three, plus one standee spot in the middle for the "bartender". The PedalPub offers tours of different Twin Cities neighborhoods -- mostly bar tours, of course. - Source

03/28/08 - Researchers Play Tune Recorded Before Edison
"The New York Times is reporting that sound recordings pre-dating Edison's made by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, a Parisian typesetter and tinkerer, were discovered by American audio historians at the French Academy of Sciences in Paris. The archives are on paper and were meant for recording but not playback. Researchers used a high quality scan of the recording and an electronic needle to play back the sounds recorded 150 years ago. 'For more than a century, since he captured the spoken words "Mary had a little lamb" on a sheet of tinfoil, Thomas Edison has been considered the father of recorded sound. But researchers say they have unearthed a recording of the human voice, made by a little-known Frenchman, that predates Edison's invention of the phonograph by nearly two decades.'" - Source

03/28/08 - How to Think
KeelyNet In a class called "How to Think," the focus would be on how to be creative, thoughtful, and powerful in a world where problems are extremely complex, targets are continuously moving, and our brains often seem like nodes of enormous networks that constantly reconfigure. In the process of thinking about this, I composed 10 rules, which I sometimes share with students. 1. Synthesize new ideas constantly. 2. Learn how to learn (rapidly). 3. Work backward from your goal. 4. Always have a long-term plan. 5. Make contingency maps. 6. Collaborate. 7. Make your mistakes quickly. 8. As you develop skills, write up best-practices protocols. 9. Document everything obsessively. 10. Keep it simple. - Source

03/28/08 - Purple-shaded glasses to spot garden trouble in advance
The lenses block out the green reflected by chlorophyll in the healthy areas of your lawn and garden, causing those areas to show as black or gray. Any unhealthy spots, deficient in chlorophyll, will show up as pink, red or coral colors. It's the plant equivalent of full-body MRIs that detect problems before their symptoms surface. - Source

03/28/08 - Phisick Antique Medical Collection
KeelyNet [The Phisick Antique Medical Collection] started out as a handful of items which were used for display and teaching purposes in a London based general practice. Acquired from auction houses, antique fairs and bric-a-brac shops in the UK, Europe and America, and as far afield as Asia and the Australias. It seemed a shame to have these rare and beautifully crafted antiques locked away out of sight - hence the birth of the 'Phisick' website. The number of pieces has grown over time and the process of cataloguing and developing the collection has become a true labour of love. - Source

03/28/08 - Too Much Information?
Study Shows How Ignorance Can Be Influential. Southern California researchers provide a challenge to the classic economic model of information manipulation, in which knowing more than anybody else is the key to influence. Instead, economists Isabelle Brocas and Juan D. Carrillo present a situation -- commonly observed in real life -- in which all parties have access to the same information, but one party still manages to control public opinion. For example, a pharmaceutical company such as Merck may be obliged to make public the findings of all studies related to a new drug. Preliminary trials may indicate no short-term side effects, and the company may elect not to perform follow-up trials before releasing the drug on the market. - Source

03/28/08 - Real Electric Car Featured in Star Trek Movie
KeelyNet The Aptera is a unique 3-wheel, multiple-passenger vehicle with a composite safety cage (like those in Formula 1 cars); the two wheels in the front, one in the back, design reduces roll-over. The car has traction control and the production models will be able to exceed 85 miles per hour. The price? About $26,000. The new Star Trek will tell the story of the young James T. Kirk and his companions at Star Fleet Academy. Apparently, they will be tooling around the campus on the ghostly silent Aptera electric vehicle (see photo). In his prophetic 1894 story A Journey in Other Worlds, John Jacob Astor referred to amazing vehicles that would silently carry passengers to their destination. All that was required was a source of power: Another change that came in with a rush upon the discovery of a battery with insignificant weight, compact form, and great capacity, was the substitution of electricity for animal power for the movement of all vehicles. This, of necessity brought in good roads, the results obtainable on such being so much greater than on bad ones that a universal demand for them arose. This was in a sense cumulative, since the better the streets and roads became, the greater the inducement to have an electric carriage. (An annotated ebook of - Source

03/28/08 - No bait! Fish may respond to sound
Scientists are testing a plan to train fish to catch themselves by swimming into a net when they hear a tone that signals feeding time. If it works, the system could eventually allow black sea bass to be released into the open ocean, where they would grow to market size, then swim into an underwater cage to be harvested when they hear the signal. Previous experiments have used sound to train a fish to feed - similar to what Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov did in his famous dogs that salivated at the sound of a bell, expecting food. In Japan, scientists have used sound to keep newly released farmed fish in certain areas, where they could be caught in traditional ways. But no one has ever tried to get fish to leave and return to an enclosure where they can be scooped up. Simon Miner, a research assistant at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Wood's Hole, said the first objective was to see if the fish could truly be trained. He got his answer after keeping the fish in a circular tank, then sounding a tone before he dropped food in an enclosed "feeding zone" within the tank that the fish could enter only through a small opening. Researchers played the tone for 20 seconds, three times a day, for about two weeks. Afterward, whenever the tone sounded, "you have remote-control fish," Miner said. "You hit that button, and they go into that area, and they wait patiently," he said. Some fish forgot after five days. Others remembered as long as 10. Miner said the strength of memory seems tied to how long the fish are trained. - Source

03/26/08 - Is Industrial Civilization a Pyramid Scheme?
KeelyNet The fossil fuels of the planet are a capital stock: they represent past solar income the planet received in its 4 billion year history, which wasn't consumed at the time, but was locked away as fossil energy. (Some geologists believe that the vast quantities of oil and coal that we received as our endowment was made from sunlight that was turned into biomass before herbivores evolved to eat it.) We're drawing down our capital stock and treating the inflow of money as income. Does this make our economy a pyramid scheme? Consider: anyone who offers you interest in exchange for a loan of money is betting that the economy will grow. (I borrow the price of a gallon of milk today, and promise to pay you a gallon and a pint next year. Multiply by billions: the economy has got to grow, has got to produce a gallon-and-a-pint next year for every gallon it produced this year, or someone is going to be left holding worthless claims.) We've built a system that has to grow or it will crash; and like Ponzi's pyramid scheme, we've built a system that cannot grow forever, and so it must crash. - Source

03/26/08 - Wind Powers 40% Of Spain
Wind power is breaking new records in Spain, accounting for just over 40 percent of all electricity consumed during a brief period last weekend. As heavy winds lashed Spain on Saturday evening wind parks generated 9,862 megawatts of power which translated to 40.8 percent of total consumption. Between Friday and Sunday wind power accounted for an average of 28 percent of all electricity demand in Spain. Spain’s wind power generation equaled that of hydropower for the first time in 2007. - Source

03/26/08 - U.S. must develop its own energy sources
Oil and gas prices continue to rise, driving up the costs of all goods in the U.S. OPEC refuses to increase supply, driving costs constantly higher. We must develop additional energy sources within the U.S., including ethanol, biodiesel, solar energy and wind and water power. We must produce our own energy and stop importing oil, while reducing fuel consumption, especially in vehicles. Our economy will benefit from new jobs created in renewable energy industries. We will reduce the danger of energy price exploitation from abroad. An oil embargo would ruin our economy. - Source

03/26/08 - B.C. herbalist makes hair-raising discovery
Dirk Stass, who concocts herbal teas and remedies from native plants, is preparing for clinical trials on what many consider the cosmetic industry's Holy Grail. In a recent interview with CBC News, the Cherryville man said a friend had been ribbing him about his bald spot. As a joke, Stass said, he rubbed a herbal healing tea into his scalp. "A month and a half, maybe two months later, my then fiancée told me, 'Uh, honey, your shiny spot isn't so shiny anymore,' " Stass said. Since then, Stass has tried out the formula on balding friends and family members. The results have been so impressive, he's applied for a patent. "I stumbled across a recipe that rejuvenates the epidermis, and therefore cleanses the hair follicles, and therefore regrows hair - to a degree," Stass said. The tonic won't turn a bald man into a human Chia Pet, Stass said. Testing with friends and family has shown some hair growth, but the tonic seems more effective at stopping hair loss. - Source

03/26/08 - Over the Counter Home DNA Paternity Test
After home pregnancy kits revolutionized stick peeing from an office to a home affair, the door was opened to the general public performing previously lab-only work on their own toilets. Identigene and Rite Aid have taken it one step further, allowing you to tell whether or not that kid is yours with a simple $29.99 kit (plus $119 lab fee) that includes three mouth-rubbing swabs. Results are obtained in the longest three to five business days you’ve ever experienced, but if you want a result that’s actually “court admissible”, you’ll have to pay an another additional fee. - Source

03/26/08 - Contraceptive Pill Also Used to Help Women Conceive
Researchers have found that using birth control pills, for 10-14 days after a period, allows the treatment to be adjusted without compromising the “ovarian response to stimulation.” This way, egg-harvesting can fall on a date mutually convenient to both the clinician and patient. “With a proven and safe method for timing when a woman can undergo therapy, there is a lot less stress placed on the physicians’ shoulders too,” Dr. Pinkas said. - Source

03/26/08 - Hypnotist thief on video
KeelyNet Italian police released video of a thief who allegedly hypnotizes clerks at supermarket registers. From the BBC News: In every case, the last thing staff reportedly remember is the thief leaning over and saying: "Look into my eyes", before finding the till empty... The cashier who was shown the video footage has no memory of the incident, according to Italian media, and only realised what had happened when she saw the money missing. - Source

03/26/08 - Must a CD Cost $15.99?
Wal-Mart is the largest music retailer selling "an estimated one out of every five major-label albums" in the US. Wal-Mart willingly loses money selling CDs for less than $10 in order to draw customers into the store, but they are tired of taking a loss on CDs. The mega-retailer is telling the major record labels to lower the price of CDs or risk losing retail space to DVDs and video games. The record industry needs to refine their business models, because the consumer is the ultimate arbitrator. And the consumer feels music isn't properly priced. - Source

03/26/08 - : comics-creation for everone
BitStrips is a fast, easy, sharing-friendly comic creation site -- you make "characters" using a Wii-style menu, pose them and fill in dialog, layout your strips and monkey with the backgrounds, borrowing material from any of the thousands of strips that have been made to date. Once your strip is done, anyone can modify it -- it becomes part of the commons. In the first two weeks of the site's existence, more than 16,000 strips were created by the users of the service. - Source

03/26/08 - Record-Setting 4.5Ghz Resonator
Researchers at Cornell University have created a silicon microresonator that vibrates at 4.51 gigahertz, the highest frequency ever recorded in such a silicon device. Other researchers have demonstrated silicon microresonators that vibrate up to 1.5 gigahertz, say the Cornell researchers. Usually, as frequency increases, the Q factor, which is a measure of an oscillator's stability, drops. Essentially, the Q factor is a measure of quality: it indicates how long an oscillator can maintain a vibration at a certain frequency. A high Q factor means that the oscillations die out more slowly. The higher the number, the better. The Q factor for the Cornell device at 4.51 gigahertz is close to 10,000, which compares well with quartz resonators. The Cornell device is 8.5 micrometers long and 40 micrometers wide, compared with a width of about a millimeter for a quartz resonator. - Source

03/26/08 - Weather Engineering in China
KeelyNet To prevent rain over the roofless 91,000-seat Olympic stadium that Beijing natives have nicknamed the Bird's Nest, Beijing's Weather Modification Office will track the region's weather via satellites, planes, radar, and an IBM p575 supercomputer, purchased from Big Blue last year, that executes 9.8 trillion floating point operations per second. It models an area of 44,000 square kilometers (17,000 square miles) accurately enough to generate hourly forecasts for each kilometer. Then, using their two aircraft and an array of twenty artillery and rocket-launch sites around Beijing, the city's weather engineers will shoot and spray silver iodide and dry ice into incoming clouds that are still far enough away that their rain can be flushed out before they reach the stadium. Finally, any rain-heavy clouds that near the Bird's Nest will be seeded with chemicals to shrink droplets so that rain won't fall until those clouds have passed over. Zhang Qian, head of Beijing's Weather Modification Office, explains, "We use a coolant made from liquid nitrogen to increase the number of droplets while decreasing their average size. As a result, the smaller droplets are less likely to fall, and precipitation can be reduced." - Source

03/26/08 - $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer are intimately linked
The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked. While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an "escort" $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush's new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators. Up until Wednesday, there was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers' bordello: Eliot Spitzer. Who are they kidding? Spitzer's lynching and the bankers' enriching are intimately tied. How? Follow the money. / (Thanks to Paul for sharing this. - JWD) - Source

03/26/08 - Even at Megastores, Hagglers Find No Price Is Set in Stone
Shoppers are discovering an upside to the down economy. They are getting price breaks by reviving an age-old retail strategy: haggling. A bargaining culture once confined largely to car showrooms and jewelry stores is taking root in major stores like Best Buy, Circuit City and Home Depot, as well as mom-and-pop operations. Savvy consumers, empowered by the Internet and encouraged by a slowing economy, are finding that they can dicker on prices, not just on clearance items or big-ticket products like televisions but also on lower-cost goods like cameras, audio speakers, couches, rugs and even clothing. The change is not particularly overt, and most store policies on bargaining are informal. Some major retailers, however, are quietly telling their salespeople that negotiating is acceptable. “We want to work with the customer, and if that happens to mean negotiating a price, then we're willing to look at that,” said Kathryn Gallagher, a spokeswoman for Home Depot. - Source

03/26/08 - Huge Antarctic ice chunk collapses
KeelyNet A chunk of Antarctic ice about seven times the size of Manhattan suddenly collapsed, putting an even greater portion of glacial ice at risk, scientists said Tuesday. Satellite images show the runaway disintegration of a 160-square-mile chunk in western Antarctica, which started February 28. It was the edge of the Wilkins ice shelf and has been there for hundreds, maybe 1,500 years. This is the result of global warming, said British Antarctic Survey scientist David Vaughan. Because scientists noticed satellite images within hours, they diverted satellite cameras and even flew an airplane over the ongoing collapse for rare pictures and video. Scientists said they are not concerned about a rise in sea level from the latest event in Antarctica, but say it's a sign of worsening global warming. - Source

03/24/08 - 'Lego' design promises cheap solar cells
Researchers at a Dutch university have devised a method of "substantially improving" the production of relatively inexpensive dye-sensitised solar cells. Long touted as a cheap alternative to high-cost silicon solar cells, dye-sensitised cells imitate the natural conversion of sunlight into energy by plants and light-sensitive bacteria. Annemarie Huijser, from the Delft University of Technology, noted that plants are able to transport absorbed solar energy over long distances, typically about 15-20 nanometres, to a location in which it is converted into chemical energy. This is because the chlorophyll molecules in leaves are arranged in the best possible sequence. Huijser attempted a partial recreation in solar cells of this process as found in plants. She focused on what are known as dye-sensitised cells comprising a semiconductor, such as titanium dioxide, covered with a layer of dye. The dye absorbs energy from sunlight, which creates excitons. These energy parcels then need to move towards to the semiconductor. Once there, they generate electric power. "You can compare dye molecules to Lego bricks. I vary the way the bricks are stacked and observe how this influences the exciton transport through the solar cells," explained Huijser. "Excitons need to move as freely as possible through the solar cells in order to generate electricity efficiently." - Source

03/24/08 - Major food source threatened by climate change
KeelyNet Rice is arguably the world's most important food source and helps feed about half the globe's people. But yields in many areas will drop as the globe warms in future years, a review of studies on rice and climate change suggests. The poorest parts of the world, including Africa, will probably be hardest hit, the study says. Rice harvests already need to increase by about a third just to keep up with global population growth. In regions where the average daily temperatures are expected to rise above 30ºC, rice yields will start to fall off, and the impact will get worse as the temperature increases. Harvests will also be reduced by rising ground-level ozone concentrations. They are caused by nitrogen oxides (NOX) from power stations that catalyse the formation of ozone in warm and sunny conditions. - Source

03/24/08 - Clean Energy: It's Getting Affordable
Clean-energy critics are fixated on cost. To them, the use and deployment of renewable sources of energy simply doesn't make financial sense. That's why we've got to continue doing things the old-fashioned way, by employing coal, oil, and natural gas. Those excuses are wearing thin. To see why, one need look no further than the growth in the markets for solar, wind, biofuels, and fuel cells, and how the cost of such renewable energy sources is approaching parity with carbon-emitting energy sources. The cost for solar and wind have both dropped significantly over the past 30 years, bringing the cost of both sources within striking distance of, and in some cases lower than that of conventional energy sources. Consider the costs of geothermal, wind, and solar power compared with nuclear power, often lauded as one of the cheapest sources of energy. The average up-front capital cost for a new 1-gigawatt nuclear plant, sufficient power for about 1 million U.S. homes, is $2 billion to $6 billion. The cost of 1 gigawatt of geothermal and wind power is less than $2 billion; the same amount of solar power cost $5 billion to $10 billion. - Source

03/24/08 - Slavery Is More Popular Than Ever
KeelyNet With $50 and a plane ticket to Haiti, one can buy a slave. This was just one of the difficult lessons writer Benjamin Skinner learned while researching his book, A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery. Skinner met with slaves and traffickers in 12 different countries, filling in the substance around a startling fact: there are more slaves on the planet today than at any time in human history. How much? After adjusting for inflation, Skinner found that, "In 1850, a slave would cost roughly $30,000 to $40,000 - in other words it was like investing in a Mercedes. Today you can go to Haiti and buy a 9-year-old girl to use as a sexual and domestic slave for $50. The devaluation of human life is incredibly pronounced." / (I'm keen on the idea of robot servants/assistants so this news item really sickened me. Imagine your life bought for another to use as they will. - JWD) - Source

03/24/08 - People prefer robots that do small talk
To find out how quickly domestic robots should respond to their owners' requests, Toshiyuki Shiwa and colleagues at the ATR laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, asked 38 students to give orders such as "take out the trash" to a robot, which took between zero and 5 seconds to respond. The students liked delays of no more than 1 second best, with 2 seconds being their limit. However, when the robot took longer, impatient students were assuaged if it filled the time with words such as "well" or "er". "When the robot used conversational fillers to buy time until it could respond, people didn't notice the delay," Shiwa says. - Source

03/24/08 - A Super-Efficient Light Bulb
A Silicon Valley company, Luxim, that has developed a tiny, full-spectrum light bulb, based on a plasma of argon gas, that gives off as much light as a streetlight while using less power. The Tic Tac-sized bulb operates at temperatures up to 6000K and produces 140 lumens/watt, almost ten times as efficient as standard incandescent lamps, and twice the efficiency of high-end LEDs. The new bulbs also have a lifetime of 20,000 hours. There's no mention of mercury or other heavy metals, which pose a problem for compact fluorescents. - Source

03/24/08 - Tiny buckyballs squeeze hydrogen like giant Jupiter
KeelyNet A group of scientists are claiming to have discovered a means of storing hydrogen using buckminsterfullerene, better known as "bucky balls." The soccer-ball-like molecules appear to be able to strong enough to hold a hydrogen at a density approaching that of the depths of Jupiter. At least, that's what the press release says. If it actually pans out, we may some day be able to power hybrids using something that will vaguely resemble plastic sand. - Source

03/24/08 - 40% boost in Thermoelectric efficiencies
A major boost in the effectiveness of a material that transforms waste heat into electricity could significantly boost energy efficiency in anything from air conditioners to car engines. It is the first major improvement in such "thermoelectric" materials in 50 years, say researchers. Thermoelectric materials can also work in reverse to convert electricity into differences in temperature, allowing cooling without pipes, pumps or coolants. The dramatic 40% boost is relatively simple to achieve. Grinding bismuth antimony telluride into fine particles and then pressing it back together again using heat transforms its thermoelectric properties, according to researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Boston College, both Boston, US. Sticking the nanoscale particles back together increased the alloy’s peak figure of merit, a term used to measure metals’ relative thermodynamic performance, by 40% from 1.0 to 1.4. The researchers say the jump happens because the reincarnated alloy has a finer-grained crystalline structure. The new structure offers greater resistance to the quantum vibrations called phonons that transport heat within solids, making it a better thermal insulator. - Source

