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09/30/07 - Entrepreneur Creates "Kinko's For Inventors!"
KeelyNetThe Tech Shop, located in Silicon Valley's Menlo Park, California, is a playground for grown-ups where you can make invention prototypes, fix your stuff, sew your products, or further artistic designs. Your "toys" are actually pretty big machines such as "lathes, plasma cutters, sheet metal equipment, drill presses, band saws, industrial sewing machines, hand tools, plastic working equipment, electronics design and fabrication facilities, tubing and metal bending machines, electrical supplies and tools," and, Jim Newton says, "pretty much everything you'd ever need to make just about anything all by yourself." Like he says, "a Kinko's for inventors." Newton put his Tech Shop playground together with mostly used equipment in a relatively low-rent area, making his start-up costs manageable, and when he opened his shop, he put his business plan to work. Offering one time entries and membership plans to inventors, hobbyists, artists, and dozens of other enthusiasts, Tech Shop operates much like a health club: you can come in anytime and use whatever equipment you want. With a long-term membership, you can even make advance reservations for the equipment you need. Hours? Not a problem. Tech Shop is open from 9:00 a.m. to midnight! Staff? Always someone there to help you out. And no need to let those big machines intimidate you either. For the safety of you and others, Tech Shop offers 18 classes in how to use the equipment it offers! A tremendous boost to DIY inventors are the CNC classes that teach you how to model your own prototypes from 3-D CAD designs. Inventors need this service, if only to get out of our cocoons. But, more practically, to legitimize our ideas, those we've had closeted for so long because we didn't have the time or the big bucks to act on them. - Source

09/30/07 - Invention Firm invented 60M scam, say feds
It's a challenge to transform an invention from an idea to a product on a store shelf. Just recently, a federal judge ordered the operators of multiple questionable invention promotion firms to pay $60 million in connection with a scheme that defrauded 17,000 inventors. For fees of $895 to $1,295, PTI and its related businesses promised to evaluate the marketability and patentability of inventors' ideas. But the firms gave virtually all inventions positive evaluations, so the assessments were meaningless, the Federal Trade Commission reported. PTI charged inventors up to $45,000 for alleged legal protection and assistance to obtain commercial licenses for their inventions. The inventors were also told that PTI would help them earn substantial royalties from their inventions. But investigators said PTI neither helped consumers license their inventions nor enabled clients to earn any royalties. Consumers who have complaints about PTI should call the FTC at (202) 326-2926 for more information. Other inventors should question the assurances of any promotion firm before entering into a contract, the FTC added. Source

09/30/07 - Enablement in Patents
The enablement requirement of the first paragraph of 35 U.S.C. 112 requires that the patent specification enable those skilled in the art to make and use the full scope of the claimed invention without undue experimentation based on the underlying facts. The specification must enable one of ordinary skill in the art to practice the claimed invention without undue experimentation. Thus, with respect to enablement the relevant inquiry lies in the relationship between the specification, the claims, and the knowledge of one of ordinary skill in the art. If, by following the steps set forth in the specification, one or ordinary skill in the art is not able to replicate the claimed invention without undue experimentation, the claim has not been enabled as required by [section] 112, first paragraph. - Source / Failure To Enable Invention In Commercial Product - Ormco asserted four patents directed to the computer-aided design and manufacture of custom orthodontic appliances against Align, which counterclaimed by asserting two of its own patents. The trial court not only granted Align’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement, but also granted Align’s motion for summary judgment of non-enablement three months later. On appeal, the Federal Circuit found clear and convincing evidence that a person of ordinary skill in the art did not and could not accomplish automatic computer determination of teeth finish positions based upon the Ormco patents’ specification. The Court pointed to inventor testimony that a manual override had been used on all of the approximately forty cases treated using Ormco’s Insignia product and that, while it was a goal to have the Insignia software generate final tooth positions that would not require use of the override, variations in human anatomy had prevented the attainment of that goal. The Ormco inventor had further testified that he was unsure if the problems due to variations in human anatomy could be overcome. The Court concluded that an inventor’s failure to enable his invention in a commercial product that purports to be an embodiment of the patented invention is strong evidence that the patent specification lacks enablement. - Source

09/30/07 - Eggshells to make Hydrogen
KeelyNetThe patented process uses eggshells to soak up carbon dioxide from a reaction that produces hydrogen fuel. It also includes a unique method for peeling the collagen-containing membrane from the inside of the shells, so that the collagen can be used commercially. Eggshells mostly consist of calcium carbonate -- one of nature's most absorbent materials. It is a common ingredient in calcium supplements and antacids. With heat processing, calcium carbonate becomes calcium oxide, which will then absorb any acidic gas, such as carbon dioxide. In the laboratory, Fan and his colleagues demonstrated that ground-up eggshells could be used in the water-gas-shift reaction. Iyer performed those early experiments; recent graduate Theresa Vonder Haar also worked on the project for her bachelor's degree honors thesis. Calcium carbonate -- a key ingredient in the eggshells -- captures 78 percent of carbon dioxide by weight, Fan explained. That means, given equal amounts of carbon dioxide and eggshell, the eggshell would absorb 78 percent of the carbon dioxide. That makes it the most effective carbon dioxide absorber ever tested. "Eggshell alone may not be adequate to produce hydrogen for the whole country, but at least we can use eggshell in a better way compared to dumping it as organic waste in landfills, where companies have to pay up to $40 dollars per ton disposal cost," he said. Before they could grind up the egg shell, the engineers needed to remove the collagen-containing membrane that clings to the inside; they developed an organic acid that does the job. About 10 percent of the membrane consists of collagen, which sells for about $ 1000/gram. This collagen, once extracted, can be used in food or pharmaceuticals, or for medical treatments. Doctors use collagen to help burn victims regenerate skin; it's also used in cosmetic surgery. - Source

09/30/07 - Costly Insurgents
U.S.-led coalition forces have killed more than 19,000 insurgents in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003, USA Today reported Thursday. Under a Freedom of Information request, the U.S. military told the newspaper a database of "significant acts" showed 19,429 militants were killed in clashes with coalition forces, although the numbers don't include those killed during the first wave of the invasion that toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. If we assume that the war has cost $450 billion, this works out to $23 million per dead insurgent. It would have been cheaper to just offer each one a million dollars if they'll be nice. / Military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing nearly $10 billion every month. - Source

09/30/07 - Sloppy Science
A recent Wall Street Journal write-up discussed the findings of one Dr. John Ioannidis, who has posited that most of the thousands of peer-reviewed research papers published every year are full of flawed findings and analysis. The vast majority of mistakes, he says, aren't purposeful, but stem from miscalculation, poor study design or self-serving data analysis. The summary to his widely-cited essay states, "Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias." The WSJ article claims that "To root out mistakes, scientists rely on each other to be vigilant. Even so, findings too rarely are checked by others or independently replicated. Retractions, while more common, are still relatively infrequent. Findings that have been refuted can linger in the scientific literature for years to be cited unwittingly by other researchers, compounding the errors." An ironic question to ask: Is Dr. Ioannidis study subject to the same flaws he ascribes to the rest of the scientific community? If his findings are true, what does this mean for hot-button topics such as Global Warming? - Source

09/30/07 - Could a Computer Hypnotize You?
KeelyNetWhile most people think of hypnosis as an entertaining parlor trick or a dubious way to quit smoking, a smattering of scientific studies suggest that the trance-like state could have medical benefits in calming anxiety and managing pain during medical procedures. According to Boyden, the problem with bringing hypnosis into clinical practice is that it's something of an art. Standardized scripts for inducing hypnosis don't allow the practitioner to adapt his or her approach to the patient. When researching the field, Boyden said that he noticed that hypnosis scripts tend to resemble computer programs. So he and his students designed a computer program that uses a quick personality survey to identify what the user finds relaxing; it then generates a customized set of suggestions to induce him or her into a state of hypnotic relaxation. Stay tuned for an online demo now in development! - Source

09/30/07 - Germany Looks to North Africa's Untapped Solar Thermal Potential
Flabeg has recently developed a mirror that can reflect 93 percent of the sun's rays. A study by the German Aerospace Center estimated that harnessing the sun's energy falling on just 6,000 square kilometers of desert in North Africa would supply energy equivalent to the entire oil production of the Middle East of 9 billion barrels a year. The study calculated that solar thermal power plants could supply 68 percent of North Africa's as well as Europe's electricity by 2050. The company recently developed a mirror that can reflect 93 percent of the sun's rays. The improved mirror can concentrate 99% of the sun's radiation onto an absorber tube with a diameter of 70 mm or less. Flabeg said that it expects to sell its high precision mirrors in Spain and North Africa as the solar thermal power plant market starts to take off in Europe. - Source

09/30/07 - Anyone Can Jam Your Cell Phone!
KeelyNetA brand-new product called the Palm PHONE JAMMER is the first cell phone jammer that I'm aware of that's priced, sized and created like a mass-market consumer electronics device. The jammer is actually smaller than a cell phone, costs only $166 and shuts down GSM 850-, 900-, 1,800- and 1,900-MHz cell phone calls within a 30-foot radius. - Source

09/30/07 - Use a Digital Timer to Get Things Done
A self-made millionaire mom describes how she uses a digital timer to keep herself focused on getting work done during certain times of the day. As a "work"-from-home mom of a two-year-old, I find it necessary to structure my writing and blogging time according to her schedule and push to GET IT DONE. I write when she's sleeping in, napping, or enjoying one-on-one time with her daddy. - Source

09/30/07 - Cockroaches at Their Best at Night
(I have always worked best at night, less distractions and more insights. - JWD) "A new study has found that cockroaches are morons in the morning and geniuses in the evening in terms of their learning capacity. Previous studies suggest that the learning capacity of both people and rats are also affected by their internal biological clocks. But the effect is far more dramatic in cockroaches and it is the first time it has been found in insects. And, no, the researchers didn't try giving their cockroaches a sip of coffee to see if it revived them!" - Source

09/30/07 - Scopolamine - the Zombie Drug
KeelyNetVBS.TV recently did a story on Scopolamine, a substance commonly referred to as "Devils Breath" in Colombia, where it is a common street drug. This stuff is as close to pure evil as it gets, a tiny amount of the powder administered to the victim causes one of two effects, a) death, or b) complete loss of free will. Criminals are usually hoping for the latter, as it enables them to tell victims to empty their bank accounts, give away their car, perform sex acts, basically whatever the criminal dictates. This is where Scopolamine has got its reputation as the "zombie drug", victims appear completely sober and rational, but they're really just automatons. Scopolamine recently popped up in the news as a treatment for bipolar disorder and depression. The drug also has history as a sort of truth serum administered in interrogation environments -- it was used by the CIA in the 1960s, during the MKULTRA program. - Source

09/30/07 - Migrating Birds May ''See'' Earth's Magnetic Field
Specialized neurons in the eye, sensitive to magnetic direction, have been shown for the first time to connect via a specific brain pathway to an area in the forebrain of birds responsible for vision, German researchers said on Wednesday. Scientists have known for many years, from behavioral experiments, that birds use an internal magnetic compass to navigate on their epic annual journeys. But exactly how the system works has been a mystery. Now work by Dominik Heyers and colleagues at the University of Oldenburg in Germany has started to unravel the mechanism at a neuroanatomical level -- and it shows the eye is key. Magnetic sensing molecules in the eye, known as cryptochromes, appear to stimulate photoreceptors depending on the orientation of the magnetic field. This strongly suggests migratory birds perceive the magnetic field as a visual pattern, the researchers said. - Source

09/30/07 - Improvising electronic devices is not a crime
KeelyNetSupporters of Star Simpson -- the 19-year-old MIT student who inadvertently caused a total freaking flipout at Boston's Logan International Airport last week for wearing a sweatshirt with an attached homemade light-up device -- are selling these t-shirts to help cover her legal fees. Authorities in Massachussetts are throwing the "infernal machine" book at her, claiming the shirt was a "hoax device" intended to look like a fake bomb. Simpson denies this charge. - Source

09/30/07 - Banning Illegal Immigrants Causes City Economy to Tank
A little more than a year ago, the Riverside Township Committee in this faded factory town became the first municipality in New Jersey to enact legislation penalizing anyone who employed or rented to an illegal immigrant. But no one realized the painful toll this would take. With the departure of so many people, the local economy suffered. Hair salons, restaurants and corner shops that catered to the immigrants saw business plummet; several closed. Once-boarded-up storefronts downtown were boarded up again. Meanwhile, the town was hit with two lawsuits challenging the law. Legal bills began to pile up, straining the town’s already tight budget. Suddenly, many people - including some who originally favored the law - started having second thoughts. So last week, the town rescinded the ordinance, joining a small but growing list of municipalities nationwide that have begun rethinking such laws as their legal and economic consequences have become clearer. “I don’t think people knew there would be such an economic burden,” said Mayor George Conard, who voted for the original ordinance. “A lot of people did not look three years out.” In the past two years, more than 30 towns nationwide have enacted laws intended to address problems attributed to illegal immigration, from overcrowded housing and schools to overextended police forces. Most of those laws, like Riverside’s, called for fines and even jail sentences for people who knowingly rented apartments to illegal immigrants or who gave them jobs. In some places, business owners have objected to crackdowns that have driven away immigrant customers. And in many, ordinances have come under legal assault by immigration groups and the American Civil Liberties Union. - Source

09/30/07 - The Political Problem of Hindsight Bias
Are health insurance companies guilty of denying care or, as Shannon Brownlee's new book argues, are they failing to prevent Overtreatment? When it comes to surveillance and terrorism, are we not doing enough to prevent the next terrorist attack, or are we collecting too much unnecessary information? In the mortgage market, are we making it too difficult or too easy for first-time homebuyers to purchase homes? Would one have expected that the cost of restoring order after an invasion of Afghanistan to be relatively light compared to the cost of restoring order after an invasion of Iraq? Most people approach these issues with hindsight bias. In situations of uncertainty, hindsight bias causes a number of problems. - Source

09/30/07 - Germany to build first commercial Maglev train line
KeelyNetGermany's richest state agreed Tuesday to build the country's first commercial high-speed magnetic levitation train line, but officials warned the price tag could be heftier than first thought. After months of talks, the Bavarian government, industry leaders and Deutsche Bahn rail company signed an agreement to build the line after a late-night deal capped with a champagne toast. Authorities said they had finalised 1.85 billion euros (2.6 billion dollars) in financing for the next-generation train line, which is to connect the state capital Munich with its airport, 37 kilometres (23 miles) away. Starting in 2014, travellers will see the 40-minute trip cut to just 10 by the driverless Transrapid, or Maglev train, which is able to run at 450 kilometres (280 miles) per hour. - Source

09/30/07 - Alzheimer's disease as form of diabetes?
Now scientists at Northwestern University have discovered why brain insulin signaling -- crucial for memory formation -- would stop working in Alzheimer’s disease. They have shown that a toxic protein found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s removes insulin receptors from nerve cells, rendering those neurons insulin resistant. (The protein, known to attack memory-forming synapses, is called an ADDL for “amyloid ß-derived diffusible ligand.”) With other research showing that levels of brain insulin and its related receptors are lower in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, the Northwestern study sheds light on the emerging idea of Alzheimer’s being a “type 3” diabetes. - Source

09/30/07 - Court rules school officials acted properly in strip search
Safford Middle School officials did not violate the civil rights of a 13-year-old Safford girl when they forced her to disrobe and expose her breasts and pubic area four years ago while looking for a drug, according to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. The drug in question? Ibuprofen. - Source

09/30/07 - SSN leads to Suing Google
Here's a handwritten complaint filed in Pennsylvania: Dylan Stephen Jayne vs. Google (PDF). The claim: Dylan Stephen Jayne, plaintiff, has a social security number that when the social security number is turned upside down in it's entirety is a scrambled code that does spell the name Google. He wants $5 million. He'll probably settle for $2 million. - Source

09/28/07 - Contracting Wires Harness Sun’s Rays - November 1932
KeelyNetThe drawing illustrates the principles of operation of the new solar machine devised by a San Francisco inventor. Wires heated by the sun from the reflector contract suddenly when immersed in, causing dogs to engage notches in ratchet and making the drum rotate with power pulley. The long, exhausting search of scientists for a method of harnessing the rays of the sun has yielded the solar machine illustrated in the artist’s drawing above. Operation of the machine is based upon the principle of contraction and expansion of tungsten wires. These wires are arranged lengthwise of a revolving drum, and the sun’s rays are directed against them by means of a parabolic mirror on each side. As the drum rotates the wires pass out of the focal range of the sun’s rays and are doused in a trough of water at the bottom. Sudden cooling of the wires causes them to contract rapidly, pulling on a bell crank at the end of the drum. This action in turn causes the dogs to engage notches in the fixed ratchet and drive the drum around. Rotation of the drum causes the shaft to which it is fixed to revolve and operate the pulley on the same shaft. J. J. Warner, of San Francisco, is the inventor. - Source

09/28/07 - Heat Shock Response accelerates Cancer
(So does this mean by staying cool we lessen our chances for cancer? - JWD) An ancient mechanism for coping with environmental stresses, including heat and toxic exposures, also helps cancerous tumors survive, reveals a new report in the Sept. 21, 2007, issue of Cell, a publication of Cell Press. The scientists found that loss of the master controller of the "heat-shock response" dramatically limited the spontaneous formation of tumors in mice genetically predisposed to developing cancer, and those exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. Most importantly, they reported, depletion of the so-called heat-shock factor 1 (HSF1) in diverse previously established human cancer cell lines strongly impaired their growth and survival, while having little effect on normal cells. To find out, the researchers first looked to a common mouse model of skin cancer, in which the animals' are exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. Mice unable to switch on the heat-shock response were "far more resistant" to tumor formation than normal mice were under those conditions, they found. It took the mutant mice five weeks longer to develop tumors. They were less likely to develop cancer and, when they did, had fewer and smaller tumors. The HSF1-deficient mice also lived longer. - Source

09/28/07 - Global Warming Fix: Help the Earth Cure Itself
KeelyNetJames Lovelock, environmentalist, futurologist and creator of the Gaia hypothesis and its view of Earth as a huge organism, proposes that we help the planet "cure itself" by artificially ramping up ocean mixing, which would stimulate the growth of carbon-munching algae, thereby sinking more carbon dioxide into the ocean. Lovelock's proposal, detailed in the Sept. 27 issue of the journal Nature, is to use free-floating or tethered pipes to increase the mixing of the ocean by moving nutrient-rich deep waters up to replace the more barren waters of the surface. These nutrients would stimulate the growth of algae and create large blooms that would take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they photosynthesize. "And when they die, their bodies sink to the bottom of the ocean as calcium carbonate shells, and that gets rid of [the carbon] for good," Lovelock explained. - Source

09/28/07 - OAP Invents Car of the Future
KeelyNetWillie Gallacher has devoted the last seven years of his life to creating an electro-magnetic drive motor which he believes could replace the combustion engine. And with the UK patent now confirmed, Willie has been in touch with engineers and car companies across the globe in the hope one will be able to help finance the creation of a full working model. Willie said: “The electro-magnetic car will still have all the normal characters - brakes, lights and so on. The only difference is the block to drive the car, with the crank shaft powered by magnets rather than combustion. “I have come up with something which no-one else in the world has. You can’t take energy from nothing, so when the car is at a standstill in a traffic jam there would be a problem powering it, but I have found the solution.” Balloch man Willie is remaining tight-lipped about exactly how this part works, his invention has already attracted interest from as far afield as China. To view Willie’s invention in full, log on to the Intellectual Property Office website at www.ipo.gov.uk and enter patent number GB2434255. - Source

09/28/07 - Neti Pots to clear Sinuses
Sales at the Himalayan Institute, a major U.S. neti pot manufacturer, have increased more than 400 percent in the past 10 years. And in the first eight months of 2007, they've seen a 100 percent increase over 2006, thanks in part to a plug from Dr. Oz on Oprah Winfrey's show early this year. Local natural foods stores, including Mississippi Market in St. Paul and the Wedge and Whole Foods in Minneapolis, all report a steady rise in year-over-year neti pot sales. "I've heard some pretty excellent feedback from [customers] that it's a nice alternative to taking a lot of medication," said Mindy Hauge of Whole Foods. After the Oprah show, "there were just multiple people a day coming in really wanting one, and now that it's getting to be the fall season, we still have at least one person a day." Park Nicollet Clinic allergist Brenda Guyer, M.D., has been recommending the nasal wash to patients for about six years. "Neti pots are really effective," she said. "They help with a host of problems." / Video (via poynter.org) - Source

09/28/07 - Growing Grass Turns Roof Into a Lawn - January 1933
KeelyNetCovering a roof with growing grass might seem fantastic to most persons, but Louis Koefoed, an architect of East Rockaway, N.Y., has found it practical as well as decorative. Since he applied a roofing of sod over tar paper to his dwelling last fall he has experienced a welcome decline in his coal consumption. Moreover, he expects the heat-insulating covering to keep his home twenty degrees cooler next summer. Pipes along the peak of the roof spray the growing grass with water and keep the “lawn” roof green. - Source

09/28/07 - Who Owns the USA?
The top five holders of our debt are (in order from the top) Japan, China, the UK, Oil exporting countries, and Brazil. - Source

09/28/07 - Architect Designs Cotton Houses - February 1933
KeelyNetPhotos show a five room house, with roof and wall of canvas, which cost $1,500 to build and a weekend house of cotton designed to be raised eight feet from the ground, having a parking space and playground beneath it. Houses of cotton are proposed by Lawrence Kocher, noted architect, to solve the low-cost housing problem. Models of two types; a $1,500 five-room home and a week-end house, have been designed. A weatherproof exterior is provided by a roof and walls of fireproofed cotton ducking stretched over a wooden structural frame. Inner walls are also of cotton. Insulating material may be added to exclude heat and cold. Since the canvas is flexible, it is adaptable to any shaped surface. - Source

09/28/07 - Background noise may help unruly pupils pay more attention
Scientists found "white noise" helped children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder concentrate. The same was true for children with no behavioural disorder but who under-achieved at school. In contrast, brighter pupils, without ADHD, were put off by noise and performed better in silence. Researcher Goran Soderlund of Stockholm University, who led the study, said: "The discovery is surprising, since previous research has indicated that children with ADHD are easily disturbed in distracting environments." A possible explanation for the findings, published in the journal Psychological Review, involves dopamine, a neuro-chemical that helps control brain activity. Low achieving and ADHD children are deficient in dopamine, said the scientists. For them, noise appears to stimulate the brain just enough to make it function better. But the brains of children with normal levels of dopamine may be over-stimulated, lowering their ability to concentrate and remember. - Source

09/28/07 - Town Tests Cars Driven By Computers, Lasers
KeelyNetThe Northamptonshire, UK, town of Daventry is being used as a guinea pig to test driverless "CYBERCARS" controlled by computers. The small electric cars, which use lasers to avoid crashing into things, are summoned by pressing a button along the route. The cars follow a pre-programmed route, like a bus. The project is part of the European Commission's research group CityMobil. - Source

09/28/07 - List of the "World's Weirdest/Stupidest Conspiracy Theories"
• Stephen King killed John Lennon. (Steve Lightfoot) • WWII was staged. It never really happened. The Illuminati employed elaborate special effects, stage magic, and phony journalism to scare the world into pacifism. (Donald Holmes) • The doomed Franklin Expedition was sent to the Arctic not only to find the Northwest Passage, but to secretly investigate UFO sightings that had been reported since the 1700s. The men were captured, experimented upon, and eaten by giant aliens. (Jeffrey Blair Latta) • The 1939 War of the Worlds radio broadcoast was a psychological warfare study funded by C.D. Jackson on behalf of the Rockefeller Foundation, designed to find out how Americans would react to an enemy invasion. Funny... in a trailer for his mockumentary F is for Fake, Orson Welles did say the WoW broadcast had "secret sponsors". (Daniel Hopsicker) • Aspartame, flouride, genetically modified foods, and vaccines are used specifically to keep us sick and open to suggestion, and/or as part of a secret depopulation plan designed by the world's elite. - Source

09/28/07 - Space Station Partners Bicker Over Closure Date
KeelyNet"The current partners in the ISS are in discussion regarding the closure date of the space station, even though it still has not been fully assembled. 'The United States insists it will pull out of the station at the end of 2015 while Russia wants its life prolonged, said European Space Agency (ESA) chief Jean-Jacques Dordain at an astronautics congress in Hyderabad, southern India. NASA administrator Michael Griffin has told space station partners that the US agency has no plans for "utilization and exploitation" of the science research lab for more than five years after it is completed, Dordain said.'" - Source

09/28/07 - Did Donald Duck foil a patent application?
There is a famous story (among patent attorneys, at least) about a Donald Duck story being used as prior art against a patent on a method of raising a sunken ship. A 1949 Donald Duck story used the same technique. How do you quickly raise a sunken ship full of sheep? The Danish inventor Karl Krøyer came up with a very creative solution: pump buoyant bodies into the ship to achieve sufficient upward lift to bring the ship back to the surface. The solution was so creative he got a patent on it. In a 1949 Donald Duck story, titled The Sunken Yacht a ship is raised by stuffing it full of ping-pong balls. That kind of prior art could kill the patent. But whether the story was actually used by a patent office to refuse the patent (application) remains unclear. - Source

09/28/07 - Clean Inkjet Printer Cartridges with WD-40
KeelyNetDried ink on printer cartridges can render your expensive ink unusable, but blogger Bucky decided not to toss the cartridges out and instead soaked the base of the cartridge in WD-40. The result: a cartridge that works again. "I got a brain-storm of an idea the other day and decided to try soaking the base of the cartridge in WD-40 to see if it would soften and clean the dried ink and holy crap - it worked!!! (I soaked it over-night and then wiped it off good before reinstalling it in the printer.)" (via lifehacker.com) - Source

