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05/31/09 - Learn While You Sleep (Nov, 1958)
KeelyNet The small voice under the pillow can teach you anything from self-confidence to college math. HELEN McGRATH was fast asleep. At her bedside was a tape recorder, quietly repeating words into her subconscious mind. You’d never mistake the scene for a classroom, yet it was exactly that. Because Helen McGrath was learning Spanish while she snoozed! For six and a half hours that night, one lesson was played over and over again, words and phrases burrowing deep into her mind. On waking, Helen played the lesson through once again... The startling fact is that sleep study is generating a powerful current of excitement among leading education authorities throughout this country and abroad. New experiments in the field are opening the eyes of eminent medical specialists and psychologists. Here’s a capsule view of what’s happening: • Controlled tests in leading universities are showing that people can learn while asleep. Experiments prove that foreign languages can be mastered more rapidly if wide-awake study is supplemented by snooze-study. • Psychologists are teaching patients to “unlearn” bad habits ranging from over-eating to speech defects. Many mothers have reported significant success in training youngsters to stop thumb-sucking, bed-wetting and nail-biting through recordings played while the children slept. • TV actors, public speakers, ministers and opera singers are using sleep learning to become letter-perfect in their roles and speeches. What is sleep learning, actually? How does it work, and why? Dormiphonics, declares Mr. Sherover, works by “repeated concentrated impact of selected material on the conscious and subconscious mind.” His firm markets two types of special equipment for the purpose. The first looks like an ordinary four-speed phonograph and, to a point, it’s just that. The machine spins commercially-prepared platters of anything the student wants to absorb but it has a special gizmo: there’s a built-in electric clock which can be set so that the machine will start playing a recording at any designated time, keep it going as long as the listener wishes and stop exactly when he wants. If he wants it to start up again a little later, that can be arranged too. The second is a “memory trainer,” actually a tape recorder and playback device with automatic gadgetry attached. Here a student makes his own recording of anything he wants to learn—speech, sermon, vocabulary, fact, figures. There is the same clock setup through which he can play it back when he wishes. Both machines are equipped with under-pillow speakers which only the sleepers can hear. Sleep learning may sound mystical, even magical, but there’s a logical explanation for the phenomenon. Researchers long ago discovered that the human brain never stops working, even in sleep. The important point is that the brain is operative during sleep. The conscious mind shuts off but the subconscious portion does not. Time and again, people have gone to sleep with a problem on their minds, only to awaken and find it solved. It was the subconscious, working while the outer mind was sleeping. The sleep teachers argue that this subconscious mind is thus receptive to foreign languages, facts, figures and even therapy. Besides learning languages, people are building vocabularies, correcting speech defects, memorizing sermons, learning the Morse Code, getting sales pitches down pat and heeding all kinds of suggestions calculated to develop and improve their personalities. They are listening to records designed to cure insomnia, claustrophobia, fear of darkness, shyness and the cigarette and liquor habits. A whole new industry is arising, providing records and special equipment for the sleep learners. - Source

05/31/09 - B Tech students develop tri-fuel car
Four B Tech students of MM University, Mullana, have invented a tri-fuel Car, TRIO with an objective to reduce the cost of transportation and high levels of vehicular pollution. The new vehicle could be run on any of the fuel sources among petrol, liquified petroleum gas or electricity, said Ankit Kakkar, Mohit Goel, Varn Dhir and Piyush Saini. The usage of these different sources would depend upon the RPM engine, torque, they added, while elaborating that TRIO had an in-built generator to produce electricity. The cost of running TRIO, they claimed, would vary according to the kind of fuel used. Using electricity would cost Re 0.83 km, petrol would run on Rs 3.2 km and gas would cost Re 1.8 km. - Source

05/31/09 - Underwater 'flying machine' launched
KeelyNet Graham Hawkes has built a state of the art submersible that offers "exotic new capabilities to explore one of the least understood parts of the planet". His Deep Flight Super Falcon has been dubbed the Lear jet of the oceans. Mr Hawkes said that, unlike other submersibles, his deep sea craft could actually "fly underwater". "Normal submersibles have ballast systems and are nothing more than sinkers. They just treat the ocean as a vertical elevator and they typically work on the bottom on a small footprint. Blueprint of the original Deep Flight submersible - "This one, instead of being a crab you drop to the bottom, is like a dolphin. It will fly off and move through the ocean with grace. It looks like a big animal moving and can do barrel rolls with whales," explained Mr Hawkes. The Super Falcon can reach depths of 1,500 feet and speed through the ocean at six knots, which is nearly seven miles per hour and much faster than conventional submersibles. super falcon One of the vessel's aims is to help connect people with the ocean - Mr Hawkes's design is said to be the first to operate on the same principles as flight through air, using downward "lift" on the wings to fly down to depth. It weighs a 10th of its traditional rivals thanks to lowering the internal volume of the pressure hull. The vessel is powered by a set of lithium polymer batteries. While a typical dive is around three to five hours, the Super Falcon has life support for 24 hours. And there is no issue with crew or passengers suffering from the "bends" or other pressure-related illnesses because the cabin pressure remains at one atmosphere. And if there is an accident and the 4,000-pound vessel loses power, Mr Hawkes said it wouild "naturally glide back up to the surface". It costs $1.5m (£993,400) to buy, which the inventor said was around the same price as a light jet. - Source

05/31/09 - Student wins for Windmill Efficiency Study
Clark High School student, Ryan Alexander was one of only 19 students to win the best in category at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Alexander entered his project “Gone With the Windmills: An Analysis of the Effectiveness of an Oscillating Wind Energy Generator.” He won best in the category of energy and transportation. The award is one of the highest honors given to students at the fair. Alexander created models of windmills made of turbine, a lattice tubular design, the oscillators- a natural version constructed from bamboo and a normal wooden one, a four-oscillator model, a high altitude oscillator, and a Darius oscillator. He then tested them in different environments and with varying wind speeds. In his hypothesis he stated that the field of normal oscillators would produce the most electricity and the results confirmed that hypothesis. “What I like about his project is that he did it all himself, no professor helped him,” said Kathy Bambenek, Alexander’s honors research and gifted chemistry class teacher. “To me that’s amazing. His project is completely different than anything you’ve seen. When he was announced as the winner, I was jumping up and down and all the other teachers from Plano that were there went crazy. For me it was a chance of a lifetime. I felt like I was coaching an Olympic athlete.” Through his experiment, Alexander found that both the natural and the normal oscillator produced around 240 percent more power than the current turbine designs. The Darius design produced around 400 percent more power and the high altitude oscillator produced 582 percent more power. Alexander applied for a patent on his project. Alexander said he has talked to lawyers and the patent is “slowly coming.” “His design was extremely efficient,” said Linda Flack, secondary science coordinator for Plano ISD. “If it continues, it could make some changes in our country. Ryan has really taken this to a different level. It’s hard to describe how you feel when you know kids like that.” For his effort, Alexander won a total of $10,500 in scholarships. - Source

05/31/09 - Business error leads entrepreneur in new direction
n the late 1990s, Mitesh Gala's father had a heart attack so he took over management of the family's 10 Jack in the Box franchises in Southern California. Gala, then 28, discovered an old file cabinet of financial records and being the analytical type, he studied the profit-and-loss statements. "Profitability of the business was eroding by half a percent for the past 10 years," Gala recalls. "It didn't take a genius to know that by the time I was 40, this business wouldn't support our family." In his search for ways to improve profitability, Gala put a scale in one of the restaurant kitchens and after a while realized that every bag of French fries they sold was two ounces more than budgeted. Two ounces! So what, right? The company's 10 restaurants saved $50,000 a year, just by serving the correct portions. The French fry adjustment opened Gala's eyes to many savings possibilities, so he wrote a crude software program to manage inventory. So many people asked for copies of the program dubbed Q&D (quick and dirty) Inventory that Gala's girlfriend (now his wife) encouraged him to start a software company. In order for the software to do all that Gala wanted, Shiv said it had to be on the Internet, an approach not popular with customers back then. Now "software as a service" is standard for many applications. Gala put more than $600,000 into the project, money earned at the restaurants, before the official launch of the company, Altametrics in Los Alamitos, or the inventory control product, e*Restaurant, at a Long Beach trade show in October, 2000. Today, e*Restaurant is used in 23,000 restaurants worldwide for such companies as California Pizza Kitchen and Johnny Rockets. Altametrics has 200 employees worldwide and $30 million in annual revenues. What happened to those original Jack in the Box restaurants? Gala turned them over to his brother when Altametrics took off. He grew the business, sold the restaurants and now heads a $100 million restaurant company with Applebees, Famous Dave's and Del Taco units. - Source

05/31/09 - 10 Scariest Eco-Catastrophes from Early Science Fiction
KeelyNet During science fiction's Golden Age (roughly, 1935-65), scores of novels and stories depicted vast natural disasters. If 9/11 was the real-life version of a New York catastrophe we'd seen in SF many times before, Al Gore's melting-glaciers slideshow in An Inconvenient Truth was, uncannily, only the latest of many global-warming cataclysms about which SF fans had read in novels about, for example, sea-dwelling aliens (John Wyndham's The Kraken Wakes), nuclear testing (Charles Eric Maine's The Tide Went Out), even the stalling-out of the Earth's rotation (Brian Aldiss's Hothouse). J.G. Ballard's 1960s disaster tetralogy, and Golden-Age classics like George R. Stewart's Earth Abides helped legitimate and popularize the eco-disaster novel. But the writing of the natural disaster, as Blanchot might put it, is a pre-Golden Age phenomenon. Richard Jefferies' 1885 romance After London vividly depicted an England that had reverted to neo-medieval civilization after a Planet X-like "dark body" disrupted the Earth's climate; and Camille Flammarion's popular Omega: The Last Days of the World (1893-94 French, 1897 English) imagined the dissipation of the Earth's atmosphere after a comet strike. The Panama Canal project also sparked fears: In 1890, H.C.M.W.'s The Decline and Fall of the British Empire was among the first of many portrayals of the disastrous effects of merging the Atlantic with the Pacific via the Canal. Still, it wasn't until the early 20th century that the eco-catastrophe emerged as a literary sub-genre. Here's a rundown — in no particular order — of 10 eco-catastrophes from SF's Pre-Golden Age (1904-33) that are particularly enjoyable and/or significant. Those influential examples on which I focused in my post on PGA apocalypses aren't written up here. - Source

05/31/09 - Fuel standards are one more task on GM’s plate
A reorganized General Motors will have plenty of jobs to tackle, including meeting a tougher fuel-efficiency standard. The new federal standard, which also affects the rest of the auto industry, will boost by 30 percent the overall gas mileage of new cars and light trucks, including SUVs, helping curb oil imports and greenhouse gases. But the benefit comes at a price. The federal government says the extra cost will amount to $1,300 per vehicle; other estimates are as high as $4,000. GM does have the electric Volt coming onto the market next year, but it needs more than that to compete and prosper. Automakers will need to deploy several strategies to reach the required mileage. Lighter-weight materials and somewhat smaller vehicles will reduce weight. Engine improvements will help turn them into fuel sippers. And more alternative vehicles such as hybrid electrics are likely to be built to boost each automaker’s average fuel mileage. - Source

05/31/09 - A Generator That Runs on Kitchen Grease
KeelyNet The nondescript six-foot-tall box behind Finz restaurant in Dedham, Massachusetts, looks like a tool shed, but actually it's a self-contained grease refinery and five-kilowatt generator. Engineer James Peret's Vegawatt is the first all-in-one device that processes grease to continuously provide a building with electricity and hot water, heralding a significant change in alternative-fuel applications. "It's a brilliant idea," says Josh Tickell, author of Biodiesel America. "A waste stream to an energy source, with no intermediary." Last December, after a year of 80-hour weeks on the development, Peret, 33, installed the first Vegawatt at Finz, a joint that offers loads of fried seafood. With patents still pending, he's reluctant to give specifics on its inner workings, but it begins with staff members pouring in 10 to 12 gallons of used deep-fryer oil each day. Before going into the Vegawatt's generator, the bread-crumb-filled muck is deposited into a reservoir and undergoes a multi-stage cleaning, treatment and filtration process. At this stage, the oil is prepared for combustion with a method Peret devised that draws heat from the exhaust system. After that, the processed grease moves into a tank that feeds the modified 15-horsepower diesel generator. Heat from the Vegawatt's engine coolant is used to warm the water in the building's pipes, further reducing the restaurant's energy needs. The Vegawatt can process about 80 gallons of grease a week (standard for large restaurants) and produces five kilowatts of energy an hour, which could translate to monthly savings of $1,000, a 10 percent reduction in power costs. Peret is now selling the machine through his start-up, Owl Power Company, pitching it as the perfect way to go green, save money, and serve delicious fish and chips at the same time. - Source

05/31/09 - Panarchy: the Science of Cycles
Dr. Buzz Holling, an expert on applied systems analysis, needed a word for the way complex natural systems such as forests adapt to internal and external forces by moving through predictable stages of regeneration, increasing interdependence, growing rigidity and crisis followed by collapse and regeneration again. So he coined the term "panarchy" by combining the ancient Greek name for the god of nature, "Pan", and for leader, "archos". Holling's insight about such natural cycles came from 50 years of meticulous study. His powerful mathematical models, internationally recognized for their sophistication and accuracy, are now used to describe and predict the course of any natural system as it moves through recurring rhythms of change. - Source

05/31/09 - Weapons of the Future
These videos were produced by Microsoft to go along with the release of their Gears of War 2 video game. In part 1 of this documentary, sponsored by Gears of War 2, we speak with military strategists, war historians, weapons experts and think tank members to lay out what an invasion by a hostile alien species might look like. ( via impactlab.com ) - Source

05/31/09 - Tesla Recalls 345 Electric Roadsters
Tesla Motors has recalled the $109,000 version of its electric Roadster because of bolts improperly installed by contract manufacturer Lotus. The recall covers all 345 of the luxury automobile built before April 22, the Silicon Valley company said. No accidents have been reported as a result of the flaw. The problem came to light after a Roadster owner complained of "uncharacteristic handling," Tesla said. An investigation found that the rear inner hub flange bolts on a small percentage of the vehicles were improperly torqued during assembly. A similar problem is behind Lotus' current recall of its Elise and Exige vehicles. Tesla said it would send technicians to car owners' homes or offices to inspect their vehicles and take them to a repair facility, if needed. Customers will not be charged for the repair. The Sport sells for a staring price of $128,000. - Source

05/31/09 - DIY Electric VW Bus
KeelyNet It has been a while, but Last night I finished putting the bus back together and took the family for a ride to my son's concert and the gelato store (Mio Gelato). The batteries are now all in the main compartment of the bus. This allows much greater access to them. Before they were so hard to get at, which turned out to be the major reason for my meltdown. The bus also doesn't sag in the back anymore and rides really even, front to back. All my battery terminals are now the universal top post clamp style, which should give me much better connections with less heat generation. All the motor and controller connections are copper welding lugs. ( via http://hackaday.com/ ) - Source

05/31/09 - Entrepreneur dreams of 'hydrogen-hybrid' car
His plan could revolutionize the auto industry, keep open at least two factories and offer a product that rejected Chrysler and General Motors dealers could sell, the former Orlando resident says. In a nutshell, Bricklin is proposing his company, Visionary Vehicles, buy up to 300,000 new vehicles a year from GM and Chrysler, upgrade the interiors "from standard to luxury," and install "hydrogen hybrid" engine technology he says could double fuel mileage. - Source

05/31/09 - 100 Terrific Productivity Tools for the Bored or Unemployed
Whether you’re bored out of your mind at the office or don’t have an office to go to, there’s no reason to sit around idly when there’s so much you could potentially be getting done. With the web at your fingertips, you can find numerous ways to keep your mind and body engaged and active. These 100 tools will help you get busy doing just about anything from organizing your DVD collection to planning your potential future, giving you no excuse to be bored or unemployed for long. - Source

05/31/09 - Exclusive 100 MPG Hummer H3 Plug-In Test Drive
As the Chevy Volt inches closer to production, the idea of scaling up its powertrain concept to larger vehicles is tantalizing. So when Raser Technologies unveiled its 100-mpg-equivalent Hummer H3 at the 2009 SAE World Congress, it grabbed headlines. But we wanted to get a taste of what it's like to slide behind the wheel of Raser's plug-in prototype on real roads. We got the chance two days ago as the Raser crew stopped briefly in Southern California before heading up to Sacramento for a drive event with Governor Schwarzenegger. So is the 100-mpg Hummer ready for prime time? Let's find out. - Source

05/31/09 - Prisoners try RC helicopter to smuggle phones
KeelyNet Brazilian police today foiled a plot to smuggle cell phones into a maximum-security by flying them over the wall inside a basket attached to a large remote-control toy helicopter. Police found the 3-feet long helicopter in the truck of a car outside the prison. The helicopter had a basket attached to the bottom, which was to carry the nine cell phones also found inside the car wrapped inside a disposable diaper. - Source

05/31/09 - Zoellick Warns Stimulus ‘Sugar High’ Won’t Stem Unemployment
World Bank President Robert Zoellick warned policy makers that fiscal-stimulus plans are insufficient to turn around the “real economy” and rising joblessness threatens to set off political unrest across the globe. “While the stimulus has given an impulse, it’s like a sugar high unless you eventually get the credit system working,” Zoellick said in an interview yesterday with Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt.” “When unemployment increases, that’s probably the most political combustible issue.” Zoellick’s caution is a contrast with private economists, who are raising their outlooks for growth from India to China as stimulus measures take effect. The biggest developed and emerging nations have committed spending increases and tax cuts totaling 2 percent of their combined economies, a level the International Monetary Fund recommended to end the recession. - Source

05/31/09 - Ted Rall: It’s increasingly evident that Obama should resign
We expected broken promises. But the gap between the soaring expectations that accompanied Barack Obama’s inauguration and his wretched performance is the broadest such chasm in recent historical memory. This guy makes Bill Clinton look like a paragon of integrity and follow-through. From health care to torture to the economy to war, Obama has reneged on pledges real and implied. So timid and so owned is he that he trembles in fear of offending, of all things, the government of Turkey. Obama has officially reneged on his campaign promise to acknowledge the Armenian genocide. When a president doesn’t have the nerve to annoy the Turks, why does he bother to show up for work in the morning? Obama is useless. Worse than that, he’s dangerous. Which is why, if he has any patriotism left after the thousands of meetings he has sat through with corporate contributors, blood-sucking lobbyists and corrupt politicians, he ought to step down now — before he drags us further into the abyss. - Source

05/31/09 - Ukraine falls out of USA's budget entirely (it's a start!)
William Taylor, the US Ambassador to Ukraine, refused to give money to Ukraine to repair the nation’s gas supply system. At the gala dinner arranged on the occasion of laying the foundation for the new American embassy, Taylor stressed out his disappointment with the “orange policy” during the recent years. It is understood that America is not going to “feed” Ukraine any longer. Ukrainian politicians will have to search for a new foreign sponsor. - Source

05/31/09 - NASA warming scientist: 'This is the last chance'
KeelyNet "We're toast" is how a top NASA scientist describes the dire condition he predicts if the world doesn't get on a "very different path" regarding global warming. Exactly 20 years after warning America about the phenomenon, James Hansen said the situation is so bad the world's only hope is drastic action. Hansen has told a congressional panel the world has long passed the "dangerous level" for greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and needs to get back to 1988 levels. He said Earth's atmosphere can only stay this loaded with man-made carbon dioxide for a couple more decades without changes such as mass extinction, ecosystem collapse, and dramatic sea level rises. - Source

05/31/09 - 10 things your hospital won't tell you
Treatment errors are common, finding someone in charge can seem impossible, and patients sometimes wind up sicker than when they arrived. And here's a tip: Try to avoid hospitals late at night and in July. In recent years, errors in treatment have become a serious problem for hospitals, ranging from operations on wrong body parts to medication mix-ups. At least 1.5 million patients are harmed every year from being given the wrong drugs, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. That's an average of one person per U.S. hospital per day. One reason these mistakes persist: Only 10% of hospitals are fully computerized and have a central database to track allergies and diagnoses, says Robert Wachter, the chief of medical service at UC San Francisco Medical Center. - Source

05/31/09 - Cancer drug Xeloda causes loss of fingerprints
When a cancer patient from Singapore travelled to the United States last year, he discovered an unusual side effect of his medication: missing fingerprints. The 62-year-old man was taking capecitabine, or Xeloda, to treat head and neck cancer. Upon arriving in the US, immigration officials asked him for his fingerprints. But the drug had caused so much redness and peeling to his fingers that the patient, identified only as Mr S, had none. Capecitabine is a common cancer drug, routinely given to patients with head, neck and kidney cancers as well as lymphomas and leukemias. Doctors said very few patients temporarily lost their fingerprints while on Xeloda, but it does happen. - Source

05/31/09 - Romania Targets Moon with Balloon-Launched Ball
KeelyNet That tested technology includes a balloon that can carry ARCA's European Lunar Explorer (ELE) space probe into the upper atmosphere, eliminating the need for a traditional launch pad and allowing ARCA to launch close to the equator from a sea platform. The "0" pressure balloon design is similar to a giant black hot-air balloon that uses solar energy to heat the air inside, instead of the burner that normal hot-air balloons use. Once the balloon soars above 11 miles (18 km), the three-stage rocket slung below will fire and boost itself into low Earth orbit. ELE will then travel to the moon and deploy its Lunar Lander, which resembles a knobby rubber ball that uses its own rocket engine to ensure a soft landing. The Google Lunar X Prize requires teams to land a robot on the moon, move at least 1,640 feet (500 meters) and beam high definition views back to Earth. ARCA's round lander would skim the lunar surface using its rocket engine. Unlike some teams with plans for lunar rovers or crawlers, ARCA sprang for the easiest lunar lander they could design. The team's focus is on getting to the moon, as opposed to what happens once they get there. "Our design for the lander is extremely simple, it's a sphere," Sburlea said. "It's too complicated, too expensive to build a robot." - Source

05/31/09 - 1 Million Californians Look For Medical Care In Mexico Each Year
Driven by rising health care costs at home, nearly 1 million Californians cross the border each year to seek medical care in Mexico, according a new paper by UCLA researchers and colleagues published today in the journal Medical Care. An estimated 952,000 California adults sought medical, dental or prescription services in Mexico annually, and of these, 488,000 were Mexican immigrants, according to the research paper, "Heading South: Why Mexican Immigrants in California Seek Health Services in Mexico." The paper is the first large-scale population-based research ever published on U.S. residents who travel to Mexico for health services. It is based on an analysis of 2001 data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the nation's largest state health survey. - Source

05/31/09 - 3 Amazing Hologram Technologies w/videos
KeelyNet USC Researchers have developed a machine that uses a high-speed projector and rapidly spinning mirror to produce 3D holograms. It uses a custom algorithm to allow for 360-degree viewing, with the proper occlusion and perspective. Practical uses include: video games, education, and marketing. / Rewritable holograms have become a reality, with this new technology developed by University of Arizona researchers. Using modified optical communications film, images can be rewritten in under a minute by changing the distribution of electrical charges rather than the entire laser-based structure itself. The new image can be viewed for approximately 3-hours before it starts fading. / Available in 10-inch, 15-inch, or 17-inch models, the Holocube is an innovative projector that stores video -- on a built-in hard drive -- and uses it to create 3D holograms. The Holocube can store up to 18-hours of compressed video at 4Mb/s on its 40GB hard drive, which can then be turned into a 3D hologram at the flick of a switch. Plus, there's also an optional floor stand for easy transportation. - Source

05/31/09 - Hurricane barriers suggested to keep sea out of NYC
Besides shaking skyscrapers, a major hurricane could send the Atlantic Ocean surging into the nation's largest city, flooding Wall Street, subways and densely packed neighborhoods. As a new hurricane season starts Monday, some scientists and engineers are floating an ambitious solution: Barriers to choke off the surging sea and protect flood-prone areas. The plan involves deploying giant barriers and gates that would move into place -- in some cases rising out of the water -- for storms. One proposal calls for a 5-mile-long barrier between New Jersey and Queens. - Source

05/28/09 - KeelyNet Site Change Note
I decided to split up the main page which will hold the current news and built a second page (link at bottom of this news page) that will hold all the news since the first of the month. At the end of the month, I will transfer all the news for the past month to the archives where you can find tons of fascinating items organized by month and year going back to 1996. This should make the main page load faster but the 2nd one might be slower since it is all items from the first of the month.