03/24/08 - Prius proves a gas guzzler in a race with the BMW 520d
The official fuel consumption figure for the Prius - supplied by Toyota itself - is 65.7mpg in mixed motoring. That’s a claim not supported by many of the letter writers to The Sunday Times who say they get nearer to 50mpg. If our readers are right and the official figure is wrong it has important implications, not least of which is that people driving frugal diesels are getting a raw deal. To find out we set a challenge: to drive a Prius to Geneva using motorways and town driving. The direct route is 460 miles but we drove almost 100 miles further to give the Prius the advantage of running in urban conditions where its petrol-electric drivetrain comes into its own. We took along a conventionally powered car - a diesel BMW executive saloon - for comparison and drove both cars an identical number of miles (545). The BMW computer reported for the journey as a whole, the car averaged more than 50mpg. The test had taken us along just over 200 miles of autoroute, about 200 miles of B roads, including winding ascents and descents in Switzerland, and 100 miles of urban driving. Average fuel consumption for the Prius was 48.1mpg. - Source

03/24/08 - Humpback flipper based Wind Turbines
KeelyNet A new type of wind-turbine blade that mimics the aerodynamic performance of a humpback whale's flipper, allowing a turbine to capture more of the wind's energy at much lower speeds. The odd-looking blades, which have teeth-like bumps along their leading edge, are a dramatic departure from the smooth and sleek design that graces most wind turbines. It turns out the key to a humpback's agility lies in its long flippers, which feature a unique row of bumps or "tubercles" along their leading edge that give the wing-like appendages a serrated look. Researchers such as Frank Fish, a professor of biology at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, have found that the tubercles dramatically increase the whale's aerodynamic efficiency. In one particular study conducted inside a controlled wind tunnel, Fish and research colleagues at Duke University and the U.S. Naval Academy saw 32 per cent lower drag and an 8 per cent improvement in lift from a flipper with tubercles compared to a smooth flipper found on other whales. They also discovered that the angle of attack of the bump-lined flipper could be 40 per cent steeper than a smooth flipper before reaching stall - that is, before seeing a dramatic loss in lift and increase in drag. In an airplane scenario, that's typically when you lose control and crash. "That stall typically occurs on most wings at 11 or 12 degrees at the angle of attack," says Fish, adding that with the humpback design "stall occurred much later, at about 17 or 18 degrees of attack. So the stall is being delayed." The implications are potentially enormous. Delayed stall on airplane wings can improve safety and make planes much more manoeuvrable and fuel-efficient. The same benefits can also be found on ship and submarine rudders, which explains the U.S. Navy's quiet involvement. - Source

03/24/08 - Truckers Slowing Down to Save Fuel
Coast-to-coast trucker Lorraine Dawson says fellow drivers used to call her "Lead Foot Lorraine." But with diesel fuel around $4 a gallon, she and other big-rig drivers have backed off their accelerators to conserve fuel. "I used to be a speed demon, but no more," said Dawson, based at Tacoma, Wash. "Most drivers have cut their speed considerably." - Source

03/24/08 - Change in gasoline consumption habits bigger story than oil prices
Over the past six weeks the nation's gasoline consumption has decreased an average of 1.1 percent from last year's levels. The Wall Street Journal reports this is the most sustained demand drop seen in 16 years. The EIA estimates personal income declining 1 percent results in gasoline demand being reduced 0.5 percent. In addition to the economy, however, we would suggest demand is shifting as consumers change their usage patterns and alter their lifestyle in response to years of rising prices. - Source

03/24/08 - ‘Parabolic’ antlers help moose hear female sweet nothings
KeelyNet Canadian scientists using the trophy rack from a large male moose for a series of acoustic experiments have discovered that the beast's antlers act like natural hearing aids, bouncing sounds -- including sweet talk from a potential mate -- toward its ears. Using artificial ears equipped with sound meters -- created by technicians from Japan's NHK television network -- the researchers sent audio signals toward the 18-kilogram, 1.38-metre-wide antlers during experiments conducted at the Ontario university's arboretum. The tests showed that sound reception improved by up to 20 per cent because of the antlers. - Source

03/24/08 - Regrowing Limbs: Can People Regenerate Body Parts?
The gold standard for limb regeneration is the salamander, which can grow perfect replacements for lost body parts throughout its lifetime. Understanding how can provide a road map for human limb regeneration. The early responses of tissues at an amputation site are not that different in salamanders and in humans, but eventually human tissues form a scar, whereas the salamander’s reactivate an embryonic development program to build a new limb. Learning to control the human wound environment to trigger salamanderlike healing could make it possible to regenerate large body parts. - Source

03/22/08 - Michigan Congressman Wants 50-Cent Tax Hike on Every Gallon of Gas
Polls show that a majority of Americans support policies that would reduce greenhouse gases. But when it comes to paying for it, it's a different story. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., wants to help cut consumption with a gas tax but some don't agree with the idea, according to a new poll by the National Center for Public Policy Research. The poll, scheduled to be released on Thursday, shows 48 percent don't support paying even a penny more, 28 percent would pay up to 50 cents more, 10 percent would pay more than 50 cents and 8 percent would pay more than a dollar. "I don't want to pay more, I don't think anyone wants to," said Karen Deacon, a motorist. "I think that wouldn't make any sense," said Frankie Hoe, a motorist. "Ugh ... who's making the money from all this and where is that money going? Is it going to go green? I don't see any green things anywhere." Even if Americans abandoned their cars, global emissions would fall by less than one percent. "A tax on gas is a way to reduce dependence on import oil, reduce traffic congrestion and reduce carbon emissions," said Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute. The Earth Policy Institute proposes raising the gas tax 30 cents per gallon each year over a decade and offset with a reduction of income taxes, Brown said. - Source

03/22/08 - H2 to Go
KeelyNet Moshe Stern, head of C.En (Clean Energy), says his company's scientists have developed a revolutionary breakthrough that will enable automobile manufacturers to produce - and sell - cars that use hydrogen power. It's a breakthrough that has been getting a lot of attention - and oil companies got wind of it, too, with one company allegedly offering him $50 million to shelve his project. Stern didn't take the money, though; he intends to see his hydrogen car project through. While producing the hydrogen is easy enough, getting the fuel into the car and storing it in a fuel tank is one of the biggest obstacles for the technology. This, industry experts say, has traditionally been the deal-breaker for increased hydrogen use. Most hydrogen vehicles on the road use a liquid form of the material, which requires a super strong and super heavy storage tank. Liquid hydrogen is unstable and needs to be insulated from the excess shocks from bumps and potholes that are a part of everyday driving, so the tanks themselves are large and heavy, and hold at most 20 liters of fuel - enough for barely 250 kilometers of driving. C.En's tank uses hydrogen gas, collected from the environment (i.e. not produced from fossil fuels) and enclosed in a thin but leakproof glass container. The best part: You'll be able to buy your "gas" at automotive or discount stores, fueling up every 600 kilometers or so. "We can build a 60-liter tank that can travel up to 600 km. and weighs no more than 50 kg.," Stern said, unlike tanks currently used for liquid hydrogen that weigh hundreds of kilos. "Our company's breakthrough is in accumulating hydrogen in a glass material that is very small, only a few microns," said Stern, who is also president of waste treatment company Environmental Energy Resources (EER). "You don't need to transport hydrogen to fuel stations and you don't need pipelines. The tanks will be like a battery that can be replaced and you can carry a reserve in the car." The cells, in fact, will act just like batteries in electric or hybrid cars and fit right in with the standard internal combustion engine - which means that Detroit or Yokohama don't have to retool their factories or production lines to build cars with the capacity for hydrogen cells. The knowhow and means of production are in use right now, in fact, as nearly every car manufacturer is already producing hybrids or straight electric cars. With Stern's hydrogen solution, all you have to do is pull out the empty cell and put in the fresh one. You'll be good to go for another 600 kilometers, plenty of time to get your spent cell refilled. - Source

03/22/08 - X-Prize Offering $10 Million for 100 MPG Production Car
As an encore to a similar contest from last year, the X-Prize Foundation is offering $10 million dollars to the team that designs and builds a production ready car capable of 100 mpg. More than 60 teams have signed up for the contest which is open to anyone, including established automakers. A cross country race will be held in 2009 for finalists where fuel efficiency, speed and distance will be part of the judging criteria. Many different technologies are represented, including diesel cars, electric cars and most interestingly a compressed air powered car from MDI Motors. - Source

03/22/08 - Branson and friends seek to save a world 'on fire'
KeelyNet They tried to figure out what to do about it and perhaps get richer in the process. Some of them, like Page, carbon-consciously jet-pooled in from Silicon Valley, where the financiers who bankrolled the Web boom of the 1990s have started chasing the new "New New Thing": green power. In an era of $100-plus oil, venture capitalists like Vinod Khosla, another invitee, are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into young companies that cook up biofuels and harness the power of the sun. So far, however, the hopes and dreams of alternative energy have far outstripped reality. But for Stromback and many of the other participants, a confluence of two powerful forces - soaring oil prices and growing concern over global warming - means the era of economically viable green power is finally at hand. Talk ranged from the practicality of electric-powered cars to how much money would have to be invested in biofuels to reduce the price of crude to $35 a barrel, a prospect Khosla said was possible within the next 15 years. But the big question that hung over the meeting was whether the nations or the world could ever work together to tackle climate change and emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. - Source

03/22/08 - 40 years from Global Catastrophe - No time for Repair
Climate change scientist James Lovelock believes it is too late to repair the damage. By 2040, the world population of more than six billion will have been culled by floods, drought and famine. The people of Southern Europe, as well as South-East Asia, will be fighting their way into countries such as Canada, Australia and Britain. We will, he says, have to set up encampments in this country, like those established for the hundreds of thousands of refugees displaced by the conflict in East Africa. Lovelock believes the subsequent ethnic tensions could lead to civil war. Selection is already happening. "Nations are selecting who they allow in. We are a soft touch in the UK compared with Australia." As nationals move to escape catastrophe, new forms of colonisation will occur. Lovelock believes that the current Chinese economic interest in Africa is part of a greater plan. "By 2040, China will be uninhabitable." Lovelock believes that the Chinese, because of their high levels of industrial activity, will be the first to suffer, with the death of all plant life. "So I think the Chinese will go to Africa. They are already there, preparing a new continent - the Chinese industrialists who claim to be out there mining minerals are just there on a pretext of preparing for the big move. "This is not science fiction. Mr Putin will colonise Siberia. Those who will have a very rough time are those in the indian subcontinent. You don't need much of a sea level rise to wipe Bangladesh off the face of the Earth." Australians have enough land and resources to stay put. Lovelock sees Americans moving to Canada. Americans have the natural advantage of being born migrants. "White Americans are descended from those who had the guts to cross on rough old ships and find a new life. They have the right spirit of can-do." - Source

03/22/08 - New twist to matter-antimatter mystery
KeelyNet A new particle-smashing experiment suggests that a complete solution to the mystery of why the observable universe is dominated by matter, and not antimatter, may have to await the discovery of novel particles or the invention of new physics. When a normal particle and an anti-particle collide, they annihilate one another in an explosion of pure energy. When these two particles smash together, they create a burst of pure energy which quickly materialises into particles called 'B mesons'. The experiment created four different types of B mesons: neutral B mesons; the antimatter counterpart of neutral B mesons, sometimes called anti-Bs; positive B mesons; and the antimatter counterpart of positive B mesons, called negative B mesons. A study in 2004 showed that neutral B mesons break down, or "decay," into other subatomic particles faster than anti-Bs. Scientists had previously assumed that the differences in makeup between different B mesons were minor. This led them to predict that positive B mesons should decay at the same rate as neutral B mesons (since both are normal matter particles), and that negative B mesons should decay at the same rate as anti-Bs (both are antimatter particles). The new study reveals this isn't true. The team found that neutral B mesons decayed faster than anti-Bs, but positive B mesons decayed slower than their antiparticles. "It's not just that there's a particle-antiparticle asymmetry. It's that there are two particle-antiparticle asymmetries that are different from one another," commented Michael Peskin, a theorist at Stanford University in California, U.S. who was not involved in the study. "That's the thing that tips you off there's something new that's going on." - Source / Additional information from the KeelyNet BBS archive as Annihilation of Energy to produce Over-Unity.

03/22/08 - Buckyballs Can Store Concentrated Hydrogen
"Using a computer model, Yakobson's research team has tracked the strength of each atomic bond in a buckyball and simulated what happened to the bonds as more hydrogen atoms were packed inside. Yakobson said the model promises to be particularly useful because it is scalable, that is it can calculate exactly how much hydrogen a buckyball of any given size can hold, and it can also tell scientists how overstuffed buckyballs burst open and release their cargo." The buckyballs can contain up to 8% of their weight in hydrogen, and they are strong enough to hold it at a density that rivals the center of Jupiter. - Source

03/22/08 - Biofuel demand upping cost of popcorn
KeelyNet As a consequence of the booming demand for alternative fuels - with farmers replacing acres of popcorn with more profitable crops that can be converted into ethanol and other biofuels - the sellers of the nation's favorite movie snack say the salty tub soon will take a bigger bite out of your wallet when you're at the multiplex. "The consumer will probably see an increase in popcorn prices pretty soon," said Carlton Smith, the chairman of Iowa's Jolly Time popcorn brand. While the price hike probably will be modest, perhaps no more than 15 cents a serving, the rise is inevitable and necessary, according to the popcorn providers and theater owners gathered here for ShoWest, the National Association of Theater Owners' annual convention, which ended Thursday. - Source

03/22/08 - For amputees, an unlikely painkiller: Mirrors
Dr. Jack Tsao, a Navy neurologist with the Uniform Services University, was looking for ways to help soldiers like Paupore. He remembered reading in graduate school a paper by Dr. V.S. Ramachandran that talked about an unusual treatment for amputees suffering "phantom limb pain," using a simple $20 mirror. The mirror tricks the brain into "seeing" the amputated leg, overriding mismatched nerve signals. Here's how it works: The patient sits on a flat surface with his or her remaining leg straight out and then puts a 6-foot mirror lengthwise facing the limb. The patient moves the leg, flexing it, and watches the movement in the mirror. The reflection creates the illusion of two legs moving together. Paupore was one of the first to give it a try. At first, he was skeptical. When approached about joining a clinical trial at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to test Tsao's theory, he declined. But sometimes his phantom pains were coming five to six times an hour and lasting up to a minute. After a month of treatment, all of the patients in the mirror group had significantly less phantom pain. In the covered mirror group, only one patient experienced a decrease in pain, and for half of those patients, the pain worsened. Sixty-seven percent of the patients visualizing their limbs got worse instead of better. The pain decreased in almost 90 percent of the patients who then switched to mirror therapy. - Source / and this related news item - Massage illusion helps amputees - Amputees can feel relief from phantom limb pain just by watching someone else rub their hands together, a study says. The treatment appears to fool the brain that it is their missing hand being massaged, California researchers say. Dr Ramachandran suggested the amputees "felt" the actions of others because their missing limb provided no feedback to prevent their mirror neurons being stimulated, and therefore not telling them they were not "literally" being touched. He said: "If an amputee experiences pain in their missing limb, they could watch a friend or partner rub their hand to get rid of it."

03/22/08 - Money buys happiness -- if you spend on someone else
KeelyNet Spending as little as $5 a day on someone else could significantly boost happiness, the team at the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School found. Their experiments on more than 630 Americans showed they were measurably happier when they spent money on others -- even if they thought spending the money on themselves would make them happier. "Regardless of how much income each person made, those who spent money on others reported greater happiness, while those who spent more on themselves did not," Dunn said in a statement. They gave their volunteers $5 or $20 and half got clear instructions on how to spend it. Those who spent the money on someone or something else reported feeling happier about it. "These findings suggest that very minor alterations in spending allocations -- as little as $5 -- may be enough to produce real gains in happiness on a given day," Dunn said. This could also explain why people are no happier even though U.S. society is richer. - Source

03/22/08 - How to hack RFID-enabled credit cards for $8
A number of credit card companies now issue credit cards with embedded RFIDs (radio frequency ID tags), with promises of enhanced security and speedy transactions. But on today's episode of Boing Boing tv, hacker and inventor Pablos Holman shows Xeni how you can use about $8 worth of gear bought on eBay to read personal data from those credit cards -- cardholder name, credit card number, and whatever else your bank embeds in this manner. Fears over data leaks from RFID-enabled cards aren't new, and some argue they're overblown -- but this demo shows just how cheap and easy the "sniffing" can be. - Source

03/22/08 - Computer scientists release most realistic online makeover tool
Anyone with a digital photograph can now apply more than 4,000 makeup products with the click of a mouse. It’s all at - the creation of two Jacobs School of Engineering computer scientists turned entrepreneurs. You can watch a video demonstration of the online makeover tool at: Makeover Video. The computer scientists invented an algorithm for separating gloss from non-gloss in digital images -- a technical feat crucial for’s patented approach to applying photorealistic makeup to images. It is also useful for more traditional computer vision applications like face recognition. is easy and free. Simply upload a portrait-style photograph and a computer vision system automatically identifies your eyes, nose, lips and cheeks. From here, you can apply thousands of makeup products from a wide range of brands to your digital portrait and experiment with new hairstyles and colored contacts. Once you create a new look, you can share it with friends, post the picture in’s public gallery or upload it to social networking sites. To make shopping easier, you can print a list of what you tried on at “With, we take something very complicated -- giving digital portraits a photorealistic makeover -- and make it very easy,” says Satya Mallick, a co-founder with a fresh Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UCSD. - Source

03/22/08 - Air safety proposal: Passenger Shock-bracelets
Lamperd, a "firearm training system" company, has patented a bracelet that delivers debilitating shocks when remotely triggered. Their killer app for this is aviation safety: they're proposing that the TSA could force everyone who flies to wear one of these and then flight-attendants could zap us into a stupor if we turn out to be Al Quaeda. (via - Source

03/22/08 - Boomerang works in space, says astronaut
IN an unprecedented experiment, a Japanese astronaut has thrown a boomerang in space and confirmed it flies back much like on Earth. Astronaut Takao Doi "threw a boomerang and saw it come back" during his free time on March 18 at the International Space Station, a spokeswoman at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said. "I was very surprised and moved to see that it flew the same way it does on Earth," the Mainichi Shimbun daily quoted the 53-year-old astronaut as telling his wife in a chat from space. The space agency said a videotape of the experiment would likely be released later. - Source

03/22/08 - Self-Healing Artificial Muscles
"Researchers in California have developed an artificial muscle that heals itself and generates electricity. 'We've made an artificial muscle that, when you apply electricity to it, it expands, more than 200 percent, the motion and energy is a lot like human muscles,' said Qibing Pei, a scientist at UCLA and study author. The researchers used flexible carbon nanotubes as electrodes. If an area of the carbon nanotube fails, the region around it seals itself by becoming non-conductive and prevents the damage from spreading to other areas. This material also conserves about 70% of the energy you put into it. As the material contracts after an expansion the rearranging of the carbon nanotubes generates a small electric current that can be captured and used to power another expansion or stored in a battery. The research appeared in the January issue of Advanced Materials." - Source