09/28/07 - Storing Solar Power Efficiently
Thermal-power plants could solve some of the problems with solar power by turning sunlight into steam and storing heat for cloudy days. Solar proponents love to boast that just a few hundred square kilometers' worth of photovoltaic solar panels installed in Southwestern deserts could power the United States. Their schemes come with a caveat, of course: without backup power plants or expensive investments in giant batteries, flywheels, or other energy-storage systems, this solar-power supply would fluctuate wildly with each passing cloud (not to mention with the sun's daily rise and fall and seasonal ebbs and flows). Solar-power startup Ausra, based in Palo Alto, thinks it has the solution: solar-thermal-power plants that turn sunlight into steam and efficiently store heat for cloudy days. David Mills, Ausra's founder and chairman says that solar-thermal plants are the solution because storing heat is much easier than storing electricity. Mills estimates that, thanks to that advantage, solar-thermal plants capable of storing 16 hours' worth of heat could provide more than 90 percent of current U.S. power demand at prices competitive with coal and natural gas. "There's almost no limit to how much you can put into the grid," he says. What distinguishes Ausra's design is its relative simplicity. In conventional solar-thermal plants such as Solel's, a long trough of parabolic mirrors focuses sunlight on a tube filled with a heat-transfer fluid, often some sort of oil or brine. The fluid, in turn, produces steam to drive a turbine and produce electricity. Ausra's solar collectors employ mass-produced and thus cheaper flat mirrors, and they focus light onto tubes filled with water, thus directly producing steam. Ausra's collectors produce less power, but that power costs less to produce. - Source

09/26/07 - To Mars and Beyond - Improving on Space Propulsion
KeelyNetThis coming January, Ad Astra Rocket Company will test the VX-200, a full-scale ground prototype of the variable specific impulse magnetoplasma rocket (VASIMIR), first conceived in 1979 by the company's president and CEO, astronaut and plasma physicist Franklin Chang Diaz. The rocket is an attempt to improve on current space-propulsion technologies, and it would use hot plasma, heated by radio waves and controlled by a magnetic field, for propulsion. Chang Diaz believes that the system would allow rockets to travel through space at higher speeds, with greater fuel efficiency. Franklin Chang Diaz: I've always said that in order for us to conduct a serious space-exploration program, we need to develop two things: power and propulsion. Power in space is still severely limited. Mainly, we use solar power. This is fine as long as we stay near the sun, but the issue remains that for Mars and beyond, we will need to develop nuclear electric power. If we don't, we might as well quit. We're not going to get anywhere without it. Power is life in space. Propulsion is the other pillar which I think is lacking. FCD: Someday, the earth will be a place humanity will come back to, sort of like our national park. I don't mean to get rid of the earth like an old shoe. We need to protect it so that we can always come back to it. TR: What's the purpose of investing money trying to leave the planet? Shouldn't we focus on fixing problems at home? FCD: We're investing in our survival. Like John Young says also, we are a species with no redundancy. If something ever happens to our planet, it could be the end of our civilization. Investing a few dollars to ensure the survival of the human species--I don't think that's too much. Source

09/26/07 - Natural Inventors - Novelty in Disguise
KeelyNetA considerable number of innovators, whom you may call disguised scientists, have the ability to discover new technology and transform the way we live, says Amal Mandal. A section of so-called under-qualified populace in India has the knowledge and creativity to come up with the down-to-earth ideas that are more useful and practicable than those generated in the mainstream research labs. Common people, driven by hardships and inadequacy of technology, adapt the available equipment to their specific needs and develop innovative mechanisms out of sheer ingenuousness. Their innovations are user-specific. But such innovations can serve the common interest and be a solution to various problems of our society. Despite the marvels of technology, mainstream research has either evaded or is insensitive to the vast field of agriculture. It has not concerned itself with growing of different crops, rearing animals or post-harvesting operations. Therefore, ordinary people use their own brains to solve the problems they encounter in their day-to-day life. For instance, Gurucharan Pradhan of Orissa has contrived Navaratna Machine that performs ten different functions at a time: cutting chaff, wood and grass; thrashing paddy and groundnuts; pumping water and generating electricity. A farmer made a land tilling equipment out of an ordinary bicycle. A student who had dropped out from school in Assam developed a turbine that generates electricity and pumps water for irrigation. Producing matchsticks out of jute will surely save precious wood and regenerate jute cultivation. One villager in Purulia has crafted a unique screw that gets into wood without cracking it. Think of Bibhuti Bhusan Chakraborty of Andaran Fulbari, Tufanganj. He has worked out a contraption-like mechanism that produces electricity when cars speed over it. Thus, rows of moving cars which otherwise add to pollution and global warming can be turned into a source of electricity to be used for street lighting and other purposes. He has, with the help of National Innovation Foundation ~ an autonomous organisation under Department of Science and Technology, Government of India ~ applied for a patent on his invention and when his Road Current model is put to large-scale use, the conventional electricity consumption will be reduced and more importantly, it will be proved that most human activities can be turned into sources of energy. However, Bibhuti’s model is different from Kanak Gogai’s that works only on speed breakers. Bibhuti has many inventions up his sleeves. An extremely low-cost water filter is one of them. Being worried by high iron content in the water in his locality, he has developed a simple water filtering equipment that is portable and no less effective than those available in the market. Some other of his inventions include a stove that consumes the least amount of kerosene and a clip worth Rs 5 that permanently prevents dislocation of by-cycle chains. Every innovator who either has already evolved alternative ways of fulfilling requirements of common people or has overcome technological challenges or simply has an idea that may prove useful for the society must be supported in their endeavours. Obscure innovators are scientists in disguise. More often than not, the out of box formulations they come up with are convenient, cost-effective and environment-friendly. The ideas of these innovators are mostly crude. They need to be worked on and improved. To market their ideas is beyond the capacity of the ordinary innovators. They need public support to materialise their ideas. Because the innovators are impoverished, scientifically under-qualified and naïve in business deals, they must get protection from possible appropriation and exploitation of their intellectual property.

09/26/07 - Splitting Water with Sunlight
Researchers from the German Max Planck Institute have now developed a catalyst that may do just that. As they report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, titanium disilicide splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. And the semiconductor doesn’t just act as a photocatalyst, it also stores the gases produced, which allows an elegant separation of hydrogen and oxygen. One aspect of this system that is particularly interesting is the simultaneous reversible storage of hydrogen. The storage capacity of titanium disilicide is smaller than the usual storage materials, but it is technically simpler. Most importantly, significantly lower temperatures are sufficient to release the stored hydrogen. The oxygen is stored as well, but is released under different conditions than the hydrogen. It requires temperatures over 100°C and darkness. “This gives us an elegant method for the easy and clean separation of the gases,” explains Demuth.

09/26/07 - DOE Patents online
KeelyNetThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the launch of a website, DOepatents, which allows search and retrieval of information from a collection of more than 20,000 patent records. The database represents a growing collection of patents resulting from R&D supported by DOE and demonstrates the Department’s considerable contribution to scientific progress from the 1940s to the present. “From helping the blind to see again to identifying hidden weapons through holographic computerized imaging technology, the U.S. Department of Energy has supported and will continue to support research addressing some of the world’s most pressing scientific challenges,” Under Secretary for Science Dr. Raymond L. Orbach said. “Content within DOepatents represents a truly impressive demonstration of DOE research and development and technological innovation.” Highlighted at DOepatents is a compilation of noteworthy DOE innovations from the past few decades. These technologies have improved quality of life and provided national economic, health and environmental benefits. One such invention is the Artificial Retina, a collaborative research project between DOE national laboratories, universities and the private sector aimed at restoring vision to millions of people blinded by retinal disease. Another invention is the DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s pioneering multi-junction solar cell. A cell based on this design set a world efficiency record in converting sunlight to electricity. The DOepatents database also includes inventions of Nobel Laureates associated with DOE or its predecessors such as Enrico Fermi, Glenn Seaborg and Luis Alvarez, along with other distinguished scientists. DOepatents consists of bibliographic records, with full text where available via either a PDF file or an HTML link to the record at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The DOepatents database is updated quarterly with new patent records. The website is updated on a regular basis with news and information about significant and recent inventions. Resource links for inventors are included at the site, as well as Recent Inventions and Patent News pages.

09/26/07 - Pseudo Hybrid truck conversion for Electrical Power
Robert Jordan, Overdrive magazine’s 2006 Trucker of the Year, was one of 20 entrepreneurs in the semifinals of Forbes.com’s first Boost Your Business contest. But the online vote, which decides the five finalists, did not fare in Jordan's favor. The grand prize is $100,000 for the winning entrepreneur to invest in his or her business. Jordan, of Juneau, Wis., was one of nearly 1,000 people to enter the contest. Jordan has built his business, Idle Free Systems, around a patent he owns. Jordan’s invention is an aftermarket device that makes a Class 8 tractor run somewhat like a hybrid. Energy generated by normal engine use is stored in five sealed, absorbed glass mat batteries, housed beneath the sleeper’s bunk. That reserve power then runs heating and air conditioning when the truck is stopped. The reserve batteries also can be charged by shore power and by reefer engines.

09/26/07 - Snow Breeze - DIY Cooler
KeelyNetM. B. Lal has devised a way to keep his room cool, even when the rest of the city seethes under the post-summer heat and humidity. Toying with the idea since that June day, Lal invented his ice-cooled air-conditioner over the past fortnight. “I can’t take the Delhi heat any more,” he says. “That day, I asked my wife to bring me a tub of water but, instead, she brought all the ice from the fridge. And the entire room cooled down.” “We took a wooden box and created spiral grooves in it,” Lal says. “We later put metal foil on them and placed a metal box full of ice in it.” With the help of a small but powerful fan, the air was forced to move around the cold metal box, in a spiral dictated by the grooves. “By the time the fan pushed out the air it was actually cold.” But his experimenting didn’t stop there, for Lal wanted to make his contraption even more efficient. So, with further assistance from the carpenter, Lal was able to change the ice-cooler to fit it smugly into a large plastic drum. Today, it stands proudly in his room, blowing cold air with a reassuring hum. “Everything I used was locally available. Even the fan, which is very powerful, uses less than half the energy of a 60-watt bulb.” Put together, the ice cooler is able to quickly bring down temperature by around seven degrees centigrade, for Lal that difference is a lifesaver. “Getting the ice is also not a problem. If you can’t freeze it yourself, you can buy it from vendors; there are plentiful of those everywhere.” Although ‘snow breeze’, as he has dubbed the ice-cooler, can chill a room for almost six hours on eight kilogrammes of ice, Lal says it can be used all over the country with minimal electricity. A Gandhian, Lal doesn’t want to patent his ‘snow breeze’. “Anyone can make one of these coolers, and only if they do will we know how to improve it.”

09/26/07 - The Importance of Getting a "Patent Pending" for Your Invention
A patent pending (applied for and waiting for approval), consists of the patenting agent or attorney first doing a "patent search" to see if inventions of the same concept or design have already had patents applied for them. If it is found that patents have already been applied for, an inventor who attempts to market a very similar product would risk legal liability for patent infringement (having a copycat product) should they continue an attempt to market their invention. It is obvious to see how this first step towards getting a patent pending is valuable. Also, keep in mind that once you have a patent pending, this can be noted in print on your product-invention’s packaging and protects you while the patenting process is being completed. Even if for some reason a patent is later denied, this is not usually determined for many months and gives an inventor a protected jump on any competition that might try to crop up in the mean time. Some companies and also retail outlets, who look at new products for consideration to market them actually require that they have a patent pending status or they will not review them! Keep in mind that patent law states that you cannot disclose your product to the public, more than one year prior to applying for a patent or you may not be allowed to obtain a patent pending for it.

09/26/07 - Living On A River
KeelyNet Now you can buy a condo on a riverboat: River Cities. Explore The USA From The Comfort Of Home. If your retirement dream includes travel and variety, River Cities is your ticket to a unique river lifestyle. Purchase one of our River Cities condominiums and make the river your home. Choose full or part time cruising options as you follow the seasons to your next adventure. Cruise America's 6,600 miles of inland waterways on a slow boat to everywhere. Wake each morning to a new bend in the river as River Cities brings the world to your doorstep. Purchase prices start at $299,000 for a 528 sq-ft condo. Plus $13,200 in annual fees to cover maintenance, insurance, fuel, etc. If living on a river full-time seems like too much, you can also purchase a half-share.

09/26/07 - Seaweed Forests Bring Hope for Marine Life
Temperate water kelp forests, like coral reefs, are havens for marine biodiversity and could be vital as global warming increasingly affects the oceans. The seaweed is traditionally not thought to be an obvious tropical "resident" because it requires cool water and lots of light. But scientists from California, Canada and Ecuador developed a model to determine if regions of the tropics had the light, nutrients and low temperatures kelp needs to survive. According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they combined data about kelp's physiological requirements with oceanographic data from the surface to the seabed. The results revealed an area of more than 8,880 square miles in which sunlight and nutrients were intense enough for kelp to flourish, and the temperature was not too high. The study said: "The existence of deep-water refuge for tropical kelp has profound biogeographical and evolutionary consequences."

09/26/07 - The Granite Man’s liftoff
KeelyNetDavid Hamel passed away from us a week ago. He was the subject of the book The Granite Man and the Butterfly: The David Hamel Story, which Pierre Sinclaire researched and I finished writing in 1995. Pierre published it through his Project Magnet, which was named for the Project Magnet of the distinguished Canadian Wilbert Smith. He spent the past three decades building models of an advanced technology he was shown in 1976 or so, but the only time he achieved “lift-off” was many years ago in Maple Ridge, BC. At that time an unmanned disk that he had built - and set into oscillation - suddenly built up an ionized glow around itself and shot up into the sky, never to be seen again. David was ticked off because there went all his savings - all the magnets he had bought and the careful machining work. Jeanne Manning writes, "I’ll be sending flowers to McConnell Funeral Home in Medoc, Ontario (ph 613-473-2833 if you want to do the same), but I won’t be able to attend the memorial at the cemetery at Gilmore, Ontario, on Saturday October 6." / Hamel Files Index page and Alien Microfilm a Fake.

09/26/07 - Open Philanthropy
How you can steer the future of humanity. How can you solve the problems that really matter to you? If you're like most people, among these problems are terrifying, often fatal diseases: Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer, stroke. Other problems you care about concern understanding and improving our humanity--understanding our consciousness, empowering citizens in democracies, and preserving dying languages, just to name a tiny few. One obvious way to focus resources on a problem you care about is to become rich and create or steer an institute--placing bets on specific researchers and on specific research agendas. But if you're like most people, you're not a billionaire. That means you have to be entrepreneurial about your idea, raising the funds through visionary leadership and strategic planning--a full-time job if there ever was one. One possibility is that if there were an open market for philanthropy, which would connect dollars with ideas, then you might be able to find researchers working on the problems you care most about, evaluate the investigators and their approaches, and empower them directly with funding. Such a system would also mean that you could solve the problems you care about earlier in your life, allowing you to benefit from them directly. You wouldn't have to wait until you're old and wealthy to start funding research to solve the Big Questions. If just 5 percent of the 60 million obese people in the USA desired to pool their resources to study ways of tackling metabolic impairments, and thereby improve health, and each contributed just $1.25 a month to researchers who focus exactly on the problems of most pressing interest, that would be $45 million a year.

09/26/07 - Lack Of (or too much) Sleep Doubles Risk Of Death
KeelyNetResearchers from the University of Warwick, and University College London, have found that lack of sleep can more than double the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. However they have also found that point comes when too much sleep can also more than double the risk of death. In research to be presented to the British Sleep Society, Professor Francesco Cappuccio from the University of Warwick's Warwick Medical School will show the results of a study of how sleep patterns affected the mortality of 10,308 civil servants in the "Whitehall II study."

09/26/07 - Spaceflight Changes Bacteria Into More Infectious Pathogen
"Bacteria that became more dangerous in space may help scientists design better antibiotics on Earth, U.S. researchers said on Monday. They found that a type of Salmonella that causes food poisoning became more virulent after spending 12 days at near-zero gravity in the space shuttle, killing more mice than Earthbound bacteria and killing them more quickly. Their findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, might help protect both astronauts and people infected on the ground, said Cheryl Nickerson of the Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology at Arizona State University."

09/26/07 - In the Philippines, Ex-Judge Consults Three Wee Friends
KeelyNet(Interesting story, could there be an alternate dimension reality involved here? Especially because of the malefic 'coincidences.' - JWD) As a trial-court judge, Florentino V. Floro Jr. acknowledged that he regularly sought the counsel of three elves only he could see. The Supreme Court deemed him unfit to serve and fired him last year. Helping him, he says, are his three invisible companions. "Angel" is the neutral force, he says. "Armand" is a benign influence. "Luis," whom Mr. Floro describes as the "king of kings," is an avenger. The Supreme Court says its medical clinic determined that Mr. Floro was suffering from psychosis. Even so, a series of disturbing incidents appear to have the nation's top jurists rattled. According to local newspaper reports, a mysterious fire in January destroyed the Supreme Court's crest in its session hall, and a number of members of the court and their close family members have developed serious illnesses or have fallen victim to car accidents. Enough bizarre things have happened that in July, the Supreme Court issued an en banc resolution asking Mr. Floro to desist in his threats of "ungodly reprisal." The Supreme Court's spokesman declined to elaborate. Mr. Floro says he is not suffering from psychosis, and that he's not to blame for the incidents. He points the finger squarely at "king of kings" elf Luis, who Mr. Floro says is bent on cleaning up what he says is the Philippines' corrupt legal system. Mr. Floro says he never consulted the invisible elves over judicial decisions and the fact that he puts faith in them should make no difference to his career. "It shouldn't matter what I believe in, whether it's Jesus, Muhammad, or Luis, Armand and Angel," he says in an interview.

09/26/07 - Acupuncture works for back pain
Fake acupuncture works nearly as well as the real thing for low back pain, and either kind performs much better than usual care, German researchers have found. Almost half the patients treated with acupuncture needles felt relief that lasted months. In contrast, only about a quarter of the patients receiving medications and other Western medical treatments felt better.

09/24/07 - Video - The Hexayurt Project
KeelyNetThe Hexayurt is a novel, easy and very cheap to build minimal house design for emergency and even permanent shelter. The price for construction ranges from $200-$300 for the basic verson and of course more depending on size and complexity. The video suggests the design to be a mix of Bucky Fuller's Dymaxion/Geodesic housing with Ghandhi's desire to help poor people worldwide to improve their living conditions. / Additional information - The Rich/Poor Divide - The Rocket Stove - The Wood-Gas Stove.

09/24/07 - Parallel universes make quantum sense
KeelyNetIf you think of yourself as unique, think again. The days when physicists could ignore the concept of parallel universes may have come to an end. If that doesn't send a shudder down your spine, think of it this way: our world is just one of many. You are just one version of many. David Deutsch at the University of Oxford and colleagues have shown that key equations of quantum mechanics arise from the mathematics of parallel universes. "This work will go down as one of the most important developments in the history of science," says Andy Albrecht, a physicist at the University of California at Davis. In one parallel universe, at least, it will - whether it does in our one remains to be seen. The "many worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics was proposed 50 years ago by Hugh Everett, a graduate student at Princeton University.

09/24/07 - ZAP Signs with China's Largest Luxury Bus Manufacturer
KeelynetIn 2004, with the support of the Chinese government, Youngman was awarded a license to manufacture automobiles. Earlier this year Youngman made auto industry headlines by awarding Lotus Engineering a number of vehicle development projects, and more recently by signing a vehicle distribution and technology licensing agreement with Proton (the Malaysian national car company), estimated to be worth several billion US dollars. The strategic partnership with ZAP will allow the joint venture company to bring highway capable electric and hybrid vehicles to the market like the ZAP-X crossover SUV. "This is the most significant relationship that ZAP has ever entered into," said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider. "This joint venture will provide a platform for both ZAP and Youngman to focus each other's strengths to develop solutions that have the potential to transform the industry. Our energy will not stop at the vehicle engineering level. Using renewable energy to provide a cost effective recharging infrastructure to customers, we can change the world, one vehicle at a time," said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider. Youngman's portfolio of products includes luxury motor coaches, inter-urbans, city and airport buses as well as premium commercial trucks for long distance, local distribution, heavy-duty building and special services. Youngman manufactures its motor coaches and trucking at a million square foot factory in Jinhua. Youngman is building new factories in Shandong province with the backing of the Chinese government to expand its automotive manufacturing capacity.

09/24/07 - Students help others find buried dreams
What would you like to do before you die? Four Canadian college students are on a mission to help people find out. The students, who were inspired by a poem, have compiled their collective list of 100 goals and have set out on a two-month, 10-city American trip dubbed ‘The Buried Life Tour’ to accomplish them, and to help 100 strangers fulfill their dreams. "I think our main mission is to ask people not to be afraid of living life and not to be afraid of challenging themselves to go after the things they’re most passionate about," Jonnie Penn, 20, said. He started the project in August 2006 with his brother Duncan, 23, and friends Dave Lingwood, 21, and Ben Nemtin, 23, as a way of discovering their passions in life. The idea originated from an 1852 Matthew Arnold poem entitled The Buried Life. The quartet from Victoria in British Columbia are travelling in a retro 1970 purple bus and are filming a documentary about the project. "The name of the project is called Buried Life because everybody has these big dreams they hold so dear," said Penn. "But it’s so easy in this modern world to get buried and forget (about them)." Their list of "100 things to do before I die" on their website (www.theburiedlife.com) includes kissing the Stanley Cup and partying with a rock star, which they’ve done. They are still trying to dance with television host Ellen DeGeneres, throw out the first pitch at a baseball game and compete in a soapbox derby.

09/24/07 - Will China Beat the United States Back to the Moon?
KeelyNet"During an address on the space economy to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the space age, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin made the assertion that China would beat the United States back to the Moon. 'Americans will not like it, but they will just have to not like it. I think we will see, as we have seen with China's introductory manned space flights so far, we will see again that nations look up to other nations that appear to be at the top of the technical pyramid, and they want to do deals with those nations. It's one of the things that made us the world's greatest economic power. So I think we'll be reinstructed in that lesson in the coming years and I hope that Americans will take that instruction positively and react to it by investing in those things that are the leading edge of what's possible."'"

09/24/07 - Homeland Security's Tech Wonders
"The multi-billion dollar budget of the Department of Homeland Security has spawned a myriad of new, whiz-bang technology that includes things like keychain-size, remote-controlled aerial vehicles designed to collect and transmit data for military and homeland security uses. It also includes infrared cameras that capture license plate images to match them in milliseconds to police records. "Seventy percent of all criminal activity can be tied to a vehicle," says Mark Windover, president of Remington ELSAG Law Enforcement Systems, which is marketing its product to 250 U.S. police agencies."

09/24/07 - Drugs that prod bacteria to self-immolate
KeelyNetHow would it be, if we devise a method that would prod the bacterium to kill itself - one that would involve a fundamental step that does not care about any of the biochemical pathways of replication, metabolism or growth? Controlled burning - One such step is to simply burn the bug to death. But it will have to be controlled burning at ordinary temperature, called metabolic oxidation. And it would have to be done by the bacterium itself, namely self-immolation. This way, the body of the human host and its endogenous symbionts would not be harmed - no collateral damage. Such a step has indeed been discovered, and not with any new drug but by the existing molecules such as the floxacin and the ampicillin classes of drugs. Professor James Collins and his colleagues at the Boston University School of Medicine have unravelled a new and additional effect that these drugs have on bacteria, which was not known until now. Glycolytic cycle - Writing in the September 7, 2007 issue of the journal Cell, they show that these drugs tamper with the fundamental biochemistry of bacteria, namely the glycolytic cycle, which is the starting step in the digestion of food. As they tamper this cycle, they release considerable amount of positively charged iron atoms, which produces the ‘flame’ called hydroxyl radicals. These radicals, as the Professor’s student Michael Kohanski put it: “will damage DNA, proteins, lipids in the membrane, pretty much anything. They are equal opportunity damagers.” They literally burn the bacterium to death. What is nice is that this hidden pathway to bacterial self-immolation is prompted by already discovered and widely used bacteriocides.

09/24/07 - Method for $1/Watt Solar Panels Will Soon See Commercial Use
"A method developed at Colorado State University for crafting solar panels has been developed to the point where they are nearly ready for mass production. Professor W.S. Sampath's technique has resulted in a low-cost, high-efficiency process for creating the panels, which will soon be fabricated by a commercial interest. 'Produced at less than $1 per watt, the panels will dramatically reduce the cost of generating solar electricity and could power homes and businesses around the globe with clean energy for roughly the same cost as traditionally generated electricity. Sampath has developed a continuous, automated manufacturing process for solar panels using glass coating with a cadmium telluride thin film instead of the standard high-cost crystalline silicon. Because the process produces high efficiency devices (ranging from 11% to 13%) at a very high rate and yield, it can be done much more cheaply than with existing technologies.'"

09/24/07 - The final triumph of Saint Che
KeelyNetForty years after his death in Bolivia, Guevara is a living force in the town where his body was paraded. It was here in Vallegrande, 40 years ago, that the corpse of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara lay on display, eyes open, in the hospital laundry. And it is here that his unofficial sainthood is becoming firmly established. 'For them, he is just like any other saint,' Father Agustin says ruefully. 'He is just like any other soul they are praying to. One can do nothing.' On a bench in the square, Freddy Vallejos, 27, says: 'We have a faith, a confidence in Che. When I go to bed and when I wake up, I first pray to God and then I pray to Che - and then, everything is all right.' Freddy wears a cap bearing Alberto Korda's iconic image of Guevara. 'Che's presence here is a positive force. I feel it in my skin, I have faith that always, at all times, he has an eye on us.' In this region, images of Che hang next to images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Pope John Paul II and Bolivia's President Evo Morales. Stories of miracles have mushroomed.

