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05/30/08 - Researchers make breakthrough in renewable energy materials
"We have grown the world's first titanium oxide single crystals with large amounts of reactive surfaces, something that was predicted as almost impossible," Max Lu told Xinhua. "Titania nano-crystals are promising materials for cost-effective solar cells, hydrogen production from splitting water, and solar decontamination of pollutants," he said. He said what his team has done was to make such materials "easy and cheap." Talking about the application of the highly efficient miniature crystals, Lu said it wasn't just renewable energy where this research could be applied. "They are also fantastic for purifying air and water," he said," One could paint these crystals on to a window or a wall to purify the air in a room." - Source

05/30/08 - Wallpaper Speakers Could Become A Reality
Johns Hopkins materials scientist Michaely Yu and his team claim to have invented a material which could allow for piezoelectic sound devices to be placed in areas previously thought to be too challenging. The invention provides for a resin polymer which possesses piezoelectric properties usually found only in very heavy, brittle materials. If the early findings hold up, the flexible material and could be used to produce a coating which could create speakers embedded into wallpaper or even speakers that could be folded in two. By adding silicone rubber to that material, Yu and colleagues have made it possible to separately control the material's piezoelectric mechanical properties. - Source

05/30/08 - Preventing an arms race in space
Can weapons be banned from outer space? Or will the Niagara current of defense contractor greed, imperial hubris, and inadequate politics carry the destructiveness of war into the "fourth battlefield" of the very cosmos? That is the question that has been asked at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva for the last six years. But not by Washington. How many Americans know that the nation refusing to discuss a treaty aimed at preventing an arms race in outer space is their own? Indeed, the United States, in various Pentagon documents published during the Bush administration, is explicit in aiming to put weapons in space - lasers, directed energy weapons, kinetic kill vehicles. The U.S. Space Command, in its "Vision for 2020," plans for " counterspace operations." The already deployed missile defense system is a first step toward an anti-satellite capability, giving the Pentagon control of the "high frontier." The American Academy of Arts and Sciences recently published "Russian and Chinese Responses to U.S. Military Plans in Space," a stark look at where the American project is taking the world. The academy was instrumental half a century ago in creating the arms control regime that enabled the Cold War to end nonviolently. Now it warns that "U.S. space weaponization plans would have potentially disastrous effects on international security and the peaceful uses of space." - Source

05/30/08 - UFO: an Undeniably Fading Obsession
The vast majority of UFO spotters, as revealed in the MoD files, are not fantasists, but ordinary people who thought they saw something extraordinary in the sky. The spacecraft tend to come in familiar forms, with saucer and cigar shapes the perennial favourites. Coloured lights are also popular. The British X-Files contain more then 7,000 separate sightings, 150 files in all, of which just eight have been released so far. For the last decade UFO sightings have steadily declined. The British Flying Saucer Bureau closed in 2003. The number of UFOs dipped with the invention of the colour television and plunged with the advent of the internet. Perhaps in an complex and uncertain society, people have more practical concerns. The decline in UFO sightings may reflect a healthy scepticism, but a world without extraterrestrials would be drab indeed. The British X-Files reveal a people alert to the sky, imaginative, eccentric, slightly embarrassed and above all inquisitive. Perhaps this new proof of our former fascination with the mysteries of space will rekindle the curiosity. - Source

05/30/08 - Teen inventor plans to unveil hybrid engine
With rising gas prices becoming a big concern, Santana High School senior Josh Wesolowski plans to unveil an invention he hopes will hold an answer to the energy riddle. The contraption, constructed from an old lawn-mower engine, is a “hybrid” engine that runs on four different types of fuel: gasoline, propane, methanol and hydrogen. “I built this engine to simply prove a point that it's not difficult to run any engine on many different fuels,” Wesolowski said, noting that anything flammable can be burned in an internal combustion engine. Wesolowski has dubbed his creation the alternative-fuel engine. The machine is simplistic in appearance but performs a unique function - alternating between four very different fuel sources with the flip of a switch, all while the motor is running. Canisters mounted on each side supply the small engine with the fuels through homemade intakes, built with ordinary plumbing valves. The machine is started with unleaded gas, switched to run on methanol, propane and, finally, hydrogen before being shut off. Gas is used first because methanol, an alcoholic substance similar to ethanol, lacks the punch needed to heat the engine for a full ignition. - Source

05/30/08 - Promising clean energy system still years away
With Gov. Charlie Crist and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker in attendance, Progress Energy Florida and the University of South Florida showed off their latest invention: the Sustainable Electric Energy Delivery System, or SEEDS. Think of it like a bigger, better battery. It could make renewables like wind and solar more reliable by unchaining them from the weather by storing the energy they generate. SEEDS uses a mix of sulfuric acid and vanadium, a naturally occurring metal. The demonstration system at Albert Whitted Park uses solar panels to feed electricity into a two-sided tank system containing an electrolyte solution. One side has a positive charge and the other a negative charge. Electrodes collect the energy to be stored or delivered. Progress Energy Florida billed it as a building block toward "smart" grids that links conventional large power plants, conservation management, and home energy systems. Like many energy innovations, this one remains years away from the market. - Source

05/30/08 - Maltese Fuel-Free Generator
Dr Joseph Muscat, one of the candidates in the Labour leadership election, on Thursday visited the workshop of a group of inventors in Gozo, whose latest environment friendly invention has not only won them an EU award, but also shows that the creativity of Maltese contributes to innovation. An invention by Gozo Enterprises Ltd was recently awarded the prestigious ‘Energy Global’ Award, in Brussels. Dr Muscat viewed the invention, a fuel-free electricity generating machine, and observed that this is yet another proof that Malta can use its creativity to solve problems which we will be facing in coming years. - Source

05/30/08 - Tucsonian engineering success with energy-efficient invention
KeelyNet 18-year-old home-schooler Parker Owan attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Atlanta with two students from Catalina Foothills High School earlier this month. He took second place in the electrical and mechanical category and was awarded $8,000 in scholarships for his invention: a vertical axis wind turbine. The invention was constructed with intentions of finding a way to conserve energy for the household, Owan said. The project took about a year to complete. Taking into account that few wind machines constructed in the city are adaptable to changing wind speeds, Owan designed his turbine to accommodate fluctuations. "My build takes advantage of the power available in the wind at all speeds and it can fit on top of the house," he said. "It basically changes the orientation of the blades to maximize the efficiency. - Source

05/30/08 - the 'Blue Energy Hoax'
The President has been chided for apparently being taken in by what experts are calling the "Blue Energy" hoax. Blue Energy was the work of a Joko Suprapto, who claimed to have created fuel from water. Joko, who has been labeled a charlatan by some observers, managed to secure a meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who was eager to pursue the Blue Energy project. Some scientists and lawmakers have since dismissed the so-called invention as a hoax, saying the President was deceived by Joko, who never published articles about his claimed Blue Energy in scientific journals. The presidential office has never issued a statement about the issue, although lawmakers and scientists have urged the government to explain the mystery behind Joko's brief disappearance and what has happened with his invention. - Source

05/30/08 - High Prices Lead to Gas Theft
What do Americans do when faced with higher prices? Most of them simply cut back on their driving; AAA reports a decrease of 4.3% in traffic which equates to 11 billion fewer miles. Other Americans find it easier to step down from their high horses and resort to crime. Reports have come in for truck-jackings for the fuel rather than the vehicle. Gas stations report increased cases of "drive-offs" where patrons simply fill-up and drive away without paying. And the siphoning crimes of the 70s are prevalent, but in a new way. Instead of siphoning with a hose, the high clearance of SUVs allow thieves to simply drill into the fuel tank or cut the fuel lines. Across the Atlantic, UK truckers have taken to angry protest by intentionally congesting highways over fuel costs equivalent to $11.50 a gallon. - Source

05/30/08 - Create your own solar energy at home
Energy independence is not some far-off dream: High quality solar technology exists here and now. The initial investment cost is still high, but as more and more folks purchase solar collection equipment it will become less expensive. During the last decade we have had the opportunity to install several solar energy systems. The first one that we contracted cost the homeowner over $110,000 (after rebates). Today that same system would run about $30,000 and will last for 40 years or more. Calculating life expectancy against installation cost, and amortizing the cost on a monthly basis, today's average solar system will run its owner about $62 a month. If you use that $62 a month to charge an electric car, you can replace both your gas bill and your electric bill, an obvious savings. If you add solar the next time you replace your roof, your home will be one of the most sought-after in the neighborhood. And its value will skyrocket. A solar system and a swimming pool now cost about the same, but a swimming pool will only improve the cost of your home by a few thousand dollars. There are companies that supply and install solar panels on top of your roof and those that offer solar collectors that are an integral part of your roof shingle system. Both are a sensible alternatives. - Source

05/30/08 - Darpa's New Medical Treatment: Putty
When bombs shatter bones with compound fractures, it can take multiple surgeries and lots of rehab to set things right. So Darpa, the Pentagon's premiere research shop, wants to "develop a dynamic putty-like material" that can be packed around a shattered bone, support the body while the patient heals -- and bio-degrade, once it's all over. - Source

05/30/08 - Mars scientists ponder polygon mystery
KeelyNet Scientists working with images from the Mars Phoenix mission are baffled by an unexpected difference between what they thought they would see and what Phoenix is now showing them. Polygons on Earth tend to be big, measuring 15 to 20 metres across. On Mars, based on the best available knowledge of conditions in the northern plains, Michael Mellon calculates that the polygons should be, on average, 5 metres across. They are not. "It has certainly got our brains turning," says Mellon. - Source

05/30/08 - BMW says solar roof panels could cut fuel bills
Future car models from German maker BMW could be equipped with roof-mounted solar panels aimed at saving fuel and cutting pollutants. The energy from the sun would be used to top up the car's battery or else pre-warm liquids in the engine to make cold starts less wearing on mechanical parts and also more fuel-efficient. A square metre of solar panelling is sufficient to generate enough electrical power to run or charge up onboard systems such as navigation devices and cell phones. It could also be used to pre-warm air-conditioning systems. - Source

05/30/08 - Meat Wagons
New York City is working on a plan to deploy a special ambulance to collect the bodies of people who have died suddenly from heart attacks, accidents and other emergencies and try to preserve their organs. If the "rapid-organ-recovery ambulance" succeeds, officials would like to expand the unique pilot program citywide with a fleet of ambulances and eventually duplicate it in other cities. Once all hope for resuscitation was gone, and as long as no family members objected, the victims' bodies would be transferred to the organ ambulance team, even if the victims' willingness to be organ donors was unclear. The crew could then perform measures on the body to prevent the organs from deteriorating, including chest compressions with an automated device and pumping oxygen into the lungs through a tracheal tube to keep blood and oxygen flowing. The crew might also administer the blood-thinning drug heparin to prevent clots while speeding to Bellevue. At the hospital, doctors could take additional steps, such as inserting a plastic tube known as a cannula into an artery, usually in the groin, to infuse the body with fluids to cool and preserve the organs. Organ bank workers would then assess whether the person was a suitable donor, determine whether they had an organ donor card or were listed on an organ donor registry, and try to locate a family member to give consent. - Source

05/30/08 - Wal-Mart puts the squeeze on food costs
The retailer is using its clout with vendors to hold onto its everyday low prices. "When our grocery suppliers bring price increases, we don't just accept them," says Pamela Kohn, Wal-Mart's general merchandise manager for perishables. To be sure, Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) isn't the only retailer working to cut fat from the food chain, but as the largest grocer - Wal-Mart's food and consumables revenue is nearly $100 billion - it has a disproportionate amount of leverage. Here's how the retailer is throwing its weight around. Shrink the Goods. Cutout the Middlemen. Go Locovore. - Source

05/30/08 - Workers shifting to 4-day week to save gasoline
The reason is simple: rising gas prices and a desire to retain good workers. Regular gasoline averages $3.94 a gallon in the United States, up 33 cents in the past month and 88 cents since the beginning of the year, the Energy Information Administration said this week. The federal government has offered four-day workweeks to eligible employees for years as part of a flexible work program that also includes telecommuting. But the surge in gasoline prices is pushing more private employers as well as local governments to offer a four-day week as a perk that eliminates two commutes a week. "By allowing employees to work four 10-hour days it will save them 20 percent on their commute costs and ease the financial pinch of filling up their cars," said L. Brooks Patterson, who last week proposed the compressed week for county workers. Gasoline prices have begun altering U.S. commutes in many ways, a survey released on Thursday showed. Some 44 percent of respondents said they have changed the way they commute -- doing things such as sharing a ride or driving a more fuel-efficient car -- or are working from home or looking for a closer job in order to reduce gasoline costs, according to staffing services company Robert Half International. That's up from 34 percent two years ago. On New York's Long Island, Suffolk County legislator Wayne Horsley also has proposed employees have the option of working four 10-hour shifts, rather than five eight-hour shifts, saying it would save 461 barrels of oil in a 120-day pilot project. "This is a gasoline-driven proposition and we're looking to change people's long term philosophies of life," Horsley said. The program, termed Operation Sunshine, will cut gasoline costs for workers who drive an average round trip of 32 miles to work. It also aims to cut the county's energy bill by having fewer employees in the office at a time, Horsley said. - Source

05/28/08 - Turning to water to save fuel
KeelyNet Franky Chahyadi's motorbike used to travel between 30 and 35 kilometers on one liter of premium fuel. But since he started using an electrolyzer, a liter of premium fuel can keep his motorbike going for 50 to 55 kilometers. And it's not just his motorbike; his Mercedes C18 is also performing more economically. Before, a liter of fuel was just enough to travel five kilometers, but with an electrolyzer, his Mercedes travels nine. In 2006, after undertaking numerous tests, Joko found a simple way to separate the hydrogen and oxygen in water and channel the hydrogen to the engine. This can save between 70 and 100 percent of fuel used in motor vehicles. The shape of the device is quite simple. A coil is wrapped around a plastic soy sauce bottle and is used to transmit an electric current beneath the bottle. The coil is connected to the battery. A pipe is attached to the top of the bottle to connect the engine to the carburetor. "When the engine is running, it will automatically produce hydrogen and this causes an explosion in the engine," Joko said. "The chemical formula for water is H2O. If this is subjected to an electric current, it will produce H2 and O2," Joko said. About five seconds after the electric current, gas bubbles out of the water. After the gas has been channeled to the trial engine, it explodes and can drive the crankshaft five meters or more. "This is just from using one piston. If we use three pistons to drive the crankshaft, it can break," Joko said. He chose a transparent soy sauce bottle because it was cheap, easy to find and safe. "The transparency can help us check the water's condition and whether or not it is still clear," Joko said. In order to produce good hydrogen, the water should be neutral or rainwater, and it only needs to be changed once a month. The use of tap water can cause problems because it includes other substances that inhibit the production of hydrogen. Joko installed the electrolyzer in his car. Joko said burning hydrogen was good and its octane rating reached 130. This compares with the rating of premium fuel, which is only in the 80s, and Pertamax, with a rating of 94. With the electrolyzer, the burning of fuel is more efficient and the power of the engine is stronger, he said. He said the more efficient burning decreases carbon emissions. Oil use also becomes more economical. It is cleaner because it partly emits water in place of carbon. "Consequently, water will always come out of vehicles with electrolyzers. When the engine is used for the first time in the morning, the system expels water," Joko said. To replace the raw materials used for installation in a motorcycle, the customer is charged Rp 75,000 (US$8) for motorbikes and Rp 150,000 for cars. "This is not about profit. The money being charged is only used to buy the components," said Joko, adding more than 1,000 vehicles have used his invention. Since he has no commercial interest, Joko said he did not want to patent his invention. He hopes people will make the device themselves since its construction is simple and the materials easy to find. Joko is further innovating in trying to develop an engine that uses water as its fuel. He has changed the working mechanisms of a lawn mower engine so the machine can only use exploding hydrogen and not fuel. "Using 10 soy sauce bottles each containing 0.5 liters of water, the lawn mower engine keeps running," he said. "I want to try this on my motorcycle just using water." Joko believes the fuel crisis will be solved with the creation of a water-powered engine. - Source

05/28/08 - With the money we spent on the Iraq war -- what else could we do?
KeelyNet We could have sent a colony of over 500 astronauts to Mars, provided modern nuclear power to the USA and shut down its coal plants, built modern cities for 600,000,000 Chinese people to live in, and so on... For $6Tn we could buy a lot of juice - a quarter of our global civilization's energy budget would go carbon-neutral at a stroke. (Yes, we just solved our carbon dioxide emissions problem by switching to a nuclear economy.) This probably isn't the ideal way of dealing with our environmental problems, and it's a naive treatment of the costs (has anyone done a proper treatment of the economic implications of shifting the planet over to a nuclear economy, say to the same extent as France?) but it's thought-provoking. Finally, there's all the other little stuff we could solve by pointing $513Bn at it, never mind $6000Bn. Eliminating childhood diseases in South-East Asia? Piffle - Bill and Melinda Gates are trying to do that out of their pocket lint. Build first-world grade housing in shiny new cities for 600 million Chinese peasants, nearly a tenth of the planetary population? Yes, this budget will cover that. What else? Yes, I'm asking you: what would you do with the cost of the Iraq war (take your pick: $513Bn or $6000Bn) in your budget? Colonise Mars? Solve our carbon emission problem and fix global warming? House half a billion people? Or something else ...? (And what isn't going to happen now, because we pissed it all away on the desert sands?) (via boingboing.net) - Source

05/28/08 - Local inventor making cheaper gas from coal?
As pump prices approach $4.00, a Bowling Green inventor says he's created a machine that could save you money someday. Albert Calderon says he's made a machine that helps turn coal into cheaper gas. The president of Calderon Energy Co. spent 30 years coming up with the new technology with help from his team. The patented idea is getting national attention as several big companies examine the invention. Calderon claims it can reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, and lower our fuel prices. "We can make this the equivalent of 25 dollars per barrel of oil, which will come out about $1.10 gasoline at the pump," He told NBC 24 during a demonstration in his lab. / 6,911,058 - June 28, 2005 - A method for producing clean energy from coal by feeding the coal in a reactor which is sealed to the atmosphere and moving the coal in the reactor while injecting oxygen to combust a portion of the coal in a substoichiometric mode to devolatilize the coal and yield a pressurized hydrogen rich raw gas which contains coal-derived cancer causing distillates and hydrocarbons together with a hot char. The distillates and the hydrocarbons are cracked to result in a cracked gas of essentially 2H.sub.2 and 1CO which after desulfurization becomes an ideal synthesis gas that can be synthesized to a liquid fuel for heating and transportation as an alternate to petroleum. - Source

05/28/08 - Fold a Protein for the Future
KeelyNet FoldIt is a game designed to teach you how to fold proteins. While it’s designed as a game, the purpose is serious. Finding the correct protein configuration offers solutions for curing many diseases. The right protein can lock onto molecules and viruses that are causing the problem, enabling them to be removed. Think of it as fitting the pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, which in the case of proteins involves hundreds of thousands of pieces. FoldIt starts with three-dimensional models of known proteins and asks you to try to twist them into the optimum shape for attaching to other molecules. This may sound like a job for cellular biologists but because it’s designed as a game, you can get pretty good at it in about 15 minutes. Joy was soon folding proteins as if they had just come out of the drier, eventually refining one that had more than 8,000 possible shapes. A project called Rosetta@Home taps into idle PCs to calculate all possible protein shapes. There are 200,000 volunteers in the Rostta@home project, but so far, they haven't been enough. The mathematical problem is so huge that all the computers in the world could take centuries to solve it. “People, who have intuition, might be able to home in on the right answer much more quickly, “ Baker says. FoldIt.com is funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), Intel, Adobe, Microsoft, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Nvidia. (via http://www.oncomp.com/) - Source

05/28/08 - Wind power could make Norway "Europe's battery"
Norway could become "Europe's battery" by developing huge sea-based wind parks costing up to $44 billion by 2025, Norway's Oil and Energy Minister said on Monday. Sufficient wind parks -- totaling 5,000 to 8,000 megawatts installed capacity -- would cost between 100 billion Norwegian and 220 billion Norwegian crowns ($43.89 billion) assuming prices of 20-28 million crowns per installed megawatt. The energy would be equivalent to up to about eight nuclear power plants. Norway pumps about 2.2 million barrels of oil per day -- $44 billion represents the value of about half a year's output. - Source

05/28/08 - Tiny video $99 camera mounts to R/C planes, skateboards, etc.
KeelyNet This 1 oz. video camera, meant for R/C planes, could be used for a number of fun projects. 3" x 1-1/2" x 1/2" (camera only), 1 oz. V.2 changes include: larger resolution, LCD display, rotating lens, longer battery life, and a thermal activated motion detector. Video camera includes audio, still photos, a voice recorder, USB drive, and a Webcam. Unit is small enough to mount on just about any model FlyCamOne2 micro video cameraairplane, small parkflyers, RC cars, trains, skate boards, or even a kite. Can be remotely activated using an additional servo. Videos are recorded with a resolution of 640x480 for clear playback, complete with sound, and 1280x1024 pixels for still photos. Camera lens rotates 90 degrees so you can take photos or video from multiple angles. Built-in rechargeable 200 mAh Li-Ion battery that charges via the USB port on your computer in about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. (via boingboing.net) - Source

05/28/08 - Avalanche Effect Demonstrated In Solar Cells
"Researchers at TU Delft (Netherlands) and the FOM (Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter) have found irrefutable proof that the so-called avalanche effect by electrons occurs in specific semiconducting crystals of nanometer dimensions. This physical effect could pave the way for cheap, high-output solar cells. Solar cells currently have relatively low output, typically 15%, and high manufacturing costs. One possible improvement could derive from a new type of solar cell made of semiconducting nanocrystals and could theoretically lead to a maximum output of 44%, with the added benefit of reducing manufacturing costs. In conventional solar cells, one photon can release precisely one electron. However, in some semiconducting nanocrystals, one photon can release two or three electrons, hence the term 'avalanche effect.' This effect was first measured by researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratories in 2004, and since then the scientific world had raised doubts about the value of these measurements. This current research does in fact demonstrate that the avalanche effect can occur." - Source

05/28/08 - Nigeria: Waste-to-Energy - Engineer Launches Machine
KeelyNet An engineer, Mr. Audu Guga, yesterday in Abuja launched a motorised briquette machine capable of turning agricultural and wood wastes into energy. "The machine will meet the energy needs of targeted population, mitigating the hazards of de-forestation, enhanced efficient utilisation of raw materials and improve on environmental cleanliness," he said. Guga said the machine, which would cost about N350,000, was designed to convert wood and agricultural wastes into useful materials for the production of energy. The principal scientific officer said the machine was built on a four piston cylinder platform and driven by two gear reducer electric motor. Guga said a loaded test of the machine had shown that 12.75kg of mixed waste materials produced 12.00kg of briquettes in 15 minutes. "This gave a production rate of 48kg per hour and production efficiency of 94 per cent," he said. He said the briquettes produced by the machine performed better than those of the manually operated machine in terms of shatter index and heating characteristics. - Source

05/28/08 - Singapore Firm Claims Patent Breach By Virtually All Websites
"A Singapore firm, VueStar has threatened to sue websites that use pictures or graphics to link to another page, claiming it owns the patent for a technology used by millions around the world. The company is also planning to take on giants like Microsoft and Google. It is a battle that could, at least in theory, upend the Internet. The firm has been sending out invoices to Singapore companies since last week asking them to pay up." - Source

05/28/08 - Right To Die card
KeelyNet Its backers say it is a practical way of implementing the Mental Capacity Act, which came into force in 2007. The act allows adults to draw up "advance directives" stating what sort of treatment they don't want should they lose capacity. They build on the principle of "living wills" but, crucially, mean that doctors are legally bound to abide by a patient's wish to refuse life-sustaining treatment. Carrying the card alerts anyone who finds it that the patient has made decisions about treatment, and there is a detailed statement to be found with named relatives or friends and, ideally, their GP. - Source