05/28/09 - Solar Cells Along Highways To Generate Power w/video
KeelyNet The inventor says the circular solar collectors placed along a jersey wall gather much more energy than flat panels, even when its a dim day or at night. "Part of the ability we have that no other solar cell system in the world has is when headlights strike these tubes at night, they create electricity," said Kahrl Retti, Solarroad Technologies. The electrawall also stores what it collects in batteries. The company also wants to market a cube tube, which would be installed on top of a workers cubicle in an office and it would get energy from the florescent lights in the work space. Every cubicle in America that has a computer, printer, light whatever could be powered using interior photo voltaic cells. - Source

05/28/09 - Bellevue lab is an inventor's real dream
After Nathan Myhrvold left Microsoft in 2000, he created something that would make the British Royal Society drool — a vast laboratory and intellectual salon where some of the smartest and richest people in the world get together and invent stuff. Amazing, mind-boggling stuff like a photon laser to zap malarial mosquitoes, high-performance nuclear reactors and devices to help doctors operating on aneurysms. Or how about a liquid nitrogen system that instantly freezes juice into an effervescent popsicle that's like a crunchy Ping-Pong ball filling your mouth with fruity vapors? "We're going to try to keep this region on the cutting edge," Myhrvold said Tuesday during the first public showing of the "invention laboratory" — his $5 billion startup, Intellectual Ventures, created in Bellevue. Since the company was started in 2000, it has become one of the top 25 research institutions in the country and the top 50 in the world, based on its annual output of 500 to 600 patents, Myhrvold said. Yet inventing stuff is only part of the business. Intellectual Ventures was created to amass and license intellectual property: inventions, but more specifically, patents that can be used to collect royalties from companies that use the patented concepts in their products... Intellectual Ventures is doing the same thing with all sorts of intellectual property. It makes money from royalties it receives when other companies use patented ideas that Intellectual Ventures has acquired, brokered or leased. So far it's built a portfolio of about 27,000 patents, the bulk of which it has accumulated by acquiring them from other companies or individuals. The acquired patents have produced about $1 billion in licensing revenue. Patents that Intellectual Ventures has won for its own work have produced about $80 million... Altogether, Intellectual Ventures employs about 560 people in Bellevue and at satellite offices across the country and world... With Intellectual Ventures, he hopes to advance the notion of "invention capital," a concept that can be traced back to Thomas Edison. "I would like someday my legacy to be, yes, we got invention capital going, and billions of dollars got handed to people having crazy new ideas — 98 percent of which would fail. But that 2 percent will change the world," he said. Edison also contributed a quote on a large poster that visitors see in the lab's lobby: "To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." - Source

05/28/09 - Swedish startup seeks funding for next-gen mass transportation
KeelyNet Sweden’s NowaitTransit thinks it has the answer to next-generation mass transportation, and says it could be powered entirely by solar. Chairman Gert Andersson told the Cleantech Group his company is seeking €7 million ($9.8 million) to take its finalized futuristic design, which would be the world’s first zero emissions mass transportation system, to production. The company, founded in 2004, has developed an above-ground, driverless system where the vehicles continuously operate on a closed loop. There’s no waiting at the station to catch the next car. “It’s a chain of vehicles connected together,” Andersson said. “The principal is that at the station where the vehicles are slowed down, this is done through turning the vehicles 90 degrees. They turn sideways through the station. Passengers enter at one end of the compartment, and passengers exit at the other end. They never meet. It’s a continuous flow.” The technology, simulated in sophisticated computer systems, has a spacious transport capacity of 80,000 people per hour per direction, equal to Hong Kong’s subway capacity. The system, best suited for cities with at least one million people, would run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “It’s like a walkway in the airport,” he said. “It runs all the time.” The system has also been designed to be serviced and maintained, while continuously moving. The system’s power consumption is extremely low, Andersson said, using about 5 watt hours per seat kilometer, compared to Korea’s transit system that uses 100 watt hours per seat kilometer. Energy is preserved by an uphill slope at the station entrance and a downhill slope at the station’s exit. This means no energy is lost due to mechanical braking. The result is that total energy consumed is less than 20 percent compared to a conventional subway system. “This low energy consumption means that even solar power becomes feasible as the prime power source, and therefore, it’s feasible to run this on solar cells,” he said. - Source

05/28/09 - The Looting of America
Les Leopold, who blames the recent financial disasters on trends that began over 30 years ago, explains how a great deal of Wall Street's "investing" has had as much connection to the real economy as fantasy baseball has to baseball, diagnoses the failures of labor and the left to resist the financialization of the economy, views the current situation with genuine optimism as a rare moment in which we might be able to make necessary changes to regulate finance and to shift money from a tiny group of billionaires to the rest of society, and explains why that latter step is needed to stabilize any economy. - Source

05/28/09 - The Parachute That Killed Its Inventor
On February 4th 1912 Franz Reichelt attempted to test his latest invention — a parachute jacket — at the Eiffel Tower. He donned his apparatus and tentatively stepped to the edge of the viewing deck. He had multiple primitive video cameras pointed at him to capture this amazing feat. The video shows Reichelt standing on the edge and staring down for a long, long moment. Obviously, he was nervous about what he was about to do, but knew that there was no turning back once he had gone that far. Anyways, what a wonderful publicity stunt it would be! When he leapt off the edge, he plummeted straight to the ground. The jacket was supposed to open up and allow him to float gently to the ground, but it failed to perform as he intended. - Source

05/28/09 - Ridiculous ideas that made people millions
Have you ever watched an infomercial or seen an item in a department store and thought "I could have thought of that!" Have you wished you had invested money early in a blockbuster invention? Learn the stories behind some (seemingly) ridiculous ideas that have made inventors and investors very wealthy, and find out what you, as a potential investor, should look for and consider before putting up capital for a potential funding opportunity.... - Source

05/28/09 - Fast Track Patents for Green Inventions
Businesses developing environmentally-friendly products will be able to patent their ideas more quickly – following the launch of a fast-track process by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Under the new scheme, a patent could be granted in just nine months – less than half the current average processing time of two to three years. The initiative is already in force and is open to existing as well as new applications. Until now, applicants who wished to have their patent application accelerated for any reason were obliged to demonstrate to the IPO why fast tracking was necessary. However, the new system waives this requirement. To qualify for the fast-track system, firms only need to demonstrate that their invention relates to environmentally-friendly technology and that they would like a fast-track application. According to the IPO, the new system will assist small firms keen to get their product out to market as soon as possible. An IPO spokesman added; - “Instead of waiting several years for a patent application to be approved, firms who are ready to go with their product could start selling it and making money at a much earlier stage,” “This can only benefit start-ups, smaller ventures and individual inventors, particularly in the current climate." Fees remain the same for the faster service, at £130 for the search element of the patent process, and £70 for the examination stage. - Source

05/28/09 - Global crisis far from over
It is the confidence of savers rather than consumers that will become increasingly important as this crisis moves into its next phase. Measures taken to counter the global financial crisis have been judged by many to be sufficient to dodge a depression. The question that should then be asked is this: If we're not going to have a depression, then what are we going to have? The answer lies in the examination of the capacity of nations to absorb the huge budget deficits and nationalised losses resulting from the unprecedented reflationary policies implemented by governments and central banks to prevent a collapse of the global economy. The tolerance of investors will be increasingly tested by this apparent financial ill-discipline as the risks of either of two very nasty outcomes are surely rising. The most spectacular but less likely of these two outcomes is the prospect of widespread default. Students of economic history will observe that defaults on sovereign debt are not without precedent... In the absence of an improbable sustained economic recovery, which becomes even more problematic as the baby-boomers move out of the work force, or better still a miracle (such as a disruptive invention to massively increase productivity), nations will eventually face hitherto unthinkable choices such as deep cuts to social spending programmes and huge tax increases in order to balance their future budgets. No-one, not even a sovereign nation, has the capacity to borrow recklessly with impunity. A crisis in public finances could be overwhelming with catastrophic consequences, which would look, to all intents and purposes, very much like a depression. Don't be fooled by the bounce in equity markets and those heralding the emergence of the 'green shoots'. We're still deeply in the woods. - Source

05/28/09 - See the light and cut energy costs
KeelyNet Lighting is estimated to account for up to 25% of electricity bills in production facilities and a massive 60% in storage and warehousing. What's more, rising electricity prices and an uncertain economy mean these figures are unlikely to decrease. This equates to a huge amount of money and energy. Efficiency boost - "For more than 10 years our premises were illuminated by metal halide lights, which we knew were probably inefficient," he says. Each 800-watt halide lamp cost around £300 to run continually per year and emitted the CO2 equivalent of driving a family saloon car 14,000km. APS installed a total of 158 low-energy Eluma fittings across its Worcestershire facility. The lights use 80% less electricity than conventional bulbs via a T5 fluorescent fitting that has a maximum connected load of 230 watts - less than half that of traditional metal halide bulbs. This resulted in a 72% saving on lighting bills. "In a downturn, cost savings become crucial", says Dockery. The fittings also feature a sensor system that controls light output when areas are occupied and decreases levels to compensate for incoming natural light. "We've been able to programme the fittings to vary the light output depending on their location, so those in production areas emit higher levels than others in storage bays," says Dockery. A special reflector, which boasts a 95% reflectance level, means only 5% of light is lost when a surface absorbs rays. Bone says companies using low-energy bulbs will see a saving on lighting costs between 60% and 85% - a guaranteed low-risk investment with a high return, usually apparent within 12-36 months. Substantial savings - At flexible packaging manufacturer Amcor Flexibles, 175 energy-saving lights were phased in across production facilities and warehouses during 2008. Each fitting substituted two metal halide lamps but still increased overall light levels. "We now have the same levels at a lot lower cost," says Amcor electrical engineer Steve Seward. "The new lamps are also cheaper to replace at £2-3 per unit compared to £20 per HID unit." Seward initially estimated the payback period of the £47,000 project to be 18 months, but the recent energy price increases mean that will now be less than a year. He now calculates the annual energy saving to be £60,000, while the move has reduced the company's carbon footprint by 236 tonnes a year. - Source

05/28/09 - We might as well try and catch the wind
What makes Ireland uniquely positioned is that its natural resources have the potential to make this technology work more efficiently here than anywhere else on the planet -- and make it cheaper to build. So how does it work? Two forms of energy production, wind farms and hydro (water) electricity production, are used to create power. We already have both working in this country, although not in tandem. Wind farms already exist here and more are being built. We also have one hydro-electric plant at Turlough Hill in the Wicklow mountains. The Turlough Hill project involved slicing off the top of a mountain. It consists of two connected reservoirs, one above the height of the other. Electricity is generated by releasing water from the upper reservoir, passing it through turbines connected to generators. This is done usually in the evenings when electricity demand is at a peak. Overnight, when electricity consumption is low, the turbines are reversed and the water is pumped back up to the upper reservoir. It works well, but it costs electricity to pump the water from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir. And you have to construct two fresh- water reservoirs under this model. But, by bringing wind and water power together, you can get constant electricity -- and more cheaply than you can by hydro or wind power alone. The problem with wind energy -- even on the west coast, which is among the windiest places on the continent -- is that sometimes the wind doesn't blow. You have to find a way of storing wind power. But by using wind farms to drive seawater up into huge storage reservoirs and then letting that water flow back down to the sea, driving turbines, you can create a constant supply of cheap power. What makes Ireland such a good place to set up such a system is year-round wind, and the availability of dozens of "U-shaped" valleys all along the western seaboard which can easily be dammed. Numerous bowl-shaped glacial valleys were carved out in the last ice age. Coastal erosion has left them facing the ocean. Many are within 1km-2km from the sea and, when dammed at the sea end, would provide very cost-effective and large storage reservoirs. These U- or bowl-shaped valleys are better suited for water storage than the V- shaped valleys found in Switzerland and other countries because they can lock in more water. V-shaped valleys require construction of larger dams for the same amount of storage. When dammed, a "head" or height of water above the power station of 100m-150m can be achieved. This would store large amounts of energy in a lake 2km-3km long and approximately 1km-2km wide. Spirit of Ireland is planning to invest €10bn in the project, which would create tens of thousands of jobs, end our €3bn-a-year import bill for fossil fuels, and radically reduce our carbon emissions. - Source

05/28/09 - So You Want to Get Funded?
BusinessWeek asked YouNoodle to compile statistics of VC investment from mid-March to mid-April 2009. The idea was to gauge what types of innovation and invention might attract dollars in a downturn. The data could help innovators in various industries assess their odds of obtaining funding at this time. In the month from Mar. 15, YouNoodle tracked 149 venture capital deals worth $1.55 billion among the 53,000 startups it follows. Of this dollar amount, 26% was invested in biotech and medical devices; 16.5% in energy and clean tech; 14.3% in consumer Internet; 11.4% in hardware (including semiconductors, gadgets, and PC-related goods); 11.2% in finance; 6.2% in software; and the remaining 14% spread across four other categories such as mobile phones and education, each with less than 6%. Most of the funding was later stage (34%), followed by Series B (33%), suggesting that investors are taking fewer risks and following established ideas. - Source

05/28/09 - Top 10 Inventions Of 'Garage Inventors' Win 2009 Popular Science Awards
These inventions did not have big companies behind them with a big research lab and lots of money. You won't see the likes of Apple® or Motorola® or Honda® among this list. Just folks like you and me whose inventions will make a major impact on the way we live, work, learn, play, and even manage intelligence in battle. - Source

05/28/09 - Get Your Product to Market in 6 Steps
If you truly have an invention--something that has not been created before--there is no set way to get it to market and there is no right way. Finding out how to get your product to market is often more relevant to your success than the features and benefits of your invention. In fact, real money-spending consumers dont buy inventions; they buy products. So, shift your approach away from the typical inventing lexicon to how to sell a new product... Six steps to take your product to market:

1. Buy one or two well-regarded books on inventing. Look for those that focus on making money, not just patents and read them. I frequently hear from people who say, I bought your book but I am still confused. In answer to a couple questions I find they have not actually read the book. After this step you may adapt the next five steps to incorporate what you have learned in your research.
2. Conduct market research. Identify products on the market, both online and in stores that are similar to your product idea, and note which companies make them and where they are sold.
3. Spend time on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website to identify and read any patents similar to your concept www.uspto.gov.
4. Develop as good a prototype as possible with your available resources. This can be as basic as a drawing or as evolved as a professionally made product.
5. Connect with other entrepreneursin your local area or online to share information, resources & offer support.
6. Draft a simple business plan; starting withthe fundamentals. - Source

05/28/09 - Microsoft To Launch Hands-Free Games Using 3D Camera Technology
The ultimate computer game that banishes handheld controls and allows players’ gestures to dictate the action on screen is to be launched by Microsoft. The Microsoft Xbox 360 uses 3-D camera technology, and is aimed at challenging the dominance of the Nintendo Wii, reports The Times. Allowing users to kick a virtual football, drive a car or practise dance moves with a computer-generated partner simply by monitoring an individual’s movements, the entertainment system will become a must-have for any child or even a youngster. The Microsoft camera, which is the first to be able to sense 3-D motion, is based on technology developed by 3DV Systems, an Israeli company recently acquired by Microsoft. It uses infrared light to detect real-life gestures and the players’ distance from the camera. This information is then converted into a related movement on screen. A source close to the Microsoft project said: “By taking away the controls altogether the game becomes so easy to operate that even your grandmother can master it.” - Source

05/28/09 - PatchMateXP Creates a Windows Update CD
Windows only: Updating your Windows install over a slow connection, or as part of multiple installations, can be a time-consuming pain. PatchMateXP bundles all current updates onto an easy to use deployment disk. - Source

05/28/09 - What Would You Do with a $40 Computer?
KeelyNet A handful of companies are making tiny computers, complete with USB and Ethernet jacks not much bigger than a hefty electrical plug. We're dying to hear how you'd put such a tiny computer to use. What are these tiny computers we speak of? The chief executive of Marvell Technology Group, one of the companies manufacturing these tiny power-plug sized computers, told the New York Times. What's in the plug? It's a tiny plastic box that you plug into an electric outlet. There's no display. But there is an Ethernet jack to connect to a home network and a USB socket for attaching a hard drive, camera or other device. Inside is a 1.2 gigahertz Marvell chip, called an application processor, running a version of the Linux operating system. They envision a future of tiny ubiquitous computers that do everything from serve files to control home appliances. The plugs currently run $99, but they project prices will fall to $40 within the next two years. We're dying to hear what projects you'd cook up with access to cheap $40 wall wart sized computers. - Source

05/28/09 - How IBM Plans To Win Jeopardy!
"Technology Review is reporting on IBM's plans to take on Trebek at his own game. The 'Watson' computer system uses natural-language processing techniques to break down questions into their structural components and then search its database for relevant answers. A televised matchup with Trebek is planned for next year. 'David Ferrucci, the IBM computer scientist leading the effort, explains that the system breaks a question into pieces, searches its own databases for "related knowledge," and then finally makes connections to assemble a result. Watson is not designed to search the Web, and IBM's end goal is a system that it can sell to its corporate customers who need to make large quantities of information more accessible.'" - Source

05/28/09 - Pulsar Signals Could Provide Galactic GPS
"We're all familiar with GPS. It consists of a network of satellites that each broadcast a time signal. A receiver on Earth can then work out its position in three-dimensional space by comparing the arrival times of the signals from at least three satellites. That's handy, but it only works on Earth. Now astronomers say that the millisecond signals from a network of pulsars could allow GPS-style navigation on a galactic scale. They propose using four pulsars that form a rough tetrahedron with the Solar System at its center, and a co-ordinate system with its origin at 00:00 on 1 January 2001 at the focal point of the Interplanetary Scintillation Array, the radio telescope near Cambridge in the UK that first observed pulsars. The additional complexity of working with signals over these distances is that relativity has to be taken into account (which is why the origin is defined as a point in space-time rather than just space). The pulsar GPS system should allow users to determine their position in space-time anywhere in the galaxy to within a few nanoseconds, which corresponds to an accuracy of about a meter." Pulsars slow down over time, and the arXiv paper doesn't seem to mention this. The paper is mainly about establishing a coordinate system and a reference selection of pulsars. Any proposed Galactic Positioning System would have to take the slowing into account, and since it is poorly understood and not completely predictable, this would limit accuracy. - Source

05/28/09 - Dot-Communism Is Already Here
Sharing and collaboration have become staples of active participation on the Internet, while not necessarily incorporating a particular ideology or involving a government. "Most people in the West, including myself, were indoctrinated with the notion that extending the power of individuals necessarily diminishes the power of the state, and vice versa. In practice, though, most polities socialize some resources and individualize others. Most free-market economies have socialized education, and even extremely socialized societies allow some private property. Rather than viewing technological socialism as one side of a zero-sum trade-off between free-market individualism and centralized authority, it can be seen as a cultural OS that elevates both the individual and the group at once. The largely unarticulated but intuitively understood goal of communitarian technology is this: to maximize both individual autonomy and the power of people working together. Thus, digital socialism can be viewed as a third way that renders irrelevant the old debates." - Source

05/28/09 - Bitterness To Be Classified As a Mental Illness
Some psychiatrists are trying to get excessive bitterness identified as a mental illness named post-traumatic embitterment disorder. Of course this has some people who live perfect little lives, and always get what they want, questioning the new classification. The so called "disorder" is modeled after post-traumatic stress disorder because it too is a response to a trauma that endures. "They feel the world has treated them unfairly. It's one step more complex than anger. They're angry plus helpless," says Dr. Michael Linden, the psychiatrist who put a name to how the world works. - Source

05/28/09 - Phoenix Light Rail Fail
The other day, Phoenix trumpeted that its daily ridership had reached 37,000 boardings per weekday. Since most of those people have two boardings per day (one each direction) we can think of this as 18,500 people making a round trip each day. Well, if we bought each of these folks a brand new Prius III for $23,000 it would cost us just over $425 million. This is WAY less than the $1.4 billion we pay to move them by rail instead. We could have bought every regular rider a Prius and still have a billion dollars left over! - Source

05/28/09 - Canadian index allows investors to follow Shariah law
Standard & Poor's is launching a Shariah compliant version of the S&P/TSX 60 that will exclude companies that don't meet criteria outlined within Islamic law. Shariah law, based on the teachings of the Koran, does not allow for investment into companies that deal in pork, alcohol, gambling or pornography. Banks are also excluded because investors are not allowed to earn profit from interest. "Companies which have high levels of debt or high levels of interest earnings are also screened out," Alka Banerjee, Vice President of Standard & Poor's Index Services, told CTV.ca in an interview from New York on Wednesday. At present, companies which have debt less than 33 per cent of their market capitalization are allowed within the index. A Shariah Supervisory Board, comprised of Islamic scholars, determines if a company qualifies. Banerjee said Shariah-compliant indexes are still in their infancy but interest is growing. "A lot of Islamic investors would like to invest along their religious beliefs as well as the rise of petro-dollars in the Middle East, as well as the prosperity in southeast Asian has all led to a demand for Shariah indices and other kinds of products," Banerjee said. Including the Canadian launch, S&P now has Shariah compliant indices in 52 markets. Other markets include the S&P 500 Shariah, S&P Europe 350 Shariah, S&P Japan 500 Shariah and S&P CNX Nifty Shariah to name just a few. The S&P/TSX 60 Shariah Index currently has 25 companies that meet the board's requirements. - Source

05/28/09 - Biodiesel Making and Fire Prevention
KeelyNet There are a lot of good reasons to run your everyday diesel vehicle on homegrown oils - energy independence and less particulate pollution among them - but like all DIY projects, biodiesel production can have a dark side if it's not undertaken with the proper precautions. I've been making my own biodiesel for eight years now and have never experienced a fire, but as more people try their hands at fuel production, the news has become peppered with cautionary tales. - Source

05/28/09 - Tips for the best 'staycation' ever
With unemployment a reality for so many Americans, and the fear of job loss a weighing heavily on the minds of many more, the idea of a pricey vacation is out of the question a lot of us. If that wasn't painful enough, have you noticed how the price of gas has been creeping up lately. The average retail price for a gallon of regular has risen by a quarter, to $2.31, in the past month, and experts predict it'll go even higher over the next two or three. Surprise, surprise. Do I smell sticky pricing? So what's a struggling family to do for fun this summer? How about a staycation? A staycation is an economical alternative to a conventional vacation. Instead of jetting down to Disneyworld or some exotic locale, a staycation might consist of barbecuing around the backyard pool, visiting a nearby museum, or a relaxing day trip to a local park. But because you're spending time close to home, you've got to fight the urge to call the office, make yourself available to the boss, or check e-mail and phone messages, activities that can turn your respite into an extension of work. If you're thinking that a staycation might be just what the doctored ordered, I've gathered some great tips, strategies, and ideas from a bona fide expert on the subject. I recently interviewed Matt Wixon, a writer and columnist for the Dallas Morning News and author of the book The Great American Staycation. Here's what Matt had to say: - Source

05/28/09 - Propane suppliers quietly reduce size of refills
Backyard grillers may get a little steamed this holiday weekend when buying refilled propane tanks: They will be getting less fuel for their money than last Memorial Day. When oil prices soared in 2008, propane suppliers quietly reduced by two pounds the amount of gas pumped into each 20-pound tank, saying they wanted to avoid raising prices. Since then, propane prices have been cut in half as the price of oil has dropped. But smaller refills are still being sold nationwide by many dealers, and most buyers are unaware because the tank is the same size. - Source

05/28/09 - The Chemistry of Life: The Plastic in Cars
Even if cars soon start running entirely on electricity or hydrogen, they'll still need 100 gallons or more of oil to make their plastic parts, such as seats, dashboards, bumpers, and engine components. And some day that plastic may be recycled back into fuel. Although different plastics have different recipes, it takes roughly 0.4 gallons of crude oil to make 1 pound of plastic. Globally, around 8 percent of the oil that comes out of the ground is used to make plastic. - Source

05/28/09 - A Widescreen Laser Projector In Your Pocket
KeelyNet "Redmond based company Microvision is in the last stages of developing and releasing a portable, laser-based projector, code-named 'Show WV.' The projector has a resolution of 848 by 400 pixels (WVGA) and, since it uses laser-scanning rather than LCD to form the images, it does not require a lens to focus, allowing it to display images virtually in any surface. The device comes with its own user-replaceable battery, which means you could take it with you anywhere you want. Although there is no pricing information on their website, according to this local news video, it could cost at least $200." - Source

05/28/09 - Robocall case sheds light on a secretive industry
The despised robocall companies that send out illegal recorded calls nationwide to try and get people to buy car warranties or apply for credit cards are among the most secretive operations outside the CIA. Employees are told they can be fired merely for mentioning the name of their employer. But court documents filed this month in a Federal Trade Commission case against a Florida company -- Transcontinental Warranty Inc. -- provide what authorities say is a look inside a telemarketing operation that used widespread recorded calls and misrepresentations in selling its product. - Source

05/28/09 - Practical joker wins big with new invention!
KeelyNet Delbert L. Phipps has invented many practical joke items during the past 20 years of his career as a novelty and gag item inventor, but his latest creation is sure to open eyes and foster universal disgust around the globe. 'I had an inspiration for my newest invention when I was sitting on a bus and noticed a great big fat slob walking toward me. I was sitting next to one of the few open seats left and hoped fatso wouldn't sit next to me!" Within months Phipps invention was born...'Fe-Fi-Faux-*** in a Tube!' The artificial sperm looks exactly like the real thing and can be applied quickly and discreetly too! "I wear it on my face, chin, and cover my shirt front with it when I want to cut ahead in line. In fact, I receive faster service too...Most service people want to get rid of me pronto!" Claims Phipps. "Now, if I see a fatso walking down the isle, I squirt a dab of 'Faux-Fuc' on the seat next to me and no one ever takes that seat.!" - Source

05/28/09 - Rabbits for meat
They're efficient in the amount of food required for the amount of meat produced. One doe might have seven rabbits, each of which yields 1 to 2 pounds of meat. So that's roughly 15 pounds of meat per litter, and a single doe might have three or four litters a year. You can feed them a simple diet of local alfalfa, garden vegetables and a protein supplement like Calf-Manna for the nursing does. They're quiet and won't disturb the neighbors. And their manure makes a garden grow. The most green diet, of course, is growing your own vegetables and forgoing meat, said Mellie Pullman, a business professor at Portland State University who studies food-supply-chain issues. But the minute people go to the store to buy dairy, which comes from cows, they're "getting into much larger greenhouse gas emissions issues." So if you are going to eat meat, raising animals at home as Rosenblum does is the greenest way possible, Pullman said. But part of the deal involves backyard slaughtering -- and let's face it, it's hard to face. - Source

05/24/09 - Four videos of interest
These were sent as an email from Jarl Omholt. All apparently show the use of vapor to run engines. The last one provides some details on how he hooked it up. Thanks Jarl!