09/24/07 - Flat battery? Try a bit of paper power
It's no accident that the battery resembles a piece of paper. Cellulose - the same plant cells used in news print, photocopier paper and books - makes up more than 90 percent of the device. The mechanism is engineered at a molecular level from particles no larger than a virus. Carbon nano-tubes embedded on one side of the cellulose give the battery its black color and act as electrodes. Lithium oxide on the other side of the sheet works as an electrolyte. Having integrated components makes the battery stronger and more flexible than a conventional battery. "If you cut the battery in half it would be like cutting a piece of paper in half. It functions no matter how many times you cut it because it is molecularly integrated," Linhardt told CNN. Not only can you cut the battery - you can roll it, fold it or mould it. The batteries can also be stacked like a ream of printer paper, which multiplies energy output. As well as outputting low amounts of energy steadily over a long period, the mechanism can also be built as a supercapacitor, emitting a massive burst of energy in less than a second. And a completely new invention, a hybrid device, can do both. Potential applications for the new battery and supercapacitor device include hybrid cars. Combining the work of two separate engine components at molecular level makes it 25 percent more efficient. Its flexibility means it could be shaped into pieces of the car -- like inside door panels -- that wouldn't normally be associated with batteries. Looking into the future, if the device can be successfully scaled up it could be used to power electric aircraft and boats. The device will work well in extreme conditions because it contains no water, so there is nothing to freeze or evaporate, according to Linhardt, like in the space program or the North Pole.

09/24/07 - Alkaline vegetables to keep you fit
KeelyNet(I have seen it noted that cancer and many diseases cannot live in an alkaline environment. - JWD) About 80 per cent of our food intake should be alkaline vegetables and alkaline fruits and no more than 20 per cent of the entire food intake should be acidic. Alkaline vegetables help maintain the ph balance of the body at 7.3. They can be included to form part of your diet and should be substituted for most of the acid food. The greener the vegetable, the more alkaline it is said to be. So when looking for alkaline vegetables, choose greens more. Broccoli is a good alkaline vegetable and can be consumed in plenty by just boiling it and adding some salt and lemon to it for flavour. Bamboo shoots also fall in the alkaline vegetables category. Keep the bamboo shoots dipped in some lemon syrup for about 30 min. Peel and cut a few potatoes and add a large tomato and a glass of water and the bamboo shoots to the vessel. All these are alkaline vegetables. Boil all the ingredients for half an hour add spices according to taste and simmer for another 20 minutes, you will have a lovely soupy dish to be eaten with rice or just consumed as it is. Garlic is very good for cleansing the body of toxic wastes and should be added to most of the meals for it’s alkalising effect. Egg plant though not a green vegetable is still an alkaline vegetable. Eggplants can be consumed in a variety of ways. Eggplants with a few potatoes can make a lovely alkaline vegetable dish. For children try out mashed eggplant as a side dish. The alkaline vegetable list is unending. Cabbages, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peas, pepper bells, parsley, radish, cucumber and almost all vegetables are all alkaline vegetables. So go out there and skip the meat section and walk into health and vigour. With an alkaline vegetable diet plan, you cannot go wrong.

09/24/07 - Hacker Finds Serious Flaw in Adobe PDF
The security researcher said he would not release code that shows how a PDF attack works until Adobe provided a patch for the problem. The hacker who discovered a recently patched QuickTime flaw affecting the Firefox browser says he has found an equally serious flaw in Adobe Systems Inc.'s PDF file format. "Adobe Acrobat/Reader PDF documents can be used to compromise your Windows box. Completely!!! Invisibly and unwillingly!!!," wrote Petko Petkov, in a breathless Thursday blog posting. "All it takes is to open a PDF document or stumble across a page which embeds one." Petkov said he had confirmed the issue on Adobe Reader 8.1 on Windows XP and that other versions may be affected. The security researcher said he would not release code that shows how this attack works until Adobe provided a patch for the problem, but he has already sent other software developers scrambling for bug fixes over the past week. On Sept. 12, Petkov reported that attackers could run unauthorized software on a Firefox user's PC by exploiting a flaw in Apple Inc.'s QuickTime media format. Mozilla Corp. offered a partial fix for this problem on Tuesday but said Apple would ultimately have to address the issue in its QuickTime media player.

09/24/07 - Swirled to the Left or Right? Nanofibers Align in Stirred Liquid
KeelyNetIs the vortex in a stirred liquid swirling clockwise or counterclockwise? A zinc porphyrin dendrimer-a branched molecule with a central zinc atom-can answer this question. As Japanese researchers report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the optical activity of a solution containing this substance changes rapidly when the direction of stirring is changed. It is possible that vortexes in the distant past were responsible for breaking the symmetry in nature to give us the “handed” life we see today, which has clear preferences for “left-” or “right-handed” molecular building blocks like sugars and amino acids. Vortexes in liquids clearly twist either one way or the other, as do screws, our hair, or snail shells. They can be related to each other like mirror images or left and right hands. This is called “handedness” (chirality). Vortexes are very complex structures, containing many regions with currents moving in completely different directions. For example, if a liquid is stirred in a cuvette, a dense circular current forms at the center while a loose spiral-shaped flow is present in the outer regions of the vortex. A research team headed by Takuzo Aida and Akihiko Tsuda has now synthesized a zinc porphyrin dendrimer that makes these individual local currents observable by spectroscopy. The highly branched zinc-containing molecules aggregate in solution to form long nanofibers. If the solution is not stirred, it is not optically active. As soon as it is stirred, it becomes optically active: The stirred solution rotates right- and left-circularly polarized light to different degrees. This difference (circular dichroism), when measured over all wavelengths, results in a characteristic spectrum. If the direction of stirring is changed, the sign of the circular dichroism switches. In addition, the magnitude of the circular dichroism increases with increased stirring. Like a flag waving in the breeze, the individual fibers are directed by the current. Along the beam of light shining through the cuvette, the different currents within the vortex drive the fibers into a helical arrangement-a structure reminiscent of certain liquid-crystalline phases. When the direction of stirring is changed, the helical structure also changes the direction it twists.

09/24/07 - HIV sequences cannot prove guilt
People infected with HIV might well want to know who gave it to them - but the genetic sequence of their virus won't tell them. The virus is now routinely sequenced in each infected person to uncover drug-resistance genes, but virus sequences have also been used in several high-profile court cases by lawyers seeking to show who infected whom. This has led some HIV carriers to wonder if they might be able to do the same. "HIV sequences have been used by lawyers seeking to show who infected whom” "The data won't work for that," warns Deenan Pillay of University College London - because HIV evolves too fast. This means that even though the viruses from two people may look similar, other local viruses may even be more alike. Analysing them can't show whether A infected B or vice versa, whether it went through a third person or whether both were infected by another person.

09/24/07 - Bats may use magnetic polarity for navigation
KeelyNetResearchers have found that bats have a special ability to detect the polarity of a magnetic field, meaning that the creatures can tell the difference between north and south. The only other animal known to have this ability is the mole rat, while birds, fish, amphibians, and all other non-mammals possess a different version of the magnetic compass. In their experiment, the scientists studied the reactions of Nyctalus plancyi bats in an experimental chamber when exposed to an altered magnetic field. The team recorded the hanging positions of the bats with an infrared camera, and then used Helmholtz coils to generate a magnetic field that aligned with the local geomagnetic axis at Beijing, where the experiment took place, with twice the intensity of Earth’s magnetic field. After exposing the bats to the induced magnetic field for several days, the researchers then altered the horizontal and vertical components of the field, both simultaneously and independently. As the group explained, altering the vertical field affects the magnetic inclination, while altering the horizontal field affects the magnetic polarity. Many birds and other non-mammals are known to react to inclination, meaning that they can use information about the different angles that the Earth’s magnetic field is tilted toward the Earth to determine relative latitude. For example, inclination is 90 degrees at the poles (perpendicular to the Earth) and 0 degrees at the equator (parallel to the Earth)-similar to the pattern that lead filings make when placed around a bar magnet. Some birds, like the Arctic Tern, use inclination to annually navigate all the way from the North Pole to the South Pole and back. However, unlike birds, the bats did not react to a change in the vertical field, implying that they do not use inclination when roosting or navigating. On the other hand, when the researchers altered the horizontal field, the bats changed their hanging positions, switching from the northern to the southern end of their basket.

09/24/07 - Testes may be man's repair kit
KeelyNetDr Shahin Rafii of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute say they've found a way of teaching mice stem cells that normally make sperm to make other tissues as well and to grow those cells into batches big enough to use medically. This provides a new source of stem cells, the body's master cells, which experts hope can be used to treat injuries, replace diseased tissue and perhaps even regenerate organs. They are hoping to find the same potential source of adult stem cells in humans. The testes are among many new potential sources of adult stem cells. Other researchers, for example, have found them in blood, bone marrow and other tissue. Other, more primitive cells have been found in the placenta and amniotic fluid. In general, the more primitive the stem cell, the more flexible it is and the more various tissues it can be used to make. A small little sample of flesh from the testicles should provide enough cells to work with, Rafii says. Once isolated, they grew the mouse cells into blood vessel, heart and muscle cells. These could provide a perfectly matched transplant for the patient himself and perhaps others as well. "They can also be transferred to other individuals who are a genetic match. You could even give it to a sister if they are genetically compatible," Rafii says.

09/24/07 - Salmon sperm LEDs
Prof Andrew Steckl says, "Biological materials have many technologically important qualities - electronic, optical, structural, magnetic." "But certain materials are hard to duplicate, such as DNA and proteins."It seems that DNA - quite apart from its other well-known properties - is especially useful as an electron trap in LEDs. "It allows improvements in one to two orders of magnitude in terms of efficiency, light, brightness - because we can trap electrons longer," explains Steckl. You or I, not being top scientists, would perhaps be stumped if asked to find a source of DNA - in industrial quantities, mind - which fulfilled these requirements. But not Steckl, who came up with sperm. "Salmon sperm is considered a waste product of the fishing industry - it's thrown away by the ton," the Prof says, thankfully without going into detail.

09/22/07 - Eyeshield for Sleeping
KeelyNet(Link courtesy of Bob Paddock. - JWD) Good sleep quality and quantity is important to a healthy life. This invention combines the functions of an eyeshade, speakers, timer, microphone, and voice recognition software to provide a restful environment for the user for a controlled period of time. Naps when traveling or in sleep rooms at work are potential applications, but the device can also be used at home - for example, when one spouse works very different hours from the other. In operation, the timer creates an awakening sound when the set time expires. The user can control the device using commands issued to the voice recognition system. By connecting the device to a media or communications appliance such as a cell phone, computer, or digital audio player, music or other sounds can play through the speakers. The included voice recognition system can also be used to control a connected appliance, such as a computer. Benefits Summary - o Promotes healthful and beneficial sleep. o Shields the eyes against intrusive light, for example, from a person entering a darkened room and turning on the lights while someone else in the room is sleeping. o Provides a timer function to wake the user. o Provides one or more audio speakers to help create a restful and soothing environment to promote restful sleep, such as soft music or white noise, from a cell phone, computer, or DAP. o Incorporates voice recognition software to allow controlling a connected appliance.

09/22/07 - Jettison-D®: diesel emission reducer and fuel economizer
(Link courtesy of Bob Paddock. - JWD) The Jettison D® is a revolutionary ionizer that works in conjunction with a diesel engine’s emission control system to decrease the amount of pollutants emitted while improving fuel economy, reducing maintenance and enhancing engine performance. It changes unburned oil droplets and vapors emitted from the engine into light, very burnable hydrocarbons and returns them to the engine’s intake manifold to be burned. The Jettison’s small size, light weight and easy installation make it the ideal solution for use on a wide range of diesel engines. The Jettison-D dramatically decreases the amount of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxide (NO) and particulate matter (PM) emitted by diesel engines while improving fuel economy and engine performance. Development Summary - The first round of independent testing has been completed for a small diesel engine application. Additional testing and refinement of the device, including defining optimal installation and operating conditions, are needed before commercialization. The Company recently modified the Jettison for diesel applications and in the first quarter of 2007 completed the first round of testing in an EPA-certified emissions testing laboratory. Test results showed dramatic reductions in HC (-8.5%) and PM (-12.3%), small reductions in CO (-2.3), NOX (-1.1) and, with slight increase in power (+.5) and increases in fuel economy that ranged from 5% - 6%.

09/22/07 - Solar-Powered Laser
KeelyNetA new kind of efficient, solar-powered laser has been developed by researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in Japan. They hope to use the laser to help them realize their goal of developing a magnesium combustion engine. The idea, says Takashi Yabe, a professor of mechanical engineering and science at the Tokyo Institute, is to make a powerful laser capable of combusting the magnesium content of seawater. In the process, large amounts of heat and hydrogen are given off. Magnesium has great potential as an energy source because it has an energy storage density about 10 times higher than that of hydrogen, says Yabe. It is also highly abundant, with about 1.3 grams found in every liter of seawater, or about 1,800 trillion metric tons in our oceans, he says. Moreover, the magnesium oxide resulting from the reaction can be converted back into magnesium, says Yabe. The catch? Recycling the magnesium oxide back into magnesium requires temperatures of 4,000 kelvins (3,726 ºC)--hence the need for a laser to generate such temperatures on a small spot. The other innovation of Yabe's laser is the use of a small Fresnel lens instead of large mirror lenses. Fresnel lenses reduce the size and amount of material needed to build a lens by breaking it into concentric rings of lenses. Typically, 10 percent of incident light is focused on the crystal, whereas with the Fresnel, it's around 80 percent. "In our case, we used only 1.3 meter squared and achieved 25 watts," says Yabe. Although this is only a threefold increase, the laser output exponentially increases with the increasing area. "So we are expecting 300 to 400 watts with the four-meter-squared Fresnel lens," he says.

09/22/07 - Can Magnets Boost Ethanol Production?
Brazilian researchers report that exposure to magnetic fields increased ethanol yields by as much as 17 percent. Brazil gets a third of its fuel from sugarcane-based ethanol, and ethanol producers want to increase that figure by refining the fermentation process. The researchers at the University of Campinas, in Brazil, say that they boosted ethanol yield 17 percent and shaved two hours off of a 15-hour fermentation process simply by circulating the fermentation brew past six magnets, each about the size of an overstuffed wallet. "The fermentation time can be reduced, and consequently, the production cost can also be reduced," says Victor Haber Perez, the University of Campinas food engineer who led the research team. In 2003, Brazilian researchers at the Federal University of Pernambuco, in Recife, created a stir with a report that a static magnetic field caused marked increases in the growth of yeast and the ethanol concentration in laboratory-scale fermentations that used Saccharomyces cerevisiae. (S. cerevisiae is the yeast most commonly used in the Brazilian biofuels industry to produce ethanol from sugarcane.) A year later, however, Spanish radiobiologists at the University of Malaga threw that work into doubt, reporting that they had observed no stimulation of S. cerevisiae when it was subjected to a (much weaker, admittedly) magnetic field. They also failed to observe any impact from the alternating magnetic fields used in some earlier studies. Perez and his colleagues set out to settle the matter, using controlled experiments in a state-of-the-art industrial bioreactor. They diverted the fermentation mixture of sugarcane molasses and yeast out of the reactor via stainless-steel pipes that passed between six magnets with a combined field strength of 20 milliteslas--roughly halfway between the strengths of the magnets employed in previous tests. The results confirmed the 2003 report from the group in Recife: a static magnetic field increased the yeast's rate of sugar metabolism and boosted ethanol production by 9 percent. The higher 17 percent increase was observed when Perez employed a solenoid--basically, a wire coil around the magnets--to alternate the 20-millitesla field.

09/22/07 - Saint Sells Homes
KeelyNet With home sales falling to five-year lows, homeowners desperate to sell their homes are looking for a little divine intervention. Dawn Hoernemann of Minneapolis, Minnesota, had her one-bedroom home on the market for four months. Every weekend there was an open house. But there were no offers. That's until she took her mom's advice and buried a statue of St. Joseph upside down in her front yard. The next week, she had three offers and her home was sold. "I couldn't believe it. I don't know what it is about it. It worked. It's some sort of a miracle," says Hoernemann. This "miracle" has it roots in Catholicism. According to the tradition, burying St. Joseph began hundreds of years ago in Europe. St. Teresa of Avila, a nun in the 16th century, buried a medal of the saint and prayed to St. Joseph to help secure land for a convent. The ritual is said to have worked, and so the trend of burying St. Joseph has caught on. Just ask Phil Cates of Modesto, California. His online retail site, StJosephStatue.com, offers the "Underground Real Estate Agent" home-selling kits. For $9.95, the 4-inch statue comes with a burial bag and a burial instruction booklet. There's even an 8-inch version of the statue for larger homes. Sales have increased 100 percent in the past two years, according to Cates.

09/22/07 - Rapeseed biofuel ‘produces more greenhouse gas than oil or petrol’
Rapeseed and maize biodiesels were calculated to produce up to 70 per cent and 50 per cent more greenhouse gases respectively than fossil fuels. The concerns were raised over the levels of emissions of nitrous oxide, which is 296 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Scientists found that the use of biofuels released twice as much as nitrous oxide as previously realised. The research team found that 3 to 5 per cent of the nitrogen in fertiliser was converted and emitted. In contrast, the figure used by the International Panel on Climate Change, which assesses the extent and impact of man-made global warming, was 2 per cent. The findings illustrated the importance, the researchers said, of ensuring that measures designed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions are assessed thoroughly before being hailed as a solution.

09/22/07 - Police probe 'Superman' flying man sighting
KeelyNet(Thanks to Bill Ward for this headsup. This could be a hoax using a radio controlled man shaped balloon, based on the description of being slow moving. I don't have the video link to study and couldn't find it on the net yet. Such cases need to exhibit novel flight characteristics that can't be explained with known technology. - JWD) Police are investigating after villagers in Romania claimed to see a Superman-like figure flying through the sky. Almost 20 villagers, from Gemeni, Mehedinti county, claim the UFO was wearing a shiny blue suit, just like Superman's. Police officers took written statements from all of the witnesses and say they described the figure in the same way. Local policeman Ion Anuta said: "We talked to people of different ages who are all reliable citizens in our village. "They all said they saw this strange creature who flew over their houses in his shiny blue costume. We'll just have to see what happens next." Villager Constantin Toader, 41, said: "He looked like Superman and was flying slowly at about 100 yards from the ground in a standing position. He didn't make any smoke or sound. Just cruising around." / Personal Flight - some accounts including flying carpets. / Grebennikov's Platform - a natural gravity deflecting material used for flight.

09/22/07 - Do You Need a Permit to Land on the Moon?
"With the recent announcement of Google's X-prize for a successful private landing of a robot on the Moon, someone has asked the Explainer at Slate.com if permission is required to land something on the Moon? Turns out that while there is no authority that regulates landing objects on another world, getting there does require the permission of the national government from where the launch takes place. This is in accordance with the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, signed by 91 nations, which regulates the uses of outer space by the nations of Earth. Specifically, Article VI enjoins: 'The activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty.' Start your paperwork!"

09/20/07 - GTG aids Israeli firm to produce water from air
An Israeli company will soon launch a device for producing water from air. This revolutionary Israeli invention, could meet the all household drinking water needs, and with the addition of solar energy, produce substantially greater quantities.

09/20/07 - 21st-century pack mule: MIT's 'exoskeleton' lightens the load
KeelyNetTheir invention, known as an exoskeleton, can support much of the weight of a heavy backpack and transfer that weight directly to the ground, effectively taking a load off the back of the person wearing the device. In the September issue of the International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, the researchers report that their prototype can successfully take on 80 percent of an 80-pound load carried on a person's back, but there's one catch: The current model impedes the natural walking gait of the person wearing it. "You can definitely tell it's affecting your gait," said Conor Walsh, a graduate student who worked on the project, but "you do feel it taking the load off and you definitely feel less stress on your upper body." "Our dream is that 20 years from now, people won't go to bike racks--they'll go to leg racks," he said. Exoskeleton devices could boost the weight that a person can carry, lessen the likelihood of leg or back injury and reduce the perceived level of difficulty of carrying a heavy load. The person wearing the exoskeleton places his or her feet in boots attached to a series of tubes that run up the leg to the backpack, transferring the weight of the backpack to the ground. Springs at the ankle and hip and a damping device at the knee allow the device to approximate the walking motion of a human leg, with a very small external power input (one watt). Other research teams have produced exoskeleton devices that can successfully carry a load but require a large power source (about 3,000 watts, supplied by a gasoline engine). When the MIT researchers tested their device, they found that although the load borne by the wearer's back was lightened, the person carrying the load had to consume 10 percent more oxygen than normal, because of the extra effort to compensate for the gait interference.

09/20/07 - Greenswitch shuts down unused devices
GreenSwitch, a wireless energy control system that turns off all electronics in standby mode in your home. It was originally designed for hotels, but can save "25 to 45% in energy costs" depending on how much standby stuff you have in your house, which still draws power even when not on. Stick the nonessential stuff (TV, DVD player, PS3, space heater) in one outlet controlled by GreenSwitch, and essential stuff (DVR) in another, so you can flip everything off when you leave the house.

09/20/07 - Worm Infestation - Good For Your Health?
KeelyNetBlood-sucking hookworms seemed to make people healthier. Earlier this year in Nottingham, Prof Pritchard received a shipment of Necator americanus for a worldwide first trial using hookworms as a treatment for auto-immune diseases, in which the immune system goes into overdrive. Initial results presented yesterday to the British Association for the Advancement of Science's conference in York, show that the hookworms appear to "down regulate" the immune system. Trials with hay fever sufferers confirmed that the hookworms stimulate the body to produce white blood cells called regulatory T-cells, that dampen down the immune response. Volunteers are being recruited for a second trial with asthma sufferers and there are plans for studies on Crohn's disease and multiple sclerosis. Prof Pritchard, who has infected his body with 50 hookworms, said yesterday that asthma tended to be concentrated in the developed world. "If you superimpose a map of where hookworms are found, you will see that asthma and hookworms seem to be mutually exclusive," he said. "Similarly, Crohn's disease seems to be a disease of the developed world." Necator americanus is estimated to infect one billion people in tropical and subtropical countries. It attaches itself to the intestinal wall, sucking blood, and can remain in the body for five years. Prof Pritchard said that after the hookworms migrated to his gut he felt "a dull ache under the rib cage". It was decided the correct dosage was ten - any more resulted in discomfort; any fewer and the immune-suppressing effects were not strong enough. The worms cannot reproduce inside the body and are eradicated with tablets.

09/20/07 - Anti-HIV Pill Could Save Millions
The drug in question is tenofovir, one of the cocktail of anti-retroviral medications given to HIV patients. In studies on monkeys, the drug has been shown to be very effective in protecting them against the simian version of the human immunodeficiency virus that can lead to AIDS, and it is now being tested in humans. US health authorities are funding five separate trials involving high risk groups such as gay and bisexual men, sex workers and intravenous drug users, on four continents. The researchers looked at three different scenarios. In the first they assumed that the drug was effective 90 percent of the time, and that 75 percent of the sexually active population (15-49 year-olds) could be persuaded to pop a daily pill to protect themselves from HIV. If that rosy scenario panned out, the strategy could potentially cut new HIV infections by a whopping 74 percent over a decade, according to the computer projections. If the drug was only effective 60 percent of the time and used by just 50 percent of the sexually active population, the reduction fell to about 25 percent over the same time period. Finally, the researchers modelled a scenario where the drug was effective 30 percent of the time and only a quarter of the target population used it, yielding a reduction in new cases of a mere 3.3 percent. Even assuming that the drug does prove as effective in humans as it was in monkeys in protecting healthy individuals from infection, it is "never going to be feasible to treat the entire population," Abbas noted. But even if governments or aid agencies were able to find the funds to supply the drug to the most sexually active individuals - an estimated 18 percent of the population - it could still make a big dent in the problem, slashing the infection rate by almost 30 percent over a decade. That translates to 3.2 million cases.

09/20/07 - Temporarily Pin Documents with Your Stapler
KeelyNet(Wow, I never knew this! - JWD) Blogger Jacob Grier discovers what Wikipedia calls "the least known stapling method": pinning. If you rotate the plate on the bottom of your stapler, it will bend staples outward instead of inward to fasten things temporarily. Easily remove a pinned staple by pulling it along the plane of the document. Many modern staplers don't have this feature any more, so pick up an old-school model to try it out. (via lifehacker.com)

09/20/07 - Haptic Radar Headband Gives Wearer "Sixth-Sense"
KeelyNet"New Scientist reports on a headband developed at the University of Tokyo that allows the wearer to feel their surroundings at a distance - as if they had cats whiskers. Infrared sensors positioned around the headband vibrate to signal when and where an object is close. There are also a few great videos of people using it to dodge stuff while blindfolded." / The system is composed of an array of "optical-hair modules", each of which senses range information and transduces it as an appropriate vibro-tactile cue on the skin directly beneath it. An analogy for our artificial sensory system in the animal world would be the cellular cilia, insect antennae, as well as the specialized sensory hairs of mammalian whiskers. In the future, this modular interface may cover precise skin regions or be distributed in over the entire body surface and then function as a double-skin with enhanced and tunable sensing capabilities. In a word, what we are proposing here is to build artificial, wearable, ligh-based hairs (or antennae). The actual hair stem will be an invisible, steerable laser beam. In the near future, we may be able to create on-chip, skin-implantable whiskers using MOEMS technology. Results in a similar direction have been already achieved in the framework of the smart laser scanner project in our lab. Our first prototype (headband configuration) provides the wearer with 360 degrees of spatial awareness and had very positive reviews in our proof-of-principle experiments.

09/20/07 - Antimatter Molecule Should Boost Laser Power
"Molecules made by combining an electron with their anti-particle positron have been created by researchers at the University of California Riverside. The team's long term goal is to use the exotic material to create 'an annihilation gamma ray laser', potentially one million times more powerful than existing lasers. 'An electron can hook up with its antiparticle, the positron, to form a hydrogen-like atom called positronium (Ps). It survives for less than 150 nanoseconds before it is annihilated in a puff of gamma radiation. It was known that two positronium atoms should be able to bind together to form a molecule ... '"

09/20/07 - Journalist Test Drives The Pain Ray Gun
KeelyNetJournalist Michael Hanlon recently got the opportunity to experience the Army's new not-so-secret weapon, dubbed "Silent Guardian". The Silent Guardian is essentially (even though the creators prefer you not refer to it as such) a ray gun, emitting a focused beam of radiation similar to your microwave tuned to a specific frequency to stimulate human nerve endings. "It can throw a wave of agony nearly half a mile. Because the beam penetrates skin only to a depth of 1/64th of an inch, it cannot, says Raytheon, cause visible, permanent injury. But anyone in the beam's path will feel, over their entire body, the agonizing sensation I've just felt on my fingertip. The prospect doesn't bear thinking about."