03/20/08 - Patent Reform Act poses a Threat to Inventions
By protecting the rights of inventors, the U.S. patent system has spurred the development of everything from the light bulb to life-saving medicine. You wouldn't think that Congress would want to mess with such a winning formula. But that's exactly what lawmakers plan to do this month, when the Patent Reform Act hits the Senate floor. Under current law, U.S. patent protection gives innovators the exclusive right to sell their new inventions for a set period, usually 17 years. After that, anyone can make and sell the same product. This short-term monopoly rewards inventors and gives them enough time to recoup their costs -- while ensuring that the new product eventually reaches a broader market. Today, when a patent has been violated, the patent holder may sue the copycat. If the patent holder wins, the court awards damages. The bill would make it harder to win much in damages by changing the way they're calculated. Currently, the calculation takes the value of the whole invention into account. But the new bill stipulates that the calculation of a "reasonable royalty" look only at the bit of the invention the patent holder truly created, leaving out the value of any previously existing technology that's built in. The Patent Reform Act would require the publication, online, of all patent applications 18 months after filing -- even if no decision has been made on granting a patent. That means that inventors big and small would see their precious creations exposed to the world, in all their scientific detail, with no certainty of ever gaining patent protection. And copycats around the world would have more than a year to duplicate the invention and even claim it as their own. - Source

03/20/08 - Salt could shake up world energy supply
KeelyNet Only up to powering light bulbs so far, "salt power" is a tantalising if distant prospect as high oil prices make alternative energy sources look more economical. Two tiny projects to mix sea and river water -- one by the fjord south of Oslo, the other at a Dutch seaside lake -- are due on stream this year and may point to a new source of clean energy in estuaries from the Mississippi to the Yangtze. The science at the heart of the projects is the fact that when salt and fresh water mix at river mouths, they are typically warmed by 0.1 degree Celsius (0.2 Fahrenheit). Dutch scientists say such energy at all the world's estuaries is equivalent to 20 percent of world electricity demand. Osmosis' power was shown in 1748 when French physicist Jean-Antoine Nollet put a pig's bladder filled with alcohol in a trough of water. The bladder swelled and burst -- the more concentrated liquid draws pure water into it. At Tofte, the power exerted by salt water sucking in fresh water is equivalent to water falling 270 metres in a waterfall. The only emissions are brackish water. Unlike the osmosis of the Norwegian system, the Dutch scheme captures salt particles which give off electrical currents. Yale's Elimelech said a full scale plant would demand membranes covering perhaps 100 acres (40 hectares), at risk of damage by pollutants dissolved in the river or the sea. Also, filters have to be in place to avoid sucking in fish and there are environmental concerns about drawing water away from estuaries, perhaps threatening plants and creatures in the area. "The membrane is the challenge," agreed Skilhagen. "In tests we have come over three watts per square metre (of membrane), but we have to reach five. When we do that it will be industrially interesting." - Source

03/20/08 - Invention helps reverse effects of aging
KeelyNet A local dentist says he has created an orthodontic appliance that can straighten an adult's teeth and reverse the effects of aging by remodeling an individual's jaw bones. Catskill dentist Theodore Belfor said the benefits of his Homeoblock Appliance include broader smiles, fuller lips, more prominent cheekbones and a brighter, more youthful appearance around an individual's eyes. It also helps straighten teeth and can help eliminate snoring and sleep apnea, he said. "There are no negative side-effects," Belfor said of the appliance. appliance stimulates the development of a person's jaws where that development was incomplete causing the teeth to become crowded in the mouth. The appliance is worn at night and works with the body so the changes occur naturally, developing the bones of the face, he said. Belfor said the changes that occur are based on each person's genetic potential. Often, facial development does not reach its full potential as an individual grows because of the food a person eats, lack of breast-feeding as an infant or polluted air, among other causes, he said. Belfor said the Homeoblock helps reverse the sign of aging because as the appliance develops the bones of the face it increases the volume and support of the soft tissue, which reduces lines and wrinkles on the face. The Homeoblock, according to information provided by Belfor, does not work like a typical orthodontic appliance wherein mechanical pressure forces the teeth and bones of the dental arches apart. The acrylic of the Homeoblock Appliance does not actually touch the soft tissue in a person's mouth. Instead, the device creates a bellows-like action on an individual's dental arches, causing them to widen. Each week the patient turns an expansion screw on the appliance to keep up with the widening of the bones of the dental arches. As the dental arches expand, the teeth have more room in the mouth and can straighten out. For additional information on the Homeoblock Appliance visit - Source

03/20/08 - Funds shun renewable energy
AUSTRALIAN Government investment funds are putting nearly 50 times more money into the fossil fuel and uranium industries than into renewable energy, a new report has found. Large Government-owned investors, including the Federal Government's Future Fund and state bodies such as the Workcover Authority, are investing in direct conflict with their governments' plans to reduce greenhouse emissions, according to the report, to be released today by the Australian Conservation Foundation. 78 per cent of Australians remain unaware that the fossil fuel industry receives taxpayer subsidies of just over $800 per person each year, about 28 times the amount given in subsidies to the renewable industry. Ninety per cent of those polled said they would prefer to see renewable energy given the same subsidies as the coal, oil and gas industries. - Source

03/20/08 - Research fuels grim trade in death
KeelyNet "The BBC are reporting on a grisly trade lying behind the booming business for replacement body parts in medical procedures. Many unscrupulous "dealers" will procure body parts from anyone willing to deal them - e.g., undertakers, medics - and will process them for resale onto legitimate companies. Apparently a fully processed cadaver can fetch up to $250,000. Now, who says I'm worth more alive than dead?" Because these crimes are so difficult to detect, many experts feel that there are many more body-snatchers out there. Over the past few years a handful of high profile cases of grave-robbery in funeral homes and medical school have come to light but they are probably just the tip of the iceberg. - Source

03/20/08 - Video Documentary examines possibility of US dollar collapse
"This is a summary of a documentary that aired recently on Dutch national television. The documentary was based on a script made by an economist who was assigned the task to make a 'what if' scenario about how the dollar could crash within 24 hours." Americans are living beyond their means and Asia is currently financing that. But eventually the Asians/Europeans will stop financing the USA and then the bubble will burst. - Source

03/20/08 - Cellphone Microscope
KeelyNet Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a modular, high-magnification microscope attachment for cell phones. The device will enable health workers in remote, rural areas to take high-resolution images of a patient's blood cells using a cell-phone camera, and then transmit the photos to experts at medical centers. The researchers hope that the innovation will help patients with blood disorders who live far from medical specialists get more accurately diagnosed and treated. The total cost of the first prototype, built from off-the-shelf components, was $75. The current version provides its own sample illumination from cheap, low-power LEDs. The device comes in two versions: with a magnification of about 5 times, for taking images of moles and rashes, and with a magnification of about 60 times, for capturing the details of blood cells and parasites. The higher-magnification model--the larger of the two--is roughly the size and shape of a roll of quarters. Both scopes attach to the phone with a modified belt clip. - Source

03/20/08 - Silent Tiny Ionic Cooling Systems
KeelyNet The compact, solid-state fan, developed with support from NSF's Small Business Innovation Research program, is the most powerful and energy efficient fan of its size. It produces three times the flow rate of a typical small mechanical fan and is one-fourth the size. The RSD5 incorporates a series of live wires that generate a micro-scale plasma (an ion-rich gas that has free electrons that conduct electricity). The wires lie within un-charged conducting plates that are contoured into half-cylindrical shape to partially envelop the wires. Within the intense electric field that results, ions push neutral air molecules from the wire to the plate, generating a wind. The phenomenon is called corona wind. With the breakthrough of the contoured surface, the researchers were able to control the micro-scale discharge to produce maximum airflow without risk of sparks or electrical arcing. As a result, the new device yields a breeze as swift as 2.4 meters per second, as compared to airflows of 0.7 to 1.7 meters per second from larger, mechanical fans. The contoured platform is a part of the device heat sink, a trick that enabled Schlitz and Singhal to both eliminate some of the device's bulk and increase the effectiveness of the airflow. "The technology has the power to cool a 25-watt chip with a device smaller than 1 cubic-cm and can someday be integrated into silicon to make self-cooling chips," said Schlitz. - Source

03/20/08 - Man shot by killer robot
AN 81-year-old Gold Coast man built, and yesterday used, an intricate suicide machine to remotely shoot himself, after downloading the plans from the internet. He spent hours searching the internet for a way to kill himself, downloaded what he needed and then built a complex machine that would remotely fire a gun. He set the device up in his driveway about 7am yesterday, placed himself in front of it and set it in motion. His notes explained that he chose the driveway as he knew there were tradesmen working next door who would find his body. The plan worked as the workmen heard the gunshots and ran to investigate. The Gold Coast Bulletin will not reveal how the machine worked, but it was attached to a .22 semi-automatic pistol loaded with four bullets. It was able to fire multiple shots into the man's head after he activated it. - Source

03/20/08 - Botnet scams are exploding
Largely unnoticed by the public, botnets have come to inundate the Internet. On a typical day, 40% of the 800 million computers connected to the Internet are bots engaged in distributing e-mail spam, stealing sensitive data typed at banking and shopping websites, bombarding websites as part of extortionist denial-of-service attacks, and spreading fresh infections, says Rick Wesson, CEO of Support Intelligence, a San Francisco-based company that tracks and sells threat data. "It's like a disease you can't even feel," Wesson says. "The mechanisms we use to protect our networks simply are not working." - Source

03/20/08 - R.I.P. Creator of the 'Eliza' program
Man who invented the Eliza computer program dies. WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE DIES? I mean he's no longer living. CAN YOU THINK OF A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE? - (via / Joseph Weizenbaum, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), published one of the most celebrated computer programs of all time. The program interacted with a user sitting at an electric typewriter, in English, in the manner of a Rogerian psychotherapist. Weizenbaum called the program "Eliza" because "like the Eliza of Pygmalion fame, it could be taught to 'speak' increasingly well". All the program did was to decompose the user's input into its constituent parts of speech, and type them back at the user in a manner that sustained the conversation. Eliza was a sensation on the MIT campus and quickly spread to other universities. Weizenbaum was so disturbed that naive users could put their faith in a relatively trivial program, that it changed the future course of his life: he became an advocate for social responsibility in science and a critic of artificial intelligence (AI). - Source

03/20/08 - Corn ethanol will worsen 'dead zone'
KeelyNet Increasing production of corn-based ethanol to meet alternative fuel goals will worsen the "dead zone" that plagues the Gulf of Mexico, according to a new study that adds to the growing list of concerns over the fuel. Each year, spring runoff washes nitrogen-rich fertilizers from farms in the Mississippi River basin and carries them into the river and the streams that feed it. The nitrogen eventually empties out of the mouth of the Mississippi and into the Gulf of Mexico, where tiny phytoplankton feed off of it and spread into an enormous bloom. When these creatures die, they sink to the ocean floor, and their decomposition strips the water of oxygen. This condition, called hypoxia, prevents animals that depend on oxygen, such as fish or shrimp, from living in those waters. - Source

03/20/08 - The Mystery of Global Warming's Missing Heat
80 percent to 90 percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. They hold much more heat than the atmosphere can. So Willis has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments called the Argo system. The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans. "There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant," says Josh Willis at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. So the buildup of heat on Earth may be on a brief hiatus. "Global warming doesn't mean every year will be warmer than the last. And it may be that we are in a period of less rapid warming." In recent years, heat has actually been flowing out of the ocean and into the air. This is a feature of the weather phenomenon known as El Nino. So it is indeed possible the air has warmed but the ocean has not. But it's also possible that something more mysterious is going on. - Source

03/18/08 - Stars Illuminate Visionary's Second Coming for US Auto Industry
KeelyNet DiMora Motorcar has unveiled a bold plan to bring the Motor City back to its heyday in the auto manufacturing business. U.S. automakers have lost large swaths of the global and domestic markets to foreign competitors over the last 30 years with experts citing a product line lacking in diversity. Alfred DiMora is answering the distress calls with a new paradigm for production. His mission? Simple. Reintroduce a time-tested industry mantra: American innovation. Marrying the technological triumphs of Silicon Valley with the still beating heart of the American automotive industry, DiMora is bridging worlds to create what truly will be known as "The New Detroit", rethinking the way we look at cars from bumper to bumper. DiMora Motorcar is currently developing the first eco-friendly, hand-built, $2 million production automobile. The Natalia SLS 2 sport luxury sedan, their premier creation, will be the world's most luxurious, expensive, and technologically-advanced vehicle. DiMora has assembled a team of leading-edge Technology Partners such as NVIDIA, Advanced Technology and Design, Brembo, Mercury Computer Systems, Azentek, and Robot-Racing. Their collective ingenuity is outfitting the Natalia with a broad spectrum of features never before seen in one automobile, showcasing such amenities as temperature-responsive color-changing paint, heated windshield wipers, headlights that house video projectors, personal on-board computers with terabytes of storage, an all-glass top with variable shades on command, and soy-based seat cushions. These are only a few of hundreds of innovations that will appear in the Natalia SLS 2. Although available in many custom colors, the Natalia reflects green. Not only is DiMora Motorcar exploring other flex-fuel options, the vehicle is also 95 percent recyclable. The name Natalia literally means "rebirth", exactly what DiMora intends to deliver. Setting sights to become a major contender in the car business within the next five to eight years, DiMora Motorcar may be just the polish needed to put a new shine on America's automobile industry, ushering in an automotive renaissance worthy of DiMora's "New Detroit." - Source

03/18/08 - Banyugeni Water-based Hydro-Fuel alternative energy
Patented under the trade name Banyugeni, hydro-fuel was officially soft-launched at the university campus on Jl. Ringroad Barat in Bantul, Yogyakarta, recently by Rector Khoiruddin Bashori. “We have produced the fuel on a laboratory scale but we plan to start mass production soon,” said Khoiruddin. Banyugeni, according to Khoiruddin, currently has four different product variants - hydro-kerosene, hydro-diesel, hydro-premium and hydro-avtur. He said these were equivalent to their fossil-fuel counterparts kerosene, diesel, gasoline and airplane fuel. The newly invented fuel had been tested by PT CoreLab Indonesia, an independent international laboratory, and had been subsequently declared to meet the standards of the Directorate General of Oil and Gas at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry. The test result, he said, was convincing. Hydro-premium, for example, proved to be non-corrosive, non-residual and to show low-emission rates. The hydro-avtur is similarly non-corrosive, low in emission rates and has a low freezing temperature of minus 45 degrees Celcius. “The test on aero-modeling crafts shows that hydro-fuel can be categorized as jet fuel,” said Purwanto, adding that this particular variant ran cool with an initial boiling point of 164 degrees Celcius. Similar results were shown from tests on hydro-diesel and hydro-kerosene variants, Khoiruddin said. Purwanto said hydro-fuel was produced using so-called “mechano-thermal-electro-chemical” technology involving four processes: mechanical, thermal, electrical and chemical, all using water as the raw material. “Water is basically flame. It comprises explosive hydrogen and flammable oxygen,” said Purwanto. The process of turning the water into hydro-fuel, he said, was basically keeping the two atoms in the water in such a position where the water could revert to its constituent elements, hydrogen and oxygen. “The results are fuel products that are not polluting and are environmentally friendly,” said Purwanto, adding that the products’ elements and characteristics had made it possible for them to be directly applied on machines without any modification to the machines’ components. Hydro-kerosene, for example, can be directly used in kerosene stoves or lamps. Hydro-diesel, similarly, can be directly used to start a diesel engine while the hydro-premium can be used to run motorcycles or cars. The hydro-avtur, according to Purwanto, has also been tested on jet-fuel machines such as the ones propelling aero-modeling aircraft. Once processed, Nike said, a liter of pure water could produce about the same volume either of hydro-premium, hydro-kerosene or hydro-diesel, according to the desired results. “We used seawater for the research, but basically any water including liquid waste can be processed into hydro-fuel,” said Nike. Nike said the decision to use seawater was mainly made with a consideration that ground water was for human consumption. Thus, mass production of hydro-fuels would not disturb clean water supplies for humans, he said. - Source

03/18/08 - Could You Power Your Car With its Paint?
Scientists working at a university in Wales have found a way to gather solar power through paint. The invention is nowhere close to ready for mass production, but the prospects are promising. Steel would be treated with a photovoaltaic substance (the paint), which would gather energy and transfer it to whatever system needed power. According to ScienceDaily, the UK scientists envision the substance being used first on large buildings and skyscrapers, which could generate 4,500 gigawatts of electricity annually (the equivalent of 50 wind farms) depending on the size of the building. Widespread commercialization would follow, with the paint being used for everything from private homes to - you guessed it - your car. - Source

03/18/08 - Converting a Gas Lawnmower to Solar Power
KeelyNet I enjoy mowing my rural lawn area - weeds and all. I just resent having to use a noisy polluting machine to do it! I learned that small gasoline engines like those in lawn mowers can pollute up to 7 times as much as vehicles (with the exception of our Honda Insight which is an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle!). The project entails replacing the gasoline engine of a used 22" gas powered mower with a 12 Volt electric motor and battery - along with gauges, circuit breaker/power switch and charging connector. Using 12 Volts keeps the design simple and relatively safe. The solar charging system consists of solar panel(s) that are wired to a charge controller with an extension cord that connects to the mower. Optionally, a standard AC powered automatic battery charger can be used. The noticeable difference when mowing is the quiet! The blades are spinning at about 1/2 the speed (1750RPM) of a gas mower (3450RPM) with a virtually silent motor, it sounds like a big fan! With sharp blades it cuts just as good as my retired Sears 5HP mower. - Source

03/18/08 - That ‘new’ smell could be fumes
“Years ago, people were proud to have people come over and smell their new house,” said Frank Laskey, president of Capital Construction in Ballston Spa. “That new car smell, there was some cache attached to that.” Now, experts realize that the smell is actually the off-gassing of formaldehyde, a common chemical that is a possible carcinogen and can trigger allergies when people are trapped indoors with it. The gas that forms the main ingredient in glues used in plywood, particle board, paneling, insulation, paint and carpeting is not just a problem in FEMA trailers. Cigarettes, permanent press fabrics and gas stoves also give off formaldehyde. Formaldehyde also affects new mobile homes and traditional houses - or any building that uses the synthetic materials. The good news is that it goes away. Carpets and fabrics off-gas formaldehyde for between six months and three years, and wood products do so for three to five years, Laskey said. The bad news is that until it does dissipate, people who are sensitive to it may experience irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and skin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Homeowners can install a $3,000 heat recovery ventilation system for their entire house that removes stale air and brings in fresh air without greatly increasing heating costs, Laskey said. The ventilator runs on a 70-watt motor around the clock to bring in the fresh air and mix it with air in the house, he said. Manufacturing will start in the next four or five months on a filter that uses Mother Nature to remove formaldehyde from the air. Phytofilter Technologies Inc., a startup company owned by Malta resident Martin Mittelmark, has the U.S. rights to manufacture the filters, which are now made by a Japanese company based on technology developed by a NASA senior scientist who was looking for ways to help people live in space. The filter looks like a normal houseplant, but its 12-inch planter base contains an ultraviolet light and an induction fan that pulls indoor air to the roots. Microbes on the roots eat the formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that pollute indoor air, Mittelmark said. - Source

03/18/08 - U.S. on the Verge of a Small Hydro Boom?
KeelyNet Large hydroelectric dams above 30 megawatts (MW) only make up 8% of the total hydropower plant population in the U.S., according to the Hydroelectric Power Resources Assessment Database. The other 80% of plants in the U.S. are low power (under 1 MW) or small hydro (between 1 MW and 30 MW). A 2006 study identified 130,000 stream reaches around the country that are suitable for projects between 10 kilowatts (kW) and 30 MW. While the study estimates those sites to hold around 100,000 MW of annual capacity, a more realistic estimate is around 30,000 MW of annual capacity when considering technological and environmental limitations at each site. Even with such restrictions, these projects could increase U.S. hydroelectric generation by more than 50%, according to the study. “The kind of projects we're talking about would not involve large dams or any inundation of property. These would all be run-of-river projects,” says Hall. This includes submerging weirs to raise the level of a river and create energy from the difference in water level, or excavating power channels that divert water through a power house and back into the water body. Depending on the size of the project, there are still some environmental concerns associated with these methods; however, they are considered to be a much more sustainable way of harvesting energy from a moving body of water. - Source