Lawn Mower Running on Vapors Only No Plasma, No Steel Rod

go-cart fuel vaporizer running

Truck running on fuel vapors

Vaporizing carburetor part 2

05/24/09 - Nigerian cure for Diabetes followup
Early in the year, I was elated to read of the great invention by Dr. Louis Obyo Obyo Nelson, a Nigerian scientist, of a cure for diabetes, a disease rated as the sixth highest killer in this country (ThisDay, 4th Feb, 2009). Since 2003, ThisDay had been reporting this story and I had followed the developments. What is of utmost significance in Dr. Nelson’s invention is that it is a cure and not just another control drug for diabetes. In his research, Nelson, a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science and Technology (2001), who also worked in the Raw Materials and Research Council, collaborated closely with the University of Jos Teaching Hospital, using control groups for testing the drug over a period of weeks. A complete remission of the disease was reported in all the tested persons. The United States Patent Office has granted him a patent for his invention and a New Jersey, American-based pharmaceutical company will soon issue the drug worldwide in syrup, capsule and tablet, funded by a Nigerian company, TREC. As Prof. Ramesh Pandey from the American drug company GDPAU said at a ceremony in Abuja in February, Nelson’s invention “is one of the greatest things that will come out of this country”. Nigerian health authorities see this development as a boost for herbal medicine and a sign of greater things to come in the future for tackling diseases with the use of locally sourced medicaments. - Source

05/24/09 - Irish Tube Compressor: Wave Energy Breakthrough or Pipe Dream?
KeelyNet The Irish Tube Compressor is based on reinforced, flexible tubes lying on the water, using air and water driven forward in successive ’slugs’ by ocean waves, with the resulting water head and air pressure being converted to electricity, either by conventional means or being used directly in other processes (such as water desalination). According to the company, the benefits of the Irish Tube Compressor are: * A big improvement in lower maintenance costs * Tube- or Hose- based, it mitigates the severity of marine conditions while it cannot remove them entirely. * A lower specific capital cost is expected (€ or $ per kW installed capacity) * A greater response to varying waves - superior bandwidth availability - greater time availability * Lower specific production costs - lower € or $ cost per kWh of production * Greater marine survivability * Faster return on capital invested due greater annual salable output - Source

05/24/09 - Ice Bear Can Reduce Air Conditioning Energy Demand By 95%
KeelyNet Ice Energy’s innovative Ice Bear system is the industry’s first energy storage solution specifically developed for small to mid-sized commercial buildings. It integrates seamlessly with conventional air conditioning units to create a unique hybrid cooling system that fundamentally changes how - and more importantly when - energy is consumed for air conditioning. By efficiently storing clean, abundant and less expensive off-peak power at thousands of dispersed locations and delivering it during times of peak demand, Ice Energy’s distributed energy storage technology represents a new sustainable energy solution equivalent to hundreds of megawatts of clean peaking power for utilities. For building owners, this means reduced daytime energy consumption, lower energy costs and a smaller environmental footprint. Pairing its revolutionary Ice Bear energy storage module with a standard commercial air conditioner, Ice Energy delivers the industry’s first hybrid cooling solution specifically developed to reduce air conditioning energy demand for small to mid-sized commercial businesses. Using thermally efficient, off-peak power to produce and store energy for use the next day, Ice Energy’s Ice Bear delivers superior cooling using just a fraction of the peak energy of conventional systems. Designed for easy deployment, and requiring no modification to existing ductwork or structure, the Ice Bear integrates seamlessly with the conventional rooftop and split-system air conditioners that cool nearly all light-commercial and residential buildings in this country. Each Ice Bear unit can be applied to a 3-5 ton system, or a single 5 ton stage of a 7.5-20 ton system, providing 30 ton hours of cooling at a load of up to 5 tons. The Ice Bear hybrid air conditioning system stores cooling energy at night, when electricity generation is cleaner, less expensive and more abundant, by freezing water within an insulated storage tank to create and storing cooling capacity for the next day. During nighttime energy storage mode, a condensing unit pumps refrigerant through a configuration of copper coils within the Ice Bear. The coils fall in temperature to below freezing. The water that surrounds these coils also begins to freeze and turn to ice. Once it’s frozen, the condensing unit turns off, and the ice is stored until its cooling energy is needed. As daytime temperatures rise and the building requires cooling, the energy-intensive compressor of the conventional air conditioning system remains off. Since the Ice Bear uses the cold temperature of the ice to condense the refrigerant, rather than a high-energy-consuming compressor, it needs only a small pump to circulate the refrigerant through the copper coils to a modified evaporator coil within the rooftop unit. Ice is then refrozen each night and energy stored again when electricity generation is cleaner, more efficient and less expensive. During off-peak hours, the conventional HVAC system operates as usual. Together, this unique hybrid system surpasses the overall efficiency and performance of conventional equipment alone. Daytime air conditioning energy demand - typically 40-50% of a building’s on peak electricity use - can be reduced by as much as 95% from the very first day the Ice Bear energy storage unit is deployed. - Source

05/24/09 - Obama Birth Certificate Billboards
KeelyNet A national fund-raising campaign to erect billboards around the country questioning Barack Obama's eligibility for office was an instant hit with WND readers in its first 24 hours, said Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of the company and the man who came up with the idea. "One thing I can say for certain after Day 1 of this campaign - billboards will soon be going up around the country," said Farah... The idea behind the billboard campaign is to make sure Obama cannot avoid this question any longer. He must be asked to produce it at every turn, Farah says. Billboard space is currently being negotiated in Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Sacramento, San Francisco, New York-New Jersey, Des Moines, Seattle and other metro areas. - Source

05/24/09 - Washington state has first death under new suicide law
KeelyNet A 66-year-old woman with terminal cancer has become the first person to die under Washington state's new assisted suicide law, an advocacy group said Friday. Linda Fleming, of Sequim, died Thursday night after taking drugs prescribed under the "Death with Dignity" law that took effect in March, said Compassion & Choices of Washington. Officials with the advocacy group said Fleming, who was diagnosed last month with advanced pancreatic cancer, died at home with her family, her dog and her physician at her bedside. "The pain became unbearable, and it was only going to get worse," Fleming said in a statement released by the organization. A physician prescribed the medication, but under the law, patients must administer the drugs themselves. Oregon is the only other state that allows this. Not everyone agrees that people should be able to die with dignity, though: Chris Carlson, who campaigned against the new law with the Coalition Against Assisted Suicide, called the death unfortunate. "Any premature death is a sad occasion and it diminishes us all," he said. (props to j-walkblog.com) - Source and check out the the Redneck Kevorkian.

05/24/09 - Sleep: Gadgets giveth, gadgets taketh away
KeelyNet Poor sleep, or what they call "junk sleep" (sleep compromised by constant waking), particularly affects younger people -- teens and twentysomethings -- who are developing the habit of rarely sleeping well. Sleep problems hit travelers, too. Jetlag, unfamiliar hotel rooms and other unavoidable realities of travel can make it very hard to sleep. The recession is making sleep more challenging as well. People are lying awake nights thinking about their 401(k)s, layoffs and other stressful financial realities. Unfortunately, a lack of sleep or even a lack of uninterrupted quality sleep, can cause serious problems. Bad sleep harms overall physical and mental performance, as well as memory. What's interesting about this is that sufferers are usually blind to the symptoms, and they think they're doing fine. Bad sleep also triggers an insulin reaction similar to eating a lot of sugar, contributing to weight gain, diabetes and obesity. Gadgets are contributing to this problem. But gadgets can help solve it, too. Electronic sleep helpers have been around for quite a while. But a new generation of products is better than anything that's come before. In honor of the month of May, which is Better Sleep Month (who comes up with these things?), here are some of the newest and most interesting electronic sleep helpers. (props to therawfeed.com) - Source

05/24/09 - MYFACEICONS.COM (too cool to not post!)
KeelyNet MyFaceIcons.com turns your picture into a cartoon. Send in a picture of yourself and Cartoon Joytheir artists will turn it into a cartoon that can be appended to your email signature, posted on your website, Facebook account or whatever. The cartoons are really well done and can show you enjoying your favorite hobby or sitting in front of your computer. You don’t get to see the result before giving out your credit card number but we thought the work was first rate. Prices start at $39. - Source

05/24/09 - Backup Maker Offers Dead Simple Backup Creation
Windows only: Backup Maker offers extremely simple wizard-driven backup to a variety of local media and remote hosts. Whether you'd like to backup to another disk, burn the files to a CD, or transfer them to a remote FTP site, Backup Maker has a variety of solutions to backup your data. It handles both the backup and the restoration of files and has an easy to use wizard for creation of scheduled backup routines. You can specify whether files are to be completely overwritten each time or only incrementally with files being replaced and added as they are altered. Restoration is just as simple with point and click dumping of your data from the backup to the previous location. The software is free, although after batch backups a nag screen does pop up suggesting potential upgrades to other software offered by the company. For other backup solutions, minus the pop up screen, make sure to check out the Hive Five for backup tools. Backup Maker is freeware, Windows only. - Source

05/24/09 - Zilla PDF to TXT Converter Plain-Texts Your PDF Files in Bulk
KeelyNet Windows only: We've covered a variety of tools for converting PDF files, but if you need to bulk convert a folder full of them, Zilla PDF to TXT Converter gets the job done quickly. If you only need to extract the text from a document or two, some of the solutions we've covered should more than suffice, such as emailing the PDF to Adobe's automatic converter or using PDF-to-Word-Converter. If you have lots of PDF files you need to extract text from, Zilla PDF to TXT Converter makes batch extraction a breeze. The freeware version is limited, as the name would suggest, to converting PDF files to plain text. You can specify the page range and whether or not to acknowledge page breaks on a file by file basis. The commercial version, PDFZilla, is $29.99 and offers batch conversion of PDF to Word, RTF, TXT, and HTML among others formats. Zilla PDF to TXT Converter is freeware, Windows only. - Source

05/24/09 - Smile! Urine Candid Camera! (where is the outrage???)
KeelyNet "Just because you can put a camera somewhere doesn't mean you should. Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security doesn't grasp this concept. They've installed video cameras in urinals at Houston's Hobby Airport. At least they weren't sneaky about it — they posted a notice saying 'Automatic infrared flush sensors also provide video monitoring for security purposes.' (Insert bad joke about bashful bladder syndrome here)." - Source

05/24/09 - Plastic that grows on trees, part two
"In biomass like wood, corn stover and switchgrass, cellulose is the most abundant polymer that researchers are trying to convert to biofuels and plastics," said chemist Z. Conrad Zhang, who led the work while at PNNL's Institute for Interfacial Catalysis. HMF, also known as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, can be used as a building block for plastics and "biofuels" such as gasoline and diesel, essentially the same fuels processed from crude oil. In previous work, PNNL researchers used a chemical and a solvent known as an ionic liquid to convert the simple sugars into HMF. The chemical, a metal chloride known as chromium chloride, converted sugar into highly pure HMF. But to be able to feed cellulosic biomass directly from nature, the team still needed to break down cellulose into simple sugars -- Zhang and colleagues wanted to learn how to skip that step. The ionic liquid has the added benefit of being able to dissolve cellulose, which as anyone who's boiled leafy vegetables knows can be stringy and hard to dissolve. Compounds called catalysts speed up the conversion of cellulose to HMF. After trying different metal chloride catalysts in the ionic solvent, they found a pair of catalysts that worked well: A combination of copper chloride and chromium chloride under 120 degrees Celsius broke down the cellulose without creating a lot of unwanted byproducts. - Source

05/24/09 - No benefits for laid-off religious workers
Some people recently laid-off from religious institutions in Virginia said they were shocked to find the state does not offer them unemployment benefits. Carol Bronson, who was laid off from her secretarial job at Temple Emanuel synagogue in Virginia Beach, said she was told her unemployment claim was denied because the tax exemptions for religious organizations under Virginia law include an exemption from paying unemployment taxes, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Monday. - Source

05/24/09 - Carpe Diem! - Average Home Price in Detroit Falls to $11,533
With a 20% down payment on a $11,533 average priced home in Detroit, the monthly payments on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 5% would be only $49.53. For the entire state of Michigan, the average YTD home sales price has fallen by -28% to $87,033 through April 2009, compared to last year's average price of $120,481 for the same period. - Source

05/24/09 - What Can You Buy With A Trillion Dollars?
KeelyNet The G-20 summit committed to $1.2 trillion in new funds, with the aim of boosting the world economy, cleaning up banks, and increasing trade, among many other things. The stimulus plan is worth more than $800 billion and the second half of the bank bailout package is at $350 billion, which make up the $1.2 trillion, but the very idea of a trillion dollars exceeds what most of our minds, let alone a standard calculator, have the capacity to understand. What does a trillion dollars look like and what else could a trillion dollars buy? What can you do with a trillion dollars?

Well, according to globalissues.org, for only $40 billion you could achieve universal access to basic social services in all developing countries. Right now, every $1 in aid a developing country receives, over $25 is spent on debt repayment.
Basic education for all: $6 billion - There are 2.2 billion children in the world and 1 billion live in poverty. About 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not enrolled in school in 2005 and 57 percent of them were girls.
Water and sanitation for all: $9 billion - 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation. Only 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water, and these 12 percent do not live in the Third World.
Reproductive health for all women: $12 billion - 90 percent of the 585,000 women who die annually in the world from pregnancy related complications are in developing countries. For every 1000 women of childbearing age (15-49 years) as many as 20 to 30 have an unsafe abortion; and most of these are in developing countries.
Basic health and nutrition for all: $13 billion - 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized. Every year, more than 20 million low birth weight (LBW) babies are born in the developing world. In some countries, including India and Bangladesh, more than 30 percent of all children are born underweight.
According to the New York Times, with $1.2 trillion you could: - • Double cancer research funding, provide treatment for every American whose diabetes or heart disease is going unmanaged and create a global immunization campaign to save millions of children’s lives, still having more than enough money to sustain these programs for at least a decade.
• You could also drastically increase the city of New Orleans’ reconstruction funds. In December 2008, the average price for a home in the US was $175, 400 - with $ 1 trillion you could buy 5.7 million homes.
• With a trillion dollars a peacekeeping force could put a stop to the genocide in Darfur

These are all worthy causes, which could greatly benefit from a trillion-dollar-injection. But let’s pretend the whole “helping others” thing just isn’t your style. Here’s a list of some of the fun things you could do with a trillion-dollar bankroll. (more at the link) - Source

05/24/09 - Musopen - free out of copyright music
Musopen created a warehouse for music with expired copyrights. With that, it contains mostly classic music from the past centuries. "We want to give the world access to music without the legal hassles so common today. There is a great deal of music that has expired copyrights, but almost no recordings of this music is in the public domain. We aim to record or obtain recordings that have no copyrights so that our visitors may listen, re-use, or in any way enjoy music. Put simply, our mission is to set music free." When you enter the site you first need to select a way to access the music collection. As (regular) music, sheet music or shuffle. Shuffle will give you a random piece. Selecting music as your point of access, you can browse by composer, performer, instrument, period and form, then play the respective tunes or download them. Using sheet music you can browse available music sheets by composer, instrument, period, form or instructional type and view the sheets with Scribd’s iPaper. - Source

05/24/09 - In Defense of Distraction
Over the last several years, the problem of attention has migrated right into the center of our cultural attention. We hunt it in neurology labs, lament its decline on op-ed pages, fetishize it in grassroots quality-of-life movements, diagnose its absence in more and more of our children every year, cultivate it in yoga class twice a week, harness it as the engine of self-help empires, and pump it up to superhuman levels with drugs originally intended to treat Alzheimer’s and narcolepsy. Everyone still pays some form of attention all the time, of course—it’s basically impossible for humans not to—but the currency in which we pay it, and the goods we get in exchange, have changed dramatically. Back in 1971, when the web was still twenty years off and the smallest computers were the size of delivery vans, before the founders of Google had even managed to get themselves born, the polymath economist Herbert A. Simon wrote maybe the most concise possible description of our modern struggle: “What information consumes is rather obvious: It consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.” As beneficiaries of the greatest information boom in the history of the world, we are suffering, by Simon’s logic, a correspondingly serious poverty of attention. - Source

05/24/09 - Why the 2012 cult is a silly scam
The growing harmonic convergence of apocalyptic stupidity that goes under the rubric 2012 or "the Mayan Calendar Prophecy" has not yet reached Y2K proportions. And while it's broken out of the New Agey cult status where it's been fermenting for some years, there are still many in the chattering classes who haven't heard about it. "The end of the world in 2012?" my friend Stanley said. "You mean I have to wait that long?" The cult around the date Dec. 21, 2012—the supposed apocalyptic final day on something referred to knowingly as "The Mayan 'Long Count' Calendar"—has been the subject of fevered fantasies on the net and the free New Age "magazines" given away at health-food stores. But last week Newsweek gave it serious attention, and there's a metastasizing web of 2012 sites, including at least one anti-2012 site, which has a section devoted to debunking the apparently limitless number of gullible airheads who have become 2012 believers. - Source

05/24/09 - Discoveries of Maurice Cotterell
In 1989 engineer and scientist Maurice Cotterell found a way of calculating the duration of long-term magnetic reversals on the Sun. Using this knowledge he was able to break the codes of ancient sun-worshipping civilisations, first the Mayas of Central America, those of Tutankhamun, of Egypt, and the Viracochas’ of South America, before cracking the codes of the Terracotta Warriors of China. His research explains how the 28-day spinning Sun regulates menstruation, and hence fertility, in females and how it determines personality of the foetus in the womb (sun-sign astrology). It explains how the Sun causes schizophrenia, how overhead power lines cause cancer and how VDU's (TV and computer screens) cause miscarriages. And it explains how the Sun brings periodic catastrophic destruction to earth. His own unique decoding process reveals amazing pictures from archaeological treasures that explain the spiritual mysteries of life; what God is, what Heaven is, what the Devil is, what Hell is, why we are born, why we die and why this has to be. - Source

05/24/09 - FBI ‘lured dimwits’ into terror plot
KeelyNet Not every New Yorker was impressed by the latest in a long line of purported anti-terrorist triumphs that have supposedly averted tragedy in New York, Chicago, Toronto and several other North American cities since September 11, 2001. “This whole operation was a foolish waste of time and money,” claimed Terence Kindlon, a defence lawyer who represented the last terror suspect to be tried in New York state. “It is almost as if the FBI cooked up the plot and found four idiots to install as defendants.” Kindlon’s complaints were echoed by other legal experts who have repeatedly questioned the FBI’s reliance on undercover informants – known as confidential witnesses (CWs) – who lure gullible radicals into far-fetched plots that are then foiled by the agents monitoring them. - Source

05/24/09 - Verizon Tells Cops "Your Money Or Your Life"
"A 62-year-old man had a mental breakdown and ran off after grabbing several bottles of pills from his house. The cops asked Verizon to help trace the man using his cellphone, but Verizon refused, saying that they couldn't turn on his phone because he had an unpaid bill for $20. After an 11-hour search (during which time the sheriff's department was trying to figure out how to pay the bill), the man was found, unconscious. 'I was more concerned for the person's life,' Sheriff Dale Williams said. 'It would have been nice if Verizon would have turned on his phone for five or 10 minutes, just long enough to try and find the guy. But they would only turn it on if we agreed to pay $20 of the unpaid bill.' Score another win for the Verizon Customer Service team." - Source

05/24/09 - The Coming Superbrain
Artificial intelligence is already used to automate and replace some human functions with computer-driven machines. These machines can see and hear, respond to questions, learn, draw inferences and solve problems. But for the Singulatarians, A.I. refers to machines that will be both self-aware and superhuman in their intelligence, and capable of designing better computers and robots faster than humans can today. Such a shift, they say, would lead to a vast acceleration in technological improvements of all kinds. The science fiction author Ken MacLeod described the idea of the singularity as “the Rapture of the nerds.” Kevin Kelly, an editor at Wired magazine, notes, “People who predict a very utopian future always predict that it is going to happen before they die.” However, Mr. Kelly himself has not refrained from speculating on where communications and computing technology is heading. He is at work on his own book, “The Technium,” forecasting the emergence of a global brain — the idea that the planet’s interconnected computers might someday act in a coordinated fashion and perhaps exhibit intelligence. He just isn’t certain about how soon an intelligent global brain will arrive. Others who have observed the increasing power of computing technology are even less sanguine about the future outcome. The computer designer and venture capitalist William Joy, for example, wrote a pessimistic essay in Wired in 2000 that argued that humans are more likely to destroy themselves with their technology than create a utopia assisted by superintelligent machines. - Source and more in this article - Towards Artificial Consciousness - "In an interview with Discover Magazine, Gerald Edelman, Nobel laureate and founder/director of The Neurosciences Institute, discusses the quality of consciousness and progress in building brain-based-devices. His lab recently published details on a brain model that is self-sustaining and 'has beta waves and gamma waves just like the regular cortex.'" Edelman's latest BBD contains a million simulated neurons and almost half a billion synapses, and is modeled on a cat's brain.

05/24/09 - High Voltage Thinker
KeelyNet I wanted to convey the concept of the modern electrical age with the barrage of electrical interference in our lives. So much is happening and demanding our attention that it is difficult to "think". I decided upon a real life posture like the Thinker with a lot of electrical activity around me with sparks onto my body. In doing this I wanted to do something new that also challenged the boundaries and that is new to the internet. I decided to use my established techniques of long exposures and a moving rod trailing sparks with an "eye of Sauron" effect. The aim was to have a semicircle of sparks over my body while in the "thinker" pose. The output of my 4 inch diameter Tesla coil is directed by a rod so that it can spark onto me sitting on a chair. - Source

05/24/09 - Wood powers pickup
The Termite is a 1991 Dodge Dakota pickup truck that's been heavily modified by Alabama farmer and inventor Wayne Keith. It uses a high-temperature reactor kept in the truck's bed to slowly roast wood chips, creating a wood gas. That gas is cooled and filtered and fed into the vehicle's engine. The vehicle's speed controls how quickly the engine demands the wood gas, and how quickly the reactor burns through the wood. A gasoline powered system provides a back-up, according to Reiche's blog. The truck is capable of driving one mile on a pound of wood, or about 5,000 miles on a cord of wood. Inventor Keith has already driven 15,000 miles in the vehicle, including a trek from Alabama to California and back in 2008. He's currently working on a new prototype of the vehicle. A dizzying array of guides and gauges peer through the rear window. Instead of just having to track speed and engine RPMs, the driver has to keep an eye on the reactor's temperature and air and vacuum pressure as well as moisture in the air. Too wet, and the reactor won't burn the wood properly. But Reiche said the truck is much hardier than he first thought. "We went almost 100 miles around Wayne's town and Birmingham yesterday in the rain; at some points pouring rain," he wrote. "No problem. I had also read more than once on the WWW that a wood gasified vehicle cannot exceed 3,000 RPM because of the slow combustion rate of wood gas. We went to 4,000 RPM (in the rain) with no end in sight." The Reiches plan on traveling 300 miles per day. That puts them in Western Pennsylvania on Thursday or Friday and in Massachusetts on Saturday. They hope to arrive back in Maine sometime Sunday afternoon. They plan on scavenging wood along the way home to keep going, although Reiche did send a query to the American Auto Club, according to his blog: ( follow their progress at http://blog.safehandling.com ) - Source

05/24/09 - The US could become the Saudi Arabia of natural gas from shale
KeelyNet By the late 1970s, when energy crisis abated and oil prices dropped, a cheaper shale drilling technology was little past the drawing boards, and by the 1980s, the U.S. mostly lost interest in pursuing shale gas, says Dave Morehouse, a gas exploration expert with the Energy Information Administration. But the dream of tapping these huge reservoirs came back with force in the 1990s, he says, when energy explorers began to refine a process called horizontal drilling (pdf). This technique, which drills through a layer of shale, can complete a full 90-degree turn underground by boring with an angled coupling that can turn about 10 degrees per 100 feet. Once the drill has turned completely horizontal, Engelder says, the drillers change to a bit that makes slight corrections, bobbing up and down by a degree or two, a movement he calls "porpoising." With the horizontal hole in place, the team makes multiple fractures in the rock to release the gas. In the end, the well pulls natural gas from a far greater area than an old-fashioned vertical well. - Source

05/20/09 - Sorry for the delay in updating. Power went out for my entire town roughly 14 HOURS AGO and they are just now getting it up...but now the Internet link isn't working so when it comes up, I'll upload the latest news updates. Unshielded power cables in Mexico are apparently used to save money but they inevitably cause problems, blown fuses, shorted transformers, plants that grow on the exposed power cables to get so big they short them and even birds making a connection when their wings touch opposing wires, plus any strong wind slaps the power cables and shorts them...incredible...