09/20/07 - Aerosol Spray to Identify Bombing Suspects
"Forensic chemists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed a color-changing spray that can identify people suspected of making or planting bombs. The chemical turns from yellow to bright red when it comes into contact with urea nitrate, an explosive residue that may be left behind on the hands of someone who has handled an improvised device."

09/20/07 - Video - 32 AA batteries for $5?
Don't want to spend a wad of cash on AA batteries to power your gadgets? Trim down your spending by cracking open the case of a single 6 volt battery which sells for about $5. Inside you'll find a whopping 32 AA batteries! Considering that you can get 8 watch batteries from a 12-volt battery and 6 AAA batteries from a 9-volt battery, this isn't surprising, but since AA batteries are the most popular among the three, this should yield considerable savings. (via lifehacker.com)

09/20/07 - Intelligent, even Chatty Machines
KeelyNetA new company called Cognitive Code has built software that it believes will let everyday gadgets talk with humans. At the Techcrunch40 conference in San Francisco on Monday, the startup unveiled a developer's studio with a set of algorithms that convert strings of words into concepts and formulate a wordy response. The developer's studio could let businesses, such as cell-phone manufacturers and toy makers, use the technology to add conversational abilities to a product. Some computer programs are already able to parse basic information from inputs that don't match exact commands. Well-known examples are chatbots such as Alice and Jabberwacky, programs that simulate a conversation via text input. Spring claims that Cognitive Code's product, SILVIA (which stands for symbolically isolated, linguistically variable intelligence algorithm), is more advanced than chatbots for a couple of reasons. First, SILVIA remembers and understands the context of a conversation. For instance, if you're talking about the movie Star Wars and ask what the plot is, the system refers to earlier pieces of the conversation to retrieve an explanation of the movie's plot instead of giving a general definition of plot, or the plot of some other movie or book that was discussed before Star Wars. The other key aspect of SILVIA that makes it different, says Spring, is its ability to comprehend concepts that are worded in a variety of ways and produce uniquely worded responses. "You can speak to SILVIA using whatever phrase you want," says Spring, "and it extracts meaning. And on the reverse end, we have algorithms that can put [responses] back into human language. Sometimes we're surprised at the way SILVIA creates these things." The system works like this: during a conversation, words are turned into conceptual data, Spring explains. SILVIA takes these concepts and mixes them with other conceptual data that's stored in short-term memory (information from the current discussion) or long-term memory (information that has been established through prior training sessions). Then SILVIA transforms the resulting concepts back into human language. Sometimes the software might trigger programs to run on a computer or perform another task required to interact with the outside world. For example, it could save a file, query a search engine, or send an e-mail.

09/20/07 - Eat the Steak, Starve the Cancer
'Fat' does not have a good connotation for most people, especially as America's obesity rate soars. However, what if a fat-diet could actually fight cancer? Researchers in Germany's Wurzburg University say this may in fact be the case. Picking up on work begun in 1924 by German scientist Otto Wartburg, new research is being done to exploit what is now called the 'Wartburg effect.' The idea is that highly aggressive cancers rely on the fermentation of sugar to grow. If the sugar is removed, so the theory goes, this process is halted. The rest of the body, however, can rely on energy acquired from fatty molecules, or ketone bodies. In other words, the cancer starves while the body functions on the alternate, ketogenic diet.

09/20/07 - The Sun sets on Oil
KeelyNetA small - but growing - group of experts think world oil production will peak in the next few years, to devastating effect. At some point in the near future, worldwide oil production will peak, then decline rapidly, causing depression-like conditions or even the starvation of billions across the globe. Instead of production ramping up to 118 million barrels per day, Heinberg sees a plateau over the next few years, then gradual declines beginning in 2010. By 2015, he says the rate of decline will accelerate as field after field runs dry and few new supplies are found. By 2030, the world could be looking at powering its economy on 30 million barrels a day. "It's going to be an enormous shock to the global system," said Heinberg. "We're talking something on the order of the Great Depression, perhaps much worse." As for billions starving to death when crops dependent on fossil fuel-based fertilizers fail en masse, he said, "that's the worst case scenario, but it can't be ruled out."

09/20/07 - Leasing Batteries for Plugin Cars
I believe that we have only seen the beginning of the current market decline. You should take that with a grain of salt, since I've been unremittingly bearish since 1999 and for more than half that time, the market has been going up. I've started to do a little bottom fishing among companies that people have been starting to dump as the realize stock prices can also go down. One of those stocks is Electro-Energy Inc. (EEEI). Even casual readers of Alternative Energy Stocks know that I'm a big fan of batteries of all sizes, because I view storage of electricity as essential to both improving the way we produce electricity, and using it to run our vehicles. Over the next five to ten years, I expect that rising fuel prices will mean most new cars will come with hybrid drivetrains, and that some of those will be Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs - now being tested in Japan and Europe.) The demand for secondary (rechargeable) batteries is projected to grow 50% between 2007 and 2012 solely on the basis of greater use of secondary batteries in electronic devices. The total demand for secondary batteries in the US in 2007 was about $8 billion, or about 35 million kWh of capacity, but a single PHEV-25 (a Plug-in Hybrid with an all-electric range of 25 miles) would need about 8 kWh of battery capacity, while the current Prius has about 1.3 kWh of batteries. Annual production of 4.5 million PHEVs (60% of the current number of cars sold in the United States) would double US demand for secondary batteries. One factor which is likely to drive adoption is the new move towards leasing batteries currently being pursued by Th!nk and considered by GM, allowing customers to purchase EVs and PHEVs without an additional upfront cost.

09/20/07 - Tens of thousands of CCTV cameras, yet 80% of crime unsolved
KeelyNetLondon has 10,000 crime-fighting CCTV cameras which cost £200 million, figures show today. But an analysis of the publicly funded spy network, which is owned and controlled by local authorities and Transport for London, has cast doubt on its ability to help solve crime. A comparison of the number of cameras in each London borough with the proportion of crimes solved there found that police are no more likely to catch offenders in areas with hundreds of cameras than in those with hardly any. In fact, four out of five of the boroughs with the most cameras have a record of solving crime that is below average. The figures appear to confirm earlier studies which have thrown doubt on the effectiveness of CCTV cameras. A report by the criminal justice charity Nacro in 2002 concluded that the money spent on cameras would be better used on street lighting, which has been shown to cut crime by up to 20 per cent.

09/20/07 - Find webpages by Date
KeelyNetGoogle's updated its advanced search operator options to make finding pages by date a lot easier. Recently the big G's gotten a whole lot faster at adding new pages to their index, and now you can search for pages that Google's found within any number of days, weeks or months. Hit up the advanced search form to use a handy (but limited) dropdown, or go beyond defaults using URL parameters. (via lifehacker.com)

09/20/07 - The Elders
The Elders, a group of influential activists and former world leaders established with the aim of tackling some of the world's "most intractable" problems. Meet the Elders': Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Yunus and Many More.

09/18/07 - EcoWatts: another "free energy" company touts their 'invention'
KeelyNetThere is another company making claims of free energy. Simply put, nobody is really expecting this machine to work either. The company is called EcoWatts, and they claim that their machine gives off hot water containing twice the energy that it took to produce the hot water. Call us skeptical. / 12inch miracle tube could halve heating bills - Even the makers of the device are at a loss to explain exactly how it works - but sceptical independent scientists carried out their own tests and discovered that the 12in x 2in tube really does produce far more heat energy than the electrical energy put in. The system - developed by scientists at a firm called Ecowatts in a nondescript laboratory on an industrial estate at Lancing, West Sussex - involves passing an electrical current through a mixture of water, potassium carbonate (otherwise known as potash) and a secret liquid catalyst, based on chrome. This creates a reaction that releases an incredible amount of energy compared to that put in. If the reaction takes place in a unit surrounded by water, the liquid heats up, which could form the basis for a household heating system. If the technology can be developed on a domestic scale, it means consumers will need much less energy for heating and hot water - creating smaller bills and fewer greenhouse gases. We have examined this interesting technology and when we got the rig operating, we were getting 150 to 200 per cent more energy out than we put in, without trying too hard. Ecowatts says the device will cost between £1,500 and £2,000, in line with the price of traditional systems.

09/18/07 - Robots That Sense Before They Touch
KeelyNet(This reminded me of Keely's claim that the body uses an extended nervous field which he calls the 'sympathetic attendant' and that this could be extended beyond the body to interact with the world, such as he is supposed to have done to control his machines. Kind of a body frequency lock! - JWD) Intel researchers are using electric-field sensors to build pre-touch technology into robots to help them size up objects and people they encounter. At Intel's research labs, in Seattle, a robotic arm approaches three plastic bottles, two of which are filled with water, one of which is empty. Without touching the bottles, the sensors at the end of the arm scan them, collecting information about their conductive properties. After each bottle has been sensed, the arm returns to the empty bottle and, as programmed, knocks it off the table. The demonstration showcases technology, called pre-touch, that is currently under development at Intel. The researchers have incorporated the sensors into a robotic hand as well, allowing mechanical fingers to adjust to the size and shape of an object that they encounter. The goal, explains Josh Smith, senior research scientist at Intel Research Seattle, is to "improve the ability of robots to grasp objects in unstructured human environments." By adding pre-touch to a robot, it can sense the shape and size of unfamiliar objects at close range and react accordingly. Smith hopes that by improving this close-range interaction, robots will be more useful in homes, able to bring an elderly person a glass of water, for example, or pick up objects on a floor before the Roomba vacuums. The way that Smith's pre-touch sensors work is fairly straightforward. Each sensor consists of simple electrodes that can be made of copper and aluminum foil; in the case of a robotic hand, an electrode is at the tip of the thumb and each finger. When the researchers apply an oscillating voltage to the electrode in, say, the thumb, it creates an electric field that in turn induces a current in the electrodes of the fingers. When a conducting object--metal, or anything with water in it, such as an apple or a person--comes close to the sensors, it reduces the induced current in the fingers' electrodes. This change in the electric field is detected by the sensors. Specialized algorithms process the data and instruct the robotic fingers to move around the object appropriately. Sensors used in the Intel robotic hands are known as electric-field (EF) proximity sensors.

09/18/07 - Higher gasoline price seen trimming down Americans
KeelyNetHigher U.S. gasoline prices may slim more than just wallets, according to a new study from Washington University in St. Louis. Entitled "A Silver Lining? The Connection between Gas Prices and Obesity," the study found that an additional $1 per gallon in real gasoline prices would reduce U.S. obesity by 15 percent after five years. The report, written by Charles Courtemanche for his doctoral dissertation in health economics, found that 13 percent of the rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to falling pump prices. Higher gasoline prices can reduce obesity by leading people to walk or cycle instead of drive and eat leaner at home instead of rich food at restaurants.

09/18/07 - Renewable Energy: Not Just Another Investment Bubble
KeelyNetVC pros have expanded their notoriously short exit horizon to as much as seven years in recognition of the complications of getting these green technologies to large scale markets-and not looking for the overnight turn-arounds of the internet bubble era. It was also apparent that personal concern about global warming was driving a new kind of due diligence among venture investors. "We have crossed a threshold where we can talk about this differently," said Bill Green of Vantage Point Partners. "Up to now we [the U.S.] have been brain dead, which you know if you've ever traveled in Europe." "We have got to be smart about not replacing the old bad guys-oil and coal-with new bad guys," cautioned Ray Lane of Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield, and Byers. "If you provide the right incentives you'll find the guys who will cut down all the trees for ethanol." Samir Kaul of Khosla Ventures said that incentives from the government will be important in the early stage of a clean tech start up, but that $40 to $45 a barrel oil allows a range of technologies to be competitive with oil. (Oil is now hovering at a record $78.) A survey of attendees conducted prior to the "GoingGreen 2007" conference showed that three quarters expected to see an increase in funding for greentech in the coming 12 months. Nearly half of those surveyed feel that this will be a sustained investment cycle, not another investment bubble. According to KPMG's Kelly, when asked where the funding would flow, 75% of those surveyed felt that one area of the U.S. would see a substantial increase, with the western U.S., particularly California, noted most often. Outside the U.S., 57% see the increase focused on a particular region. China, India and southeast Asia were considered the most likely destination for future greentech funding.

09/18/07 - Cookie Neutrons Overturn Idea of Neutron's Electrical Properties
KeelyNetNew research finds neutron actually carries a negative charge at its center and outer edge, with a positive charge in between. For two generations of physicists, it has been a standard belief that the neutron, an electrically neutral elementary particle and a primary component of an atom, actually carries a positive charge at its center and an offsetting negative charge at its outer edge. Since the analysis is based on data gathered from direct observations, the picture could change even more as more data are collected, Miller said. "A particle can be electrically neutral and still have properties related to charge. We've known for a long time that the neutron has those properties, but now we understand them more clearly," he said. He noted that the most important aspect of the finding confirms that a neutron carries a negative charge at its outer edge, a key piece of Fermi's original idea. The strong force that binds atomic nuclei is related to nuclear energy and nuclear weapons, and so it is possible the research could have practical applications in those areas.

09/18/07 - Suburban Wind Power
KeelyNetwind power is again retreating in size, making it available for the most modest home. Mariah Power of Reno, Nevada has developed a new efficient and attractive wind harvesting station called the Windspire that has a quite attractive profile for suburban dwellers. The Windspire, at 30 feet tall and 2 feet wide, takes advantage of the access of vertical space you have out on your suburban lot. With only a ½ acre of land or more, the Windspire will work effectively. The 1 kW inverter will produce about 1900 kW hours each year in 12 mile per hour average winds. The Windspire even includes an internal wireless modem that will continuously communicate with your computer about the amount of power is generated in your backyard while at work, sleeping, eating, and generally going about your day. This allows you to track and check the generation progress at any time. The propeller construction is different from more common wind turbine. The vertical construction allows propellers to turn at the same speed as the wind. This allows it to be virtually silent and safe for both birds and people. In addition to the safety and tranquility, at only 30 feet in height, it is below most residential and urban zoning restrictions. And at a tall height in the sky, it is responsibly easy on the eye. The design is sleek, light, and simple. Available in customizable colors and designs, you can even appropriate the construction for your own aesthetic tastes. With simple and complete installation, the kit is an easy addition to the home. Priced at only $3,995, the lowest cost of anything of its kind, wind power immediately becomes an affordable commodity.

09/18/07 - Bacteria to Recycle Space Wastes
Waste recycling is one of the major problems of future flight to Mars - organic wastes of the crew should be somehow utilized during three-year flight to the Red planet. Solution for the problem is developed by international think-tank, consisting of Bulgarian, Belgian and Russian scientists, who suggest bacteria to be the best waste consumers. While the International space station is close to the Earth, its wastes are removed by special spacecrafts, which is impossible when flying to Mars. 1000-day flight will produce about 30 tons of wastes. The most effective and ecologically friendly way to utilize wastes is consuming them by bacteria. The project is supported by ESA and involves scientists from Russian Institute of Medical and Biological Problems, as well as, Belgian Centre of Nuclear Research. Scientists developed a closed ecosystem, where wastes will be recycled in special bioreactors by means of suitable microorganisms, producing water for space greenhouse or gas for additional energy. These bacteria belong to Clostridium thermocellum species, which consume mainly cellulose. Bulgarian partners will observe behaviour of said bacteria on Earth, and Russian partners will do the same in space.

09/18/07 - German Reverse Fuel Air Weapon
KeelyNetWhen a round of ammunition strikes a target, we distinguish between the gas shock effect, the fragmentation effect and the incendiary effect produced. Due to the smaller caliber of the projectiles employed, the gas shock effect is generally not sufficient to break or destroy wings, fuselage or engine of the airplane, because of the limited amount of explosive. The fragmentation effect alone does not always lead to the complete destruction of the airplane...Experience has shown that planes exposed to the fragmentation effect alone often are able to return to their base or at least to a safe landing area. However, rapid destruction of an airplane is accomplished if it is set on fire, since it is rarely possible to extinguish a fully blazing fire. Though an airplane has sufficient combustible material to support a fire, the problem still exists for anti-aircraft guns to ignite the material. Such ignition is possible only if the fuel and oil on board, such as propellents and lubricants, are caused to flow from their containers and pipes by the explosion of a shell..... It is particularly disadvantageous that the gas shock produced by the detonation of the explosive and producing low oxygen or inert gas clouds which displaces the air at the point of impact and, as a result, also displaces oxygen at the decisive moment of impact, and even if additional explosive is supplied, either no fire results or one of extremely short duration which is quenched by the impact force. Further, a direct hit in the fuel tank does not guarantee that a fire will develop. ...In summary, it can be stated that even at the present time the most reliable way of destroying an airplane, namely, by setting it on fire, is only possible with a certain degree of probability with the known types of ammunition used against an airborne target. Therefore, it is the primary object of the present invention to provide a type of ammunition which increases the likelihood of flammability of an airborne target if it is struck. In the present invention, the increased probability of flammability is provided by the use of oxygen releasing carrier material which releases oxygen when one or several explosive charges are detonated as a shell or round of ammunition strikes a target....

09/18/07 - Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector Solar Power System
KeelyNetAusra's power plants drive steam turbines with sunshine. Locally manufactured solar concentrators made of steel and glass focus sunlight to boil water, generating high-pressure steam that drives conventional turbine generators. New thermal energy storage systems using pressurized water and low cost materials will provide for on-demand generation day and night. Ausra's core technology, the Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) solar steam generation system, was originally conceived in the early 1990s by founder David Mills while at Sydney University. Mills later worked with Graham Morrison to develop the idea between 1995 and 2001. Austra's innovation is that it uses commodity flat mirrors that sit low to the ground. The refectors concentrate sunlight on water-filled pipes that hang over the mirrors. As the water is heated up to 545 degrees fahrenheit (285 celsius) the resulting steam drives a standard turbine.

09/18/07 - Radiation Absorbing Mineral Discovered in Russia
Recently Russian geologists have discovered previously undetected and never described mineral, able to absorb radiation, in Khibini of Karelia, says research fellow of Kola science centre. This mineral is still not registered, since it doesn’t have a corresponding mineral in the periodic table. Preliminary data show that said mineral is able to seize radioactive particles. Scientists claim that mysterious mineral would help to get rid of radioactive wastes from nuclear submarines, since it turns poisonous wastes into non-radioactive rocks, which are harmless for human beings and can be stored indefinitely. One kilogram of new mineral is able to neutralize over 0.5 kg of any radioactive substance - nuclear wastes from nuclear reactors, for instance. This mineral has only one drawback - it is unstable, thus easily reacts with radioactive substances.

09/18/07 - One Movie, One Take?
KeelyNetThe new Canon camcorder that comes out in October will contain a 40-gigabyte hard drive, letting the shooter store 15 hours of standard video or 5.5 hours in high definition. With a whole lot of planning you could theoretically shoot an entire movie in one run. Canon HG 10The new camcorder is called the HG10 (another mysterious name) and is expected to retail for $1,300. As a practical matter, discount stores will knock a hundred or two off that immediately. The HG10 weighs just a fraction over 1 pound and easily fits in one hand. (via oncomp.com)

09/18/07 - Parking Spaces Outnumber Drivers 3-To-1, Drive Pollution and Warming
From suburban driveways to the sprawling lots that spring up around big retailers, Americans devote lots of space to parking spaces - a growing land-use trend that plays a role in heating up urban areas and adding to water pollution, according to a recent study.

09/18/07 - Crab Robot Walks Around Guarding Your House
KeelyNet(I WANT ONE! - JWD) Hammacher Schlemmer is selling a four-legged CRAB ROBOT that maintains a constant state of suspicious alert. If it sees anything moving, or hears anything, it will investigate, which might freak out burglars and send them running. On the other hand, they might think it's cool and just steal it. UPDATE: OK, this is the Wowee Roboquad. Here's the video. Best of all, the Roboquad is hackable! Fast, smooth movement, coupled with quick decision-making, make Roboquad the most adaptive and agile robot ever to emerge from WowWee! (79.95 GBP = $160.815 USD)

09/18/07 - EBay stops sale of Belgium
Internet auction website eBay on Monday withdrew an unusual second-hand sale item, the country of Belgium, which had attracted an offer of 10 million euros (13.9 million dollars).

09/16/07 - Daihatsu Motor touts new fuel cell technology
KeelyNetDaihatsu Motor Co., a unit of the Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor, said Friday it has developed a new fuel cell technology that eliminates the need for platinum. Until now, the precious metal has been an essential material in the electrode catalyst in conventional fuel cells for automobiles, said the company, which specialises in manufacturing small vehicles. "This proprietary fuel cell technology provides numerous benefits, including resource conservation, low cost, high output, and safe and easy fuel handling," the company said in a statement. The new fuel cell technology uses hydrazine hydrate, liquid fuel for rocket which completely eliminates the need for platinum in the electrode catalyst in conventional fuel cells.

09/16/07 - Sun Lizard - Personalized ‘Greenhouse Effect’ for Commercial Buildings
KeelyNetJust as a lizard can find the perfect spot in the sun or shade to control its body temperature, Australian award winning solar heating and cooling innovation Sun Lizard can help heat or cool offices and factories while cutting energy bills and greenhouse emissions. www.alternativefuels.com.au Heating and cooling accounts for more than half the energy consumption item in the average office building and a largely neglected solution sector in the green clean tech space, according to Sun Lizard creator Colin Gillam of Alternative Fuels and Energy (AFE). The Sun Lizard heats and cools homes by using the principles of natural air movements, solar energy, and heating cooling dynamics. Gillam said that as buildings become generally more energy efficient, just a few degrees can make the difference between comfortable and uncomfortable room temperatures. The Sun Lizard uses the sun to heat or cool without any negative effect on the environment and cuts energy bills at the same time. The roof-mounted Sun Lizard allows the home to breathe by reheating warm air in winter and letting hot air escape in summer and drawing in cool air from outside. It can be retrofitted to existing buildings or incorporated into new buildings.

09/16/07 - Security, life threatened by space junk, weapons: report
KeelyNet(Isn't this a great opportunity for a new business? A space garbage collecting scow to collect and clean up all the floating debris? Every country and business with space operations would be happy to pay to keep their multi-million dollar satellite or operation in business and unharmed by floating trash! - JWD) Human security and technologies from cell phones to weather forecasts are more at risk than ever from anti-satellite weapons and space junk, said a research report released Friday. An anti-satellite test by China in January, and increased US opposition to restrictions on space weapons, were cited as two main global threats by "Space Security 2007," the fourth annual report by the Space Security Index. "The dismantling of the space sanctuary for communications satellites, and weather satellites, and those other divides on which the modern economy depends so greatly, thereby making it impossible to utilize those devices, would be negative to every single person in the world," said report co-author Thomas Graham. "You wouldn't be able to have cell phones, Blackberries, pagers, the kind of television you have now," Graham told AFP in a telephone interview from Virginia, warning that 30 nations now have the ability to shoot down satellites. "If we don't keep space as a sanctuary ... once an arms race begins in space all those satellites become very vulnerable." "There is growing tension between the US and China over the security of outer space, largely driven by mistrust and suspicions over weapons programs," said co-author Ray Williamson of Secure World Foundation in the news release. The report said China's test "created 1500 pieces of trackable debris in heavily used orbits - one of the worst manmade debris-creating events in history - but debris caused by routine space operations is also a problem." "Even a small piece of metal, traveling at 7.5 kilometers per second, can destroy a spacecraft worth billions of dollars," said William Marshall of the NASA Ames Research Center, an advisor to the space index. "The number of objects in Earth orbit have increased steadily; today there are an estimated 35 million pieces of space debris," said the report, noting that 90 percent of 13,000 orbiting objects large enough to damage or destroy a spacecraft are space debris.

09/16/07 - Solar Breakthrough
John Willis, has developed a new solar water heating system which it claims will be the biggest industry breakthrough since the Willis Immersion Heater - the Willis SolaSyphon. The invention is a type of plug-in solar system which can be installed in homes without the need to rip out existing oil or natural gas systems. The company says the system, which is suppported by a solar panel on the roof, is set to reduce home water heating bills by up to 50 per cent and installation costs by up to 30 per cent. "It can be used in new installations or retro-fitted to existing installations and starts producing usable hot water within minutes of sun shining on the solar panel, rather than several hours using existing technology," explained Mr Willis. "As with all the best inventions, it was to us a simple idea and within two days we had constructed a working prototype which in terms of performance actually exceeded our expectations. Quite simply, we found that we had invented a 'one size fits all' product that is a significant improvement over anything currently available on the market and will have a major impact on the global solar thermal industry.''

09/16/07 - Honey Is the Bee's Knees For Staying Young
KeelyNetChepulis and Nicola Starkey of the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand, raised rats on diets containing 10 per cent honey, 8 per cent sucrose, or no sugar at all for 12 months. The rats were two months old at the start of the trial, and were assessed every three months using tests designed to measure anxiety and spatial memory. Honey-fed rats spent almost twice as much time in the open sections of an assessment maze than sucrose-fed rats, suggesting they were less anxious. They were also were more likely to enter novel sections of a Y-shaped maze, suggesting they knew where they had been previously and had better spatial memory. "Diets sweetened with honey may be beneficial in decreasing anxiety and improving memory during ageing," says Starkey, whose work was funded by Fonterra, a dairy company interested in sweetening yoghurt with honey. She suggests the findings may be due to the antioxidant properties of honey, which have previously been demonstrated in humans.

09/16/07 - Company Demos Personal Aircraft, Future Jetpack
KeelyNet"Earlier this week researchers with the company ESG Elektroniksystem in Germany demonstrated a form of 'strap-on jet wing' that lets a user truly fly through the air. The system, called Gryphon, consists of a six-foot wing and hand-held rotary controls for the rudder. The pilot has several different instruments available to him, including onboard oxygen and helmet that features a heads-up display. 'Researchers say the final version of the flying wing will contain an electronic system that will take care of some of the steering for the pilot which today can be a little tricky, researchers say. The company also plans to add small jets to the wing making it a true jetpack in the future.'"