03/18/08 - Report says ‘green is better’ for jobs
The report, titled “Greener Pathways,” highlights jobs in energy efficiency as well as the wind and biofuel sectors. These “green jobs” are defined as traditional family-supporting, middle-skill jobs that incorporate up-to-date training on energy-efficient construction and production. “A greener American economy can and will create jobs,” said Joel Rogers, Center of Wisconsin Strategy’s director, adding it is important to seize opportunities offered by leading growing industries. According to the report, jobs in clean energy efficiency and construction do not work retroactively, resulting in economic loss. Instead, they prepare the workforce to build on the existing foundation of existing development systems. - Source

03/18/08 - Slicing Up Silicon for Cheaper Solar
KeelyNet A California startup is cutting by half the amount of costly silicon used in solar panels. This spring the company will begin production of solar panels at a factory built to produce 25 megawatts of solar panels per year. Current high costs for the type of silicon used in photovoltaics have significantly driven up the price of conventional solar panels. Solaria's cells generate about 90% of a conventional solar panel's power, while using half as much silicon, says Kevin Gibson, Solaria's CTO. Ordinarily, the silicon in a solar panel spans its surface, collecting light from as much area as possible. But Solaria slices the silicon into thin strips and spaces them apart so that they only account for about half the panel's area. A clear molded plastic cover collects light from the entire panel and funnels it to the strips of silicon. This approach saves money because the total costs of the molded plastic, other extra materials, and added manufacturing steps still are lower than the cost of the additional silicon used in conventional solar panels. Solaria also reduces costs by using manufacturing equipment already developed for the semiconductor industry, thus avoiding expensive customized equipment. - Source

03/18/08 - 10 Ideas That Are Changing The World
More than money, more than politics, ideas are the secret power that this planet runs on. Here are a few you need to know about: * Common Wealth * The End of Customer Service * The Post-Movie-Star Era * Reverse Radicalism * Kitchen Chemistry * Geoengineering * Synthetic Authenticity * The New Austerity * Mandatory Health * Re-Judaizing Jesus. - Source

03/18/08 - Melting Ice Sheets Can Cause Earthquakes
KeelyNet As ice sheets melt, they can release pent-up energy and trigger massive earthquakes, according to new study. Global warming may already be triggering such earthquakes and may cause more in the future as ice continues to melt worldwide, the researchers say. A new study, the first to use sophisticated computer models to simulate how ice sheets would affect the crust in the region, bolsters this scenario. The study showed that earthquakes are "suppressed in presence of the ice and promoted during melting of the ice," said study leader Andrea Hampel of the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany. - Source

03/18/08 - Popular Energy Drinks Cause Tooth Erosion
Previous scientific research findings have helped to warn consumers that the pH (potential of hydrogen) levels in beverages such as soda could lead to tooth erosion, the breakdown of tooth structure caused by the effect of acid on the teeth that leads to decay. The studies revealed that, whether diet or regular, ice tea or root beer, the acidity level in popular beverages that consumers drink every day contributes to the erosion of enamel. However, in a recent study that appears in the November/December 2007 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer reviewed journal, the pH level of soft drinks isn't the only factor that causes dental erosion. A beverage's "buffering capacity," or the ability to neutralize acid, plays a significant role in the cause of dental erosion. The study examined the acidity levels of five popular beverages on the market. The results proved that popular "high energy" and sports drinks had the highest mean buffering capacity, resulting in the strongest potential for erosion of enamel. - Source

03/18/08 - Dr. Meyl's Potential Electrical vortex
KeelyNet Instead of the usually used Maxwell equation, Dr. Meyl chooses the original law of induction discovered by Faraday as a hypothetical factor and prooves the electric vortex being part of it. This potential vortex spreads scalar-like in space, a longitudinal electric wave which properties have been already prooven a century ago by Nicola Tesla and can be studied in a historical replica by everyone. The field theory, according to Meyl, is rid of postulates but still enables new interpretations of several principles of electrical engineering and atom physics and leads to feasible interpretations of some physical experiments, which haven't been able to be explained within the view of present theory yet. For example, quantum characteristics of elementar particles can be calculated when interpreted as a vortex. As well, a lot of neutrino experiments can be explained when the neutrinos are understood as vortex. According to this; neutrino power is possible to be used for energy recovery. The dielectric loss of a capacitor emerges as vortex loss and in consideration of environmental sustainability, new substantial aspects result by the revised theory, concerning electromagnetic pollution. / (Thanks to Erio for the update. - JWD) - Source

03/18/08 - Kyoto Prize Winner Dreams of a Carbon Future
Kyoto Prize winner Hiroo Inokuchi is one of organic chemistry's lifelong stalwarts and innovators. His work led to the development of organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs, which power ultrabright monitors. His notion of organic superconductors may well define the future of electronic gadgets and energy research. My background is colloidal chemistry and carbon is a very basic particle. Carbon has many many applications. Carbon's biggest application is graphite, what we call carbon black. For example, a tire for a car or airplane has huge amounts of carbon. If we took out the carbon they would get very hot and explode because the carbon absorbs heat and dissipates it. If it did not, the airplane would explode. It is one of the properties that makes carbon very unique. So if it absorbs heat, then why does it happen? You start with the particle, which is a point, one-dimensional. If you stretch the particle, you get a fiber -- that is two dimensions. If you weave the fiber, you get the film. The three dimensions actually come back to the particle. - Source

03/18/08 - Compressed Air Car Improvement - The AirGulper
KeelyNet Insulate each and every high-pressure tank with its built-in compressor/injector system. Why? Because of the First Law of Thermodynamics. 80-93% of the air being compressed by 'modern' methods goes up as heat to the ambient air! If people are stopping by to replace their empty air tanks as often as they may fill up with gasoline, then it makes sense to retain as much heat in the compression process as possible! The compressed air tank then would become similar to a pressure cooker! The insulated tank that the air's being compressed into will contain the pressure level for a longer period of time. Use it right away and it takes you farther down the road! Then, when people drive their compressed air cars, the extremely cold exhaust from their tail pipes (-50 to -75F) then cycles through a heat exchanger radiator which pulls in the solar heat right out of the ambient air! A Triple-stage expansion air engine in the French Locomotives ran this way at the turn of the century. / (Thanks Darin for the update! - JWD) - Source

03/18/08 - Clinton says "we cannot win" Iraq war
She said the war has sapped U.S. military and economic strength, damaged U.S. national security, taken the lives of nearly 4,000 Americans and left thousands wounded. "Our economic security is at stake," she said. "Taking into consideration the long-term costs of replacing equipment and providing medical care for troops and survivors' benefits for their families, the war in Iraq could ultimately cost well over $1 trillion." It has already cost $500 billion. - Source

03/16/08 - Gas Prices - Where the Money Goes
As the price for a barrel of oil topped $110, many people begin to wonder who is making all the money? The national average price of gas reached $3.27 prompting CNN to outline the current breakdown of where those dollars and cents go. The basic chain includes federal/state taxes, gas stations, transportation companies, storage companies, refineries, crude pumping companies and well owners. Hold your wrath from pump attendants. Perhaps obvious, most of the money goes to taxes, pumping outfits and the well owner. The influence of market traders is smaller than expected as their profits come from arbitrage, both up and down, as opposed to direct ownership of shares. - Source

03/16/08 - An Internet commotion over 'perpetual motion'
KeelyNet nventor Thane Heins will soon be adding light bulbs to his electrical generator, a modest improvement considering he says his device already transcends the basic laws of physics. The suggestion was made to improve the frequent demonstrations Mr. Heins gives after he and his contraption became Internet sensations attracting worldwide attention. The 46-year-old from Almonte says the lights will serve as visual cues of the electrical load he already applies to his system, which should, in theory, slow everything down. Thane Heins says he'll be more careful about how he describes his invention after a storm of controversy erupted on the Internet. Instead his electric motor accelerates when the load is applied, in an apparent contradiction of the law of conservation of energy. Videos of the demonstration have been viewed more than 280,000 times on YouTube in the last four weeks. His story was also featured on Gizmodo, Slashdot, BoingBoing and - Source

03/16/08 - 'Traffic light' display Energy Monitor
Tanya Ewing invented the Ewgeco, an energy-monitoring device that has a 'traffic-light' display to show how much electricity, water and gas you are using in real time. Asked what spurred her, she said: 'A large gas bill, and I wanted to find out if I turned my radiators down what difference it would make. Existing meters do not give you this information and are in hard-to-reach places.' Green bars mean energy usage is low and change to amber, then red, when consumption is high. Ewing added: 'It has been designed to encourage people to change their behaviour.' - Source

03/16/08 - Neuron-Like Molecular Transistor Incredibly Powerful
KeelyNet The most powerful computer known is the brain, and now scientists have designed a machine just a few molecules large that mimics how the brain works. So far the device can simultaneously carry out 16 times more operations than a normal computer transistor. Researchers suggest the invention might eventually prove able to perform roughly 1,000 times more operations than a transistor. The device is made of a compound known as duroquinone. This molecule resembles a hexagonal plate with four cones linked to it, "like a small car," explained researcher Anirban Bandyopadhyay, an artificial-intelligence and molecular-electronics scientist at the National Institute for Materials Science at Tsukuba in Japan. Duroquinone is less than a nanometer, or a billionth of a meter large. This makes it hundreds of times smaller than a wavelength of visible light. The machine is made of 17 duroquinone molecules. One molecule sits at the center of a ring formed by the remaining 16. The entire invention sits on a surface of gold. Scientists operate the device by tweaking the center duroquinone with electrical pulses from an extremely sharp electrically conductive needle. The molecule and its four cones can shift around in a variety of ways depending on different properties of the pulse - say, the pulse's strength. Since weak chemical bonds link the center duroquinone with the surrounding 16 duroquinones, each of those shifts too. Imagine, for instance, a spider in the middle of a web made of 16 strands. If the spider moves in one direction, each thread linked to it experiences a slightly different tug from all the others. In this way, a pulse to the central duroquinone can simultaneously transmit different instructions to each of the surrounding 16 duroquinones. The researchers say this design was inspired by that of brain cells, which can radiate branches out like a tree, with each branch used to communicate with another brain cell. "All those connections are why the brain is so powerful," Bandyopadhyay said. - Source

03/16/08 - Energy Upgrades Pay Off for Taxpayers and Feds
Buildings account for 40 percent of the energy consumed within the United States and a similar percentage of carbon dioxide emissions. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) engineers recently took a look at energy-related upgrades to their own quarters-and found energy-related improvements were well worth the expense. The unmodified control office has a single-pane glass window unit and an antiquated heating and cooling unit. Thermal insulation was not present between the exterior walls of the office and the interior space. Significant air leakage occurred between the interior of the office and the outdoor air as a result of numerous gaps and voids in the exterior wall. In the modified office all air leaks were sealed. The exterior walls were insulated with approximately 9 inches of glass-fiber insulation and the more than 40-year-old single-pane glass window was replaced with a double-pane, argon-filled insulated glass window unit. A forced air heating and cooling unit was installed in the attic to deliver conditioned air to the office module, replacing the antiquated heating and cooling system that required piping in the office module walls. Energy upgrade expenditures came to approximately $2,825. Measurements made to compare the energy required to maintain the control and modified office modules at identical conditions revealed a 59 percent savings. Annual cost savings from the energy upgrades, based on 2007 energy prices, came to approximately $195 per year. The researchers used NIST’s Cost Effectiveness Tool for Capital Asset Protection software to figure in a three percent annual energy price escalation rate. They found that over a 25-year period the improvements would generate an average $1.75 for each dollar invested. - Source

03/16/08 - Hillama or Obillary - just Cookie Copies
KeelyNet Are there differences between Obama and Clinton on significant issues? And if they aren’t, would an Obama-Clinton contest largely be determined by intangibles: image, charisma, and personality? A look at the votes Obama and Clinton have cast since Obama took office in January of 2005 shows a remarkable concurrence. On most issues Obama and Clinton have voted in tandem. So if they are almost two peas in a pod, why prefer one to the other? Garth Corriveau, a Democratic activist and Manchester, N.H. attorney said the biggest difference between the two “appears to be judgment versus experience: Sen. Obama's media blitz portrays him as the candidate for change - youthful and charismatic - he even took a page from the Clinton handbook using ‘Hope’ in his book title. Sen. Clinton is an accomplished senator, master political tactician and invaluable asset to the party.” - Source

03/16/08 - Emotional Intelligence Developed for Computerized Tutors
Researchers are developing interactive computerized tutors that sense a student’s emotional and motivational state of mind at the same time it presents information designed to appeal to a person’s intellectual curiosity. Special sensors are used to help make the computer tutor respond when students become angry, frustrated or bored, based on body language, attention and other indicators. Woolf says the non-invasive sensors replicate what top-notch human teachers do in the classroom to engage their students. “Master teachers devote as much time working on a student’s motivation as they do on straight teaching,” she says. “They understand that students who feel anxious or depressed don’t assimilate information properly.” The sensors they are developing include a camera that views facial expressions. Woolf says certain looks on a student’s face or how they tilt or hold their head are strong indicators of their level of interest in what they are doing. There is also a posture-sensing device in the seat of a chair to measure movement. This measures the amount of fidgeting, or stillness, other indicators of interest and concentration on the task. There is also a pressure-sensitive computer mouse that can tell how hard the user is pushing down. Previous research has shown that users who find an online task frustrating often apply significantly more pressure to the mouse than those who do not find the same task frustrating, Woolf says. In addition, a wireless skin conductance wristband worn by the student shows how activated the person is. A certain amount of arousal is a motivator toward learning and tends to accompany significant, new, or attention-getting events, she says. The combination of the emotion sensors and mathematical subject matter are presented to the students during a period of up to two hours, Woolf says. During each session, the computer analyzes the information it gets from the sensors and adjusts how it presents the information. Sometimes, that means halting the program and offering the student an alternative activity to reignite interest. Or it could involve having the computer go back and revisit material that the student has failed to master. - Source

03/16/08 - Rock: Electrons Run Through It
KeelyNet New results in Science Express show that a chunk of hematite can conduct electrons under certain chemical conditions. In addition, the current causes some mineral surfaces to build up while others degrade. These results with iron oxide might be important for water quality, soil evolution, and environmental cleanup. "Considering iron as an important nutrient, the finding could help us understand how soils evolve from nutrient rich to nutrient poor," says lead investigator Kevin Rosso, a chemist at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "And it has implications for other common minerals such as pyrite and manganese oxides -- even particles in the atmosphere." Scientists have long known that electrons can travel through some iron oxides when a voltage is applied, but they have assumed that electrons stemming from chemical reactions alone won't move spontaneously through the mineral's bulk. That long-standing assumption has caused chemists to treat different faces of a hunk of mineral as independent entities that don't 'communicate' with each other. New results, published online March 6, 2008 in Science Express, suggest otherwise. "Now we know reactions at different faces of these minerals can couple together and yield behavior unique to semiconducting minerals," says Rosso. The team wondered if the iron being deposited on the top came from iron dissolving from the sides, building up in solution, and then redepositing. To test this, they separated the six cube surfaces into groups: They took two cubes, protected four sides from the solution on one, and on the other, protected the top and bottom. The acidic solution chewed away the unprotected surfaces, as expected. But the chemists didn't see any buildup on the unprotected top and bottom faces and instead saw degradation. This indicated the breakdown and buildup were not independent of each other. "The hematite won't grow pyramids without that surface being connected to the dissolving ones," says Rosso. The required physical connection hinted at electron conduction. Iron in solution, or Fe(II), contains one more electron than the iron in the crystal, Fe(III). If Fe(II) landed on the top, it might react with the surface, incorporate into the crystal and give up its electron. The electron could then flow through the crystal to the sides, where an atom of Fe(III) could pick up the electron and dissolve into the solution. To prove this, the chemists connected the electron flow with a wire. When they repeated the first experiment but connected the two cubes with a dab of silver, the team restored the pyramid buildup. Additional experiments allowed them to measure the electrical potential driving the current flow, which came out to 200 millivolts -- about 6% of the power needed for a keychain LED light, or about twice as much as in a nerve cell. / (Could there be a connection to 'telluric currents'? - JWD) - Source

03/16/08 - Disney Biometrics conditions young minds to accept the police state
KeelyNet These machines (which, I'm told, capture the shape of your fingertip instead of your fingerprint itself) are used to keep Disney World customers from sharing or re-selling their admission tickets, and are part of a general and growing police-state climate at the parks that includes routine bag-searches at each park entrance. The readers aren't very effective at stopping admission cheats. You can choose not to register your fingertip, and to use photo ID for admission instead. To all those parents who worry that Disney will turn their kids into little princesses, it's time to get priorities straight: the "security" at the parks is even more effective at conditioning your children to live in a police state. - Source / Go Ahead, Search My House - D.C. police are so eager to get guns out of the city that they're offering amnesty to people who allow officers to come into their homes and get the weapons. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier announced yesterday the Safe Homes Initiative, aimed at parents and guardians who know or suspect that their children or other relatives have guns. Under the deal, police target areas hit by violence and seek adults who let them search their homes for guns, with no risk of arrest. The offer also applies to drugs that turn up during the searches, police said. The program is scheduled to start March 24 in the Washington Highlands area of Southeast Washington. Officers will go door-to-door seeking permission to search homes for weapons.