05/28/08 - Time to do something about oil
It should be clear that the recent rise in oil prices is not driven by fundamentals. Economists differ about the price elasticity of oil, but the lowest plausible estimates for short-term price elasticity are around 10%, with medium-term elasticity being much higher. Thus if oil legend T Boone Pickens is right that oil supplies are currently 85 million barrels per day and oil demand is 87 million, that is a supply shortfall of 2.4%, which at a 10% elasticity should produce a price increase of 24%, not 60%. The principal influence behind the huge rise in oil prices has been speculation, whether by the international oil companies, by hedge funds deprived of easy pickings in the housing and equities markets, or by the oil suppliers themselves, drunk with the glory of their new-found wealth. If we do nothing, but continue to focus on housing, consumer inflation and the NBA playoffs, oil prices will continue rising. This will have only a modest short-term effect, but a highly damaging effect in the medium term, as the recession-producing tendency of high oil prices works its malign magic on the long-suffering world economy. Operation Iraqi Freedom has been a smashing success, and only appalling Wilsonian wimpiness in the US government has prevented the United States from taking full advantage of it. Iraq's known oil reserves have been increased by about 100 billion barrels since the invasion... The problem is that the US did not secure itself a proper royalty on the new oil finds (even 10% would have been worthwhile - $1.1 trillion over the next few decades.) Nor did it ensure, by setting up a privatized oil company and a trust fund for the Iraqi people diverting oil revenues from the Iraqi government, that the new oil finds would be exploited in an efficient manner and the supplies directed properly into the world oil market. Any future invasion of an oil-producing country should avoid these two mistakes and thus make itself self-financing. For those who feel that invasion-for-oil is altogether too Bismarckian in its implications, there are other alternatives. The most effective would be to use the interest-rate weapon, reversing the damage caused by the cuts since September and ideally going a little further, to fight the resulting consumer price inflation. - Source

05/28/08 - Military Medical Research in Regeneration
Lizards are known for their uncanny ability to regenerate lost body parts from a substance called nAG which stimulates stem cells. Studies discovered the process involved fooling the stem cells into believing the limb was in an "earlier state of time" thus requiring development and growth. People have tried to induce regeneration in humans for years with successful instances occurring under the most rare and unique conditions. For example, a man who severed his fingertip in the prop of a model airplane actually regrew the tip after wrapping it in a pig's bladder. Dr. Stephen Badylak, a regeneration expert at the University of Pittsburgh, indicates that regrowth of fingertips is actually common in children under two years old. The Pentagon is sponsoring new research into the process to help wounded veterans. Current tests involve using "pixie dust", a pig extract, to stimulate the host's stem cells into growing the missing limb back over a scaffold. The process has worked before in regenerating animal organs. - Source

05/28/08 - Dropped your phone in Water? I can help
KeelyNet It's very common to hear people around you getting their gadgets soaked in water (normally is into the toilet bowl), and it's even worst when the damage is so bad that it's beyond repair. By the way, most company's warranty do not cover water damages, which makes the matter even worst. Here's a temporary way to help you revive your expensive gadget after a nice bath.. "Power off the device if it's not off already and try to completely cover the device in a bowl of dry rice. Rice being a natural dessicant will help absorb the excess moisture. Let it dry for at least 24 hours and DO NOT try to change the device. If your device has a removeable battery, dry it separately to speed up the whole drying process." I've heard of rice's capabilities of absorbing moisture, in fact, it's used by professionals when they're restoring artworks which contacted water in some way. However, I've never thought of using it when things get wet. - Source

05/28/08 - Lorry fuel protest to bring London to a halt
One group of around 90 hauliers left the Medway services on the A2 in Kent on a three-hour journey into the capital, with horns blaring and to the applause of motorists. Around 150 lorries left Essex for London and about 100 were travelling in from Bedfordshire as well as many other hauliers from all around the UK. More than 1,000 vehicles are expected to converge on the capital demanding a rebate on duty, fearing hundreds of small hauliers could be forced to close by rising diesel prices. The demonstration comes as Gordon Brown faces increased pressure to shelve a 2p increase in petrol duty and calls for a rethink over a planned hike in road tax. The Government faces the prospect of a damaging backbench rebellion after figures released to the Daily Telegraph showed that nearly 18 million motorists will suffer from above-inflation increases in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). - Source

05/28/08 - Nomadic Shelters
KeelyNet Temporary housing or shelters have been the base for ancient nomadic cultures - these days a renaisance is occuring with the current lifestyle and growing desire to go back to nature and live more closely to it. So many ancient native shelters experience a renewal and rediscovery, but also relatively new developments such as geodesic domes or general dome for energy efficiency have been invented. - Source

05/28/08 - Dirty Little Secret Of Inkjet Printers
What is undeniably true: * All inkjet printers perform self-cleaning * They do this without being prompted, and probably more than most people realise * The only way they can do it is to squirt ink through the print heads * That ink has to go somewhere... - Source

05/28/08 - Dutch Build the First Solar-Powered Speedboat w/video
KeelyNet The Czeers MK1 is a 10-meter vessel covered in photovoltaic cells that is capable of hitting speeds of up to 30 knots (55.5 km/ph to you non-nautical folks out there). While there are certainly faster boats on the water, those tend to use obscene amounts of fuel. The solar-powered Czeers MK1 is naturally going to be a lot quieter than its gas guzzling cousins, which would make it great for sneaking up over fish (though there is limited space to put them if you catch them. I would like to see a similar model with little bit more space for passengers, even if it did mean sacrificing some speed. Speedboats are so limited in what they are able to do, but if this had a little extra space, it could do so much more. - Source

05/26/08 - Fuel-saving find
West Fargo inventor Ernie Brookins has produced a hydraulic transmission that can power vehicles without the engine running full time. Now he’s looking for investors willing to fund full-scale production of his prototype. Brookins believes his invention could potentially save drivers 50 percent in fuel costs. Here’s how it works: Brookins’ hybrid drive system captures, compresses, and stores “wasted” drive-train energy produced when a vehicle’s engine is running. The compressed air pushes hydraulic fluid through a piston-driven torque converter capable of propelling a vehicle at highway speeds without the engine running, he says. Once fully developed, an embedded computer system will automatically switch the vehicle’s power source back and forth from engine to hybrid drive transmission. “The engine will have to run about 50 percent of the time,” Brookins said. “If we went out on the road, I could maintain 60 miles per hour with the engine turned off,” Brookins said. “We can put it on anything. This is designed for a grain truck hauling 40,000 pounds,” he said, while displaying a similar prototype in his West Fargo shop. “We’re going to target vehicles using millions of gallons of gas.” Likely targets are school buses, delivery trucks, semis, postal vehicles, even train locomotives: “Anything that uses gas or diesel (fuel) for power,” Brookins said. The invention can “make an immediate impact on the fuel crisis.” Brookins said the invention can be available for commercial markets within six months of having investors and other funding sources that can provide the $250,000 needed to mass produce it. “It does seem to me like it’s sort of a breakthrough invention,” Johnson said. “His challenge is breaking into the industry. It’s going to take a fair amount of capital. He needs someone to partner up and put some money into this.” Brookins said he can produce 10 to 15 units a day with three full-time employees. He would eventually consider selling the business to any U.S. company that could produce 100,000 units per year. “Then we could make an impact on the fuel crisis,” he said. “The market is 1 million per year.” - Source

05/26/08 - Thinking small could pay off big
KeelyNet Carbon nanotubes have been dubbed, quaintly, "nanotube forests." Each individual nanotube acts like a tiny spring, and Livermore thinks that if you combine billions of them, they could do things that no steel spring could achieve. "It is well known that you can store energy in the deformation of a spring," said Livermore. "The main challenge with storing energy in springs is most don't store a lot of energy per unit of weight or volume. Carbon nanotubes are great because they can stretch incredibly far without breaking." The nanotubes work like expansion springs - pull them and they stretch, release them and they pop back to their original shape, releasing energy. Think of them as tiny Slinkies. One possibility is a high-end mechanical watch that might only need winding once a month. Buyers of high-end mechanical timepieces appreciate new technology as it is applied to the centuries-old art of clock making. Livermore said another potential application would be a regenerative braking device for bicycles, in which mechanical energy is captured during braking, and can then be used to provide extra power for getting over hills. Systems currently on the market convert the mechanical energy to electricity, and then use the electricity to power a motor. But whenever energy is converted from one form to another, some is lost. Capturing mechanical energy - the energy of movement - and reusing it in the same state could make the device more efficient. She is also thinking of ways in which the nanotube springs could replace some kind of batteries. Batteries tend to lose their charges over time, and stop working after a certain number of recharges. They don't work well when it's too hot or too cold. Theoretically, the nanotube springs can retain their energy indefinitely and work anywhere. - Source

05/26/08 - Warren Buffett Sees “Long, Deep” U.S. Recession
The United States is already in a recession and it will be longer as well as deeper than many people expect, U.S. investor Warren Buffett said in an interview published in German magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday. Buffett also renewed his criticism of derivatives trading. “It’s not right that hundreds of thousands of jobs are being eliminated, that entire industrial sectors in the real economy are being wiped out by financial bets even though the sectors are actually in good health.” Buffett complained about the lack of effective controls. “That’s the problem,” he said. “You can’t steer it, you can’t regulate it anymore. You can’t get the genie back in the bottle.” - Source

05/26/08 - Former coal mines as new Geothermal Energy Source
Former coal mines in Cape Breton that are flooded with water warmed by the heat of the earth are being seen as a possible source of geothermal energy to heat schools or hospitals. The Cape Breton Development Corp. has been consulting with Cape Breton University about the possibility of capturing the heat from the water, which can rise to 15 C. Collin Harker, a business consultant working with the corporation known as Devco, said the geothermal energy can be captured by bringing mine water to the surface to be run through a heat pump. "They are very common," he said. "Air conditioners run on heat pumps. That will take the heat out of the water and transfer it into . . . the material going through the building." It may also be possible to tap into geothermal energy by immersing heat-capturing technology in the water. Johnstone noted mine water is being used to heat a building belonging to Ropak Can Am Ltd., a manufacturer of plastic packaging products, in Springhill. "If you get to a certain level of efficiency in terms of the components you string together to pull the water out, exchange the heat and then utilize the heat, you can actually get to a status of being a renewable energy," he said. - Source

05/26/08 - Our energy firms have too much power
KeelyNet Allan Asher, chief executive of Energywatch, launched a two-hour tirade against the firms when he was summoned to speak to MPs this week. The simple truth of the matter is that we are getting an extremely bad deal from the energy companies. Britain is almost unique in Europe in that our gas and electricity suppliers have been privatised and deregulated. This should have translated into competition between firms and low prices. The truth is very different. Just a week ago, the European Commission published a set of tables revealing retail prices across Europe. It makes for shocking reading. It shows that our electricity prices are the fourth highest and our gas prices are the 10th highest. When you consider most of the other countries in the tables have old-fashioned, state-run energy firms which have no impetus to keep costs low, it's little short of a scandal. Our energy companies are blaming soaring global energy prices for the ever-increasing cost of heating and lighting our homes, but that's not a sufficient explanation. Remember that 75 per cent of the gas we use in our homes comes from our own North Sea fields. That's gas we own and gas that isn't part of a wider, global market. As for electricity, 40 per cent of what we use comes from gas-fired power stations. How did we get to the stage where the average household bill has gone up from £662 in 2005 to £1,048 today? The answer is very simple - we have succumbed to gas prices that are tied to insane global oil prices for little purpose other than to make billions for the gas producers. Not only that but Britain's big six energy suppliers have become bloated, secretive firms which have no incentive to keep costs low. They are now free to operate like a comfortable oligopoly - the domination of the market by a handful of firms - under little pressure to keep prices low. - Source

05/26/08 - Survivalists Prepare for Energy Crisis
Convinced the planet’s oil supply is dwindling and the world’s economies are heading for a crash, some people around the country are moving onto homesteads, learning to live off their land, conserving fuel and, in some cases, stocking up on guns they expect to use to defend themselves and their supplies from desperate crowds of people who didn’t prepare. The exact number of people taking such steps is impossible to determine, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the movement has been gaining momentum in the last few years. These energy survivalists are not leading some sort of green revolution meant to save the planet. Many of them believe it is too late for that, seeing signs in soaring fuel and food prices and a faltering US economy, and are largely focused on saving themselves. Some are doing it quietly, giving few details of their preparations - afraid that revealing such information as the location of their supplies will endanger themselves. They envision a future in which the nation’s cities will be filled with hungry, desperate refugees forced to go looking for food, shelter and water. “There’s going to be things that happen when people can’t get things that they need for themselves and their families,” said Lynn-Marie, who believes cities could see a rise in violence as early as 2012. - Source

05/26/08 - Miracle Water Scam
"I saw this guy offering miracle water for free and I thought maybe I'd give it a try," Gurney said. Josie Gurney was just one of the people who were victims of charismatic evangelical minister Peter Popoff's fraud scheme. The California faith healer has made millions from sick people. Gurney, who suffers from fibromyalgia, believed that he could somehow channel God's energy and make her better. The bottle arrived in the mail four days later. She followed the instructions to the letter, including the request to send $14 to Popoff Ministries. "Next week I got another letter, that he's got more stuff for me to do. It's all these rituals, pieces of paper you have to put in the corners of your bedroom, or there's other things you put under your pillow, drink this sea salt from the Dead Sea, all kinds of things." This time the demand was for $20. Not long after that she was diagnosed with some serious spinal problems, and her desperation for a cure grew. The letters kept coming. "The letters are so intense, they're so demanding. And he does a lot of scare tactics with Satan -- 'God is not going to be happy with you.'" Then she got the letter demanding $1,000, or whatever she could afford. The guy's still on TV, but he should be in prison. - Source

05/26/08 - 15 Billion ($15,000,000,000.00) of U.S. Funds in Iraq unaccounted for
The Pentagon cannot account for nearly 15 billion dollars in payments for goods and services in Iraq, according to an internal audit which members of Congress blasted Friday as a "shocking" accountability failure...as if the other 483 billion that is "accounted for" is going to a worthy cause to begin with... - Source

05/26/08 - New Robot Walks Like A Human
KeelyNet Researcher Daan Hobbelen of TU Delft (The Netherlands) has developed a new, highly-advanced walking robot: Flame. This type of research, for which Hobbelen will receive his PhD on Friday 30 May, is important as it provides insight into how people walk. This can in turn help people with walking difficulties through improved diagnoses, training and rehabilitation equipment. TU Delft is a pioneer of the other method used for constructing walking robots, which examines the way humans walk. This is really very similar to falling forward in a controlled fashion. Adopting this method replaces the cautious, rigid way in which robots walk with the more fluid, energy-efficient movement used by humans. PhD student Daan Hobbelen has demonstrated for the first time that a robot can be both energy-efficient and highly stable. His breakthrough came in inventing a suitable method for measuring the stability of the way people walk for the first time. This is remarkable, as ‘falling forward’ is traditionally viewed as an unstable movement. Next he built a new robot with which he was able to demonstrate the improved performance: Flame. Flame contains seven motors, an organ of balance and various algorithms which ensure its high level of stability. For instance, the robot can apply the information provided by its organ of balance to place its feet slightly further apart in order to prevent a potential fall - Source

05/26/08 - Arata-Zhang LENR Demonstration (Cold Fusion)
Against a monumental backdrop of bad publicity for cold fusion since 1989, researchers in Japan on May 22 demonstrated the production of excess heat and helium-4, the results of an historic low-energy nuclear reaction experiment. The mastermind behind the demonstration is Yoshiaki Arata, a highly respected physicist in Japan who has been the recipent of Japan's highest award, the Order of Cultural Merit, and is the first person to have performed a thermonuclear fusion experiment showing large amounts of d-d reactions in Japan. A lecture by Arata preceded the demonstration before a live audience in Arata Hall (named in his honor) at the Joining and Welding Research Institute at Osaka University. The demonstration took place in the Osaka University Advanced Science & Innovation Center with the help of Arata’s associate, professor Yue Chang Zhang of Shianghai Jiotong University. Professor Akito Takahashi of Osaka University was an eyewitness to the demonstration. "Arata and Zhang demonstrated very successfully the generation of continuous excess energy (heat) from ZrO2-nano-Pd sample powders under D2 gas charging and generation of helium-4," Takahashi wrote. "The demonstrated live data looked just like data they reported in their published papers (J. High Temp. Soc. Jpn, Feb. and March issues, 2008). This demonstration showed that the method is highly reproducible." - Source

05/26/08 - Portable Helicopters That Actually Fly w/video
KeelyNet Here's a new one: a portable helicopter that can be folded up and transported inside a cylinder. Don't let its compact appearance fool you -- the KA-56 boasts a 40hp air-cooled rotary engine capable of reaching a maximum speed of 68MPH. It weighs in at 485-pounds and has a 93-mile range. / GEN H-4 is the world's smallest co-axial helicopter. It features four GEN125 engines that produce 40hp @ 6800-7500rpm and a shock absorbent aluminum frame. Weighing 155-pounds, it has a maximum cruising speed of 55MPH. Unfortunately, it will set you back a hefty $35,000. - Source

05/26/08 - Scientists develop jumping robot
Scientists have built a jumping robot inspired by the grasshopper that can leap 27 times its body length. Swarms of the locust-like drones could one day be used to explore remote areas of the Earth or other planets, say the researchers. The device, which looks like the workings of a watch perched on two long feet, weighs just seven grams, but it can jump 1.4 metres - 10 times further for its size and weight than any other robot. - Source

05/26/08 - Audio ads beam message for your ears only
The technology works by beaming waves of hypersonic sound at a pitch that can't be detected by the human ear. However, when those sound waves strike an object, such as a human body, they suddenly become audible in the immediate area of the object -- allowing personalized marketing that can target one person in a crowd of hundreds. It's also being used in grocery stores in France and in some museums, and could soon be turning traditional advertising on its ear here in Canada too, said Ken Hardy, a marketing professor at the University of Western Ontario. "You step into the spotlight of sound and if you step out, just a foot or so away, you won't hear anything," he told CTV's Canada AM in a recent interview. "It's this ability to cast the sound in a tight little circle that is so novel and so effective." "I don't think it's an invasion of privacy but I do think people might react badly until they get used to it," Hardy said. "I'm not sure everybody wants to hear it so I think as a direct marketing technique it's something that needs experimentation." A talking pop machine that quietly urges passersby to drink Coke, might be a little creepy, Hardy admitted. - Source

05/26/08 - Giant Floating Windmills To Launch Next Year
"StatoilHydro is building the world's first full-scale floating wind turbine, Hywind, and testing it over a two-year period offshore of Karmøy, Norway. The company is investing approximately $80 million. Planned startup is in the fall of 2009. The project combines existing technology in innovative ways. A 2.3-MW wind turbine is attached to the top of a so-called Spar-buoy, a solution familiar from production platforms and offshore loading buoys. A model 3 meters tall has already been tested successfully in a wave simulator. The goal of the pilot is to qualify the technology and reduce costs to a level that will mean that floating wind turbines can compete with other energy sources." - Source

05/24/08 - HyperMiling to save on Gas Costs
KeelyNet I saw a segment on the news about using techniques collectively referred to as HyperMiling, so had to go check out the HyperMiling page. In the demonstration the woman driver, under the tutelage of her instructor, at times exceeded 100mpg but wound up with a more realistic 40-60mpg depending on traffic and road conditions. The coolest part of it was the miles per gallon meter so you get a more or less realtime update of how you are doing. I note they provide a link to buy this for about $160.00 on their page but I’m sure there are other sites which sell equivalents. It would probably pay for itself in a matter of weeks of driving by how much you save on gas by using the tips they give you for HyperMiling. - Source

05/24/08 - Dennis Lee again with the PICC and HAFC - Caveat Emptor
Reader Norm sent me a gas saving URL to check out. It is connected with scamster Dennis Lee so despite all the glowing rhetoric, be very careful before buying into the claims and hyper-inflated prices. There are many hydrogen assist devices that are much cheaper. A quote from the best comments page I could find about them; "The website does not list the price of the HAFC, and you have to ask for a quote. It costs $1045. Other electrolysers, which also do nothing beneficial, cost a fraction of this but are also overpriced: most grade school science teachers can build an electrolyser from a mayonnaise jar, a couple strips of metal and a battery. But even at $5.00 or $2.00, these devices are of no use: the energy to drive the process comes from the car's alternator, which is driven by the car's engine. In a perfect world, the energy used to split the water would be regained when you burn it, but this is not a perfect world. 75% efficiency in splitting the water would be very high efficiency. It burns in the engine at about 25% peak (and usually lower) efficiency. So the system operates at a large net loss. But because little hydrogen is generated, the loss is not enough to notice -- and the placebo effect often works well with these products. You paid over $1000 and are convinced it works, so you are not too careful in measuring actual mileage." / "Dennis is a highly skilled scammer -- perhaps the best at his trade. The very notion that you must first buy the absurdly expensive electrolysis system to be ready for the PICC when it becomes available is the same technique he has used to bilk dealers and investors with his perpetual motion free energy generator: sign up now (before it can be shown that my miracle works -- or, more obviously does not work.)" / "The Hummingbird Motor and Sundance Generator scam is his most famous, in which a generator supplies the current to run a motor, which runs the generator... He holds large gatherings in stadiums, and sells dealerships, future rights to buy the product, etc, etc. A dealer quoted in the linked article says they are 1/3 of the way to their goal of 1.6 million people in their buyers' club, (at $1,000 each). 500,000 x $1,000 = half a billion. (Let's hope that figure is not correct.) Each of the buyers' club members has the right to rope in 10 friends at $1,000 each. The dollar amount quickly becomes staggering -- all without selling a single actual product." / "Of course your questions have no answers, because there is no PICC. The PICC is the lure to get you to by the HAFC -- and once you have done so, then you can be added to the gullible customer list for future scams." - Source

05/24/08 - Invention - 120% Efficient Drive
KeelyNet An electric motor that produces about 120% more kinetic watts than a conventional motor of the same value has been developed and could soon be available on the commercial market. Prototype developer Zhaan Jordaan reports that the concept behind the energy efficient drive, which was presented to an independent electrical engineer for testing, is to use 12 volts of DC power supply with 7,5 applied ampere (A). This could enable a drive to produce 288 W of mechanical power on a Dynamometer. Jordaan adds that this is achieved using no fuel on the motor. This could equate to a drive unit that is 300% more efficient then a conventional. In 2003, Jordaan set about experimenting with permanent magnets to build such a machine. The traditional belief is that 12 V of dc coupled with 7,5 A, will result in 90 W of electricity, at 90% efficiency, which equates to 81 W. Jordaan says that one is able to calculate that if a big enough machine is coupled to a 12 V battery and an alternator, it is possible to produce more electrical watts than is used by the device and have surplus amperage to keep the battery fully laden. Jordaan reports that during testing, the prototype was coupled to a large enough alternator that was capable of generating 120 A of current. The magnetic drive unit used 64 A delivering 2 200 W, which is more than enough to drive the alternator. This left a surplus of 56 A. With this one could drive a 900-W alternating current inverter which would use 49 A and still have a reserve of 7 A which was sufficient to keep the battery fully charged at all times. He adds that although the prototype has not been used on any projects, the foreseeable future is positive. - Source