09/16/07 - Immobilizer Stun Gun in the Shape of a Phone
KeelyNetThe "Immobilizer" is a 900k-volt stun gun in the shape of a cell phone. And a rather modern, convincing one, at that; it even has a faux camera on the back. It also has a built-in 12 LED flashlight, with the button for "LIGHT" just millimeters away from the one labeled "STUN." Don't get confused! Of course if the Immobilzer was shaped like an even more expensive phone, you could use it to lure in muggers, as well. It's $85, plus shipping.

09/16/07 - Top Ten most Polluted Places from the quest for Energy and Products
KeelyNetPhoto - RADIOACTIVE LEGACY: The orphan Sasha suffers from the health legacy of the explosion at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl. Russia, China and India contain the most areas where toxic pollution and human habitation collide with devastating effects. Fuller says the list includes "places that are highly polluted in the developing world, where children are dying in droves or living with chronic disease… areas of desolation and disgust at what man has wrought."

09/16/07 - Arctic Ice Melt Opens Northwest Passage
KeelyNetArctic ice has shrunk to the lowest level on record, new satellite images show, raising the possibility that the Northwest Passage that eluded famous explorers will become an open shipping lane. The waters are exposing unexplored resources, and vessels could trim thousands of miles from Europe to Asia by bypassing the Panama Canal. The seasonal ebb and flow of ice levels has already opened up a slim summer window for ships. "The strong reduction in just one year certainly raises flags that the ice (in summer) may disappear much sooner than expected," Pedersen said in an ESA statement posted on its Web site Friday. Pedersen said the extreme retreat this year suggested the passage could fully open sooner than expected - but ESA did not say when that might be. Russia, Norway, Denmark, Canada and the United States are among countries in a race to secure rights to the Arctic that heated up last month when Russia sent two small submarines to plant its national flag under the North Pole. A U.S. study has suggested as much as 25 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas could be hidden in the area. Environmentalists fear increased maritime traffic and efforts to tap natural resources in the area could one day lead to oil spills and harm regional wildlife. Researcher Claes Ragner of Norway's Fridtjof Nansen Institute says, "It won't be ice-free all year around and it won't be a stable route all year," Ragner said. "The greatest wish for sea transportation is streamlined and stable routes." "Shorter transport routes means less pollution if you can ship products from A to B on the shortest route," he said, "but the fact that the polar ice is melting away is not good for the world in that we're losing the Arctic and the animal life there."

09/16/07 - Rocket Mail
Over the last century there have been those who have wanted to change that: visionaries who looked beyond the truck and mailbag and imagined a means of delivering credit card bills and erotic magazines that would defy the heavens and shake the very Earth itself. Rarely has history seen a concept so grand, and so impractical, as Rocket Mail. The precise method proposed varied among advocates, but the basic concept was simple and universal. A rocket, anywhere from a foot in length to the size of an automobile, would be packed with mail and launched towards a target. Upon reaching its destination, it would be designed to do one of two things: either deploy a parachute and float gently to the delivery site, or, for a much better show, crash and burrow its nose into the ground, ideally with its payload intact. Assuming it could be perfected, rocket mail would be vastly superior to conventional forms of mail transport. A series of highly-publicized failures in the 1930’s served to greatly diminish worldwide interest in rocket mail. Assuming a rocket made it off the ground in one piece, it still faced the equally daunting task of accurately finding its target. Most recently, the arrival of email and the internet seemed to sound the last death knell for this overpowered mode of delivery. And yet, while the practicalities of rocket mail as it was originally envisioned are dubious, the promises it made for delivery speed and versatility were undeniably intriguing and have yet to be achieved by any other method.

09/16/07 - Search for Limitless Energy Boosted
Seoul hopes the reactor, developed over 12 years at a cost of some $330-million, will make it a world leader in fusion technology. Seo told journalists earlier that KSTAR is the world's eighth fusion energy test device. "But it is the first to use tin-based superconducting cables that can make magnetic fields three times more powerful and stable than the previously used niobium-titanium system," he was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency. Shin said South Korea plans to keep abreast of other ITER partners and build a demonstration fusion power plant in the mid-2030s, followed by a commercial 1000 megawatt version in the 2040s. "Using purely current technology, fusion reaction is 10-20 times more expensive than conventional atomic reactors using nuclear fission, yet costs are expected to be brought down with technological advances," he said. South Korea, a highly industrialised nation with few natural energy sources, already uses conventional nuclear power stations to provide 40 percent of its power needs.

09/16/07 - Reflections in the Night OR the Possibility of Secret Control Groups
KeelyNetThe gurus of science generally make their home in the institutions of higher learning. But does an even greater authority beyond the ivy-covered halls control these professors? Why yes. It’s called “publish or perish.” Then the really scary question is who controls the Scientific Journals. By their silence on the science behind 911, surely some very powerful and organized group does. Is this something new, or has it a long subtle history that no one noticed, unless of course they were trying to publish material not “powerful and organized group” approved. Two areas peaked the interests of those who would control the world, physics and psychology. Today there is only one approved view of the Universe and it is through the strange and often unscientific and illogical theories of Quantum Mechanics, pushed to the head of the line by such prestigious Journals as Scientific American. For a theory that led directly to Magick, predicting such things as free energy which breaks the law of the conservation of energy, Quantum Mechanics was at first strangely popular and then the only theory allowed. / Legend of Asoka's Nine Unknown Men - In occult lore, the Nine Unknown Men are a millennia-old secret society founded by the Indian Emperor Asoka c. 270 BCE. According to the legend, upon his conversion to Buddhism after a massacre during one of his wars, the Emperor founded the society of the Nine to preserve and develop knowledge that would be dangerous to humanity if it fell into the wrong hands. The Nine were also charged by Asoka with manipulating the culture of India to present an image of a backwards and mystically-oriented people to the outside world in order to conceal the advanced scientific knowledge that was being accumulated within.

09/16/07 - How to Turn Cheap “Choice” Steaks into Gucci “Prime” Steaks
KeelyNet(I once thought I wanted to be a chef so studied as a sou chef before going to electronics school. This is a fascinating, very easy method to make great grilled steak! Read the entire article, its very interesting! - JWD) For the past 4 months, we have been experimenting with how to get full, juicy, beefy flavor of a ribeye with butter-knife tenderness of a filet mignon without paying up-the-butt for Prime cuts. Massively salt your steaks 1 hour before grilling. Notice that I didn’t say, "sprinkle liberally" or even "season generously." I’m talking about taking a small handful of kosher salt and literally coating your meat until you can’t see red. It should resemble a salt lick. Let that meat be totally overwhelmed with the salt for 1 hour. Rinse, pat dry dry dry and then you’re ready to grill. Before y’all throw a hissy fit, just hear me out. I first learned of this technique from Judy Rodgers’ Zuni Café Cookbook. Judy massively salts her chicken before roasting, and I’ve adapted the practice to steaks. (via lifehacker.com)

09/16/07 - Sea of Pink
KeelyNet(This is priceless! - JWD) Two students at Central Kings Rural High School fought back against bullying recently, unleashing a sea of pink after a new student was harassed and threatened when he showed up wearing a pink shirt. The Grade 9 student arrived for the first day of school last Wednesday and was set upon by a group of six to 10 older students who mocked him, called him a homosexual for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up. The next day, Grade 12 students David Shepherd and Travis Price decided something had to be done about bullying. They used the Internet to encourage people to wear pink and bought 75 pink tank tops for male students to wear. They handed out the shirts in the lobby before class last Friday - even the bullied student had one. Travis said that growing up, he was often picked on for wearing store-brand clothes instead of designer duds. "Kids don’t need this in their lives, worrying about what to wear to school. That should be the last thing on their minds." The two friends said they didn’t take the action looking for publicity, but rather to show leadership in combating what they say is frequent bullying in schools.

09/16/07 - Use Aluminum Foil to Sharpen Scissors
Home improvement site DIY Life has compiled a list of fifteen uses for aluminum foil; among them is the ability to sharpen scissors. All you need to do is stack about seven pieces of foil together and slice through them with your dull scissors, and voila! Scissors are sharp again. I tried this myself and it took more than one cut-through, but it actually did work. After your sharpening work is done, you can recycle the foil for other tasks around your kitchen. (via lifehacker.com)

09/14/07 - Google to Sponsor Lunar X-Prize
KeelyNetSilicon Valley giant Google Inc. is teaming with the X Prize Foundation to launch a commercial race to the Moon with $30 million in incentives to collect along the way. The X Prize Foundation, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., spearheaded the $10 million Ansari X Prize, which was created to jumpstart the development of private commercial transportation to suborbital space. That prize was won by Scaled Composites of California, which is now building a commercial version of its winning vehicle for entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic Corp. / The Google Lunar X Prize sets the competition bar much higher than suborbital space. "This next major X Prize has a mission that goes far beyond suborbital flight, and extends the economic sphere of humanity 10 times farther beyond geostationary Earth orbit ... all the way to the Moon," said Peter Diamandis, the X Prize Foundation's chairman and chief executive officer. "This competition will once again demonstrate that small teams of dedicated individuals can do what was once thought viable only by governments." The goal of the new prize will be to land a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon that is capable of completing several mission objectives, such as: roaming the lunar surface to a distance of at least 1,640 feet (500 meters) and relaying video, images and data back to Earth. "We don't care where you're from, what you've ever done, where you went to school ... if you can build a rover that lands and roves on the surface of the Moon you will win the Google Lunar X Prize purse," Diamandis said. According to the summary of the Google Lunar X Prize competition guidelines, the winning team must successfully land a privately funded spacecraft on the lunar surface that survives long enough to complete the mission goals: roaming about the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending a defined digital data package - called a "Mooncast" - back to Earth. The $30 million to be awarded is segmented into a $20 million grand prize, a $5 million second prize and a $5 million bonus. Contestants have until Dec. 31, 2012, to qualify for the $20 million grand prize, which will drop to $15 million for missions accomplished any time between Jan. 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2014. Teams will be required to send a Mooncast detailing their arrival on the lunar surface, and a second Mooncast that provides imagery and video of the journey roaming the lunar surface. Collectively, data sets broadcast from the Moon to the Earth must equal roughly a Gigabyte of content.

09/14/07 - Will Super Smart Artificial Intelligences Keep Humans Around As Pets?
Will it instead choose to turn the entire Earth, including the messy organic bits like us, into computronium? Or is there a third alternative? The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence's chief goal is to make sure that whatever smarter-than-human artificial intelligence is eventually spawned by exponentially accelerating information technology that it will be friendly to humans. Why? Because humanity would stand in relation to that intelligence as an ant does to us today. In inventor Ray Kurzweil's vision of the Singularity, AIs don't take over the world: Humans will have so augmented themselves with computer intelligence that essentially we transform ourselves into super-intelligent AIs. J. Torrs Hall suggested that instead of fixed moral rules (which a super smart AI with access to its own source code could change later anyway) progenitors should try to inculcate something like a conscience into the AIs they foster. A conscience allows humans to extend and apply moral rules flexibly in new and different contexts. One rule of thumb that Hall would like to see implemented in AIs is: "Ideas should compete; bodies should cooperate." He also suggested that AIs (robots) should be open source.

09/14/07 - Hemisphere Drive Speedster
KeelyNet(This so reminded me of the fascinating theory of 'Specific Speed.' - JWD) New French invention produces an entirely new system of drive which is remarkably flexible. UNIQUE in the annals of automobile development is a new type of vehicle designed by a Frenchman, M. Lame, and demonstrated at the Lepine Exhibition. This tricycle type of automobile, powered with a three h.p. motor, was able to develop a maximum speed of 43 miles per hour. Its more modern version is shown on the cover of this issue. With a 600 h.p. airplane engine, this machine could travel at incredible speeds. As will be observed in the photographs, the motor operates a large hemispherical unit which makes contact with the surface of the road. When the hemisphere is set in a vertical position, there is no forward motion, but the moment it is inclined slightly, friction with the road drives the automobile forward and although the speed of the motor is maintained constantly, acceleration and deceleration depends entirely upon the peripheral surface which the hemisphere presents to the road. Thus, knowing the speed of the motor, only a simple calculation is required to determine the speed at which the automobile could be driven. Two factors of importance, not outlined by the inventor, but which must be considered, are the gyroscopic effect of the motor and bumps in the road.

09/14/07 - Embryonic Stem Cells Thrive When Shaken
Researchers from Georgia Tech and Emory University have discovered that gently shaking embryonic stem cells, similar to how an embryo is shaken in the mother’s womb, improves their development and could some day even be used to control what type of cell they eventually become. It all started with a fortunate accident. Rich Carpenedo, a graduate student and first author of the paper, discovered by chance that a dish of embryonic stem cells left on a common lab shaker (typically used to slowly mix samples) had developed in greater numbers and more uniformly than cells grown in a static environment (i.e. unshaken). Researchers experimented with the shaking plate and determined that they could consistently produce samples with healthier, more uniform cells just by gently sloshing the dishes of stem cells on a shaker plate. The method proved to be much simpler and more space efficient than the current standard for producing embryonic stem cells, McDevitt said. “We can throw many cells in a dish and not have to worry about clumping and cell survival,” McDevitt said. “We call it the ‘set it and forget it’ method for growing stem cells.” While the secret to the shaken stem cells’ success is still unclear, it’s suspected that the movement of the fluid likely increases nutrient distribution to cells, creating healthier cells, McDevitt said.

09/14/07 - the $350 Windup Eco-Media Player
KeelyNetThe first windup media player is here courtesy Trevor G Baylis. Turn the screw for a few minutes and enjoy your favourite videos and music. The player doesn’t come with a charger unit or batteries. The geometry box look-alike needs to be wound up before playing your favourite songs. After the windup radio, this is Baylis' latest gift to gizmo freaks. You can play music, video, FM radio and use it as a torch, sound recorder, photo viewer, e-book viewer etc. And you can even record songs off your old LPs onto it. The Eco Media Player comes with a 1.8” screen and two gigabytes of internal memory that can store about 500 songs. If you want more memory space, add an SD memory card. How cool is that? Slightly bulky at one kilogram, the Eco Media player is the most versatile gizmo to hit stores in the recent times. Though it is nothing great to look at, you can listen to 45 minutes of music with one minute of winding. If you are too lazy, simply plug it to your USB port. And stop thinking that £169.99 or Rs 14,000 (14,000.00 INR = 348.432 USD) is too high a price for an MP3 player that is environment friendly.

09/14/07 - Two soldiers who co-wrote NYT op-ed on war have died
Two young US soldiers who contributed to a collaborative New York Times op-ed about the war were killed in Iraq this week. Link to story in UK Guardian, Link to report in NYT, via themorningnews. Read their op-ed: The War as We See It, Link.

09/14/07 - Be the Change
This motto -- shorthand for Gandhi's instruction that "We must be the change we wish to see in the world" -- has become ubiquitous. And while a sensible person will appreciate the essential wisdom behind Gandhi's words, in the context of sustainability, this shorthand has become associated as well with another idea: that the being the change is a lifestyle choice. In this context, Be the change in fact usually means Buy the change. It means living a standard consumerist lifestyle, but varying the products one consumes to include "green" clothes, cars and furniture... or at best going without a few things you didn't need anyways. We don't need more people living marginally greener lifestyles. We need thousands of people, millions of people, swarming out of their lifestyles and leading worldchanging lives: practicing strategic consumption, sure, but also inventing new answers, changing their companies (or quitting their jobs and starting better companies), running for office, writing books and shooting films, teaching, protesting, investing in change, mobilizing their communities, redesigning their cities, getting up off the couch and going to the meeting, and in every other way making it happen. It is time to live as though the day has come, because it has: tomorrow is too late. Put another way: Don't just be the change, mass-produce it.

09/14/07 - Backpack straps harvest energy to power electronics
KeelyNet The piezoelectric backpack straps are the latest innovation in the area of “energy harvesting,” where otherwise-wasted, ambient energy is converted into electrical energy to prolong the life of electronics. The group’s intentions in designing the energy harvesting backpack were to make a device that was transparent to the user by not interfering with the user’s flexibility or endurance, as well as providing enough energy to reduce the need for carrying heavy batteries to power portable electronics. The backpack uses straps made of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), a strong, flexible material that feels very similar to nylon. But unlike nylon, PVDF is piezoelectric, meaning that an applied stress generates an electrical charge. When carrying a 100-pound load-a typical amount for a solider’s pack-and walking at 2-3 mph, simulations showed that the straps could generate 45.6 mW of power. The researchers said that this power output could either be used to power small electronics, or be accumulated over the duration of an excursion to be used as a weightless supplemental energy source instead of carrying extra batteries. “Some devices that could be powered include an LED headlamp (~38 mW), an Ipod Nano (~46mW), and a Motorola Razr cell phone, which in standby requires ~9 mW of continuous powering and ~360 mW during talk mode,” Sodano said. “In general, we want to accumulate the power before using it so that we could walk for 20 minutes then talk for 2.5 minutes. Or you could charge an LED headlamp while you walk in the day and use it at night while you camp. The energy could also go toward powering a handheld GPS system, which requires ~165-200 mW of continuous power.” One of the biggest challenges in designing the straps was finding an extremely robust and durable electrode, since typical electrodes cannot tolerate the high levels of strain imposed by the straps. The researchers teamed up with a company in Blacksburg, Virginia called NanoSonic, Inc., that provided a self-assembled nanocomposite material called “Metal RubberTM” to tailor an advanced electrode. Using nanotechnology to control its macroscopic properties, the researchers fabricated a 100-nm-thick electrode that could undergo strains of 1000% while maintaining conductivity, and then return to its original shape when released.

09/14/07 - Micro-Dust Could Tame Hurricanes
Seeding a hurricane with microscopic dust could sharply reduce its force, according to a study which calculated that the technique might have spared New Orleans from the devastating power of Katrina in 2005. In computer simulations, scientists showed that sowing tiny moisture-seeking particles into the lower reaches of a hurricane would prevent the formation of rain and reduce temperatures, starving the storm of its source of energy. The process "creates clouds with a large number of small drops that fall very slowly, floating with air molecules, and are less likely to collide with each other and coalesce into rain drops," explained Daniel Rosenfeld, a scientist at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem who developed the concept with several colleagues. Rosenfeld first tested his model in a "control run" to see whether the simulation would match Katrina as it really happened, which it did. When he factored in the effect of cloud seeding - taking into account the impact of sea spray, which would reduce the desired effect - the radius of hurricane-force winds shrunk by at least 25 percent, with wind speeds reduced throughout the hurricane. It would take five to 10 Lockheed C-130s cargo planes to disperse some 200 tons per hour of particles so small - less than one millionth of a metre across - that they would be emitted in the form of smoke. The planes would be hundreds of kilometres from the eye of the hurricane, and thus out of harm's way.

09/14/07 - Tiny Toyota Four Seater
KeelyNetThe 'IQ' prototype is just 9ft 9 inches long - about three inches shorter than the original Mini - and is expected in showrooms within two years priced between £9,000 and £10,000. It has enough room for three adults and a small child, but a sliding seat arrangement means it can be driven as a two seater with added boot space.

09/14/07 - Invention Obvious in Part Because Inventors Were Experts
Level of Skill: The nonobvousness doctrine requires an examination of what would be available to a 'Person Having Ordinary Skill In The Art' = PHOSITA. That inquiry is premised on a definition of the mythical PHOSITA. The general theory is that highly educated and trained PHOSITA know more and tend to think more inventions are obvious. On the other hand, a PHOSITA with little education or training would have more difficulty in making connections and finding obviousness. Under 35 USC 103(a), patentability of an invention “shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made.” Of course, the process of inventing is intimately tied-in with the inventor’s skill and education level. In essence, use of the inventor’s biographical information in determing the PHOSITA skill level allows the court to ask whether the invention would have been obvious to someone standing in the shoes of the inventor. That methodology nothing more than a backdoor approach to asking whether any steps that the inventor took included non-obvous leaps - a legally impermissible question.

09/14/07 - How Much Is Enough?
KeelyNetWe often want more than we have now. More money, more gadgets, better furniture, a better house, a better car, more clothes, more shoes, more success. And what happens when we get more? We aren't satisfied, because there are new ads for new iPods, for new laptops, for new iPhones, for new cars, for new clothes. We have to have those. It's impossible to satisfy that hunger for more, because our culture is not satisfied with what we have, but is geared to wanting more. It's consumerism, and it's the official religion of the industrialized world. That sounds preachy, so let's move beyond that: ask yourself how much is enough, how much do you need in order to be satisfied? I submit that the answer is that we already have enough - possibly more than enough.

09/14/07 - Google Map Strange things
The MapOfStrange website is a way of recording strange, wacky, weird and wonderful anomalies, sights and oddities from Google Maps and Google Earth. If you have found something a bit unusual or interesting, we would like to know. Whether someone has written something in a corn field, or there is an aeroplane flying over rural England, it doesn't matter - we just want to see it. Just find the place in our map, click on the map where the strange or interesting thing you've found is, and tell us about it!

09/14/07 - Space Solar Power Gets a Boost
KeelyNetAfter spending weeks in information-gathering mode, a Pentagon analyst says the idea of putting satellites in orbit to harvest solar power and beam it down to Earth has lots of merit - and a test of the concept could be set in motion by 2015. / Beam Power Bandwidths - “The atmosphere has two bandwidth width windows though which it is possible to beam power between space and the surface efficiently, and outside of which atmospheric absorption will kill you: (1) a microwave window, of which the 2.45 GHz frequency (~ 12 centimeter wavelength) employed in the 1970s DoD/NASA reference SPS design is typical, and (2) a visible window extending perhaps as far into the near infrared as a micron or so in wavelength. …

09/14/07 - Life expectancy of Americans hits 78
The life expectancy for Americans is nearly 78 years, the longest in U.S. history, according to new government figures from 2005 released Thursday. That age, based on the latest data available, was still lower than the life span in more than three dozen other countries, however. More bad news: The annual number of U.S. deaths rose from 2004 to 2005, a depressing uptick after the figure had dropped by 50,000 from 2003 to 2004. In 2005, the number of deaths increased by about that same amount.

09/14/07 - Reality Check: Emmy remarks crediting Achievement
KeelyNetI don't even know who Kathy Griffin is, but I think I like her. Griffin's Emmy remarks to be censored. She won an Emmy award, and said this in her speech: "A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus." The Catholic League, of course, freaked out. Imagine! Someone claiming that Jesus ISN'T responsible for their success. (via j-walkblog.com) / "Kathy Griffin's offensive remarks will not be part of the E! telecast on Saturday night," the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said in a statement Monday. The comedian's remarks were condemned Monday by Catholic League President Bill Donohue, who called them a "vulgar, in-your-face brand of hate speech."

09/14/07 - Palette Generator
Automagically create a harmonious color palette from a photograph. Choose or upload a photo and a palette of colors based on the colors in the photo will be generated automatically. Use it to help with art projects, website design, or even with decorating your home.

09/14/07 - Terrorism vs Freedom Fighter
KeelyNetThose labeled "terrorists" rarely identify themselves as such, and typically use other euphemistic terms or terms specific to their situation, such as: separatist, freedom fighter, liberator, revolutionary, vigilante, militant, paramilitary, guerrilla, rebel, jihadi or mujaheddin, or fedayeen, or any similar-meaning word in other languages. 'What is called terrorism,' Brian Jenkins has written, `'thus seems to depend on one's point of view. Use of the term implies a moral judgment; and if one party can successfully attach the label terrorist to its opponent, then it has indirectly persuaded others to adopt its moral viewpoint.' Hence the decision to call someone or label some organization `terrorist' becomes almost unavoidably subjective, depending largely on whether one sympathizes with or opposes the person/group/cause concerned. If one identifies with the victim of the violence, for example, then the act is terrorism. If, however, one identifies with the perpetrator, the violent act is regarded in a more sympathetic, if not positive (or, at the worst, an ambivalent) light; and it is not terrorism.' The difference between the words "terrorist" or "terrorism" and the terms above can be summed up by the aphorism, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Many times the term "terrorism" and "extremism" are interchangeably used. However, there is a significant difference between the two. Terrorism essentially threat(en) or (carry out) act(s) of physical violence. Extremism involves using non-physical instruments to mobilise minds to achieve political or ideological ends. / Freedom Figher - Though the literal meaning of the words could include anyone who fights for the cause of freedom, common use is restricted to those who are actively involved in an armed rebellion, rather than those who campaign for freedom by peaceful non-disruptive means (though they may use the title in its literal sense). Usage of the terms "terrorists" and "freedom fighters" is almost always controversial and reflective of opposing points of view. There is no universally agreed-upon definition for either term and many organizations that have been accused of committing acts of terrorism lay claim to being freedom fighters. Others maintain that "freedom fighter" is a whitewashed term for "terrorist" or (conversely) that "terrorist" is simply a negative propagandistic term that is applied to freedom fighters.

09/14/07 - Iowa researcher studies the sustainability of the bioeconomy
This spring farmers responded to the ethanol industry's demand for grain by increasing their corn acreage by 19 percent over last year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. What if that happens again next year? What if farmers decide against crop rotations and plant corn on the same fields, year after year? Or, what if farmers begin growing biomass crops such as switchgrass for the production of ethanol from plant fiber? Will soil lose fertility? Will erosion increase? Will the amount of energy needed to produce biofuels go up or down? Will farm income increase or decrease? Will the bioeconomy be sustainable?

09/12/07 - What We Can Learn From The Lunatic Fringe?
KeelyNetWe've all heard claims of green inventions that are too good to be true: the zero-point energy generator, the water-powered car, the device for talking with dolphins to achieve world peace. Sometimes they amuse us; sometimes they confuse us, as we try to determine whether they're legitimate or not; and sometimes they just annoy us. But can they ever help us? Yes: by keeping our imaginations open, and by honing our evaluation skills -- skills which are useful both when deciding between existing technologies, and when thinking about technologies on the horizon.