05/20/09 - Startup finds way to harness wind, solar
KeelyNet Inventor Labs and its offshoot Mechanical Electric, Inc. in Redwood City have a way of storing wind and solar electricity without diesel generators or chemical batteries: Coil up a spring or lift up a heavy weight into the air. The invention, called a mechanical electrical storage appliance, uses the energy generated by uncoiling a spring or dropping weights attached to each unit. The appliance can store energy from wind and solar sources, which only generate intermittently throughout the day, for later use. Wind energy generated at midnight could be stored and used in the daytime with similar use for solar energy. Inventor Labs founder Glenn Reid said the storage appliance makes the economics of solar power “a little easier.” Mechanical Electric is looking for investors. The current economic situation would normally make that a tough position, but Reid said the slump might actually be beneficial to Mechanical Electric. Investors are cautious now and on the lookout for “more down-to-earth” projects that address “real-world problems” instead of more outlandish ideas with a higher investment price tag and more risk involved, he said. Mechanical Electric currently has four employees with plans to expand, but Reid would like to like to keep Inventor Labs small as a testing ground for new ideas and inventions. / Energy Storage - Our flagship product is called Mechanical Electric Storage™, a patent-pending technology for storing electricity as mechanical potential energy. To store electricity, we lift something heavy up in the air, or compress a spring. To get the electricity back, we let go of the weight (or spring) and the electricity is re-generated. It's simple, but effective. / MESA Basics - The MESA -- Mechanical Electric Storage Appliance -- is a device that stores electricity as mechanical potential energy. When electricity is needed, the mechanical potential energy is used to drive a generator to deliver the stored energy as electricity. The MESA thus provides a mechanism for storing excess electrical power when there is no direct need for it, and for later use of the electricity when it is needed. By storing the electrical power as mechanical potential energy, we facilitate long-term storage with little or no loss over time. The MESA is therefore particularly well-suited for use with intermittent energy sources, such as solar power or wind, or for situations where electricity rates vary according to instantaneous demand. The MESA is also well-suited to storage of electricity for use in emergencies or disasters. http://mechanicalelectric.com/ - Source

05/20/09 - External Combustion
KeelyNet A bit more than a year ago, as oil prices climbed, two of the Big Three automakers were keenly interested in Harry Schoell's Cyclone external combustion engine. Then the auto industry collapsed. ts advantages are many, Schoell says. It's smaller, simpler, cleaner, quieter, more economical and it can be fueled by almost anything that will burn. The Cyclone engine works by pumping fuel and air into a round combustion chamber, where it swirls cyclonelike and burns at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Combustion gas passes into a heat exchanger, where it heats deion-ized water to 1,200 degrees under 3,200 pounds of pressure. The water turns into steam, but under pressure the steam remains in a fluid state and is referred to as a "supercritical fluid," Schoell said. The steam passes through a valve and into a cylinder, where it expands with almost explosive force to drive a piston. When the piston is pushed to the far end of the cylinder, the steam exits through an exhaust port. From there, the steam enters another heat exchanger, where heat is recovered and cycled back to the combustion chamber. Now cooler, the steam exits the heat exchanger and enters an air-cooled condenser, where it is turned back into water and is pumped back to the first heat exchanger to go through the cycle again. The process for turning water to steam and back is a closed cycle. The engine needs fuel to produce heat to make steam, but virtually any fuel will do. Schoell has run his engines on gasoline and diesel fuel, but also on fuel made from orange peels, palm oil and chicken fat. Propane gas will work, and so will ethanol, biofuel, powered coal, municipal garbage and agricultural waste, Schoell said. "We can run it on dirty oil drained from a crankcase," he said. "Nothing will harm the engine." And the cyclonelike swirl of fuel and air in the combustion chamber enables complete combustion so there is little except carbon dioxide as exhaust. The Cyclone engine emits almost none of the unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide that come from an internal combustion engine. No Lubricant Needed - The deionized water - water that is highly filtered to remove impurities - serves as the engine's lubricant as well as its source of steam, eliminating the need for oil, oil pumps or oil changes, Schoell said. There is no radiator, no need for computers to control fuel mixtures, no catalytic converter and, even when used as a car or truck engine, no transmission... A 12-by-12-by-17-inch engine and generator would be used to keep electrical equipment in the vehicles going when the main engine is turned off. That would be a big gas saver for the Abrams, which has a 1,500-horsepower gas turbine engine that burns 12 gallons of fuel an hour simply idling. The engine burns Moden fuel, a liquid fuel that the Navy describes as low-cost and environmentally friendly. The fuel contains its own oxygen, so it is able to burn in the absence of air, such as underwater and in space, Myers said. Since they are lighter and smaller than internal combustion engines, Cyclone engines might also win favor as engines for propeller-driven UAVs, Myers said. - Source

05/20/09 - Fugitive dazzled B.C. residents with high-tech dreams
Frank Hertel, owner of International Electronics Corporation opened with a presentation of eight energy-saving, management and recovery inventions the corporation plans to produce. Hertel was later charged with income tax invasion and fled the country. He was arrested in Britian in May 2009. - Source

05/20/09 - Mjolnir Power Technologies
KeelyNet I received this link in an email and was intrigued by some of the claimed technologies. Wasn't sure memory served me right, but Mjolnir is the Hammer weilded by the god Thor so that got my attention. The inventor said he wants his technology to be given out to the world for all to use. I don't see where he built and tested the ideas but you can study his designs at his the source site below. / This website introduces certain projects under development by MPT. Mjolnir Curvilinear Air-Motor Generator Set (M-CAM) - M-CAM Enhancements - M-CAM Early design concept animation / Self-Refilling Compressed-Air Energy Supply System (SRCA) - Use $1.00 of Compressed Air plus 10¢ to Get $2.00 Worth of Compressed Air - Compressed Air Attributes - Maxwell's Secret - Physics - Pistol Shrimp - Atomic Hydrogen - Atomic Hydrogen Blow Torch - Atomic Hydrogen Flame - Compressed Air Self-Refilling Tank with Atomic Hydrogen Furnace Heat-Energy Enhancement / Brake Lock Anti Theft System (BLATS) / Dual Force Motor (DFM) / Trailer-Lift Electric Landing Gear Drive System (TL) / Hyper-Magnetic Engine Generator (HMEG) / Medical Compatibility Profile Data System (MCP) - Source

05/20/09 - Tech’s little green secret
While the world eagerly searches for new ways to conserve energy, a 25-year old solution that instantly cuts in half the energy consumption of most modern electronic products remains largely ignored. Literally tomorrow the electronics industry could begin shipping a technology introduced in the early 80’s that now would add less than one dollar to the cost of most electronic devices - TV set, computer, set top box, BlueRay player, printer, DSL router, etc- and yet could reduce their net energy consumption in half. That technology, called PFC (power factor correction), replaces the traditional AC adapter, and “fools” the device into using electrical current more efficiently. By reducing the energy typically lost through copper wires, the power savings from PFC can be spectacular: up to 50 percent. Multiply this by the massive number of electronic devices used around the world today and the benefits become epic. So why, in its quest to be appear fashionably green, hasn’t the consumer electronics industry rushed to voluntarily adopt power factor correction? The answer, regrettably, ranges from ignorance to indifference. There is also the matter of legacy. When first invented, PFCs were comparatively costly to produce - estimated to about $50 in the early 80’s. That resulted in a retail price point that is just too high for most consumers. And, it goes without saying, a quarter-century ago we neither had the urgency nor the will to solve the world energy consumption problem. But the world has changed. Not only has power conservation become paramount, but Moore’s Law has had its effect into power devices as well: today, an average PFC AC adapter can be made for about $1 -or less-no more than a non-PFC AC adapter. And, for low power applications such as the billion or more cellphone battery chargers produced each year, PFC could be implemented for pennies.. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, when you consider computers, set-top boxes, video game players, flat-screen TVs, and an array of household appliances, there are more than 10 billion electronics devices worldwide that could benefit from the use of PFCs, more than 2.5 billion of them in the US alone. It is estimated that if PFCs were widely adopted in the US they would save nearly $3 billion in energy costs annually and reduce about 24 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. - Source

05/20/09 - Hot water from ambient air - fake?
KeelyNet "Just back from ITEX 2009, that left me wondering about the main winner of a good handful of awards and gold medals, like most environmental friendly, overall winner, etc. The invention is about a "hot water system that extract heat energy from ambient air", as shown in here. We were discussing if the laws of thermodynamics allow for this to work as mentioned "without the needs of solar panel, heating element, compressor or conventional heat". Are we the dumb nuts, or can a dozen judges be so mislead? I really appreciate the learned opinions of the crowd before condemning the company, ITEX and the judges!" - Source and this explanation from the SEERS Website - HOW DOES HYBRID HOT WATER SYSTEM WORK? A high efficient heat transfer exchange unit is used to absorb high volume of heat energy from atmospheric temperature through a suction fan and transfer directly to the electronic heat transfer device. The electronic heat transfer device is formed by a 12V DC driven heating elements and coupled between two units of conductive plate. When the system is activated, the continue process of heat transfer and heat accumulation will be generated. The high volume of low temperature heat is boosted up to a higher temperature heat and transfer to water storage tank for heat up water. The heat drawn air being release after the process will become cool air flow back to the surroundings.

05/20/09 - A new invention, Exolation, helps energy efficiency
A Street administration initiative to rid city neighborhoods of derelict rowhouses addressed one problem but created another: Energy-inefficient conditions inside the adjoining homes left standing. Regardless of how aesthetically unappealing blighted properties are, they help insulate the rowhouses on either side of them. Once those brick blankets are demolished, the properties that remain are harder to keep warm in winter and cool in summer without cranking thermostats or air conditioners. The end result is often higher energy bills for "people who really can't afford" to pay more to be comfortable, said Fredda Lippes, the city's sustainability manager and also an architect. The product consists of layers of insulating foam (for thermal protection), high-density foam (to absorb impact), fabric (to prevent penetration of sharp objects), and a latex-stucco finish. The idea is to produce it in 2-by-4-foot panels that will be affixed to a wall with a foaming adhesive. In two tests, crews of three were able to cover an entire rowhouse wall in four hours or less, said Chris Pastore, an engineering professor at Philadelphia University and one of the trio who invented Exolation. "Artists can preprint each panel with a segment of an overall image that they wish to display on the wall," he said. "In the end, the community receives a large-scale work of art and the homeowner receives a warmer house." - Source

05/20/09 - Security threat beyond foreign oil, say ex-military
"If we were to sum this up in a bumper sticker, it would say something like: 'America, the U.S. military gave you the Hummer. Now we're taking it back." Dennis McGinn, a retired vice admiral in the Navy and former commander of the U.S. Third Fleet, spoke those words Monday during a teleconference. McGinn is on the military advisory board of the not-for-profit Center for Naval Analyses. The group issued a report (PDF) on Monday, stating the U.S. military must, as a matter of national security, work to reduce its dependence not just on foreign oil, but on natural gas, coal, and an increasingly unstable U.S. electrical grid. "We believe in the study that national security, energy security, and climate change are interdependent. We've come up with a list of findings and priorities, a challenge to the DOD, an opportunity to lead," John Napman, a retired admiral, said during the teleconference. McGinn added: "We're heavily dependent on a global petroleum market that's volatile, but it's not just restricted to oil. Natural gas and coal also ran huge spikes in the last year." - Source

05/20/09 - Time To Dump Credit Cards?
KeelyNet Credit cards have long been a very good deal for people who pay their bills on time and in full. Even as card companies imposed punitive fees and penalties on those late with their payments, the best customers racked up cash-back rewards, frequent-flier miles and other perks in recent years. Now Congress is moving to limit the penalties on riskier borrowers, who have become a prime source of billions of dollars in fee revenue for the industry. And to make up for lost income, the card companies are going after those people with sterling credit. Banks are expected to look at reviving annual fees, curtailing cash-back and other rewards programs and charging interest immediately on a purchase instead of allowing a grace period of weeks, according to bank officials and trade groups. - Source

05/20/09 - Drinking Too Much Cola Can Lead To Health Problems
Drinking large quantities of cola could lead to muscle problems, an irregular heartbeat and bone weakness, according to experts. The number of cola-lovers suffering health issues is on the rise as the food industry pushes towards an ‘increase in portion sizes’, they added. - Source

05/20/09 - Deter Thieves by Uglifying Your Camera
KeelyNet A few years ago, blogger Jimmie Rodgers's camera was stolen while volunteering in an impoverished Brazilian community, so he did what any sane person would do: He bought an new camera and made it ugly. With his uglified camera, Rodgers was able to snap pictures freely during the rest of his trip without worrying too much that his ostensibly crappy camera would end up stolen. I was able to take over 5,000 pictures with it in Brazil. I was able to follow around a number of well known graffiti artists, and you can check out some of the pics here. I was also able to go into some fairly dangerous areas, and walk out with my camera. I was even mugged a second time, and they left my camera alone, and took my $20 cell phone instead. - Source

05/20/09 - Spy Satellite Photos Used To Fight Drug Smugglers
"The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, part of the Department of Defense, is using satellites to track the activities of drug cartels operating along the US-Mexican border. The agency is supplying photos to pinpoint Mexican narcotics operations and anticipate smuggling attempts into the United States. During a conference on border security held in Phoenix last week, Scott Zikmanis said his agency already has supplied some data to the El Paso Intelligence Center, a federal clearinghouse for investigating drug cartels. Any border-security surveillance will be done over Mexico, not the US says Zikmanis because a federal law, the Posse Comitatus Act, strictly limits US military operations on American soil unless such operations are authorized by Congress. Civil rights attorneys question the use of satellite technology in law enforcement. 'We are in the midst of a really dangerous time in terms of technology,' said Chris Calabrese, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. 'The idea that such a powerful tool might be turned on US citizens is really troubling.'" - Source

05/20/09 - Robot Warriors Will Get a Guide To Ethics
"Smart missiles, rolling robots, and flying drones currently controlled by humans, are being used on the battlefield more every day. But what happens when humans are taken out of the loop, and robots are left to make decisions, like who to kill or what to bomb, on their own? Ronald Arkin, a professor of computer science at Georgia Tech, is in the first stages of developing an 'ethical governor,' a package of software and hardware that tells robots when and what to fire. His book on the subject, Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots, comes out this month." - Source

05/20/09 - Air-fueled Battery Could Last Up To 10 Times Longer
KeelyNet Improved capacity is thanks to the addition of a component that uses oxygen drawn from the air during discharge, replacing one chemical constituent used in rechargeable batteries today. Not having to carry the chemicals around in the battery offers more energy for the same size battery. Reducing the size and weight of batteries with the necessary charge capacity has been a long-running battle for developers of electric cars. The STAIR (St Andrews Air) cell should be cheaper than today’s rechargeables, too. The new component is made of porous carbon, which is far less expensive than the lithium cobalt oxide it replaces. Principal investigator on the project, Professor Peter Bruce of the Chemistry Department at the University of St Andrews, says: “Our target is to get a five to ten fold increase in storage capacity, which is beyond the horizon of current lithium batteries. Our results so far are very encouraging and have far exceeded our expectations.” “The key is to use oxygen in the air as a re-agent, rather than carry the necessary chemicals around inside the battery,” says Bruce. The oxygen, which will be drawn in through a surface of the battery exposed to air, reacts within the pores of the carbon to discharge the battery. “Not only is this part of the process free, the carbon component is much cheaper than current technology,” says Bruce. He estimates that it will be at least five years before the STAIR cell is commercially available. - Source

05/20/09 - How We'll Be Forced To Drive the Most Fuel Efficient Cars
(Even if We Don't Want To) - If the president does put 1 million plug in hybrids on the road by the end of his term it will definitely reduce the amount of gasoline burned. If the total number of automobiles on American streets did not increase for the first time in our history, here would be the net effect of those million new plug in hybrids: 1 million cars, driving 12,000 miles annually, would burn zero gasoline. On the inaccurate and very generous assumption that only carbon free sources would generate the power for these new PIH vehicles, you would replace a like number of miles driven that would have burned 480 million gallons of gasoline, (assuming they were older cars that got only 25mpg, not the new CAFE figure of 35MPG new ones will be mandated to) with zero crude oil consumption. According to Gibson Consulting, there are about 19.5 gallons of gasoline produced from each barrel of crude oil. That means we would eliminate the demand for 24.6 million barrels of oil annually by going to 1 million hybrid vehicles. That sounds like a huge number, and is more than a few drops. However, according to the U.S. Energy Information Adminsitration in 2007 the U.S. burned 390 million gallons of gasoline per day for motor fuel. That means that the 480 million gallons saved, while certainly a good start, (and we'll have to start somewhere at some point) amounts to only about 0.34% of our annual gasoline consumption. That seems like quite a bit of hell to go through for American business and consumers to cur back on gasoline use by only 0.34%. - Source

05/20/09 - Antenna on Cell Surface Is Key to Development and Disease
KeelyNet They are stiff, tiny, nearly transparent structures, sometimes as little as one-thousandth the size of the cell. Only one sticks out of each cell, and it acts as both an antenna and a machine to process signals essential for development and survival. “Primary cilia are turning out to be a kind of signaling machine that no one had appreciated,” said Matthew Scott, a geneticist at Stanford Medical School. “It’s as if there was a shed out back with all sorts of weird machinery, and hardly anyone had ever looked in. But the farm can’t work without it.” In the last few years, scientists have discovered that the single cilium on each cell receives and reconfigures the signals that form neurons, sculpt the body plan and organize the brain. In adults, cilia are required to heal wounds and grow cells, and when they malfunction, they can help cause cancer. Damage to primary cilia is now also linked to kidney disease, obesity and even the failure of adult neuron development. A quick succession of discoveries in the past 10 years has revealed an intricate architecture within each cilium that supports two-way trafficking of proteins up and down tubes that run the cilium’s length. Molecular motors push particles along the tubes. These motor proteins are linked to the cilium’s outer envelope, so they can move material up and down the membrane itself. More startling than the finding of this elaborate system was the discovery a few years later that traffic on the cilia highway includes the signals that switch on genes to drive development of the embryo. These signals are themselves proteins, like the highly important Sonic hedgehog. The cilia trafficking system, now known as intraflagellar transport, was discovered in the green algae Chlamydomonas, which has long, thin flagella, accessible to study. Flagella and cilia have the same structure, part of life’s toolkit for more than a billion years... Other research reported in Italy focused on primary cilia’s effect on another signaling molecule, called Wnt, which orients cells in developing tissue and enables them to sense their three-dimensional location. Kimberly McDermott of the University of California, San Francisco, described research showing that primary cilia are essential for Wnt to control normal mouse mammary gland branching in puberty and pregnancy. Although the cilium appears to be far removed from the heart of the cell, it is tightly tied to cell division. As the cell prepares to divide, the cilium disassembles, and rebuilds only after division. “This little antenna is poking out of the cell surface and may well communicate when and in what orientation the cell should divide,” said Wallace Marshall at the University of California, San Francisco. - Source and this related article - Loss Of Cell's 'Antenna' Linked To Cancer's Development - Submarines have periscopes. Insects have antennae. And increasingly, biologists are finding that most normal vertebrate cells have cilia, small hair-like structures that protrude like antennae into the surrounding environment to detect signals that control cell growth. In a new study published in the June 29 issue of Cell, Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers describe the strong link between ciliary signaling and cancer and identify the rogue engineers responsible for dismantling the cell's antenna.Cilia-based sensing has important roles in sight, smell and motion detection and in helping an embryo develop into a normal baby. Defects in cilia can produce a range of disorders, including kidney cysts, infertility, respiratory problems, reversal of organs (for example, heart on the right) and a predisposition to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. In each case, cells fail to appropriately detect growth-controlling signals and develop abnormally. Now, researchers are adding cancer to this list. Commonly, cancer cells have entirely lost their cilia, and this absence may help explain why tumors fail to respond properly to environmental cues that cause normal cells to stop growing. Hence, the discovery that too much HEF1 and Aurora A cause cilia to disassemble provides important hints into what may be happening in cancers. - Source

05/20/09 - Did AI cause the Financial Collapse?
There’s not much “strong AI” used in the finance industry today, but there are plenty of “narrow AI” software techniques in place, alongside other advanced mathematical methods — recognizing subtle nonlinear patterns in financial data, and relating financial data with other information about the economy, news, weather and so forth. And, certainly, this software played a role in the crisis that unfolded this fall. But before we blame the machines, it’s worth digging a little deeper. The root of the problem really came down to the ways people chose to use this software to serve their own ends. And it’s arguable that, if we’d had strong AI instead of narrow AI involved, a crisis like this would never have come about. - Source

05/20/09 - Germans Deny Patent For GPS/Poison Microchip
KeelyNet A Saudi inventor filed a patent for a "killer chip" which, once implanted, would monitor "undesirables" using a GPS and it also comes with an extra feature: a remote-controlled cyanide dispenser, for murder. The basic model would consist of a tiny GPS transceiver placed in a capsule and inserted under a person's skin, so that authorities could track him easily. Model B would have an extra function - a dose of cyanide to remotely kill the wearer without muss or fuss if authorities deemed he'd become a public threat. The inventor said the chip could be used to track terrorists, criminals, fugitives, illegal immigrants, political dissidents, domestic servants and foreigners overstaying their visas. - Source

05/20/09 - New lithium battery lasts three times as long
"The difficult challenge was always the cathode, the part of the battery that stores and releases electrons in the charge and recharge cycles," said Dr. Nazar. "To enable a reversible electrochemical reaction at high current rates, the electrically-active sulphur needs to remain in the most intimate contact with a conductor, such as carbon." The Canadian research team leap-frogged the performance of other carbon-sulphur combinations by tackling the contact issue at the nanoscale level. Although they say the same approach could be used with other materials, for their proof of concept study they chose a member of a highly structured and porous carbon family called mesoporous carbon. At the nanoscale level, this type of carbon has a very uniform pore diameter and pore volume. Using a nanocasting method, the team assembled a structure of 6.5 nanometre thick carbon rods separated by empty three to four nanometre wide channels. Carbon microfibres spanning the empty channels kept the voids open and prevented collapse of the architecture. Filling the tiny voids proved simple. Sulphur was heated and melted. Once in contact with the carbon, it was drawn or imbibed into the channels by capillary forces, where it solidified and shrunk to form sulphur nanofibres. Scanning electron microscope sections revealed that all the spaces were uniformly filled with sulphur, exposing an enormous surface area of the active element to carbon and driving the exceptional test results of the new battery. "This composite material can supply up to nearly 80 percent of the theoretical capacity of sulphur, which is three times the energy density of lithium transition metal oxide cathodes, at reasonable rates with good cycling stability," said Dr. Nazar. What is more, the researchers say, the high capacity of the carbon to incorporate active material opens the door for similar "imbibed" composites that could have applications in many areas of materials science. - Source

05/17/09 - Jump start the economy? Let's get back to making things
KeelyNet Manufacturing creates wealth when your eco-conscious neighbor buys new solar panels to decrease his energy bill. Payment then goes to the store, other vendors and the manufacturer. The money continues down the supply chain to other service providers, where it's reinvested in companies to purchase new equipment and develop new technologies. It also pays employees - one of whom goes out to buy new solar panels and the cycle continues. If our government truly wants to stimulate the economy, it has to focus on helping the country get back to making things. It goes back to Econ 101: economic growth occurs with innovation and technological advances, both of which are deeply rooted in manufacturing. Manufacturing fundamentally improves daily life by making it brighter with energy-efficient windows; faster with high-speed rail; safer through state-of-the-art-defense capabilities; and better with customized medical devices. And it is manufacturers who are fulfilling President Obama's vision for an "innovation economy." Manufacturing accounts for two-thirds of the nation's private-sector research and development activity. R&D isn't just about people in white lab coats conducting "weird science," it's about inventions that solve problems and have the potential to create jobs. Here are six ways to begin.