05/24/08 - Roasting Energy Crops Improves Output
A process used to roast coffee beans could give Britain's biomass a power boost, increasing the energy content of some of the UK's leading energy crops by up to 20 percent, according to new research carried out by engineers from the University of Leeds. The researchers at the University of Leeds examined the combustion behavior of crops grown specifically for energy creation when put through a mild thermal process called “torrefaction” - more usually associated with coffee production. Torrefaction is increasingly seen as a desirable treatment for biomass because it creates a solid product which is easier to store, transport and mill than raw biomass. The study examined the energy crops willow, canary grass and agricultural residue wheat straw to see what happened when they went through the torrefaction process and how they behaved at a range of temperatures when they were heated to create an energy-enhanced fuel. Results showed that the treated materials needed less time and energy to heat to burning point, and also that they offered increased energy yields upon burning. Willow emerged as having the most favorable properties, in that it retained more of its mass in the torrefaction process and also performed best in terms of its energy yield. As an example, willow was shown to have an 86 percent energy yield, compared with 77 percent for wheat straw and 78 percent for reed canary grass. - Source

05/24/08 - Inventor: liquid boosts mileage, reduces pollution
KeelyNet A southern Oregon inventor claims he has developed a way to not only save you money at the pump but also reduce air pollution. "We've come up with a solution to get all of the fuel to burn efficiently," said the inventor, Bob Kurko. "If you get all of the fuel burning, you're not going to have emissions." He said it changes the way gasoline is used in the engine, making it burn 100 percent efficiently. Kurko said your car would actually act as an air cleaner. When the air from the outside is pulled in through the air intake system, through the filter and then mixed in the engine with the gasoline and the fuel catalyst, what's burned and comes out of your tail pipe is actually cleaner than the air that went in to your engine. Some of the vehicles - including Hummers and large two-and-a-half ton trucks - saw fuel efficiency increase 45 percent and emissions drop 98 percent. KATU reporter Thom Jensen tested the catalyst in his own car. First he ran his family's sport utility vehicle on regular gasoline. After burning through a tank of fuel, his vehicle's onboard computer showed an average gas mileage of 18.2 mpg. Then he filled up again and added a quart of the E3 catalyst and ran the SUV under his usual driving conditions. The computer showed he was getting almost 22 mpg. The actual materials used in the catalyst have not been made public. The reporter tested his 2004 Volvo at Morgan Automotive in southeast Portland on a four-gas analyzer. It ran super clean before the additive, with hydrocarbons at just 8 ppm (parts per million) and carbon monoxide at zero - which is clean enough to pass the strictest emissions requirements in the U.S. With the fuel additive, there were no hydrocarbons (pictured at right), which is not unheard of but not seen often, according to those at the shop. To learn more about the company and its product, Click here. - Source

05/24/08 - Drunken Astronomers Arrange for Possible Alien Contact in 2015
One transmission was made in 1983 by a pair of drunken Japanese astronomers, Hisashi Hirabayashi and Masaki Morimoto. Under the influence, the astronomers transmitted a message to the Altair system simply because it's close proximity would allow a "quick" response if alien life existed there. Assuming an immediate turnaround upon reception, the aliens could respond with a similarly drunken "cheers" that would arrive on Earth in 2015. Or they might decide Earth's best and brightest are drunks and that we are easy to colonize. - Source

05/24/08 - More-Powerful Fuel Cells
KeelyNet A cheap polymer material increases the power output of methanol fuel cells by 50 percent. The energy density of a methanol fuel cell "compares to the best high-energy-density batteries," says Robert Savinell, a chemical engineer at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland. The energy density of methanol fuel cells could also be an advantage in portable consumer electronic devices such as laptops and iPods. But commercialization of methanol fuel cells has been limited because of their price: they require a thick internal membrane made of an expensive polymer. And even with this expensive material, they use fuel inefficiently. Methanol fuel cells have two compartments separated by a membrane. On one side, methanol is stripped of protons and electrons. The protons are carried through the membrane to the other compartment, where they are combined with oxygen to form water. The electrons, which can't cross the membrane, are forced into an external current that can be used to power electronic devices. Because water is being created inside the fuel cell, the membrane is wet. Methanol, which is very soluble in water, is absorbed by conventional fuel-cell membranes and can cross over to the other side. This wastes fuel and makes the cathode, the oxidizing end of the cell, work harder. Paula Hammond, a chemical engineer at MIT, has made a fuel-cell membrane out of layers of polymers whose electrochemical properties can be precisely tuned to prevent fuel waste. - Source

05/24/08 - MIT Technology Review: Oil Left in the Ground
Even with record-high oil prices, about two-thirds of the oil in known oil fields is being left in the ground. That's because existing technologies that could extract far more oil--as much as about 75 percent of the oil in some oil fields--aren't being widely used, according to experts in the petroleum industry. - Source

05/24/08 - Hydraulic Hybrid Cars: No Batteries Required
KeelyNet Hydraulic hybrids conceptually resemble their electric hybrid cousins. Only in this case, energy storage takes place not in a battery but in high-pressure hydraulic accumulators usually charged in excess of 3,000 psi. The best of these accumulators have power densities of roughly 500 kW/kg, according to Jim O’Brien, founder and chief technology officer for Hybra Drive Systems, a start-up focusing on the development of hydraulic power trains. Design concepts for hydraulic hybrids vary, but typically the car’s diesel or gas engine powers a hydraulic pump motor, which charges that high-pressure accumulator. The accumulator, in turn, drives one or more additional pump motors connected to the wheels. A second lower pressure accumulator typically completes the hydraulic circuit. Depending on the design, there may be one pump motor to drive a pair of wheels through a differential or one pump motor per wheel for an all-wheel-drive version with independent torque control. During braking, the pump motors on the wheels reverse themselves, re-charging the accumulator and capturing energy that would otherwise be lost to heat. The hydraulic hybrids now under development can communicate with modern engines and do have some electronic controls. Yet in their purest form, they don’t really need any electronics to function. Hybra Drive, for example, has shoehorned a prototype hydraulic power train into a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle. “The only electric thing on that car is the spark plug,” says O’Brien. Hydra-Drive, too, has drastically increased mileage of an Humvee for the military and an H1 Hummer that it has retrofitted with a hydraulic hybrid power train as part of a joint development agreement with Gates Corp. O’Brien says the Humvee’s mileage, for example, leapt from around 10 to 23 mpg. In terms of driving performance, hydraulic hybrids have something else going for them - the potential to leverage their high-power-density energy storage capabilities for short-term bursts of power that far outstrip the engine’s nominal power. How much power? O’Brien says Hybra Drive’s Hummer H1 conversion uses a 190 hp diesel engine yet can offer short bursts of power up to 600 hp. / Hydraulic hybrids store energy in the form of pressurized fluid (which can be used without power conversion). Hydraulic hybrids also offer several significant advantages as compared to electric hybrids. A component of HHPT, the variable displacement gear pump/motor, has become a hit in the marketplace in its own right. It’s a quick-to-market, incremental improvement replacement product. The simplicity of its design makes it easier and less costly than existing technology (i.e., vane and piston pumps) to manufacture and repair. Its smaller size and lighter weight design make it easier to package, a real benefit in an industry where consumers are demanding more payload capacity and better efficiency. - Source

05/24/08 - Diesel Automobiles Clean Up for an Encore
The diesel engine has always been known for outstanding fuel efficiency, with better mileage (by 25 percent to 40 percent) than gasoline. But the kerosenelike fuel and the engines that burn it were dirty, noisy, dawdling and even deadly, linked to increased risk of cancer and respiratory disease. That has all changed, in part because of cleaner-burning fuel - its 2006 rollout had been mandated in 2000 by the Clinton administration - that has 97 percent less of the sulfur responsible for diesel engines’ sooty particulates. Advances like turbocharging and high-pressure fuel injection have transformed diesel cars from soot-belching slowpokes with a telltale clickety-clack sound to smooth, tidy and powerful machines that many Americans would have a hard time distinguishing from gasoline models. With technical and environmental hurdles overcome - and facing tougher mileage standards that call for a 35 m.p.g. average by 2020 - automakers are rushing in with clean-diesel cars. - Source

05/24/08 - Panspermia - Humans Actually Are from a Distant Planet
It all sounds far-fetched, but new research suggests microbes can survive an asteroid impact big enough so send them into space, making panspermia - the idea that we're all really aliens at heart - a real possibility. Previous experiments have shown that microbes can survive in the punishing cold of space. Their ability to hide out in a rock's interior, safe from a vacuum is well-documented too. Scientists involved in this research sprinkleding test rocks with bacteria known to live inside stone, some cyanobacteria, and a dash of lichen onto them. All three lifeforms survived the high-speed collision, suggesting they could be floating through outer space even now, waiting for a chance encounter with distant planet to plant the seeds of a whole new 'alien' biosphere. - Source

05/24/08 - 100 Explosions on the Moon
Not so long ago, anyone claiming to see flashes of light on the Moon would be viewed with deep suspicion by professional astronomers. Such reports were filed under "L" … for lunatic. Not anymore. Over the past two and a half years, NASA astronomers have observed the Moon flashing at them not just once but one hundred times. "They're explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the Moon," explains Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). "A typical blast is about as powerful as a few hundred pounds of TNT and can be photographed easily using a backyard telescope." A common question, says Cooke, is "how can something explode on the Moon? There's no oxygen up there." These explosions don't require oxygen or combustion. Meteoroids hit the moon with tremendous kinetic energy, traveling 30,000 mph or faster. "At that speed, even a pebble can blast a crater several feet wide. The impact heats up rocks and soil on the lunar surface hot enough to glow like molten lava--hence the flash." - Source

05/24/08 - Gas prices drive farmer to switch to mules
KeelyNet High gas prices have driven a Warren County farmer and his sons to hitch a tractor rake to a pair of mules to gather hay from their fields. T.R. Raymond bought Dolly and Molly at the Dixon mule sale last year. Son Danny Raymond trained them and also modified the tractor rake so the mules could pull it. T.R. Raymond says the mules are slower than a petroleum-powered tractor, but there are benefits. "This fuel's so high, you can't afford it," he said. "We can feed these mules cheaper than we can buy fuel. That's the truth." - Source

05/24/08 - Xbox aLive - Smashing vs Stepping, which is better Excercise?
Compared with the Wii Fit cartoony characters, the Xbox-ercise aLive program will take advantage of the Xbox 360’s more powerful graphic capabilities to render more realistic fitness instructors. Also, like most comparable games between the two systems, Xbox-ercise aLive will feature more violence. “Dance and yoga are fun, but violent actions are what get people in shape,” said Xbox-ercise aLive’s marketing director Todd Belham. “The Wii Fit stuff is for wimps. You burn a lot more calories smashing the controller into someone’s skull than stepping on and off the Wii Fit pad.” The system works best with two or more players, but antisocial individuals can get in shape as well by bashing the controller against a couch or an inflatable companion. The Xbox-ercise aLive subscription-based fitness program will have four tiers available to consumers: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. These will range in price from $200 to $2000 a year, and can be purchased starting in June from the Xbox Live Marketplace. - Source

05/24/08 - Mapping Lunar Gravity
KeelyNet Maria Zuber is the principal investigator of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory - "GRAIL" for short. It's a new NASA mission slated for launch in 2011 that will probe the moon's quirky gravity field. Data from GRAIL will help scientists understand forces at play beneath the lunar surface and learn how the moon, Earth and other terrestrial planets evolved. Here's how it works: GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft, one behind the other, around the moon for several months. All the while, a microwave ranging system will precisely measure the distance between the two satellites. By watching that distance expand and contract as the two satellites fly over the lunar surface, researchers can map the moon's underlying gravity field1. Scientists have long known that the moon's gravity field is strangely uneven and tugs on satellites in complex ways. Without course corrections, orbiters end their missions nose down in the moondust! In fact, all five of NASA's Lunar Orbiters (1966-1972), four Soviet Luna probes (1959-1965), two Apollo sub-satellites (1970-1971) and Japan's Hiten spacecraft (1993) suffered this fate. The source of the gravitational quirkiness is a number of huge mascons (short for "mass concentrations") buried under the surfaces of lunar maria or "seas." Formed by colossal asteroid impacts billions of years ago, mascons make the moon the most gravitationally lumpy major body in the solar system. The anomaly is so great-half a percent-that it actually would be measurable to astronauts on the lunar surface. A plumb bob held at the edge of a mascon would hang about a third of a degree off vertical, pointing toward the central mass. Moreover, an astronaut in full spacesuit and life-support gear whose lunar weight was exactly 50 pounds at the edge of the mascon would weigh 50 pounds and 4 ounces when standing in the mascon's center. To minimize the effects of mascons, satellite orbits have to be carefully chosen. - Source

05/24/08 - Cats May Reduce Risk Of Childhood Allergies And Asthma Symptoms
Cat ownership may have a protective effect against the development of asthma symptoms in young children at age five. The study, published by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that children with cats in the home were more likely to have made allergy-related antibodies to cats. At three years of age, children who had made antibodies to cats early in life were more likely to have wheeze, a respiratory symptom associated with asthma. However, by age five, the same children who had grown up with a cat were then found to be less likely to have wheeze. - Source

05/22/08 - Controlling America's Rising Gas Prices
KeelyNet Despite the rapidly rising gas prices, Americans still enjoy some of the cheapest fuel prices in the world. Americans continue to complain and point fingers while demanding "somebody do something" about the prices. Once the price of gas is sliced up, there are only so many options available to reducing it. One option is to increase the supply to meet demand as proposed by Shell Oil's president John Hofmeister. Another avenue of price relief, which has become virally popular to consumers via the Internet is a suspension of the federal gas tax. One of the root causes of the increased oil price is a run away commodities market on the trading floors. At the moment, the price for a barrel of oil is not actually being driven by the demand to put gasoline into a vehicle, rather it's driven by commodities speculators creating a demand for barrel options. Earlier this year, it was shown the price of oil was pushed over $100 by a single trader seeking notoriety. The same principle is driving commodities prices more aggressively now, "The guys who screwed up the mortgage markets are bringing their awesome skill sets to bear on physical commodity markets." - Source

05/22/08 - Take water and potash, add electricity and get - a mystery
From 05/18/2003, whatever happened? - British researchers believe that they have made a groundbreaking scientific discovery after apparently managing to "create" energy from hydrogen atoms. In results independently verified at Bristol University, a team from Gardner Watts - an environmental technology company - show a "thermal energy cell" which appears to produce hundreds of times more energy than that put into it. If the findings are correct and can be reproduced on a commercial scale, the thermal energy cell could become a feature of every home, heating water for a fraction of the cost and cutting fuel bills by at least 90 per cent. The makers of the cell, which passes an electric current through a liquid between two electrodes, admit that they cannot explain precisely how the invention works. "What we are saying is that the device seems to tap into another, previously unrecognised source of energy." The cell is the product of research into the fundamental properties of hydrogen, the most common element in the universe. Hydrogen can exist in a so-called metastable state that harbours a potential source of extra energy. [Quantum] theory suggests that if electricity were passed into a mixture of water and a chemical catalyst, the extra energy would be released in the form of heat. After some experimentation, the team found that a small amount of electricity passed through a mixture of water and potassium carbonate - potash - released an astonishing amount of energy. "It generates a lot of heat in a very small volume," said Christopher Eccles, the chief scientist at Gardner Watts. The findings of the Gardner Watts team were tested by Dr Jason Riley of Bristol University, who found energy gains of between three and 26 times what had been put in. - Source

05/22/08 - Using Rosemary while Cooking Meat to Block Cancer
KeelyNet Rosemary, a member of the mint family and a popular seasoning on its own, also has benefits as a cancer prevention agent. Apply it to hamburgers and it can break up the potentially cancer-causing compounds that can form when the meat is cooked. J. Scott Smith found out about rosemary’s strength against the compounds while researching ways to reduce them as part of a long-term Food Safety Consortium project at Kansas State University. Smith, a KSU food science professor, has been looking into the carcinogenic compounds known as HCAs (heterocyclic amines). “Put a little bit on the surface,” Smith advised grillers. “Rosemary extracts shouldn’t have much of an aroma to them. Most people don’t want a rosemary-flavored burger. So if you get the extract you don’t really know it’s there.” Smith’s findings began with research into commercial rosemary extracts’ effect on stopping HCAs from forming in cooked beef patties. His research group found that the HCAs were reduced in levels ranging from 30 to 100 percent. Although lower temperatures and shorter cooking times can reduce the risk of HCA formation, those alternatives have their own problems. Lower temperatures can affect the taste adversely, Smith explained, noting that commercial steak houses cook at temperatures above 400 degrees F. “Some use real high temperatures quick on the surface, then they pull it out and put it in an oven to finish it,” he said. The better way may be to use rosemary extracts so temperatures can be still be kept high. Rosemary’s antioxidant content makes this method possible thanks to the presence of phenolic compounds. Those compounds - rosmarinic acid, carnosol and carnosic acid - block the HCAs before they can form during heating. - Source

05/22/08 - PDF to Word Converter Does What It Sounds Like
Windows only: Freeware application Some PDF to Word Converter takes your PDFs and-as the name implies-converts them to Microsoft Word documents. It's always been a cinch to print Word documents as PDFs, but going the other way around is generally more difficult. Many online tools can handle PDF-to-DOC conversions, but most of us don't want to upload our sensitive docs to the web for third-party conversion, so desktop tools are preferable. We've featured one other PDF-to-Word converter in the past, but Some PDF to Word Converter requires no registration, has more options, and seems to perform better. If you'd like different PDF conversions, check the download page for PDF-to-HTML or text converters. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

05/22/08 - 10 Genius Inventions We're Still Waiting For
KeelyNet Sonic Showers, Augmented Reality, Life Simulator, Acoustic Cloaking Shell, Legged Robot, Nontangling cable, Insect Force Field, Megatracking system, Kid OnStar and Auto Memory. Check the link for details. - Source

05/22/08 - Spray said to turn people to pushovers
Re­search­ers have iden­ti­fied brain cen­ters acti­vated by be­tray­al of trust-and a way to keep them quiet. A spray of a hor­mone, ox­y­to­cin, makes peo­ple keep trust­ing even some­one who has be­trayed them, the scientists ex­plained. They presented the findings not as a trick for, say, cheat­ing spouses to keep their part­ners coop­erative, but as an in­sight into the mind with possible cli­ni­cal value. The in­ves­ti­ga­tors asked vol­un­teers to play a “trust game” in which they con­tri­but­ed mon­ey to a hu­man trus­tee, who would ei­ther in­vest it and re­turn the prof­it­s-or be­tray them and keep it all. Some play­ers al­so re­ceived a na­sal spray con­tain­ing the brain chem­i­cal and hor­mon ox­y­to­cin, found in pre­vi­ous stud­ies to make peo­ple more trust­ing. The re­search­ers found that stiffed play­ers who had re­ceived ox­y­to­cin went on trust­ing their treach­er­ous part­ners. Play­ers who had re­ceived an in­ac­tive spray in­stead of ox­y­to­cin did not. Ox­y­to­cin was al­so found to re­duce ac­ti­vity in two brain re­gions: the amyg­da­la, which pro­cesses fear, dan­ger and pos­sibly risk of so­cial be­tray­al; and an ar­ea of the stria­tum, part of the cir­cuit­ry that guides and ad­justs fu­ture be­hav­ior based on re­ward feed­back. - Source

05/22/08 - As oil soars, Japan's plan makes sense
When oil prices spiked before, in the 1970s, the country experienced an “oil shock” that temporarily crippled the economy and sent nervous consumers rushing to the market for essentials. That isn't happening this time, even with oil prices hitting new highs close to $130 (U.S.) a barrel yesterday. Part of the reason is Japan's remarkable success at reducing its dependence on oil. The U.S., the world's biggest net importer of oil, brings in about 13 million barrels a day, up from about six million in 1973. China, the third largest importer, just behind Japan, has seen imports grow to 7.8 million barrels a day as of last year, up from 4.2 million in 1997, a rise of 86 per cent. A shortage of oil to run its military machine was one motive behind Japan's attack on the Western powers in East Asia in the Second World War. An oil embargo was choking off the supplies needed to maintain and expand its Asian imperial conquests. Japan was reminded anew of its dependence on foreign energy when the Arab oil embargo of 1973 sent prices soaring, making Japan's economy shrink for the first time since the end of the war. Japan came to realize that its economic life hung on a slender, 12,000-kilometre thread - the distance tankers had to travel from the oil fields of the Middle East to Japanese ports. Thus began a three-decade-long national effort to become less reliant on oil. Despite the public's extreme sensitivity about nuclear energy after the trauma of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the government invested heavily in nuclear, building a network that today includes 55 reactors and generates 30 per cent of its electricity and 11 per cent of total energy requirements. That makes Japan the third-largest producer of nuclear energy after the United States and France. Japan also shifted away from oil to natural gas, which is available from less distant and more reliable suppliers such as Brunei and Indonesia. Natural gas provides about 15 per cent of Japan's energy needs, up from 2.7 per cent in 1975. Oil provides about 46 per cent, down from 71 per cent. Coal accounts for about 22 per cent, up from 18 per cent, and other sources provide the remainder. Conservation and improved energy efficiency has also played a role. Japanese cars have improved their average mileage by 30 per cent over the past decade. - Source

05/22/08 - Carbon Nanotubes Could Be Toxic
New research shows that carbon nanotubes are shaped like asbestos and can encourage tumor growth, but further investigation is needed to determine whether they pose risks in humans, according to a report published Tuesday. "This is of considerable importance, because research and business communities continue to invest heavily in carbon nanotubes for a wide range of products under the assumption that they are no more hazardous than graphite," the researchers wrote. "Our results suggest the need for further research and great caution before introducing such products into the market if long-term harm is to be avoided." The mice developed symptoms in their chest cavities after nanotubes were injected near their lungs. The latest research suggests that carbon nanotubes, with structure and length similar to asbestos fibers, could be toxic. However, researchers aren't sure whether nanotubes are likely to be inhaled and persist inside the body. Asbestos persists in the body after inhalation and can lead to lung cancer. - Source

05/22/08 - Clean fuel from dirty garbage?
KeelyNet To Waste Management, which operates the landfill, this is more than just a mountain of garbage. Pipes tunnelled deep into the mound extract gas from the rotting waste and send it to a plant that turns it into electricity. Apart from the huge-wheeled compactor driving over garbage on its surface, it looks like an ordinary hillside. And it doesn't even smell. Yet it produces enough energy to power 2,500 homes in Southern California. Rubbish, trash, whatever you call it, the 1.6 billion tonnes of stuff the world throws away each year - 250 kilograms per person - is being touted as a big potential source of clean energy. Around the world, landfills where municipal waste is collected and buried are one of the biggest producers of methane, a gas whose greenhouse effect is 21 times worse than carbon dioxide. If instead that gas is collected and burned to generate electricity, proponents say the resulting emissions of carbon dioxide are less harmful to the environment than the original methane. Biogas, another name for methane produced from waste, manure or other organic matter, is most developed in Europe, where Germany has 70 per cent of the global market. In Britain, landfill gas makes up a quarter of the country's renewable energy, giving electricity to some 900,000 homes. - Source

05/22/08 - Wind Turbine Windfall?
Although power generation via wind turbines is more popular in Europe than in the United States, it appears to be gaining steam in the States as an alternative energy source. That will lead to business opportunities for U.S. shops that have the capability to machine the very large components that comprise modern wind turbines. The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) reports that more than 20 gigawatts of wind power capacity were installed worldwide in 2007, led by the United States, Spain and China. This represents a 31- percent increase compared with 2006, lifting the total global capacity to more than 94 gigawatts. According to the GWEC, the United States installed more than 5 gigawatts of wind power capacity in 2007, bringing its total installed capacity to more than 16.8 gigawatts (a 45-percent increase from 2006). As a result, the United States now ranks second in the world behind Germany's 22.3 gigawatts of installed capacity- for the moment, anyway. The GWEC estimates that the United States will surpass Germany and become the leader of wind energy production by the end of 2009. - Source