03/16/08 - Swarm Robot Immune System?
"Researchers are investigating large swarms of up to 10,000 miniature robots which can work together to form a single, artificial life form. A resulting artificial immune system is expected to be able to detect faults and make recommendations to a high-level control system about corrective action - much like how a person's natural immune system is able to cope with unfamiliar pathogens." - Source

03/16/08 - Customs-Proof Your Laptop
KeelyNet If you've got plans to travel outside of the country in the near future and you plan on taking your laptop, the Iconoclast weblog details how to secure and customs-proof your laptop so that your sensitive information is protected. Customs officials have been stepping up electronic searches of laptops at the border, where travelers enjoy little privacy and have no legal grounds to object. Laptops and other electronic devices can be seized without reason, their contents copied, and the hardware returned hours or even weeks later.... The information security implications are worrisome. The guide suggests data encryption methods that will keep your sensitive data private, highlighting apps like TrueCrypt. - Source

03/16/08 - New technique enables imaging of minute structures
In one of the first projects to refine imaging technique to the point of near-atomic level resolution, scientists have captured a three-dimensional image of a virus at a resolution of 4.5 angstroms (approximately 1 million angstroms equal the diameter of human hair). The imaging technique, called cryo-EM, has the added benefit of maintaining the sample being studied in a state very similar to its natural environment, according to a Purdue University press release. “Getting to 4.5 angstrom using this technique is a watershed of sorts because it is the first time we can actually trace the polypeptide chain - the backbone of proteins. Now we can see the tiny gears and levers that allow the proteins to move and interact as they carry out their intricate biological roles.” In electron microscopy, a beam of electrons takes the place of the light beam used in a conventional microscope. The use of electrons instead of light allows the microscope to ‘see’ in much greater detail. Cryo-EM cools specimens to temperatures well below the freezing point of water. This decreases damage from the electron beam and allows the specimens to be examined for a longer period of time. Longer exposure time allows for sharper, more detailed images. Researchers using cryo-EM had obtained images at a resolution of 6-9 angstroms but could not differentiate between smaller elements of the structure spaced only 4.5 angstroms apart. - Source

03/16/08 - Teen pregnancy threat to mankind
KeelyNet A World Health Organisation (WHO) academic has branded unwanted teenage pregnancies following bouts of binge drinking the "greatest threat to mankind", saying that it is contributing to the world's unsustainable population growth. "Every single week a new city of 1.7 million could be created, and the current global population growth is unsustainable," quoted John Gillebaud as telling a conference in Canberra via video link from London. "Each year, there are around 80 million unwanted pregnancies and 30 million of these are aborted. The inconvenient truth is, the world is already overpopulated and soon we may experience shortages of food and water," he added. He also blamed reckless alcohol consumption for the rise in unwanted teenage pregnancies. "Alcohol causes more unwanted teenage pregnancies than anything else," he said. - Source

03/16/08 - The US Economy Depends On Bubbles
Quote: That the Internet and housing hyperinflations transpired within a period of ten years, each creating trillions of dollars in fake wealth, is, I believe, only the beginning. There will and must be many more such booms, for without them the economy of the United States can no longer function. The bubble cycle has replaced the business cycle. / What industry will next experience a bubble?: There is one industry that fits the bill: alternative energy, the development of more energy-efficient products, along with viable alternatives to oil, including wind, solar, and geothermal power, along with the use of nuclear energy to produce sustainable oil substitutes, such as liquefied hydrogen from water. - Source

03/16/08 - AI researchers think 'Rascals' can pass Turing test
Passing the Turing test--the holy grail of artificial intelligence (AI), whereby a human conversing with a computer can't tell it's not human--may now be possible in a limited way with the world's fastest supercomputer (IBM's Blue Gene), according to AI experts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. RPI is aiming to pass AI's final exam this fall, by pairing the most powerful university-based supercomputing system in the world with a new multimedia group designing a holodeck, a la Star Trek. "We are building a knowledge base that corresponds to all of the relevant background for our synthetic character--where he went to school, what his family is like, and so on," said Selmer Bringsjord, head of Rensselaer's Cognitive Science Department and leader of the research project. "We want to engineer, from the start, a full-blown intelligent character and converse with him in an interactive environment like the holodeck from Star Trek." "This synthetic person based on our mathematical theory will carry on a conversation about himself, including his own mental states and the mental states of others," said Bringsjord. "Our artificial intelligence algorithm is now making this possible, but we need a supercomputer to get real-time performance." - Source

03/14/08 - Study Shows Hybrid Effect on Power Distribution
A growing number of plug-in hybrid electric cars and trucks could require major new power generation resources or none at all- depending on when people recharge their automobiles. A recent ORNL study examined how an expected increase in ownership of hybrid electric cars and trucks will affect the power grid depending on what time of day or night the vehicles are charged. - Source

03/14/08 - Powering the Future
Chances are you've heard of hybrids and biofuels, but what about oil-producing yeast and turbinelike buoys that transform ocean waves into electricity? Those are just a couple of the alternative-energy sources that may power the future according to Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund and coauthor, with Miriam Horn, of the new book "Earth: The Sequel" (Norton). "Everyone knows the current story of melting glaciers, rising sea levels, worsening hurricanes, dying coral reefs," said Krupp. "'The Sequel' is the story of what happens next. We are just on the threshold of a great race." While he says oft-cited solar power technology is our best bet for now, Krupp emphasizes that quirkier projects, like algae concoctions that eat up carbon emissions, are essential elements of a smart, diversified energy strategy. - Source

03/14/08 - Sodium Sulfur Batteries to be Used for Energy Storage at MN Windfarm
Xcel Energy, (NYSE: XEL)in partnership with the University of Minnesota, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Great Plains Institute, will soon begin testing a one-megawatt sodium-sulfur battery storage system to demonstrate its ability to store wind energy and dispatch it to the electricity grid when needed. Fully charged, the batteries could power 500 homes for six and one-half hours. The 50-kilowatt battery modules, 20 in total, will be roughly the size of two semi trailers and weigh approximately 60 tons. They will be able to store about 6.5 megawatt-hours of electricity, with a charge/discharge capacity of one megawatt. When the wind blows, the batteries are charged. When the wind calms down, the batteries can be used to supply energy to the grid as needed. The 50-kilowatt battery modules, 20 in total, will be roughly the size of two semi trailers and weigh approximately 60 tons. They will be able to store about 6.5 megawatt-hours of electricity, with a charge/discharge capacity of one megawatt. When the wind blows, the batteries are charged. When the wind calms down, the batteries can be used to supply energy to the grid as needed." - Source

03/14/08 - $12 Billion Per Month
The flow of blood may be ebbing, but the flood of money into the Iraq war is steadily rising, new analyses show. In 2008, its sixth year, the war will cost approximately $12 billion a month, triple the "burn" rate of its earliest years, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and co-author Linda J. Bilmes report in a new book. - Source

03/14/08 - Sack of Dog
KeelyNet When you take your dog along for a ride, but prefer not having it inside the car, it can ride safely and comfortably in this sack, which is carried on the running board. The bottom of the sack is clamped to the running board and the top is fastened to the lower part of an open window with hooks, covered with small rubber tubing to prevent marring the car. / (I might try this with my puppy so he can ride and sniff to his hearts content. - JWD) - Source

03/14/08 - GM, Toyota Dismiss Fuel Cells for Mass Use
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that executives from General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp., at the Geneva Auto Show Tuesday, "expressed doubts about the viability of hydrogen fuel cells for mass-market production in the near term and suggested their companies are now betting that electric cars will prove to be a better way to reduce fuel consumption and cut tailpipe emissions on a large scale." Both GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz and Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe expressed strong opinions that fuel cells are too expensive and will be for some time and that advances in lithium-ion batteries make them much more practical as a mass-market product. - Source

03/14/08 - The Endless Drive - March 2008, Week 2
KeelyNet The $44 docking station will take just about any kind of 3.5-inch hard drive; just plug them in and plug them out. Whenever you get a new computer, there's the problem of what to do with all the stuff stored on the old computer. You can transfer the files easily enough, and there is software that will also transfer programs to the new computer. But the transfers are sometimes difficult to manage, and they don't always work perfectly. So why not ignore the whole problem and just remove the old hard drive instead? It's not difficult: You turn off the computer, remove the outer case, unscrew the screws holding the drive in place, and unplug its connecting cords. This takes about five minutes. Now you have everything that was on the old computer and no problems with any of it being messed up by transfer attempts. Just plug that old disk drive into the docking station and it becomes something like an enormous floppy disk. There is one problem that might come up, and that's if the new computer has a different operating system. Some old programs won't work on a different operating system -- like changing from Windows XP to Windows Vista -- but the files can always be read. Having a docking station brings up the possibility of a virtually limitless floppy. Hundred-gigabyte drives have become common, and they're cheap. Even name-brand drives this size sell for just $50 or $60. A hundred gigabytes is like 150 CDs -- huge storage. But there's no reason to stop there. You can have 10 100-gig drives and plug them in and out, or go with just one humongous terabyte drive, like the one we recently got from Samsung. The SpinPoint F1 retails for $399 from Samsung, but we found it for $319 at (Search for "Samsung terabyte.") The docking station that makes this whole idea of swapping hard disk drives possible is the SATA HDD Stage Rack (2.5- and 3.5-inch), and we found it at - Source

03/14/08 - Fix Desynchronized Video and Audio with VLC
If you've spent hours ripping a DVD or downloading a video just to find-when all's said and done-that the audio and video aren't matching up, reader Will suggests using video-Swiss-Army-knife VLC's desynchronization feature to sync up the audio. In the VLC Preferences, click on Audio and then tick the Advanced options checkbox; there is an Audio desynchronization compensation setting that allows you to set a positive or negative time delay between the video and audio tracks in milliseconds. I find unsynchronized video/audio unbearable, and have been known to delete files without watching them for it. It never occurred to me that there would be such a simple solution! Will points out that you need to stop and start the movie each time you make an adjustment, but if you've been banging your head against the wall over poorly synced audio, VLC can make quick work of it. (via - Source

03/14/08 - Is vinegar the secret ingredient for biofuels?
To make ethanol, you want to make vinegar first, according to ZeaChem. The biofuel start-up, which has moved from Colorado to Silicon Valley, says it has come up with a method of making cellulosic ethanol that results in close to 40 percent more fuel per ton of wood chips than competing processes. By 2010 or so, the company hopes to be producing ethanol commercially for 80 cents a gallon at wholesale. That could translate to anywhere from $1.10 to $1.50 at the pump, depending on a host of factors... - Source

03/14/08 - Nerve-tapping neckband used in 'telepathic' chat
A neckband that translates thought into speech by picking up nerve signals has been used to demonstrate a "voiceless" phone call for the first time. With careful training a person can send nerve signals to their vocal cords without making a sound. These signals are picked up by the neckband and relayed wirelessly to a computer that converts them into words spoken by a computerised voice. "I can still talk verbally at the same time," Callahan told New Scientist. "We can differentiate between when you want to talk silently, and when you want to talk out loud." That could be useful in certain situations, he says, for example when making a private call while out in public. The system demonstrated at the TI conference can recognise only a limited set of about 150 words and phrases, says Callahan, who likens this to the early days of speech recognition software. - Source

03/14/08 - Mozilla speeds up Firefox
Users say it's twice as fast as Safari, three times faster than IE. According to benchmark tests, Firefox 3.0 is dramatically faster than its predecessor and rivals -- the result of hundreds of performance improvements designed to make the open-source browser the best at running complex Web 2.0 applications, Mozilla Corp.'s chief developer claimed today. "There are lots of ways to 'game' the system [in benchmarks], but what we're trying to do is speed up the things that enable people to run the really heavy-duty applications on the Web." Firefox 3.0 Beta 4 can be downloaded for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux in 36 languages from Mozilla's site. - Source

03/14/08 - Hydrogen Cars Are Here - Now We Need A Fueling Infrastructure
KeelyNet Where do we get the hydrogen? There are 36 hydrogen fueling stations in the United States, and two thirds of them are in California. Increasing that number in any meaningful way remains the biggest - and most pressing - challenge keeping us from traveling the hydrogen highway. The federal government has spent $1.2 billion on hydrogen in the five years since President Bush announced an initiative to develop a national hydrogen infrastructure. We'll need a whole lot more than that if we're to meet the president's goal of replacing fossil fuels by 2040. Hydrogen advocates like the National Hydrogen Association say we could put 70 percent of all Americans within 2 miles of a hydrogen fueling station for $10 to $15 billion. They like to point out that's half the cost of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (in today's dollars) and about what we're spending each month in Iraq. - Source

03/14/08 - Chemical in bug spray works by masking human odors
Despite decades of research, scientists still didn't know precisely how DEET worked. Now, by pinpointing DEET's molecular target in insects, researchers at Rockefeller University have definitively shown that the widely used bug repellent acts like a chemical cloak, masking human odors that blood-feeding insects find attractive. By targeting the coreceptor complex rather than the coreceptor alone, DEET doesn't shut down the entire olfactory system, says Vosshall. "Instead, it seems to shut down strategically different parts of it. It just shuts down enough of these receptors to confuse the mosquito or blind it to the odors it finds attractive." Although DEET is widely used, concerns about its potential health risks have prompted scientists to pursue alternatives, though so far none have proven to be significantly more effective than DEET. "We now know how DEET works, and this is the first step in making significantly better insect repellents," says Vosshall. - Source

03/12/08 - Dominican expert says he’s created a chip based on fractal theory
KeelyNet Engineer Luis Jose Quiñones said the integrated circuit he calls DBC 440 would allow the creation of digital structures in fractal form, different from those currently manufacture. He said a fractal is a semi-geometric object whose basic structure is repeated on different scales, leading to more perfect symmetrical and harmonic structures, mentioning a flower, a tree and even a human being as examples of natural fractals. Quiñones said his DBC 440 chip, already in the patenting process, would be used not only in the computers, but also in cameras and all equipment with digital structures. - Source

03/12/08 - 6th Grader wins $25,000 Contest for Sink Turbine
The "drain wheel" generates electricity from waste water, out of more than 300 inventions at the K-8 Astounding Inventions showcase in January at Irvine Valley College for its first-place award: a patent search and consulting advice to get the product out. The winner was chosen March 6. Nina explains that her gadget is like the water wheels that powered corn mills during the gold rush, but "this is tiny and fits in like a little drain." How it works: Water falls down the drain, hits the blades of the water wheel, causing it to turn. That turns a connected electric generator that converts rotational energy into electrical energy. The energy can go to a wall socket or be stored in a battery. And the inventor's a 12-year-old, by the way. - Source

03/12/08 - The vitamin D miracle: Is it for real?
KeelyNet In the summer of 1974, brothers Frank and Cedric Garland had a heretical brainwave. The young epidemiologists were watching a presentation on death rates from cancer county by county across the United States. As they sat in a lecture hall at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore looking at the colour-coded cancer maps, they noticed a striking pattern, with the map for colon cancer the most pronounced. Counties with high death rates were red; those with low rates were blue. Oddly, the nation was almost neatly divided in half, red in the north and blue in the south. Why, they wondered, was the risk of dying from cancer greater in bucolic Maine than in highly polluted Southern California? The two had arrived at Johns Hopkins a few days earlier, having driven their Mustang from their hometown of San Diego. Frank was about to begin graduate studies and Cedric his first job as a professor. It was July, and the trip through the sunny South gave them an idea as they studied the cancer maps: Exposure to sunshine varies dramatically depending on the latitude. What if that's what was behind the varying cancer rates? The benefits of vitamin D are no longer restricted to cancer prevention: Studies have linked a shortage of the compound to such serious, chronic ailments as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, heart disease, influenza and schizophrenia. So compelling is the latest research that a number of credible medical researchers and public-health advocates, many of them in Canada, have started taking doses far above 200 to 600 international units - the daily intake recommended by Health Canada, depending on age with an upper limit of 2,000 IU. Canada's leading vitamin D researcher, the University of Toronto's Reinhold Vieth, says he has been knocking back 8,000 units a day - four times the maximum - for years. - Source

03/12/08 - Cats Help Shield Owners From Heart Attack
Whether it's a frisky kitten or a tubby tabby, a cat at home could cut your heart attack risk by almost a third, a new study suggests. The finding, from a 10-year study of more than 4,300 Americans, suggests that the stress relief pets provide humans is heart-healthy. Cat owners "appeared to have a lower rate of dying from heart attacks" over 10 years of follow-up compared to feline-free folk, Qureshi said. The magnitude of the effect -- a 30 percent reduction in heart attack risk -- "was a little bit surprising," he added. "We certainly expected an effect, because we thought that there was a biologically plausible mechanism at work. But the magnitude of the effect was hard to predict." - Source

03/12/08 - If It Doesn't Rot, Don't Eat It
KeelyNet Health author Michael Pollon discusses the state of the food industry and its relation to our health. The interview offers several interesting health tips, but if you're looking for quick and simple rules of thumb to add to your health regimen, Pollon suggests one tip that's sure to help: "don't eat any food that's incapable of rotting." This idea subscribes to the common wisdom that the more processed a food is (and therefore, less susceptible to rot), the less healthy it is. Granted, this isn't an altogether new idea (nor is it without exceptions), but it is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind next time you're reaching into your snack pantry. Check out the article for more useful, common sense tips for staying healthy with your food choices, and share your best healthy-eating rules of thumb in the comments. - Source

03/12/08 - Look at me culture discovers charity giving
Charity may begin at home, but it only counts if there's an audience. That's the implied message of what some are calling "competitive compassion," a trend quickly turning philanthropy into an exercise in self-congratulation. Putting the "I" in charity, Facebook's Causes application allows Canadians to flaunt their benevolence with all the subtlety of a Pride parade, displaying everything from the money they've personally raised to the number of friends they've recruited for their preferred charity or non-profit. "Charitable giving has become both a fashion trend on the red carpet and a competitive sport on TV, with celebrigiants like (Donald) Trump and Oprah vying for first prize in the PR game. I think the public knows that real giving has no entertainment value, nor is it likely to occur with cameras flashing." Just as wealthy seniors demand their names on marquees or university buildings in exchange for their cash, it seems ordinary Canadians want as much recognition for themselves as their cause. - Source

03/12/08 - Noah's Ark on the moon
BOFFINS are planning to build a “Noah’s Ark” on the moon so survivors of a global catastrophe can rebuild civilisation on Earth. A vault buried under the lunar surface would contain details of DNA, crop growing and even metal smelting. The information in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish, would be transmitted from the moon to 4,000 special bunkers on Earth. Survivors of a nuclear war or asteroid strike could use the knowledge to restart modern life. Also stored in the vault would be animal embryos and plants so species could be restored - if rocket technology survives. / (I have long thought the moon is probably already hollow, designed and manufactured artificially as just such a preservation Ark by earlier civilizations or ET helpers. When we finally have a colony and begin exploring, this will be discovered. - JWD) - Source

03/12/08 - Electric Vehicles Could Strain Water Supplies
Plugged-in hybrid electric vehicles run on electric mode for a limited distance before they switch to an internal combustion engine for longer trips, while fully electric vehicles operate solely off batteries. Both are presumed to be better for the planet than normal vehicles, because they release fewer emissions into the air. But these hybrid and fully electric cars rely in part on water. Specifically, the power plants that produce the electricity typically use water primarily to cool down the systems. Such water consumption might be especially of concern in the United States "in the Southwest and Southeast and the West, where water resources are definitely strained," said researcher Michael Webber, a mechanical engineer at the University of Texas at Austin. Webber and colleague Carey King compared the amount of water used, withdrawn and consumed during petroleum refining and electricity generation in the United States. They estimate that plugged-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles could sharply increase the country's water consumption, with each mile driven with electricity demanding roughly three times more water than gasoline. The researchers note these concerns do not necessarily mean electric cars are undesirable. "It just means there might be some tradeoffs," Webber said. - Source

03/12/08 - Tackling urban gridlock with foldable car
KeelyNet Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have devised just such a vehicle, a futuristic "City Car" that could even drive itself. Once at your destination, the vehicle's computers would, at the press of a button, look for a parking spot behind others like itself, then fold roughly in half so you could stack it there as you would a shopping cart. Their golf cart-sized vehicle could provide a novel solution to the chronic traffic congestion afflicting cities across the United States, Europe and Asia -- not to mention pollution and energy use, since it would run on a rechargeable battery, the researchers say. On the drawing board, their two-seater is roughly half the size of a typical compact automobile and a little smaller than the Smart car made by Daimler's Mercedes-Benz. "It's a virtual computer on wheels," said Franco Vairani, designer of the vehicle's foldable frame, which he predicts will shrink the car to as little as an eighth the space needed to park the average car. While parked, it would hook up to an electricity grid for recharging, he added. Hundreds could be stacked around a city and "you would just go and swipe your (credit) card and take the first one available and drive away," Vairani said, seated by his computerized drawing board. People wouldn't have to worry about where to park their cars in town and automobiles would take up less urban space, leaving more room for parks and walkways, he added. Peter Schmitt, a team engineer, says the car would have independently powered robotic wheels and be controlled using a computerized drive-by-wire system with a button or joystick. - Source

03/12/08 - Move Water with Water
The ram pump is, quite simply, an air-breathing invention that supplies water to your house, livestock and garden 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s done without the help of electricity and only a couple of moving parts. It’s ingenious, and it has saved the backs of humans for centuries. Unlike many pumps, the ram pump is not immersed; it needs air and a water supply to operate. The water source can be a creek, river, spring or pond as long as the water intake is located upstream (at a higher elevation) from the collection point at the pump. Water (from the source) travels down the drive pipe to the pump, where, with the help of a flow-actuated check (clack) valve, the flow is intermittently stopped and started. Thanks to the physical laws relating to inertia, abruptly halting flow in the drive pipe causes the water column to behave a little like a hammer. That hydraulic hammering then forces about 15 percent of the water through a one-way check valve and into an air-filled pressure tank, which in turn feeds the delivery line. The remaining 85 percent of the water flows through the clack valve when it drops open (see illustrations). Once the flow gets back up to speed, it slams shut once again, and the process repeats itself several times a minute to deliver a steady supply. As long as water flows, the ram pump won’t freeze. The ram pump’s process is wonderfully perpetual, but small things can interrupt the rhythm. For example, a small clog in the source’s drive pipe can reduce flow enough that the clack valve won’t close, thus shutting the pump down. With a little care, you can keep the frequency of ram pump outages well below electric service outages, which will render most other water supply pumps idle. - Source