09/12/07 - Harmless Steam Cannon Shoots Ball Bearings - October 1936
KeelyNetTHIS tiny steam cannon operating in much the same manner as Archimedes famous cannon will prove an interesting project for the workshop. The cannon works in a very realistic manner simply by heating 3/8-inch steel bearings until they are red hot then dropping into the barrel of the cannon in which a small quantity of water has been poured. The hot bearing striking the water converts it into steam which immediately expands and shoots the bearing out of the cannon. To build the cannon secure a 10-inch length of 3/8-inch pipe with a smooth inside surface. Tap one end and attach a cap and at the same time braze or solder two rods to the sides of the cannon barrel for swinging in the wooden cradle. The cradle is constructed from scrap stock with small cross braces inserted to add to the rigidity. Cut recesses in the top of the cradle to allow for the barrel axel rods then fasten the barrel in place by fastening metal straps over the rods as indicated in the pictorial diagrams. A short length of chain attached to the cap end of the cannon barrel permits adjustment of the barrel when firing the cannon. For ammunition secure a number of 3/8-inch steel ball bearings then place over a wire grill and heat until red hot. A small amount of water is poured into the cannon followed by the hot bearing. The steam pressure will shoot the pellet high into the air.

09/12/07 - the "Baby Beetle"
KeelyNetLike the first Beetle, of which more than 21 million were sold, it will have its engine in the rear, with luggage space under the bonnet. In China, India and other developing countries the car will cost around £4,000. In Britain and Europe it will cost around £5,000. In the West it is likely to come with a three-cylinder petrol engine, with a two-cylinder engine offered elsewhere. The car, which it is understood will be called the Up, is likely to come in both three and five-door guises and because of its light weight should manage an ultra-frugal 100 miles to the gallon.

09/12/07 - Hydrogen Fuel Bikes Debut in China
KeelyNetShanghai Pearl Hydrogen Power Source Technology Co unveiled its environmentally clean hydrogen fuel cell bike at an international fair in Shanghai recently. The bike is comprised of a battery tank and a pair of hydrogen gas bottles making it look different than other electric bikes. “As is widely known, hydrogen has become a major source of clean energy, together with wind and solar power. With hydrogen gas, the battery produces power to drive the bike without producing harmful fumes but only a bit of water,” Tian explained. It only takes 30 minutes to refill the gas bottles where is can take over 3 hours to recharge an electric battery and a battery can weight twice as much as the hydrogen system. “We could also make the battery system lighter by using different materials to make the tank.” The new bike can complete a trip of about 100 kilometers at about 25 km/h and costs about $2,632 dollars, although it is expected to drop to about $550 after they enter mass production. Course you will have to find a refueling station to provide hydrogen for the bike.

09/12/07 - Soil turns paved paradise into urban jungle
KeelyNetThe 'paved paradise' made famous by folk singer Joni Mitchell may soon be sprouting greenery thanks to an engineered soil created by US researchers to combat urban pollution. The engineered soil is made with natural and locally available materials. It can filter stormwater as well as provide a better soil bed for trees, which offer shade, scrub the air of emissions, reduce ambient temperatures, and intercept rainfall. "Paved surfaces account for up to 20-40% of a city's surface," says Dr Greg McPherson, director of the US Forest Service's Center for Urban Forest Research, at the University of California, Davis. A 12-15 metre maple or oak tree can soak up about 190 litres of rain in its canopy alone, preventing the water from becoming run-off. Plus trees provide shade and take in carbon dioxide and other air pollution. Unfortunately, conventional soils and methods for tree planting reduce their effectiveness. When building a car park or footpath, about 60-90 centimetres of the topsoil is scraped off and the remainder is compacted and filled in with layers of rock and then asphalt. Although the compacted soil keeps out moisture and provides good support for the pavement, it works against a healthy environment. McPherson and Xiao's solution involves a soil mixture that is 70% stone and 30% clay loam. The stone is a very porous, lightweight lava rock found in the nearby Sierra Nevada range. In laboratory tests, Xiao found the so-called Davis soil filtered out at least 50% of nitrogen and phosphorous from run-off water and removed about 75% of heavy metals. They also showed that if the soil was used to plant a tree in a hole that was 1.2-metres deep by 1.2-metres square, it could collect and filter 568 litres of water on top of the 190 litres a tree crown can naturally capture and store. The Davis soil can be used for more than planting car-park trees. It can also be deposited under footpaths, and used as a small soil reservoir alongside paved areas. The soil reservoir can catch rainwater run-off and filter it before it seeps into the subsoil and replenishes the groundwater.

09/12/07 - Chinese e-Bikes taking over
KeelyNetStepping off the curb to cross a street in Chinese cities, sounds of squeaky brakes are the only signal you hear to warn that you are about to be hit by an electric bicycle. They travel quite quickly in comparison to foot travel, but congest traffic because they don’t move as fast as cars. e-bikes, electric bicycles are becoming more and more common in Chinese cities. They represent wealth - a status symbol for the middle class. It’s higher status than walking, riding a bicycle or taking the bus, but less than owning a car. Chinese government statistics put the number of e-bikes at 28 million Expected sales in 2007 will add another 30 million units, almost doubling the entire countrywide ownership in just one year. Add to that half a billion bicycles and 80 million motorcycles and you can see that most of the people here do most of their traveling by two-wheeled vehicle. E-bikes can be plugged directly into a wall socket for recharging with no specialized equipment, but the places to re-charge are limited to parking garages in apartment buildings, office complexes and some parks where you have to pay 2RMB (.23 cents) for a recharge. Electric sockets are like parking spaces: you need to go somewhere else when the spaces are full. Chinese cities are still building the somewhere else. E-bikes are only used in cities with flat terrain or minor uphill grades. Hilly cities in the mountains - Chongqing and Lanzhou come to mind - lack e-bikes, simply because power from the batteries is not enough to climb steep hills. On one occasion I saw an e-bike having trouble getting up the ramp of a parking garage; the rider had to get off and walk beside the bike to the top of the ramp.

09/12/07 - Aided by Balloon, Man Leaps Hundred Yards - (Dec, 1930)
KeelyNetWhat is the world’s record for the running broad jump? Maybe Jack Cope, balloonist and parachute expert, holds it, because he can jump a hundred yards or more at a time. Not unassisted, of course; but with his partially rilled balloon, such feats are easy for him. Cope inflates his balloon until it is within a few ounces of being able to lift him. Then it is released and as it slides along before the wind, he leaps into the air and is borne forward several hundred feet at a time. The sport is not dangerous if the field is level and free of obstructions.

09/12/07 - Renewable Energy Cannot Sustain a Consumer Society
Ted Trainer, of the University of New South Wales, has made a valuable contribution to the literature of energy and resource depletion with his new book Renewable Energy Cannot Sustain a Consumer Society. In most of the renewable technologies Trainer examines, the conclusion is that although they may make a significant contribution to an energy system backed up by fossil fuels- from 10-20% in the case of wind for example- they simply cannot deliver enough constant power to run our current society entirely from renewables. This issue is compounded when we take into consideration- as Trainer is careful to do but is often left out of the equation- that our society is predicated on a growth ethic, and the population- and thus the demand- is growing: “If world population reaches 9+ billion, a global carbon use budget of 1Gt would provide us all with about 150 kg of fossil fuel per year, which is around 2-3% of our present rich-world per capita use of fossil fuels…Alternatively only about 170million people, 2.5% of the world’s present population, could live on the present rich-world per capita fossil fuel use of over 6 tonnes per year.” In the case of solar thermal, for example, Trainer concludes that power stations built in hot regions of the world that use heat from the sun to drive turbines can make a valuable contribution in the summer, but not in the winter.

09/12/07 - Too much time on the Computer? Try Instant Boss
KeelyNetWindows only: The Instant Boss timer application sets up a number of work dashes with breaks. Especially useful for practicing Merlin's 10+2*5 procrastination hack, you commit to working a certain amount of minutes, then you get a break, then the Instant Boss tells you to "Get back to work!" I'm revising the Lifehacker book in 60-minute dashes using my trusty kitchen timer, but I may switch over to Instant Boss (especially on the road). Instant Boss is a free download (donations encouraged) for WIndows only. (via lifehacker.com)

09/12/07 - The former United States of America
"In a recent lecture noted futurist and World Economic Forum advisor Paul Saffo offered a rather bleak picture of America's future for the more patriotic citizens among us. Saffo said, "There's less than 50 percent chance that the United States will exist as a nation by the middle of this century. And that that is actually a good news." Saffo then goes on to use Silicon Valley as an example of the future of city-states that will rise to replace existing infrastructures.

09/12/07 - Mitsubishi to Unveil Electric Car With 3 Motors
KeelyNetJapan's Mitsubishi plans to unveil in October an electric car called the i MIEV Sport, which sounds like a media player and looks like a Volkswagen. Each of the front wheels has its own motor and a THIRD MOTOR powers the rear wheels. Mitsubishi's S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control), boosts performance, battery life and maneuverability. The rechargeable batteries are Li-Ion, just like your cell phone, and provide 124 miles per charge. (via therawfeed.com)

09/12/07 - New AA Batteries Recharged With Urine!
KeelyNetA new battery brand from Japan called NoPoPo comes with a little straw-like attachment. When the batteries get week, just use the straw to RECHARGE THEM WITH YOUR PEE! And, no, I'm not making this up. / These new batteries, somewhat aptly named NoPoPo, look tame enough, until you peer just a little bit closer. When the charge runs out, owners are encouraged to urinate on the batteries to juice ‘em up. Seriously. We’re not kidding. Apparently the magnesium and carbon combine to create some sort of chemical reaction that, in turn, recharges the batteries to their fully usable state. Sure, but what kind of negligent nut job sticks urine soaked batteries into his/her precious electronic devices? (via therawfeed.com)

09/12/07 - +40 Free Windows Apps
This post is the part 2 of my earlier post 20 Open Source Windows Apps For You, i got lot of feedback for that post and my readers suggested some excellent programs to be included in that list. So here i am listing all those programs which i have missed in my earlier post. Do check the earlier post for the complete software list. The list is in random order. Most of these apps serve as alternatives to commercial windows apps. (via lifehacker.com)

09/12/07 - Firefox Hits 400 Million Downloads
KeelyNet"Firefox hit another milestone this past Friday, when it passed the 400 million download mark. From its launch in 2004 it took one year to reach 100 million downloads, hitting 200 million downloads just one year later. According to figures released by US consultancy firm Janco and the IT Productivity Center, Firefox currently has 17.4 percent of the browser market - up 5.6 percentage points in the last year. Also within the last year, Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser dropped 9.6 percentage points to a market share of 63.9 percent."

09/12/07 - Inventor of GMR Bids To Shake Up Storage, Again
"Stuart S. P. Parkin, an I.B.M. research fellow largely unknown outside a small fraternity of physicists, thinks he is poised to bring about a breakthrough that could increase the amount of data stored on a chip or a hard drive by a factor of a hundred. This is the man who pioneered exploiting the giant magnetoresistance effect in the 90s, causing disk storage to jump ahead of the Moore's Law curve. If he proves successful in developing 'racetrack memory,' he will create a universal computer memory, one that can potentially replace DRAM and flash memory chips, and make a 'disk drive on a chip' possible. It could begin to replace flash memory in three to five years, scientists say."

09/12/07 - Solar plane en route to everlasting flight
KeelyNetA solar-powered plane has beaten the record for the longest uncrewed flight, UK defence research company QinetiQ claims. In a secretive weekend mission, their craft Zephyr took off from a US military base in New Mexico and landed 54 hours later. The solar craft seems to have taken the next hop towards everlasting flight. It was able to charge it batteries enough during the day to fly through two nights. Zephyr's 54hrs would trump the record currently held by US firm Northrop Grumman's jet-powered RQ-4A Global Hawk widely used by US forces in Iraq and Afganistan. A Global Hawk flew for 30 hours, 24 minutes in 2001.

09/12/07 - Tell the Dems to keep AT&T on the hook for NSA wiretapping
KeelyNetHaving caved to the President's outrageous demands for more spying powers in August, Congress is now considering extending this power grab and letting telco giants like AT&T off the hook for their role in the NSA's illegal, warrantless surveillance of ordinary Americans. Legislation could be considered within the next 6 weeks! To help ensure that congressional leaders hear from the public, EFF has launched a new site, stopthespying.org . The site makes it easy to pick up the phone and make your voice heard, by contacting Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and your own representatives. Demand that they agree to the following pledge: Stop warrantless surveillance of ordinary Americans. Congress must stop the NSA's domestic spying, repeal the "Protect America Act," and ensure that whenever a U.S. person is the intended or unintended subject of surveillance, the government must first get a warrant. Don't legislate in the dark. Congress should oppose any expansion of spying authority until a full, thorough, and public investigation is complete. Don't let the phone companies off the hook. Congress must allow the courts to rule on the president's program by rejecting efforts to give private entities immunity for illegally assisting the government's spying.

09/10/07 - Japanese scientists make breakthrough in space-based laser power
KeelyNetAccording to a report out of Tokyo, a team at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Osaka University is working on space-based solar power systems which can collect sunlight in space and convert it into laser light, which is then transmitted to Earth and used for electricity or to power a massive Death-Ray. The project works by storing sunlight-based energy in plate made from a sintered powder of metals like chromium and neodymium. When weak laser light is shined onto the plate, the stored energy is transferred to the laser where its strength is amplified by a factor of four. In one test, a 0.5-watt laser was amplified to 180-watts by the plates. Scientists have thus far been able to garner 40-percent of the solar energy produced, and they hope to have a system ready for satellite mounting by the not-too-distant year 2030.

09/10/07 - $1000 Low-cost personal DNA readings are on the way
KeelyNet"GENETICS is about to get personal." So proclaims the website of 23andMe, a Californian company that is gearing up to offer people a guided tour of their own DNA. For the superstars of genetics, it has already got personal. Earlier this week, genomics pioneer Craig Venter revealed an almost complete sequence of his genome, while that of James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA's double-helix structure, has been available on the web since late June. Given that Watson's genome took almost $1 million to read, most of us won't immediately be following in his and Venter's footsteps. It isn't necessary to read your entire genome, however, to browse many of the genetic variations that may influence your health. According to George Church, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, the most pertinent information could be gleaned by sequencing the 1 per cent of the genome that codes .

09/10/07 - 3 Hour charge for 62 miles between charges Plugin Volvo
KeelyNetVolvo is the latest to hop on the bandwagon with its new ReCharge concept car. The ReCharge is basically a Volvo C30 hatchback that has been outfitted with electric hub motors in each of the vehicles four wheels and a battery pack in under the cargo floor. Volvo says that the Recharge can be driven 62 miles before the internal combustion engine (ICE) has to take over. The battery can be fully charged from a household outlet within three hours according to Volvo. A quick one hour charge is good enough for an all-electric range of 31 miles. If a driver doesn't have access to an outlet, the batteries can be recharged by the 1.6 liter Flexifuel four-cylinder engine. "This is a ground-breaking innovation for sustainable transportation," said Magnus Jonsson, Volvo Cars' Senior Vice President Research and Development. "A person driving less than 100 kilometres a day will rarely need to visit a filling station. In the USA, this may apply to almost 80 percent of drivers."

09/10/07 - DIY Segway As Fast As The Real Thing
KeelyNetA group of high schoolers and MIT students decided to build their own Segway for a summer engineering project, and found themselves with something that looks disturbingly good. Pictured is a chap on Dean Kamen's polished, commercial invention; to the left is Cam Tenny on the DIY replicant. "The DIY Segway is controlled by a PIC microcontroller board based on the Machine Science XBoard. ... For sensors, we used an ADXL203EB accelerometer to sense acceleration due to gravity -- which is a good way to measure the angle -- coupled with an ADXRS401 gyroscope to measure the rate of angular rotation (how fast the person is falling forward)." These young roboticists' creation is nearly as fast as the real thing, but cost far less to put together-about $1,000 in off-the-shelf components. Video

09/10/07 - Catching up with Martians
KeelyNetIT may have taken more than 2,300 years, but humans have finally caught up with Martian technology. "Great shining silvery shields" were first spotted in the Earth's skies during the reign of Alexander the Great, between 356 and 323BC. Now Peterborough-based GFS Projects company has laid claim to creating the world's first flying saucer. The craft, which measures 60cm across, made its historic flight at a Gorillas of Tomorrow technology event at Churchill College, Cambridge, on Wednesday. Flying saucers would be a cost-effective alternative to scrambling helicopters, while UAVs can be fitted with a range of sensors, including video and thermal imaging. Because the vehicles are unmanned, monitoring hazardous situations could be undertaken without putting the well being of a crew at risk. Director David Steel said: "As well as the multitude of unmanned applications, ultimately it should also be possible to design one big enough - around 10 metres in diameter - to carry people. "It could be used to get emergency medical teams into areas where it is impossible to land a plane or a helicopter because of the terrain. "The saucer can land on uneven ground or even on a slope, which is a real advantage in remote and inaccessible areas." Meanwhile, the company is currently in discussions with the agricultural market about how the UAV could be used to collect data from its airborne perch. The information could be used by farmers to apply fertilisers and pesticides in an effort to reduce waste and costs, and minimise the chemical impact on the environment. Mr Hatton added: "Our vehicle uses the coanda effect, first discovered by Romanian aviation engineer Henri Coanda in 1910, when he found that air passed over a curved surface would reduce the pressure on the upper surface, causing it to rise. "Actually making this into a working prototype has been a challenge as you have to generate sufficient airflow to create lift while keeping it stable and preventing rotation. But we have overcome this and the UAV is showing great potential." Footage of the flying aircraft is also available on the website: www.gfsprojects.com

09/10/07 - Want to Save a Load of Cash? Drive Your Car to Death!
KeelyNetEver wonder how much money you spend on your car? Do you feel the itch to buy a new car as soon as the new smell goes away? A recent study by Consumer Reports magazine gives us 31,000 reasons to stick with the car you currently have until it bites the dust. They even include some that will take you to the 200,000 mile plateau - and some cars to avoid.

09/10/07 - 'Livestock meltdown' threatens developing world
KeelyNetHardy breeds of livestock vital for world food supplies are dying out across developing countries, especially in Africa, farm scientists are warning. The researchers are calling for the creation of regional gene banks to save such breeds. Native breeds are increasingly being supplanted by high-yield Western farm animals, which may be less well able to adapt to their new environment in times of drought or disease, found a joint report by Seré's institute and the FAO on the diversity of farm animals in 169 countries. The black and white Holstein-Friesian dairy cow has high milk yields, and is now found in 128 countries and all of the world's regions. Fast egg-laying white leghorn chickens and quick-growing large white pigs are other examples of high-yield stock. These breeds offer high volumes of meat, milk and eggs. But the researchers warn that the growing reliance on a handful of farm animal species is causing the loss on average of one livestock breed every month in developing countries. And over the longer term, the imported breeds may not cope with unpredictable environmental change or outbreaks of indigenous disease.

09/10/07 - Inventor wants to sap storms with Ice Crystals
KeelyNetHe says dropping canisters of coolant into eye walls should be tried by the NOAA. Gene Hoffman, a retired computer engineer, has a pending patent application which, if approved and acted upon by the federal government, he says could control hurricanes, reduce the threat to millions of lives, save "trillions'' of dollars in property damage. Hoffman poked around the Internet and found a rich history of hurricane-killing schemes. The atom bomb idea. The goo idea. The plan to blast them with giant tubes of cold air, or deploy icebergs or drop ice chunks. Then there was the idea the government actually tried. Project Stormfury was launched against four storms in the 1960s and 1970s. Planes seeded storm clouds with silver iodide in an effort to produce a counterstorm to weaken a hurricane. Scientists later deemed it completely useless. Natural conditions change or weaken hurricanes, not humans. But Hoffman was encouraged. No one had tried a supercoolant. Supercold liquid nitrogen would vaporize and expand quickly and safely, he theorized, robbing the storm of its heat. The world would get rain, but not deadly winds and storm surge. The text of the application, dated August 2006, is part action-adventure, part science fiction: Two or more cargo planes haul liquid nitrogen in large cryogenic containers. The liquid nitrogen is released or dropped like "cluster bombs" above the forming eye wall of a tropical cyclone whose eye is half a mile to a mile wide. "The key is to hit it early," Hoffman said. He expects the liquid nitrogen to vaporize and be pulled as ice crystals into the storm. Operations would be run out of a new agency, called the National Hurricane Control Center. Pilots would coordinate with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In an emergency, the plane would jettison the crew cabin, which would parachute to the surface of the sea. It does not explain how the pilots would be rescued while adrift in the churning waters of a hurricane.

09/10/07 - $25,000 Rejuvenation Pill (and program)
KeelyNetTA Sciences Founder Noel Patton says, "The price is $25,000 for a one year protocol. That includes this product, other nutritional supplements and five series of medical exams." The product is TA-65 - a single, purified molecule extracted from a Chinese herb. "We have a molecule; it's the first in the history of the world that actually rejuvenates cells," says Patton. The makers of TA-65 claim it works by protecting cell chromosomes. Patton says, "Cells, every time they divide, the ends of the chromosomes called the telomeres get shorter." As they get shorter, the cell gets older and eventually dies. The process has been linked to aging. The owner of TA Sciences claims TA-65 activates an enzyme that restores the ends of chromosomes to reverse the cell's age. Patton says, "So if, for example, we made cells ten years younger, I'm not saying that we do, but if we made cells ten years younger, it would then take them ten years to get that old again." The manufacturer's trial of TA-65 shows positive anti-aging benefits. Dr. Jochem Kumm says, "There's a very tantalizing result here that shows that this product actually improves a number of functions and makes you more youthful." Time will tell if TA-65 truly is time in a bottle. An unpublished study suggests that TA-65 improves the immune system, skin condition, eyesight, and male sexual function. The pills are now available, but you'll have to travel to New York to get them and sign up for a year-long protocol. The Pattons were on hand when Geron and the University of Science and Technology in Hong Kong discovered the cellular rejuvenation properties of the single molecule which we now call TA-65. The TA-65 molecule is the active ingredient found in the well known Astragalus plant.

09/10/07 - Ultra Thin Solar Modules to Make 2008 Debut in Germany
KeelyNetA new generation of ultra thin solar modules that can be integrated into the facades of buildings at low cost is to be produced in Germany next year. Production is due to start at a site in Saxony-Anhalt in the second half of 2008. "Our researchers are currently working on developing more efficient solar modules of more than six percent and also on ways of producing modules at a far lower cost in order to make them more attractive for builders and architects," Thomas Lauritzen, spokesman for Schüeco, told RenewableEnergyAccess.com. The high absorption level of amorphous silicon will allow solar cells to be produced that are a few micrometers in thickness-much thinner than conventional mono and polycrystalline silicon solar cells. Glass panels of varying sizes-up to 5.7 square meters and with an output of 460 W/h-will give builders the flexibility to cover the maximum surface of any façade. "Theoretically, this technology could supply the entire electricity needs of a building, depending on its size, location and the amount of sun it gets. We believe that this new technology could be integrated into a huge number of existing office buildings and also in new buildings because investors increasingly recognize the importance of carbon neutral buildings," said Lauritzen.

09/10/07 - New Alloy may revive hope for the hydrogen economy
Efforts to use hydrogen more widely have stalled in part because of the difficulty and danger of storing and transporting hydrogen; a certain incident with a dirigible called the Hindenburg lingers in the collective memory. One way to sidestep these problems would be to create hydrogen at the point of use. Much effort has gone into replicating a feat at which plants excel: splitting water into its constituent hydrogen and oxygen. So far, however, the process has proved tricky and the results have been uninspiring. Now Jerry Woodall and his colleagues at Purdue University, in Indiana, have devised a new approach that takes the form of small pellets of an alloy of two metals, aluminium and gallium. The alloy’s action is remarkably simple. Aluminium is so partial to oxygen that it can rip it out of a water molecule. The result is loose hydrogen, and the oxygen thus freed combines with aluminium to make its oxidised cousin alumina, the form in which the metal is found in nature. The reason this does not happen to kitchen saucepans is that aluminium at the surface will normally pluck oxygen from the air to form a protective skin of oxide that blocks further oxidation. The trick to using aluminium to liberate hydrogen is to prevent this layer from forming. That is where the gallium comes in. Mixing it with aluminium prevents the formation of the oxide skin so that, in the presence of water, each and every atom of aluminium is available to free up hydrogen. As it does so, it leaves behind alumina powder and liquid gallium, which can both be reused.

09/10/07 - Machines Powered by Heart Muscles
KeelyNetDevices powered by living cells could lead to novel robots and new insights into how the heart works. Researchers at Harvard University have made several small mechanical devices powered by heart muscle harvested from rats. The mechanical devices include pumps, a device that "walks," and one that swims. The scientists made the novel machines to study the behavior of muscles and provide a platform for testing heart drugs. But one day these devices could be used as parts of new types of robots that can change shape. / Cellular Cyborg - Put a cluster of pulsating rat heart cells on a tiny plastic platform with six legs and you get a microrobot that shows the potential of biological entities as components of microdevices. The tiny robot walked continuously for over 10 days, racking up 50 meters of mileage.

09/10/07 - Updated Bone Bucket
KeelyNet(If you have ever travelled in the South of the US, you might have experienced a 'bone bucket' for rib and other bones, which I found quite a charming idea. These guys have a new version of it. Not energy related, just an enterprising idea. - JWD) Ideas can come from the most unexpected of places. Gwinnett resident Brent Anderson was lunching with longtime friend Russ Stanziale at the Breakaway Grill in Duluth in 2005. Both noticed how servers struggled with gathering and disposing of bones left over from a customer's Buffalo wings. "We noticed the servers were somewhat disgusted at having to deal with the plates of discarded bones," Anderson says. "Someone even spilled them on the floor. Russ and I thought there should be a better way of dealing with them." The design began as many do, with sketches on napkins. Soon, the concept for the SnacDaddy was in full bloom. The SnacDaddy consists of two trays - a top one that holds the wings and various condiments, and a bottom one that stores the used bones. The bones are put in the bottom tray through a hole in the top. "It looks more appealing in restaurants," Anderson says. "The bones are out of sight and the servers don't have to touch them."

09/10/07 - Disintegrating polystyrene
KeelyNetFoam polystyrene is a major environmental concern. It is used as a protective packaging for all sorts of products, but it is not biodegradable. Shanpu Ya and colleagues at the Polymer Science & Engineering College of Quingdao University of Science & Technology in China have developed a new approach that involves embedding water-absorbing resin particles about 5 micrometres in diameter throughout a chemical like styrene before it is polymerised to form a polystyrene-like material. When the resulting solid comes into contact with water, the resin particles expand, reducing the polymer structure to a powder that should then biodegrade. The team says the rate of disintegration can even be controlled by altering the ratio of ingredients. But a crucial factor, says the team, is that the resulting foamed polystyrene is cheaper than conventional materials and should therefore be readily adopted by cost-conscious companies that also want to be environmentally responsible.