05/22/08 - The coal industry's ace in the hole
The coal industry is planning to replace oil by turning coal into liquid fuels and into feedstocks for the chemical industry. Of course they are also planning to burn ever-more coal to produce electricity. If these plans materialise, green chemistry and renewable solar energy will both be sidelined for the rest of this century. There’s one major problem with the coal industry’s plans, and that’s carbon dioxide, the most important global warming gas. Therefore, the coal industry’s plans all hinge on the development of “clean coal” - a clever name for an untested idea, burying billions or trillions of tons of liquid, pressurised carbon dioxide in the ground, hoping it will stay there forever. A very powerful consensus indeed: the OECD, the G8, and most importantly the US Department of Energy all concluding that the best way to avert global warming is to process more coal, not less, and bury the resulting CO2 in the ground, hoping it will stay there forever, essentially passing the largest problem we’ve ever created on to our children to solve. This coming July 7-9, the G8 nations will meet in Hokkaido, Japan and will announce their conclusion - more than five years in the making - that the “urgent deployment” of carbon burial CCS technology is essential. To save the world from catastrophic global warming, “clean coal” is the answer, they will say. - Source

05/22/08 - Powering Villages from Rice Husks
KeelyNet Two students from the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business recently started a business that supplies electricity to rural villages in India by gasifying the rice husks that are a waste product of rice milling. So far, two rice husk generators are providing power to about 10,000 rural Indians, but the business plan calls for a rapid expansion that will put the miniature power plants in hundreds more villages within a few years. Husk Power Systems, which uses a proprietary technology to gasify rice husks and generate three valuable products: electricity, waste ash that can be sold as an ingredient for cement and a reduction in carbon emissions. This technology provides off-grid power to rural Indian villages of 200 to 500 households. Using the husk-powered mini power plant, the team plans to offset close to 200 tons of carbon emissions per village, per year in India. The team was struck, said Ransler, by how "these big things all work together" - three sources of revenue could be produced from what was otherwise a waste product sitting in huge piles slowly rotting in villages across India. Even with conservative electricity consumption, revenue from the three sources would allow each rice husk generator to break even in about two and a half years, and it would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 200 tons per year, per village. Furthermore, explained Ransler, a lack of reliable electricity is one of the biggest obstacles to small business growth in rural India, so providing a village with rice-husk power can be the enabler of a dozen other small business ventures. - Source

05/22/08 - Hydrogen Fuel from Formic Acid
Matthias Beller and his colleagues at the Leibniz Institute of Catalysis, in Rostock, Germany, have found a way to convert formic acid, a common preservative and antibacterial agent, into hydrogen gas at low temperatures. "The advantage of formic acid is [that] it's a liquid . . . and is relatively easily handled," Beller says. While the pure acid is corrosive, the mixture of the acid with amines is benign, he says. Formic acid can also be used directly in a fuel cell. That might be easier because it saves the extra step of first converting it into hydrogen. Tekion, based in Burnaby, Canada, is working with Germany-based chemical giant BASF, the largest producer of formic acid, to commercialize a fuel cell that uses formic acid directly. Tekion, which does not have a product on the market yet, claims that its formic-acid fuel cells are smaller and less complex than direct methanol fuel cells. But direct formic-acid fuel cells have the same drawback that makes methanol fuel cells expensive: both technologies are less efficient than hydrogen fuel cells. Beller points out that using formic acid to make hydrogen also has drawbacks. Compared with methane and methanol, formic acid has much less hydrogen. If you use all the hydrogen in a kilogram of methanol, you get 4.19 kilowatt-hours of energy, while the hydrogen in a kilogram of formic acid gives 1.45 kilowatt-hours. - Source

05/22/08 - US begins to break foreign oil ‘addiction’
The US is starting to break its “addiction” to foreign oil as high prices, more efficient cars, and the use of ethanol significantly cut the share of its oil imports for the first time since 1977. - Source

05/22/08 - Thiel's Down Payment on Libertarian Ocean Colonies
KeelyNet Tired of the United States and the other 190-odd nations on Earth? If a small team of Silicon Valley millionaires get their way, in a few years, you could have a new option for global citizenship: A permanent, quasi-sovereign nation floating in international waters. With a $500,000 donation from PayPal founder Peter Thiel, a Google engineer and a former Sun Microsystems programmer have launched The Seasteading Institute, an organization dedicated to creating experimental ocean communities "with diverse social, political, and legal systems." "Decades from now, those looking back at the start of the century will understand that Seasteading was an obvious step towards encouraging the development of more efficient, practical public-sector models around the world," Thiel said in a statement. Within the pantheon of would-be utopian communities, there's a particularly rich history of people trying to live outside the nation-state paradigm out in the ocean. The most ambitious was Marshall Savage's Aquarius Project, which aimed at nothing less than the colonization of the universe. There was also Las Vegas millionaire Michael Oliver's attempt to create a new island country, the Republic of Minerva, by dredging the shallow waters near Tonga. And the Freedom Ship was to be a mile-long portable country costing about $10 billion to construct. None of these projects has succeeded, a fact that The Seasteading Institute's founders, Google's Patri Friedman and the semi-retired Wayne Gramlich, are keenly aware of throughout the 300-page book they've written about seasteading. Instead of starting with a grand scheme worthy of a James Bond villain, the Institute is bringing an entrepreneurial, DIY mentality to creating oceanic city-states. The primary living space, about 300 square feet per person, would be inside the tube, but the duo envisions the top platform holding buildings, gardens, solar panels, wind turbines and (of course) satellites for internet access. "Government is an industry with a really high barrier to entry," he said. "You basically need to win an election or a revolution to try a new one. That's a ridiculous barrier to entry. And it's got enormous customer lock-in. People complain about their cellphone plans that are like two years, but think of the effort that it takes to change your citizenship." Friedman estimates that it would cost a few hundred million dollars to build a seastead for a few thousand people. With costs that low, Friedman can see constellations of cities springing up, giving people a variety of governmental choices. If misguided policies arose, citizens could simply motor to a new nation. "You can change your government without having to leave your house," he said. - Source

05/20/08 - ‘Pasha supports the Turkish “Fuelless Motored Machine”’
A Google search for technological innovations brings up a news story covered by a specialized Web site about a "spectacular" Turkish innovation announced in the presence of several senior retired generals back on Nov. 10, 2006... An article on the invention can be accessed through the KeelyNet Web site under the heading "11/27/06 -- Pasha supports the Turkish 'Fuelless Motored Machine'" (http://keelynet.com/indexnov1106.htm)... To remind readers, among the participants at the press conference during which the so-called invention was introduced but no details were given was retired Gen. Ömer Inak, who was recently appointed deputy undersecretary of the Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM) in charge of military projects. How a retired general, in attendance at a gathering which turned out to be a debacle, can be appointed to such a critical deputy undersecretarial post is another question mark that should be raised. It has become clear as of late that the so-called invention was a snafu as neither has the machine been around since November 2006 nor has the company given any details about it so far. Above all, as Professor Akbulut stated earlier, such a claim of an innovation goes against the rules of the universe. Milliyet daily's report on May 17, noting that Erke Research and Engineering executive board president Ugur Ayik recently resigned from his post, indicates a rift has occurred within the company over the so-called innovation. This has provided us with further clues suggesting that the company has in fact deceived the public and that its announcement of an innovation turned out to be a scam. - Source

05/20/08 - Edgar Cayce prediction correct?
KeelyNet Reader comment: "Way back in the 1930s or early 1940s, Edgar Cayce said that "when the earth changes began, we would begin to lose the seasons. No longer would we have a Spring or Fall, but just go from hot to cold and cold to hot". I noticed this beginning some years back, and every year it is more pronounced, at least here in the Midwest. In newspaper yesterday, 5-17-08, it reports that farmers in southwest Indiana say they have only 40% of their corn planted as it is too wet to get in the fields, and that every day they lose cuts down on crop yield. I can remember when April was Spring. Not anymore." - Source

05/20/08 - Presidential candidates' gasoline strategies
What would the leading candidates for president do to cut fuel costs and improve fuel efficiency? - Source

05/20/08 - Sunrgi Keeps Solar Cool
Startup Sunrgi came out of stealth mode Tuesday with a claim that it can intensify sunlight by more than 1,600 times - or around twice as much as its competitors - and convert it into electricity at the same cost as electricity from fossil fuels. Like other concentrating photovoltaic technologies, Sunrgi’s technology uses lenses to concentrate sunlight and direct it onto solar cells. These systems have the advantage of using smaller cells, potentially cutting the cost of expensive materials that convert sunlight into electricity. But they also have their limitations. Concentrate too much sunlight and the heat disintegrates the cell, burning it up like an ant under a magnifying glass, said co-founder and partner Robert Block. Sunrgi, founded in 2006, thinks it has found a way to solve that problem. It has developed a technology that prevents the heat from building up. It’s a material developed with nanotechnology that Paul Sidlo, a co-founder and partner at Sunrgi, calls “goop.” The goop, which gets mounted on the back of a solar cell made by Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab, conducts heat away from the cell, he said. The goop enables concentrations of up to 2,000 times the natural sunlight -- which normally would subject the cell to more than 3,300 degrees Fahrenheit -- while keeping the cell at only 20 degrees hotter than the outside temperature, Sidlo said. - Source

05/20/08 - 5 Ways the Next President Can Fix the Economy
"How the Next President Should Fix the Economy" is the current cover story at Time magazine. I think I can briefly sum up the 3,000-word story, written by Justin Fox, thusly: This election is a biggie for the economy. Insecure Americans want higher taxes and more regulation. Government should spend more on infrastructure to combat income inequality. Get rid of the Bush tax cuts even if it weakens the economy. Raise energy taxes. Increase regulation on Wall Street. Nationalize healthcare, pretty much. Here are five ideas that both liberals and conservatives might agree on that also could actually improve economic growth by embracing the American model of capitalism that's working wonders the world over: 1) Eliminate corporate income taxes, especially if you are also going to hit companies with all these energy taxes. 2) Get companies out of the business of providing healthcare benefits. 3) Index Social Security benefits to inflation, and extend the retirement age, allowing a big cut in payroll taxes for the middle class. 4) Create government-funded "innovation prizes" for key technology challenges. 5) Give universities incentives to create more science geeks, and offer grad students free-floating fellowships to choose whatever field they see as the best market match for their skills. - Source

05/20/08 - Volvo’s Future Car
KeelyNet In ten years cars will function as decentralized electricity storage units living on the grid, leveling demand, buffering surge, storing intermittant surpluses such as wind energy, when they aren’t being driven around. “We have to talk with all the stakeholders,” said Sugioka, “we need to get the utilities engaged to reinvent the business model for cars in general.” Another interesting spec discussed today was the dedicated generator, which is charged onboard by a standard 1.6 liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. The generator is also built using components from PML Flightlink. Sugioka stated the 50 kilowatt generator was so small and flat, it could be placed directly behind the standard gasoline engine and would take up considerably less space and weight than the transmission which is removed. On gasoline only, the prototype gets 44 miles to the gallon. “My responsibility is on things that are pretty far away,” said Sugioka, which means his team is spending a lot of time on wheel-motors and not a lot on batteries. The prototype is currently using an oversized battery pack that is located in the car’s truck, for testing purposes. And even with the heavier battery pack, this car is sipping 200 watt-hours per mile, or 5.0 miles to the kilowatt-hour. The battery is spec’d at 12 kilowatt-hours of usable storage, hence a 100% battery range of up to 60 miles. As for zero to sixty and top speed, the prototype has artificial limits - the engineers want to keep the motors cool until they’ve completed a power management system. The intelligence of cars is a revolution happening at the same time as the greening of cars. The smart electric vehicle will be a working, self-sufficient vendor for the owner, collecting money from utilities for storage and buffering services, as well as from buying energy low and selling it high. Eventually smart cars will greatly help level utility rates. Smart cars will respond to wireless commands, and automatically customize the driver experience per operator. - Source

05/20/08 - Man Claims to Develop Fuel-Saving System For Cars
Larry Thrasher developed a hydrogen-based system for cars that he says will at least double the current gas mileage on any automobile. "Mixing the hydrogen with the gasoline right now, but eventually we'll run straight hydrogen in most cars," says Thrasher. He came up with his system which he described to us. "This is the generator. It actually is housing, but inside is all the parts," Thrasher said. "Then, we've got a safety feature called flash resistor in case of a backfire that it won't go back in there. Plus there's a one-way valve so I can control the pressure and it's brought into our intake and it mixes in there with the gasoline." It all starts with a water tank in the trunk of his 1996 Cadillac. The water runs straight into the generator. "It uses an ounce and a half of water every 60 miles. I can go to California and back and not add water." Thrasher says the gas mileage on his car has increased from 19 to 53 miles a gallon when using hydrogen. Thrasher says if you want to buy one of his hydrogen-based systems, the cost is $5,500 for cars using gasoline and around $8,000 for diesel engines. For more information, call Thrasher at (256) 773-4319. - Source

05/20/08 - Hay Fever Falls Before Zinc Ions (Oct, 1936)
KeelyNet HAY FEVER, that mysterious malady that deprives thousands of persons of their enjoyment of summer-time, is slowly yielding before the assaults of science. The malady, which attacks the mucous membrane of the nose and throat, causing symptoms not unlike a severe head cold, is usually caused by pollen of a number of plants, the chief offender being ragweed. At the University College Hospital, London, hay fever is being successfully treated by zinc ionization. An electric current is employed to release the zinc ions from a solution of zinc sulphate. These are passed to the patient by means of tubes, counteracting the irritation. - Source

05/20/08 - Information overload hides new Technologies
The first use of the word "internet'' to refer to a computer network seems to have appeared in the Washington Post on Sept. 26, 1988, in the financial section, on page F30 -- about as deep into the paper as you can go without hitting the bedrock of the classified ads. The entire reference: "SMS Data Products Group Inc. in McLean (Va.) won a $1,005,048 contract from the air force to supply a defence data network internet protocol router.'' The story referred to "a research network called Internet,'' which "links as many as 50,000 computers, allowing users to send a variety of information to each other.'' The scientists knew that computer networks could be powerful. But how many knew that this Internet thing would change the way we communicate, publish, sell, shop, conduct research, find old friends, do homework, plan trips and on and on? Even scientists don't always grasp the significance of innovations. Tomorrow's revolutionary technology may be in plain sight, but everyone's eyes, clouded by conventional thinking, just can't detect it. We are a technocracy in which most of us don't really understand what's happening around us. We stagger through a world of technological and medical miracles. We're zombified by progress. Read science fiction, especially "hard science fiction'' that sticks rigorously to the scientifically possible. The professional visionaries don't even talk about predictions or forecasts but prefer the word "scenarios.'' Some predictions are bang-on, such as sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke's declaration in 1945 that there would someday be communications satellites orbiting the Earth. But Clarke's satellites had to be occupied by repairmen who would maintain the huge computers required for space communications. Says science-fiction writer Ben Bova, "We have built into us an idea that tomorrow is going to be pretty much like today, which is very wrong.'' We need to keep our eyes open. The future is going to be here sooner than we think. It'll surprise us. We'll try to figure out why we missed so many clues. And we'll go back and search the archives, and see that thing we should have noticed on page F30. - Source

05/19/08 - Patrick Swayze's comeback
KeelyNet Earlier this year, Swazye had confirmed that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer. The 'Dirty Dancing' legend has reportedly readied his will, transferring his property worth millions to his wife of 32 years. Three top doctors have offered him a sure-shot cure with their new revolutionary treatments. Earlier this year, the 'Ghost' star had made public that he was battling the debilitating disease when his illness was revealed by a U.S. tabloid. And now three cancer specialists have offered the 55-year-old actor to try their treatments promising to ward off his illness completely. In an article in America's Globe, Dr. Howard May, Robert Krupa and Dr. Jim Howenstine have claimed that they can surely help Swayze beat cancer with their miraculous tools. "I can cure Patrick Swayze," Contactmusic quoted Dr. May, as saying. May, the National Health Director of the Phillipines Church of God has claimed that he himself is a living proof that his 'Zapper' device, really can come up with positive results. He insisted that his device boosts the body's immune system and kills pathogens and parasites that cause cancer and has already cured him of colon cancer. He explained: "I'm 86 and in better health now than I was when I was supposed to die within six months." Also, Krupa said that his invention, the Rife machine, which uses electromagnetic energy to cancel out cancer, will surely prove to be a lifeline for Swayze. He said: "He'll (Swayze) know from hour one that something good is happening to his body. He'll suddenly be full of energy." And according to internist Dr. Howenstine, the secret to Swayze's cancer cure lies in a powerful antioxidant called Coenzyme Q10. - Source

05/19/08 - Bangladeshi Inventor Has Demonstrated Fuel Free Magnetic Power!
After 17 years of research, 37 year old inventor Giasuddin Kachi in Bangladesh has shown professors from an engineering university, as well as other scientists and electrical engineers, that he has created magnetic energy conversion systems that produce electricity without any need for fuel. The professors commented that this invention challenged fundamental principles of electricity and energy conservation. The first public demonstration of Kachi's invention was apparently at the Chittagong International Trade Fair, earlier this year. He showed that his generator could power a drill requiring 800 watts. It then lit a 500 watt lamp. He claims to have experimentally produced up to 10,000 watts of power. He believes his invention can eventually be scaled to 10, and then to 50, megawatts. Units of such large size can be utilized to replace the need for coal or uranium fueled power plants. Earlier this month, after observing the invention, a visitor to his facility said in correspondence to us: "He uses two circuits. One is a primary circuit and initially needs external power to excite the device. Afterwards, it is excited or energized by a secondary circuit, which is induced by the primary circuit. It continues to operate indefinitely. A very small part of the power of the secondary circuit is used to energize the primary circuit. The remaining electrical energy produced by the secondary circuit is used to power an external load". - Source

05/19/08 - New Inverted battery generator system
KeelyNet A former construction worker from Steinbach, who was tired of the noise from generators, has invented something new. Kirk Schroeder says it's called the Energy Pod, an inverted battery generator system that can be charged using solar power, wind power, a car battery or household current. And on a full charge, it will run all day at a construction site or power a refrigerator for 3 days. Schroeder tells us he has sold 40 of them so far and is considering a contract from the U.S. for 200,000 units. The company operates out of 22 Loewen Boulevard in Steinbach. / The EPOD is an excellent alternate source of power and can be used anywhere that a gas powered generator would be used such as on construction sites, cottages, camp sites, camper, semi-truck, emergency vehicles and boats. The portable generator is also virtually silent while operating. What makes the unit unique is that it can be plugged into a regular wall, hooked up to a car battery or hooked up to solar panels or a wind turbine to recharge. This eliminates the need for gasoline and oil products needed to operate other generators, Schroeder added. The EPOD comes in three sizes - 8,000 watts, 5,000 watts and 2,500 watts - which can be doubled when in peak operation without the need for maintenance. This also results in zero power fluctuations, which is a common complaint with gas generators. The units carry a price tag ranging from approximately $4,700 to $2,300 but if used instead of a gas generator is expected to pay for itself within 60 days. Interest free financing is also available. The product is manufactured in the RM of Piney, at Pineland Manufacturing and sold by B&D Distributors of Lorette and Steinbach. - Source

05/19/08 - Covalent Solar Provides Affordable Solar Energy
Their simple, yet powerful idea is derived from concentrating sunlight onto smaller surface area rather than collecting it over a broader surface such as current solar panels. Their “Organic Solar Concentrators” look exactly like a quarter inch thick neon green piece of glass. However, the technology captures the light from the surfaces, redirects, and concentrates the light on the outer brim. The benefit comes from being able to create smaller photoelectric converters to turn the concentrated light on the brim into energy instead of large surface areas of solar panels such as the ones you are probably familiar with. By focusing on a smaller area and device, Covalent Solar will be able to improve power conversion efficiency by 30% over the industry average. This reduces the installed cost per watt by 20% in 2014, and reduces the amortized cost of electricity to $0.12/kWh, hastening the onset of unsubsidized solar electricity competitive with the grid. Since the Organic Solar Concentrators come in sheets of transparent material, they can easily be fitted over current solar panels to increase extraction and efficiency of those devices. This breaks down an barrier to entry while enabling those with older technology to easily upgrade and improve return on investment. - Source

05/19/08 - Tim Flannery's radical climate change 'solution'
KeelyNet SCIENTIST Tim Flannery has proposed a radical solution to climate change which may change the colour of the sky. But he says it may be necessary, as the "last barrier to climate collapse." Professor Flannery says climate change is happening so quickly that mankind may need to pump sulphur into the atmosphere to survive. The gas sulphur could be inserted into the earth's stratosphere to keep out the sun's rays and slow global warming, a process called global dimming. "It would change the colour of the sky," Prof Flannery told AAP. "It's the last resort that we have, it's the last barrier to a climate collapse. "We need to be ready to start doing it in perhaps five years time if we fail to achieve what we're trying to achieve." Prof Flannery, the 2007 Australian of the Year, said the sulphur could be dispersed above the earth's surface by adding it to jet fuel. He conceded there were risks to global dimming via sulphur. "The consequences of doing that are unknown." - Source

05/19/08 - TAU professor to discuss generating electricity from bacteria
Tel Aviv University mechanical engineering professor Abraham Kribus will report the encouraging results of his efforts to produce electricity from proteins found in bacteria at the university's international conference on renewable energy to be held on Tuesday night and Wednesday. Kribus found that a certain protein in bacteria generated electricity through photosynthesis. With a bit of genetic engineering, he discovered when the proteins were spread on a surface and attached to electrodes, they generated electricity. From a practical perspective, the cost of the protein was about 1 percent of silicon, the main ingredient in photovoltaic solar panels, according to Kribus. "The essential problem today with solar energy - which also holds up and hinders its market penetration - is that we are talking about a conversion and generation process which is expensive," Kribus said, "Solar energy is [currently] four times more expensive than gasoline-generated electricity." Kribus hopes his discovery will eventually provide a cheaper alternative. Kribus has also been trying to make solar panels more efficient. According to him, solar panels are just 30% efficient in producing electricity. While attempting to use more of the panel to produce electricity would be inefficient, they could be dual-tasked to produce heat as well, thereby raising efficiency to 80%, he said. - Source

05/19/08 - EU finance ministers declare war on excessive boardroom pay
Condemning excessive executive pay as "scandalous" and a "social scourge," European finance ministers pledged to keep boardroom remuneration in check by enhancing shareholder power or changing the tax laws. The 27 European Union finance ministers, meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, turned their fire on executive bonuses and "golden parachutes," which they said undermined their calls to the wider working population for wage restraint. Against a backdrop of growing complaints across Europe over boardroom pay, the issue was discussed both at a meeting of the 15 ministers of the Eurogroup on Tuesday night and again Wednesday by the finance ministers. "The excesses of captains of industry we have seen in several countries and sectors in the euro area are really scandalous and we continue to examine how something can be done in terms of professional ethics and taxation to combat these excesses," said Jean-Claude Juncker, the Eurogroup chairman (Luxembourg's former conservative prime minister ... don't think similar ideas will ever be published of republican politicians in the States). - Source

05/19/08 - One Country's Table Scraps, Another Country's Meal
Grocery bills are rising through the roof. Food banks are running short of donations. And food shortages are causing sporadic riots in poor countries through the world. You'd never know it if you saw what was ending up in your landfill. As it turns out, Americans waste an astounding amount of food - an estimated 27 percent of the food available for consumption, according to a government study - and it happens at the supermarket, in restaurants and cafeterias and in your very own kitchen. It works out to about a pound of food every day for every American. Grocery stores discard products because of spoilage or minor cosmetic blemishes. Restaurants throw away what they don't use. And consumers toss out everything from bananas that have turned brown to last week's Chinese leftovers. In 1997, in one of the few studies of food waste, the Department of Agriculture estimated that two years before, 96.4 billion pounds of the 356 billion pounds of edible food in the United States was never eaten. Fresh produce, milk, grain products and sweeteners made up two-thirds of the waste. An update is under way. - Source