03/12/08 - How I almost made Millions from the Drought
I must have flushed my toilet-a device that I know is a legendary waterwaster-a hundred times in one day while researching the problem. My poor well gave a hollow echo as it dried up from overuse . . . and just as the last droplets dribbled slowly into the tank, my own sudden water shortage provided inspiration. I had the answer! My idea was, in fact, so simple that I wondered why no one had ever thought of it before. Since only about a third of a tank is necessary to flush away liquid waste efficiently, why do modern commodes use a whole tankful of water to do so? What's needed, I figured, is a two-way toilet flush valve: Turn it one way for solid waste and the opposite way for liquid waste! I calculated that each American flushes five times a day: twice for solid wastes and three times for liquids. (I didn't even count those folks who use five gallons of pure water to get rid of cigarette butts, and I left out about 25 million little children . . . as well as people with outhouses and an assortment of other nonflushers.) On the basis of those figures, I quickly recognized that a two-way valve could save ten gallons per person daily. Then, by multiplying that amount by an estimated 200 million people in the U.S. who use conventional commodes, I concluded that two billion gallons of pure drinking water per day wouldn't need to be taken from our streams and wells . . . wouldn't have to be treated with chemicals . . . and wouldn't eventually be dumped into our rivers. Furthermore, at an average processing cost of $500 per million gallons, the dollars saved each day would total a nice round million . . . or $365 million a year. If I got only a 5% royalty on the money saved by my invention, I'd be in the megabucks, earning over $18 million a year. - Source

03/12/08 - Patent Pending in One Hour…Without An Attorney
Patent rights begin when a patent issues on an invention, and the only way to get a patent is to file a nonprovisional patent application. However, as many of you know, you can file a “placemarker” application that elevates your invention to the status of “patent pending,” and gives you one full year in which to pursue a nonprovisional patent application without losing rights to the invention. Such an application, called a provisional patent application, can be written by an inventor, but only after proper instruction and practice. Do not be fooled by claims that you can get your invention “patent pending” by registering for a copyright, filing with the Writer’s Guild, sending yourself a description of the invention in a “poor man’s patent,” or any other method. The ONLY way to get your invention patent pending is by filing a provisional or nonprovisional patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. - Source

03/12/08 - Great Invention Idea? It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No, It's You!!!
KeelyNet United States patent 4756555 issued in 1988 is for a Wing Apparatus for Skiers. And United States patent 7097134 issued in 2004 is for a Wing Device for Sporting Activities. The inventions resemble a hang-glider or hand-glider. The apparatus consists of two very large wings attached to a skier's body with a harness. Patent 4756555 , the older of the two patents, reveals its age with its more primitive steering design: each wing has a handle resembling a joystick the skier uses to maneuver the wings (hopefully). As a skier descends from the top of a mountain the wings work to create an aerodynamic lift and the skier literally flies down the slope! Patent 7097134 has the same wings attached to a harness design, only the user slides his arms into the wings through a corresponding sleeve, allowing him to become one with his avionic fantasy. Unlike the previous patent, 7097134 is supposedly compatible with all sorts of sporting activities. - Source

03/12/08 - Professor develops ‘wearable kidney’
Victor Gura has invented and is currently working on improving a device called a wearable artificial kidney that would make those suffering from kidney failure able to treat themselves on a continual basis. Approximately 26 million people in the United States suffer from varying stages of chronic kidney disease, which can lead to end stage renal disease or total kidney failure, according to the National Kidney Foundation. The role of the kidney is to purify the body’s blood of toxins such as urea and creatine. As a result, death may result from kidney disease. When the kidneys fail, dialysis, a procedure by which a patient’s blood is cleaned through an external process, must be performed. There are two types of dialysis, said Thomas Morring, a dialysis nurse at the UCLA Dialysis Unit. One type is called hemodialysis, which removes blood from the body and runs it through a solution of water and several vital minerals. The process is usually performed in a clinic for long periods of time, several times a week, and it often leaves patients worn out and tired from draining blood. Gura’s invention is essentially hemodialysis that can be done at home, like peritoneal dialysis, Roy added. “We decided to take a 200-pound machine that looks like a washing machine and miniaturize it,” Gura said. “You can put it on your body and walk around with it.” He said that this required making the device light, powered only by batteries and independent of large sources of water. Gura added that there is reason to hope that usage of his invention could cut in half the mortality rate of kidney failure, which rivals that of breast cancer. He noted that this could mean saving upwards of 40,000 lives and reducing as much as $10 billion dollars in expenses. - Source

03/10/08 - A never-ending march to higher gasoline prices
KeelyNet Most consumers probably understand the term "inflation adjusted." However, they don't give a rip that today's prices of oil are the same as they were 28 years ago, inflation adjusted or not. Monday a barrel of oil hit $103.95 on the New York Mercantile Exchange before closing at $102.45. Take away the inflation adjustment and the price of oil per barrel in 1980 was $39.50. What consumers surely understand is what they are paying at the pump today. What's responsible for this latest hike? This time the weakness of the U.S. dollar is being blamed, and oil is traded in dollars. When the dollar is worth less, oil producers charge more to take advantage of higher prices paid in euros and yen. The president, while unlikely to help in any meaningful way to lower gas prices, apparently is also clueless to the situation. In response to the question, "What's your advice to the average American who is hurting now - facing the prospect of $4 a gallon gasoline..." Bush interrupted, "Wait a minute. What did you just say? You're predicting $4 a gallon gas?" The questioner responded, "A number of analysts are predicting $4 a gallon gasoline this spring when they reformulate." Bush said, "That's interesting. I hadn't heard that." The predictions of higher gas prices will surely come true. Where will it all end? There is no end in sight. America must ween itself from foreign energy and open up oil exploration in domestic fields. Moving in that direction would allow us to cut back on imported oil and leave us less open to the fickleness of oil exporters and home-grown speculators. - Source

03/10/08 - Using Mega-Cash Prizes to Incentivize Revolutionary Science
KeelyNet A new paper in Medical Hypotheses suggests that very big cash prizes could specifically be targeted to stimulate ‘revolutionary’ science. Usually, prizes tend to stimulate ‘applied’ science as in the most famous example of Harrison’s improved clock solving the ‘longitude’ problem. But for prizes successfully to stimulate revolutionary science the prizes need to be three key elements. 1.) Very large (and we are talking seven figure ‘pop star’ earnings, here) to compensate for the high risk of failure when tackling major scientific problems. 2.) Awarded to scientists at a young enough age that it influences their behavior in (about) their mid-late twenties when they are deciding on their career path. 3.) Include objective and transparent scientometric criteria, to prevent the prize award process being corrupted by ‘political’ incentives. Such mega-cash prizes, in sufficient numbers, might incentivize some of the very best young scientists to make more ambitious, long-term but high-risk career choices. The real winner of this would be society as a whole; since ordinary science can successfully be done by second-raters but only first-rate scientists can tackle the toughest scientific problems. - Source - and if you would like to invest in a far-reaching enterprise, check out my Vanguard Sciences Lab Project.

03/10/08 - Turning Glare Into Watts
KeelyNet Solar Thermal involves covering acres of desert with mirrors that focus intense sunlight on a fluid, heating it enough to make steam. The steam turns a turbine and generates electricity. The technology is not new, but it is suddenly in high demand. After a decade of no activity, two prototype solar thermal plants were recently opened in the United States, with a capacity that could power several big hotels, neon included, on the Las Vegas Strip, about 20 miles north of here. Another 10 power plants are in advanced planning in California, Arizona and Nevada. On sunny afternoons, those 10 plants would produce as much electricity as three nuclear reactors, but they can be built in as little as two years, compared with a decade or longer for a nuclear plant. Some of the new plants will feature systems that allow them to store heat and generate electricity for hours after sunset. The workability of solar thermal power was established in the 1980s, when developers in California built a series of plants in the Mojave Desert, eventually reaching 354 megawatts of capacity. A megawatt is enough electricity to run 1,000 room air-conditioners at once. - Source

03/10/08 - Storing Wind Energy
Xcel Energy will soon begin testing a 1MW battery-storage technology to demonstrate its ability to store wind energy and move it to the electricity grid when needed. Fully charged, the battery storage system could power 500 homes for over 7 hours. The 20 50kW sodium-sulphur batteries for the project - roughly the size of two semi trailers and weighing approximately 80 tons - will be supplied by NGK Insulators. They will be able to store about 7.2MW-hours of electricity, with a charge/discharge capacity of 1MW. - Source

03/10/08 - PV You Can Drive On: Promising Technology in Solar Roads
KeelyNet The concept of using road surfaces to generate clean solar power is moving beyond the idea stage. Roads absorb heat from the sun every day and are usually free of sightline obstructions that could otherwise block the transmission of light rays. And if the roads built for cars and driving are partly to blame for global warming, why not make them part of the solution too? Caltech solar energy expert Nate Lewis suggests covering just 1.7 percent of continental U.S. land surface with photovoltaic (PV) solar collectors could produce enough power to meet the nation's total energy demand. The heart of the solar roadway concept is the solar road panel. Each individual panel consists of three basic layers, the road surface layer, which is translucent and high-strength yet rough enough to provide traction. The surface layer is capable of handling today's heaviest loads under the worst of conditions and protect the electronics layer beneath it. Next is the electronics layer, which contains a large array of cells, the bulk of which contain solar collecting cells with LEDs for "painting" the road surface. These cells also contain the "Super" or "Ultra" caps that store the sun's energy for later use. Batteries are not used in the solar roadway. Since each solar road panel manages its own electricity generation, storage, and distribution, they can heat themselves in northern climates to eliminate snow and ice accumulation. The third layer is the base plate layer, which distributes power (collected from the electronics layer) and data signals (phone, TV, internet, etc.) "downline" to all homes and businesses connected to the solar roadway. The power and data signals are passed through each of the four sides of the base plate layer. The base plate layer is directly attached to vertical risers, pneumatic or hydraulic pistons that raise or lower different points of individual solar road panels. Riser bases are installed beneath the frost line to avoid the "heaving" phenomenon common in colder climates where the ground freezes and thaws. This provides a natural earth ground for the electronics layer of the Solar Road Panels. The risers are controlled (raised, lowered, or locked) by the solar road panel's microprocessor board. The microprocessor board communicates with each adjacent panel to ensure a seamless road surface. - Source

03/10/08 - The Theory of Over-Unity and Flight...
The essence of over-unity in two sentences: Scientists hold that the conservation of momentum proves that over-unity cannot exist by demonstrating how this law holds during a /single elastic collision/. Over-unity, however, is demonstrated by utilising the result of a series of /successive elastic collisions/. The laws and equations used are no more than those taught in basic high school physics, and anyone claiming to be on this level shouldn't take more than 5 minutes to grasp the principle explained in this document... (via - Source

03/10/08 - Company Prints Solar Cells With Inkjet Printer!
KeelyNet Massachusetts-based Konarka Technologies announced today that it has successfully demonstrated the ability to PRINT SOLAR CELLS WITH AN INKJET PRINTER. The technology could be used to radically reduce the cost of making solar panels. - Source

03/10/08 - Wanted: Einstein Jr
In the 1840s an astronomer called Urbain Le Verrier noticed there was something wrong with the orbit of Mercury. The main axis of the planet's orbital ellipse shifts each time it goes round the sun. That was well known, and is caused by the gravitational pull of Venus. Le Verrier, however, realised that the orbit was shifting too fast. The excess was a tiny fraction of a degree. But it was a disturbing departure from the purity of Newton's majestic clockwork. In 1990 mission controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, which operates America's unmanned interplanetary space probes, noticed something odd happen to a Jupiter-bound craft, called Galileo. As it was flung around the Earth in what is known as a slingshot manoeuvre (designed to speed it on its way to the outer solar system), Galileo picked up more velocity than expected. Not much. Four millimetres a second, to be precise. But well within the range that can reliably be detected. Once might be happenstance. But this strange extra acceleration was seen subsequently with two other craft. Each year the Pioneers fall a further 5,000km behind their projected paths. Hundreds of scientific papers have been written on the Pioneer anomalies, many of them trying to find explanations beyond the current laws of gravity. Dr Anderson and his team have worked out the exact amount of extra speed that should be observed when they analyse the data from a slingshot last November, which involved a craft called Rosetta. If their prediction is correct, it will confirm that the phenomenon is real and that their formula is capturing its essence. Although the cause would remain unknown, a likely explanation is that something in the laws of gravity needs radical revision. - Source

03/10/08 - New Paint Designed to Generate Solar Electricity
KeelyNet Scientists are developing a way to paint solar cells onto the steel sheets commonly used to clad large buildings. Steel sheets are painted rapidly in steel mills by passing them through rollers. The process is expected to cover steel sheets with a photovoltaic paint at up to 40 square metres per minute. The paint will be based on dye-sensitised solar cells. Instead of absorbing sunlight using silicon like conventional solar panels, they use dye molecules attached to particles of the titanium dioxide pigment used in paints. While less efficient than conventional cells, dye-based cells do not require expensive silicon, and can be applied as a liquid paste. - Source

03/10/08 - Time change tied to car crashes
That could mean drowsier drivers hitting the road Monday, some sleep researchers say. Police statistics requested by the Free Press confirm that the Mondays after the springtime change are worse than usual for traffic crashes. According to State Police vehicle accident numbers for 2002-06, the Mondays after the switch to daylight saving time were worse compared to an average day that month and for an average Monday. The Monday after the time change averaged 1,397 crashes. An average day that month had about 840 accidents and an average Monday had about 1,022 crashes. There were more injuries but fewer fatalities than normal, said Piétro Semifero of the State Police's Office of Highway Safety Planning. - Source

03/10/08 - AP Probe Finds Drugs in Drinking Water
Drugs including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones - have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows. - Anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications were detected in a portion of the treated drinking water for 18.5 million people in Southern California. - Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed a Passaic Valley Water Commission drinking water treatment plant, which serves 850,000 people in Northern New Jersey, and found a metabolized angina medicine and the mood-stabilizing carbamazepine in drinking water. - A sex hormone was detected in San Francisco's drinking water. - The drinking water for Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas tested positive for six pharmaceuticals. - Three medications, including an antibiotic, were found in drinking water supplied to Tucson, Ariz. - Source

03/10/08 - Solar Company Says It Can Power 90% of Grid and Cars
Solar-power-plant company Ausra has released a paper claiming that solar-thermal electric technology can provide 90 percent of U.S. grid electricity, with enough left over to power a fleet of plug-in electric vehicles. The company estimates that such a changeover would eliminate 40 percent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions with a land footprint of 9,600 square miles, about the size of Vermont. The key to the scenario, however, is developing the ability to store energy for 16 hours, thus creating a stable power source through cloudy periods and the night, a feat that has so far eluded engineers. Mills' paper reveals some interesting statistics about the construction cost of solar-thermal technologies: $3,000 per kilowatt of capacity, but estimated to drop to $1,500 per kW over the next "several" years. The New York Times last year quoted GE Energy executives giving construction costs for coal plants at $2,000 to $3,000 per kilowatt. Ausra says it can generate electricity for 10 cents a kilowatt hour, which is close to the cost of natural gas, and it expects the price to drop even further. - Source

03/10/08 - The Sporty Future of Electric Cars: the Lightning GT
KeelyNet The Lightning GT has some sweet features, like full regenerative braking, 0-60mph in 5 seconds (4 seconds projected for the sport version), and even claims to charge up to 250 miles of driving in just 10 minutes. On the battery end of things the GT uses what they call NanoSafe™ technology, which is based on technology by the US company Altairnano Inc. These nano-tech-employing batteries should hold 85% life after an amazing 15,000 cycles and are the reason that Lightning claims its extremely fast 10-minute recharge rate. The Lightning’s interior will also be designed to complement the unique electric driving experience. - Source

03/10/08 - Rise and rise of the GPS mobile
More and more mobile phones will come equipped with chips that communicate with satellites in space, providing pinpoint data about your location, in theory at least. In fact, mobile market leader Nokia expects to ship 35 million GPS-phones in 2008. GPS devices already highlight points of interest like famous landmarks or motorway services, and because mobile phones can receive constant updates, information relevant to a user's exact location can appear instantly on a handset. Combining social networking and GPS means users can take photos, upload and tag them on a map on the move, as well as locating friends in a network via GPS. Italian developers have created Ubisafe, software which, when used in conjunction with GPS enabled phones, will allow parents to check out their children's exact location. Bunking off school could now become even more of a challenge for unruly youngsters. Truants could of course leave their mobile in school locker for the duration of the day, and mum and dad would be none the wiser. This application can also act a GPS alert service for elderly relatives. Hit the alert key on a phone and relatives or carers will be immediately contacted with the exact location of a user in distress. - Source

03/08/08 - New Heat Exchanger Invention increases boiler efficiency up to 90%
KeelyNet Named Energycatcher, the invention recycles the heat in a domestic gas boiler’s exhaust fumes and uses it to preheat and store hot water for use in the home. The specially designed heat exchanger reduces the temperature of a modern condensing (Band A) boiler’s outlet flue gases, normally about 60°C, down to lower than 20°C. The manufacturer claims that virtually all the heat is recovered and recycled into the home's hot water system. The device can be retrofitted to most existing boilers (subject to manufacturer’s approval). The heat exchanger technology is said to make energy savings of up to 90 per cent possible on domestic hot water during winter months and cut overall carbon emissions by 7.5%. The device is also compatible with most solar systems and enhances their effectiveness. The principle of preheating water is as old as leaving a kettle on a warm open stove before boiling it. Modern condensing boilers work well to deliver hot water and central heating to the home, but the outlet exhaust fumes are still hot enough for it to cause water vapour (mistaken by many as smoke) a sure sign of wasted heat. Now, instead of being wasted into the open air, the heat from boiler’s exhaust gas, at a temperature of about 60°C, can flow over the heat exchanger and be transferred to the incoming cold water. The now warmer water moves under convection into a storage tank. The exhaust gases, considerably cooler, then vent to the atmosphere. When the boiler receives a demand for hot water, it draws water from the storage tank and at the same time preheats cold mains inlet water via the exhaust fumes. If the water is hot enough the boiler need not fire or can operate at reduced power. In other scenarios, in which it needs to fire, the increase in temperature required is greatly reduced compared to unadapted systems. - Source

03/08/08 - Company says its battery will change future of cars
For all the doubts about whether a tiny 7-year-old company can essentially rewire the domestic auto industry, A123's executives express abundant confidence in their invention. The hurdles to powering vehicles with electricity instead of oil have become less daunting in the past year, but they're still towering. • Cost -- a battery pack for a single Chevy Volt would cost about $10,000 today. • Safety -- protecting passengers in crashes and controlling hot batteries. • Longevity -- guaranteeing 10 or 15 years of life from untested technology. While GM's plan to build a car that travels 40 miles on a single electric charge has galvanized the industry, most experts say the technology isn't ready. No battery today "does it all," said Don Hillebrand, director of the Center for Transportation Research at Argonne National Laboratory. "But when you watch the history and the progress they're making, they're improving rapidly. ... Soon, they'll have it." Because 78% of U.S. commuters drive less than 40 miles a day, a vehicle that could travel that distance on electricity could find widespread appeal. Nanophosphate technology is used to build a battery that holds more energy per pound and pumps out power like a sled dog. The changes also make it safer. Putting a nail through an A123 cell results in a little smoke and occasionally a small flame, while the same test on a regular lithium cell creates a high-powered firecracker. Despite the daunting economics of plug-ins -- GM recently disclosed that the Volt may cost $35,000 -- the automaker remains optimistic that batteries from either A123 or the partnership between South Korean-based LG Chem and Troy-based Compact Power will meet its targets. - Source