1. Encourage innovation, which can spur the economy as it leads to new products, processes and jobs.
2. Recognize lean and green manufacturers who eliminate waste and use fewer resources whether they make "green" products or not.
3. Help the transitional workforce gain the skills needed for 21st century jobs.
4. Support the small to medium-sized manufacturers that create jobs in their communities.
5. Enhance the image of manufacturing so more people understand that today's manufacturing jobs are high paying, high-tech, challenging and available.
6. Place educational emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math so that future generations are able to maintain America's lead in the innovation race.
If we want to see the economy do anything other than get a failing grade, the Obama Administration and Congress cannot continue to dismiss the backbone of the America - manufacturing. Let's stimulate the economy by getting this country back to making things. - Source

05/17/09 - Wanted: One Million Green Ideas for $1 Million
The Million Green Ideas Campaign is dedicated to uncovering, discovering and sharing one million green ideas, and raising $1 million dollars over the next year in hopes of finding and funding at least one one-in-a-million idea. The campaign will combine the online success of the crowdsourcing movement that's brought us things like Wikipedia, with good old-fashioned face-to-face discussions to get us away from Facebook and Twitter (at least for a time), and back to talking and making real interpersonal connections. I'm calling it "crowdservice." The online effort begins June 1, and the off-line campaign kicks off Wednesday, May 13, in Los Angeles at the first of what will be a series of social mashup salons called the Taverns on Green. Participating in the Taverns on Green and the entire campaign is free of charge. All that is required to participate is to participate, opting in is the only thing that's not optional. Given the present urgency, why not generate a million ideas, pass them around, share and tweak them, and agree on the very best? Maybe, just maybe, there'll be a couple winners among them. At the very least we'll get some discussion flowing, help people to connect, show their chops, perhaps find some financing or jobs, and certainly, we'll have some fun. Please opt in, go to www.MillionGreenIdeas.com. - Source

05/17/09 - REVOLT: The Segway-maker’s next move
General Motors perpetually promises to deliver its Volt electric car. Tesla Motors has the wealthy and trendy anticipating its luxury electric sports car. The Chinese say they will mass produce electric cars to help clean up their choking cities. But none of them is committed to do what Dean Kamen hopes his prototype REVOLT hybrid-electric car will do: Bring electricity to the 1.6 billion people who still live without it. He just wants to see the Stirling engine that helps power the REVOLT be mass produced for vehicles. That would drive down the price, he says, and allow it to be cost-effective in another role: as a miniature electric plant for villages in the developing world. A Stirling can run on just about anything that creates heat, from gasoline, kerosene, and ethanol, to natural gas, propane, hydrogen, and, yes, the methane given off by animal manure. In a recent test, two villages in Bangladesh ran Stirling engines to create electricity for 24 weeks – using only cow dung for fuel. “We’re pretty excited about that,” Kamen says. Even though its simple concept is “elegant, it’s brilliant,” Kamen says. But its time to shine might be now. All-electric cars still suffer from wimpy batteries that limit driving range and refuel slowly. “The energy you can carry around in a liter of gasoline is 100 times higher than you can carry in the same size and weight of a battery,” Kamen says. “And that’s going to be true for a long time.” Today’s hybrid cars add a gasoline engine to both power the vehicle and recharge the battery. But the sooner cars can be weaned from fossil fuels, the better for US security and the environment. Why not use a Stirling to charge the hybrid car’s batteries, Kamen asks. The Stirling’s waste heat could warm the car’s interior on cold days, saving even more battery power. - Source

05/17/09 - Cities Can Save the Earth
The climate crisis won’t be solved by changing light bulbs and inflating your tires more, planting a tree and driving a little less. It’s going to require a truly fundamental shift in how we build our cities and live in them. The key to changing our cities involves the car. Cars dominate cities in the rich countries, and they are increasingly swamping poor countries as well. Only one out of 10 people on the planet actually drives cars, but drivers are causing a vastly disproportionate share of planetary damage through the automobile-sprawl pattern of development. The concepts behind the ecocity are fairly simple. They involve a shift in development toward centers of high diversity: * Switch to a pedestrian and transit-oriented infrastructure, with ecocity architecture built around compact centers designed for pedestrians and transit; * Roll back sprawl development while vigorously restoring nature and agriculture; * Integrate renewable energy systems while using non-toxic materials and technologies and promoting recycling. It's puzzling that almost no one connects the largest things we build — our cities — to the largest problems that we're experiencing, much less connects them to solutions to those problems. Cities are “whole systems” and function something like living organisms. Their main organs are linked together, complementing each other’s services for the benefit of the whole and relating the whole to its environment in a way that could be of reciprocal benefit to all organs and the whole organism. The city’s organs include structures for transportation, living, working, education, shopping, recreation, manufacturing, and distribution. The whole organism of the city we’ve been constructing for the last 150 years has been built on the basis of linking functions through ever-lengthening strands of connection. First, there were rails and trains and streetcars, then much more massively, highways, cars, and trucks. There are several ways to begin turning our cities into ecocities. First, there is ecocity mapping. This amounts to mapping your city plan so you have a clearer sense of your centers of most vitality. The map shows where to increase density and diversity of development, which is in those centers, and where to best open up the landscape for such features as restored creeks, expanded community gardens, and parks, which is often in the areas farthest from those centers. The ecocity general plan, like any other general plan, lays out policies for developing and maintaining the city’s physical expression and functionality. Those policies have to also include specific reference to financial investment; if the city doesn't allocate money for the transition, its plan is just symbolic window dressing. If no serious money is spent, no serious progress will be made. - Source

05/17/09 - Eye for Innovation
KeelyNet Richardson psychiatrist Colin A. Ross is the alleged kook who hired a public-relations firm to announce his kookiness. Now our own Dr. Ross is seeking the million bucks with his foil-wrapped goggles. His claim: "I can make a tone sound on a computer using an energy beam emitted from my eye." Well, I hate to brag, but my father had an even more amazing ability. With a beam emitted from his eye, he could freeze children. It seemed to work best on us in church. Time will tell whether Ross collects the million dollars. But his claim has certainly collected Randi's derision. Ross shrugs off the skewering as merely Randi running scared. "Now he's trying to debunk, ridicule and mock it because he obviously doesn't want to pay the million dollars," he said. Energy beams from the eyes certainly sounds like woo-woo stuff, and Ross hopes to trap Randi with that perception. But he said this is really nothing paranormal. Electrodes attached to the head or chest pick up electrical activity in the brain or heart. Ross simply believes those same energy waves are also detectable through the eyes. And he believes he has proved it with a pair of old ski goggles. He removed the lenses, attached an electronic sensor and shielded it with aluminum foil. He said the diode picks up electromagnetic waves from his eye, setting off a tone on the computer. Ross demonstrated the procedure. And I can testify that I heard a tone. But I also had a hard time stifling the giggles. I think it was the ground wires alligator-clipped to his ear lobes that did me in. Ross is so confident in his theory that he has applied for a patent on switches operated by eye beams. Some day you may open your garage door with just a hard stare, he said. - Source

05/17/09 - The Forgotten Piece of the Smart Grid: Energy Storage
The power grid will be receiving a lot of investment and technology upgrades over the coming months, but a next-generation smart grid without energy storage is like a computer without a hard drive: severely limited. In the same way that computers and the infrastructure of the Internet have been built up around storage as a key component, the power grid will eventually rely on energy storage technology as a pivotal piece. Here’s how it works: Energy storage placed throughout the electrical network can provide dispatchable power when it’s needed the most, decreasing volatility, and also helping incorporate variable renewable energy sources (the sun shines and the wind blows only at certain times, after all). - Source

05/17/09 - Innovation makes a hybrid look like a gas guzzler.
KeelyNet "This is the Avista Sun Car," said Avista student intern Nate Thompson. "It's a Toyota Prius Hybrid. We were averaging about 86 miles to the gallon on the trip down from Spokane to Pullman today." 86 miles per gallon? The standard Prius Hybrid averages 45. "What we did with this was actually put a lithium battery on the back of it," said Thompson. "It runs strictly on electric. We have solar panels hooked up to Avista headquarters in Spokane. We actually have two of these cars, and with these solar panels we produce enough energy to run the cars for 30 miles strictly on electric." And how does it feel? "It transitions immediately when you are decelerating and accelerating," said Thompson. "It kicks in the electric motor so you're not using as much fuel. When your maintaining speed, or just coasting, you have the electric motor - very efficient and a very smooth ride. I was really impressed with it." While a $2 trip from Spokane to Pullman, and a dramatic decrease in emissions are nice, Nate Thompson said it will still run you about $30,000 for the car, another $5,000 for the battery pack, more for solar panels, or a bigger electric bill. But Thompson thinks it won't be long before this car, or something like it, is all over the road. - Source

05/17/09 - Changing behaviors can reduce energy use
While efforts to address U.S. energy needs often focus on developing non-carbon power sources and new “green” modes of transportation, U.S. Rep. Brian Baird told an audience that changing consumer behavior could reduce energy consumption by as much as 20 percent — in a matter of months. In fact, Baird said changing consumer behavior is “the single most immediate thing we can do” to reduce energy consumption. The steps are no secret: carpooling, driving one less day a week, turning down thermostats, buying more efficient appliances. But how can consumers be motivated? “Social sciences,” Baird said. He cited the work of Robert Cialdini of Arizona State University and others who have been studying the science of persuasion. - Source

05/17/09 - A maverick's message on oil
Jeff Rubin says prices are going nowhere but up, and life as we know it will change forever. Rubin had just completed a new book, Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller, much of it based on his research at the bank. Its basic premise is simple: Nearly everything we do, purchase and eat is "inextricably bound" to oil, and as the price of black gold increases, so too does the cost of growing, manufacturing, processing, packaging and transporting the goods we consume – whether they be apples from Australia or dollar-store trinkets from China. In other words, the higher oil prices get, the more expensive distance becomes. And oil prices, argues Rubin, are going nowhere but up. "The world's oil wells are running out of the stuff that keeps the whole system going," he writes, adding that the only supply available to replace it is dirty, hard to find, and for that reason increasingly expensive. The oil sands are a case in point. "We are getting closer to the bottom of the barrel." Eventually, he says, the transportation costs of importing products from far-off countries will erase other advantages, such as low-cost labour. It will become, he argues, "the largest barrier to global trade." This will lead to more dense communities, less driving, and a reliance on what we produce locally. World trade will revert back to the patterns we saw in the 1970s, when tariffs slowed the global movement of goods and trading was more regional. Economic growth will come to a crawl and inflation will rise. Look no further than the current recession for proof, he says. In chapter 7, Rubin lays out in detail how high oil prices, which peaked near $150 in July 2008, led to inflation and rising interest rates that triggered the U.S. mortgage crisis and sent the economic dominoes, including global trade, falling. "You can liberalize trade all you like, but it won't make a difference if no one can afford to ship the things you want to sell," he writes. His prediction: Manufacturing jobs are going to return to North America over time. There will be a revival in regional agriculture. Urban farmers' markets will become more plentiful. Travel will be local and certainly not by plane. Dining out will be replaced by cooking in. Not such a bad thing, he suggests. "We will soon become far more attentive custodians of our own little worlds, and that is likely to make our neighbourhoods better places." Why should anyone believe Rubin? He accurately predicted oil's rise to $50, then $100, and most recently $150. In 2005 he said the Canadian dollar would reach parity with the U.S. dollar, and it did. But he's had some big misses, too, including the forecast of an economic recovery in the mid-1990s, which never happened. He also predicted the S&P/TSX would hit 15,000 by the end of 2007 and 16,200 by the end of 2008. Wrong on both counts. He even failed to predict the oil-influenced recession explained so well in his book that sent the index below 7,600 and oil below $40 a barrel. - Source

05/17/09 - Don’t Pay the Rich to Scrap Their Cars
AS someone who drove a clattering old pickup in the slow lane for nine years, I watched with interest earlier this month as House Democrats reached a compromise on “cash for clunkers” legislation that would give people vouchers worth as much as $4,500 to replace their older cars with new ones. But the plan, which would cost $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion, is a huge disappointment; any program that expensive should deliver much better mileage. In Germany, the clunker credit scheme has enticed consumers to buy vehicles like Ford’s Ka, which is said to get 56 miles per gallon, because it is part of a bigger government plan that includes a forthcoming gas tax based on carbon emissions. Congress’s message is simpler, and weaker: just buy a new S.U.V. with only slightly better gas mileage — 18 m.p.g. rather than 16 — and you qualify for a $3,500 voucher from the government. If the new S.U.V. gets 21 m.p.g., the payment goes up to $4,500. Such payments far outstrip the estimated $500 per car it would cost automakers to increase fuel economy by 10 percent in cars on the assembly line. A bigger problem with the clunker credit plan is that it’s not aimed at households earning $65,000 a year or less, which own most of the nation’s vehicles more than 10 years old. The Texas program has succeeded in part because it allows lower-income families to buy used cars — and most participants do just that. But Congress’s clunker bill would apply only to new car purchases. So the benefit would go mainly to people who already have the means and credit to invest in new vehicles. The folly of offering subsidies for the relatively rich is that the auto industry’s survival depends on getting people with incomes less than $100,000 back into its showrooms. CNW Marketing Research has noted that, in March, car sales to people earning more than $100,000 a year were off by only about 6 percent, while sales to those earning $50,000 to $100,000 and those making less than $50,000 were off by a fifth and a third, respectively. - Source

05/17/09 - Stripping away efficiency
In trying to create the most Earth-friendly, energy-efficient buildings possible, architects and engineers have stumbled on a problem they hadn't fully understood: You. Your desktop computer that's on, even when you're out to lunch. The power-hogging photo copier in your office and its incessant red light. And then there's the space heater under your desk, keeping you warm because the building is too cold. Designers have found ways to make cooling and heating systems more efficient than ever, mainly by using cutting-edge technology and old-school techniques such as natural ventilation. But some of the greenest buildings in the world are undermined by human behavior and the traditions of engineers who design structures, build them and leave them for fallible humans to figure out later. Designers assume that building managers understand new, often complex energy-monitoring systems, but often they don't. And the people who live or work in the building usually have no idea how much energy they use. That's because the building can't tell them. - Source

05/17/09 - Ottawa invention aims to quiet helicopters, wind turbines
KeelyNet The device could also be applied to wind turbines. The noise and vibrations those turbines currently generate have been blamed by some people who live near them for sleep disruptions and other health problems. The vibrations in both helicopter and wind turbine rotors don't just affect humans but also components of the machines themselves, Khomutov said. Reducing the vibrations could boost the service life and cut maintenance costs for those components... The Active Pitch Link was developed over roughly five years by a team of Carleton researchers overseen by professors and fellow Smart Rotor Systems co-founders Daniel Feszty and Fred Nitzsche. It is based on research that has been ongoing at Carleton for more than 15 years, Khomoutov said. The device is installed at the base of the rotor blades and works by constantly adjusting the angle and stiffness of each blade to deal with aerodynamic effects that generate the noise and vibrations as a rotor turns. Those aerodynamic effects result from the different conditions experienced by each blade as it passes through different positions in its path, Khomutov said. "On one side, it's experiencing a loss of force that is lifting it up," he said. "On the other end, it basically goes so fast that it creates … air flow barriers." Each blade normally has airflow coming off it that gets caged by the blade following after it, creating additional noise, said Khomutov. So far, tests of individual components of the Active Pitch Link have been successful, and computer simulations of the entire device suggest that it will drastically reduce noise and vibrations. - Source

05/17/09 - Quick, Easy and Free computer Speedup
Game Booster is a free program for Windows that does an amazing job of speeding up your computer through the simple procedure of turning off everything that would normally run in the background. It even turns off Windows services that are normally always running but not necessary. The program is intended for use by people who play complex games, like Fallout3 or World of Warcraft. But we tried it for just normal operation and the results were great; everything ran faster, even our Internet connection. It was a one click operation after we downloaded and installed the software. It frees up your computer’s RAM (Random Access Memory) and central processing unit (the CPU). It does not use “over-clocking.” This is a technique by which gamers can force the CPU to operate at double or triple the speed it’s designed for. This works to speed things up considerably but also overheats the CPU and can cause it to burn out.If you find some things are missing after installing and running Game Booster, you can disable it by clicking “return to normal mode.” You can also simply reboot the computer. Game Booster works with Windows XP, Vista, 2000 and the new Windows 7. Get it at iobit.com/gamebooster.html. - Source

05/17/09 - EeeRotate Orients Your Laptop Screen for Easy Reading
KeelyNet Windows only: With the proliferation of lightweight and wide-screen notebooks, it was only a matter of time before someone realized that they make decent e-book readers when they're sideways. EeeRotate makes swapping orientation easy. Once installed, the tiny application rotates your screen and trackpad input using keyboard shortcuts. CTRL+ALT+RIGHT rotates your screen and touchpad input 90 degrees clockwise, CTRL+ALT+UP returns it to normal. Interestingly, in our tests EeeRotate would rotate the touchpad input, but not the input from the USB mouse plugged into the laptop. The navigation wasn't difficult using either one of them, and you'd likely not have an external mouse plugged in if you were using it as an e-book reader, but it's worth noting. Next time you find yourself reading lengthy documents on your wide screen laptop or netbook, EeeRotate can help you take advantage of your expansive screen space. EeeRotate is freeware, Windows only. - Source

05/17/09 - The Dangers of Being Really, Really Tired
"Brian Palmer, writing for Slate, asks 'Can you die from lack of sleep?' and shockingly, the answer may very well be Yes, you can. Palmer points to 'ground breaking experiments' in the area of sleep research. It turns out that sleep deprivation can actually be deadly in rats. The obvious conclusion is that it is probably deadly in all mammals. So the next time you think you need to pull multiple all-night hack-a-thons, ask yourself if it's worth risking your life for." - Source

05/17/09 - Wind turbine breakthrough to create 250 jobs
An Irish engineering firm is to create 250 jobs after developing unique wind turbines which generate power even in a light breeze, it was revealed today. The C&F Group, based in Athenry, Co Galway claims the breakthrough technology is a world-first, generating electricity at speeds as low as 1.2 metre a second and powering homes 350 days a year. C&F’s turbine design is capable of producing 40% more power than existing models with giant industrial turbines and wind farms capable of generating power even in a light wind. Sustainable Energy Ireland said current designs can only generate electricity at 30% of their capabilities. Mr Flaherty said the aim is to make clean wind energy available to domestic, agricultural and small business users at affordable prices – in Ireland and globally. Around 70% of the turbines will be exported, mainly to the European market. - Source

05/17/09 - The Problem with Electric Vehicle Range Figures
I see a troubling pattern emerging in how the most critical aspect of EVs – range – is discussed by companies and the media alike. These are problems that could have a significant negative effect on the way the public responds to electric vehicles if manufacturers don’t change the way they communicate expectations about range. The basic problem is that when an EV is described, it usually has a single “range” number associated with it. For example, the Tesla Roadster has a range of 244 miles. When people talk about the range of a car that is planned in the future, they also offer a single number. For example, the media has reported that several car companies plan to come to market with EVs that have “100 mile range.” Every time a single range figure is given, it should have about 3 asterisks next to it. - Source

05/17/09 - Melting ice could cause gravity shift
The melting of one of the world's largest ice sheets would alter the Earth's field of gravity and even its rotation in space so much that it would cause sea levels along some coasts to rise faster than the global average, scientists said yesterday. / A study into how the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could respond to global warming has found its disintegration would change the focus of the planet's gravitational field, so sea levels would rise disproportionately more around North America than in other parts of the world. If the ice sheet covering West Antarctica disappears, the loss of so much mass from the southern hemisphere would effectively make the pull of gravity stronger in the northern hemisphere, affecting the spin of the Earth and causing sea levels to rise higher here than in the south, where the mass of ice is currently located. With less mass at the South Pole, and more water in the oceans, the Earth's gravity field would weaken in the southern hemisphere and strengthen in the northern hemisphere, causing water to pile up in the northern oceans, Professor Bamber said. This redistribution of mass would also affect the Earth's rotation, which in turn would cause water to build up along the North American continent and in the Indian Ocean, Professor Bamber added. - Source

05/17/09 - Dual Purpose “Blanket” Could Protect Astronauts, Generate Power on Moon
KeelyNet Space radiation has long been known to be a problem for lunar explorers. The Apollo astronauts had little protection, but were only on the Moon for a short time. NASA is hoping to return to the Moon by 2020 for longer sorties and eventually to build a lunar outpost. The cosmic rays are bad enough themselves, but when they hit matter, they also produce a dangerous spray of secondary particles which, when penetrating human flesh, can damage DNA, boosting the risk of cancer and other maladies. Michael Sieber, Ryan Boyle and Anne Tomasevich, all recent graduates of the textile engineering program at NC State came up with a design called a “lunar texshield.” The blanket-like cover is made from a lightweight polymer material that has a layer of radiation shielding that deflects or absorbs the radiation so astronauts are only exposed to a safe amount. The outermost surface of the shield includes a layer of solar cells to generate electricity, backed up by layers of radiation-absorbing materials. The advantages of the materials used in the design include flexibility, large surface area, ease of transportation, ease of construction and the ability to have multiple layers of independent functional fabrics. - Source

05/17/09 - South Korea tries recharging road to power vehicles
South Korea's top technology university has developed a plan to power electric cars through recharging strips embedded in roadways that use a technology to transfer energy found in some electric toothbrushes. The plan, still in the experimental stage, calls for placing power strips about 20 cm (8 inches) to 90 cm (35 inches) wide and perhaps several hundred meters long built into the top of roads. Vehicles with sensor-driven magnetic devices on their underside can suck up energy as they travel over the strips without coming into direct contact. "If we place these strips on about 10 percent of roadways in a city, we could power electric vehicles," said Cho Dong-ho, the manager of the "online electric vehicle" plan at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. The system that can charge several vehicles at once would allow electric cars and buses to cut down on their battery sizes or extend their ranges. The non-contact transfer of electricity, also called inductive charging, works by magnets and cables on the underside of the vehicle making a connection with the current in the recharging strip to receive power as they travel over it. It is employed in some brands of electric toothbrushes that are sealed and water resistant, which do not need to be plugged into anything but use a magnetic connection to receive energy while resting in a cradle. The recharging strips, which are attached to small electrical stations, would be laid in places such as bus lanes and the roads running up to intersections so that vehicles could power up where traffic slows down, Cho said. Unlike electric lines used for trams, vehicles do not need to be in constant contact with the strips and a person can touch the lines without receiving a shock. The system so far has proven safe to humans and machinery, Cho said. The cost of installing the system is an estimated 400 million won ($318,000) per kilometer of road. Electricity is extra. - Source

05/14/09 - High-speed solar train proposed as Tucson-Phoenix connection
KeelyNet The idea of a high-speed train that runs on solar power is still in its early stage, but the project's creators are pitching the idea to area cities and potential investors. The idea is to start a train system that connects Tucson and Phoenix in a first phase. In the future it would extend north to Grand Canyon and south to Nogales. The cost for the first phase alone is estimated at $27 billion. The innermost two tracks would be reserved for nonstop travel from Tucson to Phoenix, going 116 miles in a half hour, said Gaither. The other tracks would serve six intermediate stations in Chandler, Maricopa, Casa Grande, Eloy, Red Rock and Marana, extending the Phoenix-Tucson travel time to approximately 60 minutes, according to the project outline. The rail could open up new opportunities for economic development in those cities, said Gaither. The train would require 110 megawatts of electricity and would operate with solar power generated from overhead panels. It would have a dedicated right-of-way. - Source