05/19/08 - Shops secretly track customers via mobile phone
Customers in shopping centres are having their every move tracked by a new type of surveillance that listens in on the whisperings of their mobile phones. The technology can tell when people enter a shopping centre, what stores they visit, how long they remain there, and what route they take as they walked around. The device cannot access personal details about a person’s identity or contacts, but privacy campaigners expressed concern about potential intrusion should the data fall into the wrong hands. The surveillance mechanism works by monitoring the signals produced by mobile handsets and then locating the phone by triangulation - measuring the phone’s distance from three receivers. A shopping mall could, for example, find out that 10,000 people were still in the store at 6pm, helping to make a case for longer opening hours, or that a majority of customers who visited Gap also went to Next, which could useful for marketing purposes. - Source

05/19/08 - Compact vehicle draws attention
KeelyNet The 40 miles per gallon that Stu Tinker gets driving his two-seat Smart car - the fortwo passion - is just a bonus. "It’s a fun car to drive," the local bookstore owner said about the eye-catching yellow vehicle he purchased in March. "I just like the style. You just smile every time you look at it." The 8-foot-8-inch-long Smart car, which Tinker has nicknamed "Buzz," because of its bumblebee coloring, is one of only about 7,000 sold so far in the United States since they were introduced at the end of January by Mercedes-Benz Cars, a Daimler AG company. Demand is so high for the car that interested people are being asked to put a $99 deposit down to reserve a spot in line to order one. "I’m averaging low 40s [mpg] right now in town," he said. "When coming back from Boston, I was driving 70-75 mph all the way and got 44.2" mpg. "I thought it was great." And with gasoline reaching nearly $4 a gallon, the economics of owning the minicar makes a lot of sense. The Smart car is 5.1 feet tall and 5.1 feet wide, weighs 1,800 pounds and feels larger than it looks. It has enough clearance to handle Maine potholes and road cracks, Tinker said. And though he has yet to drive it in snow, Tinker said he has read accounts from Canadian owners who say it handles fine. - Source

05/19/08 - Whatever happened to real science?
Just as much of modern science has become self-serving in striving for status and funding, the theory of how science should be done is similarly afflicted. An assessment of a theory based on ‘degrees of belief’ might be useful if scientists didn't routinely ignore, minimize or dismiss falsifying evidence and twiddle the countless knobs on their models to fit new data. The most glaring modern example of such behavior is the rejection of stark evidence of intrinsic redshift of quasars. Big bang cosmology is already lifeless by this assessment but ‘belief’ keeps the corpse warm. While we allow the few scientists who judge the data according to their beliefs to control publication, funding and press releases, real science is dead.* - Source

05/19/08 - Viagra rival being developed
The medication, which has the potential to boost fertility rates, is also believed to help aid weight loss. The pill, which is being developed by the Medical Research Council’s Human Reproductive Sciences unit in Edinburgh, uses a hormone to release the chemical Type 2 gonadtropin, which drives the reproductive system. It is expected to outperform Viagra because it will increase the brain’s desire for sex, wheras Viagra only boosts the body’s sexual capability. Professor Robert Miller, part of the research team, said the drug would replace Viagra. “This drug would arouse and produce the desire for sex at the same time, in men and women,” he told the Daily Mail. - Source

05/17/08 - Mehess Magnetic Motor
KeelyNet The object of this invention is to show that a magnetic motor can be built that will power itself and produce extra voltage to be able to power an external load. The advantage of this device is that it can produce electricity with no external input. It is not area specific, does not require wind, hydro, sunlight, petrol fuel or any other other product or products to work. It is a totally closed loop system. I am using a 30 day mechanical clock movement to swing permanent magnets thru a coil to produce an emf. The emf is stored in a bank of capacitors which can then be discharged into a 12 volt deep cycle battery via a pulsing method to keep the battery fully charged. The invention is totally scaleable. In such that the performance can be greatly increased by: 1. Adding more magnets and coils 2. Larger and stronger magnets 3. Any number of capacitors to store electricity. What is unique about this invention is that the force required to move the magnets through the coils is totally independent of the magnets. The definition of a permanent magnetic motor is that it can produce enough energy to run itself without the aid of any external input. This design meets these criteria. Example: If the invention was charging the capacitor at around 26 volts/pulse there would be enough stored voltage to pulse the battery approx. 1000 times. The pulse rate should be a 1 pulse per second. Or one could pulse for over 16 minutes to charge the battery. It only takes about 4 minutes to recharge the battery when it has been running the motor for 12 seconds. The voltage drop on the battery is around 80 mv. But after about an hour the voltage will recover 40 plus millivolts. Due to the unique chemical properties of a deep cycle lead acid battery. The deficit voltage of around 40 mv is equally charged up by the pulsing method in about 3-4 minutes. Thus the invention can run itself as well as store excess energy. - Source

05/17/08 - Human Urine Safe, Productive Fertilizer
Cash-strapped farmers shouldn't look far for a source of free fertilizer, according to a new study that finds human urine to be a great source of nitrogen and other minerals. The "yuck" factor aside, scientists who used urine to help raise a bumper crop of cabbages said the practice may not be a bad idea. "Urine is a valuable fertilizer which poor people could use to increase yields and not contaminate their environment. It is a resource, not a pollutant, if correctly managed," said Helvi Heinonen-Tanski, leader of a research group at the University of Kuopio's Department of Environmental Sciences in Finland. The use of urine as fertilizer is uncommon, but it is increasing in some parts of Finland, the researchers said. It also has been used to fertilize barley and cucumbers, the study said. "We assume the nitrogen contents of human urine could be a good fertilizer for many other plants or crops," Pradhan said. The researchers chose cabbage as a test crop, because it needs a lot of nitrogen, it is distributed worldwide, and it can be preserved as sauerkraut. The cabbage fertilized with urine was compared with similar plots of cabbage that either went unfertilized or where commercial fertilizer was used. At harvest, the cabbage enriched with the urine had several advantages: It was slightly larger, it grew to its maximum size more quickly, and, for most of the growth cycle, it suffered less bug damage than the commercially fertilized variety. Cabbage from all three plots was made into sauerkraut and taste-tested by 20 panelists. Each type tasted different, but all were rated "good," the study said. As a result of the findings, the team concluded that urine produced by one person over a year would be enough to grow 160 cabbages -- that's 64 kilograms (141 pounds) more cabbage than could be grown in a similar plot fertilized with commercial fertilizer. They recommend collecting urine from eco-type toilets, storing it, then scattering it on the soil around the plants rather than directly on them. (Thanks to Paul Getman for this URL. - JWD) - Source

05/17/08 - Metals Surge as Rationing Cuts Power at Biggest Mines
KeelyNet Chile's worst drought in five decades and power rationing from South Africa to China mean the price of aluminum, gold, copper and platinum will keep climbing as the lights go out in the world's biggest mines. Those governments are being forced to choose whether to reduce power to their 1.4 billion residents or curtail energy supplies to the world's biggest copper, aluminum, platinum and gold factories. The energy used by China's aluminum smelters each week could provide enough power for more than 2 million people for an entire year. Runaway growth in emerging markets that's squeezing world oil supplies has led to electricity shortages, cutting output of commodities needed for ever-rising demand. Platinum jumped to a record in January after mines in South Africa closed for five days as utilities rationed power. Cobalt gained 58 percent in the past year as production growth in the Democratic Republic of Congo was limited by electricity supply. - Source

05/17/08 - Indians Find U.S. at Fault in Food Cost
Instead of blaming India and other developing nations for the rise in food prices, Americans should rethink their energy policy - and go on a diet. That has been the response, basically, of a growing number of politicians, economists and academics in this country, who are angry at statements by top United States officials that India’s rising prosperity is to blame for food inflation. The debate has sometimes devolved into what sounded like petty playground taunts over who are the real gluttons devouring the world’s resources. For instance, Pradeep S. Mehta, secretary general of the center for international trade, economics and the environment of CUTS International, an independent research institute based here, said that if Americans slimmed down to the weight of middle-class Indians, “many hungry people in sub-Saharan Africa would find food on their plates.” - Source

05/17/08 - Stop using antibacterial soaps now. Really.
In recent years, there has been a small bit of backlash against the ubiquitous use of antibacterial soaps. Indeed, research beginning in 2002 has continued to confirm that based on both effectiveness and potential negative side effects, there really is no reason to use these soaps and plenty of reasons not to. Here is the problem. Humans are dumping all kinds of chemicals into our (and other organisms') water supply, that are not removed during sewage treatment (even when the water properly goes through sewage treatment). Among these is triclosan, which is a chemical used for its antibacterial properties and is an ingredient in many detergents, dish-washing liquids, soaps, deodorants, cosmetics, lotions, anti-microbial creams, various toothpastes, and an additive in various plastics and textiles. Triclosan has been found in large proportions of human urinary samples. Not only do we know nothing about how ingesting all these various chemicals may be affecting us over the long term, we cannot begin to know the complex ways in which they are interacting with each other to create new, and potentially more toxic compounds. - Source

05/17/08 - IBM Research Unveils Breakthrough In Solar Farm Technology
KeelyNet By mimicking the antics of a child using a magnifying glass to burn a leaf or a camper to start a fire, IBM scientists are using a large lens to concentrate the Sun’s power, capturing a record 230 watts onto a centimeter square solar cell, in a technology known as concentrator photovoltaics, or CPV. That energy is then converted into 70 watts of usable electrical power, about five times the electrical power density generated by typical cells using CPV technology in solar farms. By using a much lower number of photovoltaic cells in a solar farm and concentrating more light onto each cell using larger lenses, IBM’s system enables a significant cost advantage in terms of a lesser number of total components. For instance, by moving from a 200 sun system ("one sun" is a measurement equal to the solar power incident at noon on a clear summer day), where about 20 watts per square centimeter of power is concentrated onto the cell, to the IBM Lab results of a 2300 sun system, where approximately 230 watts per square centimeter are concentrated onto the cell system, the IBM system cuts the number of photovoltaic cells and other components by a factor of 10. The trick lies in IBM’s ability to cool the tiny solar cell. Concentrating the equivalent of 2000 suns on such a small area generates enough heat to melt stainless steel, something the researchers experienced first hand in their experiments. But by borrowing innovations from its own R&D in cooling computer chips, the team was able to cool the solar cell from greater than 1600 degrees Celsius to just 85 degrees Celsius. Specifically, the IBM team used a very thin layer of a liquid metal made of a gallium and indium compound that they applied between the chip and a cooling block. Such layers, called thermal interface layers, transfer the heat from the chip to the cooling block so that the chip temperature can be kept low. The IBM liquid metal solution offers the best thermal performance available today, at low costs, and the technology was successfully developed by IBM to cool high power computer chips earlier. - Source

05/17/08 - Music 'can enhance wine taste'
Playing a certain type of music can enhance the way wine tastes, research by psychologists suggests. The Heriot Watt University study found people rated the change in taste by up to 60% depending on the melody heard. The researchers said cabernet sauvignon was most affected by "powerful and heavy" music, and chardonnay by "zingy and refreshing" sounds. Professor Adrian North said the study could lead retailers to put music recommendations on their wine bottles. - Source

05/17/08 - Experimental Propulsion System Has No Moving Parts
KeelyNet JAPAN, the United States, and perhaps the Soviet Union, are racing to perfect a revolutionary type of propulsion for ships and submarines. It has no moving parts, is virtually silent and promises great reliability at relatively low cost. The basis for the advance is a tongue-twisting phenomenon known as magnetohydrodynamics, or MHD, in which magnetic fields are used to move water. There are no moving parts - no motors, no propellers, no gears and no drive shaft. Instead, a superconducting magnet, more efficient and powerful than conventional magnets, exerts a magnetic force on sea water passing through its core, driving water out the back and creating forward motion. The technology is featured in the movie ''The Hunt for Red October,'' based on the book by Tom Clancy in which an advanced Soviet submarine powered by the process is hunted by the American and Soviet navies. Magnetohydrodynamics involves magnetic fields (magneto) and fluids (hydro) that conduct electricity and interact (dynamics). The phenomenon occurs naturally in the Earth's core, giving rise to the planet's magnetic field. In MHD propulsion, a pair of electrodes on either side of the thruster pass an electric current through sea water. The process does not work effectively with fresh water because it can carry little current. At a right angle to the current is the magnetic field generated by the superconducting magnet. The interaction of the magnetic field and the current produces a strong force on the water, moving it through the duct in the center of the magnet. If the polarity of the current is reversed, so is the direction of thrust. The action is identical to what happens with an electric motor when its magnetic field crosses a bundle of copper wires carrying an electric current, causing it to move and the central shaft of the motor to rotate. The activity in each case revolves around charged particles. In the motor, the current-filled wires are filled with moving electrons, which carry a negative charge, and are strongly acted upon by the magnetic field. In MHD propulsion, the electric current flowing through the seawater causes the formation of charged particles, or ions, which in a similar manner are acted upon by the powerful field of the superconducting magnet. It propels both the ions and the seawater. - Source / And a simple DIY MHD demonstration.

05/17/08 - The machine that sorts out household rubbish automatically
KeelyNet Scientists have created the Autoclave system, which divides the waste for recycling on a huge scale and produces enough energy to power itself. Its inventors, AeroThermal, say that at some point in the future, householders could even sell their rubbish because there is potentially a profit in it. All steel and aluminium is cleaned during the process, plastics are reduced to recyclable pellets and glass is made reusable. Food and organic refuse is turned into a biogas that can be converted into green electricity. Even the steam that is used in the process is recaptured afterwards and re-used so nothing is released into the atmosphere. In two hours the technology, which acts like a giant steam-powered pressure cooker, can deal with 30 tonnes of municipal waste. "It powers itself and there is enough green electricity left over to put back into the national grid - and it could ensure we reach recycling targets. "The steel and aluminium is cleaned and all the labels are removed, and that increases its value. "The plastics, including plastic bags, are separated and reduced so they can be recycled. "And all the food and cellulose material is reduced to its basic form, and after it is put through an anaerobic digestion system it can be converted into electricity. "There is no need for us to ship any of our waste to China when we have the technology to sort it out then recycle it." - Source

05/17/08 - 3 in 10 get all or most calls on cell phones
For nearly three in 10 households, don't even bother trying to call them on a landline phone. They either only have a cell phone or seldom if ever take calls on their traditional phone. The federal figures, released Wednesday, showed that reliance on cells is continuing to rise at the expense of wired telephones. In the second half of last year, 16 percent of households only had cell phones, while 13 percent also had landlines but got all or nearly all their calls on their cells. - Source

05/17/08 - Air Force Aims for 'Full Control' of 'Any and All' Computers
The Air Force wants a suite of hacker tools, to give it "access" to -- and "full control" of -- any kind of computer there is. And once the info warriors are in, the Air Force wants them to keep tabs on their "adversaries' information infrastructure completely undetected." The Air Force wants to see all kinds of "techniques and technologies" to "Deceive, Deny, Disrupt, Degrade, [or] Destroy" hostile systems. And "in addition to these main concepts," the Research Lab would like to see studies into "Proactive Botnet Defense Technology Development," the "reinvent[ion of] the network protocol stack" and new antennas, based on carbon nanotubes. "An adversary needs to know that the U.S. possesses powerful hard and soft-kill (cyberwarfare) means for attacking adversary information and command and support systems at all levels," a recent Defense Department report notes. "Every potential adversary, from nation states to rogue individuals... should be compelled to consider... an attack on U.S. systems resulting in highly undesireable consequences to their own security." - Source

05/17/08 - Nintendo ordered to pay $21 million to patent troll
Remember Anascape Ltd, the little "gaming company" that sued Microsoft and Nintendo back in 2006 for controller patent infringement? Well, it's payday to the tune of $21 million after a jury found Nintendo's Wii Classic, WaveBird, and Gamecube controller designs all guilty of violating Anascape's patents. Nintendo will appeal naturally while Microsoft settled the case before the matter ever went to trial. Now go ahead and Google Anascape with the challenge of finding a single service or product offering. Oh, did we mention that they are based in the patent-lawsuit friendly state of Tejas? Patent Trolls? - Source

05/17/08 - Will rising ocean submerge part of South Florida?
KeelyNet The South Florida Water Management District's long-term plans once anticipated the sea level rising about 1 foot by 2100, but more recent projections say the rise could be five times as much. That could move the southern tip of Florida's mainland to the Tamiami Trail and submerge swaths of some of the most populated areas along the southeast coast. From flooding to more saltwater seeping in and fouling drinking water supplies, climate change is an issue that needs more attention, said Jayantha Obeysekera, who will lead the district's global warming review. "We cannot put up walls and stop the sea level," Obeysekera said. "Let's start looking at it [and] see what our vulnerabilities are." Even if the worst-case scenario doesn't play out, a less dramatic rise in the sea level could create problems for South Florida, said Carol Ann Wehle, executive director of the agency. If the sea level rises 2 feet, the vast system of drainage canals that relies on gravity to keep South Florida dry will not work, Wehle said. That would mean investing in pumps to push water out to sea, she said. Saltwater from the ocean for decades has been seeping in and threatening freshwater wells near the coast. The district might need to consider creating new well fields farther inland, Wehle said. - Source

05/17/08 - Russia/Europe may team up for moon flights...
The first test flight is set for 2015 and the first manned flight is planned for 2018, Russian space agency Roskosmos said. "The European Space Agency (ESA) and Roskosmos both have the technologies and unique experience in designing various space systems to be able to create jointly a hi-tech vehicle," Roskosmos said on its website (www.roscosmos.ru). "(This would) enable us to carry crews of up to six people to near-earth and lunar orbits." Roskosmos said the craft would allow "expeditions to the moon" but did not say whether landings were envisaged. The new spacecraft, with wings and a cone-shaped module, would be launched by a Russian booster rocket from the Vostochny cosmodrome in Russia's Far East region of Amur, Roskosmos said. - Source

05/17/08 - Latest biofuel made from sap...
Sweet sorghum is grown in the U.S. for cooking and livestock feed. But the tall plant also might help at the gas pump. A sugary sap inside the plant's stalk, which grow as tall as 12 feet, can be turned into a potent biofuel, and experts and companies are studying its potential with hopes that farmers will want to plant more of it. Ethanol made from the stalk's juice has four times the energy yield of the corn-based ethanol, which is already in the marketplace unlike sweet sorghum. Sweet sorghum produces about eight units of energy for every unit of energy used in its production. That's about the same as sugarcane but four times as much as corn. - Source

05/17/08 - L.A. prepares massive water-conservation plan
Los Angeles officials today will revive a controversial proposal to recycle wastewater as part of a plan to curb usage and move the city toward greater water independence. Just to meet a 15% increase in demand by 2030, officials say 32 billion gallons a year will have to be saved or recaptured -- enough to cover the San Fernando Valley with a foot of water. Prohibitions during the 1990s drought -- banning residents from washing driveways and sidewalks, letting sprinklers flood into gutters and watering grass in midday -- would be enforced again, with additional restrictions. One part of the proposal would limit lawn watering to certain days of the week. About $1 billion would be allocated for reclamation, including a politically sensitive plan to use treated wastewater to recharge underground drinking supplies serving the Valley, Los Feliz and the Eastside. A similar system was approved and built in the 1990s, then abandoned after critics labeled it a "toilet-to-tap" scheme. One critic said voters should decide whether the water supply will be blended with treated wastewater. "It's grossly unfair for the mayor, the City Council or the DWP to decide consumers are going to be using this recycled water," said Gerald A. Silver, president of Homeowners of Encino. But Millie Hamilton, an Encino Neighborhood Council member and docent at the city's Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, said recycling is safe, needed and nothing new. "There is no new water on this planet," said Hamilton, who was referred to The Times by the mayor's office. "We are drinking the same water the dinosaurs drank. All our water has been and is being recycled." - Source

05/14/08 - Fuel Surcharge
Last week I sent a banjo to Minnesota, via UPS. The cost included a fuel surcharge of $2.31. I guess that's the new way of raising prices without actually raising prices. Airlines do it, and I guess everyone else will jump on the bandwagon. I won't be surprised if gas stations start charging a fuel surcharge to account for the fact that it costs more to get their gas delivered. At least UPS doesn't charge a convenience fee -- yet. After all, it's much more convenient for me to ship it using their service than drive it across the country myself. - Source

05/14/08 - Alternative fuel -- a back to the future proposition
KeelyNet Plug-in hybrids, that could provide a completely electrical ride for 40 miles, satisfying 78 percent of the average daily U.S. commute, are being developed by some of the major automakers. Unfortunately, they still appear to be a few years away from the showroom floor. It may surprise some Americans to learn that the electrical vehicle we wish we could buy now is not a new idea to the auto industry. In fact, the internal combustion engine we've grown up with was just one of three significant schools of automotive engineering thought. The first electric car was designed by William Morrison of Des Moines, Iowa, in 1891 (Men, Money and Motors, T. MacManus, Harper Bros. 1929). For whatever reason, maybe because they represented the older generation, Henry Ford didn't dig electric cars. Early on, steam-power was the third front in the engineering war over which technology would dominate the industry. Speed and absence of vibration were steam's external combustion engine virtues. The drawback was taking more than a minute to warm up before being able to drive away. Mostly it's a forgotten technology, but something reminiscent of today's pain revived the idea, even if it never reached full-scale production. During the Arabian oil embargo of 1973, Saab engineered a prototype steam-powered car. It used an electronically-controlled, lightweight, multi-parallel circuit generator about the size of a car battery that could generate 160 horse power. Quick start-up was achieved by storing compressed air which powered the car until sufficient steam-pressure was built up. What killed both steam and electric vehicles back in the day was invention of the electric starter for gasoline engines. Before that you had to use a hand crank to fire that baby up. In cold weather when the crankcase oil was thick this could be nearly impossible for anyone not having considerable upper body strength. Occasionally starting could be dangerous, with many an arm broken when the engine back-fired and spun the crank around like a shot. What a different world it might be today if electrical vehicles circa 1910 had left internal combustion buggies in the ditch instead of the other way around. - Source

05/14/08 - Politics, Agendas and Then… Science
In what is becoming a continuing battle between science, politics and special interest groups, more than half of the 1586 EPA scientists who responded to an independent survey from the Union of Concerned Scientists claimed they had experienced some kind of interference from lobbyists and political leaders. This interference usually came in the form of some sort of suppression or distortion of scientific findings, or the selective use of data to push forward a specific regulatory outcome. Some cases even included political figures directing a scientist to alter or omit inconvenient data from a report. Francesca Grifo of the Union of Concerned Scientists states, "Distorting science to accommodate a narrow political agenda threatens our environment, our health and our democracy itself." However, a government spokesman denies the administrative manipulation saying that scientific findings are merely being balanced with policy concerns. - Source