09/10/07 - The Hibernation Diet
KeelyNetHibernating animals survive the winter months in a state of torpor. Their body temperature plummets, their heart and breathing rates drop, and their metabolism changes from primarily glucose burning to fat burning. They then live on body fat reserves, sometimes for many months at a time. The idea comes on the back of his team's discovery that the chemical 5-adenosine monophosphate, or 5-AMP, induces a state of torpor in mice, which do not usually hibernate. Lee says that a capsule or injection of 5-AMP could induce a similar state in humans, and the accompanying metabolic changes could help treat a range of conditions associated with obesity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and eating disorders. What to make of this? It's an extraordinary idea, but it will need to be backed by good peer-reviewed evidence if it is ever to progress from a mere suggestion.

09/08/07 - Save gas, Drive Bloodcar
KeelyNetIn the near future gas prices have reached astronomical highs nearing $40 a gallon. One man, Archie Andrews, an environmentalist elementary school teacher, is trying to discover an alternate fuel source. While experimenting with wheat grass, Archie accidentally stumbles upon a solution. That solution turns out to be blood. HUMAN BLOOD! “It’s the retarded good-time movie of the year.” “after two viewings, my favorite line was the non-sequitur, “…and tarantulas in vending machines!”"

09/08/07 - Spider-Like Catamaran Travels 5,000 Miles On One Tank
KeelyNet"Proteus, a Wave Adaptive Modular Vessel that looks like a spider, is so fuel efficient that it can travel 5,000 miles on one load of diesel fuel. The 100-foot-long, 50-foot-wide boat rides on metal and fabric pontoons that have hinges and shock absorbers to flex with the motion of the waves, which helps it to skim over the water at a max speed of 30 knots. It made its debut yesterday in New York harbor."

09/08/07 - House Passes Patent Overhaul Bill
"ITworld reports that the House of Representatives has passed a bill that promises to overhaul the US patent system. 'The Patent Reform Act, supported by several large tech vendors including Microsoft Corp. and IBM Corp., would allow courts to change they way they assess damages in patent infringement cases. Currently, courts generally consider the value of the entire product when a small piece of the product infringes a patent; the bill would allow, but not require, courts to base damages only on the value of the infringing piece."

09/08/07 - Implanted RFID Chips Linked To Cancer
"The Associated Press is reporting that microchip implants have induced cancer in laboratory animals and dogs. A series of research articles spanning more than a decade found that mice and rats injected with glass-encapsulated RFID transponders developed malignant, fast-growing, lethal cancers in up to 1% to 10% of cases. The tumors originated in the tissue surrounding the microchips and often grew to completely surround the devices. To date, about 2,000 RFID devices have been implanted in humans worldwide, according to VeriChip Corp."

09/08/07 - Bahrain World Trade Center Getting Its Wind Turbines
KeelyNetThe first ever skyscraper with integrated wind turbines. The turbines will have the ability to automatically shorten and slow themselves in times of severe weather by twisting their tips. One of the big problems faced be folks working on wind power in the desert which is of course, dust.

09/08/07 - Making food essences with gelatin filtration
(This is eerily reminescent of the movie 'Perfume.' - JWD) -- a way to make sparklingly clear liquids that are intensely flavored with ... well, whatever you like: meats, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, breads, any and all combinations of ingredients. Why would anyone want to make such a thing? Think of such liquids as essences. They have no fibers, no pulp, no fat, no substance at all. They’re just flavor in fluid form, perhaps with a tinge of color, like a classic beef consommé. In fact chefs are calling these essences consommés, and they often use them the same way, as a soup or a sauce. And they can be delightfully surprising, because their appearance often gives no hint of the pleasure they’re about to deliver. (via boingboing.net)

09/08/07 - Researchers use Casimir effect to levitate objects
[T]he University of St Andrews team has created an 'incredible levitation effects’ by engineering the force of nature which normally causes objects to stick together. Professor Ulf Leonhardt and Dr Thomas Philbin, from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, have worked out a way of reversing this pheneomenon, known as the Casimir force, so that it repels instead of attracts. Their discovery could ultimately lead to frictionless micro-machines with moving parts that levitate But they say that, in principle at least, the same effect could be used to levitate bigger objects too, even a person. (via boingboing.net)

09/08/07 - U.S. Gasoline Supplies Hit 2-Year Low
U.S. gasoline supplies dropped last week to their lowest level since Hurricane Katrina slammed into Gulf Coast refineries two years ago, the U.S. government said on Thursday. Commercial gasoline stockpiles fell 1.5 million barrels to 191.1 million barrels in the week ended August 31, the lowest level since September 2, 2005, when they were at 190.1 million, the EIA said in a report. The current inventory of gasoline is enough to supply the United States for 19.83 days, the lowest level of demand cover on record, MacIntyre said. This summer's slide in gasoline stocks comes after a prolonged stretch of problems at the nation's aging oil refineries that has cut into domestic production and buoyed pump prices near $3 a gallon. Nationwide gasoline prices were $2.81 a gallon on average Thursday, down from the record $3.23 hit in late May, according to the AAA's daily price survey.

09/08/07 - Ice-free arctic in 23 years, and polar bear extinction?
KeelyNetThe Arctic ice cap has collapsed at an unprecedented rate this summer and levels of sea ice in the region now stand at a record low, scientists said last night. Experts said they were "stunned" by the loss of ice, with an area almost twice as big as Britain disappearing in the last week alone. So much ice has melted this summer that the north-west passage across the top of Canada is fully navigable, and observers say the north-east passage along Russia's Arctic coast could open later this month. If the increased rate of melting continues, the summertime Arctic could be totally free of ice by 2030. (via boingboing.net)

09/08/07 - Plain soap as effective as antibacterial, without the risk
Antibacterial soaps show no health benefits over plain soaps and, in fact, may render some common antibiotics less effective, says a University of Michigan public health professor. In the first known comprehensive analysis of whether antibacterial soaps work better than plain soaps, Allison Aiello of the U-M School of Public Health and her team found that washing hands with an antibacterial soap was no more effective in preventing infectious illness than plain soap. Moreover, antibacterial soaps at formulations sold to the public do not remove any more bacteria from the hands during washing than plain soaps.

09/08/07 - Avoiding Kids: How Men Cope with Bring Cast As Predators
(This is a sad comment on our society. - JWD) These days, if Rian Romoli accidentally bumps into a child, he quickly raises his hands above his shoulders. "I don't want to give even the slightest indication that any inadvertent touching occurred," says Mr. Romoli, an economist in La Canada Flintridge, Calif. Ted Wallis, a doctor in Austin, Texas, recently came upon a lost child in tears in a mall. His first instinct was to help, but he feared people might consider him a predator. He walked away. "Being male," he explains, "I am guilty until proven innocent." In San Diego, retiree Ralph Castro says he won't allow himself to be alone with a child -- even in an elevator. At Houston Intercontinental Airport, businessman Mitch Reifel was having a meal with his 5-year-old daughter when a policeman showed up to question him. A passerby had reported his interactions with the child seemed "suspicious."

09/06/07 - Gravity into Power
KeelyNetAfter about four years of planning and development through trial and error - including about a year-and-a-half creating the designs on paper - Bob Kostoff has reached his goal. He now owns the patent on the technology to prove it. The result was 'The Gravity Powered Machine.' The self-sustaining engine provides as little as 10 foot-pounds of torque or as much as hundreds, Kostoff said, adding how its cost is less than half of a small wind turbine. The machine - which only requires a little bit of start-up juice before it creates enough power to sustain itself - works much like a teeter-totter, using a series of sliding weights that, with the help of the earths gravitational pull, force the unit to continue spinning around in a circle. Install a series of magnets in the unit and tens of thousands of watts of electricity can be produced, an amount that depends on the size of the actual machine. “You can get off the hydro grid with one of these,” Kostoff told The Lindsay Post. So far, about five of the units have been made. Once he got the concept down, he said he began fine-tuning the more cosmetic aspects of the machine, such as reducing noise. “Once you figure it out, it's just about perfecting it,” he said. The machines can be used in a variety of applications, Kostoff said, because they produce electricity at no cost. For example, he said the units can be used to generate the power needed for electrolysis, a process that creates hydrogen, a “free fuel” that could be used to power your personal vehicle. For more information on the gravity powered engine, or to see a video of it in action, visit www.newsourceofenergy.com. / This engine is a self sustaining gravity powered unit. It produces all the energy needed to run a generator large enough to provide power for all the hydro and heat needed for your home. This patented system can be as small as producing 10 foot pounds of torque or as much as over 300 foot pounds of torque. Each unit is approximately 8 feet by 4 feet by 6 feet tall and is totally enclosed for safely protection against moving parts.

09/06/07 - Kids Invent Door Power and the Green Bicycle
The four young men - Ho Wai-tat, Man Chun-wai, Lau Sui-lun and Yiu Kwun-cheun - have invented Electdoor, a handy, gear-driven device that, when affixed to a door, can store the energy channelled from every swing of a door into electricity that can power up home gadgets like doorbells. "We reckon that, on an average, everyone in Hong Kong opens or closes a door some 20 times a day," Man told DNA. If all that mechanical energy expended by Hong Kong's 7 million population could be tapped by Electdoor, it would save the power equivalent of some 3,65,000 batteries a year, he reckons. Electdoor can be hooked up to the many doors of any home or office, and can help save power. / Another young team - from the Chinese University's Computer Science Department have devised a "green bicycle". A sensor attached to the bicycle determines the gradient of the ground; if the rider is riding uphill, the sensor activates a motor that makes it easier to pedal; on a downhill ride, the sensor switches the motor into the charging mode, which ensures that no external source of power is required.

09/06/07 - Yellowfin Variable Surface Drive
KeelyNetYellowfin is stuf­fed with former Formula One and automotive industry engineers and claims to be about to shake up the marine propulsion market. Yellowfin’s “variable surface drive” technology is a system of counter-rotating propellers that is computer-aided to adapt to changing sea conditions. The company says it offers much quicker acceleration than conventional systems, better manoeuvrability that alleviates the need for side thrusters, greater efficiency and lower fuel consumption. Its system of five units, ranging from 40hp to 4,000hp, can be used to propel boats ranging from small leisure craft to super-yachts. The idea was formed while the couple were running a sailing boat start-up in La Rochelle, western France, which had just taken over a motor boat company. “We had a problem with a propeller. A main manufacturer came in with, literally a big hammer to put it right. That was the state of the industry then and, in fact, still is to a certain extent.” Yellowfin has so far agreed distribution exclusivity with two engine makers for different sizes of drives and is in talks with a third. The marine engine companies will sell the drive systems with their engines as a single bolt-on propulsion package for new boats.

09/06/07 - Power Outages - Who to Blame?
First, let me say that electricity, the "power grid", blown transformers, and every other energy buzzword I keep reading and hearing in the news is all a giant mystery to me. All I know is that when I plug something in the wall I want it to work. And when it doesn't I get pissed off. I pay my bills every month, I'm not an energy glutton, and I don't live in Baghdad. I live in Los Angeles, the second largest city in the country, and while the TV weatherschmucks loves to talk about the "record heat," the truth is that triple-digit temperatures in southern California happen every single year and no matter how many breathless adjectives they come up with, nothing has changed since the invention of air conditioning. So why are 57,000 people without power today? New York City is hotter than us and they have power. How about Miami? Atlanta? Birmingham? I've been in Vegas in 120 degree weather and those casinos were lit up like...er, a slot machine. So what the hell is wrong with California? And why is nobody reporting it? If you read the LA Times they'll tell you that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has reported record energy usage this weekend. Yet all of the skyscrapers downtown and in Century City were all closed. All those lights are off and their air conditioning is presumably shut down, so how is it possible that there was record energy usage on a holiday weekend?

09/06/07 - Cyclone engine runs on almost anything
KeelyNetToday, inventor Harry Schoell is busy with his latest invention, the Cyclone Green Revolution Engine, developed by Cyclone Power Technologies Inc., a company he formed in 2004. The Cyclone is an external combustion, heat-regenerative engine. With low emissions and exhaust, it is environmentally friendly and more efficient than traditional internal combustion engines, Schoell said. The Cyclone could reduce dependence on petroleum and fossil fuels with its ability to run on ethanol, biofuel, diesel, gasoline and kerosene, said Wilson McQueen, Cyclone Power's vice president of sales. "You could even mix them together in the same tank with no ill effects and you can even run this engine on vapor fuels like propane, methane and natural gas, " he said. With no oil pump, radiator or catalytic converter, the engine should cost less to make, operate and maintain and is beyond the "proof of concept stage" said Schoell, who is now focused on licensing the technology to manufacturers primarily in the transportation, agricultural and heavy equipment sectors. In October 2004, Abtahi and a colleague did a technical evaluation of the engine and found it to be an "unbelievable improvement on an old idea." The U.S. military has shown interest in the engine for tank operations, and a licensee in Coconut Creek, Advent Power Systems Inc., has been working with U.S. Army procurement officials on generator uses, McQueen said. Advent's CEO and president, Phillip F. Myers, saw the engine on display at a Society of Automotive Engineers trade show and was intrigued by its characteristics. "It was superior to anything I had seen before and has the realistic potential of replacing diesel and gasoline engines in whatever applications it's used in," said Myers, an industrial and systems engineer with a doctorate from Harvard Business School. In March 2006, Advent became the exclusive licensee of the Cyclone for U.S. military generator applications and last month signed another license for its use in U.S. Postal Service vehicles. / Cyclone Power Homepage - 1. The Cyclone engine utilizes a external combustion where the fuel is burned in a controlled environment, similar to home heating furnaces or electric power plants. As in the Cyclone Engine, the fuel and preheated air are centrifugally spun in a circle around the engine. The heavier, unburned particles are thrown to the outside, while the lighter, cleaner gases escape through a central tube-bundle to the exhaust. 2. The internal lubricant in the Cyclone engine is the same as the working fluid, which is deionized water. This is accomplished by using non-corrosive materials and high temperature composite bearings - both only recently available. Oil changes are not necessary. Only water may be added. 3. The Cyclone Engine using the innovative external combustion technology and because it does not need oil lubrication to operate, is an overall environmentally cleaner engine to run.

09/06/07 - Chile: CORFO to finance 53 New Renewable Energy Initiatives
Chile’ Economic Development Agency (CORFO) announced that it will finance feasibility studies for 53 new renewable energy projects around the country. This figure is up from the 40 renewable energy projects that the agency funded in 2006 and it serves as yet another indicator that Chile is opening up to renewable sources of energy. Of the 53 new renewable energy projects, 29 are wind power, 14 are hydraulic, five are geothermal, two are bio-mass and three are bio-gas. Ten of the new projects will be located in Valparaíso, while Los Lagos will get nine projects, Coquimbo eight, and Bío-Bío and O´Higgins six projects each. Meanwhile, Tarapacá, Atacama and Maule will each get three projects and one project will be located in Aysén. Where the remaining projects will be located remains uncertain. With these latest renewable energy projects, Chile will have a total of 140 renewable energy initiatives. If completed, they will be capable of producing 800 MW of energy. Chile currently requires about 12,000 MW, with energy demand growing by about 6 percent per year. “We believe that renewable energy could be a potentially significant market (…) within four year’s time, alternative energy could account for five percent of Chile’s energy,” said Garcia. Additionally, CORFO will host the second International Conference on Energy Invention, set to take place at Santiago’s Hotel Crowne Plaza November 14, 15 and 16. Last year the conference was attended by the world’s leading wind energy companies, amongst them Spanish Iberdrola, German wind energy company ABO Wind AG and multinational renewable energy company Econercy. Garcia explained the meeting’s importance. “We are organizing a large conference in November to attract potential investors for these renewable energy projects. CORFO will not directly take part in what happens then. What we are here to do is to facilitate meetings that will allow the projects to be completed.”

09/06/07 - The Power Of Harnessing Aging Workforce Expertise
KeelyNetWith millions of baby boomers expected to retire by 2014, businesses are looking at ways to harness and reuse the expertise and experience of their aging workforce. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR), the global leader in space propulsion engines, started planning for this eventuality in early 2000. About the same time, its engineers were tasked with developing a more powerful engine for NASA at a relatively lower cost. Collaborating with Invention Machine, PWR designed a highly effective, cost efficient program to address the company’s engineering and knowledge retention challenges. With expertise in driving sustainable innovation in global organizations, Invention Machine empowered PWR engineers to leverage and build on the experience of its historic Apollo-Saturn program, reducing cost as well as risks associated with the development of the new engine. Come hear how PWR and Invention Machine created the successful Innovation and Knowledge Management program, a program that continues to deliver cost effective, cutting-edge technology in today’s competitive environment.

09/06/07 - Ionized Energy Fabric
Australia do not usually need any outside help to win a world title - but they have turned to electromagnetic technology to give them an extra edge. They will use a revolutionary new kit, made of Ionised Energy Fabric by the company Canterbury, which claims that the clothing increases oxygen supply to the muscles, accelerating recovery and improving their output. "We've been using the process after training with masks to increase oxygen flow through the muscles and speed up recovery, but now it's in our jerseys and the cold sensation it gives makes you feel better when you wear it," said Aussie stand-off Stephen Larkham.

09/06/07 - Childhood dreams smashed: Cars that do not run on water
KeelyNetA 40-year old research effort by Purdue University professor Dr. Jerry Woodall has produced the world's most efficient way of creating hydrogen. And while Dr. Woodall's invention could be used to power hydrogen-based cars, the realities are that the energy required to do so makes it an impractical solution. The dream of the car running on water has been derailed by the science-reality alarm clock. In 1967, Dr. Woodall came across a material almost by accident. It was a mixture of gallium and aluminum which would completely react with water, extracting the hydrogen very quickly. The process was so complete that only a slurry of aluminum oxide and gallium was left in the mix. This got him thinking about the practical applications. He gave me a first-hand demonstration of this technology and I must say I was quite impressed. I wasn't sure what to expect when I drove to Purdue, but what I saw was definitely usable. Within seconds of dropping two fingernail-sized pebbles of the material into a small container of water it began bubbling like a carbonated drink that had been shaken up. The reaction consumed the source in about 60 seconds or so with an undisclosed volume of hydrogen coming off (it wasn't measured). The water vessel was about 1 liter and it hadn't notably increased in temperature, indicating this was a small reaction. He told me the conversion rate generates the equivalent energy of 1.1 KWh per pound of source material. No secret here: Large applications like cars, golf carts or submarines it would require a significant amount of source material.

09/06/07 - Power from the Air
(This has NOTHING to do with Scalars as you will see on reading, but it is an interesting experiment and claim. I hate using 'buzzwords' that don't remotely apply, apparently simply for attention. Much like SEX, and now that I have your attention...that kind of thing... - JWD) Important! I was given the following plans for what the person called a "Scalar Antenna", they claim this is a system able to harness free electrostatic scalar potential energy from the atmosphere, in the style Tesla devised, if built correctly. I want this information to get out as far and wide as possible. Apparatus and method of conversion by condenser discharges applicable to both alternating and direct currents: Below is an interesting article indicating that it is possible to collect free electrical energy from the atmosphere is indeed possible at only $10 What would you say if I told you it is possible to build an effective simple battery charger that has no moving parts, has no generator, works day or night, and has no solar cells? What if I told you this could be done with a few scrounged parts for which $10 would be an exorbitant price? Just about every Ham operator knows better than to disconnect an antenna and then pick it up later by the connector and touch a ground. Enormous charges can build up on an insulated wire and the longer the wire the more charge that will build. Most all of us have learned to pick up the coax and tap or hold the antenna against the case of the radio to bleed off this charge. How few of us have ever been so poor as to have to think about how they can use this free energy. A friend told me how to do this a few years ago. When he was a kid in the depression, buying batteries to listen to his homebrew 2 tube regen radio was out of the question. So they used the long wire antenna they had scrounged from an old telegraph line to charge the batteries so they could listen to the radio. What Wiley did at the ripe old age of 12 or 13 was hook a sparkplug to the end of the wire and then run the ground end (where the threads are) into a 12 volt coil off an old A model, but any old coil will do. The bottom connector of the coil that used to go to the points is hooked to the positive side of the battery. The negative side of the battery is hooked to a good earth ground and a 1 to 3 KV capacitor (a few picofarad type like those found in the horizontal section of a television chassis) is hooked from ground back to the wire where the top of the sparkplug is connected. That's it! Nothing should be touching ground except the ground post of the battery. Wiley was using about 200 feet of insulated wire and it will completely charge a 12 volt deep cycle every 2 or 3 days! A thousand feet of wire will do it a lot quicker but the voltages approach lethal levels. What is behind this feat is that a very long wire acts like a capacitor and builds a charge on the wire. When a few thousand volts are reached, it will discharge by "sparking" across the sparkplug. The sparkplug delivers the charge to the coil that downconverts it to a few hundred volts and pulses the battery, kind of "squirting" a charge into it. The weather controls how much static electricity is in the air. Wind and super cold air seem to really make you think you can weld with this thing! I hooked a small neon bulb to a full wave loop on winter nigh when it was snowing with a high wind and the bulb burned continuously all night long! The higher you get the wire of the ground the better. The wire has to be completely insulated. It doesn't seem to make any difference whether you lay it out in a straight line or weave it back and forth. Length is the thing here, not size. Old phone wire, old coax from the cable company, anything that is insulated and long will do the job. I use my Ham radio antennas, as they are up and long already. This thing will weld the fillings in your teeth together if you are not careful with it! The slides on the left illustrate this idea more fully.

09/06/07 - Doctor Warns Consumers of Popcorn Fumes
KeelyNetA pulmonary specialist at Denver's National Jewish Medical and Research Center has written to federal agencies to say doctors there believe they have the first case of a consumer who developed lung disease from the fumes of microwaving popcorn several times a day for years. "We cannot be sure that this patient's exposure to butter flavored microwave popcorn from daily heavy preparation has caused his lung disease," cautioned Dr. Cecile Rose. "However, we have no other plausible explanation." Rose acknowledged in the letter that it is difficult to confirm through one case that popping buttered microwave popcorn at home can cause lung disease. However, she said she wanted to alert regulators of the potential public health implications. Rose said the ailing patient, a man whom she wouldn't identify, consumed "several bags of extra butter flavored microwave popcorn" every day for several years. He described progressively worsening respiratory symptoms of coughing and shortness of breath. Tests found his ability to exhale was deteriorating, Rose said, although his condition seemed to stabilize after he quit using microwave popcorn. She said her staff measured airborne levels of diacetyl in the patient's home when he cooked the popcorn. The levels were "similar to those reported in the microwave oven exhaust area" at the quality assurance unit of the popcorn plant where the affected employees worked, she said.

09/06/07 - The Year the Global Warming Hoax Died
When did the global warming hoax die? Historians are likely to pinpoint 2007. It will take another decade to insure it cannot be revived, but the avalanche of scientific studies and the cumulative impact of scientists who have publicly joined those who debunked the lies on which it has been based will be noted as the tipping point. It took some forty years to unmask the Piltdown Man hoax that began in 1912 alleging that the skull of an ancient ancestor of man had been found in England. Any number of British anthropologists unwittingly contributed to the hoax by confirming the authenticity of the skull until it was found that the jaw of an orangutan had been cunningly attached. The unmasking of “global warming” has taken less than half that time.

09/06/07 - True Horsepower
KeelyNetVery strange website with bad engrish and peculiar ideas, such as this horse driven vehicle. / AWAKENING OF THE WORLD, FOR OUR TELLINGS - We aim to take you and your advertisement along with, what’s going to be known, as the most amazing vehicle, made in the current millennium, for a tour around the world, and thereby introduce and further promote your establishment, at the same time of this big show, registering you in every one’s memory, in the most unforgettable manner, throughout the world. Naturmobiles are designed to be symbols of encouragement for the peoples in order to save the planet earth is no other livable place in the whole Universe.

09/06/07 - Dimming the Sun
In the early 21st century, it's become clear that air pollution can significantly reduce the amount of sunlight reaching Earth, lower temperatures, and mask the warming effects of greenhouse gases. Climate researcher James Hansen estimates that "global dimming" is cooling our planet by more than a degree Celsius (1.8°F) and fears that as we cut back on the pollution that contributes to dimming, global warming may escalate to a point of no return. Regrettably, in terms of possibly taking corrective action, our current understanding of global dimming has been a long time in the coming, considering the first hints of the phenomenon date back to 18th-century observations of volcanic eruptions.

09/06/07 - Belgium to Prosecute the Church of Scientology
KeelyNetA Belgian prosecutor recommended after a 10-year investigation that the government prosecute the church of Scientology. The church is accused of being a criminal organization involved in extortion, fraud, unfair trading, violation of privacy laws, and unlawfully practicing medicine. Van Espen's probe also concluded that Scientology's Brussels-based Europe office and its Belgian missions conducted unlawful practices in medicine, violated privacy laws and used illegal business contracts, said Lieve Pellens, a spokeswoman at the Federal Prosecutors Office. "They also face charges of being ... a criminal organization," Pellens said in a telephone interview.In a statement, Scientology's Europe office accused the prosecutor of hounding the organization and said it would contest the charges. "For the last 10 years, the prosecutor has been using the media, trying to damage the reputation of the Church of Scientology and not being able to put a case in court," Scientology said. "As a consequence, this created a climate of intolerance and discrimination" in Belgium. The church, founded in 1954, counts actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its 10 million members.