03/08/08 - A New Era in Home-Owner Hydro
KeelyNet Over the last 10 years, small-scale hydropower technology has taken a quantum leap thanks to the invention of the microturbine. Inside a metal case that is smaller than a bread box, a miniature water wheel, not much bigger than a cinnamon roll, is coupled to a pickup truck generator. When the wheel is spun by a jet of pressurized water, electricity is created. The design is simple yet sophisticated, a triumph of appropriate technology. Progress has also been fueled by the dramatic evolution of solid-state inverters and load controllers-the brains in the Benzingers' system. A decade ago, inverters, which transform direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), and con trollers, which govern electrical production, were dumb, unreliable, and inefficient beasts. Tamed with computer chips, they now perform the same tasks in a much more intelligent, reliable, and energy-efficient manner. Together, these advances have revolutionized the world of homeowner hydro. Because a microturbine requires only a few quarts or gallons of water per second, it's now possible for even a slender stream to provide all the electricity a house or modest farm requires. - Source

03/08/08 - New Book Cuts Through Violent Video Game Myths
"Until now, the most-publicized studies came from a small group of experimental psychologists, studying college students playing nonviolent or violent games for 15 minutes. It's debatable whether those studies are relevant to real children, playing self-selected games for their own reasons (not for cash or extra credit!), in social settings, over many years. But media reports and political rhetoric often ignore that distinction. Also, the most-published researchers have built their careers around media violence. Their studies were designed under the assumption that violent video games are harmful, which dictated the questions they asked and how they framed their results. Media violence is just a small part of what we do, so we could look at the issue with fresh eyes and no agenda." - Source

03/08/08 - Your Sleep Patterns Are Controlled by Television
KeelyNet Human sleep patterns were once controlled by circadian rhythms governed by day and night. But now, according to a new study, almost everyone in the United States has a sleep pattern that's controlled by when they watch TV. A massive survey on time management conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics shows that most people watch TV between 11 - 11:15, dropping off to sleep when they switch the tube off. The hour when nighttime falls affects this pattern very little. Human sleep patterns are therefore more malleable than believed, and it's possible people could change them as easily as changing channels. - Source

03/08/08 - New Accurate theory says 'Runaway Warming' Impossible
Miklós Zágoni isn't just a physicist and environmental researcher. He is also a global warming activist and Hungary's most outspoken supporter of the Kyoto Protocol. Or was. That was until he learned the details of a new theory of the greenhouse effect, one that not only gave far more accurate climate predictions here on Earth, but Mars too. The theory was developed by another Hungarian scientist, Ferenc Miskolczi, an atmospheric physicist with 30 years of experience and a former researcher with NASA's Ames Research Center. New derivation of equations governing the greenhouse effect reveals "runaway warming" impossible. How did modern researchers make such a mistake? They relied upon equations derived over 80 years ago, equations which left off one term from the final solution. Miskolczi's story reads like a book. Looking at a series of differential equations for the greenhouse effect, he noticed the solution -- originally done in 1922 by Arthur Milne, but still used by climate researchers today -- ignored boundary conditions by assuming an "infinitely thick" atmosphere. Similar assumptions are common when solving differential equations; they simplify the calculations and often result in a result that still very closely matches reality. But not always. So Miskolczi re-derived the solution, this time using the proper boundary conditions for an atmosphere that is not infinite. His result included a new term, which acts as a negative feedback to counter the positive forcing. At low levels, the new term means a small difference ... but as greenhouse gases rise, the negative feedback predominates, forcing values back down. NASA refused to release the results. Miskolczi believes their motivation is simple. "Money", he tells DailyTech. Research that contradicts the view of an impending crisis jeopardizes funding, not only for his own atmosphere-monitoring project, but all climate-change research. Currently, funding for climate research tops $5 billion per year. - Source

03/08/08 - Short sex the best
THE best sex should last between seven and 13 minutes, and even three-minute sex is "adequate", a major survey of US experts has concluded. But Australian sex therapists commenting on the new research say most men Down Under wanted it to last considerably longer while most women were "not bothered" if it was over with fast. The sex study is the first to review what the experts believe is the ideal length of time to have penetrative sex, with the random sample of Americans and Canadians labelling seven to 13 minutes most "desirable". Intercourse lasting between three and seven minutes was deemed "adequate", but anything less was "too short" and beyond 13 minutes was "too long". The study, published today in the international Journal of Sexual Medicine, is designed help calm couples' unrealistic beliefs that healthy sex should last a long time. US studies show Americans expect penetrative sex to last between 15 and 20 minutes, even though sel- reports indicate it is over in less than half this time. - Source

03/08/08 - Funny tech support transcripts
KeelyNet Caller: Hey, can you help me? My computer has locked up, and no matter how many times I type eleven, it won’t unfreeze. Agent: What do you mean, “type eleven?” Caller: The message on my screen says, “Error Type 11!” / On one call, the caller seemed to be taking an inordinately long time to complete each instruction she was given. Agent: Ma’am, I can’t help noticing that every time I give you an instruction, it takes a really long time before you get back to me. Is your computer that slow? Caller: Oh, no, it’s just the stupid, stupid design of this computer. Every time I want to click something, I have to unplug the keyboard to plug in the mouse. And then every time I want to use the keyboard again, I have to unplug the mouse. Because there’s only one jack. Agent: Ma’am, you do realize that there’s a jack on the keyboard itself? You’re supposed to plug the mouse into the keyboard, and the keyboard into the computer. Caller: Are YOU KIDDING ME!? Oh, wait a minute-yes, I see it now! Oh, holy cow. That’s going to be so much easier! Agent: Just out of curiosity, how long have you been using your computer that way? Caller: Six weeks! - Source

03/08/08 - Daylight Saving Wastes Energy, Study Says
For decades, conventional wisdom has held that daylight-saving time, which begins March 9, reduces energy use. But a unique situation in Indiana provides evidence challenging that view. Springing forward may actually waste energy. Using more than seven million monthly meter readings from Duke Energy Corp., covering nearly all the households in southern Indiana for three years, they were able to compare energy consumption before and after counties began observing daylight-saving time. Readings from counties that had already adopted daylight-saving time provided a control group that helped them to adjust for changes in weather from one year to the next. Their finding: Having the entire state switch to daylight-saving time each year, rather than stay on standard time, costs Indiana households an additional $8.6 million in electricity bills. They conclude that the reduced cost of lighting in afternoons during daylight-saving time is more than offset by the higher air-conditioning costs on hot afternoons and increased heating costs on cool mornings. "I've never had a paper with such a clear and unambiguous finding as this," says Mr. Kotchen, who presented the paper at a National Bureau of Economic Research conference this month. - Source

03/08/08 - Haute Secure: free protection from malware
Haute Secure is the only software that offers complete protection from web based malware designed to steal personal information. * Site reputation ratings and warnings of potential threats in your search results before exposure * First-victim protection from malware lurking in content such as videos, widgets, blogs, and banner ads * Collective intelligence that updates your PC when a threat is detected on another computer. The more people who use Haute Secure, the safer your computer is from data theft. Do your part to help fight malware by joining the community today. - Source

03/08/08 - "Methuselah" Mutation Linked to Longer Life
A type of gene mutation long known to extend the lives of worms, flies and mice also turns up in long-lived humans. Researchers found that among Ashkenazi Jews, those who survived past age 95 were much more likely than their peers to possess one of two similar mutations in the gene for insulinlike growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R). "This is the tip of an iceberg of potential genetic alterations or mutations that are associated with longevity," says study co-author Pinchas Cohen, a professor and chief of endocrinology at Mattel Children's Hospital at U.C.L.A. (University of California, Los Angeles). IGF1 is well known among longevity genes. A regulator of growth and differentiation, it has a strong effect on body size, accounting for size extremes in dogs, for example. Animals fed restricted calorie diets live longer and show lower levels of IGF1. (Also implicated are changes in activity of the sirtuin or SIRT protein family.) When engineered specifically to produce less of the hormone, they don't grow as large, but their life span is 30 to 50 percent longer. - Source

03/08/08 - Fisker Karma Makes Euro Debut at Geneva
KeelyNet The use of light, eco-friendly materials is extensive in keeping with the greenness, if ever there was such a word. Karma is the embodiment of this philosophy, with its 50 mile per charge plug-in hybrid. Power figures were not available at the time of publishing, but we do have claimed performance figures which are 0 - 100km/h in less than 6 seconds, top speed of over 200km/h, and maximum torque available from standstill. The Karma runs on 22-inch light alloy wheels, features a satellite navigation system and a luxurious interior, Fisker says. What is the cost for the future sports car? Around USD80,000. - Source

03/08/08 - NASA wary of relying on Russia
After NASA retires the space shuttle in 2010, the US will have no spacecraft and no way to carry astronauts to the International Space Station until 2015 at the earliest. For five years or more, the United States will be dependent on the technology of others to reach the station, which American taxpayers largely paid for. To complicate things further, the only nation now capable of flying humans to the station is Russia, giving it a strong bargaining position to decide what it wants to charge for the flights at a time when U.S.-Russian relations are becoming increasingly testy. - Source

03/08/08 - McBush - Is McCain that Different from Bush?
KeelyNetMcCain, known as a “hawk” on foreign policy was one of the main advocates of invading Iraq. He was also one who thought the military campaign would be relatively easy. He feels that the invasion was “just and noble,” even though all of the administrations reasons for war, WMDs and ties to terrorists, were proven wrong. He now says a timetable for withdrawal is a “white flag of surrender.” Further, he recently stated that he would agree with staying in Iraq for 100 years if casualties were low enough. McCain, on this issues, is incredibly out of step with the American public and the grips of reality. On this issue, he just wants to continue the policies of the Bush Presidency. His economic policies are also a continuation of George Bush’s. He wants to make permanent the Bush tax cuts that primarily benefited the rich. Although he manned up and voted against tax cuts during a time of war in 2003, he has now shifted his stance. Even though some of the largest tax cuts in history have failed to stop this recession from coming, conservatives like McCain seem to think that even more tax cuts will get us out of it. All his tax cuts, combined with escalating the War in Iraq and possibly Iran, will just increase the deficit catastrophically. - Source

03/08/08 - The ugly side of solar panels
The manufacture of just 1 square meter of solar panels generates between 7,500 and 31,400 kilograms of greenhouse gases. An average household needs at least 8 square meters of solar panels for electricity generation alone, which boils down to a global warming debt of a whopping 60,000 to 940,000 kilograms of CO2. These numbers equate to 12 to 188 intercontinental flights. In some cases, producing electricity by solar panels releases more greenhouse gases than producing electricity by gas or even coal. - Source

03/06/08 - Turbine Toilet generates Electricity
KeelyNet What if every time that you flushed your toilet you could generate just a little bit of power? That is the idea behind the Benkatine Turbine by Leviathan Energy, which aims to get power from any pipe that water rushes through. So not only could you install this within a municipal system, but according to the company, you could get power from the water rushing down your gutter drains! There is nothing really new here, after all, rushing water is the basis of all hydroelectric power. It is the location and scale of this system (ie. in your toilet!) that makes it such an innovative product. According to the company, the turbine is intended to be scalable, meaning that it can work well in both municipal water and sewer systems, as well as in smaller pipes such as residential drainage and guttering systems. It is meant to be used in conjunction with other turbines in order to maximize the efficiency of the system. - Source

03/06/08 - Experiment Shows Traffic 'Shock Waves' Cause Jams
"Japanese researchers recently performed the first experimental demonstration of a phenomenon that causes a busy freeway to inexplicably grind to a halt. A team from Nagoya University in Japan had volunteers drive cars around a small circular track and monitored the way 'shockwaves' - caused when one driver brakes - are sent back to other cars, caused jams to occur. Drivers were asked to travel at 30 kmph but small fluctuations soon appeared, eventually causing several vehicles to stop completely. Understanding the phenomenon could help devise ways to avoid the problem. As one researcher comments: 'If they had set up an experiment with robots driving in a perfect circle, flow breakdown would not have occurred.'" - Source

03/06/08 - Top 10 Barely-Legal Gadgets for the Modern Spy
KeelyNet This is a guide I wrote for people who have a desire to obtain gadgets like James Bond without being enrolled in the military or secret service. Here are listed 10 categories of devices you can buy to make you feel like a James Bond, from laser beams that cut things to x-ray goggles that see through clothes to CSI grade forensic lab hardware. These products are legal in most places but, if you select something you would like to buy, please look up state laws about the buying and use of that product. It is your responsibility to follow the law and I will take no responsibility if you do something wrong with one of the items I will show you where to buy. - Source

03/06/08 - Ultracapacitors to Replace Hybrid Batteries
The Lab for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems at MIT has been doing some mega-efficient work with ultracapacitors, which store drastically less energy than a battery but have essentially none of the drawbacks — especially via carbon nanotube arrays. Automotive experts say the new research is enough to start replacing batteries in hybrid cars, and plug-in vehicles might not be far behind. - Source

03/06/08 - Brain Reading Device Can Predict What People See
A new computer program can match brain activity with visual images and even predict what people are seeing, a study has shown. The work raises the possibility that one day computers could "read" a person's brain to digitally re-create memories, dreams, or imaginings. Previous attempts to decode vision in this way could only extract simple information about images, such as their physical orientation, and could not identify images that participants were seeing for the first time. "Our technique overcomes this limitation, and we show that we can perform identification for novel images," said study team member Kendrick Kay of the University of California, Berkeley. - Source

03/06/08 - Violence Leaves Young Iraqis Doubting Clerics
After almost five years of war, many young people in Iraq, exhausted by constant firsthand exposure to the violence of religious extremism, say they have grown disillusioned with religious leaders and skeptical of the faith that they preach. In two months of interviews with 40 young people in five Iraqi cities, a pattern of disenchantment emerged, in which young Iraqis, both poor and middle class, blamed clerics for the violence and the restrictions that have narrowed their lives. “I hate Islam and all the clerics because they limit our freedom every day and their instruction became heavy over us,” said Sara, a high school student in Basra. “Most of the girls in my high school hate that Islamic people control the authority because they don’t deserve to be rulers.” - Source

03/06/08 - Medieval weight loss Herb coming back
KeelyNet A traditional herb used by King Charles II to help his mistresses lose weight could be used in the modern day battle against obesity. Heath pea, which is also known as bitter vetch, was used in medieval times as a hunger suppressant when the crops failed. It was also passed around the court of King Charles, who gave it to his lovers who had a propensity for plumpness. Monks used the plant to treat patients in the 14th century Soutra Aisle monastery near Edinburgh, which is currently being excavated. The tubers have a "leathery liquorice" taste with the effect of making people forget to eat. "If you ate one of these pea sized tubers you are meant to 'not eat, not want to eat and not miss eating for weeks and even in to months'. "They were actually used as a measure to ward off hunger once crops had failed in the fields. Richard Swift, head of the project, said: "The tubers could help boxers and other athletes train down to a weight as well as helping dieters exercise and lose weight. "There could be a good long term market for the tubers." Heath Pea (Lathyrus linifolius) is normally found in poor grazing and heath land. It sometimes grows alone, but it can also grow in clumps on banks and verges of roads and tracks. The plants take two or three years to mature but require very little looking after. - Source

03/06/08 - Always Read the Fine Print!
KeelyNet Jodee Berry of Panama City, Fla., sits with her toy Yoda at her lawyer's office Wednesday. A former Hooters waitress, she has sued the restaurant where she worked saying she was promised a new Toyota for winning a beer sales contest in April. Berry, 26, believed that she had won a new car, but she was blindolded, led to the parking lot and presented a toy Yoda, the little green guy from Star Wars. - Source

03/06/08 - Question Box: the Internet for remote places
KeelyNet The Question Box works by installing a single-button intercom in the village that is linked to a nearby town where there is a computer with a trained, live operator. Questioners press the intercom, describe their query to the operator, who runs it, reads the search results, and discusses them with the questioner (it's like those "executive assistant" telephone services, but for people who live in very rural places). The Question Box has been deployed live in Phoolpur village in Greater Noida, close to New Delhi and it was a stonking, smashing success, and will now be expanding further. Check out the project page. - Source

03/06/08 - Identifying murder victims or criminals with a strand of hair
Scientists can determine where a person has lived based on the varied chemicals in drinking water across the country -- variations that show up in hair. The method relies on measuring how chemical variations in drinking water around the country show up in the hair of people who drink the water. "You are what you eat and drink, and that is recorded in your hair," said Thure Cerling, a geologist at the University of Utah and lead author of the study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Though the U.S. diet is relatively homogenous, water supplies vary. The differences are a result of weather patterns. The chemical composition of rainfall changes slightly as rain clouds move. "It's not good for pinpointing," Cerling said. "It's good for eliminating a lot of possibilities." - Source

03/06/08 - Top 10 Star Trek Tech in use today
KeelyNet Classic Star Trek contributed more to the modern world than phrases like "Beam me up, Scotty!" Many of the devices we saw decades ago are now available for use in the real world; we thank the engineers who made real these ten Star Trek technologies. - Source

03/06/08 - 1000 True Fans
A business plan for all kinds of creators in the twenty first century. A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can't wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans... Assume conservatively that your True Fans will each spend one day's wages per year in support of what you do. That "one-day-wage" is an average, because of course your truest fans will spend a lot more than that. Let's peg that per diem each True Fan spends at $100 per year. If you have 1,000 fans that sums up to $100,000 per year, which minus some modest expenses, is a living for most folks. One thousand is a feasible number. You could count to 1,000. If you added one fan a day, it would take only three years. True Fanship is doable. Pleasing a True Fan is pleasurable, and invigorating. It rewards the artist to remain true, to focus on the unique aspects of their work, the qualities that True Fans appreciate. - Source - If you visit regularly and like what you see here, please Support KeelyNet! You can have a credit card autodeduction of just $3.00 per month or donate whatever amount you wish. Thanks!