05/14/08 - UV Invention kills resistant diseases; MRSA to dust mites tremble
KeelyNet Inventor Ed Neister has developed the technology to kill Noroviruses, C. diff, MRSA and other problem viruses and bacteria using a section of the ultraviolet light, or UV, spectrum to bombard them with killing high-energy photons. Several of the units have been sold and are being tested in this country and abroad. The Neisters say their own research shows Sterilray is astoundingly effective, up to 10,000 times more deadly than chemical cleaners. But they are waiting for results from government and private industry now trying out the new units, and for word to spread that Sterilray performs as advertised. Then the market for their hand-held disinfection wands could be worldwide - and huge. The problem Sterilray targets has been quietly growing in hospitals worldwide as overuse of antibiotics has created strains of resistant microorganisms that cause everything from annoying intestinal distress in the case of the Norwalk virus to staph infections that can kill weakened patients. Several years ago, health officials began to see infections occurring outside hospitals. There is new awareness that adequate cleaning is needed not just in hospitals but also hotels, workplaces and public gathering places such as cruise ships. In 1993, there were fewer than 2,000 reported MRSA infections in U.S. hospitals. By 2007, 880,000 cases or 2.4 percent of all patients, were infected. MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, a staph superbug. How dirty are hospitals? A recent survey of 49 operating rooms in four New England hospitals found that over half the surfaces in the operating room that were supposed to be disinfected by hospital cleaners were left uncleaned," said McCaughey. The most common method has been to use a solution of various disinfecting chemicals and water, often a 10 percent bleach solution. In other applications, such as sewer plants, ultraviolet light has been used for years to incapacitate germs by exposing water to UV rays in what is known as the "germicidal" spectrum. This works by interfering with the germ's DNA so it cannot reproduce. This can come undone, however. After research in conjunction the University of New Hampshire, Neister found that by directing photons from the "far" UV spectrum he not only inactivated the germs' DNA but actually broke it up, killing them. Neister began working on manufacturing a small device that could generate far UV in a mobile disinfecting unit. He has applied for and has had 22 patents accepted related to the Sterilray light wand. Once Neister knew he'd found the right UV frequency, he focused on designing a functional device that could be carried from room to room and easily used by a cleaning worker. The first prototype of his light wand weighed 11 pounds. Neister since has reduced it to 4 pounds. It looks like a clothes iron with a thin light bulb tucked into its hot iron end. The wand emits a purplish light that is shined 2 to 6 inches above a surface to disinfect it. Results take less than a second. Its power comes from the larger power pack the wand is stored in. They will not be cheap, costing roughly $26,000 each. But the cost should come down as more units are produced. Ed believes his far UV frequency also will kill dust mites and allergens. Soon he plans to begin offering a home disinfection service for $100. Information about this will be available at www.sterilray.com. For more information about the company, Healthy Environment Innovations, go to www.he-innovations.com or call 879-0503. - Source

05/14/08 - Australian invention paves the way
An Australian invention has paved the way for lighter, stronger concrete with a smaller greenhouse footprint, by utilising the waste "fly-ash" from coal-fired power stations. It has the potential to capture all of the 14 million tonnes of ash particles churned out each year by Australian energy plants and turn them into a form of aggregate, which bonds with cement. Cement and concrete manufacture is estimated to generate about ten per cent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions, but the inventors say it has the potential to slash emissions in the construction sector by 20 per cent. The new process involves baking the tiny fragments of ash caught in the filters of a power station, turning them into bricquettes, and crushing those to form a a strong, light, carbon-rich dust. Coal-burning power plants already capture almost all the fly-ash they generate, but much of it is not deemed commercially useful and is dumped in old coal mines or used for landfill. The reconstituted ash has been shown to be stronger than other fly-ash products being used in concrete overseas, meaning less energy-intensive cement is needed to bind the mixture. As well as making concrete, the ash can be used in bricks and paving stones. - Source

05/14/08 - Finding new frontiers in energy investing
KeelyNet The progress of major civilizations has depended largely on finding new and better sources of cheap energy. Energy has even functioned as the catalyst for many of the world’s wars and continues to do so today. Xtreme Power Solutions provides a critical component for large-scale energy storage to wind and PV farms, replacement of peak-power plants and large, stand-by power capacity. Its batteries have virtually no energy loss, last for decades, are environmentally friendly and can be configured to megawatt quantities. They act like a capacitor with low resistance under load and can be charged and discharged at incredible rates. It is impractical to discuss energy without the presence of water. Over 50% of all electricity used in the U.S. is used to move water. Our investment in Ice Energy was specifically targeted to utilize low-cost, night-time electricity, and the 20-degree day/night temperature difference in some areas of the world to store air conditioning energy for use during the day. The inexpensive technology moves 95 percent of the peak electrical demand for refrigeration-based air conditioning to night, significantly lowering the cost of air conditioning and improving overall energy performance. SNTech, a Korean company that has discovered what may be the greatest single contribution to energy in this decade-a new electric motor design that reduces electrical consumption by 80 percent, while staying consistent with the cost of existing motors. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 60 percent of all electricity in the U.S. is consumed by electric motors. This single invention could free up enough energy to eliminate the need for constructing future power plants in our lifetime. Additionally, with over 1.2 billion electric motors sold each year in the U.S. alone, this company has the potential for truly breathtaking returns for its investors. ORYXE Energy’s fuel additive dramatically reduces pollution, however state regulators have yet to be convinced that this particular technology should be mandated. Another example of an energy investment facing regulatory approval is Ice Energy’s Ice Bear™ 50 technology. This company’s innovation is worth billions, but requires government regulation for electrical costs and must be negotiated utility by utility. - Source

05/14/08 - Danger of Outsourcing Electronics
Almost everything in the US military relies upon electronics. The economy thrives on electronic trading floors, nationwide networking and a 100% reliance upon business computers. Even the national infrastructure is tied heavily into microchips with computerized utilities and transportation systems. For the longest time, the fear of widespread shutdown came from nuclear EMP but now fear has rightfully turned to simpler, more mundane attacks - hidden kill switches. The DoD is concerned enough with the threat of unknown kill switches residing in much of its equipment that DARPA has been tasked heavily with coming up with a detection technique. The idea is very simple, a kill switch does not need to be embedded deeply into a system to make it shutdown, even if a common integrated circuit responded to an single number transmitted by radio and shut itself down, an entire system could turn off depending on the nature of the shutdown circuit - e.g. power supply. Part of the kill switch conspiracy hubbub was revived following the Israeli air strike against the alleged Syrian nuclear facility. Amazingly, the advanced Syrian radar warning systems "just failed." Could this impetus bring manufacturing back to domestic plants to impose better regulations and bring increased security? - Source

05/14/08 - Low-Energy Water Filtration
KeelyNet Most water-filtration technologies require a lot of energy to push water through membranes that eventually become fouled and need to be replaced. Both factors make water filtration costly for most applications. Now researchers at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) have been able to overcome those challenges by incorporating scientific insights from the physics of toner particle movements into a low-energy water-filtration device that doesn't use membranes. PARC researchers call their device the spiral concentrator. It is a spiral-shaped, 50-centimeter-long piece of plastic tubing that's one millimeter in diameter. As water is pumped through one end of the device, particles in the water are pressed up against the walls of the tubing. Particles as small as one micron in size are separated out by centrifugal force and shunted away from the clean water via diverging forks in the spiral concentrator. The advantage of this approach is that it doesn't require as much energy as it would to push contaminated water through a membrane. Such membranes are typically built from resin and have many tiny holes perforated in them, ranging in size from a few micrometers to a few nanometers. The purifier requires a constant flow rate of water so that the movements of the particles conform to predicted patterns. That flow of water can be achieved with a low power pump that can be driven by a panel of solar cells. However, because the spin concentrator can separate particles no smaller than one micron in size, it can't remove bacteria. Scott Elrod, manager of the hardware systems laboratory at PARC, says that smaller particles could be separated out by adding alum to the water being filtered. Alum is used in water treatment plants to chemically bind small particles to larger ones, which can then be separated out using gravity. In the case of the spin concentrator, centrifugal force will supply the horsepower to remove those congealed particles. - Source

05/14/08 - Spiritual Water: Religion meets Consumerism
The instructions are simple: Read the Prayer ... Drink the Water ... Believe in God! Believe in Yourself! Spiritual Water, the faith-inspired venture of two Sunrise, Fla., businessmen, offers its drinkers clearer focus, positive thinking and connection to a higher power. The 11 bottles in the company's collection bear prayers and impressively detailed images of Jesus Christ, St. Michael and the Virgin Mary. Spiritual Water joins a broad slice of feel-good products -- Testamint, Bible Gum and other bottled waters -- emerging at the intersection of religion and commerce, entrepreneurship and pop culture. - Source

05/14/08 - New theory on Stonehenge: health center
KeelyNet The dig is looking closely at the presence of about 82 bluestones - a double circle of large rocks, some weighing as much as 4 tons, that were brought in during the second stage of Stonehenge, which began about 2150 B.C. and account for the first stone construction at the site. About 150 years later, these were rearranged and surrounded by a circle of the much larger sarsen stones that have become iconic of Stonehenge. Yet it is the bluestones, somehow hauled to the Salisbury Plain from the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, Wales, that researchers say hold the key to the clouded mystery of Stonehenge. Darvill and Wainwright, the co-directors of the dig, found the Welsh site to be a center for ceremony and burials, where the springs that flowed below the rocks were regarded by ancients as having medicinal powers. They hope that by finding evidence to tie the stones from the Preseli Hills to those at Stonehenge, they will have an answer to the age-old mystery of the site's purpose. "There's people in the landscape buried here who have come here perhaps like pilgrims, in order to benefit from the things here," Darvill said. "You can imagine a big temple like this is going to have shamans, it's going to have witch doctors, it's going to have all the sorts of people who in prehistoric terms would look after those who were ill." Many of the remains uncovered during previous excavations show signs of ailments and, in some cases, prehistoric surgery. "One, for example, has a trepanation taken out of the top of the skull, a circular piece of bone taken out to relieve pressure on the brain. You've got to be feeling pretty unwell to let somebody get a flint blade and cut the top of your head off," Darvill said. - Source

05/14/08 - Losing a Home, Then Losing All Out of Storage
The foreclosure crisis is hitting yet another American locale: the self-storage center. As they lose their homes, people are turning to these humble cinderblock and sheet-metal boxes to store their stuff. But some people cannot keep up with their storage bills any better than they could handle their mortgage payments, and storage companies are auctioning off their property for a pittance. A cottage industry has developed to profit from these lost and abandoned items. The other day in this Chicago suburb, Stephanie Donahou and her son Marcus had only a moment to decide whether to bid on a unit in default. They could see a couch, a sewing machine, a fish tank, a washer and dryer, lots of Christmas wrapping paper, a television and other trappings of daily life. “This is someone's house,” Mrs. Donahou said. Her bid, for $160, was the highest. Mr. Donahou was not impressed. “Ma, you bought a junker,” he said, rooting through the material. They began to fill their U-Haul. Good material they would auction on eBay; middling stuff would go to yard sales. The auctioneer, Blair Auction & Appraisal, has been conducting sales at self-storage facilities in the Midwest for more than a decade. “If a site used to have 10 auctions, these days it has 15 or 20,” said Wayne Blair, the owner. At one site in Detroit, he auctioned off the contents of 45 units. - Source

05/14/08 - Stressed seaweed lives under a cloud of its own making
Stress among the plants can alter weather patterns, according to researchers at the Scottish Association for Marine Science and the University of Manchester. On an overcast day kelp are comfortable when the tide goes out, as they stay damp until it comes in again. But on a bright day they dry, releasing iodide. The iodide rises, causing clouds to form overhead, sheltering the kelp from the unwelcome sunshine. Frithjof Küpper, of the Scottish Association for Marine Science, who led the research, saidthat the salt helped to neutralise ozone in the atmosphere and, as it rose, “these chemicals act as condensation nuclei around which clouds may form”. - Source

05/14/08 - Social Media Influencing Investment Decisions
KeelyNet The study found that 25% of US online adults are engaged in social media specifically related to personal finance and investing. Furthermore, almost two-thirds of high-net-worth investors-defined as those with $100,000 or more in investable assets- claimed online peer-generated content about personal investing and finance has an influence on their financial purchasing behaviors and decisions. Christy White, chief of operations at Cogent Research, told Business Wire, “Purchasing decisions are being influenced by what investors are seeing on blogs, message boards and videos, and financial services companies will increasingly feel the impact on their bottom lines. The question firms should be asking is not ‘if,’ but ‘how quickly’ they can engage in social media.” - Source / Interested in investing in something that will make huge advances? Vanguard Sciences Lab Project.

05/14/08 - Hydrogen Cars Won't Make a Difference for 40 Years
Experts say it will be 40 years or more before hydrogen has any meaningful impact on gasoline consumption or global warming, and we can't afford to wait that long. In the meantime, fuel cells are diverting resources from more immediate solutions. "As a climate strategy, it's not very good," said Dr. Joseph Romm, executive director of the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions and author of The Hype About Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate. "We don't have the time." Climate experts and alternative-fuel researchers, including some hydrogen proponents, agree that hydrogen is at best a long-term solution. In the short and medium term, however, other technologies offer far greater benefit at far less cost: Cleaner internal combustion engines, hybrids and plug-in hybrids. - Source

05/14/08 - Ron Paul's forces quietly plot GOP convention revolt against McCain
KeelyNet The forces of Rep. Ron Paul have been organizing across the country to stage an embarrassing public revolt against Sen. John McCain when Republicans gather for their national convention in Minnesota at the beginning of September. According to a recent Boston Globe tally, Paul has a grand total of 19 Republican delegates to Romney's 260, Huckabee's 286 and McCain's 1,413. In the last three months, Paul's forces, who donated $34.5 million to his White House effort and upward of a million total votes, have, as The Ticket has noted, been fighting a series of guerrilla battles with party establishment officials at county and state conventions from Washington and Missouri to Maine and Mississippi. Their goal: to take control of local committees, boost their delegate totals and influence platform debates. Paul, for instance, favors a drastically reduced federal government, abolishing the Federal Reserve, ending the Iraq war immediately and withdrawing U.S. troops from abroad. Paul, who's running unopposed in his home Texas district for an 11th House term, still has some $5 million in war funds and has instructed his followers that their struggle is not about a single election, but a long-term revolution for control of the Republican Party. - Source

05/14/08 - Cornflakes in cereal killer warning
CLIMATE change could lead to "killer cornflakes" with the most potent liver toxin ever recorded, an environmental health conference has been told. The effects of the toxins, known as mycotoxins, have been known since the Middle Ages when rye bread contaminated with ergot fungus was a staple part of the European diet, environmental health researcher Lisa Bricknell of Central Queensland University (CQU) said. "People started suffering mass hallucinations, manic depression, gangrene, abortions, reduced fertility and painful, convulsive death," Ms Bricknell told the 10th World Congress on Environmental Health in Brisbane today. "The rye bread, which was known as the staff of life, quickly became known as the sceptre of death." The damage was done not from a single exposure but from many small doses of the toxins over a long period of time. Mycotoxins can appear in the food chain as a result of the fungal infection of crops in the field or in storage, either by being eaten directly by humans, or by being used as livestock feed. - Source

05/14/08 - Solutions ala Ghandi
KeelyNet Being able to free your MIND--being able to escape the mindset of a slave--and then trying to help others do the same, will not only reveal a power and a freedom you never knew you had, but will plant the seed which will, slowly but surely, grow into the solution that will end all tyranny. As Steven Biko said, the greatest weapon the oppressor has is the mind of the oppressed. So are you ready to wrench YOUR mind out of the grip of your enslavers? Or are you still too attached to the cult of "government"? Peasants must never be allowed to realize the power they have. Their power can be "deadly" to your regime, even if they do not resort to violence at all. Gandhi led millions of people in India in a bizarre "revolution" that crippled British control of the country. Amazingly, they did this without any violence. To a large extent, they defeated an empire by doing nothing. Mere passive noncompliance with the commands of an empire (a.k.a. "doing nothing"), if done by enough of the subjects, spells certain doom for any tyrant. If one day all of your victims decide not to pay your "taxes" any more, there is nothing you can do to preserve your power. If they all decide to ignore your laws, your "laws" cease to exist. Always remember: your "authority" exists only in the minds of the peasants. If they ever stop perceiving you as an "authority," your reign is over. And it probably won't even be a dramatic, violent end. Instead, you may simply fizzle into irrelevant oblivion, as the peasants, including your enforcers, simply "forget" to bow to your will. They won't even need to oust you; they will simply ignore you out of existence. Choose any historical tyrant and imagine what would happen if one day everyone in his regime woke up and said: "That guy is looney-tunes, and I'm not listening to him any more (and his mustache looks stupid too)." Would they then feel the wrath of the tyrant? Nope, because there would be no one to enforce that "wrath." The power of every tyrant is 100% illusion, and you darn well better know how to keep that illusion alive if you want to stay in power. - Source

05/14/08 - Talk to the Dead with the Alpha Phase Descent video synch
KeelyNet Central to communicating with the dead is inducing a receptive state. My new technique is the first to use tested scientific principles to induce such a state via what's known as an Alpha Phase Descent. The receptive state induced by the Alpha Phase decent is achieved by synchronizing the brains Alpha waves to 10 hertz by using a 'stroboscope' which is essentially a high intensity light that flashes in quick succession. I then combine this with tested proven self hypnosis methods - techniques most often associated with deep meditation. Test my technique; use this Alpha Phase Video Synch to induce the receptive state you need for talking with the dead. Read warning statement before you begin. For more information on this technique click here. Sit comfortably in front of your computer. Once the Alpha Phase Descent Video Synch begins to roll, focus on it. Do not look anywhere but at the screen and listen intently to the instructions. - Source / Additional info for experimenting with this type of claim posted years ago on KeelyNet as 'the PsychoManteum'.

05/11/08 - Mosquitoes vs. Listerine
KeelyNet The best way of getting rid of mosquitoes is Listerine, the original medicinal type. The Dollar Store-type works, too. I was at a deck party awhile back, and the bugs were having a ball biting everyone. A man at the party sprayed the lawn and deck floor with Listerine, and the little demons disappeared. The next year I filled a 4-ounce spray bottle and used it around my seat whenever I saw mosquitoes. And voila! That worked as well. It worked at a picnic where we sprayed the area around the food table, the children's swing area, and the standing water nearby. During the summer, I don't leave home without it.....Pass it on. / OUR FRIEND'S COMMENTS: I tried this on my deck and around all of my doors. It works - in fact, it killed them instantly. I bought my bottle from Target and it cost me $1.89. It really doesn't take much, and it is a big bottle too so it is not as expensive to use as the can of spray you buy that doesn't last 30 minutes. So, try this, please. It will last a couple of days. Don't spray directly on a wood door (like your front door), but spray around the frame. Spray around the window frames and even inside the dog house if you have one. Also can be used to dab any bites you receive. It will stop the itching quicker and go away faster. / (This shared with us all courtesy of Linda Veach, wife of our late, great friend Jack Veach, thanks Linda! - JWD) / Reader David sent the following; "Mosquitoes vs. Listerine *The best way of getting rid of mosquitoes is Listerine, *the original medicinal type*..." - Snopes reports this as *false*. / We had a big rain two days ago so some mosquitos were buzzing in my house. I had bought a bottle of the original listerine for $5.40 here in Mexico, plus a spray bottle. When I tried to sleep, at least 2 mosquitos were on bombing runs, so I sprayed my bedsheets and NO MORE MOSQUITO ATTACKS the entire night! If it just repels them, I'm happy with that. I will try it again as the summer progresses but so far, it has worked for me. JWD: - Source

05/11/08 - 75MPG Hybrid Electric Car powered by 5HP Lawnmower Engine
KeelyNet Dave's Opel CT is a hybrid electric vehicle. That is, the car is driven by an electric motor . . . but that powerplant's "juice" is generated with the help of an ordinary, fuel-stingy lawn-mower engine! Now the fact that the system works isn't really surprising. What's amazing is that the crossbreed hookup performs so well! According to David, the Opel has not only a virtually unlimited range (when driven prudently), but also a top speed of 90 miles per hour . . . and emits a minimum of pollutants as it tools along the highway. Better yet, the car can-if need be-run on its batteries alone for short in-town hops . . . and will never be "stranded" as long as there's fuel in the "on board" generator! Mr. Arthurs is the first to admit that there's nothing "new" to the system he's developed . . . in fact, all the technology incorporated into his design has been available for about 35 years, just waiting for someone to put two and two together and make the whole thing work. In essence, David has utilized a small gas lawn-mower engine to drive a generator, which-in turn-supplies the vehicle's drive motor with electricity. To do so, he first removed the Opel's original power-plant and installed a 400-amp DC motor/ generator (actually a jet engine's starting motor) in its place. (Since there's no need for a clutch in Dave's setup, the stock unit was pulled out and the main shaft of the drive motor was fastened directly to the input shaft of the car's transmission.) Then, to provide a consistent source of power for this motor (and to supply an energy storage bank), the engineer installed four 12-volt, heavy-duty automobile batteries-in series-which are "fed" by a 100-amp generator that's run off a 5-horsepower lawn-mower engine. Plans for the Hybrid car, item number 1764 are available for $25 at www.MotherEarthShopping.com or by calling 800-234-3368. / (Thanks to Glenn Watkins for this URL. - JWD) - Source

05/11/08 - Gas prices jump nearly 3 cents Overnight
Gas prices jumped nearly 3 cents overnight to a new national record of nearly $3.65 a gallon Thursday, while oil prices paused from their own climb to record highs and succumbed to mild profit-taking. At the pump, the average price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide rose 2.7 cents to a record $3.645, according to a survey of stations by AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Diesel prices also rose, adding 0.9 cent to match a record national average of $4.251 a gallon. - Source

05/11/08 - Marks Solar Power Converter
KeelyNet A SOLAR POWER CONVERTER THAT MAY CUT THE COST OF SUNLIGHT-SPAWNED HOME ELECTRICITY BY AS MUCH AS 90% has been patented by Alvin M. Marks. The device, called the Lepcon, uses submicron antennas on a glass plate to convert sunlight into high-frequency alternating current, which is then changed by a miniature circuit to direct current. The inventor estimates the cost of electricity from the Lepcon at about 500 per watt, as compared to the $5.00 per watt typical of conventional silicon-crystal photovoltaic equipment. Mr. Marks also claims a 75% efficiency rate for his invention (versus a theoretical 20%, and a thus-far-achieved 8% to 10% rate, for standard solar cells). If mass-produced, a 100-square-foot Lepcon roof panel would cost about $1,500 and generate sufficient power for a small household. A photovoltaic array producing the same output would cost approximately $75,000. (The catch, of course, is that the Lepcon is not yet commercially available, and may not be for quite some time.) - Source / 1986 New York Times article about NEW PLASTIC SOLAR DESIGN PROMISES EFFICIENT POWER - Mr. Marks says solar panels made with Lepcon or Lumeloid, the materials he patented, could turn 70 to 80 percent of the energy from sunlight they receive into electricity. Most photovoltaic cells are only about 15 percent efficient. The electricity would cost three or four cents per kilowatt hour, as against about 10 cents a kilowatt hour for commercially generated electric power. Most photovoltaic cells produce energy for around $1 per kilowatt hour. Lepcon, which was a preliminary design, consists of glass panels covered with a vast array of millions of aluminum or copper strips, each less than a micron or thousandth of a millimeter wide. As sunlight hits the metal strips, the energy in the light is transferred to electrons in the metal, which escape at one end in the form of electricity. The solar panel uses molecular diodes called "diads." The Lumeloid process includes the diads in a stretch-oriented electrically conductive polarized film. The polarizing molecules act as antennae to convert light photons to electric power. Efficiencies as high as 72% appear possible. There are as yet no large-scale working prototypes of Mr. Mark's invention, and some scientists have expressed caution in assessing it. ''It is beyond our technological fabrication capability at present,'' said Dr. Edward D. Wolf, the director of the national research facility for submicron structures at Cornell University, who has studied Mr. Marks's work. ''But it's an interesting concept.''