05/14/09 - “Perpetual Motion” Machine Makes Novel Window Display (July, 1931)
KeelyNet For novelty in window displays you can’t beat this “perpetual motion machine” as a means of attracting the attention of passers-by. Powered by magnets concealed in the tracks, the steel ball whirls round and round, bewildering those who pause to watch. Unlike many of the so-called “perpetual motion machines,” it has no gears, belts or levers. It consists simply of a polished steel ball rolling “perpetually” around a circular track. Suspended above the track is what appears to be a huge permanent magnet, which is for illusory effect only. The device makes a very puzzling illusion. The ball rolls about 30 miles in 24 hours, while an indicator records the mileage. Passers-by will pause time and again to see how many miles the ball has traveled. Figure 1 gives the general appearance of this device. The tracks are made of %” strips of brass mounted on a circular wooden base 42? in diameter. A 4-inch steel* ball rolls on the track. The base is mounted on six clear glass bottles which serve, apparently, to insulate the device from the ground. Suspended centrally over the assembly is what appears to be a 30-inch permanent magnet. The ball rolls counter-clockwise around the track about 10 laps a minute. Every turn it trips the level of an indicator which registers the miles covered. What makes the ball roll? Electro-magnets concealed under the track. How do they get their operating current? Through two bottles rilled with acid solution which makes them conductive. The current is supplied by a six volt storage battery or by a small transformer such as is used for operating electric trains. The metal ball makes electric contacts across the rails in such a manner that the electro-magnet immediately ahead of the ball is always magnetized. As soon as the ball comes over the center of the magnetic field of that magnet, the contact is broken and made again with the next magnet ahead. While the pull of each magnet is very slight, only a very little effort is required to keep the ball moving. If the ball is true, and the tracks smooth and level, practically the only resistance is air friction. Two amperes at six volts will operate the device. Figs. 3 and 4 illustrate the principal features of the construction. First, a wooden ring 42? in outer diameter, 4-1/2? wide, and 3/4? thick must be made. It is best to build this up of three laminations of 1/4-inch wood. However, various forms of “plaster-board’” or “wall-board” can be used equally well. The ring is laid off in 40 equal spaces, and 40 rectangular holes 3/4?x2-1/4? are cut through the ring, as illustrated in Fig. 3. The electro-magnet assemblies must next be made. Figure 4 shows their construction. The cross-ties, which serve to hold the magnets and the brass rails, are made of wood. Maple is Recommended because it does not split easily. The slots for the rails are cut with a hack-saw blade. The rails should fit tightly in the slots. Note that a 1/4 in. hole is bored vertically through the cross-tie adjacent to the inner rail slot. This is for the purpose of cutting the inner rail with a fretsaw later. The cores of the electro-magnets can be cut from solid pieces of soft steel, but their magnetic property is improved by making them of laminated construction from 3/32-in. sheet steel. A large number of the pieces can be shaped at once by clamping them in the vise and using a saw, chisel and file. The finished plates are grouped to form the core, and are wrapped with about 100 windings of No. 32 enamel insulated copper wire. One of the ends connects to the inner rail section immediately to the left of the magnet. The other connects to a common return wire to the battery. After all the magnet assemblies are prepared, they are placed in the holes in the ring base and wired up as shown. The brass strips for the rails are pressed firmly into the slots. Then a fret-saw blade is passed through the vertical holes in the cross-ties, and the inner rail is cut into 40 sections. Each section should be tested for a short circuit. The device is now connected temporarily to the battery, one wire leading to the common return wire, the other to the outer rail. The steel ball is placed on the track and given a little start in a counter-clockwise direction. It keeps on rolling! In fact, it may gain sufficient speed to “jump the track.” A resistance should be installed in the circuit to regulate the speed. After the tests have proved satisfactory, the rest of the work consists in “dolling up” and camouflaging. A circular, wooden ring 1/4-in. thick is nailed to the bottom to hide the magnets and the wiring. Two brass bolts project slightly from the bottom, to connect with the lead terminals in the corks of the bottles filled with acid solution. Of course, provision will have been made that these bolts connect with the common return wire and with the outer rail respectively, as illustrated in Fig. 2. The tracks and the magnets are coated heavily with melted paraffin. Then very viscous plaster of paris is poured between the rails. Before setting, this is molded into the form shown in cross-section view in Fig. 2. Afterwards it is well to paint it some dark color. The visible presence of plaster of paris immediately suggests concealment. Figure 4 shows the construction of the camouflage magnet, and suggests a means of obtaining a true rolling ball. A governor ball from an old steam engine may be picked up at a junk-yard and will serve the purpose very well. The 4-in. dimension is not essential. The mileage indicator is mostly for psychological effect, but may be dispensed with. Curious passers-by will stop daily to see how many miles the ball has traveled. New signs will greet their eyes. With very little trouble, a mileage indicator from a bicycle can be remodeled to serve the purpose. This “perpetual motion machine” compels intention. It is an excellent advertising attraction for any store window. Few passers-by are artists; every passer-by is curious. - Source

05/14/09 - Inventor seeks funding for hydrogen extraction system (claims cold fusion)
KeelyNet Eighteen months ago, inventor James Hunt had hopes of a manufacturing plant, maybe with as many as 1,000 employees, where his engines powered by hydrogen extraction from water, via plasmatic induction, a form of electrolysis, would be retrofitted into automobiles. Hunt’s original dream was to end the United States’ dependence upon foreign oil through the system that would use non-radioactive carbon rods to extract the energy out of ordinary drinking water. He said at the time that, after a year, a motorist would go to a special service station, have the carbon rods replaced at a price about equal to filling up a car with gas for month, then be good to go for another year. Now, Hunt says the process is more of a “platform,” from which there are many potential uses. “It can be as small as something under the hood or as large as a power plant that could be added to the grid,” Hunt said. According to Hunt, the emphasis on hybrid vehicles makes him feel it’s more likely his invention will initially be used to generate electricity, such a is being done with wind turbines. - Source

05/14/09 - Sussex firm has the power to change the planet
KeelyNet It may not look like much – a skeletal floppy disk covered in tracing paper – but it could well change the world. The revolutionary fuel cell produced by Ceres Power emits a constant supply of electricity when fuel is passed over one surface and air over the other. Trials have shown that, when installed in a domestic boiler-type device, they can cut household electricity bills by 90% and carbon emissions in half. “A lot of people think that to go green they need to really change their lifestyle but with this you do not have to change at all. “All the customer does is turn it on and it does its stuff. Historically fuel cells have been delicate, bulky and expensive. But this was cost effective and high performing.” It could also make money. Lots of money. Although the fuel cell is powered by gas, a fossil fuel, Peter said the attitude among climate campaigners has changed in recent years in recognition that totally abandoning such fuels is not realistic. He added: “For a while, any company that used fossil fuels was seen as part of the problem but now organisations such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace recognise that those companies which can dramatically improve the efficiency of fossil fuels are a good thing.” Ceres’ other detractors were the electricity companies, who unsurprisingly were not enamoured with a device that could cut the money they make by 90%. But they too are coming round. / Nigel Brandon, chief scientist at Ceres and a professor at Imperial College. His claim to fame is the design of a technology known as a combined heat and power fuel-cell stack - rather like a tiny power station that produces both heat and electricity (see diagram). Comprised of many fuel cells layered on top of one another, this device combines fuel and air to create electricity and heat via a quiet and clean electrochemical process similar to that of a battery. Compared with many older boilers, it uses less gas to produce the same amount of heat, and electricity is produced as a by-product, making it effectively free. As with all solid-oxide fuel cells, each cell is composed of an anode and a cathode separated by an impermeable ceramic electrolyte layer. The ceramic layer conducts negatively charged oxygen ions from the cathode to the anode, where they combine with hydrogen and produce electrons, creating electrical current. The reaction also produces heat and water. Unlike similar fuel cells, however, Ceres's cell is made from stainless steel and ceramics, rather than precious metals, so it is cheap to produce, and robust. The cell can run on existing fuels such as natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas as well as biofuels and hydrogen. "It's purely a cost issue that it is cheaper to run on natural gas at the moment. It will reduce your carbon emissions and save you money," Brandon says. The stack could also replace diesel electricity generators and be used to power freezer units in commercial vehicles. - Source

05/14/09 - Electro Thermal Dynamic Stripping Oil Recovery
A series of electrodes dangle in each well. When they are turned on, they pass a current through the earth — like electricity through a stove element — and heat it up. The result: The bitumen, which is normally locked in sand as hard as rock, begins to flow — like molasses in a microwave. No huge mines needed, no greenhouse gas-spewing steam projects required. In a place accustomed to prying bitumen from the earth using monstrous shovels and vast quantities of steam, this pilot project is a bold attempt to reshape the environmental and financial costs of the oil sands. The electrodes are placed in a grid configuration and an extraction well is located within the center of each series of electrode wells. The spacing of the electrode wells is optimized to provide the most efficient heating of the formation. ET Energy's Electro Thermal technology could be used to pump out 600 billion barrels of Alberta's oil sands bitumen. That's more than triple the Alberta government's best guess at what's currently recoverable from the oil sands, and enough to satisfy total global demand for twenty years. Saudi Arabia has 260 billion barrels of oil reserves, so the additional 421 billion barrels would be close to double the oil in Saudi Arabia. - Source

05/14/09 - Look to the past for new solutions
KeelyNet Behold a brave new past. Enthusiastic as we are about the latest eco-gadgetry — solar-powered fabrics, electric sports cars, backyard wind turbines — maybe it’s time to acknowledge that some of the most ingenious solutions to our planet’s woes appeared hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago, long before their inventors could have even anticipated the environmental problems we face today. So rather than discard these advances of yore, let’s pick out what we can reuse, and recycle it. - Source

05/14/09 - Brute force BumbleBees
KeelyNet In recent years scientists have modelled how insect wings interact with the air around them to generate lift by using computational models that are relatively simple, often simplifying the motion or shape of the wings. “We decided to go back to the insect itself and use smoke, a wind tunnel and high-speed cameras to observe in detail how real bumblebee wings work in free flight,” said Dr Richard Bomphrey of the Department of Zoology, co-author of a report of the research published this month in Experiments in Fluids. ‘We found that bumblebee flight is surprisingly inefficient – aerodynamically-speaking it’s as if the insect is ‘split in half’ as not only do its left and right wings flap independently but the airflow around them never joins up to help it slip through the air more easily.’ Such an extreme aerodynamic separation between left and right sets the bumblebee [Bombus terrestris] apart from most other flying animals. “Our observations show that, instead of the aerodynamic finesse found in most other insects, bumblebees have a adopted a brute force approach powered by a huge thorax and fuelled by energy-rich nectar,” said Dr Bomphrey. “This approach may be due to its particularly wide body shape, or it could have evolved to make bumblebees more manoeuvrable in the air at the cost of a less efficient flying style.” Professor Adrian Thomas of Oxford’s Department of Zoology, co-author of the report, said: “a bumblebee is a tanker-truck, its job is to transport nectar and pollen back to the hive. Efficiency is unlikely to be important for that way of life.” The old myth that “bumblebees shouldn’t be able to fly” was based on calculations using the aerodynamic theory of 1918-19, just 15 years after the Wright brothers made the first powered flight. These early theories suggested that bumblebee wings were too small to create sufficient lift but since then scientists have made huge advances in understanding aerodynamics and how different kinds of airflow can generate lift. - Source

05/14/09 - Exterminating Rats With Deadly Automobile Exhaust Gas (Jul, 1931)
KeelyNet “IF THE fumes from an automobile exhaust can kill humans, they should have the same effect on rats,” said the head of the Department of Health of Highland Park, Michigan. And so onto the exhaust pipe of a dilapidated Model T Ford discarded by the police officials, the health officers rigged up a rubber hose and established themselves as modern pied pipers. The “hunters” first seal all the holes of the building to be operated upon, leaving just two openings. The hose is then inserted into one of these, the engine of the Ford coaxed to wheeze a bit, and the carbon monoxide does the rest. - Source

05/14/09 - Dig your own Fiber Optic Trench, save $400
How did a Norwegian electricity company become the biggest fiber-to-the-home provider in the country? By adopting an innovative business model, offering faster speeds at identical prices, and-most unusual of all-letting customers save a few hundred bucks by digging their own fiber trenches through their backyards... So far, 80 percent of all customers have elected to do their own trenching, following the instructions and timeframe provided by the company. A technical team still has to come out to pull the fiber from the street through the ducting to the house and then make the proper termination, but much of the tough manual labor is avoided. - Source

05/14/09 - Roll Your Own Droid
KeelyNet Several web sites today specialize in used robots and robotic parts, advertising “late model low hour equipment.” These are mainly leftover industrial robots – by companies such as Motoman, Fanuc, Panasonic, and OTC Daihen – used in manufacturing goods such as automobiles. Like their human counterparts, these droids find themselves laid off. You can find a wealth of robot kits and parts on the Internet, as well as pre-assembled robots including a working model of C3PO's famous companion R2-D2. Hasbro's Industrial Automation claims to be “One of the largest droid manufacturing corporations in the galaxy.” It offers models of “the popular MD-series of medical droids and the R-series of astromech droids.” In addition to their widely known cleaning robots like the Roomba Vacuum Cleaning Robot, iRobot offers the Scooba Floor Washing Robot, and a very primitive early version of a C3PO-like “virtual visiting” communication robot that connects to the Internet and roams around your house visiting whomever you want while you're traveling on business. You can buy these robots from Amazon or Best Buy. Carl's Electronics, the Fast Eddies of robot kits, is a web-based robotics storehouse. Robotics kits for beginners range from Solar Hopping Frogs, Mini Spiders, and alien-like Hydrazoids to programmables such as Robotic Arms, LEGO MINDSTORMS, combat platforms, and Bioloid humanoid robots. The kits range from the simple to the complex. * Solar Hopping Frogs – When this little guy sees the sun or bright light he jumps for joy using his hind legs and rubber feet. This mini solar powered robot kit is fun to build and play with. Demonstrates how the sun can provide alternative power to a DC motor - no batteries required! * Mini Spiders – An eight-legged solar patroller! This sun-powered arachnid has a great "crab-like" walking motion. Demonstrates the principles of solar power in a fun and easy-to-understand way. * Hydrazoids – The HYDRAZOID robot kit will react to sound impulses such as clapping of hands and move forward for 15 seconds and then stop to await another sound command. LEDs and illuminated fiber optic antennas give the Hydrazoid a cool alien appearance. * Robotic Arm – The ROBOTIC ARM TRAINER teaches the basic robotic sensing and locomotion principles, testing your motor skills, as you build and control the Arm. You can command this unit with its five-switch wired controller with corresponding lights to grab, release, lift, lower, rotate wrist and pilot sideways 350 degrees. * Bioloid – The Bioloid Multi-bot is the first robot of its kind to be built around serially controlled servo technology. This allows the user to construct a wide variety of robot configurations, including the autonomous exploration robot, quadruped puppy robot, hexapod spider robot, dinosaur robot and bi-pedal humanoid – all with one controller board. LEGO MINDSTORMS is in a class all by itself. MINDSTORMS originated from the programmable LEGO sensor blocks used for educational toys. LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT – the next generation – is a programmable robotics kit released by Lego in July 2006. The kit includes 519 LEGO pieces, three servo motors, four sensors (ultrasonic, sound, touch, and light), seven wires, a USB cable, a USB Bluetooth dongle, and the programmable NXT computer brick. To program the NXT brick, you use the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Software. This development engine is powered by NI LabVIEW, “intuitive graphical programming software used by scientists and engineers worldwide to design, control and test consumer products and systems such as MP3 and DVD players, cell phones, and vehicle air bag safety systems.” Applications include controllers used in NASA Mars Pathfinder exploration as well as Microsoft Xbox testing. - Source

05/14/09 - Watch Birds Hatch
KeelyNet Good idea: Nest box lets you watch birds in living colour. The permanently installed wireless infrared camera will transmit images and sound directly to your TV. Safely installed in the nest box, the 26 x 27 x 60mm camera will transmit live images from the bird house day and night (range up to 100m/328ft, 368,000 pixel resolution). A tiny microphone will transmit every little chirp. Just hang by a nail from a tree, a wall or garden shed at a height of 2 to 3 metres (6 to 9ft) and align the entrance hole (35mm in diam.) to the south or east - this provides the best protection for the nest box against predators and the weather. - Source

05/14/09 - Your Blood Cells Are Crawling Inside You
KeelyNet White blood cells, the immune system's "soldiers" for your body, actually crawl along your blood vessels to find their way to infection and injury sites, new research shows. / Scientists had previously thought that these cells moved like inchworms, forming attachments at their front and back, then folding in the middle and pushing forward. Instead, the cells' tiny legs rapidly attach and detach themselves, allowing the cells to quickly migrate to their destination. When the scientists looked closely at these limb-like protrusions, using an electron microscope, they saw that the legs actually "dig" into the endothelium. The white blood cells may use the protrusions for more than just gripping and moving. The legs might also sense signals that let the cells know when to exit from the blood vessel and migrate to damaged tissue, Alon said. - Source

05/14/09 - Shrinking Glaciers Redraw Europe's Borders
Global warming is shrinking Europe's alpine glaciers with such dramatic acceleration that Italy and Switzerland must now redraw their mountain borders, says a proposed law approved by the lower house of the Italian parliament at the end of April. - Source

05/14/09 - Creepy Vintage Ads
KeelyNet What were companies in the 50s and 60s thinking when they created these ads? These are so creepy and disturbing that there could be no other explanation than the involvement of drugs, evil or insanity when they were created. If these ads actually managed to make products sell, the world 40-50 years ago was a messed up place. - Source

05/14/09 - Is Nature one mean mother?
In a new book titled "The Vanishing Face of Gaia," British biologist James Lovelock says humanity is "Earth's infection." "Individuals occasionally suffer a disease called polycythaemia, an overpopulation of red blood cells. By analogy, Gaia's illness could be called polyanthroponemia, where humans overpopulate until they do more harm than good," Lovelock writes. He says the cure won't come until the human tribe is trimmed back from its current 6.8 billion to, say, 1 billion people. Now University of Washington paleontologist Peter Ward has proposed an alternate theory that suggests Earth is set up to kill off life when it spreads too widely. Humans wouldn't be the first victims of this periodic biocide. The dinosaurs may have been killed off by an asteroid, he says, but during the planet's other mass extinctions, millions of species were done in by good old Mom. - Source

05/14/09 - Are women sexually liberated, or just confused?
We live in a highly sexualised society, one that has handed women the ostensible right to be as free, as wild and as pleasured as they wish. From the cultural looks of things, you’d think women were having sex round the clock. Fifty years ago, in The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir described womanhood as a socially constructed activity; today, after several waves of feminism, and a recognised right to contraception, sexual pleasure and all that, we still find our sexuality defined by pop music, glossy magazines, advertising and pornography. Dr Petra Boynton, a sex psychologist, sees the very commercialisation that makes us seem so free as the reason we’re not satisfied. “The scented candles, the lingerie, the stuff — it doesn’t explain how anything works, it just presents a dream,” she says. “Sex has become mandatory, competitive and commercialised. Vested commercial interests suggest it could be great, if only you had their product.” - Source

05/14/09 - Advances In Sinks
KeelyNet Here's what this family needs. Especially designed for schools, here is an innovative tap design that grows with the structure of kids and let them drink water with equal ease, irrespective of their age and height. - Source



05/14/09 - Germany Imagines Suburbs Without Cars
Residents of this upscale community are suburban pioneers, going where few soccer moms or commuting executives have ever gone before: they have given up their cars. Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park — large garages at the edge of the development, where a car-owner buys a space, for $40,000, along with a home. As a result, 70 percent of Vauban’s families do not own cars, and 57 percent sold a car to move here. “When I had a car I was always tense. I’m much happier this way,” said Heidrun Walter, a media trainer and mother of two, as she walked verdant streets where the swish of bicycles and the chatter of wandering children drown out the occasional distant motor. - Source

05/14/09 - The Laser Hair Comb
KeelyNet This is a home-based device which is used three times a week for ten minutes each time and is scienifically proven to regrow hair. It is the only device which is FDA approved for the purpose of regenerating hair. The comb, a small hand-held device uses nine individual laser modules. The teeth separate the hair and allow the delivery of the laser light to the hair follicles. The exposure to the light of the laser stimulates the blood flow to the hair follicle and increases the supply of ATP in the hair. After the treatment we may notice an initial shedding of the hair. This is because the hair is pushed into telogen, the growing phase of the hair. After this initial shedding the new telogen phase is established in the hair follicle and the hair regrows. Studies done in the USA show that after patients used this device for 20 weeks there was promotion of hair growth; cessation of hair falling and the health of the scalp improved. We strongly advise that you see a dermatologist before you go on this treatment as you may need supervision and other tests may be needed to rule out anything else which may be interfering with the growth of your hair. The cost of the unit is about $100,000 so please check the dermatologist before you embark on this expensive venture. Check out the website www.hairmax.com for more information. - Source

05/14/09 - Lake Mead Is Drying Up
Water levels are falling in America’s largest reservoir. If it dries up, so could power and water for much of the Southwest. Imagine Nevada’s Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States, as a great sand pit, and imagine the population of the western United States as a colossal ostrich burying its head in the pit. And now, imagine the sand level dropping so fast that the willfully ignorant bird is forced to confront the fact that Lake Mead may actually become as dry as a sand pit in a decade. - Source

05/14/09 - Thank the Devil for Civilization
KeelyNet What would have happened to humanity if Eve had not eaten the apple in the Garden of Eden? Would we still be wandering around naked, stupid and at the beck and call of our 'creator'? "The Ophites were a sect who, like most Gnostics, regarded the Jehovah of the Old Testament with great abhorrence. Regarding the emancipation of man from the power and control of Jehovah as the most important end, they considered the serpent who tempted Eve and introduced 'knowledge' and 'revolt' into the world, to have been the great benefactor of the human race. They worshiped the serpent, and sought to engrapht Ophism upon Christianity by causing the bread designed for the Eucharistic sacrifice to be licked by a serpent which was kept in a cave for the purpose, and which the communicants kissed after receiving the Eucharist." The very word hermetic means the hidden knowledge of magic, occult sciences, etc. Not only was the serpent worshipped by the ignorant pagans as "The Great Benefactor" for mankind, the serpent ironically enough was worshipped also as "The Great Enlightener." What did Satan say to Adam and Eve besides, "Ye shall not surely die?" In Genesis 3:5 we read: "FOR GOD DOTH KNOW THAT IN THE DAY YE EAT THEREOF THEN YOUR EYES SHALL BE OPENED, AND YE SHALL BE AS GODS, KNOWING GOOD AND EVIL." So, Who's your Daddy??? - Source

05/11/09 - Putting Ideas And Inventions Into The Public Domain
With copyright, you're automatically given a copyright on creative works. Obviously, that's not the case with patents. However, people have wondered how they can put their invention in the public domain, such that (a) others can benefit from it and (b) it prevents others from patenting it at a later date. Tragically, the US Patent Office tends to look pretty narrowly at what counts as prior art and requires that the information be "published," (something that is also defined very narrowly) so simply declaring an invention to be in the public domain isn't always good enough to prevent others from making a claim on it. I was thinking about the Slashdot post above for a bit, wondering if it was worth writing this post up, when someone else pointed out that some folks have now set up Public Domain Ideas, a wiki designed for just this purpose: to put your ideas into the public domain by publishing them in that wiki. There have been some efforts in the past to create a database of obviousness, but that's pretty difficult. The big problem with obvious ideas is that they're often so obvious, no one even thinks to put them down, until it's too late, and someone has patented an "invention" based on that idea. But the idea of a wiki for public domain ideas is much more interesting -- if people really do decide to make use of it -- and if the Patent Office recognizes it as a source of published inventions for prior art. In the meantime, if you've got some good ideas to share, why not check it out? / Public Domain Ideas (PDI) is a place where ideas and inventions can be submitted to the public domain. It's like open-source software, but for ideas instead of code. Once an idea is submitted to PDI, it immediately goes into the public domain and cannot be patented. That means anyone is free to develop the concept without fear of litigation, and without having to pay licensing fees. PDI invites you to: * Learn more about PDI and the public domain by reading the PDI FAQ. * Read the PDI About page. * Learn how to contribute an idea to PDI, or expand on an existing idea. * Read articles on patents and patent litigation. * Search for an idea using the search box on the left. * Browse the Featured Ideas or Idea Categories below. - Source

05/11/09 - Flu Deaths Outside Mexico Climb to 5
The number of swine flu-related deaths outside Mexico has inched up to five, with the United States reporting its third fatality and Costa Rica its first, both involving men who also had underlying illnesses. The number of confirmed cases of the infection in the United States has risen to 2,532 in 44 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Sunday. The 53-year-old man in Costa Rica who died also suffered from diabetes and chronic lung disease, the Health Ministry said. The fifth person who died outside Mexico was in Canada. Most of the victims have been in Mexico, where 48 people with swine flu have died. - Source