09/04/07 - Transonic Combustion: 100+ mpg
(Not too confident in this as they provide no photos or testing results, nada. - JWD) Can you beat all the alternative fuels and hybrids with a whopping 100 miles per gallon? Well, that's what a company called Transonic claims. Transonic, based in Camarillo, CA, declares that 100 mpg is possible with a revolutionary injection system. It's a system, though, that you can't see yet. According to the company's webpage: "Transonic Combustion's core technology is highly proprietary and, thus, reviewable only under NDA Agreement." They use conventional reciprocating piston engines with ultra-high compression rations with very precise ignition timing and minimizing waste heat. The fuel is injected with these new injectors that are the responsible for the use of so little fuel. Moreover, the injectors can be supplemented with existing technology such as thermal management, EGR, electronic valves and advanced combustion chambers. The system is not only designed for gas engines and so can be adapted to any other fuel, regardless of octane or cetane ratios. / The technology achieves ultra-high efficiency by operating conventional reciprocating piston gasoline engines at ultra-high compression ratios and incorporates very precise ignition timing and carefully minimized waste heat generation. A key aspect of the technology is a revolutionary new type of fuel injector. This injector can be supplemented by advanced thermal management, EGR, electronic valves, and advanced combustion chamber geometries. Along with operating conventional engines with high efficiency on gasoline, this technology can utilize fuels on the basis of their chemical heat capacity largely independent of their octane or cetane ratings. Thus, economical, highly functional mixtures of renewable plant products can be utilized which are not practical in either spark ignition or conventional compression ignition engines.

09/04/07 - 360° Holographic Display with Mirrors w/Video
KeelyNetUsing a mirror spinning at a ridiculous 20Hz-20 revolutions a second-researchers at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies have created a fully-functioning monochrome "holographic" display. While holographic displays are pretty common, most implementations don't allow true 360-degree walkarounds. I was going to pooh-pooh the practicality of home implementations, but surrounding the spinning mirror with a protective bubble wouldn't be that impractical. Getting the overhead projector with beams in the image on the mirror into something more compact would likely be a bigger challenge.

09/04/07 - Bar-Ilan scientist invents cheaper way to produce electricity
A Bar-Ilan nanotechnology expert has invented a photovoltaic cell - which produces electricity from the sun's rays - that could be dramatically cheaper to produce. The cells, which are composed of metallic wires mounted on conductive glass, can form the basis of solar cells that produce electricity with efficiency similar to that of conventional, silicon-based cells while being much cheaper to produce, says Prof. Arie Zaban, head of BIU's nanotechnology institute, who has just patented the technology. The design is based on nanotechnology, which makes use of microscopic structures, and originally involved cells with an area of less than one square centimeter. But, Zaban said, his research took a "giant" step forward when he increased the size of the cells to 100 square centimeters. "Initially, we created linked arrays of very small cells, which led to a loss of efficiency because the sunlight hitting the space between the cells was not converted to electricity," Zaban explained. With much more surface area, the new array actively captures the sun's energy and becomes "a practical choice for solar energy production," he said. Zaban's cells feature a sponge-like array of microscopic "nanodots" arranged on flexible plastic sheets. The key to his system is the use of standard semiconductor material injected with an organic dye, which makes it become energy absorbent. Another of his recent discoveries involves reducing the amount of platinum used in photovoltaic cells, another important step towards reducing production costs. "We've found a way to produce platinum nanodots ... [which] reduce the amount of platinum needed by a factor of 40," he said.

09/04/07 - Dogs bark toned down by Operation - November 1936
KeelyNetToning down the barking of noisy dogs is the reported accomplishment of an Atlanta, Ga., veterinarian, who has performed the feat upon the pets of a number of apartment dwellers. In the simple, painless operation that he has devised, a dog’s vocal cord is relieved of a small V-shaped wedge on either side. No danger to the animal is involved, it is said, and the only after effect is that an ear-splitting bark is muffled to a dulcet tone that can cause no complaints from neighbors. In the photo at left, a pet is under treatment.

09/04/07 - Method for turning road traffic into energy
Inventor Danny McCadci recently filed patent paperwork for an unusual invention that could be built into roads and railways to transform that wasted kinetic energy into clean electricity. The concept is certainly outside the box. "All this energy we're not using from cars and everything is wasted," says McCadci, 64, a Sunnyvale resident who has tinkered with a few inventions but has dedicated himself to this pursuit since the 1990s. His invention calls for ditches spanning roads and covered with speed bump-shaped sheet metal. A rod connects those bumps to gears and wheels in the ditch, which capture the energy of the bump being pushed down as cars and trucks roll over it. Belts then transfer the mechanical energy to an electricity production plant. "What's being done here is exactly the same as what windmills are doing but it doesn't need the wind to come at a certain angle," said McCadci, noting that windmills take up space and pose a hazard to birds. He estimates each bump, perhaps spanning a road every quarter mile or so, would cost about $5,000 if many were built at once, plus maintenance costs over time. He is confident they would pose no danger to drivers. "It is very close to the surface of the road and it doesn't make any difference to cars when they go over it. Even a kid can go jump up and down on it," he said. The inventor erected a prototype in his living room out of wood, sheet metal and wheels he got from a sewing machine shop. The model produced enough electricity to power an attached light bulb. He dismantled the prototype because it took up so much space, but paid a firm to create a computer animation of a train, 18-wheeler and cars driving over the device. To view a computer simulation of McCadci's invention, visit www.vizsource.com/Re-Energize.wmv

09/04/07 - Poor Man's Stained Glass
KeelyNetInstead of tacking up bedsheets over the windows when you first move into a place to preserve your privacy, save your walls and just pop some bubble wrap into the windows instead. This idea comes from Derek of ReadyMade, who simply taped the bubbly stuff into his windows until curtains/blinds were hung. Not only does it let in light during the day, it also saves your neighbors from seeing more than they should at night.

09/04/07 - Run Your House on a Prius
When Hurricane Frances ripped through Gainesville, Fla., in 2004, Christopher Swinney, an anesthesiologist, was without electricity for a week. A few weeks ago, Dr. Swinney lost power again, but this time he was ready. He plugged his Toyota Prius into the backup uninterruptible power supply unit in his house and soon the refrigerator was humming and the lights were back on. “It was running everything in the house except the central air-conditioning,” Dr. Swinney said. Without the Prius, the batteries in the U.P.S. unit would have run out of power in about an hour. The battery pack in the car kept the U.P.S. online and was itself recharged by the gasoline engine, which cycled on and off as needed. The U.P.S. has an inverter, which converts the direct current electricity from the batteries to household alternating current and regulates the voltage. As long as it has fuel, the Prius can produce at least three kilowatts of continuous power, which is adequate to maintain a home’s basic functions. This form of vehicle-to-grid technology, often called V2G, has attracted hobbyists, university researchers and companies like Pacific Gas & Electric and Google. Although there is some skepticism among experts about the feasibility of V2G, the big players see a future in which fleets of hybrid cars, recharged at night when demand is lower, can relieve the grid and help avert serious blackouts. No automaker is selling a plug-in hybrid vehicle, but some ambitious people are making their own. Converting a stock Prius to back up the grid is much easier, and the guru for such conversions is Richard Factor, 61, an inventor from Kinnelon, N.J. Mr. Factor says that small U.P.S. units, often used to provide backup power for computer servers, are inexpensive. His system, which he estimates would cost $2,000 to $4,000 to duplicate, incorporates a large U.P.S. mounted in his home and a long electrical cord to the Prius, where it connects through the car’s built-in relay terminals. His system is designed to integrate with the grid, but he said more rudimentary systems could be built for as little as $200. During a recent six-hour power failure, Mr. Factor estimated that his 2005 Prius used less than one gallon of gasoline.

09/04/07 - "Stunning Ring" Conceals Pepper Spray
KeelyNetThe "Stunning Ring" doesn't knock out your attackers by dint of its gaudy design alone. Instead, by press the locking trigger on the side, the Ring will emit a two-to-three second blast of pepper spray. And while there's nothing funny about women being attacked in real life, I adore the banner/frieze that sits atop the "Protect Yourself Direct" website. (Reproduced above.) Eat elbow, plastic-haired perp! The ring, sure to be a hit in middle-school locker rooms around the country, is available for thirty bucks, with refills going for eight.

09/04/07 - The militarization of our police and raids gone wrong
KeelyNetA sagacious fellow by the name of Radley Balko, whose chief journalistic endeavor has been exposing the excesses of the War on Drugs, has compiled an impressive list of botched raids conducted by hyper-agressive police units acroos the country. The militarization of our police forces, with SWAT units armed with weapons designed for warfare against foreign enemies, has been spreading from the inner city to the suburbs, and from small towns to farm country. All across America, local police units are arming and training officers to bust down doors, destroy personal property and mercilessly manhandle all living creatures in their path. Dogs, children and even elderly women have been shot by rampaging SWAT teams, usually in the hunt for trivial amounts of drug contraband.

09/04/07 - Lightning Harnessed to Crack Walnuts - November 1953
KeelyNetNut packers have found that a 65,000-volt, 5,000-ampere jolt of electricity will take the shell off a walnut clean as a whistle. The kernels are undamaged, and production per worker is more than doubled. The nuts are fed from 10,000-pound storage bins onto threaded rolls that carry them into a metal-shielded concrete building. This houses 18 cracking units (above left) in two banks of nine each.

09/04/07 - Man Arrested for Refusing to Show Drivers License
"Michael Righi was arrested in Ohio over the weekend after refusing to show his receipt when leaving Circuit City. When the manger and 'loss prevention' employee physically prevented the vehicle he was a passenger in from leaving the parking lot, he called the police, who arrived, searched his bag and found he hadn't stolen anything. The officer then asked for Michael's driver's license, which he declined to provide since he wasn't operating a motor vehicle. The officer then arrested him, and upon finding out Michael was legally right about not having to provide a license, went ahead and charged him with 'obstructing official business' anyways."

09/04/07 - Less Than 1/2 of Published Scientists Endorse GW Theory
KeelyNetOf 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers "implicit" endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no "consensus." The figures are even more shocking when one remembers the watered-down definition of consensus here. Not only does it not require supporting that man is the "primary" cause of warming, but it doesn't require any belief or support for "catastrophic" global warming. In fact of all papers published in this period (2004 to February 2007), only a single one makes any reference to climate change leading to catastrophic results.

09/04/07 - Charles Fort's famous Book of the Damned as free ebook
Manybooks.net has formatted The Book of the Damned ("1,001 attested phenomena that science cannot answer and deliberately ignores) into a bunch of different ebook, formats, including the new iPhone books.app format. (via boingboing.net)

09/04/07 - Star Trek-like device heals trauma with ultrasound
KeelyNetThe handheld device emits high-intensity ultrasound and focuses the rays at a desired location. Recent experiments used the tool to seal injured lungs. ..."The results are really impressive," Vaezy said. He cautions that this is still in the early stages and the technique is not yet being tested on humans. High-intensity focused ultrasound is now being investigated for a number of different treatments. It promises "bloodless surgery" with no scalpels or sutures in sight. Doctors would pass a sensor over the patient and use invisible rays to heal the wound. Researchers are exploring the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound - with beams tens of thousands of times more powerful than used in imaging - for applications ranging from numbing pain to destroying cancerous tissue.

09/04/07 - Why gas prices went up in 2006
Market factors explain increases in the national average retail price for gasoline during the spring and summer of 2006, according to a report sent to the President today by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. The FTC report gives 6 reasons for the increase in oil prices. 1. Summer demand. 2. Price of crude. 3. Price of ethanol. The FTC says the first 3 account for .47 of the .62 increase and were easy to calculate. The last 3, .15 of the .62 increase, are more complicated and exact impact on price harder to calculate. 4. Transition from MTBE to ethanol 5. Refinery problems and finally 6. Demand that's not seasonal.

09/04/07 - Music Video - Mil Heridas (1,000 wounds) by Banda Cuisillos
KeelyNetEvery now and then I like to post something related to Mexico where I live. The cantinas are almost always fun and I have many friends there including the senorita bartenders (cantineras). They always turn me on to new music and its often quite good. Tonia played this Mil Heridas song for me and I fell totally in love with the rhythm and beat, so she asks me to play it whenever I'm in the bar. If you like to try different music, definitely listen to this song. I converted it to an MP3 so I can listen while I drive or at the computer.

09/04/07 - An Experiment in Archetypes
KeelyNetAlong the lines of Jungian archetypes, there is a fascinating experiment going on here in Mexico, as reported in the english newspaper, the Guadalajara Reporter. For the week of Aug. 25 - Aug. 31st there was an article titled, "The Honest Saint whose example may curtail Corruption in Mexico." Visual Arts graduate Luisa Gloria Mota has created her own saint; San Honesto, the patron saint and guardian of truth, who stands against corruption, bribery and lies. For her master's degree, Mota interviewed Mexicans, asking what could help end corruption. A simple answer always followed, 'Only a Miracle.' Mota concocted a legend in the form of San Honesto which takes advantage of both faith and imagination. The image of San Honesto is a slender, dark-skinned peasant in traditional garb with the face replaced by a small mirror. She says, "How many lives of saints and stories do we accept as truth, making them true through the collective conscience and faith of people? That's what I intend as the life of San Honesto is legend, a story that I created based on historical facts." Mota further explains, "My idea is simple and my inspiration is Mexico. I love my country but am saddened by the indifference with which we live. We are a very corrupt country, but also a country full of faith. That's where the idea of a saint who stands against corruption comes from." The popularity of Mota's San Honesto products is growing. "It's complicated making people understand this is not just a fashion fad, the aim is for cultural transformation." Mota has even convinced the Tacubaya government to construct an altar to San Honesto, and is lobbying other municipalities to do the same.

09/02/07 - Battery Breakthrough
KeelyNetMillions of inventions pass quietly through the U.S. patent office each year. Patent No. 7,033,406 did, too, until energy insiders spotted six words in the filing that sounded like a death knell for the internal combustion engine. An Austin-based startup called EEStor promised "technologies for replacement of electrochemical batteries," meaning a motorist could plug in a car for five minutes and drive 500 miles roundtrip between Dallas and Houston without gasoline. By contrast, some plug-in hybrids on the horizon would require motorists to charge their cars in a wall outlet overnight and promise only 50 miles of gasoline-free commute. And the popular hybrids on the road today still depend heavily on fossil fuels. "The Achilles' heel to the electric car industry has been energy storage. By all rights, this would make internal combustion engines unnecessary." Clifford's company bought rights to EEStor's technology in August 2005 and expects EEStor to start shipping the battery replacement later this year for use in ZENN Motor's short-range, low-speed vehicles. The technology also could help invigorate the renewable-energy sector by providing efficient, lightning-fast storage for solar power, or, on a small scale, a flash-charge for cell phones and laptops. EEStor's secret ingredient is a material sandwiched between thousands of wafer-thin metal sheets, like a series of foil-and-paper gum wrappers stacked on top of each other. Charged particles stick to the metal sheets and move quickly across EEStor's proprietary material. The result is an ultracapacitor, a battery-like device that stores and releases energy quickly. Batteries rely on chemical reactions to store energy but can take hours to charge and release energy. The simplest capacitors found in computers and radios hold less energy but can charge or discharge instantly. Ultracapacitors take the best of both, stacking capacitors to increase capacity while maintaining the speed of simple capacitors. EEstor seems to be claiming an improvement of more than 400-fold, yet increasing a capacitor's retention ability often results in decreased strength of the materials. Among other things, the ultracapacitors described in EEStor's patent operate at extremely high voltage, 10 times greater than those Maxwell manufactures, and won't work with regular wall outlets, said Maxwell spokesman Mike Sund. He said capacitors could crack while bouncing down the road, or slowly discharge after a dayslong stint in the airport parking lot, leaving the driver stranded.

09/02/07 - Millions wasted on wind farms without a breeze
For anyone building a wind farm, it might seem an unnecessary piece of advice - put it somewhere windy. Astonishingly, however, many turbines are going up on sites which are simply not breezy enough, energy consultants have claimed. They say farms are being built in the "wrong places" because of the pressure to hit Government targets in the race to produce green energy. But the "badly sited and underperforming" turbines are not reliable enough to keep the nation's television sets, toasters and lights switched on. New sites are assessed on the basis of average wind speeds over a year - a measure called the "load factor". The industry recommends an average load factor of 30 per cent for a turbine to operate efficiently. Yet although the load factor can be as high as 45 per cent in parts of Scotland and Wales, some farms achieve less than 20 per cent, he said. Only five wind farms in the east of England achieve load factors of 30 per cent or more: "That's just five out of 25," he said. "We should be putting our money where the wind is and that is quite often not where the development pressure is. "Even in a high average-wind-speed area you really have to be absolutely precise as to where you site them. To cope with the variation in wind energy over a normal day, gas and coal generators would need to be turned on and off continually. "They are not designed for that, and the net effect is to put them under mechanical strain and also increase their carbon dioxide," said Mr Oswald. "Wind speeds vary across the country, which is why most wind farms are concentrated in key areas," she said. "No one in their right mind would build turbines where they wouldn't produce a viable amount of electricity." Most farms generate electricity 85 per cent of the time, she added. Not every wind farm can be built on sites with the most wind because of technical problems and planning objections.

09/02/07 - Gadgets Causing 'Epidemic of Shyness'
KeelyNetPsychologist, Harvard Business School researcher and etiquette columnist Robin Abrahams said in a recent interview that cell phones, iPods and PCs are casing a WORLDWIDE EPIDEMIC OF SHYNESS. She said nearly 50% of people say they're shy in social situations, up from about 40% "in the past." "People shop online, they listen to their iPods rather than the radio -- and they e-mail or text each other rather than talk. What we have is an increasingly complex social environment, combined with less practice at dealing with it because of technology." (via therawfeed.com)

09/02/07 - $20 Laptop Skins
KeelyNetA bevy of new and not-so-new companies are slugging it out in the growing CUSTOMIZED LAPTOP BUSINESS. You can spend hundreds for a really cool custom paint-job and uploaded graphics -- or you can shell out just $20 for a perfect-fit "sticker" that does the same thing. (via therawfeed.com)

09/02/07 - Microsoft Working On Mind-Reading Software
KeelyNetMicrosoft researchers are working on a MIND-READING SYSTEM -- hardware and software that can "interface directly with the human brain." The company's R&D department has figured out how to use a "low-cost electroencephalograph" for "detecting specific forms of brain activity." Research papers associated with the project say that "knowing the state of the user as well as the tasks they are performing may provide key information that would allow us to design context sensitive systems that adapt themselves to optimally support the state of the user." The technology might also "know the precise intention of a user who searches for an ambiguous term." (via therawfeed.com)

09/02/07 - Honda trying to regain Hybrid street cred
KeelyNetHonda is running a distant second to Toyota-despite the fact that Honda was first to sell a hybrid in America and remains a darling of the green movement. But to the average car buyer, Honda's hybrids are all but invisible. With 110,565 sold so far this year, the Toyota Prius is outselling Honda's entire lineup of gas-electric Civics and Accords by five to one. Honda is also pulling the plug on its hybrid Accord because it failed to attract buyers with its confusing formula of high horsepower, high price and so-so mileage. Honda execs now admit they weren't prepared for the power of the Prius. "The Prius has become synonymous with hybrid; it's the Kleenex of hybrids," says Honda senior VP John Mendel. "We feel Honda should be synonymous with the most fuel-efficient company in America." Code-named the "Global Small Hybrid," Honda's new gas-electric model won't be a version of anything else in its lineup. Instead, Honda execs say it will be a five-passenger, small family car priced under $22,000. This time Honda won't make the mistake of wrapping its hybrid in the sheet metal of its everyday cars: instead, analysts expect the new Honda will have the larva styling the Prius pioneered-which now embodies the green-car look. Honda will also outdo the $23,000, 60mpg Prius on price and mileage in hopes of attracting 100,000 buyers a year-three times what the hybrid Civic sells.

09/02/07 - Plastic Diet
KeelyNet(Locally, a group of well meaning norte-americanos had a memorial where they released hundreds of balloons into the air. This greatly annoyed me due to their insensitivity and lack of respect for the environment and animals who might eat the collapsed balloons. - JWD) Cynthia Vanderlip, manager of the State of Hawaii's Kure Atoll Wildlife Sanctuary, cut open the dead body of a fledgling Laysan albatross (nicknamed "Shed Bird") to find more than half a pound of plastic in its stomach. Concentrated on the right are all the items retrieved from inside the bird: Plastic lighters, bottle caps, and other plastics that are carelessly tossed often wind up floating on the ocean surface, where they are occasionally consumed by foraging seabirds and other marine creatures.

09/02/07 - Sensors to power Life Recorders
A person's entire life from birth to death could one day be recorded by a network of intelligent sensors, according to a senior scientist. By 2057, Martin Sadler of PC firm Hewlett Packard, said there could be at least 1m devices for every UK resident. Predicted advances in storage and cameras coupled with decreasing costs would allow this explosion, he said. But, he warned, the amount of personal data that could be collected would lead to difficult ethical dilemmas. "Maybe the first time you know you are pregnant is when a targeted piece of advertising comes through on your computer screen offering you some baby clothes because somehow the smart toilet, or some other aspect of your environment, leaked that information," he said. A 2002 study calculated there were around 4.2 million CCTV cameras in the UK, one for every 14 people. Professor Sadler said: "The average Londoner may be viewed as many as 300 times a day." The growth in the number of devices would continue to grow, he predicted. "If you go forward 50 years, you are probably talking about one million forms of sensors per person in the UK," he said. This was a conservative estimate, he said. "More aggressive" calculations suggest there could be 20m sensors per person. Already some researchers at Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and MIT have developed devices that record a person's every move. Advances in technology and a more complete understanding of physics would lead to a new breed of devices that are "too small to see, that permeate your body, permeate the space in which we exist, record everything, know everything about you, transmit your reputation wherever you go."

09/02/07 - Cellphones affect human cells without heating them
KeelyNetCELLPHONE makers take great care to ensure their gadgets don't heat up your brain, but could the radiation cellphones throw out damage your cells in some other way? Israeli researchers have now identified a mechanism through which the radiation may affect the differentiation and division of cells. Claims of connections between cellphone radiation exposure and health problems such as cancer have been controversial, largely due to a lack of convincing evidence, but also because no clear mechanism was known by which radiation at cellphone frequencies and power levels could harm living cells. The frequencies are too low to damage DNA directly and the power of the signal is well below the level that could overheat cells. Previous evidence of non-thermal effects on cells is mixed, because it is very difficult to expose cells to radiation without heating them to some degree.

09/02/07 - Researchers Test Hydrogen Storage in Organic Hydride Liquids
Hrein Energy Inc., a Japan-based developer of hydrogen storage systems based on organic hydrides, has successfully field-tested an on-board version of its storage system to produce a hydrogen stream for use with gasoline in an automobile combustion engine. Hrein is targeting its system for eventual use with fuel-cell vehicles, among other applications. The cooperative research project included Professor Emeritus Masaru Ichikawa of Hokkaido University, the developer of the organic hydride system, along with Futaba Industrial Co. and Ito Racing Service Co.

09/02/07 - Perfect Pitch: "You've Either Got It or You Don't"
KeelyNetYou don't have to be Mozart to correctly identify a tone as A-sharp or D-flat. In fact, says a new report, perfect pitch may be genetic. In the midst of recruiting subjects for a genetic study on perfect (absolute) pitch-the ability to discern a note from nearly any sort of sound without a reference tone-scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, discovered several interesting patterns among people who have the skill. According to Gitschier, the data also supports anecdotal evidence from people that, as they get older, they experience a shift in pitch-naming ability. Apparently, several of the older participants were consistently shifting to sharp in their categorizations, labeling D as D-sharp or A-sharp as B. Gitschier surmises that the culprit may be the aging basilar membrane, the vibrating part of the cochlea (auditory component of the inner ear), which transmits information to the auditory cortex via hair cells on its surface and increases in elasticity over time. Another finding, she says, was the all-too-common mistake that many study participants with absolute pitch made of miscategorizing tones-specifically, identifying G-sharp as an A. Gitschier explains that those who have perfect pitch essentially have ranges of acoustic frequencies in "bins" corresponding to different notes. This mistake may be attributable to the aforementioned shift toward perceiving notes sharper than they actually are. Or, rather, Gitschier says, because the note A is a universal tuning note for most instruments, "maybe people have learned to not consciously accommodate a wider range of frequencies and bin them as A."

09/02/07 - Plant genes switched on by sound waves
CAN plants hear? They all respond to light, which affects how they optimise growth and survival. Plants also have a sense of touch, allowing them to stiffen in response to wind, and a "taste" for nutrients. But whether they respond to sound is a mystery. Now Mi-Jeong Jeong of the National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology in Suwon, South Korea, and colleagues claim to have identified two genes in rice that respond to sound waves. They also say that the promoter of one of the sound-sensitive genes could be attached to other genes to make them respond to sound too. The findings follow a host of similar, but unsubstantiated, claims that plants respond to sound. If the researchers are correct, they say their discovery could enable farmers to switch specific crop genes on and off, such as ones for flowering, by blasting sound into the fields.

09/02/07 - Fox News wins (the right to distort the news) in court
KeelyNetIn February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States. Lawyers paid by Bill O'Reilly's bosses argued in court that Fox can lie with impunity. It's their right under the 1st Ammendment.

09/02/07 - The Key to the Titanic disaster
KeelyNetIt was perhaps the most catastrophic lapse of memory in history, costing more than 1,500 lives. A sailor called David Blair forgot to leave behind a key as the Titanic set off on its maiden voyage. Without it, his shipmates were unable to open a locker in the crow's nest containing a pair of binoculars for the designated lookout. The binoculars were to look out for dangers in the distance including signs of bad weather - and icebergs. Lookout Fred Fleet, who survived the disaster in which 1,522 people lost their lives, later told an official inquiry that if they had binoculars they would have seen the iceberg sooner.

09/02/07 - Why We Should Keep The War Going
(This really highlights why we need to find alternative energy sources. - JWD) This will convince Americans that the Iraq war should continue forever: Porter ties U.S. withdrawal from Iraq to $9 gasoline. Gasoline prices could rise to about $9 per gallon if the United States withdraws troops from Iraq prematurely, Rep. Jon Porter said he was told on a trip to Iraq that ended this week. The Nevada Republican, who returned Tuesday from his fourth trip to Iraq, met with U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Iraqi Deputy President Tariq al-Hashimi and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh. "To a person, they said there would be genocide, gas prices in the U.S. would rise to eight or nine dollars a gallon, al-Qaida would continue its expansion, and Iran would take over that portion of the world if we leave," Porter said Wednesday in a phone interview from Las Vegas. (via jwalkblog.com)

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

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

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