05/11/08 - Energy In The Slow Lane
Everyone seems to have a "story" to share. By that, I'm referring to a recollection, or perhaps an energy legend, of something that was once heard, but then never heard of again. My story goes like this: When I was in grade school, we were handed a small publication each week called the Weekly Reader, which offered stories on current events and other tidbits with an emphasis on science, history, mathematics or other academic realms. I recall reading one particular story around 1970 or so about a man in New England who had invented a device that could stretch gas mileage in vehicles far beyond normal levels. To prove his point, he attached the device to the engine of a school bus and drove it from New Hampshire to Washington D.C. on one tank of gas. He wanted to demonstrate to lawmakers what his wondrous little device could do for energy conservation in this country. Now, I'll grant you that the bus probably had a huge gas tank, but the fact that it could travel so far on one tank of fuel struck me as amazing. Thus, my story ends with this question: What happened? As I said, it seems everyone knows a story like this. They've heard of people developing devices that could operate a vehicle on pure alcohol, or could stretch gas mileage out to 80 miles a gallon. They've heard of things like Willie Nelson's biofuel efforts. The rumors and dreams go on and on. But then something happens - or nothing happens. Perhaps, some of us tend to speculate, the oil companies are making sure these revolutionary devices simply vanish from the marketplace. Are they ensuring that Americans consume oil by generous gulps and not prudent sips? Are we being kept addicted to fossil fuels in the names of greed and profit? I honestly don't know. All these tales and legends of great new devices that could alter the way we operate automobiles remain little more than rumors, in spite of the fact that these things should have been happening for decades, and they should be happening now. Instead, we are held hostage to the distant past and/or a dead-end (energy) future. - Source

05/11/08 - First Person R/C Plane, Almost as Good as Actually Flying
KeelyNet The Pilot View FPV 2400 is a (wireless) camera system that can strap on any R/C plane and stream images to the pilot, who wears video goggles below. Range is about 1 kilometer over the 2.4Ghz spectrum, and the video quality from such systems really isn't so bad (hit the jump for an example clip). At $550, it's a commitment, and seemingly a tad risky to strap onto an even more expensive, properly-weighted R/C plane. - Source

05/11/08 - China eyes overseas land in food push
Chinese companies will be encouraged to buy farmland abroad, particularly in Africa and South America, to help guarantee food security under a plan being considered by Beijing. The move comes as oil-rich but food-poor countries in the Middle East and north Africa explore similar options. Libya is talking with Ukraine about growing wheat in the former Soviet republic, while Saudi Arabia has said it would invest in agricultural and livestock projects abroad to ensure food security and control commodity prices. China is losing its ability to be self-sufficient in food as its rising wealth triggers a shift away from diet staples such as rice towards meat, which requires large amounts of imported feed. China has about 40 per cent of the world’s farmers but just 9 per cent of the world’s arable land. Some Chinese scholars argue that domestic agricultural companies must expand overseas if China is to guarantee its food security and reduce its exposure to global market fluctuations. - Source

05/11/08 - Britons throw away third of all food
British consumers throw out a third of all food bought, worth some 10 billion pounds (12.7 million euros, 19.5 million dollars), a study showed Thursday. The average household throws food worth 420 pounds each year into the waste bin, rising to 610 pounds for those with children, said the study by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap). This includes 1.3 million unopened yoghurt pots, 5,500 whole chickens and 440,000 ready meals, it said. "These findings are staggering in their own right, but at a time when global food shortages are in the headlines this kind of wastefulness becomes even more shocking," said Environment Minister Joan Ruddock. - Source

05/11/08 - HOWTO detect hidden video cameras
With one hand, hold up the toilet paper tube to your eye. With your other hand, hold up the flashlight at about eye level and point it away from you. With one eye, look through the tube and scan the room. If there are any small points of light bouncing back, inspect it further. It might be a camera. - Source

05/11/08 - Aspergia: 20M of us around the world and Most don't even know it!
KeelyNet Aspergers' Syndrome is one of several autism spectrum disorders (ASD) characterized by difficulties in social interaction and by restricted, stereotyped interests and activities. Asperger syndrome is named after Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills, failed to demonstrate empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy. People with Asperger syndrome display behavior, interests, and activities that are restricted and repetitive and are sometimes abnormally intense or focused. They may stick to inflexible routines or rituals, move in stereotyped and repetitive ways, or preoccupy themselves with parts of objects. Individuals with AS may collect volumes of detailed information on a relatively narrow topic such as dinosaurs or deep fat fryers, without necessarily having genuine understanding of the broader topic. Unlike those with autism, people with AS are not usually withdrawn around others; they approach others, even if awkwardly, for example by engaging in a one-sided, long-winded speech about a favorite topic while being oblivious to the listener's feelings or reactions, such as signs of boredom or haste to leave. / Asperger's isn't a disease or an illness. It is a unique set of traits, which is very likely to be the driver behind some of the greatest human achievements to date. It is speculated that Einstein himself had Asperger's as did many other prominent historical personalities. Asperger's is the single minded determination behind invention and innovation, and the ability to create something different to standard thinking. Human minds are locked within their barriers of social acceptability. Asperger's allows the expansion beyond this. Our focus and single mindedness, coupled with a range of special skills allow us to excel in places where others never could. There are of course social trade-offs, but as we grow more aware, we can start looking after our community, creating solutions for our needs in a way never thought of before: social meetings with our own special structures, organisations with our focus to drive them, and, of course, support to those young Aspergians. children who need to learn that they are different only from those around them. In the land of Aspergia they share the traits and background of others. - Source

05/11/08 - Wi-Fi devices warn Doctors of Heart Attacks
The Bluetooth wireless technology that allows people to use a hands-free earpiece while making a mobile telephone call could soon alert the emergency services when someone has a heart attack, Ofcom predicts. The communications regulator said that sensors could be implanted into people at risk of heart attack or diabetic collapse that would allow doctors to monitor them remotely. If the “in-body network” recorded that the person had suddenly collapsed, it would send an alert, via a nearby base station at their home, to a surgery or hospital. - Source

05/11/08 - Aeroscraft
KeelyNet The Aeroscraft, which purports to be the "FOURTH DIMENSION OF FLIGHT." Having your own personal blimp certainly sounds nifty enough. Sort of like a big yacht, but without the piracy worries and (perhaps) the ability to steer around a few storms. It doesn't seem they've actually built any yet, and there's no price listed, which almost certainly means what it usually means. The Aeroscraft is designed and built on the basis of a new concept in flight. This remarkable idea grew out of the belief that there is a more comfortable way to fly than simply applying a luxury upgrade to an existing airframe and re-naming it. - Source

05/11/08 - Portable Tropical Windmills
OVER 2,000 INEXPENSIVE, LIGHTWEIGHT "TROPICAL WINDMILLS" are now pumping water in rural Colombian villages. The 180-pound units, designed with Vnited Nations backing, can be transported by four-wheeldrive to remote locations and installed by ranch hands using only simple tools and an illustrated manual .... THE WORLD'S LARGEST SOLAR POND is at Fort Benning, Georgia, where a system involving eighty 200-foot-long water-filled black plastic modules and 3.6 miles of pipe supplies 6,500 troops with 500,000 gallons of hot water daily .... WIND ENERGY WILL SUPPLY 10% OF ISRAEL'S ELECTRICITY by the mid-1990's, according to government energy experts .... THE WORLD'S FIRST WATER COLUMN POWER PLANT will open in Norway in 1985. Expected to generate up to one million kilowatthours per year, the facility, built into bedrock, will utilize atmospheric pressure created by wave impact to drive a turbine - Source

05/11/08 - Mortuaries Mull Dissolving Bodies as Alternative
Since they first walked the planet, humans have either buried or burned their dead. Now a new option is generating interest - dissolving bodies in lye and flushing the brownish, syrupy residue down the drain. - Source

05/11/08 - Faux skylights and windows
KeelyNet The Sky Factory deals in fake skylights and windows. Their SkyCeilings and Luminous Virtual Windows are photos of the outside that fit into standard ceiling or window grid systems. Fluorescent and LED backlighting is also available. It's like having a piece of Vegas in your own home! Seen here is a backlit Luminous SkyCeiling installed in a medical procedure room. - Source

05/11/08 - Hybrid Risk - Hybrids and Electromagnetic Fields
ALMOST without exception, scientists and policy makers agree that hybrid vehicles are good for the planet. To a small but insistent group of skeptics, however, there is another, more immediate question: Are hybrids healthy for drivers? There is a legitimate scientific reason for raising the issue. The flow of electrical current to the motor that moves a hybrid vehicle at low speeds (and assists the gasoline engine on the highway) produces magnetic fields, which some studies have associated with serious health matters, including a possible risk of leukemia among children. With the batteries and power cables in hybrids often placed close to the driver and passengers, some exposure to electromagnetic fields is unavoidable. Moreover, the exposure will be prolonged - unlike, say, using a hair dryer or electric shaver - for drivers who spend hours each day at the wheel. Some hybrid owners have actually tested their cars for electromagnetic fields using hand-held meters, and a few say they are alarmed by the results. - Source

05/11/08 - Woman Helps Cops Find Men Who Stole Her Laptop
A Westchester woman who had her laptop stolen was able to connect to the computer, photograph two suspects and give the photos to police. White Plains Police say they used the photos to arrest Edmon Shahikian, 23, of Katonah and 20-year-old Ian Frias of the Bronx Wednesday night. Police say they recovered most of the $5,000 worth of electronics stolen from the woman's White Plains apartment back on April 27. Police say the woman was called from a friend asking if she was online. The victim said no and was told by the friend that her computer showed her as being on the Internet. At that point the victim signed onto another computer and used the "Back to My Mac" program to determine that her stolen MacIntosh laptop was on the Web. She then used the stolen computer's camera to photograph Shahikian. - Source

05/11/08 - Video Camera shoots 2000 frames per second
KeelyNet This video camera shoots 2000 frames per 1 second. The Japanese man bursts this yellow balloon with a pin, and the latex disappears around the back of the water that is its contents. Then, we see the quantity of water suspended in mid-air, because the speed of the replay is slowed down tremendously. This is the opposite of the incredible time lapse photo experiments done by Harold Edgerton. / (Thanks to Paul Carlson for this URL. - JWD) - Source

05/08/08 - Check Gas Prices Online: 11 Handy Tools
Crude oil prices keep breaking through record high prices, and it is quickly reflecting itself at the fuel pumps. About the only thing you can do is try to find the cheapest prices, but you can waste as much in gas driving around as you will by finding it, and that’s where gas pricing location sites come in handy. Just log in and see where the best prices are, and save yourself all of that driving around. We’ve covered the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom for you, so start price hunting! - Source

05/08/08 - Focusing on Solar's Cost
KeelyNet Sunrgi, which emerged out of stealth mode last week, has created a concentrated photovoltaic system that uses a lens to focus sunlight up to 2,000 times onto tiny solar cells that can convert 37.5 percent of the sun's energy into electricity. Stronger concentrations of sunlight allow engineers to use much smaller solar cells, making it more economical to use higher-efficiency--but higher-cost--cells. Sunrgi, for example, will use cells based on gallium arsenside and germanium substrates. Sunrgi estimates that its system will be capable of producing electricity at a wholesale cost of five cents per kilowatt-hour. Prototypes have been built and tested both in the laboratory and in the field, and the company expects to start commercial production in 12 to 15 months. The intense heat created by concentrating the sun so much can reduce both the efficiency and the life of the solar cell. At 2,000 times sun concentration, temperatures can exceed 1800 °C--similar to the heat from an acetylene torch, and hot enough to melt the solar cell. - Source

05/08/08 - CCTVs Don't Work in the UK
"People who give up a little bit of liberty for a little bit of security deserve neither, the saying goes. But what happens when people give up so much liberty their entire country resembles an Orweillean dystopia - but the pervasive monitoring doesn't help to solve any crimes? That's what is happening in the United Kingdom today. While the Guardian tries to put a good spin on the entire fiasco, the fact remains that CCTVs only help with 3% of all street robberies, the very crimes they were supposed to be best at protecting. Should England finally move to eliminate its troubling state surveillance program?" - Source

05/08/08 - Phone-unlocking SIM-shim
KeelyNet This SIM unlock is made of a very thin piece of FPC (0.10mm) with a Microcontroller mounted on, that goes between your Operator's SIM card & the phone's SIM socket. Because of it's very thin & slim design it fits into almost all phone's on the market and can also be easily removed again. It's got Gold Immersion and makes perfect contact with the card and the socket at ALL times. - Source

05/08/08 - Americans worry about ongoing gasoline price hike
A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Monday found 94 percent of respondents expect they will have to pay 4 U.S. dollars a gallon (1 gallon equal to 4.55 liters) sometime this year and 78percent said they figure it will hit 5 dollars. The national average price for gasoline stands at 3.61 dollars per gallon Monday. Consumers' fears that they will have to pay more have intensified, the poll finds. A year ago, 79 percent thought gas would cost 4 dollars per gallon by the end of 2007 and only 28 percent feared about the cost of 5 dollars per gallon. At the same time, high prices seem to be easier to swallow now than it has been for most consumers in the past. Of the more than 1,000 American adults surveyed in the poll, conducted mayil 28-30, 60 percent said high fuel prices have caused hardship for them or their household. - Source

05/08/08 - Solar Lanterns Transform Lives in Malawi, Africa
KeelyNet The average African household uses 55 or so liters of kerosene per year, at an approximate cost of £80 [US $158]. This contributes to health problems as the burning of kerosene inside houses is a major cause of respiratory illness, fires, burns, accidental poisonings, eyesight problems and death in the developing world. Kerosene is far more expensive and far less efficient than electric lighting: the cost of useful light energy ($/lumen hour of light) for kerosene is 325 times higher than the inefficient incandescent bulb and 1,625 times higher than compact fluorescent light bulbs. The training that SolarAid is doing involves teaching your Malawians to convert a standard, medium sized kerosene "hurricane" lanterns (not pressurized or "tilly" lanterns) into LED solar lanterns. Conversion of the lanterns involves putting rechargeable AA batteries into the chimney and using 3.3V, 25mA LEDs (wired in parallel) to direct light down onto an improvised cone reflector, which sits over the top of the old wick. The reflector is constructed from locally collected materials such as aluminium foil, gift wrap, or the inside of a cigarette packet, and is configured in a conical shape to provide uniform reflection. The torches are guaranteed for three years. Batteries are designed to be recharged up to 1000 times without "memory effect." SolarAid tests have shown a solar LED lantern can go for up to 10 days non-stop on a single battery charge, meaning the batteries could last 20 years or more if only used once a week. The batteries are recharged with one-watt solar panels, which are made locally with imported amorphous silicon and wooden frames. The PV panels do not degrade over time and are sold in the West with at least a 10-year warranty. All other components can be replaced when needed as they are sourced locally. - Source

05/08/08 - 5 Psychological Experiments That Prove Humanity is Doomed
Psychologists know you have to be careful when you go poking around the human mind because you're never sure what you'll find there. A number of psychological experiments over the years have yielded terrifying conclusions about the subjects. Oh, we're not talking about the occasional psychopath who turns up. No, we're talking about you. The experiments speak for themselves:... - Source

05/08/08 - Hawaii Man's Invention Really Cookin'
KeelyNet The solar oven looks more like a children's slide, but it will fry foods, bake bread and boil water. The oven is really a long, double-walled vacuum tube filled with vegetable oil that sits in a reflective-compound parabolic curve -- a fancy name for a solar funnel that focuses sunlight on the tube. The outside of the tube is cool to the touch. But the inside reaches temperatures as high as 400 degrees -- 300 degrees on a cloudy day. "I was in Tibet, and I followed three Tibetan girls through the mountains one day. An hour and a half out, an hour and a half back just to get to the nearest tree areas. Everything else denuded on the mountain. I've seen it in these countries," said inventor John Grandinetti. "Solar cooking would work to eliminate misery and save the forest and improve the environmental conditions." The solar tube only costs about $21. The frame and insulation are made from inexpensive materials. And it has another use: With clean water becoming a worldwide problem, the solar oven gets hot enough to boil water, which will purify it. The solar cooker can perform solar pasteurization in 15 minutes. It can pasteurize more than a gallon of water on a sunny day. - Source

05/08/08 - The Future of American Power
Despite some eerie parallels between the position of the United States today and that of the British Empire a century ago, there are key differences. Britain's decline was driven by bad economics. The United States, in contrast, has the strength and dynamism to continue shaping the world -- but only if it can overcome its political dysfunction and reorient U.S. policy for a world defined by the rise of other powers. - Source

05/08/08 - Indian claims duplication of Meyers Water Fuel Cell
KeelyNet On June 27th, 2007, U.S. Patents 4,936,961 and 5,149,407 by the late Ohio inventor Stanley A. Meyer expired, and his technology for the Water Fuel Cell fell permanently into the public domain in the United States. Inventor Ravi Raju now claims suppression by Indian authorities for his production of volumes of hydrogen gas using 12vdc pulsed at 0.51 amps. See the video selection for operation. / (Thanks to Paul Carlson for the headSup on this. - JWD) - Source

05/08/08 - As Gas Costs Soar, Buyers Flock to Small Cars
Soaring gas prices have turned the steady migration by Americans to smaller cars into a stampede. In what industry analysts are calling a first, about one in five vehicles sold in the United States was a compact or subcompact car during mayil, based on monthly sales data released Thursday. Almost a decade ago, when sport utility vehicles were at their peak of popularity, only one in every eight vehicles sold was a small car. The switch to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles has been building in recent years, but has accelerated recently with the advent of $3.50-a-gallon gas. At the same time, sales of pickup trucks and large sport utility vehicles have dropped sharply. In another first, fuel-sipping four-cylinder engines surpassed six-cylinder models in popularity in mayil. - Source

05/08/08 - Molecular Action May Help Keep Birds on Course
If the hypothesis is true, that the planet's magnetic field lines -- which arch around Earth from north to south -- may be plainly visible to birds, like the dashed line in the middle of a road. The work, described online yesterday in the journal Nature, was conducted in a test tube and does not prove that birds actually use the mechanism. And researchers aligned with a competing model say they are not convinced. But by identifying for the first time a molecule that reacts to very weak magnetic fields, the experiments prove the plausibility of a long-hypothesized method of avian navigation that has had a credibility problem because no one had ever found a molecule with the required sensitivity. "This is a proof of principle that a chemical reaction can act as a magnetic compass," said Peter Hore of the University of Oxford, who with fellow chemist Christiane Timmel led the research. - Source

05/08/08 - Pork, chicken prices may rise in next wave of food inflation
Americans may be getting another helping of food inflation, and it seems likely to come from higher prices for chicken and pork. Overall food inflation could double this year, lifted by the rising costs of fuel, corn and soybeans, some analysts predict. Food inflation hit 4 percent last year, up from 2.4 percent in 2006. While beef prices were already high, chicken and pork prices didn't reflect record costs for feed and fuel. That's poised to change as chicken and pig producers who have been losing money slaughter more animals to decrease the supply and raise the prices they can charge. Higher food inflation would further challenge shoppers who are already limiting themselves to sale items and store brands as they contend with the worst food inflation since 1990. - Source

05/08/08 - Breastfeeding boosts intelligence
Breastfeeding really does boost intelligence, a major study has shown. Researchers looked at almost 14,000 children for more than six years and found that those who were breastfed did significantly better in IQ tests. - Source

05/08/08 - Stuart Jeffries on the rise of Freeconomics
Anderson's freeconomics thesis is that more and more goods and services are being provided for free and that those businesses that fail to follow suit are likely to go to the wall. "As much as we complain about how expensive things are getting, we're surrounded by forces that are making them cheaper," Anderson wrote in a recent article that will form the basis of a book called Free, to be published next year. "Forty years ago, charity was dominated by clothing drives for the poor. Now you can get a T-shirt for less than the price of a cup of coffee, thanks to China and global sourcing. So too for toys, gadgets and commodities of every sort. Even cocaine has pretty much never been cheaper (globalisation works in mysterious ways)." - Source

05/08/08 - Destabilization of the Earth-Moon triangular Lagrangian points
It seems that, a very long time ago, Earth may have had more moons that just the modern one. Having rocks the size of small buildings smash into the planet as the result of their orbits decaying doesn't sound like too much fun. I wonder if they'll be able to correlate a mass extinction or two with such events? - Source

05/08/08 - US Electronic Fingerprints in Syria?
KeelyNet The Israel Air Force's stunning, undetected flight through Syria's air defenses late last year -- as part of a raid on a suspected nuclear facility -- bears electronic fingerprints similar to those left in Baghdad by the U.S. in 1991 and 2003, say U.S. military and IT industry specialists. So what did the U.S. forces do in Iraq in 1991 and 2003 to confound air defenses, communications and the ability to command forces in the field? Drones were used to lure enemy radars into giving away their positions and identity and distracted them from the actual raiding aircraft. Carbon-fiber warheads were used to shut down main-frame computers used for air defense integration (in 1991) and an apparent computer attack on municipal power distribution (in 2003) was used to turn lights off and on in various neighborhoods. There also were campaigns of intimidating e-mail notes and phone calls to various officials and functionaries saying "we know who you are, where you are and what you're doing," says a computer warfare specialist. - Source / (This reminded me of the mysterious Hurwich device. - JWD)

05/08/08 - Tank on Empty? How much further can you go?
Help solve a mystery that has puzzled mankind for years... How far can you go after the gas light in your car comes on? Find your car's stats here! - Source

05/05/08 - Airtab Vortex Generators to Increase vehicle Mileage
KeelyNet Airtabs™ are small, efficient air flow streamliners that are the first practical solution for reducing drag at the back of large vehicles and the tractor/trailer gap. Airtabs™ are designed to work on trucks, trailers, straight trucks, cargo vans, RVs and Buses. Any big box going down the road at highway speeds. Drivers report dramatic handling improvements, better visibility behind in rain, fewer gear changes and less driver fatigue. Airtabs™ keep the rear of you vehicle clean because there is no longer a vacuum pulling in dirt and grime - your tail lights remain clear longer. Our customers are seeing fuel savings of between 2 to 4% annually. Airtabs™ meet vehicle width regulations. (4.76” long, by 3.25” wide, and stick out only 1") Airtabs™ are quick and easy to fit. 3 per lineal foot, down the sides and across the top at the back of the vehicle. Airtabs™ work in concert with existing air management kits. The Airtab® shape has been tested in test track, wind tunnel and over-the-road evaluations. / From a reader; "Saw your post on the fans on semi truck fairings today & thought you might want to check out www.airtab.com They have sold these magical gems all over the world for the past 5 years or more. They're Vortex Generators that are self sticking & go on the back sides and top of anything box shaped moving down the road at highway speeds of 40mph or more. Have 12 of them on my 2001 Dodge Stratus trunk & mileage went from 27.1 mpg to 32.0 mpg doing 65 - 70 mph on interstate driving. Check out their website. Every little bit helps and these babies will pay for themselves in no time flat." (Thanks to Norm E. for this headsup on yet another gas saving technique that we all can use. - JWD) - Source

05/05/08 - Fan-assisted trucks
KeelyNet Travel at 70 mph on a motorway, and approximately 65 per cent of the fuel you burn goes to overcoming aerodynamic drag. So even a slight reduction in drag will significantly improve fuel consumption. This is a particular problem for lorries and buses. Kambiz Salari at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and colleagues say that much of the drag from a "bluff body" such as bus or truck comes from the air vortices generated behind the vehicle as it moves. So instead of making these vehicles more wedge-shaped, significant fuel economies can be made by modifying their behind. Salari has designed a set of fans to be fitted to the back of a cab or trailer that inject air into the air flow in a way that significantly reduces the turbulence it generates. This should in turn improve fuel economy, although the patent does not say the scale of the potential gains. - Source

05/05/08 - David Bowling's Continuous Charging Device
David Bowling says he has developed a device that will put out a continuous 12 volt electrical current which he has then been using to run motors, small appliances, and charge batteries. "The more you load it, the more it puts out," he said. The device, which is presently proprietary, requires a battery on the input side, and involves a motor; but he says the amount of power on the output side is far more than what is going in. In one set-up, he had one battery charging six, which were then being used to run various motors; and he was then rotating one of the output batteries into the input side, to keep the system running. "I have used it to charge a battery, drain the battery under a load, and recharge the battery. I have charged that same battery 30 times using the device. It will charge the battery in about half an hour or so, and as many batteries wired to it in parallel as I care to connect up (so far)." He recharged his Dad's solar battery array (24 6-volt batteries) using his system in just over an hour. His dad said that it would have taken around five hours for the solar panels to charge it to that same point. Other things he has powered in the past two weeks since first making this discovery include a shop vac, a reciprocal saw, and light bulbs. He says it is easy to build. "Anyone could build it." And it is cheap. "For less than ten dollars you can have a working model." That scaled-down model wouldn't put out 12 volts, but it would prove the principle, he said. The 12-volt model could be replicated for less than $200.00. / (Thanks to Hank M. for the headsup on this. - JWD) - Source