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KeelyNet

05/11/09 - Interesting Comment about contained water under pressure
KeelyNet Regarding the hydrosphere and follow-on AWG/OPEC (Ocean Pressure Electric Conversion) concepts, I came up with the ideas back in 2001 after reading an account of Dr. William Beebe's 1930s descents into the depths of the ocean in his bathysphere. During a test dive, an unoccupied bathysphere was lowered to about 1,500 feet. When it was retrieved and taken aboard ship, Beebe noticed it was filled with water still pressurized at depth. He also noticed a crack that developed in the porthole of the bathysphere. Abruptly, the porthole collapsed, and an enormous column of water almost rigid like a pole shot out burying steel bolts into the ship's bulkhead and actually bending the iron bulkhead significantly. Beebe reported the force was such a man would have been cut in half by the water blast. It was then that I realized the tremendous force of water under pressure in deep bodies of water had never been harnessed for a useful purpose, such as electrical power generation... - Source

05/11/09 - What are the benefits of patent protection?
A patent gives you the right to stop others from copying, manufacturing, selling, and importing your invention without your permission. The very existence of your patent may be enough on its own to stop others from trying to exploit your invention. If not, it gives you the right to take legal action to stop them exploiting your invention and to claim damages. A patent also allows you to: sell the invention and all the intellectual property (IP) rights; license the invention to someone else but retain all the IP rights; discuss the invention with others in order to set up a business based around the invention. The public also benefit from your patent because the UK IPO will publish it after 18 months. Others can then gain advance knowledge of technological developments which they will eventually be able to use freely once the patent ceases. If you do not patent your invention, anyone can to use, make or sell your invention without your permission. You can attempt to keep your invention secret, but this may not be possible for a product where the technology is on display. - Source

05/11/09 - Research shows Kanzius' invention kills leukemia cells
A group of researchers, including the late Millcreek Township inventor John Kanzius, showed that Kanzius' external radio-frequency generator can kill leukemia cells in blood while damaging few other, healthy cells. "This is information we needed to find," said Peter Depowski, M.D., Hamot's chief of pathology and one of the project's researchers. "It doesn't matter how well the device kills cancer cells if you kill all the healthy cells as well." Kanzius, who died in February after a long battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, helped put together the research project in 2008. It was completed in December. Blood samples were taken from 19 CLL patients at the Regional Cancer Center. Researchers had wanted samples from 20 patients, and dozens from all over the world volunteered for the project. But researchers had time to work with only 19 patients before Kanzius had to move his RF device to his winter home in Sanibel, Fla. All but one blood sample were treated with Kanzius' device, which emits radio waves. The samples were then sent for testing to see what cells survived. The remaining sample served as the project's control. "We learned that the radio waves damage the (cancer) cells more than the healthy ones," said Justine Schober, M.D., one of the project's researchers and Hamot's director of academic research. "What we don't know is the significance. Whether the damage is due to heating or something else." "(It) raised the blood temperature enough to kill low percentages of the leukemic cells," Curley said in an e-mail. "We killed the same percentage of cells with a hot water bath treatment. So it was not the RF field but nonspecific low level heating." Curley and his research team at M.D. Anderson continue to test Kanzius' device on many different types of cancer, including leukemia. He said they are using gold nanoparticles -- tiny pieces of metal -- to target the leukemia cells, just as he does with liver and pancreatic cancer cells. Kanzius' device heats the nanoparticles until they destroy the targeted cancer cells. Nearby healthy cells, which aren't targeted, are not damaged. "It only works well with the nanoparticles," Curley said. - Source

05/11/09 - A novel way of recovering energy from flowing water
KeelyNet An enhanced method of extracting power from fluid flow streams has the potential to produce a great deal of carbon free energy.It relies on having wing shaped hydrofoils that repeatedly go into stall and then recover, which results in massive oscillating forces. In order to enhance the oscillating foil idea, inventor Ken Upton has added a Kenape turbine in front of the oscillating foil. A Kenape turbine is an invention of Ken Upton's that essentially consists of a series of tethered kites that are forced to circle. For use in water, the flexible blades of the Kenape rotor are made bat wing shaped. As well as allowing the extraction of some energy from the flow from the rotation, the wakes of the bat wing elements generate considerable amounts of turbulence to enhance the oscillations of the wing. In addition to this, Upton's foil shape is a delta wing, with a guiding canard wing at the front, so as to adjust the angle of attack and guide the foil into an attitude that generates maximum flutter. For a small device, the canard wings would be fixed, but for a large machine, they could be made so that they could be tilted relative to the foils. As well as enhancing the oscillation of the foils, this arrangement would allow the foil to be turned towards the ground plane so as to shut the machine down. The power take off from the foil oscillations is at the rear. As the foils interact with the flow, they tend to angle up, trying to somersault, until their angle of attack is so great that they stall. There are two foils in each set, above and below a plate, which enhances the forces they generate through ground effect – a phenomenon used to increase down force in Formula 1 racing cars and to enhance the load carrying capabilities of the Russian Ekronaplan and other sea skimming aircraft. When they upper foil goes into stall, it is returned to its starting position by gravity, while the lower foil is returned with the help of a buoyancy chamber. - Source

05/11/09 - Syrian invents solar-powered car
65 year old Syrian inventor Suleiman Mahmoud, from the village of Al-Hayek in Safita was able to complete the solar-powered car. This invention was developed to complement an electric-powered car that was manufactured in 1983, and then modified in 2007 to operate on solar energy. It is a small car and that is environment friendly. This car is characterized by flexibility in movement and saving energy, where the engine can produce up to 3.9HP and run at approximately 65kMPH. - Source

05/11/09 - Mission Seedbomb To Combat Deforestation
KeelyNet Mission Seedbomb involves a bomber aircraft and charges full of the Seed Capsules. Essentially the project involves artificial dispersal of seeds over arid areas where natural vegetation has lapsed due to man-made follies like deforestation leading to desertification. Each capsule contains artificial soil and seeds, and are air-dropped over the selected regions. Housed in biodegradable plastic, the artificial soil provides nourishment and moisture to the seed; till it grows out to be a strong enough plant to sustain itself. As the sapling matures, the plastic capsule melts away, leaving behind a brand new generation. The common link between these two seemingly unrelated conditions is the male hormone testosterone. Men who lose their hair sooner, or to a greater extent often have higher testosterone levels. These men also display higher conversion rates of testosterone to another male hormone, dihydrotesterone (DHT), which among other actions, interferes with the growth of hair follicles. DHT also stimulates the growth of prostate cells, leading to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in many older men and may lead to prostate cancer. Soy protein, which has been shown to have a direst beneficial effect on the prostate gland, has two isoflavones that have been shown to greatly reduce the risk of male-pattern baldness. Genistein has been shown to reduce the growth of prostate tissue while daidzein has been shown to stop the progression of prostate cancer and male pattern baldness by blocking the hormone DHT. - Source

05/11/09 - Male-Pattern Baldness An Indicator Of Heart And Prostate Disease In Men
When considering men’s health there is good evidence to suggest that baldness may be an indicator of both heart and prostate disease. When compared to men with no hair loss at all, the risk of heart disease increased by 9 percent. When a bald spot appears on the crown, relative risk jumps to 23 percent. When all hair is gone from the top of the head, the risk rises by a worrisome 36 percent (Info from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School). According to Australian researcher, men with bold spots at the top of their heads were 1 ½ times more likely to have moderate to high-grade prostate cancer before age 70 than those without such bald spots. - Source

05/11/09 - Experimenter Flies With Bat Wings
KeelyNet RESURRECTING an ancient theory of the Greeks which had to do with the flight of humans equipped with bird wings, Adolph Matz, an aeronaut of Brookline, Mass., recently gave a demonstration of a novel means of self propulsion through the air by the use of bat’s wings. Made of heavy cloth and braced with wooden ribs, the wings are strapped to the body as illustrated in the photo below. / Also see 'A Tale of Negative Gravity' - Source

05/11/09 - ListenToYouTube Rips Audio from YouTube Videos to MP3
You find a great video on YouTube and you'd love to save the audio or load it on your MP3 player to listen to later. What can you do? Hop over to ListenToYouTube. YouTube is full of all sorts of interesting lectures, polemics, diatribes, and other things that could be easily be enjoyed audio-only. If you find some gems on YouTube you'd love to listen to while commuting or working out at the gym, don't skip over them because you can't YouTube on the road. ListenToYouTube is a simple web-based application for pulling the audio out of a YouTube video and converting it to MP3. The service is free and simple: you plug in the URL for the video, it grabs the audio, you download the MP3. You'll be on your way to listening to Merlin Mann and David Allen while jogging with just a few clicks. Have a favorite way of squeezing more use out of YouTube? Sound off in the comments below. - Source

05/11/09 - Motion Detection Is an Effective, Dead Simple Security Camera App
KeelyNet Windows only: Motion Detection is a free application that turns your webcam into a motion-sensing security camera in just a few clicks. Assuming you've got a webcam hooked up to your computer, all you've got to do is run Motion Detector, set your preferences (Motion Detector can capture still images and/or movies complete with timestamps whenever it detects motion), and hit Start to run your new security webcam. Motion Detector's sensitivity slider lets you determine just how much motion the app needs to detect before it starts capturing images. As you can see in the screenshot, triggering motion is indicated by the red squares. For its part, the application works very well, it's relatively lightweight, and it's very simple to set up and use. We've always pointed to previously mentioned Yawcam for some quick motion-detection via webcam, and while it offers its own impressive set of tools, including FTP upload, I'd still call Motion Detection easier to use. - Source

05/11/09 - Top 10 Battery Hacks, Tips, And Tricks
The gadgets you love don't always love you back—at least when it comes to battery life. But you can get more from your laptop, your iPod, your phone, and other devices with these 10 techniques. - Source

05/11/09 - The Grid, Our Cars, and the Net
Wired is running a piece on the big idea of Robin Chase — the founder of Zipcar — that we need to build our smart power grid on open standards and include cars as nodes in a mesh network. "'Today in Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers and tanks and airplanes are running around using mesh networks,' said Chase. 'It works, it's secure, it's robust. If a node or device disappears, the network just reroutes the data.' And, perhaps most important, it's in motion. ... Build a smart electrical grid that uses Internet protocols and puts a mesh network device in every structure that has an electric meter. Sweep out the half dozen networks in our cars and replace them with an open, Internet-based platform. Add a mesh router. A nationwide mesh cloud will form, linking vehicles that can connect with one another and with the rest of the network. It's cooperative gain gone national, gone mobile, gone open." - Source

High Voltage & Free Energy Devices Handbook
KeelyNet This wonderfully informative ebook provides many simple experiments you can do, including hydrogen generation and electrostatic repulsion as well as the keys to EV Gray's Fuelless Engine. One of the most comprehensive compilations of information yet detailing the effects of high voltage repulsion as a driving force. Ed Gray's engine produced in excess of 300HP and he claimed to be able to 'split the positive' energy of electricity to produce a self-running motor/generator for use as an engine. Schematics and tons of photos of the original machines and more! Excellent gift for your technical friends or for that budding scientist! If you are an experimenter or know someone who investigates such matters, this would make an excellent addition to your library or as an unforgettable gift. The downloadable HVFE eBook pdf file is almost 11MB in size and contains many experiments, photos, diagrams and technical details. Buy a copy and learn all about hydrogen generation, its uses and how to produce electrostatic repulsion. - 121 pages - $15.00 - Source

05/11/09 - Warrantless GPS Tracking Is Legal, Says WI Court
"A Wisconsin appeals court ruled Thursday that police can attach GPS trackers to cars to secretly track anybody's movements without obtaining search warrants. As the law currently stands, the court said police can mount GPS on cars to track people without violating their constitutional rights — even if the drivers aren't suspects. Officers do not need to get warrants beforehand because GPS tracking does not involve a search or a seizure, wrote Madison Judge Paul Lundsten." - Source

KeelyNet BBS Files w/bonus PDF of 'Keely and his Discoveries'
KeelyNet Finally, I've gotten around to compiling all the files (almost 1,000 - about 20MB and lots of work doing it) from the original KeelyNet BBS into a form you can easily navigate and read using your browser, ideally Firefox but it does work with IE. Most of these files are extremely targeted, interesting and informative, I had forgotten just how much but now you can have the complete organized, categorized set, not just sprinklings from around the web. They will keep you reading for weeks if not longer and give you clues and insights into many subjects and new ideas for investigation and research. IN ADDITION, I am including as a bonus gift, the book (in PDF form) that started it all for me, 'Keely and his Discoveries - Aerial Navigation' which includes the analysis of Keely's discoveries by Dr. Daniel G. Brinton. This 407 page eBook alone is worth the price of the KeelyNet BBS CD but it will give you some degree of understanding about what all Keely accomplished which is just now being rediscovered, but of course, without recognizing Keely as the original discoverer. Chapters include; Vibratory Sympathetic and Polar Flows, Vibratory Physics, Latent Force in Interstitial Spaces and much more. These two excellent bodies of information will be sent to you on CD. If alternative science intrigues and fascinates you, this CD is what you've been looking for... - Source

05/11/09 - Cone of Silence 2.0
KeelyNet The idea, revealed in US patent application 2009/0097671 on 16 April, is to make confidential conversations possible in open-plan offices and canteens. It will even let a conversing group move around a room and still remain in a secure sound bubble. "In "Get Smart" secret agents wanting a private conversation would deploy the 'cone of silence,' a clear plastic contraption lowered over the agents' heads. It never worked — they couldn't hear each other, while eavesdroppers could pick up every word. Now a modern cone of silence that we are assured will work is being patented by engineers Joe Paradiso and Yasuhiro Ono of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ... Instead of plastic domes, they use a sensor network to work out where potential eavesdroppers are, and speakers to generate a subtle masking sound at just the right level. ... The array of speakers... aims a mix of white noise and randomized office hubbub at the eavesdroppers. The subtle, confusing sound makes the conversation unintelligible." / It sounds simple, but it needs quite a bit of infrastructure. The walls of the room must be peppered with light-switch-sized units that include a microphone, a speaker, an infrared location sensor and networking circuitry connected to a server. When somebody wants to activate what the MIT researchers call the "sound shield", they do so on their desktop computer. Knowing the position of the computer, the sensors identify the person and map out the locations of people around them. Software assesses who is so close that they must be participants in the conversation, and who might be a potential eavesdropper. - Source

05/11/09 - DiskDigger
DiskDigger (freeware) can recover files from any type of media that your computer can read. This includes USB flash drives, memory cards (SD, CompactFlash, Memory Stick, etc), and of course your hard drive. The types of files that it recovers include photos, videos, music, documents, and many other formats. DiskDigger can even scan reformatted or badly formatted disks (disks to which Windows can’t assign a drive letter), and even disks with bad sectors. It bypasses the Windows file system drivers and scans your disk directly. It has its own built-in support for the following file systems: FAT12 (floppy disks), FAT16 (older memory cards), FAT32 (newer memory cards and hard disks), NTFS (newer hard disks), and exFAT (Microsoft’s new successor to FAT32). DiskDigger is also very compact and portable. The entire program is a single executable file that you can run from anywhere. There’s nothing to “install,” and the program doesn’t leave any trace of having been run. - Source

05/11/09 - BetterPrivacy :: Firefox Add-ons
Better Privacy serves to protect against undeletable longterm cookies, a new generation of 'Super-Cookie', which silently conquered the internet. This new cookie generation offers unlimited user tracking to industry and market research. Concerning privacy Flash- and DOM Storage objects are most critical. This addon was made to make users aware of those hidden, never expiring objects and to offer an easy way to get rid of them - since browsers are unable to do that for you. - Source

05/11/09 - Opel of the Future May Have No Wheels and Be a Shape Shifter
KeelyNet The Opel D49 concept, a vehicle that has no wheels and moves above the ground by electromagnetic power, was named the winner in a student contest to create the Opel/Vauxhall vehicle of 2049. The Opel D49 or Darwin 2049 is equipped with three turbines, two at the front and one at the back, to produce energy to move the lightweight vehicle forward. It has an aluminum frame covered by a semi-flexible and clear waterproof resin, eliminating the need for body panels. It is the brainchild of Augustin Barbot, 25, a French designer. - Source

05/11/09 - Sea 'snake' generates electricity with every wave w/video
A variety of other designs are in testing around the world, but none are as unusual as the Anaconda. The rubber snake is filled with freshwater – to help deter sea creatures from setting up a home inside – and sealed at both ends to create a semi-rigid balloon that floats at the sea's surface. The tube is anchored at one end and as waves wash along its length they exert pressure on the snake that is transmitted by the water inside. This forces Anaconda's walls to expand outwards into the wave troughs where they are under less pressure, forming "bulge waves" that travel along the Anaconda's length. These waves are similar to those that pass through the human circulatory system and can be felt as the pulse in the wrist and neck, says Rod Rainey of Atkins Global, co-inventor of the Anaconda. When each bulge wave reaches the end of the snake it keeps a turbine spinning to generate electricity. Other than the turbine, Anaconda has no moving parts and unlike other wave power devices it needs only one tether to the ocean floor. That lowers construction costs and reduces the need for maintenance... - Source

05/11/09 - The simple truth about saving gas
Cars with internal combustion engines are, on average, 50 per cent more fuel-efficient than those built three decades ago. Yet the amount of gasoline they consume per kilometre has changed little. Despite increased use of lighter materials, the average car is roughly 270 kilograms heavier than in 1981. It leaps from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in 9.5 seconds instead of 14. It comes equipped with air conditioning, air bags and electric motors to move windows, seats, mirrors and tailgates. If the efficiency improvements had all gone into boosting fuel economy, the average American vehicle would already get 6.2 litres per 100 kilometres (38 miles per U.S. gallon). At that rate, there would be no reason for carmakers to fret about achieving the new U.S. standards – 7.8 litres by 2011 and 6.7 by 2020. They'd match the Chinese fuel-economy regulation and be close to Europe's and Japan's. Instead, the average remains stuck at 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres, only marginally better than 1981. And almost all that modest gain came during the 1980s. - Source

05/08/09 - Claim - MYLOW's Self-running Magnetic Motor
An inventor from Chicago who goes by the pseudonym, "Mylow", appears to have a knack for getting all-magnet motor designs to work that are based on the efforts of the late Howard Johnson. And he is intent on giving his design away to the planet in an open source manner. On March 17, 2009, he posted his first video showing full rotation of the "Stonehenge model", that Johnson worked on in the early 1980s to demonstrate to the U.S. Patent Office. Mylow purposely kept his replication as close as possible to Johnson's design -- per the photos, not the patent. He has also appears to have replicated the linear track design into a rotary design, using bar magnets around the perimeter of the rotor disc. In all, he appears to have come up with 6 different variations of magnets that have worked. The effect seams to be a function of the relationship between the stator and rotor magnets, and the spacing between the rotor magnets and magnet sets. His replicas begin to turn once the stator horseshoe (U-shaped) magnet(s) come near the rotor magnets on the perimeter of the rotor. The spacing there may be a way to govern the speed of rotation. The rotor spins up to an equilibrium speed. The eddy currents generated in the aluminum components may be part of how the effect works. / Mylow's motor is based off of Howard R. Johnson's permanent magnetic motor (patent No. 4151431). (Thanks to Octavio X for the 2nd video which shows a better version of this magnet device. "On May 3, 2009, Mylow posted yet another video (CvMbgGcHeEY) showing his all-manget motor on a glass table. In this video, he shows the base at the beginning and end of the run. The motor starts from zero then slow accelerates pretty much through the entire ~10-minute duration." - JWD) - Source

05/08/09 - Fusion Hybrid averages 81.5 MPG, sets world record with 1,445 miles on single tank of gas
KeelyNet Drivers trained in mileage-maximizing techniques such as smooth acceleration and coasting to red lights were able to get an extraordinary 1,445.7 miles out of a single tank of gas during a fund-raising effort in Washington, D.C. that concluded today. They did it by averaging 81.5 miles per gallon in an off-the-showroom floor, non-modified 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, the most fuel-efficient midsize car in North America - nearly doubling its U.S. certified mileage. The Fusion Hybrid 1,000-Mile Challenge started at 8:15 a.m. EDT on Saturday, April 25, from Mount Vernon, Va., and ended this morning at 5:37 a.m. on George Washington Parkway in Washington, D.C. After more than 69 continuous hours of driving, the Fusion Hybrid finally depleted its tank and came to a stop with an odometer reading of 1,445.7 miles - setting a world record for gasoline-powered, midsize sedan. CleanMPG.com founder Wayne Gerdes, an engineer from Illinois who coined the term "hypermiling" to describe the mileage-maximizing techniques, provided the pointers. They include: * Slowing down and maintaining even throttle pressure; * Gradually accelerating and smoothly braking; * Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles and anticipating traffic conditions; * Coasting up to red lights and stop signs to avoid fuel waste and brake wear; * Minimize use of heater and air conditioning to reduce the load on the engine; * Close windows at high speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag; * Applying the "Pulse and Glide" technique while maintaining the flow of traffic; * Minimize excessive engine workload by using the vehicle's kinetic forward motion to climb hills, and use downhill momentum to build speed; and * Avoiding bumps and potholes that can reduce momentum. - Source

05/08/09 - Colloidal silver can be best defense against swine flu
The best defense against swine flu, or any flu, is the age old remedy of colloidal silver. The metal silver in its colloidal state can be safely consumed and used in the body. Bacteria and viruses cannot develop resistance to colloidal silver. Silver disables a vital enzyme and mechanism in all bacteria and pathogens so that they cannot survive. It is good to take a few teas poons of colloidal silver daily to maintain health. More colloidal silver should be taken if experiencing illness. There is, at present, no sure vaccine for swine flu and the fact that the swine flu strain is a hybrid of strains from various species complicates the matter considerably. If you do take colloidal silver make sure you also consume yogurt on a regular basis because the colloidal silver will also destroy the good bacteria in the intestines. There are various companies making colloidal silver and the quality of the colloidal silver may differ from company to company. - Source

05/08/09 - Is White the New Green?
KeelyNet Hashem Akbari, along with Surabi Menon, another LBNL scientist, and Arthur Rosenfeld, a former LBNL scientist and now a California Energy Commission board member, claim that painting urban surfaces in warm parts of the world white or a light color could offset the carbon emissions of all 600 million of the world's cars for 18 to 20 years — at a savings equivalent to at least $1 trillion worth of CO2 reductions. This is not a hoax: Akbari, Menon and Rosenfeld are three of the country's leading experts in their field, and their study published in the journal Climatic Change is backed by years of carefully calculated data. It has long been known that white-roofed buildings stay cooler in hot weather. Blinding confirmation of this can be found in the streets of Andalusia in Spain, or the Greek Islands. It turns out that they cool the air outside of their walls, too. On a typical summer day, Los Angeles is 5 degrees warmer than surrounding areas, and studies have consistently shown that by far the largest factor in this discrepancy is the absorption of solar heat by dark roofs and pavement — a phenomenon known as the "urban heat island" effect. In 1985, Akbari and his colleagues began attempting to quantify how much "cool" roofs and pavement might improve urban air quality (hotter weather equals dirtier air), while cutting down on the need for air-conditioning. Then, five years ago, it occurred to them that cooling urban areas might also mitigate climate change. In 2004, they began running the numbers, and when they finished they were incredulous. "When we did the calculations, initially we couldn't believe the results," Akbari said. "So we re-checked the numbers in different ways." Again, he said, the results were unambiguous: Every 100 square feet of roof area turned from a dark color to white is equivalent to offsetting the emission of one ton of heat-trapping, atmospheric CO2. To get an idea of what this means, consider that in a single year, the average American is responsible for about 20 tons of CO2 emissions. Per capita, Americans have the largest carbon footprint of any nationality in the world, and all of the activities that make this so — driving our cars, using our electrical appliances, buying consumer products — adds up to the equivalent, atmospherically speaking, of 2,000 square feet of white roof. In all, Akbari, Menon and Rosenfeld estimate that permanently retrofitting roofs and pavement in tropical and temperate regions of the world would offset 44 gigatons of CO2 emissions. It takes about a year and a half for the entire world to cook up 44 gigatons of CO2. - Source

05/08/09 - Mexico Senate OKs bill to legalize drug possesion
Mexico's Senate approved a bill on Tuesday decriminalizing possession of small amounts of narcotics for personal use, in order to free resources to fight violent drug cartels. The bill, proposed by conservative President Felipe Calderon, would make it legal to carry up to 5 grams (0.18 ounces) of marijuana, 500 milligrams (0.018 ounces) of cocaine and tiny quantities of other drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines. / (Hopefully the US will also make personal drug use legal and stop all this drug war nonsense. - JWD) - Source