03/06/08 - Morgan launches Life Car
Using funding from the British government and in parallel with several universities, the company has produced a luxury, performance vehicle which runs exclusively on hydrogen fuel cells. The company explains the principle behind the car was to prove driving zero emissions cars could fun, as well as good for the environment. It is capable of reaching 60mph from a standing start in seven seconds, and can reach a grand total of around 90mph. "Going far beyond the incremental adaptation of traditional car designs as seen in current hybrid vehicles, it will demonstrate that a new step in vehicle architecture is enabled by the use of a fuel cell hybrid power train." It is thought the car will have a range of 200 miles on a single fuel cell. Both an aluminium chassis and wooden seats lower the cars weight, allowing for improvements in efficiency. The car also includes ultracapacitors - which are charged during breaking - allowing for an increase in power during acceleration and on larger inclines. - Source

03/06/08 - Spy Plane Stays Aloft For 5 Years
KeelyNet DARPA describes the "Vulture" project as a "persistent pseudo-satellite capability in an aircraft package." In other words, the aircraft can hover over a single area, narcing, communicating, or surveying for years at a time. It is expected to carry a 1000 pound payload in fearsome winds at an altitude of 60,000-90,000 feet. - Source

03/06/08 - Forget that day in court
Thanks to tort reform, closed-door arbitration instead of courtroom hearings are becoming more common. "Tort reform" is a deliberately deceptive term coined in the 1980s by tobacco, pharmaceutical, insurance and gun lobbyists and lawyers who set about to transform our civil justice landscape by eliminating corporate exposure to civil liabilities. After years of an all-out campaign, at the heart of which was relentless media propaganda, judicial selection and legislation, the courthouse doors are rapidly being closed to average citizens, who will be shunted off into a lucrative private legal system presided over by retired judges employed by alternative dispute-resolution providers. Many Americans would be surprised to learn they are barred from pursuing a case in court because of boilerplate binding arbitration clauses buried in forms they signed with banks, real estate and escrow companies, auto dealerships, medical care providers (including hospitals) and many other people and entities that may have caused them harm. Arbitration was marketed as "faster and cheaper." Well, it certainly is for these business interests. It is a different story for the rest of us. In such arbitration proceedings, there is no public or media access, no rules of evidence or procedure, no court transcript, no jury and, most important, no appeal -- no matter what. Quite simply, there is no accountability in binding arbitration, in which the arbitrators and alternative dispute-resolution providers are paid by the corporate defendants -- who are also likely to guarantee repeat business. Tort reform is a game of bait-and-switch in which ordinary citizens have been snookered by carefully orchestrated and relentless propaganda into seeing a phantom boogeyman in the much-reviled "trial lawyer" who brings "frivolous lawsuits" to "runaway juries" that render "out of control verdicts" in "judicial hellholes," making insurance rates and the costs of all goods and services go up. - Source

03/04/08 - Car pushes past 100 mpg
KeelyNet Mr. Dabrowski is referred to as the “Insight guru” for a system he has developed that can get as much as 100 miles per gallon from the Honda Insight, a hybrid electric automobile the company stopped making in 2006. The car had an EPA rating of 57 mpg. The Manual Integrated Motor Assist system allows the driver to control the automobile’s gas-to-electric ratio to boost gasoline mileage an average 10 percent to 20 percent on Insights. He said about 60 Insights in the United States, England and Australia use the $750 system, and that there is a waiting list. Mr. Dabrowski also developed a fifth wheel - an electric wheel - that drops down from the car’s trunk to generate electricity to run the car. That invention, which he does not sell, allows his car to run almost purely on electricity and can get 180 miles per gallon or more at slow speeds on flat roads, he said. Mr. Dabrowski said he began modifying his Honda Insight in 2003 because the driver could do a better job of controlling the gasoline-electric ratio that was controlled automatically by the car’s computer system. After all, he reasoned, the computer can’t see the hills or traffic conditions up ahead. Mr. Dabrowski said he doesn’t expect the automobile industry to embrace total electric cars because of the financial impact of retooling an entire industry and the impact on the repair and maintenance business (electric cars need less) and all the related industries that electric cars don’t need. “I’ve posted a lot of stuff online (his Web site is, and I’m just as likely to get a call from someone in India or England as from the next town about it,” he said. / (The website didn't come up so here is the CACHED version. - JWD) - Source

03/04/08 - Saving Zipcar - the efficient rental car
Last October, Flexcar announced it was merging with the larger Cambridge, MA-based Zipcar. The merger came about in part because neither company was turning a profit, and in part due to increased competition from traditional rental-car companies like Hertz and Enterprise, which are threatening to chip away at carsharing's customer base. Zipcar’s reservation line automatically confirms reservations as soon as you confirm which car you're interested in reserving, with no opportunity to go over the reservation. If you want a real live person, it’s $3.50 a call--for a service Flexcar (and, for that matter, rental-car companies like Hertz and Enterprise) provided for free. - Source

03/04/08 - Are X-Rays Outclassed by Powerful New “Odic Ray”? (Mar, 1922)
KeelyNet Are X-Rays Outclassed by Powerful New “Odic Ray”? DISCOVERY of “odic rays” of high penetration produced simply by the electric current drawn from an ordinary light socket, and yet with the curative and medicinal value of X-rays, is claimed by Dr. Edgar L. Hollingshead, of Pasadena, Calif. With simple, inexpensive apparatus he is reported to have passed rays through 11-1/2 inches of lead and 4-1/2 inches of steel, at such strength as to sear dental X-ray films encased in tinfoil. Doctor Hollingshead declares that the rays produced try his apparatus are of greater intensity and penetration than any previously known to science. The rate of vibration of the “odic rays” can be controlled by the operator, it is asserted. He has found, he says, that electricity is not simply a force, but a substance. Amperage, he adds, is the substance part of electricity and voltage the speed. Like any other substance, electricity is composed of vibrating molecules, atoms, electrons, and other infinitesimal units, and the form that the substance takes is due to the rates of atomic speed. The only differences between one ray of light and another are in wave lengths or vibration, speed of discharge, and polarity. Assuming that electricity is like water flowing through a pipe, and that its voltage is the speed with which it travels, he first intensifies its atomic speed, then he breaks it up, releasing a force or ray of great speed and power. - Source

03/04/08 - Researchers: Chia seeds are good for you
The research that determined the seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids comes as the omega-3 supplement market in the United States is reaching new heights, the Chicago Tribune reported. Chia seeds are derived from Salvia hispanica, a mint-related plant, and chia is regulated as a food by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. While research into the plant seeds has been minimal, the Tribune said one ounce of them has been found to contain 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber and 137 calories. - Source

03/04/08 - No compensation for faulty medical devices
During surgery, an inflatable catheter designed to open Riegel's coronary artery ruptured, leaving him severely injured. Riegel and his wife sued Medtronic, the manufacturer of the device, but defence lawyers argued that the firm could not be held responsible as the catheter had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Last week, the Supreme Court agreed, saying that this ruled out legal action. This worries public health experts because recent reports from the Government Accountability Office, the Institute of Medicine and some of the FDA's own advisers have concluded that the FDA lacks the staff and funding to properly oversee patient safety. When the FDA fails, say experts, legal action is needed to protect patients. Some members of Congress have vowed to reverse the court decision, but the problem could get worse first as the ruling may be extended later this year to include cases involving drug manufacturers. - Source

03/04/08 - Orgasms may work unimaginable miracles with human body
“Sex protects and strengthens cardiac muscles. Experts with the British Royal University proved it after they had examined a group of men leading sexually active lives. It turned out that they had a much lower risk of having either heart attacks or strokes thanks to hormones which an act of love generates. Doctors recommend those who suffered an infarction or a stroke to have a regular sex life. For them hormones act as a medication. They produce a healing effect on the whole body, improve digestion and expand blood vessels. Rhythmic motion during sex and delightful cramps improve the muscle tone, especially stomach muscles,” the scientist said. Experts with the Royal University of Belfast have recently finished an interesting research. They examined the interdependence between the general state of health and the frequency of sexual contacts. Scientists analyzed the death rate data of about 1,000 average-aged men during ten years. It proved that men who had more orgasms died less frequently than those who did not make love at all. Regular sex reduces the risk of breast cancer with women and prostate cancer with men. Scientists from Wilkes University, Pennsylvania, found out that people making love regularly have 30 percent more antibodies called immunoglobulin A that strengthens the immune system. So they catch cold rarer than those who refrain from sex. - Source

03/04/08 - Startup to Rent Movies On Flash Memory Cards
An Irish startup called PortoMedia (no, they don't sell entertainment systems for portable toilets, despite the name), will soon offer MOVIE RENTALS ON FLASH DRIVES. Here's how it will work. The company sells you a flash storage device and special $50 card reader with a proprietary USB connection that's ultra fast (95 megabits per second!). You take the flash card to any location that has one of the company's kiosks. Each kiosk contains hard drives with hundreds of movies. You enter your ATM pin code, pick the movie, and it downloads in less than a minute -- take it home and watch. The advantages of this system over DVD or Blu-Ray disks are: 1) they never run out of movies; 2) you don't have to return it; 3) you don't have to wait in a long line; and 4) the kiosk could potentially be anywhere -- supermarket, mall or convenience store. (via - Source

03/04/08 - New Gadget Enables DIY Hard Disk Data Rescue
A UK company called Retrodata plans to ship next month a $7,000 laser-based gadget that lets you DO YOUR OWN DATA RECOVERY from dead or damaged hard drives. Called the System P. EX (for "platter extraction system"), the unit uses laser positioning on 3.5 inch hard drive platters that largely automates the process. The company claims real forensics can be accomplished by total boneheads. (via - Source

03/04/08 - “Death Ray” May Outlaw War (Oct, 1936)
KeelyNet "Death Ray” May Outlaw War. A “DEATH RAY” machine is on exhibition at the California Pacific International Exposition being held at San Diego, Calif. It was invented by Prof. Harry May of London, England. Prof. May feels that his new lethal weapon will be instrumental in outlawing war. He thinks that nations, knowing that such a weapon for quick destruction is available, will hesitate to attack each other. - Source

03/04/08 - Can Architects Save Libraries from the Internet?
"Slate has an interesting photo essay exploring the question of how to build a public library in the age of Google, Wikipedia, and Kindle. The grand old reading rooms and stacks of past civic monuments are giving way to a new library-as-urban-hangout concept, as evidenced by Seattle's Starbucks-meets-mega-bookstore central library and Salt Lake City's shop-lined education mall. Without some dramatic changes, The Extinction Timeline predicts libraries will R.I.P. in 2019." - Source

03/04/08 - Web Videos Show Off the Wonders of Chemistry
"Wired Science has picked ten of the best videos from YouTube and their own show on PBS to highlight the wonderful things chemistry can do. Only four of them involve fire or explosions. The rest range from music videos about the polymerase chain reaction to reactions that repeatedly change color. One shows how to pour sodium acetate stalagmites. Another shows Chris Hardwick giving instructions for building a glow stick while making absurd comments." - Source

03/04/08 - One in Ten Americans Are Chronically Sleep Deprived
"A CDC research study released this past week indicates that the physical and mental health of many Americans is being adversely affected by a lack of sleep. According to the study, a part of the organization's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, one in ten US citizens are consistently failing to get enough sleep every night. Almost 40% of the people surveyed didn't get enough sleep for more than a week every month. The article notes that this trend can have far-ranging implications for health beyond simple fatigue." / (I have been using my MexiStim unit for over 6 years now for better sleep and other benefits. You can read about it, even build your own to test the effect, at the Article about MexiStim page. - JWD) - Source

03/04/08 - Close Down All Non-Essential Windows Apps with EndItAll
Windows only: EndItAll is a free utility that lets you choose a handful of system and critical processes and applications that you don't want to shut down-and then kill all the others. Launchig EndItAll gives you a prompt similar to Windows' Task Manager, where you choose the programs that should be protected, restarted, or closed. While the app seems to catch most system processes and auto-protect them, it still requires a bit of knowledge about your system and what killing will do to a process before using. Once you've got your footing, however, EndItAll can create a batch file that performs its own function for your multi-kill convenience. EndItAll is a free download for Windows systems only. For other, generally more safe tips on pruning your processes for more memory, check out our guide to mastering Windows' task manage. (via - Source

03/04/08 - Rising Amps
Cheap hydrogen-filled balloons carrying miniature versions of mobile phone network towers may soon provide service to sparsely populated countryside areas. Arizona-based Space Data Corp wants to bring wireless service to millions of rural inhabitants by beaming it down from balloons hovering at the edge of space. - Source

03/02/08 - Stirling engine cools computer from CPU heat
KeelyNet Mobo maker MSI has come up with a novel way of keeping processors cool and conserving energy at the same time: the CPU heat is used to drive its own fan. It's actually a new implementation of an old discovery. MSI's Air Power Cooler uses the energy inherent in the expansion of air as it warms up to drive a fan. As the CPU gets hot, it causes air in a piston to expand. That pushes out the piston rod, which turns the fan rotor, pulling air over a heatpipe-fed heatsink. The heatsing helps cool the piston, so the air inside becomes more dense, pulling the piston rod back to its original position. MSI's version can transfer over 70 per cent of the heat power to motive power, the company claimed, and it doesn't use a drop of electricity to drive the fan. It's not totally efficient, which is why it won't run in perpetuity, but it is kicked into motion simply by the heat generated by the chip. MSI has built the APC and placed it on a motherboard, which it'll demo at the CeBIT show in Hanover, next week. It didn't say today when the board and its unique - for a mobo - cooling system will make it to market. (Thanks to Esa for sharing this. - JWD) - Source

03/02/08 - In Race to the Top, Zigzagging Is More Efficient than a Straight Line
A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it isn’t necessarily the fastest or easiest path to follow. That’s particularly true when terrain is not level, and now American and British researchers have developed a mathematical model showing that a zigzag course provides the most efficient way for humans to go up or down steep slopes. - Source

03/02/08 - Space Tourism to Rocket in this Century
KeelyNet Outer space will rocket into reality as “the” getaway of this century, according to researchers at the University of Delaware and the University of Rome La Sapienza. The “final frontier” could begin showing up in travel guides by 2010, they predict. What kind of person will be lured to space travel? Is it those of us who've loved “The Jetsons,” “Star Trek,” or peering at the heavens through a telescope? "This is a destination for the 'extreme tourists'--tourists who want the ultimate new travel adventure and the thrill of outer space,” DeMicco says. “They want something new and interesting--the room with the best view of Earth from space.” According to surveys of the demand for space tourism undertaken in 2001 and 2006 by Futron, a U.S. consulting company, the average age of the wannabe space tourist is 55 years old, 72% are males and 28% are females, 46% have above average or better fitness, 48% spend a month or more on vacation annually, and 41% work full-time and 23% are retired. The projected demand is 13,000 passengers in 2021, with the ability of the celestial industry to generate revenues of $700 million annually. - Source

03/02/08 - BioBlower Closer to Protecting Soldiers from Biological Attack
A powerful air sterilization technology developed at the University at Buffalo has killed every biological agent with which it has been challenged, including airborne spores, viruses and bacteria in independent tests conducted for the U.S. Department of Defense. A prototype produced by Buffalo BioBlower Technologies LLC, a UB spin-off company, destroyed biological agents to a level of better than one part per million in an independent evaluation conducted over a period of four weeks by the Research Triangle Institute for the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Program for Chemical and Biological Defense Collective Protection. The military system now being retrofitted with BioBlower is used to inflate the hospital units and temporary shelters erected in the battlefield for command headquarters. "We're removing their current fan and replacing it with our electrical air pump, the BioBlower, which also will instantly kill any airborne biological agents on contact," Garvey said. Conventional technologies involve the use of HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, which simply trap large airborne spores. These passive filters have to be regularly replaced and properly discarded, posing a further potential hazard to personnel, Garvey said. In addition, they provide little or no protection against airborne viruses. - Source

03/02/08 - Video - The Amazing Hoverbike
KeelyNet The “Hoverbike”, created by Jim Chalmers, is in it’s own league and will most likely bring a whole new spectrum of “bike” gangs into the streets. Travelling at up to 50 Mph and available in electric and gasoline powered engines, this revolutionary form of transportation will have you hovering off into the sunset. This one-man craft can fly over roads, ice and water. - Source

03/02/08 - The Impossible Dream of Energy Independence
In his forthcoming book Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of “Energy Independence” (PublicAffairs) Robert Bryce, managing editor of Energy Tribune writes in the book’s introduction, the quest for energy independence “means protectionism and isolationism, both of which are in opposition to America’s long-term interests.” Some of the myths of energy independence Bryce takes aim at are summed up in this January Washington Post op-ed. They include the false belief that U.S. energy autarky can curb terrorism; that government investment in “alternative fuels” can end our use of foreign oil; that we can starve evil petro-regimes of money by refusing to buy their oil; and that less reliance on foreign energy sources can make our energy supply more secure. Like any decision to isolate ourselves from the free international market, the search for energy independence would, Bryce demonstrates, lead us to waste our money and, yes, our energy doing things more expensively than they can be done by taking advantage of the international division of labor and flow of capital. - Source

03/02/08 - Redneck Mansion


03/02/08 - 'Enjoy life while you can'
Climate science maverick James Lovelock believes catastrophe is inevitable, carbon offsetting is a joke and ethical living a scam. So what would he do? Most of the things we have been told to do might make us feel better, but they won't make any difference. Global warming has passed the tipping point, and catastrophe is unstoppable. Lovelock believes global warming is now irreversible, and that nothing can prevent large parts of the planet becoming too hot to inhabit, or sinking underwater, resulting in mass migration, famine and epidemics. Britain is going to become a lifeboat for refugees from mainland Europe, so instead of wasting our time on wind turbines we need to start planning how to survive. To Lovelock, the logic is clear. The sustainability brigade are insane to think we can save ourselves by going back to nature; our only chance of survival will come not from less technology, but more. What would Lovelock do now, I ask, if he were me? He smiles and says: "Enjoy life while you can. Because if you're lucky it's going to be 20 years before it hits the fan." - Source

03/02/08 - Coming Soon from VW: A 69.9 MPG Diesel Hybrid
KeelyNet The Golf Hybrid will get almost 70 mpg while meeting Europe's stringent Euro V and America's Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions standards, making it green enough even for California. The car is said to emit just 89 g/km of CO2. (For comparison, the Prius emits 104 g/km and Honda Civic Hybrid emits 116.) The hybrid Golf may be just the start. According to Britain's Channel 4, VW is considering the hybrid drivetrain in a Jetta and Audi A3. DailyTech says it also could appear in the VW Tiguan and Audi Q5 crossover utility vehicles. Auto Express says the Golf hybrid will be offered for sale in Europe by the end of next year. No word yet on when we might see it on this side of the pond. VW hasn't released a picture of the hybrid, so we're offering a shot of its diesel Golf Bluemotion. - Source

03/02/08 - Historic Data Suggest Geosequestration of CO2 Safe
Alpha Galileo reports that a new study has revealed that storing carbon dioxide beneath the earth may be a safer and longer term method of reducing emissions in the atmosphere than previously thought. Researchers at the University of Manchester found that carbon dioxide (CO2) has been naturally stored for up to 40 million years in CO2 gas fields in the Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains of the USA. - Source

03/02/08 - Brains Wired for Specific Voices
Hearing voices? Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics have discovered that brains seem wired to respond to voices of a homogeneous species. Using a fMRI scan of macaque monkeys, the researchers were able to identify similar brain regions responding to particular voices - macaque voices. The finding indicates that while brains can capture, process and interpret all sorts of sounds, there are dedicated regions within the brain for processing sounds of its own species. - Source

03/02/08 - New High In U.S. Prison Numbers
More than one in 100 adults in the United States is in jail or prison, an all-time high that is costing state governments nearly $50 billion a year and the federal government $5 billion more, according to a report released yesterday. With more than 2.3 million people behind bars, the United States leads the world in both the number and percentage of residents it incarcerates, leaving far-more-populous China a distant second, according to a study by the nonpartisan Pew Center on the States. When it comes to preventing repeat offenses by nonviolent criminals -- who make up about half of the incarcerated population -- less-expensive punishments such as community supervision, electronic monitoring and mandatory drug counseling might prove as much or more effective than jail. - Source

03/02/08 - NASA Baffled by Unexplained Force Acting on Space Probes
Mysteriously, five spacecraft that flew past the Earth have each displayed unexpected anomalies in their motions. These newfound enigmas join the so-called "Pioneer anomaly" as hints that unexplained forces may appear to act on spacecraft. - Source

03/02/08 - Patient fired by her doctor
Ms. Matthews, 33, of London, Ont., says she is physically unwell and that her mental illness interferes with her daily life, she never expected the type of shock she received earlier this month in a letter from her doctor's office. Ms. Matthews was told she was being fired as a patient. "I'm still in shock," Ms. Matthews said yesterday. "I don't think I've ever been blindsided this hard." Ms. Matthews, who was a patient of a London-area health group, provided a letter to The Globe and Mail that outlines her physician's termination of treatment. Dated Feb. 19, the letter states that it has become evident Ms. Matthews is "unable to comply with medical advice," that there have been "too many cancelled appointments" and that her doctor "will no longer be in a position" to provide her with medical treatment after March 4. The Canadian Medical Association has guidelines governing the relationship between doctors and patients and says that patients should have the chance to find a new family doctor before a physician terminates treatment. However, doctors in Canada have the right to stop seeing patients at their discretion, particularly if a patient is difficult or won't accept treatment, said Jeff Blackmer, executive director in the CMA's office of ethics. - Source

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

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


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