05/05/08 - Key to Hunger Problem - Stop Sending Food
KeelyNet Rapidly increasing world food prices have already led to political upheaval in poor countries. The crisis threatens to tear apart fragile states and become a humanitarian calamity unless countries get their agricultural systems moving. Now, with conference committee negotiations over the final shape of the Farm Bill at a critical stage, Congress needs to change the foreign food-aid program and help avert this calamity. The Bush administration has urged, rightly, that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) be allowed to buy food locally, particularly in Africa, instead of only American-grown food. / Sam Kinnison says - From an appearance on Rodney Dangerfield’s “It’s Not Easy Being Me,” 1984.” - Source

05/05/08 - Liquid invention that could help in fight against drugs
Ross Penninton developed a substance to try to stop drug-taking. In 2005 the Chronicle carried out an investigation into cocaine use in Newcastle and found traces of drugs on toilet seats and sinks in pubs, bars and public buildings. Ross, who works in Team Valley, said: “It’s a liquid plastic with an aggregate in it to stop people taking drugs like cocaine from basins and toilets by making the smooth surface rough. “You brush the plastic on to the surface and that will make it almost impossible for someone to take cocaine from that surface. “It lasts for around 30 days and works with porcelain so it would be great for pubs and clubs.” - Source

05/05/08 - Naturmobil: Cart runs on ‘horse power’
KeelyNet Unlike traditional horse-drawn vehicles, the horse rides inside, behind the driver, protected by an all-weather canopy. And thanks to a lightweight polycarbonate frame and complex gearing, it can reach speeds of up to 80km/h - although its cruising speed is a more sedate 20km/h. The horse walks on a fibreglass treadmill, generating enough power to move the 300kg Naturmobil along on six motorcycle wheels. Mirhejazi says it produces enough surplus energy to charge a small battery which powers the buggy’s lights, electrical system, and can even take over from the horse when Neddy needs a rest. When the horse’s body temperature gets too hot for comfort, a sensor attached to its side transmits its temperature reading to a controller which automatically turns off the treadmill and switches the vehicle to run on battery power. Neddy can then rest for 20 minutes before the back-up power runs down. - Source

05/05/08 - Researchers claim photovoltaic cell advance
Scientists at the University of Tel Aviv in Israel claim they have found a way to construct efficient photovoltaic cells costing at least a hundred times less than conventional silicon based devices, and with similar or better energy conversion efficiency. The reactive element in the researchers' patent pending device is genetically engineered proteins using photosynthesis for production of electrical energy. The scientists applied genetic engineering and nanotechnology for the construction of a hybrid nano -- bio, solid state device. According to the researchers, although using photosynthesis for photovoltaic application is not new, their specific technique is the first to enable the production of useful photosynthesis-based photovoltaic cells. - Source

05/05/08 - Patent to Overcome the Second Law of Thermodynamics Rejected
‘According to the specification, the invention raises a ferrofluid out of a reservoir by a magnetic column into a mass. The ferrofluid then escapes a "gradually decreasing magnetic field which holds it up against gravitational force" and is drawn away via tubular element by a capillary force aided by Brownian motion. At the end of the tubular element, drops of this ferrofluid accumulate and drop back into the reservoir below, spinning a wheel along their downward paths. Thus, the movement of the ferrofluid imparts mechanical energy upon the wheel. Speas claims that because this ferrofluid is moved and adds energy to the paddle wheel "without input into the system other than ambient thermal energy," it is proof that the second law of thermodynamics is not inviolate - an object of the invention.’ - Source

05/05/08 - Eye Ailments Cured by Dry Heat (Dec, 1934)
KeelyNet EYE inflammations are being successfully treated with dry heat by a new and ingenious apparatus introduced at the annual meeting of the American College of Proctology. The electric controlling unit automatically heats and circulates water through hollow rubber pads held over the eyes by the patient. The temperature of this water is constantly controlled by the physician. - Source

05/05/08 - City engineer gets patent for solar energy innovation
A City-based engineer Prabhakar Wawge, has come up with a solar water heating system, which can be used in multistoried building without using terrace area. It can be used as a wall integrated solar water heating system and does not require any pumping mechanism for circulation. The invention is based on the fin and tub arrangement of the absorber of the collector, which allows it to be used in multistoried building. It also does not need long pipeline to be carried out.Another highlight of the system is that this mechanism will not require cold water tank at the height of 6 feet as it will work with 2 feet head that is normally available at all places. - Source

05/05/08 - Russia can make billions selling fresh water
KeelyNet “All jokes aside, Russian fresh water supplies may equal oil and gas supplies,” Vadim Altaev, the Vice President of the Union of Bottled Water Manufacturers, said in an interview with Bigness.ru. “Specialists from many countries forecast that water will become number one product in the foreseeable future. We can dispense with oil, but we cannot dispense with water. Russia has one of the world’s greatest fresh water reserves,” he stated proudly. According to Altaev, there are numerous fresh water resources in Russia: in the north, in the Arctic Ocean, in the south and in Siberia. - Source

05/05/08 - Taser International Wins Lawsuit to Change Cause of Death
"Taser International recently started a legal campaign against medical examiners who claimed tasers contributed to the cause of death for several people. On Friday, an Ohio judge ruled in favor of the stun gun manufacturer (free registration may be required). While they do have a number of scientific studies on which they establish their claims, it's interesting that the alternate cause of death they champion - excited delirium - appears only in police reports on the deaths of difficult or drug-addled inmates, not in medical textbooks. Of course, that may change soon - Taser is funding and promoting research on the subject. Coroner reports such as the ones in this case contributed to the UN's opinion that taser use is torture." - Source

05/05/08 - Electronic Warfare Insects Coming Soon
"British defence giant BAE Systems is creating a series of tiny electronic spiders, insects and snakes that could become the eyes and ears of soldiers on the battlefield, helping to save thousands of lives, and they claim that prototypes could be on the front line by the end of the year. A fascinating development to be sure, but who thinks this won't be misused domestically for spying and evidence gathering?" - Source

05/05/08 - US patent for common Mexican bean revoked
In the 1990s, a Colorado man named Larry Proctor purchased some beans at a market in Mexico. He selectively bred them for a few years and claimed to have invented "a new field bean variety that produces distinctly colored yellow seed which remains relatively unchanged by season." He called it the "Enola bean," and was granted a "20-year patent that covered any beans and hybrids derived from crosses with even one of his seeds." His claim of 60 cents per pound of beans sold in the US "caused a steep decline in exports of such beans from Mexico to the USA, according to Mexican government sources." Today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office revoked Proctor's patent claims. (via boingboing.net) - Source

05/05/08 - Diet treatment call for epilepsy
A special high-fat diet helps to control fits in children with epilepsy, a UK trial suggests. The number of seizures fell by a third in children on the "ketogenic" diet, where previously they had suffered fits every day despite medication. The diet alters the body's metabolism by mimicking the effects of starvation, the researchers reported in the Lancet Neurology. - Source

05/05/08 - FLV To MP3 Online Converter/FLV URL (YouTube's) Converter
Convert your FLV files (YouTube's videos) to MP3 fast. It's 100% free. - Source

05/05/08 - Government lawmaking Jacks up Prices
When it comes to soaring gasoline prices, we need a federal government that does less. Less contributing to the problem, that is. As lawmakers and presidential candidates offer a number of proposals to lower pump prices, they should keep in mind that past laws and regulations have made matters worse. Washington ought to eliminate these mistakes rather than repeat them. - Source

05/05/08 - A Price Drop for Solar Panels
Solar electricity is about to get much cheaper, industry analysts predict, because a shortage of the silicon used in solar panels is almost over. That could lead to a sharp drop in prices over the next couple of years, making solar electricity comparable to power from the grid. High demand generated by government subsidies worldwide and a shortage of processed silicon have kept prices for solar-generated power much higher than average electricity prices over the past few years. Solar power is more than three times the cost of electricity from conventional sources, according to figures from the industry tracking firm Solarbuzz and the United States' Energy Information Administration. - Source

05/02/08 - For Exxon Mobil, $10.9 Billion Profit Disappoints
Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, said Thursday that its first-quarter net income rose 17 percent, boosted by surging oil prices. But even as it posted the second-most profitable quarter in its history, Exxon’s earnings managed to disappoint investors because of a drop in oil production. - Source

05/02/08 - Neeroga - a wonder anti-ageing medicine
KeelyNet Neeroga is a unique formulation which can easily root out all ailments caused by toxins and various viruses. It was developed after seven years of dedicated research by Dr GR Saini and his team at the Saini Herbal Research & Development Center. It is a modern 'Sanjivani' (life giver) by using which old people become young and young become younger. This product complies with the basic Ayurvedic concept of keeping healthy persons fit and bringing relief to the diseased. It has been tried by several people ranging in age from15 years to 94 years and the results have been nothing short of amazing. Ailments related to vital organs viz kidney, liver, heart, brain and lungs were found to be cured by this medicine and it also strengthened the body's immune system. This wonder drug called 'Neeroga' helps people to live a healthy life and to live up to hundred. Such a composition has been mentioned even in ancient Ayurvedic texts. Apart from giving a younger, glowing and fairer skin, this drug can help to cure many diseases such as diabetes, stroke, cardiac ailments, liver disorders, respiratory stress, and many other ailments. Another remarkable result of the trial of this drug was that the patient remains cured and healthy even when the dosage is discontinued after treatment. This medicine has worked wonders on people. Even octogenarians who were unable to walk or see could actually run. They became fitter in many ways. Their cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels etc jumped back to normal and they stopped taking allopathic medicines. Problems of breathlessness and other respiratory ailments can also be treated with the help of this medicine. People having a count of 42 breaths per minute were treated with the help of this medicine and their count went down to 25 breaths per minute after about a month of treatment. Within 24 hours of administering the medicine, the breathing count reduces by 1 to 6 per minute. Dr GR Saini says, "With the introduction of Neeroga my dream of presenting a herbal composition which should be easy to administer, simple, quick and effective in curing all diseases without any side effects is now fulfilled." / (Neither KeelyNet nor I have any affiliation with this product, just thought it was an interesting set of claims that some might like to test. - JWD) - Source

05/02/08 - Z-Cron Automates Windows Tasks
Windows only: Freeware utility Z-Cron replaces the Windows task scheduler with a more robust, cron-like alternative (but with a graphical interface). Z-Cron ships with a long set of useful actions you can automate, like sending an email, copying a folder, deleting files, emptying the trash, and way more, which makes writing batch files to do these things for you effectively obsolete. Z-Cron is a free download for Windows only. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

05/02/08 - Destabilizing Grain Markets
At the present time, the production of biofuels to solve America's critical energy problem involves placing one of the two most sensitive commodities in the economy, food, at the disposal of the other most sensitive commodity, energy. It’s almost cannibalistic. Ethanol is produced by grinding the corn into a powder, which is then mixed with water and heated. An enzyme is added to produce a solution of sugar. Yeast is then added, creating fermentation in the form of beer, which has about 10 percent alcohol. A distillation process then converts the mixture to pure alcohol. Gas is added to make the pure alcohol unpalatable for human consumption. This ethanol can be used directly or as an additive to power automobiles. As usage grew, pressures were put on the corn market and shortly the price of corn rose. Corn began to consume more acreage as more farmers took advantage of the newly created profits. Less acreage for other grains, notably wheat, increased. Hops, a bi-product of barley, increased from $4 to $40 per pound. Ethanol has destabilized the grain markets. Fields where barley, wheat and oats were previously planted now grow corn. With the introduction of biodiesel, made from oilseeds such as soybeans, the problem has become more exacerbated. - Source

05/02/08 - Catfish guts make Biomass Fuel
KeelyNet Taking inspiration from a cow's digestive tract, bacteria from a South American catfish and raw material from pretty much any plant that grows, Tifton scientist J.C. Bell may have come up with an ingenious way to make gasoline and other fuels. His formula is simple. Basically: Biomass (such as grass clippings or wood chips) plus the right bacteria equals gasoline or diesel fuel. Use bacteria from the guts of Amazonian catfish that eat wood and, boom, you've got a way to make oil - roughly 2 barrels of it for every ton of biomass, Bell said. Given a U.S. Department of Agriculture study that shows that there's 1.1 billion tons a year of "easily recoverable biomass" created in the United States each year with the potential to produce twice that much, Bell is predicting that he can make a dent in the country's energy needs. - Source

05/02/08 - A green fuel solution?
An Oregon inventor says he may have the solution to high gas prices, car emissions and global warming. He says the answer is in a bottle of fuel additive. He's studied and tested his secret formula for years in his garage, and finally thinks it's the right time for the fuel catalyst to hit the streets. " 'Improving air quality won't be easy,' " said Dr. Bob Kurko, quoting today's front page headline from the Idaho Statesman. "It will be very easy (actually), as soon as this goes into all fuels: diesel; auto fuel; boat fuel; it will take care of lawn mowers, and anything that burns fuel will burn it ultra clean." Dr. Kurko and his E3 Fuels company team met with Idaho's Commerce and USDA officials today. They are interested in establishing plants in Idaho that will produce their product, and they say their fuel additive invention will reduce vehicle emissions by 90 percent and increase fuel economy by one third. For more information about E3 Fuels, you can check out the company's website at: www.E3Fuels.com - Source

05/02/08 - Ignore 'global warming' and pursue fossil fuels
Scientists are now saying there will be a natural 10-year suspension of global warming... We don't care about the damn sign, and we don't care about global warming. It's been a myth since its invention 40 years ago. We can't afford, as taxpayers, to go along with it and the massive waste of public treasure it intends to consume. We reject it, and the snake oil salesmen and organizations peddling global warming and giving lectures on alternative fuel. Global warming is a lie, and alternative energy is not the answer. The answer to a better, strong and more beneficial national economy is oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear energy. We can procure all we need of each here, domestically, for less than buying it from other nations. We can extract fossil fuels in a more environmentally sound way than any nation. - Source

05/02/08 - Location logging GPS TrackStick
KeelyNet The Super Trackstick is the perfect tool for individuals, law enforcement and government agencies looking for a way to track anything that moves. The Super Trackstick records its own location, time, date, speed, heading, altitude and temperature at preset intervals. With over 4Mb of memory, it can store months of travel information. - Source

05/02/08 - Glass chip spins silk just like a spider
Spider silk is super-light, super-strong and elastic too. Existing human materials lack its useful combination of properties, and proposed uses span everything from bulletproof vests to optic fibres. Spiders' silk ducts contain glands that process a gel of simple proteins into long fibres of protein. Different glands alter the chemistry of the gel in different ways, producing silk with different properties. The artificial duct is a glass chip shot through with tiny tubes that tries to mimic those processes. "The best thing is to reproduce nature, instead of cutting open spiders," says Andreas Bausch of the Technical University of Munich in Germany, who led the research with Thomas Scheibel of the University of Bayreuth, also Germany. Bausch and Scheibel are the first to create a device that so accurately recreates the chemical and physical conditions of a real silk duct. They are also the first to make fibres containing more than one silk protein. The chip uses two - known as ADF3 and ADF4 - found in silk from the European garden spider (Araneus diadematus). Inside the chip, the two proteins flow along tiny tubes and are exposed to a phosphate salt solution that makes them aggregate into tiny spheres 1 to 5 micrometres across. A sudden jump in acidity and phosphate concentration then partially breaks open the spheres, allowing the proteins to latch together into chains. At this point, the flow speed increases and draws out the proteins into long silk fibres. Creating fibres from two proteins was found to make the silk more chemically stable. The team has not tested the artificial silk's mechanical properties, but its grainy appearance suggests it does not yet rival the quality of the real thing. - Source

05/02/08 - Shortages Threaten Farmers' Key Tool: Fertilizer
KeelyNet Truong Thi Nha stands just four and a half feet tall. Her three grown children tower over her, just as many young people in this village outside Hanoi dwarf their parents. A farmer in Xuan Canh came to purchase some fertilizer from a local vendor. The biggest reason the children are so robust: fertilizer. Ms. Nha, her face weathered beyond its 51 years, said her growth was stunted by a childhood of hunger and malnutrition. Just a few decades ago, crop yields here were far lower and diets much worse. Then the widespread use of inexpensive chemical fertilizer, coupled with market reforms, helped power an agricultural explosion here that had already occurred in other parts of the world. Yields of rice and corn rose, and diets grew richer. Now those gains are threatened in many countries by spot shortages and soaring prices for fertilizer, the most essential ingredient of modern agriculture. Some kinds of fertilizer have nearly tripled in price in the last year, keeping farmers from buying all they need. That is one of many factors contributing to a rise in food prices that, according to the United Nations' World Food Program, threatens to push tens of millions of poor people into malnutrition. - Source

05/02/08 - Video - Space Station being built
Have a look at this animation sequence detailing the construction of the International Space Station. I still think it's a white elephant, but at least now I think it's an impressive white elephant. - Source

05/02/08 - Grain Companies' Profits Soar As Global Food Crisis Mounts
At a time when parts of the world are facing food riots, Big Agriculture is dealing with a different sort of challenge: huge profits. On Tuesday, grain-processing giant Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. said its fiscal third-quarter profits jumped 42%, including a sevenfold increase in net income in its unit that stores, transports and trades grains such as wheat and corn, as well as soybeans. Monsanto Co., maker of seeds and herbicides, Deere & Co., which builds tractors, combines and sprayers, and fertilizer maker Mosaic Co. all reported similar windfalls in their latest quarters. The robust profits are emerging against the backdrop of a food crisis some experts say is the worst in three decades. The secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, on Tuesday called for the creation of a high-level global task force to deal with the cascading impact of high grain prices and oil prices. He said that countries must do more to avert "social unrest on an unprecedented scale" and should contribute money to make up for the $755 million shortfall in funding for the World Food Program, which feeds the world's hungry. - Source

05/02/08 - Animals may see Earth's magnetic field
The idea that some animals navigate by "seeing" Earth's magnetic field has been shown to be feasible in laboratory tests, a new study says. First proposed about 30 years ago, the theory suggests that sunlight absorbed by molecules in the eyes of animals such as birds and bats triggers a chemical reaction. This reaction makes the molecules sensitive to the local magnetic field, according to study co-author Peter Hore, a chemist at the University of Oxford. The scientists set up an artificial photochemical-reaction system in the lab and monitored its response to a magnetic field weaker than Earth's. When exposed to light, this simulated model became sensitive to the magnitude and direction of the weak magnetic field. The team thus proved that this occurrence, known as chemical magnetoreception, is possible in nature. Thorsten Ritz is a physicist at the University of California, Irvine, whose field experiments with migratory birds support the idea of a photochemical compass. - Source

05/02/08 - Video - Scientists create self-regenerating robot
KeelyNet Silicon Valley startup Robotex, which has won the endorsement of Pentagon mercenary suppplier Blackwater, already manufacturers robots with guns. How long until they or anybody else building an army gets their hands on the creepy robocritter featured in the clip embedded below? Watch as a modular robot made by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania reassembles itself when kicked apart. - Source

05/02/08 - Museums teach society lacking in science literacy
This summer the National Academies, a congressionally chartered non-profit group that advises the federal government, will release a report on what's known about the learning of science in such informal settings. That includes not only museums but also such places as zoos and aquariums. The report comes as experts bemoan a lack of scientific education and literacy among Americans. They warn of a shortfall in homegrown engineers and scientists to keep the nation competitive, a general workforce ill-equipped to function in an increasingly high-tech workplace, and a citizenry struggling to grasp complex public issues like stem cell research. While that has led to calls for changes in schools, science museums - broadly defined to include a range of science-oriented places to visit - can also play a big role in teaching and promoting science to both children and adults, experts say. Studies are showing that such institutions stimulate interest, awareness, knowledge and understanding, said David Ucko, an expert on informal learning at the National Science Foundation, which requested this summer's study. - Source

05/02/08 - GM Rethinks the Old-School Engine
As fuel prices climb higher seemingly by the minute and the American carbon footprint continues to balloon, it’s becoming increasingly important for engineers to find a new way to propel our cars. And we’ve covered their progress across practically every potential solution-batteries, hydrogen, ethanol, even air power. Dismissed as a laboratory curiosity in the 1970s, homogeneous charge-compression ignition (HCCI) has now emerged as a more feasible alternative to alternative fuels-and it’s almost ready to roll out en masse. When used in conjunction with other advanced engine technologies, this combustion process can help deliver a whopping 25- to 30 -percent better fuel economy than today’s spark- or compression-ignited internal combustion engines (ICE). HCCI does all this with near-zero emissions, just like a hybrid-and it won’t have any impact on your driving habits or come at a premium price. General Motors is to a large extent leading the big new charge to re-engineer the engine,... - Source

05/02/08 - Imaging study provides glimpse of alcohol's effect on brain
New brain imaging research published this week shows that, after consuming alcohol, social drinkers had decreased sensitivity in brain regions involved in detecting threats, and increased activity in brain regions involved in reward. “The key finding of this study is that after alcohol exposure, threat-detecting brain circuits can’t tell the difference between a threatening and non-threatening social stimulus,” said Marina Wolf, PhD, at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, who was unaffiliated with the study. “At one end of the spectrum, less anxiety might enable us to approach a new person at a party. But at the other end of the spectrum, we may fail to avoid an argument or a fight. By showing that alcohol exerts this effect in normal volunteers by acting on specific brain circuits, these study results make it harder for someone to believe that risky decision-making after alcohol ‘doesn’t apply to me’,” Wolf said. - Source

05/02/08 - Cellular Matrix promotes Regeneration
KeelyNet After accidentally cutting his finger tip off, Mr Speivak's brother Alan - who was working in the field of regenerative medicine - sent him the powder. For ten days Mr Spievak put a little on his finger. "The second time I put it on I already could see growth. Each day it was up further. Finally it closed up and was a finger. "It took about four weeks before it was sealed." Now he says he has "complete feeling, complete movement." The "pixie dust" comes from the University of Pittsburgh, though in the lab Dr Stephen Badylak prefers to call it extra cellular matrix. The process he has been pioneering over the last few years involves scraping the cells from the lining of a pig's bladder. The remaining tissue is then placed into acid, "cleaned" of all cells, and dried out. It can be turned into sheets, or a powder. "One way to think about these matrices is that we have taken out many of the stimuli for scar tissue formation and left those signals that were always there anyway for constructive remodelling." In other words when the extra cellular matrix is put on a wound, scientists believe it stimulates cells in the tissue to grow rather than scar. If they can perfect the technique, it might mean one day they could repair not just a severed finger, but severely burnt skin, or even damaged organs. / (link provided courtesy of Paul Carlson) - Source

05/02/08 - Scientists create missing circuit element "memristor"
American electronics experts have finally succeeded in proving the existence of a fourth fundamental unit of electronic circuits: the "memristor," short for "memory resistor." The memristor was created by Stan Williams of HP Labs in Palo Alto, California, and his colleagues while experimenting with very tiny circuits, who sandwiched a nanoscopic film of a semiconductor(titanium dioxide) between two slivers of metal (platinum). Those are standard materials, the trick is to make the component just 5 nanometers wide, about 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. Williams explained: "A memristor is essentially a resistor with memory. The actual resistance of the memristor changes depending on the amount of voltage and the time for which that voltage has been applied to the device." The memristors behave just like ordinary resistors, where resistance is equal to the voltage divided by the current. That means that a computer created from memristive circuits can "remember" what has happened to it previously, and freeze that memory when the circuit is turned off. This quality could allow computers to turn off and on again in an instant, as all the components could revert to their last state instantly, rather than having to "boot up," he said. The researchers hope that the new components could revolutionize computing, promising an end to frustrating waits for your computer to boot up. - 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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