05/08/09 - Way To Control Chaos?
KeelyNet Dr Sotos Generalis from Aston University in Birmingham, UK and Dr Tomoaki Itano from Kansai University in Osaka, Japan, believe their discovery of the Hairpin Vortex Solution could revolutionize our understanding of turbulence and our ability to control it. This rigid, set structure, named after its hairpin like shape was found within Plane Couette flow. This is a prototype of turbulent shear flow, where turbulence is created in fluid flow between the space of two opposite moving planar fluid boundaries, when high- and low-speed fluids collide. This newly found turbulent state is constituted by a number of elements found in a coherent flow structure and has been described by the research team as a ”tapestry of knotted vortices.” While structures, known as wall structures have been found on the ‘edge’ of turbulence, an elusive middle or wake structure has never been discovered, until now. Dr Generalis believes that finding a regimented structure within the very heart of Couette flow could prove invaluable to controlling turbulence and the effects of turbulence between two moving boundaries, in the future. This could include working machinery parts, medical treatment involving blood flow, and turbulence in air, sea and road travel. The team’s findings of this missing central link have been published in Physical Review Letters and come after nearly five years of research, created by thousands of computer generated shear flow models. The result was obtained by replicating the exposure of two opposite plates to hot and cold conditions, moving from a static to dynamic position. The research team are now aiming to find if similar structures exist within other cases of turbulent fluid flow. “The hairpins expose an all new ‘view’ of the transition to turbulence and it is our aim to ‘unify’ this idea discovered in Couette flow, into other areas of shear flow in general,” added Dr Generalis. - Source

05/08/09 - The Green House of the Future
What will the energy-efficient house of the future look like? It could have gardens on its walls or a pond stocked with fish for dinner. It might mimic a tree, turning sunlight into energy and carbon dioxide into oxygen. Or perhaps it will be more like a lizard, changing its color to suit the weather and healing itself when it gets damaged. Those are just a handful of the possibilities that emerged from an exercise in futurism. The Wall Street Journal asked four architects to design an energy-efficient, environmentally sustainable house without regard to cost, technology, aesthetics or the way we are used to living. The idea was not to dream up anything impossible or unlikely -- in other words, no antigravity living rooms. Instead, we asked the architects to think of what technology might make possible in the next few decades. They in turn asked us to rethink the way we live. "This is a time of re-examining values, re-examining what we need," says one of our architects, Rick Cook, of the New York firm Cook + Fox. "We are re-examining the idea of home." / Several excellent examples and ideas at the link... - Source

05/08/09 - WindCube: Rooftop Wind Turbine
KeelyNet A company called Green Energy Technologies has announced a new wing-generating power plant that is designed to be fitted onto the roof of a building. The WindCube can be installed in singles or as a pair. A single unit generates 60kW of power while a dual unit generates 120kW. The manufacturer says that the design of the WindCube uses the Bernoulli Principal to capture and increase wind energy allowing the generator to make power with wind speeds as low as 5 mph. The WindCube isn’t a small device, it measures in at 22 x 22 x 12 feet, and has blades 50 feet in diameter. - Source

DVD - the Physics of Crystals, Pyramids and Tetrahedrons
KeelyNet This is a wonderful 2 hour DVD which presents one man's lifelong study of pyramids, crystals and their effects. Several of his original and very creative experiments are explained and diagramed out for experimenters. These experiments include; 1) transmutation of zinc to lower elements using a tetrahedron, 2) energy extraction from a pyramid, 3) determining mathematic ratios of nature in a simple experiment, 4) accelerating the growth of food, 5) increasing the abundance of food, 6) how crystals amplify, focus and defocus energy, 7) using crystals to assist natural healing, 8) how the universe uses spirals and vortexes to produce free energy and MORE... - $20 DVD + S&H / Source to Buy and Youtube Clip

05/08/09 - Hot new heating invention w/video
In old style heat exchangers, the heat from the gas flame did not contact the whole surface of the tube but with the new design, a much larger proportion of the tube is in contact with the heat, meaning less energy is required to produce the same result. Tubes can be connected to each other to meet different heating needs. According to their inventor, they are not only cheaper to manufacture than traditional elements, but also weigh half as much. Furthermore, in this system the water vapour produced is not dispersed into the atmosphere and wasted, but is condensed and the hot water produced helps to warm up the incoming cold water. - Source

05/08/09 - Optiwind : A Small But Powerful Wind Turbine
KeelyNet The three-blade turbines that are generally used require a lot of free space, as they often reach 80 meters in diameter. This means you cannot use them in conditions where you don’t have large places to place them. It seems that a new invention, called the Optiwind Compact Wind Accelerating Turbine has solved this problem. With only six meters in diameters, the turbine consists of a series of five bladed fans that funnel in the wind and accelerate it in order to generate more power. While the design can be considered similar to that of the Jellyfish wind turbine, the Optiwind is designed for bigger structures. The Optiwind comes in two models. The first can generate 150 kilowatt and can be used by buildings that spend up to $35,000 a year in electricity while the bigger model can generate up to 300 kilowatt and can be used in conditions that normally would require about $75,000 a year in electricity money. This is an ideal turbine that can be used by schools, hospitals and hotels. Unfortunately, according to local zoning laws, you need 3.5 acres of open land available so you can get an authorization for the Optiwind. It is still a lot better than with regular, three blade turbines. - Source

05/08/09 - Portable Electronic Pistol
KeelyNet [Daniel] had to have runaway in his mind when he built this coil gun. It’s hand held, holds 14 42 gram rounds and can propel them at speeds of 110km/h. Of course when it is battery powered, you have a 90 second warm up time between shots. It can also be used while plugged into a wall socket, which reduces the charge time to roughly 3 seconds. Great job [Daniel]. - Source

05/08/09 - Save the Planet, Stay Home
The folks at Skype, the company that provides free Internet phone calling all over the world, calculate that if businesses cut out 20 percent of their travel, they would reduce air pollution by 22 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. They also gave us the example that flying across the U.S. just once cancels out all the energy you would save by recycling your trash and other waste for an entire lifetime. The folks at Skype say that the emissions from one person flying for five to six hours in an airliner are roughly equivalent to driving 40,000 miles. It seems to us that the whole airplane – say, a Boeing 727 – might produce that much pollution, but a single passenger would not. Since the plane holds around 220 people, and they almost always fly full, one person could be held responsible for only 1/220th of the emissions. Flying in a larger plane, like a Boeing 747, would be even more efficient. The folks at Skype seem mathematically challenged. - Source

05/08/09 - A Scary Thing Happened
KeelyNet The Federal Emergency Management Agency has removed a children's coloring book from its web site following criticism over its inclusion of drawings of the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. The coloring book, titled "A Scary Thing Happened," is geared towards helping kids "cope with disasters," and was prepared by a Minnesota crisis response team. Until yesterday, the coloring book could be downloaded from the FEMA web site. The complete coloring book is still available at the Smoking Gun (PDF). - Source

05/08/09 - FDA Could Delay Adult Stem Cell Breakthroughs
"A Colorado medical advocate says, 'The FDA contends that if one cultures stem cells at all...then it's a prescription drug,' in arguing that revolutionary new treatments could be delayed by 20 years — even using cells extracted from your own body. According to the FDA, even therapies that simply re-inject your body's adult stem cells could be prohibited without five years of clinical trials and millions of dollars of research. How useful are cultured stem cells? 'In animal models, they routinely cure diabetes.'" - Source

05/08/09 - Natural Gas "Cleaning" Extracts Valuable Waste Carbon
"There's been a lot of focus on "clean coal" lately, but a Canadian start-up called Atlantic Hydrogen is developing a way to make natural gas more environmentally friendly. The process involves using a plasma reactor to separate hydrogen and methane in the gas. The procedure also turns carbon emissions into high-purity carbon black, a substance that is used to make inks, plastics and reinforced rubber products. Utility companies could potentially sell the carbon black, making the process more financially attractive." - Source

05/08/09 - Bill Would Declare Your Blog a Weapon
"Law prof Eugene Volokh blogs about a US House of Representatives bill proposed by Rep. Linda T. Sanchez and 14 others that could make it a federal felony to use your blog, social media like MySpace and Facebook, or any other Web media 'to cause substantial emotional distress through "severe, repeated, and hostile" speech.' Rep. Sanchez and colleagues want to make it easier to prosecute any objectionable speech through a breathtakingly broad bill that would criminalize a wide range of speech protected by the First Amendment. The bill is called The Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act, and if passed into law (and if it survives constitutional challenge) it looks almost certain to be misused." - Source

05/08/09 - Bacteria Could Help Stop Desertification
"In attempt to slow down desertification, a student at London's Architectural Association has proposed a 6000 km sandstone wall that will not only act as a break across the Sahara Desert, but also serve as refugee shelter. Last fall it won first prize in the Holcim Foundation's Awards for Sustainable Construction, and will use bacteria to solidify the sandstone." - Source

05/08/09 - Obama's First 100 Days from 'The Onion'
Too funny... - Source

05/08/09 - Cat Parasite Affects Everything We Feel and Do
Kevin Lafferty is a smart, cautious, thoughtful scientist who doesn't hate cats, but he has put forth a provocative theory that suggests that a clever cat parasite may alter human cultures on a massive scale. The parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, has been transmitted indirectly from cats to roughly half the people on the planet, and it has been shown to affect human personalities in different ways. Research has shown that women who are infected with the parasite tend to be warm, outgoing and attentive to others, while infected men tend to be less intelligent and probably a bit boring. But both men and women who are infected are more prone to feeling guilty and insecure. Other researchers have linked the parasite to schizophrenia. In an adult, the symptoms are like a mild form of flu, but it can be much more serious in an infant or fetus. Oxford University researchers believe high levels of the parasite leads to hyperactivity and lower IQs in children. - Source

05/08/09 - Positive Affirmations For Wealth
KeelyNet Apparently, if you keep repeating these over and over, you will get rich: * Wealth is pouring into my life. * I am a money magnet! * I gratefully accept all the health, wealth and happiness that the universe pours into me every day. * I am constantly adding to my income * Everything I touch turns to gold. * I am a positive resource and people want to do business with me * I am financially free * I love money and money loves me - Source


05/08/09 - Fresh, Hot Cup of Cockroaches
Listeners nationwide spat out a mouthful of coffee this morning when NPR's Fresh Air featured an entomologist who informed us that preground coffee is full of cockroaches. “Preground—you know, your big bulk coffee that you buy in a tin—is all processed from these huge stockpiles of coffee … that get infested with cockroaches,” says Emlen. “And there’s really nothing they can do to filter that out. So it all gets ground up in the coffee.” - Source

05/08/09 - Plug-In Hybrids: More Hype Than Hope?
KeelyNet Seattle has outfitted more than a dozen Toyota Prius hybrids with new plug-in technology to squeeze even better fuel efficiency from the eco-wonder. City officials were intrigued by data suggesting they could cut their fuel consumption in half by using batteries charged directly from the grid. If claims are to be believed, drivers would routinely see 100 mpg using readily available battery packs installed in the trunk. Just over a year after performing the conversions, the city says it is thrilled with the cars. The plug-in Prius hybrids have used less gas and emitted less CO2 than their conventional counterparts. But the tests also have put a big dent in the plug-in promise. Having racked up some 17,000 miles, the plug-in Prius hybrids are averaging just 51 mpg. That's raising uncomfortable questions about the value and effectiveness of plug-in technology, even as President Obama pledges to have 1 million of them on the road by 2015. "Getting 51 miles per gallon sounds fine compared to most gas cars," said railed Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat. "But it's a black eye for a technology that trumpets it will get twice that." Greentrepreneurs routinely cite 100 mpg as the new benchmark for eco-conscious drivers, and even Wired magazine touted the figure in a cover story last year. But it's more than a psychologically comforting number. It's a figure we can achieve with current technology, proponents argue. - Source

05/08/09 - New Energy Source? Highly Efficient Light-harvesting Green Bacteria
An international team of scientists has determined the structure of the chlorophyll molecules in green bacteria that are responsible for harvesting light energy. The team's results one day could be used to build artificial photosynthetic systems, such as those that convert solar energy to electrical energy. The scientists found that the chlorophylls are highly efficient at harvesting light energy. "We found that the orientation of the chlorophyll molecules make green bacteria extremely efficient at harvesting light," said Donald Bryant, Ernest C. Pollard Professor of Biotechnology at Penn State and one of the team's leaders. According to Bryant, green bacteria are a group of organisms that generally live in extremely low-light environments, such as in light-deprived regions of hot springs and at depths of 100 meters in the Black Sea. The bacteria contain structures called chlorosomes, which contain up to 250,000 chlorophylls. "The ability to capture light energy and rapidly deliver it to where it needs to go is essential to these bacteria, some of which see only a few photons of light per chlorophyll per day." - Source

05/08/09 - A Battle to Preserve a Visionary’s Bold Failure
KeelyNet In 1901, Nikola Tesla began work on a global system of giant towers meant to relay through the air not only news, stock reports and even pictures but also, unbeknown to investors such as J. Pierpont Morgan, free electricity for one and all. It was the inventor’s biggest project, and his most audacious. The first tower rose on rural Long Island and, by 1903, stood more than 18 stories tall. One midsummer night, it emitted a dull rumble and proceeded to hurl bolts of electricity into the sky. The blinding flashes, The New York Sun reported, “seemed to shoot off into the darkness on some mysterious errand.” But the system failed for want of money, and at least partly for scientific viability. Tesla never finished his prototype tower and was forced to abandon its adjoining laboratory. Today, a fight is looming over the ghostly remains of that site, called Wardenclyffe — what Tesla authorities call the only surviving workplace of the eccentric genius who dreamed countless big dreams while pioneering wireless communication and alternating current. The disagreement began recently after the property went up for sale in Shoreham, N.Y. - Source

05/08/09 - China has 'canceled US credit card': lawmaker
China, wary of the troubled US economy, has already "canceled America's credit card" by cutting down purchases of debt, a US congressman said Thursday. China has the world's largest foreign reserves, believed to be mostly in dollars, along with around 800 billion dollars in US Treasury bonds, more than any other country. But Treasury Department data shows that investors in China have sharply curtailed their purchases of bonds in January and February. / Representative Mark Kirk, a member of the House Appropriations Committee and co-chair of a group of lawmakers promoting relations with Beijing, said China had "very legitimate" concerns about its investments. "It would appear, quietly and with deference and politeness, that China has canceled America's credit card," Kirk told the Committee of 100, a Chinese-American group. "I'm not sure too many people on Capitol Hill realize that this is now happening," he said. "We should track that, because up until last month they were the number one provider of currency to the United States and now they're gone." With China's economy also hit by the global economic crisis, Premier Wen Jiabao has openly voiced concern about the status of his country's investments in the United States. - Source

05/08/09 - Future Dirigible Without Hangar (Jul, 1931)
KeelyNet Future Dirigible Without Hangar - A GIGANTIC dirigible which would have an all metal body made of corrugated sheet steel, and which would be so durable as to eliminate the need of the customary hangar, is the novel craft recently designed by an eminent Russian inventor, Konstantin Ziolkowski. This craft will expand or contract according to the interior gas pressure. - Source


05/08/09 - Time limits on innocent DNA data
DNA profiles of up to 850,000 innocent people held among 4.5m on an official database are to be removed after a European Court ruling. But details of those cleared of crimes - or never even charged - will still be held for six years, or 12 in cases of serious violent or sexual offences. Rights groups say the plan is insulting to the ruling that the database in the UK - apart from Scotland - was illegal. Ministers argue the cuts are adequate, but say fewer crimes will be solved. One official estimate suggests there will be 4,500 fewer offences detected on average each year - rising to 26,000 if the proposals are extended to the policies on retaining fingerprints, as planned. Last year the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the database in England and Wales and Northern Ireland was illegal. - Source

05/08/09 - U.S. Drops Research Into Fuel Cells for Cars
Cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells, once hailed by President George W. Bush as a pollution-free solution for reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, will not be practical over the next 10 to 20 years, the energy secretary said Thursday, and the government will cut off funds for the vehicles’ development. Dr. Chu said the government preferred to focus on projects that would bear fruit more quickly. - Source

05/08/09 - The 10 Most Outrageous Military Experiments
Military concludes it's not easy to make a super hero, but people are plentiful: 10 bizzarro experiments that were conducted on humans. - Source

05/08/09 - A little calm about swine flu, please
The public panic about swine flu is completely out of proportion to the threat involved. People don't seem to understand the concept of risk any more - either that or we have become so risk-averse as a society that we are not prepared to stomach even the slightest threat to our health. I am not belittling the plight of those who have the illness in Mexico and have seen relatives die. But we have to remember this is a very small number so far. It is yet another sign of the lack of understanding of statistics in public life. I am always amazed at the outcry over rail or air safety when so few people die in accidents associated with either form of transport. And yet as a society we are prepared to tolerate thousands of road deaths without making any fuss at all and even resisting the lowering of the speed limit or the introduction of speed cameras which reduce that risk. OK, I know I am laying myself open to fomenting the spread of a pandemic. But we have to get these things in proportion. People need to weigh up the probabilities and make decisions for themselves. You are probably more likely to be hit by a UFO than to get swine flu. - Source

05/08/09 - Dying is no reason to give up online social life
KeelyNet In today's world of always-connected social media, there's no reason to stop interacting online simply because you're dead. A wave of new companies are starting to offer services such as virtual cemeteries where guests can visit and e-mail alerts set up by funeral homes to remind relatives near and wide about the anniversary of your death. Some companies even offer to e-mail your wayward relatives in danger of being left behind when the Rapture whisks you to the threshold of the Pearly Gates. While such services seem to reach beyond the grave, a growing generation of funeral customers refuse to let death have the final word. "People have a desire to perpetuate not only for themselves, but for their loved ones, the story of their lives, and technology has all these new great ways of doing that," said John McQueen, owner of the Anderson McQueen funeral home. As baby boomers plunged headlong into online social media in recent years, they've become especially interested in upending the traditional philosophy that funerals are really meant for the survivors. After all, this is the "Me Generation." But beyond generational vagaries, technology now means a funeral merely begins a new virtual afterlife. And entrepreneurial companies are right there to make that happen. - Source

High Voltage & Free Energy Devices Handbook
KeelyNet This wonderfully informative ebook provides many simple experiments you can do, including hydrogen generation and electrostatic repulsion as well as the keys to EV Gray's Fuelless Engine. One of the most comprehensive compilations of information yet detailing the effects of high voltage repulsion as a driving force. Ed Gray's engine produced in excess of 300HP and he claimed to be able to 'split the positive' energy of electricity to produce a self-running motor/generator for use as an engine. Schematics and tons of photos of the original machines and more! Excellent gift for your technical friends or for that budding scientist! If you are an experimenter or know someone who investigates such matters, this would make an excellent addition to your library or as an unforgettable gift. The downloadable HVFE eBook pdf file is almost 11MB in size and contains many experiments, photos, diagrams and technical details. Buy a copy and learn all about hydrogen generation, its uses and how to produce electrostatic repulsion. - 121 pages - $15.00 - Source

05/08/09 - 'Bleach bath' benefit for eczema
In a study of 31 children, there was significant improvement in eczema in those who had diluted bleach baths compared with normal baths. The Pediatrics study also showed improvements were only on parts of the body submerged in the bath. UK experts stressed the treatment could be extremely dangerous and should only be done under the care of a specialist. Children with bad eczema suffer from chronic skin infections, most commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus, which worsen the eczema that can be difficult to treat. Some children get resistant MRSA infections. Studies have shown a direct correlation between the number of bacteria on the skin and the severity of the eczema. It has been shown that bacteria cause inflammation and further weaken the skin barrier. - Source

05/08/09 - Lithium in water 'curbs suicide'
Researchers examined levels of lithium in drinking water and suicide rates in the prefecture of Oita, which has a population of more than one million. The suicide rate was significantly lower in those areas with the highest levels of the element, they wrote in the British Journal of Psychiatry. High doses of lithium are already used to treat serious mood disorders. But the team from the universities of Oita and Hiroshima found that even relatively low levels appeared to have a positive impact of suicide rates. Levels ranged from 0.7 to 59 micrograms per litre. The researchers speculated that while these levels were low, there may be a cumulative protective effect on the brain from years of drinking this tap water. Sophie Corlett, external relations director at mental health charity Mind said the research "certainly merits more investigation. "We already know that lithium can act as a powerful mood stabiliser for people with bipolar disorder, and treating people with lithium is also associated with lower suicide rates. "However, lithium also has significant and an unpleasant side effects in higher doses, and can be toxic. Any suggestion that it should be added, even in tiny amounts, to drinking water should be treated with caution and researched very thoroughly." - Source

05/08/09 - The Politics of Climate Hacking
What happens if one country decides to start geoengineering on its own? Freelance atmospheric modification may sound far-fetched, but the potboiler concept was on the agenda last week at an invitation-only, international workshop in Lisbon, Portugal. The private event was the first global powwow designed to explore the political aspects of geoengineering, or the deliberate manipulation of the climate. About 30 scientists and bureaucrats, representing 14 nations, mulled over the implications of global climate control in a wood-paneled conference room. The first presenter, Carnegie Mellon engineer Granger Morgan, began with a review of the geoengineering options at our disposal. Employing a smiling cartoon sun to illustrate the ways radiation might be adjusted in the atmosphere, he rattled them off one by one: carbon-sucking machines, man-made jumbo algae blooms, planetary-scale sunshades to deflect solar rays, brightening clouds to reflect more sunlight. But Morgan's main topic—and the focus for the rest of the meeting—was the concept of spewing aerosol gunk into the stratosphere, known among the geoengineering intelligentsia as the "Pinatubo option." That Ludlum-esque moniker derives from the 1991 volcanic eruption that spewed 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, blocking out a fraction of the sun's rays and cooling the planet by 1 degree Fahrenheit. A Pinatubo approach to geoengineering would involve the deliberate spraying of more sulfur dioxide, or an alternative aerosol, at high altitudes. It's almost certainly the cheapest and most effective method we have for cooling the planet fast. For Morgan and the others, that's exactly what makes it so dangerous. - Source

05/08/09 - Star Trek's warp drive: Not impossible
KeelyNet The trick seems to be to find some other means of propulsion besides rockets, which would never be able to accelerate a ship to velocities faster than that of light, the fundamental speed limit set by Einstein's general theory of relativity. Luckily for us, this speed limit only applies within space-time (the continuum of three dimensions of space plus one of time that we live in). While any given object can't travel faster than light speed within space-time, theory holds, perhaps space-time itself could travel. "The idea is that you take a chunk of space-time and move it," said Marc Millis, former head of NASA's Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project. "The vehicle inside that bubble thinks that it's not moving at all. It's the space-time that's moving." Already some studies have claimed to find possible signatures of moving space-time. For example, scientists rotated super-cold rings in a lab. They found that still gyroscopes placed above the rings seem to think they themselves are rotating simply because of the presence of the spinning rings beneath. The researchers postulated that the ultra-cold rings were somehow dragging space-time, and the gyroscope was detecting the effect. Other studies found that the region between two parallel uncharged metal plates seems to have less energy than the surrounding space. Scientists have termed this a kind of "negative energy," which might be just the thing needed to move space-time. The catch is that massive amounts of this negative energy would probably be required to warp space-time enough to transport a bubble faster than light speed. Huge breakthroughs will be needed not just in propulsion but in energy. Some experts think harnessing the mysterious force called dark energy — thought to power the acceleration of the universe's expansion — could provide the key. - Source

05/08/09 - Researcher of the year named... for study of Alchemy
Historical alchemy has received more attention in the past few years as researchers discover more about the evolution of science and medicine. History professor Bruce Moran’s latest book on the subject “Distilling Knowledge: Alchemy, Chemistry and the Scientific Revolution” is required reading at several universities, including UCLA and USC. “It came as a surprise,” Moran said of receiving the award. “It’s really humbling; I’m thrilled, gratified and appreciative of the acknowledgement. There are so many people on campus who could, just as easily, receive this award, and when I think of those who have been acknowledged by the award in the past -- WOW, to be a part of that group is truly overwhelming.” Using a fair amount of philology (history of linguistics) Moran has spent hours and hours bent over hundreds-year-old texts, deciphering the Latin, Greek, German (and German in its formative years) or early English languages of books, letters, essays and diaries. “The thrill of the historian is to be able to huddle over things that only a few people have seen,” Moran said. “There’s an instant connection with a far distant world, with its values and frustrations, and with the ways that it has attempted to explain the operations of nature and the body. Alchemy isn’t just about turning base metals into gold or silver, it’s about transforming and changing in a variety of ways. Those interested in the processes of change were both philosophers and artisans. “I’m interested in the hands-on-experience of those who attempted to create change and to make things, and who, by so-doing, influenced new directions in learning about the natural world.” - Source

05/08/09 - Genetically engineered mice don't get obese
KeelyNet Obesity and gallstones often go hand in hand. But not in mice developed at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Even when these mice eat high-fat diets, they don't get fat, but they do develop gallstones. Researchers say the findings offer clues about genetic factors related to gallstones, and they believe better understanding of those factors may one day allow physicians to monitor people at risk and even, perhaps, to intervene before gallstones become a serious problem. - Source

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